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Monthly Archives: December 2006

Another Florida vote SNAFU

District 13 in Florida is home to yet another Florida voting problem. But this time with a twist. Buchanan won by a slim margin in multiple counts, yet it’s possible Speaker Pelosi won’t allow Buchanan to take his seat in January when Congress convenes. This is not completely unprecedented in a disputed election, but certainly is highly unusual.


Brawls, Dolls and Bimbos

Combine the latest NBA basket-brawl, Trump not firing Miss USA Tara Conner for her alledged drugs and party lifestyle, and a shock while doll shopping to find a disturbing national trend.

Fiscal Responsibility

Politicians are not fiscally responsible (shock! horror!). It seems once elected, they become affected by what H.L. Richardson calls the “peer-group shift”[5]. Simply put, they lose touch with the common man by less contact with constituents back home and more with lobbyists and established Washington politicians — a situation even more pronounced as most politicians come from wealthy and isolated backgrounds. How much do you have in common with Ted Kennedy or President Bush?

Christmas Tree Controversy at Seattle Airport

Sea-Tac removed all Christmas trees in response to a request from a rabbi who desired to put up a menorah in tribute to the Jewish holiday. Instead of granting this simple request, they removed all the Christmas trees instead! Just a little overreaction by Sea-Tac officials, wouldn’t you say?

Congress and the Drug Company

Is this what Congress should spend its time on?

Read the testimony on HR 5120 — a bill to help a company due to their own mistake. This is a technical and legal issue (and I’m no lawyer — please leave a comment if any of the following is in error), but medicines are patented for a period of years. The company can extend those protections in certain situations, but must follow specific procedures to do so. The company in question missed the deadline to file, but wants Congress to pass a bill restoring the patent extension after missing the deadline.

Interpretation of the Constitution

The Constitution is not a “living document”. Once the Constitution becomes subject to varying interpretation, the rights guaranteed therein are not absolute, but become subject to popular whim — the precise problem the document is designed to avoid. This does not mean constitutional concepts are inflexible, as the document itself allows means to amend it if needed (a difficult process and one not to be undertaken lightly, but not impossible).

Oregon Fiscal Recklessness

Oregon Governor Kulongoski’s proposed 2007-09 budget shows an increase of 20% to 14.9 billion — an increase even The Oregonian called “gargantuan”. As the Democrats gained control of the legislative branch during the last election as well, will they rubber-stamp the governor’s reckless plan?

Oregon made national news for their budgetary problems in the recent past, with many in the state calling for a “rainy day” fund to help the state during poor economic times. But the Democratic Governor doesn’t seem too bothered about it — it’s full spending ahead (and ignore that iceberg ahead — we’re unsinkable!). There’s so much money right now (from an improving economy), he could put a billion towards a rainy day fund and still have huge (but perhaps not gargantuan) increases in spending.