Black History Month: A congressional lesson

Since today is the last day of Black History Month, let’s have a black history quiz:

What do the following people have in common? (Chart from the Washington Post)

Senate

Yes, they are black. (Why else would they be in this quiz?) But they also represent a significant minority.

Of the 1,950 people who have served in the U.S. Senate, these nine are the only African Americans to hold a seat in the upper chamber of Congress.

Hyram Revels and Blanche Bruce were both senators from Mississippi who served during the post Civil War Reconstruction of the South from 1870-71 and 1875-1881, respectively. Both were appointed by the Mississippi State Legislature, but Bruce was the first black person for serve a full Senate term.

Edward Brooke (1967-1979) of Massachusetts was the first African American to win a Senate seat in a popular vote. The Bay State also was represented by Mo Cowan, who was appointed to the seat in 2013 to fill out the vacancy created by the appointment of John F. Kerry to the post of Secretary of State. Ed Markey now holds that seat.

Illinois has had three black senators, Carol Moseley Braun (1993-1999)), Barack Obama (2005-2008) and Roland Burris (2009-2010). Moseley Braun is the only African American to serve a full term as an Illinois senator. Obama … well, you know what happened to him. Burris was appointed to finish Obama’s term.

Tim Scott of South Carolina was appointed to the Senate in 2013 when Jim DeMint decided he was going to go to the Heritage Foundation to make a lot of money. It will be interesting to see what happens this year, when Scott faces a special election to complete the term. He’s only the third black person to represent a Southern state.

And Cory Booker of New Jersey was elected last year in a special election, but he runs again this year for a full term.

So, by the numbers, There have been five black Democrats and four black Republicans in the Senate. Three have been appointed. Two are up for re-election this year. And one became president.

An interesting countdown for such a tiny group.

The Surrender of America‚Äôs Liberals

It’s pretty sad to hear a convincing argument on why Richard Nixon was a better president for the poor than Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But when he explains that Nixon’s social programs were the result of a powerful liberal coalition that fought for those causes, it’s clear the results were inevitable.

Les vaches qui rient

OK, so that’s French and this video is in German, but the point’s the same. A laughing cow is a jumping cow:

Just another example of animals fully aware of their surroundings. They’ve been cooped up in a barn forever, and they probably knew they were set for slaughter. (And animals are aware when they’re about to be turned into meat. Stand outside an abattoir sometime, and listen to the screams.)

This is like watching a prisoner being released into the world after being stuck forever in solitary confinement.

Or like Tommy when he gets his senses back:

This is how cities should promote bicycle commuting

Most of my commuting in D.C. is done on the bicycle. I can get from home to work faster on a bicycle than I can taking the metro. And my bike path for the most part is in dedicated lanes.

But I have ridden a bike in the Netherlands and it is so much safer there than it is in the U.S. And that’s because of the design of the dedicated lanes.

I would much rather ride in Amsterdam than anywhere in America because the Dutch city planners understand bike safety. If you look at the number of bikes on the road there, you see that the Dutch don’t even worry about getting run over by some yahoo in an Escalade who thinks its his “God Given Right” to run a bicyclist off of the road.

I definitely feel that way in D.C…. and New York … and Louisville … and (name your city).