Why would you go through the constitutional amendment process to grant D.C. statehood, which requires the approval of three-fourths of states, when all you need is to pass a statehood bill, which requires simple majorities in both houses?
FYI: In Texas we only have runoffs in primaries and special elections -- such as last year's special elections when the courts ordered new congressional districts after the primaries. Otherwise, the general election is won by plurality.
Don't blame O'Dwyer and don't blame Edwards. I think O'Dwyer's comments showed the Edwards campaign that the blogger controversy had legs, but if O'Dwyer hadn't pushed them, someone else would have further along down the line. The fact is that a lot of Catholic Democrats, including progressive Catholics, would be offended by blasphemy and insults of the Virgin Mary and the church hierarchy. We might not like all the bishops, but they're our bishops and when they're attacked we defend them. Edwards didn't need to be apologizing at every campaign stop for those old throwaway lines by a couple junior aides.
That said, I think progressives and Jewish groups ought to raise hell and demand that Catholic bishops and Republicans repudiate William Donohue for his anti-Semitic, homophobic and other offensive remarks. He has set the standard for guilt by association.
I'm sorry you "lost respect" for Kucinich because of his strategy in the 2004 Iowa caucus, but what he told his supporters to do was to assess whether they met the threshold to get delegates on their own. If they didn't, he instructed them to align with Edwards delegates. The dealmaking is part of the "fun" of caucuses, and actually it is similar to instant-runoff voting, since participants get to toss in with their second or third choices until they find enough allies to qualify for a delegate. But what Kucinich was doing was engaging in the process.
I think Edwards did fine in his debate with Cheney. Some dismiss Edwards because he was on a losing ticket in 2004, but that loss was attributable to problems with the top of the ticket, not the vice presidential candidate. And I think he got some valuable experience in 2004 that will hold him in good stead this go-round.
In Texas, if the Legislature does not finish reapportioning, or redistricting, state legislative districts during the first regular session -- which it hasn't in recent memory -- the task falls to the Legislative Redistricting Board, which consists of the lieutenant governor, the House speaker, the attorney general, the comptroller, and the land commissioner. (All but the speaker are elected statewide, and all are now Republicans.) So unless the Democrats regain three of those statewide offices, they will not regain control of the reapportionment process. Under the Voting Rights Act, congressional redistricting usually is punted to the federal courts.
Irish whisky (preferably Tullamore Dew, "Give every man his dew"), with soda or spring water, or in a nice Irish coffee (with brown sugar, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with cinnamon). That will do nicely.
The reason progressives lost control of the post-election narrative is simply because they are not allowed on network talk shows. We do a good job talking to ourselves but when discredited neocons like Bill Kristol and George Will can be found on not only Fox News but also the major networks 24/7 while people like Katrina vanden Heuvel and Jim Hightower seldom if ever get network airplay, it is no surprise which side's sound bites win the battle.
Air America Radio is a good start for rallying the troops, but progressives need to demand more presence on shows such as Meet the Press, Face the Nation and This Week. Also, the Dems should push for reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine, by law if necessary.
Unless and until Jefferson is indicted, he should get committee assignments based on his seniority. As for Jefferson's re-election, I guess the voters have more faith in their incumbent than they do in the FBI.
The Houston Chronicle has been incuriously silent about the excessive initial bonds, but the SEIU has later reported that a magistrate reduced the bonds for the Class B misdemeanors to $1,000 each and the protesters were released.
Normally, in Texas, an assistant district attorney or city attorney would request a bond, which would be set by a justice of the peace or other magistrate. If somebody did set an $888,888 bond for a Class B misdemeanor, that needs to be examined.
If the Supreme Court orders the redrawing of Doggett's District 25, a "fajita strip" which runs from Austin in Central Texas to McAllen on the Rio Grande, it likely would require redrawing of at least two other "fajita strips," District 28, which pitted Henry Cueller of Laredo against Ciro Rodriguez of San Antonio, and District 15 (Ruben Hinojosa), which runs from the outskirts of Austin to Edinburg on the Rio Grande. Also, the 23rd District was redrawn to take half of Democratic Webb County (Laredo) out and replace it with Republican precincts in San Antonio and the Hill Country to protect Republican Henry Bonilla. It might come under the knife again and pit Cuellar in a rematch with Bonilla, who narrowly beat Cuellar in 2002. The other district under contention is the Fighting 24th, a DFW gerrymander which was carved out to successfully unseat Martin Frost.