Friday, December 31, 2010


This is Lynn Jenkins, she does not represent us

Common Sense, and nearly every person you meet, will tell you to stop digging once you find yourself in a hole. Either no one told Lynn Jenkins about common sense or that she's dug herself into a hole. Instead of dropping the shovel and hollering for a ladder or a rope Jenkins decided to blame "liberals" for her confused idea about a statute to outlaw Lame Duck sessions of the Congress - any Congress.

Seriously, when I Googled the Unrepresentative from Kansas' Second Congressional District this is what I saw:

End the Lame Duck Session
Liberals are fighting my attempt to ban the lame duck session.

That of course took me to a page where Lynn had the audacity to ask for more money. She gets tens of thousands of dollars from her connections with the  Koch's brothers, QC Holdings, and other FAT CAT BANKERS, ACCOUNTANTS, INSURANCE COMPANIES, AND WALL STREET INTERESTS. She'll neither get a vote nor a single cent from me.

Am I supposed to be this "liberal" of which her website speak?  On some things I am. I support equal pay for equal work, SCHIP, Health Care Reform, and a woman's right to choose. Then again I never saw a free trade agreement that didn't free up our markets to buy more cheap stuff, made by foreigners and putting Americans out of work that I liked. Nor do I think much of tax credits to big business for sending American jobs overseas. Jenkins keeps voting for those offshoring tax breaks.  When it comes to the Second Amendment I find myself strangely in the company of Sam Alito. I think owning a gun is a personal right guaranteed by the Second Amendment and that right can be made applicable to the States via the Incorporation Doctrine of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Lynn Jenkins just gets it wrong. It is not liberals who oppose her idea, it is reasonable persons who have taken the time to study the institution of the Congress and the Constitution. Jenkins will be opposed by those who know the distinctions between rules, statutes, and the Constitution.

The Constitution

Article I Section 4.

The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
20th Amendment - Amendment XX

Section 2.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.
The Twentieth Amendment struck out the language I underlined above from  Article I § 4 and replaced it with the language of § 2.

If the 72nd Congress, which proposed the Twentieth Amendment, and the States ratifying the Twentieth Amendment intended to terminate, rather than truncate, Lame Duck sessions then the language they presented would have been different.

Consider the original language of Article I § 3, which was redacted upon adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment. Here the framers told the first Senators to get themselves to Philadelphia to begin the first session of the First Congress and to do so immediately. If the powerhouse behind the Twentieth Amendment, Nebraska's Senator George Norris, wanted to kick the former Representatives and Senators out of office and let the new Congress begin, there was an example set by the Founding Fathers.

The Twentieth Amendment would then say that as soon as a quorum of both houses of the newly elected Congress has assembled, the former Congress will adjourn Sine Die. Immediately thereafter the next session of Congress will begin.

The problem is that isn't anything close to what the Twentieth Amendment says.

Lynn Jenkins is having this amazingly public brain fart saying that she can get done by statute what every other semi-educated person in America knows can only be accomplished by amending the Constitution.

This is not new stuff. The Supreme Court spoke to the issue in 1996. The case was United States v. Winstar Corp. 518 U.S. 839 where the history of this principle was discussed. The Court said:
In his Commentaries, Blackstone stated the centuries old concept that one legislature may not bind the legislative authority of its successors:

"Acts of parliament derogatory from the power of subsequent parliaments bind not. . . . Because the legislature, being in truth the sovereign power, is always of equal, always of absolute authority: it acknowledges no superior upon earth, which the prior legislature must have been, if it's [sic] ordinances could bind the present parliament." 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 90 (1765)." (Emphasis added).
Did you get that? Lynn Jenkins cannot pass a law that binds future Congresses because the 112th Congress will be equal in sovereign power and absolute authority with the 113th Congress and each successive Congress to follow.

Make no bones about it the 112th Congress can adjourn Sine Die after the elections are over. The 112th Congress can move to make in order a new vote for Speaker of the House for the balance of the term of the first session of the 112th Congress. That way when the Democrats win Lynn Jenkins can make sure that the Democrats will rule in the waning hours of the 112th Congress and respect the will of the electorate. Lynn Jenkins' crazy idea that she can pass a law binding on future Congresses regarding Lame Duck sessions is just nonsense.

It is the kind of nonsense that has her asking for money from those who believe that liberals are attacking Jenkins. Well, Jenkins may not know much about Congress as an institution or the Constitution but she's a true disciple of P.T. Barnum. Yes Sir, there's a sucker born every minute! And Lynn is going after their cash!

And now Jenkins supports the new Tea Party notion of putting in a Constitutional jurisdictional statement for each new bill proposed in the 112th Congress.  Gosh, I can hardly wait.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


The Grotesque Overtly Propagandizers (GOP) are renewing their bogus claims about "Death Panels" and the rationing of Medicare. The Department of Health and Human Services put the end of life counseling provision into the CFR.

The New York Times suggests that DHHS conducted a black ops manuver by inserting the end of life counseling provision into the CFR.  The New York Times report is based on an apparent e-mail from Oregon's Democratic Representative Earl Blumenaur, where he makes a gaff in telling his supporters to keep the unbroken news on the down low as not to inflame the passions of the GOP. Earl, always remember and never forget, we favor more speech over less speech, especially when we speak the truth.

The New York Times needs to get real. Tens of thousands of regulations routinely appear in the Code of Federal Regulation without the pomp and fanfare of a press release. The New York Times' conspiracy about non-disclosure of each item in the CFR makes them look more like the National Enquirer instead of a leader of the Fourth Estate. As Jed Clampett would say, "Pitiful, just pitiful."

The end of life counseling gives a person an opportunity to discuss how they want to go. If a person wants everything done to prolong their life, no matter what, then they get to have that put down. Their wishes will be followed. If a person says "don't keep me alive on those damn machines for any longer than a week, I don't want to be vegetable taking up space," then those wishes will be followed.

End of life counseling is about maintaining control of the dignity of life by assuring dignity in death. I have repeatedly told my daughter that if cold beer and ham sandwiches, placed in front of me, remain untouched for more than a day then she should tell the powers that be to pull the plug. They can harvest whatever organs are of use to others or science. Not everyone has had that talk with their loved ones.

Rather than just 'fess up about the last time the GOP dropped the ball by fighting science they Grotesquely and Overtly Propagandize over the so-called "Death Panels". Come on Republicans admit that a rational approach to death is not only wise and  prudent, it is a good thing.

The elephant in the room isn't the symbol of the GOP. The elephant in the room is the legal debacle left in the wake of Terri Schaivo's husband trying to follow her wishes and pull the plug so her brain dead carcass could be buried with dignity.

She didn't get her wishes followed. She got a bunch of religious fanatics, resembling a parade from the Dark Ages, telling her poor grieving family that each autonomic nervous flinch in her failing body was proof that Terri was alive and viable. In my world view science and faith inform one another.  Unfortunately the opposite view took hold in the case of Terry Schaivo. Her family deserved more than the media-political driven load of manure that was dropped on them.

Remember what happened? Congress waded into the tragic circumstances of this brain dead woman, pretending to fight for life, and got the federal courts involved to save her life, a life which was already gone. Despite the efforts of a Republican Congress and a Republican President and his Republican Governor brother, the court's operated as they were intended to function. In the end the plug was pulled. An autopsy settled the debate. Terry Schaivo's brain was shrunken to about the size of a grapefruit - it no longer functioned. She was brain dead.

End of life counseling isn't about the government telling Grandma when she has to die. End of life counseling gives the dying person the comfort of knowing that their passing will be as peaceful as possible, to them and to those they leave behind.

I have seen a lot of death. I have it seen it in the Emergency Room. I have seen it in the Operating Room. I have seen it in hospital rooms and on city streets.  I have been present in the face of death.

A sentiment all who face the Grim Reaper will share is that we don't want anyone selling tickets to the event. Neither do we want the meter on life's expenses to continue running after we have left our shriveling bodies in our journeys to the Great Beyond. Absolutely we don't want politicians, lawyers, judges, and especially not persons on radio and television pretending to be journalists making a circus of our demise.

End of life counseling is a good idea, preparing a Living Will is a good idea.  Talk to your family and loved ones about what you want done when the times comes.  Write those wishes down on paper and sign the thing.  Don't listen to propaganda.  Don't fear the Grotesque Overtly Propagandizers, neither listen to them.  You can always change the radio dial or turn off television's FOX FEARMONGERING. 

May I suggest a good book instead? 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Among the slew of legislation which died the stagnant death of inaction in the Senate two bills emerged from the House of Representatives in the 111th Congress that, in ordinary times, look like they'd get a huge chunk of Republican votes. These bills got those GOP votes in the House. Putting people back to work isn't, or at least it ought not, be a partisan idea. In the marketplace of ideas there is plenty of turf to wage the political tug of war while putting American workers back to work making things in America.

House Democrats had a plan which they called the "Make it in America" strategy. Making things in America, enhancing the manufacturing base in the nation, putting American workers back into American jobs, what could be so controversial about this idea?

H.R. 3116, the Berry Extension Act and H.R. 2039, the Congressional Made In America Promise Act each passed the House and each died in the Senate. Meanwhile, unemployment continues at unacceptable levels.

The Associated Press reported on December 28th that "[t]he Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S. The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute's senior international economist. American jobs have been moving overseas for more than two decades. In recent years, though, those jobs have become more sophisticated — think semiconductors and software, not toys and clothes."

Think software, not toys and clothes. That means the lower paying jobs are now offshore and the higher paying jobs are following suit. No one on Capitol Hill should look or sound like they are surprised. This is the exact evil that the Democrats Make it in America strategy was designed to combat. House Republicans voted FOR these bills.

The Senate secretly suffocated them in committee. This is a prime example of why the arcane rules of the Senate regarding filibuster and holds must be changed. A minority of one Senator can keep the business of the Senate held hostage and that Senator need not face the glare of public scrutiny because of the overt lack of transparency in the Senate.

H.R. 3116, the Berry Extension Act was introduced by North Carolina Democratic Representative Larry Kissell. Kissell is a member of the House Trade Working Group recently came out against the proposed Korea - U.S. Free Trade Agreement. He said: "We must close the loopholes and incentives for companies to ship jobs overseas, and give our small businesses and manufacturers the fair opportunities they deserve to export their products made here,” said Kissell. “While I and many of my colleagues offered our suggestions and the changes our constituents would like to see in this deal, unfortunately not enough has been done to help protect American jobs."

According to the Congressional Research Service H.R. 3116 would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to prohibit the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from procuring specified covered items directly related to national security interests (including clothing, tents, or natural fiber products) that are not grown, reprocessed, reused, or produced in the United States, except to the extent satisfactory quality and sufficient quantity of any such product cannot be procured as and when needed.

Kissell is saying that we can grow cotton and turn it into fabric in America. North Carolina used to be a leading center in textile production. As labor made inroads into North Carolina's textile mills the owners of those enterprises began shifting those jobs overseas. That was in the 1980's and 1990's. This is not a new strategy for the mill owners. A century earlier they found cheap labor in the Carolinas and moved the mills down South from New England.

Note to the President: All Free Trade Agreements must include requirement that the other county permit collective bargaining. When we ship our labor organizers to the places our jobs go then we get to level the playing field. When Third World nations start paying their workers what they're worth the incentive to ship American jobs to those nations fades.

H.R. 3116 did not face strong opposition in the House. H.R. 3116 did not face weak opposition in the House. H.R. 3116 was passed on a motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, which of course means that it needed a ⅔ majority to succeed. Not only did no House Republican rise in opposition to the bill, neither was there a call for a Roll Call vote. The list of 69 cosponsors included both Democrats and Republicans. A telling remarks about the fate of the bill was made by Representative Kissell when the bill was being discussed on the floor. He said:

"In January of 2009, shortly after I was sworn in as a freshman Congressman, folks came to me and asked me if I would help extend the Berry Act in homeland security to just the TSA part. Now, I could not understand why this had not been done before, but I was assured it had been tried and had been unsuccessful because there was apparently a lot of special interest that was in opposition to this.

Having worked 27 years in textiles myself, I gladly took on this initiative, and with a lot of help, we were able to overcome the special interest, and we were able to get the extension of the Berry Act to the amendment for the Recovery Act applying just to TSA. We immediately went to work to introduce a bill of legislation that would complete this process by making all of Homeland Security very compliant."
The House of Representatives was able to overcome those special interests. In the Senate the heavy hand of special interest money need only persuade one Senator to kill a bill. We don't know how many Senators actually opposed the bill. We know that the bill died a secret death. Senate Rules must change if America is to move forward.

The House, in the first session of the 112th Congress, led by Republicans can pass this bill again, by a ⅔ majority, and send it to the Senate. Senate Democrats need to change the Senate Rules so that bills like H.R. 3116 can die a public death. Senators killing bills that keep America working can then be voted out of office.

Of course, if the Senate has to conduct the nation's business in public it is likely that bills like H.R. 3116 won't die in committee.

H.R. 2039, the Congressional Made In America Promise Act was introduced by Ohio's Democratic Representative Marcy Kaptur. The bill had 22 cosponsors of both parties. This bill is a no-brainer, nonetheless 36 Members voted against it. The lone Democrat voting against the bill was Colorado's Jared Polis. Polis, who usually makes good choices in the Congress got this one wrong. The vote was Roll Call number 521 where the margin was 371 in favor to 36 opposed, with 25 Members not voting.

Simply put the bill applies the Buy American Act to both houses of the Congress. The Congressional Research Service's summary says this bill amends the Buy American Act to apply Buy American requirements to articles, materials, and supplies acquired for the use of any legislative branch office, including the House of Representatives and the Senate, in the same manner as the Act applies with respect to articles, materials, and supplies acquired for the use of a department or independent establishment.

Prescribes a special rule in the case of any product which bears a congressional official insignia (including a mark resembling an official seal) that is acquired for the use of a legislative branch office. Prohibits the head of such office from making a determination under the Act that: (1) it is inconsistent with the public interest to enter into a contract in accordance with the Act; or (2) an article, material, or supply is not mined, produced, or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available commercial quantities and of satisfactory quality.

Applies this prohibition to otherwise exempted manufactured articles, materials, or supplies procured under any contract the award value of which is less than or equal to the micro-purchase threshold.

These two bills are easy. They each got wide bi-partisan support in the House. This isn't the heavy lifting required to roll back tax breaks for shipping our American jobs overseas. These two bills are easy. If Senate Rules don't change then America may get stuck in this prolonged unemployment. That is unacceptable. Urge your Senators to vote, on the first day of the 112th Congress, to change the Senate Rules.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


A new beast is on the streets of the nation's capitol prowling for funds to sate the appetite of incoming Republican Members of Congress for campaign cash. America's New Majority PAC was formed November 16, 2010. According to FEC filings their address was 2150 River Plaza Drive, Suite 150 Sacramento, California. That, amazingly, is the address of JEFF PAC, but more on that later

The e-mail contact for America's New Majority PAC, on the FEC filings is David@the Don't go getting all conspiratorial about this. The agency in this case is not "the Agency" or the CIA as your fears may suggest. No this is the unique web address for the Wayne Johnson (not John Wayne) agency out in California.

According to their FEC filings America's New Majority's function is that "[t]his committee collects contributions, pays fundraising expenses and disburses net proceeds for two or more political committees/organizations, at least one of which is an authorized committee of a federal candidate."

The first campaign committee, and the only one on the original filings, associated with America's New Majority is the Denham for Congress Committee. That is Jeff Denham, of JEFF PAC, the newly elected Republican Representative to California's 19th Congressional District. Incumbent Republican Representative George Radanovich announced his retirement December 29, 2009.

Denham, who enters Congress with not only his own PAC, JEFF PAC, but also his own Joint Fundraising Committee, America's New Majority, defeated Democratic candidate Lorain Goodwin. In that race Denham raised $1,241,895, spent $1,176,631, and ended up with $63,561. Goodwin raised $44,492, spent $46,862, which left her in the hole to the tune of $2,370.00. She should be having a debt retirement party, but campaign finance doesn't reward the losers.

In what appears to be a glaring error in the original filing paperwork with the FEC America's New Majority answered question 6 " Name of Any Connected Organization, Affiliated Committee, Joint Fundraising Representative, or Leadership PAC Sponsor" with the answer "None". Now remember that Jeff Denham, of JEFF PAC, and also of Denham for Congress signed this paperwork.

An amended Statement of Organization was filed December 10, 2010. There are some insightful changes as to the nature of the beast. The e-mail for the contact person has changed to That is the e-mail address for Keith A. Davis, a partner in the political accounting firm of Huckaby Davis Lisker. Keith A. Davis is the new treasurer of America's New Majority.

On the amended filing more Congressional campaign committees joined the list as participants in joint fundraisers, they are: Friends of Scott DeJarlais, Dold for Congress, and Renee Ellmers for Congress Committee, , Landry for Louisiana, Marino for Congress, Tom Reed for Congress, David Rivera for Congress, Jon Runyon for Congress Inc., Southerland for Congress, Stutzman for Congress, Yoder for Congress, and JEFF PAC.

Okay, so besides Jeff Denham who are these new Republicans trying to fly deftly in the fine print beneath the radar screen? Steve Southerland is the Republican Representative-elect from Florida's 1st Congressional District. Robert Dold is the Republican Representative -elect from Illinois' 10th Congressional District. Marlin Stutzman is the Tea Party loser to Republican Senator-elect Dan Coates of Indiana, and the man who won for the Republicans the Congressional race in Indiana's 3rd Congressional District. Stutzman succeeds disgraced Republican Representative Mark Souder who admitted to hanky panky with a female staffer. Kevin Yoder is the Republican Representative-elect from Kansas' 3rd Congressional District. Jeff Landry is the Republican Representative-elect from Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District. Renee Ellmers is the Republican Representative-elect from North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District. Jon Runyon is the Republican Representative-elect from New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District. Tom Reed is the newly elected Republican Member of Congress for New York's 29th Congressional District. Reed won a special election and took office in November. Tom Marino is the Republican Representative-elect for Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District. Scott DesJarlais is a medical doctor and Republican Representative-elect from Tennessee's 4th Congressional District. David Rivera is the Republican Representative-elect from Florida's 25th Congressional District.

America's New Majority has put together a gala courtesy of the Hammond Group's Tom Hammond and Meredith Hurt. This extravaganza will feature "Special Music Performance by Grammy Award Winner Leann Rimes" at the "Hotel W" in D.C. on January 4, 2011. The event is "Presenting Speaker Designate John Boehner, Majority Leader Elect Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Elect Kevin McCarty and NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions." The invitation may be viewed on the Sunlight Foundation's Party Time page:

Jeff Denham, Steve Southerland, Robert Dold, Marlin Stutzman, Kevin Yoder, Jeff Landry, Renee Ellmers, Jon Runyon, Tom Reed, Tom Marino, and Scott DesJarlais represent change that does not change. They have managed to honker down with the business as usual crowd of old school Republicans, the firm of Huckaby Davis Lisker.

It may be easier to answer the question of who in Republican circles Huckaby Davis Lisker doesn't represent. These are the people who keep the books on the GOP's movers and shakers. They are currently the accounting firm for the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. For Campaign 2010 the NRCC paid Huckaby Davis Lisker $230,307 for compliance consulting, according to See,

Now, remember that Huckaby Davis Lister's Keith A. Davis, the treasurer of America's New Majority, replaced Christopher T. Parana as treasurer at the NRCC following a financial scandal.

Politico reported in 2008 that "Parana took over from Christopher J. Ward as the committee treasurer in 2007, according to other FEC filings. Ward is at the center of an internal investigation stemming from a forged audit the committee sent Wachovia, its principal lender during the 2006 election cycle. The committee has alerted the FBI about the irregularities, but many details of the investigation remain unknown."

Keith Davis was also the assistant treasurer for President George Herbert Walker Bush's two presidential campaigns. He worked on President George W. Bush's campaign in 2004. He has also advised former Texas Senator Phil Graham, Arizona Senator John McCain, along with numerous Republican House members, Arkansas' Mike Huckabee, and Republican PACs.

If you are going to change the way Washington is doing business then you have to change the persons and firms with whom you are doing business in Washington. As the old adage says "birds of a feather will flock together" and these new Republicans are showing that they flock with the likes of the entrenched business as usual crowd.

The American people are shifting paradigmatically. They want government to work for them, not the special interests. Our elected officials, resembling the tail of a comet, are lagging far behind in outer space. When candidates run on issues of change only to honker down at the same feeding trough where their predecessors fattened up, then change is not forthcoming.

Huckaby Davis Lister is a premiere accounting firm on the Republican side of the equation. They deal in compliance. They have won an Aristotle, as Oscar-like award for excellence given out by the American Association of Political Consultants. The Democrats have winners too. Xavier Martinez of Martinez & Associates in Escondido, CA and Brett Smiley of Campaign Finance Officers, LLC from Providence, RI took home Aristotles for their work on behalf of Democrats.

Working within the system is only defensible as an element of change when the elected politician actively works to change the system. The biggest problem we face in Congress today is the corrupting influence of excessive campaign cash being made available by corporate interests, fuzzy PACs, Joint Fundraising Committees, and Dark Interests which evade any real accountability.

Corporations do not have a soul to save, a butt to kick, or a vote to cast. Corporations should have no voice in the election of state or federal officials. The only persons who should be allowed to contribute to political campaigns are registered voters. When we get a Constitutional Amendment making that the law of the land then you will see change.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Watch the legislatures of the several States now that redistricting is afoot! The Cook Political Report recently made public a couple of charts that reflect political volatility in the marketplace of partisan ideas and ideologies.

Cook's first chart, the 2012 COMPETITIVE HOUSE RACE CHART, lists by party those districts and Members of Congress vulnerable to being picked off. Cook lists three categories, likely, lean, and toss up, for each party. The second chart is Cook's report on HOUSE MEMBERS WHO WON WITH 55% OR LESS.

Missouri, known for being a traditional bell weather state has one District listed as "Lean Democratic" by Cook. That is Missouri's Third Congressional District which Cook gives a Partisan Voting Index (PVI) of D+7.

In Missouri three Members of Congress won their 2010 races with 55% or less of the vote. Kansas City's Emanuel Cleaver held off his Republican opponent Jacob Turk to win a fourth term. This will be Cleaver's fourth term. He has now defeated Turk three times. Cleaver's winning percentage in 2010 was 56.1% The Cook PVI for the Fifth Congressional District in Missouri is D+10.

Republican Vicky Hartzler bested long time Democratic Representative Ike Skelton to win her first term in Congress. Republican redistricting efforts paid off for them in Missouri. I recall when Missouri's Fourth Congressional District was a small pocket of counties immediately to the East and South of Kansas City's Jackson County. Missouri's Fourth Congressional Index has a PVI of R+14.

Today the Fourth Congressional District goes deep into the heart of Southwest Missouri. It includes places like Lebanon, Missouri which used to be in the Seventh Congressional District. The Seventh Congressional District is a Republican Stronghold having produced Representatives Roy Blunt, Gene Taylor, and Durwood G. "Doc" Hall.

Russ Carnahan has been the Democrat representing Missouri's Third Congressional District since 2005. After Dick Gephardt retired Carnahan won the seat in 2004. This will be Carnahan's fifth term. He squeaked by his Republican opponent, Edward Martin, Jr., with a winning percentage of 48.9%. The last time the district lines changed in Missouri was 2003.

The Census Bureau has made available an online map to let you see which states will gain seats and which states will lose. It is located at:

Missouri is going to lose a seat in Congress after the redistricting dust settles. This will set up a contentious redistricting between the Governor, Democrat Jay Nixon, and his Republican controlled legislature. You can bet that in Missouri Republicans will want to continue whittling away at Democratic districts. Nixon will try to shave Republican areas back from seats currently held by Democrats.

The process will be more complicated in other states such as Arizona and Texas. These states have both the legislatures and the executive offices controlled by Republicans. Their dilemma is that each have to add seats and how do they splinter the vote so that the newly districts created are not Democratic? Much of the calculus for the population increase in these states is attributable to Hispanic voters, primarily non-Cuban Latinos. Due to the harshness of the Republican stance on Latinos, especially in these two states, drawing those lines will be difficult.

The Gerrymander

Expect to hear much discussion in the next two years about Gerrymandering. That is the process of drawing district lines to maximize your party's dominance and minimize the oppositions chances at being elected. The term originated in 1812 after redistricting in Massachusetts resulted in a district somewhat resembling a salamander. The name of the Governor, Elbridge Gerry, combined with the reptile to give the process a name. provides an excellent tutorial for those wanting to learn more about the process of Gerrymandering. Read it online at:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem "Christmas Bells" just months before General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at the Courthouse in Appomattox, Virginia, ending the United State's Civil War.

Longfellow's son Charles had been injured in the Civil War fighting for the Union.  As Longfellow accompanied his son home to Massachusetts from Washington, D.C. he wrote this poem. 

Christmas Bells
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Friday, December 24, 2010


This is Lynn Jenkins, she does not represent us

Lynn Jenkins isn't a very good student of the institutions of Congress, in general, nor of the House of Representatives in particular, and that goes double for the Constitution. She recently demonstrated her lack of acuity in understanding the historical perspective upon which the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Congress was made.

The Google is such a wonderful thing. I am amazed that more politicians don't use it to find factual footing before inserting their proverbial foot into their endlessly propaganda spewing mouth. I am really amazed that Lynn Jenkins doesn't use the Google before saying silly things.

In a recent Tweet Jenkins said she plans to introduce legislation that will outlaw lame duck sessions of the Congress. Gosh, Jenkins doesn't know much about the Constitution. You see the dates of the terms of the Congress are not set in statute. They are set in the Constitution. Article I §4 originally read:

The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.
Yes that is the way the verb "to choose" was conjugated by the founders.  I can't wait for the debate on original intent to hit America's grammar books!

The underlined portion of the original language was redacted when the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1933. The pertinent part of that Amendment reads: "The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January, unless they shall by law appoint a different day."

Jenkins doesn't appear to understand why the Twentieth Amendment changed the time for beginning a session of Congress. She should really learn how to use the Google. But then you can lead certain Members of Congress to facts but you can't get them to engage in critical thinking.

An excellent thumbnail of the whys and how comes behind adoption of the Twentieth Amendment was written by Mary Cornelia Aldis Porter and published by Answers.Com in a piece apparently underwritten by West Law. These are all good sources which Jenkins should start using. You can read it at:

Ms. Porter explains that the "Norris Lame Duck" amendment was adopted because it was no longer necessary to have an extra long period of time for newly elected members to travel from their home districts to Washington, D.C. Development of railroads substantially shortened travel time.

Prior to rail travel being available it took weeks, if not months, for the new members to reach the nation's capitol. After rail travel was available the Members of Congress who were not re-elected tended to serve out their terms engaging in obstructionist activities and filibusters. Oddly enough, this is what Lynn Jenkins and the Party of No did throughout the majority of the 111th Congress.

Congress could not pass a law mandating the change to the start of Congress because of Article I §4 of the Constitution. Those in the first session of the 72nd Congress realized this and the Twentieth Amendment passed each chamber of that Congress by a ⅔ majority. It took less than a year for the States to ratify the Twentieth Amendment.

Jenkins would incorrectly have us believe that the Twentieth Amendment passed so that defeated majorities could not pass last minute legislation which in-coming majorities oppose. As usual, Jenkins gets it completely backwards. Prior to passage of the Twentieth Amendment lame duck sessions stalled the people's business. The 111th Congress' lame duck session advanced the people's business.

The Twentieth Amendment is often called the "Norris Lame Duck Amendment" after Nebraskan George William Norris who served five terms in the House as a Republican, four terms in the Senate as a Republican, and a final Senate term as an Independent. Norris was a Progressive, what we now call a Teddy Roosevelt Republican. He also was a proponent of abolishing the electoral college in favor of direct voting for President by the people. Norris led the efforts at bringing electricity to rural America with the REA. George William Norris was one of the great Americans profiled by John F. Kennedy in the book Profiles in Courage.

A statue of Senator George Norris in McCook, Ne.

Lynn Jenkins' knee jerk Tweet was inspired by a Washington Post article which cites John Copeland Nagle, a University of Notre Dame law professor as saying the activity of the 111th's lame duck session is exactly what the Twentieth Amendment was meant to prevent. Nagle gets it wrong, and Jenkins can do better than rely on the Washington Post for inspiration on new bills to be introduced. See,

In a classic case of mixing his applesauce with his chicken manure Nagle appears to be fantasizing that the Twentieth Amendment intended to truncate the role of the Legislative Branch of the American Government in much the way a vote of "no confidence" causes a collapse of  government in the British Parliamentary way of governing. Nagle is considered an expert because his theories are published in a law review journal, See, "A Twentieth Amendment Parable." New York University Law Review 72 (May). Of course, it is possible that Nagle has been taken out of context, that seems to happen all too frequently these days.

Suggesting that the Congress should stand down after an election is a dangerous interpretation. It is inconceivable to say that the Legislative Branch should be inactive from November until January following each Congressional election.

The Washington Post article, by David Fahrenthold seems to be weak on research. It would not have taken a Herculean effort to get a better historical perspective by Farenthold. An article in the Atlantic by Garrett Epps published July 23, 2010 speaks directly to the sort of danger that could come from Nagle's interpretation as reported by Farenthold and which Lynn Jenkins (whose best idea appears to be the last thing she heard) picked up. Epps is also a law professor. He teaches at the University of Maryland and once worked as a reporter for the Washington Post.

Epps argues that "There's no way to ban lame-duck sessions altogether, and we shouldn't. What if Pearl Harbor had happened on December 7, 1940, instead of 1941? Should the government have to wait a month to declare war on Japan? In a genuine crisis, even a lame duck impeachment might be proper. (Draw your own conclusions about Clinton's case.)" Bill Clinton was impeached in a lame duck session, and John Boehner voted for that impeachment even though the will of the American electorate had spoken. See,

I can't wait to read the bill Lynn Jenkins plans to introduce in Congress banning lame duck sessions. With bated breath I will linger for her to explain how she can magically transform the law of the land to do by statute what the 72nd Congress, a true statesman - Senator George William Norris, and everyone else with half a brain understands.  THE CONSTITUTION CHANGES BY AMENDMENT NOT BY STATUTE. 

Of course if John Boehner, Lynn Jenkins, and the Party of No want to adjourn the Congress Sine Die after the Republicans are soundly thrashed in the 2012 elections, or move to make the Minority Leader the interim Speaker of the House for the balance of their term, then they can give existential import to this confused thinking about how sessions of Congress ought to conclude. In the meantime I will just enjoy this little holiday gift from Jenkins.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


This is Lynn Jenkins, she does not represent us

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, H.R. 847 is all about providing relief to American heroes. These particular heroes rushed into the World Trade Center after the attack on America, September 11, 2011. The air they breathed was not safe. These folk are sick, suffering, and dying because they did what first responders from any part of America would do. They rushed into harm's way for the sake of others.

Oklahoma's Republican Senator Tom Coburn, who is so ashamed of being a United States Senator that he asks to be called Doctor and not Senator, finally came around to striking a deal on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, H.R. 847. Yesterday morning New York's two Democratic Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand got down to brass tacks with the Oklahoma Republican. after Oklahoma First Responders got down to brass tacks with him first. Oklahoma's finest, police and firefighters, stood proud with the American heroes who rushed into the WTC after the most dastardly attack against the United States since Pearl Harbor.

Senator Coburn complained about the price tag. Really Doc? As I recall you were part of the filibustering minority in the United States Senate that held the people's business up until you could get an extension of the Bush Era Tax Cuts for the most wealthy American taxpayers. And Doc, that FAT CAT TAX BOONDOGGLE cost $700 billion, which was unpaid for, and added to the deficit, for folks who neither create jobs nor rush into harm's way when the Republic is attacked. Oh Doc, you got it so wrong.

After Senator Coburn used a chain saw to slash $2 billion from H.R. 847 the United States Senate passed the bill by Unanimous Consent.

This bill was first brought up, on a motion to Suspend the Rules, in the House of Representatives on July 29, 2010. Since passage on a suspension of the rules requires a ⅔ majority vote the bill failed. The margin was 255 in favor to 159 opposed with 18 Members not voting.

H.R. 847 returned in regular order, being reported out of the Rules Committee, on September 29, 2010. This time it required only a simple majority to pass. The first margin of victory in the House on H.R. 857 was 268 to 160.

Yesterday. in the waning hours of the 111th Congress, on the last Roll Call vote of that Congress, the pared down version of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, H.R. 847 passed the House by a margin of 206 in favor to 60 against with 168 Members not voting. While only requiring a simple majority by the House, H.R. 847 exceeded the ⅔ majority vote on final passage.

Lynn Jenkins, who also bellyaches for the FAT CAT TAX BOONDOGGLE and complains about unemployment benefits not being paid for, has managed to vote against First Responders at every opportunity. On three votes in the House to do what the Republicans in the United States Senate finally did, pass the bill by Unanimous Consent, and Jenkins said no three times. There is simply no excuse for Lynn Jenkins' voting record in general or her votes on H.R. 847 in particular.

And now a word about the 160 Members who did not vote. Most, if not all, of these Members left Washington to return home for the holidays before the work was done. Shame on them. They were the largest bi-partisan block the House has seen in a long long time. Frankly I expected more from Dennis Moore. Ike Skelton, the best damn Congressman I ever had, stood tall and kept voting to the last. Skelton finished like a pro! Sam Graves and Jerry Moran, like Moore, wimped out early.

The most amazing wimp out of all came from the Speaker of the House - designate, John Boehner of Ohio. Boehner was missing in action for the only Roll Call vote on December 22nd. That, Mr. Boehner, is not leadership.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


H.R. 6540, the Defense Level Playing Field Act has been received in the Senate after sailing through the House by a margin of 325 in favor to 23 opposed, on Roll Call vote number 658.

The KC-X Aerial Tanker

H.R. 6540 Requires the Secretary of Defense (DOD), in evaluating offers to award a contract for the KC-X aerial refueling aircraft program, to consider any unfair advantage that an offer or may possess. This bill directs the Secretary to: (1) report to the congressional defense committees on any such advantage; and (2) take into account the findings of such report in awarding a contract.

On a related front, H.R. 5136 §§824 and 848 speaks to the issue of the KC-X tanker. That bill, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, which is dead in the Senate requires the Secretary of DOD to submit an interim report on "any review of a covered subsidy initiated pursuant to subsection (a) of section 886 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417; 122 Stat. 4561) not later than 60 days after the date of the initiation of the review." Section 848 mandates, in subsection (a) the "Requirement to Consider Unfair Competitive Advantage- In awarding a contract for the KC-X aerial refueling aircraft program (or any successor to that program), the Secretary of Defense shall, in evaluating any offers submitted to the Department of Defense in response to a solicitation for offers for such program, consider any unfair competitive advantage that an offer or may possess."

H.R. 6523, the Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011, is the pared down version of the military spending bill for the next fiscal year. H.R. 6523 does not contain the language regarding the KC-X aerial tanker found in H.R. 6540 or H.R. 5136. H.R. 6523 is treading water waiting for Senate action in this Lame Duck session of the 111th Congress.

The KC-X program should see the production of 175 aircraft over a span of two decades costing in the neighborhood of $35 billion, and probably more. The current fleet of tankers is subject to uncertainty due to age and the potential for fatigue. Currently employed in the fleet are KC-135 tankers which were delivered in 1965 and KC-10 tankers delivered between 1979 and 1987.

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, H.R. 5116 passed the House on Roll Call vote number 659 by a margin of 228 in favor to 130 opposed. This was on the vote to resolve differences with the Senate. This bill originally passed in the House on May 28th. The Senate passed the measure with an amendment on December 17th by Unanimous Consent.

H.R. 5116 makes an investment in innovation through research and development, to improve the competitiveness of the United States. H.R. 5116 authorizes appropriations for several agencies to support scientific research, industrial innovation, and certain educational activities. The legislation allows for the collection of fees to offset the administrative costs of a loan guarantee program directed toward small and medium sized businesses. The CBO estimates that there is no net budgetary impact in a single year by this bill.

H.R. 2142, the Government Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Performance Improvement Act of 2010 passed the House on Roll Call vote number 660 by a margin of 216 to 139. H.R. 2142 expresses the sense of Congress that each executive agency should consult with the committees with jurisdiction over the agency and other interested Members of Congress each fiscal year regarding the agency's performance plan and priorities. The bill mandates that each federal agency head identify near- and long-term high-priority goals for the purpose of improving agency performance and submit quarterly reports relating to those goals.

H.R. 2142 establishes a Performance Improvement Council in the executive branch to make recommendations concerning, and to monitor, performance management. Includes among the Council's duties to: (1) develop a website for federal agency performance information; (2) link program performance information to program spending information on the website; and (3) report to Congress on the feasibility of creating a single web-based platform for all government spending information and all program performance information.

The Comptroller Generally is directed to periodically assess the implementation of this Act. Any savings or reductions in expenditures generated by this Act are to be used to offset the costs of its implementation and any additional savings to be used to offset the deficit. Agencies are required to fund this Act's reporting requirements out of existing budgets and authorizes agencies to make necessary reprogramming of funds.

H.R. 2751, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act passed in the House on Roll Call vote number 661. The margin on the motion to resolve differences with the Senate was 215 in favor and 144 opposed. This is a major overhaul of food safety laws. H.R. 2751 began as a bill to accelerate motor fuel savings nationwide and provide incentives to registered owners of high polluting automobiles to replace such automobiles with new fuel efficient and less polluting automobiles. It was amended in the Senate with the language of S. 510 the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act introduced by Democratic Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois. Durbin's bill passed the Senate on a Record Vote number 257 by a margin of 73 in favor to 25 opposed. The problem with S. 510 is that one section contained a revenue measure. Bills containing revenue measures must originate in the House according to the Constitution. The language is in Article I § 7 "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills."

H.R. 3082, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 is probably misnamed. This Continuing Resolution funds the government until March4, 2011. H.R. 3082 passed by a margin of 193 to 165 on Roll Call vote number 662.

H.R. 6547, the Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act, was the last measure passed by the House on 12/21/10. This bill require each state receiving funds under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to have in effect policies and procedures that: (1) require criminal background checks for school employees, including searches of state criminal registries or repositories, state-based child abuse and neglect registries and databases, the National Crime Information Center of the Department of Justice, the National Sex Offender Registry, and the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and (2) prohibit the employment of school employees who refuse to consent to a criminal background check, make false statements in connection with one, or have been convicted of one of a list of felonies.

Local educational agencies (LEAs) or state educational agencies (SEAs) are required to report to local law enforcement any applicants for school employment who are discovered to be sexual predators.

Requires Periodic repetitions of such criminal background checks are required . Requires such states to provide for a timely process under which school employees may: (1) appeal the results of a criminal background check to challenge the accuracy or completeness of the information produced; and (2) seek appropriate relief for any final employment decision based on materially inaccurate or incomplete information produced. Requires this appeals process, however, to deny the individual employment as a school employee during the process.

H.R. 6547 moves on to the Senate.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The Supreme Court just took the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to task in the case of BILL K. WILSON, SUPERINTENDANT, INDIANA STATE PRISON v. JOSEPH E. CORCORAN, 562 U.S. _____ (2010). In this per curiam opinion the Court makes clear that federal courts can only grant habeas corpus relief to prisoners when a violation of federal law, not state law, underlies the prisoner's claim.

Joseph Corcoran

The prisoner, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, murdered four persons. One July day in 1997 Corcoran overheard his brother, James Corcoran, his sister's fiancé, Robert Turner, and two friends Timothy Bricker and Douglas Stillwell talking about him. Corcoran removed his 7 year old niece to an upstairs room then took a Ruger Mini -14 semi-automatic rifle, loaded the rifle, and shot James Corcoran, Robert Turner, and Timothy Bricker before the men could move from harm's way. Douglas Stillwell fled to the kitchen where he was cornered by Corcoran who shot him to death.

Ruger Mini - 14 Semi Automatic Rifle

Corcoran laid the weapon down and went next door to ask a neighbor to call the police. Police searched Corcoran's room and the locked attic of the house, to which only Corcoran has access. They found guns, ammunition, explosives, and a copy of the Turner Diaries together with military manuals and publications.

As a side note, the Turner Diaries have been connected in one way or another with several notorious crimes including the terrorist bombing of Oklahoma City's Murrah Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh. Other crimes include the murder of Alan Berg, a radio host for Denver's KOA; the murder of James Byrd, an African-American shackled to the back of John William King's pickup truck and dragged to death; the murder of Frank Jude, Jr., who was beaten to death in a savage attack first by off duty Milwaukee police officers and also by an on duty Milwaukee police officer who joined the fray responding to a 911 call; an assault on three men at a "Gay Bar" by Jacob Robida, who committed suicide after first killing a hostage and a police officer; and the death of three persons caused by a bomb detonated by British Neo-Nazi David Copeland, in his personal war against homosexuals and Asians.

Corcoran, who employed an insanity defense based on multiple theories of paranoid or schizotypal personality disorder, was found guilty of the four counts of murder. The mitigating factors in the sentencing phase of the trial were his extreme mental and/or emotional disturbance, his diminished capacity to appreciate his criminal conduct, his diminished capacity to assist in his own defense because of mental illness, his full cooperation with police, his admission of guilt, his good behavior in jail, that he protected his 7 year old niece before murders, no significant prior criminal conduct; his remorsefulness, and his young age (22).

The aggravating factor was the multiple murders. When sentencing Corcoran, Allen County Superior Court Judge Frances C. Gull said:

[T]he knowing and intentional murders of four innocent people is an extremely heinous and aggravated crime. . . . I don’t think in the history of this county we’ve had a mass murderer such as yourself. It makes you, Mr. Corcoran, a very dangerous, evil mass murderer. And I am convinced in my heart of hearts, . . . if given the opportunity, you will murder again.

Judge Gull

The Supreme Court of Indiana was concerned that the judge's remarks may be construed to mean that she had considered the innocence of the murder victims and the heinous nature of the offenses when deliberating on whether to impose the death penalty. Indiana trial courts may weigh only the statutory aggravating factors, but may comment on those factors, placing the decisions they make in context. The Indiana Supreme Court remanded the case for resentencing.

Upon resentencing Judge Gull assured the Supreme Court of Indiana that she considered only the statutory factors permitted by Indiana law as she once again imposed the death penalty.

Corcoran objected to the Indiana Supreme Court's acceptance of Judge Gull's explanation and accepted the sentence as valid.

Corcoran then seeks federal habeas corpus relief from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. His habeas petition asserted a number of grounds for relief, including a renewed claim that, not-withstanding its assurances to the contrary, the trial court improperly relied on non-statutory aggravating factors when it resentenced him. Respondent also asserted that this reliance violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments.

Indiana countered arguing that Corcoran failed "to establish any constitutional deficiency in [the] Indiana Supreme Court’s review of the trial court’s treatment of Corcoran’s sentence on remand, let alone does it show that the state supreme court’s judgment is in any way inconsistent with applicable United States Supreme Court precedent."

The District Court went in another direction. It granted habeas relief on a wholly different ground. An offer by the prosecutor to take the death penalty off the table in exchange for a waiver of a jury trial had violated the Sixth Amendment. The District Court did not address the sentencing challenge because that was rendered moot by the grant of habeas relief.

Indiana appealed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, The Seventh Circuit reversed the District Court's Sixth Amendment ruling. Then the Seventh Circuit remanded the case back to the District Court with instructions to deny the writ. The Seventh Circuit failed to address Corcoran's remaining claims. To correct that oversight the Supreme Court granted certiorari. The Supreme Court, in that previous case, explained that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals should have permitted the District Court to consider Corcoran’s unresolved challenges to his death sentence on remand, or should have itself explained why such consideration was unnecessary.

But this case, distinguished by courts taking different directions, saw the Seventh Circuit veer off track. On remand — and without any opportunity for briefing by the parties — the Court of Appeals changed course and granted habeas relief. After determining that Corcoran’s sentencing challenge had been waived by his failure to include it in his original cross-appeal, the Seventh Circuit concluded that the claim satisfied plain-error review.

The three judge panel for the Seventh Circuit said that, unlike the Indiana Supreme Court, it was unsatisfied with the trial court’s representation that it relied only on aggravating factors authorized by Indiana law. Since the trial court’s revised sentencing order said that it used the non-statutory factors of heinousness, victims’ innocence, and future dangerousness to determine the weight given to the aggravator of multiple murders, the Seventh Circuit concluded that the Indiana Supreme Court had made an unreasonable determination of the facts when it accepted the trial court’s representation that it did not rely on those factors as aggravating circumstances. The panel therefore required the Indiana trial court to reconsider its sentencing determination in order to prevent non-compliance with Indiana law.

The Seventh Circuit completely ignored the rule of law that says federal habeas relief is not available for violations of state law. If a federal court grants habeas relief it must do so because of a violation of federal law.

This is not new stuff. In Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U. S. 62, 67 (1991) the Supreme Court held that neither the belief that the instruction violated state law nor a belief that the trial judge incorrectly interpreted the state evidence code is a ground for federal habeas relief.

Previously, in Lewis v. Jeffers, 497 U. S. 764, 780 (1990), Associate Justice O'Connor wrote for the majority that "federal habeas review of a state court's application of a constitutionally narrowed aggravating circumstance is limited, at most, to determining whether the state court's finding was so arbitrary or capricious as to constitute an independent due process or [an] Eighth Amendment violation".

In this case the Seventh Circuit made three more errors. First the panel’s opinion contained no hint that it thought the violation of Indiana law it had unearthed also entailed the infringement of any federal right. The Seventh Circuit framed Corcoran's claim as whether  the Indiana trial court considered non-statutory aggravating circumstances . . . in contravention of state law.

Secondly, it explicitly acknowledged that nothing in its opinion prevents Indiana from adopting a rule permitting the use of non-statutory aggravators in the death sentence selection process.

Third, the Seventh Circuit failed to find an unreasonable determination of the facts under federal statute.

28 U. S. C. §2254(d)(2).
(d) An application for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a person in custody pursuant to the judgment of a State court shall not be granted with respect to any claim that was adjudicated on the merits in State court proceedings unless the adjudication of the claim
(1) resulted in a decision that was contrary to, or involved an unreasonable application of, clearly established Federal law, as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States; or
 (2) resulted in a decision that was based on an unreasonable determination of the facts in light of the evidence presented in the State court proceeding.
Indiana's response to the Seventh Circuit came in the form of a petition for rehearing and rehearing en banc. The State’s petition argued that the Seventh Circuit had erred by granting relief in the absence of a federal violation. It also contended, on the authority of Wainwright v. Goode, 464 U. S. 78 (1983) (per curiam), that the Court of Appeals erred by second-guessing the Indiana Supreme Court’s factual determination that its own trial court complied with Indiana law. The Seventh Circuit denied rehearing, but amended its opinion to include this language:

This [remand for resentencing] will cure the state trial court’s ‘unreasonable determination of the facts.... (It will also prevent non-compliance with Indiana law. [Corcoran] contended that, under the circumstances of this case, noncompliance with state law also violates the federal Constitution and thus warrants him relief under 28 U. S. C. §2254(d)(2). [The State] has not advanced any contrary argument based on Wainwright v. Goode.
In Wainwright v. Goode the Supreme Court said that where the issue of whether the sentencing judge relied on a non-statutory aggravating circumstance was one of law, it is an issue of state law that was resolved by the Florida Supreme Court. That resolution should have been accepted by the Court of Appeals, since the views of a State's highest court with respect to state law are binding on the federal courts.

The Supreme Court found the language from the Seventh Circuit insufficient. The amendment did not cure the defect. It is not enough to note that a habeas petitioner asserts the existence of a constitutional violation; unless the federal court agrees with that assertion, it may not grant relief. The Seventh Circuit’s opinion reflects no such agreement, nor does it even articulate what federal right was allegedly infringed. In fact, as to one possible federal claim, the court maintains that it would not violate federal law for Indiana to adopt a rule authorizing what the trial court did.

Without expressing a view about the merits of Corcoran's habeas petition the Court vacated the judgment of the Seventh Circuit and remanded the case "for further proceedings consistent with this opinion".

Hopefully the Seventh Circuit will permit the parties to brief and argue their positions before veering off on another tangent.

Monday, December 20, 2010


H.R. 5281, the Removal Clarification Act of 2010 became the vehicle for the DREAM Act when the House amended the bill on December 8th. Technically, that was on a motion to agree to two Senate amendments and that the House agree to the Senate amendment numbered 3 with an amendment, which was the DREAM Act.

Since leaving the House the bill has been the subject of debate in the Senate. Saturday the Senate rejected a Motion to Invoke Cloture on a Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment No. 3 to H.R. 5281- the DREAM Act.

South Carolina's Republican Senator Jim DeMint has proposed Senate Amendment 4844 to H.R. 5281. His response to the DREAM Act is to build the border fence. Specifically he wants a fence that works. His amendment says: "Fencing that does not effectively restrain pedestrian traffic (such as vehicle barriers and virtual fencing) may not be used to meet the 700-mile fence requirement under this subparagraph.''

Senator DeMint wants it done quickly. His amendment provides that: "not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of the DREAM Act of 2010, complete the construction of all the reinforced fencing and the installation of the related equipment described in subparagraph (A).''

Senator Reid introduced a series of "Second Degree" Amendments that do not affect the substance of the legislation. They renumber certain sections in the bill.

The Senate failed to invoke cloture on Record Vote number 278.

On the next Record Vote, number 279, the Senate did Invoke Cloture, cutting off debate on the Motion to Concur in the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to H.R. 2965; SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2009.

That was the amendment of the Small Business Bill making it the Don't Ask Don't Tell Bill. Seven amendments were submitted by the Senate. The first two, Senate Amendments 4827 and 4828 by Senator Reid, were withdrawn. The next three, Senate Amendments 4829, 4830, and 4831 by Senator Reid, fell when cloture was invoked on the motion to agree to the House amendment to Senate amendment. Senator McCain submitted Senate Amendments 4837 and 4838, which were not acted upon. The repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell passed the Senate on Record Vote number 281 by a margin of 65 in favor to 31 opposed with 4 Senators not voting.

Among the not voting group was West Virginia's Democratic Senator Joe Manchin. All of the Senators opposed to the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and the remaining three Senators who did not vote were Republicans. Eight Republican Senators voted with the Democrats to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Two Judicial Nominations were confirmed by the Senate on Saturday and Sunday. The Senate Confirmed Ellen Lipton Hollander, of Maryland, to be a United States District Judge and Raymond Joseph Lohier, Jr., of New York, to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Hollander was confirmed on Record Vote number 280 and Judge Lohier was confirmed on Record Vote number 284.

The Senate finally took up the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, signed in Prague on April 8, 2010, with Protocol.

Senator McCain and Senator Risch each had an amendment rejected by the Senate as deliberation of the New START Treaty began in earnest on Sunday. Senate Amendment 4814, by Senator McCain wanted to strike language from the preamble of the treaty. Specifically he wanted to strike: " Recognizing the existence of the interrelationship between strategic offensive arms and strategic defensive arms, that this interrelationship will become more important as strategic nuclear arms are reduced, and that current strategic defensive arms do not undermine the viability and effectiveness of the strategic offensive arms of the Parties." Senate Amendment 4814 was rejected on Record Vote 282 by a margin of 37 in favor to 59 opposed with 4 Senators not voting.

Senator Risch also wanted to amend the preamble of the treaty. Senate Amendment 4839 proposed inserting this language: "Acknowledging there is an interrelationship between non-strategic and strategic offensive arms, that as the number of strategic offensive arms is reduced this relationship becomes more pronounced and requires an even greater need for transparency and accountability, and that the disparity between the Parties' arsenals could undermine predictability and stability." Rejection of Senate Amendment 4839 came on Record Vote 283 by a margin of 32 in favor to 60 opposed with 8 Senators not voting.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


This is Lynn Jenkins, she doesn't represent us.

Lynn Jenkins voted against the Middle Class Tax Cut and for the FAT CAT TAX BOONDOGGLE. Her vote against Middle Class Tax Payers came on Roll Call 604 when she voted against the Senate Amendments to H.R. 4853. That legislation gave every American taxpayer an extension of the Bush era tax cuts on the first $250,000 of reportable income. Everyone.

That wasn't good enough for the servant of the privileged, Lynn Jenkins, who held out for the FAT CAT TAX BOONDOGGLE, which was not paid for .

Jenkins held out for the millionaires and billionaires to get those additional tax cut extensions on reportable income above $250,000. Lynn Jenkins held out so America can finance the FAT CAT TAX BOONDOGGLE to the tune of $700 billion. Jenkins voted against culling the FAT CAT ESTATE TAX BOONDOGGLE from H.R. 4853.  That was Roll Call 646.  Then she voted for the bill after the Senate added amendments bloating the FAT CAT TAX BOONDOGGLE.

Jenkins laments the fact that it is truly sad that Congress is hurrying to address these problems in the tax code. Really! If Jenkins wanted America to move forward on fixing the problems we face then she and the Party of No wouldn't have wasted two years refusing to work. Saying "NO" isn't governing.

On the floor of the House Jenkins said

"There are several aspects of this provision that I am adamantly against, including the massive deficit spending required to extend unemployment benefits for 13 months that are not paid for and the onerous 35 percent death tax which will create hardship for many family farms across the entire Midwest. But failure to pass this legislation will be the equivalent of reaching into the bank account of every middle class family and pulling out an additional $5,000 next year. The families I represent in Kansas have had to tighten their belts and can't figure out why Washington continues to raid their bank accounts and refuses to tighten the belt of the Federal Government"
Hold your horses, Nellie! Jenkins is A-OK with charging $700 billion for the FAT CAT TAX BOONDOGGLE to the nation's deficit but wants unemployment benefits paid for! I know a lot of working people who never collected a dime of unemployment benefits and these folks pay into that system with each and every paycheck. Unemployment Insurance is not a handout it is Insurance. Lynn Jenkins has spent so much time pandering to Insurance Companies that she's starting to think like them. When it's time to pay the benefit Jenkins wants to cancel the policy.

Jenkins shameful pandering to fear on the Estate Tax is nothing but pure propaganda. The FAT CAT ESTATE TAX BOONDOGGLE won't mean a thing to most Kansans. This provision applies to only 6,600 estates in the whole country. These are 6,600 estates will get an average tax break of $1.5 million. America gets to run up the deficit for this FAT CAT ESTATE TAX BOONDOGGLE by adding $23 billion to the deficit.   It is pretty clear to tell if your estate will be burdened by the 35% estate tax rate.  You only need to ask yourself if you are leaving behind an estate worth more than $10,000,000.  If you're not leaving the kids ten million bucks, then this provision doesn't affect you.

And who are some of these FAT CATS? Illinois Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky tells us"

"The Koch Family: the primary funders of the tea party movement and other conservative causes, having a vast fortune estimated to be as much as $35 billion. Under the Republican, versus the Pomeroy amendment, that family would realize over $2 billion extra.

The Walton Family: Wal-Mart; seven descendants; a combined worth of $87 billion--more than some whole countries. His family will pay $7 billion less in taxes under the Republican proposal.

The Dorrance Family: the Campbell Soup giant with a combined wealth of $6.5 billion and a savings of $522 million.

The Mars Candy Company Family: $30 billion in wealth. Their estate taxes will go down $2.5 billion.

Are these the people this Congress is supposed to represent?"
Those are the people Lynn Jenkins represents.

Then Lynn Jenkins, forgetting that she was for EARMARKS before she was against them issued the following statement about the Senate Amendment to H.R. 3082, otherwise known as the FY 2011 Omnibus Appropriations Bill:

"When I was elected to Congress, Eastern Kansans knew that wasteful earmarks, runaway government spending, and the same tired notion that we are going to spend our way out of debt were leading this country down the wrong path. I think we saw on election night that the rest of the country has made the same realization. I am very happy that the Senate has recognized the will of the American people and pulled this bill from the floor."
Jenkins sings a different tune now that she has taken the Anti-EARMARK Pledge! Jenkins had plenty of EARMARKS to her credit during her first term in the House. To get a look at them use the search bar at the top of the page and type in Jenkins EARMARKS.

What are those EARMARKS that won't be coming to Kansas? Since Jenkins is "very happy" that the bill was pulled from the Senate floor and all those EARMARKS are gone it is only fair to take a look. Jenkins obviously didn't talk to Senators Roberts and Brownback before she put her foot in her mouth.

All of the EARMARKS are by Senator Brownback unless otherwise indicated

The first 14 EARMARKS came from Agriculture

Sam Brownback's EARMARKS in the FY 2011 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

1. For the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for the purpose of Converting Agricultural Waste to Energy, KS $2,000,000

2. For the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for Advanced Biofuel Development in Kansas $2,000,000

3. For the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for the Kansas Center for Advanced Plant Design $2,000,000

4. For the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for Polymer Research, KS $2,350,000

5. With Senator Roberts and Texas' Representative Chet Edwards, for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for Grain Sorghum, KS, TX $1,250,000

6. For the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for Polymer Research, KS $2,000,000

7. For the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for Native Grassland and Sustainability, KS $1,000,000

8. With Senator Roberts and Representative Moore for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for Preharvest Food Safety, KS $500,000

9. With Senator Roberts for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for Water Conservation, KS $600,000

10. With Senator Roberts for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for Wheat Genetic Research, KS $1,250,000

11. With Senator Roberts and Representative Moore for Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to be used for Salaries and expenses for the National Agriculture Biosecurity Center, KS $750,000

And Senator Roberts' other EARMARKS

12. With Senator Cornyn and Representative Chet Edwards of Texas for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for Air Quality, KS, TX $300,000

13. With Iowa Senators Grassley and Harkin and with Arkansas Senators Lincoln and Pryor for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to be used for Animal Science Food Safety Consortium, AR, IA, KS $1,000,000

The Next 2 Earmarks came from Financial Services

14. With Senator Roberts for the SBA Lawrence‐Douglas County Biosciences Authority, to be used for Bioscience & Technology Business Center, Lawrence, KS $125,000

15. For the SBA PIPELINE Entrepreneurial Fellowship, KS $125,000

Then from Commerce, Justice, & Science came 7 more EARMARKS

16. With Senator Roberts for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Oskaloosa, KS to be used for the Northeast Kansas Regional AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) $600,000

17. For the Shawnee Regional Prevention and Recovery, Topeka, KS to be used for the Kansas Methamphetamine Prevention Project $250,000

18. With Senator Roberts for Kansas Regional Community Policing Institute at Wichita State University, Wichita, KS to be used for Research and Development, and Training $290,000

19. With Senator Roberts and Representative Moore for the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas City, KS to be used for the Separation of Youth from Adults in the Justice System $200,000

20. With Senator Roberts for the National Institute for Aviation Research, Wichita, KS to be used for the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance $950,000

And from Senator Roberts

21. For the Wichita Police Department, Wichita, KS to be used for In-Car Cameras for Police Vehicles $600,000

22. For the City of Iola, Ks to be used for Program for At-Risk Youth $110,000

From the Energy and Water portion of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill came 11 more EARMARKS

23.With Senator Roberts for the Corps of Engineers to be used for Investigations in MANHATTAN, KS $190,000

24. With Senator Roberts for TOPEKA, KS $279,000

25. With Senator Roberts A REVERSE EARMARK from the Corps of Engineers Investigations regarding the WICHITA AREA DRAINAGE MASTER PLAN, KS ($137,000)

26. With Senator Roberts for Department of Energy Office of Science to be used for KU Cancer Research Equipment (KS) $4,000,000. And this is what Lynn Jenkins calls waste!

27. By Senator Roberts with Senator Bond for the Corps of Engineers for Investigations to be used on the MISSOURI RIVER LEVEE SYSTEM, UNITS L-455 & R 460-471, MO & KS $95,000

28. By Senator Roberts with Representative Moore for the Corps of Engineers for Investigations to be used on the UPPER TURKEY CREEK, KS $85,000

29. From Senator Roberts another REVERSE EARMARK this one from the Corps of Engineers for Investigations from SHUNGANUNGA CREEK, KS ($100,000)

30. By Senator Roberts for the Corps of Engineers for Operation and Maintenance to be used for REALLOCATION STUDY $300,000

31. By Senator Roberts with Representative Moore for the Department of Energy to be used for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Solar Parking Canopies and Plug-in Electric Stations Demonstration $400,000. This apparently isn't part of Lynn Jenkins' all of the above approach to Energy Independence!

32 By Senator Roberts with Senator Bond Representative Moore and Kansas City, Missouri's Representative Cleaver for the Corps of Engineers for Investigations to be used on the BRUSH CREEK BASIN, KS & MO $190,000.  This is the area where Johnson County, Kansas drains into Kansas City, Missouri's Country Club Plaza District.

33. By Senator Roberts for the Corps of Engineers to be used for Investigations GRAND '(NEOSHO) RIVER BASIN WATERSHED, OK, KS, MO & AR $95,000.

The Homeland Security portion of the Omnibus Bill would have brought 1 more very big EARMARK.

34. For General Provision to be used for the National Bio- and Agro-defense Facility, KS $40,000,000. Manhattan, Kansas can thank Lynn Jenkins for taking credit for this $40 MILLION hit. Thanks Lynn! For Nothing!

The Military Construction portion of the Omnibus Bill had 1 EARMARK for Kansas, and it was an important one.

35. With Senator Roberts for the Army National Guard Kansas: Forbes Field to be used for Taxiway Alterations $9,036,000

From the Transportation and the Housing and Urban Development part of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill Kansas' lost 7 EARMARKS

36. With Senator Roberts for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be used for the AIP - Airport Improvement Program at the Metropolitan Topeka Airport Authority Hangar Restoration, KS $400,000

37. With Senator Roberts for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be used for Research, Engineering and Development NIAR (National Institute for Advanced Research) [Wichita, Kansas] Advanced Materials Research, KS $500,000

38. With Senator Roberts and Representative Moore for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be used for Research, Engineering and Development NIAR Advanced Materials Research, KS $500,000

39. For the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to be used for Surface Transportation Investments North Manhattan Avenue Widening, Manhattan, KS $600,000

40. With Senator Roberts and Representative Moore for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to be used for Surface Transportation Investments on the Village West Access Improvements, KS $300,000

41. For the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be used for Economic Development Initiatives (EDI) Builders Development Corporation, KS For the Central Baptist Redevelopment Project in Kansas City, Kansas $800,000

42. For the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be used for Economic Development Initiatives (EDI) in conjunction with the MARC Community Services Corporation, Wyandotte County, KS To acquire and renovate vacant and abandoned properties as part of the NeighborhoodsNOW Redevelopment Plan in Wyandotte County, Kansas $400,000

From the Education and Health and Human Services portion of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill 9 EARMARKS are now lost.

43. With Representative Moore for the Department of Education Higher Education (includes FIPSE) [Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education] to be used for the Kansas City Community College, Kansas City, KS for a Hospitality Education and Retail Training program, which may include equipment $750,000

44. For the Department of Education Higher Education (includes FIPSE) Manhattan Area Technical College, Manhattan, KS, for curriculum development and technology upgrades, including the purchase of equipment $450,000

45. For the Department of Education Higher Education (includes FIPSE) at Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS, to expand education programs $400,000

46. With Representative Moore for the Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) - Social Services TLC for children and Families, Olathe, KS, for youth transitional living programs $500,000

47. With Representative Ryan of Ohio for the Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Facilities and Services Chronic Disease Fund, Plano, TX, to expand chronic disease program $500,000

48. With Senator Roberts for Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Facilities and Services Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas, Dodge City, KS, for facilities and equipment $150,000

49. For the Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Facilities and Services to be used for the Pratt Regional Medical Center, Pratt, KS, for facilities and equipment $500,000

50. For the Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Facilities and Services to be used for the Pratt Regional Medical Center, Pratt, KS, for facilities and equipment $500,000

51. With Representative Moore for the Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Facilities and Services to be used for the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, KS, for facilities and equipment $500,000

The Labor HHS part of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill saw Kansas lose 7 more EARMARKS

52. With Representative Moore for the Department of Education Higher Education (includes FIPSE) Kansas City Community College, Kansas City, KS for a Hospitality Education and Retail Training program, which may include quipment $750,000

53. For the Department of Education Higher Education (includes FIPSE) to be used by the Manhattan Area Technical College, Manhattan, KS, for curriculum development and technology upgrades, including the purchase of equipment $450,000

54. For the of Education Higher Education (includes FIPSE) to be used by the Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS, to expand education programs $400,000

55. With Representative Ryan of Ohio for the Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Facilities and Services Chronic Disease Fund, Plano, TX, to expand chronic disease program $500,000

56. With Senator Roberts for the Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Facilities and Services Community Foundation of Southwest Kansas, Dodge City, KS, for facilities and equipment $150,000

57. For the Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Facilities and Services to be used at the Pratt Regional Medical Center, Pratt, KS, for facilities and equipment $500,000

58. With Representative Moore for the Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Facilities and Services at the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, KS, for facilities and equipment $500,000

59. By Senator Roberts with Representative Moore for the Department of Health & Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) - Health Facilities and Services at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, for facilities and equipment $550,000

60. By Senator Roberts with Senators Akaka, Bennett, Sherrod Brown, Burris, Casey, Dodd, Franken, Gilibrand, Hagen, Harkin, Johnson, Kerry, Lautenberg, Levin, Lieberman, Lincoln, Lugar, Menendez, Pryor, Rockefeller, Sanders, Schumer, Sessions, Shaheen, Snowe, Stabenow, Whitehouse, Wicker, and Wyden and with Representatives Arcuri; Berkley; Bordallo; Boucher; Cao; Capps; Capuano; Carnahan; Clarke; Conyers; Crowley; Davis (CA); Delahunt; Dingell; Ellison; Ellsworth; Etheridge; Fudge; Gonzalez; Green, Gene; Grijalva; Gutierrez; Halvorson; Hastings (FL); Herseth Sandlin; Hinojosa; Hirono; Holt; Johnson, Eddie Bernice; Kilroy; Kucinich; Langevin; Loebsack; Lofgren, Zoe; Lynch; Matheson; Matsui; Miller (NC); Moore (WI); Moran (VA); Nadler (NY); Norton; Oberstar; Owens; Pingree (ME); Pomeroy; Price (NC); Rahall; Reyes; Ross; Rothman (NJ); Rush; Sarbanes; Scott (GA); Sestak; Shea-Porter; Sires; Slaughter; Snyder; Van Hollen; Waxman; Yarmuth; Young (AK) For the Department of Education National Projects Innovation and Improvement to be used for the Reading is Fundamental authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act $24,803,000 .

The Department of Defense portion of the Omnibus Appropriations Bill will no longer bring these 16 EARMARKS to Kansas.

61. For Aircraft Patient Support Systems for 190th ARW, KS ANG $1,360,000

62. For the National Guard and First Responder Resiliency Training $1,200,000

63. For Radio Personality Modules for SINCGARS (Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System) Test Sets 5,600,000

64. With Senator Roberts for Advanced High Energy Density Battery Chemistry for Portable Power $2,640,000

65. With Senator Bond for Military Installation Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project $1,600,000

66. With Senators Roberts and Bond for Superior Weapons Systems Through Castings $2,000,000

67. With Senator Roberts for Accelerated Insertion of Advanced Materials and Certification for Military Aircraft Structure Material Substitution and Repair $2,000,000

68. With Senator Roberts for AT-6B [a Light Attack Aircraft Trainer] Demonstration for the Air National Guard $5,600,000

69. With Senator Roberts for B-52 Satellite Communications $5,600,000

70. For the KC-135 [Stratotanker] Structural Teardown Examination 1,600,000

71. For Nanocomposites for Lightning Protection of Composite Airframe Structures $2,400,000

72. With Senator Roberts for Contaminated Human Remains Pouches $2,400,000

73. For Cultural Intelligence for Enhanced Strategic Communications $1,600,000

74. With Representative Moore for Superconducting Quantum Information Technology $2,320,000

75. With Senator Roberts for Aging Military Aircraft Fleet Support $1,600,000

76. With Senator Roberts for Expeditionary Capabilities Laboratory $5,600,000

If your city, school, place of employment, or if you have cancer, or if you think Reading is Fundamental then thank Lynn Jenkins for being happy at the loss of necessary money being appropriated where you wanted it to go!

EARMARKS have gotten a bum rap. When they are transparent they serve a necessary function. It is the job of Senators and Representatives to bring home the goodies of government. If you think we are not going to fix the Stratotanker, fund Reading is Fundamental, or fund educational programs then you are nuts. Without EARMARKS those tax dollars are likely to leave Kansas and leave us with both the bill and no benefits.

Tell Lynn Jenkins to stop the demagoguery!