The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, July 13, 2004  

Together With Media Miscellany

Stating the Obvious [*]
The General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress has released a report calling the federal government’s color-coded threat system too vague and confusing to help many local and state law-enforcement officials prepare for possible terrorist attacks. According to the New York Times Press Service, “A survey sent to 84 agencies, states, and U.S. territories as part of the study found that vague and inadequate warnings had ‘hindered their ability to determine whether they were at risk’ and what protective measures to take in response, the report said.”

Rep. Jim Turner (D-Texas) said, stating the obvious, “I’m afraid if we don’t make improvements in the system, the public’s going to lose trust and confidence in that system and won’t pay any attention to it anymore.” The Times press service reports a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security defended the color-coded alert system, countering with unintential (I think) obfuscation: “The homeland security system is a good system. Over the past year, it has continued to evolve into more of a risk-based system because we are farther along in our assessment of the nation’s critical infrastructure, allowing us to determine the impact an attack would have.”

Because Politics Ain’t Beanbag
Illinois Republicans still haven’t found a U.S. Senate candidate to replace Jack Ryan. The latest name being tossed around: former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka. The Chicago Tribune reports (“Ditka Tells GOP He’s Game,” by Rick Pearson):

[T]he 64-year-old Ditka . . . is causing a commotion among Republicans, who have been despairing over finding a replacement for Jack Ryan as their U.S. Senate nominee. . . .

The dearth of well-known names interested in replacing Ryan resulted in a draft Ditka for Senate movement. It was an offshoot of what had been a publicity-seeking effort by Illinois House Republican leader Tom Cross’[s] staff to tap Ditka to replace state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka as leader of the state GOP when she steps down after the Nov. 2 election. […]

But talk of a Ditka candidacy also has been viewed by some Republicans as a reflection of desperation for a once-proud political organization that has seen its credibility damaged by scandal and infighting.

And so the Illinois Republican Party implosion continues.

[Note: Additional items may be posted to “Political Notes” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

| HOME |

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |