July 2 2003
HELPING THE DEMS COMMIT SUICIDE: If Republicans want to
make sure President Bush is reelected next year the best thing
they can do is to get online and contribute $20 - to
Howard Dean's campaign. You think I'm joking?
successful fundraising efforts this past quarter have catapulted
him into the top tier of Democratic candidates and make him a
legitimate threat to win the nomination. Despite the best efforts
Reed, Al From, and other DLCers to snap the party out of its
current bout of hysteria, a growing portion of the base is looking
more and more content with getting
on the Dean train and riding it straight over the cliff. Republicans
should be happy to give them a shove.
millions of dollars to Dean's campaign over the next few months,
Republicans can ensure the good doctor stays at the top of the
pack and has as loud a megaphone as possible. Another $7 million
quarter and Dean will be well positioned to win Iowa and to spend
whatever's necessary to beat Kerry in New Hampshire.
helping Dean isn't going to hurt President Bush: he
just scooped up $34 million in the last six weeks and is on
track to raise something close to $200 million for his reelection
bid. Besides, allocating a small percentage of resources to try
and engineer the best possible match up in the general election
is smart politics - just ask Gray Davis. And George Bush is no
few million Dean's way to help propel him to the nomination will
be money well spent: the guy is flat out unelectable. He was against
the war, has no military or foreign policy experience and doesn't
even know how many people are in the U.S Armed Forces. He's against
tax cuts. He's sort of against the death penalty and sort of for
gay marriage - though it's tough to tell because his positions
continue to "evolve" and he doesn't offer direct answers.
If the economy
improves over the coming year - and the indications are that it's
going to - Dean will be lucky to win Vermont in 2004. And after
his recent appearance on Meet the Press, you'd have to consider
George W. Bush to be the favorite in any debate.
So I'm off
Dean's website to chip in twenty beans. I suggest you do the
same. Political parties only commit suicide every so often, and
if the Dems have decided they're going to stick their head in
the oven in 2004, I'm ready to pony up a few bucks for a chance
to watch it happen.
UPDATE: Time for a quick update on the Illinois Senate race.
Two more candidates jumped in the race this past week, Andy
McKenna and John
Cox. Two more, Jim
Oberweis and John Borling, are expected to announce soon.
to have some strong establishment backing and will be a legitimate
contender. Cox, on the other hand, is running for the third time
in four years (IL10 in 2000 and U.S. Senate in 2002) and doesn't
have a prayer of winning the nomination. Oberweis finished second
in the 2002 GOP Senate primary here and has the resources to be
competitive, but it's hard to see his campaign catching fire.
Borling is a wildcard. He's a highly decorated Vietnam veteran
and former POW, but whether he can parlay his story into a successful
candidacy a la John McCain remains to be seen.
Jack Ryan, the only announced GOP candidate for Senate, continues
to make the rounds and build his profile. Tom Roeser, the dean
of conservative journalists/broadcasters here in Illinois, recently
interviewed Ryan and seems to have been impressed.
On the Democrats'
side, things are relatively quiet. Comptroller Dan Hynes remains
the nominal front-runner. Hynes main rival, gazillionaire Blair
is currently touring the state blasting Bush on the war and on
tax cuts. Meanwhile another top tier candidate, State Senator
Barack Obama, just received the
first major endorsement in the Senate race from U.S. Rep Lane
Evans. - T. Bevan
July 1 2003
HOMELAND SECURITY: How much should we spend on Homeland
Security? Tim Russert led off Meet
the Press with this comment: "first, this new task force
report just out this morning warning that the United States may
not be ready to respond to another terrorist attack." In
the course of his interview with Dr. Jamie Metzl and former New
Hampshire Senator Warren Rudman, we were bombarded with the point
that the country is woefully unprepared for the next terrorist
to the ominous descriptions of how first responders are underfunded,
my first thought was, "so what?" Maybe it's because
I know there is no amount of spending that will make us 100% secure.
I mean, it's not like we aren't spending money on Homeland Security.
The last I heard we were spending billions. Dr. Metzl says:
around the country meeting with emergency responders, meeting
with policemen, with firemen, with public health officials,
and uniformly, we were told that they did not feel that they
had the equipment they needed to do what the public expected
of them. And we were really concerned about it. I mean, that
was the basis of this report, and it wasnít about taking any
potshots at anybody. Itís not a Democratic issue. Itís not a
Republican issue. Itís a national issue about security and preparedness,
particularly after 9/11 when we know that there are people out
there who want to hurt us.
I live and
work in downtown Chicago. There is a local firehouse a block away
from our home and it doesn't bother me one bit if they don't have
10 brand spanking new hazmat suits. I don't want every firehouse
in cities across this country to be loaded up and prepared to
deal with a full fledged nuclear, chemical or biological attack.
If we made
sure every "policemen, firemen, and public health official"
in America had all the equipment they needed we would be LESS
secure in the long-run , not more.
if ever mentioned, is that all of the time, energy, spending and
focus on Homeland Security comes at a cost. It's a significant
cost, too, as it is a constant and permanent drag on economic
growth in the country. Don't get me wrong, I'm not making an argument
for spending nothing on security. Obviously there are prudent
and reasonable measures we can take that will dramatically improve
the nation's safety. These steps will cost money and the country
needs to be willing to spend that money.
But the problem
with Russert's program on Sunday and the whole debate on Homeland
Security is the lack of a cost-benefit analysis as to how much
we should spend on making this country secure:
Our viewers this morning, I have no doubt, are saying, ďAll
right. We have this problem. You identified it. Now, letís solve
it.Ē And it always comes down, in any times, to money. MR.
RUDMAN: Absolutely. MR. RUSSERT: Let me show you a
report: ďAmerica will fall approximately $98.4 billion short
of meeting critical emergency responder needs over the next
five years if current funding levels are maintained.Ē And here
are the specifics: fire services, 36.8; urban search and rescue,
15.2; hospital preparedness, 29.6; emergency 911 systems, 10.4;
communications, 6.8; public health, 6.7......
MR. RUSSERT: And you believe if this $100 billion over
the next five years is made available, we would be better prepared?
MR. RUDMAN: As long as the priorities are set by the
department working with governors and with mayors, maybe itís
not $100 billion, maybe itís $68 billion, maybe itís $112 billion.
We know that the requirement is greater than we currently are
$112 billion? Well guess what? If President Bush came out tomorrow
and suggested we spend $115 billion, Hillary Clinton and Tom Daschle
would come out Thursday and say we need $150 or a $170 billion.
here is that the requirement of securing a country as large and
open as ours is always going to be greater than what we
are appropriating. To Russert's credit, there is this one
line in the whole interview where he concedes this reality: "Dr.
Metzl, you acknowledge no natural limit can be established. You
could spend the entire gross national product and still be unprepared."
defense in the long-run is maintaining our status as the world's
preeminent economy. I prefer the Bush approach of going on the
offense and taking this fight to the murderous terrorists who
are plotting how to spread botulism or anthrax or nuclear materials
in our cities. Our best Homeland Defense is to remain as strong
as possible both economically and military, and to proactively
root out and destroy the terrorist cancer.
10 hazmat suits in every firehouse I'd rather see 10 U.S Special
Forces in every terrorist's living room with a little red laser
beam pointed at their forehead. J.
McIntyre 7:33 am
June 30 2003
AND THE BASE: Last
week provided somewhat of a measuring stick for President Bush
among his conservative base.
agonized over Supreme
Court rulings upholding affirmative action and striking down
sodomy laws across the country and were disappointed when President
a statement "applauding" the former and making no
public mention of the latter.
fiscal conservatives fumed as they watched the Republican-led
House and Senate pass
a new $400 billion prescription drug entitlement last week
Bush's urging. Donald Lambro details the growing
anger among fiscal conservatives in the Washington Times this
also been recent rumblings among pro-life groups who are adamantly
opposed to President Bush's possible
nomination of Al Gonzales to the Supreme Court.
So is President
Bush in the process of alienating his base? Not according to this
article in today's NY Times. Despite the disagreements many
of the narrowly-focused constituencies on the right have with
President Bush, there seems to be an overall appreciation of his
character, integrity, and his unwavering commitment to U.S. national
security. There also seems to be an understanding that Bush, like
Reagan, is helping to facilitate a continued shift toward conservatism
in U.S. public opinion:
many conservatives say, American public opinion is shifting
their way, so there is no reason to be impatient ó or to pressure
Mr. Bush into doing things before the election that might hurt
him next year.
Republicans are looking at decades of dominance in the House
and the Senate, and having the presidency with some regularity,"
Mr. Norquist said. "So if this year the tax cut isn't the one
we wanted ó no biggie. There's a sense that we can afford to
of Bush only runs so deep, of course, and if the economy doesn't
enjoy a robust recovery the President can't afford to have conservative
groups sitting on their hands next November.
the upside for conservative groups in the coming election is bigger
than ever: if the economy does spring back to life and conservatives
come out en masse for the President, it could produce a
landslide victory and an historic mandate for Bush and his conservative
agenda. - T.