Adventures in D.C.

Had a full day of meetings today in the nation's capital, starting with telecom policy and health care in the morning. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a practicing physician and a health care scholar at the venerable American Enterprise Institute, believes proposals from the states will serve as models for reform in D.C. I certainly hope so; Tom Daxon and I are here refining (and promoting) the plan OCPA will unveil in early 2008, a free-market model we hope other states will emulate. Lord knows Hillary and Obama don't have the answer.

Then it was off to lunch at The Heritage Foundation with some D.C.-area bloggers who meet every Tuesday at Heritage. We also heard from Sen. Jim DeMint on the continuing battle against earmarks. Then cabinet secretary Michael Leavitt, President Bush's extremely capable Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, gave some brief remarks and fielded questions from our merry band of think-tankers.

From Heritage we walked to the Supreme Court of the United States, where it was quite an honor to sit on the mahogany benches in the back of the Court Chamber (pictured above) and hear from Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., who is hearing oral arguments this week in various cases, including one involving the rights of detainees at Guantanamo Bay. The Court Chamber is flanked by 24 marble columns (four of which are visible in the photo above); overhead are sculpted marble panels depicting famous lawgivers, including Moses with the Ten Commandments (isn't that unconstitutional by now?). I did learn something new today: the Supreme Court is not the highest court in the land. Directly above the 44-foot ceiling is a basketball court.

Then it was off to the Cato Institute, where we heard two really interesting presentations on climate change from Cato scholars, and then to dinner with some folks from the Liberty Fund, a first-rate organization. Up tomorrow morning at 7:30 for round two.

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