Saturday, August 18, 2007

Positive Charge

It's somewhere around 8 AM this morning. I'm propped up on the love seat underneath my living room window. My child is playing quietly with his "Thomas The Tank Engine" toys in the center of the room. The sunlight that filters through the tree in my front yard dances across the pages of my copy of Dutch. An unseasonably cool and comfortable breeze floats in through the open window.

As I soak in one of the most beautiful mornings of the summer, and enjoy the quiet refuge from my constant observation of the tumultuous and sometimes downright-vicious world of politics, I laugh quietly at the irony of it all.

It was definitely "Morning in America".

Friday, August 17, 2007

"The Speech" - 1964

This speech is widely regarded as the origins of the Reagan Revolution. Listen, learn, reflect, and enjoy.

This link is courtesy of "Cliff-" at AR-15 Forums.

The Latest Blog Feud - NLS and the ODBA

This time, Ben Tribbett (NLS/Not Larry Sabato) has really got himself in a bind, and got caught fabricating and putting a serious spin on information. Ben claims that the whole ODBA (the conservative Old Dominion Blog Alliance) is "coordinating personal attacks on other people", and that he got wind of this because someone in the ODBA is sending Ben their e-mails. To quote Ben...

This week the focus is Joe Stanley and some of the blogs are back to repeating one of the ugliest slurs of the 2006 campaign- that Joe is anti-semitic. Carl Kilo sent out an email to the ODBA list to announce Joe's company had done a website for Roscoe Reynolds. That caused this ridiculous post from Virginia Virtucon which claimed Roscoe was now desperate. Carl is of course the only comment, and agrees with the post he asked for. Then he links to it from his blog.

Ben goes on to accuse the ODBA of coordinating personal attacks and asking each other to attack Democrats. Now, Kilo has replied by posting the actual e-mail he sent out to the ODBA mailing list. Ben has even posted it in the comments section of his post, so this is the full e-mail. Here it is...

Roscoe has hired the Yellow Dog Group to run his media online.

That is the Joe Stanley bunch, The Macaca master! The Harris Miller anti semitic flyer, etc.
Something to think about.

All I have to say is that Carl is simply passing along information to other ODBA members. He is not asking them to attack Roscoe Reynolds/Joe Stanley (although, it is true that Roscoe must be getting desperate if he has to hire one of the more well-known mudslingers and media manipulators to help him out). As Carl said, it is "something to think about."

Ben Tribbett is wrong (again) on this one. He knows he's wrong, because he's the one who put the spin on it. Joe Stanley's group DID send out the anti-semitic flyer on Harris Miller, they did coordinate the spread of the "Macaca" controversy, and now they are working for Roscoe Reynolds' campaign.

Lies, false attacks...I see none here. So much for Ben's self-proclaimed 99.8% accuracy rating. The ODBA is definitely in the clear, here. It's Ben Tribbett that has some explaining to do.

Poll: Americans Want Stronger Immigration Enforcement

In a recent Rasmussen Reports poll, it appears that the majority of Americans want stronger enforcement of immigration laws, as well as tougher restrictions on employers that hire illegal aliens and landlords that rent to illegal aliens. The results of the poll concluded that...

- 79% of Americans favor legislation that would require employers to fire employees that falsify identity documents. Only 9% were opposed, 12% were not sure.
- 74% of Americans believe that if a person wants to rent an apartment they should be required to show documentation that they are in the country legally. Only 17% opposed this. 9% were not sure.
- 68% of Americans believe that Very Important to improve border enforcement and reduce illegal immigration. To show the bipartisan support behind this...this view is held by 80% of Republicans, 62% of Democrats, and 64% of Independents.

Those are strong numbers. Not to mention that when the Senate attempted to railroad the Immigration Bill through earlier this year, another Rasmussen poll found that only 28% of Americans thought it was Very Important to legalize the status of illegal aliens...and that also included support from only 36% of Democrats.

These numbers have shown that the majority of Americans DON'T want illegal aliens to be legalized, and that they want the flow of illegal immigrants coming into this country to be reduced.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sometimes Psych Wards Are Necessary

Jonathan Lee Riches, an inmate in a South Carolina prison, is filing a lawsuit against Michael Vick, and another against Barry Bonds, Bud Selig (MLB Commissioner), and Hank Aaron's bat (yes, just Aaron's bat).

Riches is suing Vick for $63 Billion, and he claims that Vick uses Riches' "copyrighted name" on merchandise, stole his pit bulls for dogfighting, then sold the dogs on eBay so he could purchase missiles from Iran. He also states that Vick pledged allegience to al-Qaeda, used drugs in schools zones, is involved in illegal steroid rings, and subjected Riches to "microwave testing".

In his suit against Bonds/Selig/Aaron's bat (for $42 million), he claims that Selig has supplied Bonds with steroids for 9 years under the supervision of Sammy Sosa in an attempt to raise baseball ratings, that Bonds uses Aaron's corked bat, which has secret chambers where Bonds stashes his HGH supplements that he takes in the batter's box (I think he means "on-deck circle"), that Bonds made threats against him and was responsible for Riches being indicted in Houston, Texas because Riches threatened to expose Bonds and Selig. He also stated that Bonds bench-pressed him against his will to "show off in front of his ballpark buddies" and sold steroids to nuns. He also states that Bonds used Aaron's bat to crack the liberty bell. Next, he states that Bonds sent hitmen to his home to steal Aaron's bat in 1998 after he "won" it at a Sotheby's auction. He then states that Bonds sold mustard gas to Saddam Hussein, fixed several games...including games 5, 6, and 7 of the 2002 World Series, and that Bonds has illegally used Riches' name.

To quote Don King..."Only in America".

Read the hand-written documents against Vick here, and Bonds/Selig/Bat here.

(h/t Barticles)

RPV Chair Hager on The New Dominion

Check out this podcast/recap of new RPV Chair (and former Lt. Gov) John Hager by Chris Graham at The New Dominion.

Hager is pretty much limiting the RPV's focus to November, and will not allow them to look past the upcoming elections. With Election Day less than 90 days away, it's good to know that the RPV is buckling down and focusing on keeping the majority. Hager is also making strides to heal the moderate/conservative rift in the party that boiled over during primary season earlier this year (think Emmett Hanger/Scott Sayre).

Congrats to Hager, by the way, on his son's engagement to first daughter Jenna Bush.

A Good New Blog...Virginia Veteran

A Winchester (local to me!) blogger who is a former United States Marine and a blogger who focuses on issues in the Northern Valley and Republican politics.

I like his blog, and I suggest you give it a look as well.

"From a Virginia Veteran's Perspective"

WaPo article on FDT

David S. Broder has an interesting piece on Fred Thompson, and even though much of the article deals with Thompson's challenging of the current status quo (on both sides of the aisle), there are three key quotes I would like to share with you.

In a two-hour conversation over coffee at a restaurant near his Virginia headquarters, the former senator from Tennessee said that when he joins the battle next month, he "will take some risks that others are not willing to take, in terms of forcing a dialogue on our entitlement situation, our military situation and what it's going to cost" to ensure the nation's future.

So during this conversation, Fred confirms that he will officially join the race next month, I guess Tim Russert was right after all.

"There's no reason for me to run just to be president," he said. "I don't desire the emoluments of the office. I don't want to live a lie and clever my way to the nomination or election. But if you can put your ideas out there -- different, more far-reaching ideas -- that is worth doing."

What Thompson is saying, and has been saying for a while, is that he's not seeking the office for the fame, glory, or power. He is seeking the office to create positive change for America. In my opinion, that's what we should be looking for in a president.

Thompson, like many of the others running, has caught a strong whiff of the public disillusionment with both parties in Washington -- and the partisanship that has infected Congress, helping to speed his own departure from the Senate.

But he says he thinks the public is looking for a different kind of leadership. "I think a president could go to the American people and say, 'Here's what we need to be doing. And I'm willing to go halfway. Now you have to make them [the opposition] go halfway.' "

This is true, especially when the opposition is in the majority. I also believe that Thompson would be an excellent "salesman", so to speak, for his own agenda and could sell a lot of Democrats and moderates on what he wants to do. I also gather that he expects to incorporate the Democrats into assisting the process of bringing his initiatives into fruition, instead of attempting to railroad legislation through Congress as fast and as hard as possible.

Further in the article, I like that Thompson brings up the fact that we've been fighting for too long in Iraq without an adequate number of troops, and that the FBI is not in the condition it needs to be to do it's job as well as it should. Fred's got it do you win battles with insufficient manpower, or protect the homeland from terrorists within our borders with inadequate organization and efficiency?

In a time of such political divisiveness, someone who's willing to push a sensible agenda that is rooted in federalist principles and strong national defense and can get both sides to work together at the same time is what we need.

(h/t Podium contributor Paul Cave for the link)

What Fred Did

A lot of talk can be heard from supporters of other GOP candidates about "Fred Thompson never did anything, why is he so special? What are his credentials?"

Well, let's take a look a few things that he's done...

- Was a key player when part of the Watergate Committee.

- Chaired the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, enacted legislation that required federal agencies to calculate and report the cost of regulations on taxpayers and businesses.

- Also, as Chair of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, he led the Senate's investigation into the Campaign Finance Scandal during the Clinton administration, where it was found that China was attempting to influence American politics by laundering funds to Democratic politicians and candidates through Party donors and fundraisers.

- Served on the Senate Finance Committee, helped to enact 3 federal tax cuts.

- Served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, attempted to include an amendment in the bill that gave full-trade status with China that would require the President to impose sanctions on China if it violated non-nuclear proliferation agreements. This amendment did not pass, but was part of Thompson's efforts to tie free trade with our national security in a sensible way.

- While on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Thompson also focused on ending the proliferation of nuclear arms to our enemies to increase our national security.

- Also, Fred was part of the Senate Intelligence Committee when it reviewed the failings in intelligence and analysis that led to 9/11, as well as what changes needed to be made in order to prevent another attack such as 9/11 from occurring.

Fred Thompson's biggest focuses while on Capital Hill seem to be the reduction of wasteful spending by the government, lower taxes, sensible free trade, increased and intelligent national security, and putting an end to corruption within the government. Considering the biggest issues of the day involve fiscal responsibility, open and honest government, and national security...I'd say that Fred's got qualifications.

Information courtesy of I'm With Fred and Wikipedia.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weekly Podium - "No Mo' Rove"

(Cross-posted at The New Dominion)

On August 31st, one of the most prevalent and controversial figures of the past 7 years will leave the White House and the side of President Bush.

There you have it, the understatement of the year.

Karl Rove has been many things while working for the Bush Administration. He's been a political genius, a master of backroom politics, controversial, confrontational, and highly influential.

His influence in getting George W. Bush elected in 2000 was notable; his work on Bush's reelection in 2004 was near-historic. Despite doubts and struggles in Iraq, and a rabid anti-conservative sentiment amongst liberals, he managed to guide Bush to an indisputable victory over John Kerry despite having greater obstacles standing in Bush's path to victory.

His influence has earned him nicknames like "Boy Genius" (for his fair-haired, round-faced appearance), "Evil Genius" (mostly by Democrats), and other "genius"-related titles. Love him or hate him, you can't deny that the man was smart when it came to pulling strings and making power moves.

The question that remains, though, is if Rove has had any kind of a long-term positive impact on the national GOP, or will his efforts prove to be detrimental to the future of the Republican Party.

Rove did do our whole nation a big favor, in my personal opinion, by keeping us from a minimum of 4 years under John Kerry. I know that many Republicans (and a few Democrats who didn't care for Kerry) that would agree with that sentiment. Rove also knew how to motivate certain sectors of the GOP to gain support when needed, especially the hawkish conservatives for war issues and evangelicals on social issues.

In a recent interview with Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal, Rove stated that he believes that President Bush (and himself, of course) have done a lot to keep the GOP alive nationally, and that a positive legacy for the Republican Party will endure from this presidency.

To an extent, Rove is right. A focus on preventing terrorism within our borders and within the borders of our allies has become of higher importance and will be so for a long time. It was the 2004 Bush reelection that allowed for the nomination of conservative judges John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, which is a lifetime position.

However, Rove has been a big part of some of the Republican Party's biggest disappointments and embarrassing fiascoes.

He was a big part of the Valerie Plame debacle (although, let's be honest, Richard Armitage was the man that should have been targeted first, foremost, and above all...and he wasn't). His name is popping up as part of the Alberto Gonzales witch hunt. It has been noted that one of those who were poorly advising President Bush on Iraq was Rove himself. Rove was a proponent of the Amnesty Bill, and was part of the Harriet Miers quagmire.

In his Wall Street Journal interview, Rove opines that his greatest error was not acting quickly to replace scandal-tainted Republicans in Congress, and that was a key factor in the GOP's loss of congressional power in 2006. This admission does highlight a great error of Rove's (and other GOP leaders) that could have long-lasting effects on the party.

However, in that same interview, Rove makes an observation that puts the 2006 election results into a true perspective about how leftward the nation really leans. He points out that the 15 House seats that swung control to the Democrats were decided by a combined 85,000 votes, as well as the close defeat in Montana (let's not forget the Virginia loss, which was very close, too).

Many people state that Karl Rove's campaign tactics were simply a tweaked version of what Democrats have been doing for years, and that Rove brought these tactics to the GOP. To a certain degree, I am inclined to agree...but I believe the GOP, as a whole, will eventually reject these tactics.

Rumor mills have been abound with talk that Rove may join the campaign of one of the GOP frontrunners, but Rove has dismissed these rumors. At least one campaign, Fred Thompson's, has also dismissed these statements as rumors and nothing more.

How history judges George W. Bush will have an obvious effect on how history judges Karl Rove. If Bush, long after his term is up, is seen in a more positive light in the memories of America, Rove will most likely be championed for the GOP victories from 2000 to 2004. However, should this presidency be frowned upon when America reflects, Rove's involvement in the many negative aspects of the Bush presidency will overshadow his accomplishments.

Towards the end of Rove's interview with Paul Gigot, he makes a statement that is very true, if not contradictory to some of the Bush Administration's management of the nation. Rove states that, in regards to 2008, "I don't want to be Pollyanish about it, but if we keep our nerve and represent big things, we'll win."

That is a statement that I've been trying to make for a while now, and I find it somewhat amusing that, as he walks out the doors of the White House, Rove believes the same thing...even though one would agree that the Bush presidency has been a bit more focused on the "small things" than most Republicans and conservatives would have preferred.

In reference to Rove's statement that he first floated the idea of resigning from his post a year ago, Michelle Malkin quipped, "Imagine how much better off the White House and the Republican Party might be now if he had, in fact, left a year ago."

Given the lack of success over the past year from Rove's tactics, I can't say that I disagree with Malkin's statement...and history might also agree with that, as well. One thing we cannot deny is that Karl Rove has had a lot of influence on our nation, what is debatable is how much of that influence was positive, and how much is negative.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Crosshairs of Reason Aim Both Ways

Zen over at Daily Whackjob has posted a link to a Staunton News-Leader editorial by Dennis Neal that burns the other (liberal) spectrum of SWAC-area blogs, Cobalt6. The DWJ post is sure to have loads of comments once this gets around to the rest of the blogosphere.

I do find it incredibly funny that A) Neal mis-stated kestrel9000's name as "Andy" Garcia and B) It was a similar editorial (with many of the same criticism) that bashed the Sayre bloggers that was praised heavily, and promoted endlessly by Eddie and Cliff.

Here's a bit from Dennis Neal's editorial...

As far as "nonsense" goes, anyone who's familiar with my distaste for obscenities knows that "nonsense" equals something else. When obscenities were used in response to my posts, I declared myself no longer a participant in the so-called "conversation."

I am convinced more and more that we are headed for the Second Civil War unless we can begin to be civil to one another.

Blogs like Cobalt6 and the SWAC group do not advance anything except hatred. I can't put it any plainer than that. Just because you fly one flag or the other does not make you bullet-proof.

Can't say I, or most logical people, would disagree with that.

Roscoe Reynolds, Class Without the CL

State Senator Roscoe Reynolds (D-20th District) showcased his arrogance and inability to handle a direct question in responding to a caller on a local TV show.

See it here, courtesy of Virginia Virtucon. However, I have the text of Reynolds' mini-meltdown courtesy of Leslie Carbone.

The caller was asking about a Texas firm that does work for the Reynolds campaign, and if they are being paid to spread dirt about Reynolds' challenger, Republican Jeff Evans...

Reynolds: "I have not paid a Texas firm to spread dirt about Mr. Evans"
Caller: "So what are they doing for you?"
Reynolds: "That's none of your business"
Caller: "Sure it is; I'm one of your constituents"

How did Reynolds handle that statement? As Carbone puts it, Reynolds "actually rolled his eyes, sneered, and tossed his torso back in the chair he undoubtedly imagined a throne."

I intended to endorse Jeff Evans previously, but never got around to announcing that endorsement. However, now is as good a time as ever to announce The Podium's endorsement of Jeff Evans for State Senate in the 20th District.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Throw Some D's On That B****...

...cause someone just bought a Cadillac. (Most of you won't get the reference in the title, but oh well)

Namely, someone on welfare. As Dave Briggman reports on Republitarian, he saw a woman drive up in a brand-new Cadillac (with 30 day tags) at his local 7-11, purchase some soda and chips, and pay for it with a Virginia Cardinal card...which, if you didn't know, is the EBT card that is given to people who are on welfare, so they don't have to deal with food stamps.

While Briggman had some questions about how you can buy food with no nutritional value with a welfare card...I didn't particularly care about that part.

My question is: how does one get a brand-new Cadillac while on welfare??? Just like the title...another hip-hop song comes to mind when reading this story...

"Can't pay my rent, cause all my money's spent/But that's okay, cause I'm still fly"

Is there someone who can actually justify this? Or can we agree that this is obviously blatant abuse of the welfare program.

1 Year Ago Today...Jim Webb Caught a Break

The liberal bloggers are having a field day with today being the 1 year anniversary of "Macacagate". George Allen's use of a word that nobody, not even Allen, could really come up with a consensus as to what it means is what led to Allen's downfall in last year's elections.

Seriously, since nobody could come up with a real, definitive answer to what "Macaca" means, many people jumped on the "racial slur" bandwagon, even though there has been evidence to the contrary.

Nonetheless, it was a stupid move by Allen, and his mishandling of the ensuing media frenzy propped up a Jim Webb victory...because, if you had been following the polls up until that point, Allen had a solid 10-15 point lead in most polls and was holding pretty steady.

However, holding up Webb's victory as a sign of a Blue Virginia is a perfect example of propaganda for the Democrats...because really, Jim Webb did not win the election last year, George Allen simply lost it. Any revisions to the history of the 2006 U.S. Senate campaign in Virginia would be a serious abortion of justice to the facts.

Still...chalk the gross mis-handling of the "Macaca" incident to George Allen and his campaign.

Code Pinko Starving Themselves...Again

So now we've got another "Code Pink Hunger Strike" going on. They're starting at Dianne Feinstein's home, then moving on to Nancy Pelosi's office. The point of these hunger strikes is to end the war.

Personally, I think it's a good thing. Our food would be better spent nourishing our soldiers than a bunch of aimless protesters who think not eating will accomplish anything. In fact, can anyone thing of a hunger strike that has accomplished anything of significance since Gandhi?

They're so excited to have 8 people who will starve themselves for this hunger strike. 8 people? This is supposed to be a "big" event for Code Pink...and the got all of 8 people to go through with this?

Those will be the same 8 people that actually vote for Cindy Sheehan over Nancy Pelosi next year.

"Abuser Fees Are Constitutional" - Henrico Co. Circuit Court

At least, the excusion of out-of-state motorists is constitutional. This is today's ruling from a Henrico County Circuit Court judge.

What I find amazing is that people pointed at the initial lower-court ruling as "proof" that the abuser fees were unconstitutional. What many missed was that the lower-court ruling stated that the exclusion of out-of-state motorists was unconstitutional, and not the fees themselves.

I think that including out-of-state motorists would be a fair amendment to the Abuser Fee rules. However, the Circuit Court judge disagrees...he believes that since Virginia motorists are the mass majority of drivers on Virginia roads, that there is a reasonable case for placing the scope of the fees on Virginia drivers only.

One can only look to the Capital Beltway and the Northern Shenandoah Valley to see a lot of fallacy in that statement. I see many West Virginia tags on I-81, and many Maryland and D.C. tags on the Beltway and I would have to personally disagree with the judge on this one.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.