Around the South December 11, 2014

South Carolina: US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), one of the Senate’s leading hawks, blasted Senate Democrats for releasing the report on the CIA’s use of torture when interrogating suspected terrorists following the 9/11 attacks. “I believe its release at this time was politically motivated,” Graham said, as reported in Politico. Graham added, “The policies the Obama Administration has employed treat terrorists as common criminals, not enemy combatants. I’m convinced their criminalization of the war is causing our nation to lose valued intelligence which can help protect our nation.” US Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) also took issue with the report’s release ……. Louisiana: Jindal undecided, but… Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), appearing on Fox News Sunday wouldn’t say whether or not he is going to run for president, but he did say, “[T]his election is going to be about big ideas and big change,” and noted that he has big ideas and wants big changes. Hmmm ……. Kentucky: Paul the top contender? Perceptive political reporter Chris Cillizza, writing in the Washington Post, ranked the top ten candidates, out of a crowded field of as many as 23, for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. He placed US Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) as the most likely nominee, at this point. “Paul has a unique activist and fundraising base, thanks to his father’s two runs for president… he is the candidate furthest along in the planning process and the one with the most strength in early states.” Cillizza put Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) in the second spot, former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) in third.