In my opinion, the biggest of the many mistakes made by President George W. Bush was his failure to clean out CIA headquarters after 9/11, the most egregious intelligence failure in CIA history.And then he basically rewrites this column and this column.
You'd think that for whatever amount of money the P-G is paying him, he'd actually deliver something new.
But I digress.
We have a horse race here in Pennsylvania - for Senator. The polls are tightening and the endorsements are rolling in.
Here's a list of the papers in the state, sorted by circulation. Let's start at the top and see if there's an endorsement picture emerging.
Philadelphia Inquirer (circ 356,189): Endorsement SESTAK. First they discuss how bipartisan each candidate would be:
From health care to Social Security to bank bailouts, the candidates for Pennsylvania's open U.S. Senate seat are polar opposites.And:
The campaigns of Republican Pat Toomey and Democrat Joe Sestak reflect the nationwide purge of moderates from both parties. But Toomey, who served in the House from 1999-2005, has played a more prominent role in this counterproductive trend.
Toomey, having done his part for party purity, now asks independent voters to believe he can be bipartisan in Washington.The endorsement compares records:
The chances for that seem remote, at best.
Like most of his Democratic colleagues, Sestak would raise income taxes only on families earning more than $250,000 per year and extend tax cuts for all others. Toomey, an ardent tax-cutter during his six years in the House, would make tax cuts permanent even for the super-rich. That would add far more to deficits than the Democratic plan.And concludes:
Toomey, 48, was once a currency trader on Wall Street and later owned a restaurant in Allentown. He has a grasp of economic issues, and advocates less government across the board. But Toomey would unnecessarily repeal the health-care law in favor of solutions such as deducting the cost of health insurance premiums, something he acknowledges "won't have much of an impact" on people who can't afford health insurance.
Sestak has moderate, reasonable ideas for promoting clean energy and providing small businesses with incentives to create more jobs. In the Senate, Sestak's views would be much more in line with most Pennsylvanians.Oh, and they point out how that Pat Toomey was more conservative than Rick Santorum. More Conservative.
Now let's see how the big paper on the our side of the state sees things.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (circ. 192.279) Endorsement SESTAK:
Mr. Toomey wants to reduce the role of government on virtually every front. Mr. Sestak believes government should play a role in improving the lives of Americans. Based on interviews with both candidates, the choice for the Post-Gazette is easy.The P-G continues it's "reasonable man" portrait:
In a nation with double-digit unemployment, businesses shipping jobs overseas, a health reform targeted for repeal by special interests, a Congress incapable of forging smart energy policy and a tax-cut extension that could shower billions of dollars on the rich when the deficit can ill afford it -- Joe Sestak is the voice of reason.
Joe Sestak supports a smart energy policy that will rely less on fossil fuels, create jobs by growing sustainable technologies and reduce oil imports, thereby enhancing security. While his opponent rails about the federal deficit, Mr. Sestak would help reduce the red ink by extending the Bush-era tax cuts only to households with up to $250,000 in income. Renewing tax cuts to the rich would add $700 billion to the deficit over the next 10 years.And pointing out Toomey's conservative cred:
In 1998 he won a seat in the U.S. House and served for three terms. Then, as now, he supported privatizing parts of Social Security, a flat income tax of 17 percent and corporate taxes that are as low as possible. He believes the new health insurance law should be repealed and replaced by a modest program of tort reform, competition among insurance companies and health savings accounts in which families would set aside tax-deductible dollars to pay for their insurance.The P-G, as the Philadelphia Inquirer, points out how Toomey would very easily replicate Rick Santorum's voting record.
Mr. Toomey, 48, criticizes the federal banking bailout and economic stimulus as unnecessary spending, although economists widely backed both as necessary to save the nation from a depression. A former president of the Club for Growth, a far-right national political advocacy group, he believes in free trade and corporations unfettered by regulations. Mr. Toomey opposed cap and trade, the market-based concept initiated by Republicans that would give financial incentives to businesses for curbing harmful emissions. He says that while data supports the phenomenon of global warming, the extent to which it can be blamed on human activity is "very much disputed."
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (circ. 170,538)Endorsement TOOMEY:
Toomey, who went on to serve as president of the Club for Growth, is a conservative's conservative. Sestak, a retired Navy admiral, is a liberal's liberal. And while we have great personal respect for Sestak, a good and decent man, and stipulate that his military expertise would be an asset in the Senate, the nation no longer can abide his kind of failed liberal public policy prescriptions.So what can we take from these three endorsements?
Pat Toomey is another good and decent man. No, there's not much "flash" but Toomey is no shrinking violet. He understands fundamental economics and government's role in facilitating economic growth. His scholarship and demeanor will serve Pennsylvanians well in the U.S. Senate.
Sestak: Reasonable, moderate and far more bipartisan.
Toomey: A Conservative's conservative who'd easily recreate Rick Santorum's voting record.