Saturday, October 27, 2007

What Happened?

About a month or so ago, I was informed about an article in the Northern Virginia Daily about a drug smuggling bust that involved the proprietors and a few employees of Shag's Lumber in Edinburg. Also mentioned in the article were Judge William Logan of Shenandoah County, and several members of the Shenandoah County Sheriff's Department.

When I say "involved", I mean that they were apparently part of the smuggling ring. This involved the Hollywood-esque technique of smuggling drugs in hollowed out logs.

Since that time, I've heard little to nothing about this. Searching the online newspaper archives has turned up little to nothing (which isn't surprising, given the lack of archiving that goes on with our local papers around here).

However, why the silence since the initial break of the story? Does anyone know exactly what happened then, and what has happened since? I would think this would be a huge story.

What makes this stranger is that the gentleman from Shag's Lumber has now twice refused bail and wants to remain in jail. Is he looking for protection? Is he providing information on important people? Was Logan involved? What was his involvement? I have questions and there's no answers to be found.

What's going on?

A Slow Climb Back?

Well, whaddya know?

In the most recent Rasmussen Reports poll, President Bush's approval rating now stands at 39%, with 57% disapproving. Some will say "that's no big deal, his numbers still stink." However, the more America approves of him, the GOP outlook for 2008 overall looks that much more optimistic.

Honestly, the GOP needs a candidate who appeals to Bush's base as well as the right-wingers that either left the GOP because of Bush or those who are still within the party. Personally, I see Fred Thompson in that role (as if you expected me to say anyone else, lol).

Thought I would pass that along.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Why I Never Endorsed A Candidate in the 34th State Senate Race...

Simply put, I don't agree with many of Chap Petersen's viewpoints (no matter how nicely he articulates them or how honest he appears to be). I don't like some of his double-speak, either. However, Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis once managed to reach the cusp of an endorsement from me. However, her frequent public stumbles (yelling at a high school student who apparently asked her to state her opinion on abortion in a "meet the candidates" forum for high school kids, for instance) and generally poor ability to control herself have kept me from making an endorsement of any kind in what has turned out to be Virginia's hottest race.

Allow me to quote my response to Ben's "Holy S**t" post that states that JMDD somehow stated that Peterson's family were "in play" (however, we haven't actually seen this quote, I shall remind you).

"Hooray for Ben, he finally got his big "macaca" moment for this election.

Personally, I'm glad I'm not in this district. I don't like either candidate. Chap has carefully cultivated this image of himself...but once you see certain things (like the point made in the mailer about Chap being a former lobbyist who suddenly starts to rail against lobbyists). Things like that don't fly well with me, personally. I also don't really agree with many of his viewpoints.

That being said...well, then you have JMDD.

Personally, I'm inclined to believe that this was probably a huge botch by JMDD's campaign. People were asleep at the wheel. However, JMDD's subsequent handling of the situation is reminiscent of how Allen handled "macaca", which is by following up a huge mistake with the dumbest, most self-destructive statements possible.

All JMDD had to say was "this was a mistake, somebody in my staff wasn't doing their job, and I've fired them" would've been a much more congenial response. Then, whoever on her staff put this out there gets a decent severance package and gets sent on their way.

Even if she wanted this to be intentional (which I politician in their right mind would full-on support this kind of action), she could've covered this up easily.

Actually, if this had been intentional, I think the cover-up would've been a lot better than this recent series of botches.

Nonetheless, you have the candidate who I can't vote for (Chap) and the candidate I won't vote for (JMDD) in this district."

That about sums it up, really. For me, Chap is the ideologically unelectable candidate, and Davis is the personally unelectable candidate.

A Little 27th District Insight

I've heard many political analysts refer to the 27th State Senate race between Podium-endorsed Jill Holtzman-Vogel and Karen Schultz in the following manner...

"This is a close race. Schultz has a slight money lead. Vogel is strong in her home area of Warrenton and Fauquier County. Schultz should do well in her base of Winchester and Frederick County."

Off the top, that's a reasonable prediction if one were not paying attention to the race or had no real information from those who might have a better grasp of the pulse of the area. Fortunately for you guys, I happen to live right on the border of this district, and I work and play in the Winchester/Frederick County area.

Let the truth be known, Schultz isn't doing too well from what I've seen. Having driven through Middletown, Stephens City, and Winchester...Schultz has a total of 2 or 3 signs in these areas that pretty much constitute the bulk of Frederick County voters.

Also, Vogel may have better name recognition in this area than Schultz does. Vogel's father is Bill Holtzman, who owns Holtzman Oil Corporation, which does a lot of business in Winchester and Frederick County. He has her bumper sticker slapped on the back of all of his trucks and has signs up everywhere (including by his offices in my place of residence, Strasburg, just outside the actual district, to catch the attention of those who may commute south from Frederick County). The Holtzman name is very well-known in this area due to her father's successful business.

While Schultz has done an admirable job of raising funds...I really don't see what else she has going for her.

Foul Racial Language?

Ben Tribbett is trippin'.

During my absence, I noticed that The Podium was listed on NLS as a "Silver Blog". I thought that was a nice gesture, especially considering we don't agree on much at all.

However, I moused over the link today at the suggestion of another blog reader...and lo and behold, here's Ben Tribbett's description of my blog.

"Conservative from the Valley. Uses foul racial language but usually only against his race."

Excuse me? Where on my blog do I use "foul racial language" at all? Unless I'm talking about the topic of the word in some form, I don't. Sure, I'm part of the running joke at Daily Whackjob that I'm the resident "beaner", but about completely downplaying anything about the topics I talk about or the quality of my work. Hopefully, Ben is simply playing off the joke at DWJ.

Not to mention, that's how rumors and mudslinging gets started.

I believe I've always done a good job of trying to be civil, and I've long held the standard that by keeping language on this blog decent and mostly keeps up a higher standard of civil discourse.

Agree with me if you do. Disagree with me if you desire. Challenge me on my opinions if you wish. Correct my facts if you must. However, I simply will not stand for being depicted as some kind of self-loathing bigot.

Plus, I'm multi-racial. Not only am I part-Brazilian, I'm also 1/4 Irish and 1/4 Dutch. I'm proud of all of my backgrounds.

Ben, from one pundit to another, I respectfully request you change your description of me and my blog.

A Slow Burn to the Return

Election day is almost upon us.

I can't sit silent anymore and attempt to go on with my life. Even if I end up in Pensacola, Florida (home of the popular Republican governor and all-around decent guy Charlie Crist, if I have read correctly) by the end of January, I can't be quiet any longer. It's been eating at me!

While I have some discontent and ill feelings towards certain members of the GOP right now, the general left has been driving me nuts. The Democrats in Virginia have been, as Chris Graham put it so well, attempting to "run out the clock in the 4th quarter". Actually, that's been their entire campaign strategy.

Instead of pushing out ideas and/or proposed initiatives to solve Virginia's problems, they have been simply saying "Vote for us because we're not them", and point at Republicans.

At least the GOP, agree with them or not, have been trying to be constructive and provide their possible solutions to the issues facing our state today.

Let me give you an example. Maxine Hope Roles is running against Podium-endorsed incumbent Mark Obenshain in the 26th Senate district. Her web campaign ad is supposed to provide you with an idea on her beliefs. These stances include one statement in particular...
  • "Local autonomy where it makes sense."
By whose definition? Hers or mine. Her website doesn't really provide any further defintion. What is her definition of "where it makes sense"? Given her party affiliation, I already prefer my definition, which is allowing towns/cities/counties to take care of themselves to their best capacity on a day-to-day basis. Let the state legislature sort out social issues and major pieces of legislation (such as transportation funding and so forth).

However, that's not even a really big issue in terms of "Virginia as she stands at this moment". The big issue I have with this election is with the voters. The fact is, many of you are looking to vote for candidates from a party that is really lacking true ideas and definite platforms for improving our state.