Thursday, April 28, 2011

Today -100: April 28, 1911: Of reapportionment, a Jew in Egypt, the value of fingers and toes, dinners, and bosh

The House votes on a reapportionment bill, expanding the House from 391 to 433 (435 if and when Arizona and New Mexico become states). That would be one rep per 211,877 people. This is the last time the size of the House was increased, as was done in every previous decade (every previous decade also saw the accession of new states). (Historical oddity: after the 1920 census, there was no reapportionment. Not sure why; check back here in ten years.)

Reapportionment of districts will be decided by the states as usual; the D’s voted down an amendment to have it done by the Department of Commerce and Labor and another one which would have allowed for referenda for those states so inclined. Republicans from Democratic-dominated Kentucky and Missouri complain that gerrymandered Democratic congressional districts in their states have much smaller populations than Republican ones, and propose several amendments to correct that, all of which fail.

Rep. Victor Berger, Socialist from Wisconsin, proposed a joint resolution for a constitutional amendment to abolish the Senate, which he described as “an obstructive and useless body, a menace to the liberties of the people and an obstacle to social growth; a body many of the members of which are the representatives neither of a State nor of its people, but solely of certain predatory combinations”. Berger may be disciplined for violating the House rule against telling the truth about criticizing the Senate.

France announces that its military intervention in Morocco is necessary to protect foreigners at Fez, re-establish order, and protect the sovereignty of the sultan. Isn’t it nice of them to help out like that?

In other North African colonial news, Britain is rumored to be planning to send Sir Mathew Nathan to Egypt as its new Resident. Or as the NYT puts it, “Jew May Rule Egypt.”

Headline of the Day -100: “Value of Fingers and Toes.” In Lake County Superior Court, an employee at the Standard Steel Car Works who lost four fingers in an industrial accident was awarded $100, and another man got $500 for five toes.

President Taft is visiting New York City. Last night he attended a dinner of newspaper publishers, a dinner of Methodists, and a dinner in honor of retired Congressman J. Van Vechten Olcott.

Headline Expletive of the Day -100: “Bosh, Says Taft of Annexation.” At, I believe, his second dinner of the evening. He again denied plans to annex Canada. Canada must be feeling either relieved or kind of insulted by the constant repetitions of how the US is just not that into them.

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