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This just sucks

All right, Bob Novak is never exactly a little ray of sunshine, but this column of his is particularly depressing. It's all about how the handful of fiscally responsible Republicans that still inhabit the Hill are getting bitch-slapped by Ted Stevens and others for committing egregious sins like trying to bring transparency to pork-laden earmarks. Stevens blasts Tom Coburn, John McCain and others for "undermining party unity," and therefore hurting the GOP.

That's a ludicrous charge, of course. But even if it were true, why should I care? If the Republicans in Congress are all going to act like Ted Stevens, what's the point in having them there? Why should I care whether they get defeated or not?

Well, I guess I do care. The Republicans need to be defeated next month, period. I'm not going to enjoy watching the Democrats gloat, but as unpleasant as that will be, it is still preferable to allowing this current crowd to continue running the show.

I have to say, I never thought that the Republicans' dysfunction would go this far. It's not because I think they're above it, of course. I've always believed that when either party is allowed to remain behind the levers of power for too long, corruption is inevitable. I guess I just never thought they'd be in the majority long enough for it to get this bad. I figured they'd have been voted out long before now.

And they probably would have been, had it not been for a quirky twist of fate. By all rights, the GOP was well on its way to losing Congress four years ago. But then 9/11 happened, of course, and the Republican leadership was able to buy a few more years.

So they've had a pretty good run of it. A dozen years. And what have we conservatives got to show for it? A relatively modest tax cut and a bloated federal budget that's ballooning at rates that make Lyndon Johnson look like a miser. Disgusting. Time for them to go. Unfortunately, the only way to kick these people out of power is by electing Democrats. We may not be able to vote Ted Stevens out this year, but we can at least banish him into the minority.


You needed this to tell you Ted Stevens is an ass? He's not even worth putting him on the Ass-O-Meter. He's just a plain old ass. This is the man who declared that the day his personal pork project (ooh, alliterative!) was the worst day of his life. And cried. Cried! Over a political loss. Shame doesn't seem to be in his vocabulary.

> You needed this to tell you Ted Stevens is an ass?

Well... no, not really. I had thought the guy who cried was Don Young? Maybe you're right though. Doesn't matter, one Alaska pork daddy is as good as another. You're absolutely right, though. Just plain old ass.

what do you expect the Dems to do for the next two years, Barry?

> what do you expect the Dems to do for the next two years, Barry?

Hopefully they'll be too preoccupied with holding impeachment hearings to do any real damage. If not, Bush still has the veto pen, and he has proven he can use it (I was beginning to wonder for a while.) Hopefully, given the bitter partisan divide in this country, this will result in a government deadlock preventing them from doing anything at all. I've lowered my expectations to the point where that is the best I can hope for.

The failure of Republicans to live up to their stated goals and values is quite clearly Clinton's fault.

Clinton forced these stalwart patriots to spend $60 million and years and years of neverending investigations to prove he got a beejer, and then publish it all in full pornographic detail, including STDs, penis shape and size, and other important facts that the taxpayers were clamoring to know.

Once Chimp was in office, they had full control, but then Clinton goaded Abramof, DeLay, Cunningham, and others to start all kinds of bribery and fraud.

I think the problem is that we need to impeach Clinton again, and this time convict him so that he is really completely gone and not president anymore.

ok...I was talking to my boyfriend last night (who is not interested in politics) and asked him why would a Republican/Libertarian vote Dem when they know and thoroughly disagree with their policies. what you said makes sense.
'Cause I can see the same angry Republicans wail and moan at Dem policies come March of next year. It seems like no one was looking past nov 6 and too busy making a statement (mind you a necessary one) to think about the consequences of their decision. Are they willing to deal with estate taxes, higher taxes, and so on? If so, that's a MAJOR hint to the Reps they have to straighten out or stay a minority

Indeed, this is a pocketbook issue for those making in excess of a million dollars a year.

While your "the Republicans need to lose" theory sounds good, the truth is that most people don't realize what the Reps are doing wrong in the first place. If the public cared about fiscal conservatism, we'd have elected officials who reflected that. The sad truth is, more and more people would rather the government just be their sugar daddy. And we'll all pay for that. Dearly.

> ...why would a Republican/Libertarian vote Dem when they know and thoroughly disagree with their policies.

Just to clarify, I never said I'd actually vote for Democrats. ;-) I intend to cast a straight Libertarian ballot for the congressional races, as per usual.

And Doug, sadly, I believe you are correct.

You have two choices:

Vote for high taxation, big expanding government, and a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the RICH -- after most of it is actually stolen and distributed to cronies.


Vote for high taxation, big expanding government, and a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the POOR -- after most of it is actually stolen and distributed to cronies.

Barry, I promise not to gloat directly at you. There may be a little gloating going on over at my site, but not as much as some others, in all likelihood, and I definitely wouldn't drop by here to gloat to you.

Now, if Giuliani got the presidential nomination in '08 and lost the election (but it will be McCain in '08, so don't count on Rudy), I would probably gloat some. Well, maybe only if Hillary was not the Democratic nominee. I don't think I could gloat about her winning because I'll be supporting someone else against her in the primaries. But within those parameters, I would probably gloat about that. But not about Congress. I'll just be relieved and hoping that the Democratic Congress then has the spine to take its mandate and reverse the destruction of our freedoms and our Constitution.

This is the first election where I don't care who gets elected. Flip a coin: heads they win, tails you lose.

> (but it will be McCain in '08, so don't count on Rudy)

You are probably right, just because the GOP has a long tradition of nominating the runner-up from the previous election cycle. I'm not counting on Rudy, but I also don't think he can be counted out. Not this early, anyway.

I will remain a registered Republican until 2008 because I desperately want to vote in that primary. But if the GOP nominates someone other than McCain or Giuliani, I will officially change my registration to Libertarian.

BTW, please feel free to gloat in the event that Rudy gets the nod but loses. I'd rather my party lose with Rudy than win with Romney or Allen (I guess he's out) or Frist or... well, you get the idea.

The reason I am so sure it is McCain is that I have been reading it as "the fix is in" since the '04 reconciliation between McCain and Bush (the infamous leg hump). There have been huge signs that McCain is already selected. The made-for-TV movie to enhance his image. The way he has become, after LOSING the primaries, the front man for the Republican Senate. The way they've had him set up as "opposing" (wink wink) Bush policies (o, that maverick Johnny) time and again, though time and again he caves in completely, but the story is never that he caved, just that they reached a "compromise" (which gives Bush, oddly enough, whatever he wants time and again). No, he's being carefully groomed to win it, the powers behind the scenes have already told him it is his, and all he has to do is be a good boy and kiss the right asses over and over and he'll get what he wants.

Ever read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail: 1972? Hunter Thompson's book. Lots of folks hate Thompson and find what he wrote untrustworthy. I find his oldest stuff to be fantastically entertaining and it always contains a certain amount of insight that you get nowhere else. He wrote in that book about the people who are always running for their party's nomination for president, or getting the nomination and running for president. He wrote how it is kind of an addiction, and once you have it, you feel like you just want to do it over and over again and keep chasing that kite's tail. Hubert Humphrey had it. Joe Biden has it. Well, McCain has it. McCain has it bad and he made the deals to get the nomination. I believe that sincerely and have been saying so for around two years.

> Ever read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail: 1972?

Of course! :-)

I think much of your analysis is on-target, and it continues to amuse me how so many Democratic senators will still fall the same old gag. They gleefully follow Saint John's lead on issues like the military tribunals, then act stunned when he inevitably pulls the rug out from under them. What's even more amusing is the large number of conservatives who are livid at the way McCain allows himself to be "used" by the Democrats, when the reality is the other way around.

He's a shrewd one, Johnny-Boy is, and he probably is the frontrunner so far. But his age, his health, and the aforementioned conservative malcontents will all be obstacles for him come 2008.

McCain is kissing ass pretty hard, so I'm sure Bush made promises.

Bush has a history of not keeping any of his promises.

McCain is a perennial candidate and that translates into "perennial loser" after a while.

2008 is two long years away.

Giuliani and McCain are, of course, the MSM's favorite Republicans because they're perceived as "Liberal on social issues," just as Harold Ford is one of their least liked Democrats because he's against partial birth abortion, in favor of tax cuts and a making burning an American flag a federal crime.

Me, right now I'm pulling for a resurgent Newt in '08.

A criminal like Newt wouldn't get very far ... no wait, Chimp has done fine, the bar has been set even lower.

But Clinton did it first.

JMK: "McCain is a perennial candidate and that translates into 'perennial loser' after a while."

Perennial? Perennial loser? I just checked wikipedia, which states that McCain has run just one time for President. Unless perennial means one time.
Your daffynition means Reagan was a perennial loser.
Good going

JMK, I am hoping the Republicans nominate Gingrich in '08 as well, but I suspect you and I have different motivations.

Fred, McCain's been running for just about eight years.

It's not merely that I'd take Giuliani over McCain any day, I think most Conservatives would, despite Giuliani's "big government Conservative" roots, it's that McCain is at least partly responsible for that speech stifling bit of "Campaign Finance Reform," and chose to belittle American workers in pitching his "we need these (illegal) aliens," while nonsensically claiming that "Americans wouldn't do these jobs if they paid $20/hour, even $50/hour, because they can't do these jobs."

McCain's a dufus and belongs in the Deutschbag Hall of Fame.

Fred, I know McCain is a favorite of Dems, but I can't take back a single thing I said about him above.

McCain-Feingold was godawful legislation and I agree completely with Antonin Scalia here:

"This is a sad day for the freedom of speech. Who could have imagined that the same Court which, within the past four years, has sternly disapproved of restrictions upon such inconsequential forms of expression as virtual child pornography, Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition, 535 U. S. 234 (2002), tobacco advertising, Lorillard Tobacco Co. v. Reilly, 533 U. S. 525 (2001), dissemination of illegally intercepted communications, Bartnicki v. Vopper, 532 U. S. 514 (2001), and sexually explicit cable programming, United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., 529 U. S. 803 (2000), would smile with favor upon a law that cuts to the heart of what the First Amendment is meant to protect: the right to criticize the government. For that is what the most offensive provisions of this legislation are all about. We are governed by Congress, and this legislation prohibits the criticism of Members of Congress by those entities most capable of giving such criticism loud voice: national political parties and corporations, both of the commercial and the not-for-profit sort. It forbids pre-election criticism of incumbents by corporations, even not-for-profit corporations, by use of their general funds; and forbids national-party use of "soft" money to fund "issue ads" that incumbents find so offensive..."


His support for illegal immigation, going so far as clamining other Americans "couldn't do those jobs," was appallingly poor judgment.

"Perennial? Perennial loser? I just checked wikipedia, which states that McCain has run just one time for President." (Fred)
REAL tax reform?

Like supporting the "Fair Tax" or NRST replacing the Income Tax!

Issue by issue, McCain has been consistently wrong, in my view.

I'd take Romney, I'd take Rice, I'd take Giuliani over him...hell, I'd even take Frist over him at this point.

He's a great person and an authentic American hero, but those things don't make his ideas any more right.

Dear Rachel:

How many millions are you worth? I ask because, if you or the people from whom you are going to inherit aren't worth a lot of money, estate taxes won't actually affect you.

Near as I can make out (it's an IRS form, after all), you don't have to pay any estate taxes on the first $1.5 million you inherit.


"Near as I can make out (it's an IRS form, after all), you don't have to pay any estate taxes on the first $1.5 million you inherit." (DBK)

Yes, so long as Rachel plans on inheriting that money before 2011.

As of 1/1/2011 the Estate Tax provisions revert back to their 1997 rates with a 55% federal top rate.

JMK cleverly tries to Rove his way around your true statement.

THE ESTATE TAX DOESN'T APPLY TO FARMS or people who are multimillionaires. NEVER DID.

Good try, JMK.

Actually, it DOES apply to those who inherit property.

It would apply to those pasky "multimillionaires" you disdain, but for things like Trust Funds and Foundations.

The "Estate Tax," like the Income Tax isn't designed to target the truly wealthy, they're designed to keep high earning people from acruing "excessive wealth."

That is why the 14 wealthiest families in the U.S. are personally bankrolling this attempt to end the Estate Tax.

Not farmers. Not even your average rich person.

As always, you aren't only wrong, your are obviously, stupidly wrong.

Two weeks.


The fact is, the wealthiest families (and ANYONE with over $10 million in assetts) are far more easily and effectively protected from that tax bite via Trusts and Foundations.

I, hopefully like yourself, DON'T want to see the wealthiest families surrender their fortunes, any more than I want to see good honest folks lose the family farm, or the 44 story luxury high-rise they inherited from Aunt Jill.

I firmly believe that those fortunes are best left in the hands of the heirs of the families that earned them.

It should seem rather obvious that Paris Hilton, for example, does far more good with the Hilton fortune than any army of government officials could ever hope to.

Why that young girl has spunk...and personality!

She obviously brings lots of pleasure to many millions of people, often merely just by waving to them - for that alone, she deserves to keep that fortune.

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