Wednesday, March 31, 2010

McConnell Statement On Obama's Energy Plan

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't always say no to the Obama administration's ideas. Take Obama's plan to drill off-shore, at least a little. McConnell applauds the administration's first step and urges more exploration:

“Senate Republicans have long supported efforts to find more American energy, and use less; we believe we must do both. While supporting conservation, electric cars, clean coal and nuclear energy, we also pushed for lifting the Congressional ban on offshore exploration, which was removed more than a year ago. Since then, we have been waiting to see whether the administration would follow through and open more areas for the development of American energy.

“Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction, but a small one that leaves enormous amounts of American energy off limits. And the proof of the administration’s announcement will be in the implementation: will the administration actually take concrete steps to finish the studies, approve the necessary permits, and open these areas for production? Will they stand by as their allies act to delay the implementation in the courts?

“The American people believe that to strengthen our national and energy security we should rely more on America’s energy resources, and less on those of the Middle East. It’s time to put America’s energy to work for the American people, without the threat of a new national energy tax.”

More Health Care Write Downs

I knew that Obamacare would be a disaster for America's economy, but I must admit that I am shocked at how quickly things have worsened. The number of major companies forced to write down their projected profits due to Obamacare continues to grow:

  • Boeing will take a$150 million charge
  • Goodrich: $10 million charge
  • Illinois Tool Works: $22 million
  • Prudential Financial: $100 million
  • Caterpillar: $100 million
  • John Deere: $150 million
The Obamacare bill is like the anti-stimulus. All of these write-downs will translate into unemployment -- as well as reduced earnings for pensions and college funds. Obama promised hope but delivered despair. That mantra about "change" is turning into "Buddy, can you spare a dime?".

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cheney Endorses Grayson

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has endorsed Trey Grayson. Cheney -- no slouch on national security -- assessed records of Grayson and Rand Paul and determined that Grayson is the legitimate conservative. The Grayson campaign press release quotes Cheney:

“I’m a lifelong conservative, and I can tell the real thing when I see it. I have looked at the records of both candidates in the race, and it is clear to me that Trey Grayson is right on the issues that matter – both on fiscal responsibility and on national security,” said Vice President Dick Cheney.

“The challenges posed by radical Islam and Al Qaeda are real and will be an on-going threat to our domestic security for years to come. We need Senators who truly understand this and who will work to strengthen our commitment to a strong national defense and to whom this is not just a political game. Trey Grayson knows we must stay on offense in the fight against terrorism by keeping the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay open and trying terrorist suspects using military tribunals, supporting the troop surges in Iraq and Afghanistan, and maintaining the Patriot Act so we can effectively monitor the activities of terrorists abroad. There is no doubt that the real conservative in this race is Trey Grayson, and there is no better choice for Kentuckians in May and November.”

A Bunning Reprise?

Politico speculates that as the short-term extension of unemployment and other benefits gets ready to expire in a two weeks, Sen. Jim Bunning might get all "irascible" and demand once again that the government find the money before passing the bill.

It's a pity that Bunning no longer attends his caucus meetings. This would be a really great time to let Bunning be Bunning: focus his innate irascibility on the health care monstrosity's return to the Senate. As Vice President Joe Biden clarified, it's a "big f--ing deal."


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trey to Conway: Sue to Stop Health Care Bill

Florida filed suit today to invalidate the mandates in the Obama health care bill; a dozen states are expected to do likewise. But not Kentucky.

Trey Grayson called on U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway to do his day-job as Attorney General and file suit on behalf of Kentucky. From Grayson's release:

Today, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson called on Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to join other Attorneys General around the country in filing suit against the federal government over passage of the health care bill.

“Washington is broken, and nothing demonstrates that truth more than the government takeover of health care, which the President signed into law today. Despite overwhelming and bipartisan opposition, Democrats in Congress have forced massive new bureaucracy and unsustainable spending on American families already burdened from decades of bad decisions in Washington. Fortunately, there is still an opportunity to prevent this intrusion into our lives as more than a dozen states have declared their intent to challenge this law in court. Today I call on Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to join in this effort and file suit against the federal government for the unconstitutional overreach of its authority with the passage of this health care legislation. Jack Conway should stand up to Washington and fight for the Commonwealth of Kentucky against this massive new unfunded and unconstitutional federal mandate on states like ours,” Grayson said.

McConnell: "Repeal and Replace"

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made clear that he supports repealing the Obama administration's health care monstrosity.

McConnell has made more than 100 speeches on the floor of the Senate condemning the Democrats' health care takeover. Nonetheless, Erick Erickson of Redstate criticized McConnell yesterday for failing to use the magic word "repeal."

Today, McConnell said "I can tell you with the campaign that will continue with the American people, I think the slogan will be “Repeal and Replace.”

Time For Kentucky Senate Candidates to Talk About Israel

Kentucky's GOP Senate primary includes an issue that Trey Grayson has thus far failed to exploit: U.S. support for Israel or rather, the Obama administration's lack thereof.

Grayson's support for Israel is unequivocal. Rand Paul, in contrast, attracts supporters who believe in the old blood libels, conspiracies, cabals and other anti-Semitic nonsense. And Rand Paul, like his career politician father, is isolationist to the point where he would abandon our allies even at America's own peril.

Politico has recognized that Israel is becoming a primary issue. The Obama administration's failure to have Israel's back concerns more than Jewish voters:

For many Republicans — particularly conservative Christians who are strongly pro-Israel — President Barack Obama’s nuanced approach, and its results so far, represent a betrayal of a key ally. Many also view the ongoing debate as a proxy for the debate over the muscularity of American foreign policy.

“Support for Israel is one of those issues, like anti-communism used to be, that holds together a number of pieces of the conservative movement, including evangelicals but also neocons, economic conservatives and foreign policy hawks,” said Tevi Troy, a visiting senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who served as Jewish liaison in the George W. Bush White House.

.A February Gallup survey found Democratic voters evenly split on whether they sympathized more with the Israelis or the Palestinians. Republicans are far more united in their support for Israel, the poll found, with 85 percent saying they sympathized more with the Israelis

America's interests are inextricably tied with Israel's. It is the only true democracy in the region, and in a post 9/11 world, it is our most important ally and source of intelligence. It is surrounded by countries that deny its very right to exist -- one of which, Iran -- is aggressively developing nuclear weapons to "wipe Israel off the map."

It is time for Trey Grayson to force Rand Paul to say how he would vote for aid to Israel if elected.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Public Opposition Remains

The Obama administration has failed to change the public perception of their historic takeover of one-sixth of the nation's economy.

A CNN poll taken this weekend found the public opposes the Democrats' health care plan 59-39. As for the deficit, 70 percent believe that the bill will make the deficits increase; only 12 percent believe the administration's claim that it will lower the deficit. On the issue of cost, 62 percent expect their personal health care costs to increase. More than half the respondents (56) percent believe that the bill allows too much government involvement in the health care system.

Democrats knew all this going into the vote. But elitists by nature, they thought they knew better.

Rep. John Boehner said it best on the floor of the House right before the vote: "Shame on each and every one of you who substitutes your will and your desires above those of your fellow countrymen."

Trey: Repeal It!

Trey Grayson reiterated his opposition to the health care monstrosity and has signed a petition to repeal it.

According to Grayson,

“I support health care reform that does not cost taxpayers more than $2 trillion and that will not add to the deficit. The Democrat leadership and President Obama have used budget gimmicks to hide the true cost of this bill, and they’ve used procedural short cuts, strong arm tactics and have cut backroom deals to win narrow passage of legislation that will affect one-sixth of our economy and every American family and small business. The only thing bipartisan about this bill has been the staunch opposition to it,” said Grayson.

The bill will:

- Increase taxes on small businesses and families

- Cut Medicare by more than $520 billion

- Increase unfunded mandates on states by expanding Medicaid eligibility without paying for it

- Penalize married couples with higher premiums

- Tax/fine those who do not purchase insurance acceptable to the government

- Expand the role of the IRS into enforcing health care mandates

- Increase the cost of health insurance

- Increase spending on health care."

A British View of the Health Care Vote

We Americans are so close to the health care debate -- it will affect our lives and the lives of those we love -- that it's helpful to detach a little and see what the legislation looks like from view a Brit. Writing for the Daily Telegraph, Nile Gardiner calls the vote "a dark day for freedom in America:

It is also a great leap forward by the United States towards a European-style vision of universal health care, which will only lead to soaring costs, higher taxes, and a surge in red tape for small businesses. This reckless legislation dramatically expands the power of the state over the lives of individuals, and could not be further from the vision of America’s founding fathers. It has also been rushed through Congress without proper scrutiny, in the face of overwhelming public opposition, and with not an ounce of bipartisan support.

Above all the health care bill is a thinly disguised vanity project for a president who is committed to transforming the United States from the world’s most successful large-scale free enterprise economy, to a highly interventionist society with a massive role for centralized government. The United States has thrived as a nation for over 230 years precisely because of its love for freedom and its belief in free markets.

What we have just witnessed is a massive slap in the face for limited government and the principle of individual responsibility. Its net result will be the erosion of freedom in America, and a further undermining of the country’s economic competitiveness. This may be a political victory for the president and his supporters in Congress, but it is in reality a defeat for America as a great power, and another Obama-led step towards US decline.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

National Conservatives Worried About Paul

The possibility that Rand Paul might win the Republican primary has alarmed conservatives who focus on national security, foreign policy and Israel, according to Politico:

Recognizing the threat, a well-connected former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney convened a conference call last week between Grayson and a group of leading national security conservatives to sound the alarm about Paul.

“On foreign policy, [global war on terror], Gitmo, Afghanistan, Rand Paul is NOT one of us,” Cesar Conda wrote in an e-mail to figures such as Liz Cheney, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, Dan Senor and Marc Thiessen.

With an attached memo on Paul’s noninterventionist positions, Conda concluded: “It is our hope that you can help us get the word out about Rand Paul’s troubling and dangerous views on foreign policy.”


Obama Upside Down

Barely a year into his presidency, Barack Obama's unfavorables now exceed his favorables, 47-46, according to Gallup. No wonder: Obama thinks that he is so much smarter than the little people who oppose his health care takeover that he insists on trying to cram it down our throats. His upside down job approval rating is the gag reflux of the American people.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Madness Invades Senate Race

Trey Grayson's new ad pokes fun at Rand Paul boasting about being a Duke blue devil. Grayson reiterates his support for Kentucky. He's offering Beat Duke/Vote Grayson bumper stickers to drive the point home.

Rand Paul has been quick to reply every time Grayson issues an ad. How will Rand Paul's fancy ad agency respond? With all the out of state money Rand's rolling in, he probably has contributors in every corner of the NCAA bracket.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Obama Attacks McConnell

President Barack Obama sounds obsessed with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Politico details Obama's petty attacks and paranoia.

For the second time this week, the president has called out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell personally after the leader suggested Democrats who back Obama’s health care proposals should fear GOP retribution in November.

“I heard the Republican leader of the Senate the other day – he’s warning Democrats, ‘You better be careful about voting for this; it could hurt you,’” the president said in a speech to 400 invitees who packed into a high school auditorium just outside of St. Louis.

“I don’t know how sincere the Republican leader is about the best interests of Democrats. [But] he’s been very generous with advice.”

When someone hooted from the back of the room during a Wednesday night fundraiser in St. Louis, Obama stopped mid-speech, and quipped, “Was that Mitch McConnell? ... They don’t like it when we’re talking the truth.”

Wednesday’s remarks tracked closely with those Obama made on a Monday trip to Arcadia University in suburban Philadelphia, when he said, “The echo chamber is telling members of Congress, ‘wait, think about the politics — instead of thinking about doing the right thing’ … That’s what Mitch McConnell said.”





Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bill Johnson Quits Senate Race

Bill Johnson has quit the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. (H/t: Page One.) He had self-financed his campaign and the poll numbers were not good.

Whom does this help? Some of the Tea Partiers argued that Johnson was more authentically Tea Partiesh than Rand Paul. Will they settle for Paul now that Johnson is no longer an option? There was some real animosity between the Johnson and Paul campaigns on who best represented the spirit of the Tea Parties.

On the other hand, Johnson -- Gulf War veteran -- was stronger on national security than Paul. Grayson should pick up some Johnson supporters on that issue alone.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rand Paul Reneges On Promise To Debate

Rand Paul apparently thinks he has better things to do than to debate Trey Grayson. The Metropolitan Republican Women’s Club (of Louisville), an affiliate member of the Kentucky Federation of Republican Women, today announced that Paul has pulled out of a Public Forum on March 17 in which he was to appear with Grayson. The event had taken on special significance since KET will not be televising a debate this year.

According to Club President Julie Hinson, Paul's campaign manager confirmed on December 21 that Paul would participate in the MRWC Public Forum in Louisville. President Hinson then followed this discussion with a detailed letter dated February 18, 2010. She not only mailed this letter to Paul headquarters, but hand delivered it to the candidate at the Jefferson County Lincoln Dinner. She spoke with Paul personally and he never gave any indication whatsoever that he would not attend.

Hinson commented that Paul's "withdrawal at this late date is unfathomable. To withdraw just 13 days prior to the event while dedicated volunteers labored and expenses were incurred is unacceptable. Our expenses include among other things hall rental, insurance, and printing. These are not insignificant. I had fliers advertising the event printed that can now not be used.”

Hinson added: “Let me assure you that this event will go forward with or without Candidate Paul. His absence will obviously not go unnoticed. KFRW is a strong force statewide in electing Republican candidates at all levels and has played an important role for over 50 years. Women voters are a majority of the electorate, and we are saddened by Candidate Paul’s failure to recognize our entire organization’s importance in the election process. It is our hope that once he considers the opportunity that he is conceding to his opponents, that he will standby his original commitment and appear."

So Candidate Paul, what do you have to say?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Planning a Comeback

Spotted yesterday at U of L: Senator McConnell visits with Coach Strong.

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Rasmusson Poll (U.S. Senate)

A new Rasmusson poll (via Joe Arnold) shows that Republicans continue to solidify their hold on the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated (not a day too soon) by Sen. Jim Bunning.

This poll confirms what the SUSA poll previously found: either Trey Grayson or Rand Paul would beat the Democratic nominee, whether it is Jack Conway or Dan Mongiardo.

If the Democrats nominate Mongiardo, at this point Grayson wins 46-33 (last month Grayson led 49-35), whereas Paul would win 51-34 (last month, Paul led 48-37).

If, or I should say, when Conway wins the Democratic nomination, both Paul and Grayson beat Conway with 49 percent. If Paul is the nominee, the GOP holds the seat 49-34. If Grayson is the seat, he wins 49-34. Last month, Grayson led Conway by a narrower margin (44-40). Paul led Conway last month 47-39.

Note that both Democratic candidates are "upside-down" in that their unfavorable ratings exceed their favorables. Mongiardo's very favorables to very unfavorable is 17-20. For Conway, the numbers are a little better: 12-13.

For Republicans, Paul is viewed very favorable to very unfavorably 18-9. Grayson is viewed very favorably to unfavorably 11-5.

The poll was conducted among 500 likely voters on March 3, 2010. As Joe Arnold notes, that was at the height of Jim Bunning's grand stand and therefore the best opportunity for Democrats to score. Not even Bunning could help Conway or Mongiardo.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chris Matthews Has a Man Crush on Jack Conway

Joe Arnold has linked up a clip of MSNBC's Chris Matthews interviewing Jack Conway, in which Matthews bats his eyes at Conway and says, "I think you're pretty impressive . . . . Jack Conway, what a great name, four points ahead of his opponent of the election in May."

Matthews hasn't sent such a mash note since he announced that while listening to Barack Obama speak "I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often."

Many on the left have lost that loving feeling for Obama, so we're glad Matthews was able to recapture a little of the sensation with Conway.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Mongiardo Goof

Dan Mongiardo's campaign needs to learn how to spell the name of the boss's kid. Or else Mongiardo needs to start proofing what his staff churns out to see whether his daughter is "Kathryn" or "Catherine."

Good thing she's too little to read. We haven't been this embarrassed for her since her mama did the strip tease while Kathryn-Catherine was in utero.