The Spectacle Blog

Pence No on Spending Bill

By on 3.17.06 | 8:14AM

House leadership lumped war spending and Katrina relief into the $92 billion supplemental that passed yesterday, by a vote of 348-71. Conservatives wanted to separate the two so as to pass military emergency spending, and then debate the rest (there were extraneous projects attached to the bill). The President had sent the two expenses as separate bills, but Congressional leadership lumped them, probably to guarantee passage.

Rep. Mike Pence's office tells us in a press release that he supports the war supplemental, but could not vote for a bill that weds non-military emergency spending to a military emergency spending bill. Pence and other conservatives are trying to hold the line on Katrina spending, but the House leadership shows little interest in doing so. In addition to Pence, 18 other Republicans voted against the bill. Most of them are members of the House Republican Study Committee.

Re: Nicks Of Time

By on 3.16.06 | 5:32PM

FOX's Special Report tonight suggests, re: my post below, bingorama. When it comes to Iraqis taking charge, style is substance.

The Diabolical Katherine Harris Conspiracy

By on 3.16.06 | 4:41PM

Dave Weigel deconstructs the latest Kosland fantasy.

Nicks Of Time

By on 3.16.06 | 4:24PM

In Iraq: Operation Swarmer gives the US and Iraqi nationalists an alternative to Moqtada al-Sadr in the unity-and-order department. How much is establishing that alternative the whole point?

In Florida: I wish to declare for the Golden Bear. Tournament time makes it all seem fortuitous in a sportsmanlike, buzzer-beater sort of way, and Battier for President is a long way off.

Jack Still Needed

By on 3.16.06 | 2:01PM

Just because Katherine Harris has proved herself to be extremely bullheaded (and that's not the only bovine word that comes to mind), that's no reason for other potential candidates, or the state or national GOP grand poobahs, to defer to her without a fight. At the very least, Florida's Republican voters deserve a choice. And that's all the more reason for wise party elders to prevail upon Jack Nicklaus to run for the Senate -- if not instead of her, then against her. I could even write his basic campaign message, which would not have to sound wonkish, but just full of good mainstream conservative common sense coupled with the Golden Bear's legendary integrity (and with Barbara Nicklaus' legendary graciousness and kindness). Run, Jack, Run!

Honor Hanoi Jane?

By on 3.16.06 | 11:26AM

The Georgia state legislature wisely says, "maybe not."

The Outcry of the Values Voter

By on 3.16.06 | 11:16AM

The Family Research Council is holding a press conference now at the National Press Club announcing a "Value Voters Summit" for September. They're also presenting the results of a March 9-12 poll, focusing on value voters, conducted by bipartisan firm Riehle-Tarrance.

We had an early look at the numbers this morning, which we can now relate. There's a flood of data here, so we'll pull out what strikes us as most important. The sample seems evenly distributed among Republicans and Democrats (31 to 28 percent), and among Republicans and Democrats including "leaners" (36 to 40 percent). Eighty-five percent of respondents were registered voters.

Forty-one percent described themselves as born again or evangelical Christians, versus 52 percent who said they were not. By party, this breaks down into 53 percent of Republicans and 34 percent of Democrats self-identifying as evangelicals. Fifty-six percent of conservatives and 20 percent of liberals report being evangelical.

By the issues:

Popularity Isn’t Just for Elections

By on 3.16.06 | 11:14AM

President Bush is blowing it, Dick Morris writes, because of his disregard for pursuing popularity -- "All because he doesn't want to do what he must -- get up every day and speak to America."

Think back to the December 2004 press conference, in which Bush bragged about the political capital that he intended to spend. If you don't feed that capital with a little popularity, there's no public clamoring for the other guys to work with you, and your capital has suddenly disappeared. It happened with Social Security, and it'll happen again with Iraq after the President completes his current burst of attention to that PR breakdown.

Snowe

By on 3.16.06 | 10:19AM

And that was not a typo or oversight calling Sen. Olympia Snowe a Democrat.

Anyone who wants to argue otherwise is free to do so. ... over on the Daily Kos.

Socialist Republicans

By on 3.16.06 | 10:17AM

Lost in yesterday's news was the victory by Democrat Sens. Ron Wyden and Olympia Snowe in getting price controls placed on pharmaceuticals. The amendment passed with Republican support, and allows Medicare to negotiate over prices for pharmaceuticals that are part of the Bush Administration's prescription drug plan.

The official word is that these aren't price controls. But, in fact, they are. Republicans privately were complaining that they couldn't afford to alienate seniors with a "No" vote. It's this lack of courage to do the right thing that not only makes the Republicans look bad to conservatives, but it feeds into the growing frustration with the Bush Administration. By saying no to Wyden-Snowe, they would have been saying no to the president's drug plan, which would have been saving the President from himself. And that's a good prescription.

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