Rich Galen

Whether you live in Marietta, Ohio 45750 or Dallas, Texas paying for city services is a big, big issue. Whether you live in New York City (unemployment rate 8.8 percent) or Miami, Florida (unemployment rate 10.0%) finding jobs for millions of unemployed is at the top of most voters' minds.

Watching the sand slip through the European economic hourglass and wondering if, or when, the coming crisis will spill over to the United States is being factored into every hiring or expansion decision in every business - large and small - in the country.

Jan van Lohuizen concluded his memo by reminding readers of basic conservative values:

"As people who promote personal responsibility, family values, commitment and stability, and emphasize freedom and limited government we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone. This includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing, the freedom to live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government."

So, if the Marriage issue - or any of its variations - is important to you, feel free to take your position, but keep in mind (a) it is not likely to be the deciding issue for most voters and (b) many Republicans are rethinking their previous opposition.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A link to the van Lohuizen memo, the Newsweek cover, and to the Charlie Cook essay. Also a season-appropriate Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at