- The Washington Times - Monday, August 5, 2013

There is an emerging voter demographic for Democrats to ponder, one that gathers on Sunday with good cheer and deep thoughts: motivated and engaged churchgoers. Consider that 97 percent of theologically conservative pastors are registered voters, and the vast majority are Republicans.

“Church-going people can expect to hear encouragement from conservative pastors to get involved in the upcoming mid-term elections,” reports the Center for the Study of American Culture and Faith, a nonprofit research group that surveyed 413 conservative clergy and found that two-thirds say they plan to encourage their flock to get out and vote in 2014.

“It is likely that most pastors will personally model the kind of behavior they are encouraging from their flocks. The survey discovered that 97 percent of theologically conservative pastors are currently registered to vote,” the study says. “Two-thirds of them are registered as Republicans, with smaller proportions registered as independent voters (15 percent), Democrats (6 percent), or aligned with other political parties (7 percent).”

JUST SAY NYET

A dozen senators are not happy with a recent $572 million Defense Department contract with Rosoboronexport, a Moscow-based military-aircraft manufacturer that will now supply 30 helicopters destined for Afghanistan.

Led by Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, the group has sent a terse letter to Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, advising the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that while the Russian company “receives huge payments from DoD, it also continues to serve as a key enabler of atrocities in Syria, transferring weapons and ammunition to prop up the bloodthirsty regime of Bashar al-Assad.”

The signers also include Republicans Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Mark Kirk of Illinois, John Boozman of Arkansas, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Roger F. Wicker of Mississippi and David Vitter of Louisiana. The Democrats who signed the letter are Sens. Mark Begich of Alaska, Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy of Connecticut, Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

“While DoD’s relationship with this firm is troubling on many levels, the prospect that American taxpayers have been made into unwitting victims of Russian corruption demands special scrutiny,” the letter states.

“We are concerned by DoD’s apparent failure to consider the strategic implications of sourcing mission-critical military equipment from a potentially hostile power such as Russia,” the letter continues. “DoD’s preference for Russian helicopters will also make it highly difficult to achieve robust interoperability between the U.S. and Afghan helicopter fleets, which is in the long-term interests of both nations. These problems are self-inflicted, and this policy is extremely shortsighted.”

AND IN SUMMATION

“For the record, @BarackObama — when you’re forced to close a record amount of embassies, your enemy isn’t ‘on the run,’ you are.”

— Best-selling political thriller author Brad Thor, in a tweet on Monday.

PRIEBUS AND THE PETITION

First came loud complaints Monday from Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus to CNN and NBC, advising them to cancel to broadcast splashy documentaries on Hillary Rodham Clinton, possibly to air just as the 2016 presidential campaign roars to life. Broadcast the films and forget Republican participation in future candidate debates, Mr. Priebus cautioned the networks in a pair of stern letters.

Now comes the petition so that everyone else can weigh in.

Story Continues →