Monthly Archives: June 2010

Were There Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq?

The following links were compiled by Torey Dawn Hughes of Las Vegas, Nevada:

The Iraq War authorization listed WMD as one factor in a list of reasons for invading Iraq. The war was never exclusively about WMDs; e.g., the humanitarian aspect (for one) was in the resolution. The House and Senate voted and authorized and funded the war. The justification is here: Continue reading

The Elena Kagan Supreme Court Nomination: Democrats Show Double Standard by Gregory Hilton

Elena Kagan, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, will be easily confirmed. Her views on partial birth abortion, gun control (she had compared the NRA to the KKK), and military recruitment at Harvard Law School when she was Dean, will all be mentioned on the Senate floor. Continue reading

The Battle Begins: New Jersey Goes Into Special Session by Gregory Hilton

The battle for New Jersey begins on Thursday. After three months of town hall meetings where he aggressively campaigned for budget cuts and his reform agenda, Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) this morning called the Democratic state legislature into special session.
Christie has already closed half of the state’s $11 billion budget gap. Now he is asking for a 2.5% property tax cap along with 33 proposals to help local governments cut taxes and reduce their budgets. Over 200 Mayors including liberal Cory Booker (D-Newark) are backing the Governor’s reform package, and it is also supported by 67% of NJ residents.
Christie says he may be a one term Governor, but NJ can no longer remain the nation’s number one high tax state. In every town meeting he reminded residents that taxes are going up again this year because of the legislature.
The Governor is also seeking a Constitutional amendment on this November’s ballot which would stop property tax increases. It would force towns and schools to scale back salaries and benefits of their unionized workforces. It would create permanent change by making future tax increases dependent on a public referendum.
It would have to pass the legislature by July 7th to make it on to the November ballot. Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) met with the Governor this morning and said:

He wants us to be in session every day until July 7th. He can force us into special session but he can not force us to vote on his measures. We will give his proposals a hearing but the Constitutional amendment is not going to be on the ballot this year, because it’s not realistic or reasonable.

Sweeney says voters should trust Democrats to do the right thing. Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan (D) was in the same meeting and told the press the special session is an example of Christie’s arrogance and it will not be productive. Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) says “The Constitutional cap is out.”
Tom Moran of the Newark Star-Ledger says after Christie’s unexpected victory in cutting the budget, “Democrats are retreating in chaos. They stumble through the hallways of the capitol like a defeated army, complete with grousing about their generals.”
“We have not found our footing,” said Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D). “I think a lot of people underestimated Chris Christie.” Gov. Christie says the state can no longer continue with business as usual where spending on schools and public employees keeps skyrocketing.
He wants them to cut back on administrative costs, salaries and benefits. Public employees do not pay for their health benefits, but Christie wants them to pay 1 to 1.5%.
Christie says lower and middle class working families have had to cut back while public employees have been exempt. He also says wealthy residents have been fleeing the state for years. The Governor says “This is the moment. This is it. We’re in the middle of a crisis.”

Iraq’s WMD, the Last Debate With Senators Byrd and Kennedy by Gregory Hilton

The two lions of the Senate are gone now, but their unfortunate legacy in national security policy remains. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) would have been shocked to see today’s Boston Globe which reports his GOP successor holds not only his Senate seat, but also his decades long claim to be the most popular politician in the Bay state. Continue reading

The Backlash: Sarah Palin Angers Her Core Supporters by Stacy Slaybaugh Arena

Editorial Note by Gregory Hilton: I seriously doubt former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) will be a presidential candidate in 2012. She resigned from office, has high negative ratings, and only 24% of Americans say they are comfortable with her. Nevertheless, she has proven to be a major if not decisive factor in several GOP primaries this year.
The article below is by one of my favorite political strategists, Stacy Arena, who was co-founder of the Facebook group “I Support Sarah Palin.” Stacy’s enthusiasm for Palin diminished this year. She resigned from the group and her new page is called “Sarah Palin Stay Out of State Races.”
Stacy says “Having once been a proponent, supporter and defender of Sarah Palin, starting this group is bittersweet for me. As much as I still believe in her message, I question her grasp of the power she holds in today’s political landscape.”
Stacy’s article focuses on South Carolina, but I am far more concerned about “The Palin Factor” resulting in the possible loss of four U.S. Senate seats.
Palin Has Had a Major Impact on the 2010 Campaign
Some of Palin’s endorsements, such as former Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA), have been wise. She angered evangelicals and even Branstad said he was surprised but pleased to receive her backing. The real reason was presidential politics.
The first in the nation presidential precinct caucuses are held in Iowa, and Branstad’s opponent was the 2008 chairman of the Huckabee campaign. Huckabee and Palin could be competing for the support of social conservatives two years from now. Palin joined Mitt Romney with similar endorsements in Iowa, South Carolina and Arizona, where she was willing to oppose factions in her conservative base by enthusiastically backing the re-election of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
The campaigns of Senate candidates Rand Paul (R-KY) and Carly Fiorina (R-CA) both said Palin’s endorsement was a decisive factor. Julie Soderlund, Fiorina’s deputy campaign manager told ABC News: “When we earned her endorsement, we saw support for Carly increase literally overnight.” Support for former Rep. Tom Campbell completely collapsed when Fiorina received Palin’s seal of approval.
Nikki Haley, the GOP gubernatorial nominee in South Carolina, also gives Palin tremendous credit, “Gov. Palin is great because she is a national figure that has gone out and taught people the power of their voice. What we saw while creeping up in the polls was that she absolutely gave us a boost when we needed it.”
Palin Has Been Controversial
The former Governor has made endorsements in primaries where every candidate was a right winger, but the “Constitutional conservatives” she backed are controversial and could be defeated in a general election. The GOP Senate candidates in this category are Rand Paul (KY), Joe Miller (AK) and Clint Didier (WA). Sharron Angle (R-NV) was endorsed by the Tea Party Express, and is often referred as “The Sarah Palin of Nevada.”
While she is ahead of the Senate Majority Leader, Angle is still running 15% behind the GOP gubernatorial candidate. Many of these candidates are isolationists and protectionists.
They want America to pull out of the United Nations, and they are enthusiastically backed by libertarians. In thanking Palin for her support, Nikki Haley said “The truth is we had a movement in South Carolina. The movement was not about being Republican. It is about being conservative.”
Haley’s three primary opponents were in strong disagreement. They all proclaimed themselves to be solid conservatives, and unlike Haley, they had track records going back decades to prove it.
We will not know until after the November election if Palin has had a positive or negative impact on the 2010 campaign. She has increased her stature with many tea party members and advocates of “Constitutional conservatism”, but at the same time she has angered many of her most stalwart supporters from the 2008 campaign.

The Backlash: Sarah Palin Angers Her Core Supporters by Stacy Slaybaugh Arena

I no longer support Sarah Palin. My new group is not an attempt to bash the former Governor. I hope it will lead to a serious discussion of “‘The Palin Factor” in state races, and how her endorsements are leading to a decline in GOP prospects this November.
Palin needs to understand that “With great power comes great responsibility.” She has been inserting herself into a wide variety of state races. Her core supporters do not understand her vetting process. They also do not understand why she has been endorsing and promoting candidates which are in clear opposition to the conservative cause.
Many conservatives see Palin’s actions as arrogant and disrespectful to voters of states she is visiting. She cannot know each states unique issues, and most importantly, she doesn’t have to live with the consequences of her actions.
From personal experience, I know Palin’s endorsement of Nikki Haley in the South Carolina gubernatorial primary trumped all discussion of the issues. Because of Palin, Haley received tremendous media attention. Journalists started to call it “The Palin Factor.”
Haley was not the most conservative candidate in the primary, but after the Palin factor, she was certainly portrayed in that manner. Haley won the primary in a landslide. South Carolina is a very red state and 2010 is an excellent Republican year.
The national media attention has moved on, but they could be back again in November if Haley loses. Haley was not the best Republican candidate for a general election, and now an upset is possible. Nikki Haley is an inexperienced moderate who claims to be a conservative.
The Democratic nominee is State Sen. Vincent Sheehan, a former prosecutor who has already been endorsed by the powerful Chamber of Commerce. They refused to back Haley in the primary, and many Republicans feel the same way. A “Republicans for Sheheen” organization has already been formed. The Palin Factor has torn the state GOP apart.
The former Governor has clearly demonstrated her power and appeal, but the result of the Palin factor is that many primary voters stopped doing their own vetting. South Carolina is just one of several states in which Palin’s endorsements are wreaking havoc. Right now Palin appears to be a king maker, but her political judgement may be reassessed after the November election.

Conservative Division Could Re-Elect Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) by Gregory Hilton

There is another tremendous opportunity for Republicans to gain a U.S. Senate seat, but the victory could be snatched away by Sarah Palin and the libertarians. As the poll below demonstrates, liberal Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) is now in a 47% to 47% tie with former State Sen. Dino Rossi. This is the fifth month in a row that Rossi has been within striking distance of the incumbent.
Rossi was defeated in 2008 by Gov. Christine Gregoire (D). She kept telling voters the state had no deficit. Rossi on the other hand warned of at least a $3 billion deficit. It was not until a few months AFTER the election that Gregoire revealed that Washington had an $8 billion deficit. Rossi has a powerful message but he will not get to tell it if he is defeated in the GOP primary by former NFL player Clint Didier.
Sarah Palin will be campaigning for Didier and he already has Ron Paul’s endorsement. Didier portray’s himself as the anti-DC candidate. However, he has received nearly $273,000 in federal farm subsidies. He put his property in a land bank and the government pays him to grow nothing. The taxpayers are actually making the payments on his property so he has time to go around and bash the government.
Ron Paul and Clint Didier are a perfect fit. Didier is a 100% isolationist who wants America to give up its veto power in the UN Security Council. He says “The United Nations has failed. I want the United States out of the United Nations, and the United Nations out of the United States.”
He foolishly accuses the United States of “empire building,” and compares America to European nations which were seeking colonial empires.
Didier says “We need to stop trying to police the world and telling other nations how to manage their affairs. America is a republic; therefore let’s stop trying to spread democracy.” There is no American political figure who wants our nation to police the world, and our troops are battling terrorists and keep us safe.
Didier is also angry at George W. Bush for not submitting a declaration of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Furthermore, Didier is a protectionist who opposes NAFTA, CAFTA and America’s membership in the WTO.
Sarah Palin was foolish to endorse Didier and I am disappointed she will be campaigning for him.

Republicans Should Not Support Rand Paul: We Must Sacrifice the Kentucky Senate Seat by JD Sparks

The JD Sparks Family of Kentucky

Editorial Note by Gregory Hilton: JD Sparks frequently makes insightful comments. He lives in Kentucky and I can understand his frustration with Rand Paul and the isolationist libertarians. JD is a member of the bipartisan group, “Kentuckians Against Rand Paul.”
My top priorities are national security, foreign policy and economic issues. I would not have a big problem supporting a moderate to conservative Democrat, but that is not the choice in Kentucky. Attorney General Jack Conway (D) is a big spending cap and tax liberal.
The moderate Democrat, Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, lost in the primary. He came within 1.2% of defeating Sen. Jim Bunning (R) six years ago. I could never support a liberal such as Conway, but I also have to admit JD has many valid arguments.

Republicans Should Not Support Rand Paul: We Must Sacrifice the Kentucky Senate Seat by JD Sparks

I am a loyal Republican but I can not vote to elect Rand Paul to the United States Senate. It would be similar to supporting KKK leader David Duke when he was the GOP Senate nominee in Louisiana many years ago. Republicans should stick to their principles and platform, and sometimes it is necessary to lose a battle in order to win the war.
Jack Conway is a liberal, but Rand Paul’s election would have even worse implications for the future. We all want to cut the deficit and reduce the size of government, but Rand Paul will not help us. He is totally unreasonable and will fight the GOP just as hard as many of us are fighting the Democrats. He wants to transform the Republican Party, and has already said that is his agenda.
He admits that he is running as a Republican because he can not win as an independent. Over 70% of his money is from out of state and his candidacy is being promoted by Code Pink, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and
This is the wrong direction for the GOP and Paul has already said he may not support and will push to have our senior Senator, Mitch McConnell, removed as the Republican Leader. This would be an enormous setback for Kentucky.
Rand Paul will make the citizens of Kentucky appear to be fools. He has already embarrassed us in front of the nation with his racist comments on civil rights and fair housing, and is clearly unqualified for the U.S. Senate. The smartest thing he has done is breaking with his father on several issues and avoiding the national news media.
Sorry, but I don’t want a country where we have “no Christians allowed,” “no whites allowed” or “no blacks allowed” signs on Main Street. I want to keep the days of segregation buried in the past, but Rand Paul thinks that era was A OKAY.
It is very painful for me to say this, but Republicans must sacrifice the Kentucky seat we currently hold in the U.S. Senate. I am going to concentrate on helping Republicans in other states. We can not inflict Rand Paul on the nation. We need to keep our self respect and demonstrate that Kentucky is not run by conspiracy theory advocates.
Ran Paul is not a Republican and has always demonstrated his disdain for the GOP. His foreign policy is well to the left of the Obama administration and he is dangerous to our national security.
I can not directly vote for Jack Conway, but I certainly can not support Rand Paul. I could never look in the eyes of my half Japanese children and tell them it was acceptable to have Rand Paul represent us in the Senate. I need to tell them that Republicans are the party of Abraham Lincoln and that their father went public with his opposition to Rand Paul.
We can fight a liberal Democratic Senator all the way. As Lisa Graas has written:

I sincerely believe that anyone who supports Rand Paul’s candidacy is complicit in an attempt to destroy the Party of Lincoln. You may succeed in gaining a Senator who has an “R” after his name, but he won’t be a Republican. He will be a ‘RINO’ — Republican in Name Only — a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Rand Paul is the ultimate RINO and if he wins we will be told to shut up, sit down and obey his lunacy because we all need to be good little Republicans. We will be expected to remain silent while Rand Paul trashes the GOP on a daily basis. With a Democrat we can at least be the loyal opposition.

We Are Still Suffering Because of Sarah Palin’s Mistake by Gregory Hilton

Sarah Palin has had a big impact this year, but sometimes it has been in the wrong direction. Her endorsement in the Kentucky Senate primary was decisive, and it has terrible implications for the GOP.
She is probably not familiar with Adam Kokesh and the Iraq Veterans Against the War. If they were Democrats, I would not pay any attention to them. They always want to blame America first and they are to the left of Speaker Pelosi. Kokesh is a Republican and a close associate of Senate candidate Rand Paul (R-KY). Kokesh and Paul have done a video interview about “their movement” to take back the Republican Party, and the libertarian heart throb says he is being urged to emulate Kokesh. Plenty of information about Kokesh is available in the link below. Continue reading

The Wisdom of Jane Pontarelli by Gregory Hilton

The recently engaged fashion model Miranda Kerr

My quote of the day is from my friend Jane Pontarelli, who is well known in the Palm Beach and Hampton’s charity world. In the 1970s, Jane was a Playboy bunny and her comment today was about the engagement of actor Orlando Bloom and fashion model Miranda Kerr. Bloom previously said he would “never be snagged,” but Jane believes his proposal is understandable, “Miranda has my old body. Now I know where it went!”

The Constitutional Conservatives: Is This the Right Direction for the Republican Party? by Gregory Hilton

This has been a great year for self described “Constitutional conservatives.” They defeated establishment GOP Senate candidates in Kentucky, Nevada and Utah, and now have their sights set on Washington state, Colorado and Alaska. The Republicans they defeated were also conservative, and there was no major issue dividing them. Continue reading