Will Wisconsin Republicans and municipal and county candidates for the Spring election finally call for a uniform age of majority and lower the drinking age?
Back in 1986, Gov. Tony Earl infamously caved to Republican pressure in Wisconsin and federal mandates from Washington and raised the drinking age to 21.
After Ronald Reagan signed the national minimum drinking age law, states were forced to either raise the drinking age or face federal sanctions, losing a percentage of highway aid allocation.
Predictably, bars all over Wisconsin tanked; restaurant-bars folded and today the surviving establishments limp along. And Wisconsin neighborhood bars; they're a dying relic.
Let's put aside for the moment the hypocrisy of Reagan's heavy-handed approach to "states rights" and anti-government rhetoric that he had campaigned on in 1979-80.
Let's put aside the absurdity of sending 18-to-20-year-old kids overseas to risk life and limb for country and then come home and face fines for walking in a bar and having a beer. And God forbid throwing a coming-home party with peers; the potential fines are in the $1,000s.
Let's even put aside all the rights and responsibilities that the age of majority confers onto adults except for having a beer.
The fact of the matter is and always has been, beer and liqueur are good for business and Prohibition for 18-to-20-old citizens causes financial harm and a well-deserved disrespect for law.
Back in the 1980s, politicians said losing five and 10 percent of the federal highway funds would be an economic disaster for the state.
Here we are in the age when our Governor shoos away $810 million in federal stimulus money that would have created 1,000s of jobs and then declares an economic state of emergency, so the question arises: Shouldn't the Republicans now defy the national minimum drinking age law and let small businesses know Wisconsin has their back, and some backbone as opposed to say Tony Earl?
In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Democratic Whip:
On Tuesday, the House will meet at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business with votes postponed until 6:30 p.m. There will be no Morning Hour debate.
Suspensions (2 Bills)
- H.R.514 - To extend expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform of Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 relating to access to business records, individual terrorists as agents of foreign powers and roving wiretaps until December 8, 2011 (Rep. Sensenbrenner - Judiciary)
- H.R. __ - To extend trade adjustment assistance and the Andean Trade Preference Act (Rep. Camp - Ways and Means)
In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:
Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of S.223, the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act.
At 10:20am, there will be 10 minutes for debate prior to a vote in relation to the Nelson (FL) amendment #34 (NASA).
Senators should expect a roll call vote at approximately 10:30am in relation to the Nelson (FL) amendment #34 (NASA) to S.223, FAA Authorization.
That will be the only roll call vote of the day.
Once again, I'll remind you that in order to get these posts prepared for early morning, I'm relying on Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer's "Nightly Whip" reports, prepared the evening prior to the session. These are often a little lighter on the detail than we used to get when Hoyer was Majority Leader, since Hoyer was in fact in charge of the floor schedule then. Eric Cantor's office, though, isn't putting out much more information than what you see here.
A little later in the day -- sometimes only about half an hour to an hour after these posts go up -- you can check in on Hoyer's "Daily Whip" posts, which often have a little more detail about amendments being offered, etc. But so far, they haven't been available in time to get posted at 9 a.m.
So here we are, with a USA PATRIOT Act extension under suspension of the rules. Forty minutes of debate, max, needs 2/3 to pass. Which really is pretty disturbing, if you think about it.
Now, this is a short-term extension of just some of the provisions of the act, but still, forty minutes? And as I mentioned yesterday, it's either sad that you could pass a renewal under suspension, or cynical that you'd bring it to the floor under suspension knowing it might well fail, but that you can blame it on Democrats if it does.
Plus, it's annoying that the constitutional authority statement for something as broad as the provisions of the act is just basically, "Well, uh, maybe common defense and general welfare, or maybe something else." What a joke.
The Senate? Still on the FAA bill. We'll get one amendment voted on today. One. And how many are there? Yesterday's Senate schedule was updated to let us know:
The following amendments are pending to S.223: - Wicker amendment #14, as modified (Excludes TSA from collective bargaining)- Blunt amendment #5 (private screening company) - Nelson (FL) #34 (NASA) - Paul #21 (reduce authorization for FAA to FY2008 levels) - Wyden #27 (increase test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles) - Inhofe amendment #6 (liability protection to volunteer pilots) - Inhofe amendment #7 (flight time limitations/rest requirements) - Ensign amendment #32 (military remotely piloted aerial systems) - McCain amendment #4 (Essential Air Service)
This could take a while.
Committee schedule appears below.
Policy planners in Washington just caught a big break. They've been repeatedly trying to prod China to strengthen its currency — to no avail — but larger economic . . . → Full Story: Inflation is Surging in China. That’s Great News for These Stocks…
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In one sense, the protests have succeeded in wringing out concession after concession from the government. But fundamentally, the structure has not changed and you get the sense that observers around the world are turning away from this uprising (the[...]
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From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE
I seem to recall...
It was one year ago that Sarah Palin got caught reading crib notes off her hand during a choreographed and tightly-screened tea party Q&A in Nashville. And what happened when she got caught? Of course, being a not-too-bright individual, she gave the "I to do that and you fell for it, Ha Ha Ha" excuse. Yeah---she "meant" to write the word "budget" and then cross it out and replace it with "tax cuts." Sure. Right.
I don't know of any other famous folks who felt the need to cover their asses with palm notes, but it's fun to imagine:
4score + 7 yrs ago = Baby USA
Civil War still goin' on, but...
Perish? Us? Balderdash!
JobsRestrict Abortion JobsKill health ins. reform JobsDefeat Obama
Crying OK--chicks dig it!
Oh say can you see...
By the dawn's early light?
Exception: fear itself
My belief pretty firm on that
Government is the problem
I am the head of the government
I am the problemUSA! USA!
Country ---> You = bad
You ---> Country = good
Don’t look @ camera when red light's on
Red = communist
R to LL to R!
My own hand note is pretty simple: name, address, phone number. In case I get separated from the babysitter.
Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]
Author Martin D. Weiss and Safe Money editor Mike Larson
If you agree that the tech bubble of the 1990s and the housing bubble of the 2000s were . . . → Full Story: The Most Dangerous Bubble of All
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A portion of Amy Goodman's interview with Prof. Vijay Prashad, giving background on Obama's Special Envoy to Egypt Frank Wisner who over the weekend said Mubarak should stay. A decidedly off-script moment for the administration, who quickly distanced themselves from his remarks.
VIJAY PRASHAD: Frank Wisner, Jr., had a more steady career in the State Department, was the ambassador in Egypt between 1986 and 1991. During that period, he became very close friends with Hosni Mubarak and, at the time, convinced President Mubarak to bring Egypt on the side diplomatically of the United States during the first Gulf War. Subsequently, Frank Wisner was ambassador in the Philippines and then in India, before returning to the United States, where he became essentially one of the great eminences of the Democratic Party. One of the things he did during this recent period is author a report for the James Baker Institute, where he argued that the most important thing for American foreign policy is not democracy, which they treat as a long-term interest, but stability, which is the short-term interest. So, Frank Wisner, Jr., is seasoned State Department official, a very close friend of Mubarak, a man more committed to stability than democracy, and, yes, an employee at Patton Boggs, where one of the portfolios is for Patton Boggs to lobby on behalf of the government of Egypt.
Your piece was called, Professor Prashad, "The Empire?s Bagman." Talk about who Frank Wisner is, who it is President Obama sent to Egypt, and why the U.S. ambassador to Egypt wasn?t the one who was talking with the government.
VIJAY PRASHAD: Yes, the point is a very good one, why Margaret Scobey herself was not in charge of the deliberations. Instead, President Obama turned to Frank Wisner, Jr. Frank Wisner, Jr., has had a 36-year career in the State Department. He is the son of Frank Wisner, Sr., a man very well known at the CIA, who was the operational chief to conduct at least three coups d?état?Arbenz in Guatemala, Mossadeq in Iran, and the attempted coup in Guyana. He was also, Frank Wisner, Sr., the man who created Wisner?s Wurlitzer, where the United States government paid journalists to go and do propaganda in Europe and in the rest of the world.
Frank Wisner, Jr., had a more steady career in the State Department, was the ambassador in Egypt between 1986 and 1991. During that period, he became very close friends with Hosni Mubarak and, at the time, convinced President Mubarak to bring Egypt on the side diplomatically of the United States during the first Gulf War. Subsequently, Frank Wisner was ambassador in the Philippines and then in India, before returning to the United States, where he became essentially one of the great eminences of the Democratic Party. One of the things he did during this recent period is author a report for the James Baker Institute, where he argued that the most important thing for American foreign policy is not democracy, which they treat as a long-term interest, but stability, which is the short-term interest. So, Frank Wisner, Jr., is seasoned State Department official, a very close friend of Mubarak, a man more committed to stability than democracy, and, yes, an employee at Patton Boggs, where one of the portfolios is for Patton Boggs to lobby on behalf of the government of Egypt.
AMY GOODMAN: We?re talking to Vijay Prashad, a professor at Trinity College. Now, what he said, Vijay Prashad, that he said Mubarak should remain in power, the man who works for the lobbying firm, well known, Patton Boggs, that is working for?that boasts about working for the Egyptian government, now saying that another client of his firm should remain in power.
VIJAY PRASHAD: Yes. It?s interesting that in that same speech he mentioned that Mubarak should be able to, in a sense, author his own legacy. I mean, he is probably speaking partly on the basis of this broad policy that he has, which is that stability is more important than democracy, and secondly, partly from friendship.
It should be said that the United States government has essentially been chasing events in this period. There are two pillars of U.S. foreign policy that they?ve been trying to maintain at the same time as not lose their credibility in the world. And the two basic pillars, the first one is to maintain Egypt as a close ally in the war on terror. That includes, of course, things like extraordinary rendition, but also includes Egypt carrying America?s buckets in places like the Arab League. The second important pillar is to ensure that whoever comes to power in Egypt, whether Mubarak or a Mubarak successor, will uphold the Egypt-Israel peace treaty of 1979. These are the two principal pillars of U.S. foreign policy vis-ŕ-vis Egypt. What the Obama administration, it seems to me, has been trying to do is to ensure that if Mubarak himself cannot carry these two pillars, then some successor, a Mubarak-lite, Mubarak number two, will come in and carry the pillars forward. The United States does not have the best record in, you know, helping its dictatorial friends in the long term. We?ve seen that with Manuel Noriega. We?ve seen that with Saddam Hussein. So, the friendship that Frank Wisner, Jr., has for Mubarak might be a little liability, but broadly put, his attitude towards Mubarak and the Mubarak regime is quite consistent with the broad outlines of the Obama policy and of the State Department.
The thing that's bugged me about this year's Virginia General Assembly session isn't so much that, aside from a few notable bright spots, progressives are getting their asses kicked. I know Republicans control the House & governor's mansion and that Democrats hold only a slim margin in the Senate.
It's that Democrats are getting their asses kicked and they don't even seem to know it.
First an anti-livability bill passed the House with the support of five Democrats. Then the Senate unanimously passed a bill to continue shoveling millions in subsidies to coal companies that don't need them.
And today, we learn the House passed - again, unanimously - a bill to insulate factory farms from charges of animal abuse.
Doesn't the Democratic Party of Virginia have paid staffers and an allegedly full-time chair? It looks like they haven't put out a press release in two weeks. And if you click DPVA news, you get basically a blank page, which seems appropriate. What the hell are they doing with their days?
Oh, right. Important party business.
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Seems like everyone has now jumped back on the energy band wagon.To be precise energy, solar’s, uranium and rare earths. I hear it constantly in the media.
We are Respectable Negroes: Cornel West brings the funk of Black History Month to the Late Late Show.
His Vorpal Sword: The Koch brothers takeover of the GOP.
Angry Black Lady Chronicles: Some words about Egypt and Obama shot out of Sarah Palin?s face.
Guest post by Batocchio. E-mail tips to batocchio9 AT yahoo DOT com.