July 14, 2005

RENDER UNTO SEIZER? (via Kevin Whited):

Senate backs land-grab limits (POLLY ROSS HUGHES, 7/14/05, Houston Chronicle)

After a spirited, four-hour debate, the Texas Senate approved a bill Wednesday limiting state and local governments from seizing homes and other private property for economic development.

Senate Bill 62, which passed 25-4, is similar to a proposed constitutional amendment passed by the Texas House earlier this week. Now, each chamber can consider the other's legislation.

Of course, tired of being on the 30-40% side of every issue, Nancy Pelosi has staked out the [whatever percentage 4 out of 29 is] side of this one.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 14, 2005 12:02 AM

OJ: 13.8%. (sheesh. you even had the problem set up correctly, man.)

Posted by: John Resnick at July 14, 2005 10:32 AM

Pelosi looked just awful yesterday in ranting about Karl Rove. One would think her staff would be smart enough to warn her off defending Joe Wilson. But no!

Posted by: jim hamlen at July 14, 2005 11:02 AM

Render unto Seizer ?


Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 14, 2005 12:53 PM

Thanks, Robert.

I didn't know that Google would do that.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 14, 2005 12:59 PM

Michael: Google does everything. Have you played w/ their maps tool? It's outstanding.

Posted by: John Resnick at July 14, 2005 1:49 PM

Michael: Google does everything. Have you played w/ their maps tool? It's outstanding.

Posted by: John Resnick at July 14, 2005 1:49 PM

I have been trying to convince OJ that he does not need a calculator, but he continues to resist the idea.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 14, 2005 1:54 PM


Splendid !

Many thanks.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 14, 2005 2:50 PM

4 out of 29 is about midway between 4 out of 28 and 4 out of 30.

4 out of 28 equals 1/7 or 14.3%
4 out of 30 equals 2/15 or 2 * 6.67% or 13.34%

Add up 14.3 and 13.3 and divide by 2. You get 13.8. Who needs a calculator to do that?

What is utterly fascinating is how many Democrats really seem to believe that they have the G-d-given right to take away people's houses so they can sell them to a developer and get higher taxes. It is as if they have no clue about what their constituents think. The issue is not a hard one to frame. Large swaths of middle income housing in multi-racial neighborhoods in NYC would be demolished in no time. I'm sure Trump is salivating as we speak.

And it's all the same type of Democrat who buys this nonsense. Rich people who are antiwar or way left on social issues but obviously greedy as any 1890s railroad owning robber baron. Whitmire from Houston is a classic example.

Posted by: bart at July 14, 2005 5:52 PM

Good point. Without the railroads we wouldn't be a nation. A key argument ion favor of government seizures.

Posted by: oj at July 14, 2005 6:04 PM


Jonathan Chait from TNR got some mileage out of an argument a while back in which he postulated that liberals would abandon their economic policies if it were absolutely proven that such policies did not achieve their aims, but conservatives would not abandon their ideas if the situation were reversed (mainly because of the importance conservatives place on economic freedom).

I think Chait's error is to assume that the desire liberals have to help the poor exists in isolation from other, sometimes competing, values. If he were correct, you wouldn't have had all the liberal SCOTUS justices and a large part of the chatterati (NY Times, etc.) cheering on a result that is so obviously inimical to the interests of the little guy. Doesn't this suggest that increasing government power is their primary concern?

As you note, we have here a stupendously unpopular policy that totally goes against the self-image that liberals like to promote. Their love of big government has put them in the awfully uncomfortable position (unless you're a Republican like me, in which case this is totally hysterical).

BTW, imagine the political ads that will come out of this. Line up the cameras for the next low-income housing project to be bulldozed while a gleaming Donald Trump looks on. I want pictures.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at July 15, 2005 1:20 AM

What does he think compassionate conservatism is?

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2005 7:56 AM

Using taxpayer funds to kick working class and middle income families out of their homes so some big shot developer/political contributor can make a windfall is neither compassionate nor conservative. It is the stuff of Juan Peron's Argentina or Mugabe's Zimbabwe, not the USA.

In NJ, if Forrester is smart, he will use it as a wedge issue against Corzine, whose strong-arming of Codey out of the governor's race merely helps cement his image as a smarmy rich guy.

Posted by: bart at July 15, 2005 8:47 AM

No, it's rapacious industrialism. Worked.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2005 9:10 AM

It's rapacious but hardly industrial and goes against the grain of American ethos and tradition.

Posted by: bart at July 15, 2005 10:16 AM

The building of the railroads is central to the American tradition.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2005 10:21 AM