Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Ugliest Robo-Call of 2010

A robo-call that went out yesterday claims that Rand Paul is not a Christian and hates Christianity, according to the Daily Caller. A Republican pastor in Marion, the Rev. Lucy Tedrick, said the call indicated that it was from the Kentucky Leadership Council.. That's the new group that Andrew Horne leads.

Jack Conway's campaign denies that it had anything to do with the call. And given how the Aqua Buddha ad back-fired for similarly attacking Paul's Christianity, this robo-call is the last thing that Conway needed. Is the Kentucky Leadership Council that clueless, or is it trying to finish off Jack Conway altogether, so he can't run for anything down the road?

The Kentucky Leadership Council has spent $132,000 against Rand Paul so far. It is one of those independent expenditure groups with secret donors that Democrats claim to hate, at least when Karl Rove is running 'em. This group is led by Andrew Horne. Horne, remember, tried to run for the Democratic nomination for Senate in 2008, but dropped out when national Democrats backed self-funder Bruce Lunsford. Horne also ran for Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District; he lost to John Yarmuth in the Democratic primary in 2006.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Slate: KY Senators Are So Vain

Slate has ranked the vainest U.S. Senators, based on to what extent their office waiting rooms look like shrines to themselves.

Both of Kentucky's Senators make the list. Sen. Jim Bunning comes in at number 3, primarily because he has a picture of himself bestowing a signed baseball upon the Pope. (Now if Bunning had let the Pope bless him, maybe he wouldn't have been forced to retire.)

Sen. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell ranks number 7. McConnell has lots of pictures from the Reagan revolution. Slate takes that as vanity, whereas Kentuckians just view it as the good ole days. And McConnell has a picture of himself with some baseball player named Tommy Lasorda who, like McConnell, supports the first amendment right to burn a flag, even at a Dodger's game.

Will Rand Paul carry on this great tradition of supposed vanity? Will there be any pictures of the NoZe brothers or Aqua Buddha? We will find out in January; he is measuring the drapes now.

Friday, October 29, 2010

KY-3 Race Makes Bill Bennett Show

Sen. Rick Santorum, who is subbing for Bill Bennett this morning, mentioned the race for Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District. In particular, Santorum noted the recent SUSA poll and the prospect of sending John Yarmuth home.

Wonder if anyone from the NRCC was listening.

Rally For Lally

Saturday at 9:00 at Jefferson County Republican Headquarters. Come help the final 72 hour push to get out the vote for Todd Lally, Hal Heiner and all the other great Republican candidates on the ticket this year.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So What Has Made the Difference for Heiner?

How to explain the 13 point swing in Hal Heiner's favor over last month? There are many factors at play. Here are just a few.

First, Greg Fischer made the mistake of calling Heiner a "liar" and a "hypocrite." Both campaigns had refrained from ad hominem attacks up to this point. The fact that Fischer chose to change strategies suggests that his internal polling told him that victory was slipping away from him. Regardless of why he changed strategy, it compounded Fischer's problem by making Fischer look like a jerk, given that he lacked the facts to back up his accusation.

Second, Louisville -- even as configured as Metro Louisville -- is still a small town. We may market ourselves as the 16th largest city or whatever, but we are still a small town. Consequently, our paths cross frequently. We know many of the candidates, from both parties, personally. And if we don't know them personally, we have a good friend or relative who does.

Third, Heiner is known as a man of integrity. Even people who dislike his politics or his place of worship (Southeast Christian) know this. When Fischer accused Heiner of lying about endorsements, therefore, the accusation did not stick. Instead, Fischer appeared to be the one who was lying, given the internal emails in the Jackie Green campaign.

Fourth, Heiner's personal story gives people hope in an economy with 10 percent unemployment -- not counting those who have given up looking or who have taken jobs for which they are over-qualified out of desperation. Heiner is a self-made man. As a teenager, he worked as a janitor. He personifies the American dream with his success. Fischer, in contrast, was lucky enough to be born into a rich family. There is nothing wrong with that, per se; but it does not inspire, the way Heiner's biography does.

At a time when people are looking for someone to lead our city out of an economic abyss, Heiner seems like the better bet, because he has done so in his own life.

Jack Conway's Union Buddies

Big Labor likes Jack Conway. The government worker's union, AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), gave Conway $5,000 bucks.

AFSCME can well afford a large donation like it gave to Conway. According to Rich Lowery, AFSCME is spending $90 million on this election. It makes the efforts of Karl Rove, and likewise the Chamber of Commerce, look like chump-change.

Government workers have a big stake in this election: at issue, as Lowry notes, is whether the government workers work for we the people, or whether we work for them -- to pay their bloated salaries, benefits and pensions.

These local bureaucrats, moreover, have been the recipients of millions of dollars in stimulus money to save their jobs, while workers in the private sector confront layoffs and 10 percent unemployment.

AFSCME gave to Jack Conway because he would be a reliable vote not just for big labor, but for big government.

A Word From the GOP Campaigns

  • Hal Heiner Countdown to Victory Rally at Bowman Field Friday, October 29 5:30-7:30. Conservatives need to support this remarkable opportunity of a Republican mayor for Louisville.
  • Call 895-55-99 to sign up to canvass for Hal.
  • Rand Paul Election Night Victory Party will be at the Sloan Convention Center, Bowling Green. (Please r.s.v.p. to the campaign.)
  • A block of discounted rooms is available at the Holiday Inn University Plaza
  • Rand Paul events for this afternoon -- note the New Albany event (1st stop in the presidential campaign???)
  • 12:30 PM Glasgow Lunch Stop

    George J Ellis Restaurant - 144 East Public Square, Glasgow

    1:45 PM Columbia Event

    Adair County Courthouse Annex Building (Basement) - 424 Public Sq # 3, Columbia

    2:45 PM Russell Springs Event

    Mitchell's Family Restaurant - 2475 S Highway 127, Russell Springs

    5:00 PM Somerset Event

    Honey Baked Ham - 1813 S Highway 27 - Somerset

    6:00 PM Albany Event

    Albany Fair Ground - Closest Address: 107 East Water St - Albany

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Obama Comments on the Neck Stomping

President Barack Obama met with a group of Demo-bloggers today, and commented on the assault of a Moveon.org member by a Rand Paul supporter. From Huffington Post:

Well, look, I think that one of the things that I've always tried to promote is civility in politics. I think we can disagree vigorously without being disagreeable. And what we saw on the video was an example of people's passions just getting out of hand in ways that are disturbing.

In fairness, I don't expect every candidate to be responsible for every single supporter's actions, but I do think that all of us have an obligation to set a tone where we say the other side is -- may be wrong but it's not evil, because when you start going down that path of demonizing folks, then these kinds of incidents are more likely to occur. And my expectation in the remainder of this campaign is that all candidates out there are a little more careful about making sure that they're framing the debate around issues and sending a clear message to their supporters that our democracy works when we disagree, we debate, we argue, it gets contentious, but that there are certain lines we don't cross.

Yarmuth Beware: It's Not Just Fischer Who Should Be Worried By This Poll

Hal Heiner has dramatically jumped into a commanding leading over Greg Fischer in a SurveyUSA poll released earlier today. He is up by 7 points, leading Fischer 51% to 44%. That represents a 13-point swing in Heiner's favor from a poll taken only a few weeks ago. Great news for Heiner, and also very encouraging for Congressional hopeful Todd Lally. In traditionally Democratic Louisville, if a majority of survey respondents say they are voting for the Republican nominee for mayor, that suggests they may be more likely to pull the lever for the Republican running for Congress as well.

Jack Conway's Truthiness Problem

Ouch: this new ad from the NRSC punctures holes in Jack Conway's much-touted accomplishment of suing 47 pharmaceutical companies. Check it out.

Rahm Emanuel Hearts John Yarmuth

In case conservatives needed yet another reason to vote for Todd Lally and against John Yarmuth, consider that Yarmuth took money from a PAC called the "Friends of Rahm Emanuel."

Emanuel came up with the political maxim that "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste." (Economy tanks, let's nationalize the auto, banking and healthcare industries!)

Emanuel shows that sometimes the difference between a thug and a pol is just the cut of the suit. He is one nasty piece of work.

Good to know that Yarmuth, who has slid by with his reputation as a nice guy, has the financial backing of Rahmbo's pac.


Get Your Tickets to Hear Scott Brown

Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) will speak at the University of Louisville's McConnell Center November 8, 2010 at 1:30 (Bigelow Hall). He will no doubt have an interesting take on the election results, given that his special election to the seat formerly held by Teddy Kennedy propelled the conservative surge.

Tickets are available, while supplies last, at www.mcconnellcenter.org

Which Circuit Judges to Vote For?

Here are the recommendations from the Citizens for Better Judges. They have a very methodical (nonpartisan) process for vetting these candidates, including interviews from lawyers from a variety of litigation practice areas as well as lay citizens to monitor the integrity of the process.

  • Circuit Judge, Div. 6: Hon. Olu Stevens
  • Circuit Judge, Div. 11: Hon. Brian Edwards
  • Circuit Judge, Div. 3: Hon. Claude Prather
  • Circuit Judge, Div. 7: Hon. Jennifer Wilcox
  • Circuit Judge, Div. 10: Hon. Sheila Collins
  • Circuit Judge, Div. 11: Hon. Sadiq Reynolds
  • Circuit Judge, Div. 13: Deana McDonald
  • Circuit Judge, Div. 14: Stephanie P. Burke

A Word About John Yarmuth's Buddies at SEIU

We've noted recently that SEIU, the nation's largest union, is giving roughly $44 million to Democrats this year, and that John Yarmuth is one of their recipients. SEIU reps met with Yarmuth in the run-up to the Obamacare vote. Their donation suggests they were well-pleased with his vote.

For those who don't follow SEIU, here is a synopsis from RedState on what the union's been up to lately. Consider the implications for a tight race, like we have in Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

SUSA Poll: Great News for Todd Lally

The Survey USA poll conducted by WHAS 11 and the Courier-Journal shows that the race for the 3rd Congressional District is a statistical dead heat.

John Yarmuth leads Todd Lally 50-46. But the margin of error is + or - 4/1 percent. (Ed Martin and Michael Hansen each have one percent.)

Interestingly, the undecideds only constitute one percent, which is much lower than the national average.

Lally leads by six among voters who describe themselves as "very likely" to vote in a midterm election.

That means Yarmuth will be looking to his labor friends -- including SEIU, which gave $2500 last quarter -- to bus in the union voters.

Kentucky conservatives can score a two-fer by working to get out the vote for Todd Lally and Hal Heiner. (Rand Paul won his race when Jack Conway aired his infamous Aqua Buddha ad.)

It is time to walk the precincts and work the phone banks. Time to show the NRCC that conservatives in KY-3 are hoping for change. We're not waiting around for the pros from D.C. to rescue us from John Yarmuth.

National Pundits Agree: Paul Won Debate

Note that the common theme in assessing last night's debate is that Rand Paul appeared more intelligent than Jack Conway. Conway is not dim, by any means. The problem for Conway, as Paul helpfully suggested, is that Conway oversimplified the issues -- repeatedly. For example, when Conway insisted that Paul wanted to raise taxes by imposing a 23 percent national sales tax, Paul called Conway out for his intellectual dishonesty: Conway failed to mention that a national sales tax would replace the federal income tax.

Here's a summary of national reactions to the debate -- and note that much of it comes from Conway's favorite network, MSNBC:

MARK HALPERIN: "I Thought Rand Paul In That Debate Was Calm And Cool, Even When There Was A Heated Exchange. He Stayed Looking Senatorial." (MSNBC's Morning Joe, 10/26/10)

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: "Rand Paul Was The Clear Visual Winner Here... This Guy Looked Centered, Focused..." (MSNBC's Morning Joe, 10/26/10)

EUGENE ROBINSON: "Rand Paul Is The One Who Has Managed To Come Across Sounding The Most Reasonable, Smartest. You Know, That Was A Very Reasoned Performance In The Debate." (MSNBC's Morning Joe, 10/26/10)

JOE SCARBOUROUGH: "I'm not comparing Rand Paul to Ronald Reagan here, but he's got a similar dynamic... people saw him debating Jimmy Carter, he looked... quite effective. And he ran away with it." (MSNBC's Morning Joe, 10/26/10)

JOE SCARBOUROUGH: "I Suspect In Kentucky They're Thinking, That Guy Actually Looked More Senatorial Than Conway." (MSNBC's Morning Joe, 10/26/10)

PAT BUCHANNAN: "Makes Rand Paul Look Like A Very Intelligent Thoughtful Guy" "He looked like a tutor. He's very professorial he's giving instructions basically on a complex issue sales tax, income tax. And he's sitting there with what looks like sort of a wiseacre pupil who's throwing smart aleck cracks and comments. There's nothing that Conway did in this segment that makes him look good and there's an awful lot in there that makes Rand Paul look like a very intelligent thoughtful guy who's trying to get across a point to a pretty slow student." (MSNBC's Morning Joe, 10/26/10)

Good for Chris Thieneman

Chris Thieneman lost to Hal Heiner in the Republican primary back in May, but he chose to endorse him only yesterday -- to refute Greg Fischer's charge that Heiner is trading endorsements for influence. Moreover, Thieneman revealed details about past discussions with Heiner that don't make Thieneman look so great, but for the fact that he is coming clean now.


Thieneman said he knows that Heiner hasn't bargained for endorsements because Heiner rejected Thieneman's initial endorsement offer when it had strings attached

Amid questions of whether Democrat Greg Fischer traded influence over a Metro agency in exchange for the endorsement of former independent candidate Jackie Green, Fischer subsequently has called Heiner a liar and hypocrite and accused him of doing the same thing to procure the endorsement of former Democratic primary mayoral candidate Tyler Allen.

Thieneman described his discussions with Heiner after the primary, in which Heiner rejected Thieneman's offer of an endorsement:

"So I asked Hal, I said 'Hal - do you think you could find a position for me to where I could represent the South End in the areas that they've always been neglected?' And when I talked to Hal about that, he said - 'Chris I understand where you're coming from,

I appreciate what you are standing for in the South End,' but he said, 'I can't do that."I would love to have your endorsement," Thieneman recalled Heiner saying shortly after the primary, "but if it means that I have to give you anything, then it's best that i don't."


Conway Throws Obama Under Bus

I'm sure it was a green bus, fueled by old waste or something. From last night's debate between Jack Conway and Rand Paul, via Politico:

But Paul responded then – as he did repeatedly through Monday’s forum – by linking Conway with his party’s leadership, including Obama, and its economic policies.

Later in the debate, Conway said that Kentucky can’t “afford” Paul’s policy prescriptions, giving Paul an opening to attack Conway for backing Obama’s policies.

“Perhaps they can’t afford President Obama’s trillion dollars spending – President Obama’s $2 trillion debt,” Paul said. “The leader of your party – the guy you supported in the primary, your kind of Democrat, you wanted President Obama – is a disaster for our country.

Conway said he didn’t back Obama his primary, saying, “He just made something up.”

Conway, the state attorney general, clearly senses a need to keep his distance from Obama, calling himself a “different kind of Democrat,” criticizing the White House for cutting a “sweetheart deal” with drug companies to pass the health care law, although he supported the plan. And he pointed out the White House should take a more forceful approach with Pakistan in its Afghanistan strategy.

But when the debate turned to whether to install a cap-and-trade proposal, Conway found himself explaining comments he’d made in the past saying he supported the plan by saying he opposes the idea.



Monday, October 25, 2010

Rand Paul Schools Jack Conway

Rand Paul and Jack Conway just finished their last debate, and the verdict is that Paul gave far more thoughtful and original answers that did not simply regurgitate campaign ads.

To be sure, Conway, as always, played like JFK while Paul was a Nixon on camera. Conway was better coiffed and suited -- and sported an American flag lapel pin with a blue tie, in contrast to Paul's red tie and a curious, matching red circular button on Paul's suit lapel that he never explained. Also, Paul's feet, unlike Conway's, were awkwardly crossed under his chair, while Paul's left hand seemed to be constantly reaching for his coffee mug, while Conway didn't appear to take a single drink from his (or was better at sipping off camera).

But Paul's disheveled and misfit look didn't detract from his central themes, which he articulated well: that (1) President Obama's new regulations and spending are out of control and undermine real economic recovery; (2) the Democrats have refused to confront the demographic issues that create long-term funding problems for Social Security and other entitlement programs; and (3) Conway's campaign has misleadingly taken snippets from Paul's statements out of context.

Paul also got in a couple of good zingers, such as when Conway claimed that Paul's appearance on MSNBC early in the campaign was the most "painful" television to watch, which prompted Paul to respond that, no, Conway got the award for the most "painful" MSNBC moment with his recent interview with Chris Matthews regarding the Aqua Buddha ad. And speaking of Aqua Buddha, when Conway feigned great offense after Paul alluded to Conway owning a race horse and Conway said that "in Kentucky, no one attacks another man's dog or horse," Paul was quick to respond to Conway, "but attacking another man's religion is ok, right?"

Indeed, quicker is the best way to describe Paul's performance tonight, in contrast to Conway's flat-footed pace. Yes, we know about the $2,000 Medicare deductible and the 20-something percent national sales tax, Jack, so you don't have to keep repeating those talking points, and we all know they were taken out of context. And we know about the $200 billion you think will be saved when you tweak Obamacare to allow for group pharmaceutical purchasing, again thanks to your repeating your talking point over and over tonight. We also know, thanks to your repeating it constantly, that "Moodys.com" -- whatever that means -- has supposedly verified your claims. (By the way, while $200 billion seems like a lot of money, it really is a drop in the bucket compared to the multi-trillion dollar problems of future Social Security funding that you failed to address.)

Paul, in contrast, seemed ready to take on the tough issues and suggest solutions that may not be the most popular, but reflected a willingness to take risk and exercise courage. That was one of the two thoughts I had at the end of the debate. My other thought was, "thank God, the camera was on the moderator at the end" so we were spared the painful view of whether Paul would or would not shake Conway's hand. The handshaking decision was a Catch-22 for Paul: shaking would have been seen as Paul's backing down from his righteous outrage at the end of the last debate, whereas not shaking would have made Paul seem mean-spirited and even petty.

So, all in all, the night went well for Rand Paul, to whom the cameraman, in the end, was kind. We, Aqua Buddhists were pleased.

New Poll Results For Lally, Yarmuth

The Lally campaign has released new poll results for Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District.

  • Todd Lally: 37 percent
  • John Yarmuth: 41
  • undecided: 22
  • margin of error: + or - 4.5
The poll was conducted by Rivercity using automated phone calls. The Lally campaign maintains that this poll is particularly accurate because it uses the RNC's voter vault methodology. However, I question whether 22 percent of KY-3 voters are undecided; that number seems way off.

Two other points to note: First, the poll shows that Lally has cut Yarmuth's lead in half . Second, Yarmuth is "upside-down." meaning he is below 50 percent. That is bad news for an incumbent, especially this close to the election.

Recall how late in the campaign Scott Brown surged. This is not over. Conservatives in Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District need to make a donation, work a phone bank and walk a precinct.


While Jack Conway was at Duke

All that talk about Rand Paul's Aqua Buddha escapade has finally turned attention on whether Jack Conway ever did anything wild or crazy at Duke. He did not.

Daily Caller reports that Conway's fraternity, SAE, was for pretty boys with family money and Polo shirts. Again, this is what we have come to expect from Jack Conway.

The only tid-bit: SAE's 1988 pledge class included Jack Conway -- and a bogus French Baron.The dude claimed to be a Rothschild, as in the premier cru wine Rothschilds. In fact, he wasn't even French, or college-aged: he was a 37-year old from Houston, named Maruo Cortez.

Conway in particular was close to Cortez, classmates said. One went as far as to say Conway “kissed up” to the Baron because of his nobility.

In that sense, Conway was the opposite of Paul in college. The NoZe Brotherhood were outsiders, mocking their own campus culture with bizarre, incomprehensible antics. The SAEs were the ultimate insiders — southern, wealthy, almost entirely white. They had the best location on campus and looked down on others as “not SAE material."

Jack Conway and his SAE brother failed to use their vaunted Duke intellects. No one wondered why the supposed French Baron knew so little French that he had to take French 101.






McConnell: Let's Defund NPR

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell supports moves to defund National Public Radio. He has voted to defund it in the past and will do so again --now, perhaps with more company.

Many conservatives have longquestioned why the government sponsors a radio network, given the multiplicity of privately-owned programs from which listeners can choose. NPR geve the movement to defund it a big boost last week when it fired Juan Williams for stating that his subjective opinion that he is afraid of Muslims on air planes since 9/11.

Ed Morrisey writes:

McConnell frames this the proper way. The real issue with funding the CPB and NPR with tax dollars has nothing to do with Juan Williams. It has everything to do with the fact that we don’t have the money to waste on non-essentials, and that government has no business subsidizing broadcasters in a robust market with hundreds of choices for consumers. . . .

the question of CPB/NPR funding is a canary in the coal mine for whether Republicans have the nerve to defund ObamaCare, but it’s more than that. The GOP will have to find a way to cut spending by nearly 40% to return to FY2007 levels (which were too high) even apart from ObamaCare. If they can’t pull the trigger on CPB and NPR, don’t expect them to deliver on much else.

Enquirer Endorses Paul

It always startles me when a member of the Dinosaur Media endorses a conservative. Here are some excerpts from the Enquirer's endorsement of Rand Paul:

"The world would be a poorer place if we did not make room for people with the courage to question conventional wisdom and the smarts to make a cogent case for their own vision. The race for Kentucky's U.S. Senate seat this fall has such a candidate - Republican standard-bearer Rand Paul."

"Few candidates we've talked to in recent years have displayed such refreshing intelligence, inquisitiveness and candor. And few candidates have had their words and ideas so frequently vilified and taken out of context."

"The real point: Paul is saying things that need to be said. He is raising issues that at least ought to be addressed thoughtfully. He is asking questions that don't-rock-the-boat politicians dare not ask."

"We need that kind of voice in the Senate, where too many members indulge in the kind of go-along, get-along group-think that has allowed government to grow fatter, more inefficient and more intrusive."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

C-J Endorses Conway (Yawn)

This endorsement is about as unexpected as LiLo going back to rehab.

Is it too late for someone to start a paper to compete with the Courier-Journal? Sure, newspapers are dying. But that old watch-dog role that the media like to claim functions best with actual competition. The C-J has been reduced to an apologist for the Democratic Party; it provides no accountability.

Where is Sun Myung Moon when you need him? The Washington Post became a much better paper with a little competition from the Moonies. Maybe it's not too late to turn the C-J around -- but only if someone will make it fight for the scarce time of its (dwindling) readership.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

RedState on Jack Conway

No comment on this other than to link it: RedState speculates that Jack Conway may be involved in an investigation regarding his brother.

About That $2K Deductible

Sometimes political ads come with unintended consequences. That may be the case with Jack Conway's Medi-scare ads. Conway keeps pounding Rand Paul with ads containing sound-bites, in which Paul suggests that a $2,000 deductible for Medicare might be a good idea.

Notwithstanding Conway's attempt to scare seniors, Paul has made clear that his comments would not apply to current Medicare recipients. Rather, Paul has endeavored to start an adult conversation about how to reform entitlements going forward. Most seniors who are paying attention will grasp that distinction. So the ad will not convince seniors to vote for Conway unless they were already predisposed

Here's the unintended consequence: seniors are not the only people listening to the ad, and it is back-firing young voters.

It turns out that some -- maybe many -- young people think the $2,000 deductible is good idea. I sat with an 18-year old, first-time voter as Conway's Medi-scare ad came on for the billionth time. And the 18-year old commented that he thought a $2,000 deductible made sense.

He gets that the only way that he and his generation will ever see a penny of Medicare benefits is if the entire system is overhauled. And he looks at the hypothetical amount of $2,000 and notices that it is fraction of the $5,000 deductible his family pays for healthcare. So that $2,000 amount with which Conway tries to frighten voters, it actually sounds reasonable to many.




Thune Gives GOP Weekly Address (Must See)

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) gives the Republican Weekly Address, and it is outstanding -- conservative content that is well-written and well delivered. Note that he acknowledges that Republicans blew it on spending the last time they controlled the Congress: he gets it.

Recall that Thune won election by taking out then-Sen Majority Leader Tom Daschle in 2004. The man is a fierce campaigner. And his campaign was at the forefront of conservatives taking to the blogosphere. So watch this week's address not just for its synopsis of the decision voters face in nine days, but because it gives Republicans some ideas about the decision we face for 2012

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kimmel's Aqua Buddha Take

In case you can't get enough of Aqua Buddha, here's Jimmy Kimmel's take (h/t Page One).


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kelley Paul Responds to Conways Aqua Buddha Ad

Rand Paul's wife, Kelley, responded to Jack Conway's Aqua Buddha ad. It is the Paul's 20th anniversary. Here's the text of her remarks:

Rand's opponent has made a desperate, shameful attack on our family.The New Republic called it despicable and the ugliest political ad of the year. Today's Courier Journal calls it odious. Democrats and Republicans across the country and here in Kentucky have condemned it.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it, and neither could our three sons, who are 11, 14 and 17.

Rand and I were married in my hometown of Russellville on October 20th of 1990, surrounded by our family and friends. Yes, today is our 20th wedding anniversary, and I can honestly say I never thought this is how we would be celebrating it!

I am truly shocked by Conway's ads questioning Rand's faith based on nothing more than anonymous accusations from nearly three decades ago.

Rand and I are both Christians and our faith is very important to us.As the granddaughter of a Baptist minister, faith has always been a part of my life, and I'd never have fallen in love with or married a man who didn't share my values.

Jack Conway has a family too, and while I'm sure he isn't thinking about it right now, these personal attacks hurt people's families. I'd have thought someone with a beautiful baby daughter would take that into account, no matter how desperate he may be to win.

There are less than 2 weeks left in this campaign. Rand is hoping we can get back to discussing the real issues. Kentucky and our nation face huge problems like a 13 trillion dollar debt that threatens to destroy our children's futures.Washington tries to pile more and more on each day through cap and trade, obamacare, and bailouts.

Rand got into this race to stand up against the Washington machine - not be part of it. He'll be a Senator we can be proud of Rand would never try to smear an opponent with baseless, anonymous gossip from their teenage years.

At the end of the day, we all have to look ourselves in the mirror. I'm proud to say that my husband will have no trouble doing that when this race is over.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

About Conway's Aqua Buddha Soundtrack

Sometimes politicians appropriate music to brand themselves. For Bill Clinton, it was Fleetwood Mac. For Ronald Reagan, it was Frank Sinatra.

For Jack Conway, it is an anonymous artist playing the ney, sometimes spelled nay. Listen to the soundtrack from Jack's Aqua Buddha ad. It is a vaguely third-worldish sound somewhat similar to a flute. At first, I thought I'd heard it in a yoga class or maybe a pita restaurant. Then I realized: this is the music that networks use during sweeps to promote specials about the "Hunt for Osama bin Laden" or "Terrorists Living Among Us."

The ney, according to a website that sells them,

is a simple, long, end-blown flute that is the main wind instrument of Middle Eastern music and the only wind instrument in classical Arabic music. It is very ancient instrument. The nay is literally as old as the pyramids. Ney players are seen in wall paintings in the Egyptian pyramids and neys have been found in the excavations at Ur in Iraq. Thus, the ney has been played continuously for 4,500-5,000 years. It is one of the oldest musical instruments still in use.

The instrument seems to come in versions that play different musical ranges. Here's the song from Jack Conway's Aqua Buddha ad, played in a lower octave.

Before 9/11, one would describe this sort of music as that which is used to charm snakes. If Jack Conway is trying to charm us, this ad did not seal the deal. Maybe he's calling Rand Paul a snake.

Given that the Aqua Buddha escapade took place in Texas 30 years ago, Middle-Eastern ney music is an odd choice; Lynyrd Skynyrd would have been a more likely bet for the time and place, although the only NoZe Brother we know liked Elvis Costello, the Beach Boys and some jazz back then.

So why does Jack Conway use a ney soundtrack for his ad? Well, it could be that he wants us to know how worldly and cosmopolitan he is; the guy did go to Duke. Democrats like to present themselves as Citizens of the World, who upon election, then go on World Appeasement Tours to apologize for how bad America is.

And now the ney is actually making its way into hip hop mixes -- there may be an opportunity for Conway to get some street cred out of his ghastly ad.


Yarmuth Throws Conway Under Bus

John Yarmuth could have stayed mum on the issue of Jack Conway's Aqua Buddha ad, but he did not. Yarmuth took the somewhat surprising step of noting that (1) he would not have run such an ad and (2) it appears to be backfiring. Yarmuth made his comments to the Huffington Post (H/T: Joe Arnold).

It wouldn't have been that hard or that unusual for Yarmuth to deflect the question on the grounds that he has his own campaign to run and is not going to advise the Conway campaign.

But instead, Yarmuth took the opportunity to criticize Conway. Perhaps Yarmuth felt the need to distance himself from Conway, given that as Chris Matthews ripped Conway a new one, a fan waved a big Yarmuth sign immediately behind them for the duration of the interview.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Conway Makes Own College Memory, Today, at U of L

Here's the footage of the Chris Matthews interview of Jack Conway at University of Louisville today, in which Matthews had a thrill going up his leg as he skewered Conway for the Aqua Buddha ad.

Matthews makes the point that Conway's ad criticizing the Aqua Buddha college caper essentially challenges Rand Paul's faith. Conway strenuously objected and countered that he only criticized Paul's action's not his faith. Matthews did not accept that and reiterated the charge that Conway was, in point of fact, challenging Paul's faith in Christ.

Then Matthews made a constitutional point I had not considered: isn't Conway imposing an unconstitutional religious test as a qualification of office for U.S. Senate? Conway's response kept circling back to "challenging his actions, not his faith."

It was about as robotic as Conway's pledge to "put Kentucky first."

And Matthews expressed genuine concern that perhaps this was not the best campaign strategy: is it really a good idea for Conway -- in the last two weeks of his campaign -- to base an ad on an anonymous source from 30 years ago who has since backed off the story? Conway mumbled something about judging Paul by his actions or whatever. It was not pretty, even for pretty boy Jack.

If Jack Conway has lost Chris Matthews, he must be wishing that Obama, Reid and Pelosi could vote for him. That would ensure at least four votes.

Conway Blew It

Rand Paul's candidacy for the U.S. Senate has been spiraling downwards the last few weeks. Due to his own gaffes, he is polling behind the Generic Congressional Ballot. He does not have nearly the presence of yard signs that he did in the primary, and few bumper stickers. Enthusiasm for him was waning.

Then Jack Conway -- who was beginning to look like he had a shot -- turned the election in Paul's favor by running a stupid ad that questions whether Paul is a Christian.

The Conway spot will go down in the history of political advertising as one of the slimiest ever. It took a college prank from 30 years ago and extrapolated upon it to suggest that Rand Paul worships false idols.

But as Paul angrily retorted in last night's debate, according to Joe Arnold,

Those who stoop to the level of attacking a man's religious beliefs to gain higher office, I believe that they should remember that it does not profit a man to gain the world if he loses his soul in the process.

This was a turning-point for some of us who did not support Paul in the primary. This election is no longer about electing Rand Paul so much as it is about seeing Jack Conway lose.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lally Impresses At Louisville Rally

Picking up where he left off at the most recent debate, Todd Lally continued last night to draw important distinctions between himself and John Yarmuth. At a well-attended fundraiser in Louisville, Lally made several significant points -- and drew several standing ovations.

First, he noted the difference between his and Yarmuth's respective approaches to legislating: whereas Lally would presume to follow the wishes of his constituents in how he voted, Yarmuth insists upon the prerogative to vote primarily his own San Francisco-style views, because after all, he's John Yarmuth and he knows best.

Second, Yarmuth feels comfortable in the role of arm-chair general: second-guessing military strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq, but refusing even to visit the troops in those countries to gain first-hand knowledge to inform his views.

Lally is a National Guard Reservist who has made several trips to war zones and has served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia. Based on his military service, Lally observed that, regardless of how one views defense issues, how can a Congressman even pretend to cast informed votes when he doesn't even have the time to meet with the military on the ground? And what about just showing up to thank the troops and support them; even the U.S.O. does that. Surely a U.S. Congressman should be held to the same standard. Then again, no one has ever been shot reading a briefing book in Washington.

Third, more generally, Lally pointed out his international experience, not just with the National Guard, but with UPS as a pilot to Asia and elsewhere around the globe. Lally recalled visiting a street bazaar in Egypt. He tried to purchase a souvenir with a U.S. dollar, but the merchant demanded Euros. At that point, Lally said, he knew his country was in trouble.

While Yarmuth has had the family fortune to fund undoubtedly many international vacations (St. Andrews, perhaps?), Lally struck me as someone who actually pays attention to how businesses operate on a global scale -- multinational, new economy businesses as in UPS and IBM (which Lally addressed in an informative answer during the Q&A). Such jobs are better bets for further economic growth than antiquated New Dealish "shovel-ready jobs" that the President used to tout, until he backed off the phrase yesterday.

Judging by yesterday's event, Lally clearly has the momentum.; He depleted his supply of bumper stickers to the large crowd but promised to order more. And he promised that he has enough cash on hand to run enough ads in the remaining days before the Election to remind Yarmuth that the 3rd Congressional District is not John Yarmuth's seat; it's the people's seat and we want it back.

Here's another idea for a Lally bumper-sticker: "Keep Valhalla Yarmuth!"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Difference Between Yarmuth and Lally

Last night's debate between John Yarmuth and Todd Lally produced one moment of clarity, in which each candidate revealed his view of the voters -- the premise that animates all policy choices and explains the differences between these two men.

John Yarmuth thinks that voters are stupid. He's not mean about this condescension; he really worries about the poor imbeciles of Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District and beyond. He truly wants to save them -- us -- from making bad choices.

It is the elitism that forms the foundation of liberalism, a view that paternalism is not only appropriate but necessary to ensure that the masses do what is best for themselves. It's the philosophy that assumes that if poor people weren't stupid, they wouldn't be poor. Therefore, the government must mandate what they spend their money on lest they use food stamps to buy crack or junk food with trans fats.

Yarmuth revealed his view of the voters, and his role as our benificent philosopher king, last night. WHAS 11 (unlike the Courier-Journal) saw fit to include the sound bite. According to Yarmuth,

All of the disinformation that's out there, it's very tough for the average citizen to get a full sense of what's involved in the legislation. So what I try to do is talk to as many people as possible, figure out the challenges that they face, what they need and then craft policy that involves that.

Let's unpack that. First, Yarmuth is worried that voters are being duped by "all the disinformation out there." Though this is arguably the most informed electorate in history, Yarmuth is worried about where we get our information. Translate: the rubes are reading the Wall Street Journal instead of the Courier-Journal. And then there are the dangers of talk radio, Fox News and (dare we say it) conservative blogs! No wonder the people are confused.

Second, given that it's too "tough" for the "average citizen to get a full sense of whats's involved in the legislation" -- as a result of "all the disinformation" -- Yarmuth must rescue us. He purports to do this by mixing with the rabble ("I talk to as many people as possible"). Then he debriefs us to discern what we really need: "figure out the challenges that they face, what they need." Yarmuth is like the good father who hears a crying baby and investigates to see what it requires: a bottle? a nap? a diaper? Like the baby, the voters cannot articulate what they need.

Finally, Yarmuth solves the problem: He "craft[s] policy that involves that."

Todd Lally has a much different view of the electorate. And he is smart enough to recognize Yarmuth's underlying premise and call him on it. According to Lally,

The one thing that I've found from travelling all over the district is that people know what they're talking about. They're not this ignorant group of lemmings that just want you to take care of them.

Todd Lally looks at the voters and sees intelligent, informed, hard-working grownups, worthy of respect. Lally trusts the voters to sort through "disinformation" and make the best choice for not just for their individual lives, but for the 3rd Congressional District and the country.


Monday, October 11, 2010

What is That On Bill Clinton's Lip?


I just saw WHAS 11's coverage of Bill Clinton stumping for Jack Conway in Lexington. I expected Slick Willie to bite his trembling lower lip. I did not expect him to have what appears to be a cold sore on his upper lip.

I don't even want to think how he got whatever that thing is. I hope Jack Conway had the good sense to not let Clinton kiss his baby daughter.


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Obama and Yarmuth: Two Old Duffers

President Barack Obama tried to take his mind off the new unemployment numbers by hitting the links yesterday. It was Obama's 52d golf outing since he became president, and yet he has not played one of the greatest courses in America: Valhalla.

John Yarmuth, who is not only a member but a club champion, could invite Obama to play at Valhalla. Rand Paul has promised to pick up the cost of a ticket for Obama to come to Kentucky.

Obama's PGA handicap is said to be around a 16. Yarmuth's 0.5 handicap makes him the best golfer in Congress. He could give Obama some much-needed pointers.

Yarmuth has helped other celebrities with their swing. In 2007, he appeared on Comedy Central to give Stephen Colbert a lesson. The golf ball used for the Comedy Central lesson had Nancy Pelosi's face on it (which was very disturbing even for those of us who don't like Pelosi).

Notwithstanding that Yarmuth coached Colbert to better whack at her head on a golf ball, Nancy Pelosi tapped Yarmuth to be her "messenger" on Democratic talking points. Pelosi managed to overlook the golfing effigy: Yarmuth votes with her 99 percent of the time.




Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sen. John Barrasso Gives GOP Weekly Address

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) gives this weeks Republican address. Here's the video.

He makes a great point about the expiration of the Bush tax cuts:

“Astonishingly, instead of cutting wasteful Washington spending, President Obama and the Democrats plan to raise taxes. Last week, Congress fled Washington while one of the largest tax hikes in our nation’s history hangs over the heads of working families.

“Rather than forcing Congress back into session to do the people’s business, the President merely waved goodbye.

“Interviewed recently about why he wouldn’t extend all of the tax cuts, President Obama declared that he had, quote, ‘a whole bunch of better ways for us to spend that money.’

“With all due respect Mr. President, this money isn’t yours. It belongs to the American people.

“The Obama tax hikes are yet another job killing burden that the American people and American employers cannot afford. Raising taxes on anyone in the middle of a recession is the worst thing we can do.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Daily Kos Tries to Protect Yarmuth's, Chandler's Flanks by Promoting Hit Pieces

The Daily Kos, godfather of the Nut Roots and Demo-blogs, has launched a project to protect 98 of the most vulnerable Democratic members of the House. John Yarmuth and Ben Chandler both make the cut.

Kos is urging its readers to engage in a "grassroots-based search engine organization campaign," SEO for short. The upshot is that Democratic activists would search for (or create) unfavorable stories about Todd Lally and Andy Barr, opponents of Yarmuth and Chandler, respectively. Likewise for opponents of other vulnerable Democrats. Readers should then forward those stories to Kos, which would promote them to increase the Google ratings of the hit pieces.

According to Kos, "The goal of Grassroots SEO is to get as many undecided voters as possible to read the most damaging news article about the Republican candidate for Congress in their district."

In one respect, Kos's SEO project gets it backwards with respect to Kentucky; they rely on five political lists that rank Chandler as more vulnerable than Yarmuth. Chandler pretends to be a moderate now and then, whereas Yarmuth makes no attempt to hide the fact that he is to the left of Obama. Given that Kentucky is a center-right state, therefore, Yarmuth would seem to be in a more precarious position than Chandler for reelection.


KY-3 Voters are Scared

Senior citizens in Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District are scared, but not about some hypothetical Medicare deductible that will never, ever apply to current recipients.

If all politics are local, then nothing is more local that what happens to our homes and to those of us neighbors. Louisvillians are scared about their homes being robbed during broad daylight. The common law definition of burglary specifies that the criminal break into and enter the home at night time. This current rash of break-ins, however, occurs between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. It is this brazenness that has put people on edge.

It was inevitable, really. Our unemployment has hovered around ten percent for two years now. That figure does not begin to count the people who would like to return to work, people who have given up looking and certain races and ages for whom the rate is actually much higher.

Recessions cause crime to increase. Those of us old enough to have lived through previous recessions know this. Here's what is different: the Obama recession -- though we are told it ended in the Recovery Summer -- shows no sign of abating, even after two long years.

Those voters who have jobs are scared that they will lose them. Voters who own a home worry that its value has dropped so far that they could not sell the house if that becomes necessary. People are afraid to spend because they don't know, for example, if their taxes will go up 20 percent on December 31 when the Bush tax cuts expire.

And now those homes -- for many, their largest asset -- no longer feel safe even during the day due to the rising number of thefts. Increasingly desperate people are taking increasingly desperate risks, attempting more audacious crimes.

Here's an example from Louisville's East End. Last week, a senior citizen was out walking when she noticed an unfamiliar, dilapidated car with its trunk open, backed up to a neighbor's garage. This neighborhood had experienced a half dozen daytime break-ins recently, so she called the woman of the house on her cell to see if they were having work done on the home. They were not. The man of the house -- also a senior citizen -- then raced home. The criminal abandoned the pile of goods he was about to steal and took off. The home owner tried to chase the car. It got away, but police now have the license number.

The bad news is that this foiled crime was unnconnected to the previous thefts in the neighborhood. This is no longer a situation of one brazen robber, but rather a pattern of conduct that is being repeated all over the East End, and perhaps all over the 3rd Congressional District.

John Yarmuth did not cause the break-ins, of course. But he has voted for a system of policies that have prolonged and exacerbated this recession. People are desperate -- so much so, that they take the extraordinary risk of robbing homes in neighborhoods and at times of day when senior citizens are walking their dogs and young mothers are pushing their babies in strollers.

The policies of Yarmuth, Reid, Pelosi and Obama have contributed to a lawlessness that has boiled over into neighborhoods unused to such conduct.

It should be noted that the elderly woman who spotted the break-in while out walking -- she has put a big Todd Lally sign in her yard.

And that house where the robbery was foiled -- there is now a "Repeal Yarmuth" sign in the yard. That senior citizen who chased the robber is backing Todd Lally.

Nothing energizes a voter like fear caused by failed government policies passed by clueless elites.




Thursday, October 7, 2010

Calling Slick Willie

Jake at Page One reports that Kentucky Democratic Party disbursements for last month include "$75 on a massage for an intern."

Good to see the Democrats practice the same stewardship for donors that they do for the taxpayers.

If only said intern could have waited until Monday, when former President Bill Clinton comes to campaign for Jack Conway. I'll bet Bubba would have done the massage for free, just for the good of the party and because he's just that kind of guy.


SEIU Endorses Yarmuth

The Kentucky chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has endorsed John Yarmuth, according to that organization's website. (The SEIU also has endorsed John Waltz for Kentucky's 4th Congressional District.)

Yarmuth's campaign website does not note the endorsement. It's almost like Yarmuth doesn't want non-SEIU voters to know that the group backs him.

It's no surprise that the nation's fastest growing labor unions would endorse a "progressive" like Yarmuth, particularly given that Yarmuth was an early backer of one of the SEIU's pet issues, Obamacare.

The timing, however, is a bit problematic for Yarmuth; the FBI and the Labor Department are investigating SEIU leader Andy Stern in connection with a corruption probe. Stern "abruptly resigned" from the 2.2. million member union in April, according to the Daily Caller -- two years before his term was up. Stern serves on President Barack Obama's deficit commission and is a frequent guest at the White House.

The SEIU is spending an estimated $44 million to elect Democrats this November. Wonder if any of that $44 million is flowing to Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District, to help Yarmuth?

Fischer Hypocrisy

Joe Arnold points out the hypocrisy of Greg Fischer's new ad -- criticizing the JCPS school assignment plan -- after Fischer complained when Hal Heiner ran an ad that, you guessed it, criticized the JCPS school assignment plan.

After Heiner took the courageous step of calling out the failure of JCPS's assignment plan, Fischer responded . "This is a job for the school board," Fischer said, "The mayor doesn't control the system, so by politicizing our kids six weeks before a political race I think it shows poor leadership."

Well, apparently Fischer's internal polls showed him that voters were gravitating to Heiner's message on schools, so Fischer did more than just flip-flop: he copied the Heiner ad.

Fischer seems like a nice guy, but his lack of originality is truly shocking. It's one thing to triangulate your opponent's ideas after getting elected, but Fischer is just swiping Hal Heiner's good ideas right smack in the middle of the elections. He did the same thing with Heiner's transparency initiative, a project that Heiner led for years on Metro City Council.

And all this talk about Fischer the businessman makes me laugh. Anyone with half a brain and a trust fund can make a few million eventually. Hal Heiner, in contrast, is a self-made man.

If Fischer wins, he will serve for one term. He will get bored and frustrated by the complexity of the job, and voters will see that he is just not up to it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Ashes, Ashes, They All Fall Down

Maybe it's a sign: President Barack Obama's presidential seal fell off his podium while Obama was speaking to the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. Check out the video.

Note Obama's (unscripted) reaction. His first concern is that everyone knows who he is. Reassured, he speculates about how anyone who makes a mistake for him quakes in terror; he actually finds this funny.

A falling podium sign is not as dramatic as, say, an asteroid. And yet it may be a portent.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dueling Medi-Scare Ads

We've reached that part of the electoral cycle when candidates simultaneously accuse each other of lying about a particular issue.

On the issue of Rand Paul supporting a $2000 deductible for Medicare, it is a false conflict. Paul was very candid in the Fox debate Sunday (see post below) by stating that Medicare needs drastic reforms to continue to exist. But Paul was adamant that any such reform cannot, must not apply to current recipients. This deductible is a reform that younger voters may bear.

That Jack Conway ad, in which a bunch of grumpy old people complain about Rand Paul imposing a $2000 deductible against them is therefore dishonest; this group is "grand-fathered" from any such reform, so to speak. And Conway knows it.

Likewise, the follow-up Conway ad that quotes Paul calling for a $2000 deductible is beside the point. Paul has reiterated that such a deductible is a very real possibility for younger voters; indeed, it is their only hope for ever seeing a Medicare check. But none of the sound-bites in the Conway ad quote Paul as applying the deductible to those Seniors who now enjoy Medicare.

That's why the Demo-blogs misquote the Paul ad as stating that Paul claims he "never supported higher Medicare deductibles." Note that the end of the Paul quote drops the operative words "for Seniors."

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Fox Debate

About that Rand Paul - Jack Conway debate, moderated yesterday by Chris Wallace: seems to me that it was a draw. Nobody said anything so outrageous or sagacious as to change the election. That means that Paul will likely retain his lead.

Having watched it three times, I was continually struck by the difference in the appearance of the candidates. Jack Conway looked like what he is: a rich trial lawyer -- rich enough to run a horse in the Derby. His suit (Canali, perhaps?) was exquisite, beautifully tailored. Between the suit, the Hair and the Jaw, he made quite a dashing image.

Rand Paul, not so much. His suit didn't even fit. Television make-up for men can be tricky, but Paul needed some translucent powder; the shine on his forehead was distracting. He looked pale and sickly. The up-side for Paul is that no one would mistake him for the career politician in the race.

On the merits, Paul was able to put into context some of his past remarks that form the basis of Conway's advertising. Paul was particularly strong about the $2000 deductible for Medicare. He made clear that he would not vote for such a deductible for current recipients, but asserted that younger voters recognize that the system is unsustainable without serious reform, including possibly a deductible. It was the most honest and adult portion of the debate.

Regrettably, Paul did not do as well regarding past remarks on mine safety or the drug issue. He did go on offense and criticize the increase of meth labs on Conway's watch as Attorney General. But his general observations that local control is better was unpersuasive on a drug problem that spans not just states but countries.

The same for mine safety: Paul's stated preference for local control rather than federal regulations did little to reassure, particularly after Conway's melodramatic assertion that the federal mine safety regulations are "written in the blood" of dead miners.

Paul did not respond to attacks about the applicability of the A.D.A. and Civil Rights Act of 1964 to private entities, and given how much he has said on this, that was the right call.

Chris Wallace, at one point, corrected Paul, who had stated that Obamacare applies to illegal aliens. The Courier-Journal coverage notes only half of this exchange, which creates the misimpression that Wallace schooled Paul. Here's what the C-J omits: Paul then corrected Wallace by pointing out that though Obamacare does not apply to illegal aliens, it is illegal to ask whether a patient is legal or illegal. Republicans, as Paul explained to Wallace, repeatedly tried to close the loop-hole, but Democrats outvoted them. For Paul to catch Chris Wallace in such a factual mistake showed Paul's considerable mastery of the nuances of Obamacare, a central issue in the campaign.

Jack Conway was likewise taken to task by Wallace for flip-flopping on cap and trade and bailouts. Conway asserted -- repeatedly -- that he has been consistent, but all he could offer was just the bare assertion with no details. Paul pounced on his inconsistencies.

Wallace highlighted that Conway's positions line up with both the Daily Kos and Moveon.org, including support for a single-payor healthcare system. Doesn't this put Conway to the left of President Obama?, Wallace asked. Conway denied it and trotted out the cliche that he would "put Kentucky first."

Regarding party leadership, Conway seemed to suggest that it was premature to speculate whether he would support Sen. Harry Reid because Reid "is in his own race" -- what, and might not win? Conway should be so lucky.

Paul said he presumed Mitch McConnell would emerge from the party caucus as party leader and that Paul would support him, but his voice became almost inaudible. This caused Wallace to repeat the question from several different angles. Bottom line: Paul said he would support McConnell but he appeared to be whispering so as not to enrage the Tea Partiers who don't like McConnell's earmarks.

Perhaps the most surprising moment was when Conway said how proud he was to run "for Wendell Ford's seat," and Paul responded that he thought it was "the people of Kentucky's seat." Good for Paul for seizing upon Conway's gaffe.

The shock here is that Conway appeared not to have noticed that Massachusetts held a special election last year in which Martha Coakley was skewered by Scott Brown for referring to the seat as "Teddy Kennedy's seat." The sound-bite was played over and over. Scott Brown even alluded to it in his victory speech.

For Conway to set himself up this way gave rise to two inferences: (1) he was oblivious to the special election in Massachusetts after Teddy Kennedy died or (2) -- and this is more likely -- he figures that ordinary Kentuckians had not paid attention to the Massachusetts race and Coakley's mistake. Memo to Conway: Kentuckians have been paying attention, close attention, to the elitism that threatens to ruin our country. Conway unwittingly painted himself as an elitist.




Saturday, October 2, 2010

GOP Weekly Address: McConnell

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell gave the GOP weekly address, in which he slams the Democrats for failing to address, in which he slams the Democrats for failing to address the jobs issue and for leaving town without providing extending the Bush tax cuts. Here's the video link, and here's the transcript:

"Over the past 19 months, we’ve witnessed something truly remarkable in Washington.

“We’ve seen a governing party basically tune out the American people who elected them and aggressively advance an agenda that most Americans vehemently opposed.

“In fact, the more Americans spoke out against government takeovers, government-run health care, wasteful spending, and debt, the more Democratic lawmakers seemed to dig in.

“This is a pretty risky approach in a nation where the government, to quote the Declaration of Independence, derives its powers from the consent of the governed. It’s also the main reason most people expect Republicans to do pretty well in the upcoming November elections.

“But Republicans aren’t under any illusions. We know voters are primarily interested in stopping the government freight train and sending a message to both parties this November.

“They want all of us to know that we work for them, not the other way around.

“And they want us to do something about jobs. Because chronic unemployment is not a second-tier issue: it’s a national crisis.

“At the moment, nearly 15 million Americans are currently looking for work and can’t find it.

“Another 11 million are working below their skill levels.

“Yet virtually every single piece of major legislation Democrat leaders in Washington have proposed over the past 19 months has made it either harder for businesses to hire new workers or retain the workers they already have. And now they want to make it even worse.

“Earlier this week, Democrat leaders who’ve spent the past year and a half working tirelessly to expand the reach of government, left town without doing the single most important thing they could have done for jobs. Too preoccupied enacting the rest of their agenda, they neglected to pass or even propose legislation that would prevent one of the largest tax hikes in history.

“As a result, at the stroke of midnight on December 31st, every American who pays income taxes is set to get a tax hike that Democrats have had two years to prevent.

“The lowest income taxpayers will see a 50% increase in their federal income tax rate on their first $8,000 of income.

“Middle class Americans will get hit hard — at the worst possible time.

“Parents will see the child tax credit they’ve enjoyed for nearly a decade cut in half.

“Many young people with college degrees will see the deduction they get on their loan interest vanish.

“The death tax will rocket from 0 percent to 55 percent, meaning many Americans will soon have to hand over more than half of everything they have to the federal government before leaving it to their families.

“Hundreds of thousands of small businesses will get socked with a job-killing tax hike.

“And young couples will be penalized even more than they already are just for getting married.

“All of these changes would overturn provisions that have been the law of the land for nearly ten years. And allowing them to happen at a time when so many are struggling makes no sense at all if you want to help the economy — something even the President admitted in the past.

“That’s why I proposed a bill last month that would extend current law and prevent any of these tax hikes from taking place, S.3773, the Tax Hike Prevention Act.

“Unfortunately, Democrats weren’t interested.

“In the final days of the session, they had other priorities.

“And whenever they were asked about this looming tax hike, they just blamed the Republicans.

“They said that Republicans will be to blame for some people getting a tax hike because we didn’t think anyone should get a tax hike …

“Now, I don’t get it either.

“The fact is, the best way to help individuals and small businesses and the economy is to give them all the certainty that their taxes won’t be going up at the end of the year.

“But Democrat leaders in Washington appear to have other plans with your money.

“As the President recently said, and I’m quoting him directly: ‘I’ve got a whole bunch of better ways to spend that money.’

“So after maxing out the national credit card on a failed Stimulus bill and a government-run health care bill, they want even more. And that’s why they are now holding middle class Americans hostage in a pursuit of their foolish desire to tax America’s job creators in the middle of a recession.

“It makes you wonder who they’re listening to.