The Note

"Most of those spending increases are to be paid for by unspecified cuts to general government funding or federal 'allowances.' But without specifics, Republican and Democratic Senate aides say those offsets will never happen. In all, a Senate GOP leadership aide said, as much as $15 billion was tacked on to the budget."

In a 24-to-18 party-line vote, the House Budget Committee "turned down a Democratic amendment that would have blocked future tax cuts unless they were paid for with money from spending cuts or increases in other taxes," writes Richard Oppel of the New York Times . LINK

The New York Times editorial page writes that "it will largely be up to four moderate Republican senators — Lincoln Chafee, John McCain, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe — to decide whether they want to fight an uphill battle against their president to put a stop to what his father once called voodoo economics." LINK

The politics of same-sex marriage:

Johanna Neuman of the Los Angeles Times spent some time with a gay Republican councilman from the District of Columbia, David Catania, who has been a strong Bush supporter and is feeling somewhat disaffected since the proposal of the constitutional amendment. LINK

Neuman also reports on the benefits some gay groups are experiencing of late. "The raw emotion kicked up by the issue is affecting the presidential campaign in ways that no one anticipated. Ever since Bush endorsed a ban on same-sex unions, money has been pouring in to gay rights groups in record amounts."

"The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, which has recruited gay political candidates and raised money for them since 1991, reports a 200% increase in contributions to gay and lesbian candidates. The Log Cabin Republicans, which is fighting the ban, reports it is getting hundreds of thousands of dollars a week in donations."

The politics of immigration:

The Wall Street Journal editorial board takes some Republicans to task for refusing to move forward with President Bush's new immigrant workers proposals:

"Conservative immigration opponents argue that Latinos tend to vote Democratic anyway and that this is all the more reason to stop immigration now. But Census data expose the weakness of that reasoning. At 36 million and counting, there are so many Americans of Hispanic heritage already in the U.S. that even if we stopped immigration cold today, their share of the electorate would rise, and rapidly. That donkey has left the barn."

"And that's bad news for any party that lets itself be perceived as hostile to migration among Hispanics, for whom immigration policy matters tremendously to first- and second-generation voters. The point isn't that Republicans need to play identity politics the way Democrats do. Hispanic voters will settle for being treated like other Americans, but they will punish politicians who appear to be actively hostile to their efforts to get ahead."


And just so the Union Leader's John DiStaso doesn't think we have stopped building our Thursday's around reading Granite Status, we will let you know that we LOVED this item: "Best pure rumor we heard this week: former WMUR sports director Charlie Sherman headed to the state tourism office as a pitchman. Word is Sherman wants to promote Hampton Beach as a winter resort."

Page Six predicts Treasury Secretary Snow will not be around for a second Bush term should there be one. LINK

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