States Right This Time, But Not Next Time.

On Wednesday, the Senate votes on an amendment to the Military Funding Bill that will force States to recognize concealed-carry permits from other States. This means that Illinois and Wisconsin (the only States that do not issue concealed-carry permits) would be forced to accept them from Texas (where you are issued one at birth.) It would sweep under the Federal rug, multiple instances of States regulating who can and cannot have these permits. Some States refuse them to felons, some States require at least a minimum of training and some States pretty much merely require that you are breathing. None of that would matter with this amendment.

Put aside the obvious concerns that various States have about expanding the concealed-carry exemptions and look only at the Constitutional argument. In an Olympic level gymnastics move, the State's right crowd is (for this issue only) arguing that the "Jackbooted thugs" know best. Of course, we cannot trust the judgement of the individual States. Surely mother government knows best. What is wrong with the picture when Wayne LaPierre and John Thune are so anxious for Federal action. It demonstrates the utter hypocrisy of most of their arguments.

Imagine the outrage if Dianne Feinstein proposed an amendment that suggested that this reciprocity be recognized for gay marriage, or abortion? Of course, when it comes to those issues, only the States can truly decide.

It feels weird to be on the State's rights side of the argument for once, but here's hoping the Senate does the right thing and strikes this amendment. Of course, thanks to the Blue Dog Democrats I would not be surprised to see it pass.

Doing the People's Business

Of course, in New York, the people's business is fighting, swearing at each other and making sure that nothing gets done. There has been a legislative coup in the State House in Albany that has all but shut the State down. Republican lawmakers somehow got two Democrats to go along with a motion that would replace the Dems top two officers and hand over control of the Senate.

This story has so many bizarre parts to it. The Democrats have resorted to turning out the lights in the chambers, and locking the Republicans out of the room. The Republicans lost one of their Dem votes, and (with a 31-31 tie deadlocking everything) have taken to running a parallel session complete with their own leaders.

I haven't even mentioned that one of the turncoat Dems is facing assault charges for attacking his girlfriend (well, hopefully now his ex..), the other Dem vote is also facing campaign allegations and the Governor is trying to compel the Senate to meet, and is seeking a court order that he would enforce with state troopers if necessary.

My big question is how is this not front page news? I only randomly heard about this this morning. Essentially, the State of New York has ground to a halt, and it is not major news anywhere else in the country? You'd think something that is on the front page of the Times, could sneak it's way on to the SF Chronicles webpage. All of a sudden, I feel slightly better about California's legislature.