Friday, November 8, 2013

Shut Up and Act!

Kentuckians for Strong Leadership have a great video that mocks Alison Grimes ties to Hollywood, and all the Liberals there who have funded her campaign, according to her most recent FEC filing.

Grimes even took money from that old Liberal cliche, Barbara Streisand.  And James Cameron, who I did not know until I saw this video is a Canadian. That's right, AGL is taking foreign money. Nor did I realize that Rob Reiner had compared the Tea Party to Hitler.  So the sad or perhaps scary thing about this video as that it is highly informative.  It is also hilarious.

 Watch it and pass it on.

Peggy Noonan Interviews Mitch McConnell

Peggy Noonan interviewed Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in today's Wall Street Journal.  I don't recall seeing a Noonan column quite like it; this is not so much a column as a true interview, even a transcript of an interview.

To those who look forward to Noonan's prose -- the lady can turn a phrase -- today's piece probably disappoints.  This is all McConnell, with almost none of Noonan's clever commentary.  That is itself striking, not just for Noonan's self-restraint, but for the respect it shows for McConnell.  Even McConnell's enemies acknowledge his brilliance as a political tactician.  Noonan's made some mistakes over the years; she was swept away in the Obama fairy tale.  Nonetheless, she still has the ability to capture the mood of an electorate and translate that into rhetoric. By sitting and taking notes, transcribing McConnell's insights, seems to me to be an acknowledgement that she had an opportunity to learn from a very skilled politician.  So she listened.

McConnell discusses the shut-down, reaffirming that it will not happen again. He makes the point that the Defund Obamacare effort in the Senate was a waste of time, destined to fail because as a matter of math, Republicans lacked the votes.

He promises that he will be the Republican nominee, never uttering the name of his primary opponent.

Perhaps his harshest words are for the Senate Conservative Fund:

The fund "has elected more Democrats than the Democratic Senatorial Committee over the last three cycles." The group is targeting Mr. McConnell with ads slamming his leadership during the shutdown. "Right now they're on the air in obvious coordination withHarry Reid's super PAC—Harry Reid's!—in the same markets, at roughly the same amount, at the same time."
McConnell is careful to distinguish between  the Tea Party leaders and its followers.  The latter, McConnell says, are angry, and rightfully so.  What McConnell does not say is that people don't think clearly when angry; they make mistakes.  The issue, McConnell reiterates, is not opposition to Obamacare.  On that point, conservatives are united.  The issue is winning enough elections to repeal it.  
Quoting Buckley, McConnell says that Republicans should run the most conservative candidates who can win.   In Kentucky,that is clearly McConnell

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Elaine Chao on Mayor Nan Gorman

Elaine Chao has a great piece on Politico regarding her admiration of Nan Gorman, the 80-something  year old  mayor of Hazard (elected as a write-in candidate!). This is part of a series of essays about women changing politics, policy and their communities.

I must admit that I had not heard of Mrs. Gorman previously.  Her life story, in some respects, is similar to Elaine Chao's:  both have traveled the world, and shattered glass ceilings. The two women have lived their lives guided by similar values of hard work and perseverance, a willingness to take risks, love of family and pride in Kentucky and a calling to public service.  And as Mrs. Gorman's photo reflects, they are both blessed with great beauty.

Here's Elaine's essay:

Deep in the heart of Kentucky’s rugged Eastern Mountain region there lives a woman who has fascinated and inspired me for two decades. She is known locally these days as “Mayor Nan” — the octogenarian chief executive of Hazard and advocate for its 5,467 residents.

. . .

Hazard was not just small but remote because of the lack of roads in the region so the Hagan family, with little Nan in tow, traveled there from Tennessee via Virginia mountain passes. Nan’s parents, who she says still inspire and guide her today, ensured that she had a good education and gave her the opportunity to attend college but, as was prevalent then, expected that she would soon settle down as a young woman, marry and have children.

She eventually did all that but not until after she had experienced some of the world far from Hazard and her beloved Eastern Kentucky mountains that she says “are like the arms of a mother around us.” So enraptured was she with the natural beauty around Hazard that she became an artist to record scenes in pencil, ink, watercolors and oil paints.

After World War II, Nan graduated from the University of Cincinnati and attended the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City. With an adventurous spirit, Nan flew to Egypt by herself to study ancient history and then traveled on for solo explorations of Greece, Rome, Paris and London. Having been exposed to such exotic, vibrant cities so full of opportunity, one could hardly have begrudged a choice to make her life elsewhere. But instead, she chose to come home to Kentucky. She got an apartment in Lexington and worked as a freelance artist drawing
advertisements for clothing stores, doing architectural renderings and sketching historical landmarks. One day she saw a classified advertisement in which the state was looking for a full-time artist, and she subsequently became the first one ever employed by the commonwealth of Kentucky. Among her tasks was designing the state seal — United We Stand, Divided We Fall — which is still in use today
At age 50, Nan settled again in Hazard, remarried — to her high school sweetheart, Bill, and together they formed a partnership that would have a lasting impact on virtually every sphere of the community. Bill was elected mayor in 1978, served for 35 years and never accepted a salary. When he returned home to the Lord three years ago, Nan asked that donations go to a fund to benefit local public schools. Wishing to continue Bill’s legacy of service to the community, Nan was subsequently elected mayor as a write-in candidate, winning by a 3-to-1 margin.

Nan’s governing personal ethic is to constantly strive to do better for Hazard’s residents for as long as she can. When last I spoke with her, Nan was alternately expressing pride over a young local girl’s success overcoming disadvantages, helping with the Appalachian Regional Hospital’s fundraising campaign and her efforts to obtain refrigerators for families in need.

An octogenarian well-deserving of retirement, Mayor Nan instead toils from sunrise to late in the evening on behalf of her town. She takes pleasure in the people and the mountain scenery and loves nothing more than to watch wildlife in her yard or to hear that some good fortune is improving someone’s life. My takeaway from every visit with Nan is appreciation for the big difference that one woman in a little town can make.