A New Can Of Worms
23 January 2004
To Bad the IL GOP Won't Exploit This

Rich Miller's Weekly Column suggests the GOP can make gains on social issues in conservative downstate districts:

"Several downstate Democratic Senators have been worrying for months about the impression their newly empowered party is making on their conservative constituents. Many have predicted that the Republicans would do just what they're doing now.

If these attacks are seen as a real threat, any overtly liberal bills (particularly the gay rights bill that's sitting in the Senate) are probably doomed this year. But, as Sen. Sullivan's opponent showed, even bills that are introduced and never move an inch could be used as ammunition. There's probably nothing the downstaters can do about that."

This does two things. If President Bush runs on protecting marriage agains a MA Democrat, Illinois comes into play. Second, this strategy could work for a Republican Senatorial nominee as well. The bad news is that the IL GOP coalition is divided. The heirarchy of the state party is courting the same Gay, Lesbian Task Force members that make up the Chicago Democratic base.

Conservative Democrats are ripe for the picking in rurual Illinois. Too bad this opportunity won't be addressed.
22 January 2004
Why I Agree with the Governor on ISBE

The Chicago Tribune notes that the ISBE is not going out without a fight:

"Board members contended that the governor's plan would politicize education in Illinois. Pointing out that the eight-member board is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats and includes appointees from across the state, Supt. of Education Robert Schiller said Blagojevich's proposal would politicize education in Illinois.

'Education is being hijacked by politics,' he said. 'This is an opportunity for one person to control education in Illinois, instead of nine people from around the state. This is about power, and him getting more of it.'"

I believe the politicizing education is a good thing. For one, the Governor will now be accountable. One man in control means one man to vote out of office, not 9 unelected men. It's called democracy, the ISBE should learn about it. Another reason is that once we get our guy, I know, I know it will be awhile, we'll be able to begin implementing our policies.
21 January 2004
The State Journal Register gets it right on the Pickering recess appointment:

"By resorting to a recess appointment to install Pickering on the Fifth Circuit, Bush has sent the Senate Democrats the message that he refuses to accept a tyranny of the minority, that he means to challenge their obstructionism.

'Their tactics,' the president said, 'are inconsistent with the Senate's constitutional responsibility.' Their mistreatment of judicial nominees - like Pickering, like Brown and Kuhl, like Owen and Pryor - is 'hurting our judicial system.'

SOME DEMOCRATS will defend the actions by noting that Republicans have been obstructionist in the past. Their mothers surely would instruct them that two wrongs do not make a right.

Two fundamental principles ought to apply whether a Republican or a Democrat is in the Oval Office, whether Republicans or Democrats hold a majority in the Senate: A president's judicial nominee ought to receive an up or down vote. And a simple majority of senators ought to determine whether the nominee is confirmed."

Expect more of the same from the President.
The Trib's Blind Spot

Today's Chicago Tribune editorial, Bush's blind spot, attempts to get at the crux of the Bush Administration "dilemma" regarding the current spending spree:

"Yet Bush's political calculus saddles the nation with two problems. First, the cost of his tax cuts will grow exponentially over time, putting more pressure on the federal treasury and on tomorrow's taxpayers. Second, Bush hasn't cut the spending that he needs to curb dramatically in order to justify making his tax cuts permanent."

First, the notion that tax cuts costs the government assumes that it is the government's money to begin with. I would argue that tax hikes cost us and if it is between the two -- let the government eat cake. Second, is the notion that the treasury and tomorrow's taxpayers will pay for it. No they won't. Lack of economic growth will cost both the treasury and the taxpayer down the road far more than government which is what we would have had without the tax cuts and which won't be long term growth if the tax cuts aren't permanent.

Second, after what happened to Bush 41, no national politician on the Republican side is going to vote for tax hikes. That means the pressure will grow to curb spending, if anything. That's why I'm fairly comfortable with efforts to term limit appropriators and comfortable with President Bush. Because of poor assumptions, it's the Tribune editorial board that has the blind spot.
20 January 2004
The Angry Left

The Drudge Report has the the Dean the audio from last night.

Byron York just comes out and states it: Dean Loses It.

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