The Bush Administration Report Card

If only we could grade our elected officials, and then adjust their pay and term in office based on those grades, George W. Bush would be a dropout!

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Two Years of Legislative Majorities: Can We Build Some Public Policy Consensus?

There are issues out there like net neutrality and illegal wiretapping where we know the answer -- preserve net neutrality and enforce FISA compliance. But there are some big issues out there with complicated problems and potential solutions, where the current policy is so old and outdated that a massive overhaul, a complete rethinking of the governing approach could be both politically viable and incredibly helpful.

This diary isn't necessarily the place sort out these issues, but there is potential for sweeping reform -- some wonkier proposals that have been forwarded by others/experts, and some more general possibilities for reform -- just as a way to show how much legislative reform could be approached in the next few years, and hopefully others (more knowledgeable than myself) will carry on the conversation on their own.

The Tax Code
Campaign finance and lobbying reform
Welfare reform reform, health care, social programs
No Child Left Behind
NAFTA, CAFTA, Fair Trade, outsourcing
The structure of our national security institutions
Social Security

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Join Loyal to Big Oil

Put your hand on your wallet and repeat after me: "I pledge to always and forever be loyal to Big Oil." C'mon now, people!  Louder!  It's time to take to the streets!  It's time to step out from around those conference tables, time to slink out of those secret meetings, time to leave your Hummer and Leer Jet behind to make it known once and for all that we are THE financial backers of Congress, and that Congressmen MUST put their mouths where our money is!

Sadly though, things are looking bleak, and only a little over 70% of Congress is taking our money and doing our bidding.  Too many Congressional races around this country are far too close to call, even after the tens of millions of dollars we've spent on the campaigns of our loyal servants.  Too many rogue Congressmen are making the bold mistake of listening to their constituents over us!  We need to close the gap (but not the income gap!) and buy off the remaining 30% of Congress!

And that's why we need you!  My fellow Oil Barons and Energy (Inside) Traders, stand up and let your ridiculously rich voices be heard!  It's time for you to show your loyalty.  So sign a pledge, proclaim an oath, and make your Senators and Representatives do the same!  We need you to step out and join us all over this great, oil hungry land as we proclaim October 24th to be henceforth known as "Buy a Congressman Day."

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Good news for opponents of California's Prop 90

I haven't seen a poll in over a month, but there are some clear signs of hope that this thing with go down in flames.  Proposition 90 (the "Protect Our Homes Act")  is of course a measure that is held out as eminent domain reform in response to the decision of Kelo v. New London in which real property was seized and sold to developers as "public use."

I have already discussed the measure in more detail right here.  I followed up on my own blog with a series of horror stories from Oregon, where a similar measure has already passed.  And I think now the tide may be turning in California.  I hope it's also turning in the 5 other states with similar measures set for this fall's election.

It's generally accepted wisdom that the proposition's early leads in polls will be diminished once voters learn the details.  The normally conservative San Diego Union Tribune has registered its opposition.  As it happens, the State Senate Republican leader Dan Ackerman is publicly opposing the measure.  Nevermind that he appeals to his constituency by indirectly attacking trial lawyers:

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The Grapes Of Wrath

If you've never read John Steinbeck's incredible novel:  "The Grapes of Wrath," you owe it to yourself to do so.  If you've never seen the movie which starred a young Henry Fonda, you should treat yourself to watching an American classic.

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