A New Can Of Worms
13 August 2004
Inside Politics - The Washington Times: Inside Politics Pickus up on yesterday's American Spectator piece:

"Ready for Bulfinch
Illinois Senate candidate Barack Obama's charmed political life troubles the American Spectator's Mike Van Winkle and Greg Blankenship... "

They quote extensively from our column. I imagine the long knives will be out for us. Good.

Lot's Of Drama at the Illinois State Fair

The ghost of Tonya Harding may be present...
12 August 2004
Very Ominous

From Rich Miller:

"DOC LOSS MAY BE INCREASING The president of a Belleville hospital claimed this week that Metro-East hospitals could lose as many as 161 physicians by the end of the year. If true, and the president did not disclose the names of the departed and departing physicians, that would be double what had been predicted. The Metro-East has very high medical malpractice insurance rates, which the docs claim are driving them out of the region and the state. "
I Told You So

Last September the Illinois Policy Institute noted the potential terror threat from reimportation. You can read the policy brief here (in .PDF).

Today, we note the USA Today Headline "Already against drug imports, FDA raises specter of terror":

"Cues from chatter' gathered around the world are raising concerns that terrorists might try to attack the domestic food and drug supply, particularly illegally imported prescription drugs, acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Lester Crawford says.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Crawford said Wednesday that he had been briefed about al-Qaeda plans uncovered during recent arrests and raids, but declined further comment about any possible threats.

'While we must assume that such a threat exists generally, we have no specific information now about any al-Qaeda threats to our food or drug supply,' said Brian Roehrkasse, spokesman for the Homeland Security Department.

Crawford said the possibility of such an attack was the most serious of his concerns about the increase in states and municipalities trying to import drugs from Canada to save money.

'We get our cues from chatter that occurs around the world, which is related to us by the intelligence community, and also from past incidents and things that happened domestically,' he said. "

Of course both Keyes and Obama, according to Illinois Leader, support reimportation. Unfortunate timing, unh?

OTS at The American Spectator

Mike and I look at the Obama Myth...
11 August 2004
I'm looking forward to This

Jeff Trigg has a great post regarding the US Senate debate and some critieria Eric Zorn suggested. However, I don't think Eric Zorn is going to like it that much:

"The Chicago Tribune should do a poll of it's readers and ask them which columnist they prefer, John Kass or Mary Schmich. Just those two names in the poll. If Eric Zorn doesn't get 10% in that poll, then he should quit his job of the Tribune should can him. I think that's more than fair and perfectly analogous to Zorn's proposal about including Libertarians in the debates.

You can't get 10% in the polls if you're not included in the polls. And you can't poll 10% unless you're in the debates but you have to get 10% to be in the debates. That is arbitrary and is no basis to decide FOR the voters who their choices are. Jesse Ventura didn't even poll 10% before the debates and he won. There were no such things as polls for most of history either. In Illinois, if you meet the incredibly high requirements to be on the ballot you should be in the debates. That's it."

My sense is that Eric won't take up Jeff's challenge...

10 August 2004
Big Hill to Climb for Keyes

Rich Miller runs down the Polls:

"According to the poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, Obama leads Keyes among men 59-36; among women 74-21; among 18 to 34 year-olds 67-29; among 35 to 49 year-olds 63-31; among 50-64 year-olds 70-25; among 65 and older 69-25; among whites 62-32; among blacks 89-10; among Hispanics 63-28. Republicans side with Keyes over Obama 67-27, but Obama beats Keyes with Democrats 92-4 and with independents 64-30. Obama leads Keyes in Chicago 79-16; in suburban Cook 74-20; in the collar counties 62-34; and in downstate 56-38. "

The Alan Keyes selection has been universally panned. Rich Miller seems to infer that 35% for Keyes will be tough to do. If Keyes is competent, he'll get 40% of the vote -- easy. But, again, that's a big "if." Keyes and a lot on the right in Illinois are big on fighting "on principle." Well, polling data pretty clearly states that center-right prinicples have already won. It's time to stop fighting the last war. My point is clearly evident in a white paper on the Presidential Election prepared by Newt Gingrich.

On issues such as school choice, the role of God in society, tax cuts and growth, judges and the survival of the Nation, America agrees with the center-right. Gingrich's mantra is that Bush-Cheney needs to slow the campaign down and look at the facts. It is readily apparent to me from the interviews that I've seen and heard that Amb. Keyes is not going to do that. That's too bad, because if he were to stop referencing 19th century principles (not that there is anything wrong with them) and reference say... Obama's pro-criminal votes, or Obama's support for racial quotas, or Obama's support for tax hikes, or support socialized medicine Keyes might make a dent in things.

Illinoisans are practical people and right now -- because of the Chicago Tribune's obsession with divorce records (Hull's and Ryan's) -- we are faced with a choice between competing whack jobs. Obama is the proverbial "Music Man," he looks good and communicates well but he is running a con game on us with the willing aid of the state press corps. Obama is part of the wild eyed wing of the Democratic party. He merely has congenial facade. For example, when Blair Hull was the flavor of the day, Obama was the "Howard Dean" candidate. Now Obama is a centrist??? Please.

Obama has been smart enough to put on a congenial front, Keyes hasn't. When WMAY-AM 970 News Director Jim Leach brought up the Lincoln County gotcha game that reporters like to play in Illinois, and asked how Keyes planned to handle it, Keyes turned it into a smear of Leach's character. Jim's a liberal and he could've played the gotcha' game, but he didn't. He asked a fair question about it. He did his job. Keyes is well aware of the game -- because I was there when he was warned about it -- and Keyes began well enough by stating that he may not know the geography but he knows people in their hearts line. If he stops there; he is fine. But no, Keyes couldn't stop there and was compelled to launch into an attack on Jim Leach because after all, he had addressed that issue in another venue. It was uncalled for; it was arrogant and mean.

Do I think Keyes' positions on Illinois are more in line with the people than Barack Obama's? Yes, and while I don't have state surveys to back me up, I do have national attitudinal surveys with huge numbers that support my argument, here. And, it is safe to say Illinois is not THAT left of center so national surveys are fairly indicative. But unless Keyes can change much of his style -- focus on specific issues, add good doses of humility and civility -- he will have another electoral embarassment to add to his resume -- and so will conservatives in Illinois.

09 August 2004
Congressional Leadership should bring up the Assault Weapons Ban

Jeff Birnbaum's,In Swing States, Kerry Reaches for the Gun Votes, shows just how vulnerable democrats are on the issue.

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