Southeast Missourians can take a little comfort in knowing that the Bootheel Mafia is back in business. Unlike the nefarious enterprise with a similarly sounding sinister name, the Bootheel Mafia is an instrument for good. Several years ago, with the election of Bill Foster to the Missouri Senate, legislators from southeast Missouri realized there were issues on which they could agree and work together on for the benefit of their respective constituencies. Those issues transcended party lines. The result of that realization was a loosely organized caucus that became known as the Bootheel Mafia. Representatives Billy Pat Wright, Ott Bean, Gayle Kingery, Lanie Black, Pete Myers and Terry Swinger gather on Tuesdays to discuss legislation and topics that are of concern to this area. The meetings take place in "Godfather" Rob Mayer's senate office.
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Congratulations and well-earned respect to the Iraqi people, who ran the gauntlet to vote for a new government. And congratulations to President George Bush, the troops and others who hung in there for the election while withstanding a barrage by many doomsayers
- Gary Rust, Southeast Missourian
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Not my ox
Most everyone will agree that the federal government cannot afford to continue deficit spending. And most people would prefer to see cuts in government spending as opposed to an increase in their taxes. However, once the cuts get aimed at something that affects us directly, then it's a little like the preacher who can preach hell-fire and brimstone until he starts stepping on toes. The proposed budget cuts - Missourians are actually seeing cuts in both state and federal government spending - are, at first blush stepping on a few toes. It's worth remembering, though, that most of the weeping and gnashing of teeth over the proposed cuts is being brought to us by the same media that tried to use forged documents to affect the outcome of an election. Consider the following excerpted from Greg Pierce's Inside Politics column: "'All of the media have pounced on the Bush administration's desire to 'cut' spending on a few programs, focusing on how some small spending adjustments will hurt the poor, but none more so than CBS on Monday night," the Media Research Center's Brent Baker writes at www.mediaresearch.org.
"'Not CBS nor any network story on Monday night pointed out how minimal the proposed cuts really are,' Mr. Baker said. 'Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, observed on the group's Web site: 'The budget proposes to cut 150 programs, but the fine print shows that these cuts will only reduce 2006 spending by 0.8 percent.' See: www.cato.org. "The morning shows on Monday reflected how network journalists paint cuts as undesirable, referring to 'severe cutbacks,' 'steep cuts' and to how the budget will 'slash spending.'"
When it comes to cutting government spending it's the other fellow's ox we want to see gored, not our own. However, it may be that instead of the ox being 'gored' it's possible that beast is only being gouged a little bit.