Replacing Tom Delay
Inside the Beltway is a abuzz with speculation about who might replace Tom Delay as House Majority Leader. Delay recently announced his intention to step down from that position. Seems the GOP feels Delay has too much political baggage what with the Abramoff thing brewing and his questionable indictment in Texas.
Let’s review the choice from various and sundry pundits across the fruited plains.
THE LEADING CANDIDATE TO REPLACE DELAY
" Mr. Blunt has no clear ideology of his own. . . . However, he is well known among members for his belief that attempts to rein in Congressional pork-barrel projects (such as the infamous 'Bridge to Nowhere' in Alaska) are misguided and naive efforts at reform."
- John Fund, Political Diary, 1/9/05
Blunt is a safe choice and John Fund does consider him the “leading candidate”. However that bit about Blunt’s consideration of pork elimination to be naïve will hurt him with the Republican base.
THE "AVIS" CANDIDATE (#2 BUT TRYING HARDER)
"Rep. John A. Boehner's vote last month against a bill cracking down on illegal immigration is sending 'tremors' through the House Republican Conference as the Ohio lawmaker pushes his candidacy for House majority leader.
- Washington Times, 1/11/06
Second choice would be Boehner as his name has been bandied about frequently. The Republican base will love his stand on immigration, a cause the base believes congress does not take seriously enough.
THE LONGSHOT CANDIDATE
" But a long shot also potentially in the running hails from Indiana's 6th district, Congressman Mike Pence. . . . A Columbus native and former radio talk show host, Pence was elected to Congress in 2000. While Delay was known as the 'hammer for keeping Republicans in line,' Pence has gained a reputation as a 'national spokesman' for conservative issues."
- Eyewitness News in Indianapolis, 1/8/05
Frankly I’ve never heard of Mike Pence and certainly have never considered him a spokesman for conservative issues. Note that the medium suggesting Pence is an Indiana News station.
THE DARK HORSE CANDIDATE
"A dark-horse candidate (for House Majority Leader) who might unite younger conservatives around his campaign is Arizona Rep. John Shaddegg. A member of the GOP leadership team as chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee, Mr. Shaddegg grew up in Arizona as the son of a top adviser to Barry Goldwater. "
- John Fund, Political Diary, 1/9/05
Hmmmmm. Fund seems to think this guy has a chance. Could be. The House Majority Leader (or Minority Leader for that matter) is not a political post that resonates with the American public. The position is not a ballot position after all.
However, these positions do give public exposure, witness Tom Delay. I would think the Repubs would nominate a candidate with at least a small shot at the presidency.
My guess? I’m going with Boehner. He appeals to the base and it’s possible, after this next election (with Condi as VP candidate) and with some experience and exposure under his belt, Boehner could step up to the plate for a chance at the Republican nomination for President.
George Galloway Shocks the World
George Galloway is a member of Britain’s House of Commons with a constituency that is largely Muslim.
The man is universally viewed as a practiced and a bit of a thief. Documentation revealed that Galloway was a recipient of Saddam Hussein’s largesse in his famous “oil-for-palaces” scandal. Galloway even testified before American congressional committees investigating the U.N.’s corrupt oil-for-food program. Except his testimony was all lies and there’s plenty of proof. At the time scuttlebutt was that Galloway would be brought up on charges of lying to congress but no way that was going to happen. It’s why Galloway lied so belligerently.
For all of his crimes, it was Galloway’s stardom on a British reality program, Celebrity Big Brother, that is bringing the most international derision.
During a “Big Brother” task involving communication with animals, Galloway got on all fours in front of Rula Lenska. He pretended to lap cream from Lenska’s hands. After, Lenska “rubbed” the cream off of Galloway’s “whiskers” and from behind his ears.
It would also seem that Galloway missed an important vote in the House of Commons that greatly affected his constituency. He was, ahem, too busy pretending to be a cat on national TV.
From the NY Times:
Mr Galloway, 51, went on all fours, purred and pretended to lick cream from actress Rula Lenska's hands, as part of a task set on the Channel 4 show.
From the Beeb:
Labour London Assembly member John Biggs accused the Bethnal Green and Bow MP of neglecting his constituents.
But Mr Galloway says taking part in the programme is good for politics.
Bill Clinton Brokers AIDS Drug Deal
There is not much sadder than the AIDS epidemics out of control in many African countries. The disease can be prevented. The disease, if contracted, can be controlled. Problem is the international community throws money at the problem and the African poobahs manage to somehow keep it for their own selves and causes.
This negotiation by Clinton could be a real step in the right direction. It could also, as an aside, give him a mighty lift in Clinton’s quest to become the next U.N. Secretariat.
A private foundation would, I surmise, keep track of the drugs and how they are distributed. And drugs are not money.
Can’t spend drugs.
Former President Bill Clinton announced Thursday that his foundation has negotiated agreements to lower the price of rapid HIV tests and anti-AIDS drugs in the developing world.
Under the agreement, four companies will offer the tests for 49 cents to 65 cents each, cutting the cost of a diagnosis in half. Four more companies will provide the antiretroviral drugs efavirenz and abacavir at a price about 30 percent less than the current market rate.
"Too many people die because they can't afford or don't have access to the drugs," Clinton said at his office in Harlem. "This agreement will save hundreds of thousands of lives."
The products and prices will be available to the Clinton Foundation's procurement consortium, which includes 50 developing countries on several continents.
Bolton Takes United Nations’ Hypocrisy to Task
Kofi Annan, who never met a bribe he didn’t take, attended the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People this past Nov. 29. An event that is held every year and with no shame, the U.N. Secretary-General attends.
For displayed very conspicuously at the event is a map of the Mideast. The State of Israel is nowhere to be seen on the map.
Finally an American Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, takes the U.N. to task. How “united” can this United Nations be if they regularly and with great fanfare attend events that do not even show a …nation… as existing?
Bolton also complained that the United States funds 25% of the U.N. budget and does not approve of this action.
As an aside, the Bolton nomination was bitterly contested by the Democrats in the Senate (a.k.a. the House of Lords). The Lords refused to give the man a simple up or down vote (I must ask why?) so Bush appointed Bolton via recess appointment.
Bolton’s letter read, per Yahoo.com:
"Given that we now have a world leader pursuing nuclear weapons who is calling for the state of Israel to be 'wiped off the map,' the issue has even greater salience," he said in a January 3 letter, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters on Friday. The letter was first reported in the New York Sun.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who said in October the Jewish state should be "wiped off the map," has denied pursuing nuclear arms.
Winner of This Week’s Political Idiot Award
It was a toss-up between Schumer, Kennedy or …, tada…Joe Biden, representing Delaware in the House of Lords.
Seems Lord Biden got so entangled with talking about Princeton that he went on. And on. And on.
He talked about his sons. He talked about his own educational experience. He joked and laughed self-consciously.
Biden embarrassed himself so bad that the fine Lord from Delaware who never met a camera he didn’t like, was nowhere to be found on any of the Sunday political talk shows.
Seven of us were to perform. Six female, one male, from the choir,singing a piece at a fund drive dinner for the church. Our church is building on a new site, and Sunday was the kickoff dinner. Any and all were welcome to attend, but I didn't send out invites because, well, because it's a fund drive. "Hi, come hear me sing, have dinner, and pledge money to the church" strikes me as tacky, somehow. I did, however, invite a couple of people I know locally.
They didn't make it. Shame, too, cause we performed wonderfully.
The MC announced us, spoke about Rossini, the great composer of operas. We walked gracefully up the side aisle in borrowed robes, all in black, black folders holding our music at the ready. We stood at the front of about 120 attendees, and opened our folders, solemn and dignified. The piano began to play, and we began to sing, three altos and three sopranos.
"Me - ee - ow. Me - ee - ee - ow."
Patrons began to look at each other, wondering if they'd heard aright.
"Me - ee - ee - ee - ee - ee - ee - ee - ee - ow. Me - ee - ow."
A few giggles were heard, as people began to realize they were, indeed, hearing what they thought they were hearing.
"Me - ow - ow - ow - ow - ow. Me - ee - ee - ow."
Rossini had written an operatic cat fight. It was the altos against the sopranos, as we each pfftted the other's performance and tried to better it. Disdainful expressions were encouraged, and we came up with some good ones.
Unfortunately, by the time we ended, there was so much laughter and applause, no one could hear our solo male performer -- sitting in the audience, he barked in bass, suddenly and sharply, at the end of the piece. At the bark, the 'cats' were supposed to scatter.
I've been remarking on how much Latin we sing -- it appears that this church tries to expand my education every week. Last week I learned to sing cat.
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