Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Huckabee to Help Flip the House

Former Arkansas Governor and Fox News Host Mike Huckabee will headline a rally Saturday, October 25th at Bowman Field in Louisville.  The rally is free and open to the public at 5:00. (Enter off of Cannon's Lane and follow the signs.)

Huckabee will appear on behalf of the Kentucky Rise PAC in support of its efforts to give Republicans our first GOP House in Kentucky since 1922.  Kentucky Rise PAC is chaired by former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Cathy Bailey.  "In a year that is extremely crucial to our country's future, we cannot ignore the opportunity to win the Kentucky House in 2014, " Bailey said.  "Governor Huckabee knows first-hand the importance of Republicans controlling both chambers of the statehouse and is committed to helping us here in Kentucky. It's imperative we create a pro-business state that could allow Kentucky to serve as a regional economic powerhouse, encouraging job creation and is committed to helping our educational system, which will provide a strong Kentucky workforce."

Now that the DSCC has fled Kentucky after Alison Lundergan Grimes's embarrassing refusal to admit she voted for Obama, it is time to focus on the State House.  Huckabee's appearance comes just ten days before the election -- perfect for rallying the base to make a historic change in who governs in Frankfort.

Given that a veto by Kentucky's governor can be over-ridden by a simple majority, control or the legislative chambers is more significant in Kentucky than in most other states.  It is key to transforming the Commonwealth.  Huckabee and Bailey deserve our gratitude for their efforts to flip the House. Thank them in person on October 25th, 5:00 at Bowman Field.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Debate Predictions

Tonight's debate between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat candidate Alison Lundergan-Grimes is like the Super Bowl of Kentucky politics.

This is Grimes' last chance.  Nothing she has done to date suggests that she has what it takes to upstage McConnell tonight. If she was fleet-footed enough to debate, she wouldn't have been so tightly scripted this entire campaign.

McConnell's mastery of the facts of every issue of public policy that will come up will be insurmountable for Grimes.  We saw a preview of this when, at the Farm Bureau Breakfast, she did not understand the subtleties of agricultural price supports.  And again, when she opined that Israel's iron dome protected against Hamas's tunnels.  McConnell, therefore, wins in the contest of who looks best informed and most able to lead now. This will reinforce the public's suspicion that Grimes is just not ready for the task at this juncture.

Look for Grimes to feign outrage at McConnell supposedly condescending to her because she is a women.  He would not do such a thing -- he is married to a former Cabinet member, for heaven's sake -- but Grimes will make the accusation nonetheless.  She will probably say something about not being an empty dress.  (In point of fact, that's exactly what she is).  This exchange will probably occur when she is advocating equal pay for equal work or talking about the Violence Against Women Act.

Let's review.  It has been illegal since the 1960's to pay women less than men for the same work.  This is a fake issue, wherein Grimes purports to solve a problem that does not exist.  Likewise, McConnell was an original co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women.

Grimes is doing so poorly among Kentucky women because we see through her War on Women rhetoric.  Nor does the Democrat strategy or warning that Republicans are coming for our Lady Parts work in Kentucky.  Most of us -- unlike Grimes -- are pro-life.  Maybe someone should ask Grimes about the Democrats' War on Unborn Women.

Kentucky women are worried about our children's future.  We don't want our children to be on our health insurance at age 26 -- we want them to move out of the house, become gainfully employed, and start their own families. The fact that Democrats boast about Obamacare permitting 26 year old children to remain on parents' insurance policies shows the degree to which Democrats just don't understand our values of hard work, personal responsibility and independence.

Kentucky women smell a phony in Grimes. The robotic hand-gestures, the doe-eyed innocence, the hair carefully coiffed to fall over her left shoulder, the ceaseless platitudes, generalities and lack of substance. She is a daddy's girl of the highest order.  Some daddy's girls convince daddy to buy them a pony.  Grimes convinced her daddy -- the notorious Jerry Lundergan -- to buy her a campaign bus. She is no woman of the people.  For her to pretend that she speaks for Kentucky women is beyond laughable, it is offensive.

Dr. MacFarlane's Take on Ebola

From the campaign of Dr. Michael MacFarlane, Congressional candidate for Kentucky's 3rd district.  I share Dr. MacFarlane's concerns (though his take is informed by him being a medical doctor).  My C-J column this week also addresses the administration's response to Ebola.

Yesterday, Dr. Macfarlane wrote a thoughtful and timely Op-Ed piece in the wake of breaking news from Dallas, TX. The Courier Journal has responded this morning that they will not run any more pieces from Dr. Macfarlane before the election.  Just to clarify, Dr. Macfarlane had only one article published by the Courier Journal in June.  This is the letter to the editor that you will not see published.

Ebola virus and politics
I, like you, have been following the stories concerning Ebola around the country and particularly at Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.  This morning we awoke to discover that a Dallas nurse who had treated patient Thomas Duncan who succumbed to Ebola last Wednesday, has now tested positive with the infection.  She was fully aware of the patient’s diagnosis and used full CDC isolation precautions including gown, gloves and mask while she cared for the patient, yet she still has fallen victim to the disease.  Her sacrifice to care for a sick patient is exactly what healthcare providers do on a daily basis. 
Each new Ebola infection triggers an elaborate and expensive protocol of contact screenings and monitoring of hundreds of potential people in addition to decontamination procedures by hazardous material professionals.  Routine care at a hospital with infected patients will be impaired.  Texas Presbyterian has temporarily halted new emergency room admissions.  It should be apparent that the situation could easily become overwhelming if more cases are encountered.  We are presently out of the new experimental drug ZMapp, which has already been credited in saving the lives of other healthcare workers.  The medication is a biologic of monoclonal antibodies and it takes time to produce. 
Unfortunately, the Ebola topic has become a part of the political debate for the upcoming midterm elections. Is the federal government doing all that is necessary to prevent a major out break in the United States?  Presently the disease is endemic only in a few West African nations where presently over 4,000 have already died.
The Federal response at this time is to set up screening facilities at major airports in the U.S. for travelers who have already entered the country.  Each passenger will need to be evaluated based on their most recent travel destinations, undergo a mini-medical examination, and then have a decision made whether or not to allow them entry, begin further monitoring, a quarantine or hospitalization.  I do not envy anyone who must make that call. Public health is at stake.
Common sense on the other hand would suggest treating such a deadly disease at its source rather than bringing it into the US.  Common sense would also suggest curtailing unnecessary travel to and from these endemic countries temporarily, at least until we have more immunoglobulin and better procedures in place to ensure infected individuals do not get on planes.  To be clear, travel bans would not restrict aid and humanitarian work in endemic countries or travel for medical professionals who are working to stop a pandemic at its source. We need a common sense approach and we need it quick.

Unfortunately common sense seems to be lacking in our government at every level.  Fortunately for us, the people still have it and will soon weigh in.

Michael Macfarlane, M.D.
Candidate for KY 3rd Congressional District


Please support Dr. Macfarlane today.  We appreciate any contribution that can be made.

Best Regards,

Macfarlane for Congress

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Democrats Turn Surreal

For those old enough to remember, Johnny Carson once had a dialogue with his audience about the weather.  After he opened by remarking about how really hot the weather was that day, the audience responded in unison, "how hot was it?" then Johnny replied with the punch line, "it was so hot today that I just saw a pigeon was walking in the shadow of Orson Welles." 

For the Orson Welles (albeit a skinny one) casting his shadow over a pigeon in the 2014 Kentucky Senate Race -- that is, the punch line known as Barack Obama -- the dialogue begins with how really unpopular the President is today.  How unpopular is he?  He is so unpopular today that I just saw a liberal newspaper columnist trying to boost Allison Lundergan Grimes' campaign by claiming that -- get this -- Mitch McConnell is more like Obama than is Grimes!  Yes, that's right.  Apparently, the Democrats' latest strategy to get voters to forget that Obama needs Grimes is to make the absurd argument that he really needs McConnell.  How else is there to describe Sam Youngman's article, "On Battling Islamic State, Mitch McConnell is Barack Obama's 'Kentucky Candidate'"?  Do they really think Kentuckians are dumb enough to believe that?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cosmo Endorses Allison Lundergan Grimes

Cosmopolitan Magazine has announced that it is endorsing Allison Lundergan Grimes.  The rationale given was that Grimes is pro-choice, whereas Mitch McConnell has said that he will introduce legislation to ban late-term abortions. As Cosmo put it, Grimes has

earned endorsements from NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and she's recommended by EMILY's List.

Cosmo is trying to boost the Dems' War on Women's Ladyparts narrative in an effort to turn out young single women.  Grimes' already had their vote.

Married women, in contrast, will not be impressed with the Cosmo endorsement.  To the contrary, many Kentucky women find the magazine off-putting.  It is a slutty, silly magazine that objectifies women.  Really gross. The endorsement just underscores how unserious Grimes is as a candidate, and how unsuited she is to represent Kentucky.

It will be interesting to see how Grimes handles the endorsement and even more interesting to know to what extent the Grimes campaign actually courted Cosmo to get the endorsement.

Friday, September 5, 2014

McConnell Gets Warm Reception at U of L Opener

Senate Republican Mitch McConnell was in the stands to watch the University of Louisville defeat University of Miami in the first game of the football season Labor Day evening.  McConnell rarely misses a home game. He is always decked out in his Cards gear and watches every minute. As he is with his politics, McConnell,  is steadfast. He is no fair weather fan.

Generally, the other fans at the football game pay no mind to McConnell, or perhaps give him his space. He is just another guy in the stands chanting "Cards First Down!"

The Miami game, however, was different.  People treated McConnell differently.  As he walked from the tailgate area to the stadium, people kept asking to have their picture taken with him. McConnell's presence generated a buzz, an excitement in the crowd. He was warmly greeted.  There were no hecklers, perhaps because the Allison Lundergan Grimes had no presence whatsoever.

One large group of maybe six or eight couples politely asked for a photo. Apparently this group did not receive the DNC memo that Republicans are waging a War On Women.

 While the half dozen or more wives surrounded McConnell, their husbands all snapped photos.  I am sure these are floating around Facebook and Instagram. This particular encounter was illustrative of McConnell's advantage with married women.

As McConnell drew closer to the stadium, another woman approached McConnell. She was approximately 30 years of age and with her husband.  She told McConnell that she is a small business owner and thanked him for all he had done to fight Obamacare.  They talked for some time. He listened intently as she explained the devastating impact that health care premiums are having on her business. I couldn't hear most of the conversation, but her support for McConnell, her gratitude for his service and his respect for him spoke volumes.

This is why McConnell is essentially tied with Grimes for women's votes. Grimes's lead with young women is not enough to overcome the Marriage Gap advantage that Republicans have with married women. Democrats do well among young, single women, and pander to this group with promises of free birth control and fear-mongering about Republicans coming to imprison their Lady Parts.

 Married women, with a few more years of life experience, see through this nonsense. That's why they are backing the grown-up in the race, McConnell.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Alison Grimes, Daddy's Little Girl

Alison Lundergan Grimes doesn't have just a bus problem:  she has Daddy Issues.  It was only a question of time before the Jerry Lundergan would become the focus of his daughter's campaign.  He is irresistible both to Grimes supporters and those who oppose her.

On the one hand, Lundergan is well-connected with prominent Democrats, most notably the Clintons.  As former Chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party and a former member of the state House, he is an experienced pol in his own right, and widely believed to be making all the strategic calls for his daughter's campaign. Given the political landscape nationally this year, the fact that Grimes has access to buckets of cash through Daddy and friends made her an attractive candidate.

However, there is a perception that like the Clintons, Lundergan  is a grifter who skates awfully close to the line.  Grimes's supporters write irate comments whenever it is pointed out that Lundergan was convicted of a felony. He is technically not a "felon," Grimes's supporters  argue, because his conviction  for a state ethics violation was overturned on appeal.  Though true, that is an unsavory point for Grimes's supporters to have to debate.

Here's the reason that the bus issue is resonating and won't go away:  it is vintage Lundergan.  We knew this scandal was coming in one form or another. Grimes's Daddy essentially bought for her and then rented her a bus on the cheap. That's a generous impulse from a doting dad, but given his previous run-ins with the law, one would have thought that Lundergan would have been more careful.  Clearly, he has learned nothing.

Grimes, moreover, compromised her integrity and has seriously undermined her campaign to save a few bucks -- which makes no sense whatsoever given that her campaign is rolling in dough.  Thanks to Daddy and Slick Willie calling in favors, Grime is hauling suitcases full of money from Hollywood and New York. Even Woody Allen contributed to Grimes.

So why not rent a bus from a transportation company unrelated to her father, so as to avoid the accusation that she is violating federal election law?  It was a risk she did not need to take.

And yet she used Daddy's companies, not just to rent her bus but for many other aspects of her campaign, as well.. The unescapable conclusions is that Grimes's political instincts are not good.  Further, Grimes appears to be detached from the running of her own campaign. Grimes is a lawyer, and the daughter of someone who was convicted for an ethics violations.  This should have been one  part of the campaign where she should have taken a keen interest. But she did not. If this is the kind of attention to detail she pays to her own affairs, Kentuckians cannot count on her to navigate her way through the U.S. Senate.

Grimes does not have the gravitas to survive in the U.S. Senate.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mitch Momentum

Fancy Farm Photos

Fancy That

The Fancy Farm picture on the first page of today's Courier-Journal says it all:  the Republicans are young, energetic and on their feet; the Democrats are middle aged, tired and sitting on their party mascots, to put it politely.  It brought to mind the latest SUSA poll:  Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is winning both the youth and senior vote, while Alison Grimes' coalition is at the crisis point, composed mostly of middle agers.

Clearly McConnell has momentum.  That was evident from the level of enthusiasm of his supporters yesterday.  They were far more relaxed and confident than last year, when general unease divided the right field at Fancy Farm.  One never knew when or where an isolated Matt Bevin supporter would ring a cowbell next.  This year, though Bevin did attend the Graves County Republican breakfast (which he curiously boycotted last year), he made no podium remarks comparable to his last year's, "look how smart I am to make a literary allusion," quoting of John Donne's poem about the tolling bell. Indeed, he had no microphone at Fancy Farm at all this year.  Bevin sat on a bench near the back of the school cafeteria where the breakfast was held. Good for him, though, for at least showing up this year -- and for biting his tongue when one of the speakers made reference to McConnell's landslide victory in the primary.

And good for Senator Rand Paul, who delivered poetry also -- a lampoonish Lundergan-Grimes limerick.  Attorney General Jack Conway continued as character foil to Paul.  Conway spent most of his speech crowing about how great Jack Conway is as Attorney General, and how great it would be to elect Jack Conway as Governor, before ending with an, oh, and you should vote for Grimes for Senate also.  Paul, in contrast, said nothing about himself during his speech -- despite that he is the Republican frontrunner for the Presidency -- and remained the bigger candidate and man than the one who thought Aqua Buddha would get him elected to the U.S. Senate.

The Paul-Conway contrast was just one example of difference between the Republican and Democratic speakers at this year's Fancy Farm.  The Republicans had their National A-Team, led by the likely next Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate and possibly the next President of the United States.  The Democrats had their farm-league club.  Where was that Major League pitcher like President Barack Obama's teleprompter when the Democrats really needed it?

The only mentions of Obama (and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid) were by the Republicans.  The Grimes supporters awkwardly responded to their party leaders' names.  Obama and Reid were like  embarrassing, distant relatives at yesterday's Democratic family gathering.  The Grimes folks mostly just tried to ignore them, though Grimes did not dispute the Republicans' repeated point that her first vote as U.S. Senator would be for Uncle Harry to be her leader.

Other Democrats oddly missing at Fancy Farm were minorities.  In his breakfast speech Paul continued to advocate for the party of Lincoln to make more of an effort to reclaim its historic support from the African American community. But, again the C-J's picture tells a story:  there are no African Americans in sight, either on the Republican or the Democratic side.  From personal observation, however, I can say there were some African Americans and other minorities among McConnell's supporters who were outside the lens of the C-J's camera.

But I can't say I saw any minorities anywhere on the Grimes side.  This recollection seemed all the more significant this morning when I read in the C-J about a Northern Kentucky Democrat tweeting that McConnell's wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, "isn't from KY, she is Asian."

Indeed, whether you were born in Kentucky seemed to be a Democratic talking point yesterday.  A self-appointed "news" videographer from the Grimes camp -- at least I figured so since he was wearing a Grimes tee shirt -- came over to the McConnell side to interview Republicans.  One of his questions was whether we knew that McConnell wasn't born in Kentucky.

You know you are winning when the other side starts making the birther argument.