October 9, 2003


Texas Republicans end wrangling over congressional map (R.G. RATCLIFFE and POLLY ROSS HUGHES, 10/09/03, Houston Chronicle)

A Republican logjam over congressional redistricting broke Wednesday with an "agreement in principle" over how to draw a new district for House Speaker Tom Craddick's hometown of Midland. [...]

U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, negotiated the deal amid three days of cross-rotunda shuttle diplomacy. DeLay declined to speak about the proposal or the negotiations, but he expressed pleasure at the result.

"Yes, you could say I'm very satisfied," DeLay said.

The new map, if used in the 2004 elections, should give DeLay at least five more Republican seats in the U.S. House from Texas. Details of the proposal will not be released until today.

Democrats currently hold a 17-15 majority in the state's congressional delegation. At least five would find their new districts unwinnable. Three other Democratic incumbents also might lose their seats to Republicans.

First, California. Then, Texas. In early November may come gubernatorial races in LA, KY and MS. Meanwhile, the recovery is picking up steam and the Turks and Japanese are headed for Iraq. But they'll always have Jeffords...maybe.


Iraq Aid Figure Gives Donors New Confidence
(STEVEN R. WEISMAN, October 9, 2003, NY Times)

A team of World Bank economists has concluded that, as a practical matter, Iraq can absorb only about $6 billion in aid next year for its infrastructure needs. That conclusion sets a target that Bush administration officials said Wednesday could be met from American and international assistance.

The $6 billion figure for Iraq has been circulating among policy makers at the World Bank, the United Nations and the Bush administration as they struggle to plan for an international donors' conference this month that they fear could be judged a failure for lack of pledges. [...]

A month ago, administration officials said they would have a difficult time raising more than $1 billion for Iraq for 2004 at Madrid. Now officials say Japan itself is considering roughly $1 billion for next year and several billion in later years.

"The Japanese are talking in the billions," said a senior administration official. "The Europeans are revisiting their earlier numbers. They're all beginning to look at this as a security issue, not a development issue, and they're scrounging for money from other places in their budgets."

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 9, 2003 10:39 PM

Mr. Judd;

Yeah, that's really bad news for the Evil Party. If the Democratic Party can't count on Republicans being the Stupid Party, what can they count on? I was sure that the Texas legislators would find someway to disagree strongly enough to prevent the redistricting, because it would be Stupid.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at October 9, 2003 10:58 PM

The big sticking point was the desire of the area to the west of Fort Worth not to lose Charles Stenholm as their rep, while Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick wanted to set things up so that Midlander Tom Conaway (GWB's former accountant) would have an open seat to run for after losing a special election to Republican Randy Neugebauer this past June.

Stenholm is one of the most conservative Democrats in congress, but he's still a Democrat, and in the end he was paired in a district with Neugebauer, while Craddick and Conaway got their "safe" district (unless someone from San Angelo or the Texas Hill Country area northwest of San Antonio beats him out, but odds are even then it wuold still be a Reupblican district).

Posted by: John at October 9, 2003 11:24 PM

Whatever happened to all the money that leftist groups supposedly raised to keep the Democratic legislators in NM or OK in perpetuity?

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 10, 2003 2:27 PM

They spent it in Austria trying to find someone who'd heard Arnold sing the Horst Wessel Song.

Posted by: oj at October 10, 2003 8:12 PM