December 16, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Virginia Democrats squabble

After months of depressing news about Republican infighting in Virginia, it's a refreshing change of pace to read that the Democrats have their own divisive issues to deal with. The selection of state Senate committee chairmen left out the rural parts of Virginia, and legislators from those areas are not too pleased. Whether or not this disgruntlement threatens the Democrats' newly won majority control in the Senate, it will at least give the rural senators added reason to bargain with their caucus leaders whenever a close vote is looming. It strengthens the political center, which these days is very good news. See Washington Post.

"The Meatrix" (yuk)

Anyone who lives in the Shenandoah Valley, and anyone who drives along Interstate 81 south of Harrisonburg during the warmer months, knows about the pollution caused by megafarms. As they say, "That's the smell of money, mister." Sometimes it's hard to argue with the vegetarian slogan "meat stinks." Then there is the problem of large-scale fish kills in the upstream parts of the Shenandoah River, which is suspected to be caused by farm runoff. This situation should make us reflect on the meat and poultry industry in this country, where the obsession with trimming costs has led to awful conditions for animals. (Also, the industrial-scale poultry processing plants are fond of hiring illegal immigrant workers, but that's another story.) That is the point made by The Meatrix, a parody Web site that promotes organic produce and free-range meat products Hat tip to Connie. It has a link to search feature through which I found the Charis Eco-Farm, located just north of Staunton.

Scrutiny for Huckabee

The recent "surge" of Mike Huckabee in the polls is in part a reflection of his sincerity and articulate manner of speech. Now that he is a serious contender, though, we are obliged to examine his background and positions more thoroughly. Fortunately, that task has been done for us by Stephen Bainbridge, via InstaPundit. Upshot: He is not very conservative when it comes to economic issues.