Whatever dignity or respect I might have for the senior senator from Alaska (elected in 1968) long disappeared when he tried to shut the Senate down over the Bridge to Knowhere disaster that had a lot to do with Americans falling out of love with the idea of a Republican congress. Stevens is one of the worst senators in America and hopefully he could do the party, the senate, and the country a favor and just resign. He represents everything that has hurt Republicans and how we betrayed our small-government philosophy. Stevens is a poster child for term limits. He is one of those old-timers who feel entitled to their seat and see Democracy working in reverse. To Stevens, we do as we are told, not the other way around. Alaska Republicans proved in 2006 that they aren't willing to stand for incompetance or corruption when they backed Sarah Palin over Frank Murkowski. Its time to do this again, or Mark Begich will become a US Senator, another Democrat. 2006 taught us that we cannot stand for this, and the media will take this and paint all of us. Stevens isn't worth fighting for, so why should we?
Jim Clyburn has it right:
Clyburn, in an interview with the washingtonpost.com video program PostTalk, said Democrats might be wise to wait for the Petraeus report, scheduled to be delivered in September, before charting next steps in their year-long struggle with President Bush over the direction of U.S. strategy.
Clyburn noted that Petraeus carries significant weight among the 47 members of the Blue Dog caucus in the House, a group of moderate to conservative Democrats. Without their support, he said, Democratic leaders would find it virtually impossible to pass legislation setting a timetable for withdrawal.
"I think there would be enough support in that group to want to stay the course and if the Republicans were to stay united as they have been, then it would be a problem for us," Clyburn said. "We, by and large, would be wise to wait on the report.
Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us."
Clyburn's comments came as House and Senate Democrats try to figure out their next steps in the legislative battle. Clyburn said he could foresee a circumstance in which House Democrats approve a measure without a timetable for withdrawing U.S. forces, which has been the consistent goal of the party throughout the months-long debate. But he said he could just as easily see Democrats continue to include a timetable.
Clyburn also address the reasons behind declining approval ratings for Congress, which spiked earlier in the year when Democrats took over the House and Senate. The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll showed just 37 percent approving of the performance of Congress.
See? Is sanity THAT hard to come by? I'm sure America's Mother-in-Law Nancy Pelosi, with Cindy Sheehan breathing down her neck, can't be happy to hear this from her second top deputy. This unmasks the lunacy fo the Iraq debate in the Democrat Congress. Clyburn rightly recognizes that policy on such an important matter should not be rushed in too or be dictated by loose-cannon bloggers and nutty activists. Instead, it should be dictated by the General and Ambassador on the ground. Both Patreaus and Crocker are good men who will be fair. I've met Ryan Crocker, back when he was Ambassador to Kuwait in the mid-nighties. But for Democrats like the usual cast of morons running for president, proper reflection is not a high priority. Helping Americans understand isn't a high priority. What is a high priority is destroying a president and make all the sacrifices of our soldiers mean nothing for the sake of winning another election. Good for Clyburn, who understands the situation in Iraq is so important its worth waiting to hear what the General and Ambassador Congress approved get their chance to let them know what is going on on the ground first. From them, policy and politics can take their course.
The rats are abandoning the ship. According to the DCPost, Virginia Democrats are turning their backs on Gov. Tim Kaine over the manufactured absuer fee "controversy." Hey, I give Kaine credit by sticking to his guns, something most Democrats forget when it comes to other issues like taxes. My favorite is of course Chap Petersen, running in my district against Jeannemarie:
In Northern Virginia, many Democratic candidates are taking Moran's advice. J. Chapman "Chap" Petersen, who is challenging state Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites Davis (R-Fairfax), posted an entry on his blog Friday taking aim at Kaine and Howell.
"With all due respect to our esteemed leaders, the opposition to this law has been a truly grass-roots movement," Peterson wrote. "Common sense is making a comeback in state politics. Don't stand in the way."
Peterson also cut a Web ad that mocks the fees.
"Thank you Jeannemarie Devolites Davis for passing your transportation bill," the ad says. "Failure to use your turn signal? $1,000. Improper tread on tires? $900 . . . And a $3,000 speeding ticket. . . . New leadership in the state Senate? Priceless."
The ad ends with photographs of Peterson, including one with former governor Mark R. Warner (D). But none with Kaine. Coincidence?
Peterson's ad stretches the truth. State officials say the traffic fines Peterson mentions would be levied only against someone who causes a serious crash.
OF COURSE he streches the truth! I'm just shocked the Post pointed this out. Of course, Chap Petersen sat in the House of Delegates for four years and did basically nothing but sit on the back bench and smile for the cameras, hoping style over substance would carry him to the LG nomination. So its easy for Chap to criticize Jeannemarie, but he had his chance and showed how much this message meant. Petersen spent four years in the House of Delegates thinking about running for something else, and NOT looking out for Fairfax or doing anything about Transportation. That is why his criticism rings so hallow.
And then there is this quote:
Kaine has left many Democratic candidates in a tough spot because they need him. In campaign finance reports filed last month, Kaine's political action committee, Moving Virginia Forward, reported that it had $1.3 million. Kaine has pledged to use the bulk of that money to help elect Democrats to the General Assembly.
Democratic candidates had also been hoping that Kaine's popularity could rub off on them. When Kaine shows up in a district this fall, his interest in defending the transportation plan probably will clash with Democratic candidates' interest in bashing the abuser fees.
It could make for interesting political theater. As Kaine often says, politics is easy. Governing is hard, especially when a Democratic governor must choose between what he thinks is best and what might be best for his party.
According to the latest SurveyUSA poll, Gov. Tim Kaine has an approval rating of 60%. Is is smart of Democrats like Petersen and Brian Moran and others to run away from him like this? Republicans have, obviously out of nervousness, decided to respond. With legislators ranging in ideology from Lingamfelter to Devolites Davis, have called for the repeal of these fees. Guys like Petersen are just fanning partisanship without taking their outrage to its logical extension . . . demanding the governor call a special session immediatly to fix this. The question is, who do Democrats trust more--their candidate or Tim Kaine? Kaine's steadfast support for this has taken the sails out of this outrage, and instead of attacking Republicans as a united front Democrats are simultaneously attacking Republicans AND their governor with a 60% approval rating. All the while, these Democrats like Petersen, Moran, and Ward Armstrong are still too chicken to demand an end to this by calling a special session. Jeannemarie has steppped up. While Democrats like Petersen tip-toe around the issue, feigning anger while doing nothing, what will their answer be when someone finally asks them if they will demand the governor call a special session?
A friend sent me this great artilcle by J.R. Dunn at American Thinker about the surge and its untold story in the media. Here is a breif taste:
It's now quite clear how the results of the surge will be dealt with by domestic opponents of the Iraq war.
They're going to be ignored.
They're being ignored now. Virtually no media source or Democratic politician (and not a few Republicans, led by Richard "I can always backtrack" Lugar) is willing to admit that the situation on the ground has changed dramatically over the past three months. Coalition efforts have undergone a remarkable reversal of fortune, a near-textbook example as to how an effective strategy can overcome what appear to be overwhelming drawbacks.
Anbar is close to being secured, thanks to the long-ridiculed strategy of recruiting local sheiks. A capsule history of war coverage could be put together from stories on this topic alone - beginning with sneers, moving on to "evidence" that it would never work, to the puzzled pieces of the past few months admitting that something was happening, and finally the recent stories expressing concern that the central government might be "offended" by the attention being paid former Sunni rebels. (Try to find another story in the legacy media worrying about the feelings of the Iraqi government.) What you will not find is any mention of the easily-grasped fact that Anbar acts as a blueprint for the rest of the country. If the process works there, it will work elsewhere. If it works in other areas, that means the destruction of the Jihadis in detail.
Nor is that all. Diyala province, promoted in media as the "new Al-Queda stronghold" appears to have become a death-trap. The Jihadis can neither defend it nor abandon it. The Coalition understood that Diyala was where the Jihadis would flee when the heat came down in Baghdad, and they were ready for them. A major element of surge strategy - and one reason why the extra infantry brigades were needed - is to pressure Jihadis constantly in all their sanctuaries, allowing them no time to rest or regroup.
A blizzard of operations is occurring throughout central Iraq under the overall code-name Phantom Thunder, the largest operation since the original invasion. It is open-ended, and will continue as long as necessary. Current ancillary operations include Arrowhead Ripper, which is securing the city of Baqubah in Diyala province. Operation Alljah is methodically clearing out every last neighborhood in Fallujah. In Babil province, southeast of Baghdad, operations Marne Torch and Commando Eagle are underway. (As this was being written, yet another spinoff operation, Marne Avalanche, began in Northern Babil.)
Chekc out the rest. Its excellent.
On his trip to Houston this week Fred Thompson was asked if he were President and the house and senate approved the fair tax would he sign it, Thompson replied "absolutely". This is good news for advocates of the fair tax; most voters agree that we need to overhaul the tax code. I will say that I haven't' studied their proposal in detail but removing all current taxation (federal) and replacing it with a consumption based tax seems logical. It actually addresses the thing that liberals claim they want which is the rich to pay their fair share. They don't really because the rich don't pay taxes in general because we currently tax income, not wealth. Most libs don't understand the difference, the rich ones do, but most libs aren't rich.
At any rate it is good to see that Fred supports an overhaul of the tax system, the other two top tier candidates (Rudy & Romney) support the status quo, or support raising taxes. Fred doesn't seem afraid to go out there and answer questions and stake a position on something that is controversial. This is good, it doesn't make him look like he needs to get a committee to tell him what to say like Rudy and Romney.
And we have another reason to support Fred Thompson! The former senator has written an extensive post on federalism and his support of its ideals. Its another encouraging sign for Thompson, who understands that the Republican Party still has a voice and more work to do. Federalism is states-rights without the racial connotations. Thompson puts it best:
The federalist construct of strong states and limited federal government put in place by our Founders was intended to give states the freedom to experiment and innovate. It envisions states as laboratories in competition with each other to develop ideas and programs to benefit their people, to see what works and what does not.
This ingenious means of governing a large and diverse nation prevailed for more than a century. But today our Constitution and the limited, federalist government it established, are considered by many to be quaint or out of touch with the world we live in, to be swept aside by political expediency.
The Supreme Court sometimes ignores the written Constitution to reflect its view of the times. So does Congress, which routinely forgets that our checks and balances, the separation of powers and our system of federalism are designed to diffuse power and protect the liberties of our people. Before anything else, folks in Washington ought to be asking first and foremost, “Should government be doing this? And if so, then at what level of government?” But they don’t.
The result has been decades of growth in the size, scope and function of national government. Today’s governance of mandates, pre-emptions, regulations, and federal programs bears little resemblance to the balanced system the Framers intended.
This in no way diminishes the important role played by the national government, including ensuring our national security, and regulating interstate commerce to promote free markets. Indeed, a commitment to federalism would help the federal government do a better job in addressing national emergencies and emerging threats, because it could focus on these issues rather than on everything else it is trying to do. A proper regard for constitutional boundaries would also go a long way in avoiding the arguments that follow when Washington acts by decree, disregarding the elected representatives of the fifty states
There is a distinct role for the federal government in this country. I personally think one of the reasons the federal government has struggled to keep up with national emergency and home land security is because of how big its gotten. Take Hurricane Katrina. How on earth could something the size of the federal government be expected to react as fast as was needed in that catastrophe? But the state of Louisiana and the city of New Orleans were such slaves to federal welfare and handouts that they became incapable of helping themselves. Federalism empowers states and local government to become innovative and make things work easier. The closer you get to the people, the better government will be. Thompson clearly understands this:
When you hold firm to the principles of federalism, there’s another advantage: our federal government can better carry out its own defining responsibilities – above all else, the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens. Sometimes I think that our leaders in Washington try to do so many things, in so many areas, that they lose sight of their basic responsibilities.
Amen. Its wirtings like this that give me hope that Fred Thompson can become the next great conservative president. I love George W. Bush, but despite what his detractors claim, he is and never has been a conservative idealogue. His conservativism is based on his faith, not on political principles. Which has been great for social conservatives--where Bush's record on abortion and judges has been absolutley sterling. But on small government philosophy, the core philosophy that got Republicans elected in the first place, our leadership has been lacking except for a group of congressman led by Jeb Hensarling and Mike Pence, and a small band of senators like Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn. Supporters of the lower-tier candidates are attempting to nit-pick Fred's quotes and record to try and somehow make their candidate relevant. But they aren't, and when Fred gets in this thing, it'll be between him and Rudy and Romney. And of those three, there is no doubt who the nominee should be.
This summer sports have been rocked by scandal and shame. Michael Vick has been indicted in a dog fighting ring. Barry Bonds is chasing baseball's most hallowed record with a cloud of a grand jury investigation and sterioids hovering over him. Baseball, in particular, has been hounded in the last few years over sterioid revelations and how the entire baseball establishmnet closed its eyes to steroid use so the sport could come back from the strike on the power of home runs. Congressional investigations exposed Mark McGuire and Rafael Palmeiro. The stories about Barry Bonds, while we must say that he is innocent, are troubling.
What angers me about Barry Bonds is Henry Aaron. I don't think anyone quite understands how incredible a baseball player Henry Aaron was. In fact, I would go so far as to say he was the greatest player of all time, over Mays and Ruth and, yes, Bonds. Aaron played for 22 years, 20 all stars, one MVP, two batting titles, three gold gloves, and in 1957 lead the Milwaukee Braves to their only World Series. Aaron was always overlooked, and the hell he was put through during his chase for Ruth makes him one of the great men in baseball. To see a man like Barry Bonds overtake Aaron, its just sad.
Which leads us to this week and the Baseball Hall of Fame induction. In many ways, Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken were throwbacks. They played for one team, and became a symbol for their cities. They played through good years and bad years, but always worked hard. They played the right way, hard and steady. They mastered a craft through skill and hard work, not needles and cream. In fact, Gwynn and Ripken represent the men whose records they fought for. Gwynn, the professional hitter, embraced Ted Williams. While Ripken, the Iron Man, embraced Lou Gehrig. There are precious few players like Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn left in baseball, so while baseball struggles to deal with its most immediate past, we can look at these two men and find faith that basball will find what made it great. Gwynn and Ripken were players that made a kid like me love baseball.
I can't speak for Gwynn cause I never saw him play, but I was raised on Oriole games, driving out with my dad, brothers, and grandfather. Everytime we went, my dad always pulled me and my brothers aside and told us to watch Cal Ripken. I remember a game against the California Angels back around 1990. It was the ninth inning and Ripken hit a single. Next up, I believe, was Mickey Tettleton. Tettleton just rips a line drive to the right-field corner. Probably the weakest part of Cal's game was his speed, he would never be confused with a track star. But Ripken just barrels down the base paths. The Angels right fielder didn't seem to take Ripken very seriously. But there he went, Cal was just running as hard as he could and turned the third base corner without missing a beat. He flew home, and beat the throw home scoring the winning run. It was a little thing, but Ripken's hustle was something that I never forgot, and is a story me and my dad still talk about.
Cal Ripken. Tony Gwynn. They are what made baseball great, and this week perhaps the rest of baseball can take a listen to these two men and realize that we need more of them now more than ever.
This is truly an inspiring story, right up there with Team USA defeated the Soviets in the Miracle on Ice. And remember, the Iraq sport was the domain of Uday Hussien, who routinely tortured and even killed athletes who didn't meet his expectations.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who was at the Gelora Bung National Stadium for the final, said Iraq's achievement had inspired millions and was proof of sport's unique power to unite people in the most desperate circumstances.
What a great story. I know things look bleak, and are most definatly portrayed that way any chance the media gets, but this story proves to me that Iraq is headed in the right direction. Things like sport can unite a country, and this is a good sign. I think we can all congratulate Team Iraq for this great accomplishment!
Jim Gilmore’s return to Virginia has the state buzzing that the former governor is running for the US Senate. Of this, I have little doubt. But the real controversy lies deeper. Like his entire career, once again Jim Gilmore is the outsider, running outside of both parties. Like before, Republicans don’t seem to want him and Democrats relish the chance to bemoan him. And yet here he is, like a bloody DeNiro in Raging Bull yelling at Ray Robinson “You never knocked me down” over and over. He continues to survive, and perhaps even thrive under these circumstances. Jim Gilmore’s chances of a comeback are always put down, but here he is.
Gilmore is interesting because he never seems to be taken seriously, yet he is very accomplished. Gilmore’s road to the US Senate is like a replay of his road to his first statewide office in Virginia—Attorney General. Standing in Gilmore’s way is the most establishment of congressman, Rep. Tom Davis. Davis has spent his entire career in Congress racing around Virignia recruiting candidates and spreading his vast war chest around. There are markers all across the state that Davis will be calling in. Popular figures like Eric Cantor, Thelma Drake, and Randy Forbes were all backed and supported by Tom Davis. Bob McDonnell, the sitting AG, is also a prominent Davis ally. Davis has amassed a massive war chest and can point voters to Northern Virginia, Davis’s home base, that he can win there are this win statewide. Gilmore, out of the game for almost six years, can’t match that.
Gilmore also has to deal with the perception of his own tenure as governor. On the one hand, it was remarkably successful. Gilmore’s ticket is the only Republican ticket to every completely sweep the state (Hager and Earley). It was also under Gilmore’s reign that Republicans finally won control of the state legislature for the first time in modern history. Yet the economic downturn nationally was blamed statewide on Gilmore, helping to lead to Mark Warner’s victory in 2001. Yet much mythmaking has surrounded Warner’s rise. Mark Warner barely defeated an under-funded divided Republican candidate in Mark Earley. Warner was mired in office until he passed the largest tax hikes in Virginia history, and aided by the media, was hailed as the savior of Virignia. Nevermind that it was Warner who raised college tuition over and over, suppressed information about how shallow the states recession was to get his tax hikes, and bungled and lost millions in education funding. One also has to wonder why Mark Warner dropped his presidential candidacy so abruptly.
If Jim Gilmore is guilty of one thing during his tenure as governor, its stubbornly sticking by what he promised to do as a candidate. Frankly, his handling of the car tax was not good but it was admirable. He told Virginia voters, especially those in Northern Virginia, that he was going to eliminate the oppressive car tax. The voters backed him overwhelmingly. Its not out of the realm of possibility for Gilmore to take his mandate seriously. In fact, it’s a welcome change now that we have experienced two straight governors who have openly lied about their intentions as a candidate.
But like in 1997, Gilmore might have the issues on his side. His work as chairman of the Gilmore Commission has put him at the forefront of issues regarding terrorism and homeland security. Suprisingly, Gilmore might also be ahead of the curve concerning Iraq. He has already called for a drawdown of American forces in Iraq gradually, a position that just might be nuanced enough to win that 1% of Northern Virginia voters that Allen needed in 2006 but lost.
Currently, Congress has an approval rating of near 18%, a number Gilmore can hang over and over on both Congressman Tom Davis and Mark Warner. The congressional rating is largely a product of Democrat leadership. In 2008, the Democrat presidential nominee will be a senator, and that number will be hung on them and every Dem candidate. Unlike 2006, Democrats will have to defend a record of indecision, onstruction, and broken promises. They have proven they cannot lead and they cannot come through on their campaign promises. As an outsider, Gilmore will have an easy time pointing this out, and will likely be running with another outsider at the top of the GOP ticket—either Rudy Giuliani or Fred Thompson more than likely. Suddenly, in 2008, George W. Bush will be gone and it will be the Congressional Democrats on trial, and a band of Republican outsiders charging the castle.
So what are we to make of Jim Gilmore, the outsider, running again for office? The Virginia electorate is unpredictable, if anything—2006 proves that. But one thing we can gleam is that you can’t count Jim Gilmore out. The issues of 2008 and the general unpopularity of all sitting congressman and senators, and the baggage of a liberal presidential nominee that could weigh down on a Democrat senate nominee all help Gilmore. His challenge is to overcome the perception of his career as defined by Democrats and a local media establishment that will be backing Mark Warner even more than it did Jim Webb. But if 2006 proves anything, you can never tell what will happen in Virginia. Jim Gilmore is tough enough to withstand a lot, and has proven over and over that he is a survivor. Don’t take him lightly.
So I got tagged on this "list eight habits or facts about yourself"
1. I was raised in a Democrat household
2. I think Franklin Delino Roosevelt is on of the greatest presidents ever.
3. I went to the Vatican in shorts. My brother had to go in first, come back out, and then I had to change into his clothes to get in there.
4. If I don't have a Red Bull in the morning, I won't be normal until lunchtime.
5. I've been to Iceland (long story)
6. There is nothing more relaxing then reading a book outside, smoking a good cigar, and sipping on red wine.
7. This isn't about me, but there is no excuse for Art Monk NOT to be in the NFL Hall of Fame
8. I am the middle child of three brothers. The both think I'm crazy when it comes to politics.
The defense appropriations bill alone has over 1,700 of these things. Look, Republicans paid the price for these in 2006. But Democrats explicitley campaigned on ENDING earmarks and working to bring fiscal sanity back to Congress. They LIED. And what drives me crazy is that all the news and editorials blasting Republicans for this are silent while Democrats rule the roost. It just makes me so angry because Democrats promised to end this and they jus flat out lied and nobody is attempting to hold them accountable. And for shame on all the Republicans like Jerry Lewis and Bill Young for doing this.
Here are the double-digit requesters:
Member - Earmarks Requested
Young, C.W. Bill 59
Murtha, John 46
Lewis, Jerry 38
Moran, James 30
Visclosky, Peter 28
Kingston, Jack 26
Tiahrt, Todd 25
Dicks, Norman 24
Kaptur, Marcy 21
Cramer, Robert 20
Frelinghuysen, Rodney 20
Hobson, David 20
Boyd, Allen 19
Meehan, Martin 18
Bishop, Sanford 18
Pelosi, Nancy 15
Rothman, Steven 15
Price, David 13
Reynolds, Thomas 11
Wicker, Roger 11
Hoyer, Steny 11
Obey, David 10
Hunter, Duncan 10!!!
Olver, John 10
Capuano, Michael 10
Marshall, Jim 10
Former Governor Jim Gilmore is now officially a blogger, penning Virginia Patriot
Look out Tom Davis!
I think this is great, its nice that a prominant public official will be so accesible to the entire populace of the state. Its clear Gilmore isn't through, and that is a good thing. In many ways, he gets a bad rap for what happened during his governorship because the economic downturn nationally. But I'll always respect Gov. Gilmore for one thing -- he did what he said he would do. How many politicians (>cough< Mark Warner >cough< Tim Kaine >cough<) promise one thing and do another once they are in office? Gov. Gilmore promised to end the car tax, and by god he tried to do it. Perhaps he didn't "play the game" and that hurt him, but I think people overestimate how much he had to do with Mark Warner's victory. Virignia has traditionally been a Democrat state locally--only five Republicans have held the governorship. Ever. Mark Warner's deep deep pockets and the Republicans nasty primary between Mark Earley and John Hager, combined wiht the tech bubble burst did not help. Only in retrospect do people blame Gilmore for Warner's rise. There were plenty of other reasons besides Jim Gilmore that Mark Warner won. And remember, Warner didn't win by a whole lot either, and Earley ran a poor campaign. For me, whatever happens, I'm glad Jim Gilmore is going anywhere.
The conservative coup de grace might have finally dropped in the Republican field, as The Politico is reporting this:
Newt Gingrich's long, slow striptease over whether he will seek the presidency in 2008 looks like it might come to an unexpected conclusion: a date with Fred Thompson.
Publicly, Gingrich has been sending signals making clear that a presidential candidacy for him is becoming less likely. Privately, he and some of his closest advisers have been meeting with -- and, in at least one prominent case, going to work for -- the lobbyist-actor and former Tennessee senator.
"I've always said it was unlikely I would run," Gingrich said in an interview last Friday with The Associated Press. And, he added, if Thompson "runs and does well, then I think that makes it easier for me not to run."
The same day that Gingrich made his comments, his former communications director, Rich Galen, disclosed that he had signed on as an adviser to Thompson's campaign in waiting. In an interview, Galen termed the coincidence "an unfortunate confluence of events," denying that there was any link.
But that was not the only evidence of a possible Thompson-Gingrich alliance in 2008. Gingrich and his wife, Calista, had dinner with Thompson and his wife, Jeri, at the former senator's home in McLean, Va., on July 16, according to two Republican sources close to both men. A Thompson aide would say only that "a good policy discussion" was had over the meal.
If this is true, whatever chance the Duncan Hunters and Mike Huckabees of the world would be finished. I've always argued that Newt as a politician would never work; but Newt as a behind-the-scenes operator, as an idea man? That would be perfect. A Thompson-Gingrich alliance would give Republicans an ultimate team. Both are conservative and both have extensive records in both the private and public sector. Thompson has the star power, the ability to connect with the electorate; while Gingirch is perhaps the greatest untapped resource of conservative ideas and philosophy in the country. Karl Rove once said that George W. Bush would have never become president if Newt Gingrich remained Speaker, and I think he's right. As a politician, Newt had just too much baggage; and the media was just too unrelenting. He has spent the last six eyars in exile from the Bush-lead GOP, and now I think he feels its his time to get some back. Thompson's candidacy could be the avenue, becasue even Newt's smart enough to realize that as a national candidate all the baggage of the past will be dragged up by a hostil media--and more.
If Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich unite, this nomination fight is O-V-E-R.
And this will be the end of the Obama campaign. I mean, he's a United States senator, he HAS to know better, doesn't he? And even if he does manage to claw out the nomination, comments like that will leave him crushed by whomever the Republican nominee will be. Look, I'm no Hillary fan but I at least respect her. I worry about her ideas for America, but I have no doubt that she is prepared and can handle the reigns of government. I just think her ideas are all wrong, and in the end she's just another tax-and-spend liberal who will hault the roaring American economy through taxes and redistribution of wealth, and possibly bankrupting the American economy attempting to create universal health care that in the end will leave people getting medicine the same way they get their driver's liscense. But, Hillary is a serious person who works extremely hard and understands the world out there. She knows we can't talk to Cuba and North Korea without preconditions, and doing so gives them everything to go and us everything to lose. The most laughable assertion was that of Anthony Lake:
"A great nation and its president should never fear negotiating with anyone and Senator Obama rightly said he would be willing to do so — just as Richard Nixon did with China and Ronald Reagan with the Soviet Union,"
For someone of Lake's background to boil down such important events in such a vaccum speaks volumes about the kind of people Obama has around him. Nixon went to China because he understood China and the Soviet Union had split and he was attempting to drive a wedge between the two, in the context of the Cold War. Reagan brokered with the Soviet Union holding all the cards--he sacered them to death with his Star Wars, and the Soviets truly believed that Reagan would be willing to go to war with them, and then backed down. Reagan used diplomacy and sabre-rattling to put all the cards in his hands, and could control the proceedings. Remember how Reagan walked on on Gorby in Iceland? Obama wants his Reagan moment, but seems to have no clue that it actually takes tough action to get there. At this rate, Obama is talking himself right off the ticket. I would suspect that Hillary could be looking west now, to either Bill Richardson or maybe Brian Schweitzer of Montana, as her running mate. Hillary may be wrong on every issue, but she is at least capable.
Obama, on the other hand, clearly is not.
Why did Rep. Jim Moran accept $5,000 from a large Democrat donor for a trip to Jamaica? Wasn't this suppose to be the most ethical Congress in history? Then again, the words "Jim Moran" and "ethics" work about as well as "Cubs" and "World Series champions." Do I think Jim Moran will lose reelection? Really, no. But I think everyone should say "thanks" to candidate Mark Ellmore, who is holding Moran accountable by running against him and hold him accountable to his actions back home. Some may call this a longshot, and thats fine. But even if Ellmore loses, he's doing great things just by running and attempting to expose Moran's left-wing craziness and that he is, in fact, a bully. So good for Ellmore, and Moran really has some 'splaining to do on this trip deal. I mean, this isn't even pretending to be clean.
Thursday July 24, 2007
Ellmore Calls on Moran to Explain Questionable Gift
The following is from a press release disclosed on July 24, 2007
WASHINGTON, DC – Mark Ellmore, Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District, expressed deep concern on Monday evening after learning that Congressman Jim Moran accepted a $5,000 gift in the form of a trip to Jamaica in December 2006 from the owner of the A.J. Dwoskin & Associates property management company. The gift was from Albert Dwoskin who has contributed over $120,000 to Democrats including several previous contributions to Jim Moran since the 2006 election cycle began. This trip included lodging and travel expenses. The Richmond Times-Dispatch commented on Monday about the House Ethics Committee pre-approval of the trip saying, “It was made based on a personal friendship dating back 20 to 25 years” but then quoted a public watchdog group that called the gift “excessive.” It is alarming that Moran would accept this unusually large personal gift from the owner of A.J. Dwoskin & Associates which Congressional records show that the company has been registered to conduct lobbying business in past years.
Mark Ellmore is also concerned that Moran is voting to increase federal spending by astronomical levels. Since January of 2007, Jim Moran has voted to skyrocket federal spending by over $43 billion and raise taxes on families by over $392 billion. Mark Ellmore commented, “As your next Congressman I will stand firmly by the principle that earmarks do not belong in legislation or in the budget. Moran has not demonstrated that he is willing to cut back federal spending for the very same taxpayers that voted him in. Clearly representing Northern Virginia is a career to Mr. Moran. To me, the pending opportunity to represent my home district and the families that live here is my passion.”
The DCTimes had a great editorial on the good work Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Among them was this little nugget:
On Wednesday, thanks in large part to Mr. McConnell's leadership, Senate Democrats came up eight votes short in their effort to obtain cloture on an amendment to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within 120 days. During debate, Mr. McConnell drove home a point that was clearly embarrassing to Democrats: that even Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin could not explain how his own amendment would work. Sen. Harry Reid, clearly angered by the fact that his latest legislative attempt to undermine the war effort had failed, responded petulantly, pulling the defense authorization bill from the floor. By doing so, the majority leader is holding up funding to assist wounded war veterans, and to provide mine-resistant trucks to protect American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. In short, Mr. McConnell helped expose the fraudulence of Mr. Reid's argument that the Democratic Party opposes the war but "supports the troops." In reality, Mr. Reid and his political allies demonstrated that they are more interested in scoring cheap political points against the war than in improving conditions for American fighting men and women.
I still maintain that Republicans might have saved the Senate in 2006 if Mitch McConnell had been majority leader. Bill Frist was constantly mediocre, often gave too much to Harry Reid and the Dems (something not being reciprocated, btw), and generally came off as someone more interested in running for president rather than running the Senate. McConnell is one of the SFLs, or "senator for life." Not meaning he'll be there forever, but that he only wants to be there. Sen. McConnell lives for the Senate and has no other ambition, which makes him an much more effective leader. Clearly, Republicans have responded much stronger to McConnell then they had with Frist, and McConnell is bringing a stronger vision and more of a sense of action. Its also a blessing that Harry Reid might be the most incompetant public official since . . . well. . . Tom Daschle. But its nice to have Mitch McConnell around...things could be a lot worse without him.
Ken Cuccinelli absolutely destroys Janet Oleszek in his latest press release, declaring that Ms. Oleszek opposed any transportation reform while all six delegates in Cuccinelli's distirct (4 Rs, 2 Ds) all voted for this bi-partisan bill. You could basically throw fellow Fairfax D candidates Chap Petersen adn George Barker in this as well. Here is the relaase, its tremendous:
Big Spender Announces Opposition to Revenue Source
Centreville, Virginia, July 19, 2007 – State Senate candidate Janet Oleszek Tuesday announced her newfound opposition to the “abuser fees” contained in the compromise transportation bill passed in the 2007 session of the General Assembly and amended and signed by Governor Kaine. Oleszek is challenging State Senator Ken Cuccinelli for the 37th District Senate seat that he has held since first elected in 2002.
Cuccinelli expressed surprise that Ms. Oleszek would oppose ANY method of raising revenue for government. He observed that Ms. Oleszek has a track record of supporting increasing income taxes, increasing sales taxes and she has aggressively increased real estate taxes in each of the last four years in her current position.
Cuccinelli said “Ms. Oleszek was running for the State Senate during the General Assembly session. Did she oppose the abuser fees then? NO. Did she oppose the abuser fees when Governor Kaine amended them in the veto session so they only applied to Virginians? NO. However, she did make it easy for us to determine when she FINALLY began opposing the abuser fees, as she put it in her press release: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 – only after many members of the public began to complain. There’s guts! If elected, will she ‘lead from the rear’ in Richmond, too?”
Cuccinelli added, “I have opposed these fees since they were first proposed. In 2006, when these abuser fees were before the Senate, I voted ‘no.’ Then they were included in the transportation bill in 2007 and my option was to vote for the entire bill and make over $400 million per year available to address Northern Virginia traffic, or vote against the bill and kill it. It was a compromise bill, but I voted for it for the benefit of my constituents, as I did not see a reasonable prospect of a better bill in the near future and we’re choking on traffic here in Fairfax.”
Senator Cuccinelli noted that “the definition of a compromise is that there are parts of the bill that you don’t like. One of the big parts of the bill that I didn’t like was the abuser fees. I look forward to going back to Richmond to roll back the abuser fees, either in a special session or next January.”
Cuccinelli further observed that “every single member of the House of Delegates in my district, that’s four Democrats and two Republicans, voted for the transportation bill. I have been hearing from and working with my constituents on transportation issues for over five years – they want solutions, not excuses. It is clear that Ms. Oleszek’s opposition to advancing the only significant transportation bill in over 20 years is not in tune with the people of the 37th District.”
Senator Cuccinelli voted for the transportation funding bill, HB 3202, in February of 2007. The legislation passed 21-19 with Cuccinelli casting the deciding vote. Under the Virginia Constitution, the bill needed 21 votes to become law.
During the veto session in April 2007, Senator Cuccinelli voted against the Governor’s amendments to HB 3202, including his amendment to restrict the abuser fees to only apply to Virginians.
I just got back from the YR meeting tonight, where the guest speaker was Jim Hyland, the newly-minted Fairfax GOP chairman. Color me very impressed. His understanding of the county, and his vision for the party in Fairfax is smart and doable. Of particular interest to me was how dedicated he is to helping build up our lower offices, focusing on school board and supervisor candidates who could be tommoroes state senators and county chairman. So Hyland was definatly a excellent choice by the committee, and I think a vast improvement. He thinks about both today and tommorow at the same time, something very important for a chairman of a local party.
On July 23, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling will be joining us here at Mason Conservative for a live-blog, so mark your calendars! This is not the thread, so don't post any questions here. However, this will be coming off the heels of the LG's idearaisers in Prince William and Loudoun counties. . . so not only have questions ready, but if you have any ideas in the categories outlined on the 100 Ideas website. Whatever your position as a Republican is on 2009, Bill Bolling's work to build a united Republican platform for the election is improtant party-building work and all Republicana should support it. So have your ideas and questions ready for the LG.
Yes, Doug Wilder's pal Paul Goldman, in the Free-Lance Star
Pragmatism is not a dirty word: if based on principle, it can offer a way forward with a rising tide that lifts all the boats. Speaker Bill Howell is a proud conservative, but a pragmatist also. It may be that such praise from a Democrat will now make him suspect to the Republican right. Hopefully this will not be the case, still a friend needs to apologize in advance just in case.
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He has been criticized for failing to be Speaker NO in many Republican quarters. Likewise, many Democrats fault him, although for other reasons. It is fair to say he has helped Democratic Governors do more than most Republican lawmakers would like, but less than most Democrats might have wanted
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If Bill Howell had not been the Speaker, where would the VA GOP be today? In a lot more trouble right now in many legislative elections this fall. Bill Howell has made it a lot harder for us Democrats to get back to our legislative majorities in the House and Senate. He and I are on opposite sides of the aisle. But I have to admire what he has done to keep his team from self-destructing.
As a competitor, I wish he had been less successful. Yet Virginia is the better for his success, and for that, whether one is a Democrat, Independent, or Republican, he deserves credit.
Its a good read. One thing about those Wilder folks, they are just as independent as you can get. Wonder what the reaction will be to this praise from the former chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party?
Now that we know Gov. Kaine is an equal partner in this abuser fee debacle (at least the way it has bene presented), will Democrats find the gumption to call on Gov. Kaine to call a special session of the assembly to recind these fines immediatly, as Republicans ranging from Jeannemarie Devolites Davis to Scot Lingamfelter are arguing for? Some have, while many others remain curiously silent on Kaine's involvement. The petition arousing this went up fast, lets see Kaine and his followers show real guts and follow the will of the people or block it for their own political reasons, representing themselves instead of the commonwealth.