In my soul-searching whether to plunk down some serious cash to go see O.A.R (from Rockville, MD) at Merriwether in August, I've decided to share with you all one of my favorite songs of theirs and I believe its the newest single, enjoy!
Virginia looks like it will be the new home of America's favorite Gitmo guests, specifically Alexandria. Rep. Frank Wolf has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder inquiring about this. I have to say that it makes me worried about the safety of our area with these animals being detained, because if they are crazy enough to fly planes into two towers, don't you think perhaps plans might be made to try and literally bust these guys out? How can we guarantee the safety of our citizens with such an international bulls-eye on Alexandria now?
The extreme moderate mouthpiece Loudoun Insider (still not blogging under his/her real name to back up the attacks) has the latest screed against Jeff Frederick based on Bob McDonnell's campaign kick-off and how the DCPost mentioned Frederick in the piece. I must use this to reiderated that the puritans in the party aren't conservatives, its the moderates like LI and the like.
He said that under Frederick the RPV is "doomed to fail," but my question is when have we been winnning with the crew that was in there? 2001 (Warner), 2005 (Kaine), 2006 (Allen), and 2007 (the State Senate) were all run under the RPV leadership of Griffin/Gillespie/Hager that was backed by many of the people who are now attacking Jeff. Listening to LI and the other moderate puritans you would think that 2008 and the electoral disaster it wrought in Virginia was some sort of anomoly that Jeff Frederick was soley responsible for. For the last eight years Republican leadership in Virginia has compromised, flipped, flopped, and made bad decisions. Let me count the many . . .
There were exactly two major statewide initiatives that was backed by conservatives - the anti-tax referendum and the marriage amendment - and both passed overwhelmingly. So lets not lie to ourselves and believe the myth that its "puritan" conservatives who have driven this party to where we are. Over and over, moderates and the leadership - driven by consultants and lobbyists - consistantly compromised on transportation and taxes and every issue that supposedly defines us as a party. Instead, we "compromised" and voters looked at us like, "whats the point, they don't stand up for themselves."
So what exactly has Jeff Frederick done in the last year that can match the shear disaster the last eight year where insiders, lobbyists, consultants, and establishment leaders of all levels taking us down to defeat after defeat. I of course agree that the first year of Frederick's chairmanship hasn't been smooth, but like I said this has nothing to do with Frederick in the long run. Its about power, and who has it. The "leadership" that we've had don't want to lose power.
LI then attacks every member of the NOVA state central as people who "couldn't get elected to office in their local jurisdictions." These leaders have sent out an email saying they support Frederick. And while LI and his ilk might brush them off as mere "wingnnuts" who can't get elected, I know many of them as the most dedicated Republican activits in the area that come to unit committee meetings, work for all of our candidates, and some in the past of been local unit chairman. Vellie Dietrich Hall was just specifically called out by Bob McDonnell at the Annandale kickoff as the exact person Republicans should be reaching out too, but I guess she's jsut a wingnut who can't get elected right? And while moderate "leader" Tom Davis was sacrificing the local party to get his wife reelected, Hall put in a hard-working, uphill race in liberal Mason District against Penny Gross. She lost, but I bet she feels much better about her race than Davis does about letting three Dem delegates go unopposed and his wife still lost by 10 points. I know I did.
There worst thing about this whole affair is that the moderates both in and out of state central never gave Jeff a chance. Nobody reached out to work with him, nothing. Instead they just sat coiled in the weeds waiting for a misstep, just waiting for something wrong to happen to they could spring into attack. But thats beside the point. The point is the leadership that is seeking to oust Frederick via this midnight coup is the same leadership that drove us down the road to minority stauts. But that was the conservatives fault, right? Last time I checked it was conservatives like me and many of my friends in the YRs and other groups that goes out for everywhere. We don't stay home. We accept the will of conventions and/or primaries. Its important that the last two chairs: Ed Gillespie and Kate Obenshain Griffin, where elected by state central and not by the party itself. Frederick's election was out of the power-brokers control, and they want to fix that. Frederick's sin was clearly that he relied on the party base and not the insiders.
So the choice is clear: do we go back to a leadership that compromised our beliefs, lost elections, and allowed Democrats to dictate the political discourse; or do we try something new, try to reconnect with our base and our values, and put those values up front just the way Bob McDonnell articulated in his kickoff speech? Bottom line, the previous leadership lost us elections. Lets give Jeff a fair chance to change that. He deserves it out of shear sense of fairness, but I have a feeling fairness has nothing to do with this.
So I stopped by the Annandale Fire House to see Bob McDonnell's kickoff yesterday morning. I would have had something up faster but I went out last night and am now just getting my bearings. So I was impressed with the turnout, the firehouse was certainly packed . . . somewhere between 400-500 people for sure. I got there right at 10 am so I missed whatever might have been going on. Couple things, first and foremost any campaigning by the AG candidates was clearly banned because none of them were allowed to have any yard signs or literature passed out. Botb Tom Davis and Frank Wolf gave nice little pep talks about how this is the best group of Republican candidates we've had in a long time (hey, I'm just glad TD allowed us to run candidates this year).
Bill Bolling spoke first, which is always a good idea. He gives a great stemwinder, really gets the crowd fired up. Both the theme he wove and the one that McDonnell talked about was using Virginia's resources to build jobs from within. Jobs, Jobs , Jobs; that was the message that was sounded over and over. The two main themese that dovetailed from that was energy and transportation.
McDonnell followed with what was his best speech I've ever heard him give. What his platform is is a truly statewide platform, which I think will work well. McDonnell talked of transprotation not just as a Northern Virginia problem, but a statewide one. When he spoke of widening I-66 and Metro, he also talked about transportation in Hampton Roads and how it hurts our ports. Republicans need to marry the problems in each section together.
He also spoke a lot about energy. McDonnell actually said he agreed with Obama that green jobs are the future, and he will fight to make those happen. But he also vowed to open Virginia's coastline to offshore exploration that will bring capital and jobs to the area.
Overall, it was a good speech and a great way to kick off the campaign. McDonnell is putting together a truly unified message statewide, linking each part of the commonwealth to the other through broad and clear proposals that will bring the state party together. One of our biggest problems as a party has been the sectional divides, the inability of our leadership to make other sections understand how helping another helps everyone. McDonnell and Bolling seem to be work hard on this and I am, quite frankly, very excited about the whole ticket right now.
But allow me to turn this into a pro-Cuccinelli rant for a moment. The one thing missing from the McDonnell-Bolling electorate are the social conservatives, religious conservatives who aren't political in the same paradigm as the rest of the electorate - as well as the homeschoolers. These are Cuccinelli's voters, his base, the people that are going to get out for him. Its not that McDonnell and Bolling are somehow not conservative, they certainly are, but neither one of them have cultivated the SoCons the way Cuccinelli has and his addition to the ticket would complete what might be the most regionally and ideologically balance ticket we have ever had.
They call him "The Natural Born Killer" and he makes his long anticipated UFC debut April 1st free on Spike TV at UFC Ultimate Fight Night 18 against Danish welterweight contender Martin "The Hitman" Kampmann (14-2). Kampmann is highly skilled so this will be a tremendous fight.
Big blow to the Brownlee campaign, as the one congressman in the delegation who would seem like a natural fit for John Brownlee (outside of Bob Goodlatte), its Rob Wittman. He suppported John Hager for chairman last year, and as the mad scramble for Jo Ann Davis's seat commenced, Wittman was considered the "middle" candidate. I think that the Wittman endorsement proves that Cuccinelli's campaign is connecting across the party (despite to the chagrin of many of the RINO ankle-biters out there).
Rob Wittman is the archetype social-conservative-first Republican. His record on spending issues has rankled this quarter on many occasions, although he did stand very, very tallin opposing TARP last year. He is exactly the type of Republican who would normally be put off by Cuccinelli’s firm support for lower taxes and reducing government spending, and thus give John Brownlee another look.
More to the point, Rob Wittman is the kind of Republican Brownlee desperately needs. Without the economic moderates, Brownlee has no chance of even blocking Cuccinelli on the first ballot, let alone gobbling up Dave Foster’s backers to win on the second.
Yet Wittman endorsed Cuccinelli.
Now, one could say that this was more a regional endorsement, but for two things: 1) Wittman’s base in the 1st District is the Northern Neck, which is closer to western Virginia in terms of political culture and temperament than anywhere else in the east, and 2) many leading economic-conservative Republicans in the west (Dick Mark Obenshain, Ralph Smith, and Lynn Mitchell, to name a few) also back Cuccinelli (nice catch, Brandon, and thanks).
This time last year, it was abundantly clear that Bob Marshall had the momentum in his race against Gilmore, but he had to make up a lot of ground to get to within a whisker of victory. Brownlee (or Foster) needed a similar boost to block Cuccinelli. Neither accomplished that. Moreover, Cuccinelli himself has the momentum - as evidenced by Wittman’s endorsement.
Crystal Clear Conservative has the breaking news that the 11th district committee failed to pass a
dictate resolution looking to oust Jeff Frederick. This is a huge blow for the anti-grassroots crowd that are behind this nonsense. Amazingly enough, its in liberal Northern Virginia where the state party has some of its most dedicated conservative activists. I'm glad they held tonight, to make sure that the will of the convention will not be broken by a midnight coup.
This will be the first UFC yours truly will get to enjoy in beautiful HD at my crib in Reston, thanks to the magic that is Verizon FIOS. This is basically a two-match card, dominated by an Anderson Silva middleweight title defense against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Thales Leites and a potential war between two desperate fighters in Chuck Liddell and Shogun Rua. Should be a good show, and I'm really looking forward to Liddell and Shogun.
I've had it.
Why? Because John McCain might have his good points, every now and then he comes out attitudes and opinions that just boggle the mind.
John McCain has out-mavericked himself again, telling the Financial Times that critics (including his colleague Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.) should give Geithner some time to do his job.
The story doesn't quote Mac directly, but paraphrases his support, so we're checking with his office:
Tim Geithner, the embattled US Treasury secretary, should be given a chance to succeed, says John McCain, the former presidential candidate, who is the first prominent Republican to speak up in Mr Geithner’s defence amid growing calls for his resignation.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr McCain said that the “perfect storm” over AIG “has been as explosive in a short period of time as anything I have seen”.
McCain was one of few Republicans to vote for Geithner's confirmation.
This man has no business being in the city limits of Richmond with the title of "dog-catcher," let alone as governor on Capitol Square. If anything, this comment proves that and I'm sure there is much more ahead.
Now McAuliffe, who speaks almost entirely in exclamation points, is applying that same zeal to being a man of the people. As part of his campaign, he has spent a day working as a busboy and a bartender. He plans to labor on a ship. "I've been an African American barber," the Irish candidate reported to his hosts at the landfill in Lorton yesterday. "You know, about three Saturdays ago, there was a grass fire out here," he told the workers at the waste plant. "You know who was on the firetruck to put it out? I was! I was a fireman that day. . . . I got those hoses out so fast, you would not have a plant today if I had not been on that truck. Saved your plant. Probably saved Northern Virginia."
All Republicans in Congress were really asking for during the Porkulis debate was time to read the bill, thousands of pages long, so every person in the country as well as their representatives, could find out exactly what was going on in the bill. Instead, we get garbage. We get guys like Chris Dodd and Barack Obama who spend hours lecturing America about the evils of these companies and how they stand for the little man, the average American. In reality? They write legislation and sign it that gives loop holes to these guys because they funneled thousands of dollars in campaign contributions.
God bless him, if it were any other time I would be leading the charge but there are higher considerations at work right now . . . this is the critical year for the Republican Party of Virginia as we wage an all out assault on the Democratic ascendence of the 2000s for the first time, and with good candidates on out statewide ticket. I support Jeff Frederick, but when the gubernatorial candidate, the speaker of the House, the entire congressional delegation, and a majority of the state senate caucus - perhaps its time to fight another day.
So I just got back from Jim LeMunyon's campaign kickoff event in Chantilly, and it was a great turnout. He's running in the 67th against "The Cruise Ship" Chuck Caputo, know best for being on a cruise during the last special session of the legislature which was dedicated exclusively to transportation. Its one thing for your representative to maybe not vote the way you want them too, but you would think that they would have at least enough decency to show up and vote on an issue so critical to the district and the region.
Its gotten to the point now in the Le' Affair Frederick that what we as a party should be concentrating on now is how to land this plane because either way, no matter who's right or wrong, its going down in flames. The long knives came out and took out Frederick, and I just don't see how he can function as chairman anymore, even if he keeps the position. We just need to look for a soft landing now.
It looks that way, as the unofficial returns have John Cook DEFEATING Ilryong Moon 5,937 to 5,888 in what has to be considered not only a huge upset considering Moon's position on the school board, his money, and the organization he has had in place running countywide. But more than anything, this proves that the best way to recruit candidates are to find good active Republicans who not only are insiders but who are also leaders in their communities.
I get and respect the disagreements between ourselves over the AG race, I understand and respect why people back who they do in that race. But someone please tell me why we have a challenger in the LG race? Bill Bolling represents everything that is good in this party, and we have real problems if we can't agree on Bolling. But I think we can and we will, because this guy is too good, too strong, and represents us too well for anyone in there right mind to even think about not supporting him. If there is ever a case to be made for a partisan litmus test, this is it. If people vote for the other guy at the convention, they should be run out of the party.
Mr. Cook's tenure as the leader of the Kings Park association since 2006 has been impressive. At a time of declining civic involvement, membership in the group, which represents a community of 1,100 homes, has grown significantly. That can be attributed to Mr. Cook's efforts to educate members about the neighborhood and to hold community-building events. Mr. Cook, a lawyer, also showed the ability to cross party lines in working with Ms. Bulova on a pilot program that targeted zoning violations, such as houses filled with boarders.
Where we go again, the UFC is back with UFC 96 live in Columbus, OH. This is another one of their B-shows with no title fights. But, it does feature two very interesting match-ups at the top of the card that have serious championship implications. Main-eventing is top light heavyweight Quinton "Rampage" Jackson taking on the "Dean of Mean" Keith Jardine. Flat-out, if Rampage wins he gets Rashad Evans for the UFC Light Heavyweight title. For Jardine, its a chance to finally crash through the top tier of the best division in MMA. The co-main event is a heavyweight fight between former title challenger Gabriel "Napao" Gonzaga against undefeated knockout machine Shane Carwin that has major title ramifications.
I don't know where to start with my thoughts, its a bit scatter-shot right now. On the one hand, I am incredibly furious that a roving band of 64 would overturn the will of the Convention of 2008. I was a part of that Convention, and as a Frederick supporter at said convention I feel betrayed by my own party. I'm an activist, supposedly that means I'm a "real" Republican, so its stunning to me that 64 souls on state central would, basically, overturn my vote. If conventions are undemocratic in nature (and they are) what is this? What is state central saying to the thousands of activists who have no basically wasted their time going to their unit meetings and local conventions and mass meetings? We spoke, and we elected Jeff Frederick Chairman of the RPV. Plain and simple, and for those who don't like Jeff, for the most part I say "tough sh*t", put up someone else next time around. Then there is the question of precedence, and what this says about the internal system for the RPV? You don't get your way in a undemocratic convention, so you go even more undemocratic and use 64 people to overturn the will of thousands? And what happens when the "moderates" get their way and conservatives pull this crap?
Looks like all the whoop-la about a challenger for Bill Howell ended up being for naught. Knowing he had no chance, the Dem dropped out. Nice show of strength and depth there. This is why we are still in the game here in Virginia despite all the recent setbacks. We just need to make sure we have the statewide leadership to harness all of that together and help recruit for and then win these local races.
Can anyone take this women seriously? Her and Tim Kaine got off script today as she claimed the reason Kaine didn't take a post in the Obama Administration is because Bill Bolling was LG. But Kaine said at the time that had nothing to do with it. First off, if Kaine was thought of for anything I say lets check his tax returns. As for Wagner, I don't know how anyone can take her seriously. She has boldly lied about the budget over and over to help give Kaine the false cover to raise taxes.
So its pretty clear that the Democrat party wants to make Rush Limbaugh the face of the Republican Party. I find it interesting that they would take a such a course, under the impression that Americans dislike Rush (even though he is the highest rated radio personality in America). And do Democrats really want to contrast the articulate and quick-on-his-feet Limbaugh with the stuttering-and-stammering Obama who can't get his foot out of his mouth unless a teleprompter is available. Watch Obama's speech at CPAC, its a blueprint for conservatives to take back the country. Stop acting like we are the minority of Americans, start believing in people again, stop playing the Dems game of personality politics, and use conservatism for what it is . . . a universal set of principles that applies to everyone evenly. A belief in competition, capitalism, and the power of the individual to do whatever they want with their lives.
John Brownlee voted in the 2006 Democrat primary. I don't care that he hasn't given money or that he hasn't joined his committee. But the fact that he voted in the Dem primary, I have a big problem with that and I think it deserves an explanation.
POLITICO's interview with Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr is fascinating. Huntsman, a more maverick Republican than a moderate, makes some interesting points about the GOP rebranding itself by reaching out to minorities, young people, and those who care about issues like the environment.
Huntsman thinks the party's challenge is more profound, owing less to its excessive spending practices during the Bush era than to sweeping demographic and political changes that threaten to consign
Republicans to a long-term minority status and confine their appeal to narrow sections of the country.
The party needs to be more intellectually rigorous, and to compete for the votes of the young, the elites and minorities, he said in an interview with POLITICO. To do so, the GOP needs to tack toward the middle on environment, gay rights and immigration. And, yes, Ronald Reagan is to be admired – but as much for his oft-overlooked pragmatism as for his conservative principles.
It’s a view that places him out of step with the prevailing conservative sentiment among most members of the GOP base, but it’s also one that makes Huntsman, a wealthy Mormon scion, the first 2012 Republican primary prospect to unabashedly embrace a middle ground somewhere between moderate Northeastern Republicanism and Sun Belt conservatism.
“I would liken it a bit to the transformation of the Tory Party in the U.K.,” Huntsman explained. “The defeat in ’97, John Major to Tony Blair, after years of strong, conservative rule with Margaret Thatcher setting the mark. They went two or three election cycles without recognizing the issues that the younger citizens in the U.K. really felt strongly about. They were a very narrow party of angry people. And they started branching out through, maybe, taking a second look at the issues of the day, much like we’re going to have to do for the Republican Party, to reconnect with the youth, to reconnect with people of color, to reconnect with different geographies that we have lost. You cannot succeed being a party of the South and a couple of Western states. It just – it isn’t long-term sustainable.”
Implied but unsaid was that one of the leaders of that effort to reform the Tory party was David Cameron, the youthful opposition leader who is now poised to become Prime Minister when the next national election is called in Great Britain.
His concerns about the young vote are especially interesting, since so many young people are beginning to enter politics and its Obama who has brought them in. Its not to say they are lost, but Huntsman is arguing that Republicans need to make sure that we as Republicans reach out to them. The longer they are ignored, the more likely it is we might lose a generation of voters. And then this has me thinking as well:
Without acknowledging and addressing issues like climate change, Huntsman said the party stands to lose not only the youth vote but also the constituencies that once formed core GOP’s strongholds--what he called “the old suburbias.”
These are the counties -- highly educated, socially moderate and affluent -- that began favoring Democrats as cultural conservatism came to dominate GOP thinking, often trumping the tax issues on which Republicans had typically won over such voters. Obama won them overwhemingly last fall, cementing the trend.
Again, I don't necessarily endorse Governor Huntsman, but its important that we make sure everyone is brought into the conversation. I would hardly argue that Huntsman is some sort of moderate like California's governor, he seems to be something different. He's worried about the young voters that suddenly showed up for Barack Obama. Remember, John McCain got more votes than George W. Bush. These voters will stay engaged, but many were enamored by the cultural representation of Obama and have yet to judge him as an actual leader. We still have time to win these voters, but something has to change. It could be Huntsman, it could be anyone else. But its a conversation worth having.
Like I've always said, "Hope and Change" doesn't seem to include the unborn, nor does it include doctors and other medical professionals who have conscientious objections to performing abortions. I guess you can object to everything else with Obama . . . war, work, mortgage payments, income taxes . . . but when it comes to abortion it looks like if you, as a doctor, object to the procedure you have no choice because Czar Barack is telling you to perform the ghastly procedure. The question I want someone to answer, someone who supports abortion, is to explain why the federal government should be forcing doctors to do abortions?
The short-lived regulations required hospitals and clinics for the first time to certify that they were in compliance with existing federal laws protecting health care workers' right to refuse to participate in abortions and contraceptive services in order to qualify for federal funding. Opponents of the rules feared that they were too broad in scope and could lead to reduced access to contraception and other family planning services. That fear seems unfounded, given that the rules would simply have required compliance with existing federal law.