May 2007 Archives
Chaz is an up and coming political star who has solid plans to modernize and streamline the clerk's office operation to make it more efficient. He is definitely someone to keep your eye on for the future. So, in an effort to help Chaz launch what promises to be a long and bright future in Virginia politics, Virginia Virtucon is proud to endorse Chaz in this race and add him to our Red Storm Virginia project.
You can check out Chaz's Web site for more info - his background is ideal for the position. If you live in Rockingham County, it sounds like you will have a candidate you can be proud to vote for in November.
I want to go back a ways because it looks like I missed a good discussion while I was on vacation.
I posted on May 2 about the comments of Harry Reid which I viewed as treasonous. Stay Poof then masterfully steered the following posted comments into an indictment of American policy in Iraq, stating the following about Saddam:
when did he try to assassinate the pres? was it before or after we had invaded his country?
Um...before. We only kicked him out of Kuwait in 1991. We didn't invade Iraq until 2003.
Poof then went on to say:
actually, the Iraqi government sent a guy to the US embassy to find out what the Bush admin's response would be if Iraq invaded Kuwait, and was told something to the effect of, "we have no official policy on that" That statement was interpreted to mean that Bush/the US didn't care one way or the other if Iraq invaded Kuwait.
Poofy then quoted the NY Times and New Republic to back up his statement, to which Kevin replied:
schooled. Nice work.
Now, I'm not saying that the Times has ever had a problem with journalistic integrity, but I didn't trust the sources Poof was using. I, like Jack, figured I would have heard more about this if their reporting was accurate. I decided to check it out for myself and I found this now declassified NSC report on the meeting. That's the full text there.
So here's my take on the Glaspie issue:
First- The NY Times and New Republic printed Glaspie's words out of context at a time when the meeting between her and Saddam was considered classified.
Second- NOTHING she stated even implied giving Saddam a "go ahead" to invade Kuwait. Only a madman like Saddam could interpret a statement like "We are neutral in your territorial dispute," to mean, "Go ahead and invade and annex the other guy."
After having been successfully "pwned" in the comments to this post - which is a palate-cleansing experience I recommend to all of you, incidentally - I have seen the error of my ways and intend to make up for it herewith. The lesson learned:
Crimes committed by illegal aliens are a huge problem, exacerbated by elected officials inclined to look the other way. (Hat tip - Zimzo).
We've already covered the tragic results of law enforcement laxity that allowed illegal alien repeat offenders in Northern Virginia (Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza) and Virginia Beach (Alfredo Ramos) to remain out on the streets long enough to get drunk again and kill innocent American citizens.
I would argue that the top public safety officer in a jurisdiction is the one who should step up and smash through that cover by instituting tougher measures at the local level.
Following are a plethora of recent cases you may not have heard about.
Bear in mind that under the provisions of the "immigration reform" legislation currently being debated in the U.S. Senate, all of the criminal illegals detailed below, and thousands like them from any nation, would receive Z visas within 24 hours after applying if USCIS is not able to complete their background checks within that time frame.
Miss USA's treatment by a Mexican audience last night should be another warning sign that the tens of millions our Congress is poised to grant overnight the benefits of citizenship will present a huge challenge to the assimilationist model that functioned at the beginning of the 20th century.
And to think the comparative trickle of Irish, Germans, Italians, Poles and others who arrived, eager to become Americans, between 1850 and 1925, did NOT come from countries which had received billions of dollars in aid from the U.S.
UPDATE: Watch this video on our national march toward suicide (only 3:48 min.) Smashing the melting pot, is more like it.
[UPDATE: This is going to get linked by another post so it will be helpful to address the discussion in the comments. A deputy wrote in to say technically the responding deputies in this instance might have been following proper procedures if the subjects were juveniles. If the deputy was present that night with the four local residents who watched the entire episode unfold from 30 feet away, I'd have appreciated his commentary. And I do appreciate his compulsion to stick up for his colleagues. As it stands, the only hard evidence we have is the direct evidence of what me and my neighbors watched happen, which is two wasted individuals were let go without even a wrist slap, were given back the keys to their car, and that they did in fact drive away within the next four hours - not enough time to have sobered up if there was any intention to even do so. In addition, the episode was treated like a joke. Therefore the strong perception remains that this was treated like a non-event, and if the subjects had been citizens it would have been treated differently. The fact that no one from the Sheriff's Office responded to this inquiry from four citizens who watched the incident take place right in front of their faces indicates at best utter disdain for local residents' concerns. Finally, if the deputies were following correct protocol, then the protocol is screwed up because it completely ignores public safety - which proves the original point of this post.]
Our society is on the brink of crisis because of the increasing disconnect between politicians and American citizens.
Last week we were treated to the spectacle of U.S. senators debating an "immigration reform" bill which, in the very first clause of its very first paragraph, provides for an "exception of the probationary benefits" which - if you scroll down to section 600 - will allow over 12 million illegal aliens to receive "Z" visas "by the end of the next business day" after they apply for the visa if their background checks and other tests have not been completed. As the Washington Post reported yesterday, USCIS, the agency responsible for processing those applicants, is already an "agency mired in inefficiency."
What happens when millions more applications are added to the workload? Instant benefits of citizenship for millions of illegal aliens who, among other bonuses, "may not be detained or deported" regardless of criminal offenses or other legal infractions.
Pretty surreal, huh? Well, it gets worse. You don't even have to dig far into the document to notice that one of the "enforcement" provisions is construction of 370 miles of fence on our Mexican border. Great idea, right?
It was also a great idea last October when the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which provided for over 700 miles of fence, was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bush. Only 11 miles of that fence has been built and already we have a new proposed law which shortens it by about 400 miles.
What sort of fools do our elected officials take us for? Class A morons.
This disconnect - which might also be considered indifference, ineptitude ... or corruption - afflicts our government at every level.
Here in Loudoun County, Virginia, some citizens have said the Sheriff's Department is not adequately addressing the illegal alien problem. Deputies allegedly have said things like "Why don't you move out of the barrio" to Sterling Park residents complaining about misbehavior by migrant workers in their neighborhoods.
Sheriff Steve Simpson's change of heart on requesting Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) training for local deputies brought a skeptical response from Greg Ahlemann, his challenger for the Republican nomination. The question of the Sheriff's commitment to dealing with the issue has been a topic of lively debate in the campaign.
Earlier this month, an incident occurred in front of my house which, in a nutshell, depicts the truly frightening situation citizens face when their governing officials adopt a culture of indifference.
I wrote to the Sheriff's Media Information Officer on Monday, May 14 about what happened. He wrote to me:
I am forwarding your email to the appropriate command staff so I can get you more information on the incident. I will get back to you as soon as I can.
It has now been two full weeks and there has been no reply. This confirms, I believe, the conclusions I drew about the incident. I live in a typical suburban subdivision. Following is the message I sent to the Sheriff's Office:
Our commenter Had Enough sends the following:
As the memories of WWII, Korea and Viet Nam grow further away with time we lose perspective of the meaning even though we are currently at war.
Both of my grandfathers served in the military, one of them helped free the Jews in the concentration camps, he never spoke of his bravery and accomplishments during the war. I never asked him about it because I figured it must have been too painful. He kept a journal about the concentration camps documenting each camp, the people and included photos and information, I never saw it until after his death. He suffered a injury in WWII and as a disabled veteran he received a very small monthly check. After he died the government reduced that check to $19. a month for my grandmother, she didn't say anything she just stared at it.
Before he died he was concerned about his flag, military awards, medals, ribbons and other items that he collected from his time in the service and instructed my grandmother what to do with them upon his death. His concern was that they be given to someone who would cherish and preserve them.
And when our work is done,
Our course on Earth is run,
May it be said "Well done;
Be thou at peace."
-West Point Alma Mater
Today is a day of remembrance. Let us never forget the sacrifice so many have made so that we can live free.
May God Bless the souls of Bobby Beasley and Craig Cherry. Rest in peace, buddies.
Read this essay, then consider the current immigration debate - then say to yourself, "holy crap" as I did:
While Democratic legislators we spoke with welcomed the Latino vote, they seemed more interested in those immigrants and their offspring as a tool to increase the role of the government in society and the economy. Several of them tended to see Latin American immigrants and even Latino constituents as both more dependent on and accepting of active government programs and the political class guaranteeing those programs, a point they emphasized more than the voting per se. Moreover, they saw Latinos as more loyal and "dependable" in supporting a patron-client system and in building reliable patronage networks to circumvent the exigencies of political life as devised by the Founding Fathers and expected daily by the average American.
Republican lawmakers we spoke with knew that naturalized Latin American immigrants and their offspring vote mostly for the Democratic Party, but still most of them (all except five) were unambiguously in favor of amnesty and of continued mass immigration (at least from Mexico). This seemed paradoxical, and explaining their motivations was more challenging. However, while acknowledging that they may not now receive their votes, they believed that these immigrants are more malleable than the existing American: That with enough care, convincing, and "teaching," they could be converted, be grateful, and become dependent on them.
First, let me reiterate my position that immigration is good for America. The immigrants I have known in my life have been, without exception, hard-working, upstanding members of society. My wife's job is teaching English to immigrants. Her students regularly work at least one job, often two, and still spend several hours a day in English classes. There is no doubt in my mind that such people are good for the United States, and that we should significantly increase our immigration quotas.
The issue at hand is not immigration per se, but illegal immigration, specifically whether we should legalize our current crop of illegal immigrants. There are a number of reasons I oppose legalization, but primarily it is an issue of fairness. Many people have been waiting many years to immigrate legally. Allowing those people currently in the United States illegally to stay would be unfair to those who have waited so long and obeyed our laws.
The current bill, S.1348, would indeed by an ex post facto law. The reason the U.S. Constitution forbids such laws is not only that someone could be penalized for an action that was legal when it was committed, but that people who get an advantage by breaking the law would not be rewarded for their lawbreaking at the expense of those obeying the law.
My answer? WHO CARES?
Part II of my answer: WHAT'S WRONG WITH OCCUPATION?
Call me Socrates and put me in a Bill & Ted movie.
Since our President is 100 percent on board with granting blanket amnesty to illegal aliens, destroying the idea of American citizenship and basically selling our country down the river, where is the liberal pep rally?
Seems like George W. Bush would be a hero of the left. How's about a little intellectual consistency, boys?
Restating the obvious is usually considered tedious, but some NVTH visitors apparently require it, so here goes.
This is from Robert Rector's testimony before the House Subcommittee on Immigration the other day:
Looking at federal, state and local benefits combined, the average low skill immigrant household received $30,160 per household in direct benefits, means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services in FY 2004. By contrast, as Chart 2 shows, total federal, state, and local taxes paid by low-skill immigrant households came to $10,573 per household in 2004. The average fiscal deficit per low skill immigrant household was $19,588.
That's about a Toyota Corolla per year for every household, courtesy of American taxpayers. Multiply that by 10 or 20 million and you get an idea why the current "comprehensive" immigration legislation being debated in the Senate might not be such a good idea.
By way of comparison, when a Humvee runs over a squirrel the squirrel can be considered "comprehensively" defeated. This is what the U.S. government is proposing to do to the financial well-being of American citizens. If the amnesty goes through, in 20 years you might as well just hand over your pension and life's savings.
Although we maintain an attitude of objectivity and independence here at the NVTH Blog, usually choosing to endorse candidates individually based on our diverse interests, I am pleased to report that the NVTH bloggers have conferred and agreed to a corporate endorsement of Hamilton 'Ham' Sandwich, Esq., for Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney.
Because of the early date this endorsement is totally unprecedented.
NOVA TownHall's Joe Budzinski said:
While the opponent offers interesting credentials, we strongly believe Ham Sandwich - particularly with a little spicy mustard - presents an overwhelmingly superior alternative.
You can go to the Raising Ham site for more info on this Ham-tastic political movement.
Right now, we have a high-level delegation in China discussing our trade deficit with that country. But what is it we expect China to do? How do we expect them to fix our problem?
One of the issues is the Chinese government's fixing the value of the yuan to the U.S. dollar. The assertion is that the yuan is undervalued, so China is selling to us on the cheap. So let's say a widget costs 9 yuan to produce, and the Chinese sell it to us for 10. Let's also assume that the yuan is pegged at 10 to the dollar. (I'm making up these numbers.) So we get the widget for a dollar. But the yuan is really undervalued, and should be, let's say, 8 for a dollar. So the widget should have cost us $1.25. Essentially, the artificially depressed yuan valuation just resulted in the Chinese' giving us 25 cents. What was the problem again?
Well, the reason the yuan's depressed valuation is considered a problem is that it increases our trade deficit with China. Well, if it weren't China, it would be someone else. If a nation has a trade defecit, it means that it is buying more than it is making. If we were not buying more than we are making, the value of the imports we bought would have to be offset by the value of the exports we sold. So whose fault is this, anyway?
Look in the mirror, folks. Let's assume that our per capita GDP is $100,000. (Again, I'm making these numbers up for illustration only.) If we have a per capita trade deficit of $1000, where does that extra $1000 come from? We did not make it, or our per capita GDP would have been $101,000. No, that $1000 comes from debt.
Our trade deficit is a direct result of our willingness to go into debt. Nothing China does can fix that.
It is undeniable that economics is the primary driving force in illegal immigration. The economic opportunities here and the lack of such opportunities in Latin America provide the incentive for people to brave the desert in the hope of a better life. Thus, it is necessary for us evaluate the proposed solution (S.1348) in light of the economics of immigration, both legal and illegal.
Saturday, May 12
Spent the daytime watching stuntshows and a longhair band playing classic metal covers.
Doesn't look too impressive until you realize that bike is running pretty quick on a treadmill-like device
Rhett Rotten rides the wall of death
Mid-air handlebar handstand
The rest of the crew is all there by the evening. My buddy Randall from the VFW got down there with his Vietnam buddy Paul. Another friend, Mason, was with his wife Phyllis and their extended family that goes down there twice a year. We grab some dinner at a Texas Steakhouse and then split up that night. Mike and Jessie and I hit a few more places before they were ready to crash. My night shift habit had me out on the strip watching the bikes go by long after everyone was asleep.
Sunday, May 13
Went to visit with some family friends who now live in South Carolina. Good dinner, good company. Went back to the beach and met up with Randall, Paul, Mason and his crew at the Iron Gate Saloon. Ended up on the hotel balcony once again, watching the bikes and telling war stories with Randall and Paul.
Veterans: Vietnam, 2 each, Afghanistan, 2 each
Randall, Paul, Mike, and myself
Monday, May 14
I took Jessie to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dinner theater. Not really my thing, but Jessie enjoyed it and the food was good, so I guess it wasn't a total waste of 80 dollars...
Ended up back with everyone else at the Beachwagon...this time for an actual country band instead of Mike's Karaoke.
Tuesday, May 15
Jessie had to leave so she could work the next day. Mike decides to leave earlier than planned, feeling guilty about leaving his preagnant wife at home. I do some riding and end up back on the strip watching the bikes and shooting the breeze with Mason.
What did Joe say about how early you can start drinking?
Wednesday, May 16
Breakfast with Randall and Paul, and then I start heading back to VA. In honor of the tradition, the rain hits me hard in Richmond. This storm was bad enough I had to pull off for a while, for fear of getting blown off the road. Didn't make it back home till almost midnight, and that was the end of the trip. It was just as well I left before the week was over. The second half gets incredibly crowded, and that crowd begin to get rowdy and stupid. I must have seen several thousand more bikes heading south on my way back north.
Thursday, May 17
Back to work. Remember how it felt when you were a kid and you had to go back to school after summer break? Yeah.
So I figured I'd use up some leave at my day job before Uncle Sam claims me for another year or so. My Army buddy Mike had been wanting to go to the Myrtle Beach Bike Rally, so I told him I would. This would be my fourth and his first. Always a good time.
Tuesday, May 8
One of us is ready to go...
I got on my Softail and Mike got on his Dyna, backpacks and saddle bags loaded, and we started heading south at about 6 PM. NoVa traffic, as always, slowed us down quite a bit. We also got rained on in the Richmond area as has been a Bike Week tradition for me. It was almost 11 PM before we hit the North Carolina border.
I work a midnight shift and was ready to ride all night. Mike on the other hand, has "regular" hours, and when I realized he was dozing off behind the handlebars on I-95, I figured we had better stop for the night. We pulled off at the first place we found. The small motel only had one room left, which happened to be a honeymoon suite. I didn't really know what exactly that meant, but the guy gave it to us for the regular price so I didn't say anything. The jacuzzi in the middle of the bedroom made me laugh when we walked in the door. "Dude...I hope staying in this room together doesn't mean we're gay." I think he was about asleep at that point. I sat in the chair and watched TV for a few hours before I nodded off.
Wednesday, May 9
Bright and early at the crack of noon, we continued our journey. We pulled into Myrtle Beach at about 3 PM, except we didn't actually pull into Myrtle Beach because I made the mistake of turning south onto the 17 bypass instead of 17 business. We were in Murrell's Inlet before I realized it, but no big deal, that's a cool place, too. So I showed Mike around. We finish up the night at some place called the Beachwagon because they advertised live country music. Turns out live country that night was Karaoke. I wasn't happy about that, but it didn't stop Mike from getting on stage and singing Brooks and Dunn...
Mike continues the Karaoke off the stage
Thursday, May 10
We ride around and see as much as we can. Not too eventful, but Bike Week doesn't actually start until tomorrow.
Friday, May 11
Bike Week finally starts for real. Funny how all the spring-break type places suddenly become "biker bars" overnight.
My girlfriend Jessie meets up with me at 4 AM. I had promised her I would wait up, but Mike was crashed already and I figured I'd better find something to do if I was gonna be awake when she got there. So I hung out at a bar called the Dog House all night. When she got there I told her to come in, but she just wanted to sleep so that ended the fun that night. It's funny, I wasn't in trouble until I was out of the Dog House...
Jessie and I
After some rest, we hit the beach for a little while and in the evening, we went down to the SBB Biker Burnout Bar to see the band Rebel Son. SBB is a cool place, you ride your bike right through the bar to get to the parking lot. The burnout pit is right there inside.
SBB's Burnout Pit
It appears that someone is not happy with "Amnesty for All" bill.
Some one tell Sen Graham from SC to read this.
While I agree with Marshmallow that the Had Enough's characterization of the immigration issue and Bush's secretly being a liberal may not be entirely correct, I take umbrage with Marshmallow's nonsensical conclusion. His words as follows:
Bush was your man, twice. The first time you were blinded by Monica, the second by GWOT. Now here we are.
but don't be trying to pawn your guy off on liberals. You
can't blame us for everything! You stuffed your mattress now
sleep on it.
I love how we need to be blind to vote Republican, while it is obviously cleared eyed to go the other way. Plus, the only proper course of action when betrayed by those we voted for is to surrender. So Marshmallow let me be very clear:
1. I voted for Bush the first time because 8 years of Clinton was more than enough for me, Monica being the LEAST of it. Gore would have been four more years of Clinton, except Gore lacks Clinton's charisma, political savvy and pragmatic streak. In other words, Gore would have made James Earl Carter look good.
"And Satan's apparent weapon of choice: Allowing illegal immigrants to cross the border."
Commie Atheist declares: "So there you have it, the core complaint: they're not going to become Republicans."
REDSTATE agrees: "That's a drastic redefinition of our country and the utter evaporation of the Republican Party. That is something we just can not allow to happen!"
And lastly, returning to the root in 1996: Immigrants Receive Help From Actual Devil
...At least until I go again. My orders are in and it looks like I'll be activated in less than a month, and back in the sandbox a few months after that. Can't say I'm not looking forward to it. Anyhow, I've got a lot a preparations and I probably won't be posting a whole lot before then, and probably not much at all after that.
In the meantime, I figured I'd use up some leave at my day job, and I took a little vacation. I'll throw some pictures up later if I can remember how to do it.
"David Beats Goliath!"
"The Giants Win The Pennant!"
"I Don't Believe What I Just Saw!"
Whatever is your best analogy, this is the time to employ it.
As a lifelong Republican active in VA politics, I am writing to you, as the leader of our party in the Senate, to NOT support this bill.
I will leave the party if this passes. Many others will as well. If you think you can imagine you might get by on money from big business alone, think again. It is main street that walks to the polls and votes for you reprobates.
The differences between the Republicans and Democrats are fading. It used to be we were the party of values, fiscal responcibility and strong defence.
Drunken Sailors are less wreckless with THEIR money than you all have been with MINE. I can forgive that to some degree in the time of war.
We are at WAR and you are NOT securing the border, but you are letting 10 to 20M LAWBREAKERS get a free pass. So much for values and strong defence.
So where is the difference now?
You and that joke of a President will get a rude awakening when in 2008. You find we ALL stayed home, because you do not deserve our vote or consideration.
You work for us, and you appear to have forgetten that.
I. M. Republican
Citizen, Tax Payer, Voter
Soon to be Ex-Republican
Just to recap, from a John Andrews supporter::
... radical anti-immigrant groups, including Help-Save-Loudoun.
Funny, but Mark Herring has never said such a thing. Of course, the Senator has been to several of our meetings.
Hiring illegal aliens forces down wages of entry-level Virginia workers, and gives an unfair competitive advantage to employers who violate our labor laws.
Furthermore, Patricia Phillips is the only candidate who has espoused a sound philosophy of governance: Decisions should be made as close as possible to the level of the citizens affected. The more local the control, the better.
Patricia has been a longtime activist on local issues, including the recent successful effort to pass the Virginia Marriage Amendment.
Finally, Patricia has proven herself in the line of fire: She has been willing to meet with large groups of local citizens and take their questions directly. She is not a professional politician, but rather a concerned citizen like most of the rest of us. We need more people like her in Richmond.
Her opponent seems like a very nice person, but Patricia is better on the issues as far as I can tell.
To vote for Patricia, please plan to go out Saturday, May 19, between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, to vote at one of the following locations:
- Loudoun County Residents: Stone Bridge High School, 43100 Hay Road, Ashburn, VA
- Fairfax County Residents: Rachel Carson Middle School, 13618 McLearen Road, Herndon, VA
This is the post you have all been waiting for.
First, some background: John Andrews, for whatever asinine reason, decided to follow up his impressive direct mail blitz from yesterday - which I believe was probably sufficient to give him a huge boost going into Saturday's election - with a "letter" today bemoaning "dirty tricks" from the Patricia Phillips campaign.
Apparently she sent out a piece that referred to Andrews, whose profession is "developer," as a "developer."
I was not going to delve into this one because frankly I don't see the political angle in it. "You actually take undeveloped land and develop it for uses such as habitation and commerce - well god DAMN you man, how do you live with yourself??!" Who gives a crap if John Andrews is a developer. It's not like he's an abortionist or runs a telemarketing firm.
Patricia Phillips also pointed out his contributions to a Democrat years ago, and somewhere on the Internet (I assume) was the suggestion he was "endorsed by a pro-gay group." No citations are provided for the latter, unfortunately.
But apparently whatever Ms. Phillips did struck John Andrews as a "smear campaign" and "shameful act of desperation."
He goes on: "Your vote will also send a message to Ms. Phillips that you're tired of her dirty tricks and the extremist interest groups who are running her campaign."
My first reaction to this was, "dirty tricks?" Patricia is the mom-next-door. Her campaign, as far as I can see, is being run by her and the nice 20-year old kid who is her campaign manager. They are running a political campaign conducted at the emotional pitch height of a church-retreat kickball tournament. You can make some arguments against Patricia Phillips as the next Virginia Senator, but any complaint along the lines of ethics quickly places the accuser in the "protesteth too much" category.
That "extremist interest groups" note DID get my attention, though. One of my e-mails about lit drops and letters, sent to the local Help Save ... people, got forwarded by an apparent mole to the Andrews campaign. Could it be .... ?
Yes, it could. Read below the fold for an absolutely FANTASTIC expression of Weenie Republicanism, the Republican philosophy which killed every anti-illegal-immigration bill that came out of the Virginia House of Delegates this year, and which was on full display today as "Republicans" conspired with Democrats in D.C. to sell out the American people. This e-mail was sent out by a John Andrews supporter, and exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Republican party and might just indicate the death knell of the GOP.
More on the question of why John Andrews would take what seemed to be a significant advantage in momentum and whittle it down by signing on with the Republican weenie wing. This is particularly sad because John, I firmly believe, is not a weenie. He's a decent fellow and seems right on most of the issues - although not as good, in my book, as Patricia Phillips, that's how the democratic process goes: You get to support the person you most agree with. After that, you support the person you NEXT most agree with.
The Andrews campaign sent out numerous direct mail pieces this week, one of which featured photos of John with Virginia Senator Jeannemarie Devolites Davis and U.S. Senator John Warner.
Ms. Devolites Davis established herself as part of the "part of the problem" segment of the Virginia GOP by siding with the majority in a Virginia Senate committee, aka "den of thieves," who killed an important House bill that would have helped ameliorate the negative effects of illegal aliens in this state.
HB 2937 would have closed a loophole that allows taxpayer funds to be provided to illegal aliens through non-profit organizations. It is already state law that illegal aliens are not eligible to receive most government benefits. Presumably Ms. Devolites Davis believes, along with Democratic Senator Mark Herring, that Virginia is so rolling in tax dough that we have no legal residents who might need that assistance. Following the beneficent logic of Mr. Herring and Ms. Devolites Davis, maybe we should just divert our entire budget to foreign aid.
Senator Warner voted for last year's Senate bill S. 2611, the "treasonous weasels bill," which would have dramatically increased immigration from south of the border and required the U.S. to consult with the Mexican government before constructing any type of border security. (Look at section 117). More here.
Oddly, John's newspaper ads state he is the "only" candidate in the 33rd district Senate race with a strong position on illegal immigration. Frankly, judging by the company he keeps and the substance of his statements, he has some work to do to back that up.
Below the fold is Patricia Phillips' latest statement on dealing with the illegal alien crisis in Northern Virginia.
Next installment: The most welcome hit piece ever, courtesy of a John Andrews supporter.
Oh, this is rich.
No, it is beyond rich, nearly in the realm of sinfully excessive. Bloggers should not be allowed hanging curveballs like the ones I received today. I have not lived that great a life so for the life of me I cannot discern why Providence would have deigned to reward me such a feast.
I had not planned to write much more about the Patricia Phillips - John Andrews battle for the Republican nomination for Virginia's 33rd district Senate seat. I think I covered the "debate" pretty even-handedly here. I've written a little about Patricia in the past and posted some photos.
I have been doing stuff like delivering flyers and writing letters for Patricia, as have some of the other locals I know. Patricia attended two HelpSaveLoudoun meetings and one HelpSaveHerndon meeting and a boatload of local political events, so she got a number of us on board with her.
John Andrews would not attend our events because he felt they would be stacked against him since I endorsed Patricia back in January. I tried to point out we do not hold debates in which my role as emcee would make a hair's bit of difference, but merely townhall meetings where the audience gets to ask the candidates any questions they want. Patricia did extremely well in these events. I think John would have done well also as he seems pretty quick on his feet.
Some of our members are Andrews supporters, and good for them. I encouraged them to support their chosen candidate.
Most of all, this appeared to be one of those cases where we had two good GOP candidates, and although I was committed to the one, I certainly would have supported whomever was the Republican choice to face Democrat Mark Herring in November. This was part of a letter to the editor I wrote last week, in fact.
The letter, which neither the Easterner nor Observer published, began:
I am voting for Patricia Phillips on May 19 because she has the most intelligent proposal for solving the illegal immigration problem in Loudoun County - although either of the Republican candidates for the 33rd district Senate seat would be an upgrade over incumbent Senator Mark Herring.
(The entire letter is below the fold)
Yesterday, the Andrews campaign had three separate direct mail pieces hit our boxes. Combined with the extensive newspaper advertising he had purchased, I had the feeling John had a significant advantage over the cash-poor Phillips campaign.
Today, I think "significant" may have been a stretch.
John Andrews has apparently thrown in with the weenie wing of the Republican party, and how symbolic it should occur on this infamous day of days.
More detail in the next post.
FIRST: Yes, as Blog Fu advises call your own two Senators right now and tell them rewarding illegal aliens with government benefits was a failure in 1986 and would be tenfold the disaster now. It was supposed to legalize at most 3 million aliens and brought 20 million more illegals. What will legalizing the 20 million bring?
The border is not secure; announcing a path to citizenship will bring millions more across as it did in the 1980s and 1990s.
SECOND: Send a word of support to each member of the "filibuster team" who, it appears, we are really going to need.
Sen. DeMint (R-SC)
While our national elected representatives are dickering over exactly how far to sell this country down the river with the amnesty bill under negotiation behind closed doors, local communities continue to push back.
The latest news from Hazelton, Pennsylvania suggests our national "leaders" had better consider their next steps very carefully.
Lou Barletta won a third term as mayor of Hazleton by thumping all comers in an historic election Tuesday.
Barletta hammered Republican challenger Dee Deakos 1,343 votes to 80 in what appears to be the biggest landslide in city history. By percentage, Barletta got 94.4 percent of the vote, while Deakos got 5.6 percent.
The shocker was Barletta's winning the Democratic nomination through his write-in campaign. He beat Mike Marsicano by a near 2-1 margin, 1,211 votes to 699, according to unofficial results. Again by percentage, Barletta got 63.4 percent of the vote to Marsicano's 36.6 percent...
The result - a write-in candidate in a sizable municipality winning a nomination in the opposite party - may be precedent setting...
"A national audience was paying attention to this race," Barletta said. "Combine this, with Farmer's Branch, Texas, when an IIRA copycat was approved on referendum ... and that should send a message to Congress."
Go here to support Hazelton's fight to control illegal immigration in the city. They are the front line in a war that affects all Americans.
Go here to contact Congress and tell your representatives to kill the illegal alien amnesty bill.
Go here for model IIRA legislation you can bring to your own local elected officials.
I never thought I would live to see the day when Larry Flynt is the class act in the crowd. Flynn is a social uber liberal, a smut peddler, a member of the Democrat party and about as partisan as they have come. I do not like him, one bit. I recall him threatening to 'out' Senators who voted to convict Clinton during his trial. Yet here we are today, and Flynt is the voice from the left that actually sounds reasonable:
I hated everything he stood for, but after meeting him in person, years after the trial, Jerry Falwell and I became good friends.
A statement that while recalling the differences still gave the recently deceased the due dignity. Which is in sharp contrast to the following ...
he was such an unctuous, smug, obnoxious blowhard that it's really difficult not to celebrate his death. I'm trying, but it's .... so .... HARD
or the following two ...
No loss. It came 20 years too late.
First class *ssh*le..now worm food...the world finally makes sense.or elsewhere at the DU the following movie . Go see it for yourself.
This, alas, could be trouble, but my previously very private wife has now launched herself into the blogosphere with her own web log. I do not know if this is a reaction to the hellstorm I have stirred up as a bona fide local troublemaker but by the "vows" I am compelled to support it.
Such is life, as the French among us say.
I assume she won't spill any inside information about my continuing political black ops but will only talk about her girly writer stuff there.
UPDATE: Uh, yeah, upon further review my wife's blog IS probably a few notches higher than this one in terms of the "intellectual" factor. So we're obviously dealing with different audiences.
The debate is going on right now. Tancredo looks great - "We are the last, best hope of Western civilization." - Duncan Hunter is getting no chance to talk.
Initial observation: This event is so far superior to the one conducted by the idiots at MSNBC last week that I think all Americans should come to the conclusion that MSNBC does not deserve to exist. Fox News is no great shakes, but by comparison MSNBC is cow dung.
We are getting substantive responses to important questions, and truly learning about the candidates.
I submit from this point forward all Americans should feel the same way about MSNBC as they feel about soft porn when channel surfing. Clicking in probably earns you extra time in Hell or Purgatory or whatever.
UPDATE: The geniuses at Fox News set up a wiz-bang text message vote for the debate winner and, lo and behold, Ron Paul is on top.
This would be an instance where whoever the hell is in charge should have KILLED this stupid project real quick like. It's a veritable vote for the worst project transposed to the debate. How clueless not to see this happening. Bad management.
UPDATE II: One of America's best hopes, Tom Tancredo: "If I do well in the Iowa straw poll ... in the top five ... I get catapulted up."
OK, he should not have been involved with a 13-year-old girl, but after he got her pregnant, he was trying to do the right thing and take responsibility for his actions. So he went to jail.
Meanwhile, if you opt to kill the baby, Planned Parenthood will not report you, and you can continue with the statutory rape.
Such is the "freedom" that liberalism promises.
You'll have to forgive me for being late on this post, but it was too good to not put up.
Michael Moore went to Cuba to push for communist health care.
Fred Thompson took issue.
Michael Moore challenged Thompson to debate.
Not to burst Mr. Moore's rotund bubble, but I read in a comment thread somewhere about an exception for Cuban cigars purchased legally in another country.
He meant a lot of things to a lot of people, but Jerry Falwell made his mark on just about every American.
Perhaps he should have spent more time thinking about loving his fellow man, but I respect his devotion to social conservatism, the Republican Party, and the gospel of Jesus Christ nonetheless.
ADDITION: Those crazy protest people feel Dr. Falwell was too soft on gays apparently. T/H: Daily Whackjob
Further evidence of the utter uselessness of the mainstream media - in which I would include Fox News although they pose as "alternative" and MSNBC although nobody ever watches them - is highlighted by La Shawn Barber's post on the Newsom-Christian torture-murders earlier this year:
Even if the stripper's allegations had been true, why was the Duke case burning up the airwaves while the Christian-Newsom case barely emits a spark?
What's up with the lack of blanket media coverage? I'm not talking about a story here or there with case updates. The media should be swarming around this story.
I found it via NewsBusters which has more on the story.
We should be close to the point where "hate crime" can be consigned to the Dustbin of Meaningless Terms.
Duncan Hunter fans: Tomorrow night is another chance to the The Man on television, I believe hosted by Fox. His campaign people remind us that whenever there is a debate there should be Debate Watching Parties throughout the land.
Congressman Hunter said tomorrow's debate will have a slightly better opportunity for the candidates to speak, with each of the ten having a 90-second statement somewhere in the program. That's three times better than MSNBC gave them. Add to that the fact that the people at MSNBC are three times stupider than regular people, and I think we can say Tuesday's debate should be a vast improvement.
If you are not apprised of the free speech meltdown taking place at Tufts, click here for the whole story.
America's next president, Duncan Hunter, was in Tysons Corner tonight, where he spoke on the three key themes of his presidential campaign: National defense, securing the U.S. border, and fixing America's trade mess to ensure the "arsenal of democracy."
Youthful presidential candidate Duncan Hunter (left) takes a moment to
chat with an elderly Virginia man
The specific topics in tonight's speech (which you can listen to below the fold) were completing our missile defense program, building the border fence which has already been authorized by legislative action, and undoing the bad trade deals which have led to massive offshoring of manufacturing production and unfair advantages for other countries such as China.
Congressman Hunter's clear, specific policy proposals are a refreshing contrast to the mishmash of ideas voiced by most of his opponents. Listening to him talk, one gets the impression this is a leader and statesman rather than a politician.
This is a guy we can get behind, folks. Give a listen.
This entire "controversy" over Mitt Romney's religion is yet another example of big media myopia. Does anyone still actually believe it matters one whit which faith our president (or any other public official, for that matter) supposedly subscribes to?
I submit that integrity, intelligence and world view are the sort of qualities that matter in a president. "Religion" is about as relevant as whether he or she is a Yankees or Red Sox fan.
The reason is: It is nothing more than a self-reported credential, an item on the resume below "Education" and above "Personal Interests."
It would have been better to have a Zoroastrian or even an atheist with an ounce of integrity over either of these bozos.
There are plenty of relevant questions to ask a candidate, such as what exactly he would propose to do about radical Islam or our nation's borders. Mitt Romney's religion should be the least of our concerns.
The latest victim: Matthew Watson, 20, of Ellicott City, Md.
It appears an illegal alien named Never Leopoldo Navarro-Montoya got wasted, got in his truck and smashed into the back of a Jeep Mr. Watson was riding in. Mr. Watson was killed; Mr. Navarro-Montoya was found several hours later lying on the side of the road.
Mr. Navarro-Montoya was driving without a license and "undocumented" according to the Baltimore Sun, and is the second such case in the Maryland suburbs in the past six months:
In November, Eduardo Raul Morales-Soriano, a Laurel landscaper from Mexico, was charged with vehicular homicide and drunken driving in a Thanksgiving night crash at Routes 175 and 108 that killed a Columbia Marine home on leave and his date from Montgomery County.
Actually, Mr. Navarro-Montoya was "documented," but his documents happened to be forged or stolen:
Police said Mr. Navarro-Montoya produced a permanent resident card and a Social Security card bearing his name. He told a Prince George's County police officer that the documents were fake and purchased in Texas. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that Mr. Navarro-Montoya was an illegal alien from Mexico, according to the charging documents.
Eventually, the U.S. must institute a biometric ID card which will be required of every worker in order to be employed. The logical place to start would be to replace the Social Security card since it is integrally tied to employment. The only question is when this will happen.
Addressing the illegal alien problem as a public safety issue (background info here), U.S. Representative Thelma Drake (R-VA) introduced the Empowering Our Local Communities Act. Here is the press release:
Legislation increases funding for federal-state-local partnerships to identify and remove illegal aliens in U.S. judicial system
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Thelma Drake (R-Va.) today introduced legislation strengthening our nation's immigration laws by providing local communities with additional resources to identify and remove illegal aliens. The Empowering Our Local Communities Act authorizes an increase of $35 million over FY 2007 levels for an existing program that encourages partnerships between the federal government and state and local law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, it makes it a criminal offense to be in the United States illegally and toughens national DUI laws for those unlawfully present in the United States.
"Recently our community received a grim reminder of the effects that our nation's broken immigration policy can have on society," said Rep. Drake. "We've seen how lethal the results can be when that failed policy intersects with the epidemic of drunk driving. Local agencies are being overwhelmed to the point that illegal aliens can become habitual offenders before their status is ever discovered."
"Solving our nation's growing immigration crisis is going to require a commitment from every level of government. This legislation emphasizes the need for working partnerships aimed at preventing offenders from falling through the gaps."
Expanding the 287(g) Program
After all the requests for citings of hard numbers on crime levels in Britain since the gun ban, you'd think it'd be as easy as typing in "Britain handgun statistics" at your local neighborhood Google.com. Geez. It wasn't that hard, Jack. Chapter 5 is a good one.
The report also seems to make a particular point of indicating that perceived increases in crime could very well be attributed to changes in crime reporting, whatever that's supposed to mean. . .
Barack Hussein Obama Monday bashed American automakers for failing to make fuel-efficient cars: "Here in Detroit, three giants of American industry are hemorrhaging jobs and profits as foreign competitors answer the rising global demand for fuel-efficient cars."
So his solution, naturally involving government intervention, is to "[encourage] domestic automakers to make fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles by giving them health-care assistance for retirees."
One would think that, with "the rising global demand for fuel-efficient cars," profits would be enough to encourage auto-makers to produce fuel-efficient cars. Automakers make cars based on which models they think will make them the most profit. They certainly have a better handle on this information than politicians do, even magical politicians. Retiree health care is overhead, Mr. Obama. It does not change with different models.
Still, health care is an issue for our automakers. Japanese automakers do not pay for their employees' and retirees' health care, the government does. So to make our automakers competitive, Mr. Obama recommends giving ours assistance with their health care costs. (What does that have to do with fuel-efficient cars? Nothing.)
Now of course the Japanese government doesn't really pay for the workers' health care -- the taxpayers do. The taxpayers pay for everyone's health care in Japan. So the money goes in a big circle, and the workers, by paying taxes, pay for their own health care. The net effect is to lower their real income. Now we get to the real heart of the problem, which is that our autoworkers demanded too much in their union-negotiated deals. They had a good run of it, getting paid far more than other unskilled workers. The party is over, and they are now putting their employers out of business.
The Hot Air guys just did a serious, three-part interview with Stacy McCain and the good folks at the local paper of record. Enjoy.
The theme of the 2007 Loudoun County Sheriff's race can be distilled down to the two I's: Illegals and Integrity.
Over the next four weeks you are going to hear a lot more on both of these, and if tonight was any indication, the number one issue to be played out in the press and at the Loudoun County Republican Convention next month will be illegal immigration.
Loudoun Sheriff Steve Simpson and challenger Greg Ahlemann faced off tonight at Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Purcelville. This was a substantive debate between two articulate and sincere men seeking the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff.
Full audio of the debate is available below the fold.
This was a singular event in Loudoun politics, if you ask me. Two men whose job description as Sheriff would not hinge on political debating skills put on a marvelous public discussion. There was lots of back-and-forth right from the beginning, opportunities to respond to one another on the fly. This was NOT a series of canned responses.
Take some time to listen and you will find it well worth the time - highly educational about important issues and revealing about the candidates themselves.
Suprisingly, this debate was more in-depth and interactive than last week's meeting between state Senate candidates Patricia Phillips and John Andrews - also hosted by the PHC Republicans.
Unlike the prospective Senators, the Sheriff candidates did NOT require all questions to be pre-screened by the campaigns - throwing out all those deemed too controversial or difficult - and did not forbid recording, "videography" or "flash photography."
So I got a full recording which everyone can now listen to, and I can assure the citizens of Loudoun their next Sheriff can withstand flash bulbs. (And I say "next Sheriff" because Democratic candidate Mike George made a statement to the press so dumb last week that he should be ruled out of contention right now. Listen to the audio for that.)
Maybe it is that the PHC kids are learning from experience - or at least UNlearning the dopey restrictions implemented for the Senate debate. In any case, the PHC debate management team will provide a fantastic resource for local political races going forward.
(And lest there be any question, BOTH of the PHC debates were far superior to - I mean light years above - the bogus Republican presidential "debate" put on by the infants at MSNBC.)
From tonight's discussion, we can assume Loudoun County delegates to the Republican Convention will have a fairly clear-cut choice between an incumbent Sheriff arguing his department is on the right track, and a challenger saying residents demand a change in direction.
I encourage all Loudoun County delegates to listen to the debate and draw your own conclusions.
Interesting report from a Marine over at Not Larry Sabato.
Not what you'd expect on that blog - and followed by an interesting discussion among his (mostly liberal) readers. The gist is, "If it is good news from Iraq, it cannot be true." Well worth checking out.
This just came in - first official announcement from the Withnell campaign:
Brian J. Withnell filed Sunday to run as a Republican for the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Loudoun County. Withnell, 50, would bring more than 10 years of information technology experience to the office.
Withnell spent a year as director of information technology at Wireless Matrix and 10 years at Cable and Wireless USA where he managed multi-million-record databases. He also supervised electronics testing at Westinghouse Electric. He currently teaches math at Park View High School.
He has been a resident of Leesburg for 16 years.
There is going to be a debate between the candidates for Loudoun County Sheriff - Sheriff Steve Simpson and challenger Greg Ahlemann - tonight in the Town Hall of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville at 7:30 pm.
This will likely be the only opportunity to see the candidates engage in any sort of back-and-forth discussion.
While I'm away, the best I'll be able to do is link stuff, but here's Fred's speech at the Lincoln Club in California. I've watched the first video, and he's looking very presidential at this point. Linked courtesy of MC.
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR BOLLING RECOGNIZES NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
May 07, 2007
A Unifying Force
Bolling In Harrisonburg To Preach Value Of Prayer
By Kelly Jasper
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray ... "
- 2 Chronicles 7:14
HARRISONBURG - With a humble petition for blessing, in a quiet plea for strength and a desperate cry for healing, the community congregated in prayer.
"We need to pray," Bill Bolling said Thursday night, speaking not as Virginia 's lieutenant governor, but as "a fellow believer" to the crowd that gathered inside Asbury United Methodist Church in Harrisonburg .
Bolling delivered a hopeful message amid more than an hour of prayer as he led a group of about 100 to pray for the nation, its leaders, churches, families and media. People around the United States did the same as they assembled for the 56th National Day of Prayer.
Bolling rushed to Harrisonburg Thursday evening to speak at the gathering, only hours after he met with Queen Elizabeth II in Richmond . Members of his family - wife Jean Ann and youngest son Kevin, a James Madison University student - joined him at the church.
In a recent article at NRO Senator Thompson writes ...
It's time for people who believe that they have a stake in Western civilization and its traditions to get a little backbone -- even if it offends somebody.
A sentence that is in many ways is the essence of the "un-PC". Though the article's stated purpose is the defence of a robust telling of history, Senator Thompson is taking aim at the bankrupcy of the multi-cultural mindset and the havoc it wreaks.
The sentence points out how the West has apologized for its existence and feels guilt for its success. This is cultural angst is a poison. I am so sick of reading how we are the cause of the world's woes, from global warming to poverty, war to obesity. We are committing suicide by inches.
Thompson in this article is sounding the call to arms in the arena of ideas, and culture. He quotes Orwell ...
"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."and continues in his article with ...
Even in America, our children are often taught a watered down, inoffensive and culturally sensitive version of events ranging from the Crusades to the battle at the Alamo.
which strikes at the heart of the multi-culti thesis. The end result of the multi-culti thesis is that the only civilization not worth celebrating is our own. American exceptionalism cannot be sustained if we having nothing to celebrate. Furthermore, the West has brought the world representative government, the scientific method and the ideal of women's equality. Is all that not worth defending? Is it not worth offending someone? Is it not worth fighting for, dying for, and even killing for?
The deadline has passed, the delegate and candidate forms filed, checks turned in and warm wishes conveyed most sincerely among contestants. It's all over but the yelling, which will continue for the next 34 days.
It appears about 2420 delegate forms have been filed and, allowing for some invalid voters and no-shows, this should yield the largest political convention ever held in Loudoun County, according to a local veteran in such matters.
Which just goes to show you got to keep an eye on those cabals, because the one that has hijacked the Loudoun County Republican Committee just seems intent on growing larger and larger and bringing in more and more people. It's insidious, I tell you. The one thing I hate the most about a cabal is when it gets so frickin' huge.
Here's the thing. You've got the various ways of holding a nomination process and the LCRC, of all the organizations on the face of the Earth, always manages to screw it up. The four tried and true methods are, in ascending order of inclusiveness:
-Regular Primary; and
-Five Guys Standing On The Sidewalk Speaking In Hushed Tones.
Because the Loudoun County Democratic Party decides on its candidates using the "Five Guys/Sidewalk" process, we can assume it is the most inclusive.
Which leaves the Republicans looking completely like dopes once again, with a nominating process consisting of nothing more than 2400 Loudoun citizens who very suspiciously filed papers to serve as delegates.
New Republican candidates announced: Ben Weber to challenge Independent Jim Burton for Blue Ridge District Supervisor. George Hidy to challenge Eugene Delgaudio for Sterling Supervisor. And a fellow with the last name of "Winthell" I believe to challenge Gary Clemens for Clerk of the Circuit Court.
-Mr. Winthell is an upper-level math teacher in the Loudoun County Public Schools and apparently an IT wiz of some sort.
-It looked like George Hidy turned in some 50 delegate forms. I think Mr. Delgaudio turned in more than 4 times that many, which leads me to surmise Mr. Hidy's plan will be to try and pick off Delgaudio delegates and grab some gathered in this district by the constitutional officers.
UPDATE: Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio notes
Suzanne Volpe has announced the preliminary cabal at 2,850 Delegates today. And Friends of Delgaudio number 300 in the Sterling District. Thank you for the work done by many people in Sterling.
'"I can't speak for white people, but that's crazy," said Adoma Adjei-Brenyah, a Columbia University student with college-educated parents from Ghana.'
The entire article by CARA ANNA, Associated Press Writer is reprinted below. It was published 4/30/07:
By melding blue-collar Democrats' horror at what is happening to their lives and livelihoods as a result of illegal immigration with grass roots Republicans' frustration with the country club wing of their party, Lou Dobbs could in one fell stroke accomplish a paradigm-shifting, party-switching, stickin'-it-to-the-man revolution in American politics with much greater chance of succeeding than the third-party option. Lots of erstwhile Republicans are thinking about the latter, while lots of Democrats must be wishing their party had a modicum of sincere concern for working class Americans.
The Lou Dobbs wing of the Democratic party? An actual loyal opposition? A "Help Save The U.S." caucus which would give the enforcement-first Republicans a rubric to run under and a bipartisan rallying point?
Oh, brother: Build it and they will come. People would take second mortgages on their homes to help Lou pull this off. Any Republicans who hitched their wagons to this star would sail into office.
"Lou Dobbs - Help Save The US:" Talk about a stick in the eye to Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Rove, Bush, McCain et. al. Reinvent the Democratic party and give distraught Republicans an alternative.
That was a game show, not a "debate".
Just about everything Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo got a chance to say was wonderful. Hunter was good on military issues and border security; Tancredo good on abortion and the illegal immigration crisis.
But limiting all speaking opportunities to half a minute is a guaranteed formula for a heapin' helpin' o' pablum. Eliminating Chris Matthews from the program and giving each candidate at least a two-minute speaking opportunity would have been a major improvement.
A thirty-second time limit to answers may not tell us much about the candidates, but it certainly demonstrates which will produce the best raw content for the evening news.
I think the best any candidate could have accomplished tonight would have been a headline-dominating statement or moment.
Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore affirming explicitly he is pro-choice could have been such a moment, but no one in America besides me even remembers Mr. Gilmore participated, so that opportunity has been lost.
Let's hope whoever came up with this silly format has no input on future candidate forums.
UPDATE: Transcript is up at IHT. Here is the Jim Gilmore segment referenced above:
MR. MATTHEWS: We're looking for nuance here. Governor Gilmore, you have said in the past that you believe in the first eight to 12 weeks of pregnancy, that a woman should have the right to have an abortion. Do you still stick with that exception?
MR. GILMORE: I do, Chris. My views on this, my beliefs on this are a matter of conviction.
UPDATE II: The answer that someone should have given to the idiotic question "What do you dislike about America?"
We are honored to have Greg Ahlemann, candidate for Loudoun County Sheriff, take time to visit NOVA TownHall Blog with the following response to yesterday's decision by Sheriff Steve Simpson to pursue ICE training for Loudoun deputies.
I am personally pleased that the Sheriff has accepted this program. After taking a beating in the press for weeks over his stance, he has responded with what our County has needed for some time.
However, the Sheriff's explanation for changing his mind was that now ICE will "pay for the tranportation of inmates" so he does not have to pay 2 deputies overtime, is very weak. The Joseph Passarelli tragedy alone makes this excuse unacceptable. I won't bore you with quote after quote the Sheriff has made over the last several months as to why he would not take on ICE training, but his most recent point is that "zoning" is the way to deal with it.
While I consider myself to be a fiscal conservative, I have no problem with explaining to the Board of Supervisors or the citizens of Loudoun County that when I'm elected Sheriff I have exceeded my budget for the jail because we arrested too many illegal immigrants who are guilty of violent crimes in Loudoun County.
Is this not the job of the Sheriff's office. Protect the innocent and enforce the law. I have yet to meet anyone who has told me they would prefer to save $10 a year on their property taxes by allowing violent offenders to go free because the Sheriff did not want to pay for the overtime. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of this program will only be as successful as the sincerity of the Sheriff enforcing it.
Thanks to Mr. Ahlemann for visiting and his effort all year to keep the ICE training issue a priority. This is a program HelpSaveLoudoun has been pushing for since last summer and we appreciate everyone willing to help bring it to fruition in Loudoun County.
NOVA TownHall extends an open invitation to Sheriff Simpson to respond and will likewise print any message from him here on the front page.
(For those who don't know, Mark is a candidate for the 27th senate district seat being vacated by the vampiric Russ Potts.)
Well, now, VCAP--an endorser of Jill Holtzman Vogel--is reporting that Mr. Tate is being criminally investigated for his campaign finance problems.
Let's hope this issue is speedily resolved as I had hoped that this primary would exemplify the civility and professionalism that a two-conservative primary could embody. Primary day can't get here fast enough in my opinion.
UPDATE: NLS has a potential scoop that this contest might be over sooner than later.
...At a minumum.
For a leader on the national level to comment about "this war is lost"...A firing squad or a hangman's noose is more appropriate.
I'm talking about the capital crime of Treason.
THERE ARE TROOPS IN THE COMBAT ZONE PUTTING THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE EVERY DAY TO WIN THIS WAR.
On a side note, forgive my absence as of lately. I've been busy getting ready for another trip to play in the sandbox. I'll post as much as I can until I go, then I'll see what I can do.
Writing interesting yet accurate and thorough accounts of current events in a remarkably timely manner is an enviable skill to have and one which I unfortunately do not have, and I expect to prove this herewith.
John Andrews and Patricia Phillips, candidates for the Republican nomination to challenge for Virginia's 33rd District Senate seat, met tonight at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, for the first of one debate. The fire house primary will take place on Saturday, May 19, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm, at Stone Bridge High School.
Both candidates had strong points and weak ones, but both did a very good job in a format that was somewhat stilted...or should I say "stultifying." (Hey, we writers of the first draft of history don't need no steenkin' dictionaries, ok?)
Overall, I'd say Andrews won on delivery and Phillips on content, although neither was a slouch in either department.
John is a very good public speaker, conscious of volume and cadence, and able to present his ideas under clear headings: "There are two points I need to make about that - one .... two ...." He was easy to follow along with - although not all the answers seemed to actually go anywhere.
Patricia has the more compelling thematic message: Government action and accountability should be as close to the citizens as possible - local control. Local governments should crack down on employers profiting off cheap, illegal laborers. I think this resonates broadly with conservatives, but it could have been more consistently and neatly emphasized from beginning to end.
Neither came off as overly partisan. This would serve either well in the general election.
John had a moment of great magnanimity on the question of "how pro-life are you?" He acknowledged Patricia's long career as a volunteer for pro-life causes and said he could never hope to match it, though he is 100% pro life.
Patricia had a similar conciliatory moment in praising Governor Kaine's executive order demanding people with severe psychological maladies be reported to the FBI database used to verify eligibility for gun purchases.
John was particularly strong on the questions of how schools are being made safer throughout Virginia (more cameras) and how to avoid future problems like the escalating cost of the Dulles Greenway (don't outsource roads).
Patricia nailed the local solution to illegal immigration (crack down on employers) and taxes (do not raise them because there's already being enough taken by Richmond).
John slightly flubbed the response to the Kaine transportation proposal (I don't necessarily agree with it but it's a great start); and Patricia did not provide a real answer on how to balance the need for new housing against the maladies brought on by development.
John showed better familiarity with the status of illegal immigration-related bills in the recent legislative session; Patricia likely won hearts and minds by detailing the negative impact on the American worker.
In sum, I think John talked great but could work on the policy and thematic specifics, and Patricia has the ideas but could work on making her delivery more staightforward and easier to follow.
More fully snarky comments, including a forbidden picture of the event, below the fold.
Announcing "the presentation's probably going to be a little different than I had planned" Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson today informed the board of supervisors that new conditions and reimbursements allowed by the federal Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have convinced him that his department should seek a memorandum of understanding for Loudoun County deputies to receive immigration enforcement training under the federal 287g program.
Simpson said he had looked into the ICE training last year after it was brought to the board's attention. In his early meetings with the ICE officials "they had said a number of different things the program could and could not do" for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Department, which led Simpson to believe the 287g program would not augment the department's current working relationship with ICE, would be expensive and would, in fact, make it more difficult to get the feds to pick up detainees.
Simpson said several days ago he was discussing the program with one of the ICE agents assigned to the Loudoun County gang unit, and the agent said "you should give it another look" because of a change in personnel and policies at the bureau. After talking to a new ICE contact, Simpson learned the bureau would now guarantee all detainees would be picked up within 72 hours and would reimburse local jurisdictions for expenses incurred to transport prisoners. (Holding more federal detainees often requires the department to incur overtime expenses transporting local detainees to other jurisdictions.)
Therefore, Simpson told the board, if ICE will guarantee "in writing" what he was told on the phone, he would quickly seek to enter into an agreement to have gang intelligence unit and Adult Detention Center deputies receive the ICE training.
Over the past two weeks and up until just a few days ago, Simpson and Greg Ahlemann, challenger for the Republican nomination for Sheriff, have engaged in a debate in the local press (also here) over whether the 287g program is needed in the department.
Ahlemann has maintained that as a matter of community safety the program is a "no brainer," and said contacting ICE would be his first order of business his first day in office if elected.
Simpson had maintained the ICE training would not be an improvement.
(More from Simpson and Ahlemann here.)
Ahlemann questioned Simpson's explanation that new policies at ICE are responsible for the change, saying "the federal government is not going to change their ICE agreement for Loudoun County." Noting that Simpson's testimony today echoed statements Ahlemann has made in the press recently, Ahlemann characterized the Sheriff's change of heart as a "flip flop" for political purposes in response to the growing publicity of the issue in their campaign and that this week is a politically significant time period. (Last week, the Loudoun County Republican Committee reissued its Call for the June 9 convention, re-opening a one-week window - this week - for the candidates to sign up new delegates.)
Simpson responded that "if it was political I would have done this months ago...I met with [ICE} and the initial responses I got from them were not where we needed to go."
But Virginia Virtucon has an interview up with 28th Senate District candidate John Van Hoy. One of my main duties here at NoVA TownHall is to keep our readers up to date on Virginia politics, and I will work to continue to fill that role as best during my quasi-leave of absence.
I'm on a brief leave of absence where blogging will be limited. I should be back at full capacity in a couple weeks, but in the meantime, don't expect a lot out of me.
For those who want to try to figure out 'who is singleton,' I will be at the RPV Gala on June 2nd, the good Lord willing, to see my man Fred Thompson.