Monthly Archives: January 2008

Renouncing Earmarks

Andrew Roth at The Club for Growth writes today about a group of eight Congressmen who have taken a pledge not to request earmarks:

Shortly after joining Congress in 2000, Rep. Jeff Flake swore off earmarks forever. Others have followed. GOP Leader John Boehner was arguably the first among current House members. He shunned earmarks way back in 1990 (who said accepting earmarks was necessary for getting re-elected?). And with the earmark crisis reaching a feverish pitch nowadays, fiscal conservatives are realizing that something radical needs to be done. Real reform needs to be enacted, and the first step is to lead by example.

Here’s the complete list:

Jeff Flake (AZ-06)
John Campbell (CA-48)
Jeb Hensarling (TX-05)
John Shadegg (AZ-03)
John Boehner (OH-08)
John Kline (MN-02)
Tom Price (GA-06)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03)

Missing from the list is a certain Presidential candidate who calls himself the Taxpayers Best Friend.

Update: Roth has updated the list from his original post after receiving telephone calls from several Congressional offices. Here’s the updated list:

Jeff Flake (AZ-06)
John Campbell (CA-48)
Jeb Hensarling (TX-05)
John Shadegg (AZ-03)
John Boehner (OH-08)
John Kline (MN-02)
Tom Price (GA-06)
Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03)
Virginia Foxx (NC-05)
Trent Franks (AZ-02)
Michele Bachmman (MN-06)
Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
Eric Cantor (VA-07)
Patrick McHenry (NC-10)
Marilyn Musgrave (CO-04)
Peter Roskam (IL-06)
Paul Ryan (WI-01)

Tom Coburn (OK)
Jim DeMint (SC)
John McCain (AZ)
Claire McCaskill (MO)
Richard Burr (NC)

McCaskill is the only Democrat on the list.

Don’t Watch The Watchers

A lawyer in Massachusetts faces wiretapping charges for recording a drug arrest on his cell phone:

A 2006 graduate of New England School of Law will stand trial on Jan. 29 in Boston Municipal Court on charges of wiretapping, aiding an escape and disturbing the peace for allegedly using his cell phone to record the arrest of a 16-year-old juvenile in a drug case.

The matter, which stems from an Oct. 1 incident, has drawn the ire of local legal heavyweight Harvey A. Silverglate — who has penned an op-ed on the case for the Jan. 28 issue of Lawyers Weekly — and others who worry about the consequences for “concerned citizens” who choose to record possible police misconduct.

According to a police report obtained by Lawyers Weekly, Officer Peter Savalis alleges that attorney Simon Glik was walking in the Boston Common at 5:30 p.m. when he used his phone’s camera to videotape him and two other officers investigating a teen.

“[He] reached out and placed his arm into the officer’s way and held out a phone,” according to Savalis’ police report — an accusation that Glik denies.

The report then states that the Moscow-born lawyer, who graduated at the top of his NESL class and was on the law review, walked around the officers and continued recording the scene.

When one of the officers asked if he was using audio and video on the phone, Glik reportedly said: “I sure am using audio.”

The officers were not amused with the response and handcuffed and arrested the 31-year-old, who has aspirations of being a prosecutor.

And now the prosecutors, instead of dismissing what is clearly a bogus charged filed by a pissed-off police officer, are going ahead with prosecuting Gilk for committing the “crime” of filming the police in the performance of their official duties while in a public place.

The moral of the story — Big Brother is watching you, but don’t watch Big Brother

H/T: Cato@Liberty

Bush, Congressional Republicans Cave On Earmark Reform

It looks like Republicans in Washington are backing down on the fight against Congressional earmarks, the latest example being the White House’s decision to back away from issuing an Executive Order aimed at stopping earmarks altogether:

The White House is now confirming that President Bush won’t be signing an executive order that could stop the vast majority of earmarks. Instead, he’s going to sign one  “directing agencies to ignore any future earmarks included in report language but not in the legislation, which is traditionally how they end upon the books,” according to White House spokesman Dana Perino.

Bush will also threaten to veto any appropriations bills that don’t cut the number of earmarks in half when they come to him during the remainder of his days in the White House.

Confirmation of Bush’s decision comes hard on the heels of the House GOP’s weekend letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi proposing a six-month moratorium on earmarks and the appointment of a joint Senate-House committee to study the issue. And last week the Senate GOP Conference Chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, made clear his intent to cooperate with Democrats rather than confront them.

In view of the collapse of the GOP leadership on all three fronts, it is absolutely fitting that Pelosi most accurately explains what it means: “I think Republicans have pulled their punch on earmarks. It looked like a very lukewarm approach. They want to beat a loud drum, but when it comes down to it, they want their earmarks.”

Precisely. With few exceptions, the Republicans in the nation’s capitol are toothless wonders. They talk a good case for conservative reform but they don’t walk it. They want to keep the perks of power and position, even if doing so means betraying the principles they profess to believe and for the defense of which their constituents voted for them.

On all but a few issues, America no longer has a two-party system – It has only the Party of Government with two wings cooperating “to get things done.” We conservatives are a base without a party.

Given how the Republicans governed during the first six years of the Bush Administration, can anyone honestly say that they’re surprised by this ?

Quote/Question of the Day: McCain Edition

Quoted from a John Samples’ article McCain vs. Madison

The election of a Progressive like Clinton or Obama would deprive conservatives of power. The election of a Progressive like McCain would deprive conservatives of both the government and the means to resist Progressivism. Which is the lesser evil?

Ditto for Huckabee, Romney, and Giuliani.

Monday Open Thread: Florida Primary Predictions

One of these days, I’m gonna get this right, and I think hope today may be the day.

Here’s how I think things will pan out in Florida tomorrow.


  1. John McCain
  2. Mitt Romney
  3. Rudy Giuliani
  4. Mike Huckabee
  5. Ron Paul

Over the weekend, John McCain received endorsements from Senator Mel Martinez and Governor Charlie Crist, both of which are likely to be just enough to help him overcome a last minute surge from Mitt Romney. Depending on how big the margin of victory, this could be the beginning of the end of the Republican race. Giuliani has fallen behind, but there are also reports that he has benefited a lot from Florida’s early voting — I don’t think it’s going to be enough to push him past third place, though. Huckabee continues to do well in southern states like Georgia and Tennessee, but Florida’s influx of Northerners is cutting down on his support there. As for Ron Paul, well from what I’ve seen it doesn’t seem like the campaign has paid any attention at all to Florida — again making me wonder what they’re doing with all that money they raised.


  1. Hillary Clinton
  2. Barack Obama
  3. John Edwards

Technically, there isn’t really supposed to be a Democratic Primary in Florida tomorrow, or at least not one that counts. When the Florida Democratic Party decided to move it’s primary up to January 29th, the National Committee responded by stripping the state of all of it’s delegates. And each of the candidates promised not to actively campaign in Florida as well and support the DNC’s decision. Unless your name is Hillary Clinton, of course:

This is a very, very, very big deal. From the Clinton campaign:

I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee.

I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan. I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.

I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this.

I will of course be following the no-campaigning pledge that I signed, and expect others will as well.

Hillary is going to win Florida, basically by default, just like she won the meaningless primary in Michigan. Between those two states we’re talking about over 200 delegates that wouldn’t be seated if the DNC’s resolution stands. Does anyone not think that Hillary will make an issue over this if the nomination fight ends up being as close as some think it will be ?

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