Saturday, August 4, 2007
From The American Prospect, which describes itself as "Liberal Intelligence"...
"As the Military and Progressives panel came to an end, a young man in uniform stood up to argue that the surge was working, and cutting down on Iraqi casualties. The moderator largely freaked out. When other members of the panel tried to answer his question, he demanded they "stand down." He demanded the questioner give his name, the name of his commander, and the name of his unit. And then he closed the panel, no answer offered or allowed, and stalked off the stage,
Wes Clark took the mic and tried to explain what had just occurred: The argument appears to be that you're not allowed to participate in politics while wearing a uniform, or at least that you shouldn't, and that the questioner was engaging in a sort of moral blackmail, not to mention a violation of the rules, by doing so. Knowing fairly little about the army, I can't speak to any of that. But it was an uncomfortable few moments, and seemed fairly contrary to the spirit of the panel to roar down the member of the military who tried to speak with a contrary voice."
Shout down those with opposing voices, that's real "open and honest" discourse.
A lot of mixed reactions at the site the above was posted, too. One reply from someone named Jon Burack summed it up well...
"If you want to know why most people roll their eyes when the Left says it does too support the troops this is the place to start. The Left's love affair with generals who criticize President Bush has been palpable in recent years. But just let a grunt in a uniform speak up in favor of the President's policies and, holy cow, run for the hills because fascist militarism is on the march. What a bunch of Harper Valley Hypocrites."
Well said, in my opinion. It's moments like these where any credibility to the claim of "we're liberals, we're against this whole war, and we're true patriots!" wanes considerably.
Video of the incident at Little Green Footballs.
As for the rule of the soldier not being able to speak in uniform, or even attend such a conference in uniform...this is actually true. However, this is the type of question/comment that this panel that had been assembled was supposed to address. Instead, this soldier was the only one who brought up an opposing view, and when the panel did their job and attempted to address the issue, the moderator freaks out and shouts him down instead.
As many people speculate, if that same uniformed soldier had spoken out against the war, he would have been cheered, saluted, and held up as "the true voice of the American soldier." I would be inclined to agree with this.
However, the Democrats aren't about to concede to the original vote. Steny Hoyer and company are still standing by the changed (and, as it stands, illegitimate) vote. However, Hoyer promises to work with John Boehner to create some sort of "compromise".
Riiiiight, the Dems change a vote after it is gaveled, erase the record of the original vote, and they think that the solution is some kind of compromise??? Talk about your "culture of corruption", it's staring us all RIGHT IN THE FACE, and it looks like a donkey.
Friday, August 3, 2007
I sense a feeling of anxiousness and impatience from many conservatives over Fred Thompson's non-announcement of an official candidacy. Being a Fred-head, I can't say I totally blame them. I do believe that the Labor Day weekend may very well be Fred's last chance to capitalize on the momentum he has built. Once he makes an official announcement, speculation suggests that many of those donors who have withheld their fundraising dollars will open up their wallets.
However, I do maintain that there is nothing wrong with Rudy Guiliani, either...so there won't be sour grapes from me if he wins the nomination.
However, for the first time ever, a Congressional vote has been reversed after it was gaveled to a close.
Why? Well, let's set stage for last night's shenanigans...courtesy of The Politico (h/t to Virginia Virtucon, bold emphasis is mine).
"The rancor erupted shortly before 11 p.m. as Rep. Michael R. McNulty (D-N.Y.) gaveled close the vote on a standard procedural measure with the outcome still in doubt.
Details remain fuzzy, but numerous Republicans argued afterward that they had secured a 215-213 win on their motion to bar undocumented immigrants from receiving any federal funds apportioned in the agricultural spending bill for employment or rental assistance. Democrats, however, argued the measure was deadlocked at 214-214 and failed, members and aides on both sides of the aisle said afterward.
One GOP aide saw McNulty gavel the vote to a close after receiving a signal from his leaders – but before reading the official tally. And votes continued to shift even after he closed the roll call - a strange development in itself.
. . .
The House eventually recessed at 11:18 p.m. But Republicans quickly discovered that there was no longer any record of the controversial vote and immediately charged Democrats with erasing the bad result."
Now, Dems claim they beat the vote, 216-212, and that is what the new official tally says. The defeat of this now allows illegal immigrants to receive federal funds (like housing assistance and food stamps) under the Agriculture appropriations bill.
Basically, the House Dems cheated to take money away from poor American citizens to poor illegal aliens!
Rule .303, a Democrat, isn't happy about this at all, and says that even though he fought for a Dem Congress for 6 years, stunts like this will definite drive him to fight against the Dems.
That's two unprecedented acts of power-grabbing, GOP-shafting, and generally shady activity in the House by the Democrats within the past couple of months. Where's this honest, open, corruption-free majority we heard so much about last year?
Ol' STD bashes Arin Sime for being "wrong on same-sex marriage" and provides a link that supposedly proves this...only, there is nothing on that link that discusses same-sex marriage. Being an endorser of Sime's, I check his site often. I can tell you that there has never been anything on that website that discusses Sime's opinion on same-sex marriage.
STD claims to have "screen shots" that prove otherwise, but I sincerely doubt that he possess anything that hasn't already been run through Photoshop at least once. STD is attempting to take the stance that many libertarians have, and pin it on Sime before Sime has a chance to voice his own opinion on the matter...if he even has one.
He's supporting Hanger for party loyalty's sake...but he seems to support every stance that Sime has laid out so far (read them here).
So now "activists" are claiming that somehow the Geico Cavemen are racist against black people. All the commercials do is lampoon "moral outrage" over stereotypes (and promote supposedly cheaper auto insurance rates).
Looks like some people can't take the joke.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
His stance on the smoking ban is the same as mine (and many others, like phriendlyjaime).
Eileen's question on DGIF (which I felt she was trying to get the AG to say something she could jump on) was handled very well by the AG, when he replied with one sentence..."The long-standing, bipartisan, policy of this office is we do not comment on ongoing investigations."
So McDonnell doesn't have The Podium or Daily Whackjob as a favorite blog...boo! He does read some excellent blogs, such as Mason Conservative, Bearing Drift, and Sic Semper Tyrannis. I do like that he does have his staff keep an eye on the blogs, McDonnell knows the value of blogs in measuring the public mood.
Read all of McDonnell's answers here.
A few days ago, on hburgnews, there was a post where questions can be submitted to the many candidates for Rockingham Clerk of Court. Myron Rhodes, aka Republitarian, is one of the candidates.
One question was directed towards Myron from a "Mrs. Roadcap", who is a widow. The question went as follows...
"A few months ago Mr. Rhodes was very vocal on WSVA’s candid comment about his opinion that people who received social security benefits were “moochers”.
I would like Mr. Rhodes to explain why he feels that way.
I have retirement savings and a meager pension and Lord knows that I wouldn’t make ends meet without my social security benefits. And I know that I am not alone."
Now, I would have answered on the blog comments section, but it was not the proper forum to do so...the forum was "questions for the candidates". The person taking the comments also alluded to the fact that Clerk of Court has nothing to do with Social Security, but that it would make an interesting discussion for another thread.
Now, I don't know how Myron feels, but this is my response...
Social Security was, and always has been, a supplement to any pensions and savings you receive in retirement. To be honest, Mrs. Roadcap, you're an example of the purpose of Social Security. It is a supplement to your pension and retirement savings.
There are those, however, that feel that their entire retirement should be their Social Security pay, and that they are "owed" this by the government. That would not be the case, and it is not what the whole program was originally intended to be.
It is an interesting read, and does provide a different perspective with some of the numbers/facts thrown out there. I highly recommend it.
Chapman was facing charges of deprivation of liberty for the capture of convicted rapist Andrew Luster, former heir to the Max Factor fortune. It was this capture that led to Dog's fame. These charges were initially levied against Chapman because bounty hunting is illegal in Mexico, which is where Luster had fled to after jumping bail.
Luster is currently serving a 124-year prison sentence (he was charged with over 80 counts of rape).
Even though the decision can be appealed by the prosecution until August 8th, this is still good news. Chapman wasn't charged until right before the statue of limitations expired, and it was only done in exchange for a Mexican drug lord. So we got the drug lord we were looking for, and it also looks like Chapman will walk away a free man.
Sounds like how it 'oughta be...score one for the good guys.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
As Steve "Flash" Juon said in his review..."Through it all there's Common rapping time and again - soft-spoken but hard-hitting, eloquent without being esoteric... While having nothing to prove at this point in his career, long since having had the doors of both Hollywood and the music industry opened wide for him to stroll through, Common still finds his inspiration in everyday life and proves that he's as relevant as ever if not moreso. 'Finding Forever' is the album one should play for people who say they don't like rap music - he will undoubtedly prove them wrong."
In my opinion, Common is one of the few who have been trying to save hip hop from the doldrums it has been wallowing in for some time, now.
Here's the full RapReviews.com article/review by Juon, who is a very well-recognized hip hop critic.
While I'm normally very wary of unions, I'm a bit more lenient towards the ability for public safety unions to have bargaining power. As the son of a 29-year veteran of the D.C. Fire Department, I grew up around the fire department. These people are out there every day, saving lives and protecting the public...they deserve good salary and benefits.
The D.C. Fire Department has NEVER gone on strike. Let's hope that ability for the government and the unions to coexist and come to agreements spreads south into Virginia.
What goes around...comes around. Colgan had already squandered his incumbency advantage and made this race a toss-up in the eyes of many pundits (except NLS), this may very well put FitzSimmonds over the top.
Read about it at The New Dominion.
UPDATE...Bearing Drift shows that, when you get down to the votes, Democrats (and not just Tim Kaine, either) supported limiting the Abuser Fees to Virginia residents only.
Conservatives and Republicans...whether you are one and the same or not, both the ideology and the party are suffering through some hard times in the public eye. However, maybe if the Republicans got back to the priorities that won them the favor of the American public in the first place, things wouldn't continue the way they are.
Many pundits will point to Iraq or Bush's general unpopularity as the anchor that weighs down the GOP. However, I believe that the push of topics like gay marriage and abortion to the forefront of the GOP agenda is what is the true anchor to the party's ship.
Now, before many of you social conservatives get riled up and start firing off angry e-mails and comments, allow me to explain why.
During the first two Republican presidential debates, there were a lot of references to Ronald Reagan, and how his legacy should be used as an inspiration for conservatives and the Republican Party of the future. This is true...Reagan's legacy should be an inspiration for the future. However, I believe there is a gross misrepresentation as to what that legacy is.
Leaders of the so-called "Religious Right" has espoused the viewpoint that they "got Reagan elected" in the first place. They have lumped Reagan in with many of the religious conservatives of the past 25 years, with strong viewpoints against homosexuality and abortion. Watching these presidential debates, it was notable that many of those who are more closely aligned with the Religious Right's stances on these social issues also attempted to paint themselves as being in-line with Reagan's political stances and philosophies.
However, this would be a fallacy.
If one were to look back at Reagan's presidency, one would see that Reagan never made gay marriage or abortion part of his agenda. While Reagan had a moral objection to gay marriage and abortion, he never actively pursued any legislation to limit or abolish these practices. Reagan knew what was right in his own mind, and what was right for the American public, and pursuing constitutional amendments against gay marriage is not something I believe Ronald Reagan would have ever championed.
Reagan knew that there were certain issues of mass importance, and other issues that would have a lesser imapct. He prioritized these issues, and the Republican Party of today should do the same.
Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, and it would take another court case such as this to overturn such a ruling. While pursuing the abolition of certain practices, such as partial-birth abortions (which even a number of those in favor of abortion feel to be an inhumane procedure), is a noteworthy cause...legislation to completely outlaw abortion is not something that the current American public is going to be in favor of.
To attempt to widen the scope of government influence over social issues like abortion and gay marriage is increasing the size of government, period. Pardon me if I'm wrong, but I thought that increases of government's power and control over the people was part of the liberal agenda.
Let's look at what is most important for our nation as a whole. A strong economy to keep unemployment low (as it has been) and strong national defense (both military and covert intelligence) to further protect our soil from both terrorists and other rogue threats. These are important to our nation's future, and are really things that conservatives have traditionally done a good job with managing.
I feel I speak for many conservatives when I say that I don't particularly care if gays get married or not. It does not affect me, nor does it have an effect on the majority of the population. There are plenty of gay couples that make excellent parents, as well. Dick Cheney's daughter and her partner are a perfect example of that.
While we can look to religion for inspiration and guidance for our morals, we must remember that we must learn that there is a separation of religion from government. It is this same separation that makes us different from the Islamic-based governments of the Middle Eastern nations that despise our freedoms.
We must keep our borders secure and our immigration process easier to navigate for those who wish to take the legal and rightful path to enjoy the fruits of freedom that come with residence within our borders. You saw the vocal opposition to the Bush-backed immigration reform bill, you know that conservative voters favor immigration enforcement and reform, not amnesty and loophole-filled legislation.
Until recently, the migration of conservatives from the Republican Party has been a problem for the GOP. The proverbial bleeding has stopped a bit, from what recent polls have stated, but the Republicans need to realize something. Conservatives feel like the GOP has abandoned them. In fact, as a conservative myself, I feel that the Republican Party needs to realize that certain issues are only catering to certain groups of conservatives.
However, if you want the support of the majority of conservatives, instead of certain vocal groups, the GOP must get back to the core issues that it has long stood for. Strong national defense, limited government, and economic prosperity. These are the core issues of the conservative base, and have traditionally been the core issues of the Republican Party as well.
It's the principles that the party's icon, Ronald Reagan, stood for. If we're to look back at the Reagan legacy to look forward into the future, then we must first realize what that legacy truly was. Bantering about wedge issues is not, nor has it ever been, the legacy of Reagan's presidency.
That legacy was about creating a "big tent", where evangelicals and secular citizens could join together and move America forward. It was about spreading peace through strength, economic prosperity, forward thinking, and allowing Americans to live their lives and chase their dreams without paying a tax for it. This is the legacy the Republican Party needs to attempt to learn from.
However, that is outright "reverse classism". Instead of punishing those who are guilty of a crime, and the punishment being the same for everyone...these people believe that the more you make, the more severe your punishment should be. How is that "fair" justice? That's classism...and very typical socialist classism at that. Punish those who are wealthier for having that wealth...no matter how hard they worked to attain it.
Taxes are based on income, not the repercussions of breaking the law.
If everyone wants these Abuser Fees to go away...OBEY THE LAW!!! It's not that hard to keep your car UNDER 80 MPH on the interstate, is it? Is it too much to ask someone not to drink and drive?
If you don't like being passed on the interstate, then swallow your pride and let it happen...let some other fool get the ticket, and then get slapped with an Abuser Fee. Don't be the one who defy the law just because you have to go over 80 MPH.
Poor, rich, or middle class...all would be wise to heed my advice and be a little more careful when driving, for both their sake and the sake of those they share the road with.
:) Just having fun with the VOM guys, they're quickly becoming one of the most influential blogs in Virginia.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I've found Tabor commenting on various blogs, such as Republitarian and Virginia Oddsmaker.
Read more about Tabor at his website.
However, that doesn't mean there aren't other candidates who wouldn't make a fine president, as well. For instance, I like Rudy Guiliani, his stances on the economy, foreign policy, and national defense are all strong and sensible. The issues that some conservatives disagree with him on (abortion and gay marriage) are really small wedge issues that are of lesser importance to the greater good of America.
However, I also like Duncan Hunter. Now, Kilo has been a huge Duncan Hunter supporter, and has produced many a blog post that express reasons why conservatives should support Hunter (see here and here for a couple of these posts). Although, Kilo has really taken to "Fred-bashing" in order to provide reasons to look at other candidates, I can't sit here and deny that Hunter has many conservative credentials.
The man has served in the military, received high marks from the American Conservative Union and the NRA, and has chaired the House Armed Services Committee. His support from the National Right-to-Life organization, anti-gay marriage position, and intentions to appoint more "originalist" justices to the Supreme Court may appeal to other conservatives...but honestly, doesn't mean that much to me. However, his economic, defense, and foreign policy stances are very agreeable and he does have a plan to leave Iraq (if we haven't done so by November of 2008).
Free Market and National Defense conservatives like myself would be wise to keep a man like Duncan Hunter in mind...at least for a Vice Presidential candidate.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Hopefully, this isn't a signal of something more threatening.
Read more at Yahoo! News.
Free Marketeers, also known as a fiscal conservative—believe in free-market capitalism, tax cuts, and protecting your hard-earned cash from pick-pocketing liberal socialists.
Sounds about right, I am a pretty big supporter of fiscal conservatism and spending money wisely. Take the quiz at fightliberals.com.
However, let's evaluate a few things here...
1) Thompson has not announced. Many big GOP donors has stated that they're waiting for an actual announcement to make their donations. The fundraising being done by Thompson's "testing-the-waters" committee is very limited.
2) Many of those who would support a candidate like Thompson have already donated to other candidates (many of them in the second tier), and it'll be a while before those donors open up their wallets again.
3) At this pace of $3 million/month, Thompson would raise as much in 3 months as John Edwards...and Thompson hasn't even announced yet. What does that say about Edwards?
So, let's be realistic before we get all into panic mode, people.
Jimmy LaRoue talks about Gilbert's back surgery and subsequent recovery, his already-impressive track record, and a few more odds and ends that really highlight some of the reasons why I (and many in the Valley) support the delegate from the 15th district.
Give it a read.
A new bar in Virginia Beach received it's ABC license...provided it follow certain restrictions, which include...
- No Rap/Hip-hop music
- Must close at midnight
- Nobody under 21 after 9 pm (that I can understand, that's a pretty standard practice in a lot of localities)
- Strict dress code with no do-rags/sneakers/athletic wear/etc...(i.e. no hip-hop gear).
First of all, it is not the city's job to enforce dress codes within bars...it is the bar's job to do so. Secondly, "last call" is usually 2 am, so I don't get the midnight closing hour. Thirdly, the city cannot determine what kind of music is played within the bar/club, the bar can do that.
Given my love of hip-hop (I know, a conservative who loves hip-hop...I'm a renaissance man), I'm personally appalled by this. I understand that the new bar was not going to be a spot for the hip-hop crowd, anyway...but that is for the establishment itself to decide...not the city.
- In response to my question about what would make him a candidate that is appealing to Republicans/conservatives/right-leaning moderates...he responded that it's the same thing that makes him appealing to the left...that he "gets things done". That's all well and good, and certainly admirable given the lack of "things getting done" by our government at times. However, I felt his answer was a bit of a "canned" answer. I was hoping that he would elaborate a bit on his personal stances, and how they would appeal to someone with a right-slanting P.O.V.
- His reference that the media does not focus enough on the bipartisan efforts of government to improve the lives of it's citizens was pretty much right on target, though.
- I felt Brian Kirwin's question about Deed's speech at Blogs United was a bit much, all things considered...Deeds' reply was good, and made his point very clear.
- The joke that, if he were a Republican, he would have a pet elephant named "Ron" (since he's a Democrat with a pet donkey named Harry S. Truman) was funny.
- Deeds seems to have no problems pinning the bipartisan disaster that these abuser fees have turned into on the Republicans. His statement of incorporating out-of-state drivers into these sources of revenue for transportation funding is a bit ironic...considering it was Tim Kaine that struck it out of the abuser fee legislation.
- He almost too matter-of-factly answered Jay Hughes' question about doing 82 in a 65, but it was the right answer to that question.
Overall, I don't think Deeds is a bad guy at all. He does hold pretty well to the party line, but he is a pretty efficient politician when it comes to pushing his agendas. I respect his direct answers to most of the questions (he was probably the least direct, in my opinion, when it came to my question). Would I vote for him for Governor? Probably not, as his political beliefs are just too different from mine...however, I do think that his directness and efficiency do make him a power player in the 2009 elections, and if he ran for a position like Attorney General, I don't think I would have a problem with electing him to that position (so long as Mark Obenshain isn't running).
Just my opinion.