Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Next Up: The National Museum of German-Irish (Kraut-Mick) Heritage

The House has just passed a bill that would authorize spending $200 million to fund a new Smithsonian museum dedicated to black history. After 15 years of trying to get such legislation passed, Rep. John Lewis seems optimistic that it'll finally make it this year. The only thing odd about this story, of course, is that there already is a Smithsonian museum dedictaed to black history. It's called the Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture, and is located at 1901 Fort Place, SE. And for civil rights advocates who think prejudice also shortchanges the art and culture of Africa itself, the Smithsonian has a museum for that, too. So why the need for $200 million in taxpayer funds for yet another museum? Still wondering that myself.

The Guaranteed Recession Act of 2005

Howard Dean is revving up the anti-corporate faithful with a plan for 're-regulation' of, it seems, pretty much every industry he can think of. What better way to inspire consumer confidence than to have every major company micro-managed by a slow moving bureaucracy with no direct stake in the outcome of their actions? And with more government control over corporate practices, I don't suppose that would inspire even more rent-seeking lobbying to get Congress to write the rules in a way that disadvantages competitors or erects greater barriers to entry in the market. I would have thought it would be a tough contest, but Dean has easily captured the Most Idiotic Policy Announcement of the Democratic primary so far. It makes Kucinich's Department of Peace look like the flat tax.