The Note: Who's in Charge Here?

The announcement yesterday by Chairman Sensenbrenner that he is supporting Rep. Shadegg's candidacy brings up an important point: for a number of reasons, we have not chosen to play the numbers game. We are not releasing a public list of supporters, or even a number - and we likely never will. So everyone should remember that the number (5, 6, or 117) beside Shadegg's name in the public counts only reflects our supporters who choose themselves to make their names public - the actual count is far higher.

(And, on a personal note: challenge accepted. My truth serum of choice is Jack Daniels. What say you, Mr. Smithe?)

Congressman Boehner's communications director, Kevin Smith, weighs in with this:

For 15 years Mr. Boehner has refused to engage in pork-barrel politics. Now that his principled position is fashionable, everyone's on board - and claiming they've been leading the charge! As they say about budget reconciliation votes, it's better late than never.

Let's look at some numbers from the Citizens Against Government Waste: 13,997 ... 10,656. ... 9,362. These represent the number of pork projects passed through Congress over the last three years, and they truly mean something to the American people who've watched billions in pork be slipped into legislation with little accountability or scrutiny. John Boehner has a plan to reform this practice.

The next Majority Leader must have ideas, and just as important must have the credibility to turn those ideas into action. John Boehner has both the ideas and the experience necessary to help lead the Conference and provide a real alternative to the status quo.

GOP Leadership:

Reps. Dan Lungren (R-CA) and John Sweeney (R-NY) tell the Washington Times that they are halfway to the 50 signatures needed to ask for full leadership elections, and both "predicted they would reach that number." LINK

Politics of spying:

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) is heartened by a Congressional Research Service report supporting her view that Intelligence Committee members beyond the "Gang of 8" can be briefed on the NSA warrantless wiretapping program, per the New York Times. LINK

The Washington Post Notes that yesterday's report is the second from CRS this month to question the legality of the domestic spying program, with its conclusion that the President improperly limited its briefings of Congress on the program. LINK

The spying hearings, the Wall Street Journal Notes, will not generate a "binding decision" on whether the White House broke the law, which is why there are such wide-ranging private efforts to bring the program before a judge.

"Their goal is a court ruling, possibly within weeks, to uphold or strike down the government's eavesdropping program."

In his New York Post op-ed, Dick Morris writes the NSA warrantless wiretapping controversy is a politically winning issue for President Bush. LINK

"Ann Coulter represents the Democratic mainstream better than Al Gore on this one," writes Morris.

On the Washington Post op-ed page, David Broder says Al Gore's comments on Monday on executive power did the country a "service by laying out the case as clearly and copiously." LINK

The current Vice President will not be any more swayed by the Broder piece than the current First Lady is by the Reines statements.

Politics of Iran:

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