Thursday, August 23, 2007

John Warner: "Bring them home by Christmas"

This is what I heard on WJLA News at 6.

Apparently Warner came to the conclusion, as he toured Iraq, that the situation was too bleak to "continue the bloodshed". Apparently, Warner wants President Bush to start bringing the troops home next month, and put an end to the occupation of Iraq by Christmas.

While I'm still waiting to see exactly what this "surge report" says...if President Bush follows through on Warner's advice, it means two things. 1) Iraq is "off the table" in terms of an issue for the 2008 presidential candidates and the 2008 election...which means that the GOP could be free of it's biggest anchor. Also, 2) we can begin focusing on diverting funds from an overseas occupation to actually defending the homeland.

I will say this, the unwillingness and/or simply inability of the Iraqi government to come to terms on how to govern their own country has probably been the biggest roadblock to getting ourselves out of Iraq in a positive situation.

As much as I think a positive end to this occupation would do wonders bringing stability to the Middle East, who knows how this report by Petraeus next month will look. That's going to be the make-or-break moment for me in terms of this whole military operation.


So Greg B. at Daily Whackjob has uncovered who was behind the plot to link the Old Dominion Blog Alliance to NAMBLA via a redirected website link.

It's none other than Joe Stanley of Yellow Dog Strategy, and the media strategist behind the campaigns of such Democrats as Jim Webb and Roscoe Reynolds. Not-so-ironically, he is also good friends with one Ben Tribbett, who you know as Not Larry Sabato. If not Joe Stanley, it is one of his employees.

Now, if you remember, Joe Stanley was behind the Webb campaign flyer that many viewed as anti-Semitic towards Harris Miller, Webb's primary opponent in 2006. Roscoe Reynolds recently hired Yellow Dog Strategy in his struggle for reelection to the State Senate in the 20th District against Jeff Evans. Stanley's company is also working for Eric Ferguson, who has previously been featured on advertisements at NLS.

Interesting...I wonder what Ben's reaction to this is going to be?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Arin Sime - Creative Fundraiser

24th State Senate District (and Podium-endorsed) candidate Arin Sime is having a fundraiser on Friday, August 24th. It's not just any fundraiser, but a "beer tasting reception" at Starr Hill Brewery in Crozet. This is probably the first time I've ever come across a fundraiser of this nature, and a pretty creative move on Sime's part.

$50 a person...and according to Sime's website, you get "Unlimited 2oz tastings of Starr Hill beers, 2 free pints of beer, a Starr Hill pint glass to take home, light appetizers, a private tour of the brewery with Brewmaster Mark Thompson, and a warm fuzzy feeling for helping Arin Sime’s Libertarian campaign for State Senate!"

As Whackette pointed out over at Daily Whackjob, the disclaimer at the bottom of the page is a nice touch.

"Note: The Sime campaign does not encourage irresponsible consumption of alcohol, and only adults 21 years or older will be allowed at this event. Carpooling and designated drivers are strongly encouraged. If you need a ride to or from the event, or even a place to stay Friday night, we can arrange it. Be safe!"

Go out and support Arin Sime with a couple pints of local brew!

Something Out Of Nothing

That's what Lane Hudson, the liberal blogger who shed light on the Mark Foley scandal, is trying to do. He's filing suit against Fred Thompson's not-quite-yet-campaign because they are following the law under the "testing the waters" committee rules. Hudson believes that they're not by having fundraisers, accepting donations, etc..., but it's all legal, and Thompson is expected to declare long before the FEC suit will be filed, which means that Hudson's claim will have practically no legal leg to stand on.

Actually, after a quick review of the rules of a "testing the waters" committee and the actions of Thompson's committee, Hudson has no legal leg to stand on in the first place.

Hudson, who is probably fearful of Thompson's possible candidacy, is trying to make something out of nothing. Same could be said of VB Dems, who makes another tired, snide anti-GOP remark at the end of her post.

Smart Move

In light of the revenue shortfall, and subsequent budget deficit projection, Tim Kaine announced yesterday that he would look to trim 5 percent from the spending budget of state agencies. Also, there could be a possible dip into Virginia's "rainy day" fund to make up for the less-than-projected tax revenue.

The smart move by Tim Kaine is to look to "trim the fat" from the budget, which was based on a projected revenue increase of 6.5%...revenues are now expected to increase by only 4.9%. Kaine, a Democrat as we all know, could have looked to go the Mark Warner route and increase taxes...but he's decided to take a more fiscally-conservative approach (at least as a first option) and not attempt to raid our wallets and pocketbooks to cover the revenue shortfall.

Also, Kaine has stated that he will not target the salaries, benefits, or employment status of state employees, nobody will be losing a job over this. However, there will be tighter management over renewed contracts with 3rd party contractors/consultants and agencies must seek approval from their Cabinet secretaries to hire new positions in most cases. Most people consider this a simple "tightening of the belt", so to speak.

For that, I applaud Governor Kaine.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I Have a Question

You know, I hear a lot of people of the anti-war left screaming about the indecencies and atrocities of interrogating terrorists and terrorist suspects at various detention centers.

Granted, it's not pretty or peaceful. It can get violent, it can grind on the psyche of these prisoners, and it's brutal...but as time has proven, it's necessary if you want to get these terrorists to tell you the information you need to know so we can defend our nation against future attacks.

My question is very simple, and I want an answer to this: How else do you propose we get these people to provide us with vital information that can help us defend our borders. How else do we get these people to talk?

If someone can come up with a form of interrogation, that is at least as equally effective as our current tactics, and doesn't involve wearing down the physical, emotional, and/or mental state of a prisoner...let me know. I know of no such tactics, and frankly, I don't think anyone else does, either.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Today In History: Nail In The Coffin for the Cold War

Today, in 1991, the last attempt by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to retain control and unity of the USSR began.

"The August Coup" was a failed attempt to dispose of Mikhail Gorbachev from the presidency of the Soviet Union. The conspirators were led by Soviet Vice-President Gennady Yanayev and other hard-liners within the party, who felt that Gorbachev's reforms had led the half-broken state of the union. The conspirators detained Gorbachev in his dacha in the Crimera, and announced that he was ill, and that Yanayev was now in control of the Soviet Union. Independent media outlets were cut off the air.

Reformers, led by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, stood up to the coup and the attempts to increase the Party's control over the nation and put an end to the freedoms created by several years of glasnost and perestroika.

This was the final nail in the coffin for the Soviet Union, and the final end to Mikhail Gorbachev's political career in Russia as Boris Yeltsin became the predominant political figure in Russia after the failed coup.

Read the Wikipedia article on the failed coup of 1991.