Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Gillespie Expected to Head Virginia GOP

The Washington Times reports:

Virginia Republicans say they expect Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, to be named the new head of the state party.


A New Jersey native who started his career on Capitol Hill as a Senate parking lot attendant, Mr. Gillespie has built a strong reputation as a Republican strategist.

In 1994, he was a top aide to then-Rep. Dick Armey, Texas Republican, and helped draft Republicans' "Contract with America," which many credit with winning Republicans control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years.

In 2000, Mr. Gillespie served as a senior communications adviser for the presidential campaign of then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush and as communications director for his 2001 inauguration.

Mr. Gillespie was a campaign strategist for Sen. Elizabeth Dole in 2002. Mrs. Dole, North Carolina Republican, won by the biggest margin of victory of any Senate candidate in the state in more than 25 years.

From July 2003 to January 2005, he served as chairman of the Republican National Committee. He was the first chairman in 80 years to oversee the re-election of a Republican president while maintaining majorities in both chambers of Congress.

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Remembering the American Civil War

The Washington Times has an interesting article reviewing how long it took the U.S. to get over the Civil War, even after it officially ended in 1865:

Although the Civil War was not fought -- at least initially -- to destroy slavery ... after the firing on Fort Sumter, the president invaded the South and after four years of horrendous and costly struggle (nearly 700,000 soldiers and civilians lost their lives) the South was conquered and after Lincoln's death, only five days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, the Era of Reconstruction began.


During Reconstruction there were many Southern "insurgents" who totally rejected the new social order (Gen. Robert E. Lee, along with many of his followers, not among them) that the war had brought about and consequently they formed al Qaeda-like terrorist groups known as the Ku Klux Klan and numerous other such organizations, all determined that the new racial reality would not be respected, much less sustained. Members of these insurgent groups permeated every level of state governments, economic and social organizations. They were "states" within their respective states and feared by nearly everyone. That fear translated into force, a force only a few were willing to resist.

Union troops were removed from the South after the 1876 presidential election. After that, blacks and their small number of sympathetic white supporters were the constant victims of unimaginable horrors (mass lynchings, church and home bombings, etc.) which most of the elected civic authorities pretended were not even occurring. can be argued that the American Civil War really did not effectively conclude until a century after the fighting had ended with the passage of the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Voting Rights Act (1965).

Although comparisons to Iraq more than minimize the cost of the Civil War, the full article is worth reading.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Democrat Vows to Kill Social Security Reform

The AP reports:

The incoming chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said Thursday he wants to hold hearings on looming insolvencies in the Medicare and Social Security programs but said President Bush's plan to [reform] Social Security is dead.

"Don't waste our time," said Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana. "It's off the table."

He said the rising cost of Medicare and other health costs is a priority for the committee, though he did not detail how the committee would approach those problems. He said he will hold "vigorous" hearings on the issue.

So he admits there is a problem, has no solution, but won't even consider the one solution that has ever been seriously suggested. That leaves only one choice - continuously higher taxes.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Alito Delays Made No Difference

Last November we noted that the confirmation hearings for now-Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito were delayed for a month so that Senators could go home to campaign.

Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona won reelection by almost 10 points and Mike DeWine of Ohio lost by 12.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Democrats Plan to Increase Energy Costs and Combat Energy Independence

The AP reports on Democrat plans to increase energy costs and reliance on foreign oil:

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an outline of priorities over the first 100 hours of the next Congress in January, promises to begin a move toward greater energy independence "by rolling back the multibillion dollar subsidies for Big Oil."


Topping the list for repeal are:

-Tax breaks for refinery expansion and for geological studies to help oil exploration.

-A measure passed two years ago primarily to promote domestic manufacturing. It allows oil companies to take a tax credit if they chose to drill in this country instead of going abroad.

Democrats say neither tax benefit should be needed for an industry reaping large profits at today's high crude oil prices.

Deregulation might be a better solution to the lack of refining capacity, but that seems to be complicated by state regulations as well.

Tax breaks are very useful for promoting domestic energy exploration and encouraging development of resources that might not otherwise be economical to access. Just because oil companies are able to make money doesn't mean they will (or should) put any of it into otherwise unprofitable or barely profitable ventures.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Queen to Visit Jamestown

The Washington Times reports:

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will visit Virginia in May to mark the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in America, the queen announced yesterday.

The trip to the site of the Jamestown Settlement will be the fourth state visit to the United States for the queen and her husband.

The queen briefly announced the planned visit during her annual speech to Parliament, when she was outlining the government's legislative program for the coming session.


President Bush, in Moscow yesterday, said he hoped the visit would celebrate strong relations between the U.S. and Britain.

"The United States and the United Kingdom enjoy an extraordinary friendship that is sustained by deep historical and cultural ties and a commitment to defend freedom around the world," Mr. Bush said. "We look forward to her majesty's state visit as an occasion to celebrate these enduring bonds."


Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine welcomed the news from London, where he is in the midst of a four-nation trade and tourism [junket].


The Jamestown Settlement began as a business venture by a group of merchants operating under a charter granted by King James I in 1606.


The queen's last visit to the United States was in May 1991 to meet with the first President Bush. The earlier state visits were in 1957 and 1976.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Lieberman Pledges Independence

The Boston Globe reports:

Sen. Joe Lieberman on Sunday repeated his pledge to caucus with Senate Democrats when the 110th Congress convenes in January, but refused to slam the door on possibly moving to the Republican side of the aisle.

Asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" if he might follow the example of Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont, who left the Republicans in 2001 and became an independent, ending Republican control of the U.S. Senate, Lieberman refused to discount the possibility.

"I'm not ruling it out but I hope I don't get to that point," he said. "And I must say -- and with all respect to the Republicans who supported me in Connecticut -- nobody ever said, 'We're doing this because we want you to switch over. We want you to do what you think is right and good for our state and country,' and I appreciate that."

...Lieberman was elected to a fourth term last Tuesday as an independent, and said Sunday his political affiliation will be as an "Independent Democrat."

The Democrats won control of the Senate with 51 seats. Lieberman and newly elected Bernie Sanders of Vermont are the Senate's only Independents.

A switch to the Republicans would bring the Senate to a 50-50 division, giving Republican Vice President Dick Cheney opportunities to break tie votes.

Senator Lieberman would find himself more welcomed by Republicans than Democrats. The Connecticut primary is proof of that.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Steele Could Lead RNC?

WBOC reports:

Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele says he would be interested in chairing the Republican National Committee, if the job offer comes his way.

Steele spoke on C-SPAN'S "Washington Journal" show on Sunday.

The Republican says he doesn't know who will be the new chair, but it's something he is considering if the opportunity presents itself.

Steele says he hasn't had any conversations with the White House yet about the job. He says he'll see what happens over the next couple of weeks.

Hopefully there is more to this than a random interview question.

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Thursday, November 09, 2006

More on the Election

From AEI:
[The Virginia Senate race] may be one of the most hilariously ironic races in the country. National Democrats are slamming the incumbent Republican senator George Allen for his fondness for Confederate memorabilia. Yet their candidate Webb genuinely is what Allen merely pretends to be: His great-great-grandfather rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest's murderous cavalry; Webb, who has often spoken eloquently in praise of the southern soldiery, named his own son after Robert E. Lee. Talk about your red-state appeal!
It's a good article overall, concluding:
[Democrats] will find themselves again and again confronted by the hard reality that over the long run the only way to seem tough on defence is to be tough on defence.
As well as:
...America's friends and foes abroad will be startled to discover that [the election] was a sharp move toward the Democratic party--without any move at all to the political or ideological left.
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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Real Election Results

Rush Limbaugh had this to say about yesterdays elections: wasn't conservatism that lost. Conservatism won when it ran as a Democrat. It won in a number of places. Republicanism lost. RINO Republicans, country club blue-blood Republicans, this nonpartisan Republican identity, that's what went down in flames.
Democrats, in the process, lost all hope of having an identity.

Forbes adds:
[The Democrat leadership] will also have to contend with the influx of a large number of conservative Democrats, many of whom are pro-life, anti-tax and staunchly opposed to illegal immigrants. Recruited to win in red districts, they are likely to clash with the decided liberal party leadership.
Gridlock and a conservative majority might be the best thing that could happen to Congress.

And from Time:
...the vote increases the onus on Democrats to go beyond merely criticizing the President and show voters they have a constructive agenda of their own.
Good luck with that.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Webb of Deception

From the Washington Times:

In this age of political cynicism, it is unremarkable that a politician would change his position on an issue, or even take conflicting positions. But Jim Webb's transformation from the nominally conservative Republican who served as the Reagan administration's secretary of the Navy to a left-wing Democratic Senate candidate rivals St. Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. Divine intervention, of course, is one possibility. A more likely explanation, however, is that the public persona Mr. Webb presents is actually a fabrication, as carefully crafted as any character in the novels he has penned.

The shift is truly remarkable. He once refused to shake John Kerry's hand, and in a 2004 USA Today editorial wrote that his 1971 Senate testimony had "defamed a generation of honorable men." Now he trumpets Mr. Kerry's endorsement. He once called the Clinton Administration among "the most corrupt" in modern history in one of many attacks aimed at the former president. Now he has Bill Clinton host a fundraiser. Mr. Webb served in one of the most conservative administrations in American history. Today, he has embraced the entire agenda of the Democratic Party's far-left wing.

In fairness, Mr. Webb has remained extremely consistent on some issues. One example is his disdain for women in military service...

The evidence of that disdain is too lengthy to quote. Read it all here, including Webb's opposition to a memorial (a mere statue) to the 10,000 women who served in Vietnam.

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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Metro Puts Train Times Online

The Washington Post reports:

Tired of rushing to the Metro station only to see your train pulling away and the platform sign saying the next one is in 12 minutes? Good news.

Riders will now be able to find out when trains are arriving at stations before hoofing it to the platform. A new Metro technology provides real-time information on computers and Web-enabled wireless devices, such as BlackBerries and cellphones.

Read it all here.

It won't be of much use at rush hour(s) or if you're anywhere but just outside the station, but there could be situations when it helps. It would also be nice if they would just post the arrival times outside the fare gates, but that might provoke stampedes as well.

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Moran: Terrorists Can't Read

The Washington Post reports on efforts to secure federal buildings. La République populaire d'Alexandrie's own Jim Moran had this to say:
The terrorists don't know who's in what office building, and even if they knew, they couldn't locate them because of all those acronyms.
Ummm. Ok.

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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Webb: Reading My Writing is a "'Line That Should Never Be Crossed"

The Washington Post reports:

Virginia U.S. Senate candidate James Webb yesterday delivered his strongest criticism of incumbent Sen. George Allen of the fall campaign, vigorously defending himself against Allen's charges that he wrote sex-laced passages in his fiction novels.

He called on voters to reject what he called the "smear tactics" of Allen and his campaign, who released excerpts Thursday from Webb's novels to the Drudge Report Web site and said the writings were lurid and inappropriate for a man seeking to serve in the Senate.


"When George Allen and his campaign take some small excerpts from my novels and not only criticizes them but uses them to question my ethics, my profession, my character, that is a line that should never be crossed," Webb said at Edgar Allen Poe Middle School in Annandale.

Webb is really really whiny for a candidate who tries to portray himself as a tough guy. He sounds more like he belongs in middle school than politics. (And he hasn't explained the relationship between child molestation and combat yet either.)

Senator Allen explains it best:

Allen, speaking to reporters near Richmond yesterday after winning the endorsement of the National Rifle Association's political action committee, said Webb's career as an author of fictional works was part of his record.

"My record as a United States senator is an open book. My opponent has a record as well," Allen told reporters. "He, in his advertisements, points out that he's an author, that he's a writer of books. That's part of his record. These passages in his books are part of his open record. I'll let the people of Virginia be the judge as to whose record they are more comfortable with."

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

How Senatorial

An actual press release from the Webb campaign:
George Allen: You Have Not Earned the Right to Question Jim Webb’s Recollections of War – So Just Shut Up
Apparently that was in reference to those of us who question the use of explicit scenes of child molestation in Jimmy Webb's books.

It is disturbing that Webb can't seem to tell the difference between combat and child molestation (or even fruit molestation).

Then again, Webb's attitude wouldn't stand out alongside John Kerry.

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