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Roll Call sub.req. Cheney

Roll Call (sub.req.): Cheney to undergo "elective surgical procedure to treat an aneurysm in the artery behind the right knee that was discovered earlier this year."

Hmmm. Rep. Mike Ferguson

Hmmm. Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-NJ) seems to be a bit wobbly on the Gulf Coast Wage Cut. TPM Reader SF got a sorta weasly answer, it seems.

Can we get a

Can we get a show of hands on where every member of Congress stands on this one? Fine, maybe we'll use a slightly more 21st Century method of getting everyone on the record. Tell us where your representative and senators stand.

As we noted last night, and Rep. Dingell (D-MI) was shrewd enough to note right off the bat in his statement last night, President Bush's first move after Katrina was to push through a Gulf Coast Wage Cut by executive order.

He really did. It hasn't gotten a lot of discussion because it gets wrapped up in a bunch of jargon about the Davis-Bacon Act and 'prevailing wages' and a bunch of other mumbojumbo to the point where people think it's about nutritional standards or breakfast foods. But that's what it does. It allows those companies lining up for a piece of that $200 or $300 billion to cut the wages of the folks who are actually going to do the work.

What sense does that make? It amounts to wage gouging. Bad values. And actually pretty bad macro-economics since as much as these disaster-stricken regions need roads rebuilt they need people who can take their families out to dinner and buy new clothes. And lower wages for folks involved in the reconstruction -- which is going to be a big slice of the population -- has a ripple effect across the board in those regions.

Anyway, no arguments or hassles. I'm just curious to find out where everyone stands. There was a group of lawmakers who sent a letter to the president asking him to pull the trigger on the Gulf Coast wage cut. So we know where they stand (we'll get that letter and let you know who). But how about everyone else. Ring up your representative or senator and ask. Or if you see their position on their website or in the paper, send us the link.

We'll make a list and see where everyone stands on the president's Gulf Coast Wage Cut.

A thought for some

A thought for some clever graphic artist: a juxtaposition.

And all you need to get is a copy of the Monday guitar image and then one from the speech last night. Caption one: "When Lives Are at Stake." Caption Two: "When Politics Is at Stake." Fiddle with the wording. But you get the idea.

Am I wrong?

Late Update: A TPM Reader has given it a try. And it looks pretty good.

From Brian Williams blog

From Brian Williams' blog ...

I am duty-bound to report the talk of the New Orleans warehouse district last night: there was rejoicing (well, there would have been without the curfew, but the few people I saw on the streets were excited) when the power came back on for blocks on end. Kevin Tibbles was positively jubilant on the live update edition of Nightly News that we fed to the West Coast. The mini-mart, long ago cleaned out by looters, was nonetheless bathed in light, including the empty, roped-off gas pumps. The motorcade route through the district was partially lit no more than 30 minutes before POTUS drove through. And yet last night, no more than an hour after the President departed, the lights went out. The entire area was plunged into total darkness again, to audible groans. It's enough to make some of the folks here who witnessed it... jump to certain conclusions.

Only surprising that <$NoAd$> it gets prominent mention.

Interesting use of DOJ

Interesting use of DOJ resources. From The (Mississippi) Clarion-Ledger ...

Federal officials appear to be seeking proof to blame the flood of New Orleans on environmental groups, documents show.

The Clarion-Ledger has obtained a copy of an internal e-mail the U.S. Department of Justice sent out this week to various U.S. attorneys' offices: "Has your district defended any cases on behalf of the (U.S.) Army Corps of Engineers against claims brought by environmental groups seeking to block or otherwise impede the Corps work on the levees protecting New Orleans? If so, please describe the case and the outcome of the litigation."

Who sent out this email? And who was going to use it? <$NoAd$> Needed for analyzing new environmental law issues? Part of the 'takings' debate? Did we mention that Karl Rove has been put in charge of the reconstruction effort?

(ed.note: Thanks to TPM Reader EE.)

Before anything else this

Before anything else this morning, I want to thank you, or to be more precise, a very substantial percentage of you, for filling out the survey yesterday. We ran it for twenty-four hours and got a bit more than 18,600 respondents. So we're happy with the sample size.

Like last year, there were a few complaints about the lack of a sufficient number of categories to choose when asked to define oneself politically. There were also a few exceptions taken by folks whose profession wasn't mentioned in the 'what you do' category. No listing for scientist, farmer, artist, etc.

So allow me to explain. If I were building the survey from the ground up, I'd do it differently. But this was the exact same survey we did last year. And there was a utility to having a direct apples to apples comparison, to see what if any ways the audience has changed in the last eighteen months.

More particularly, though, the point of this exercise was not self-expression. It was to gain some basic data for advertisers. And lest that come off as snide, I don't mean it that way. If I were doing this survey out of my own curiosity or to understand my audience better, I would have designed it very differently. I'd have given a more finely nuanced range of possible political self-definitions, a different way of categorizing professions, and I'd also probably have asked a series of what I'd see as defining political questions -- ones which, I think, would be more revealing than labels.

In this case, I wanted to ask as few questions as possible (so I could honestly say that it would take little time) and get the information we really needed -- not for editorial purposes, but to get some basic data for advertisers. So that's the deal.

In any case, to return to the main point, almost twenty-thousand of you took the time to fill it out. And like I said yesterday, on a personal level, I really appreciate that. So thank you.

We'll be sharing the results with you when they're ready.