George W. Bush: Porkbuster!

From tonight’s SoTU:
“I am pleased that Members of Congress are working on earmark reform – because the Federal budget has too many special interest projects.”
From the team, I say: welcome aboard, Mr. President!
I’ll spare you the lecture on how cutting pork and limiting frivolous spending is a clear winner of an issue for Republicans (and a relatively painless way to earn back some fiscal-conservative credits that you’ve lost), as I’m sure Karl has already walked you through that. So let me just remind you that it is, indeed, the right thing to do, and an issue that I hope we’ll have your support on in the months to come.
Having the Presidential bully pulpit keeping Congressional feet to the fire on the need for earmark reform is a Very Good Thing — and one that I sincerely hope is not a This Night Only performance.

State of Flux: Where is the Party of Reagan?

Where Is The Party Of Reagan?
“In the scenario that Roy Blunt is elected to be the new majority leader; I will withdraw my membership from the Republican Party and become an independent. I became a Republican a day after I swore in as an US citizen. But I am now reconsidering my membership.
I became a Republican long before I became a US citizen, long before I came to the US, long before I was old enough to vote. I was a young boy in Vietnam listening clandestinely to Voice of America (VOA) over a short wave radio…”

Where, indeed? As we say, read the whole thing

John Shadegg for Majority Leader

Up until a few weeks ago, if you had asked me if I cared about who the House Majority Leader was for the Republicans, I would have looked at you like you had two heads. Sure, I’m politically wonky, but internal GOP leadership struggles? Please.
But that’s because I was being a bit of an idiot, and more to the point, not paying enough attention to the genuine battle over reform that is playing out in the leadership race. I’m not a diehard GOP partisan, and I don’t think of the Good of the Party as a goal in itself. But I do believe in limited government; in expanding transparency and openness in the functioning of Congress; in limiting the power of lobbyists and raising the power of individual citizens. And of course, I believe in the corrupting influence of “pork” earmarks, and the need to clean up both those small fiscal disasters, as well as the larger budgety issues weighing down our national finances.
The Majority Leader race is turning out to be a referendum on exactly these principles. In one corner, as the frontrunner, you have Roy Blunt, who took up the reigns from Tom Delay and whose campaign slogan might as well be “business as usual”. And on the other end of the spectrum, John Shadegg, who is leading a small but growing revolt among members who recognize that for the good of the GOP, and of the Congress and nation, it’s time for real change, and real reform. (Somewhere in the middle is John Boehner.)
I don’t warm to politicans all that easily. But Shadegg, with 97% rating from Citizen’s Against Government Waste on pork issues, impressed me with his anti-pork credentials. And his answers to our questions on policy and reform were good ones, showing not just a grudging acceptance of the need for a reform, but a real passion for it. And lastly, if intangibly: listening to the way he handled himself on the blogger call, I just plain liked the guy. He spoke candidly and openly; seemed honestly interested in answering questions, and sincerely committed to the ideas he was championing.
As Glenn points out in his own post in support of Shadegg, it is pretentious for a blogger to declare an “endorsement”, especially for a leadership race in which nobody but Congressmen can vote. But for whatever it’s worth, Shadegg has my endorsement, and my support.
It isn’t my support that Shadegg needs, however. He needs Representatives, and most particularly: he needs the members of the Republican Study Committee, the conference of diehard conservative Republicans which he once chaired — and he needs all of them. Many RSC members endorsed Roy Blunt before Shadegg entered the race, but have not yet publicly committed to support their former leader.
Even as somewhat of an outsider to hardcore conservative activism, I can see how baffling it is for RSC members to not be supporting Shadegg as the standard-bearer for limited government and reform at this crucial time. And if you’re equally confused, there’s something you can do.
The list below shows RSC members who are currently stated as endorsing Roy Blunt, along with their DC and district office numbers. Pick up the phone, give them a call, and urge them to give Shadegg their support. Especially if you are in their state, or even better, their district.
The next few weeks may well determine both the course of the Republican party for years to come, and the chances for real and meaningful reform in the way Congress does about business. If you care about either, pick up the phone, and help John Shadegg get the support he needs.

Continue reading “John Shadegg for Majority Leader”

John & Al, Paris & Nicole

All politicians “play to the base”, making occasional outrageous statements that engage and excite their core constituencies, but won’t necessarily help them with the electorate as a whole.
At some point, though, you have to begin suspecting that a politician may no longer even be trying to win elections, but rather has crossed over into a continual base-appeasing mode that guarantees sufficient attention to fund ongoing campaigns, without any particular regard for whether or not any will ever be successful. The process of campaigning has become an end in itself; a permanent job description, rather than a step towards actual elected office.
Today’s example: Kerry’s call for a fillibuster on Alito’s nomination.
Kerry has become the Paris Hilton to Al Gore’s Nicole Ritchie on the stage of American politics: creatures whose fame has become self-sustaining; and who remain in the public eye not because of any achievement or acumen, but who are simply famous for being famous.

House Majority Leader Candidates Agree On Key Reforms

Last week, all three candidates battling for the House Majority Leader position appeared on Hewitt’s radio program, and each also conducted a conference call with bloggers. Over the past several days, I’ve parsed through the transcripts of all six sessions, and extracted out the candidates’ answers to key reform and policy questions.
The full table of results can be seen on the main GOP leadership page, and there are predictably some key policy differences between the candidates.
But in reviewing their responses, what struck me is how all three were willing to make broad commitments to key reform measures. Those who, like myself, are most focused on this race because of an interest in implementing genuine reform, will be heartened to see the wide consensus on proposals that probably would have been considered radical just a few months ago.
For example:
– All three candidates said they would support a measure to require ‘earmarks’ be identified by the name of the suggesting member of Congress
– All three candidates endorsed the application of FOIA to Congress, and the suggestion that all legislation be posted on the Internet 72 hours prior to a vote
In addition, the candidates expressed dissatisfaction with the free-speech limitations imposed by McCain-Feingold, and generally agreed that reforms are needed in the area of subsidized travel for Congress.
If this all seems too good to be true: well, maybe it is. But thanks to the work of the team of bloggers who participated in these sessions, we now have quite a few commitments to reform on-the-record from all three candidates. So whoever wins the race, we should expect — and, politely, demand — to see some genuine action on implementing these proposals.
The Majority Leader election is scheduled for February 2nd, less than two weeks from today. But for those of us interested in achieving real change in the way Congress does business, that will be just the beginning…

House Majority Leader: Blogger Endorsements

Now that the conference calls are complete and the race for House Majority Leader is heating up, I’ve set up a mechanism for individual bloggers to log their endorsement of a candidate.
if you want to have your position noted, post your argument and include one of the following exact phrases (quotes and formatting are not required) in your post:
“I endorse Roy Blunt”
“I endorse John Boehner”
“I endorse John Shadegg”
(For group blogs, you can also use the appropriate phrasing “We endorse”)
The Ecosystem will search for the phrases above, and show detailed results here, as well as listing summary statistics on the main GOP leadership page. And yes, for me to scan your blog properly you need to be registered in the Ecosystem, which is painless, free, and can be done right here.
Please note that your position will not show up immediately, as the scans are run regularly every evening.

An Appeal from Center-Right Bloggers

I’m pleased to present the following statement on behalf of the undersigned bloggers.


An Appeal from Center-Right Bloggers

We are bloggers with boatloads of opinions, and none of us come close to agreeing with any other one of us all of the time. But we do agree on this: The new leadership in the House of Representatives needs to be thoroughly and transparently free of the taint of the Jack Abramoff scandals, and beyond that, of undue influence of K Street.
We are not naive about lobbying, and we know it can and has in fact advanced crucial issues and has often served to inform rather than simply influence Members.
But we are certain that the public is disgusted with excess and with privilege. We hope the Hastert-Dreier effort leads to sweeping reforms including the end of subsidized travel and other obvious influence operations. Just as importantly, we call for major changes to increase openness, transparency and accountability in Congressional operations and in the appropriations process.
As for the Republican leadership elections, we hope to see more candidates who will support these goals, and we therefore welcome the entry of Congressman John Shadegg to the race for Majority Leader. We hope every Congressman who is committed to ethical and transparent conduct supports a reform agenda and a reform candidate. And we hope all would-be members of the leadership make themselves available to new media to answer questions now and on a regular basis in the future.
N.Z. Bear, Truth Laid Bear
Hugh Hewitt,
Glenn Reynolds,
Kevin Aylward, Wizbang!
La Shawn Barber, La Shawn Barber’s Corner
Lorie Byrd / DJ Drummond , Polipundit
Beth Cleaver, MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Jeff Goldstein, Protein Wisdom
Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
John Hawkins, Right Wing News
John Hinderaker, Power Line
Jon Henke / McQ / Dale Franks, QandO
James Joyner, Outside The Beltway
Mike Krempasky,
Michelle Malkin,
Ed Morrissey, Captain’s Quarters
Scott Ott, Scrappleface
The Anchoress, The Anchoress
John Donovan / Bill Tuttle, Castle Argghhh!!!
If you would like to be known as also supporting this statement, please include a comment below, or Trackback to this post on your blog.
Update 1/15/06: As a next step in the effort to help push forward a reform agenda in the GOP leadership fight, I have published a page where bloggers and blog-readers can submit questions which they would like to see answered by the candidates, and vote on which questions submitted by others they like best. Ultimately, I’ll submit the most popular questions to the three candidates’ offices, and hopefully we’ll be able to actually get some responses. Please check out the questions page here, and join in with your suggestions and feedback!

Hot posts: 01/13 8:35 AM

class=”linktitle”>Friday Ark #69 (7 links)
We'll post links to sites that have Friday (plus or minus a few days) photos of their chosen animals (photoshops at our discretion and humans only in supporting roles). Watch the Exception category for rocks, beer, coffee cups, and….? We will

Hot posts: 01/12 7:37 PM

class=”linktitle”>Under Clinton, NY Times called surveilla (7 links)
The American Thinker
The controversy following revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies have monitored suspected terrorist related communications since 9/11 reflects a severe case of selective amnesia by the New York Times and other…]]>

Hot posts: 01/12 3:35 PM

class=”linktitle”>How Many Dems Could Be Confirmed? (7 links)
The RCP Blog
After watching the wife of the nominee break down into tears yesterday evening at the treatment being given to her husband by Senate Democrats, it seems fair to ask: how many Democrats sitting on the Judiciary Committee could be confirmed using t

Hot posts: 01/12 1:39 PM

class=”linktitle”>The Kos Kidz Go After Alito's Wife (7 links)
Right Wing News (Conservative News and Views)
It can't be pleasant for any family member of a judge who sits through confirmation hearings. Just imagine being in…
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Hot posts: 01/12 11:38 AM

class=”linktitle”>Max Blumenthal: Alito's Pro-Internm (8 links)
The Huffington Post
If there's another terror attack on American soil, you can forget about civil rights. That's according to Peter Kirsanow, who will testify to Samu

AMERICAblog just bought General Wesley Clark’s cell phone records for $89.95 (8 links)
AMERICAblog: Because a great nation deserves the truth
UPDATE: We tried to get the cell phone records of other high-profile Washingtonians like ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, and the New York Time’s Adam Nagourney, but LocateCe

Hot posts: 01/12 10:40 AM

class=”linktitle”>Sparks Fly at Alito Hearing (7 links)
TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
We were waiting for some fireworks at Judge Sam Alito’s confirmation hearing. Tuesday was definitely dullsville. We wanted sparks to fly. We wanted to hear
Bell’s goin

Hot posts: 01/11 6:41 PM

class=”linktitle”>VIDEO: CLASH OF THE WINDBAGS (7 links)
Michelle Malkin
To save you the trouble of sitting through the Democrats’ unrelenting condescension, arrogance, and Category 5 windbagginess, I bring you a video clip of today’s Alito confirmation hearings that epitomizes the Left’s desperation.
You’ve r
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp related topic: supreme court nominee samuel alito&nbsp&nbsp 
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Hot posts: 01/11 5:42 PM

class=”linktitle”>Liberal Red Book leaked! (20 links)
Western Standard – Independent Voice of the New West.

Waiting for the Liberal Red Book? Wait no longer! Here's an, ahem, advance copy. Please credit the Western Standard and our blog, The Shotgun! LATE NIGHT READING UPDATE: Use the word search function to see what's important in the Red…

Michelle Malkin
Robert Bluey at Human Events Online has the results of
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My very own Liberal campaign ads (9 links)
Stephen Harper has a dog. You know who else had a dog? Hitler. Adolf Hitler. That's who. Did Stephen Harper train his dog to attack racial minorities on command? We don't know. He's not saying. Choose Your Canada. * *…
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Porkbusters: Next Steps

Things have been a bit quiet on the front for the past month, given the holidays, the Congressional break, as well as other competing priorities for both Glenn and myself.
But it is a new year, and we are gearing up to push forward with new ideas to expand and continue the work we started on Porkbusters in 2005. So, we wanted to open the floor up for suggestions. How can we evolve the project to have the greatest benefit? What features would you like to see on the Porkbusters pages? What types of issues should the project be focusing on?
Comments are open below, and we’re listening…

Blunt, Boehner and Pork

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the pluses and minuses of the two frontrunning candidates for the Republican’s next Majority Leader. One issue I certainly wanted to understand was their position on pork, and so I headed over to Against Government Waste to check how they were rated. Here’s how they stacked up:
John Boehner: 75% positive score for the 108th congress
Roy Blunt: 65% positive score for 108th congress
So: both candidates make it into CAGW’s “friendly” category, but neither are lighting up the sky as blazing stars of Porkbusting.
Any chance we can throw these two back in the pond and ask for a do-over…?
Update: Can’t throw these two back, but now there is an Option C:
John Shadegg: 97% positive score for the 108th congress