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updated 12/3/2003 1:22:54 PM ET 2003-12-03T18:22:54

SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY NEWSLETTER

Dec. 1, 2003

The President’s Thanksgiving trip, Democratic turkeys, shameless Republican spending sprees, Dan Rather’s departure, and why I agree with Hillary!

Bush's magical mystery tour

Washington is still buzzing about the President’s secret trip to Iraq.

While George Bush’s visit was a holiday hit with the troops, it sent Democratic candidates and media watchdogs scurrying.

Spokesmen for most of the Democratic presidential candidates issued biting comments regarding the trip, with Sen. John Kerry attacking the President for sending troops “into a shooting gallery” but not giving them what they need to win.

For the record, John Kerry voted to send the troops to what he now calls a “shooting gallery” but recently voted against funding the war.

For a candidate whose life has been shaped by Vietnam, it is more than a little disquieting that Senator Kerry seems ready to repeat the mistakes of Vietnam by sending troops to war and then not giving them the firepower needed to win.

Congress was responsible for the deaths of thousands of American troops in Southeast Asia for following that tragic two-step approach from 1965 to 1973. Let’s hope Congress and President Bush don’t repeat the mistake.

FYI: The New York Times ran an excellent profile of Senator Kerry in its Sunday edition that’s must reading for political observers. And despite his waffling response to the Iraq War, the Massachusetts senator still appears to be one of the few adults in the Democratic Presidential field.

We’ll be debating the President’s trip, Baghdad’s ‘Bloody November’, and whether U.S. troops need to be more aggressive hunting down Saddam’s terrorist thugs tonight on Scarborough Country.

Speaking of no adult supervision...

A few Republican Senators recently had the guts to take on their party’s reckless spending habits.

This weekend, Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel said: “Republicans used to believe in fiscal responsibility, limited international entanglements and limited government. We have lost our way.”

And yesterday, John McCain told Fox News Sunday, “Congress is now spending money like a drunken sailor, and I’ve never known a sailor, drunk or sober, with the imagination that this Congress has.”

McCain also criticized President Bush for refusing to use his veto pen to snuff out massive pork-barrel projects.

Count me with John McCain on this one. Whether Republicans want to admit the obvious or not, George W. Bush and the Republican Congress are enacting the most irresponsible spending bills in the history of our Republic.

When I first entered Congress in 1994, Republican’s took the majority for the first time in 40 years by promising to be responsible with your tax dollars.

Well, they lied.

The federal deficit is at an all-time high, the federal debt is at an all-time high, and federal spending is exploding at record rates.

If anyone cared as much about runaway spending as my shrieking Republican colleagues claimed to before taking power, voters would throw the Republican Congress out of power next year. They don’t, so they won’t.

HRC: Stay the course

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton seems to have it right on Iraq.

The New York Senator told reporters in Iraq that the United States must “stay the course” in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that Congress should send in more troops to finish the job. She also praised the troops and noted that their morale “is very high”

The former first lady and current president seem to disagree with political operatives inside the Republican Party who are trying to set false deadlines to get troops home in time for next year’s presidential election. They also disagree with most Democratic Presidential candidates whose positions on such matters range from irresponsible to unintelligible.

The move would be catastrophic to our war effort and an immeasurable victory for terrorists across the world.

News reports are suggesting that CBS news anchor Dan Rather could be on his way out by the end of next year. Sources point to bad ratings and CBS’s last place standing in the broadcast news wars over the past ten years.

Rather’s standing wasn’t helped any when CBS News President Andrew Heyward refused to say whether Rather will remain in his anchor spot in the future.

Long held up by conservatives as Exhibit #1 for the media’s left wing bias, media critics claim Dan Rather has remained mired in last place because he has always come across as stiff and awkward on his nightly news casts (see ‘Joe Scarborough’). Ironically, all those who speak of him on the record say Rather is a very warm, likeable Texas charmer.

This week, Scarborough Country will tell you how Rather and Tom Brokaw’s departure (also reportedly at the end of 2004) will forever change the way news is reported, and whether any broadcast news show will follow the hugely successful cable news model at Fox News.

Hope you’ll be watching,

Joe

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