Will Tom Reed vote for Nancy Pelosi?

PelosiWith the facts on our side, we stood up to hypocrisy and disinformation from liberal politicians like Andrew Cuomo, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi… — Tom Reed reelection campaign mailing


Will Tom Reed vote for Nancy Pelosi? It seems unlikely, but he has committed to do so.

The Problem Solvers Caucus, with Rep. Tom Reed of Corning leading its Republican contingent, compromised on its demands and won enough concessions to agree to support Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker.–Mark Mulville/Buffalo News


When the Problem Solvers Caucus gets to 75 percent agreement on a bipartisan proposal, including 51 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Republicans, the Caucus agrees to take the position as one group. —Will Reinert, PR NewsWire

Reed’s vote doesn’t matter; Nancy Pelosi doesn’t expect, seek or need his support. It is very unlikely that Reed or any Republican will vote for Nancy Pelosi, but it will be interesting to see how Reed explains his vote if he disregards his commitment.

Of course every Republican could vote for Nancy Pelosi in a show of bipartisanship. Their votes wouldn’t matter, but no Republican would then stand out as a rebel.

Note: According to the Buf News editorial, the rules agreed to are these:

  • Any bill with at least 290 co-sponsors can come to a floor vote.
  • Amendments with at least 20 co-sponsors from each party would be prioritized as the Rules Committee prepares legislation to move to the House floor.
  • The discharge petition process, which allows lawmakers to force bills to the floor for a vote, would be modernized so that such measures could come to the floor more quickly and on any day the House is in session.
  • The procedure called “the motion to vacate the chair” would be reformed so that organized groups on the far sides of the political spectrum – right or left – could not so easily threaten a coup to oust the speaker.






Posted in Reed's Views | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Rep. Mark Pocan on No Labels

No LabelsRep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) on “No Labels” (I think we already knew.)

No Labels is slick, and I got duped. But no other current or newly elected member of Congress should fall for its shtick. No Labels is a centrist, corporate organization working against Democrats with dark, anonymous money to advance power for special interests.

Congressman Mark Pocan represents Wisconsin’s 2nd District and is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.


Posted in Campaigning, Political | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

What we never used to see on cable TV


“I have publicly stated my opposition to and outrage at Charter’s conduct on numerous occasions. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for boycotting the network and encourage other officials to do the same. Consumers must be made aware of the abuses of Charter Spectrum, which the network has conspicuously failed to report on any of its broadcasts. Consumer pressure will affect Charter’s bottom line, which is obviously their only concern.” — Gov. Cuomo

  • Display stuck
  • Voice and video out of sync
  • “Loading”
  • “No internet”
  • “Service not available, try again later.”

Was it legitimate for Spectrum News to promote Gov. Cuomo’s rivals? Does Spectrum not invest in improved service because of Gov. Cuomo’s complaints?


Posted in Media | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Does election make one wise?

truthHistory has tried hard to teach us that we can’t have good government under politicians. Now, to go and stick one at the very head of the government couldn’t be wise.
— Mark Twain, New York Herald, 26 August 1876

Does election to political office make one knowledgeable and wise? Some politicians seem to think it does. For example, Donald Trump:

  • Says he is invariably the smartest person in the room.
  • Could learn all there is to know about nuclear weapons in a short while.
  • Has a superior knowledge of military science, trade, international relations, manufacturing, climate science, and more.
  • Is too intelligent to accept the views of experts on climate change.
  • Has blessed us with the most successful administration ever.
  • Relies on his gut rather than other’s brains

Do we believe it? I hope not.

Tom Reed, a country lawyer, now claims expertise in:

  • health care policy.
  • Agriculture, farming
  • manufacturing in which he has no education or experience.
  • international trade.
  • knows that professional economists are wrong; he knows better than they do.
  • tax law.
  • parliamentary rules.
  • and more.

Do we believe it? I hope not.

George W. Bush, believing he knew better than the generals, fired those who advised that war with Iraq would be difficult, and went with his gut. He was wrong. He believed that a surge in American soldiers would solve the remaining problems; again he was proved wrong.

We have a right to expect caution and wisdom of elected officials, but not necessarily expertise. That’s why Congress needs to hold hearings to learn the views of experts. Rather than imagine that they have requisite knowledge, they should listen to experts who do.

When politicians claim to know about something, ask what they have read, who they have consulted, why they think they know.


Posted in Economics, Political, Reed's Views, trade, Trump | 3 Comments

House Rules


Small potatoes

Emily Birnbaum, writing for The Hill on Nov. 26 reports:

Nine Democratic members of the Problem Solvers Caucus are urging prospective Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to back three rules changes as she aims to drum up enough support to lead the House.

What are these three changes, one might wonder. Here they are:

  1. The first proposal would require that any legislation that achieves 290 cosponsors — three-fifths of the House — be debated and get a timely floor vote.
  2. The second would mandate that any amendment with at least 20 cosponsors from both parties would get a debate and a vote.
  3. The final proposal says every member in every new Congress can introduce one bill on the committee on which he or she serves that would be guaranteed debate and a committee vote as long as the measure is bipartisan and germane to that panel’s jurisdiction.

The House is a large legislative body that can’t operate without rules. Are the proposed rule changes desirable?

The proposed changes don’t appear radical, but may have desirable and undesirable consequences if adopted. The primary effect would be to slightly reduce the power of the Speaker and committee chairpersons.

The first rule change would limit the power of the Speaker to keep popular measures from being considered by the House. While it seems reasonable that popular measures should be considered, past speakers have found reasons to block them. If an elected speaker is irresponsible, this rule change would do little to limit the harm. It the Speaker is responsible, this rule change seems unnecessary.

The second change is more clearly undesirable–it could result in too much time being wasted on amendments supported by special interests. It would reduce the power of the Rules Committee and the Speaker to guide proceedings of the House.

The third change seems highly political–committee members could seek publicity by forcing committee debate on pet bills. I rate this proposal undesirable. If the bill is a good one, it should succeed on its own merit.

It will be interesting to see if any of these proposed changes is adopted, and if so, what impact, if any, it has on legislation considered by the House.



Posted in Congress, Political | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Did NY-23 candidates do as expected?

With some assumptions, I have computed the expected vote for Tom Reed and Tracy Mitrano. The actual vote is strikingly similar to the expected vote.


  • Republicans, Conservatives, and those registered with the Independence Party prefer the Republican Party candidate.
  • Democrats and those registered with other parties prefer the Democratic Party candidate.
  • Half of those not registered with a party prefer a Democrat and half a Republican.
  • Half of non-voters prefer a Democrat and half a Republican.

From the first New NY 23rd article cited:

2018 Party Enrollment Data


Democrats and Others: 144 thousand

Republicans, Conservatives and Independence Party: 194 thousand

No Party: 93 thousand

Fifty-one percent of registered voters cast a ballot, so the expected votes for Democratic and Republican candidates can be estimated as the sum of registered voters plus half the unregistered voters times the percentage of registered voters who cast a ballot: 51%:

Expected vote totals:

  • Democrat: (144+46)*0.51 = 97 thousand
  • Republican: (194+46)*0.51 = 122 thousand

Actual vote totals from the second New NY 23rd article cited:

  • Tracy Mitrano: 100 thousand
  • Tom Reed: 122 thousand

The correspondence between the expectation and the vote totals is striking; here are some possible conclusions:

  • Party affiliation is significant.
  • Both candidates did about as expected.
  • There was no “blue wave” in 2018 in NY-23.

Based on these results, the idea that either candidate did much better or worse than expected is false.



Posted in 2018 | Tagged , | 2 Comments

First Step Act

first step actThe Trump Administration reports: “It’s the Right Time to Pass Criminal Justice Reform”

“With President Trump leading the way, the push is on to get serious criminal justice reform done by Christmas. Resisters on the left and right would be fools to stand in the way,” the New York Post editorial board writes.
Earlier this week, President Trump called on Congress to pass the FIRST STEP Act, which would fund educational and vocational training programs in U.S. prisons while easing certain mandatory-minimum sentencing rules. “Trump has it right: “We’re all better off when former inmates can receive [a second chance] and re-enter society as law-abiding, productive citizens,” the Post’s editors write.

Interestingly, when NY Gov. Cuomo proposed to expand a successful educational program for prisoners, he was met with a chorus of outrage. Will Trump’s proposal fly?




Posted in Trump | Tagged , | 13 Comments