Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Scalise Under Fire For Scandal That Wasn't

It's a slow news week.  People are on winter breaks, celebrating the holidays and the incoming New Year. What constitutes a newsworthy item during such a slow time? The scandal that wasn't, as it turns out.

First you take a reporter working for the Washington Post reporting on a story written on a state politics website by a blogger in Louisiana. Add the bonus of the victim being a newly ascended Republican in the U.S. House, now third in the leadership ranks. Mix in cable news outlets with lots of air time to fill and presto! We have a scandal brewing.

Or, do we?  Rep Steve Scalise, (R-LA) is the incoming House Majority Whip.  It was reported Monday that he spoke to "a gathering of white supremacists" back in 2002 in Metairie, Louisiana - Scalise's home, a suburb of New Orleans. At the time, Scalise was a state representative with visions of pursuing higher elected office.

The Washington Post reporter promoted the breaking story heavily on social media Monday.  It was reported on CNN by late afternoon.  It has been all the buzz on Tuesday cable news shows.  CNN has been very deliberate to use black female anchors and talking heads to talk about the story.

Tuesday, however, the real story breaks that should cause heartburn to all those giddily reporting a story involving race and the GOP, but it won't.  It never does.  The question is till being asked if Scalise should resign his position, preferably his seat in Congress.  That's how Democrats roll, despite their own smarmy record on race relations and elected officials.

Here are the facts, as retold by the guy who invited Scalise to speak to this group:
Kenny Knight, a longtime political adviser to former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, said in an interview Tuesday that he personally invited House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) to speak to a 2002 gathering of white supremacists.
“He was my neighbor,” Knight said of Scalise, who was serving as a state representative at the time of the conference. “I asked him to be the first speaker before the meeting kicked off.”
“This all came about because I organized the EURO meeting for David Duke as a courtesy after he had moved to Russia. I’ve known David for 40 years so I did him a favor. As part of that, I decided to ask Steve, our local representative, to come by and say a few words before the conference started,” Knight said. “He agreed, believing it was going to be neighbors, friends, and family. He saw me not as David Duke’s guy, but as the president of our civic association.”
Knight continued, “Now, at the time, I was a prominent person in state politics. I was on the radio, I was doing campaigns. Steve knew who I was, but I don’t think he held it against me. He knew I lived by his street and that I was active in our community. And I didn’t see a problem with having him speak.”
“Steve came in early on the first day of EURO, spoke for about 15 minutes, and he left,” Knight recalled. “He didn’t hear David speak remotely to the crowd.” Knight also said that he does not have video of Scalise’s remarks nor does he know if video of the speech exists.
So, David Duke was not present, he was videotaped from Russia.  Scalise was not told the facts of the group or Duke's association.  And, he left after being the first speaker - about 15 minutes later.  Silly enough for you yet?

David Duke is a despicable person because of his personal viewpoints on race and Jews and all that entails, there is no question about that.  The man is a former Metairie city councilman and pursued elected offices, including Governor of Louisiana before deciding to move to Russia.  That's right, Russia.  Any elected official should be held accountable for associating with David Duke.  This, however, is not a story that fits that narrative.  

The media is all too happy to pursue stories that do not end well for Republican elected officials.  This is just the latest example.  Scalise has made a statement explaining this speech and disassociating himself from the group.  There is no indication that he knew enough about the group to support them.  He was accepting an invitation to speak to a local group of business men and neighborhood people in the suburb where he resided and represented in the Louisiana State House.  Politicians with aspirations to run for higher office speak to anyone and everyone who invite them to do so, that's how campaigning works.  

I hope Scalise survives this ordeal.  Obviously someone had a political score to settle and decided now was the time to do it, as Scalise took the position of House Majority Whip.  He took responsibility for the speech right away.  I hope Speaker Boehner supports him.

And, let's hope that Scalise does a bit more research into the background of organizations and groups requesting his speeches in the future.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Culberson Sets the Record Straight on CRomnibus

U.S. Representative John Culberson (R-TX) sent out an email to set the record straight on the passage of the Omnibus bill, referred to as CRomnibus, as false information continues to be spread on the facts of the content of this bill.

My office has received a tremendous number of phone calls and emails from constituents who believe I should have voted against the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill. However, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation about the bill, and I believe a yes vote was the right vote for both Texas and our nation. I am sending you accurate information in this email so you can decide for yourself.
 1.  All Republican Members of Congress share the same goal – to totally defund and repeal President Obama’s illegal amnesty and to repeal and replace Obamacare. Our only difference is in the tactics we believe will work best.
2.  It is not true that the omnibus funds President Obama’s illegal amnesty. 
3.  It is not true that the omnibus fully funds Obamacare.
4.  If the House had passed a short term Continuing Resolution, we would have almost certainly lost all of the good provisions that House conservatives won in this legislation. Plus a Continuing Resolution means the President can continue to do everything just as he has been. We need to stop President Obama as quickly as possible, and I do not want him to keep doing things the same way.
Former Texas Senator Phil Gramm often said that liberals achieve so much because they’re satisfied with small incremental gains. He often told me that conservatives must advance our legislative agenda, even if it’s just two or three feet at a time. This bill does that. As a college football fan, I know it is always a bad idea to punt the ball and get nothing if you are in field goal range. Particularly since we will have a Republican Senate in less than three weeks and can immediately get to work to go after the rest of President Obama's destructive agenda.
I am frankly amazed we forced Obama to cut overall federal spending and to implement the additional spending restrictions House conservatives won in this bill. The final omnibus bill is the product of nearly 100 House committee hearings and markups, more than 400 amendments offered by members during 79 hours of floor debate, and is based on eleven individual House Republican appropriation bills. So all House Republicans participated at length in creating almost all of this bill. 
I am writing today to reassure you that I will always keep my word to you. My good name is my most valuable possession, and my reputation as your representative in Congress is built on trust. I have given you links within this email so you can verify everything I have told you. Above all, I want you to know that I treasure your trust, and I will always work hard to earn it. 
You have my word that I will do everything in my power as your representative to stop Barack Obama from doing more damage to this great nation, and that I will not rest until we have undone his illegal amnesty and repealed and replaced Obamacare. I will always do the right thing for the right reasons, and I will keep working to cut spending and taxes, to balance our budget, and to restore the 10th Amendment to get the federal government out of our lives, so that Texans truly run Texas.
The House Appropriations Committee released this statement.

THIS is a good piece explaining the win for conservatives in Congress. Is it a perfect bill? No. There is no such thing as perfect in governing.  

There’s some grumbling on the right, of course, but that is to be expected. It’s not a perfect vehicle and not, one hopes, what would have been put forward if there had been a Republican president in office ready to sign legislation sent up Pennsylvania Avenue by a Republican House and Senate. Nevertheless it is a strategic victory that strengthens the hand of the GOP, even at the expense of what are arguably tactical setbacks.
Listeners to talk radio need to stop being willing advocates for those who make a very handsome living off  dividing the voters in the Republican party.  They are paid dividers - professional complainers.

Culberson made the right decision to support the passage of this bill.  It was the right thing to do.  Those criticizing the elected officials who voted to pass the bill refuse to accept the reality of a minority Republican party.  That all will change in January, with the new majority Republican party in Congress.

In January, Republicans will right the process of appropriations and do it the correct way.  While Democrats have controlled the Senate and the White House, the elimination of the normal appropriations process brought about the prospect of government shutdowns, which Republicans are blamed for and only recovered from the last one because of the utter failure of the Obamacare website failure.  Do not believe any "conservative" who states that government shutdown was a win for Republicans. It wasn't.

Sometimes a bit of experience in working inside the legislative process comes in handy.  Culberson's choice to support the CRomnibus brought as big of wins for the Republicans as was possible.

Want a more perfect bill to the liking of conservatives?  Stop the divisions within the Republican party and work harder on unity.  Work harder to support and elect our nominees to higher offices.  Stop staying home if you are not 100% happy.  Start acting like a winner.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cornyn Succeeds In Purple Heart Medals For Ft Hood Victims

The terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas executed by Nidal Malik Hasan, a former Army psychiatrist and Medical Corps officer, was carried out in 2009.  Originally described by this President's White House as "workplace violence" it was later determined to be, in fact, a terrorist's attack on U.S. soldiers.  

Senator Cornyn has been a champion for the families of the victims of this attack.  One area in particular, awarding the Purple Heart medal to victims of the attack, is now a reality. Senator Cornyn wrote the legislation for the Senate bill which has now been voted into law.  On the House side, Rep John Carter, (R-TX31) and Rep Roger Williams (R-TX25) ushered the bill through for passage.

Here is some background provided by Senator Cornyn's office which speaks to why the process took so long to move through Congress:
Existing criteria for the Purple Heart provide for the medal to be awarded to service members killed or wounded “as the result of an international terrorist attack against the United States.” The provision in the FY2015 Defense Authorization bill would update the definition of “international terrorist attack” to include a terrorist attack that was inspired or motivated by al Qaeda or another U.S. State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization, and one prior to which the attacker was in communication with the terrorist group. The provision would be retroactively effective as of September 11, 2001, and would require fresh reviews of the 2009 Ft. Hood attack and other attacks since 9/11. For the civilian equivalent of the Purple Heart—the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Defense of Freedom—the measure would require a determination of whether it should be awarded to any civilians who were killed or wounded in the 2009 terrorist attack at Fort Hood. Sen. Cornyn and Reps. Carter and Williams previously introduced similar legislation, the Fort Hood Victims and Families Benefits Protection Act, in both 2009 and 2011, and the Honoring the Fort Hood Heroes Act, in 2013.

The bill now goes to the President's desk for signature.  The Department of Defense will then be able to make the awards so long overdue.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Landrieu Delivers Farewell Speech to U.S. Senate

Today soon to be former Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) delivered her farewell speech to the U.S.Senate.  She was mostly gracious in acknowledging those who supported her and helped her along the way, both in her own party and in the Republican Party.  She did, however, feel the need to give a parting smack to former president Bush when it was time for her to talk about Hurricane Katrina.  She wants to keep alive the notion that somehow he is to blame for the failures of New Orleans.

"President Bush was not that forward leaning. I will just leave it at that. There will be more about it in my book." Senator Mary Landrieu criticized the former president in his actions post Hurricane Katrina, mostly about the money she was trying to get appropriated to the state.

Here is the speech.

She said several times that she has been an elected official since the age of 23. That's more than long enough for her.  She fell victim to her own campaign boasting long ago as she believes she is a legendary figure from Louisiana.  The fact is, she traded on her family name and political patronage.  This does not make her unique, certainly not in a state like Louisiana.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Landrieu Loss Lights Up Louisiana

Saturday night brought election defeats in Louisiana for both U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu in her bid for a 4th term and former Governor Edwin Edwards, who was running for a congressional seat. It is a new day in the state in which I grew up.

A wide coalition of conservatives from across the country fanned out and took on the task of working  the ground game on behalf of Rep Bill Cassidy.  National Federation of Republican Women, Texas Federation of Republican Women, tea party activists, and a newly formed group called the Black Conservatives Fund  were among the coalition. Though Landrieu's defeat was commonly thought to be a sure thing, Cassidy's trouncing of her on Election Day would not have been so spectacular without the Black Conservatives Fund.

Leading the way into new inroads for the Republican Party in black communities, members of the Black Conservative Fund organized in April, 2014. From their website:

The Black Conservatives Fund is a political action committee committed to turning out the black vote and elect black conservatives at every level of government. We provide direct contributions in addition to running TV and radio ads, conducting get-out-the vote drives, and funding any other activities our endorsed candidates need. We are first and foremost a CONSERVATIVE political action committee.  We are committed to assisting candidates who support reining in the size and scope of government, protecting our nation through a strong military, and promoting American values – especially the right to life.
We believe that despite the election of Barack Obama, the conservative movement has a golden opportunity to expand our coalition by supporting black conservative candidates whenever possible.
You may not have heard of this PAC but you will.  Perhaps best known among the founding members is Anita MonCrief, the ACORN whistleblower . The PAC is comprised of the next wave of conservative activists working to take on the black community and spread the word of the Republican Party and its principles of smaller government and strong national defense.  Their mission is to promote and support black candidates at all levels of government.

Defeat was obvious early into the evening.

CNN called the race for her Republican opponent Rep. Bill Cassidy a little over a half hour after the polls closed. Republicans picked up nine Senate seats this election cycle and will have control of 54 seats in the chamber next year.
Once seen as Democrats' strongest incumbent, Landrieu ended up such a long-shot in her runoff with Cassidy that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee cut its investment in the state, a move that Landrieu decried as leaving "a soldier on the field."
In her concession speech, Landrieu touted her own "record of courage, honesty and integrity and delivering for the state when it mattered the most."
The senator also said she didn't regret her vote for Obamacare, which the GOP used to attack her and every other vulnerable Democratic senator this cycle.
"This is something to be proud of, and I'm glad we fought for it," she said, touting some of the benefits of the law.

Mary Landrieu said of Obamacare: "If they don't like it, they can unelect us." So, the voters of Louisiana did just that.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Obama Flies to Vegas to Mock Republican Criticism

Essentially, what President Obama told Congress - the GOP led House of Representatives specifically - that they took too long to act on his cause du jour.  He decided to scuttle any hopes of changing course when the new Republican led Congress takes office in January.  He has now made it perfectly clear that he is going it alone. If his agenda is not moving quickly enough, he'll just amp up his use of executive orders (or in the case of immigration policy, a memo) and that will be that.

Remember, this is the man who ran for president calling himself a constitutional scholar.

The next Republican president could do an Obama move and move unilaterally on an issue important to that White House for political gain. It is amazing that Democrats seem to forget that Republicans remember bad behavior and what is to stop going forward unilaterally then?

The polls show the American people are uneasy about Mr. Obama’s unilateral law-making, and liberals should be too. Mr. Obama is setting a precedent that Republican Presidents could also use to overcome a Democratic majority. How about an order to the IRS not to collect capital-gains taxes on inflated gains from property held for more than a decade? That policy would be broadly popular and also address a basic lack of fairness. Mr. Obama’s rule-by-regulation has already been rebuked more than once by the Supreme Court. His “I, Barack” immigration decree is another abuse that will roil American politics and erode public confidence in the basic precepts of self-government.
How about a general gutting of the IRS code and substituting it with whatever the idea of the month was at that time?  Would that happen without a squawk from the tax crazy Democrats?

It is time for a calm, studious course of action against the executive memo President Obama announced Thursday night.  Most importantly, Republicans have to ignore the impulse to take the bait - don't cry impeachment or government shutdown.  Instead, Republicans have to get to work and coordinate between the House and Senate for bills to be voted on taking apart the action, even if it is piece by piece. The media and Democrats (some would argue that it is redundant) are chomping at the bit to claim Republican divisions.  The party has to pull together and remain unified in order to do the work necessary now.

Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), a moderate from the Philadelphia exurbs, said the leadership is asking his colleagues to “not play into the president’s hands.”“The president wants to see an angry and intemperate response, thinking the Republicans will do something that leads to a shutdown,” Dent said. “Don’t take the bait, and don’t have a hysterical reaction. We can be strong, rational and measured.”
President Obama flew to Las Vegas Friday morning to rally with Harry Reid and union supporters. Predictably, he was full of himself in his speech and mocked Republicans, as is his habit.

Nothing new policy-wise there. A predictably warm reception for the president’s big rollout speech for immigration reform.
  • The president reassured the crowd he was not backing down despite talk of his having overstepped his executive powers or accusations that he had sabotaged the democracy. “I will never give up,” he said.
  • The president borderline mocked Republicans for not advancing immigration legislation. “Pass a bill,” he repeated. “Pass a bill!” He said he had been willing to wash House speaker John Boehner’s car or walk his dog if he would bring a vote on the Senate immigration bill.

Let's be strong, rational and measured. It won't be easy. Long hours and hard work will be necessary from our elected officials.  Let's encourage them to work together and just do it. We can't give up, either.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Obama Grants Amnesty To Millions - A Bypass Of Congress

Some months ago, President Obama said "I am the President of the United States. I am not an emperor. My job is to execute the laws of the United States" in response to increased pressure from immigration reform groups pressuring him to grant amnesty to millions in this country here illegally. There are many more examples of President Obama declaring that action taken solely by him, as in executive action, would be an unconstitutional move. 

Go here for more examples of his flip flop: 



Thursday night, President Obama gave an executive action statement on television.  The big alphabet networks - ABC, NBC, and CBS all declined to give him a spot in prime time to make the announcement.  Instead he was shown on cable networks.  Oh, and he was shown on Univision.  Univision was expecting a large audience Thursday all along - it was the night of the Latin Grammy awards. This was the only yes Team Obama really wanted.

The justification for the boldness used in pursuing executive action and bypassing Congress from Team Obama is that President Reagan and President GHW Bush did it.  For Republicans to object is hypocritical, they say. Prosecutorial discretion is allowed under the Constitution and it was  used by Reagan and GHW Bush for a targeted group of people.  Obama is writing his own requirements for legalization.  It is to come from Congress, according to the Constitution.  

These Reagan and Bush 41 executive actions were obviously different than what Obama is doing now. They were trying to implement a complicated amnesty that Congress had already passed. Congress’ action was a form of immigration relief that obviously fit within our constitutional system. Moreover, Congress left a gap when it came to immediate family members, including minor children, of individuals who qualified for the amnesty. Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 forbore from deporting people in that select group.
Obama, in contrast to Reagan and Bush 41, is not trying to implement a lawfully created amnesty. There has been no congressional amnesty. In fact, there has been no immigration action from Congress in the past few years except the post-9/11 REAL ID Act of 2005, which made it harder, not easier, for aliens to qualify for immigration relief. More than that, Congress declined to pass a legalization of the type Obama is issuing during both Obama’s term and in a hotly-contested bill during President Bush 43′s term.Thus, Obama is clearly contravening both ordinary practice and the wishes of Congress—as expressed in statute—by declaring an amnesty himself. This is nothing like Reagan’s or Bush’s attempts to implement Congress’ amnesty. The progressive media’s claims otherwise are blatant lies, relying on their readers’ ignorance of events in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Such attempts should be rejected wherever they are found.If Obama wants to justify his lawless immigration action, he will have to do it some other way than citing (blaming, more like) prior Republican presidents. They, to their credit, were trying to implement Congress’ will. Obama, on the other hand, has declared that his government will act despite Congress, or, I suspect, to spite Congress. Such pettiness finds no support in the presidencies of Reagan and Bush.

This executive action will be called a memo. Just as DACA (Dreamer Act) was a memo at the eleventh hour before the 2012 election (his re-election) and before that, the Morton memo in 2011 that commanded ICE Director Morton to not deport certain people.  This is how Obama operates. It is all about politics, not compassion.  It is cynical and unlawful.  It is shameful.

The good news is that most Americans polled believe in immigration reforms but do not agree that this is the way to do it.  The bad news is we are stuck with this until a new person is in the White House, if then.

None of this was necessary.  It was the ultimate poking a finger in the eye of his opposition, mostly Republicans, after a truly dismal showing for the Democrats on election night.  As with Obamacare, I think this stunt will prove to be bad news for future elections for the Democrats.  

In January, the new GOP controlled Congress must remain calm and focused. Coordinate calendars and bills between the House and Senate and pass common sense, realistic immigration reform - one step at a time, if necessary.  They must prove they can lead now.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hail Mary Turned Into Fail Mary for Landrieu's Keystone Pipeline XL Vote

Instead of a Hail Mary we watched a Fail Mary come about as the U.S. Senate denied passage of the Keystone Pipeline XL by one vote Tuesday afternoon.  One vote.  

Safe to say that Rep Bill Cassidy can now begin measuring the room for furniture arrangement as he will be the next Senator from the great state of Louisiana.  It is high time that the Bayou State be relieved of the burden of Senator Mary Landrieu.  She has been on the taxpayer's payroll for one decade too many.  Soon she will be free to accept a nice cushy lobbyist job in Washington, D.C. like the rest the career politicians once they fall out of favor with the voters back home.

Mary Landrieu told voters that she had to be re-elected because she has seniority in the Senate.  She said she has power and is chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  She has been unable to convince Senate Majority Harry Reid to bring the Keystone Pipeline XL vote to the floor all these years the bill has languished on his desk, but never mind that. 

To be fair, Landrieu is one of the more conservative Democrats left in Washington, D.C.  but she's still a Democrat and she votes for their agenda.  At crucial times, she goes with the more liberal faction of the party - she voted in favor of Obamacare after a promise of receiving increased taxpayer money for Medicaid in Louisiana - so under pressure she truly votes in her own best interest, not for what the people of Louisiana are telling her.  

So, because Rep Cassidy is up over Landrieu in the polls in their run-off race, the Democrats in Washington, D.C. decided Landrieu's re-election chances would improve if a vote on the Keystone Pipeline XL finally happened.  With a strong message sent from President Obama that he would not sign the bill into law, but in fact veto it, many Democrats felt more secure in voting yes.  Americans strongly favor the pipeline but anti fossil fuel billionaire Tom Steyer has bought the support of many Democrats in office as he pushes his climate change alarmist agenda.  Democrats abandoned Landrieu and the vote failed.

The vote will happen again in the Senate.  In January, when a new Congress convenes - this one with a strong Republican majority in both the House and Senate - the vote will be brought up and pass.  This vote could have happened several months ago or it could have just waited until January but it proceeded Tuesday as a Hail Mary for Landrieu's campaign.  She lost.

Rep Bill Cassidy brought the most recent Keystone Pipeline XL bill to a vote in the House and it passed.  He will continue to campaign for the Senate seat as the victor of this battle between the two chambers of Congress.  The American people wait.

Landrieu has conducted a dismal campaign to date laden with mistakes.  Her last resort has been to go negative against Cassidy.  Now the Washington Post calls the Keystone Pipeline XL vote her final indignity.  Ouch.

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has participated in a keg stand. She has run this desperate ad. She lost an energy committee chairmanship that she often touted, when the GOP took the Senate on Nov. 4. She has clashed -- in front of reporters -- with a leader of her party. That same party basicallyabandoned her in her runoff campaign for a fourth term.But on Tuesday, she suffered the biggest indignity of her 2014 campaign, and possibly of her political career.Landrieu, reduced to a relatively pointless gambit to demonstrate her clout in Washington, failed to secure the 60 votes required to move forward with the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. She came up one vote shy.This was basically Landrieu's final play. With no party funding for her campaign, she has been drubbed on the airwaves -- as in, exponentially so. And even before that, few gave her much hope in her runoff with Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).
.Bye girl, bye.

Friday, November 14, 2014

House Passes 9th Vote on Keystone Pipeline XL

This is the press release from the House Energy and Commerce Committee after the vote was taken on Keystone Pipeline XL Friday:

WASHINGTON, DC –The U.S. House of Representatives today approved H.R. 5682, a bill authored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), which would approve the application for the Keystone XL pipeline and allow construction of the job-creating project to finally proceed after years of the president’s delays. Today marks the ninth time the House has voted to advance construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been tied up in red tape now for over six years. The House approved Cassidy’s bill by a strong bipartisan vote of 252 to 161, and a vote on the legislation is expected in the Senate next week.
“President Obama famously proclaimed in January 2013 that he would do ‘
whatever it takes’ to create jobs and 2014 was renamed the president's so-called ‘Year of Action.’ But when the chips are down, President Obama is incapable of saying ‘yes’ to a project that would create thousands of American jobs and advance our energy security. But despite the president’s excuses, we haven’t given up on finding a bipartisan solution,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “Hopefully, this ninth vote is the charm, and the Senate and president will finally agree that after six years, it’s time to say yes to energy and yes to jobs.”
The  Senate is set to vote on the pipeline next week, if Majority Leader Reid keeps his word on that promise.  Once passed by both chambers, it will end up on the desk of the president.  There it will be vetoed in short order.  President Obama does not support the Keystone Pipeline XL project and makes no bones about that.  He pledges to veto the bill.  

While this is all about the Louisiana senate race, it is important to keep this issue fresh in the minds of voters.  It has been too long in the making and the excuses from Democrats and President Obama - even some "conservatives" - have all been addressed long ago.  Study after study has been completed and no damage to the environment is foreseen.  President Obama is beholden to far left wing environmentalists who give big dollars to campaign war chests with strings attached - those strings being a promise that fossil fuel energy will continue to be their boogie man.  It is an immoral and incorrect view of energy policy but that is the vacuum in which they dwell.

Here is the recap of the vote:

The 252-161 roll call Friday by which the House approved the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, setting up a Senate showdown vote next week.A "yes" vote is a vote to pass the bill.Voting yes were 31 Democrats and 221 Republicans.Voting no were 161 Democrats and 0 Republicans.

Rep Jason Amash (R-MI) voted "Present" on the bill.  If he runs for another term, it will be entirely appropriate for him to face a primary challenger.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Landrieu Turns to Keystone Pipeline XL and Personal Attacks in Run-Off Election

Nothing like a Republican tidal wave of an election in historic proportions to clarify thoughts on an important issue.  Take,  for example, the Keystone Pipeline XL project.  Now that the race for U.S. Senate in Louisiana is in a run-off, the incumbent Democrat Senator Landrieu has raced to the floor of the Senate to beg colleagues - and Senate Majority Leader Reid - to bring the project up for a vote.

The House of Representatives, controlled by a Republican majority, has already passed eight (8) bills to move forward on the project but they have all sat languishing on Reid's desk as he refuses to bring them up for a vote.  Talk about obstruction.

Rep Bill Cassidy (R-LA) is in the December 6 run-off with Landrieu.  He is expected to win rather handily and that is not sitting well with Democrats.  On Wednesday, as the House came back into session, it was announced that Rep Cassidy has a Keystone Pipeline XL bill of his own which would be voted on at the end of the week.

“I will now pass a bill identical to the bill the Senate is said to consider to push this issue forward,” said Cassidy in a statement. “If the Senate also passes the bill it can go straight to the President’s desk for signature. It is easy to wonder if the Senate is only considering this because of politics, even so, I hope the Senate and the President do the right thing and pass this legislation creating thousands of jobs. When I’m on the Senate Energy Committee next year, I will work to ensure the President follows the law and allows the construction of this pipeline.”
 Landrieu has said all along that it is important for her to remain in the Senate due to her seniority and chairmanship of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.  Wednesday it was also announced that when Cassidy wins the run-off election, he will be placed on the same committee, only he will be the Senator frrm Louisiana in the majority party.  Landrieu would be in the minority, should she win the run-off.  Also, it can be asked that if she was so important and powerful on this committee, why hasn't she been able to get any of the House bills brought to a vote?

She admitted during a hastily called press conference Wednesday that she had no promise from President Obama that he would sign a bill into law anyway.

Landrieu is taking heat in Louisiana as she is credited with supporting Obamacare.  She was one of the last holdout votes on that 2009 legislation and only agreed to vote for it after she sold her vote to the Democrat majority with a deal known as the Louisiana Purchase.  Her vote was bought for increased federal funding going to Louisiana for that state's Medicaid program.

Do you remember the "Louisiana Purchase?" I don't mean Thomas Jefferson's acquisition of land from Napoleon, but rather Democrats' acquisition of Sen. Mary Landrieu's (D., La.) support for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Landrieu, critics believe, pledged her vote in exchange for gaining $200 million additional federal funds for Louisiana's Medicaid program. Except that, due to a drafting error, the law ended up giving Louisiana $4.3 billion in extra Medicaid funds -- more than twenty times the assigned amount. How this happened, and how Congress failed to fully fix it, is a microcosm of our new health law's many flaws.
Obamacare is deeply unpopular in Louisiana.

Landrieu is desperate to win this election.  Failing to win over voters with ideas on the issues concerning them, she has turned to personal attacks on Cassidy.  The first was lobbed the day after the primary election.  She accused Cassidy of being absent in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  The problems with this attack were that Cassidy was not in Congress at that time (he was elected to Congress in 2009)  and also that Cassidy, a physician, was busy setting up a hospital for the refugees of the storm. That little attack turned viral thanks to the hashtag Landrieu used on Twitter - #WhereWasBill - and it soon backfired.  Cassidy took to Twitter himself and educated Landrieu on the subject.

So, after that failure, Landrieu launched an ad attacking Cassidy's speaking skills.

The Landrieu campaign ad, released over the weekend, ran during the New Orleans Saints game. It shows Cassidy giving a speech at the Republican Leadership Conference earlier this year, and highlights various moments from the speech where he appears to trip over his words.The ad describes the Republican lawmaker as being “nearly incoherent” before the narrator asks: “We’d lose Mary Landrieu’s clout for this?”
To which Cassidy responded by saying,

“I may not speak like Barack Obama, she prefers Barack Obama, but I tell you — I speak on the right side of the issues for the people of Louisiana, and that’s why I’m going to win on Dec. 6,” Cassidy said Tuesday. 

Friday, November 07, 2014

NAACP Increases Its Irrelevance

The NAACP didn't bother to celebrate the victories of two groundbreaking elections - that of Mia Love in Utah and Tim Scott in South Carolina.  

Instead of celebrating gains made by black Americans, the NAACP pushed the well worn theme of voter suppression.
The NAACP addressed the election in a statement, but failed to acknowledge the election of the first black Republican woman to Congress, or the first black senator to win an election in the South since Reconstruction.

Lashing out on Twitter, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) proved again the association's liberal allegiance instead of honoring its place in American history.  The NAACP began in 1909 and is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization.  Over the course of time, the once respectable organization is now seen through politically partisan eyes.  The organization claims to be non-partisan, in order to keep its tax status, but no one is fooled.  Any black conservative running and winning as a Republican elected official is told they are not black enough.  The old Uncle Tom slur is flung and leadership is openly hostile to anyone not falling in line with the now standard race baiting language of those who certainly know better than to conduct themselves in such hateful ways.

The usefulness of the NAACP has come to the end of the line. The organization has allowed itself to become irrelevant instead of growing and flourishing with the times.

When Democrats are losing an argument - or in this case, a tidal wave of races this election cycle - the default action taken is throwing the race card.  There are many professional race baiters and those in the upper eschelon of the NAACP are no exception. The organization graded Senator Tim Scott, the first black senator in the South since Reconstruction (from either party) and determined he deserved a grade of F for his performance in the U.S. Senate. The media was only too happy to play along.  Senator Scott was interviewed on MSNBC and ended up schooling the news host about conservative political philosophy and why he thinks it is a path to success for minorities. Scott was asked: how he responds to that "if his true concern is for helping lower income families and children."  Apparently, on MSNBC, if the NAACP issues a politically motivated message via a grade, then that is the last word.  How could Scott possibly argue with that logic?

Quite well, actually.  I wish more Republican elected officials were able to express Republican philosophy as well as Senator Scott did.  

And what about Mia Love, you ask?  Why isn't she to be congratulated by the NAACP for her accomplishments?  Good question.  If Mia Love was a Democrat, she would be the darling of this organization.  The daughter of Haitian immigrants, she is an accomplished women, including the former Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah and this was her second run for Congress.  She is known as an emerging star of the Republican party, regularly making lists of those to watch.  She is the first black Republican woman in Congress now.

No stranger to being the recipient of ugly talk from Democrats, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was none too pleased with the race baiting shown in the recent election cycle. Responding to a question during an interview on Fox News recently about the hideous political mailer sent out in Georgia, she said:

“The idea that you would play such a card and try fear mongering among minorities just because you disagree with Republicans, that they’re somehow all racist … I find it appalling, I find it insulting,” said Rice during a Fox News interview. “As a Republican black woman from the South, I would say really? Is that really the argument you’re going to make in 2014?
The voters in Georgia didn't fall for it, either:

For the record, Georgia elected a Republican senator by eight percentage points, with only 34 of 159 counties voting for the Democratic opponent. And the state also reelected its GOP governor by a similar margin.
Seems like this lopsided political organization should lose their tax-exempt status.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

The War On Women Meme Is Dead

A favorite talking point from Democrats since the campaigns of 2010 has been the War on Women.  This mostly centers on a single issue - that of abortion, and to a lesser degree free birth control for all.  Democrats claimed that Republicans are the anti-woman party due to pro-life plank in the Republican Party platform.  The media was only too happy to oblige and promote this meme.

Democrats assume that women are single issue voters.  Women voters now make up the majority of the voting population so Democrats thought this was a winning tactic.  It worked among some voters for a couple of election cycles.  Apparently voters have wised up now.  Democrats have overplayed their line.

The War on Women was extended to peripheral issues.  GOP votes down a redundant equal pay for equal work bill?  War on Women!  GOP votes down a minimum wage increase at the federal level? War on Women!  GOP votes against federal monies going to Planned Parenthood for abortion services?  War on Women!

President Obama was a big cheerleader for this nonsense.  Recently, he was heard on the campaign trail to say, "The idea that my daughters wouldn't have the same opportunities as somebody’s sons." "that’s unacceptable”.

The so-called Republican "war on women" was never really a thing — and now it's not even a thing that works.It's hard to pinpoint when the canard started (sometime around 2010) — but its maiden voyage might have begun in earnest the night of February 7, 2012, during a debate in New Hampshire, when, apropos of nothing, moderator George Stephanopoulos asked the Republican candidates a complete non sequitur: Should states have the right to ban contraception? Some later speculated that Stephanopoulos might have been helping Obama concoct that narrative. Whether or not this was coordinated, he certainly seems to have contributed.The term was subsequently used as an attack on anyone who supported restrictions on abortion, or thought it inappropriate for taxpayers or employers who believe it violates their rights of conscience to be required to pay for someone else's birth control. And, for a while, the allegation seemed to have a real impact, helping defeat Republican men like 2010 Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck, who was painted as a "sexist." Other Republicans seemed to invite these attacks by talking about things such as "legitimate rape."

Wendy Davis ran as the Democratic nominee in the 2014 Texas Gubernatorial race. She was the perfect candidate for Democrats as she had filibustered a pro-life bill in the Texas Legislature in the last session. Her filibuster ultimately failed but her fifteen minutes of fame soared. She was the darling of liberal America. She even got a book deal out of it, which conveniently put the book tour at the same time as her campaign for governor.

Here is what happened on Election Day in Texas:

Exit polling for the 2014 Texas Gubernatorial race produced this breakdown between men and women voters:

Greg AbbottWendy Davis
Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate, won the majority of both men and women in Texas.
The meme, popular for the last two election cycles, no longer applies
Accusing Republicans of hostility to contraception, for example, may work as a way of motivating marginal voters in presidential years, when they just need a little nudge to go to the polls. Not so in the midterms.
The Democrats thought for sure that this was the winning story line for Wendy Davis in Texas.  Why, that book of hers even told her own abortion stories. See, women.  Wendy is just like you.

Except she's not.  Wendy Davis did not speak for conservative women.  Conservative women are not single issue voters.  Looks like Democrat women aren't so much single issue voters anymore either.  The myth has exploded. Independent leaning women voters aren't accepting the War on Women mantra anymore either.

All across America, Republican women were elected to office.  

Good riddance, War on Women.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Governor Christie Wins Big On Election Night

Harris County remained solidly in the Republican column on Election Night.  As the country's third most populous county, this is crucial. This sends a message to Democrats from the local level all the way to Battleground Texas and the former Obama people. Texans who voted kept the state in Republican control on the local and state level.

Wendy Davis was soundly defeated.  Despite backing from Hollywood, national Democratic leaders, and liberal women around the country, her ugly campaign did her in.  One of her campaign ads made the list of the ten worst campaign ad in the country.  Now, as a bonus, Republican woman Konni Burton has won Davis' Texas Senate seat.  Bye, girl, bye.

The big winner of the night was Governor Chris Christie.  As the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, he was a warrior on the campaign trail for the election of Republican gubernatorial candidates around the country.  Those concerned about the appeal of Christie as a possible presidential candidate can rest easier.  The GOP took back control of state governments in unprecedented ways.  Think about this - the new governor of very Blue State Maryland is a Republican. The same is true of Illinois. And Massachusetts.

Christie, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association, lauded the quality of the GOP’s candidates in Tuesday’s races. Republicans seized control of the Senate by gaining at least seven seats, and also made a strong showing in gubernatorial races, winning in Maryland, Arkansas, Illinois and Massachusetts.
The victories at the state level are crucial for future party successes.

Thank you, Senator Udall, for giving the War on Women the funeral it so richly deserves. Incumbent Senator Udall made the so-called Republican War on Women the central issue in his race for re-election and ended up being mocked for it - he earned the nickname of "Senator Uterus".

Republicans elected the first female Senator from the state of West Virginia, Shelley Moore Capito ; the first black female Republican in Congress, Mia Love of Utah; the first female veteran to the U.S. Senate, Joni Ernst of Iowa; the first Hispanic woman Lt Gov in Illinois, Maria Rodriguez;  re-elected the first female Indian - American, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley; and the first female Republican Hispanic Governor, Susanna Martinez of New Mexico.

It was a good night for Republicans around the country.  A really good night.  Now for the hard part - governing.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Landrieu Says The South is Racist and Sexist

How do we know that Democrats are facing some troubling poll numbers as early voting in many states comes to a close before Tuesday's general election?  The divisive political rhetoric is in full throat with everyone from President Obama to Senate candidates like incumbent Senator Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.  
Here is what Landrieu told NBC's Chuck Todd when she was asked why President Obama would not be particularly well received in Louisiana to campaign for her re-election:
“I’ll be very, very honest with you. The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans,” the senator told Todd. “It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader.”Landrieu also said that Louisiana was a tough place for women as well. “It’s not always been a good place for women to present ourselves,” she added. “It’s more of a conservative place.”
She started out with the usual race baiting and then moved into claims of sexism.  Perhaps she forgot that the last Governor before the current one was a woman.  Yeah, well, we'd all like to forget her and her utter incompetence in handling Hurricane Katrina.

When the push back on this insipidness began from the Louisiana Republicans, Landrieu doubled down as she offered her explanation:

In a statement released Friday evening, Landrieu defended herself against people trying to “twist” her comments. After clarifying that the president’s energy policies are the “main reason” for his unpopularity in Louisiana, the senator addressed the backlash over her race comment.“[T]he South has not always been the friendliest or easiest place for African-Americans to advance, and it’s been a difficult place for women to be recognized as the leaders we are,” Landrieu said, echoing her initial statement. “Everyone knows this is the truth, and I will continue to speak the truth even as some would twist my words seeking political advantage.”
Mary Landrieu has been in elected office since 1980.  She has the advantage of being a part of a political family in Louisiana.  She knows exactly what she is doing when she says such remarks to the media.  

The Democrats have nothing of note to run on for re-election and they face another shellacking this mid-term, just as the last one.  It's desperate times for them.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The War on Women Game

Carly Fiorina has a plan to combat the War on Women game played by Democrats pandering to women and Independents voters.  As we know, women now make up the majority of voters.  Elections are won by appealing to the majority of Independent voters, as well as getting out your own party's voters with a solid, well implemented ground game for early voting and on election day.

Part of the problem with the GOP’s current strategy (or lack thereof) to combat the Left’s “war on women” narrative is that there’s too much talk and not enough action and accountability.Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and a former Senate candidate, has a plan she says is based on results instead of speeches and lectures.“As a business person, results matter to me,” Fiorina said when she spoke to the Washington Examiner. “So words are nice, but in the end words don’t change that much.”Fiorina came up with the idea for her plan, the Unlocking Potential Project, after she gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March 2014. In the speech she took on the “war on women” narrative aggressively, noting that women make up 54 percent of voters.
Women are not single issue voters.
“We’re not some special interest group and please don’t insult us by saying all we care about is reproductive rights, whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice,” Fiorina said. “I happen to be pro-life. But there’s more to women than that debate, there’s more to women than the debate about birth control.”
Fiorina is right.  It is insulting to assume that women solely are concerned with one issue or another. The War on Women meme began when all else failed for Democrats on the social issues.  You may remember that during the re-election of President George W Bush, it was all about national security and the threats of terrorism on our shores.  Women voters swung over to him in the aftermath of 9/11/01 - they were called "security moms".  Before that women were referred to as "soccer moms" as it was presumed that women cared most about family issues and children, therefore more women voted for Democrats. To further exploit that line of thinking, the War on Women emerged over recent arguments about the so-called rights of women to tax payer funded birth control.  Obamacare has provisions for federally funded birth control.  Free birth control is assumed to be a human right now, according to Democrats.  It's all rather silly when one looks at it from a realistic approach - most standard prescriptions for basic birth control pills cost about $7.00 per month.  The issue clearly isn't about birth control.  It is about the larger issue of employer paid health care insurance.  Thus, the legal wrangling and debates.

And, over the battle of equal pay for men and women, Democrats like to say that those mean Republicans don't want women to make as much money as men in the work place.  Paid partisans like to give the press tantalizing quotes to make headlines and sometimes that come back in a bad way.

Maybe you remember this one:

"Scott Walker is giving women the back of his hand"  said Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC Chair. Walker is the Republican governor of Wisconsin running for re-election. She said this as the issue of domestic violence was all over the air waves and newspapers due to stories relating to that issue and professional athletes.  She later had to apologize for her crude remark.

We Republicans have our own communications problems. We also make the mistake that voters won't take such nonsense seriously.  We know better so we assume that everyone knows better.  Unfortunately, that is not the case with most of today's voters. We can fix that and allow successful Republican businesswomen to lead the way.  Carly Fiorina has taken the right first step.  Republican women have to step up and state that Democrats don't speak for us. She has several ads out in states that can be in the GOP win column to take back control of the U.S. Senate.  You can see ads she has done for Iowa, North Carolina, and New Hampshire, for example, HERE.  Targeting specific races is how she is reaching voters.

Republican Women lead the way.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Which Cable Network Airs More Republican Campaign Ads?

This is a chart found online which shows the cable networks and the percentages of money spent from both Republican and Democrat campaigns.  You may notice the obvious - the majority of Republican ad money is spent on networks believed to fit into the stereotype that the party is traditionally older, whiter and not much for diversity.  

It's time to switch out that kind of thinking and reach outside of the normal comfort zones.  Preaching to the choir doesn't increase the number of voters in the Republican column.  Even on the Food Network the difference is almost 50% - 38.57% GOP and 61.43 Democrat.  What's up with that?  I know this chart doesn't represent the majority of my television viewing and I surely can't be alone in that.  

Surely it is worth more investment in reaching Independent voters needed to win elections.  

You may think that FOX and MSNBC would be the most partisan when it comes to running political ads.  This proves to be wrong, in this survey.  

As cable networks take up a bigger percentage of viewer eyeballs, campaigns are spending more on those networks than ever before. A new study by Echelon Insights, a Republican firm that specializes in digital and advertising strategy, found that Republican campaigns tend to buy cable spots on channels aimed at men, while Democrats are buying more spots on channels that draw more women and young viewers.It’s little surprise that the overwhelming number of political advertisements on Fox News come from Republicans: GOP candidates accounted for 84 percent of Fox’s ads. A similar number, 85 percent, of ads on MSNBC come from Democrats.But the news networks are only the second-most partisan channels. Echelon found that 93 percent of political ads on the Golf Channel are paid for by Republican candidates and outside groups. And 94 percent of the political spots on the E! Network are sponsored by Democrats and their allies, making it the bluest network in America.
Attention shifts a bit, as you would expect, from primary season into the general election time frame.

Because of Fox News’ overwhelmingly Republican viewership, its relative value to political campaigns changes over time. Echelon’s analysis shows Republicans advertised most heavily on Fox News, almost to the exclusion of other channels, between February and late March, and again in late June — both times when expensive primary battles made access to conservative eyeballs essential to success.After primaries, Republican cable dollars expanded across many other networks. Similarly, Democrats tended to gravitate towards MSNBC earlier in the year, when primary voters were about to cast their ballots. 
By taking a look at the results, as itemized in three separate charts in this piece linked above, the Golf Channel used most by Republicans is also the most expensive cable channel for advertising.