Thursday, December 31, 2009

BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh Taken to Hospital (Updated)

Happened earlier today in Hawaii after a golf outing. Apparently, Rush was complaining of chest pains. Thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this time.

Updates as they come in.


- Rush is apparently resting comfortably after being admitted to the hospital. Reports state that his chest pains may have been a side effect of medication he has been taking for back problems.

- Apparently, some on the left have been respectful, but others cannot hide their vitrol and hate for Rush.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Health Care Legislation Killing the Dem Majority, One-by-One

Sen. Ben "Sell Out" Nelson of Nebraska is feeling the heat from his constituents.

He currently has a 55 percent disapproval rating (with the health care legislation at 64% disapproval) in his own state. Also, in a potential 2012 matchup against current Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, he would lose 61-30. Ouch. Nelson is going to air a commerical during tonight's Holiday Bowl game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Kansas Jayhawks. Good luck convincing voters you didn't sell out in 30 seconds, Senator.

With Jim Webb and Mark Warner also seeing their approval ratings plummet within the past year, it seems that that this health care "reform" debacle is not reaping any kind of dividends for the Democrats.

Maybe it's time they actually listen to the public.

As Long as Aerosmith Doesn't Play Another Diane Warren Song...

Russia is sending a probe or a missile of some kind to knock the asteroid Apophis off-track due to their concerns that the asteroid may hit Earth. Interestingly, the odds of this happening any time soon keep getting less and less likely.

Now, the question is, will Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck be involved? Or will they go the Morgan Freeman/Robert Duvall route?

Obama Catching Hell Over Terror Plot Response

Looks like "Barry from D.C." has some criticism to answer to...

- The Telegraph gives Obama an "F" for protecting Americans. Hitting him for trying so hard to be "unBush" that his cool demeanor is alarming in it's downplaying of the situation (as well as his downplaying of other terrorist attacks or plots). They also note that Obama did not allow this to disrupt his golf games, tennis matches, or snorkeling adventures in Hawaii.
- Dick Cheney accuses Obama of "trying to pretend we're not at war with terrorists", and cites such examples of the ban of the phrase "War on Terror" and the closing of Gitmo. Cheney believes it is because it does not fit the global views of Obama, and that it would interfere with Obama's goal of the social transformation and restructuring of American society. Ouch!
- Let's not forget that Obama has already tried to pin the blame on this incident on George W. Bush. He's also trying to blame the CIA (nothing new for Dems), but the Agency has rebuked claims of not sharing the information that they had.
- Also, Obama called this a "catastrophic failure", only days after both NHS Secretary Janet "Big Sister" Napolitano and White House Press Secretary Robert "Softballs Only" Gibbs both stated that "the system worked". This signals inconsistency within the Obama adminstration itself.

Tough times ahead for "Barry in D.C."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Podium Goes Unmoderated

I'm removing comment moderation. It seems that some of my "one-time" posters have told me that they thought that (due to the moderation) their comment never posted. I'll just remove that confusion and let them all post.

Chap(!) Petersen's "Decade of Zeroes"

Chap(!) and his bow tie have an interesting retrospective on the memorable and incredible things that have occurred during the past decade in Virginia Politics and general events. Give it a look. Chap, despite sitting on the blue side of the aisle, is a first-class gentleman and plays it pretty straight here, with some interesting choices for his categories.

Israel About To Go It Alone?

Apparently, Israel has pulled all of their diplomats from foreign nations, and making them attend a conference with Israeli leaders. Apparently, Israel's top nuclear officials will be in attendance, as well. The conference is currently going on, but nobody knows the true meaning of this.

One can only guess what they could be discussing that required all of their foreign diplomats and top nuclear officials. I imagine they may be discussing this or this with these guys. I believe that things are about to get a little dicey in the Middle East.

(h/t Smash Mouth Politics)

Al-Qaeda Offensive On The Way?

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the terrorist who attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253, stated that there are "more just like him in Yemen who will strike soon."

Now, Al-Qaeda has made claims like this in the past that either did not come to fruition, or their efforts simply failed. However, we've had two attempts within the past week of a similar nature (blowing up airplanes), and renewed efforts by Al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

With this sudden resurgence in activity (some of it successful to a degree in Afghanistan and Pakistan), it makes you wonder if Barry In D.C.'s approach has led them to believe they will be more successful in "destroying the infidels" than they did under President Bush, as many feared would happen.

If this uptick in terrorist activity continues, I would imagine that the question of "are we safer under Obama" will become a more prominent one.


Dave Barry's "2009 In Review", a must read that satirizes how ridiculous this year has truly been at points.

(h/t The Mud Pit)

New Podium Policy

If the President is going to refer to himself as "Barry from D.C.", then so will I.

Carry on... ;)

McDonnell Pushes for Offshore Drilling as Part of Energy Approach

Governor-elect Bob McDonnell appeals to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to make Virginia the first state to move forward with new offshore drilling as part of an "all of the above" approach to energy solutions (as McDonnell calls it, "traditional and renewable").

McDonnell's letter is posted at The Shad Plank.

REAL Health Care Reform, Without Government Regulation

Outlined by The Humble Libertarian, true health care reform that lowers costs without any taxpayer dollars being wasted. Here is the crux of his argument...

The Solution in One Easy Step:

And there is such a way! The U.S. Congress merely needs to pass a bill prohibiting the states from requiring residents to purchase health insurance from within their state and according to state regulations/mandates.

The beautiful thing is it doesn't take a whole lot of words to say this, certainly not thousands of pages! It's a simple, elegant, and profoundly effective solution.

A Constitutional Health Care Reform

It's also Constitutional. Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution says Congress has the power to: "To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes. [emphasis mine]"

This Commerce Clause has been misused for decades as the justification for sweeping Federal powers that clearly do not fall under the scope of the clause.

In Wickard v. Filburn for instance, the Supreme Court ruled that even wheat grown on one's own land for one's own consumption can be regulated under the category of interstate commerce because it affects interstate commerce(!).

Yet in the instance of health insurance, we have a perfect example of exactly what the Founding Fathers wanted the Federal Government to be able to prevent states from doing- interfering with trade across their borders.

The Result:

If Congress were to pass this one piece of simple legislation on just a few short pages, it would create revolutionary changes in the provision of health insurance and grant millions access through more affordable prices.

If an insurance company in Connecticut charges too much or has a reputation for bullying its customers when they need coverage, then its customers can leave and buy insurance from a more affordable, less corrupt insurance company based in Nebraska.

He provides an example of how the current system fails people because of government regulation as well. THL does an excellent job of putting this into simple terms and showing that true health care reform can be achieved easily.

Monday, December 28, 2009

So, uh...You Believed it Worked Before You Believed it Failed?

NHS Chief Janet Napolitano pulls a "John Kerry" and states today that the Airline Security System "failed"...just one day after saying that it "worked" in regards to the terror attempt in Detroit.

So I guess that means that she was for the security system as it is before she was against it.

UPDATE: Another Black Republican has video and commentary.

Searching for a Candidate to Endorse in the VA-5 GOP Primary

It's a crowded field to earn the right to challenge Tom Periello in November, 2010. After reviewing the viewpoints of all 7 candidates, I'm still stuck.

I have narrowed the field of 7 down to 3...Ron Ferrin, Jim McKelvey, and Michael McPadden. All 3 seem to be committed to a constitutional approach. Ferrin and McPadden have pro-life stances, though McPadden's stance is to make abortion law something that the public votes on (much like in Europe). McKelvey hasn't mentioned any "social" issues, and both Ferrin and McPadden don't go beyond the abortion argument on social issues.

I believe that all 3 of these candidates would be very good at standing by limited government principles as well as stand for pro-liberty ideals (compared to the other candidates).

Now, if someone can make a convincing case for one of these three (or one of the other 4), I would greatly appreciate it. I'm a bit stuck right now.

Baucus Drunk on Senate Floor?

Apparently, the Senator who once tried to appoint his mistress to high places may have been drunk on the Senate floor while debating health care, and ended up shouting down Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi. Baucus shouting down Republicans is nothing new, but the slurring going on here is very noticeable.

I must admit, he's pretty coherent despite his slurring. This leads me to believe that either he was not drunk, or he must be a serial or dependent alcoholic (i.e., needs alcohol to function) to be that clear while speaking for that long.

Embattled ex-Congressman Mark Foley made the statement "This is the senator that hired his staffer and then took her on trips...and divorced his wife....and they had me run out of town." (h/t Politico Click)

While Foley did deserve to be run out of town, so does Baucus at this point, plain and simple.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Terrorist Foiled by Passengers

Now THIS is true American heroism.

ROMULUS, Mich. (AP) - An attempted terrorist attack on a Christmas Day flight began with a pop and a puff of smoke - sending passengers scrambling to subdue a Nigerian man who claimed to be acting on orders from al-Qaida to blow up the airliner, officials and travelers said.

The commotion began as Northwest Airlines Flight 253, carrying 278 passengers and 11 crew members from Amsterdam, prepared to land in Detroit just before noon Friday. Travelers said they smelled smoke, saw a glow, and heard what sounded like firecrackers. At least one person climbed over others and jumped on the man, who officials say was trying to ignite an explosive device.

Kudos to these true American heroes for stepping up and averting what could have been a real tragedy. Very reminiscent of the shoe bomber attempt in 2001, which most articles on yesterday's terror attempt have referenced.

President Obama has called for "appropriate increases" in security, but has not made any real public statements about the near-disaster.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

I hope that you and yours have a great Christmas Day! We'll be back tomorrow. Here's to wishing that the freezing rain outside doesn't cause too much trouble.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

For Once, Tim Kaine is Right!

Outgoing Gov. Tim Kaine states that "...the budget he is handing off to Gov.-elect Robert F. McDonnell, a Republican, is one he would have drafted for his own administration or for the Democratic candidate, if state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds had won the November gubernatorial election."

The difference would've been that Deeds would've readily accepted the income tax increase, McDonnell will not. Thus, Kaine is being honest that he's not putting in a tax increase to simply screw McDonnell...but he's still trying to pass off a tax increase. Period. Kaine is giving the right answer to the wrong question.

(h/t Barticles)

Another D.C.-Area Icon Passes...

George Michael (the sportscaster, not the singer) passed away this morning at the age of 70 after his battle with cancer.

He was the man who gave us "George Michael's Sports Machine" late on Sunday nights, which was the forerunner to SportsCenter. He was a mainstay on NBC 4, and host of Redskins Report for many, many years. George brought a level of energy and enthusiasm that was combined with perfect timing, a very distinct voice, and credible reporting.

I remember when I was little, when cable was in it's more primitive stages and Pay-Per-View was not an option for us with so few funds, I would stay up late on the nights of Pro Wrestling PPV's, and wait for George to give the results and clips from the show.

When I think back to growing up in the glory days of the Redskins in the 80's and early 90's, two voices ring loudly to me...Frank Herzog's play-by-play (Touchdown! Washington Redskins! iconic), and George Michael hosting Redskins Report and interviewing players during the week on the 5 and 6 o'clock news.

My thoughts and prayers go out to George's family and friends. He will be truly missed by all of us who grew up in the D.C. area.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Little Maintenence...

FYI for readers...I'm going to be tinkering with designs late at night. So if you visit the blog in the late evening or midnight hour, things may occasionally look drastically different with the blog's overall look. Will I make a permanent change? Who knows, but I'm going to tinker around a bit :)

The Following News Article is Brought to You by "Bad Parenting"

A Boston mother called the cops because she couldn't get her 14 year old son to stop playing Grand Theft Auto and go to bed. She also called because, at 2:30 AM, he decided to be defiant and turn on all the lights in the house. The cops apparently convinced the son to listen to his mother.

You don't need cops to convince your son to behave. What you need are parenting skills, the ability to pull the plug on the boy's gaming system and remove it from his room, and stiff resolve not to allow your punk 14 year old to walk all over you. However, if the kid was acting like this now, the parenting has to have been lacking in some form for a while, now.

This is why some believe that the nanny state is a good thing...because there are a select group of people who don't know how to raise their kids.

And Speaking of the Steve Hunt...

...Spock on one of NLS's comment threads finally explained this "ex-gay" thing about Steve Hunt to me. Kudos to Spock for finally answering my questions on this. He stated...

Phil- As a school board member, Hunt tried to bring "ex-gays" into the public school classrooms to tell kids how not to be gay if they are.

He also tried to do this without the consent of the rest of the school board.

This busted open a pandora's box of questions about Hunt, his own sexual orientation, and his lack of respect for policy procedure and his agenda.

I'll reiterate what I said in my reply to this. I don't endorse anything of this nature (despite the fact that it puts me at odds with some Republicans). I don't think that the schools should encourage or discourage anyone from deciding on their sexual orientation. It is not the place of public schools to do so. The fact that he did so by going around the rest of his board members is just an extra foul on this matter.

I know that there are Social Conservatives that don't like that I hold this viewpoint (especially since that I am, for all intents and purposes, on the right side of the aisle...just a bit "north" of the right) but that's just how I feel. A person's sexual orientation is a part of their genetic composition, it's more than just a simple choice, IMO.

Feel free to disagree with me, I'll probably understand why you would, but I simply do not endorse what Hunt apparently did.

Dave Marsden = The Harvey Dent of Virginia Politics

I missed this from Too Conservative a couple of days ago, but it bears repeating.

Dave Marsden was positioning himself as a centrist (Warner-esque, I suppose) who was against big government and higher taxes (basically, a conservative Democrat) in his campaign for the special election in the 37th State Senate district. Now he's attacking Bob McDonnell (who ran on being against big government and higher taxes) in a recent mailer, and positioning himself as the man who will fight against McDonnell and his agenda. The worst part is, Marsden is sending the mailer to not only Dems, but to Independents and Republicans as know, the people who supported McDonnell just over a month ago.

This is the same man who worked to get Ken Cuccinelli get elected to the General Assembly, and then became a Democrat, won a seat in the House of Delegates, and is now challenging for Cuccinelli's vacated Senate seat. The man is literally Two-Face (hence the "Harvey Dent" reference, kids).

Steve Hunt may win the special election out of Marsden's sheer confusion.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tuesday Night Music Club - 12/22/09

Just for fun, a forgotten classic from the greatest of all time (and one of the best names of a song ever, lol). From 1993, LL Cool J's "Pink Cookies in a Plastic Bag Getting Crushed by Buildings"

And, for a little Christmas cheer...from 1987, here's Run-DMC's "Christmas in Hollis"

and from 1994, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You"

White House, Congressional Dems Playing Hardball on Their Own

Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan states that the White House and Democratic Party leaders in Congress have been pressuring him not to speak out against the "compromise" language regarding abortion in the health care bill. Stupak is one of a group of Blue Dog Democrats and is also pro-life. He was one of the leaders of the Blue Dog stand against the health care bill in the House of Representatives.

Personally, by taking a stand like this against his own party, I believe that his political career (at least, within his current party) is probably done for anyway. If you're gonna go out, then, why not go out swinging and stand by your principles?

Connaughton Named McDonnell's Transportation Secretary

Former Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and U.S. Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton was named to Governor-elect Bob McDonnell's cabinet as his Secretary of Transportation. Connaughton was also a candidate for Lieutenant Governor in 2005, but lost the GOP nomination to current Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.

Commentary from Virginia Virtucon, Too Conservative, and Bearing Drift are all positive. I would have to agree. Connaughton has shown himself to be very proactive and practical in his decisions. Bearing Drift pointed out that Connaughton's experience with maritime administration provides an extra perspective, since Virginia is home to a lot of maritime traffic. Too Conservative also noted that Connaughton was the BoS Chairman in PWC when PWC was being recognized for it's efforts to build an excellent network of roads, and has received praise for this. This would make Connaughton an excellent choice for this position, and I've noticed a distinct lack of criticism from the opposition on this pick, because I don't see where they will have much to complain about, either.

GOP Makes an Interesting Move

According to Virginia Right!, the Republicans are forcing a vote of constitutionality on the health care bill. What makes this so interesting is the fact that there will be debate on the constitutionality of the bill, which will bring certain wording and phrasing in the bill to light (such as Harry "The Weasel" Reid's attempts to change Senate rules without a 2/3rds majority).

If they play this right, they can derail this bill...which would be a good thing, because nobody wants it, anyway.

Hugo Chavez Gets Mocked by Colombian Defense Minister

I love seeing Hugo Chavez get dissed. Warms my heart to no end, as he is just the latest in a long line of socialists who have preyed upon the poor in Latin America for votes, but do nothing for them.

Chavez recently accused Colombia (then the U.S.) of flying spy drones over his nation of Venezuela. Colombia's response to these accusations (from the WaPo article)...

Colombian Defense Minister Gabriel Silva and armed forces commander Freddy Padilla told reporters Monday that Colombian aircraft couldn't fly the kind of espionage mission described by Chavez.

"Colombia doesn't have that capability," said Silva. He quipped that perhaps "Venezuelan soldiers mistook Father Christmas' sleigh for a spy plane."

Mwahaha, it was Santa Claus! I love that kind of dismissal, because I know it burns the heart of those who feast upon attention...which Chavez certainly does.

This is why Congress should READ the Bills!

Apparently, part of Harry "The Weasel" Reid's last minute amendment to the Health Care Deform, I mean, Reform Bill was the following that was discovered by Redstate...

"Upon examination of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment to the health care legislation, Senators discovered section 3403. That section changes the rules of the United States Senate.

To change the rules of the United States Senate, there must be sixty-seven votes.

Section 3403 of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment requires that “it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.” The good news is that this only applies to one section of the Obamacare legislation. The bad news is that it applies to regulations imposed on doctors and patients by the Independent Medicare Advisory Boards a/k/a the Death Panels."

I'll bet that there are a few Dems who would not have even voted for cloture unless this had been removed first. This is a classic example of why Congress should read the bills they are passing.

(h/t United Conservatives)


Ugh...As a Skins fan, I must say that this is very typical. The minute you start to believe in these guys, they find a way to kill all of your faith in them. Tonight's game was a piss-poor performance and the Giants rightfully whipped our asses.

It is a good thing that Bruce Allen got here and has the opportunity to see who he wants to keep and who he wants to get rid of. These next 2 games are definitely an audition for next season.

However, once again, it's Dallas week...nothing to lose, guys...let's spoil their season!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Actress Brittany Murphy Dead at 32

Apparently, she suffered full cardiac arrest this morning.

Murphy was one of those actresses who managed to put together a prolific career without many "starring" roles. She always played a second or third major role very well.

She was great as the voice of Luanne and young Joseph on King of the Hill. Her performance in 8 Mile was excellent. She also had strong performances in such movies as Clueless (her first big break), Sin City, Girl, Interrupted, and Don't Say a Word. She collaborated with legendary DJ Paul Oakenfold on the number one Billboard Dance Club hit, "Faster Kill Pussycat".

I was not aware that she had health issues. It will be very interesting to see what brought this on, as I've never heard of her having any kind of health problems.


While I'm not the biggest fan of "celeb gossip" sites, TMZ usually has good scoops on these things and you can track their updates here.

Left-Leaners Against the Health Care Bill

Just a few people and organizations against this debacle of a Health Care Bill...

- Howard Dean
- National Organization of Women
- Markos Moulitsas
- Jane Hamsher and Gregg Levine of FireDogLake

These would be prominent tastemakers of the left, as well as some of the most effective firestarters for the Democratic Party's grassroots. This whole bill should be scrapped, as it would have to go back to the House even if it passes, because it is almost a completely different bill without the public option.

This thing is just going to bounce back and forth, which will simply alienate the Dem base and push the Independents away. I obviously don't have a problem with this, but I don't think that the White House should celebrate the fact that they basically bought off some of the moderates in a not-so-discreet fashion. It's bad public image, and the voters remember things like this.

The "Arrogance of Man"

Sarah Palin tweets about the Copenhagen "climate talks".

BTW, an important note was made in this article, Sarah Palin does NOT deny that climate change exists. She is skeptical on whether or not man has had as considerable an influence as some scientists would have you believe.

Another Lefty Attempts to Set Back U.S./British Relations

Pop singer/rocker-wannabe Pink compares British royalty to "rednecks" from the South due to their penchant for fox hunting.

Pink is a lefty (vocal in her anti-Bush sentiments during his 2nd term), and she follows the typical celebrity leftist line of being against hunting/fur use. That's fine that she doesn't believe in these things, but to call the British royal family "rednecks" and say that the Brits should replace the fur hats on the palace guards with designs from Stella McCartney shows a blatant ignorance about how the world outside of the celebrity bubble actually works.

Honestly, I'm confused as to how the hunting habits of the British royal family have to do with an American pop singer who has entered the downside of her career. I also wonder why she thinks that they will listen to her...does she think that her opinion will carry that much weight with the royal family?

This is the second time this year that a high-profile lefty has dissed the Brits. Remember, it was back in March that the highest-profile lefty of them all, Barack Obama, decided that 25 DVDs that won't even play on European DVD players was a perfect gift for Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Brits did not agree.

20 inches here in New Market... about you?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Got Tickets to Wayside Theater Tonight, and Work Tomorrow...

...and I might have to dig myself out tomorrow.

10 to 16 inches of snow expected. From 5-8, to 6-10, now 10-16?

This one's gonna be nasty, folks.


Anti-BVBL is hearing 20-25 inches, and a commenter on that post has heard as high as 30 inches. That is crazy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Virginia Should Brace for Heavy Snowfall

A "Winter Storm Watch" has been issued from late Friday night until late Saturday night for the North and Central Shenandoah Valley. The question is: how much snow will we get?

- The watch states over 5 inches.
- 104.9 FM said 6-10 inches this morning.
- A friend of mine stated that he read that it could be anywhere from 3 inches to a possible 2 feet.

Anyone have any other reports that they have heard?

To Bengals Fans

My heart goes out to the Bengals players, staff, and their families as well as the fans. Us Redskins fans know all too well what it is like to find out that one of your promising young stars, who has made a turn for the better in their life and career, has their life cut tragically short.

How to End a Sharp Recession

Ireland did it through being more fiscally conservative. Yankee Phil has it here.

Marking OUT!!!

As you know, I'm a huge pro wrestling fan...I have been since I was a little kid. Today, I got the greatest news that I could have possibly ever heard as a fan.

The best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be will return to the WWE on a short-term contract, effective January 1, 2010.

That's right, Bret "Hitman" Hart will be coming back to the WWE, and it appears he will be the full-time GM of Raw, and might be wrestling Vince McMahon himself at Wrestlemania XXVI. I'm a huge Hart fan, my favorite wrestler of all time. Nobody, in my opinion, has been as consistently great throughout his career as Hart has. Only a few are in his category as an elite performer. This is most surprising given his rocky relationship with the WWE from 1997 to 2005, and the fact that a stroke (brought on by one too many concussions) ended any possibility to a return to the ring.

Hart prided himself on having never injured another wrestler in his entire career, which began in the late 70's. He was ranked number 39 on the CBC's list of the 50 greatest Canadians in 2004, and was a WWE Hall of Fame inductee in 2006, Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee in 2008, and 1996 Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame inductee.

In the WWF (now WWE), he was a 5-time World Champion, 2-time Intercontinental Champion, 2-time Tag Team Champion, 1994 Slammy winner for "Wrestler of the Year", the second Triple Crown winner in WWF/E history, 1994 Royal Rumble co-winner, and 1991 and 1993 King of the Ring tournament winner. In WCW (where he wrestled for less than 3 years), he was a 2-time World Champion, 4-time United States Champion, and a 1-time Tag Team Champion.

Yes, many of you may ridicule me, but I don't care...I have every reason to mark out like a 10 year old and I intend on doing so for the next 5 months!

Cerrato is GONE!

A bit overdue, but still promising news for the future of the organization.

Actually, as much as Vinny Cerrato is responsible for the problems that the Washington Redskins have had over the past decade, it's players that he specifically sought after that have stepped up and performed well during the past 5 weeks. I'm glad to see him go, the team needs a fresh approach to it's drafting and free agent mentalities, and hopefully Daniel Snyder will stand out of the way.

New GM Bruce Allen has obvious ties to the team and the area, as he is the son of former Skins coach George Allen, and former Virginia Governor and Senator George F. Allen. Bruce Allen, given his track record, should have no problems addressing the team's most glaring weakness...the offensive line. He's done a good job in the past with this.

Now, the question remains, is this a sign that Jon Gruden is coming to DC? Gruden was head coach in Oakland and Tampa Bay during Allen's tenures with both of those teams.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday Night Music Club - 12/16/09

We here at the Podium are big music fans (funny how I refer to the Podium as a group, but it's just me). While hip-hop, heavy metal, classic rock, blue-eyed soul, and new jack swing are just a sample of what is on our playlist, the Podium has grown to really like Celtic Woman.

Celtic Woman is a quartet of beautiful Irish women with AMAZING voices that harmonize so well together. They've moved from traditional Celtic music to doing interpretations and interpolations of more recent and recognizable tunes, but they still mix in more traditional Celtic music as well. Luckily for us, they will be performing at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville on February 19th. I may be there if Christmas, New Years, and my birthday (which all fall in a 4 week span) doesn't drain the fun funds before then.

You can tell that these women take their music seriously, and put a lot of effort into what they do. Their pure talent and vocal arrangements are as good as it gets, in my honest opinion.

Here is Celtic Woman performing "O America", a beautiful song that was written specifically for the group. Despite being Irish, they have a strong affinity for America (they broke into the big time here first, as I've been told).

Here is quite possibly the most incredible performance of "Amazing Grace" I have ever seen and heard in my life. Also, here is their performance of "Níl Sé'n Lá", and a performance of Sting's beautiful "Fields of Gold" (which is a hard song for anyone to cover and get kudos from me). Enjoy.

The "Amazing Grace", "Níl Sé'n Lá", and "Fields of Gold" performances are from the "Songs From the Heart" CD and DVD that will be out in January, and the concert DVD is currently showing often on PBS (WVPT for us Valley folk).

NOTE: I do realize that this was posted early Wednesday morning, but it was Tuesday night when I started this post and found the YouTube clips.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Difference

The difference between Republicans and conservatives. Poignant stuff, I highly suggest you read it and the article it is derived from.

Gay Marriage Passes in D.C.

This is all good and fine as far as I'm concerned, except for one thing.

Apparently, the Catholic Church is being forced by this law to extend it's adoption services and other benefits to same-sex couples. If this is true, I cannot agree with this, because I do not think that a religious organization should not be subject to regulations that direct violate that church's doctrine. It's a violation of the separation of church and state, IMO, and if it is part of this legislation...I would be interested to see if it would actually hold up in the Supreme Court.

Other than that, I've got no problems with this legislation. The SoCons will be up in arms about this, but given that D.C. is a very liberal city, this wasn't exactly an unexpected outcome.

(h/t Anti-BVBL)

Another Podium Endorsement

As I stated in my previous post, I'm endorsing Republican Linda McMahon for Senate in Connecticut.

Ok, so I am a bit biased being a pro wrestling fan/columnist. I mean, after all, she was the CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. However, she's actually got a lot of qualities I like in a candidate. For example...

- Fiscally conservative, strong business background (her husband was the "face", but she was the fiscal brains behind the company...which has been fiscally sound for a long time). Also known for work in education, and was appointed to the Connecticut Board of Education.

- Made many initiatives that supported our troops by partnering the WWE with the USO. The WWE puts on a free show every year in either Iraq or Afghanistan for the troops that gets aired in the states. BTW, this year's "Tribute to the Troops" will air this Sunday on NBC at 9 pm.

- Clean campaign...limiting contributions to her campaign to $100. Not accepting PAC or special interest money. A clear contrast to the incumbent, Chris Dodd.

I like Linda McMahon's moxie, her fiscal positions, and the fact that she has had a successful career in business. In economic times such as these, it's good to have someone who has some sense on how to manage money.

GOP Liberty Caucus at Odds With NRSC

At least, that is the impression I was left with from this blog post at the RLC. The blog post, put up by Aaron Biterman, is dead on with it's assessments, though.

A headline in this week’s Tampa Tribune is titled “GOP infighting shakes party”. The article talks about a familiar 2009 theme: “An increasingly fractious challenge to the Republican Party from its own conservative base could relegate the party to indefinite minority status,” says author William March.

Yes, a familiar theme from the MSM...the GOP must move to the center, the Dems must move left.

No state has more of a fight on its hands than Florida, where Republican Party Chair Jim Greer has, no doubt, acted illegally to prop up his favorite candidates and help his friends defeat his enemies. This was already clear when Greer had his cronies boot Republican Liberty Caucus members from the party in September. Now there are increasingly vocal calls for Greer to resign as party boss.

Considering that it's usually the moderate candidates who lose, and the principled candidates seemed to keep their jobs for the most part after 2006 and 2008, you'd think that the non-moderates would be given a few more opportunities. Jim Greer should lose his don't kick out the guys who, with their fiscally conservative principles, actually capture the growing mood of the populous.

After knocking the NRSC for supporting moderate candidates in GOP primaries (instead of supporting the nominated candidate), the RLC goes after Karl Rove.

Whatsmore, the NRSC is now encouraging its readers to take advice from Karl Rove. In an e-mail the NRSC sent out yesterday, its Communications team forwarded an article from Karl Rove to all NRSC subscribers. Rove’s article was published in The Wall Street Journal, and the NRSC team said it’s a “WSJ Editorial You Should See”.

I saw it, and — shock! — I am not impressed.

Why is the NRSC encouraging its members to listen to Karl Rove? Rove’s name has come up in many political scandals, including the Valerie Plame affair, the Bush White House e-mail controversy and the dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy. Moreover, his strategy of “compassionate conservatism” along with his support of the Bush Doctrine are among the main reasons why Republicans lost in 2006 and 2008.

In the article, Rove says, “In Connecticut, Sen. Chris Dodd trails former Republican Rep. Rob Simmons 35% to 48% in the latest Quinnipiac poll.” Rove does not acknowledge that two other Republican candidates also poll ahead of Chris Dodd: Linda McMahon and RLC-endorsed candidate Peter Schiff. This “ignore at all costs” strategy has been something that Republican establishment candidates have been very skilled at, but has not yielded successful results.

Linda McMahon automatically gets my endorsement. Those who know me know why ;) In fact, I will add that endorsement soon (though I do think she is an excellent candidate on many issues). The blog closes out with this succinct statement.

The NRSC cannot be allowed to select Republican Senate candidates for GOP primary voters.

Registered Republicans in CA, CT, FL, IL, KY, and other states should select the best candidate to represent the state — without NRSC interference.

This is certainly a firebrand blog post with a lot of truth in it. However, the GOP needs to tread carefully. I don't know how well a conservative candidate like Chuck DeVore will do in California, where Carly Fiorina is already ahead of Barbara Boxer in early polling and the electorate tends to lean moderate-to-left in the populated areas.

I think Rubio will give Crist a run for his money in Florida. Also, I think Rand Paul should get a ton of support in his primary campaign given that he is the son of the RLC's favorite son, and he should have a great shot at taking Jim Bunning's soon-to-be-open seat.

Bottom line of advice to the NRSC (and the NRCC)...don't ignore the conservatives and the conservatarians.

Blogroll Additions (Link Pimpin')

On the Virginia front, I've added...
- Fishersville Mike
- Fred Malek
- Tidewater Liberty
- Andrew Clem (don't know how I didn't have this on there before)

On the National front, I've added...
- The Humble Libertarian
- Republican Liberty Caucus blog
- Libertarian Party blog
- Free State Blogs

Check 'em out!

Running for Office Tip # 167

"Keep your campaign debts paid"

Apparently, 87th House District challenger John Amiral has skipped town and owes a number of people some money (including thousands to media outlets in campaign ads), and was fined by the State Board of Elections for failing to file his final campaign finance report. According to a GOP official, he is in Azerbaijan visiting family. The official did stress that if Amiral is in debt, he needs to get these debts taken care of, and that leaving them unpaid reflects poorly upon the party.

Gotta pay those bills and file those reports, John...those are pretty important functions for an elected official.

(h/t Vivian Paige)

Best of Luck, Joe...

Former Mayor of Harrisonburg Joe Fitzgerald is seeking the Democratic Party nomination to run for H-Burg city council. Joe previously served on the city council from 2000-2004 and has been an editor/contributer over at hburg news for over 2 years.

Joe and I have butted heads often over at hburg news, mainly over immigration issues and other things (we do sit on different sections of the ideological spectrum). However, despite my differences with Joe on many issues (and there are plenty of them), I do believe that Joe truly feels he is doing the right things for the city of Harrisonburg. They may not always be what I consider to be the right things, but he doesn't pander to certain groups nor does he seem entrenched in good ol' boy politics. That deserves a tip of the hat in and of itself.

Is this an endorsement? No, not at all, because I have my differences with him. However, it is a "best wishes" and "good luck" to a member of the loyal opposition.

Nike's Phil Knight on Tiger Woods

Despite what you may think about Tiger Woods right now, I think Phil Knight made a very honest statement yesterday. If only for the fact that this is what happens when things become hindsight. The crux of what Knight said came in these sentences:

"When his career is over, you'll look back on these indiscretions as a minor blip, but the media is making a big deal out of it right now."

While some will see it as a bigger blip than others, let's not kid ourselves. Unless these kinds of incidents continue to plague him throughout the rest of his career, and he's constantly getting into some kind of trouble from here on out, society as a whole will give him a pass when assessing his career 10 or 20 years from now. America is a pretty forgiving nation, so I believe Knight is absolutely correct in saying that.

Reviving Federalism

Common sense to some of us, a compelling argument for others to read.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tiger Woods...Our Generation's Wilt Chamberlain?

Wilt Chamberlain once claimed to have slept with over 20,000 women. With the roll call of Tiger's mistresses growing longer and longer each day, I imagine there are many more women who are simply keeping quiet or were one-night stands, compared to being long-term mistresses. I begin to think...was Tiger bound to become the next Wilt Chamberlain?

The reason why I ask this is because we're now up to 14 mistresses for the greatest golfer of all time (that proclaimation is arguable to some, not to me). He's got everything from waitresses at Perkins, to hardcore porn stars, to nightclub hostesses and bartenders, to wannabe reality TV stars.

The man certainly has gotten around.

Shenandoah County Growing in the Blogosphere

I had gone away for a while, and now I'm back. However, it appears that a few other Shenandoah County-based bloggers have come about.

- Craig Orndorff (not the one from WSVG mornings) has a very good political blog. I've only corresponded with Craig a few times, but I do enjoy his site.
- The 7 Bends of the Shenandoah Valley website has a blog that has been up and running since October.
- The Tea Party group in Strasburg did have a blog-styled site going until very recently.

Nice to see some other Shenandoah County-based bloggers hitting the scene.

Also, I have done some blogroll updates, both statewide and national. Added some good blogs, removed some that became inactive or just weren't reading anymore.

LeBron James Wants Fries With That

A little harmless fun and showboating by one of the best players in the league today...

Ron Paul for Senate or Governor in 2010?

I'm hearing rumors of both. Would be interesting if Kay Bailey Hutchinson does indeed step down. Then again, if she doesn't step down until after 2010, current Texas Governor Rick Perry would be waiting in the wings as well, and he's got solid approval ratings and a pretty decent campaign machine behind him.

I like Perry, I also like Ron Paul, though there are some differences between them and there are some different reasons why I like each of them...both seem to have a pretty good handle on the Constitution and the limits it places on the federal government.

The Thanks I Get for Being a Friend to Conservatives...

I guess I'm too libertarian to be in the club, despite being ranked number 17 ;)

Ah well, the SWAC group never really liked me anyway, though I've never really known why (except that I backed Myron once or twice, that seemed to irk them). I've always thought I've shown them a good amount of respect.

*shrugs shoulders*, c'est la vie.

CORRECTION: Megan reminded me that there were three who sat on the right side of things over at DWJ, not two as I had stated in the comments below. It's been a while since I reminisced over the old DWJ days.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Err, Uhh, Umm...You! You! You've Gotta Run!

Apparently, the Democrats were pressured into finding someone by pro-Obama activists to take on Jeff McWaters in the 8th District special election. The choice is Bill Fleming, a business owner.

Fleming stated "This is last minute on a shoe string, but there are volunteers here who feel there should be a choice".

Ya think? The election is Jan. 12th. This will hurt the chances for Dave Marsden in the 37th District against Steve Hunt to replace AG-elect Ken Cuccinelli, as that race seems to be a toss-up at this point. Instead of putting their eggs in a potential gain in the State Senate, they're going to have to divert resources, funding, and manpower into a no-win situation.

(h/t Bearing Drift)

More Bad News for the Gagne Family

First, an Altzheimer's-stricken Verne Gagne kills a fellow nursing home resident (he threw the man down and placed him in a boston crab...obviously an episode of his Altzheimer's), now his granddaughter Gail is accused of having a sexual relationship with a student at the high school where she was a teacher.

Old-school wrestling fans know the Gagne family. Verne Gagne was an olympic wrestler who co-founded and ran the American Wrestling Association (AWA) until it folded in 1991 (AWA Championship Wrestling episodes used to run on ESPN in the 80's, reruns are shown often on ESPN Classic). The AWA was one of the big 3 promotions during the 80's (along with the WWF and the NWA/WCW). Verne's son Greg was also a professional wrestler as well as a road agent for WCW and the WWE. Gail Gagne, who is the accused teacher, is Greg's daughter.

However, the young man whom Gail Gagne was having a relationship with was 16. Now, it is inappropriate for a teacher and a student to have a sexual relationship...but at the same time, I can't help but contemplate "was he really a 'victim', as they claim he is"? If a young, attractive teacher came on to me when I was 16, it would've been definitely inappropriate, but I wouldn't have considered myself a "victim".

I don't know. Knowing that I knew as much as I did when I was 16, I find it very hard to believe that this young man is a "victim".

Tea Partiers and Christian/Social Conservatives...Not the Same Thing

I love how some on the left automatically consider them the same thing.

Tea Partiers are more economically/fiscally conservative types. The Tea Party movement has really nothing to do with social conservatism. At it's core, it's really more of a semi-libertarian sentiment in the sense that social issues are not part of the issue (as they shouldn't be). It is a call for a reduction in government intervention in our pockets and in our lives.

Social and Christian conservatives have more of a social issue agenda. They are against gay marriage, abortion, sex education beyond abstinence, etc..., which require government intervention in many ways. While many do agree with the Tea Party movement's goals of limited government, they do favor some government intervention that many others in the Tea Party movement may not.

You can't lump them in as being the same. Social conservatives had a hero in George Bush, who was no patron saint of small-government conservatives. The Tea Party movement, in and of itself, has nothing to do with social issues. It is a "reduce government" movement.

Where the two overlap (in a Venn Diagram sense) is to put an end to rampant government spending, kowtowing to other nations for no reason other than "image", increases in regulation, and enviro-socialist policies. However, many in the Tea Party movement are not social or christian conservatives. They are people who simply believe that government has gone out of control with power and spending.

You Know, I Have an Idea for the Gitmo Detainees...

I think I know what to do with the many terrorists and suspected terrorists we have detained at Guantanamo Bay, since we have to do something with them. It may not be such a bad idea to put them in our prisons.

Before you spit coffee on your screen and attempt to virtually hurl your mug at me, allow me to explain.

See, some of the most anti-terrorist people are biker gang members. We have a decent population of them in our prisons. I say we should place these terrorists in a wing of the prisons with the bikers, and see if they "get along". In fact, shortly after they get placed there, maybe we should have the guards go on a lunch break so the bikers and terrorists can "get to know each other". I think the bikers would definitely enjoy having some "quality time" with the terrorists, don't you?

I'm so evil sometimes ;)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Green: The New Red

Socialism changed it's colors from red to green, as in Environmentalism has become the new socialism. Charles Krauthammer, as only he can do, puts it into perfect perspective.

"One of the major goals of the Copenhagen climate summit is another NIEO shakedown: the transfer of hundreds of billions from the industrial West to the Third World to save the planet by, for example, planting green industries in the tristes tropiques.

Politically it’s an idea of genius, engaging at once every left-wing erogenous zone: rich man’s guilt, post-colonial guilt, environmental guilt."

Isn't that the truth. Krauthammer addresses the EPA's newest proclaimations of regulation jurisdiction (which I blogged about previously). To that, he says...

This naked assertion of vast executive power in the name of the environment is the perfect fulfillment of the prediction of Czech president (and economist) Vaclav Klaus that environmentalism is becoming the new socialism, i.e., the totemic ideal in the name of which government seizes the commanding heights of the economy and society.

Socialism having failed so spectacularly, the Left was adrift until it struck upon a brilliant gambit: metamorphosis from red to green. The cultural elites went straight from the memorial service for socialism to the altar of the environment. The objective is the same: highly centralized power given to the best and the brightest, the new class of experts, managers, and technocrats. This time, however, the alleged justification is not abolishing oppression and inequality, but saving the planet.

As on-point as it gets. Krauthammer continues...

Not everyone is pleased with the coming New Carbon-Free International Order. When the Obama administration signaled (in a gesture to Copenhagen) a U.S. commitment to major cuts in carbon emissions, Democratic senator Jim Webb wrote the president protesting that he lacks the authority to do so unilaterally. That requires congressional concurrence by legislation or treaty.

I don't normally agree with Jim Webb, but he is right here.

With the Senate blocking President Obama’s cap-and-trade carbon legislation, the EPA coup d’etat served as the administration’s loud response to Webb: The hell we can’t. With this EPA “endangerment” finding, we can do as we wish with carbon. Either the Senate passes cap-and-trade, or the EPA will impose even more draconian measures: all cap, no trade.

Forget for a moment the economic effects of severe carbon chastity. There’s the matter of constitutional decency. If you want to revolutionize society — as will drastic carbon regulation and taxation in an energy economy that is 85 percent carbon-based — you do it through Congress reflecting popular will. Not by administrative fiat of EPA bureaucrats.

Krauthammer has a suggestion for Congress to fix this mess from becoming too great to handle...

Congress should not just resist this executive overreaching, but trump it: Amend existing clean-air laws and restore their original intent by excluding CO2 from EPA control and reserving that power for Congress and future legislation.

Can't argue with logic, law, and common sense.

(h/t The Mason Conservative)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Controversial? Kelly is new Notre Dame Football Coach

Apparently, it's official now. Brian Kelly, currently head coach at the University of Cincinnati, is going to be the next head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

I mention this because there had been controversy within the higher-ups at Notre Dame over the fact that Kelly is apparently pro-choice, which is naturally a big deal considering this is the largest Catholic university in the country.

Personally, I don't see where a person's abortion beliefs determine how good of a football coach they are going to be, but I understand where the university might have had a place to take issue, since the Catholic church is so against abortion.

Congrats to Coach Kelly, he did a masterful job turning Cincinnati into a top-5 football team, let's see if he can return the Fighting Irish to glory, as well.

Count Me In...

To think, I was never a big fan of ol' Dubya, but I'd be one of the 44% that would prefer him to Obama right now.

Reid: Take the Weekend Off so I Can do Fundraising

Senate Majority Leader Harry "Weasel" Reid wants the Senate to "take the weekend off" because he sees no point in working through the weekend while debating the new health care bill.

The real reason...he has a $1000/plate fundraising dinner to attend on Saturday, the funds go towards his re-election campaign.

The Senate GOP has rejected this request, stating that they are ready to debate the health care bill as long as necessary and citing Reid's statement that the Senate would work through every weekend until the health care debate was done.

Unpack those bags, Harry, you've got work to do.

Oh, Here We Go...

I was waiting for something like this to come out...that Tiger's "shunning" of being black is why he doesn't have the black community lining up to defend him like they did with O.J., Barry Bonds, etc..., and that he wouldn't be in this position if he just said "I'm black" instead of his multiracial term, "cablinasian".

See, that's the problem. You should defend someone simply because you share a race with them. Also, Woods should not have to proclaim one of his races over another to garner the support of a race. Woods should stand alone and be judged for his actions.

Rand Paul Promises to Introduce Downsize DC Agenda

This the stuff I want to hear! Time to break out the old endorsement panel for the son of liberty's best friend.

The agenda includes...

The Read The Bills Act (make Congress read the bills before they debate and vote)
The One Subject At a Time Act (keep all amendments germane to the bills)
The Write the Laws Act (make Congress write the laws, instead of allowing unelected bureaucrats to do so)

Also, Rand Paul promised to co-sponsor the Enumerated Powers Act (force federal government to obey the 9th and 10th Amendments), and reintroduce the Fiscal Responsibility Act (cut Congressional pay each year we run a budget deficit, cuts grow larger in consecutive deficit years).

C'mon Dems, When Does Enough Become Enough?

Congressional Democrats to raise debt ceiling by as much as $1.8 trillion in 2010.

You know, all the progressive taxation in the world wouldn't corral the debt load that your crew of power-tripping leftists are leading us into. Even if we were to cease military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan right now, next year's budget would have deficit at around $1.3 trillion (and that is a conservative estimate).

Yes, Bush got this ball rolling (which is why I don't label him a conservative, at least not in a fiscal sense), but the Dems are turning a steep hill into Mount Everest at this point.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cooch Wrong on Assessment of Deeds

Apparently, AG-elect Ken Cuccinelli thinks that Creigh Deeds would have won if he had moved farther to the left in his stances during the campaign. Either Cooch is trying to throw the Dems off by giving them intentionally bad advice, or he really doesn't know Virginia as well as he thinks he does.

See, the past two governors of this state have campaigned and won on being centrist as Democrats can get. Very "third way", blue dog images. Virginia is, much to the chagrin of "progressives", not nearly as "blue" as they would like to think it is. It's a reddish-purple.

Deeds, IMO, ran to the left of his pre-election image. If he was trying to run as a centrist, he would've used his more conservative views in his campaigning. Instead, he focused on wedge issues like McDonnell's social issues (which were never an issue with him as a legislator, anyway) and touted run-of-the-mill Democratic Party stances such as more progressive taxation and the like (even though he didn't come right out and say it). He did try to carry on the "Warner-Kaine Tradition", as they like to call it, and focusing on that would have HELPED him with independents, which would have given him a much better edge.

However, with the tide turning against the Democratic Party both on a statewide and national level, I don't think any Democratic Party candidate would have had a chance. Even the mighty fundraiser himself, Terry McAuliffe, wouldn't have had much of a chance...McDonnell fundraising resources that he would've been able to tap into on a national level to match McAuliffe. The national GOP was ready to push hard for McDonnell if he needed it.

(h/t Blue Virginia)

The Podium on FTL...

I called into Free Talk Live last night about the EPA declaration regarding CO2 emissions that I posted about yesterday. I figured it was a topic that would greatly suit the tone of the show (very libertarian radio show, it is on Monday-Saturday from 7-10 on 790 AM here in the Valley).

Click here for the archive of the show (I got on towards the end of hour 2) and hear my not-so-pretty voice.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

EPA = Totalitarians

James Young makes an excellent point about the latest declaration from our friendly neighborhood socialists over at the EPA.

Apparently, now CO2 is a pollutant that the EPA can regulate. Of course, without CO2, plants die, which then means people die. Also, all animals give off CO2 naturally. Does this mean that the EPA can regulate how much we breathe, how many kids we have, or how long we live?

Honestly, that kind of declaration removes the limits and restrictions of a democracy. Hopefully, this will be challenged and struck down.

Is Kaine Insane in the Brain?

Tim Kaine claims he would have easily been reelected if he would have been able to run in November. While Kaine has had his moments of popularity in this state, he's been on a downward slide since his handling of the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings.

Kaine failed to live up to the promises he made to the left of the Democratic Party, and found ways to draw the ire of the state GOP. He squandered the budget and failed to get anything substantial moving on transportation. He would not have been able to rally the independents like he did in 2005, as they had grown disenchanted with both him and the Democrats.

Would Kaine have lost by the same margin as Deeds? Probably not, as he had name recognition. However, Kaine would have lost by 6-8 percent. I'm pretty sure of that. Timmy's got an awful high opinion of himself to make such a bold statement.

Rain, Ice, Snow...Who Knows?

We've gone from minor sleet, to an ice storm, to just a whole lot of rain in our forecast for Tuesday evening into Wednesday. Well, they are saying we'll get a tenth of an inch at the most. I'm happy there won't be much ice, as I'm not a fan of hour-long commutes in ice, especially since my commute is exclusively on I-81.

I-81 is notorious for accidents already, as evidenced by yesterday's fatal crash involving an SUV and an 18-wheeler (which I saw the aftermath...the impact caused an axle to rip off of the truck). So sad to hear, but unfortunately it seems to be a fairly common occurrence on I-81.


In what has to be the funniest use of the suffix "-gate" term ever used, we now have one of President Obama's czars (Safe School Czar Kevin Jennings) under fire for handing out "fisting kits" and offering such seminars as "Spit or Swallow: Is It Rude?" and fisting lessons to 14-21 year old kids.

Jennings was the head of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), and GLSEN themselves (when confronted about the topics) had their own concerns about these things and confronted Jennings about it...who promptly dismissed the concerns (and GLSEN did nothing about it).

Now, I knew what all that stuff was when I was 14, and I understand the context "better be safe than sorry" and "kids should be educated about protection". I personally favor a comprehensive sexual education that teaches protection, knowledge, AND abstinence (of course, I think parents should be more involved in that kind of education, as well...but that's just me). However, I'm pretty sure that this isn't the type of thing that parents of any ideological bent want being promoted to kids and young adults.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Redskins Take Saints to the Limit in OT Thriller

The Redskins had multiple 10-point leads, but couldn't put the still-undefeated Saints away. The final score was 33-30.

I thought Saints' coach Sean Payton's attempts to try and score a TD in OT when they had a guaranteed game-winning field goal was a bit unnecessary, as if he had to make a point with the Redskins having pushed the Saints to the brink of a loss.

Shawn Suisham blew a game-sealing 23 yard field goal late in the 4th quarter, which is the second time in 3 weeks he has done this (if you recall, he missed two potential game-winners in Dallas). This allowed the Saints to move the ball 80 yards in 33 seconds with no timeouts left. C'mon now, this is the New Orleans Saints, they're too good to give any breathing room to them.

However, considering how injury-riddled this team is, the Redskins looked phenomenal for most of the game. Jason Campbell (who I feel is unfairly criticized, considering he hasn't had much protection until lately) had a career day, picking apart the Saints secondary for 367 yards and 3 TDs. Vaunted young WR Devin Thomas finally had his breakout day, catching 7 passes for 100 yards and 2 TDs. The passing offense is finally coming together, and the RB-by-committee has given the team balance.

I almost feel that Jim Zorn may deserve one last chance if this sudden lift in performance continues through the rest of the season. Almost...

BCS Predictions

Well, despite the fact that they did not LOOK like they deserved it last night, I'm 100% sure it will be Texas facing Alabama for the national championship. Personally, I'd love to see TCU play Alabama, because I think they have an offense that would give the Crimson Tide some serious fits.

Brad Edwards at ESPN has the following BCS bowl predictions...

BCS Title Game: Texas vs. Alabama
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Oregon
Fiesta Bowl: TCU vs. Boise State
Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. Iowa
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Cincinatti

Can't really argue with those, and there are some very interesting matchups there. Texas/Alabama should be a classic game. Oregon would romp over a vastly overrated Ohio State team. TCU/Boise State and Florida/Cincy would feature a LOAD of offense in both games. GT/Iowa would feature Tech's powerful running game going against Iowa's stingy D. These would be intriguing matchups...though I'd actually like to see TCU take on Florida. That's the only change I would make in those bowl matchups.

Nonetheless, to have 5 unbeaten teams at the end of the year is INSANE! At the same time, it goes to show that good talent is obtainable for lesser-known universities (see Cincy, Boise State, TCU). Things should be interesting post-New Years Day.

Sarah Palin at the Gridiron Club Dinner

If there is one thing I like about Sarah Palin, it is her use of tasteful, but pointed humor. She poked fun at the media, at Obama and Biden, and herself. Don't know what her ambitions are, politically, but (as Dennis Miller would say) I like the cut of her jib, here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

McWaters Nominated to Replace Ken Stolle

Apparently, it wasn't even close. Also, it doesn't appear that the Dems are going to even challenge this one. Considering that the Virginia Dems are focused on a much easier race (in theory) with the 37th District (and Stolle, a Republican, had a solid hold on this seat anyway), I can see why they would let it go in this particular special election.

Max Baucus Has Some Questions to Answer

Sen. Max Baucus (MT) apparently nominated his staffer-turned-mistress-turned-girlfriend to become the next United States Attorney in Montana. Supposedly, she was awarded this solely on merit. Somehow, my BS detector is going off at that statement.

Apparently, Melodee Hanes photos are hard to come by, as well. Slightly odd for someone who supposedly has had visibility in the public spotlight.

Half-Lit or Half-Wit?

You decide.

Is this Gov. Kaine's way of "going green" and saving electricity ;)

Goodbye Mr. Monk

I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed the series finale of "Monk". It was an example of how one can make a very good and intriguing show without always having to find new envelopes to push. Hats off to Tony Shalhoub for his wonderful performance as the title character over the past 8 seasons.

Speaking of "Monk"-related items. Today is the birthday of my favorite football player of all time, Redskins Hall-of-Famer Art Monk. :)

Another Case of Personal Property Rights Being Violated

A man arrested for trespassing on his own property. All he was doing was going after the people who were violating an easement on the property.

(h/t The Contemporary Conservative)

Someone Explain this "Ex-Gay" Thing About Steve Hunt

For instance, Ben mentions this multiple times over at NLS.

Someone care to explain this whole "ex-gay" deal? He's an ex-gay? He knows ex-gays? He believes gays can become ex-gays?

I don't know much about the guy, so a little info would be appreciated.

Comcast to Purchase NBC/Universal from GE?


The political ramifications from this would be intriguing, as GE has been a strong advocate of the Democratic Party (this is pretty well-documented), and NBC has promoted such things as "Green Week" and other subtle pushes of items that are on the left's agenda. NBC has been a friend to the Obama administration thus far.

The question that I ask is, "Will this continue with Comcast overseeing operations?" I know nothing of any political slant from Comcast, so who knows.


Comcast CEO Brian Roberts just came out today to endorse Obamacare. I guess that was part of the deal...?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Palin's "Birther" Controversy...Or Lack Thereof

Just because Sarah Palin said it's a "fair question" for the public to ask whether or not Obama was born in the United States, that does not mean she is a "birther". She even stated herself that she would not make a big issue of it.

There is a difference between saying "it's a valid question, but I'm not going to make a big deal of it" (which is basically what Palin said) and saying "He's obviously not an American citizen, he can't prove it, let's get him!!!" (which is how her comments are being portrayed in the mainstream media).

Perspective, people! Let's get serious. I'm in the same boat. I think it's a valid question to ask when there have been so many challenges (and so few responses from the White House) regarding Obama's validity as a natural-born citizen. That doesn't mean I'm going to make a big deal of it either.

(h/t Below The Beltway)

We Pause 10 seconds for a "What The Hell" Moment

Google Street View fails on so many levels here...

Eastern Seaboard Snowfall Expected Tomorrow...

Be careful out there. This is the latest from the National Weather Service regarding the upcoming storm for the Central Shenandoah Valley...




How Did Robert Gibbs Get His Job, Again?

Honestly, you would think that the press secretary of the White House would have a little more tact than this.

Stay classy, Robert.

Gov. Kaine's Good Intentions

Apparently, Gov. Kaine is going to attempt to have state employee insurance cover same-sex partners as well, just like married heterosexual couples. This is great in theory, and I whole-heartedly endorse the idea. However, you will run into a problem with this, and Gov. Kaine may create an unintentional legal loophole with this should it pass.

See, if unmarried same-sex couples can get insurance benefits, then unmarried heterosexual couples can get those same benefits. I know that this is not the intention of the Governor's plan, he is simply trying to extend benefits to gay couples who may very well be married if they had the right to do so. Now, if gay couples were able to get civil unions/marriage rights, you would eliminate these tricky legal situations.

Realistically, this is why I'm convinced that the term "marriage" should be defined as a union under God (which each church should have the free will and right to decide if it should be so for gay couples). Define unions under law as just that, a civil union, and allow this for heterosexual and homosexual couples with equal legal rights. This would also create a lot less of a problem in terms of contract law and less problems with propositions such as Gov. Kaine's.

(h/t NLS)


Some have stated that this proposal would simply cover those who are all within the same household as a state employee. Not so sure about how this would not cost the state taxpayers more money, but Kaine claims it won't.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Obama Finds a New Source of Inspiration


New Market Mayor Faces Fraud Charges...From His Own Family

Once in a while, small-town politics can be home to something of interest or amusement.

New Market mayor Larry Smith is being accused by his brothers of stealing from their share of the inheritance left to all three of them by their mother when she passed in 2001.

Apparently, there were 2 trust accounts that were to be divided up so each brother would inherit $994,568. Instead, one trust paid the brothers $3000/month, and Smith kept the money from the other trust (if I'm reading this correctly).

"I was getting the majority of the value on the outset and there was a distribution to my brothers," Larry Smith said in a Dec. 9, 2008, examination with an attorney for Farmers and Merchants Bank, according to a transcript of the examination. "Because I was serving as the trustee, the understanding I was serving as the trustee and it was my sole source of income."

That statement, from the previously-linked Northern Virginia Daily article, cannot be true. Smith owns and operates the Cross Roads Inn which is a bed and breakfast here in New Market. Obviously, he has more than one source of income.

Smith also claims that he needs the money more than his brothers do. While that may be true (Smith is in the midst of his second bankruptcy filing in less than 16 months), he was not properly executing the distribution of the funds. Also, Smith claims that his has a right to the money as a fiduciary fee. Given that his brothers claim that Smith has paid himself over $2 million from the trust, I find a 60+% fiduciary fee hard to believe as reasonable.

Smith has also used the trust as a guarantor for many loans (both personal and business), and there is now $1.25 million in claims against the trust.

Ouch, Mr. Mayor. Business loans? I thought this trust was your sole source of income?

NY Senate Strikes Down Gay Marriage Bill...

Really, does government need to legislate such things? What consenting human adults do in their private sexual lives is really none of the government's business. Also, I really don't see the harm in gay marriage under law. As far as under God, let the individual religions handle that on their own.

Nonetheless, I love the "objective" reporting in this article. For example...

"The State Assembly passed it, but the dysfunctional Senate could only muster 24 of the 32 votes it needed."

Hmm, I wonder what this reporter was looking for in an outcome...c'mon, let's just report the news instead of injecting commentary. It would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thoughts on the Smoking Ban

This is a comment I left over at NLS on this topic (which he supports with great fervor)...

I am a former cigarette smoker (and occasional cigar aficionado), but I'm not one of these self-righteous fools who believes that only those they agree with have rights. They don't like smoking, so they believe a smoker should not have the right to enjoy a meal and a cigarette in the same place. Especially in bars and nightclubs, where getting in and out of the establishment to have a smoke can be a hassle.

Lest we forget, a lot of tobacco companies do business in Virginia...they could very well take their business, their jobs, and their tax revenue to another state if we keep demonizing innocent civilians who happen to enjoy cigarettes.

I believe that the property owners and restaurant managers should make the decision regarding whether or not they will allow smoking, and the free market (meaning us, the patrons) will decide if we will go to a non-smoking or a smoking-permitted establishment. Unfortunately, there are those who feel that the state should provide legislation that bans everything that they don't like, no matter how ridiculous it may be.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Return...?

It's been quite a while, but the Podium may be seeing a return to action.

Yours truly has been off finishing up his Bachelor's Degree program, and will be done by mid-December, thus leaving me with the free time that I did not have previously. So right now, I'm simply contemplating the idea of coming back to blogging. The time seems right, and I've talked plenty of politics with people during my hiatus, so I've stayed pretty much up-to-date regarding most of the shenanigans that are Virginia politics.

Will I or won't I, that's the question I have to wrestle with at this time. We shall see...