Anyone who knows me knows that I am addicted to any cop/mob tv show/movie. So last night was the series finale of the best cop drama ever on television: The Shield.
And I don't say that in a vacuum either. I fully understand that there were serious problems between RPV and the McCain Campaign, I fully understand that RPV is about four years behind the DPV in terms of organization, technology, and message. It has been very hard dealing with the fact that a Democrat won Virginia's 13 electoral votes. But in the end, a presidential campaign is more about the candidate than a state party machinery. It helps to have a better state organization, but there are a lot of Bush voters who broke for Obama this year and Jeff Frederick had nothing to with that. He was not responsible for McCain's awkward lurches from Goldwaterian conservative to pragmatic centrist over and over. He was not responsible for McCain's deep mishandling of the economic downturn.
Its never too early to start thinking about 2012, especially if you are planning on running. I have no doubt that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford will be throwing his hat in the ring, something that I would encourage. Governor Sanford has been an outstanding governor a conservative leader. Which makes the move of South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson's entry in the race for GOP Chairman all the more interesting. Should Dawson be successful, it could be the first major victory for Sanford - placing an instate ally and friend atop the GOP. Sanford's term ends in two years, leaving him two full and free years to run.
It seems that, barring a recount miracle, Virgil Goode has lost his race for reelection. That brings us to the question, should Goode get another shot at a seat that should be safe R territory? Its not that Goode isn't a great conservative - he is - but he seems to have an ability to piss everyone off. How did he lose this race?
I wrote before about the need for the Republican Party of Virginia to take a stand in 2009 and field strong candidates in five specific Northern Virginia House of Delegate districts. First of all, I have to amend this to make is six, I forgot about Del. Steve Shannon's district. So we have six districts to look at- 32, 35, 37, 41, 51, and 67
In what was otherwise a completely ridiculous list (No Palin? No Steele? No Hensarling? No DeMint?), Chris Cillizza's has nailed it when he put Bob McDonnell No. 5 on the list. And its not because McDonnell has any sort of national name, but because of what this governor's race means in 2009. Bob McDonnell is our last vanguard, and if he fails we have to sit around for three long years and stew on the fact we have all our three statewides with a D after their name.
5. Bob McDonnell: McDonnell, Virginia's attorney general, will be the Republican standard-bearer in the Commonwealth's gubernatorial race in 2009. Off-year statewide elections are always looked to by the two parties as litmus tests for how each side is doing, and the fact that this campaign will take place in the purple state of Virginia makes McDonnell all the more important. If he wins, it will be seen as a sign that the Republican party is alive and well and living in Virginia. If he loses, he'll join the Jerry Kilgore Hall of Fame.
Barack Obama's election seemed to indicate the era of the Clintons was over. Now that Hilary Clinton has accepted the post of Secretary of State, its clear that she knows she will never be president. Being in the US Senate was simply a means to an end, and with that end now gone there is no reason to go on.
A long time conservative congresman and former California Attorney General, is Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA) the man that should replace the amiable yet hapless John Boehner as House minority leader? Why is it that this party keeps reelecting leadership that clearly isn't working? Blunt and Putnam saw the writing on the wall, why doesn't Boehner?
His name is Greg Craig, and here is the sterling record that recomends his to be the executive branch's top lawyer:
In the early 1980s, [Craig] was an attorney for John Hinckley, the man who shot President Reagan and three others. Craig helped put together an insanity defense that led to Hinckley’s acquittal. Nine years later, he advised Ted Kennedy in the Palm Beach rape case involving the senator and his nephew, William Kennedy Smith. ...
Craig orchestrated a 1984 [Senate] hearing for Kennedy on alleged human-rights abuses committed by Nicaragua’s rebels, the Contras. He worked with groups closely tied to the Sandinista regime to find witnesses for the forum, which led to a round of anti-contra news coverage in the U.S. Soon afterward, however, Joshua Muravchik, currently of the American Enterprise Institute, exposed a fraud: The most compelling witnesses — three Miskito Indians — had been served up by the Sandinistas.
And a fourth participant, Father Alfredo Gundrum, an American priest living in Nicaragua, had been asked to play the role of honest broker — to place the testimony “into some kind of perspective,” as Kennedy put it. Gundrum, described as “totally apolitical” in background material distributed by Kennedy’s staff, told of how the Contras launched vicious raids on Indian villages “almost every day.” Yet Gundrum had been the subject of a San Francisco newspaper article just one month before the hearing. He was photographed standing before his church with a Soviet-made rifle in his hands and quoted as saying, “To me it was a day of grace the day the Sandinistas took over, and I really mean it.
Love that? Here's more:
"Terry could sell shit to the zoo. He's the best salesman in the world."
This was probably the best UFC show of the year, coming on the hills of probably the worst last month with the Silva-Cote debacle. I felt good because my predictions went 7-2. But the headline is that Brock Lesnar stepped into the cage and neutralized Randy Couture's wrestling, caught him behind the ear with a right hook, then pounced and hammerfisted him for the TKO win. Incredible. Both fighters looked great, but Lesnar's size and speed and power was just too much. Lesnar's skills have nowhere to go but up.
Terry McAuliff's nascent campaign has a weird way of trying to win over voters. First they are trying to use their names and money to elbow out Moran and Deeds, but then they do get something right. Spokes-flak Mo Elleithee had this to say about Bob McDonnell:
Somtimes they get something right, I guess. The key to this will be to see if McDonnell can bring the entire Republican coaltion around him. Its one of the reasons I so stridently support Ken Cuccinelli for AG, he will perfectly bookend this ticket across the conservative spectrum. One of my worries about McDonnell early on was that he doesn't always seem so keen on taking the Democrats head on, but in our current climate I think McDonnell's temperment will be perfect for the GOP, especially if the bombasitc McAuliffe buy's the nomination. McDonnell is smart, accomplished, and has roots in teh state's two most important areas - Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. I'm excited about his candidacy and I really think he could be the guy that turns this thing aroudn.
Pat Herrity made it official today that, to the shock of nobody, he is running for Chairman of Fairfax County. It will be an uphill battle, but what he will do is for the first time is finally be the true voice of dissent in the Connolly-run county where dissent was effectively squashed by the Chairman. Opponents and citizens were bullied and intimidated by the Chairman and no Republican has been able to stand up to him the way Herrity has. Neither Baise nor Fimian had the stature or the experience to properly articulate just how poorly this county has been run.
Herrity does. I've heard him talk passionately and in full detail what is wrong with the county. I hope the residents of Fairax will at least attempt to look past party label and take a true stare at the current budget crisis facing this county and understand that there is no difference between Gerry Connolly and Sharon Bulova. Sharon Bulova is as complicit as the vice-chair and the budget committee chair. She helped spend the county into its current state getting Connolly into Congress and her into the chairmanship.
I want every county resident to take a good look at one number when thinking about this race:
Below is the email outlining Herrity's platform the campaign sent out today:
Mark Levin said on the radio today that the race to replace the feckless crew over at the RNC has begun and its between Newt Gingirch and Michael Steele. I've made my views no, but as much as I love Newt the philosopher, his return to party leadership would be a sign of wishful thinking; hoping to rewind the clock 12 years. Gingrich says he knows how to lead a Revolution, but the issues and circumstances are different. Gingrich has remade himself admirably as a commentator and conservative stalwart on television and in print. But the shadow of the end of his speakership, and the fact that when given the levers of power Newt over and over got run over by Bill Clinton . . . how Clinton was ever reelected after 1994, and how Clinton completely mugged Gingrich over and over for the credit of Republican reforms is both maddening and a lesson we need to remember. Newt is a great communicator and idea man, but when he has had power in his hands he has not used it well.
Where to begin. I think I take McAullife more seriously than others might because of the amount of money he can bring into the race, his bumbling-over exuberance can come off as silly but can also infectious. He knows politics inside and out.
So a couple days ago I outlined the 2010 Senate races here from Alabama to Kansas. We have four pickup possibilities in Colorado, Illinois, Delaware, and Connecticut if we run the right candidates and get our message together. We also have only one major loss possibility so far in Florida. Here's the rest of the lineup:
ALABAMA, ALASKA, ARIZONA, ARKANSAS, CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT, DELAWARE, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, HAWAII, IDAHO, ILLINOIS, INDIANA, IOWA, KANSAS, KENTUCKY, LOUISIANA, MARYLAND, MISSOURI, NEVADA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, NORTH DAKOTA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, SOUTH DAKOTA, TEXAS, UTAH, VERMONT, WASHINGTON, WISCONSIN
Some quick names that jump out at me for the lost three congressional races (and yes, I think Virgil Goode has lost. I don't see how he can overcome the numbers).
2nd: Thelma Drake could run again, but I just don't like it when lost incumbents run again (see Ann Northrup). The name that immediatly jumps out at me is state Sen. Ken Stolle, who has lusted for this seat since Ed Schrock resigned and lost to Thelma Drake. He has real power in the state senate, but not strong enough at home to elect his brother. The other name that comes to mind is Del. Sal Iaquinto, who's more conservative and has done nothing like Stolle did to anger conservatives mainly and Republicans in general by supporting Mark Warner's tax increases. The other name that springs to mind is Delegate Sal Iaquinto, who is a rising star in the party and one of a great group of young Assembly members that are looking to take over the part. His ties to Bob McDonnell, now the unquestioned leader of the state party, doesn't hurt either. There are probably more people, I'm not as familiar with the area as others. But if it came down to Stolle and Sal, you know where I would go.
5th: Virgil Goode is a great conservative, but his downfall shows us the lesson that if you piss enough people off, you won't last. He has the stones to run again, but I'm afraid if he did he might lose by more. I think its best to wash oursevles of a lot of our 08 candidates and use this as an oppurtunity for new voices. One that comes to mind here is State Senator Robert Hurt, a proven winner and good conservative that covers much of the district. Other names? Maybe Delegate Danny Marshall?
11th: This is my wheelhouse now. My previous declaration of no-08 candidates comes with a caveat for Ketih Fimian because he was not an entrenched incumbant who's record failed him. Kieth made a tremendous race literally from scrach and I would love to see him run again and to stay involved. But my heart is with Delegate Tim Hugo, who is the Assembly's version of Frank Wolf. Like Wolf, Hugo is a good conservative while allowing enough room for pragmiticism that allows him to win Like Wolf, he gets aggressive challengers that really attack him hard. And like Wolf, he just flat out wins. There is also Pat Herrity, who if he is able to claim the Chairmanship of the county for the GOP would skyrocket him in the party ranks.
Shaking my head, I chuckled reading this.
President-elect Obama spoke to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday as the future American leader had another round of phone calls with counterparts in other nations.
A Kremlin statement said Obama and Medvedev "expressed the determination to create constructive and positive interaction for the good of global stability and development" and agreed that their countries had a common responsibility to address "serious problems of a global nature."
To that end, according to the Kremlin statement, Medvedev and Obama believe an "early bilateral meeting" should be arranged.
Looks like Vladimir Putin will be pulling strings in two counties, no? Medvedev is a figure-head and should be treated as such. Any official work with Medvedev outside of diplomatic protocol is both foolish and a waste of time. From what I can read of this, I'm guessing Putin is trying to stir the pot between Administrations and cause American confusion - an enviroment he thrives in.
But Chirs, some might say, Medvedev is the head of state! Its a mirage. What I would like to see any president-elect to address regarding Russia is the newest "reform" from the Kremlin:
Dropping the clearest hint yet that Mr Putin, now prime minister, plans a swift return, senior government sources told the respected newspaper Vedomosti that Dmitry Medvedev could step down next year.
Mr Medvedev is first expected to usher through constitutional changes that would allow Mr Putin to return to his old job for 12 more years.
In a regime as opaque and closed as Russia's, the report bore all the signs of a deliberate Kremlin leak designed to prepare the Russian public for Mr Putin's return, analysts said.
Commentators suggested that the story represented the unofficial beginning of a campaign to see Mr Putin serve a third term, a move that would undoubtedly cause dismay in the West.
The first hint that a power grab was underway came on Wednesday when Mr Medvedev used his first State of the Nation address to call for presidential terms to be extended.
Under the current Russian constitution, the president is only to allowed to serve two consecutive four-year terms. Mr Medvedev suggested that each term be extended to six years.
The proposal, while not unexpected, marks a watershed in Russian politics. If accepted by the country's pliant parliament, it would mark the first amendment to the Russian constitution since it was drafted in 1993.
A fear of breaking that taboo partly explains the convoluted and often bizarre steps that Mr Putin has taken to retain control of Russia.
Forced by the constitution to stand down as president in May after serving eight years in power, Mr Putin immediately became Russia's most powerful prime minister since the post was first established.
Desperate to abide by the wording if not the spirit of the constitution, the ex-KGB spy shoehorned Mr Medvedev, his meekly loyal protege, into the Kremlin, a decision rubberstamped by the Russian people in an election that European observers were prevented from monitoring.
But even before Mr Putin stepped down, many commentators predicted he would be back, either in 2012 or sooner if Mr Medvedev were to resign early.
Several commentators predicted last year that Mr Medvedev would be used as a cipher to change the constitution and make unpopular reforms before being asked to resign to make way for Mr Putin, whose reputation would remain unblemished.
Obama is clearly out of his element right now when it comes to Russia, and this is very dangerous. Russia is a country coming apart at the seems since the fall of the Soviet Union. Its made up of a mish-mash of a thousand different ethnicities as old as Old Muscovy. The satelite states have already broken off, and more are clamoring for freedom from the Mongolian border down to the Tatar region and the Cacusses. The West has encouraged this movement by sponsoring NATO membership for countries like Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuenia, Gerogia and others. The Muslim population is Russia is exploding, especially in Moscow (the last laugh of the Ottamans). Its no secret why the one part of the world that supports George W. Bush an a robust, masculine foriegn policy is Eastern Europe, and given their subjegatioon during the 20th century its no wonder. For Putin, the only way to keep Russia together is through a Fascist state. Putin is really a Reactionary Nationalist, and the means of reclaiming Russian glory and her Emprie he feels entitled too is through a Fascist state. The reaosn places like Poland and the Czech Republic support having American missles in their country is because it gaurentees their security. Its not so much whether the missle sheild works, but the fact that its there secures these countries from the humiliation served on George last summer. Bush's diplomacy in Eastern Europe has been a shinning success in isolating Russia and protecting democracies that are working, functional, and flourishing. Word is out now that Obama can't even get his position on Poland straight!
But yeah, Obama will hold talks with Dimitry Medvedev. I wonder what he will see in his eyes? For the sake of America, I certainly pray that he sees the strings of a dictator behind those eyes. Somehow I doubt it, since we need to be nicer to our enemies, we need to understand them more, and we need them to like us dontchaknow.
Hope and Change.
Thats right folks, Gov. Jennifer Granholm is advising Barack Obama on the economy. That begs the question then . . . what qualifies someone to be an advisor to Obama on the conomy?
One week from saturday, its one of the biggest UFC fights in MMA history. Randy Couture, UFC champion, hasn't fought in a year and a half, is 44 years old, and small for a heavyweight. But he's been winning titles all his career, he's kept himself injury free, and the man just knows how to fight and knows how to win. On the other side is Brock Lesnar, who is just a legit freak. 275 lbs he weighs, but he moves around like a point gaurd and punches with hands like barbells. This fight will be incredible. I sooooo want to pick Lesnar but after watching Couture beat Tim Sylvia and Gabriel Gonzaga - two huge men - in 2007 its awfully hard to bet against him. I won't believe Couture is beaten to he is beat. The full card is below the jump
"I've spoken to all of them that are living," the president-elect said in a lighter moment during his first press conference since his victory.
"I didn't want to get into a about, you know, doing any seances," he joked.