November 21, 2013

Silver Linings Thursday

It seems to me that there is a silver lining to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (Fascist-NV) rule change to eliminate any semblance of a filibuster process and make the Senate's advise and consent function a purely democratic process, subject to the same transient passions as any other majority-rule institution. "Cooling saucer" be damned.

On the bright side, there may no longer be any practical use for the once powerful RINO politician. After all, not a single Republican vote will be required to impose the Democrats' will upon the once Constitutionally protected American citizen.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:07 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

There will be many silver linings. But that is a bug not a feature. The American government lurched one giant step toward majoritarianism today and that is bad. The good guys and liberty derived benefits from the 17th Amendment as well; I'll not celebrate it.

It has driven me to agree with Senator McCain: (h/t @JoshMBlackman) "I wish Robert Byrd had been on the floor here today. To see the travesty seen on a party line vote."

Richard Russell, Byrd -- we needed an "old lion" today and there were none.

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2013 5:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Gallows humor" to be sure.

Byrd? He was just another old white dude. It was "so, so very obvious" that the Senate was becoming "obsolete."

It will get worse before it gets better, liberty lovers. But when it gets better it will be much, much so.

Posted by: johngalt at November 21, 2013 5:33 PM
But jk thinks:

I got yer drift. My twitter feed is full of folks anxiously awaiting majority GOP rule in a year or three. Like a whole Banana Cream Pie for dinner, it might be fun for a while . . .

Posted by: jk at November 21, 2013 5:57 PM

October 7, 2013

Steyn: That Which Shall Not Be Discussed

John Stossel took a peek into Nancy Pelosi's "bare" cupboard last night to see if she was correct in saying there is nothing left to cut. Brilliantly, he placed Social Security, Medicare and military spending on top of the cupboard since "those are so big they don't even fit in the cupboard." Mark Steyn takes on the same issue today saying, Too Much of the Federal Government Can't Be Shut Down.

"Mandatory spending" (Social Security, Medicare et al.) is authorized in perpetuity -- or, at any rate, until total societal collapse. If you throw in the interest payments on the debt, that means two-thirds of the federal budget is beyond the control of Congress' so-called federal budget process.

That's why you're reading government "shutdown" stories about the PandaCam at the Washington Zoo and the First Lady's ghost-Tweeters being furloughed.

He segues from there to what passes for a spending prioritization process in the capitol of our national, nee federal, government.

Pace Sen. Reid, Republican proposals to allocate spending through targeted, mere multi-billion-dollar appropriations is not only not "irresponsible" but, in fact, a vast improvement over the "continuing resolution": To modify Lord Acton, power corrupts, but continuing power corrupts continually.

America has no budget process. That's why it's the brokest nation in history. So a budgeting process that can't control the budget in a legislature that can't legislate leads to a government shutdown that shuts down open areas of grassland and the unmanned boat launch on the Bighorn River in Montana.

I've been Tweeting and Facebooking that we're witnessing day whatever-it-is of "Essential Government." In reality, what's still steaming ahead full is well beyond what is essential.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:51 PM | Comments (1)
But nanobrewer thinks:

How's about we put all the mandatory items in Al Gore's lockbox?

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 8, 2013 12:21 AM

March 6, 2013

FILLIBUSTER!

No, not that pansy-assed cloture crap. A stand at the podium and "speak until I can no longer speak" Mister Smith goes to Washington style fillibuster. From "I will not let Obama 'shred the Constitution."

"The point isn’t that anyone in our country is Hitler," Paul said, repeating that he is not comparing anyone to Hitler. "But what I am saying that is in a democracy you could somehow elect someone who is very evil . . . When a democracy gets it wrong, you want the law to be in place."

Video still live here: http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN2/

Damn I'm proud of the United States Senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul.

UPDATE: The Filitracker - israndpaulstilltalking.com HT: Brother Bryan

UPDATE: Senator Rand Paul's fillibuster for individual rights and against an ever more powerful central government attracted an unusual ally to the Republican's side: Code Pink.

Paul’s nearly 13-hour filibuster on the Senate floor — which delayed the vote to confirm John Brennan as director of the CIA — was unusual in that it brought together unlikely allies: libertarian-leaning Republicans, establishment Republicans, Democrats and even left-wing activists like Code Pink.

They're still as misguided a group of lemmings you'll ever see, but it is refreshing to see any willingness to stand with traditional foes over a particular principle. I'll say this for Code Pink: Their principles are almost completely wrong, but at least they have principles.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:36 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

AWESOME ON STILTS!!! (Not conducive to work, but...)

Paul - Ayotte 2016!

Posted by: jk at March 6, 2013 5:03 PM

April 9, 2012

"The president is dangerously close to totalitarianism,"

So says libertarian ex-jurist Andrew Napolitano. And the IBD Editorial Page is inclined to agree.

The whole thrust has been the acquisition of power by the federal government centered on the White House. That is the theme of ObamaCare, which is not about health care but about making people as dependent on government benevolence, if we can use that word, as possible.

Those who stand in the way, whether it be the Supreme Court, Congress or institutions such as the Catholic Church, are to be either ignored when possible, or intimidated and bullied into silence and acquiescence in the proud tradition of President Obama's mentor, Saul Alinsky.

What is at stake here is freedom and whether we shall be governed by a document that begins with "we the people" or whether we shall be ruled, in totalitarian fashion, by a bill that says "the secretary shall determine" what our rights and freedoms are.

I recall my apolitical Texas cousin being bewildered by my warnings of Barack Obama's principles and ambitions prior to the 2008 election. "You're crazy" she said, when I told her he intended to become Robin Hood in the White House, and worse. Last month we had occasion to meet again. She now seems to have accepted that I wasn't just whistling Dixie. Neither is Judge Napolitano.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:00 PM | Comments (0)

July 12, 2011

Now it's getting interesting

On the decorus floor of the United States Senate, the minority leader says the President of the United States wants Americans to have "smoke and mirrors, tax increases, or default."

Even more devastating was "I have little question that as long as this President is in the Oval Office a real solution is probably unattainable."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:55 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

This "titanium spine" business seems to be contagious.

(Follow the link to a HuffPo piece wherein a South Carolina GOP official says, "I do think they think there's a winnability factor here, based on her dynamism and her passion, that they maybe don't see in Mitt Romney.")

Posted by: johngalt at July 12, 2011 3:28 PM
But jk thinks:

She lit the world on fire in her appearance on Kudlow Monday night. Media figures always want to pull up some old social conservative quote, but left to her devices, she talks spending and taxes and liberty in a way none of the others does.

Your linked piece in the comment closes with "She's 50 times smarter than the people who think she's stupid" and I must say that she is easily shaping up to be the pride of the primaries. I find myself drifting into her camp.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2011 4:20 PM

March 15, 2009

At Last, The Government will Protect Us!

Dan Eggen quotes President Obama at the WaPo:

"There are certain things only a government can do," Obama says in the address. "And one of those things is ensuring that the foods we eat, and the medicines we take, are safe and do not cause us harm."

That's all of politics in a nutshell my friends I'm not sure that that appeared in the print edition or is a blog feature, but click through if you want to read about how evil Bush politicized, underfunded and ignored the FDA at the expense of our safety. (You try doing all three of those!)

But this is what one of my favorite bass players would call "the crux of the biscuit." How many voters believe that? I'm afraid too many. A Republican-leaning relative of mine assured me one day that the only reason the grocery store doesn't sell bad meat is USDA regulation. Most people treat me like a crazy old delusional uncle when I tell them stories of the FDA, ImClone, Sam Waksal, and Martha Stewart. They think I am making it up.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:45 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I had forgotten about our nullification discussion, which we can continue since it's now scrolled off.

TG, a warning before you even take a peek: if you wish to have constructive discussion with me, then you'd better cease your logical fallacies and misrepresentations of my own words.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at March 15, 2009 1:07 PM

February 4, 2009

We Cannot Wait!

If we don't pass the stimulus package 500 million Americans will lose their jobs. Well, according to Nancy Pelosi:

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 11:34 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

One more month, and we're talkin' a jobless rate of 400-500%

Posted by: jk at February 5, 2009 10:08 AM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

At this rate, Congress will be unemployed by April.

Hey, wait a minute...

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 5, 2009 10:59 AM

August 13, 2008

Energy Freedom Day

Sign the petition created by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) calling on Congress to let the drilling bans expire on October 1, 2008.

The related blog page can be accessed here.

Hat Tip: Human Events via Wayne at jeremiahfilms.com

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 1, 2008

Thanks Dems

Our Democratic Congress decided to say "no thanks" to an anti-pork measure.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., a former member of the pork-dispensing Appropriations Committee, strongly opposed the moratorium, as did all but a handful of Democrats.

House Democrats such as John Murtha, D-Johnstown, a longtime Pelosi ally who got the "porker of the year" award from Citizens Against Government Waste, a Washington-based watchdog group, weighed in as well. If the Senate won't give up its pork, they argued, why should the House?

Earmarks for road and bridge projects, contracts for local defense companies, and grants to local governments and nonprofits can mean jobs back home. Then there's the political boost that lawmakers running for re-election reap from earmarks, especially endangered freshmen such as Nancy Boyda, D-Kan.


Can we at least pretend they're not trying to bribe us for their jobs?

Or is that too much to ask?

Posted by AlexC at 1:16 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

If the GOP didn't have Sens. Stevens, Cochran, &c, they could take this up as a defining issue. The rallying cry of "we don't suck quite as bad as them!" lacks energy.

Posted by: jk at April 1, 2008 11:10 AM

October 17, 2007

Congress vs the Nazis

Inevitably the comparisons had to be made.

Even after all the political posturing, it came as a surprise to the Democratic Congress that their approval rating of 11% is just half of the favorable rating received by Nazis in a German poll. The approval rate for Democrats was 11% - It was 25% for Nazis when asked if there was anything good to their control of Germany.

President Bush's ratings are within the margin of error.
Congressional insiders are formulating plans to gain more popularity than Nazis. Said one insider, "We never figured that calling President Bush a no good Nazi really meant that he had a higher level of populariity. But there it is."

Posted by AlexC at 9:08 PM

July 23, 2007

Sheehan: Libertarian?

Just in case the Democrats weren't entirely upset with Cindy Sheehan for failing to walk the party line, she decided to write this in the San Francisco Chronicle:


I was a lifelong Democrat only because the choices were limited. The Democrats are the party of slavery and were the party that started every war in the 20th century, except the other Bush debacle. The Federal Reserve, permanent federal income taxes, not one but two World Wars, Japanese concentration camps, and not one but two atom bombs dropped on the innocent citizens of Japan -- all brought to us via the Democrats.

The emphasis is mine. As Don Luskin asks, "Is she some kind of libertarian? In this, she's sounding a lot like Ron Paul."

Posted by Harrison Bergeron at 10:32 PM | Comments (5)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

EEEK!

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at July 24, 2007 9:54 AM
But jk thinks:

Maybe she is. We never got to hear her thoughts on fiscal or monetary policy at Camp Casey.

I watched her deliver the same line to a reporter on Brit Hume's show last night. I did not catch that she said "the other Bush debacle," if that is what she said.

Like my Department of Peace seeking sister-in-law, she will not admit that -- on occasion -- "War is the answer!" Claiming that President Bush pere was unjustified in liberating Kuwait with an international coalition and a UN mandate is like claiming Roosevelt was unjustified in fighting Hitler and Hirohito. Which, of course, she does.

I don't think she's going to do a lot for the Libertarian Brand.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2007 10:35 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

I'm not sure what the hell Sheehan is smoking. She had some good points, especially about the Fed and permanent income taxes. I have to wonder if she's trying to broaden her appeal with a Hillaryesque "say anything" strategy, or if she sincerely believes this. Maybe.

Now, being half Filipino, don't get me started on that wench's claim of "innocent Japanese civilians."

I remember my father saying in 1990 that Bush 41 was showing more backbone than any president since Kennedy. In hindsight, he clearly forgot Reagan, and actually, Bush did little more than beg the UN for permission to do this and that. Never mind that we didn't keep going to Baghdad to finish the job. We didn't even make Saddam disband his army. It's all we could expect from him, really, since he was a diplomat.

Just about everybody forgets that Saddam had kidnapped American civilians. What would Sheehan have done to secure their release? Pure diplomacy that never *once* worked with Saddam? Use spitballs? The proper response, one that required more balls than Bush 41 ever had, would have been to ask Congress for a declaration of war. If the government of one country sends its military to kidnap some civilians of another, or otherwise authorizes/assists/facilitates such seizure, what else can that be but an act of war? And if the One World Government socialists object because we didn't say "General Secretary, may I," then we can give them a far overdue eviction notice from east Manhattan.

Am I the only person in the world who still remembers Saddam's photo-op with the British boy among the hostages? "Have you been getting your milk, Stuart?" The poor kid couldn't have been more than 10. Meanwhile, Saddam was clutching, clutching HARD, that little boy's arm.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 24, 2007 1:09 PM
But jk thinks:

My Mother-in-law grew up in the Philippines under Japanese occupation. I think of her whenever somebody drones on about the "futility of war."

I really do hate to pile on a mother of a fallen US soldier, but I suspect that she picks up catch phrases from the fever-left blogs and parrots them. She was interviewed by Larry Kudlow, this would have given a "real" libertarian a great opportunity to discuss the vicissitudes of the Fed. I cannot believe there is any there there.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2007 1:35 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

That's the thing: that her son died while serving in the military is still no reason for her to have any more authority or credibility in her actions and words, or sanctuary from criticism. Her son died in Iraq? Big ******* deal, as far as I'm concerned. I don't even have sympathy for her anymore. It's sad her son died, but he chose to *re-enlist* after the invasion began, and by trying to twist his death, the woman squandered any pity or well-wishing I had for *her*.

You can "consider the source" when questioning whether something is true, but in matters of opinion, ultimately it is the argument itself that matters, not the person. As much as I hate to admit it, Sheehan said a couple of nice things in her piece, and the Democrats sometimes have points about the wiretapping and Gonzales.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 24, 2007 8:19 PM

July 11, 2007

Dems and the iPhone

I guess Congress is all out of things to worry about.

The iPhone "highlights both the promise and the problems of the wireless industry today," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecom and the Internet. "This cutting edge technology breaks new ground … [but] consumers can't use this service with other wireless carriers" and those in areas not reached by AT&T cannot use the iPhone at all, he said.

Apple signed an agreement with AT&T to serve as the sole cell phone service provider for the iPhone. Those who purchase the iPhone, therefore, must switch to AT&T in order for their phone to work, incurring cancellation fees from current providers and locking themselves into a two-year contract with AT&T.

"Consumers feel trapped," Markey said at a hearing about regulation in the wireless industry.

"The iPhone could still change the world and be available for any consumer on any network, but we won't know until 2012, the year that AT&T's American exclusivity runs out," said Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa. "I think it's time the consumer becomes a decider, not the cell phone carriers."


Michigan Republican Fred Upton has a sensible rejoinder.
"Competition spurs carriers to innovate and build a better mousetrap," he said. "The iPhone is the newest mousetrap and now other carriers will be working to top it."

Amen... and I say that as an iPhone owner.

Posted by AlexC at 8:54 PM | Comments (2)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Even the Republicans can't get it right. Innovation is completely irrelevant. It's about choice: you don't have to buy the thing in the first place. You also do not have the right to force someone to sell you goods or services on terms the seller doesn't want.

Now pardon me while I go complain to XM that I need to buy a satellite radio unit in order to receive their broadcasts.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 11, 2007 10:35 PM
But jk thinks:

Fine for you guys to be flip. When Rep Markey and I think of those poor children, outside of the AT&T service area, who have to settle for Razrs and Chocolate phones instead of iPhones...(sniff)...having to have an iPod and a phone...it's almost too much to bear.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2007 9:21 AM

June 28, 2007

Fighting Back

A stunningly lame attack by the Democrats and the AP on Fred!'s lobbying jobs has resulted in some return fire from Fred!

... and then he punched a dirty hippie for good measure.

I love it. It's totally red-meat, but it's nice to hear that kind of talk from a politician not a talking head.

Well, I sort of take that back.

There's this too.

Congressional Republicans changing "Shame Shame Shame" in response to a Democrat switcheroo.

Posted by AlexC at 1:04 AM

May 20, 2007

Pelosi, Murtha & Rogers

Despite not having any idea of the exchange between Jack Murtha and Mike Rogers on the House floor, Nancy Pelosi is defending him.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is defending a close Democratic ally whom Republicans want to reprimand for threatening a GOP lawmaker's spending projects.

Pelosi, D-Calif., said she had "no idea what actually happened" during a noisy exchange in the House chamber last week between Reps. John P. Murtha, D-Pa., and Mike Rogers, R-Mich.

"What I do know is that U.S. Rep. Murtha has , enjoys , an excellent reputation in the Congress on both sides of the aisle," said Pelosi in a broadcast interview taped Friday and aired Sunday.


It's too bad this whole issue about someone's ability to add pork to a bill.

Posted by AlexC at 2:13 PM

February 22, 2007

Nancy Polling

The Trekmedic is polling.

Squeaker of the Mouse Nancy Pelosi has spoken effusively about her children and grandchildren and how they've shaped her management style. Yet, she is the de facto head of the Democratic Party, which supports abortion on-demand and every level of government involvement.

Make a difference.

Posted by AlexC at 11:12 PM

October 23, 2006

The Race

Senate

Connecticut: Ned Lamont
Maryland: Ben Cardin
Michigan: Debbie Stanbenow
Missouri: Claire McCaskill
Montana: Jon Tester
New Jersey: Bob Menendez
Tennessee: Harold Ford
Virginia: James Webb

Democrat Held Seats

(CO-03): John Salazar
(GA-03): Jim Marshall
(GA-12): John Barrow
(IA-03): Leonard Boswell
(IL-08): Melissa Bean
(IL-17): Phil Hare
(IN-07): Julia Carson
(NC-13): Brad Miller
(PA-12): John Murtha
(WV-01): Alan Mollohan

Republican Held Seats

(AZ-08): Gabrielle Giffords
(CT-04): Diane Farrell
(CT-05): Chris Murphy
(CO-07): Ed Perlmutter
(IA-01): Bruce Braley
(IL-06): Tammy Duckworth
(IN-02): Joe Donnelly
(IN-08): Brad Ellsworth
(IN-09): Baron Hill
(FL-13): Christine Jennings
(FL-16): Tim Mahoney
(FL-22): Ron Klein
(KY-03): John Yarmuth
(NC-01): Heath Shuler
(MN-06): Patty Wetterling
(NM-01): Patricia Madrid
(NY-20): Kirsten Gillibrand
(NY-24): Michael Arcuri
(NY-26): Jack Davis
(OH-15): Mary Jo Kilroy
(OH-18): Zack Space
(PA-06): Lois Murphy
(PA-08): Patrick Murphy
(PA-07): Joe Sestak
(PA-10): Chris Carney
(VA-02): Phil Kellam
(WI-08): Steve Kagen

What's this all about?

See here.

Posted by AlexC at 12:16 PM | Comments (1)
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Sestak got slapped around pretty good in the last Welson/Sestak debate.

The Inkwaster came out yesterday and endorsed Casey over Santorum.

But,..the same Inky endorsed Fitzpatrick over Murphy today.

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at October 23, 2006 9:39 PM

October 18, 2006

PA-06: First Responders

I caught this blog post in my news reader.

    Last year I partnered my company with the Whitpain Township Firefighter's Association as well as the Police Association to organize and host the 1st Annual John Kulick Memorial Golf Outing. Some background on the event, John was killed in Iraq last year and left behind a nine-year-old daughter.

    As the father of a soon to be ten year old, and as a first responder, and retired US Army Officer I take my responsibilities in association with John's event very seriously.

    I am writing this blog to make you aware of the response we received from Candidate for Congress Lois Murphy's office today when we called to follow up on the mailing we sent her campaign office two weeks ago.

    As this is an election year I thought it might be a good idea to contact local candidates and office holders to gain their support of the event. When I approached [State] Senator Rob Wonderling he could not get his checkbook out soon enough to sponsor a hole. When you factor in that most of the people attending our event do not live in his district you start to get the feeling that Senator Wonderling actually acted out of respect for John and other First Responders.

    Ms. Murphy is another story. Her representative's exact response was that they WERE NOT INTERESTED in supporting an event held to raise money for the children of deceased First Responders. Ms. Murphy is running for Congress on the Democratic ticket and could actually end up representing some of those reading this.


That's really ironic, because about six weeks ago, Lois Murphy was railing on Jim Gerlach for not supporting first responders.
    But Murphy, through a spokeswoman, said Gerlach could have done more to support emergency services in the district.

    "Throughout his two decades as a career politician, Jim Gerlach has failed to support first responders and has voted twice (while in the state Senate) against providing $5 million for volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania," said Amy Bonitatibus, communications director for the Murphy campaign.

    In Congress, Murphy will fight to ensure that first responders have the resources they need to do their jobs, she said.

    "Pennsylvania's first responders deserve more than a part-time supporter in Congress," Bonitatibus said.


One would think that with $870K on hand, she could buy a hole for a worthy cause.

Update: Jim Gerlach steps up.

    An update on my Lois Murphy Blog. Earlier this morning a check arrived for a hole sponsorship from Representative Jim Gerlach's office. This was as a result of the same mailing that Ms. Murphy's office rejected. Please note that his office and representatives have nothing to do with my blogs or e-mails on this subject. His office donated money based on their own decision making process, which I applaud.

Posted by AlexC at 12:45 AM | Comments (2)
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Hypocrisy rules the day.

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at October 18, 2006 9:16 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Actually, she's not a hypocrite. And I will tell you why she's *worse*.

She doesn't want to spend *her own money* in charitable endeavors. She wants to do that using tax money, i.e. *other people's money*.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 18, 2006 11:26 AM

October 8, 2006

Foley Must Read

William Krystol

Posted by AlexC at 9:26 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Kristol makes excellent points, and in a better world, I would rather be on the GOP side of this debate.

In this world, however.

Patty Wetterling's ad will not be rebutted by any media fact checking and the conversation will crowd out the Republican message. It's been a week and two weekends and we're still talking about for cryin' out loud.

It interrupted a nice GOP bounce back and threatens to take all the air out of other discussion until Nov 7.

Posted by: jk at October 9, 2006 12:00 PM

June 30, 2006

NC - 13th District

Vernon Robinson is running in North Carolina's 13th CD, against Congressman Brad Miller, whom he labels "ultra-liberal."

Here's the kind of political ad you almost never see, so it's bound to get national attention.

The Twilight Zone.

Posted by AlexC at 12:10 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Miller does have a liberal record (90% ADA rating) but he won by 19 points in a 52-47% Kerry district. I cannot imagine Mr. Robinson's rhetoric will charge up the voters as much as the blogosphere.

There may be something in that commercial for everybody to hate -- he's a uniter!

Posted by: jk at June 30, 2006 1:04 PM

June 28, 2006

PA - 12

Robert Novak:

    Rep. John Murtha (D.-Pa.) appears to be suffering "Daschle-itis," a figurative disease which makes entrenched incumbents become national celebrities and, in the process, risk alienating the voters that put them in office.

    Since seizing his party's anti-war mantle, Murtha has become a great draw for Democratic fundraisers, helping his party boost its prospects for a congressional takeover. Naturally, this helps his party-leadership bid as well.

    But at the same time, his outspokenness made him a huge target for the Internet right. His district went for John Kerry with only 51% in 2004. What originally seemed like a long-shot bid by Diana Irey (R.) to unseat Murtha has taken on new credibility as she raises money from the Internet and as Murtha makes more and more outrageous statements.


One of the downsides of a vocal leadership role for Congressman is that the local voters still have to cast their ballots.

Inside the 12th district, opinion is mixed.

    Ruth Ann Biesinger-Sliko, 55, a physical education teacher who came to see a fellow teacher and six of her former students return from Iraq, said Murtha has lost her vote because of his negativity about the war.

    "I think that makes the guys feel terrible when he starts, you know, bashing. I think you need to support the guys," Biesinger-Sliko said. "I think it's created a lot of bad feelings for the people whose families are over there."


and
    "I just believe everything he says is very true," said Cindy Saylor, 49, whose 19-year-old son was among those who returned home. "I think we need to get out of there. People are getting killed needlessly."

.. and finally.
    Tom Geiger, a 79-year-old World War II veteran, said he thinks Murtha is "50 percent right and 50 percent wrong."

    "Maybe they should have searched a little bit more" for weapons of mass destruction, Geiger said. "But once you're into it, you're stuck with it."

Posted by AlexC at 5:13 PM

June 7, 2006

The Last Word on CA-50

50 Congressional Districts! Damn. That's a big state.

Anyway, Michael Barone gets the last word on this race.

Basically, bad news for both parties.

    Democrats had hopes that an enraged Democratic base would turn out in larger numbers proportionately than an apparently discouraged Republican base. That didn't happen. That's not a good sign for Democrats in November. Republicans won in 2002 and 2004 in large part because they won the battle of turnout: John Kerry won 16 percent more popular votes than Al Gore, but George W. Bush won 23 percent more popular votes in 2004 than in 2000. The totals from the California 50th suggest that Democrats are gaining only a very small advantage in differential turnout this year, even though the national polls show Bush in much worse shape than in 2004 and suggest that Republican Party identification is down slightly.
...
    The bad news for Republicans is that there is now more splintering on the right than on the left. Back in 2000, some 2 percent of voters nationally voted for Ralph Nader, even though there was no hot-button issue like Iraq to differentiate him from Al Gore. Less than 0.5 percent in contrast voted for Pat Buchanan. Conservatives were more unified than liberals. Now it seems to be the other way around. Discontent with Bush and/or the Republican Congress over immigration, spending, pork-barrel projects, the Dubai ports deal, the Republican leadership's protests over the search of Democrat Bill Jefferson's office—you can probably add a few items to the list—has now evidently got more voters on the right willing to cast a protest vote.
Overall, he calls it worse for the Democrats.

Ok ok ok... Dean Barnett too.

    If Busby does go down to defeat, (which given the support she has received from the nutroots seems all but inevitable), and her ridiculous “misstatement” is a leading cause for said defeat, then the entire episode should prove instructive for those of us in the pundit class. It is true that the Republican Party has become frustrating on a good day, pathetic on a bad one. But in order to win all the individual races out there, the Democrats will have to provide a superior alternative. Given the state of the Democratic Party, this promises to be no easy feat.

    You’d have to say the California 50th race was a winnable one for the Democrats, even if it weren’t the year of a putative Democratic tidal wave. After all, the former Republican incumbent now sports an orange jump suit. And yet, it appears like it won’t work out because the Democratic candidate just wasn’t up to snuff.

Posted by AlexC at 11:06 PM

CA-50: The Fourth Round

Hotline On Call writes about the Dems chances this fall.

    Much of the Dem post-primary spin has centered on the fact that Francine Busby performed capably given the Republican nature of CA 50.

    But if Democrats plan on winning back the House, they’re going to have to win races in even redder territory. In fact, almost half of the Dems’ top pickup opportunities are in districts that Bush carried with over 55% in 2004.


So is this a local election year, or a nationalized election? I can't tell.

Posted by AlexC at 8:35 PM

More on CA-50

William Young, the Penultimate Genius, writes...

    But as I've argued many times, the donkeys are clueless, planless, idealess, hate-America/hate-Bush anti-war types who only want to get back in power so they can empanel their own to hold "investigative" hearings that would harass the Bush Administration, the military, the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, the DHS, and FEMA. Plus, they'd try like hell to impeach Bush just because. Just because. That's a waste of time.

    And nobody is going to vote for it.


It's no secret that that is the plan for Congressional Democrats. Even with Bush @ 33% or 36%, people don't want to impeach for spite.

Posted by AlexC at 11:40 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Sadly, though, that is not so much a Republican win as a missed chance to lose.

Bush won in 2004 by eleven points, Duke Cunningham, I mean Rep. #84117954, won by 22 points the same year.

I'm always optimistic, and the Dems sure have their fair share of troubles, but I am successful in my fight against over-confidence. Rs don't have to vote for a D, they just have to stay home.

Posted by: jk at June 7, 2006 2:29 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Taranto says Gore and Kerry got 44% in that same district. That's all a Dem can get there.

Posted by: AlexC at June 7, 2006 4:19 PM

March 16, 2006

Congress: WTF?

This one warrants today's "WTF award."

Just read the whole thing.

Posted by AlexC at 6:49 PM

February 16, 2006

Earmarks

If you have a legislative assistant for appropriations isn't that a sign that maybe this whole earmarks thing has gone too far?

    Sen. Arlen Specter helped direct almost $50 million in Pentagon spending during the past four years to clients of the husband of one of his top aides, records show.

    Specter, R-Pa., used a process called "earmarking" 13 times to set aside $48.7 million for six clients represented by lobbyist Michael Herson and the firm he co-founded, American Defense International. The clients paid Herson's firm nearly $1.5 million in fees since 2002, federal lobbying records show.

    Herson's wife, Vicki Siegel Herson, is Specter's legislative assistant for appropriations. She deals with Specter's work on the Senate Appropriations Committee and its defense subcommittee, where all the earmarks originated. Siegel, who uses her maiden name at work, is a former lobbyist for defense contractors who has worked for Specter since 1999.

Posted by AlexC at 1:30 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

She reports to the Deputy Administrator of Graft...

Posted by: jk at February 16, 2006 3:26 PM

February 8, 2006

McCain Lobbying Reform

The other day I blogged about Senator McCain and his lobbyist reform package.

At the time, I had said....

    But somehow, just somehow, something nags in me and says "Reform? Don't trust him."

    Senator McCain is, afterall, one of the fathers of the Campaign Finance Reform shackles which bind personal spending in a most unConstitutional way. Now he's interested in reforming the operation of K Street lobbyists?


and...
    But I can only imagine how this "reform" is going to turn out. We're going to get screwed. The right kind of lobbyist will skate on through.

My friend Tim Chapman over at Townhall went looking around the lobbying reform bill and writes...
    Case in point is a little known provision tucked away in Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) lobby reform proposal (S. 2128) that would adversely affect many grassroots organizations on the right and left. If McCain’s provision stays in tact, grassroots organizations would for the first time be subject to requirements and regulations that would devastate their ability to reach out to the general public.

    The way McCain’s provision is written, “grassroots lobbying” means “any attempt to influence the general public, or segments thereof, to engage in lobbying contacts whether or not those contacts were made on behalf of a client.” So grassroots organizations could be prohibited from reaching out to people not already included in their membership. This legislation would seriously curtail many groups’ abilities to get their message out and arguably infringes on their 1st Amendment free speech rights.


I'll be damned.
    This is not the first time this issue has come up. In 1994, Congress considered enacting legislation but was beat back by a coalition of grassroots organizations featuring a political odd couple: Planned Parenthood and the National Right to Life Council.

Being that I'm a member a grassroots group that does at some level in an attempt to influence the general public (see the Pennsylvania legislative payraise and repeal issue this summer), stuff like this really gets under my skin. This group operates at the state level, however.

What is it with Senator McCain and his problem with the First Amendment?

Posted by AlexC at 8:45 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Ohhh - I'll take that one! The First Amendment is a huge threat to incumbency. Senator McCain calls himself a Republican but he is really an incumbent.

Posted by: jk at February 9, 2006 10:26 AM
But AlexC thinks:

A friend of mine once told me it's the Incumbent Party vs everyone else.

I'm beginning to believe him.

Posted by: AlexC at February 9, 2006 12:26 PM

February 7, 2006

Rhode Island - Senate

It's time for another episode of the left wing's favorite TV, "Internecine". Where generally agreeable free-market capitalist types feast on their own to find out who reigns supreme.

The opening volley begins with an editorial from the National Review.

    The argument that conservatives should support Chafee rests entirely on the assumption that he's the only Republican who can win in Rhode Island. This logic may be what has led the National Republican Senatorial Committee to continue throwing resources behind him. The assumption may or may not be true, but, whatever the case, it is far from clear that the GOP — to say nothing of conservatives — gains anything from Chafee's continued presence in the Senate. When votes really matter, he can't be counted on. Positions such as the one he took on Alito allow Democrats and the media to speak of "bipartisan opposition" to the Bush administration. And if the GOP's majority ever depended on Chafee alone, there's every reason to believe he'd bolt the party, just as James Jeffords of Vermont did in 2001.

    There is an alternative. Steven Laffey, the Republican mayor of Cranston, is running against Chafee in the September primary. His underdog campaign has shown both pluck and promise. Laffey has a track record of winning Democratic votes: That's the only way he could have been elected two times as mayor of Cranston, a city of about 80,000 residents, most of them Democrats. But on key issues, Laffey is a conservative: He supports tax cuts and the war in Iraq, opposes corporate welfare and other forms of wasteful spending, and is pro-life. The Club for Growth has decided to back him. His campaign has unfortunately chosen to bash "Big Oil" in some of its early advertising — but, as we said, it's difficult to be a Republican in Rhode Island.


Nothing quite like picking at a scab. Read their whole editorial.

Posted by AlexC at 6:30 PM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

I had opposed this before on the grounds that Chafee votes for GOP leadership in the Senate and I think that the NR folks gloss over that lightly and that Committee Chairpersonships are important. Before Jeffords, the Democrats tried Chafee and he held.

The Club For Growth and certainly jk have limited resources to spend on elections. My point remains that there are better plays out there than Laffey's primary bid.

The editorial made me even less enthused after I read that Laffey is bashing big oil in his early ads. That portends poorly in a state where there will be intense pressure to "grow" in office; he might grow into a new Lincoln Chafee!

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2006 7:23 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Well bashing big oil doesn't make him any different than Arlen Specter. http://www.threesources.com/archives/002323.html
.. and you defended him.

What important is what NRO outlined where Laffey beats Chafee.
"He supports tax cuts and the war in Iraq, opposes corporate welfare and other forms of wasteful spending"

Spirit of '94.

Posted by: AlexC at February 8, 2006 12:44 AM
But jk thinks:

Scurrilous charge! I believe that I have said exactly ONE nice thing about Senator Specter in four years of blogging. That was a well deserved kudo for his handling of the Alito hearings (where I was joined by many conservatives including Sugar Chuck who had convinced me to support the Toomey primary bid [which I did]).

I supported the Toomey bid because Specter was set to chair the Judiciary Committee and I didn't expect the future kudos I'd be sending his way.

I would support a primary against Voinovich in Ohio; I would not mind trying to bump Hegel in Nebraska (although a perusal of his voting record in the Almanac looks good). States where you could conceivably take out a wishy-washy-lican and have a good shot at electing a real conservative -- I'm in!

I'll even applaud a Quixotic thrust at a Chafee, Snowe, or Collins. I'm just going to spend my money where I feel it will have a better impact.

Defending Specter, jeez, the abuse I take around here...

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2006 10:43 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Over the weekend I heard Voinovich say nice things about John Bolton - no more tears! Still think he should go? (I don't know much more about him, I'm just askin'.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2006 10:48 AM
But jk thinks:

"Lachrymose George" came on my radar the day insisted that the final committee version of the 2003 tax cuts could not exceed $350 Billion or he wouldn't support them. From The Almanac of American Politics:

"Voinovich came to the Senate, after 32 years in public office, as a big government Republican, willing to back tax increases as he did in 1992 but dubious about cutting them, as he was in 1999 and 2000. In his previous positions he had been required to balance budgets, and he seemed viscerally repelled by deficits. In 1999 he voted against the Republicans' $792 billion tax cut, against the smaller Democratic tax cut, and against the bipartisan moderates' compromise tax cut. In April 2000 he was one of two Republicans to vote against the Republican budget. In July 2000 he was one of four Republicans to vote against estate tax repeal and the only Republican to vote against marriage penalty relief. He did support the Bush tax cuts in May 2001, when it looked as if the surplus would be permanent. In October 2001 he worked to scale back the tax cuts in House Republicans' stimulus package. In February 2003 he came out against the $700 billion Bush tax cut and in April he and Olympia Snowe insisted they would back no cut higher than $350 billion. That led Finance Chairman Charles Grassley and Majority Leader Bill Frist to say they would insist on that figure from conference, to the rage of the House Republican leadership."

EEEW! Again, browsing the "key votes," his other votes look pretty good: no to an ANWR ban, Yes to Iraq war funding. I'd take points off for backing an Assault Weapons ban, shrug my shoulders at a "Y" on same-sex marriage ban. He opposed Roe V. Wade and supported a partial-birth abortion ban -- I doubt if either votes gets him support from JohnGalt.

Posted by: jk at February 8, 2006 11:11 AM
But AlexC thinks:

Ok, maybe defended was too harsh a term.

Oh, here's some more commentary this AM.
http://www.eaglepub.com/evans_and_novak.html
"Republicans in Rhode Island say that Sen. Chafee had given private assurances that he would be supporting the Alito Supreme Court nomination. His reversal on this issue drew a public rebuke from his most reluctant supporter, popular Gov. Don Carcieri (R), and endangers him in his primary race against Cranston Mayor Stephen Laffey (R). Laffey must now be considered the narrow frontrunner in the Republican Senate primary after crossing the $1-million mark and outraising Chafee in individual contributions for the quarter."

Posted by: AlexC at February 8, 2006 12:29 PM

February 1, 2006

The Spotlight

One of the downsides of being a public figure is that you're constantly photographed.

Like this of the Junior Senator from New York.

Breaks my heart, really.

On that note, GOP and the College is running a caption contest!

No really, I'm fine... the botox will wear off in a little bit.

Posted by AlexC at 10:57 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

"I'll be the first black woman president." "PPPHT! No... I'LL be the first black woman president!"

Posted by: johngalt at February 2, 2006 2:53 PM
But jk thinks:

Alan Riding in the NYTimes says:

"In that sense, perhaps the duel is over who sets the rules: the photographer decides when to press the shutter, but the subject can decide how much he or she reveals."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/26/arts/design/26cart.html?ex=1139029200&en=efaff45c85c18ad1&ei=5070

Posted by: jk at February 2, 2006 3:16 PM

November 18, 2005

Voting to Leave Iraq

What has happened to the GOP leadership lately?

    House Republicans, sensing an opportunity for political advantage, maneuvered for a quick vote and swift rejection Friday of a Democratic lawmaker's call for an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq.

    "We want to make sure that we support our troops that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. "We will not retreat."


Bush fights back, Cheney fights back, the Dems with Cong. Murtha volley back, now we'll see where we stand.

Are the Republicans going to start acting like a majority?

The Dems might regret this vote. If they vote "wrong" they will be labelled a) pro-war by the left or b) "cut and runners" by the right.

The final count won't be close. We'll stay in Iraq to finish the job.

Posted by AlexC at 4:47 PM | Comments (7)
But AlexC thinks:

If the measure fails, what will speak louder to the "Arab street"?

a) The country is behind the war again, officially.
b) Dissent gets an up or down vote.
c) What vote? A Congressman, Jack Murtha wants us to leave Iraq.

Posted by: AlexC at November 18, 2005 5:30 PM
But AlexC thinks:

The cut and run caucus has two Democrats and one Republican in it.

Posted by: AlexC at November 18, 2005 11:38 PM
But jk thinks:

No, I think the dishonor may be contained by the aisle: "Three Democrats, Jose Serrano of New York, Robert Wexler of Florida and Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, voted for withdrawal. Six voted present: Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington; Jerrold Nadler, Maurice Hinchey and Major Owens of New York; Michael Capuano of Massachusetts and William Lacy Clay of Missouri."

http://pajamasmedia.com/newsml/html/politics/2005/11/19/6441149_Lawmakers_Reject.shtml

Posted by: jk at November 19, 2005 1:18 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Damn. I coulda sworn I heard a Georgia Republican vote YEA. Damn you C-SPAN!

Posted by: AlexC at November 19, 2005 2:59 PM
But AlexC thinks:

I'm not crazy! But the brave GOPer that voted YEA later changed his vote!
http://www.noendbutvictory.com/?p=39

Posted by: AlexC at November 19, 2005 4:28 PM
But jk thinks:

Profiles in Courage, eh?

Posted by: jk at November 20, 2005 11:54 AM

Elephants Memories

I'm really enjoying the ClubForGrowth Blog. I saw this article over there.

    An enraged Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) confronted Reps. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) last week, excoriating them for lampooning his notorious “Bridge to Nowhere” as a multibillion-dollar boondoggle.

    The chairman of the Transportation Committee had caught wind that the $223 million bridge was indeed going nowhere — and most House members learned yesterday that the project, which has caused Republicans acute embarrassment for two months, is being killed. So is another span, the $229 million “Don Young Way.”

    According to witnesses, Young warned Flake and Musgrave that he planned to stay in Congress a long time and would not forget the stinging defeat.


Another ringing endorsement for term limits.

Republicans are the party of fiscal restraint. Not a reigning (aka eternally re-elected) monarchy to re-distribute the treasures of the nation.

Is that too much to ask?

Posted by AlexC at 4:31 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

What is with the Great State of Alaska? Too many years of Ted Stevens in the Senate?

Posted by: jk at November 18, 2005 6:02 PM
But AlexC thinks:

The threat of being cut off is causing severe nipple separation anxiety.

Posted by: AlexC at November 18, 2005 6:38 PM

July 5, 2005

Tom Delay's Trips

From the Washington Post...

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) filed delinquent reports Friday for three trips she accepted from outside sponsors that were worth $8,580 and occurred as long as seven years ago, according to copies of the documents.

    The filing is among hundreds of revisions from members of both parties who have amended missing or incomplete reports as scrutiny of lawmaker travel has intensified.

    The most expensive trip was not reported on Pelosi's annual financial disclosure statement or on the travel disclosure form that is required within 30 days of a trip.

    A more common violation among members filing corrections was to list a trip on the annual statement but not file the more detailed form about a specific trip. The House ethics committee plans to examine the tardy disclosures after being stalled since January in partisan disputes.


What did Congressman Delay do again?

Something about building a glass house.

Oh wait.

That was those other guys. :)

Posted by AlexC at 12:00 AM | Comments (3)
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Ah yes, the old everybody is doing it defense. Look out though, you might get reviewed by the House Ethics committee - ooh, not that.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at July 5, 2005 10:20 AM
But AlexC thinks:

I'm not defending it... I'm revelling in the rich irony of Democrats being guilty of the same thing Delay (and from what it seems, most of Congress) is guilty of.

It was criminal when it was just him. Now it's just embarrassing.

Posted by: AlexC at July 5, 2005 3:01 PM
But Silence Dogood thinks:

Yes, I too get the irony, although I sort of take it as a given that most members of Congress are ethically dirty. Then again we have no real punishment system for ethical violations so why should we be suprised that they continue or have become commonplace?

Posted by: Silence Dogood at July 6, 2005 12:26 PM