Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain taps Sarah Palin as VP!

The GOP dream ticket is here. Sarah Palin, the 44-year old reformer who took on the Alaska GOP establishment, is running on the ticket with McCain. A youthful, dynamic political newcomer and reformer who has solid conservative credentials, Palin has the opportunity to become the first female vice president of the United States and will court independent women voters and disaffected Hillary supporters. Palin is one of the most popular elected officials in the nation--her approval rating is in the 80s.

While Obama chose to go with a blast from the past, McCain broke with the past and has opted for a fresh march to the future. Obama is ready to return to the politics of the past: big government, high taxes, expensive programs. Hope? Change you can believe in? More like change that you can recognize because it was tried in the 1960s and '70s. Obama proposes nothing new--more money, more regulation, retaining the status quo when it comes to excessive government regulation, restriction of energy sources, jobs fleeing overseas, failing schools, and a policy of non-intervention and timidity in world affairs. Do we really want four more years of Jimmy Carter? We've tried this before. Americans who want a clear break from the Carter years and a real change (grounded in actual policy proposals and accountability, not just more spending) from the Bush years should vote for the McCain-Palin ticket--independence, experience, reform--America First.

Back in March, we at the Konnection listed Palin as one of our top 10 VP pics for McCain. This is what we had to say about her then and we stand by it:

Young, attractive, beautiful, and savvy Alaska governor ran on ethics reform and has helped clean up the corruption of former GOP Governor Frank Murkowski. She was also the most popular governor in the nation--last summer, her approval rating hovered in the low 90s.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The gift that just keeps giving: Obama insults KC by mistaking it for St. Louis

Everyone from the KC metro knows that Kansas City and St. Louis are major rivals--from conventions and tourist dollars to legislative appropriations and funding, these two I-70 rivals have always fought to have the upper hand, and the 1985 World Series between the Royals and the Cardinals was a spirited demonstration of the intense rivalry between citizens of the two cities.

Barack Obama was in Kansas City tonight to speak to airline workers bracing for an upcoming round of layoffs, and while addressing delegates during the first night of the DNC in Denver by satellite, Obama mistakenly said he was in St. Louis. His daughter had to correct him by saying "where are you, Daddy?" to which Obama hastily mumbled, "oh, Kansas City."

Excuse me? I know that we should just expect these flaps (like when Obama said he had campaigned in all 57 American states, an odd flap unless he was thinking about the 57 internationally recognized Islamic states of the world), but this is getting ridiculous. It's an insult and slight to Kansas City when he confuses us with St. Louis--and he's spending the night here!

I expected more from the savior of the planet and the "The One." But it's not like St. Louis and Kansas City have similar sounding names, or are interchangable--the cities could not be more different--opposite sides of the state, opposite histories, opposite cultures.

Obama is either just lazy or completely uninformed and unprepared. In either case, these latest examples prove that the state senator and community activist from Illinois who has yet to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate is not ready to to be leader of the free world.

Joe Biden: Obama's gift to the Republicans

Thank you so much Barack Obama! You passed up your best opportunity to win (Hillary Clinton), you opted not to appeal to moderate voters in swing states (Evan Bayh, Tim Kaine), and you opted not to appeal to disgruntled female Hillary supporters (Kathleen Sebelius). Obama instead chose to play it safe and go with a longtime D.C. insider and power player. Looks like the candidate of change is quickly becoming the candidate of status quo.

Just what does Joe Biden bring to the ticket? He ensures Obama will win Delaware. Now Obama can be confident he'll win "The First State" by 12 points instead of just 10. Additionally:
  • Joe Biden has been in the Senate for 30 years--longer than McCain.
  • Biden's criticism of Obama from the primaries will be replayed by McCain--namely, that Obama is untested, unprepared and not experienced enough to be president
  • On an episode of Comdedy Central's The Daily Show, Biden said he would be honored to run on a national ticket with McCain because he believed the country would be better off
  • Biden's January 2007 comments, which will live on in infamy, especially with the twist of irony in Obama's selection of Biden as VP. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” he said. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”
  • Joe Biden voted against the first resolution to use force in the first Gulf War (1991) but voted for the authorization to use force against Iraq in 2003. Can someone explain this one to me? And since Obama railed against Hillary for her vote for the war, and used it as a battle cry for why he should be elected instead (citing his "judgment"), how can we now trust his judgment when he chose an opponent who voted exactly as Hillary did? If that one voted disqualified Hillary for national office, according to Obama, why does it not disqualify Biden?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What's in a label? (Conservative, Moderate, Liberal)

Lately, I've been pondering the use of labels by the local media outlets here in Kansas City and I think many are coming to the realization of how labels are incorrectly applied. For full disclosure, I consider myself a moderate conservative, but I've been called a liberal and a far-right conservative at different times (when you're running for office, it's especially entertaining to receive email side-by-side accusing me of representing opposite sides of the spectrum).

I find it revealing that in Kansas, according to our local news media, there is no such thing as a "liberal" Democrat. All Democrats are "moderates" (including Dennis Moore, who now votes with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats 97 percent of the time, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Nancy Boyda, and others). Despite liberal voting records and professed solidarity with the fringe of their party, Democrats in Kansas are always "moderates. On the contrary, at least according to Johnson County's own opinion tabloid The Sun, there is no such thing as a conservative, only "ultra conservatives." All other Republicans are moderates.

Other terms like "mainstream" are apparently owned and monopolized by certain special interest groups--attempts to use this age-old, un-registered moniker will land you in hot water by those who think they have enough money and influence to own words.

Of course, this phenomenon is not restricted to the local media. I cringe when I hvear McCain referred to as a liberal--he may not be very conservative, but he is no liberal--he has a solid pro-life voting record, has supported the military, and voted for spending limits, spending cuts and an end to earmarks. Mike Huckabee, on the other hand, is referred to as a conservative primarily for his pro-life and anti-gay marriage platform. Yet Huckabee supported increased taxes, increased spending, in-state tuition for illegal immigrants in Arkansas, and opposed school choice. Yet somehow, he is labeled by many as a conservative. And Rudy Giuliani, who is pro-abortion, is the best example of conservative city governance in American history and one of the most fiscally-conservative mayors in the country, is frequently referred to as a moderate or a liberal. And the best example--the media love to still refer to George W. Bush as a conservative despite a record over the last four years that deviates significantly from conservative principles.

Point of the story: these words are not owned by anybody, and be wary when supposedly non-partisan special interest groups and mainstream media outlets tend to use these terms as identifiers when referring to candidates and personalities. Do your own research--one or two issues does not identify you ideologically, or even a tendency to win elections on normally unfriendly turf for your party. Look at a candidate's record, their governing philosophy, their stance on a broad range of issues, and examine how a candidate approaches the issues, their role, their relationship with colleagues on the other side of the aisle, and their responsibility to their constituents. That matters much more than media or special interest-driven political labels of convenience.

Monday, August 18, 2008

You're either with us or against us: Dems punish another member for stepping out of line

Time and Time again, the Democrats have extended a fake olive branch to moderates and independent thinkers only to yank it back anytime a representative decides to vote their district or exercise their independent judgment.

We saw it with Joe Liebermann in 2006 and more recently here in KS with Mark Gilstrap, as he became the first KS Democrat and sitting incumbent to be betrayed and cannibalized by his own party and the sitting governor for daring to be pro-life and fiscally responsible. Also, just this week, Nancy Pelosi announced that if the Dems gain more seats in the Senate in this November's elections, Liebermann could be "punished" for his support of John McCain by being removed from certain committees and chairmanships he currently enjoys.

Now we have a California legislator who exercised her own judgment and voted against the Democratic-backed budget and now faces her punishment--the relinquishment of her Capitol office. See this story here.

The message Democrats seem to be sending: remain loyal to the party above all else (country, district, constituents) or face retaliation. It begins with losing chairmanships and other perks and will eventually lead to outright opposition by the highest officials in government: governors, sentators and congressmen.

The Dems on the federal level down to the state level seem to be saying arrivederci to any party member who refuses to advance the agenda of the extreme, leftist fringe. The Dems will find that this may be a good way to consolidate power, but it's not a smart strategy for retaining power.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Obama losing, McCain gaining key voting segments

McCain has gained on Obama among several key segments according to a new Zogby poll:

  • McCain has gained on Obama among several key segments according to a new Zogby poll:
  • Obama only has an 11-point edge now among voters 18-29 years old, leading 49-38 percent. McCain has gained 20 points
  • Obama now only leads by 5 points among women, 43-38 percent for McCain. McCain has gained 10 points on Obama
  • Obama has lost an 11 point lead among independents. He and McCain are now tied.
    Obama’s support among Democrats has dropped from 83 to 74 percent
  • Obama 11 point lead among Catholics has evaporated; McCain now leads Obama in the Catholic vote by a 15 point margin

    More on the findings of this poll can be found

Monday, August 04, 2008

Tomorrow is Primary Day...

Get out and vote!

Two Primary Endorsements...

The Konnection tends to stay out of primaries, but we are taking the unusual step of making a primary endorsement in two races. First, the Konnection wholeheartedly endorses Steve Howe for Johnson County District Attorney. One questions how effective Kline’s campaign will be if Kansas Democrats are able to tie every Republican running for office to Kline, resulting in a loss of several house seats in Johnson County and the major loss of the campaign season—Nick Jordan’s attempt to take out Dennis Moore. We have a chance to elect a Republican to congress and advance the Republican agenda locally, and all of that would be cast in serious doubt with a Kline candidacy. Is it really worth it to lose ground in multiple races across the state just to make a point? Tomorrow, Johnson Countians will have the opportunity to elect a seasoned prosecutor and committed conservative in Steve Howe.

Additionally, the Konnection endorses Lynn Jenkins in the 2nd District primary to take on Democratic incumbent Nancy Boyda. We want to stress that both challengers are worthy and good Republicans to take on Boyda, and we believe both can win (Boyda’s incompetence and ineptitude ensure a competitive race no matter what). We believe that in an election year where Washington establishment figures are more unpopular than ever, and voters are looking outside of Washington for problem-solvers, Lynn Jenkins offers the best hope to turn the 2nd district red again. Jenkins is running on a solid conservative platform—tax cuts, sealing the borders, and controlling spending—highlighting the failure of Republicans on those issues in the past and the need of Republicans to stick to these core principles if they ever want to be in power again. Ryun’s long tenure in Washington and record, while praiseworthy and solidly commendable for the most part, are not what voters seek at this time—they want outsiders, not insiders. The Kansas state treasurer offers the best chance to re-gain this seat for the GOP, and we trust that she will stick to her principles. Do we agree with Lynn on everything? Certainly not—we don’t agree with Ryun on everything either. But overall, Lynn’s platform strikes a tone and tenor of reform, the same type of reform that led Newt Gingrich and the Republicans to gain the House of Representatives in the revolution of 1994. It is that kind of aggressive, bold stand that we want to see from Republican candidates this year, and Lynn epitomizes local Kansas values of hard work and self-reliance, service to state and community, bold advancement of basic conservative ideals, and an agenda of congressional reform.