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Why Democrats Are Panicked: It Is A National Security Election

Wednesday, September 24, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

PPP always has a “(D)” behind it to alert readers that it is a Democratic shop, and its polls could well reflect bias.

So when their latest has Tom Cotton 6 points atop incumbent (and invisible) Mark Pryor, the bell is tolling for Pryor.

As it should, given Pryor’s 97% support of President Obama.  Congressman Cotton is fond of listing the places throughout Arkansas where he has campaigned, looking for an Arkansan who agrees with the president 97% of the time and has been unable to find him –outside of D.C. and Senator Pryor’s office.

There is also good news this morning for Dan Sullivan in Alaska, with Sullivan up 3 in a PPP(D) poll.

Cotton –his campaign website is here– and Sullivan –whose campaign website is here– are both veterans of the war on terror, and it makes sense that as voters watch the meltdown of the president’s foreign policy and the spread of IS across the Middle East that they will value having combat vets in the Senate.  Iowa Army National Guard Lt. Col. Joni Ernst will also benefit from the sudden sobriety in an electorate that has figured out that the president was clueless about the “jayvees” as he was “leading from behind” for his five-plus years in office.

As news spreads today that the president’s vaunted coalition is actually more of a facade than a serious set of allies, recognition will go that the U.S. has been asleep at the switch for many years, led by a president in love with his Nobel Peace Price and dreams of a world that doesn’t exist.  Digging out of this hole will be a long process as it is as deep as the one dug by Bill Clinton’s fecklessness in the ’90s and chronicled by Lawrence Wright in The Looming Tower.

Whether Scott Brown in New Hampshire, Thom Tillis in North Carolina, Terri Lynn Land in Michigan, Ed Gillespie in Virginia, Bill Cassidy in Louisiana, or Cory Gardner in Colorado, voters are getting their absentees and beginning their early voting just as the country as a whole recognizes that the price of an amateur ideologue in the White House and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in the Senate and House is deep instability and growing danger.

The most recent debate between Gardner and his lockstep-with-Obama opponent Mark Udall turned on national security, and suddenly all across the country Democrats like Udall are having to defend their long time, rote defense of an administration that has defined forever fecklessness on national security and which has sliced Pentagon budgets and the nation’s military far beyond the bone.  As Congressman Rob Wittman –Chairman of the Congressional Shipbuilding Caucus– told me Monday, their is a growing recognition that there needs to be a huge “plus-up” in defense spending immediately, but only a GOP majority in the Senate will guarantee that this most anti-defense of president and reckless of senators Harry Reid will be obliged to get out of the way of the nation’s national security needs.

The backdrop of failures in Obamacare and tremors in the economy -especially housing– add to Democratic woes, but the generic ballot polling represents one thing more than anything else: The president and his Democratic allies have not been taking care of the common defense.  And voters are knowing.

 

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“A Path Appears” By Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

Tuesday, September 23, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Pulitzer winner Nick Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have combined to produce a riveting review of “what works” –at home and in abroad, in rich and poor countries, with start-ups and interventions, in A Path Appears: Transformimg Lives, Creating Opportunity.  The book layers take readers to very far away and grief struck places and to their open back yards and pushes forward the question “What really works” in the millions of efforts to “do justice and love kindness.”

A television series appears in January, and a web site covering both book and show is here.  Kristof and WuDunn can be followed on Twitter at @nickkristof and @wudunn, and there is of course a hashtag: #apathappears.

Kristof joins me on today’s show.

Transcript

Congressman Rob Wittman On Our Shipbuilidng Needs

Tuesday, September 23, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Virginia’s Rob Wittman, who represents the Commonwealth’s 1st CD, is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Proejection of the House Armed Services Committee as well as co-chair of the Congressional Shipbuilidng Caucus.  Very few people on the Hill are as knowledgeable about the Navy’s needs, both immediate and longer term, than Congressman Wittman.  Spread the link to this transcript around to your own congressmen and senators and ask them to get a clue in  a hurry about funding our Navy as it needs to be funded:

Audio:

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Transcript:

HH: This segment and next, I’m talking with Congressman Rob Wittman of Virginia’s 1st Congressional District. He is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Sea Power and Readiness. He’s also co-chairman of the Shipbuilding Caucus in the House. He’s the Chairman of the United States Naval Academy Board of Visitors. He knows his Navy. And Rob Wittman, welcome back, it’s good to have you, Congressman.

RW: Hugh, it’s great to be back with you. Thanks for the opportunity.

HH: Well, I was moved to call you this morning, because the New York Times has a very long and interesting story on the modernization of our nuclear deterrent, and tucked into that is a couple of paragraphs, the main job of one of the facilities is extending the life of a nearly 40 year old submarine warhead called the W-76. And I got to researching, I was in a shipbuilding facility last week, and got to learn that our Ohio class submarines start to run out of shelf life pretty soon. And you’re the chairman of the Shipbuilding Caucus. We’ve got to get very serious about replenishing our seaborne deterrent, don’t we?

RW: We do absolutely. In fact, it’s a very timely issue, Hugh. We had Admiral Richardson before the Shipbuilding Caucus just this past week to talk specifically about Ohio class replacement, how we’re coming along with the design on the next generation nuclear submarine, the SSBN-(X) as it’s termed, to determine where are we with schedule of design. My concern is this, Hugh. I still believe that we are going to be short of the time when the Ohio class submarines are retired, and when the new SSBN-(X) class of submarine is available. That will mean that we will have fewer submarines than what I believe we need to provide the necessary nuclear deterrent, which concerns me deeply. And these submarines, by the time they’re built, are going to be about $6 billion dollars a copy. So it’s not like you’re going to make that money up or make that time up if we don’t do something now. Now this year, in the National Defense Authorization Act, we put a place in the budget to specifically fund these submarines. Now the next step is to put money in it. And that’s going to be the key, I believe, next year, if we don’t properly fund the design and development phase of this so that we get the design complete, or mostly complete before we go to the yard, then this submarine could be delayed. And I can tell you if it’s delayed any more than what it’s already been delayed, we’re going to have problems. Continue Reading

Transcript

Ambassador Ryan Crocker On IS

Tuesday, September 23, 2014  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Former Ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon, Ryan Crocker, was my guest in hour two of today’s show.

Audio:

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Transcript:

HH: So pleased to welcome to the program for the first time Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Ambassador Crocker has served as our ambassador to Afghanistan, or ambassador to Iraq, our ambassador to Pakistan, our ambassador to Syria, and our ambassador to Kuwait and to Lebanon. He is now the dean of the Texas A&M University’s George Bush School of Government and Public Service. A real honor to speak with you, Mr. Ambassador, welcome to the Hugh Hewitt Show.

RC: Hugh, thanks, glad to be on.

HH: I want to begin with David Kirkpatrick today in the New York Times. He’s replaced John Fisher Burns as sort of the go-to reporter on the ground. And he writes today that after six weeks of American air strikes, the Iraqi Government’s forces have scarcely budged Sunni extremists of the Islamic State from their hold on more than a quarter of the country in part because many critical Sunni tribes remain on the sidelines. And he continues, the government struggles on the battlefield as the absence of the resistance of many of the Sunni Muslim tribes that officials in Baghdad and Washington hope will play a decisive role in the course of the fight. Mr. Ambassador, you worked with a lot of those tribes, and a lot of those sheiks. What’s it going to take to get them into this battle?

RC: Well, Hugh, they already are in the battle. Out in the province of Anbar, Western Iraq, the Sunni tribes, particularly the Dulaim have been in the fight since the spring. And they are the main force holding onto the provincial capital of Ramadi against ISIS. In the north around Mosul, it’s a somewhat different story. But you know, I do talk to these folks. I can tell you that the Sunnis up in Mosul have lost a huge amount at the hands of ISIS – property, lives, possessions. What they are looking for us to do is demonstrate that we really are all in on this, and we are going to stay all in. You know, for us, it’s will we or won’t we, how much is it going to cost and so forth. For them, it’s their lives. And just as we saw in 2007 with the awakening of Sunni tribes who turned against al Qaeda, they did it because they knew we had their backs. And I don’t think we’re quite there, yet in Iraq. Continue Reading

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