Monday, August 31, 2009

C-J Disses Its Token Conservative

One would think that the Courier-Journal would be proud of the praise that John David Dyche has received for his new book, Republican Leader, A Political Biography of Senator Mitch McConnell. Dyche, after all, is a C-J columnist; his success reflects back on the paper for having the good sense to run his column.

Yet the C-J has failed to review the book, even though stores have been selling it for months. Perhaps the C-J is boycotting mention of the book because Dyche's biography flatters McConnell; the paper would no doubt give glowing reviews if the book skewered McConnell.

The C-J also failed to report that Dyche appeared on the Sean Hannity show. A native son gets flattering coverage on one of the highest rated television programs in the nation, and the C-J writes . . . nothing.

For years, Dyche's brilliant column has allowed the Courier-Journal editorial staff to feign an openness to opposing viewpoints. Conservatives knew it was a sham, of course. Still, Dyche has given the paper cover, and for the paper to not cover him shows that its hatred of all things conservative transcends even common courtesy and Kentucky pride.

Rand Won't Take $ From TARP Senators

Dr. Rand Paul's campaign announced today that he will not accept campaign donations from any senator who voted for the TARP bailouts. He called on his opponents to do likewise. Paul's press release states:

U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul on Monday pledged not to accept campaign contributions from any U.S. Senator who voted for the bank bailout and challenged his opponents to follow suit.

Dr. Paul issued this challenge after learning that Trey Grayson has scheduled a Washington D.C. fundraiser co-sponsored by several U.S. Senators, seventeen of whom voted for the so-called TARP bailout in 2008, which was then used to fund an auto industry bailout Congress rejected.

“This isn’t about holding politicians to an impossibly high standard of agreeing with everything one’s supporters say or do,” Paul said. “But a primary focus of my campaign is that we need Republicans in office who will have the courage to say no to federal bailouts of big business.”

“There is nothing in the Constitution that allows the government to pick winners and losers in the private sector and the Republican party platform specifically condemns bailouts,” Paul said. “I’m running for the U.S. Senate to stand up for true Republican principles and the Republicans I’ve talked to agree that is what we need.”

Paul's s primary opponent Secretary of State Trey Grayson will benefit from a fundraiser hosted by 23 Republican Senators, including Mitch McConnell, at the NRSC. In the unlikely event that Grayson accepts Paul's challenge to decline the money, he still has six Senators who opposed TARP on his host list.

Paul's response is a clever way to remind voters that he would have opposed the bailouts. Nonetheless, it's a somewhat hollow gesture given that (a) Paul doesn't need the contributions due to his "money bomb" and (b) the GOP establishment, as represented by the 23 Senators, probably wouldn't give him any.

Will Paul return "money bomb" contributions from anyone who collected their $4500 from "cash for clunkers"?

Tortured Logic

Eric Holder, the Attorney General, wants to investigate certain individuals for potential violations of law in the use of techniques that were used for getting information out of our enemies. Waterboarding is one of the techniques, amongst others, which many have labeled as torture.

It is fascinating that the supreme lawyer of the land is more concerned about prosecuting those who were trying to protect us than prosecuting those who want to hurt us, but that is another story.

There is much emotional outrage over the use of torture and we have seen the bumper stickers which say "Torture is UnAmerican".

Here is a hypothetical situation and question for those who oppose torture. Let us suppose that your child was kidnapped and that one of his or her captors were apprehended. Let us further suppose that by torturing that individual, the authorities could determine the location of you child and save them. In such a case, would you still oppose torture?

If one answers yes to this question, I suppose that you would have to respect the strength of their conviction. On the other hand, one would have to question the sensibility of someone who potentially sacrifices the life of an innocent person to prevent the pain and suffering of a criminal.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Grayson Kicks Off Senate Campaign

I could not attend Secretary of State Trey Grayson's campaign event yesterday, but Joe Arnold reports, quoting Grayson:

"We are in uncharted territory when it comes to our nation's fiscal health, and there is no end in sight," he said. "That's why we must enforce tough limits on our national debt, create a realistic plan for a balanced budget, reign in wasteful spending and end the unprecedented government takeover of the private sector."

"Our tax dollars are bailing out big banks and paying multimillion-dollar bonuses to people who ran their companies and our economy into the ground, and that's wrong," Grayson said, drawing applause from his northern Kentucky supporters. "The government has already taken over Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, General Motors and Chrysler. Now this administration is intent on the government taking over health care and your doctor's office."

Grayson's appeal for limited government sounds pretty much the same as Dr. Rand Paul. Arnold notes, however, that Grayson is running as the GOP insider:

As Roll Call reported on Tuesday, twenty-three GOP Senators -- including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Bluegrass State's senior Senator -- are hosting a $500 per person fundraiser for Grayson at National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters Sept. 23.

The NRSC has not officially endorsed Grayson but the location of the event and the fact that NRSC Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) is one of the hosts of the fundraiser is a good indication of where the committee's loyalties lie in the race.

According to Arnold, Dr. Dan Mongiardo's campaign responded by making fun of Trey Grayson's given name and attempting to tie Grayson to former President George W. Bush:

"Charles Merwin Grayson, III has been anointed by the same Washington Republican leadership whose failed economic policies have plunged us into the worst recession since the Great Depression. Fortunately for Kentucky's working families struggling during these tough economic times, Daniel Mongiardo is the one candidate in this race who they can count on to stand up and fight for them."

As Arnold notes, Mongiardo's strategy of running against Bush might look pretty stale by November 2010; voters will be assessing the Obama administration by then.

Rand Paul's Campaign Responds

Dr. Rand Paul's campaign has responded to my inquiry regarding Paul's position on U.S. support of Israel and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Christopher Hightower writes:

Our site received thousands of emails on August 20th, please forgive me for not quickly responding to yours. Dr. Paul looks forward to articulating his positions as the campaign develops.

Question number 1:
What is Dr. Paul's view on American support for Israel?


Israel is a friend of America, he supports all allies with the United States.

Question number 2:

How about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Dr. Paul supports and would have voted for war against those responsible for the attacks on 9-11. The Taliban would not cooperate with us and turn over those responsible. Actions were taken that Dr. Paul would have supported. Looking back Dr. Paul feels we should have taken smaller strike forces in much faster to deal with the terrorist camps. It took so long to amass our forces many had time to escape.

Dr. Paul supports all troops serving in our Armed Forces, however, he would not have voted for the war in Iraq.

Hightower states that the campaign is in the process of developing the issues section of its website and asserts that it is more informative than other candidates' websites.

He is correct with respect to Grayson, who does not have an issues section on his website. However, Grayson just kicked off his campaign yesterday. We will check back to see Grayson's position on foreign policy and if the website does not so state or is unclear, we will ask, as we did for Paul.

Dr. Dan Mongiardo, who has been running for U.S. Senate for quite a while, has an issues section on his website but it only includes a video of Mongiardo talking about how his family's poverty inspired him to bring health care to Eastern Kentucky. There are a few platitudes about coal and economic development, but no specifics, and nothing about foreign policy.

Likewise, the campaign website of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway includes an issues section that at this point is limited to a video of Conway. His video has its own share of platitudes: now is the time for "a belief that a brighter tomorrow is just over the horizon." (Seriously, yick.) Conway's video at least attempts to list what he sees as the issues, though with little or no detail on how he would solve the problems he identifies. For example, Conway calls for a foreign policy that shows that "strength and wisdom are not opposing values." I'm not sure what that means; perhaps it translates into something along the lines of appeasement is not wimpy.

The Paul campaign therefore is correct that at this juncture its campaign website offers the most specificity on where its candidate stands on the issues. The Paul campaign's format of listing the issues and Paul's position works much better than a video of the candidate. It allowed me to focus on the positions without the distractions of Hair and Eyebrows.

The election is 14 months away. Lots of time to fine tune these websites so they do not insult the voters of Kentucky with cliches but rather give us an informed basis to choose our next U.S. Senator.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

McConnell Condemns Deficit

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell comments on the Congressional Budget Office's new numbers on the deficit. The newest numbers from the non-partisan CBO are the scariest yet.

“The alarm bells on our nation’s fiscal condition have now become a siren. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports the deficit for this year alone is already nearly as high as the last five years—combined—and is only getting bigger. And, if anyone had any doubts that this burden on future generations is unsustainable, they’re gone. Spending, borrowing and debt are out of control. Even the President’s own advisors acknowledge that the deficit in the coming years will be trillions more than projected just a few months ago.

“The massive national debt threatens long term fiscal health as a nation, our national security and our ability to meet our commitments to seniors, veterans and working families. There are two immediate steps we should take. We should review the trillion dollars in borrowed stimulus money with an eye towards applying it to paying off the federal credit card. And we must take the bipartisan step of reforming entitlements to strengthen the fiscal state of our existing commitments.”

McConnell is right about the stimulus money: the sum was too vast for the Obama administration to spend quickly enough to actually stimulate the economy. Therefore, it's time to play Indian-giver and take the unspent money back.

Where Does Rand Paul Stand On Foreign Policy?

I wrote Dr. Rand Paul last week via his website to ask his position on U.S. support for Israel and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. So far, no reply.

Perhaps he is too busy counting dollars from his "money bomb." Still, for a campaign geared to fundraising from the Internet, it seems odd that he would not respond to an inquiry to his campaign website. That's my punishment for not including a credit card number.

Paul has energized a group of Americans who are outraged -- and frightened -- about government spending and its effect of ballooning the deficit and diminishing our liberty. He's passionate and articulate about the cause of limited government, and I agree with him on that issue.

What is less clear is where Paul stands on foreign policy. Is he an extreme isolationist from the Pat Buchanan wing of the party? His campaign website says he opposes surrendering U.S. sovereignty:

Rand Paul proposes that America can engage the world in free trade, develop lucrative commercial relationships with other nations, and defend its national interests without funding or joining international organizations.

To the extent that he means that U.S. courts should not apply foreign law and the like, I agree. Americans should only subject themselves to laws written by those whom we have elected.

But Paul doesn't go into great detail, and that worries me because I wonder if he is speaking in code. I agree that the U.N. has soaked America for every dollar we will give it. The U.N.'s lack of accountabilty has allowed it to use our taxdollars to fund corrupt schemes, like the oil-for-food scandal. I don't want to surrender sovereignty to the United Nations, but I am not at this point prepared to withdraw from it either, given the good work it does on disaster relief. Is he actually proposing that we stop funding the U.N. altogether?

Paul does indicate on his website that he supports free trade, which distinguishes him from Buchanan on at least that issue. It will be interesting to see if Paul hits the issue hard. He should -- free trade is a vital component of prosperity not just for America but for the world's poor.

Paul's position on foreign policy is of the utmost importance for a candidate who aspires to serve in the U.S. Senate, where he would be called upon to ratify treaties with foreign countries, confirm the appointments of ambassadors and maybe even declare war. So it is not enough for him to rest on his domestic platform.

Moreover, Paul's outlook on foreign policy may be the factor that distinguishes him in the Republican primary from Secretary of State Trey Grayson. I don't doubt that Grayson opposes government spending every bit as much as Paul, though he has been much less forceful in so stating. (Trey, you need to kick it up a notch here).

Grayson needs to watch how Paul discusses international relations and look for a way to distinguish himself. To that end, Grayson needs to make clear his unequivocal support for Israel and his opposition to appeasing an Iran bent on acquiring nuclear war heads to go with those missiles it has pointed at Israel. And he needs to opposes protectionism forcefully.

Grayson needs to state that Islamofascism is dangerous and immoral. Gitmo should remain open. Defense attorneys who "out" CIA operatives should be prosecuted, not the CIA agents who did the job they were instructed to do.

Grayson's website doesn't give any more guidance on where he stands on foreign policy than does Paul's. Nonetheless, I don't wonder if a Senator Grayson would introduce legislation to stop funding the U.N.

Because Grayson has a track record of elected service and has campaigned around the state, he is known and liked by many. For Grayson, the good news is that no one expects him to take any positions that will shock us. The bad news is that he probably won't take any positions that will awe us. For Paul, the expectations may be just the opposite.

That's why Paul must be explicit about where he stands on all issues including foreign policy, not just the issues that captivate him.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ad Hominem, Ad Nauseum

Ad Hominem: adj. Directed at or appealing to one's hearer's or reader's personal feelings or prejudices rather than his intellect or reason (Webster's Third New International Dictionary)

In this era of political rancor and strife, the ad hominem attack seems to reign supreme. Idiot. Bigot. Nazi. Leftwing nutjob. Rightwing wacko. Fascist. Homophobe. Fatso. Fool. Jerk. Neanderthal. Racist. Whore. Communist....the list goes on and on. The problem with these attacks is that they get us nowhere. Even if a word accurately describes someone, if it is incendiary and confrontational, it is inappropriate to use it.

Let us suppose that we were to call someone a pathetic, incompetent fool. For many, this would be an accurate description of George W. Bush. For many, it would be an accurate description of Barack Obama. In neither case is the label productive or positive for the public discourse.

We would all do well to heed grandma's age old advice that if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all.

When you launch a personal attack against someone that has ideological differences, it is proof that you either lack the ability, or as is more often the case, the information or facts, to confront your opponent on a rational, objective basis. The ad hominem argument is the last refuge of those who are not up to a rational debate, for whatever reason.

In these tumultuous times, those on both sides of the aisle would do well to keep the debate civil. Attack ideas, not people.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Krauthammer Deconstructs End of Life Counseling

Charles Krauthammer has turned down the rhetoric and increased the clarity on the Democrats' proposal for end of life counseling in H.R. 3200:

We might start by asking Sarah Palin to leave the room. I've got nothing against her. She's a remarkable political talent. But there are no "death panels" in the Democratic health care bills, and to say that there are is to debase the debate.

We also have to tell the defenders of the notorious Section 1233 of H.R. 3200 that it is not quite as benign as they pretend. To offer government reimbursement to any doctor who gives end-of-life counseling -- whether or not the patient asked for it -- is to create an incentive for such a chat.

. . .

So why get Medicare to pay the doctor to do the counseling? Because we know that if this white-coated authority whose chosen vocation is curing and healing is the one opening your mind to hospice and palliative care, we've nudged you ever so slightly toward letting go.

It's not an outrage. It's surely not a death panel. But it is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor. And when you include it in a health care reform whose major objective is to bend the cost curve downward, you have to be a fool or a knave to deny that it's intended to gently point you in a certain direction, toward the corner of the sick room where stands a ghostly figure, scythe in hand, offering release.

Liberals win elections and then govern with the premise that people like it when the government gives them free stuff. There is a cost to these goodies beyond the taxes needed to pay for them: the cost is a loss of personal autonomy. I don't want the government to pay for my end of life counseling. If I need it, I'll pay for it myself or pass a hat to my loved ones.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Money Bomb Update

Dr. Rand Paul's "money bomb" has brought in $100,000 in the last two hours; he's raised $455,000.

Republicans are going to have a real primary. Let's keep it civil and remember the 11th Commandment.

Bombs Away

Dr. Rand Paul's campaign for the GOP Senate nomination has designated today as a "money bomb" day. The campaign will try to raise a blast of cash (one million dollars in 24 hours) from the Internet, using the model that Paul's father Ron Paul perfected in his presidential campaign. Today was chosen because it is Ron Paul's birthday.

It seems to be working. The site brought in $3000 in the time it took me to type the preceding two sentences. A meter on the campaign web site lets you watch the money pour in. A YouTube video viewed by nearly 5,000 as of 11:00 a.m. also promotes the money bomb.

Today's "money bomb" is getting plugged around the country from web sites all over the Internet. As a result, much of the money that Paul raises likely will come from out of state.

The fundraising got a boost from the most recent SUSA poll, which showed that Paul is a much stronger candidate than many had anticipated. The odds-on favorite, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, leads Paul but only 36 to 27.

It would be a mistake for anyone to dismiss Paul as a nuisance candidate. He taps into voter anger and disgust over profligate government spending -- the emotion that has fueled recent town halls about health care and tea parties to protest bailouts. To be sure, Democrats like to portray the town hall and tea party attendees as activists bussed in from the RNC. But these are the libertarians and independents who were sickened by the Bush administration's spending -- regular people who value limited government, low taxes and liberty.

If Grayson can maintain his front runner status and win the primary, he would do well to remember the energy that Paul as tapped and the demand for an end to reckless spending. The Republican Party cannot survive (let alone win) unless we return to that core principle.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sorting Out the Dem's "Advance Care Planning Consultation"

Congressman John Yarmuth asserted last night in his "tele town hall" that there is "no mandatory aspect" in the end of life consultation included in the House's draft health care legislation. According to Yarmuth, the new law merely would amend the Social Security Act to allow Medicare recipients to get reimbursed for such end of life consultations.

I am not convinced.

Yarmuth is correct that under the Democrats' plan, such consultations would be covered by Medicare.

However, there is language in H.R. 3200, Section 1233 "Advance Care Planning Consultation," that could be construed to mandate such consultations.

Take section (F) (i) (III) (ii), which provides that the "Secretary [of H.H.S.] shall limit the requirement for explanation" of advance care planning in certain circumstances depending on state law for advance directives. (Emphasis added.)

"Requirement for explanation"? A fair reading would be that an "explanation" is required. That explanation is the end of life talk.

Many of us have durable powers of attorney, health proxies and so forth. Personally, I think it's a good idea to have an end of life conversation. But many of us want that to be a private decision that we make after consulting not just with our physician but with our family and clergy. Some people may prefer never thinking about, talking about, or planning the end of life; that should be their right, even if it's not very wise. To the extent that the "explanation" is required, it infringes upon our liberty. Government compulsion always does.

Even assuming the end of life counseling is not mandatory, another problem with the section on "Advance Care Planning Consultation" is that it puts words in the mouths of our physicians.

Section 1233, (F) (i) provides that an "explanation of orders regarding life sustaining treatment or similar orders, which shall include [emphasis added] (I) the reason why the development of such an order is beneficial to the individual and the individual's family and the reason why such order should be updated periodically as the health of the individual changes."

Again, many of us may think that a "Do Not Resuscitate Order" -- or its opposite -- is a good idea in certain circumstances. That's not the issue.

The problem is the government compelling health care providers to "provide the reason why" such orders are a good idea. That's compulsory speech for the doctor and compulsory listening for the patient.

Liberals don't want physicians to "provide the reason why" an abortion might not be a good idea. Pro-abortion advocates argue that such "counseling" is an undue burden on the right to have an abortion. That's why liberals in Congress opposed legislation that would make physicians offer to show pregnant women sonograms of their unborn fetus before performing an abortion.

Yet when the person who might die is alive and breathing, as opposed to a fetus in the womb, the Democrats have no qualms about compelling doctors to give "reasons why" that person should agree to a health order about the end of his or her life.

The left fears that abortion counseling is an attempt to coerce women into forgoing the abortion and bearing the child. Depending upon who does the counseling, that fear may be well-founded. The same fear of coercion applies to "Advance Care Planning Consultation." Except that the debate is not about when life begins, but rather when it should end.

Cudos to Yarmuth

Congressman John Yarmuth has scheduled a real, live town hall on September 2 at Central High School, and he should be commended for his willingness to meet with his constituents rather than run and hide like many of his colleagues, including Ben Chandler.

Last night Yarmuth held a "tele-town hall." This conflicted with a school board meeting I had to attend, so I only heard the first part of the conference call. One aspect of the "tele-town hall" that I really appreciated was that it gave senior citizens who might be home bound the opportunity to participate. In the portion of the call that I heard, Yarmuth handled himself well. I do not agree with his political philosophy, but he was gracious and knowledgeable -- as were the questioners.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Trojan Horse of a Different Color

Due to unprecedented public outrage, there are now reports that Barack may be backing away from the nationalized, single payer concept. The idea of non-governmental insurance co-ops to compete with private insurers has been floated. Make no mistake, this is just a Trojan Horse of a different color.

Here is how it will go. These co-ops will be set up and while they will be independent entities, they will be heavily supported by government dollars (your money!). Unfortunately, they won't work. The cooperative healthcare model has not been very successful where it has been tried. After three or five or ten years, and after billions more wasted, there will be another "crisis". And guess what the solution will be: government controlled nationalized single payer healthcare. Surprise, surprise!

Don't fall for it folks.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

GOP Weekly Address

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) gives the Republican weekly address. Unfortunately, the link won't paste so let me quote the portion that struck me as most insightful. Hatch focuses on those areas of agreement for which there is bipartisan support to reform health care now, rather than jettisoning the whole system:

1. Reforming the health insurance market for every American by making sure that no American is denied coverage simply based on a pre-existing condition

2. Protecting the coverage for almost 85 percent of Americans who already have coverage – coverage they like – by making it more affordable. This means reducing costs by rewarding quality and coordinated care, giving families more information on the cost and choices of their coverage and treatment options, discouraging junk lawsuits against doctors and hospitals and promoting prevention and wellness measures like quitting smoking and living a healthier lifestyle

3. Giving states flexibility to design their own unique approaches to reduce uninsured

4. Empowering small businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs – the job-creating engines and lifeblood of our economy – to buy affordable coverage for their employees.

Take point number one. Everyone agrees that excluding people for preexisting conditiion is a bad idea. Some view it as simply immoral. Others see it as a handcuff that keeps people from switching to jobs that might improve their standard of living and our economy's growth. All of us, if we're honest, worry that someday we or one of our one of our loved ones could fall into that "preexisting condition" category.

Given the widespread support for outlawing the practice, Congress should pass a one page bill that prohibits denial of coverage for preexisting conditions. The beauty of that simplicity is that (1) our elected officials -- and citizens -- could actually read the bill and (2) if it is not tarted up with controversial (and extraneous) measures, it can pass quickly.

Some would say that we should not reform health care on an incremental basis. But given the passionate disagreement on so many provisions now floating around the Hill, why hold up improving the one item upon which we all agree?

If one member of Congress can introduce a bill that makes this one discrete change, that member can change the lives of many Americans, reduce anxiety for all of us, and transform the tenor of the health care debate in Washington.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cliff Notes

We know that none of our legislators have read HR 3200 "America's Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009", but there are actually Americans that have read all 1017 mind numbing pages. One of them is John David Lewis, a professor of political science at Duke University. He has written a piece that includes actual language from the bill with his evaluation of its meaning. His analysis is concise and this is a good resource for those who have an interest in learning about some important things in the source document without reading all 1017 pages. His article can be found at:

One thing is for sure, the words "Affordable" and "Choices" have no place in the bill's title!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed?

This woman is definitely not Goldilocks.

A Shively couple came home to find "a ransacked house and a naked stranger sleeping in their bed," according to WHAS 11.

Police say 29-year-old Brooke Basham was heavily intoxicated on oxycodones, crack cocaine, heroin and alcohol.

They say she broke in and ransacked the house throwing food on furniture and the floor before she passed out naked.

No word yet on whether the woman is a Birther. Clearly, she was not wearing either a Swastika or a Brooks Bros. suit.

This is why Members of Congress should hold town halls: people need a place to go at night, sort of like Midnight Basketball.

NRO On "Virtual Town Halls"

Congressman John Yarmuth may have started a trend with his "tele-town halls." The phenomenon of Members of Congress hiding from their constituents by conducting "virtual town halls" is spreading. National Review Online deconstructs the concept:

Staffers can screen the callsand messages. If a tough question does get through, the staffers can supply their boss with facts, figures, and snappy comebacks. (When the virtual town hall employs video instead of text, the aides need only stay out of camera range in order to preserve the illusion that the member is performing without assistance.) With all this help, even the laziest pols can look like ├╝berwonks. Call them “virtual members.”

Obviously, the congressional workload requires lawmakers to delegate. But it’s reasonable for voters to expect them to know their stuff, especially on health care and other issues that affect people directly. In an old-fashioned town hall, the member’s body language and off-the-cuff answers help voters to tell whether he or she meets this standard.

Virtual town halls are a lot like Oz: The members are the little men and women behind the curtain. And they don’t even need a heart, a brain, or courage.

Don't forget Yarmuth's upcoming "tele-town halls" on Aug. 17, 24 and 25. The number is (502)582-5129.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tigers and Rocks Get More Respect Than Cards

And now for a little sports relief: just published its preseason ranking of the nation's high school teams. Two Louisville powerhouses made the list: St. Xavier, ranked 39th, and Trinity, ranked 68th. It's nice to see at least some form of football played in Louisville that is nationally ranked.
Please note: The postings of "G. Morris", written by John K. Bush and which end in 2016, stated his views as of the dates of posting and should not be understood as current assertions of his views. The postings, which have not been altered since they came to an end, remain on this blog to preserve the historical record. In 2017, Mr. Bush took a position that precludes further public political comments or endorsements. He will no longer be contributing to this blog.

Where's John?

Attended a rally today at John Yarmuth's office (well, not quite, it was in the park in front of the building that John's office is in. That was as close as we could get). The rally was organized by the American Small Business Partnership, a new grassroots organization of concerned business owners and citizens that are deeply concerned about certain proposed legislation, specifically Healthcare Reform and Cap & Trade legislation.

There were at least 100 people there, with many creative posters and signs. I did not see a single swastika and there were no Brooks Brothers suits (well, maybe one, but it looked more like a Jos. Banks to me) The crowd seemed like a fairly good cross section of America, men and women, children to grandmothers and grandfathers. Various folks voiced their concerns to the several media types present and it was a very civil and disciplined crowd.

Of course, no one expected to see John Yarmuth. He has caught considerable flak for not having any public, in person meetings, but we can really blame him? Did you ever have one of those nightmares where you showed up for a final exam and you suddenly realized that you had never attended the class or done any of the homework? John must feel that way. Like most of his peers, he has not read HR 3200 and has no idea what is really in it. If he did, he would be happy to meet with his constituents to answer their questions and to show off his deep and detailed knowledge of the plan.

This ill-conceived and disastrous Healthcare Reform plan was cobbled together in the hope that it could be foisted on the American people before they could figure out what the real agenda was, i.e. another Big Government power and pocketbook grab. Well, the American people are figuring it out. In rallies like this, and in many others like it across the country, people are making it known that they think it stinks. The only stimulus the current bill will provide is to undertakers and bankruptcy attorneys!

Ben Chandler Afraid of Town Halls

Congressman Ben Chandler will not hold any town hall meetings on health care due to the incivility of the debate. He is too busy eating chicken in an undisclosed location.

At least Congressman John "Tele-tubby" Yarmuth is holding "tele-town halls."

I would prefer that those who oppose the government takeover of health care express themselves with decorum. But look who has anointed themselves the Etiquette Police: The party that brought us the flag burning, bomb throwing "protests" of the 1960's now demonize constituents as "un-American" for shouting.

The party that waxes poetic about the anniversary of Woodstock (and even wanted federal funds to locate a museum there) cannot stand the heat of senior citizens who have raised their voices in opposition to a plan that in reality, Chandler and Yarumth will never read.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Rand Paul Catches Democrats AstroTurfing

Dr. Rand Paul notes on his campaign web site that Obama Administration's grassroots outreach machine is recruiting activists to deluge the offices of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell:

Sunday afternoon, Organizing for America, Obama’s political arm, sent out an email to central Kentucky supporters urging them to join “Office Visits for Health Reform” this week. Their goal is to bombard Sen. Mitch McConnell’s Lexington office with a constant stream of agitators during office hours. From the Obama email:

“Choose a day and time to sign up this week — we want to have someone at each office throughout the day all throughout the week.”

Dr. Paul condemns the abuse of public resources certain to result from this week-long stunt and wishes the President would instead turn his focus to improving the functioning of Medicare and Medicaid before the failing entitlements bankrupt the country.

It is no surprise that a president who served as a "community organizer" would inspire his followers to go out and organize their communities. Moreover,Democrats have a free speech right to tell McConnell how much they want the government to take over health care, though Dr. Paul is right: they should express their opinion without disrupting business.

Still, the hypocrisy is breathtaking. The same people who have been sputtering about supposed Birthers, mobsters, and AstroTurfers now want to mob McConnell's office.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Yarmuth Will Hold "Tele-Town Hall" Meetings

Congressman John Yarmuth has discovered a way to avoid phony protesters: hold phony town halls. Yarmuth will hold three "tele-town hall" meetings to discuss health care. Rather than dealing with an angry mob, Yarmuth will take questions by telephone. According to the Courier-Journal,

Yarmuth's representative, Marty Meyer, said Yarmuth will hold three “tele-town hall” meetings on health care reform by conference call on Aug. 17, 24 and 25. Anyone who wants to participate may contact Yarmuth's Louisville office at 582-5129, he said.

Non-Louisvillians who would like to join in the merriment should know that our area code is (502). No word on the time the "tele-town hall" will take place on those dates, so dial early and often.

Some might think that Yarmuth saw how his Democratic colleagues were grilled and fried in their town halls and turned Kentucky Chicken. However, there are other explanations for his phone-a-thon.

The left can bill these "tele-town halls" as a way to cut emissions, since we won't have to drive anywhere. It's the green way to question the government takeover of health care.

In addition, Yarmuth's "tele-town halls" resolve the dilemma of how to dress for the event -- whether to wear the rent-a-mob Brooks Bros. suit or the wife beater and overalls. Attendants at Yarmuth's "tele-town halls" can wear anything. Or nothing at all. It's the left's worst nightmare Birthers in their birthday suits!

Finally, thanks to Yarmuth, we can protest from the comfort and privacy of our own homes. Only a Democrat could have conceived of this innovation in democracy. Though Yarmuth doesn't charge for romancing his constituents over the phone, it still isn't good as the real thing.

American Small Business Partnership

A group of local concerned small business people has started a new grassroots (no Nancy, it is not astroturf!) organization to specifically fight the currently proposed Healthcare Reform and Cap and Trade legislation, which will both be disasters for the American economy, jobs and freedom.

The name of the organization is the American Small Business Partnership. Go to // to find out what it is all about and to also find useful links to information and articles on the key issues of Healthcare Reform (read: nationalized, single payer bureaucratic bankrupting disaster) and Cap and Trade (read: control and tax job creation and productivity into oblivion).

Also, the organization's first public event is going to be this Monday, August 10th from 11:45 to 1:00 pm at John Yarmuth's office at 600 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Place (on 6th street between Chestnut and Broadway).

The purpose of the rally is to raise community awareness of the fact that John has not been responsive to his constituents and seems afraid to meet with us to discuss the specifics of the currently proposed healthcare reform legislation.

John will probably not be there, and that is the point. All respectful, civil and concerned citizens are invited. Many of us are not used to these kind of rallies, but we have to stand up to this insanity in Washington. This legislation, if passed in anything near its current form, would be the most destructive legislation in the history of our country. Our children's futures are literally on the line here and it is so important that we fight for them.

Where's Our Town Hall?

I emailed Congressman John Yarmuth a few days ago to find out when he will hold his town hall on health care. Surely he doesn't want to miss out on all the fun. He has not responded. No reply. Don't constituents deserve the courtesy of a reply?

Perhaps Yarmuth's staff deemed my question fishy. Report all fishy questions to It is well known among the intelligentsia that anyone who opposes the government take over of health care is a racist mobster. And a birther!

The Demo-blogs assert that Yarmuth need not show up to some of the town hall meetings to which he's been invited. Fair enough. No need to sandbag the guy. He can organize his own meeting. But to not have one at all, while he trots around the networks as Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "spokesman" just seems cowardly.

The Democrats insist that the outrage in town hall meetings across the nation is fake, phony, AstroTurf. They can continue to think that until the first Wednesday in November 2010.

Meanwhile, even RINOs like Peggy Noonan have woken up:

And so the shock on the faces of Congressmen who’ve faced the grillings back home. And really, their shock is the first thing you see in the videos. They had no idea how people were feeling. . . .

What the town-hall meetings represent is a feeling of rebellion, an uprising against change they do not believe in. And the Democratic response has been stunningly crude and aggressive. It has been to attack. Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, accused the people at the meetings of “carrying swastikas and symbols like that.” (Apparently one protester held a hand-lettered sign with a “no” slash over a swastika.) But they are not Nazis, they’re Americans. Some of them looked like they’d actually spent some time fighting Nazis.

Then came the Democratic Party charge that the people at the meetings were suspiciously well-dressed, in jackets and ties from Brooks Brothers. They must be Republican rent-a-mobs. Sen. Barbara Boxer said on MSNBC’s “Hardball” that people are “storming these town hall meetings,” that they were “well dressed”, that “this is all organized,” “all planned,” to “hurt our president.” Here she was projecting. For normal people, it’s not all about Barack Obama.

If Yarmuth does deign to hold a town hall, Republicans face a fashion dilemma. If we dress neatly and professionally, say out of self-respect and respect for our elected officials, then we are told that we look like AstroTurfers. Anyone who wears a sport coat made of natural fibers is suspect.

Apparently legitimate opponents of a government take over of health care should dress like slovenly rubes, clinging to our guns and our Bibles and our insurance cards. Once again, the Democrats reveal their utter contempt for those little people known as voters.

McConnell Was Right About Bunning

The Hill has praised Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell for not endorsing Sen. Jim Bunning for reelection -- the catalyst that eventually led Bunning to withdraw from the race.

It would have been easier for McConnell to simply endorse Bunning -- no confrontation, no hurt feelings. But McConnell knew that Bunning could not win reelection, so McConnell put the interests of the party and ultimately the country above Bunning's vanity.

As difficult and politically awkward as it was, McConnell showed leadership in pushing Bunning out of the race. Democrats wanted to face Bunning next year, and while they are not conceding the race, their effort to nab the seat has become much more challenging.

As The Hill notes, no matter how many times Bunning attacked McConnell for not helping him, McConnell never responded in kind:

Throughout 2009, Bunning lashed out at McConnell, who never publicly fired back.

When Bunning announced he was not going to seek a third term, he said, “Over the past year, some of the leaders of the Republican Party in the Senate have done everything in their power to dry up my fundraising.”

How did McConnell respond? He simply issued a statement saying he was honored to work by Bunning’s side.

Well said, Sen. McConnell.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Daily Kos: Jack Conway's "Macaca Moment"

The left-wing Daily Kos has a diary post that describes Democrat Jack Conway's Fancy Farm speech as his "Macaca moment." The Daily Kos has helpfully christened Conway as "Captain Jack" for his "salty language."

Over the weekend at the Fancy Farm church picnic, Kentucky Attorney General Conway, in a bizarre attempt to bolster his street cred for the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, described himself as "one tough" S.O.B.. Except he didn't use the acronym.

Conway's rival for the nomination, Lieut. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, demanded that Conway apologize and Conway caved.

Now watch the left eat its own. Quoting the Rural Kentucky Democrat's Diary, the Daily Kos reads:

This is officially Jack Conway's macaca moment. For those of you who may have forgotten, former Senator George Allen of Virginia used the phrase "macaca", which is a racial slur, in a speech during his reelection campaign of 2006. He was the clear favorite and eventually lost the race due to the slip up.

Conway's outburst has also led to the revamping of the rules set by St. Jerome's Parish. They will issue a "no profanity" rule for future Fancy Farm events. And many in Western Kentucky who were supporting Conway are now dumping him like a bad ham sandwich, and that is a fact.

Jack Conway's campaign stood defiant last night and said "there will be no apology" after the Mongiardo campaign asked for Conway to apologize. Well he is eating crow with a silver spoon, pun intended. This is clearly a disaster for the Conway campaign and there is really no way to recover, in politics at this level you only get one chance. Reports from sources in Washington D.C tell me that the DSCC is not happy, of course the big boyz in D.C were pimping the Conway campaign. I expect they pushed for the apology.

On the big stage you have to keep your cool and for those hitting Mongiardo for his speech need to remember ITS FANCY FARM. But a viable candidate can not react and blow the most important speech of his or her political career and Conway blew it. He may have access to the easy millions but now that is all null and void because his macaca moment will be used against him to the end of time.

At this point he is damaged goods for the Democratic Party. He may be able to recover with time, he is young, but there is no recovering in this race, it will not happen.

Plainly, Conway is not so tough as he so colorfully boasted. Captain Jack capitulated to his rival Mongiardo after watching Mongiardo try to raise a few bucks for his campaign by watching his very pregnant wife dance a strip tease with his tie. (Memo to Dr. Dan: the name of the reality show is Pimp My Ride, not Pimp My Bride.)

Oblivious to his own sanctimonious hypocrisy, Mongiardo appoints himself the Miss Manners who will keep Fancy Farm pure and tasteful. Captain Jack obediantly apologized, proving that he is not one tough S.O.B. after all.

Jack Conway, Macho Man (This Is Jack Tough!)

This YouTube of Jack Conway boasting about what a tough S.O.B he is will go viral. I love the iterations of all his hair color -- I never noticed the resemblance to a preening John Edwards in his "I Feel Pretty" days.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Keep Kentucky Senate Republican

The Kentucky Republicans and conservatives needs to write a check (quickly) for the GOP candidate in a special election to fill the vacancy by Republican Sen. Charlie Borders in Northeastern Kentucky, District 18.

Dr. Jack Ditty is the Republican nominee in a special election that Gov. Beshear has set for August 25th. This election will determine more than who represents District 18; it has implications for the balance of power within the state. All Republicans, therefore, need to watch this closely and give what they can to protect our majority in the Senate.

According to the state party, Dr. Ditty would be the only physician in the State Senate -- an invaluable asset for Republicans as we work to achieve healthcare reform rather than government takeover.

To learn more about Dr. Ditty and make a donation, go to

Monday, August 3, 2009

NRCC Targets Chandler, But Not Yarmuth

The National Republican Congressional Committee has compiled its hit list of 70 Democratic seats it will try to retake, according to Politico. The only Congressman from Kentucky to earn a bull's eye is Ben Chandler. The NRCC did not target John Yarmuth -- which seems to be a tacit admission that he is safe for now. His left-wing voting record fits the preferences of his Louisville voters. Nonetheless, by conceding the seat, the NRCC will make it more difficult to recruit a credible Republican to run for that seat.

As for Chandler, I've been impressed by how often he votes with the Republicans in our delegation. His record, unlike Yarmuth's, is quite conservative. Indeed, Chandler's voting record will serve him well with the rest of the state when he runs state-wide. It seems wasteful for the NRCC to use scarce resources to go after Chandler. Given the free-fall of President Barack Obama's poll numbers, shouldn't we target the far-left fringe rather than the Blue Dogs?