Friday, February 19, 2010

Mega-Kudos to Team USA!

After years of being "close" in the Winter Olympics, the Americans have been exceeding all expectations at this year's games in Vancouver. They currently lead the medal count with 18 so far (with 9 days left), and are 7 medals ahead of the number 2 nation, Germany.

This is a leapfrog over the performance in Torino 4 years ago, where the Americans finished 2nd behind Germany (29-25 overall). The United States Olympic team has placed better emphasis in Winter Games in recent decades, and the efforts are showing. Just to give you an idea...

Lake Placid, 1980: 12 medals (3rd place, but 10 medals away from 2nd place USSR, and 11 less than East Germany)
Sarajevo, 1984: 8 medals (tied for 5th place, winner was the USSR with 25 medals)
Calgary, 1988: 6 medals (tied for 6th place, winner was USSR with 28 medals)
Albertville, 1992: 11 medals (6th place, winner was Germany with 26 medals)
Lillehammer, 1994: 13 medals (tied for 5th place, winner was Norway with 26 medals)
Nagano, 1998: 13 medals (6th place, winner was Germany with 29 medals)
Salt Lake City, 2002: 34 medals (2nd place, winner was Germany with 36 medals)
Torino, 2006: 25 medals (2nd place, winner was Germany with 29 medals)

America has only won the overall medal count in the Winter Olympics once, at the 1932 games in Lake Placid. It's nice to see our athletes perform so well on an international stage in a venue that they haven't always been so successful.

On a related note, the Russian team, who predicted they would win 40 medals (including 9 golds), are currently well back with 4 total medals, and only 1 gold.

Go Team USA!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ok, See, When I Warned the Tea Parties Yesterday, THIS is What I Meant!

Apparently, the Tea Party activists are going after Ron Paul for not being "conservative enough." Although Paul has been supportive of the movement, he's been moving away from them recently because he feels the tone has been overly-antagonistic.

Ron Paul's 2008 Presidential bid is what was the catalyst for the Tea Party movement! I cannot stand for this, and I'm already going to endorse Ron Paul for re-election to his seat in the House of Representatives.

See, this is what happens when you don't stick to your fundamental principles because you attract the wrong kind of people. I'm so angry at this right now, I'm ready to tell the Tea Partiers to stop dumping the tea, and jump off the ship themselves.

Monday, February 8, 2010

An Objective View of the Tea Party Movement

I'll preface this by saying that I've never attended a Tea Party demonstration. I do like the initial principles that were espoused by the Tea Party: limiting government, promoting free enterprise, and protecting individual freedom. I am skeptical about where this movement may be headed, given the philosophical predilictions of those who have jumped on board with the Tea Partiers in recent months.

Anyway, I'm going to take a look at the Tea Party, where it can do a lot of good, and what it needs to do to avoid being "hijacked" by people who don't understand the true principles of the movement.

Let's be real, here...the Tea Party Movement is too large to be considered a bunch of "fringe right-wing wingnuts". This movement is something that has appeal to conservatives, libertarians, and third-way/centrist Democrats who saw the prosperity that came with the 1990's and the continuation of non-expansionist government policy.

There are those who think that it is a racist movement, since it is anti-Obama. I'm a bit tired of this rhetoric. As long as Obama is black, there will always be someone who claims any attempt to push back against his agenda is rooted in some kind of blatantly racist motive. Since Obama will always be black, there will always be someone who pulls the race card to discredit the push-back.

While I'm sure there are those who may hold such sentiments within the movement (as there are in all political parties), it is an obviously small minority. There are too many people who favor the Tea Party principles that it isn't some kind of tiny fringe group who happen to make a lot of noise. Get over it, race-baiters, the Tea Party principles of good, limited government are more in line with Ron Paul than with Pat Robertson, despite what others may want you to think.

While many may knock Sarah Palin, she said some things that many people across the majority of the political spectrum (except for dedicated "progressives"). In fact, I was watching MSNBC after Palin's speech, and they had the always-thinking Lionel talking about what Palin said. I do not remember who was hosting the post-speech commentary, but I know it was someone who was a part of the left (I think it was Ed Schultz, but I could be wrong). However, Lionel told the host that in Palin's speech "she said things that, if it wasn't Sarah Palin saying them, you would agree with."

Palin's general stance on the fact that government should roll back it's size and scope is one that many, many people can agree with. Given Palin's populist appeal, she can be a lightning rod for the Tea Party Movement to push forward with more support.

The movement (and using Palin as a lightning rod) is not without faults, though.

First of all, the Tea Party Movement (in principle) should really have nothing to do with religion. However, using Palin as a lightning rod will naturally attract a lot of social conservatives. The same social conservatives who supported the Republicans who allowed government spending and budget deficits to expand on their watch for 6 years under George W. Bush. If we want to move in a different direction, we have to change fiscal thinking and reduce government's size and scope. This will require moving away from the social issues, as they are not part of the Tea Party's principles.

There are those who want to push very "Christian" ideals in the Tea Party (I guess sensing an opportunity to "start over and get it right" in their opinion). Some of the ideas I've heard tossed around have involved pushing Christianity in schools (or "keeping God in school"). I've found this to be odd, because all through my 13 years of primary education, I only found "God" to be a part of school twice...once, in Kindergarten, at a Lutheran school...and the other in 8th grade, at a Catholic school. The rest of the time, I was in public school, and I don't remember there being a God to how can we put him back if he wasn't there in the first place?

OK, obviously I was going for a little humor there, but the point is made. We can teach kids the basic morals of civilized society (which yes, I do believe are derived from religious beliefs of many different kinds...which goes to show you that religions aren't as different as some may think). Most of the people who are pushing these things are new to the Tea Party, and see it as some kind of new conservative party, instead of a push for fundamental change in governmental philosophy back to the foundation set by our founding fathers.

Secondly, the Tea Partiers must recognize that the Republicans are jumping on board because the concepts of limited government and personal freedom (sound familiar libertarians?) are part of the core of conservatism (see the Reagan quote in the subtitle of this blog)...which the Republicans moved away from over the past decade or so. They know to win back the populous, they need to adopt these aspects of the Tea Party. However, those who hold true to the Tea Party's principles need to make the politicians move to them, and not the inverse.

See, if they move towards the Republican Party in it's current state, you're moving towards such politicians as Tom Tancredo (whose stance on immigration is more than just anti-illegal immigrant), the hardline SoCons (who want to ban gay marriage and all abortions, as well as bring about more theocratic philosophy), and RINOs.

So I warn the Tea Party...stick to the principles that the majority of people believe in (which is a mostly libertarian-based philosophy with some conservative elements). Keep government's size and scope in check, allow for free enterprise for all, a strong national defense that is for defensive purposes (emphasis on "defensive"), and reforms of ineffective government policies (like current immigration laws).

Otherwise, you will allow the more extreme elements that have joined your movement to allow you to continue to be marginalized by politicians and the media elite.

As for Palin for President in 2012? I doubt it. She is better in her role as a spokesperson and rally artist for a governmental philosophy, but I do not necessarily see her as a leader of a nation, as she carries a lot of negative baggage. Then again, if she can prove to me that she is a better candidate in 2012 than she was in 2008, I might change my mind. However, right now, I can't say that I could go with her as a potential presidential candidate.

On that note (2012), I would like to see Ron Paul run for President again, but that's just me :)

**Addendum To This Post - 8:16 PM**

Leslie Carbone, one of my favorite intellectuals anywhere, addresses some of my same concerns in her latest post, "The Problem With Palin", and brings up a few new issues as well.

So That Was It?

Saw the Focus on the Family ad with Tim Tebow...and the only thing I have to say is "that's it?"

All this uproar over that? Hell, I wouldn't have really had a clue as to the whole point of the commercial if I wasn't already expecting to see it. I actually missed the first few seconds of it because it was so nondescript in nature.

The ad seemed harmless enough to me. Didn't even really touch anything controversial, just highlighted the fact that Tim Tebow is a good guy and seems to love his mother. Unless there was something really controversial said in those first few seconds, I don't quite know why this ad was so controversial...unless the idea of giving a link to Focus On The Family's website is somehow subsersive and evil in and of itself.

Meh, seems like it was really much ado about nothing.

Oh yeah, and congrats to the Saints for winning the Super Bowl. A solid enough game that really had to wondering who would win until late in the 4th quarter. I know I enjoyed it.

Friday, February 5, 2010

India Pulls out of U.N. Climate Panel


The nation of India has pulled out of the IPCC (Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change) due to the fact that they believe they can no longer rely on the data provided by the IPCC. I can believe it, given the recent disputes regarding the validity of the IPCC's study that basically amounted to Chicken Little-esque claims of a weather-related armageddon within the next few decades.

Instead, India has done what sovereign nations should do...they decided to do the research themselves. India's environment minister summed it up well, stating...

“There is a fine line between climate science and climate evangelism. I am for climate science. I think people misused [the] IPCC report, [the] IPCC doesn’t do the original research which is one of the weaknesses… they just take published literature and then they derive assessments, so we had goof-ups on Amazon forest, glaciers, snow peaks.

“I respect the IPCC but India is a very large country and cannot depend only on [the] IPCC and so we have launched the Indian Network on Comprehensive Climate Change Assessment (INCCA)”.

This should sting, not just because of the snubbing of data or the justified claims of because one of the lead scientists on the IPCC is from India.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Decline of Civilized Society

It's not coming from anything political. It's not coming from any kind of supervirus. It's not even going to be related to "climate change".

It will come because our future generations of leaders have lives are so devoid of meaning that you end up with things like this.

I shake my head and fear for my future if this is who will be running things when I am old and grey."

Freeman Says What Most Blacks Won't, and a Little History For You

Morgan Freeman stated in a recent interview that he finds Black History Month to be "ridiculous". When asked how we can get rid of racism, he plainly stated "stop talking about it."

As someone who can be classified as a "minority", I can agree with these sentiments. I do not need a special month dedicated to the history of my hispanic heritage (though there is one). I also find the concept ridiculous. History is history, and the history of blacks, whites, hispanics, and everyone else in America should be integrated into "American History", plain and simple.

Speaking of Black History Month, here is a little history they don't teach you...

Ever notice that S.B. Fuller is never mentioned in Black History text? Of course you didn't, because you probably don't know who Fuller is. Fuller, who lived from 1905-1988, was a notable black entrepreneur who founded Fuller Products Company, publisher of the New York Age and Pittsburgh Courier, head of the South Side Chicago NAACP (the same area Barack Obama represented in the Illinois State Senate), president of the National Negro Business League...and believed that it would be through capitalism, not government intervention and socialism, that black people would move ahead.

See, Fuller rose from being a poor child in rural Louisiana who dropped out of school in the 6th grade, and built his wealth on an investment of $25 that he turned into millions over several years. Fuller believed that capitalism, if utilized by the black community, could lead to civil rights and equality a lot faster than if the government mandated it. Fuller believed capitalism is colorblind, stating "It doesn't make any difference about the color of an individual's skin. No one cares whether a cow is black, red, yellow, or brown. They want to know how much milk it can produce." Mind you, he made this statement in the 50's, when racism and segregation were still rampant.

However, he made comments that angered the left-leaning black leaders at the time, which have blackballed Fuller from almost all Black History lessons.

For instance, in 1963, when inducted into the National Association of Manufacturers (the first black to be inducted), he stated "a lack of understanding of the capitalist system and not racial barriers are keeping blacks from making progress." He also stated that "If the Negro had the amount of initiative, courage, and imagination required, he could control the retail selling in his own community. Since he represents 10 percent of the population of America today, he would be able to employe 1,065,000 people. There are 1,788,325 retail establishments in America and yet in New York City, where there are over 1,000,000 Negroes, they do not own over 15 businesses which employ over 10 people."

Now, Fuller didn't state it there, but he did believe that discrimination did play a role as well. In U.S. News and World Report interview, he stated that "The Negroes have been free for 100 years. But, during that time, the white man has not told Negroes the truth. He has always taught the Negroes that they were at a disadvantage. He never told Negroes that they should do business for themselves, that they should clean up their own community and that they should accept community responsibility."

(side note...don't we still use that term "disadvantaged" for minority youth in inner cities? Fuller believed this is not the method in which you empower minorities)

In the same interview, Fuller also stated "Negroes are not discriminated against because of the color of their skin. They are discriminated against because they have not anything to offer that people want to buy."

Fuller also used to talk about he wanted blacks to stop begging the white man with "a handful of gimmes and a mouthful of much obliged".

Fuller's statements were meant as a wake-up call to blacks to start pooling their resources and go into business for themselves and empower themselves. However, black leaders saw this as "blaming the victim". Despite the fact that Fuller was essentially stating the same things that Booker T. Washington stated several decades before, black leaders (and leftist whites) saw Fuller's comments as being against their agenda because it was pro-free enterprise.

Thus, since Fuller's beliefs did not fall in line with "affirmative action" or any of the other agendas of those who advocated civil rights mandated by government intervention, his contributions to society and civil rights has slid down the Orwellian memory hole.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Snowpocalypse 2010

The first reports have said "12-20 inches" from the National Weather Service. However, a little birdie has told me that VDOT is preparing for totals reaching 36-50 inches. Either they are overpreparing, or this thing is gonna be huge by the time it reaches us.

I saw record snowfall several years ago when 41 inches fell in my front yard and swallowed my yardstick (I had to go out and stick another ruler on top of where my yardstick was). However, that was a "straight snowfall", where the weather was cold and snowy, but nothing else.

I'm now seeing warnings of blizzard-like conditions, with high winds and blowing/drifting snow on top of the accumulation we are expecting. We've seen some real notable snowfalls in the past 1 1/2 months (including 20+ inches in December), but this may be the KO punch that shuts things down for a few days.


The prediction for the central and northern Shenandoah Valley is now up to 20-28 inches.

Zogby: The GOP Could Win Back the Senate in 2010

This is certainly interesting, given that many of us (including myself) thought that the President would deliver a solid bounce in popularity for the Democratic Party with his State of the Union address and subsequent media appearances (meeting with House GOP members, the townhall speeches, etc...).

However, this would require a lot of pieces falling in the right place, as well as the right candidates running. The "right" candidates (in terms of chances of winning in November) include undecided former Governors Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin (who is surprisingly leading Russ Feingold in recent polling) and George Pataki in New York (who leads Kristen Gillibrand).

While I doubt this situation pans out for an out-and-out GOP Senate takeover, it certainly does put the Dems on notice...and calls Obama's ability to deliver popular support through his speeches into question.

Fear the Tax-man!

The IRS is looking to buy 12-gauge shotguns.

"The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) intends to purchase sixty Remington Model 870 Police RAMAC #24587 12 gauge pump-action shotguns for the Criminal Investigation Division. The Remington parkerized shotguns, with fourteen inch barrel, modified choke, Wilson Combat Ghost Ring rear sight and XS4 Contour Bead front sight, Knoxx Reduced Recoil Adjustable Stock, and Speedfeed ribbed black forend, are designated as the only shotguns authorized for IRS duty based on compatibility with IRS existing shotgun inventory, certified armorer and combat training and protocol, maintenance, and parts."

Anyone else think that it's a bit odd that the IRS gets their own "criminal investigation division" (read: "tax police") that has guns? Wouldn't the actual police-work involved be better left to, oh...say, the FBI or local authorities? I can understand their need for a division to investigate tax fraud, but to have an actual division of armed "tax cops"? It is a bit of a scary concept if you really think about it.

Here is the part that bothers me a bit...the majority of people who would defend the IRS's right to have their own form of armed law enforcement would also believe in limiting the 2nd Amendment rights of individual citizens. Anybody else see the hypocrisy in that?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Virginia Raising Interstate Speed Limits

At least, it appears that this will be happening. Reaction around the state blogosphere has been mixed, to say the least.

- Blubber123 at RockDem claims this is the GOP's attempt to kill more people, and decries that they refuse to pass more restrictions on cell phone use while driving...of course, he completely ignores (or doesn't know about) the recent study that shows that banning cell phone usage while driving does not reduce accidents. Apparently, Blubber thinks that the government should keep you from being responsible for your own driving habits.

- Bearing Drift seems to approve. The comments section of the post there has an interesting perspective from a truck driver.

Personally, I don't see what the problem is. Seems to work well in West Virginia, and I do a good 70-72 MPH on I-81, and I get passed constantly. I would be inclined to believe that most of the accidents on I-81 come from stupid driving manuvers, and not speeding-related incidents (at least it seems that way). Other than making a slight reduction in the revenue that comes from speeding tickets, this change in law shouldn't have any real consequences.

Retaking My Stand on This Issue

I've stated this before, but I am going to state it again since it is a hot topic as of late. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" should be lifted as an actual policy in the military. Admission of your sexual orientation should not be grounds for dismissal from the armed force. We are a free nation, and we should extend those freedoms to those who are willing to protect it...all of them.

I think the effectiveness of a soldier should be determined by their ability to carry out their duties and work cohesively with their brothers/sisters-in-arms. I think everybody can agree with that.

I've talked to all of my friends in the military (and I have quite a few of them), and all of them don't see the problem in repealing DADT, even though a few have their own discomforts with gays due to personal beliefs. They believe that as long as that soldier can hold up their end of the bargain, they are fine with them serving.

Will It Ever End???

Damn you, my Punxsutawney namesake!

I'm sitting here, waiting for this 3-6 inches to start falling on me, just in time to screw up the roads when I go home. Then, I hear that VDOT is getting prepared for a possible 2 feet of snow to fall Friday-to-Saturday.

This is the kind of winter I prayed for as a kid, and the kind I can't stand as an adult (because I am considered "essential personnel" at my work, so I have to be there no matter what since we never close down).


Palin Calls for Rahm's Dismissal

This wouldn't be notable if I didn't already see the spin coming.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is calling for White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to be fired for calling the strategy of liberals in the Senate as "f*cking retarded". In her facebook post, Palin states...

"Yes, Rahm is known for his caustic, crude references about those with whom he disagrees, but his recent tirade against participants in a strategy session was such a strong slap in many American faces that our president is doing himself a disservice by seeming to condone Rahm's recent sick and offensive tactic."

While Rahm's lack of candor is disappointing, I almost agree with him. See, he thinks that the strategy of Senate liberals is "f*cking retarded". I simply think the Senate liberals themselves are "f*cking retarded". ;)

However, I can see the spin now...let's see how long it takes before Palin is labeled as an anti-Semite for this since Rahm is Jewish. I understand that Palin's reaction is the use of the word "retarded", given that her youngest son has down syndrome, but I don't's just such an odd instance to make such a call.

More Hiding of Climate Change Truths

Now it appears that more evidence has appeared that shows that Professor Phil Jones, whose work influenced the IPCC (who has already had more egg thrown on their face this week), went to even further lengths than previously thought to disguise climate data that undermined the argument that climate change is real and man-made. Apparently, Jones used data from Chinese weather stations that has been deemed unreliable due to the fact that the increases in temperature correllate to the growth of urban areas around the stations.

While this does not, in and of itself, declare climate change to be non-existent...but it does call into question the accuracy and ethics of the people who are making these claims.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Expert" Research by the UN

The UN's Climate Change Panel based their claims about disappearing ice on a college student's disseration and an article in a mountaineering magazine. Now, this has forced the IPCC to release yet ANOTHER apology about using inaccurate or intentionally falsified data to make it's claims

*slow clap*

Glad to see you guys really put some effort into this. I mean, how much of the taxpayer money of various UN nations was wasted on this whole climate change research? This was the most "expertise" they could come up with?

Yet, somehow, it's people like me who are deemed "crazy" for doubting this panel's research.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Whoa, Just Saw This...

My Congressional District, the 6th, has a Libertarian Party candidate for this November's election. His name is Stuart Bain.

I can't find a lot of info on Mr. Bain, as his website runs more like a blog than an actual campaign site, but I understand why...the Libertarian Party is woefully underfunded (thanks to the domination of the two-party system) and most candidates run on a fairly shoestring budget.

However, I like what I have read from the man, thus far. His ideas jive with mine, and he even quotes the same Reagan quote that I have on my blog's subtitle.

Should be interesting, as Bain focuses more on what he stands for, and less about how bad the other guys are. I haven't seen any Democratic Party challengers in the 6th (if there is, they've been quiet), but the incumbent is Republican Bob Goodlatte, who was elected to the seat in 1992.

The Podium endorsed Bob Goodlatte over fiscally conservative Democrat Sam Rasoul in 2008. However, I will be keeping an eye out to see what Mr. Bain has to offer. So far, he looks like a promising candidate based on his principles.

(h/t The Ruby Chronicles)

Begging a Question of Utmost Importance

Did God make conservative women hotter?

That's Right! begs the question and provides the evidence here.

I feel a little humor is necessary with all of the snow falling and the roads being absolutely miserable out there. I urge you guys to stay off the roads tonight.

Stay inside, heat up some hot chocolate (actually, make that a hot chocolate and butterscotch schnapps, if you'd like a nice, warm spirit), and let it snow!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Kurt Warner Retires

One of greatest QBs I've ever seen (behind only Joe Montana, IMO), and one of humanity's most decent representatives, decided to hang up his cleats today.

We all know his story. He went from a mid-major college starter, to an Arena League standout and grocery stockboy. He met his current wife when he was stocking shelves and she was a cashier. They are still together. He replaces the injured Trent Green in 1999, when Green was touted as the savior of the lowly St. Louis Rams franchise, and rallies them to a 13-3 record and a victory in one of the best Super Bowls ever played.

He would go to two more Super Bowls (Rams vs. Patriots, and last year he took the Cardinals to the Big Game vs. the Steelers), falling short to the two best teams of the decade. A devout Christian, Warner was never caught in a scandalous position, and never complained when coaches tried to replace him with the "next big thing" (Marc Bulger in St. Louis, Eli Manning in New York).

In his 12 seasons with the Rams, Giants, and Cardinals, Warner threw 208 touchdowns with a completion percentage of 65.5% and a career QB rating of 93.7...but his stats may have been even more prolific had he not been used as a backup QB for a few years. He had an overall winning percentage of 58.0% as a starter, including winning nearly 73% of the time in the playoffs.

I raise my evening spirit in toast to Kurt Warner. A great QB and a hell of a role model.

Obama's SOTU Address...Surgically Dissected

W.E. Messamore (The Humble Libertarian) dissects and counters Obama's speech section by section, and really could not be more spot on.

It's a remarkable effort, I highly suggest you read it.

Failing to Recognize the Situation

The left is apparently crowing about the Q&A session Obama had with House Republicans because he stood up to them and lectured them and claimed he was not an ideologue and so forth...

They fail to recognize that if the House GOP members really wanted to grill Obama, they would do so. However, if they were gang up on the President and attack him like they want to, it would be an even worse PR move than letting the President have his way with them in a verbal fashion.

If they really went after him, the lefty talking heads and media would say things like "they cornered Obama like a pack of rabid wolves!" and "the way they treated the President was classless and sickening!"

So while Obama did a good job taking advantage of the situation, don't get too excited, my friends on the's not like the GOP had any better options of approach.

John Edwards Made a Sex Tape???

Oh God...I think I'm going to lose my lunch. It's the blonde girl and the Breck girl!

Apparently, someone is trying to release a sex tape made between disgraced former Presidential candidate John Edwards and his ex-mistress and baby mama, Rielle Hunter. Hunter is trying to stop the release of this tape via restraining order.

Apparently, the tape belongs to Andrew Young, the Edwards staffer who falsely claimed to be the one sleeping with Hunter and the father of the child. You know, the guy that Edwards attempted to shield himself with. It seems Young came into possession of the tape when she asked Young to get her passport out of a box where she had hidden the tape as well.

This whole drama surrounding Edwards, his wife, his staff, and his ex-mistress just gets weirder and weirder.

Is Rachel Maddow Really Michael Douglas's Son?

I present to you "Exhibit A".

You decide.

Ahead of Storm, Gov. McDonnell Declares State of Emergency

Looks like the central and northern Shenandoah Valley will miss the real harsh parts of this storm, but it seems like southern VA and the I-95 corridor will get slammed with snow and ice, potentially worse than the 20+ inches that visited the Commonwealth in December.

State of Emergency info can be found here.

Be safe tonight and tomorrow, folks. I'll post updates as I get them.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

How Many Times Can I Get Twisted on This Issue?

Whoa, hold the phone...I may have jumped the gun not once, but twice, on this Supreme Court ruling regarding corporate involvement in elections and campaigning.

Brad Smith at NRO explains where many, including the President, have been wrong about this ruling.

Tonight the president engaged in demogoguery of the worst kind, when he claimed that last week's Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, "open[ed] the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections. Well I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities."

The president's statement is false.

The Court held that 2 U.S.C. Section 441a, which prohibits all corporate political spending, is unconstitutional. Foreign nationals, specifically defined to include foreign corporations, are prohibiting from making "a contribution or donation of money or ather thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a Federal, State or local election" under 2 U.S.C. Section 441e, which was not at issue in the case. Foreign corporations are also prohibited, under 2 U.S.C. 441e, from making any contribution or donation to any committee of any political party, and they prohibited from making any "expenditure, independent expenditure, or disbursement for an electioneering communication." (emphasis mine) at least I know that my concerns of foreign corporations (and governments through those corporations) will not be pumping money into campaigns to wield influence over our nation's politics and policies.

That actually explains why Justice Alito said "not true", because what Obama said regarding foreign corporations is not true. I'm definitely relieved to see this.

(h/t Mason Conservative)

Well, He's Got the Right Idea...

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the following at the World Economic Forum at Davos today...

"We are not asking ourselves what we will replace capitalism with, but what kind of capitalism we want?" he said.

"We must re-engineer capitalism to restore its moral dimension, its conscience,"

Ok, he's got the right idea here. Just because we hit an economic downturn does not mean we should start pushing towards socialist policies. In fact, moving away from such policies seems to be working in other places.

Now, what we need is not more regulation, but "good" regulation. We need current regulation to be simplified, clear, and transparent. The more you convolute something like this, the more loopholes you create for those who don't want to play by the rules to worm their way around the regulations in place. Both of our political parties seem to back regulation that apparently is too clouded in legalities that loopholes seem to be at every turn. Make it simple, make it clear, and make it so there is no doubt about what you are trying to accomplish.

This also naturally reduces and limits the amount of regulation you can implement, which is conducive to a well-oiled capitalist economy. You can only go so far without arousing protest from investors, businesses, banks, and the public at large (who probably does not understand a lot of the regulation to begin with, I know I have problems understanding some of the regulations I've looked up).

Granted, I would prefer minimalizing regulation, but since I have to play within the system (let's face it, most good revolutions do not happen overnight...unless you're talking Eastern Europe in 1989, but I digress), let's start by simplifying regulation first, then we can talk about what (if any) regulations are really necessary.

Also, taxing banks and big business as punishment will not be conducive to anything positive for the economy. If you thought big banks weren't lending before, watch what happens when you start penalizing them. If other states starting pulling moves like the state of Oregon just decided to do, you're going to see the leaders and drivers of free enterprise and industry start "going Galt" in huge numbers.

SOTU and GOP Reponse Thoughts and Notes

Some random rumblings from tonight's events.

The State of the Union Address...

- Obama says he doesn't quit, and he's right...he wants to push forward the same crap that Americans rejected during his first year.

- Capital Gains tax exemption for small business investments? Good idea, but I think I know where this is going to be offset (increases in Capital Gains tax on corporate investments, higher corporate taxes, punitive fees on large corporations to gain populist support).

- This has to be the longest-feeling SOTU ever. It just seems to go on and on. Obama isn't breaking new ground, either. In the second half of his speech, he has randomly started repeating things he said in the first half of it.

- Attack the Supreme Court in the SOTU address? Stupid move, Barry. It's not the time or place for such a move (even if I also disagreed with the ruling he was referring to). What a lack of decorum.

- Towards the last 3rd of the SOTU, Obama just went into straight lecturing. Way to burn any bridges you were hoping to build, Barry.

The GOP Response...

- WOW, McDonnell really outdid himself with the presentation here. Obama likes that podium in front of Congress, you can tell he likes that look and feel of a "leader". McDonnell decided that he would respond to Obama in kind, as the leader of a state. Nice job. He's already topped Bobby Jindal's performance last year without uttering a single word.

- The Gov is in good oratory form tonight, coming across with more personality and vocal skill than usual. He's to the point and succinct without being curt or vague.

- McDonnell really stuck to his guns with "good government" policy stances and some nice nods to the type of federalism expressed by our Founding Fathers. Also, McDonnell struck me as being a bit more aggressive than I thought he might be...but he did it well. Impressive performance by our Governor. He really surprised me.

Overall Ratings...Obama: C+, McDonnell: A-

Obama's meandering lectures and repetitiveness brought down what was otherwise a solid speech for him. Had he left out the whole "Democrats, you've got a majority, so get stuff done...Republicans, you need to be 'bipartisan' and do what we say" bit (ok, I paraphrased), and not been so repetitive, he might have earned a higher mark from me. By the way, the Associated Press (who has been kind to Obama) hits him pretty hard in the fact-checking department. Talk about "truth hurts"...

McDonnell made a memorable impression on me for having such a restricted period of time. He was to the point, made a couple of humorous asides, and was able to accomplish a lot more than many "minority party response" speeches tend to do. Using the GA as a backdrop was a fantastic move on his part. If this was a litmus test to see if McDonnell can be a leader for the GOP going forward, he certainly passed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's Heeeerrre...

Apple finally introduced the iTab. People have been clamoring for this for quite a while now, and the tech world was at a fever pitch in the last few months as rumors were abound that the new "tablet" computer was going to be revealed. If you are familiar with the iTouch and iPod devices, you should be able to pick up the iTab's functions and navigation tools quickly, as they made the iTab very similar in style, design, and feel.

Apparently, Apple made their own 1 GHz processing chip for the iTab, which is decent for a smaller device like this.

Starting price: $499

Not bad. Unlimited 3G service can be provided at about $29.99/month, and apps (oh yes, there will be apps) will be $9.99 a piece. I think Apple is definitely going for the profits here, and keeping the cost relatively low with the actual iTab itself.

Boucher Announces Re-election Bid

Looks like the "Fighting 9th" will have a fight afterall, as Rep. Rick Boucher will run for a 15th term.

I've got the feeling that a combination of ego, growing GOP strength in the district, and lack of any other willing candidates put Boucher in a position where he felt he had to run again, given that he was rumored to be considering retirement (though he denies this).

Boucher is listed as the 10th most powerful member of the House, which given his tenure, would make some sense. Though he voted against the health care bill and has an A+ rating from the NRA, he has voted for cap-and-trade, the stimulus package, TARP, and the Big Auto Bailout. This (especially the cap-and-trade bill, which he helped to craft) is putting him increasingly at odds with the overall philosophies of his constituents.

Also, given that he may be challenged by State House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, who is popular in the 9th, Boucher will most likely be in a fight, the likes of which he has not seen since he defeated Bill Wampler in 1982.

(h/t Virginia Virtucon)

Endorsement Time!

The Podium is going to endorse Republican Sean Duffy in the 7th Congressional District of Wisconsin. He is facing incumbent Rep. David Obey in November's mid-term elections.

Duffy is a staunch supporter of fiscally conservative policies. He also believes that part of solving our national security problems will involve deficit reduction and managing our national debt, just another reason we need to look at what we're spending money on and why we are doing it. He also has laid out some sound reasons why the Dem health care plan is not good for America, and puts out positions and reforms he would try to push if elected.

Despite the fact that he does not believe in "gay marriage", he does believe in extending the same contractual and legal rights to homosexual couples, which I can at least go with. Duffy also supports 2nd Amendment rights and a judicial philosophy of original intent.

Click here for Duffy's website.

Interesting side notes about Duffy's personal life...

He is the father of 6, and has had an active public life. Besides being the current District Attorney in Ashland County, Wisconsin, he was a color commentator for ESPN's Outdoor Games and is a three-time World Champion in the 90-foot speed climb (you know, where they climb up a 90-foot tree trunk and come down). He was also cast on MTV's "The Real World" in 1997 and "Road Rules". It was on the set of "Road Rules" that he met his wife, who was also a cast member.

Talk about having a very full life. I would imagine that having been on television should make the 38-year-old Duffy a good candidate when it comes to actually campaigning. Being in front of the cameras should not be anything new to him, and he won't feel the pressure that many new candidates do.

What Bob McDonnell Should Say Tonight

Our new Governor has an opportunity that seems to be afforded to Virginia politicians on a semi-regular basis these days, and that is to deliver the rebuttal to the State of the Union address. McDonnell could go a number of ways, but here's some things I would do in tonight's rebuttal if I were in McDonnell's shoes...

- K.I.S.S. - Keep it simple, stupid. Do as you did throughout your campaign. Be straightforward and direct, or at least appear to do so. McDonnell is a competent speaker, but not a tremendous orator. However, a simple, direct approach will provide stark contrast to President Obama, whose oratory skills are top-notch, but can get mired in political speak and go over the heads of some.

- Not too cautious, not too careful. Ensure that you don't go overboard with countering the President's positions, but don't fear taking a few risks, either.

- Lay out a "common sense" conservatism. Don't get mired down in anything that doesn't appeal to the masses, go with what can appeal to a wide majority of Americans from a conservative perspective. Stick to your 60 and 70 percent issues that the President and the Democrats are currently losing popularity. The economy, jobs, and government spending. You can even dig at the Dem's health care plans by pointing out that the sheer number of people coming out against it shows that it is not what the American people want.

- Be personal without getting off track. This is your chance to show American who you are, give them a reason to like you on a personal level and a political level, but don't lose track of your message.

Now, these are merely my opinions, and I'm sure he's got a better perspective on all of this than I do, but I feel that if he keeps his message clear and to the point, he can do a great job putting forward a better rebuttal than the last guy who tried, though he had a much tougher task due to the President's much higher popularity ratings at the time.

Here Come the Regulators

The City Council of Los Angeles voted 9-3 to pass an ordinance restricting the number of medical marijuana shops in the city, and also restricting where they can be located. The ordinance rules that...

- The number of shops is capped at 70, unless they were registered with the city before 2007. This brings the total number of shops to 150 at the most.

- Over 500 shops will have to close as a result of this.

- The shops must be at least 1,000 feet from schools, libraries, parks, and other medical marijuana shops. The 1,000 feet rule also applies to any place the city deems to be a "sensitive use".

- The city will also levy "monitoring fees" on these shops. The actual dollar figure for these fees has yet to be determined.

So now, we're forcing these shops to be lesser in number, and pretty much away from prominent locations...which just makes it harder for sick people who need the marijuana to live a less-painful existance as they battle serious illnesses. Now, they have to travel off the main drags (you know, where handicapped parking and other accommodations are more prevalent), and have to travel further.

Some will say "well, they still have 150 shops to choose from". However, Los Angeles itself is home to nearly 4 million people, and the LA metropolitan area is home to almost 13 million residents. Plus, with so many shops opening up and thriving, obviously there was a market in this large and populous area.

Artillery Fire Exchanged Between North and South Korea

Apparently, there was a little skirmish between North and South Korea. The two nations are disputing their sea border, and it appears that North Korean forces fired towards South Korean coastal positions along the coast with their own land-based artillery. No casualties have been reported, as it seems both sides simply fired into the air near each other with shells landing harmlessly in the water. A bit of a "pissing contest", to say the least.

Both sides have been provocative in their statements and actions lately. North Korea has tested missiles and atomic devices in recent years. South Korea came out and said that if they are aware of an imminent nuclear strike, they would launch pre-emptive military action, which the North Koreans stated was a provocation of war. However, I would be inclined to believe that the their statements are more of a warning, as South Korea is suited for defensive purposes, not offensive.

Needless to say, things may be getting a little testy in the Korean penninsula.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

How Intrusive Are Those Full-Body Scans?

THL shows that these images (even as "negatives") are very intrusive. All he had to do was invert the colors, much like a developed negative, and he got some disturbingly clear images.

Warning, the "color inverted" images are NSFW.

Gerry Connolly Gets It...?

Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11) had the following comments about the state of passing health care reform.

"One of the worst places a politician can be is to be saying, ‘Open wide and swallow this is good for you,’ even if it is,” Connolly said. “We’re out of sync. I favor health care reform. I favor comprehensive healthcare reform, but not at the price of forcing something down’s the public’s throat that the public finds distasteful and bitter."

This is EXACTLY what a politician should do...know the will of the people. If the public rejects something, you don't do it. Now, I personally believe Connolly is trying to win some votes for November (given he is currently considered vulnerable), but considering he is a "representative" of the people in Congress, he is at least acknowledging that his job is to "represent" the people. For that, I will give him kudos.

(h/t NLS)

Sometimes, You Gotta Admit When You Are Wrong

A good "blogosphere buddy" of mine, Zen (whom I am well-acquainted with through the old Daily Whackjob blog), and I have been battling back and forth over the recent Supreme Court ruling on the rights of corporations and unions when it comes to campaign financing and advertising.

While I still stand that CEOs and the like should not be restricted because of their status and resources, I was convinced by a few of Zen's other points that this was a bad ruling. He brought these two issues to my attention...

- Apparently, this ruling is now putting restrictions placed by the states at risk (federal rulings are supposed to supercede state laws unless deemed unconstitutional). Obviously, it would make sense that nationwide elections, such as the presidential elections, should be federally ruled and regulated from a financing perspective. However, states should be able to decide how their statewide elections are financed and regulated. This ruling effectively throws many state laws and restrictions out the door. This is a case where the federal government needs to step back and step out of the affairs of the individual states.

- The second, and more dangerous issue (in my opinion), is the fact that global corporations now can influence our elections. This means that corporations in foreign lands can influence our elections, and this also opens an avenue for foreign nations themselves to have direct influence. I'm surprised that some on the left ("we are part of a global community") don't see this as a good thing....ok, I kid, I kid. In all seriousness, this is a dangerous precedent to set and it actually makes me quite a bit nervous.

So kudos to Zen for turning me around on this issue. While he and I will probably have several more arguments to have on different points...I can at least admit where I may have been blind to certain things.

I do agree with him on another point...this ruling has opened up a Pandora's Box of potential problems going forward.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Forbes: Cut Discretionary Spending 10% per Year for 5 Years

Rep. Randy Forbes (VA-4) has an interesting guest post over at Bearing Drift where he lays out a plan to cut discretionary (not mandatory) spending by 10% per year for the next 5 years. This would cut billions of dollars from the budget, which would help close the deficit gap without raising taxes or even touching some of Washington's most sacred programs (Medicare/Social Security for the Dems, Defense for the GOP).

This would be an interesting start to really getting back to some kind of fiscally responsible budgeting. Plus, it forces the government to look at some of the "smaller" things it is involved in, and makes them ask "do we really need this?" If successful, it would move Washington's overall budget philosophy into a different direction.

It's worth looking into.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Air America...Bankrupt

Surprising that they lasted this long, considering how much their ratings stunk. Other than Lionel, they really did not have much to offer. Though they made it through Chapter 11 in 2006, they're filing Chapter 7 and have ceased broadcasting as of yesterday.

The lesson learned is simple...if the people wanted leftist talk radio, they would've tuned in. However, I'll just sit back and watch the accusations of "a vast right-wing conspiracy" get thrown out there.

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bob McDonnell to Give Response to State of the Union Address

3rd time since 2006 that a Virginia politician has given the response (Tim Kaine in 2006, Jim Webb in 2007)...further proof that Virginia is not only the mother of Presidents, but it is the epicenter of American politics ;)

At least, we like to think so.

Mixed Thoughts on Today's Supreme Court Ruling

Look, I'm all for free speech and I believe that it was a good thing for the 1st Amendment that corporations, unions, and businesses have the ability to participate in donating and advertising for political campaigns. We already knew they were doing things behind the scenes anyway, so now we have it all out in the open as to which business supports which candidate.

My problem is not with the ruling, it's with how irresponsible I believe that these corporations and unions will be with their advertising. Bigger budgets equal more advertising, and I'm not looking forward to spending the fall of 2012 watching commercial after commercial after commercial, over and over and over. I have a feeling this will become the norm for a while.

However, as I said, at least now we'll know who supports what (without the disclaimer of speculation). At least we'll have some transparency on this matter. It will also lead to some interesting posturing in future elections, as a big corporation or industry who supports one candidate may find themselves being targeted if the opposing candidate wins...or if that industry's union supports the opposition.

Should be interesting...

Sabato Predicts Big GOP Gains in November

Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball has been very timid about predicting any kind of GOP wave in November...until now.

They predict that the GOP will pick up 3 to 5 seats, and would favor even better if the election were held now instead of November...they believe the GOP would whittle the Dems down to 52 seats if the general elections were held today. This makes sense, as the GOP has strong momentum at the moment.

Though the magic number for the GOP is "10" to gain a majority (a 50-50 tie goes to the Dems due to to VP Joe Biden's affiliation, naturally). However, Sabato believes that it could be possible that if the Republicans get 9 seats (still theoretically possible, enough seats are in play), that they could woo Joe Lieberman to their side (or at least to caucus with them), and then hold the majority. Here are your races to watch going forward in the Senate...

Arkansas - Blanche Lincoln has lost all kinds of popularity in her state due to her vote on health care. 3 Republicans are battling to challenge her, and Sabato has this seat as a Leans GOP.

Illnois - Barack Obama's old seat is up for grabs, and is rated a Toss-Up. However, if the election were held today, Rep. Mark Kirk would probably win the seat. Given the troubles the Democrats are facing in this state due to scandals, and the wild primary they are going to have, this one may go red...which would be a little embarrassing to the President.

Indiana - Evan Bayh is up for reelection, and as it stands, this seat would be a Likely Dem hold. However, if popular Rep. Mike Pence gets into the race, as he is currently considering, that would greatly change the dynamics of this race.

Kentucky - Considered a Toss-Up because it is an open seat in a reddish-purple state. Both parties have primaries going, and the Podium has endorsed Rand Paul for this seat. This will be one of the more interesting races of 2010. If the election were held today, though, the Republicans would hold this seat.

Missouri - Another open GOP seat (Kit Bond's) that, if held today, would be a GOP hold. However, it's currently a Toss-Up. Roy Blunt has spent many years in the House and is a high-profile figure in the Republican Party. He is going up against Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, of the famous Missouri political family (her father was Governor, her mother was a Senator). This is one of those "all-star" matchups that has a lot of support lining up on both sides for a big fight.

Nevada - Harry "The Weasel" Reid has become so unpopular here that this is now rated as a Leans R by Sabato, and the GOP still has to settle their primary. Sue Lowden and Danny Tarkanian (son of the famous UNLV coach) are both polling ahead of the current Senate Majority Leader, and the GOP would love nothing more than to take this seat.

New Hampshire - Another open seat (Judd Gregg is not running for reelection) that the GOP would hold today, but looking towards November is still a Toss-Up. One advantage for the Dems is that they do not have to worry about a primary at this point, while the GOP has 3 candidates slugging it out. However, if the current frontrunner Kelly Ayote wins, the Dems will have a lot of trouble as she has a fairly good-sized lead over the Dem candidate, Rep. Paul Hodes.

New York - Wow, this one has disintegrated quickly for the Democrats. While it's still Likely Dem, this should've been a safe seat. Incumbent Kristen Gillibrand has failed to impress party leaders, so they thought they had a winner in Harold Ford, Jr., but now he has failed to ingratiate himself to the voters of the state with some of his recent comments that were less-than-flattering to New York City. However, the GOP does not have any official candidates for this seat as of yet. Rep. Peter King and former Gov. George Pataki have expressed some interest, as has Marc Mukasey. Recent polling suggests that if either Pataki or Rudy Guiliani (who has denied interest in the seat) ran, they would defeat Gillibrand.

North Dakota - Byron Dorgan's now-open seat is considered to be a Safe GOP, with Gov. John Hoeven carrying strong popularity and statewide name recognition in a state that is very red, despite Dorgan's status as a Democrat.

Ohio - George Voinovich's now-open seat is currently a Toss-Up, with the GOP holding the current edge if the elections were held today. The GOP is set with Rep. Rob Portman facing minimal competition in the primary. The Democrats have Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Lieutenant Governor Lee Fisher both running. While this race also has a lot of "star power" in terms of the visibility of who is running, the primary may become very tough, which will only benefit the GOP.

Pennsylvania - Arlen "Turncoat" Specter is facing a strong primary challenge from Rep. Joe Sestak. However, party machinery in the state is not behind Sestak, which means that all he can do is seriously damage Specter, unless he can pull of an upset (which does not appear likely, according to recent polls). The GOP has rallied around Rep. Pat Toomey, who faces only token opposition. Polls are steadily showing more and more support for Toomey over Specter. This makes this seat a Leans GOP.

Texas - Nobody knows what is going on here, so we'll go with Toss-Up. However, it's probably going to be a GOP hold, because this IS Texas we are talking about here.

All things considered, if the elections were held today, the GOP would stand to gain 7 seats. What a difference a year makes.

(h/t Shad Plank)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How Quickly the Landscape and Mood Changes

Paradigm shifts can be felt in many ways, and sometimes there is no better thermometer than the blogosphere. A quick glance around shows these things...

- Virginia Virtucon reports that MSNBC had it's highest ratings ever. I know that I probably watched more consecutive minutes of that channel than ever before (though I do tune in regularly to take the pulse of the opposition). I watched a bit of that channel last night to simply see the left's reactions, and it appears that many conservatives did the same. From what I saw, Howard Dean was gracious in his admission of party screw-ups all around in Mass. Rachel Maddow was fiery and clearly angry. So angry that even Chris Matthews was taken aback by some of her commentary.

- Many left bloggers think that this is because they did not pass health care "reform". If people are against what you are proposing (which they seem to dismissively admit to), why would they support you if you had already passed said reform? If anything, passing health care reform is like pushing the self-destruct button on all of Congress.

- Bearing Drift is hearing rumors that Rep. Rick Boucher (VA-9) is reconsidering running for reelection (something many Dems are doing, especially after last night's win for the GOP). Given that he is a bit of an oddity in terms of political affiliation vs. district demographics, he would be the only Dem that would really stand a chance in the "Fighting 9th" this year. If Boucher goes, the Dem control of that seat goes with it. Given the vulnerability of Glenn Nye and Tom Perriello in the 2nd and 5th Districts, respectively, and the possibility of a hard fight in the 11th (Gerry Connolly's district), the Dems cannot afford to have to pump a lot of money into a 4th fight in this state, as it will really spread party resources thin.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Early Brown/Coakley Results In, and I'm Calling It...

Current results have Brown up 53-46-1 with 57 percent of precincts in. It seems a lot of moderate and Republican districts haven't reported their results yet Thus, The Podium is calling the Massachusetts special election for the Podium-endorsed Scott Brown, who will become the newest member of the United States Senate.

I predicted on one of the Virginia blogs that the final vote would break down as follows...

Brown 52%
Coakley 47%
Kennedy 1%

Looks like I actually nailed this one :) Congratulations Senator-elect Brown!

UPDATE: 9:06 pm

Rep. Steny Hoyer (MD) stated that Brown's surge shows how upset voters are with Republicans...huh?

UPDATE: 10:16 pm

Back to 52-47-1 with 97% of precincts in, definitely one of my better calls ;)

Boston Globe Calls Race for Coakley...8 Hours Before Polls Close!

Wishful thinking?

They had the race at 50%-49%-1% earlier today, with Coakley winning by about 21,000 votes. They have since taken the "results" down. Maybe it was a test page for posting the results later tonight, but if the "results" look like this come 10 or 11 pm tonight, we'll know that the fix is in.

Images from the Boston Globe website found at Virginia Virtucon. Good catch!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Bible May Be Older Than Originally Thought

An ancient tablet that has been discovered is dated around the 10th century, B.C. and is written in Hebrew. This is during King David's reign. It has been thought that the earliest forms of the Bible were written in an ancient form of Hebrew, and that Hebrew as we know it did not originate until the 6th century, B.C. (or 400 years later).

The text on the tablet also bears some resemblance to Biblical passages, but does not copy any one particular passage.

Interesting stuff.


Yours truly, proprietor of The Podium, turns 27 today. Ok, technically not until 9:27 pm, but is my birthday.

However, given that the wife and I took in a tasty and filling meal at Kyoto in Harrisonburg and a good movie ("Sherlock Holmes", I do recommend it highly) I have no clue what (if anything) is in store for me today.

Nonetheless, Happy Birthday to me!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Gilbert Gets Creative to Assist Schools

Some creative proposals for closing budget gaps for schools from The Podium's representative in the House of Delegates, Todd Gilbert.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Coakley Admits to Not Enforcing Law as AG

Just gets worse for Dems, and better for GOPers, every time she opens her mouth.

(h/t Yankee Phil)

Byrne Gets Burned

Apparently, you cannot say the following sentence in Alabama...

"I think there are parts of the Bible that are meant to be literally true and parts that are not."

...because Byrne had to hold a press conference in front of a Piggly Wiggly to recant this statement (which is one that I happen to agree with).

Think about this image...Gubernatorial conference...Piggly Wiggly. Yes, we MUST be in Alabama. Hehe, sorry, I do love the state of Alabama, but this whole incident feeds into a LOT of stereotypes.

You know, had he NOT recanted that statement, I would've probably been more inclined to endorse him. However, being that he was rushed to recant for fear of losing support from religious conservatives does not show me much in the way of backbone.

However, given that one of his opponents believes that all faiths except Islam should have monuments erected for them on public property, Byrne still looks to be stable.

Coakley: "Catholics Shouldn't Work in Emergency Rooms"

Wow, the gaffes just keep on comin' from the Martha Coakley campaign, this time from Martha herself. Her latest from an interview with radio show host Ken Pittman.

Pittman: "Right, if you are a Catholic, and believe what the Pope teaches that any form of birth control is a sin. ah you don't want to do that."

Coakley: "No we have a seperation of church and state Ken, lets be clear."

Pittman: "In the emergency room you still have your religious freedom."

Coakley: "(......uh, The law says that people are allowed to have that. You can have religious freedom but you probably shouldn't work in the emergency room. (emphasis mine)

Wow, This woman is DONE. You don't say things like that in a state as heavily Catholic as Massachusetts. Scott Brown closed the gap on her, and now she has gotten desperate and anxious, and it appears to be clouding her judgment. Talk about a meltdown of a campaign, this is getting really bad really fast for her.

And no, it doesn't bother me one bit :)

(h/t Michelle Malkin)

The Republican Liberty Caucus Endorsed Steve Hunt???

WHY? I must've missed this one.

I know Hunt has good conservative credentials on fiscal matters, but his social views do not really jive with the RLC's platform, which is rooted in more of a libertarian-style social ideology.

I'm just trying to wrap my head around that one, because it doesn't quite make sense given the stances of the RLC on some issues conflict with Hunt's.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Something Funny For Ya...

(h/t THL)

Brown/Coakley a Statistical Dead Heat

In the latest Rasmussen Poll, Podium-endorsed Scott Brown has narrowed the gap on AG Martha "Sic 'em!" Coakley, 49%-47%, in the race for the open Massachusetts Senate seat. Last week Coakley had a 9-point advantage in this same poll. Given Rasmussen's tendency for pin-point accuracy, I'd venture to say that the momentum is all on Brown's side at this point.

This poll will be much to the dismay of the left, who have been trumpeting a poll result posted at Talking Points Memo showing Coakley up by 8 points...of course, the poll was commissioned by a liberal blog (they admit as much), so the results can be pretty well disputed.

Could this be the end of the Supermajority...?

If 2012 Elections Were Today, Obama Would Lose

Allstate/National Journal Poll just came out with the following results regarding whether or not they would elect Obama to a 2nd term...

- 50% said that they would either probably or definitely vote for someone else in 2012.
- 37% said they would "definitely" vote for someone else.
- 39% would probably or definitely vote for Obama.
- 23% said they would "definitely" vote for someone else.

These are NOT good numbers for Barry from D.C. The sentiment against him and his policies (along with the Congressional Dems, whom he supports) is growing consistently. I do believe he will probably get a few points of good will with the voters due to the Earthquake in Haiti (and watch the media talk about his response to Haiti compared to Bush and Hurricane Katrina, it will happen), but this is a downward trend that will continue as long as he tries to push through a health care bill that nobody wants and trumpet stimulus accomplishments that never happened while the unemployment rate remains in double-digits.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

FDIC Limits Savings Account Interest Rates

You can only get a higher rate if the FDIC deems the bank "well-capitalized".

The problem is, by discouraging savings, the banks automatically lose capital, which makes them less capitalized. Then, the bank is unable to lend money and become more solvent and viable through the interest charges. Next, the bank loses even more customers through less-than-competitive interest rates and stricter lending standards because it has to save it's remaining capital. Finally, the bank goes bust and the FDIC has to come in and "rescue" things.

'Round and 'round the drain we go...

Hide The Decline, Redux

Apparently, the White House has now changed the rules for what constitutes stimulus success. Now, it seems, if your company received stimulus funds to cover payroll, that was a job "saved or created" as well. In fact, anything covered by stimulus funds, even if it was still a massive failure, is part of the stimulus "success" story.

Not surprisingly, after this latest revision of a revision of a bunch of errors that were made to revise the actual history of the stimulus's lack of success, the White House is now claiming that "The Stimulus Worked!" (In past tense, too, as if we're now in some kind of economic boom period).

One can only shake their head and chuckle...until they realize that people actually believe that there has been success due to the stimulus. Then you feel a deep sinking feeling that resonates throughout your body when you realize "some people won't see beyond the White House's claims of success, despite the obvious failures we've seen". Kinda sad, when you think about it.

(h/t Barticles)

Martha Coakley Consultant Assaults Weekly Standard Reporter

Stay Classy, Dems.

This guy works for the DSCC, and is consulting with Coakley's campaign. Coakley, as you can see, has no problem with allowing this kind of thuggery to go on.

Another reason to support the Podium-endorsed Scott Brown...stand up to those who campaign through intimidation and suppression!

C'mon Shenandoah County GOP, Keep Up!

The ShenCo GOP website hasn't been updated since before November's election! I know that the GOP is firmly the dominant party in the county, but let's keep this ball rolling!

It's That Time Again...Virginia General Assembly Convenes Today

Keep track of the bills and the progress made within the General Assembly through Richmond Sunlight as well as highlights and commentary through The Podium.

Bolognese Declares, 41st House District S.E. Set for March 2nd

Kerry Bolognese, who barely lost to Del.-turned-Sen.-elect Dave Marsden in November for Marsden's 41st House District Seat, will run again to fill the same House seat, as Marsden's win last night puts him in the State Senate.

No word on who the Dems will have run against Bolognese, but no real buzz seems to be surrounding any particular potential candidates, either. Given that Bolognese is fresh off of a strong campaign in the same district, he has to be considered the early favorite no matter who runs against him. Name recognition means a lot in these special elections.

Filing deadline is January 29th, the special election will be held March 2nd.

(h/t Bearing Drift)

Americans Split on Obama's 1st Year, View Him Less Favorably

Some interesting numbers that don't look good for "Barry from D.C."...

Quinnipiac Polls...
- Quinnipiac has a poll that states that Americans are split 45%-45% on whether or not Obama's first year was a failure.
- Another poll has voters nearly tied at 35%-37% on whether or not the country would've been better off with John McCain as President (I say we would've been better off, but not by a whole lot).
- Also, according to Quinnipiac, only 41% of Americans favor Obama's economic management, as well as only 34% favor his efforts to create jobs and 35% support his handling of health care.

CBS News Polls...
- CBS News polls show that only 36% of Americans favor Obama's handling of health care. Down from 42% in December and 47% in October.
- Obama's job approval rating hit a new low for CBS News polls, at 46%.

CNN/Opinion Research Polls...
- CNN/Opinion Research has Obama's health care handling favorability rating down to 40%, down from 42% in October and way down from 57% in March.
- Also, their polls reflected that Americans are 48%-47% in favor of labeling Obama's first year as a failure.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Marsden, McWaters Win in Special Elections

Results are in from the State Board of Elections.

- In the 8th State Senate District (Virginia Beach, formerly held by Ken Stolle), Jeff McWaters stomped all over Bill Fleming by a margin of 79%-21%. Expected, though maybe not by this much (I figured a 65%-35% McWaters win).

- In the 37th State Senate District (Fairfax County, formerly held by AG-elect Ken Cuccinelli), Dave "I Swear I'll Stay in This Rented Room" Marsden defeated Steve "Ex-Gay" Hunt by the slim margin of 51%-49%, or 317 votes. Honestly, this was a very strange election, as the precinct map makes little sense if you know the make-up of the district and compare it to the voting trends within the district. Interestingly, there were very unappetizing aspects to both candidates.

This tips Virginia's State Senate to a 22-18 margin for the Democrats, as both seats were previously held by Republicans. However, if Gov-elect McDonnell still tabs Sen. Edd Houck for his administration (which would have previously tipped the Senate to the GOP as a 20-20 tie would be broken by Lt. Governor Bill Bolling), the margin may still tip back to only 21-19 in favor of the Dems.

This forces redistricting to be a bit more bipartisan than would have been expected with the GOP holding power in both houses of the General Assembly as well as the Governor's mansion.

Greatest. Debate Moment. Ever.

"It's the People's Seat"'

The Podium is even more satisfied with it's most recent endorsee.

If You Haven't Checked It Out...

...Tucker Carlson's new site, The Daily Caller, is quite an interesting place to go.

Carlson seems to have adopted more of a libertarian bent recently (has even come out in favor of gay marriage, apparently, which belies the "neocon" label attached to him). This makes him a bit more appealing to a guy like me, as I am someone who believes strongly in individual liberty.

Give it a look, though the site design is a bit off (needs some tidying up), I do get that "righty HuffPo" feel from it, lol.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Weasel's Got a Facelift

Looks like while asking you to pay for government-run healthcare and helping to place more of a burden on future generations of your offspring, Senate Majority Leader Harry "The Weasel" Reid has decided to get his age wiped away.

How we've known Harry "The Weasel Who Speaks of Negroes" Reid...

The Weasel sheds his winter coat...

While he talks of the struggles of people who don't have health care and how it's the fault of everyone else, he's busy trying to take a few years off of his face. Pathetic.

Palin Signs to Fox News

In a move that will surely delight down-home conservatives and bring out infuriation and bitter sarcasm from liberals, Fox News has signed Sarah Palin to serve as a commentator and analyst (kind of like Juan Williams does now). She will also be part of a rotation of hosts for the new show "Real American Stories".

If Palin wants to show doubters that she has policy knowledge and intellectual muscle, this would be the place to do she will be able to provide a regular dose of her views and thoughts.

The anger and vitrol that will come from the left, and the replies from Palin defenders, will be VERY interesting (and probably amusing) to say the least.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Podium Endorsement!

Late to the party, but I'm endorsing Republican Scott Brown for Senate in Massachusetts.

Scott seems to be a real federalist, state's rights approach to many issues. He believes in a states rights approach for social issues like gay marriage (despite his own personal convictions...good!), and believes abortion is ultimately between a woman and her doctor, but opposes partial-birth abortion and favors parental notification for minors. These I can agree with.

Amusing, Riveting, Saddening, and Disgusting

The John Edwards affair in detail, from the upcoming book "Game Change" that has everyone talking.

The moral of that story is that neither John or Elizabeth Edwards can be described as "likeable", among other things.

Huge News from Massachussetts Senate Race

RWL at Virginia Virtucon and Mason Conservative have reported that Scott Brown has taken the lead from Martha Coakley in the special election to fill Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat (well, it's a 1-point lead, but this is Massachusetts!). This is an amazing turn of events, and should grab the attention of the national GOP to really dive into this race and capitalize on an opportunity that they may not have known that they had.

Could this be the harbinger of a referendum against the Democratic Party come November of this year? If so, maybe the GOP has a real shot at making the Dem majority slim-to-none.

This also explains why lefty bloggers are now trying to change the Senate rules to reduce the number of votes necessary to invoke cloture...I think they know that their caucus is about to get smaller in less than 11 months.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Dem Backstabbing, Back Room Dealing, and Backing Off Promises

HA! This is kinda funny. The Dems were backstabbing each other all over the place when it came to the 2008 election and the run-up to it. For instance, the Obama campaign kept Joe Biden out of the loop intentionally.

"The relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Biden grew so strained during the 2008 campaign, according to a new book, that the two rarely spoke and aides not only kept Biden off internal conference calls but refused to even tell him they existed."

Hillary supporters in Congress undermined her by channelling support through the endorsements of other Senators and Congressmen/Congresswomen.

"Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and a group of other senators who would back Hillary Clinton’s candidacy encouraged Obama to run for the White House as early as 2006. The concern over Clinton was that she would be a weak Democratic standard-bearer while Obama could energize the party. In late summer 2007, Schumer – using an Obama ally, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), as a back channel – pushed the candidate to “take a two-by-four to Hillary,” as the authors put it."

Gets better...apparently Bill Clinton still hasn't managed to keep it in his pants...

"Members of what the authors call Clinton’s “war room within a war room” became convinced in 2006 that Bill Clinton was having a serious extramarital affair, prompting Hillary Clinton to instruct her aides to be prepared to combat the story."

...and Hillary thought Bill would be a distraction to Obama.

"Following the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton was shocked to have been offered the Secretary of State job and decided to reject the offer. She prepared a statement explaining why she would turn the new president down and remain in the Senate. But in an after-midnight call between Clinton and Obama, he persuaded her – only after Clinton expressed concerns about the problems posed by her husband, the former president."

Not to mention, Harry "The Weasel" Reid's revealing choice of words.

"Reid said Obama could fare well nationally as an African-American candidate because he was “light-skinned” and didn’t speak with a “Negro dialect unless he wanted to have one.” Saturday, the majority leader said he had used “poor choice of words” and called Obama to apologize; the White House issued a statement indicating that the president had forgiven Reid."

There are others incidents regarding the Democrats, and some with the Republicans (which really were due to the McCain camp not handling Sarah Palin well, and Palin being caught completely off-guard with the whole process due to their mishandling).

Upcoming General Assembly and Proposed Gun Rights Legislation

Browsing through Richmond Sunlight, and I'm finding some good pro-2nd Amendment legislation.

In the House...
- HB26 would mandate that the Clerk of Court cannot ask a concealed weapon permit applicant for any identification beyond what is required for the application form.
- HB32 would allow the faculty at any university in Virginia to carry a concealed weapon, provided they have a permit.
- HB49 would repeal the one-handgun-per-month rule.
- HB79 would remove public access to applications for concealed weapons permits. This is good, because I really don't want other people snooping through my permit application. I'm a proponent of open government, but this is information about private citizens, not government officials.

There are more, but these stuck out to me as excellent new legislation that promotes our 2nd Amendment rights.

Woman With Condoms in D.C. Can Be Arrested for Prostitution

Apparently so, as police are using anything possible to crack down on prostitution, including if a woman is carrying 3 or more condoms in her purse.

So, if a woman just likes to go out and have one night stands, and is actually trying to be responsible, or just buys a few condoms to take home to have a wild weekend with her man, she can be booked on prostitution charges? What kind of civil liberties are those???

This is why victimless crimes like prostitution shouldn't be crimes at all. It leads to stuff like this! This is a violation of a woman's right to carry something legal like condoms. It also makes women more likely to not carry protection, which can lead to unprotected sex and disease transfer and/or unwanted pregnancies.

I know some of you morally-correct people will say "well, people shouldn't be having so much sex", but that is their choice, and they shouldn't be punished for trying to be responsible about how they go about their choice.

More Moronic Messages from Marsden

Crystal Clear Conservative puts up the latest evidence of Dave Marsden using empty platitudes and basic fearmongering of Republicans (ooooh, scary boogeymen Republicans, oooooh!) to try to appeal to voters in the 37th District special election.

Three problems with Marsden's "case" for election

- Bob McDonnell's campaign proved that people want to hear about solutions, not simply about how evil the other party is (OMG! Repugz are Social Conservativz, they hate teh gayz n women! = Creigh Deed's message in a nutshell).
- If Marsden loses, there is no change in the make up of the State Senate, as this is already held by a Republican (AG-elect Ken Cuccinelli). So the Senate still remains in Dem control by the same margin.
- There is NO mention of why Marsden is a better candidate (other than party name, which means NOTHING in the current political climate) or why Steve Hunt is not a good candidate.

Ouch, Mr. Speaker!

Friday, January 8, 2010

James Carville Just Made Me Throw Up in my Mouth

In reference to the airport scanners, the Ragin' Cajun...ahem...whipped out his thoughts on the issue during today's Tony Kornheiser Show.

"Let me buy a [security] card, then go and measure my penis, and let me get on the airplane".

Ugh. James Carville's penis. Just let the thought of that sink in for a second, then try to hold your lunch down.

Actually, if there was any human being who resembles a penis, it's Carville. See below...

I like Carville and all (even if he and I disagree ideologically), but geez, I don't even think Mary Matalin wants to hear about your penis, James!

Whoa, Google Bomb Madness!

I love browsing through Google's "Hot Trends" to see what exactly people are searching for. Check this out...

#12 - "christianity is bullsh*t" (editing mine)
#18 - "islam will dominate the world"

Somebody is hard at work promoting one religion over another.

I Appreciate Directness and Honesty, But...

...this is (pardon my French) f*cking ridiculous.

Apparently, Del.-elect Patrick Hope supports sending people to jail for not having health insurance, because he believes not having health insurance is like tax evasion. He also likes answering his constituents in the most condescending and jack-@$$ed tone possible.

He hasn't even been sworn in, and Patrick Hope has already earned a spot on the "worst Delegates in the House" list.

Going Left...ABC to Replace Stephanopoulos with Koppel?

ABC wants Ted Koppel to come back to the company and host This Week. No mention of what would happen to George Stephanopoulos. I'm assuming the cover will be his Good Morning America duties.

However, I figure it is because he is too moderate for a lot of the liberal media. He caught a lot of hell during the 2008 primary season for asking tough questions during a debate, and the left has not been fond of him since (conservatives don't like him, either, but there is a level of respect that I feel he has earned from them).

I've always preferred George to most other hosts on the Sunday morning political talk shows, as he tries to maintain an independent sense about him and ask tougher questions. However, if they are going to replace George, could they get Jake Tapper to do it instead?