Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bevin and Grimes Silent on Olmsted Dam Appropriation

Blogs on the right, left, and everywhere in between are going crazy about McConnell's so called $2.9 billion "earmark." There are thousands of comments blasting McConnell as a typical, corrupt politician. This sounds like perfect ammunition for the Senator's opponents. With that said, why have Alison Grimes and Met Bevin been silent on this?

At first glance, it may seem suspicious that such a large sum of money is going to Kentucky, considering that it happens to be the home state of the man largely responsible for the deal that ended the government shutdown. To many, it sounds like McConnell is rewarding himself for his role in the compromise. However, upon further research, one will notice that McConnell is in fact not behind this appropriation. Senators Lamar Alexander and Diane Feinstein, members of the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee, are the ones who requested this. It's fair to say that a debt ceiling bill is a strange place to put this request, but it's not exactly an "earmark." The bill is only 35 pages long, so it's not like this was hidden on page 4,000 of the healthcare bill. This does not seem deceitful to me due to the relatively short length of the bill. The media were able to uncover this within hours of the bill's passage, so surely a senator could do the same. Nonetheless, I bet that many senators did know about this and even supported it, because this truly is an essential project.

Located just 13 miles from where the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers meet, the Olmsted Dam is critical to our nation's inland water infrastructure. This is one of the most heavily trafficked segments of any inland waterway, and the region's unpredictable flooding severely limits shipping companies' ability to move goods during certain times of the year. This dam is clearly very important to our nation, not just Kentucky and Illinois. Any state that sends or receives goods via either of these rivers will be affected by this project. In an effort to save money, engineers tried to construct this dam without the use of temporary dams known as "coffer dams." In theory, this was a great idea. Not only are coffer dams bad for the river bed, they are also expensive. Unfortunately, things didn't go as engineers anticipated, and now the project is severely behind budget. As with the expression "in hindsight, we all have 20/20," engineers should have constructed the dam using traditional methods. However, we can't give up on the project now, considering how much we have already invested, and how important it is to transportation and commerce throughout the country. That is why the $2.9 billion is so important.

Recently, Matt Bevin released a video outlining his opposition to the McConnell's deal. He criticizes the Senator for compromising on Obamacare, but fails to mention this supposed "pork." As for Grimes, her Twitter page makes no mention of the deal at all, probably because it is a perfect example of McConnell reaching across the aisle, undermining her entire campaign's theme. The bottom line is that this project is extremely important, and both Bevin and Grimes understand that this $2.9 billion is a good thing for Kentucky and the nation as a whole.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"At Least We Have One Adult Leader In Washington"

The title is borrowed from a reader comment to The Fix column published on-line earlier this afternoon at the Washington Post website.  This comment completed the thought expressed in the title to the column:  "Mitch McConnell closes the deal. Again."

In an era in which it is fashionable for both the left and right to complain of too much gridlock in Washington, the latest deal is a reminder of who actually is able to bridge the party divide.  Had either Matt Bevin or Alison Lundergan Grimes been in the Senate, neither could have pulled this off.  As freshmen, Bevin and Grimes would be carrying Ted Cruz's and Harry Reid's respective briefcases, so to speak. And the scary thing is--for the entire country, this is scary--had McConnell not been the Senate Republican Leader, there wouldn't have been anyone else to resolve, temporarily at least, the dysfunction in D.C.

Long-winded speeches can be entertaining, and I enjoy Green Eggs and Ham as much as anyone. But all in all, I prefer a Senator and Republican Leader who, rather than grandstand, actually can get something done when the country really needs it.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Update on GOP Women's Roundtable


Time is running out to rsvp to this weekend's Kentucky Republican Women's Roundtable Fall Forum and Luncheon (Saturday, October 5th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville).

CNN and Meet the Press political analyst Alex Castellanos is  the key note speaker. Castellanos will moderate a national panel that now includes Peggy Grande, former personal assistant to President Ronald Reagan.( I bet she has some stories to tell!)

Scott Reynolds from WAVE 3 will be moderating instead of Claudia Coffey

The theme for this year's forum is "Step Up." 
 
"We hope that women will be encouraged to step up at whatever capacity they want to be involved with in the political arena," said Cathy Bailey, Honorary Chair and Founder of the Kentucky Republican Women’s Roundtable. "We want to reach out to women within our own state and across the country and create a dialogue and share similar concerns that we have as mothers, grandmothers, sisters, daughters and aunts about the economy, education, national security, health care and other pressing issues facing our country. Women are underrepresented in public office, and we have an important voice that needs to be heard."

Here's the link to Cathy Bailey's interview.
 

If you are interested in attending the luncheon, please RSVP to Lauren Bosler at lcbosler@gmail.com or 502.554.5480. Cost is $25 per person to attend. This is opportunity to network and show that women care about more than our "lady parts." Some of us, for example, would like the government to get out of the way of the free enterprise system so that just maybe, our kids won't need to be on our health insurance plans when they're 26 . . . .

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

GOP Women's Roundtable


The Kentucky Republican Women's Roundtable certainly gets points for timeliness:  there Fall Forum and Luncheon is this Saturday, October 5, 2013 -- just days after the first government shut-down in 17 years. That should make for some fascinating discussion

They've brought in both state and national panels.  The Kentucky Panel includes: Sen. Sara Beth Gregor; the Hon. Joyce Moore; Commonwealth Attorney Courtney Baxter; Sen. Julie Denton; Jefferson County Clerk Bobby Holsclaw; and moderator Claudia Coffey from WHAS.

The National Panel will be moderated by Alex Castellanos, political analyst and contributor for CNN and Meet the Press. His panel includes: Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch from Wisconsin; Suanne Terrell (first Republican woman ever elected as Louisiana Commissioner of Elections); and Alexandra Smith, Chair of the College Republican National Committee. I'm particularly interested to hear how Republicans are doing at the college level.

The cost is a mere $25.  Reserve your spot by emailing Lauren Bosler, lcbosler@gmail.com (502)554-5480.

If half the amazing women come who attended the Women for Team Mitch rally, this will be quite a group.  Rest assured you won't hear any nonsense about voting with our "lady parts."