Monday, December 31, 2007

Kentuckians Arrive In Iowa On The "Huckabeast"

Word has it that some elephants have migrated from the Bluegrass to the Hawkeye State for the week. The name of their vehicle is fitting: a bus known as the "Huckabeast." As DesMoinesRegister.com reports:

The "Huckabeast" has arrived.

That's the name of the purple-and-gold bus that five Mike Huckabee volunteers from Louisville have brought to Iowa. They were in Des Moines Sunday.

To help pay for the trip, John Brewer, 46, says he sold his wedding ring on eBay. He got $150."It wasn't as popular as I thought it would be," Brewer says. "It wasn't so much the amount as the fact that we were trying to inspire people."

Brewer says Betsy, his wife of 21 years, supported the move.

"I'll get another ring eventually," he says. "The way we look at it, the ring is not what held us together for 20-some years."

Here is the YouTube video prepared by Brewer's merry band.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

KFC Torched in Pakistan

Here's a weird Kentucky angle on the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto. Rioters in Pakistan torched a KFC. (Hat tip: Instapundit).

Though we've heard numerous explanations as to Bhutto's cause of death, neither Colonel Sanders or trans-fats have been implicated.

It's understandable that Bhutto's grief-stricken supporters would take to the streets in response to her assassination. What makes no sense, however, is the destruction of a symbol of West, given that part of Bhutto's allure was her Western education (Harvard and Oxford) and her modernity in a nation where Islamofascists hide in caves.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Lady and the Tramp

Two headlines in USA Today demonstrate two paradigms for young women. First, the sad news of Benazir Bhutto's assassination in Pakistan. Then, the word that "Britney Sizzles Up Celeb Chart," and the subheading, "She's bald head and shoulders above all the other headline hotties."

They are different stories about very different women, but both are tragic: Bhutto's life was taken away with violence, and Britney is frittering away her life with hedonism.

As USA Today, notes, for Britney Spears to win the "heat index," she had to beat Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and other celebutantes. These are the women whom our culture touts as role models.

That's why Benazir Bhutto was so extraordinary. To be sure, as a politician, she had her flaws; to some, she symbolized corruption.

As a woman, however, she gave a counter-example to little girls around the world that they could aspire to be more, to do more than Britney and Paris.

Bhutto showed that beautiful women can be smart; she never "played dumb," or hid her intellect. And she showed that beauty need not degenerate into narcissism. She was tough enough to compete with and stand firm against some of the world's worst thugs. And yet she was never, to allude to Barbara Bush's description of Geraldine Ferraro, that word that rhymes with "rich."

Britney and Paris made headlines for failing to wear underpants and then flashing the paparazzi. Bhutto, in contrast, epitomized that quaint term, "ladylike."

But most of all, we will miss Bhutto's bravery, her willingness to risk her life for the sake of her country. She demonstrated how to live life by the courage of one's convictions. Britney, on the other hand, illustrates a life devoid of any convictions.

The Left Weighs In On Yarmuth's Dumbest Vote

John Yarmuth is getting hit from all sides these days. Even the Left is irritated with him. Jeff Noble, of Ohio River, Left Bank, MP 606, has this to say about Yarmuth's inconsistent voting pattern on resolutions honoring religious holidays: "these votes of his trouble me if only a bit."

Noble's beef is not that Yarmuth voted "present" when the Christmas resolution was called for a vote. Rather, it is that Yarmuth voted "aye" instead of "present" for the Ramadan and Diwali resolutions. Yarmuth's support for the latter two measures "could arguably be unConstitutional [sic]," contends Noble. The kind "undertaken only after direction from Big Dick Cheney's office." Ouch!

So in our current poll, chalk one up for the Ramadan resolution as Yarmuth's dumbest vote to date.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Congressman "Present" Voted "Nay" To Spending-Bill Presents For Constituents

Just when you thought his votes couldn't get any odder, U.S. Representative John ("Bah Humbug!") Yarmuth cast another strange one just before Christmas. And this vote was against federal funding of the very projects in Louisville for which Yarmuth pretended to take credit in the media.

The Associated Press reported that the federal spending legislation that President Bush signed into law on Wednesday included tens of millions of dollars for Yarmuth's congressional district:

Louisville will receive more than $50 million for special projects requested by Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Local projects include $44.28 million for construction on McAlpine Locks and Dam on the Ohio River; $980,000 for planning and design of the Ohio River Bridges Project linking Indiana and Louisville; $1.25 million for runway work, lighting and signs at Louisville International Airport; $492,000 for mobile data computers for Louisville Metro Police; $500,000 for new sewers in Shively; and $150,000 for programs at the Louisville Science Center.

"This was a tough year in the appropriations process, but Kentucky came out a winner," McConnell said in a statement.

Yarmuth said the budget would provide money to more than two dozen Louisville projects.

From that account, one would assume that Yarmuth and McConnell worked together to bring federal dollars to Louisville. But nothing could be further from the truth.

While McConnell fought tooth and nail to ensure that Louisville received its ample share of earmarks, Yarmuth did nothing to help his constituents. In fact, Yarmuth voted against the final spending bill adopted by Congress. He was the only member of the Kentucky delegation to vote against the bill.

Yarmuth's congressional district would have been better off had he given it at least as much support as he gave to Christmas -- by simply voting "present."

His vote is all the more perplexing given that the day before he cast it, he told James Carroll that he was "optimistic" that Louisville would get the earmarks in the spending bill. "Overall, I think they're in pretty good shape," he told Carroll.

Inexplicably, Yarmuth voted against the bill the next day -- though his web site does not list that or any of his other bizarre votes. On his website, however, Yarmuth took credit for the same earmarks back in July, when the House Appropriations Committee -- not even the full House -- approved the projects. His headline, "Yarmuth Brings Home $2.8 Million in Transportation-HUD Bill," shows a disturbing ignorance of how a bill becomes a law. It also shows that the man who ran against hidden earmarks will gladly take credit for other members of the delegation bringing home the bacon to his district.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

McConnell's 51% Approval Rating Silences Demo-Blogs For Now

We haven't heard much from the Demo-blogs about the approval ratings for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell since Survey USA/WHAS 11 released their latest poll numbers on December 22. And no wonder.

This survey "shows a huge turnaround" in McConnell's popularity, according to WHAS 11's Mark Hebert. He reports that 51% of Kentucky voters in the survey voiced approval of the job McConnell is doing.

Survey USA's number is likely a significant underestimate of McConnell's support, given that this polling group historically registers higher numbers for Democrats in Kentucky than that found in other polls. For example, Survey USA reported much lower approval ratings for McConnell in its November poll -- the source of Hebert's "huge turnaround" characterization of McConnell's latest showing.

Moreover, the latest Survey USA poll had Senator Hillary Clinton defeating every major Republican candidate in a head-to-head match-up. If McConnell is ahead in a voting sample that favors Hillary for President, then McConnell must really be popular.

These results cannot be good news for the announced Democratic Senatorial candidates, who already had their hands full trying to dissuade Bruce Lunsford and Greg Fischer from joining the race. According to the Demo-blogs, Lunsford's and Fischer's unpardonable sins are that they are businessmen who have donated to Republicans -- including, in Lunsford's case, to Senator McConnell himself. The horror!

The Survey USA poll also shows that the economy and health care are the top two issues for Kentucky voters. In this regard, the lawyer-physician Dr. Michael Cassaro, Esq., may have a leg up on Lt. Col. Andrew Horne, who will need a crash course to learn what to say other than "'Iraq Iraq Katrina Bush Iraq Bush war war war.'”

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

[Editor's Note: this post is guest-authored by Eric Bush, age 10].

If you want to know the exact location of Santa to know when to put your children in bed, Google Earth and NORAD in Peterson Air Base in Colorado have created the ultimate site to track Santa. Click here. If you're wondering how their high-tech machines track Santa, it all starts with their radar tracking his take-off. Then their satellites (which are normally used to detect missiles that may be launched into North America) find their targets by heat sensors. But this time it picks up Rudolf's nose. Then the Santa cams, which are placed all over the world, pick up images of Santa and his reindeer. Pilots in Canada in numerous locations fly off in their CF-18's and escort Santa. American pilots take off in F-15's or F-16's and get to fly with Santa.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Twas the Night Before The Holiday That Must Not Be Named

Twas the night before the unmentionable day, when all through the House
Not a Yarmuth was "present", nor in the Senate, Bill Clinton's spouse.
The new laws were to be signed by the President with care
In hopes that troop funding soon would be there.

The Iowans were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of caucuses danced in their heads.
And Mama Pelosi in 'kerchief, and Dingy Harry in cap,
Had just settled their brains for a short winter's nap.

When out on the Internet there arose such a clatter,
I turned on my computer to see what was the matter.
Away to Windows I flew with Adobe-like flash,
Clicked on Explorer and started to gasp.

The approvals of Democrats had fallen so low,
Gave the lustre of hope to a news day so slow.
When, what to my wandering eyes should appear,
But a guacamole green hybrid, with passengers in donkey gear.

With a Nobel-Prize driver, such an inconvenient bore,
I knew in a moment it must be Al Gore.
More rapid than a sailor's the Demo-blogs' curses came,
And Howard Dean whistled and gave a shout of each candidate's name.

"Now Edwards, Kucinich, now Oprah, you vixen!
Osama -- Ted meant Obama -- at least he didn't call him Nixon!
To the left of the voters, to the left of them all.
Now dash away! Dash away! our hopes for next fall!"

Though Democrats blamed Bush after the wild hurricane blew,
Louisianans knew better, electing a Republican governor brand new.
So out on the Demo-blogs the cursers they stewed
And made a bad pun on Petraeus, and wrote something lewd.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard a sound in the Senate chamber,
I feared what might lurking, could the Republic be in danger?
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
To the podium a Democrat sprang up with a bound.

He was dressed like a Senator, from his head to his foot,
But his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
For he was the one who had been left behind
To convene a recess session lest recess appointments be signed.

Without a pledge or a prayer, he went straight to work,
Convened and adjourned before anyone could call him a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, poof! The session was closed.

He sprang to the hybrid, giving the media the slip,
And away they flew like Columbia Democrats on a Kentucky road trip.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight
"I would say Merry Christmas, but it sounds too religious right!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yarmuth's Votes Should Scare the Dickens Out of Kentucky Voters

Erwin Roberts, a Republican who seeks to unseat Congressman John Yarmuth, recognizes -- as well he should -- that Yarmuth's recent votes of "aye" for a resolution honoring Ramadan, but "present" for a similar resolution (HR 847) honoring Christmas, are bizarre moves.

Yarmuth also inexplicably voted "aye" for the Diwali holiday with no similar vote for Christmas.

Of course, Yarmuth should have voted "aye" to honor all religious holidays in this season, including Hanukkah, which apparently didn't even make it to the House floor for a vote. Blue Grass, Red State reports that Roberts recently sent out an email highlighting Yarmuth's anomolous voting record in this regard.

Yarmuth's erratic views of religious holidays are as strange as his vote against the House resolution, passed by an overwhelming majority earlier this year, that denounced MoveOn.org's "General Betray Us" ad.

Blue Grass, Red State comments that "HR 847 has made waves nationwide, including here, although thus far Louisville's MSM has mostly protected Yarmuth and his nonsensical votes." But the news cannot be hidden from Yarmuth's constituents forever.

Like Marley's ghost, Yarmuth's out-of-touch-with-Kentucky voting record no doubt will be back to haunt him in 2008.

LEO Yawns at Horne's Campaign Theme

Even LEO, John Yarmuth's liberal "newspaper," appears bored and underwhelmed by Andrew Horne's plans to run for U.S. Senate:

"Describing his candidacy, Horne said, 'Iraq Iraq Katrina Bush Iraq Bush war war war.'”

Think of all the money he'll save on speech writers.

On the poll question, "How many times will Andrew Horne remind us he's a vet?" it looks like LEO is another vote for "I can't count that high."

At Least National Review Got It Right

TIME has named its "person" of the year: Vladimir Putin. The editors sound a little defensive about the selection:

TIME's Person of the Year is not and never has been an honor. It is not an endorsement. It is not a popularity contest. At its best, it is a clear-eyed recognition of the world as it is and of the most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world—for better or for worse. It is ultimately about leadership—bold, earth-changing leadership.

* * *

At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, he has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power. For that reason, Vladimir Putin is TIME's 2007 Person of the Year.

National Review selected its own "man" of the year, and unlike TIME, chose someone who deserved the honor: General David Petraeus:

Gen. David Petraeus [is] commander of the multinational force in Iraq and architect of the surge strategy that is turning the tide in the war. Petraeus formulated a brilliant counterinsurgency plan. He executed it with care and diligence. And when much of the country didn’t want to notice the security gains that the surge had wrought, he took the national media spotlight to defend his strategy and his honor. In all this, he was nothing less than masterly.

* * *

For making victory in Iraq look possible again, and for pulling a nation back from the brink of civil war, Petraeus deserves the praise and thanks of all Americans. With or without a Time cover, he is the man of the year.

Barbara Walters, for anyone who missed it and cares, annointed Harry Potter author J.K.Rowlings as the most "fascinating person" of 2007.

Baba Wawa and TIME remind us why we need National Review. "It stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it."

What the Dems Call Leadership

Here's a video that sums up Mama Pelosi and Dingy Harry's stint at "leading" Congress.

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=M2M5YjBlODkyYzQxMWQ0NzkwMzhmMWVjNzZhNzg2YzM

They've had their chance. Now it's time to give Congress back to the grown-ups.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

WaPo Says McConnell Safe

The Washington Post's political blog has revised its assessment of the Democrats' prospects in the 2008 elections. Earlier this year, the Democrats boasted that they would pick up numerous seats in the U.S. Senate. Now the Post says that the quest for enough seats to break a filibuster -- 60 -- is a "pipe dream for Democrats."

Here's the Post's take on the race for Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell's seat:

The 2007 election results temporarily raised hopes for Democrats, as the takeover of the Kentucky governor's mansion energized party leaders in the state to run a serious candidate against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). Democrats quickly centered their candidate search on state Auditor Crit Luallen, who won reelection last month with 59 percent of the vote. After several weeks of considering, Luallen announced she would not run earlier this month.

Iraq war veteran
Andrew Horne (D) has stepped forward, and some within the liberal blogosphere are rallying behind his candidacy. Still, Horne lost a Democratic primary in the 3rd District in 2006, and it's hard to see him beating a politician as savvy and well-funded as McConnell. Other candidates -- like wealthy businessmen Bruce Lunsford and Greg Fischer -- are still considering the race and may wind up as better choices against McConnell given their respective ability to self fund a race.

In addition to a weak field of Democrat candidates, McConnell is benefiting from a TV commercial that Vets for Freedom is running in support of him.

DitchMitch & Co. Cross Gold Star Mother and Widow

The left-wing websites, like DitchMitch and Senate 2008 Guru, assumed that dead men tell no tales when they ran a recent attack piece against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell.

The article took out of context remarks that McConnell had made about three Fort Campbell soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country. In addition to slamming McConnell, the bloggers took the opportunity to make a plug for opposing candidate Andrew Horne.

Good taste and common sense would suggest that the Demo-blogs should have stopped there, but they did not.

Their piece continued:

The next time Mitch McConnell goes to Fort Campbell for a photo op, maybe he'll think of some of these names.

It then proceeded to list the names of Kentuckians who have died in Iraq, including these two soldiers:

10/28/04: Pfc. Stephen P. Downing II, 30, of Burkesville, Ky., died Oct. 28 in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, from small arms fire while conducting combat operations. Downing was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 17th Field Artillery, Camp Hovey, Korea.

4/8/04: Cpl. Nicholas J. Dieruf, 21, of Versailles, Ky., died April 8 due to injuries received from enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The left-wing bloggers whose sole avocation is to defeat Mitch McConnell exploited -- apparently without the families' permission -- the names of soldiers killed in action. DitchMitch & Co. gambled that the mothers and widows of these soldiers wouldn't read such hate-filled blogs, and therefore would not know that their loved ones' names and deaths had been misappropriated.

We don't need to speculate how Pfc. Downing's mother feels about McConnell: she wrote the Courier-Journal to voice here unequivocal support for him. She's earned the right to have her letter quoted in its entirety:

'Proud mother'

Recently I have read several articles abominating U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. I understand that we are approaching an election year and this is the time for contemptible statements and manufactured controversies, but people who take statements out of context to try to build a case against someone, just show me that they don't know what they are talking about.
I am the proud mother of a fallen soldier. My son was killed by a sniper's bullet in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, in 2004. I know firsthand what McConnell meant, as I have had the honor of meeting with him on more than one occasion. During these visits, McConnell voiced pride and honor when speaking of our military and especially our Fallen Heroes. In fact, I can tell you that while talking about my son, I told McConnell that my son enlisted for the second time after September 11. He wanted to protect his family, friends and country. No one told him he had to go. The first time my son enlisted, he was a member of the National Guard and his unit was on standby to be deployed overseas. So when I read Mr. Craig B. Parker's letter in The Courier-Journal stating that "the National Guard never envisioned that their altruism would lead to full-time service," is ridiculous.
I hope that Kentuckians realize how lucky we are to have an honorable man as Mitch McConnell representing us.
STELLA MAYNARD
Burkesville, Ky. 42717 (
emphasis added).

Likewise, Cpl. Dieruf's widow wrote to the Courier-Journal to defend McConnell:

Walks McConnell's walk

Without exploring the merits of war, I want to say our family walks the walk of a statement for which Sen. Mitch McConnell has been attacked in this paper. We have lived the horrific tragedy along with the highest honor of losing our husband, son, grandson and brother, Cpl. Nich Dieruf. Nich was assuredly proud of his training and of his accomplishments in the Marines. He lived the selfless attitude of a serviceman.
With his combat death, we received many letters of gratitude from those who serve our nation in politics as well as the military. All were politically respectful of our sacrifice; some evidenced individual caring.
McConnell initiated a Senate floor honorarium for Kentucky's fallen heroes. He talked with family members, to be able to speak of our Nich's individual peacemaking talents among his three brothers, his love and faithfulness to his parents and grandparents, his pride in his bride.
He delivered his speech with decorum yet intimate feeling. Afterward in his chambers, his soft eyes told of his true understanding of our personal sacrifice. I will any day, any time take Sen. McConnell's hand and walk his walk along side him.
EMILY DIERUF
Lexington, Ky. 40502
(emphasis added).

DitchMitchKy exploited the sacrifice of Cpl. Dieruf and Pfc. Downing in their unending attempt to capture McConnell's Senate seat for the Democrats. It won't work: Kentuckians are too decent to reward such conduct, and too smart to be duped by it.


Monday, December 17, 2007

Kernels of Wisdom for VoteVets.Org

VoteVets.org stoked their troops in response to my blog about Lt. Col. Andrew Horne entitled "The Paradoxical Colonel." Their comments prompt a few observations:

First, they assume that because Horne is a veteran, he should not be criticized for advocating immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq. However, it has never been the case in American politics that having military service on a resume immunizes a candidate's foreign policy views from scrutiny. Nor is military service a prerequisite for great political leadership.

Indeed, consider what the founder of the Democratic Party (which appears to be the only party to which VoteVets.org's candidates belong) had to say in this regard. In the early years of the Republic, Thomas Jefferson (who never served in the military) and his fellow Democrats sided with France, while the opposing Federalist Party favored England in the ongoing rivalry between those countries. Jefferson called the Continental Army veterans who populated the Federalist party -- including General George Washington, General Alexander Hamilton and Captain (later Chief Justice) John Marshall, who also wrote the poem about Kentucky Colonels -- "apostates who have gone over to . . . heresies" and "men who were Samsons in the field and Solomons in the council, but who have had their heads shorn by the harlot England."

While I do not wish to sink to the level of Jefferson's put-down of military men, it does show that VoteVets.org is in no position to call someone "unpatriotic" for questioning a veteran's foreign policy views in political debate. Such discussion dates from the days of the "dead white men" on our currency, and it has continued in the years since.

For example, as has been noted, we are much better off that American voters in 1864 rejected the military "wisdom" of General George B. McClellan; his Democratic supporters (called "Copperheads") wanted the Union Army to beat an exit from the South just as hasty as VoteVets.org wants the American Army out of Iraq today.

And who can forget the classic Jib-Jab video poking fun on Senator John Kerry for continually touting "I won three purple hearts" as his chief qualification for the presidency. Or his goofy "Reporting for Duty" line at the Democratic convention.

Second, one's status as an ex-military commander does not necessarily make one a good political leader. To be sure, our nation has been blessed by great military men who have served just as ably in the political arena. Presidents George Washington and Dwight D. Eisenhower, and, more recently, Senator John McCain come to mind. But there also have been notorious flops for former military leaders elected to political office, including the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant and the "malaise" years of Lieutenant Jimmy Carter (ret).

So the fact that Horne is a retired Lieutenant Colonel does not, in and of itself, qualify him to be a good United States Senator. If so, then the Democrats presumably would have joined with Republicans to elect that other retired Lieutenant Colonel who ran for a U.S. Senate seat in the 1990s -- Oliver North.

Third, VoteVets.org members insist that they are not "militant" or "verminous," an assertion belied by their own rhetoric. On Capitol Hill, they taunt their political opponents as "cowards" and "draft dodgers" and then throw the verbal grenade that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is "aiding the enemy." VoteVets.org may be officers, but they are not gentlemen.

That fact was no more evident than in the ad hominems hurled against me in the comments sent to this post and on the VoteVets.org web site. One VoteVets.org member wrote: "This article is one of the most shameful, disrespectful, and downright cowardly things I [sic] have ever written." The VoteVets.org web site linked my post by calling it "chickenhawkish hilarity." (By the way, thanks for the link!)

Another VoteVets.org member wrote that "if we weren't in a mental health crisis already, I would encourage them [i.e., me] to seek care." A kinder and more erudite VoteVets.org member wrote that I and others who oppose VoteVets.org's partisan agenda "widdle away . . . [our] time with banalities."

Fourth, the comments of VoteVets.org members confirm that this out-of-state organization has no clue about Kentucky or its voters. Consider one post that speculated that my blog intended for "Kentucky Colonel" to imply derogatorily that Horne was KFC's Colonel Sanders -- perhaps a "chickenhawk." But Kentuckians understand that to be called a Kentucky Colonel is not an insult but an honor in the Commonwealth, and it has nothing to do with fried chicken.

Even if I had intended to compare Horne with Colonel Sanders, which I did not, that's hardly an insult. The Colonel, as in Sanders, is widely honored in Kentucky for his business acumen -- and deft touch with a fryer. I've eaten a lot of KFC in my day, enough to know that Andrew Horne is no Colonel Sanders. The fact is, Horne leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Dems Filibuster Themselves?

Check out the outrage on the far-left at the Daily Kos over the prospect of the Democrats filibustering a bill brought by Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid:

You couldn't ask for a better demonstration of the manifest failures of Democratic leadership in the Senate than the fact that Chris Dodd plans to lead a filibuster against a lousy bill that Harry Reid insists on bringing to the floor.

Yes, elections have consequences:

We watched and fumed for years as Democrats played dead on issue after issue under a corrupt Republican-led Senate, and now, at long last, they're giving us a filibuster? Against themselves?
Did voters oust Republicans last year in order to get this kind of Democratic leadership?
This is crazy.


This is why Republicans need to regain Congress.

So far, the Kentucky Demo-blogs limit their outrage to filibusters by Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Contrary to their claim, McConnell has been consistent on the use of filibusters: they can be appropriate for blocking out-of-the-mainstream bills introduced by the opposing political party, but are inappropriate to stall the confirmation of federal judicial nominees.

Democrats, on the other hand, are all over the place. When in the minority, they thought it perfectly fine to filibuster any and everything they didn't like, including, for the first time in history, federal judicial nominees. Now in the majority, Senate Democrats complain about Republicans who filibuster, only to turn around and filibuster their own party's legislative proposals. Let the Demo-blogs try to explain that whirligig.

RINO Alert: Mike Huckabee

There is some dispute about whether Mike Huckabee is a fiscal conservative. Here's what the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, says:

On its annual governor's report card, Cato gave Huckabee an 'F' for fiscal policy during his final term, and an overall two-term grade of 'D.' Only four governors had worse scores, and 15 Democratic governors got higher grades, including well-known liberals like Ted Kulongoski of Oregon, Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, and Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania.

Surely we can do better than a candidate who earned an "'F' for fiscal policy."

That's great that he lost 120 pounds and was a Baptist preacher. But at the end of the tax year, I want the candidate who understands that it's my money, and that I don't need the federal government to spend it for me.

Huckabee displays a suspiciousness of the market that makes me wonder why he's not a Democrat. He is the only candidate to oppose school choice, and he is hostile to free trade.

More frightening is the prospect of Huckabee on the world stage. Vladimir Putin (and anyone else, for that matter) would run circles around him. We might as well bring back Jimmy Carter.

I'm still not prepared to commit to a presidential primary candidate. Huckabee, however, needs to be scrapped from consideration by anyone who believes in limited government and lower taxes.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Let the Debate Begin!

To go unnoticed is a blogger's nightmare. So ambivalence was my initial reaction to certain angry readers' comments received yesterday concerning my blog on the announcement of Lt. Col. Andrew Horne's Democratic candidacy to challenge Senate Republic Leader Mitch McConnell.

The harshest note, from a reader named GUSTO, concluded (verbatim): "Joining the Boys Scouts to stisfy Mommys ego is not been as patriotic as serving voluntarily the ARMED FORCES AND IN COMBAT. "

Whew!

For the record, we do support mothers and the Boys Scouts, but before getting too far into substance, here are some rules of engagement:

This site welcomes any and all comments, regardless of political persuasion, other than words of profanity or libel. Unlike the Lexington Herald-Leader's chopping-block approach to McConnell's letters to the editor, this site prints the substance of reader's comments in their entirety within reason.

There are several reasons for this policy. For one thing, society generally gets better results if all sides have the opportunity to debate vigorously with each other before any action is taken.

That, for example, is why the filibuster is so important for the U.S. Senate: this legislative tool ensures that everyone's views are taken into account. As a result, when a bill is enacted into law, it has broad bipartisan support and does not reflect simply the narrow agenda of the party then in power. That is particularly relevant in today's Senate, in which Democrats hold only a razor-thin majority.

Another, more fundamental, reason why free and open dialogue is important is that it is consistent with the First Amendment. A canard of some of McConnell's critics has been that he is "unpatriotic" because he opposes legislation banning the burning of the American flag. McConnell was also criticized for challenging the constitutionality of so-called campaign finance "reform" legislation. In fact, McConnell's stands on these issues demonstrate that he is a highly principled defender of the First Amendment.

More than any other person on Capitol Hill, McConnell's record with respect to his left-wing critics comports with the statement attributed to Voltaire that "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Apropos is McConnell's protection of the rights of free speech for those with whom he strongly disagrees -- whether it be flag burners or, more recently, the left-wing Demo-blogs and the MoveOn.org types who use unregulated, big money to spew forth their froth.

Finally, readers' comments are important because they may, of course, show me or another blogger to be wrong -- or they may prove the points of the blog. The latter outcome happened yesterday. I'll explain in another entry to be posted later.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Horne Bumped by Steroid Story

You have to feel a little sorry for Andrew Horne. He makes his big announcement and the mainstream media yawn.

Horne blundered by making his announcement on Page One, a Demo-blog, rather than paying obeisance to the dinosaur media. Two problems flow from that decision: he has wedded himself to a far-left blog over which he has no control of the content. And he seems to have made some traditional media mad.

Take WHAS 11. On the 11:00 newscast, Horne's announcement did not make the first news block -- the big "11 at 11." Nor did he make the second block. He didn't even get a mention until the anchors were saying good night, and read the headlines for the Courier-Journal.

As for the C-J, it lead with the baseball steroid story and a piece about a rubbertown plant. Horne was neither above nor below the fold: he was the fold, or rather, he was folded.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Paradoxical Colonel

In the Blue Grass region
A paradox was born
The corn was full of kernels
And the Colonels full of corn.

"Paradox" by Chief Justice John Marshall (19th Century)

The man who is "not afraid to lose" made it official today: Andrew Horne will run for the Democratic nomination to battle against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. And Horne's announcement revealed him to be a paradoxical colonel even without literally the type of corn the Chief Justice had in mind.

We would say Horne is a Kentucky Colonel, except that he seems to have spent more time lately with New York-based VoteVets.org than he has with Kentucky voters. So the word paradox did spring to mind when a man who served as a "senior advisor" to this left-wing Park Avenue group asserted that "it is time for Kentuckians to take our government and country back."

This self-contradictory candidate also says he "carried a rifle in Iraq" and that VoteVets.org is "a pro-military group that supports Iraq and Afghanistan veterans running for office." Yet Horne doesn't explain how VoteVets.org's goal of immediate troop withdrawal would achieve the American military's objective of defeating al-Qaeda.

Nor does the veteran who baselessly claims that "McConnell insults fallen troops" ever explain his position that, if adopted, would be the biggest insult of all to those deceased men and women -- namely, his proposal to snatch defeat from the jaws of a victory in Iraq they fought and died so bravely to achieve.

VoteVets.org did not always purport to have such a defeatist attitude. Forward Deployed provides this description of the group's inconsistent history in this regard:

The VoteVets.org site . . . was formed before the 2006 congressional elections. This site was backed by former Democratic Presidential Candidate General Wesley Clark and the group of retired generals that made headlines before the 2006 Congressional elections by running ads funded by the site speaking out against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as well as [for] a change in strategy in Iraq by sending in more troops.

Interestingly enough Rumsfeld has since been sacked and a new "surge" strategy that called for an increase in troops has been implemented. Instead of this site recognizing the changes it has . . . become an anti-war site calling for the removal of US troops in Iraq. Since then none of the retired generals has been heard from . . . .

Self-contradiction continues with Horne's claim he decided to run for the Senate because McConnell "practices the worst kind of politics." The tactics of Horne's militant group suggest he is only self projecting with that characterization.

We already have a taste of Horne's kind of politics from VoteVet.org's lobbying activities. According to the Washington Post, when Jon Soltz, the leader of Horne's band of brothers, met with Democratic senators earlier this year, he "accused" McConnell of "aiding the enemy" and called President Bush and Vice President Cheney "draft dodgers," with no objection from Horne. And "cowards" was the moniker these verminous veterans bestowed on those who disagreed with them.

According to Forward Deployed, "Soltz made big headlines on the blogosphere with his meltdown against a US sergeant that dared speak of successes of the surge strategy in Iraq during the Yearly Kos convention."

One would hope Horne's level of discourse in the campaign will not descend to the depths of his friends, but don't count on it. As the Washington Post reports, VetVotes.org is part of a coalition of liberal groups affiliated with MoveOn.org, not known for its gentility.

And initial appearances notwithstanding, Horne no doubt will lack the grace of a Kentucky Colonel once the campaign heats up. Indeed, Horne held the bull horn during at least one minuscule MoveOn protest, and we all know what "statesmen" populate such an event.

So much for the professional comportment we normally expect from an ex-Marine. Maybe Horne will entertain his nutroots blogging fans with a Howard Dean scream during the campaign.

No word yet on whether Horne will disavow the "General Betray Us" ad that MoveOn.org ran in the New York Times against General Petraeus. Though this piece was roundly condemned by the Senate in a 72-25 vote and by the House 341-79, we are not holding our breath for Horne to join the bipartisan consensus. After all, Horne would be crazy to offend the big-money out-of-state MoveOn.org donors, whom Horne undoubtedly will tap for his campaign funding. Nor would Horne want to contradict Congressman John Yarmuth -- who did not vote to condemn the "General Betray Us" ad; Horne lost to Yarmuth in the primary, and then campaigned for him.

Horne also claims that McConnell "bows to big business." Horne should know all about that. New York Magazine reports that VoteVets.org has "scooped up" millions from moneyed interests on the East and Left Coasts, including a fund-raiser headlined by Bill Clinton (who isn't cheap, at least when it comes to his speaking fee). According to the Washington Post, Horne's group received "large doses" of cash from "Wall Street and Hollywood sources" -- so much that it could afford to run television ads during the Super Bowl.

We can be sure that the Park Avenue Colonel means it when he asserts "[w]e should not be told to take a backseat to the wealthy and powerful." Indeed, Horne will no doubt share the front seat with George Soros during this campaign.

Horne is in a distinct minority among veterans and active members of the military in his opposition to finishing the job in Iraq. But those who are of a like mind with Horne hope that having a clean-cut facade will fool people.

As one fellow protesting veteran explained to a San Francisco Chronicle reporter, "[t[hey [i.e., active duty soldiers] don't want to be associated with a movement they see as entirely leftist or irrational or hippies from Berkeley or San Francisco. But once people see us on the news, maybe they'll say, 'Hey that guy has a short haircut, he looks like he could still be in. He wears tucked-in shirts. He doesn't have long hair.'"

He may even try to look like a Kentucky Colonel. Voters in the Bluegrass are too smart to imbibe the corn inside.

Yarmuth and the Ghost of Christmas "Present"

Congressman John Yarmuth understands that it's important to keep on good terms with the "nutroots" -- those far left blogs like Page One, where Andrew Horne announced his candidacy today.

So when Page One castigated Congressman Geoff Davis for co-sponsoring a Congressional Resolution "recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith," Yarmuth took note.

Congressional Resolution 847 provides in pertinent part:

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) recognizes the Christian faith as one of the great religions of the world;
(2) expresses continued support for Christians in the United States and worldwide;
(3) acknowledges the international religious and historical importance of Christmas and the Christian faith;
(4) acknowledges and supports the role played by Christians and Christianity in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization;
(5) rejects bigotry and persecution directed against Christians, both in the United States and worldwide; and
(6) expresses its deepest respect to American Christians and Christians throughout the world.


That doesn't sound particularly controversial. Yet Yarmuth refused to vote for it. Nor did he have the courage to oppose it. Instead, he voted "present." Thankfully, the rest of the Kentucky delegation got it right and voted "aye."

Yarmuth's refusal to support the Christmas resolution is particularly troubling in light of some of his other votes.

In early October, Yarmuth voted "aye" for a resolution in favor of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. A few weeks later, Yarmuth voted in favor of recognizing the "religious and historical significance of Diwali." (Diwali, for the uninitiated, is a Indian and Nepalese holiday associated with the religions of Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism.)

Page One complained that the resolution "recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith" is akin to a "resolution supporting our favorite puppies and rainbows."

Here's news for Yarmuth and Page One. Christians are being persecuted in China, India the Mid-East and Africa, among other places. Some Christians are subject to "forced conversions." Others are just murdered.

For Page One to compare their martyrdom to "puppies and rainbows" trivializes the violation of human rights -- a cause the left likes well enough when it's applied to terrorist detainees.

Page One rationalized its opposition to the Christmas resolution: "can you even imagine what would happen if someone tried to pass a resolution recognizing the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world?"

The thing is, we don't have to imagine. Nor need we imagine Yarumuth's voting record in response: Ramadan, "aye." Diwali, "aye." Christmas, "present."

Horne Announces -- On a Left-Wing Blog

Andrew Horne announced that he will run against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for Kentucky's U.S. Senate race. No doubt setting the tone for his campaign, Horne announced on a left-wing blog.

Horne has not filed officially, just announced his intent to run. His timing may have been moved up in light of a sit-down with potential candidate Greg "rich guy" Fischer scheduled for later in the week.

It will come as no shock that Horne reminds the voters in his press release of his military connections -- no less than eight times.

Make no mistake, Horne is to commended for serving his country in the military. But as Tom Brokaw noted in The Greatest Generation, the vets who talk about their service the most generally are the ones who did the least. It's the vets who are reticent to talk about their time in combat who have the most to say.

Moreover, the left's joy at the prospect of a Horne candidacy -- did you know he's a vet?! -- is a sad reminder that he is an aberration: we don't think of the Democrats as the party of national defense. In a race to surrender, the Democrats might actually beat the French.

The cheap shot of Horne's announcement: "Simply put: Mitch McConnell carries George Bush’s water on Iraq; I carried a rifle in Iraq.”

Horne's accusation that McConnell -- who spent two years bed-ridden with polio as a child -- should be faulted for not carrying "a rifle in Iraq" is beyond bizarre; it sounds like the sort of talk that Democrats are always trying to criminalize as hate speech.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Story Behind the C-J's Letters to the Editor

Readers of the Courier-Journal were subjected to some ugly letters regarding Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell's comments on the death of three Fort Campbell soldiers in Iraq.

Turns out that one of the writers is a leftie-blogger. That allows us to put his screed against McConnell into context -- by looking at what he has previously written about the war:

War will Succeed (#3083)by Troy Torstrick on October 1, 2002 at 6:52 AM
War on Iraq will succeed in 2 respects; 1) it will undermine the war on terror by diverting resources and 2) it will drastically increase the anti-American sentiments of millions of young Arabs and radical Muslims and spawn thousands of new terrorists hell-bent on America’s destruction.
I want to know why George Bush is so determined to undermine his war on terror, which he claimed shortly after 9/11 as his reason for being. Is it so that he can use the fear created by all the additional terrorist activity against America to push America into the fascist dictatorship he has wished for publicly on several occasions?
As we all saw, he and his party had no qualms about doing away with democracy in 2000.


In essence, he is making an argument for why it would be a good thing for America to lose the war in Iraq: he is rooting against his own country.

This same "Troy Torstrick" accuses McConnell of not supporting the troops: " In a revealing moment of candor, Sen. Mitch McConnell expressed his feelings about the men and women in uniform, who are dying every day in Iraq and Afghanistan and whom he otherwise claims to support." (emphasis added).

To accuse McConnell, of all members of Congress, of not supporting our troops just shows how far the Democrats have drifted from reality.

Riehl World View said it best:

Every objective observer of DC politics knows Senator McConnell has been nothing but supportive of our troops. That's why Freedom’s Watch, Vets For Victory, Families United, Band of Mothers, and Gathering of Eagles see McConnell as a go to guy when delivering a petition to Congressional leaders signed by over 65,000 individuals in support of the war

McConnell understands that the best way to "support the troops" is to win the war. That's a point that escapes the C-J. The print media publishes garbage from the likes of "Troy Torstrick" and then wonders, where have all the subscribers gone? In years to come, look for the former employees of the C-J to blame the paper's demise on (what else) Global Warming.

In the meantime, Kentucky voters will have a clear choice: McConnell and the Vets for Victory, Freedom's Watch, Families United, Band of Mothers, and Gathering Eagles; or Andrew Horne (or whomever the Democrats nominate) and Moveon.org, Code Pink, Cindy Sheehan and "Troy Trorstrick." It will be a closely watched election, but it will not be close.

Arkansas Travelers

All the news these days is from Arkansas, or so it would seem if you tuned into Louisville's television stations for the 11 p.m. newscast yesterday evening. So we will do our best to find political and Kentucky tie-ins to justify writing about these developments here.

First, there was the story of the five-year-old hunter, Tre Merritt, who killed a black bear weighing more than 400 pounds in Dewitt, Arkansas. It is tempting to make an unflattering analogy to Huck versus Hillary, but we won't.

The second Arkansas story from yesterday has more promising parallels. That news item was, of course, the continuing Odyssey of Bobby Petrino, who is more like the Bill Clinton than the Ulysses of the football world, but more about that below.

Arkansans finally have a comeback for Eddie Sutton's infamous quote, made upon his leaving the Razorbacks to coach basketball at the University of Kentucky, that he would "crawl on his hands and knees" to get out of Arkansas.

Part of the reason Sutton left Arkansas was supposedly because he could not get along with Athletic Director Frank Broyles, the legendary Razorback football coach who will retire from the AD position this year. In what could be a sign of rough times ahead in Hogland, Petrino mistakenly pronounced Broyles without the final "s" -- as in "Coach Broil" -- at yesterday's hastily called 10:30 p.m. CST press conference in Fayetteville. In Arkansas, where football is a religion, that faux pas might not produce an immediate beheading, but it's bound to irritate die-hard Razorback fans as much as, say, Rick Pitino would be perturbed for being called "Coach Petrino."

But back to politics. For those who have been wondering why Bobby Petrino is the Bill Clinton of the football world, here are some reasons:

Both men have that shameless ability to deny with a straight face the shenanigans they've been up to, and like Hillary, the fans in Louisville and now Atlanta are understandably furious for being blindsided and betrayed.

Both are also slick at getting what they want by assuring their benefactors that they are not going to move anywhere, even as they secretly make plans to do precisely that. When the Clintons (intentionally plural) last ran for governor of Arkansas in 1990, Bill earnestly assured Arkansans that, of course, he would finish his term and that he had no plans to depart for Washington -- as earnestly as Petrino assured Louisville AD Tom Jurich and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank that he was in Louisville, make that Atlanta, make that . . . to stay. (Query whether, during his swearing-in ceremony in Frankfort yesterday, Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo was mulling a similar game plan to run for a Senate seat in Washington.)

And both Bobby and Bill have a loyalty deficiency. Ask the fans in Louisville and Atlanta about this topic. Or the Clintons' supposed "friends" from their Whitewater days who ended up in jail while the White House pleaded ignorance.

Finally, say what you want about each, but both Bobby and Bill have audacity of hope. No, wait, that's the title of the book written by that other presidential candidate who's running against Hillary. But it does lead to this final tid-bit:

The nation is aware of two politicians born in Hope, Arkansas -- Bill Clinton and Mike Huckabee -- but can you name a third one born there but who now lives in the Bluegrass? The answer is former Louisville Mayor David Armstrong, an Arkansas traveler who made a good move.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Democrats Scratch Their Heads

Today's the day when Kentucky Democrats should have been cheering Governor Beshear's inauguration, but instead some of them were left wondering what exactly the new administration was elected to do in office.

Former Secretary of State John Y. Brown III suggests this reaction of Kentucky Democrats in his guest blog at BluegrassReport.org. He writes:

The inescapable feeling in the air these past few heady days is that the Democratic Party in Kentucky is entering a new era--a realignment , if you will, that is adjusting itself to the political realities of the present and forging a vision that can best cope with our uncertain and fast-moving global economy. There! That’s a shining example of a Democratic handicap: defining what we stand for in language that’s too vague, too verbose, and too grandiose.

In the Weekly Standard, Professor James W. Ceaser of the University of Virginia diagnoses a similar linguistics problem for the national Democratic Party:

Today, the Democratic party mainstream has its values, its instincts, and, as usual, more than its share of 10-point programs. It even has its "isms," represented by its leading troika: the pragmatism of Hillary Clinton, the idealism of Barack Obama, and the populism of John Edwards. Yet its intellectual reservoir has shown itself to be lacking in depth and confidence. Today's Democratic mainstream is no more willing or able to stand up to the party's present leftist insurgency than the older mainstream was to stand up to the New Left. The tenor of the current left is best captured by something Lionel Trilling said in 1949 about conservatives: They do not "express themselves in ideas but only in action or in irritable mental gestures which seek to resemble ideas."

Trilling's criticism is no longer apt for conservative Republicans, as Brown's commentary implicitly acknowledges. He writes that over "the past three decades", the "Republicans have consistently bested Democrats" with "clarity of message":

Republicans, it’s said, can put their core beliefs on a bumper sticker. Smaller government. Lower taxes. Family values. We can spend all day listing the deviations from these values, but give them their due: Republicans have done a better job defining themselves than we have done defining ourselves. Some would even argue that we’ve allowed Republicans to define us.

In contrast, as Professor Ceaser explains, the national Democrats are "being bullied by a network of techno-thugs, spearheaded by MoveOn.org", and their message is increasingly driven by "the progressive coalition of billionaires and bloggers" whose tone of discourse is typified by "MoveOn's recent New York Times ad assailing General Petraeus as 'General Betray Us.'"

Professor Ceaser describes these bad punsters and their bankrollers:

The big money men and women--what the left used to call, back when it framed matters more astutely, the "obscenely wealthy"--are mostly people who have made their fortunes recently. (George Soros, the godfather of the movement, is an exception.) The last thing these newly rich would wish to be called, however, is nouveau riche; they are bobo billionaires who profess to regard their own fortunes with nonchalance. Steven Gluckstern, for example, who helped bankroll the Democracy Alliance--a new organization to fund the rebuilding of the progressive infrastructure (dues $200,000 a year for five years)--told Bai, "I don't really care about money. I mean, I like it. You can do fun things with it. You can give it away." All in this progressive money set, which includes some of Hollywood's more modest donors, follow the new progressive formula of buying political influence while decrying the influence of money in politics.

The allies of the wealthy, the bloggers, are the coalition's hit men. Almost all are males in their thirties. The two most prominent, "Markos and Jerome" (Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga of the Daily Kos and Jerome Armstrong of MyDD), gained their fame and won their political clout by latching onto Howard Dean's candidacy in 2003 and using the Internet to help create the "Democratic wing of the Democratic party." Their websites not only constantly abuse thought, but show contempt for intellectuals, even while gaining influence among them. The language is often violent and vulgar. The moving spirit of the Daily Kos is one of anger and resentment, which, when not directed at Democrats who dare to stray from the wing line, is directed at the president, the vice president, and the Iraq war.

These are the role models for the Daily Kos wannabes at Kentucky's left-wing blogs. Their venom, however, cannot substitute for ideas to govern society. Hence, for mainstream Democrats such as Brown, the question remains: what exactly do the Democrats stand for? Good luck answering that one.

A Pitch For My Favorite Christmas Charity

It's the time of the year when the number of catalogs the mailman delivers is exceeded by only the number of pitches we get for any number of good causes.

One of America's most exceptional characteristics is its generosity, so I'll tell you about another cause that won't appear in direct mail or the mainstream media.

Six years ago, a group of women in my neighborhood became aware of an order of nuns in Appalachia who were doing much to feed the hungry and alleviate suffering.

These Louisville moms responded by telling all their friends of the tremendous need for toys, warm coats, mittens and Christmas dinners in the Appalachian town of Kermit. Then they filled up four Suburbans with all that they collected and drove off to deliver it. Some years, the need is so great that the nuns, Sister Brendan and Sister Janet, call later in the winter to ask for more help.

At a time when mothers drive around frantically looking for the year's sold-out must-have (this year, it's the Wii), these women provide a counter-example. They remind us that we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ.

Moreover, this group of unassuming moms is changing lives for the better, and they do so voluntarily, without government coercion. They show what happens when generosity meets freedom. As a result, there are no transaction costs or administrative fees. Zero.

The nuns in Kermit, and the families to whom they minister, have become part of our Christmas tradition. We are blessed many times over for whatever we contribute and for having this connection.

Here's how to help. Readers in Louisville can drop off toys at the Commonwealth Bank, 1404 Evergreen Road, Anchorage 40223 through Friday, December 15. Out of town readers can send a check payable to Christian Help care of the bank; it need not arrive by Friday.

Twenty dollars will pay for a Christmas dinner -- that doesn't even pay for fast food for a car of boys.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Horne Portrays U.S. Soldiers as Victims

Andrew Horne gave us a taste of the kind of campaign that he would run against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, and it is nauseating. In his quest for office, Horne cheapened the sacrifice of three Fort Campbell soldiers who were killed in Iraq. In essence, Horne took their voluntary service and draped it in the language of victimization that characterizes failed liberalism.

We all understand that every American soldier who dies, in Iraq or elsewhere, was a member of someone's family; the enormity of the tragedy cannot be overstated. And the sacrifice is all the greater when, as in Iraq, the soldiers enlisted voluntarily -- without the government coercion of a draft.

McConnell recognized the volitional nature and the selflessness of the Fort Campbell soldiers who gave their lives for their country: "Nobody is happy about losing lives but remember these are not draftees, these are full-time professional soldiers." Or to paraphrase, don't insult their offering by characterizing these men as unwitting victims.

Here's how Horne responded:

I would say that Mitch McConnell owes every member of our service and the families of the fallen an apology, but no apology from him can take back the venom he has spewed at our troops, this time. For anyone to believe that casualties of war are somehow more acceptable because they were not draftees is disgusting. For the Republican leader in the United States Senate to say that is beyond repugnant.

Horne has turned McConnell's statement on its head. The senator's point was not that the deaths were "more acceptable" but rather that these soldiers understood the risks -- including death -- and nonetheless volunteered to serve our country. We therefore celebrate their bravery and selflessness as we mourn them.

Horne's statement also reveals that when he said recently that he "is not afraid of losing," he was not just referring to a campaign against McConnell. Horne is not afraid of losing the war against terrorism as it is being fought today in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. But losing the war would not only make America less safe; it would cheapen the sacrifice of the three Fort Campbell soldiers as well as all who fell before them.

That's why Janay Albarran enlisted in the Army after her husband lost his leg in Iraq. "I made a promise that I would finish what he started," she said. Nor is Albarran an aberration. An Army spokeswoman said that others have joined the Army after the death or injury of a relative.

But the principle that "these dead shall not have died in vain" does not resonate with Horne. He is not the first American military man to run as a Democrat for political office and whose supporters' premise is that we should accept defeat. America was better off for General George B. McClellan losing his bid for office, and we will be better off for Horne losing his.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Daily Kos Gnashes Teeth Over Crit

There is much weeping and gnashing of teeth at the Daily Kos, the left's national blog, over Crit Luallan's decision not to run against Mitch McConnell: "Luallen would likely have been our strongest candidate for the seat, and losing her is a major blow to our chances of defeating McConnell next fall."

Here's the Daily Kos's take on the rest of the field.

Horne has an impressive bio (which includes serving on the board of advisers of VoteVets), but has never held elected office, his name recognition is limited outside of KY-03, and he lost in the Democratic primary in his Congressional race last year (to future Rep. John Yarmuth).

Mongiardo was only elected to his new job in November, and it would look pretty bad for him to declare his candidacy for Senate before even being sworn in as Lieutenant Governor.

The Daily Kos dismissed a Stumbo candidacy, noting that Stumbo has said he may seek his old job in the Kentucky General Assembly.

In sum, "[w]ith Luallen out, we currently don't have a top-tier candidate for this race."

For the Daily Kos, Crit's decision not to run is particularly embarassing given that this national blog infuriated local liberal blogs by backing the draft-Crit movement.

Horne Concedes Defeat Before Announcing

The Democrats' fifth tier choice to run against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he "is not afraid of losing."

Horne, who likes to remind us at every opportunity that he was a Marine, explained: "I am not afraid of losing. If I was worried about risk and danger, I wouldn't have joined the Marine Corps before I graduated high school."

That's an interesting metaphor: Horne compares running against McConnell as equivalent to active combat for a Marine. Plainly, Horne has seen the McConnell saturation of TV ads and -- due to his experience as a Marine -- reacted with "shock and awe."

The really annoying aspect of a Horne run is that it's like combining the worst of John Kerry and John Murtha. Now we begin the wait for Horne to announce that he is "reporting for duty!"

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dems Scrape Bottom of Barrel as Crit Says "No Thanks"

Kentucky Democrats took a major blow today when State Auditor Crit Luallen announced that she will not run against Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. Luallen was the Dem's second choice, after Congressman Ben Chandler declined to run against McConnell earlier this year.

Third-tier candidate Greg Stumbo likewise appears to be getting cold feet. Stumbles now says that he's considering running for his former seat in the State House. Perhaps when he called "some of the wealthiest people in the world" last week and asked them to "invest" in him, they hung up.

Or maybe McConnell's TV ads made Luallen and Stumbles rethink their plans.

That leaves two other candidates who cannot be regarded as serious threats: Dr. Michael Cassaro, Esq, whom nobody ever heard of before he announced, and David L. Williams. Just last month, Williams' bid for Agriculture Commissioner imploded when he called for the elimination of the Kentucky State Legislature.

Now that voters recognize that the troop surge in Iraq is working, moreover, Andrew Horne has lost the anti-war issue that he used when he ran for Congress.

All the Democrats' talk about McConnell's supposed vulnerability is starting to look rather silly.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dark Horse Takes The Lead

Rasmussen now has Mike Huckabee in the lead for the Republican presidential nomination. According to a new nationwide poll, Huckabee is at 20%, and for the first time, Rudy Giuliani is in second with 17%. Mitt Romney and John McCain tied for third, each with 13%, while Fred Thompson has fallen from second to fifth place, with 10%.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton polled 34%, compared with Barack Obama at 24% and John Edwards at 16%.

And here's the latest word from the people who know both Huck and Hillary the best: in Arkansas, Huckabee beats Clinton 48% to 42%.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Rudy Visits Louisville

Here's Jefferson Poole's take on Rudy Giuliani's visit to Louisville today. I'm not endorsing anyone, and will back whomever the Republicans nominate. But I will say that when Rudy addressed the Federalist Society National Convention in Washington before Thanksgiving, he made a convincing case that he turned around New York City by lowering taxes at the outset.

Public Sees Progress in Iraq; Protesters in Denial

Two polls show that the public understands that the "surge" of U.S. troops in Iraq has worked, to the consternation of Democrat leaders and protesters.

A Pew Poll taken last week showed that nearly half of all Americans (48 percent) think that the war is going "well or very well." That number is up from 34 percent in June. A recent Gallup Poll likewise found that "[p]ublic views of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq have improved over the past month, and Americans' outlook about winning the war is brighter than it was in September."

Democrat protesters ignore that we are winning the war. It seems that some on the far left would rather see our country lose a war than see the Democrats lose an issue for the '08 election. Take the 20 or so "progressives" who protested a McConnell fundraiser last week, where they caught Democrat Jim King trying to sneak away. They plan to protest a Giuliani fundraiser today in Lexington.

A former front-man of the anti-war left, John Bruhns, wrote an op-ed that confirmed what many have long observed: The protesters' "agenda is not anti-war. The war is used by these organizations as ammunition against political foes - primarily Republicans. They are the enemy despite the fact that many Democrats vote the same way."

That explains why Moveon.org sent its minions to Kentucky the month before our gubernatorial election.

There is some serious need for help finding temp housing for MoveOn organizers that are coming to KY this weekend to do election related work. They will be in Louisville and Lexington for a month - from this weekend through election day. I know that you may not have space, but figured someone in your network might. Please spread the word.

Governor-elect Steve Beshear never refused the help; he never declined the implicit endorsement of Moveon.org.

Former Governor Ernie Fletcher had no control over the war in Iraq. But that tenet of federalism is irrelevant to the far left: they just want to defeat Republicans and elect Democrats at any and all levels. The war is just a convenient rallying point for the Democrats' larger electoral agenda -- to win elections, not the war.

Huckabee Had Better Spend Some Time At The IHOP

When then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, Pat Buchanan quipped that Clinton’s experience in foreign policy consisted of “eating breakfast once at the International House of Pancakes.” A similar joke may be brewing with Mike Huckabee's coffee this morning.

According to USA Today:

A reporter for The Politico had to tell the former Arkansas governor what was in the National Intelligence Estimate. Here's an excerpt from the transcript that the newspaper published on its website:

David Paul Kuhn: I don’t know to what extent you have been briefed or been able to take a look at the NIE report that came out yesterday ...
Huckabee: I’m sorry?
Kuhn: The NIE report, the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. Have you been briefed or been able to take a look at it —
Huckabee: No.
Kuhn: Have you heard of the finding?
Huckabee: No.

Huckabee then shares his views on the Iranian program. "I’ve heard, the last two weeks, supposed reports that they are accelerating it and it could be having a reactor in a much shorter period of time than originally been thought," he says, according to Politico.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Rasmussen Poll Shows Race for White House Tightening

Today Rasmussen released a new national poll supporting the notion that the primary in Kentucky -- and every other State, for that matter -- could play a decisive factor as to who wins the Republican presidential nomination.

Rudy Giuliani's support among Republicans nationwide has fallen to 18% -- the same number garnered by Mike Huckabee, who "is enjoying an amazing surge and now shares the top spot with Giuliani," according to Rasmussen. "Close behind are John McCain at 14%, Fred Thompson at 13%, and Mitt Romney at 12%," while "Ron Paul attracts 7%." These results clearly point toward a brokered convention, where every delegate's vote will matter.

On the Democratic side, the same scenario could occur, though this is less likely given that (a) the Democrats have fewer viable candidates than do the Republicans, and (b) Hillary Clinton still has a double-digit lead over her nearest challenger. According to Rasmussen, Clinton "now attracts 35% of the vote, down from 41% a week ago and 43% two weeks ago," while "Barack Obama’s support remains steady at 23%." As for the other Democrats, "John Edwards gained two points on Tuesday to 17% while Bill Richardson is the top choice for 7% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters nationwide."

Rasmussen also reports that "Rudy Giuliani is still seen as the most electable Republican. McCain, Romney, and Huckabee are essentially tied for second in this category."

Stumbo Dialing for Dollars

Oh, the life of a fat cat. Greg Stumbo has been sharing his supposedly good news with major donors around the country -- hoping that they will share their wealth with him.

Stumbles says that preliminary polling numbers show that most Democrats would pick him to run for U.S. Senate, and that in Louisville he is tied with Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Given that Louisville is the most liberal part of the state, even left-wing bloggers wonder why Stumbo is encouraged.

Perhaps Stumbo was surprised at how Democratic voters responded to his personal foibles. As Mark Hebert from WHAS 11 reported:

according to Stumbo, the biggest news might be that poll respondents were unphased by the pollsters recounting of all of Stumbo's personal baggage, which would surely come up during a campaign: his refusal to pay child support for a son born out of an extra marital affair; a car crash in which Stumbo claimed he wasn't driving; the Kent Downey fiasco when Stumbo was Majority Floor Leader in the House. Stumbo says voters were told about all of the nasty things that might be thrown at him in a political race and it didn't hurt his numbers. The reason, according to Stumbo, is that the incidents are "old news" and most voters have already been exposed to them.

Here's what Stumbo told Pol Watchers that he did next:

You'll never believe what I’ve been doing today," he said to start the conversation. "I’ve been calling some of the wealthiest people in the entire world. I’m asking them to invest in me."

He said by 5 p.m. Friday he had made 41 calls to set up meetings with wealthy Democratic donors in New York and Washington, D.C. -- party supporters whose phone numbers were provided by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee


With any luck, Stumbles can get a little extra to help him pay his child-support on his love child.

Meanwhile, more than 177,000 Kentuckians are about to get hit with a huge tax increase known as the Alternative Minimum Tax, because Senate Democrats keep blocking McConnell's efforts to repeal the AMT or at least provide another year of tax relief by "patching" the AMT.

Stumbo could help out Kentuckians by sharing the phone numbers of the "wealthiest people in the entire world." Then, if the Senate doesn't fix the AMT, we can call George Soros for a loan to pay our tax bills.

Filibuster Flip-Flops

Here's a pop quiz (with answers) for left-wing blogger Joe Sonka, who rants at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell today for the use of filibusters -- what Sonka calls "the most cynical and selfish of tactics within the Senate":

1. Who wrote the following?

"The filibuster is one of our democracy's oldest and most important checks on the power of the majority. It preserves two of our bedrock values: protecting the rights of the minority and promoting compromise."

Answer: People for the America Way. This organization (which even The New York Times acknowledges is "a liberal group") also wrote: "For two centuries, our leaders have supported the tradition of the filibuster in order to promote cooperation and compromise, and because they have recognized the dangers of one party control and the importance of protecting the rights of the minority."

2. Who wrote the following and on what on-line blog did he write it?

"Do I support a filibuster? The answer is yes."

Answer: Senator John Kerry (D-MA) at dailykos.com (where Sonka's blog is cross-posted today). Kerry and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) were all for the filibuster in a last-ditch effort to defeat the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

3. Who said the following?

"As matters stand now I could not support it and I would support a filibuster absent additional information coming forth that would convince me differently."

Answer: Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Neither she nor Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) had any problem with a filibuster in October, when they both sought to block enactment of pending FISA legislation.

4. Who wrote the following?

"There is not enough time to fix these bills, especially since the few Republicans who call themselves moderates have been whipped into line, and the Democratic leadership in the Senate seems to have misplaced its spine. If there was ever a moment for a filibuster, this was it."

Answer: The New York Times Editorial Board. The quote comes from an editorial in The New York Times opposing certain proposed anti-terrorism legislation when the Republicans held the majority in the Senate. Last Sunday, however, Times reporter David Herszenhorn bemoaned the filibuster and likely gave Sonka the idea for his piece, which quotes Herszenhorn's article.

Here's a recommendation for Sonka before taking on any new blogging assignments: study those "progressive" sources more.

Monday, December 3, 2007

How Important Is Kentucky?

With Rudy Giuliani's visit to Lexington for a fundraiser this Wednesday (his first campaign stop in Kentucky since announcing his presidential candidacy), one wonders whether Republicans in the Commonwealth will matter for anything more than their money during the 2008 presidential primary season. Will Giuliani, or any of the other Republican candidates, need Kentucky's delegates to win the nomination? The answer at this point remains: maybe.

In September, John B. Judis of The New Republic made this prediction for delegate count after the February 5th super-primary (when 25 States, with 1,058 delegates, hold either a primary or a caucus): "Giuliani would be in the lead with 459 delegates, followed by Thompson with 380, Romney with 300, Senator John McCain with 131, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee with 33." Judis made that prognostication, of course, before Huckabee's recent surge scrambled the race even further.

Last week Dr. David Terr of usaelectionpolls.com had this to say about the likely standings after February 5: "Many say that the Republican race will be decided on Feb 5 but I don't believe this is the case for the Republican party. Romney has proven that if he spends the time and money in a state that he can win. Thompson believes he is the comeback kid. And based on the polls on this site we had the race split practically like this Giuliani 50%, Romney 25%, Thompson 25%. This does not even take into account the possibility of a rejuvenation of McCain among moderate Republicans in which he takes away delegates from Giuliani. And what about Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul, they are not going to be falling flat in this race either."

If these scenarios are anywhere close to being accurate, no viable candidate could afford to ignore Kentucky's primary, scheduled for May 20. Indeed, of the 23 States (and the District of Columbia) with Republican presidential primaries after February 5, Kentucky is the 8th largest in terms of delegate count, with 45.

Only Texas (140), Ohio (88), Pennsylvania (74), North Carolina (69), Virginia (63), Indiana (57) and Louisiana (46) have more delegates than Kentucky.

Massachusetts (43), Washington (40), Wisconsin (40), Kansas (39), Mississippi (38), Maryland (37), Nebraska (33), Idaho (32), New Mexico (32), Oregon (30), South Dakota (27), Maine (21), Hawaii (20), Rhode Island (20), Vermont (17), the District of Columbia (16), each has less delegates to offer than Kentucky.

Kentucky Republican leaders who have announced a presidential favorite are sharply split. On November 16, Giuliani named former U.S. Representative Ann Northup his campaign manager for the Commonwealth. Next came last week's announcement by Secretary of State Trey Grayson that he joined Republican Congressmen Hal Rogers, Ron Lewis and Ed Whitfield in endorsing Mitt Romney.

As for the other major candidates, Ryan Alessi of the Herald-Leader reports that there are "a bulk of state House Republicans" who "are lining up with Tennessee neighbor Fred Thompson" and "a smattering of officials" who "are looking at" Mike Huckabee.

Senator Mitch McConnell is conspicuously silent as to which presidential candidate he favors.

The greatest Republican, Abraham Lincoln, once famously said, "I hope to have God on my side but I must have Kentucky.” We will soon learn whether the Commonwealth is as important for securing the nomination of the Republican presidential candidate who hopes to be inaugurated in the year of the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth in Kentucky.

Dems Too Busy For God and Country

Now we know how the Democrats could whisk the Senate through its 30 second "pro forma" sessions -- their tactic to prevent the president from making any recess appointments over the Thanksgiving and August breaks.

Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), who presided over the Potemkin session, skipped the opening prayer. And he skipped the Pledge of Allegiance. See for yourself.

I was shocked, at first. But upon further reflection, the failure to open with prayer and the Pledge is consistent with the Democrats' values. Many are secular relativists who revile people of faith. Likewise, Democrats are prone to blame America for every evil, and display a weird need to be liked by the rest of the world, even by those who want to destroy our country.

In short, they are people who regard rituals of worship and patriotism as corny, at best -- mere wastes of time.