Saturday, November 15, 2008

So it's Peter again

Peter won a second term quite handily. No big surprise, as incumbents always have the upper hand, and in Peter's case, the money sure helped. The question is what kind of effect he can have and how is he going to adapt to the new realities of Washington. He has been so partisan in his messages in the past, it seems there is now the challenge to see how to move forward with a more progressive message. A look at his website ( shows that he is already back on the old message of cut taxes for everyone, make them permanent, and all will be well.

Here are some questions:
If you cut all the taxes, where will the funds for education come from?
Yes, $3000 in increased taxes (if you are to believe Peter's math) is alot for some families, but for many in the district, this is not a lot; it's more a matter of just needing to make changes in consumption and expenses. The lower middle class already knows how to do this; perhaps it's time for some in the higher echelons to make some changes as well. As we saw with $4 gas prices, it seems like the most effective way to bring about societal change in patterns and behavior is through the pocket-book.

The challenges we face are enormous, and not just economic. To only focus on taxes won't do it. Peter is going to need to step up to a larger arena that looks at many issues (healthcare, energy costs, education costs) and get serious about solutions. Otherwise, he will find himself in the shrinking reactionary conservative wing of congress that is fighting the our current challenges with the last generation's tactics.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Roskam to host McCain

Does Peter Roskam have any shame? I received an e-mail announcement inviting people to attend a rally on Friday, February 1, for "the next President of the United States", John McCain.

One of Roskam's campaign and congressional themes has been that we need to close off the borders and stop illegal immigration. On his own website ( he call for opposing what he shamelessly and partisanly calls "Ted Kennedy's Senate Illegal Alien Amnesty Bill". There is a CNN quote that if this bill becomes law "it will legalize millions of illegal aliens in this country, and according to the Congressional Budget Office it will cost taxpayers upwards of 100 billion dollars."

Peter is really showing his partisan colors on this one. The real name of the bill? "The Kennedy-McCain Immigration Reform Bill". So, other than being a Republican, what is Peter basing his support of McCain on, and why does he so blatantly leave McCain's name off the bill as listed on his website (as well as Sen. Graham and many other Republican senators who voted for the bill)? Haven't we had enough of this kind of partisanship?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Roskam the Pork-Reformer?

If Peter Roskam is going to be serious about his stated pledge to do what he can to clean up Washington and pork spending, rather than continually attacking the Democrats on this issue, he should spend this week going after fellow Republican Lewis, and doing all he can to get Republican colleague Rep. Flake from Arizona on the Appropriations Committee. (See Robert Novak's column at Anything less than this, then Roskam's words are hollow and he should be even further exposed as nothing more than a Republican political hack.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Roskam's Annual Review

Peter Roskam's most recent post is his self-evaluation of his first year in office. It contains a reflection of how divided Washington is, and invokes the words of Lincoln ("A house divided cannot stand") to show how sincere and committed to bi-partisanship he is. He gloats about how much he has done to serve all people and transcend the divide of a congress "beleaguered by partisanship". All great words, Mr. Roskam. But, some things you forgot to mention:
  • You talk alot about government accountability, and even serve on oversight, but you have seemed oddly silent on Bush Administration doings ("Scooter" Libby, Attorney General Gonzalez, Halliburton and military mismanagement, torture, etc.), while voting for troop build-up. You mention the need for light and honesty to shine, but not once have you called for this from the house floor.
  • You lamented in your tax-day message government waste of tax-payer money (even going so far as slamming the "bridge to nowhere", a pet project of Republican Stevens), but did you mention this is a non-partisan way? No, you mentioned it as a sign of wasteful Democrats. Hardly a model of bi-partisanship.
  • You also touted that you voted for the recent Energy Bill that "Bush signed", not mentioning that the Democrats in the House and Senate passes. Again, hardly a mark of bi-partisanship.
  • You routinely placed a higher priority on tax cuts and protections for mostly the wealthy and, most shamefully, oil companies, above healthcare and education for children, environmental needs, housing relief during the current housing crisis, and employment protection for gays and lesbians. And, of course, the inconsistency is the "blank check" for the military without calling for oversight.
  • on the ethics front, some of your first votes were to protect lobbyist interests and to protect the government benefits of congressional peers who are convicted of political wrong-doing while in office (in both of these cases, you were on the losing side of the votes).
  • There were many times this past year when your colleagues Kirk and Biggert crossed the aisle, but you did not. Just in general, if you really are committed to 'bi-partisanship', you might want to follow their leads as a start.
  • To read a review of your website, your math seems to be "Bush = good, Pelosi = bad". Hardly the math of a 'uniter' that you seem to self-proclaim to be.

Let's hope 2008 holds better things.