Here are some pictures from last weekend on campus to get everyone ready for the Final Four tommorow:
Hopefully, tommorow will be more of the same!
Here are some pictures from last weekend on campus to get everyone ready for the Final Four tommorow:
Hopefully, tommorow will be more of the same!
For all who come across this blog from NOVA, if you want some sweet new Mason schwag, head over to Modell's at Fair Lakes Shopping Plaza, right of the Fairfax County Parkway, they got all new shirts and hats. With my limited funds, I only picked up a sweet "GMU: The Kryptonite Kids" shirt, with GMU in the Superman logo. Its hot.
I just can't believe MASON is in the windows of all the sports stores. Its insane! I mean, at the Modells at Fair Lakes, there was like 20 people waiting for them to open the boxes with the shirts in them. Crazy. Driving around town, you see local businesses with huge banners saying "Go Mason!" The WJFK studio on Main Street is drapped in Mason banners. Cars have Mason flags on them, "Go Patriots" painted on windows. I see people walking around with Mason shirts, adults who probably did not go there. At my store, some of my customers who know I'm a Mason grad are giving me fives, talking about how happpy they are. This run has really been remarkable for the community. I remember when Mason was a campus where all the students wore shirts of other schools. Now, we just created our own fight song, and the pride of the study body is in plain sights. Remarkable. I know most of it is probably bandwagon, but thats ok--its bring together an community that isn't that united. Traffic, frequent moving, more and more new people coming in, NoVa is a rather unstable place. Its cool that something like this can bring everyone together.
Come out to the Fairfax campus tommorow, everyone. Watching the game at the JC is an experience you will never forget!
According to Shaun Kenney, One Man's Trash, and Bearing Drift; it seems as if the Senate has "blinked" and has been moving back from its militan high-tax stance. Its not over, clearly, and the House needs to hold on.
This now poses a question, which could be preamture, but has Speaker Howell turned into the leader we have been searching for? If Howell and House Republicans can hold on and get the budget down to their level, what does that do for him? Suddenly, the Speaker had tamed the "mavericks" in the Senate and beaten back Mark Warner's heir, Governor Kaine.
Its clear to me that Speaker Howell has stepped up to the plate. His blasts at Tim Kaine have hit their mark, and his leadership in the House has been good this year, helped by the lack of a budget crisis and the challengers downstate in 2005. I still think they backfired up here, but in the rest of the state it message seemed to get through.
There is still a leadership void in the party, but if things hold out the way they are looking, Speaker Howell will have gone a long way to filling at least a part of that hole.
But maybe I am being premature.
I have refrained from commenting on the death of Harry Parrish. I did this because I knew very little about Del. Parrish and I am still relatively new in my intense interest in local politics. All I knew about Parrish was that Steve Chapman challenged him last year. So I decided to spend the last few days cruising the blogs and reading newspapers to find out whom he was. What I found was impressive. Not only was Parrish a 13-term delegate, but also has spent nearly 25 years serving Manassas as a city council member and then mayor before moving down to Richmond. When he arrived in the Capitol in 1973, as the Washington Times put, he was part of an insignificant minority of 18 Republican delegates. In 2000, he was chairman of the House Finance committee. The most impressive part of Parrish's life was his incredible service in World War II, piloting giant C-47 cargo planes over the Himalayan Mountains from India to China. To think, a boy from, what was then, a small, rural Virginia town doing that! As the RTD article described:
"[C-47’s] took off from crude, sometimes muddy airfields in the Indian jungles and struggled to heft their cargo over icy peaks that doomed many flights."
He won numerous honors for his service, including the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. For a boy from small town VA, Parrish embodies what the greatest generation was all about. The most interesting thing for me was a humorous story that Sen. Chuck Colgan told about how he and Parrish might be the only two Republican and Democrat to hold a campaign fundraiser together!
Prince William country lost a dignified servant, Virginia lost a statesman, and America lost a true hero. I hope Harry Parrish, after 84 years of war, service, politics, and elections can finally rest with God, where we all know he is. Rest in peace, sir. You were the embodiment of the commonwealth, a true Virginia Gentleman.
PS. Not one word of politics should be mentioned until Mr. Parrish is laid to rest and his family is given the appropriate time to grieve.
Watching The O’Reilly Factor tonight, something that I am hot and cold on, Bill had Dick Morris on, and they were talking about the politics of Immigration. Morris, who usually sounds smart but is more than often wrong, was talking about the shadow game the Democrats are playing on this issue. They want illegal immigration and they want amnesty because all of those new voters will vote Democrat. Republicans, Morris argued, are in trouble of losing the Hispanic vote for generations by not including a guest worker program—much like the GOP lost the black vote for good in 1964 when Barry Goldwater refused to support the Civil Rights Act.
Then the conversation got interesting. Morris started talking about Mexico, and its future. As of now, Mexico is teetering politically. President Vicente Fox, it must be remembered, was the first politician not from the left-leaning Institutional Revolutionary Party to be elected president in 71 years. That is a lot of time to make up for, and Fox is finishing his constitutionally mandated six-year single term. Fox’s National Action Party (PAN, in Mexican) is basically in a statistical tie, according to Morris—who works for Fox. What makes this interesting is that the opponent, ultra-left wing Andres Obrador is in the mold of Hugo Chavez and, to a much lesser extent, fellow left wing South American leaders like Nestor Kirchner of Argentina, Luiz Lula da Silva of Brazil, Evo Morales of Bolivia, and Michelle Bachellete of Chile. But Morris is especially worried about Obrador, whom he claims is as left wing as Hugo Chavez. This is especially dangerous because between the two of them, Venezuela and Mexico make up close to 40% of American oil imports.
This, of course, makes the game national Democrats is playing even more despicable. As leaders like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi demonize Republicans as hateful of Hispanics, which they clearly aren’t, these very same quotes are used by leftists like Obrador to bash America and help drive him into office. If Obrador, a former Mexico City mayor, becomes president—we are in deep trouble. If conservatives struggle to like President Fox, we can’t imagine what life would be like with a President Obrador sharing millions of open borders with us. Of course, the man dancing behind the scenes is Fidel Castro. This is why is it critical that a guest worker program be part of the immigration debate. We must prove to Mexicans that Americans, and Republicans, are not right wing, racist white supremacists who want America for Americans, but who simply want law and order to go hand in hand with embracing legal immigration.
This presidential election in Mexico is critical. Passing a comprehensive immigration bill that includes a border wall and increased border patrol to stand behind that wall as the stick, but allowing gates in that wall for legal immigration as the carrot, could be the cure we need to restore order to our country, and prevent chaos in the oil market by an Mexican-Venezuelans axis led by anti-American left wing fascists like Andres Obrador and Hugo Chavez. We must understand the world around us, and how legislation in our country can affect the world around us. I’m saying we turn our backs on principle—but rather agree to compromise so that we can start the ball rolling on reform. The key for conservatives is to get the border shut down, and for liberals a guest worker program. A guest worker program, as articulated by McCain-Kennedy, is an almost ten-year process that includes a heavy fine just to start the journey. 11 million people are physically here. That’s a fact, and there is nothing we can do about it.
To sum up, Democrats need to understand the harm in their overblown attacks on Republicans and conservatives, blind to the world around them and how it feeds anti-American feeling in South America. For Republicans, in broad principle and cynical political purposes, we must accept a guest worker program to both save ourselves from generations of an all-white Republican base and a generation of hatred by scores of South Americans. For Mexico, we must work something out, so we do not become politically isolated in the hemisphere we once protected in the Monroe Doctrine. If Mexico falls to men like Obrador, we could have Fidel Castor and Hugo Chavez pulling the strings behind a regime that shares thousands of miles of open borders with the US.
This Mexican Election is vitally important to the future of the country and the hemisphere. With Stephen Harper in Canada giving America a second chance up north, its imperative we do all we can to not alienate Mexican voters to the point where left-wing leaders like Obrador can control our oil. A fence and stronger enforcement combined with a guest worker program could be the careful balancing act we need.
Around the turn of the 20th Century, a young man from Castiglione, Sicily made his way to New York City. Like many immigrants, he came alone initially, looking for money to send him. Over the next several years, he returned to Italy several times, bringing his family home with him. He settled in the small hamlet of Canastota, New York where he labored the rest of his life as an onion farmer in the green valleys of Madison Co, New York. His name was Salvatore D'Amico, and he raised his family in Canastota, where his descendents still go every summer for a family reunion.
One of Salvatore's sons was Joseph D'Amico, a Phi Beta Kappa at Syracuse University who married Ora Jane Williams in Washington, D.C. Their oldest child, Ann Courtney, is my mother.
I am a descendant of immigrants, and not in the airy, vague way that many always say they are. I've been to Ellis Island, and I've touched my great-grandfather's name on the memorial. My Grampa and Gramma are buried in the same cemetery, several feet away from Salvatore and his wife. I was raised in the Italian immigrant tradition, I was always aware of where I literally came from. I still see great aunts and uncles every summer, and several members of my family have done Herculean work in our family history
Because of my family history, I take immigration seriously. I think it is the heart beat of this country. But this country has taken to immigration only in spurts, and it has often been a difficult transition. Anti-immigrant feeling goes to before the Revolution, when the Scotch-Irish settled the woodlands in western Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas. Their Baptist beliefs clashed with the established, state-sponsored churches. Here in Virginia, it was in this environment that Patrick Henry first made his name, defending the Baptist clergy in the Parson's Cause. As the country has moved along, more and more of the "huddle masses" have come, and it has caused strife. Class chaos was ramped in the antebellum North, and only grew in the Gilded Age, as we came closer to the time Salvatore got to Ellis Island.
The point of this little history lesson is that political controversy has followed immigration at every turn. Now certainly I understand that immigration in the form of what Salvatore did was different from running across the southern border. But how different is the Mexican migrant from the Scotch-Irish settler in purpose? This country, from its tiny genesis, has attracted the world to its shores and borders because of our promise. Sure we have our problems, and we have struggled mightily to overcome racism, slavery, segregation, bigotry, and war--but people still come. The American Dream is real, and I think most people running that border are searching for this.
The questions for opponents of immigration that I want to pose are this: 11 million illegals are in this country right now--what are we to do with them? By the logical extension, it would seem the only fix is to round them up and toss them out.
I want a practical solution, something that is based in real terms, so other Salvatore D'Amico's can plant their tree in American soil, where in a single generation, the son of that onion farmer was an American college graduate.
Here is what I purpose:
1) I’m not here to advocate nonsense like open borders. Before anything can get done, before ay law can be passed, our southern border must be closed by the border patrol, backed up by the National Guard. Once the damn is fixed, then we can talk real reform. Closing the border is the FIRST step.
2) Allow state and local officials arrest illegals. Make no mistake about it; these people have broken the law coming over here. It drives me nuts knowing that if a Virginia state police officer finds illegals, he can't deport them. Especially in Virginia, where the MS-13 is so prevalent, the idea that the Virginia police can't toss them to the INS is ridiculous!
3) Guest worker program. We can't round up 11-million people and toss them out. What we need to do is allow a 90-day moratorium to allow illegals to register for one year, where the government will scan terror lists and FBI files to make sure nobody here is dangerous. Then businesses and companies can request how much work they need and how many workers. The government will oversee hiring and people in the guest worker program will be given full medical and health benefits like any other employee of equal stature that is American. There will be a separate agency within the INS set up where workers can report abuse by employers. Penalties in terms of fines will be leveled at offending companies.
4) Once an illegal has a job and a card, he can apply for full citizenship. So long as he is in the pipeline, he can stay. If citizenship is denied, he must leave the country in 30 days. A penalty for not leaving is seizure of all personal money and property, to be auctioned off to pay down the national debt.
5) Once all business needs are met, any illegal that is here must leave if they are not chosen for work. If they are discovered, they will be immediately expelled from the country. But if the illegal leaves, he can immediately re-apply for the guest worker program in Mexico or wherever. But if you are expelled for not registering or by not leaving after a job is denied, you are bared from ever returning to the country.
6) An end to "catch and release." If the Border Patrol catch illegals, they are to have the manpower and resources to send these people back to the country.
7) With Mexico, we will add more consulates along the Mexican border, so immigrants have plenty of locations to apply for visas.
8) Any conviction of a crime, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, requires immediate deportation.
9) Line-item Veto. I bet a gigantic fraction of the cost for all of this could be paid for by all the pet projects and waste coming out of Congress.
I think my plan works well. I believe in the carrot and stick approach. We need to shut the door now, but we still must deal realistically with the people that are in the country already. I also understand that this might chagrin small government types, even myself. But the problem is so large, only the government can do this, really. I justify by the constitution saying one of the chief and direct responsibilities of the government is protection of their citizenry, and the military specifically job is outlined to protect our borders. There will be a growth in bureaucracy, I don't doubt it. But right now, I can't envision any other way in dealing with this. This list, by no means, is something I have locked in stone in my mind. I of course and open to debate and criticism. But we need solutions, not ideology. There are 11 million people who are illegal physically here in this country. That needs to be dealt with realistically. I've purposefully left out the "A-word" amnesty. This is not amnesty. Nobody gets citizenship for free. It is earned by work and good behavior.
When I think about immigration, I always think about my own family. It amazes me that it took Salvatore's family only one generation to achieve "American-ness." My Grampa, like I said, was a Syracuse graduate, a World War II veteran, and worked for the Veterans Administration until the day he retired. I worry when I look at how this country is going. I feel like our culture is being splintered by color. We have "white culture," "black culture," and "Latin culture." This is fine; for my family still retains some of the Italian heritage we inherited from Salvatore. But the dream was amalgamation, the idea that Salvatore could retain his Italian heritage while lead his family towards the American dream. Part of the problem with Hispanic Americans who are here illegally is that they are left out of this fabric. I understand they broke the law, but most are here to do what Salvatore did--plant his family tree. Right now, illegals are hiding, making the problem even worse. If we can get them out in the open, controlled, and registered with the promise (and ONLY the promise) of citizenship. Right now, we are looking for people we can't find, and they are sucking our resources dry.
Like Salvatore D'Amico, many of the folks from south of the border are searching for a better life. I feel America was put on earth by God to give the downtrodden a place to go and find success and equality. But it must be controlled. None of this, NONE OF THIS, can happen if we do not shut that Mexican border down cold. Whether it’s the army, the border patrol, a wall--or all of them combined; reform can only take place when that happens. Once we have a handle on it, then the Salvatore D'Amico's of Mexico, El Salvador, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Columbia can come and plant their tree in America
Apparently George Allen isn't bored with being a senator. He decided to bring in the biggest gun short of Karl Rove to run his reelection campaign--his very own Cheif of Staff Dick Wadhams. I always figured this is why Allen hired Wadhams in the first place. A career politico, I never thought Wadhams joined Allen to run his Senate office. If I'm VADemocrats, I'm looking for some rubber underwear roght now, because Wadhams is BOSS. Not only did he lead John Thune's troops in South Dakota last year, toppling Tom Daschle, then Democratic minority leader; but in 2002 he worked a near equal miracle in Colorado by bringing Wayne Allard all the way back against Tom Strickland, a former US Attorney whom many thought would easily defeat Allard's bid for reelection. Both Thune and Allard where underdogs, imagine what he can do with a popluar and extremely well-finaniced candidate in George Allen.
According to the Hotline, Wadhams joins Allen's inner circle with Chirs LaCivita and Ed Gillespie. I would not be suprised to see either Jay Timmons and/or Jason Miller back when and if Allen win reelection to gear up for the presidential run. Of all the candidates so far, even McCain, I really think Allen has put together a very impressive staff, headed by Gillespie and Wadhams. Should be interesting. But needless to say, with Wadhams running the show, Allen has shown to Virginians that he is not "bored" with the Senate, and is gearing up big time to take on either Miller or Webb.
First Nofzinger, now Cap Weinberger. In my opinion, he was one of our greatest defense secretary, and with George Shultz and Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Weinberger played in a large part in the foriegn policy that helped bring down the Soviet Union. This country owes a debt to Casper Weinberger, and his life will be a lesson to all of us. Yesterday Reagan welcomed Nofzinger into glory, and now his old friend Cap will be with him too. It warms the heart ot know Reagan isn't alone anymore. RIP Cap.
Reagan Spokesman Lyn Nofziger Dead at 81
Monday, March 27, 2006
WASHINGTON — Franklyn "Lyn" Nofziger, the rumpled and irreverent conservative who served President Reagan as press secretary and political adviser, died of cancer Monday. He was 81.
Nofziger died at his home in Falls Church, Va., said Eldin Girdner, a family friend.
Former first lady Nancy Reagan said in a statement Monday: "I was deeply saddened this afternoon when I heard of Lyn Nofziger's death. Lyn was with us from the gubernatorial campaign in 1965 through the early White House days, and Ronnie valued his advice — and good humor — as much as anyone's. I spoke with him just days ago and even though he knew the end was near, Lyn was hopeful and still in good spirits."
Nofziger, who joined Reagan's ranks early in the political career of the actor-turned-politician, headed the White House political office during the first year of the Reagan presidency and then quit to form a political consulting and lobbying firm.
"He was a great big garrulous guy who was very serious about his politics and very serious about Ronald Reagan," Michael Deaver, Reagan's deputy chief of staff, said Monday. "He was sort of the keeper of the flame."
"He was fun to be around," Deaver said. "Reagan would light up when he came into the room."
Conservative columnist George F. Will once described the nonconformist, cigar-chomping Nofziger, as "Sancho Panza" to Reagan's Don Quixote.
Asked why he was leaving the White House, Nofziger replied, "I don't like government, it's just that simple." He denied as "99 percent untrue" a report he'd quit because of his exclusion from the president's innermost circle.
His determined irreverence extended to the Reagans.
"I'm not a social friend of the Reagans," he told an interviewer. "That's by their choice and by mine. They don't drink enough."
Bombay gin, outrageous puns and fierce loyalty to Reagan and conservative Republican principles were Nofziger hallmarks. His caustic wit made him a favorite among some reporters who covered Reagan as governor and president and on his various campaigns.
In a town where men wear expensive suits, Nofziger stood out in his rumpled sports coats and slacks. His trademark was a tie with a picture of Mickey Mouse, a visual statement of what he thought about Washington. When Reagan won the White House, Nofziger refused to join other aides in calling their boss "Mr. President." To him, Reagan was always "Ronnie."
Nofziger was the aide who announced to the world that Reagan had been shot in the 1981 assassination attempt by John W. Hinckley Jr. Nofziger's statement, to reporters in the driveway of George Washington University Hospital, blew away assurances by other White House officials that Reagan had escaped unscathed.
But the Nofziger wit and camaraderie did not disguise the fact that he was a bare-knuckled political partisan.
During his year in the Reagan White House, he saw one of his principal responsibilities as rooting Democrats out of the federal government and replacing them with Republican loyalists.
Earlier, he'd served on the Republican National Committee and as an aide to President Nixon. According to John Dean, Nofziger helped Nixon put together his infamous White House "enemies list."
As White House liaison, Nofziger had mixed success with militant conservatives who early in the Reagan administration began chafing at the number of moderate Republicans given key jobs.
"Every time we appoint someone they don't agree with to a job, they feel the victory trickling away," he said in an interview.
Nofziger, who had worked as a newspaper reporter and editor and then as Washington correspondent for James Copley's chain of California papers, teamed up with Reagan in 1966 when the former actor was running for governor of California. After that successful campaign, Nofziger spent 21 months in Sacramento as Reagan's press secretary.
While his distaste for government made him unwilling to be part of anyone's bureaucracy for very long, Nofziger never was far from a Reagan campaign, whether for governor or for president.
His unorthodox manner grated on Nancy Reagan, a fact Nofziger never hesitated to confirm for any reporter who asked. But in the days after the president was shot, one of the messages Mrs. Reagan received read: "The president was not the only one. You done good, too." It was signed, "Lyn."
In 1988, after he'd left the Reagan administration to capitalize on his ties to Washington's ruling elite, Nofziger was convicted of illegally lobbying for two defense contractors and a labor union.
But Nofziger compared the offense to "running a stop sign" and remained unrepentant. He told the judge, "I cannot show remorse because I do not believe I am guilty."
A year later a federal appeals court threw out the conviction, saying prosecutors had failed to show Nofziger had knowingly committed a crime.
Nofziger's aversion to bureaucratic rules was best illustrated by the White House staff meeting early in the administration when James A. Baker III, the chief of staff, told everyone that even senior presidential aides must wear the distinctive lapel pins that would identify them to the Secret Service.
"I'm not going to wear my badge," declared Nofziger.
Nofziger was born in Bakersfield, Calif., and was politically conservative by the time he attended high school, where he worked on the school newspaper.
He served three years in the Army during World War II.
Nofziger is survived by his wife, Bonnie, their daughter Glenda and two grandchildren. Another daughter died in 1989.
Nofzingr was one the true titans of the conservative movement and the Reagan Revolution. His prescence around Reagan, accoridng the the history I have read, provided a conscience of conservativism around the president that proved to be a pillar of strength. Its sad that so many of the Reaganites are passing from the scene, these are the people that built our modern party. A true lion who never succumbed to the Potomac Fever that effects so many Republicans in this country, Nofzinger never wavered in his beliefs and in his loyality. We would all be better people if we were half them men Nofzinger was.
RIP Lyn Nofzinger. You get another chance now to light up Ronald Reagan, but not its for eternity.
Those are the words of Del. Harvey Morgan (R-Gloucester) in a Washington Post article today. This is good news for Republicans and conservatives in Virginia. Del. Ed Scott echoed Morgan, ""I would dare to say we're as united as at any time I've seen in three sessions."
The Post outlines the main reason for the sudden unity in the House of Delegates:
1. The financial health of the state is better
2. The credit rating is now sterling
3. SURPLUS, SURPLUS, SURPLUS! All $1.4 billion of it.
The Post article, authored by Chris Jenkins and Rosalind Helderman, outlines several other, more political reasons. The gist is that the major issue is traffic congestion, which is regional. In 2004, there was more on the line that affected the entire state--schools, public safety, and public health. While Fairfax might be keen to taxes, the Post points out that rural legislators aren't hearing the clamor they did two years ago.
The Post seems optimistic in its appraisal of what’s going on: "There is also a sense among legislators that there remains plenty of time for the leadership to work out a deal, without rank and file members stepping forward."
I think the Post is pretty spot-on in this article. There is no gun with a cocked hammer at the head of the legislature this time. I still think that gun was mostly political rather than real, but the political reality stands. Also, in some parts of the state, the conservative primary challenges did their job. I still think it backfired in NOVA, but in the rest of the state the message got through. This is an argument that the Post completely ignored. It will be hard for Kaine and the state senate to say to Virginians that we need more taxes when we have a $1.4 billion surplus. And because the deadlock is centered on regional issues rather than broad, statewide problems. This allows for broader terrain to work out a compromise. I personally like the idea of allow counties to decide tax rates. I would feel more comfortable with that then an committee of assembly conferees with only Vince Callahan and Chuck Colgan representing the area in negotiations with a senator from Fredericksburg and a governor from Richmond who doesn't live this every day.
This Post article further fuels my belief that something will get done in this special session that resembles more of what the House of Delegates wants rather than what the Governor and the Senate want.
In Vince Callahan we trust.
Is George Mason's shocking victory over UConn the greatest sports upset ever? That has been a theme thrown around lately since Mason won. I've been around since 1981, and I'm having a hard time thinking fo something bigger. Its definatly up there:
--NC State over Houston still might be the greatest NCAA upset ever
--Vilinova over Georgetown might be 1a to NC State's 1
--The New England Patriots over the St. Louis Rams has to be another shocker
--I think the Pistons over the Shaq/Kobe/Malone/Payton Lakers is in the conversation
--The San Jose Sharks over the Detroit Red Wings in I think 1994 was another one.
In terms of NCAA upsets, this might be the greatest. But NC State and Vilinova won their games for the actual championship. But Mason does not come from a big conference like the ACC or Big East, where State and Nove came from. But with Mason will now join those two teams as the greatest NCAA upsets ever.
All time sports upset, though? My vote still goes to the Jets over the Colts in Super Bowl III.
The Mason campus, for those who don't know, is as electric and as together as it has ever been. But in typical NoVa fashion, students were celebrating by driving around in their cars and honking our horns. Only in NOVA will people celebrate this win in their cars, because they STILL want to beat traffic.
Just got back from Mason, were about 2,000 people were JAMMED into the Johnson Center watching Mason WIN AND GO TO THE FINAL FOUR!!!!
Absolutley unbelieable! I'm headng back to campus after I get some dinner for the celebration at the Patriot Center!
I'm gonna have some pics as soon as my friend H hooks me up!
I've got two words: Final Four
and two more: National Champions
At the expense of sounding uninformed, I really want to from somebody, anybody, out there how many of the General Assembly Budget conferees are from Northern Virginia? And by NOVA, I mean Prince William, Alexandria, Fairfax, and Loudoun. Since transportation is the sticking point, and NOVA is the epicenter, shouldn't that part of the Budget be handled by NoVa Dels and Sens?
I'm not even trying to make some wiseguy point, I just want to know. Thanks.
I've been purposefully fighting the temptation to talk about the 2006 Senate campaign lately, because I've been trying to digest all the information surrounding it. First of all, and without hyperbole, I'm glad the Democrats have two pretty good nominees. It’s good for them, good for us, and good for the state to have real campaigns. In 2002, I agreed with my dad (which I NEVER do) that it was a disgrace that the Democrats did not run anyone against John Warner. I think both James Webb and Harris Miller will give Allen a run for his money, though at this point I still think Allen should win with around 52-53%.
I've also been touring the Democratic blogs looking for info on Miller and Webb. It seems to have broken down this way: Liberal, grassroots activists are lining up behind Webb; while the insider, elected Virginia Democrats seem to be backing Miller. So, of course, the blogs are backing Webb. Webb fits the dynamic that national Democrats are looking for--liberals who have gone to war. But the thing is, I think Webb might be one of those guys who seem great. On the outside, he's got everything Democrats would want. He was a Navy Secretary of Ronald Reagan (of ALL people), and has generally been a Republican. But the Iraq War seemed to change his mind. His boom reminds me of that of Wesley Clark back in 2004. Whether he ends up like Clark is another matter.
Much has been made about Miller as well, given his NoVa base. Yet he lost at Gerry Connelly's straw poll in Fairfax to Webb. Miller has built up a sizable list of endorsements (care of Not Larry Sabato): Gerry Connelly, Sharon Bulova, Penny Gross, Kris Amundson, M.M. Whipple, Bob Hull, Ginny Peters, Dave Marsden, Mark Sickles, Vivian Watts, Janet Howell, and on and on. The only notable influential Democrats backing Webb are Chap Peterson (who has statewide ambitions) and Leslie Byrne.
It seems that things have gotten a but nasty between the two campaigns as well. NLS outlined a shouting match between Harris Miller and Mudcat Saunders in Roanoke. Webb seemed to snub some supporters at an Alexandria parade last month. The thing is, both are rookies and they have to learn real quickly against a popular and VERY seasoned campaigner in Allen. It will be hard for these two, whoever comes out of this, to say, "Allen doesn't care about Virginia," or whatever challengers say to popular incumbents. This is not an open governor's race. The Mark Warner Formula doesn't work, because when your run for Gov you don't have to answer questions about national security, Iraq, The War on Terror, voting on Judges, abortion, and illegal immigration in the same manner. People take different things into consideration when voting in a Senate election vs. a governor’s election. That’s why I think Webb will win the nomination. Miller goes on and on about "being Mark Warner," and all, but that doesn't play in a Senate election. More things are at play, and they are mostly in Allen's favor. The temptation that Webb can neutralize Republican's lead on national security concerns because of his service is a temptation that VA Democrats won't pass up. But if Iraq dominates Democratic thinking, what is Webb’s positions on abortion, judges, and all of that. He use to be a Republican, how will that jive with the liberal base? On most issues, I think Miller might be more in line with mainstream Democratic thought, but Webb’s war record is just too delicious for Dems to pass on.
George Allen might be the toughest Republican in Virginia to beat, including Mark Warner. Nationally, Virginia is conservative, having voted for every Republican since 1964. Allen has won twice statewide against two formidable opponents with a successful statewide record in Mary Sue Terry and Chuck Robb. He has done nothing in Washington that has been controversial, or that might upset his constituents. Webb might call Allen a rubberstamp for George W. Bush, but Bush won Virginia in 2004. Most folks here won't mind that. Furthermore, Allen was one of the leaders in ousting Trent Lott, got behind the Senate apology for lynching with Mary Landrieu, and has worked hard on international issues. I think it’s still a sign of relative weakness that the Democrats can only throw two statewide rookies at Allen and hope that something might happen. I still think to this day, Mark Warner made a GIANT mistake in not running against Allen. If he had beaten Allen, which he would have been better positioned to do instead of Miller or Webb, he would have been a giant-killer (ala John Thune), but with executive experience. Too me, it was a sign of weakness. His chances for the presidential nomination would skyrocket if he bounced Allen. Instead, he will be running against Hillary Clinton--good luck.
But I think this election will be good for Allen. Many think a good race will hurt him nationally. I disagree. I think a good, hot race will help slingshot Allen in '08 campaign mode. He will have money no matter what, and unlike the Dems race, the GOP race will be wide-open. And a good campaign is good for the state, it should get voters out. But seriously, and I know I'm biased, but neither Webb nor Miller has shown me anything that says they can topple Goliath. Webb's campaign could end up like John Kerry's, where it’s not enough that you served in the military. Democrats seem shallow on this. People want politicians who will fight terror, and Democrats can't hide behind a draw of medals. The idea that "Hey, I can be trusted because I've been in combat and you haven't" doesn't fly. Kerry tried that against Bush, and it blew up in his face. In the end, Miller might end up being the better candidate. But Democrats are just salivating at military liberals running for office. It’s a phony tactic, in my opinion. Just because you served in the military doesn't give you cart blanche when it comes to military and foreign affairs. Democrats and liberals are trying to hide behind medals and military honors to shadow a platform that is weak on terrorism, weak on war, and generally weak on national defense issues. Its your typical Democratic "I voted for it before I voted against it" argument.
The key will come down to the fact that Virginia Democrats aren't strong enough yet to translate statewide victories into national victories. Think of it as Maryland in reverse. While Bob Ehrlich has done a good job locally, there is NO WAY Maryland votes GOP in 2008, and Mike Steele is going to have a rough road against Ben Cardin in November. Virginia voters are going to need more than James Webb or Harris Miller can offer to oust George Allen, whom if reelected could become president--something that I think actually HELPS his campaign rather than hurt it. But good for Democrats at making this a real race—its good for everyone.
Just got back from seeing "Thank You For Smoking," and it was excellent. Knowing that it was based on a book by Christopher Buckley put my mind at ease about any kind of overtly political tone in one direction. It was a brilliant movie, a witty satire that is brilliantly acted, and a story that is funny and poignant without being overtly political or obnoxious. It a movie everyone can laugh at--from the smoothing talking, morally flexible lobbyist Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart), the bleeding heart, phony Sen. Otolin Finnisstre (D-VT, played by William H. Macey), the equally conniving Washington Probe reporter Heather Holloway (the HOT HOT HOT Katie Holmes) who will do anything, including sleeping with someone, to get her story; and the bright, inquisitive young Joey Naylor (Cameron Bright) who understands his father better than anyone, but also his father's moral conscience.
Politically, this movie is more libertarian than conservative or liberal. Nick Naylor doesn’t' care about political parties. The overriding theme is that life is about choices, and its up to society, parents, teachers, and communities to instill values in our children. Warning labels, phony politicians, and zealots on both sides can't do it. It’s a fun movie, you'll laugh hard, but it will make you think without being bludgeoned over the head.
A ***** movie.
Just got back from Mason. WHAT A NIGHT! In the six years I have gone to that school, I have NEVER, NOT ONCE, seen that place rockin' and rolling like that, not once in my life. I watched the game down at SUB 1 at the Damon's Grill there, and it was intense. The entire place, though small, was deafening! I mean, we were chanting, hooting, and hollaring like we are at the Verizon Center! When the game ended, out of knowhere, I just started screaming "Mason, Mason, Mason!" At the top of my lungs! And the entire place errupted around me! It was sooooo school. I then ran up to the Johnson Center, where the place was just blasting! A rock band was playing and the place was filled to the rafters, literally! Walking around campus, you would just see strangers and high five, or scream "Bring on UConn" or "Bring on Washington!" After I walked around, on my way to my car, I hopped up on the George Mason statue and wrapped my arms around old gout-ridden George. On my way out, me and my roomate took a victory lap around Patriot Cirlce, honking my horn to other kids walking around, to cars passing us in the opposite direction, and just screaming till my voice went hoarse! This may seem like a little much if you went to UVA and Tech, but we don't get this much, and it could end soon, so we HAVE to enjoy it! To think of ALL 100+ D-1 schools in America, we are in the final 8! Past Duke, past Illinois, past Ohio State, past Kentucky! This is just amazing, and I think its something not just NOVA, but ALL Virginia can revel in. We've waiting a long time for our turn, and its just something that is so amazing to experience!
I'm heading off to Mason now to watch GMU on campus. This should be an awesome night for the area, what with Mason and Georgetown playing. All Mason fans should be rooting for the Hoyas, and vice-versa. I know I am. This has been a great run, and most people need to understand what this means for the school. Its awesome!
Hopefully I'll have some pictures of the scene at Mason. If anyone whats to head out and watch the game with the rest of Mason Nation, here is a listing of all the places showing the game from Maosn's website:
Distributed Watch Party Sites
Alumni are encouraged to arrive at watch party locations by 7:00 p.m. EST
** Refresh this page for every visit as updates are constantly made. **
3100 Clarendon Blvd.
Arlington, Va. 22201 Arlington
Bailey's Pub & Grille
4238 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, Va. 22203
1836 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, Va. 22201
1345 N. Courthouse Rd.
Arlington, Va. 22201 Burke
Glory Days Grill
9526-C Old Keene Mill Rd.
Burke, Va. 22015
Glory Days Grill
13850-A Braddock Rd.
Centreville, Va. 20121 Chantilly
3980 Corsair Ct.
Chantilly, Va. 20152
Crystal City Sports Pub
529 23rd St. South
Arlington, Va. 22202 Fairfax
Damon's Grill (Fairfax Campus)
George Mason University
Student Union Building 1
George Mason University
Atrium, Main Level Fairfax
10621 Braddock Rd.
Fairfax, Va. 22032
Glory Days Grill
3059 Nutley Street
Fairfax, Va. 22031 Fairfax
Buffalo Wing University
10312 Willard Way
Fairfax, Va. 22030
7421 Sudley Rd.
Manassas, Va. 20109 Reston
Glory Days Grill
2567 John Milton Dr.
Herndon, Va. 20171
Buffalo Wild Wings
1501 East Cary St.
Richmond, Va. 23219 Sterling
Ned Devines Irish Village
21800 Towncenter Plaza
Sterling, Va. 20164
Glory Days Grill
21800 Towncenter Plaza
Sterling, Va. 20164 Stone Ridge
Glory Days Grill
42010 Village Center Plaza
Stone Ridge, Va. 20105
Glory Days Grill
130 Featherbed Lane
Winchester, Va. 22601 Woodbridge
Glory Days Grill
13800 Smoketown Road
Woodbridge, Va. 22192
555 12th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20004 Washington, D.C.
Rumors (Post-Game Event)
1900 M St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
Fado Irish Pub (Pre-Game Event)
808 7th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001 Washington, D.C.
601 F St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
Clyde's of Gallery Place
707 7th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001 Washington, D.C.
1250 24th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20037
Willie & Reed's
4901-A Fairmont Ave.
Bethesda, Md. 20814
Glory Days Grill
15505 Annapolis Rd.
Bowie, Md. 20715 Germantown
Glory Days Grill
18050 Mateny Rd.
Germantown, Md. 20874
Glen Burnie / Pasadena
Glory Days Grill
7939 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, Md. 21061 Towson
Glory Days Grill
1220 E. Joppa Rd.
Towson, Md. 21286
Go out and root on MASON, baby! Its a great time to be a Patriot. I don't mean just as a sports fan, but for the entire University. This means alot to the entire community in Northern Virginia. Its awesome! GO MASON! GO GEORGETOWN! But really, GO MASON!
In my continuing effort to be the eternal optimist (and get through work), I was thinking about something that has been a simmering topic here on the blogosphere--namely the futures of the last three state senators from NOVA--Jay O'Brien, Ken Cuccinelli, and Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis.
First off, I am not ignoring the realities of Kaine's victory last year. Republicans are bleeding in NOVA, and in 2005 we were without a tourniquet. But the BIG difference between then and now is that in NOVA, only one incumbent actually lost--that being Dick Black. Bulova, Marsden, Poisson, and Herring all won open seats. The playing field was level, the Republicans had no advantages. O'Brien, Cuccinelli, and JDD have years of experience in politics to fall back on.
The other difference is challengers. Democrats might be more jazzed for open seats than incumbent seats. O'Brien, Cuccinelli, and JDD will come in with serious money, money that an open-seat challenger can't get.
The doomsday scenario is if Stan Barry challenges Cuccinelli and Chap Peterson challenges JDD. But who knows if they are up for the fight, if they are up to the chance of losing a race that could cripple them politically. Furthermore, the terrible defeats of '05 have given Republicans a bit of a reverse roadmap; in it can give us directions on what not to do.
Of the three, its clear Cuccinelli is seemingly in the most trouble. But that might be a case of reality not being truly evident. When Cuccinelli ran in the special election in 02, he stared down Mark Warner in his home base, beating a Warner-picked candidate in which taxation and transportation were the major themes. It was an impressive win, one that most people did not think he could pull off, as I recall.
One thing JDD has going for her is the money her popular Congressman-husband can bring her. After Chap, there seems to be a shortage of candidates who could challenge her. Peterson is young and can afford to wait for something to open up that would have a higher rate of inability. Furthermore, Jeannemarie has a solid record in the area, and has served in the legislature for a long time. That experience, and her incumbency, could help her big time. Other than Peterson, all I can think of is maybe David Bulova, but I highly doubt he would leave the House when he has plenty of time to wait for something else.
And furthermore, I don't believe that NOVA is as blue as 2005 showed. Part of the problem, and one we are still wrestling with, is that Republicans need to find unity once the candidate is selected. Mark Herring, for starters, could be in trouble if Randy Minchew gets the nomination. Bulova could find his re-election tough from either Jim Kaplan or Rob Federer. Chuck Colgan might be retiring, opening up a senate seat in Prince William, and if the right candidate could be found . . . Then their is David Poisson, was he a fluke? Look at the elections from last year. Hugo, Frederick, Albo, Callahan, Rust, Marshall, Lingamfelter, Parrish, and McQuigg all won--with Rust, Callahan, and Hugo all running unopposed. Now Frederick and Albo were close, especially the former. Out of 10 incubent Republcians running in the big Kaine year of '05, only ONE went down. Thats pretty impressive for such a big Dem year in 05. All the Democratic challengers ran behind Kaine. Without Kaine at the top of an election ticket, will Dems get out the way they did last year? In Prince William, Kaine scored just under 50%, and not one delegate candidate topped him. In Fairfax Co, among the open seats that Marsden, Bulova, and Caputo won, they all ran behind Kaine's unrela 60%. In Loudoun, where Kaine scored roughly 52%, only Poisson outpolled him. So the point is, incumbent Republicans sustained the Kaine wave, and when Dems did win, it was for the most part behind Kaine's numbers.
The thing is, Republicans in Northern Virginia need to take a team approach. I know it sounds cheesy, but we need a team approach. We need to think of it as a line-up card. Which candidates would fit best in which spot. That means maybe a moderate might be better challenging Bulova, but if Colgan seat opens up, a conservative could swing in. The real test will be the primaries. As Republicans, we need to make sure that they stay civil, that the 11th Commandment is maintained, that way we can rally around our team.
Because of incumbency, and the freshness of the Democrats in NOVA, and the fact this will effectively be the sixth year of Democratic rule in Virginia. Kaine's performance in this Assembly has been less than stellar. Going back on campaign promises for not raising taxes, losing the Danny LeBlanc fight, and seemingly emboldening Republicans by the day, Kaine's performance thus far has been less than stellar. This special session is crucial; it will define the next election. If Republicans can hold out together and cut a better deal for taxpayers, we will be in good shape.
We can't take it for granted, but there are reasons to be optimistic about our Republican officials in NOVA. They might be vulnerable, but they have the advantage of incumbency which many of the candidates in 05 did not (except Black). Furthermore, rookie Dems like Bulova, Poisson, Marsden, and Herring will have to fend off what could be a more united GOP, and will now have a record of their own to defend. The best time to knock of an incumbent is in their first term.
A post by the great Ramesh Pomruru at National Review Online's The Corner discussing how George Allen and Mitt Romney are going to be fighting it out for the "other spot" against Sen. John McCain in the Republican presidential primary. To be honest, I'm torn in several different directions. On the one hand, I respect the hell out of McCain, not only for his military service but also for his strong belief in fiscal conservativism. I love Allen, too, and am proud to be a voter of his. Then there is Romney, who has done a good job in a tough position in Massachusetts. But there is a third person that has been running around that I have been thinking about for a while, and that is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
First off, lets be clear here, Newt Gingirch has a LOOONG way to in becoming presidential to many people. His time as Speaker was punctuated by presidential Impeachment over a sex scandal--and then the same thing took him down. Joe Scarborough's book "Rome Wasn't Burnt In A Day," has numerous quotes about Gingrich's brusque, even abusive leadership style in the House. The government shutdown, whatever the reality was, turned into very bad politics. The Republican Party's inability to follow up '94 with a stronger presidential run in 1996 is partly explained by President Clinton's brilliant exploitation of Gingrich's flaws. On the other hand, it was Gingrich who enacted the entire Contract with America except for term limits. The budget was balanced under Gingrich's stewardship of the House, and impressive feat only matched in history by Andrew Jackson. But Gingrich has a perception problem that will be hard to overcome.
Its not that he does not try. Gingirch is on every television he can get on, he debates anyone at anytime. When he speaks on television, he makes so much sense and sounds so good. Can that get him over the hump? A Gingrich presidential campaign would be one of the most unorthodox in American history. For starters, he has no rooting interest. Out of power for what will be ten years in 2008, Gingrich will have spent a decade sharpening his mind, studying domestic and foreign policy to an intellectual tee. Newt has left Georgia and moved to the beltway. He has become the King of Wonks. Newt has spent ten years remaking himself.
Newt Gingrich Version 1.0=Brusque, tough House Speaker spoiling for a fight, a man who still acted like he was a minority whip while he was Speaker. A fighter even when the fight was lost, Newt took Clinton to the mat and got pinned himself.
Newt Gingrich Version 2.0=Smiling, policy wonk who goes anywhere and talks to anyone. He has spent ten years refining his mind to know all intricacies of complex foreign policy issues and domestic controversies.
In a sense, in contrast to George W. Bush, Newt is going to run as the smartest kid in the class, not the most popular. Bush is not dumb, but he cultivates a manly, cool kid persona. Newt seems to understand he will never be the cool kid, so he has to prove he is the smartest.
Gingrich's book "Winning The Future" is a brilliant work. I've read it three times. He clearly understands the issues of terrorism, patriotism, judicial philosophy, and standing up for traditional values. But a Gingirch campaign will be one of those ones that we have never seen before. Newt, since he holds no office, does not need to define his position in his votes in Congress or his actions as a governor, has all the time in the world to define himself and clearly stake out his ground.
A Newt campaign fascinates me. Allen, Romney, and even McCain seem so cookie-cutter, so typical. A Newt Gingrich campaign would be so different and so interesting; one has to wonder if he could pull it off. Gingrich has pulled no punches on President Bush, particularly on Immigration, and Iraq as well. And because Newt has been out of power for 10 years, Democrats could not tie him to the past eight years at all. Allen votes Bush's way nearly 92% of the time; McCain has backed Bush heavily on all the big issues from Iraq to spending cuts, and even Romney, as a Republican politician who was a vocal Bush supporter against fellow Bay Stater John Kerry. And if Democrats want to pull up Newt's past hardball politics--especially if Hillary is the nominee--they all have a past as well. The idea of Newt running for president is so crazy it just might work. Furthermore, a Newt campaign might be the breath of fresh air, a sort of changing horses midstream that the Republican Party needs to maintain its power. After the midterms, I'm going to make my decision on whom to support and I keep bouncing around. But a Newt campaign might just be the ship where conservatives latch on too, a sort of conservative classroom across America.
The biggest question about Newt is electability. Can he overcome his past perception; totally reinvent himself into a trustworthy professor that he appears on television to be? The key to Newt is to go everywhere and speak anywhere. I think if he ran against Hillary, the only way to win is to get a hold of her in numerous debates. The key to Newt is to connect his deep, thoughtful ideas into quick sound bytes that a campaign dictates. He will need to use all his brilliance to overcome a past the Democrats will never let die.
Congradulations to Yorktown High School for the stomping of Fairfax High School tonight in lacrosse, 9-3. The reason I bring this up is to give some love to Yorktown, who's head coach is none other than the Mason Conservativ's own big brother, Greg! So I wanted to give my big bro some dap for a dominating performance. Btw, at this point, Yorktown is now 3-0. It was funny, because Greg's team plays just like he did--bruising. Lacrosse is maybe the most physically demanding sport out there, and there is no doubt that Yorktown's play is a reflection of their coach! Congrats Greg, you coached them up tonight. Since I went to high school in Rhode Island, I could care less about schools around here. Its was cool to watching my brother leading these kids, I'm proud of him!
Reading Shaun Kenney's thought provoking post on female altar services in the Diocese of Arlington got me wondering. On the one hand, I can't say that if I go to church and see girls serving at the altar would particularly bother me. I a Roman Catholic, but I have a hard time staying as concentrated, as I should be. But I do understand that there is a hidden hand within the population of the church waiting for its moment to bring "reform." My thinking on the state of the church changed forever when I read "Goodbye Good Men," it is mind-blowing the kind of forces that are working against the very doctrine and existence of the church from within. Not to sound too overly dramatic, but something as small as this decision begins to crack the door open for these people. Shaun mentions one such group--Catholics Speak Out, but there are others. Other such group is Call To Action of Northern Virginia--which right now on its website is urging Arlington Catholics to withhold donations. That, of course, is insane given all the charities and all the people this money helps.
The reason I bring this up is that an issue like female altar servers could become a Trojan horse for other "reforms," the most natural is using this to ordain female priests, and of course marriage for priests. Remember what St. Paul said, that priest are suppose to not only be in the image of God, but be married totally to God and his flock. If a priest is married with a family, his heart cannot totally be given to his congregation. An issue like female altar servers slowly injects the church with cultural liberalism and permissiveness that the Church has tried to fight. Female altar servers are just the opening skirmish in the war for the soul of the Church. Go read "Goodbye Good Men," the anger from liberal nuns, the homosexual permissiveness, and the blacklisting of men who join the priesthood to accept and carry out the lessons of the Pope. The American Catholic Church is in a crisis all over the country, from Los Angeles to Covington, KY to Boston. Issues like this might seem small, but it opens the door for the changing of thousands of years of doctrine. If you don't like it, leave it. That’s the beauty about the Catholic Church, you get what you see. They don't conform to the whims of a generation, instead they clutch to the eternal truth and the Word of God. It’s sad that the Bishop Leverde has let this happen. I fear that the liberal culture might be beginning to envelope the Church.
Too Conservative, the resident teenage wunderkind of the VA Blogosphere, has posted what has turned into another controversial email regarding what went on at the latest Loudon Republican meeting with regards to Eugene Delgaudio, Dick Black, and a 19-year-old teenager from Elon University. Go read the post, it’s interesting:
This kind of story is both heartening and sad all at the same time. On the one hand, it makes you realize that the reason for our loses is the lack unity, which means when we do get it together, we can win. But this mess in Loudon seems to be the microcosm of what is going wrong with the Virginia Republican Party. Its chaos. Those on the far right, and I don't even like saying that because I'm pretty right wing, maybe a better term is those on the irresponsible right who refuse to understand the changing dynamics of NoVa, who refuse to adapt, and instead to demagogue to keep power. We see this with Black, with Jeff Frederick at times, and with Delgaudio. Its guys who label anyone who does not agree with them lock, stock, and load as RINOs, that if you supported Randy Minchew, you aren't a real conservative. It has nothing to do with moderate and conservative, it has to do with responsible leadership vs. power hungry men willing to destroy the party to save their own power. It’s why I support Tom Davis so much, why that here in Fairfax City I think Mayor Lederer should run against David Bulova next year. We have to go back to being the big-tent party. Many here on the blogosphere have talked about knocking on doors and people seeing Republicans as crazies. Stuff like this does not help. To get NoVa back red, we need to take back the local parties from the crazies and back into the hands of responsible men with convictions, but also flexible enough in their politics to welcome all into the party. I get the feeling that Delguardio would be happy being the only Republican on the Loudon Co. Board so long as HE was still on it. Anyways, just a few thoughts. Loudoun is vitally important. If Kilgore had carried Loudon, he might have won. With the party leaders there seemingly ready to break out into a royal rumble, it’s going to be tough to win elections for anyone with an "R" next to their name. And you know who is laughing the hardest now--Mark Herring and David Poisson, who see their reelection campaigns getting easier and easier by the day.
Tim Kaine looked to smooth over bad feelings yesterday by naming former Fairfax County Chairwomen Kate Hanley as Secretary of the Commonwealth. I naturally do not support the politics of Mr. Kaine, but he is the duly elected governor of the Commonwealth and deserves the respect due to the office. In that spirit, I commend this decision. I know Kaine can't deliver what I want, but there was one thing I didn't even notice until i thought about it today: before Chairwomen Hanley's selection, only two members of cabinet was from Northern Virginia, that being Pierce Homer, a Warner holdover, and Aneesh Chopra.
Robert Bloxom--Eastern Shore
Robert Crouch--Western VA
John Marshall--Eastern VA
Pierce Homer--Prince William Co.
As a resident of the part of the state that is the engine of the commonwealth, to have such scant representation in the cabinet is frankly distressing. Kaine certainly has the right to name qualified people around him that he knows, but he seems to have surrounded himself with a bit of a Richmond mafia. With Hanley's selection as Secretary of the Commonwealth, hopefully the vital interests of the region will be met. Kaine has given tons of lip service to Northern Virginia, and they put him in office, but I have not seen a lot in return. Is transportation plan is heavy on taxes and light on ideas. None of the core issues of the region are being met in the executive because Kaine is not from NoVa and just does not know. Hanley does. Plus, Hanley's from Reston, where I grew up near Forest Edge, so I'm kind of a sucker for things like that. Reston, though certainly a People's Republic, is a really nice spot in of old Northern Virginia, where there are still tons of trees and trails, and not all the big development has hit. Lake Ann might be my favorite spot in all of Northern Virginia. Hanley has also proven, as chairwomen of the Board of Supervisors, that she knows how to work with everybody. But she is such a star; one has to wonder how long she will stick around. She was thinking about running against Jim Moran last time around but I think her husband got cancer or something like that. Hanley has always been someone to watch in NoVa politics since she took over the Board from Tom Davis. But on the whole, I'm happy that Hanley's in Richmond, someone who really knows what Northern Virginia needs past buying votes with tax hikes.
you were the "the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints?" So sayeth the Toronto Star, via Red America. Quoting from a new study out by the Journal of Research into Personality, the Star argues that this study, focused on 95 kids in Berkley, CA. First of all, I think we all would be whinny and insecure if you were conservative in Berkley. Here are some of the highlights:
From The Star:
"The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.
"The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interest."
"The more confident kids are eager to explore alternatives to the way things are, and find liberal politics more congenial. In a society that values self-confidence and out-goingness, it’s a mostly flattering picture for liberals. It also runs contrary to the American stereotype of wimpy liberals and strong conservatives."
To be fair, the Star article does give space to Jeff Greenberg of the University of Arizona:
"I found it to be biased, shoddy work, poor science at best." Rigid people can gravitate left as well as right.
This kind of "science" really bothers me. The very premise of this study is that conservatives are "rigid" that we can't think outside of our small box walled in religion and beliefs. In a sense, what the study is saying is that to be "open-minded" and thus "smart" is to be liberal. That conservatives only regurgitate whatever their priests or betters tell them. Rather, I found that conservatives are just as brilliant as any liberal. Any political ideology is at its best when it is vibrant and thought provoking. I find that is where conservativism is at now. Outlets like the Weekly Standard, The National Review, NewsMax, American Conservative, and American Spectator--as well as a bevy of journals, blogs, and other outlets give plenty of voices to the various wings of the conservative intellectual movement. My personal favorite publication to come out lately is The Weekly Standard Reader. I think both ideologies can fall into a rut. I find liberalism now nothing what it was. The Happy Warrior mentality of Hubert Humphrey is gone, replaced by a bitter resentment of George W. Bush and the rise of conservatives. The success of modern liberalism and its Democratic Party rests on the failure of America. In order for them to ascent, America must fall. The War on Terror must fail, the Iraqi democracy must fail, we must never catch Osama bin Laden, our economy must tank, and gas prices must skyrocket. When all is well, Republicans and President Bush do well. Conservativism, which sprouted, as liberalism grew fat and lazy in the 70s, burst to prominence because it was positive, alternative, and non-conforming. The real misnomer with that study is that somehow conservative is the norm. While most Americans lean right, liberalism lives in powerful places such as the mainstream media, Hollywood, the federal bureaucracy, and city governments across the country. Conservatives have spent the last 25 years since the rise of Reagan fighting the norm, and we have done a very good job, but we are not all the way. It is conservatives who have sought alternative, clever, and ingenious new ways in dealing with old problems. The liberal answer of "create a department and throw money at it" does not work, but it sounds so easy.
So I got off on a rant there, but that’s ok! It just riles me up when "scientists" tried and find ways to scientifically prove conservatives are heartless, conformist, unthinking, crybabies. Because you can't science the individual. I'm sure they are conservatives like that, but there are just as many liberals. When things like this come out, it hurts the body politic because it does exactly what liberalism supposedly fights against: stereotyping.
The card is set for two weeks from yesterday, Wrestlemania 22 will come to us live from Chicago, IL. With the Smackdown spoilers up on the net, the final card seems to be set:
1. Kurt Angle (c) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton--World Heavyweight Title match
2. John Cena (c) vs. Triple H--WWE Championship match
3. Shawn Michaels vs. Vince McMahon
4. Chris Benoit (c) vs. John Bradshaw Layfield--United States Title match
5. Money In The Bank Ladder Match for a championship title match any time the winner wants it for one calendar year:
Shelton Benjamin vs. Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Matt Hardy vs. Finley vs. Bobby Lashley
6. Booker T & Sharmell vs. The Boogeyman
7. The Big Show & Kane (c) vs. Chris Masters & Carlito--World Tag Team Title match
8. Edge vs. Cactus Jack--Hardcore Match
9. Trish Stratus vs. Mickie James--Women's Title match
10. The Undertaker vs. Mark Henry--Casket Match
11. Candice Michelle vs. Torrie Wilson--Playboy Pillow Fight (LAME!)
So there it is, the grandaddy of them all, the showcase of the immortals! That is YOUR Wrestlemania 22 card. I am looking forward to Edge/Cactus, Benoit/JBL, Trish/Mickie, and Angle/Orton/Rey. This should be a tremendous 4 hours of wrestling action!
Not much VA politics to talk about until the Special Session kicks off, I've been paying attention to other things this week. The NCAA Tournament has, naturally, attracted much of my attention. Watching the tourney, we see the best in sports. Teams like George Mason, Witchita State, Bradley, and all the other Sweet 16 teams have displayed athletics at their best. So has teams like North Carolina, who despite bitter disappointments, were gracious in defeat. The tournament this year has shown us what great sports is all about.
Then we come to Alfonso Soriano. A superstar baseball player, with a talent that allows him to live a life few of us can dream of. And yet, we have this story now that he has refused to switch positions. Now let me get this straight, Soriano is being paid $10 million a year, he has the worst feilding percentage for any starting second basemen in the league, and he wants to KEEP playing second base in a division now filled with sluggers. At first I was ecstatic that the Nats got Soriano, who could be a difference maker in a division that is wide open. The Nats have good pitching, not great but good, a steady lineup with a nice mix of veterans likes Brian Schnieder, Jose Vidro, Nick Johnson, and Jose Guillen (when healthy) and nice young players like Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Church. With Soriano, they are in play of the wild card, especially since the other two divisions in the NL are uber-weak. But now he is throwing a bitch-fit over nothing--doesn't he realize the switch will HELP him? Too think, we gave up a quality leader, a real team player, a MAN like Brad Wilkerson for this nonesense. I say trade him to Tampa Bay for Carl Crawford or Aubrey Huff or somebody who would be a team player. Hell, send his ass back to Texas and bring Wilkerson back.
When you compare a man like Soriano--a grown man who has had unbridled success, makes $10 million a year, and he can't make one single sacrifice for his team to make them better and help them win. Instead, he is just a distraction. Compare him to the boys in the Sweet 16 from Mason to Duke, who sacrifice the individual for the team, and make no money doing it. Guys at places like Bradley and Mason, chances are they will never see a pro court, and they are out there killing themselves. Soriano, a man with the world in his hand, can't even move to the outfield that would allow both he and Vidro to be in the line-up. The Nats' lineup would be formidable with Soriano and a healthy Guillen to go along with Vidro, Nick Johnson, and capable platoon players like Marlon Byrd, Marlon Anderson, and Damien Jackson. Instead, Soriano's selfish, me-first attitude might cost a team that gave up ALOT for him the chance to really do something this season. Jim Bowden, its time to trade him. Now.
According to Michael Shear over at the WaPo, Tim Kaine is going barnstorming across the state in preparation for the special section to sell his program. Here's the problem with it:
Kaine has had a very bad first legislature. Danny LeBlanc went down, and Kaine got elected as a guy who can continue the "bipartisan" tradition of Mark Warner, and the fact that this has come down to this reflects poorly on him. During the campaign, Kaine vowed he would not raise taxes, and now he is advocating a plan that would do just that. More importantly, the urgency that existed in 2004 does not exist now. Furthermore, Chad over at Commonwealth Conservative has reported that Virginia is expecting a 1.4 BILLION >Dr. Evil poses<. How can you tell people that our taxes need rising when the state is running 1.4 billion in the black? Their own success is killing these guys. With a nice surplus, the bond rating is fine, and Republicans are wary about voting for it, given those who fell in 2005.
The state of the Republican Party has been in question, too. I personally think the lose in 2005 has helped us, in a sense, in this debate. Wary delegates like Bobby Orrock and Harry Parrish seem to be on the GOP boat, where they weren't last time. I think it comes from both the 05 loss being explained that the party had no message, and the primaries they had to get through.
Tim Kaine talks about bipartisanship, but that requires him to reach out, as well. By throwing himself into a campaign-style rush for his program, he has effectively ended any kind of outreach he might have. He’s the governor, he is suppose to represent all of the commonwealth, so while I know he has a plan he wants to keep pushing, as governor, he should be bringing everyone together. My doing this, he is alienating nearly every Republican who feel threatened by the idea of the governor going into their districts and spinning their votes. I don’t remember Warner or Gilmore or Allen ever doing that.. Furthermore, even if Kaine gets his way, after this do you think Republicans are gonna want ANYTHING to do with him? Even if some kind of tax-hike gets through, I have a feeling the compromise will be more to the GOP's liking. As Chad writes on his blog, there is room for compromise—the idea of letting NoVa and Hampton tax themselves. But by going across the state, stirring up regional resentments, and hitting delegates and senators in their home base, will only make them angrier and even more unwilling to support his plan. Kaine is playing a zero-sum game that even Warner wasn’t willing to, and he might get burned badly.
OH BABY!!!!!!! WHAT A GAME! I was watching it with my brother and his fiance, and Douggie took a summer course at Mason, so he was claiming Mason as his own, even though he goes to Fordham! THE BANDWAGON GROWS!!!! Come on, Virginia blogosphere, I know some of you might go to Tech, or UVA or VCU, but there is room for you in Fairfax, VA! This is the best I have ever felt about a sports team, even when New England won the Super Bowl, because that name on the jersey represents me, represents the school I went to, and now everyone knows who we are.
Do you realize that Mason has beaten 1/2 of last year's Final Four? I'm a little concerned about Witchita State, because they are alot like us, upstarts who are out to prove something, it will be tough. But we beat Witchita on their floor during the year, plus this game is at MCI (sorry, Verison) in DC, so these are home games. I gotten try and scrounge some tickets.
This is so big for the school. Mason is a school that is just growing and growing in all aspects. If you go there today, you see tons of construction because our campus is expanding. We are the third biggest school in the state, yet we don't always get all the love. But because NOVA is discriminated against by places like UVA in acceptance, because if UVA accepted every kid from NOVA who meets is requirements there would be no spots left so its understandable, Mason has been getting some damn good students. We have solid professors, capped off several years ago by two of our professors winning Nobel prizes (I believe either in Math or Science). But somethinge like this, a big sports event that the entire country watches, is exposure you just can't buy. Now maybe high school kids will hit up the website and realize the oppurtunities there. This team is full of good kids, a coach that does it the right way, and they represent the area and the state well.
Lets face it, Witchita State is a team Mason CAN beat, then comes either Connecticutt or Washington--and we've already beaten MSU and UNC, so why not?
George Mason in the Final Four? >knock on wood< Can a man dream?!
Three Bad Asses: Dontrelle Roosevelt, Mason Conservative, and Big Daddy Mills
He's a bad mother. . .
And then. . .the money shot:
This post is for my college boys Dontrelle and BDM, with whom I had a tremendous time last weekend. I've been too sick this week to mention this. As you can tell only two things come from college buddies getting back together after awhile: great style sense and the flu.
Special thanks to H, for taking these pictures. The poor girl had to spend the entire evening with us. Sorry! But she did take good pictures. And these are the ones I can put on here. :-) It was four hours after the last picture that I got the flu. Weird how that works.
WOW! So this is how it feels to have a great sports team at your school! What a game! Mason looked like the seasoned, veteran team of many tournaments that State was. Hell, Michigan State was a Final Four team last year! This feels so good. And you know what, we did it the right way. When Tony Skin punched that Hofstra player in the balls, Larranaga rightly sat him down, knowing it might cause them to lose in the tournament! We were agressive, sharp, and disciplined. I was impressed at how many times we absorbed repeated Michigan State runs in the second half, and kept pushing back. The "experts," tools like Billy "Fudge" Packer and Jim Nance"y," said we didn't belong, that the tournament needs main-event teams and no small schools. Well, GMU is the third biggest university in Virginia, and we are ready for the main event! I don't mean to make so much out of one win, but for years I had sit back and listen to my friends from Tech or UVA, or even Madison (DI-AA Football Champs), Georgetown, and MARYLAND (God, I hate Maryland!). So to all my friends who go to Maryland or Tech or UVA, for this one night, SUCK IT! This is Mason's night, so I'm gonna be a jackass about it and enjoy it. Chances are tommorow night we will lose to North Carolina (GO MURRAY STATE!), but for tonight, we are the KINGS OF THE WORLD! So I'm gonna drink some booze tonight, put my Mason shirt on, and party likes its 19-whatever!
As a proud Mason alum, Class of '03, and soon to be graduate Class of '06--I'm am so proud to be a Mason Man!
BRING IT ON, UNC!