Saturday, January 30, 2010

Susan Collins Give GOP Address

Sen. Susan Collins from Maine gave the Republican weekly address, in which she excoriates the Obama administration for coddling the Christmas Day Bomber. As weekly addresses go, this one is exceptionally well-written and takes on added punch because it comes from a moderate Republican.

First Collins blasts the Obama administration for failing to connect the dots -- allowing Abdulmutallab to board the plane even after his own father tried to turn him in to the authorities:

The government’s security system, a front line in the war against terrorists, failed long before Abdulmutallab boarded his flight to the United States.

It failed when his visa wasn’t revoked, even though his father had warned our embassy in Nigeria about his son’s ties to Islamic extremists.

It failed when the intelligence community was unable to connect the dots that would have placed Abdulmutallab on the terrorist watchlist.

It failed when this terrorist stepped on to the plane in Amsterdam with the same explosive used by the ‘Shoe Bomber,’ Richard Reid, more than 8 years ago.

Then Collins takes on the administration's bizarre decision to Mirandize Abdulmutallab and let him lawyer-up after just 50 minutes of questioning -- 20 minutes less than Obama's State of the Union speech:

When the Obama administration decided to treat Abdulmutallab as an ordinary criminal, it did so without the input of our nation’s top intelligence officials.The Director of National Intelligence was not consulted.

The Secretary of Defense was not consulted.

The Secretary of Homeland Security was not consulted.

The Director of the National Counterterrorism Center was not consulted.

They would have explained the importance of gathering all possible intelligence about Yemen, where there is a serious threat from terrorists whose sights are trained on this nation. They would have explained the critical nature of learning all we could from Abdulmutallab. But they were never asked.

President Obama recently used the phrase that we are at war with terrorists. But unfortunately his rhetoric does not match the actions of his administration.The Obama administration appears to have a blind spot when it comes to the War on Terrorism.

And, because of that blindness, this administration cannot see a foreign terrorist even when he stands right in front of them, fresh from an attempt to blow a plane out of the sky on Christmas Day.

Two points jump out. First, Collins sometimes votes with the Democrats on domestic issues. Nonetheless, she is no liberal squish on the issue of Islamofacism. Second, by noting who the administration failed to consult before it decided to treat the Christmas Day Bomber like a common criminal, Collins makes clear that Attorney General Eric Holder is endangering the lives of all of us. He should be sacked.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Off Color Remark...

Chris Matthews said that during the President's State of the Union address, for an hour he forgot that Obama was black. Republicans have been watching Obama for over a year and we never really cared that he was black. For Republicans, color is irrelevant. What matters about a person is their character, integrity, ability and experience. That is how we consider people, not by the color of their skin.

Racism and bigotry are rooted deeply in the political DNA of the Democrat Party. Comments such as Mr. Matthews' are stark reminders of this fact.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Elephant in the Room Wore Boxers (and Explosives)

Remember Lenny Skutnik? President Ronald Reagan introduced Lenny Skutnik to America during his State of the Union. Stutnik was the hero who dove into the freezing Potomac River to rescue survivors of a plane crash. Since Skutnick, we have grown accustomed to the appearance or reference to a variety of people during the president's speech.

Skutnik, of course is a hero. But the individual on the minds of many is the Christmas Day bomber who tried to kill Americans on a plane bound for Detroit. Just as Skutnik represents the bravest, best sentiments of mankind, the Christmas bomber is his antithesis, a polar opposite who nonetheless requires the attention of the president.

To be sure, no one expected the president to invite the Christmas terrorist to sit with the First Lady; we don't want to interfere with his court-appointed defense. Still, the incident merited a little text. And yet Obama made only a passing reference to the terrorist or the inconvenient truth that there are those actively trying to kill us: "We are filling unacceptable gaps revealed by the failed Christmas attack, with better airline security and swifter action on our intelligence." That's it; that's all he said.

Republicans have been demanding answers all week as to who decided to give that terrorist his Miranda warning, including the right to a court-appointed attorney instead of interrogating him. Yet Obama acted as if his lovely Christmas vacation in the isles of Hawaii prevented him from recalling that those of us in the lower 48 were subject to an attempted terrorist attack on his watch.

There is a real villain in this non-fiction story, a Christmas bomber who exploited our lax national security and attempted to kill many Americans. And before he could ask for a potty break, we gave him a lawyer -- on the taxpayer's dime. (Query: if this was such a good call, why will no one in the Obama administration admit to making that call?)

Obama attempted in this State of the Union to shore up Democrats for election. He proffered some talking points, and yet no rebuttal to the demand of Senator-elect Scott Brown: our tax dollars should go to weapons to defeat terrorists, not lawyers to defend them.

Obama never attempted to rebut Brown's point. It seems the president is now taking political advice from . . . Martha Coakley?


McConnell's Take on Obama's SOTU

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has a reaction to President Barack Obama's State of the Union -- aside from the responsive smirk when Obama promised to invited the Republican leadership for "monthly" meetings:

The President is always welcome at the Capitol, especially at a time when there is so much important work to be done on behalf of the American people.

The President talked about jobs tonight. This is a welcome change in focus after the President and his administration spent nearly an entire year pursuing a partisan health care plan that would have spent trillions of dollars we don't have rather than on a plan for getting Americans back to work. I'm hopeful the administration's new focus on the economy will lead it to say no to more spending and debt, more bailouts, and more government.

The President's words about the importance of deficit reduction are timely. The times require that we build upon these modest proposals. Americans are concerned about what kind of country we will leave to our children. The administration could address this concern right away by directing unspent Stimulus and TARP funds to pay down the federal deficit, and it could implement a true spending freeze. It could also assure families and small businesses that their taxes will not go up at the end of the year, as currently planned.

The administration could also reassure Americans who are still rattled by the attempted Christmas Day bombing by vowing to make a priority of preventing the next terrorist attack, not treating captured terrorists like common criminals so we can place them in a civilian court. Americans have a right to find out everything captured terrorists know in order to prevent future terrorist attacks.

Americans are concerned about government spending, debt, jobs, and keeping the homeland safe. They expect us to focus on these core issues until we get them right. In the year ahead, there is much work to be done, and the task before us is clear. We need to get Americans back to work and remain focused on keeping America secure and putting our nation back on the road to prosperity. Republicans look forward to working with the President on these shared goals.

Trey Reacts to Obama's SOTU

Here's Secretary of State Trey Grayson's reaction to President Barack Obama's State of the Union:

As he always does, President Obama delivered a great speech tonight. However, his proposals amount to mere lip service to the massive problems facing our country and do little to address our skyrocketing deficits and national debt.

We need a spending freeze right now – not next year. We need across the board cuts to the double-digit increases in discretionary spending we’ve seen this year over last year. We should hold spending at FY 2009 levels – before the massive increases took place.

Further, it’s disheartening that while the President talks about making American businesses more competitive and creating jobs, he advocates policies like a massive national energy tax that will make our businesses less competitive and drive jobs overseas, especially in coal-dependent states like Kentucky. We must all remember that the government does not create jobs. Government should get out of the way and free America’s small businesses to innovate, grow and create jobs.

I hope the President is serious about wanting bipartisan cooperation, and I hope Democrats in Congress will stop their go-it-alone, government-knows-best approach and begin to consider more common sense, conservative, fiscally responsible approaches to finding real solutions to our problems.

Obama Jinxed?

Chicago olympics, New Jersey governor, Virginia governor, Massachusetts senator...now the UK basketball team. Barack spoke to the UK players before their game against South Carolina....and then they lost, ruining their unbeaten record. Even if you are not superstitious, the evidence of a jinx on Obama is mounting....

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Louisville Mayoral Race

It's the deadline to file for Mayor of Louisville, and at last count we are up to eleven candidates.

My prediction is that Greg Fischer will win. To be sure, he was an unimpressive candidate in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Since that loss, a local businessman sent Fischer to public speaking classes; apparently they worked. Now Fischer needs get professional help on his television commercials (although my boys thought the Fischer wrestling match ad against Bruce "Mud Man" Lunsford was the funniest commercial they have ever seen).

What convinces me that Fischer will win is the number of conservatives who have signed on to his campaign at the outset. These are smart, thoughtful business people for whom I have great respect. Their endorsement and contribution to Fischer's campaign matters.

Republican Hal Heiner must be furious at the number or Republicans who have bailed on him.

Fischer cannot be painted as the candidate of big business, however, due to the number of labor endorsements he received in his bid for Senate and his current campaign. That is, Fischer seems best poised to strike that sensitive balance between management and labor --between creating a climate that allows businesses to grow while also protecting the interests of union members. That's exactly the coalition that the next mayor of Louisville needs to govern effectively.



Rand Calls Out New York Times

Dr. Rand Paul notes that a piece in Sunday's New York Times is flat-out wrong on the facts.

The Times wrote that "if Mr. Paul wins -- and early polling suggests that could happen -- a Democrat would be favored to win."

As Paul points out on his website, two polls have shown that he would beat either Democrat Dan Mongiardo or Jack Conway. Of course, the polls also show that Trey Grayson would also beat the Democrats. The Democratic primary has become irrelevant.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Kentucky Senate Seat "Slight Lean Republican"?

Sean Trende at RealClearPolitics analyzes whether Republicans can take control in the Senate and concludes it will be tough to get the last two votes.

It's always fun to hear what outsiders are saying about the Kentucky race:

This one could be classified as a “Slight Lean Republican,” especially if libertarian Rand Paul (son of Congressman Ron Paul) gets the GOP nod. In a way, Kentucky is the opposite of libertarian-ish: Socially conservative, fiscally more liberal. Paul has led in primary matchups against Secretary of State Trey Grayson, but also leads Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway and Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo. My guess is that Paul will have a tough time once Conway or Mongiardo starts explaining what libertarianism really means to Kentucky voters, and this race will look more uphill for the GOP. Grayson, a more conventional GOP politician, would probably have an easier road to the Senate. The biggest problem for the Democrats in all of these close races is that the Republican will be running on a message of “do you really want to give Obama 60 votes again?” in some fairly right-of-center states. This will make the sale pretty tough for the Democrat in the end.

I'm not sure that I agree with his characterization that Kentucky is "the opposite of libertarian-ish: Socially conservative, fiscally more liberal." Sure, Kentucky is socially conservative but that can be reconciled with a call for limited government and personal autonomy.

I do not buy for a minute that the voters of the state today are are "fiscally more liberal." Nothing would be better for Republican prospects that for Democrats Jack Conway or Dan Mongiardo to campaign on a platform of liberal fiscal policy: (More stimulus! More bailouts! More deficits! More taxes!) Really, if Conway and Mongiardo proceed on the assumption that this is a "fiscally more liberal" state, they will have done the Get Out The Vote work for the Republican nominee.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Moveon.org's Take on Brown Victory

Moveon.org's website calls Sen.-elect Scott Brown's victory "devastating." That's the only nod to reality.

According' to Moveon's election night polling, those citizens who voted for Obama last year but Brown on Tuesday did so because Obama has not been "progressive" enough in unwinding the policies of President George Bush. That is, Brown won because (1) Obama is not liberal enough and (2) repeat after me: it is all Bush's fault.

Moveon's poll supposedly shows that 49 percent of the Obama voters who voted for Brown support the Senate health care bill or -- get this -- think the bill does not go far enough.

It seems that the message for Obama from the base is too introduce a new health care bill that goes further in raising costs, increasing the deficit, reducing freedom and socializing one-sixth of the economy.








Sabato On Kentucky Senate Race

Official tea leaf reader Prof. Larry Sabato extrapolates Scott Brown's win for the U.S. Senate races.

For Kentucky, he decrees the race is still a toss-up. If the election were held today, however, Sabato says that Republicans would hold on to Jim Bunning's seat.

He predicts that Dan Mongiardo will be the Democratic nominee and Trey Grayson the Republican.

Sabato also shows Sen. Democratic Leader Harry Reid going down. So that's why President Barack Obama is going to Nevada to campaign for Reid: he's trying to push him over the abyss, just like he did Martha Coakley (and before her, Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey and Creigh Deeds, Democratic candidate for Governor of Virginia).

Thursday, January 21, 2010

McConnell: Who Made the Call on the Christmas Bomber?

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is asking some important questions regarding the Obama administration's decision to the treat the Detroit-bound Christmas bomber as a civilian rather than thoroughly interrogate the terrorist. McConnell made the following remarks today on the Senate floor:

“Mister President, yesterday several members of the administration’s national security team testified before the Senate concerning the attempted Christmas Day attack by the Nigerian terrorist of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. This testimony was troubling, and left some wondering why the administration is subjecting this terrorist to criminal prosecution instead of gaining the valuable intelligence that is needed in our war on Al Qaeda.

“Admiral Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, stated frankly that the Christmas Day Bomber should have been questioned by the High Value Detainee Interrogation Group; Blair went on to say that neither he nor other important intelligence officials were consulted on this matter. This raises several troubling questions:

“First, why were Miranda rights given to the obvious terrorist after only a brief session of questioning, which predictably ended his cooperation?

“Second, at what level of authority was this decision taken to treat him as a criminal defendant instead of an unlawful enemy combatant? Who made this decision?

“I asked this question last night of John Brennan, the President’s senior counterterrorism adviser, three times and he refused to answer. I think that the Senate is entitled to know precisely who authorized this.

“A year ago the President decided to revise the Nation’s interrogation policies, and to restrict the CIA’s ability to question terrorists. The administration created a High Value Detainee Interrogation Group to question terrorists. Why wasn’t his group brought in once this terrorist was taken into custody?

These questions underscore the naivete of the Obama administration. The lack of competence is bad enough, but these kinds of mistakes actually endanger our lives.

Ron Lewis Endorses Trey Grayson

Former Congressman Ron Lewis has endorsed Trey Grayson in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. The release speaks for itself:

Trey Grayson has shown the kind of character and leadership that Kentuckians deserve in their next United States Senator. It’s a pleasure for Kayi and I to offer our support to his campaign. In his six years as Kentucky’s Secretary of State Trey has improved the efficiency of his office, operating on a 15% smaller budget than his predecessor even while his responsibilities have increased. That’s the kind of fiscal discipline we need in Washington. I know Trey will fight for comprehensive budget and spending reform to restore our nation’s fiscal health that will help create more jobs,” said Lewis.


Secretary Grayson said, “In 1994, Ron Lewis sparked a revolution that sent shockwaves through Washington, much like we hope Scott Brown’s historic win did on Tuesday. I’m thrilled to have his and Kayi’s support. If elected to the U.S. Senate I will never waiver in my conservative principles and will not let them down. They served the Commonwealth well and are very respected in the 2nd District and statewide. This is a major boost for our campaign,” said Grayson.


Congressman Lewis explained more about his support for Grayson saying, “I know Trey will stand for the conservative principles Kentuckians believe in. He is 100% pro-life and when it comes to national security, Trey is the candidate we want representing the 101st Airborne, Fort Campbell, and Fort Knox. Trey understands the importance of not giving an inch to the enemy, working to prevent terrorists from being tried in the United States, and will work to keep the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo open. He understands that we don’t want suspected terrorists housed at Fort Knox or other U.S. facilities.



Ding, Dong, the (Obamacare Senate Bill) Witch is Dead!

Breaking news from the Washington Post: "Speaker of the House says she does not have enough votes to pass the Senate version of the health-care bill, leaving President Obama's most important domestic agenda item in grave jeopardy." Yippee!

Clueless Seems To Be Their Battle Plan

Today I received a letter from Organizing For America (OFA) an organization spun off from President Obama’s campaign organization which still displays his “Presidential Seal.” Believe me, it is good to keep you enemies close.

Here are the first two paragraphs:

“Yesterday's disappointing election results show deep discontent with the pace of change. I know the OFA community and the President share that frustration.

We also saw what we knew to be true all along: Any change worth making is hard and will be fought at every turn. While it doesn't take away the sting of this loss, there is no road to real change without setbacks along the way.”

This just shows they still don’t get it. Massachusetts is one of the bluest states and the majority of the voters told us what we already knew; that we do not what the Health Care Insurance Bill that is presently in Congress.

No matter what you saw the President say on media news, his organization still spins it as the “deep discontent with the pace of change.”

Maybe we shouldn’t try to open their eyes. Then they won’t know what happened this November and 2012.

God Bless America.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Terrorism Component to Brown's Victory Helps Grayson

Much has been said about Scott Brown's opposition to Obamacare, high taxes and deficit spending. But Brown's internal polling showed that terrorism and treatment of enemy combatants was the "most potent issue," according to NRO's Andy McCarthy.

That has direct implications for Kentucky's Republican primary to replace Sen. Jim Bunning. Trey Grayson has reiterated his opposition to closing Gitmo and to giving civilian trials to enemy combatants. Grayson likewise argues that the U.S. must stay on the offense in the war on terror.

Dr. Rand Paul, in contrast, avoids the whole subject of terrorism like it is the Swine Flu. And no wonder: many of his libertarian followers, according to their comments to this blog, blame the U.S. for 9/11. Ignoring the high rate of recidivism among enemy combatants, Paul has said that he would send Gitmo prisoners back to their country of origin because it would "take them a long time" to get back here to try to kill us again.

After the attempted bombing of the Detroit-bound plane on Christmas day, Grayson quickly issued a statement. Grayson pointed out that some of the attack's planners had been released from Gitmo, only to become al Qaeda leaders in Yemen; the attempted bomber's master-minds thus are the poster-terrorists of why Gitmo should not be closed. Paul issued no statement about the attempted attack.

This is the dilemma for Paul. He has many loyal and energized followers who hate the U.S. war on terror. But unless and until Paul speaks to the issue of national security, he cannot appeal to the third leg of the Reagan coalition: voters who value a strong national defense.

Those national security voters are one reason that Scott Brown was able to reassemble the Reagan coalition. As McCarthy writes,

Scott Brown went out and made the case for enhanced interrogation, for denying terrorists the rights of criminal defendants, for detaining them without trial, and for trying them by military commission. It worked.. . . .

Yes, the Left will say you are making a mockery of our commitment to “the rule of law.” MSNBC will run segments on your dark conspiracies to “shred the privacy rights of Americans.” The New York Times will wail that you’re heedless of the damage you’ll do to “America’s reputation in the international community.”

The answer is: So what? The people making these claims don’t speak for Americans — they speak at Americans, in ever shrinking amounts. If you’re going to cower from a fight with them, we don’t need you. Get us a Scott Brown who’ll take them on in their own backyard. And he’ll take them on with confidence because he knows their contentions are frivolous — and he knows that Americans know this, too.

So while both Grayson and Paul celebrate Brown's victory, and both echo Brown's opposition to Obamacare and deficit spending, only Grayson has thus far tapped into Brown's "more potent issue."



Lally Says Brown Win Is the Writing on Yarmuth's Wall

Republican Congressional candidate Todd Lally contends that Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts -- and Republican wins in the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races -- show that Congressman John Yarmuth is vulnerable

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Way To Go, Scott Brown!

It turns out the best polling was done by the Black Eyed Peas: "Tonight's gonna be a good night," and it was for Republicans, Reagan Democrats and Independents who took back the People's Seat. Simultaneously, they injected note of sanity into the debate, including the need to bring the health care issue out from behind the closed doors with Scott Brown's promise that when it comes to health care reform, "We can do better."

Statements of congratulations are flowing in. First, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who really, really needed the extra troops:

I want to congratulate Senator-elect Scott Brown on his decisive victory. There’s a reason the nation was focused on this race: The voters in Massachusetts, like Americans everywhere, have made it abundantly clear where they stand on health care. They don’t want this bill and want Washington to listen to them. Americans are investing their hopes in good Republican candidates to reverse a year-long Democrat trend of ignoring the American people on the issues of health care, spending and the growth of government.

And from U.S. Senate candidate Trey Grayson:

Kentuckians had it right in 2008 when we overwhelmingly rejected the radical liberal agenda of President Obama and the Congressional majority in Washington. It appears much of the rest of the country is now coming around to our way of thinking after a year of an attempted government takeover of health care, closed door negotiations, secret back room deals, the push for a cap and trade law to create a national energy tax, and more out-of-control spending and borrowing than our nation has ever seen.

My heart felt congratulations goes out to Scott Brown, his family and campaign staff and volunteers.It is not just a victory for Massachusetts, but for the whole country.
Let’s hope that much like our own Ron Lewis’ race in 1994 this race will be a bellwether for the election results this fall. Americans didn’t vote for more intrusive government, higher taxes and a skyrocketing national debt in 2008, but that’s what we’ve gotten from this Congress. If I’m elected to the U.S. Senate my top priority will be working to restore our nation’s fiscal health.

Congratulations, as well, to those former Romney operatives who ran a brilliant campaign, even the ones who wouldn't bother to return Scott Brown's phone calls when he was a nobody.


All Eyes On the Bay State

The polls are all over the place. Zogby has Coakley winning but the DSCC has Brown up by five. Republicans have won just by turning this into a race. Democrats manifested their typical arrogance that the seat was an entitlement and didn't even see fit to campaign until it was too late. It is not, as Brown pointed out, "Teddy's seat." It is the people's seat and now it is their manifesto against Obamacare.

The most exciting thing about the Coakley - Brown race (other than the fact that it can defeat Obamacare) is it shows that the Reagan Democrats are not gone. There was no realignment in 2008. They are paying attention to this administration and they are angry.


Friday, January 15, 2010

Rest In Peace, Fancene

I was saddened to learn that WHAS radio personality Francene Cucinello passed away today at the all too young age of 43.

She and I both wrote columns for the Voice, and although I did not know her well, I enjoyed her warmth, humor and complete lack of pretentiousness.

God rest her soul and comfort her family with His peace.

Poll: Even Mass. Voters Hate Health Care Bill

Even voters in the People's Republic of Massachusetts oppose Obamacare -- 51 percent. And no wonder, according to the Suffolk University/News 7 Boston poll, 61% “believe the federal government cannot afford the proposed national health care plan.”

Consequently, Democrats may well lose the senate seat even in this bluest of states. President Barack Obama plans to go campaign in the special election. Yeah, that'll help . . . the Republican.


Trey Pounds Rand On Gitmo

I only caught the part of Trey Grayson's interactive video chat last night that fell after swim practice and before the Social Studies project, but here's my take: he made Dr. Rand Paul look dangerous on the issue of closing Gitmo.

Grayson and Paul are indistinguishable on fiscal issues. As Paul has done all along, Grayson hit hard the need to get "our financial house in order." Grayson also made an interesting point on the national security implications of our enormous deficit; our debt allows us to be held hostage by China or whoever chooses to lend us the money to continue the Democrats' profligate spending.

But where Grayson really shone is on the question of whether President Barack Obama should close Gitmo. Grayson opposes closing Gitmo (and moving its terrorist prisoners to nearby Illinois) in the strongest possible terms.

He ridiculed Paul's assertion that we can deport the "enemy combatants" to whence they came because it would take them "a long time to get back here." Grayson maintains that we cannot allow the people who want to kill us to come back to complete their mission.

National security and foreign policy are issues that reveal the most fundamental differences between Grayson and Paul. There is no doubt that Paul is a fiscal conservative. In this primary -- in this time of our nation's history -- that is necessary, but not sufficient. Paul needs to address the national security issues upon which he would be called to vote. It is time to expand the discussion of issues beyond catch-words like "out of control spending! deficits! career politicians!"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Send Mitch More Troops

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell might pick up a 41st vote. That could stop Obamacare in its present form (and replace it with something sensible and incremental that actually lowers costs).

For that to happen, Republicans need to win the special election in the People's Republic of Massachusetts. It's neck and neck.

Note the difference between the Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Scott Brown, according to Jeff Jacoby:

Coakley supports ObamaCare, opposes the war in Afghanistan, and favors higher taxes on the wealthy. Brown is against the health care legislation, backs the president’s surge in Afghanistan, and wants across-the-board tax cuts à la JFK. Coakley is an EMILY’s List prochoice hard-liner; Brown condemns partial-birth abortion and is backed by Massachusetts Citizens for Life. Coakley has no problem with civilian trials for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Brown thinks it reckless to treat enemy combatants like ordinary defendants.

Right-thinking people with any money left over from the Holidays need to make a contribution to Brown, stat.

Nothing could cure Seasonal Affected Disorder better than a Republican victory in Massachusetts. As Brown has said repeatedly, "It's not the 'Kennedy Seat.' It's the people's seat."

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rasmusson Shows GOP Leading in Senate Race

A new Rasmusson poll shows that Kentucky voters prefer the Republicans -- Trey Grayson or Dr. Rand Paul -- to the Democrats -- whether the nominee is Jack Conway or Dan Mongiardo. That is, now matter who wins either primary, Republicans win the general.

For Republicans, the closest match-up would be Grayson v. Mongiardo; Grayson wins 44-37 and "some other candidate" gets 8 percent. The best margin for Republicans is Grayson v. Conway; Grayson wins 45-35.

Paul beats either Democrat by a slightly higher percentage than Grayson due to variable "some other candidate." Whereas Grayson beats Mongiardo 44-37, if Paul is the candidate, Republicans wins 49-35. Likewise, Grayson beats Conway 45-35 but Paul wins over Conway 46-38.

H/t: Joe Arnold

Grayson Will Debate Paul

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson has agreed to debate Dr. Rand Paul, candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

Here's the schedule:

February 13th
Grassroots Group of McCracken County/McCracken County GOP Forum
McCracken County Court House, Paducah, KY / 11:30 a.m.

[Glad this one is the the morning. That saves Valentine's dinner dates.]

March 17th
Metropolitan Republican Women's Club Candidate Forum
Location TBA, Louisville, KY / 6:00 p.m.

[How about locating this one at the Irish Rover?! Will there be green beer?]

April 5th
Knox County Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum
Union College, Barbourville, KY / 5:00 p.m.

April 13th
Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum
Bowling Green Junior High School / 7:00 p.m.

April 23rd
Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum
Location TBA / 12:00 p.m.

Both of these men are smart and articulate. That should make for an excellent series of debates.

Can Rand Paul Connect With People of Faith?

Joe Arnold has linked up an interesting post from a Bill Johnson supporter who makes the case that Dr. Rand Paul's libertarian views must be rejected by Christian voters.

In fairness to Paul, the post neglects to note that unlike many libertarians, Paul opposes abortion.

Arnold's take is that the talk about Paul hiring Mike Saltsman (formerly of the Huckabee campaign) was intended to reach fundamentalist Christians.

Christians, of course, are not the only "values voters." A comment from a Paul supporter to this blog raises the question of whether Paul will be able to appeal to Jewish voters. "Nobody" writes:

If you want to see the reality of what is truly happening, go open your eyes and follow theAIPAC and the ADL which both organizations have been instrumental in controlling our media and information we receive to protect Israel as they massacre and admit to brutalizing millions of people in gestapo-like tactics that once were used against them by Hitler.

[AIPAC is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobby; ADL is the Anti-Defamation League, dedicated to fighting defamation of Jews.]

To be sure, a candidate cannot be held accountable for the views of follower -- though if the anti-Semitism of the commenter called "Nobody" is more than just a fluke, then Paul must disavow it.

What may give Jewish voters more pause about Paul is the sincerity and depth of his support of Israel. When I asked the campaign last Fall about U.S. support of Israel, I was told "Israel is a friend of America, he [Paul] supports all allies with the United States." It is hard to know if the shallowness of that response reflects a lack of enthusiasm or a lack of reflection. It is not exactly a pledge to go to the mat for Israel. That may appeal to some Paul supporters, but may make it difficult to reach out to voters who care about Israel -- that includes Christian as well as Jewish voters.

The dilemma for Paul is that if he shows too much enthusiasm for supporting Israel, he will alienate some of the libertarian voters -- like "Nobody"-- who see Jewish conspiracies everywhere. If Paul does not show enough supporters for Israel, he risks alienating not only Jewish and Christian voters but anyone who recognizes that Israel is one of our closest allies, an important source of intelligence and the only democracy in the region.

For Paul, the issue of support for Israel dovetails into the issue of how to keep America safe in the age of terrorism without losing our civil liberties.

Trey Grayson, in contrast, has visited Israel twice and has written about it extensively. In fact, Grayson traveled with AIPAC. He is unequivocal about his support for Israel. Unlike Paul, Treyson does not have to finesse the issue.






Tea Party Convention Comes to Nashville

The first ever Tea Party National Convention will take place in Nashville, February 4-6. Sarah Palin is the keynote speaker. Rep. Michelle Bachmann will also speak.

Dr. Rand Paul is not listed as a speaker, but given the proximity of Bowling Green to Nashville, it would be easy for him to drop by.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Steve Forbes Endorses Rand Paul

Steve Forbes has endorsed Dr. Rand Paul in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate:

“As someone who has run an outsider campaign myself, I know something about taking on the establishment. I see in Rand someone who can take the fight from the Tea Parties to the Senate, and help take back our government and our country from the out of control, tax and spend liberals.

“The American people need more than just another vote. They need a man of principle who will always stand up and fight. They need a citizen politician who will represent THEM.

“Rand Paul will do the work to fight for lower taxes and spending and for more freedom in Washington. He’ll fight for a constitutional amendment to balance the budget and for term limits. He’ll fight to give back more of our rights, not take more away.

And then he’ll go back home to Kentucky. I can’t think of a better way to represent the people of Kentucky then to end the cycle of career politicians and pork barrel spending in Washington.”

That means at least one thing for sure: Steve Forbes is not the "special celebrity guest host" who will moderate Trey Grayson's interactive house party broadcast next week.

Sarah Palin Coming to Louisville

WHAS 11 is reporting that Sarah Palin is coming to Louisville April 16 as part of the Women of Joy Conference.

Hmmmm . . . that's one month before the Republican primary, and just three days before the deadline to register to vote.

Last Fall, Former Rand Paul spokesman Chris Hightower said that the campaign was trying to get Palin to endorse Paul. Hightower maintained the the Kentucky primary is similar to special election in New York's 23rd Congressional district. Palin endorsed the Tea Partier in that race after the Republican establishment picked a liberal Republican as its candidate. The Democrat won.

So in addition to speaking at Women of Joy and promoting her book, will Sarah Palin campaign for Dr. Rand Paul?

Rand Paul Makes Diane Sawyer's Newscast

ABC News With Diane Sawyer did a feature on the Tea Partiers' growing national influence that briefly mentioned Dr. Rand Paul. The piece focused on the resignation of Florida Republican Chair Jim Greer and that state's U.S. Senate primary between moderate Gov. Charlie Grist and Tea Partier Marco Rubio.

With respect to Paul, ABC only stated "And in Kentucky, Rand Paul, son of a former presidential candidate Ron Paul, is riding the tea party wave."


Trey Grayson Gets Ready to File

Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson will celebrate his filing for the U.S. Senate Republican primary with simultaneous house parties in 94 counties. Grayson will file next Thursday, January 14, 2009.

According to the Grayson campaign, the house parties will feature an "historic interactive, live video webcast moderated by a celebrity special guest host (to be announced later)." Go to TreyGrayson.com to get invited to a house party or to watch the webcast. Apparently, Grayson will take questions.

Any guess as to the "celebrity special guest host?" Please let it not be Glenn Beck. The Rand Paul campaign reached out to Sarah Palin, but has been unable to land her thus far; could it be Palin? Maybe it's Tim Pawlenty, since he seems to be everywhere these days. But then again, he's not much of a celebrity at this point. I'm betting that it's someone in the media.

The Grayson press release about the announcement lists a range of issues that like Rand Paul hits hard on the economy:

The problems we face as a country are getting worse each day: record unemployment, growing deficits, out-of-control spending, dependence on foreign energy, threats to our national security - and the list could go on. Instead of tackling these problems in common-sense ways that stress individual responsibility and fiscal restraint, the liberal majority in Washington believes spending more tax dollars and expanding government will solve our problems. Clearly that's not working.

Unlike Paul, however, Grayson recognizes -- and is willing to say -- that terrorism is one of the most important issues that we face as a country.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Rand Paul's Filing Speech

A supporter of Dr. Rand Paul forwarded a YouTube video of a ten-minute speech Paul gave at Republican headquarters a few days ago after he filed his papers to run for U.S. Senate. For anyone who has not heard Paul speak, it's worth watching to get the full measure of the man. There is no question that Paul is smart, articulate and conservative.

However, the speech may be more noteworthy for what Paul left unsaid.

Though the speech was given on December 30 -- just five days after the attempted Christmas terrorist attack -- Paul did not address that incident. Nor did he discuss foreign policy, homeland security, Islamofacism or Gitmo. These were curious omissions, given recent events.

Paul says the the Republican Party is is great party and he believes in it's platform. "It's not enough just to have an "R" next to your name unless you believe in something." Paul also identifies himself with the Tea Party Movement: ("We, the members of the Tea Party movement" have "come to take our government back.")

He is passionate about low taxes, an end to bailouts and earmarks, and limited government restrained by the constitution. He said that it is not enough for Congress, when enacting legislation, to just "cobble together a majority." "Where is the constitutional authority for what you are doing?" It's great rhetoric, but given the expansive interpretation of the commerce clause by the courts, it may be too late.

Paul is very upbeat about his campaign, notwithstanding several resignations of key staff recently. "We are well-funded, we're doing well in the polls." He says his polling shows him up 19 points. He described his volunteer resources as "limitless." "Our campaign moves with a momentum that astounds even myself."

Although he never attacked Trey Grayson by name, he had choice words for "career politicians" -- "middle of the road bland politicians, they just want the office" and think they are entitled to it for life. He called for terms limits and a balanced budget amendment.

Paul's criticism of big government, high taxes and deficit spending is well said, though not substantively different from Trey Grayson's positions on these same issues. But as Americans wonder if it is safe to fly home from the holidays, Paul needs to discuss the war on terror and foreign policy.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

View From the U.K.

The Telegraph has a great piece on Obama and the terrorist who tried to ruin Christmas.

Complacency, faux moralising and partisan shots at Republicans. It was a neat summary of where Obama is going wrong after the Christmas Day debacle when the Nigerian knicker bomber managed to waltz onto a Detroit-bound flight.

For a man who campaigned denouncing the politicisation of national security under President George W Bush, it is worth noting how intensely political Obama's treatment of what might henceforth be known as Underpantsgate has been.

His White House recognised its political vulnerability more readily than it comprehended the level of danger faced by Americans.

. . .

The incompetence of the US intelligence bureaucracy is not the only thing that makes Underpantsgate so damaging for Obama. More serious is his failure to understand or acknowledge the nature of the enemy - and to view war as mere politics.

Really, the Brits were kinder to Obama than the U.S. media would have been had the episode taken place under the Bush administration: there would have been complaints that the president "failed to connect the dots"; complaints that he should cut his vacation short and rush back to Washington; and then the inevitable Congressional hearing followed by a thousand page report.


Friday, January 1, 2010

McConnell Gives GOP Weekly Address

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell gives this week's Republican address. It is revelatory in several respects.

First, as the highest-ranking Republican in Washington, McConnell could avail himself of the platform of giving the Republican weekly address as often as he wants. And yet this is the first time he has chosen to give the address in who knows how long. Instead, he routinely uses the weekly address as an opportunity to promote rising stars within the party. This is a testament to McConnell's innate modesty and love of the Republican party: he puts the party above self-aggrandizement.

Second, by focusing on the second battle of Trenton (conducted this day in 1777), McConnell reveals his love for history and its influence on his statesmanship. This is a man who studies history for clues on how to better lead his state and his nation. That, too, underscores his modesty. Even though McConnell is now the longest-serving U.S. Senator in the history of Kentucky, he still seeks to learn, particularly from those great men who founded our nation.

Third, contrary to what the Courier-Journal likes to spin, McConnell is by nature an optimist. As a result, he views the partisanship in Washington as an opportunity to make real progress on important issues like health care. But he does not view the GOP's minority status as an excuse to capitulate (as many would).

He looks to the battle of Trenton and sees that courage and the will to fight do not come from the number of troops one commands but rather the principles for which one fights.