Friday, July 20, 2007

More Empty Statements From The Left

I just read that the Senate killed an amendment to require voters to show a photo ID when they go to the polls to vote. The final vote was 42-54. Interesting notes from the roll...

- No Democrat voted in favor of this amendment.
- 5 Republicans voted against this (Collins, Snowe, Murkowski, Sununu, and Voinovich)
- 3 of the 5 GOP Senators that voted against this are female (not to make any accusations, just found that interesting).
- Sam Brownback and Barack Obama sat this vote out, as they did on the "John Doe" amendment. Trent Lott also say this one out.

Remember all that talk about "fixing the voting system" from the Democrats? Looks like the Democrats are really in favor of "fixing the vote" their favor. This should be a no-brainer, non-partisan issue. Instead, every Democrat in the Senate that voted was basically voting in favor of voting fraud.

John Doe Amendment Killed

Good news, it garnered 57 votes in the Senate. Bad news, the amendment needed 60 votes to pass due to it's non-germaneness to the education bill it was attached to.

Of course, they had to attach it to an education bill because the amendment did not pass in the House as part of new Homeland Security legislation.

All 39 votes against the bill were by Democrats, including Jim Webb. 8 Democrats (including Hillary Clinton) and Joe Lieberman voted in favor of the amendment. So call Sen. Webb's office and thank him for denying you protection should you report suspicious activity that might be related to terrorist activities.

However, this is not over. Keep calling your Senators (Virginians, especially Jim Webb, as John Warner is on board with this), there is a final conference report that needs to be worked out, so this amendment could very well be revived.
Image courtesy of

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thompson Taking Over The Top Spot On Several Polls

However, the races are really, really close with Rudy Guiliani. I must say, though, I have no problem with either candidate, really. Before Fred Thompson caught my attention, I was a Rudy supporter, and I still think he is a fine candidate, as well.

Rasmussen Reports - Thompson 26%, Guiliani 21%
Harris Poll - Thompson 29%, Guiliani 28%
Zogby International - Thompson 22%, Guiliani 21%

Real Clear Politics, which averages out the national polls, has Guiliani holding an aggregate lead of 5 points (25%-20%) over Thompson. However, Guiliani's numbers are buoyed by some unusually large leads over Thompson (which also, coincidentally, have the highest numbers of support for John McCain).

The GOP primary is definitely shaping up to be a 2-horse race at the top, but it's still too early to make any definite projections at this time.

Cantor Putting Virginia First

Rep. Eric Cantor continues to have Virginia's interests at heart during his term on Capitol Hill. H.R. 2116 is the latest piece of legislation that he has introduced in the House of Representatives, and this bill is designed to expand freight rail operations. For those of us in the Valley that drive on I-81 often, this will relieve some of the constant truck traffic we have to compete with every day during our commutes.

I'm sure those who drive I-95 and I-64 often will appreciate Rep. Cantor's efforts as well. Good to see that a real rising star in Congress still puts Virginia's interests at the top of his agenda.

Read about a pro-rail group in Virginia endorsing Cantor's efforts at The New Dominion.

Liberal Blogger Sees NYC Steam Explosion, and Blames Bush

This was at the "Northwest Progressive Institute" blog, h/t Michelle Malkin.

"Regrettable accidents like this could be prevented if we spent our money on actual needs - like maintaining and enhancing our infrastructure instead of launching preemptive attacks against other countries and overextending the military force that is supposed to protect the people of this country, not incite more angry feelings toward America by serving as the de facto police force in another nation whose people do not want us there."

I'd say that whoever wrote this must be a huge advocate of socialism. Want to know why? The maintenence and enhancement of the infrastruction of New York City is the responsibility of...*drumroll please*...New York City! Not the federal government. So I'm failing to see the real connection between the failure of New York City to maintain their pipes (which, to be honest, are pretty aged) and our occupation in Iraq, which is maintained by the federal government.

The only connection can be made by socialist, because the fact is that this person advocates a heavy-handed federal influence and less responsibility and influence from the state and local levels of government...which is part of a socialist government.

Next thing you know, that explosion will be labeled an inside job, as well. Somehow, George W. Bush and his daughters will have placed bombs in those pipes the night before.

The Herd Continues to Thin Out?

Well, it seems that the race for the GOP nomination for President is continuing to thin out.

- Jim Gilmore is now out.
- Ron Paul's initial support is dwindling, to the point that he no longer qualifies for the Pajamas Media poll because his support in the Gallup polls has dropped under 1 percent.
- John McCain's campaign is in disarray and will most likely fold soon.

This reduces us to 8 contenders. I expect that by mid-fall, you will see a few more of the second-tier guys drop out. Expect Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, Rudy Guiliani, and Mitt Romney to make it through to the February primaries. As for the remaining 3, I don't think they'll make it that far.

But that's just me.

Dems Trying to Kill "John Doe" Amendment

The "John Doe" Amendment is a bill that protects citizens from lawsuits and harrassment if they report suspicious activity that might lead to a terrorist attack. This is part of a much larger set of Homeland Security legislation that come from the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

Democrats in both the House and the Senate oppose this protection, and believe it is right for groups like CAIR to get lawsuit-happy on citizen whistleblowers who are simply doing their patriotic duty to report suspicious activities and keep our nation safe.

Want more info? Read more about this at National Review Online, The Washington Times, Michelle Malkin, Little Green Footballs, Hot Air, and The American Pundit.

Or, let Congress know that pulling this amendment is wrong (h/t Michelle Malkin).

Congress Switchboard: 202-224-3121
Nancy Pelosi's Office: 202-225-4965

Protect the citizens, support the John Doe amendment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Those Pesky Abuser Fees...

You know, I'll be the first to admit that these new abuser fees (sponsored by Republicans and Democrats alike in the General Assembly) are awfully high and seemingly excessive. However, I do find it a bit odd that people are whining about being punished for driving over 15-20 miles over the speed limit, or driving under the influence/while intoxicated. I almost believe that people think they are entitled to do these illegal acts, at least with some of the verbage being tossed around.

Plus, it's not like all Virginians are suffering the burden of some new tax. Those who are abusing the privilege to drive on Virginia roads are bearing the brunt of this.

There will be no special sessions called to repeal these fees. In fact, there is only one surefire way to make these fees go away.

Simply put...just use better judgment when driving on our roads. Don't drink and drive, don't speed excessively, and don't act reckless behind the wheel. The simple tenets of what we're taught in Driver's Ed are all that we need to abide by to make the fees go away.

If the lawmakers can't raise the kinds of funds necessary to declare the fees a success, they'll eventually repeal the fees.

The biggest problem I had with this whole piece of legislation was that this only applies to Virginia drivers, and not the out-of-state drivers. Wait a minute, who can we blame for that one? Why, our Democratic governor himself, Tim Kaine.

So people, drive slower, avoid road rage, control your vehicles as best as you can, and don't drink and drive. THAT is how we'll eliminate these abuser fees from our lives.

Vogel Speaks Out On Illegal Immigration

Vogel, further proving that she is nothing like soon-to-be-former Senator Russ Potts, has begun voicing her opposition to illegal immigration, and praising efforts to crack down on illegal aliens. Vogel recently praised the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors for enacting a resolution to check the immigration status of anyone arrested in the county.

I commend the Loudoun Board of Supervisors on their action, and encourage other localities to follow in their actions,” Vogel said.

In comparison, it was a committee chaired by Russ Potts that blocked legislation that would have made illegal immigrants ineligible for in-state tuition.

This is another reason for citizens of the 27th Senate District to vote Vogel in November.

Full article at The New Dominion.

Jumping on the "weewa news" Bandwagon

Anytime an 11 year old sets out to do something that many of us fail to do, it should be commended. In this case, 11 year old William has created weewa news, which is dedicated to bringing positive news to the rest of us in the blogosphere.

I guess we could all take a hint from William every now and then :)

Monday, July 16, 2007

Podium Notes...

On a personal note, I will be out of town tomorrow and Wednesday, so very little (if any) blogging will happen on those two days. This is pretty much the last of my time off from The Podium for a while. This is as close to a real vacation as I am going to get, as the previous few weeks have been work-work-work, which leaves little time for blogging, obviously.

Anyway, I should have a Weekly Podium up sometime soon. Also, I hope Blogspot updates sometime soon, as I have this and 3 or 4 other blog posts posted that aren't showing...grrr.

UPDATE: Of course, the minute I post this, all of my other posts show up...figures. Peace kids, I'll be back on Thursday.

Larry Sabato Nails It

This quote from his most recent Crystal Ball column is very, very true.

"...the Democrats keep looking for another John F. Kennedy and the Republicans continue to search for a second Ronald Reagan; neither party will ever find its man."

While it's always good to look to the past to find inspiration for the future, as well as to not repeat the same mistakes twice, both parties need to realize that you can't simply attempt to find a clone of a previous leader. You need to find someone who will do great things for America in current times, as well.

That's why I like Fred Thompson. He embodies a lot of the aspects of Ronald Reagan that I like, and he has a certain demeanor that reminds me of Reagan, but I will never say that Fred Thompson is the second Ronald Reagan. Fred Thompson is Fred Thompson...simple as that. That's why I like him.

Question for the 24th State Senate District Bloggers/Voters

Many of you supported Scott Sayre. This we know, and this makes sense. Hanger has voted for tax increases, tuition relief for illegal immigrants, and insulted the grassroots. Sayre ended up providing a tough challenge for the well-entrenched incumbent Hanger.

Now, I you supporting Hanger due to the (R) next to his name. Ok, I can see the sense in that. Help the Republicans keep the majority, keep the General Assembly at least leaning towards the right. Potts and Chichester are gone, so that's two old RINO's outta there, already

However, given that Arin Sime represents many of the pro-Sayre/anti-Hanger talking points, and is probably likely to side with the GOP on many issues...why all of this sudden support for Hanger? I know STD mentioned something about how Libertarians are "wrong" on social issues (and that depends on which libertarian you talk to), Sime makes more sense than any other candidate on controlling spending and sensible budgets.

Social issues aside (because let's be honest, abortion and gay marriage are not the most pressing issues to the general populous of Virginia), it's time for Sime. I urge conservatives to take a second look at Arin Sime in the 24th before blindly getting behind Emmett Hanger.

Gilmore Gone...For Now

Ok, so Jim Gilmore is out of a presidential primary race that he really, to be honest, had no chance to win anyway. However, now the chatter is regarding a possible Gilmore run in 2008 for the retiring John Warner, or even another run at the Governor's mansion in 2009.

Either way, Gilmore evokes strong emotions on both sides of the coin. This is a gift and a curse for Gilmore, and much of his success depends on who wins the Presidency in 2008 and what kind of job they do. It also depends on who runs against him.

If a centrist Democrat ran against Gilmore, he would be in trouble. Gilmore is a solid conservative, and that stance will only help him if a Republican wins the 2008 Presidential election and manages to become at least mildly popular with the public. If a Democrat wins, Gilmore has to deal with a more left-friendly voting public.

If Gilmore draws an opponent who is a further-left Democrat, he could capitalize on that polarization, as I believe that Virginia voters (as a whole) would prefer a solid conservative over a solid liberal, if given the choice. This state is pretty much a "purple state", but it's still got heavier shades of red within that purple fabric.

Gilmore, however, has been around since the 90's as a name in the mouths of the political pundits of our state. Many believe that, in order for the GOP to have future success in Virginia, they need to bring out more "fresh faces".

Then again, we haven't seen much of Gilmore outside of the primary even though he's not a "fresh face", he's also been out of Virginia politics for quite a few years, now. Maybe Gilmore could reintroduce himself to the voting public. To be honest, it's not like there are many other GOP choices out there that aren't already stalwarts and common names in the Virginia political scene.

Blogs United Gets Some Press

The Daily Press covered the event. Kudos to Phriendly Jaime for getting quoted. I honestly wish I could have been there, but previously planned events kept me from attending.

However, the DWJ crowd kept me informed, lots of interesting events occurred this weekend. I will be there next year. Hopefully, I can get on one of these panels and throw in my two then, I should be better established in the blogosphere.

If not, I'll just show up, drink, and be merry. I just hope this event continues to be "united" and bipartisan in it's efforts. Otherwise, we're just exacerbating the Red/Blue divide.

Word of Advice for Environmentalists

There are ways of creating awareness of helping the environment. However, tact would be something to be considered when approaching those with a less-alarmist mentality. An example of this can be found in a book I am reading entitled A.D.K.A.R.: A Model For Change in Business, Government and our Community by Jeffrey M. Hiatt.

The example I am providing refers to how, in 1993, Green Hotels Association implemented a small change in how customers treated the bath towels, and ended up creating positive changes for both the hotels in the association, and for the environment as well. It started with a small card in each hotel bathroom that read as follows...

"Each day we use millions of gallons of water and tons of detergent in hotels to wash guest towels that have only been used once.

Decide for yourself. A towel on the rack means 'I will use it again.'

A towel on the floor means: 'Please exchange.'"

Within 10 years, the hotels that implemented the changes had shown significant reduction in both water and detergent use, which saved both money and resources. These cards can now be seen in over 150,000 hotel rooms worldwide.

Now, the point of all this is simple. There wasn't any forceful language in that notice that the association had provided. It was simply creating awareness and asking the customer to make a choice. This is what environmental alarmists need to do. Instead of the "Chicken Little" approach to trying to "educate" the masses to conserve energy, simple tact and spreading knowledge without threats, force, or simple bloviating would probably get their message out there without negative backlash. This way, you're allowing the American public to make their own decisions...instead of attempting to force change without the option to do so.

Of course, saying "this is the consensus" without getting an actual consensus doesn't help the credibility of these alarmists, either.

American Public Finds General Liberal Bias in MSM

This time, there are poll numbers to back it up, courtesy of Rasmussen Reports.

As you'll see, only Fox News has more of a perceived conservative bias. However, only NPR and Fox News have a higher "no slant" poll number than anything else. Where as CNN and the ABC/NBC/CBS crowd are seen more as liberal than anything else.

Nonetheless, these numbers are interesting, and show what the American public thinks.

Table is as follows: Blue for a liberal slant, Red for a conservative slant, Green for "no slant".

- ABC/NBC/CBS News - 39%/20%/25%
- CNN - 33%/16%/32%
- NPR - 27%/14%/37%
- Fox News - 15%/31%/36%