A New Can Of Worms
30 September 2004
With Regards to the Bush Lied Crowd
Robert Novak takes Sen. Kerry to task for lies ... ahem... mis-statements on Gen. Shinseki's retirement; Gen. Tommy Franks statements on Afghanastan and my personal favorite, the reinstating the draft.
The Bush Lied crowd always falls back when confronted with facts. Iraq was an imminent threat -- show them the speech where he said it wasn't. WMD -- well, who didn't think they Iraq had them and finally, the Iraq-Al Quaeda connection. Yes, to believe Bush lied about that, we have to believe that Iraq was the only country in the Middle East w/out ties to terrorism.
Governor William Weld -- Kerry's former debating partner in his last Senate campaign -- has stated that Kerry tells such whoppers in debates that his oppenents jaws drop. In democratic Massachusetts, he has gotten away with it. We'll see if he gets away with any, tonight.
29 September 2004
From the WSJ
"THE ECONOMY GREW more rapidly in the second quarter than previously thought, as the U.S. gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.3%, up from an earlier estimate of 2.8%. Inflation indicators were stable"
The Official 2004 Presidential Debate Drinking Game
The Institute is having a small debate party tomorrow. Maybe I can get everyone to play. Here are the rules as spelled out in today's Trib:
- Every time President Bush says the word "safer," take a drink. If he uses the word "democracy" in the same sentence, make it a double.
- For every John Kerry reference to the UN, have a drink.
- If Bush uses the phrase "compassionate conservative," you must chug your entire beverage.
- Take one drink for every three times Kerry points with his left hand.
- Any previously recorded Bushism, like "misunderestimate" or "subliminable," used by the president during the debate requires one drink.
- If Kerry exceeds the time limit for any response, take a drink.
- Back-to-back offenses require a double shot and a NoDoz.
A reference by your candidate to any of the following requires one drink:
2) North Korea
3) Axis of evil
4) Saddam Hussein
5) The American people
- And for an exciting twist on the game, anytime anybody mentions the word "Vietnam," everybody has to take a drink.
In this game, everyone's a winner.
For the record, no one at the Illinois Policy Institute has atteneded the Beverage Alcohol Servers Sellers Educational Training Program.
Only Government Could Come Up With This...
From the Daily Herald:
"Lake Zurich may soon revise its liquor code requiring those who sell alcohol to have at least one employee go through the Beverage Alcohol Servers Sellers Educational Training Program.
Officials discussed the proposal this week at a committee meeting. An ordinance is expected to go before the village board within a few weeks. Currently, the village does not require training.
The village has authorized 36 liquor licenses. That includes establishments such as Veterans of Foreign Wars, Osco drug store and Dominick's Finer Foods.
The state-certified program instructs those selling alcohol on state law with respect to overserving alcohol or selling it to minors.
"A lot of communities are doing this," Mayor Jim Krischke said. "Some have gone really head over heels on this and come up with some very strict rules and guidelines. We're going to take an approach that's more educational."
27 September 2004
US Senate Recap
John J. Miller at NRO has the Republicans picking up two Senate seats in November.
This is Scary
AP puts Kerry ahead by 9 points. The scary thing is that I predicted as much>/a> last week.
Another Campaign Finance Failure?
The Washington Post reports that 501(c)(3)'s, non-profit education and research organizations, are becoming yet another funnel for campaign dollars. The claim is that c3's are loosely regulated by the IRS instead of the FEC.
A couple things have left out of the piece, however. First, there are hundreds of thousands of c3 organizations -- such as my Illinois Policy Institute -- who have nothing to do with elections. Changing reporting rules, such as this piece infers, would be a huge burden on both government and charitable organizations. Second, is the issue of reporting requirements.
This article suggests since David Bossie didn't disclose to the Post who his donors are, that somwhow there is no accountiblity. While Bossie doesn't have to disclose anything to the Post he does have to tell the IRS who is donors are. His IRS 990 forms (with redacted donor names) are available documents available on request. I would argue that turning names over the IRS is hardly secretive...
26 September 2004
Bad News for Republican Party Types
State GOP wrestling for identity is the headline in today's Tribune, but it could've just as easily have been GOP On Verge of Open Warfare.
Last week in Chicago, two close friends went at it over drinks. Everyone in DC says that three phone calls to DC could've told us that Keyes was a trainwreck waiting to happen. My friend from Illinois claims that the Keyes candidacy was acceptable to the establshiment wing of the GOP because it will drive a stake through the heart of "conservatives" in Illinois. He said that the US Senate seat doesn't matter to Illinoisans in polictics because of its small staff. The Governorship matters; the Secretary of State matters because they come with lots of jobs. The Senate, Denny Hastert, "Who cares?" Who can they hire...They're more than willing to give Durbin and Obama the Senate seats if they get the jobs with the spoils of office to exploit...
My friend from DC was astounded that in a time of war and the importance of setting this country on the right course, that the establishment would be willing to risk control the Senate... My in state friend dismissed my out of state friend as naive... Said that out of staters just don't get Illinois.... In a way they're both right...
My DC friend is correct that IL GOP needs to get with the national program. Most of what the Republicans have been pushing in the rest of America are 60% issues. Heck, remember the Contract with America -- those were all issues that enjoyed 60% or more in polling... The damn thing wasn't just thrown together...something the left has yet to figure out... The IL GOP needs to be pushing ideas; and stop pushing patronage. The reason why only 28% of Illinoisans identify as Republicans is a result of that "tradition." I think both State Sen. Frank Watson and to some softer extent Tom Cross are cautiously moving in that direction... Even Judy Barr Topinka said that we needed idea people like me more involved... I was kind of floored when she told me that.
My Illinois friend was correct that people outside the state sometimes just don't get it. Illinois is a machine... people come and go but they are generally plugged into the same roles. It's a 19th Century party model that manages to survive thanks to are wild west campaign finance laws coupled with the "Great Society" and the need for all those government jobs to be filled. Illinois is not an ideological place, but we do know how to to use big government liberalism to expand the machine. Other states are like Illinois, New Jersey and Pennsylvania come to mind, but not to the extreme we go to. I mean who would seriously believe that Alan Keyes was given to the Religous right so they would sink themselves. When the Keyes thing blows up -- the 12% of the party who supports them will be driven from politics... So much for the Big Tent.
Yet, I don't believe social conservatives are as stupid as people think. One charter member -- who often carries a bible -- used the F word to describe the Keyes campaign. I told him I never heard him say that...He couldn't remember the last time he did. He told that he had wished people had taken my warning seriously... While I feel vindicated, I think it also shows that it's naive to think these people are just going to go away. Like good Illinois politicians they're using Keyes' national fundraising base; his experience with raising money over the Internet for their own future purposes...They may come out of this thing better organized... Now, what that means for the party will depend on whether they broaden their message as Ralph Reed preached, or simply be a mere abortion interest group.