Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Roscoe, "I voted against it, before I voted for it..." Reynolds

In 1997 and earlier electric utilities such as AEP were tightly regulated by the SCC. In that year, with expected forced Federal deregulation looming, Virginia's General Assembly began studying the process of deregulating the electric utility industry.

In 1999 after two years of study, and a couple of bills that were designed to pave the way for Federally forced deregulation, the General Assembly passed SB1269, the Electric Industry Restructuring Act. Designed to eventually permit all Virginia electricity customers to purchase generation service from the provider of their choice.

Senator Roscoe Reynolds, along with only Senators Marye, Puckett, and Trumbo, voted in favor of retaining the pre-1997 system of regulation.

Fast forward to 2007. Amid warnings from experts that Virginia's electric utility regulation structure was in danger of following along the same path recently experienced by California, Virginia's General Assembly passed SB 1416. This action reversed the effects of the 1999 bill and, with minor differences, took Virginia's electric utility regulation structure back to the pre-1997 system that Senator Reynolds unsuccessfully tried to retain just 8 years ago.

Once again Senator Reynolds, this time with only one other Senator, voted against changing Virginia's electric utility regulation structure.

To recap; Senator Reynolds voted against deregulation before he voted in favor of it. Both times he was in a ridiculously small minority. Has he been in the Party of Kerry so long that he is beginning to think and sound like him?

Monday, May 21, 2007

2007, A Successful Year For Roscoe

I've been watching Roscoe on local television (such as it is) and reading his remarks in the Martinsville paper. I’ve also listened to a couple of recordings of Senator Reynolds’ campaign kickoff speeches.

It seems there are three items from the most recent General Assembly that Roscoe is most proud of.

  1. First, Roscoe is most proud of his centerpiece legislation that would have made the raising or keeping of certain strains of poultry a felony.
  2. Second, he and Ward worked together in an attempt to make Patrick County’s Covered Bridge Festival the “Official State Festival”.
  3. And third, Roscoe is extremely proud of his vote on the bill to bring SCC regulation back to the generation, distribution, and pricing of electrical energy.

What he doesn’t say on television or in the papers is that two of those three failed to pass, and the one that did, he and one other Senator voted against it.

The Virginia Division of Legislative Automated Systems operates a website that is a treasure trove of information on the legislative process. It’s a bit cumbersome to use until you get used to it, but I love it.

From that website you can find the status of any bill introduced during any legislative session since 1994.

I’ve been poking around on the LIS site for a while now and I can tell you that Roscoe has reason to be proud of his performance this past session. It’s about his most successful yet.

Just A Reminder...

Have you sent your RSVP yet? Mark your calendar now for

"An evening with Jeff Evans"

Jeff will be bringing his message for Virginia's 20th Senate District to this event hosted by;

Pat Quesinberry's Runway Cafe
On Tuesday, May 22 at 7:00pm at the Blue Ridge Airport, Spencer VA
Ms. Quesinberry will be providing Hors d'ouvres and refreshments.


Cost: $10 per person, payable at the door or by mail.
Please RSVP by calling
276-236-4715 or via email to; jeff@wjeffevans.com
Or you may
RSVP securely online using the link below

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Jeff Evans' Father-in-Law Dies at Age 76

I want to extend my condolences to Janet, Jeff, Aaron, Charity, and the rest of the family.

Campaigns can wait, family comes first.

Jack D. Harmon
Died Wednesday, May 16, 2007
May 17, 2007

Jack Dale Harmon, 76, of Martinsville died Wednesday, May 16, 2007, at the golden Living Center in Martinsville, where he resided.

He was born in Carroll County on March 3, 1931, to Clayton Gray Harmon and Ethel Ina Delp Harmon. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Lillie Harmon; and a brother, Hicks Rhudy Harmon.

He served in the Army during the Korean conflict and was a member of the VFW in Martinsville. He retired from Hardware Supply Co. and was of the Baptist faith.

Surviving are two daughters, Janet Carol Evans of Woodlawn and Deborah Jean Bailey of Hillsville; two sisters, Kay Sharon Compton of Ridgeway and Gladys Mae Amato of Madison; and five grandchildren.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at McKee-Stone Funeral Services chapel with Jeff Evans officiating. Burial will be in Mountain View Cemetery at Ridgeway.

The family will receive friends on Friday, two hours before the service at McKee-Stone.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Less Than 24 Hours Later...

Hey guys, at least let him reach room temperature before you start trashing him. He does have a family, and Lynchburg is right next door to Roanoke.
The Rev. Jerry Falwell met with his maker Tuesday. We hope he was embraced by a loving, forgiving God. Falwell did enough judging for any one man here on Earth during his 73 years.

...He then parlayed his popularity into trying to run the nation. He founded the Moral Majority, which claims among its credits the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the Republican takeover of Congress and the religious right's takeover of the Republican Party.

It was Falwell's interjection of religion into government and his insistence that those who did not subscribe to his fundamentalist beliefs were against God and country that were so offensive.
I suppose the final sentence in this editorial is supposed to negate all the judgment-ing you guys just got through doing?
Falwell was as fallible as any man, capable of doing both good and harm. It is not for us to stand in judgment of which, if either, prevailed.
I can only think of two explanations for today's awful (even by the low standards normally set on Campbell Ave.) editorials.

Either Tommy Denton had the Falwell piece written years ago in preparation for the Reverend's eventual demise, or Dan called in sick today and left that idiot Trejbal in charge.

The Roanoke Times Editor Steps On His Own...

Don't you just hate it when you try so hard to smear someone with whom you disagree politically that you just end up stepping on your own tender appendages?
Suppose you are an attorney general planning to run for governor in a few years. You're going to keep your name in the press as much as possible and jump on whatever overhyped cause grabs the public's attention. Case in point: Eight state attorneys general this week targeted the Web site MySpace.com for allegedly hoarding a list of known sex offenders.

The attorneys general, including Virginia's Bob McDonnell, believe MySpace has assembled a list of registered sex offenders who use the social networking site. In a letter Monday, the officials demanded that the company turn over information about those offenders and explain what it is doing to warn users and remove the profiles.

[Editorial Link] and [Link to the letter,PDF]
Dan and his crew on Campbell Avenue have done just that with todays editorial in the Roanoke Times. So anxious were they to smear Attorney General Bob McDonnell that they didn't follow through with basic journalistic procedure. If they had bothered to look they would have found that Bob McDonnell did not sign the letter to MySpace. In fact, the writer of the editorial did not even contact the Attorney General's office for a response before publishing the article.

The Times goes on to ridicule McDonnell's actual efforts at stopping online predators. Virginia was the first state to pass legislation to identify sexual predators who are accessing the various social networking sites, and subsequently block their access, with passage of the Attorney General's legislation which requires registration of all online identities for convicted sexual offenders.

We all know that this law will not prevent Chester the Molester from creating an unregistered email address, but it is a valuable tool to have available. Like "Project Exile", this new legislation simply adds another violation and another layer of punishment to a case. It's odd that an editorial board that firmly believes that another law is all it takes to reduce gun violence would ridicule a common sense Attorney General such as we have in Virginia.

As usual, Jerry is watching over the Times' shoulder.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Falwell "Gravely Serious"

Ironically, also from Google Alerts;

AP) -- A Liberty University executive says the Reverend Jerry Falwell was found unconscious in his office today and taken to the hospital. Ron Godwin is the executive vice president of the school. He told The News & Advance of Lynchburg that Falwell was found unconscious after missing an appointment this morning.
Falwell arrived at Lynchburg General Hospital around noon, the newspaper reported on its Web site.
When contacted by The Associated Press, Godwin said he couldn't talk at that time.

Then just moments later;

(AP) -- A Liberty University executive says the Reverend Jerry Falwell is in "gravely serious" condition after being found unconscious in his office today. Ron Godwin, executive vice president of the school, says Falwell was found unconscious after missing an appointment this morning. Falwell arrived at Lynchburg General Hospital around noon.

And now this UPDATE:

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) - A Liberty University executive says the Rev. Jerry Falwell has died.

Falwell was hospitalized in "gravely serious" condition after being found unconscious Tuesday in his office at Liberty University, a school executive said earlier.

Ron Godwin, the university's executive vice president, said Falwell, 73, was found unresponsive around 10:45 a.m. and taken to Lynchburg General Hospital. Godwin said he was not sure what caused the collapse, but he said Falwell "has a history of heart challenges."

"I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast," Godwin said. "He went to his office, I went to mine, and they found him unresponsive."

Falwell, a television evangelist who founded the Moral Majority, became the face of the religious right in the 1980s. He later founded the conservative Liberty University and serves as its president.

Falwell survived two serious health scares in early 2005. He was hospitalized for two weeks with what was described as a viral infection, then was hospitalized again a few weeks later after going into respiratory arrest. Later that year, doctors found a 70 percent blockage in an artery, which they opened with stents.

Liberty University's commencement is scheduled for Saturday, with former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich as the featured speaker.
(photo from WDBJ channel 7 news)

Google Alerts Are A Great Tool

Google offers some great tools to all users of the internet, but especially to bloggers. One of my favorites is "Google Alert". There you can enter a simple phrase or name and from that time onward any time your search phrase appears anywhere on the internet you get a little email alerting you to the fact. I have several of these "Google Alerts" set up and have come to rely on them quite a bit.

Today, one of my Google Alerts directed me to a post by Riley at Virginia Virtucon. It seems Riley has discovered that badrose and I have a new blogger in the neighborhood. Vanity Fair is apparently an employee of one of the local governments in my area and she is as determined to bring Roscoe Reynolds home as I am. She has several great posts up, including one that compares Reynolds' campaign contributions by source. Would you believe that Roscoe has never received more than 18% of his financial support from his constituents? I knew he was supported primarily by outside special interests, but Ms. Fair puts it on the page with impact. She even links to a post by somebody named "Mr. Foley", what's up with that?

Welcome to the Virginia Blog Community Vanity. May you blog long and prosper, just don't ever call me "Mr. Foley" again. Alton will do just fine, thank you. If that still doesn't feel right, I'm sure badrose will share with you some of the names she uses for me (most of them mumbled just out of hearing range).

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Roscoe Reynolds Fully Funded School Budget Plan, And Why It Can't Work

In my previous article I expressed my opinion that Senator Reynolds' call for Virginia to "...fully fund education in grades kindergarten through 12" was a cynical means of pleasing the audience, without having to expend any brain power to do so. In this piece I will expound on the reasons that the Roscoe Reynolds Fully Funded School Budget Plan cannot work.

As I said before I looked at the details of 2006 education funding in all 136 school districts in Virginia. As one would assume, they vary wildly across the state. There does not seem to be any uniform method of determining "expenditure per pupil" in Virginia, nor does there seem to be any uniform method to determine the state's contribution to a school district on a "per pupil" basis. Even the Federal funds vary wildly when looked at on a "per pupil" basis.

The numbers are all over the place. Of course, anyone would expect local school districts to differ quite a bit on a per pupil basis when determining their budget. A school board puts together a budget, just like any other local agency, which is then approved or adjusted by the Board of Supervisors or City Council. Some counties can afford more per student than others, for example Arlington County spends $15,104 per pupil from local revenues and Buchanan County finds it can afford only $2,633 dollars of local revenue to spend on each student. That's logical and to be expected. Arlington County is a much more expensive place to live than Hurley, so the cost of operating Wakefield High School will be much higher than those associated with the operation of Hurley High School. Teachers (and support staff, from front office secretaries to janitors and night watchmen) at Wakefield will (rightly) demand a much higher salary than a comparably skilled and educated teacher or support personnel at Hurley. (We do live in a real world, in spite of what politicians sometimes believe.) It now comes down to old fashioned negotiation between the school board and the Board of Supervisors to hammer out the local portion of the school district's budget.

But apparently there is more to this process than cost of living. Obviously there is, because there are other factors to be considered. Is there a building program going on in the county at present? Are schools being consolidated? Are others being closed, or renovated? It becomes quite complicated, even when comparing two school districts for parity, much less 136 separate school districts, each with different current needs and desires.

And you have the anomalies. Again, just looking at local revenue contributions to a school district's budget, the numbers vary wildly. Grayson County's School Board , for example found that in 2006 it could get by fine by increasing the school budget by only 5% or so over state and Federal funding projections. Next door, Carroll County felt it needed 23% more than the state and Federal contributions. Was the Carroll County school board too extravagant, or was Grayson County's too frugal? Was the Carroll County Board of Supervisors too indulgent in approving the request, or was the Grayson County Board too miserly? Is the truth somewhere in the middle?

Now we get to the part of the problem that makes Reynolds' statement so unworkable in the real world. In spite of my previous statement, there must be a formula that determines state and Federal contributions on a per student basis. I'm sure it involves poverty levels and other such factors in a given locality, but I don't know the details. School Boards do know those details though, and can use projected non-local revenues to calculate their budget for the year. Once they determine about what those non-local revenues will be, they add in their favorite pet projects, expected employment increases or decreases, desired employee raises, and other such costs and go to their Board of Supervisors (or City Council) with a proposed budget.

As my research has shown, some school boards go to the Board of Supervisors with a budget that is less than projected non-local revenue. But very few do. Most, as expected, go to negotiation with the hope of getting more. Sometimes much, much more. In order for the Roscoe Reynolds Fully Funded School Budget Plan to work, taxes would have to be drastically increased to cover those budget shortfalls that occur in most school board budgets. But the real kicker is that local control of those school board budgets would have to be removed. No longer would a local Board of Supervisors be able to arbitraily approve a budget over state funding. The Roscoe Reynolds Fully Funded School Budget Plan would require a new level of state bureaucracy. School boards would have to justify any budget item not covered by the Roscoe Reynolds Fully Funded School Budget Plan tax increase to a state agency which could then approve the additional funds in order to maintain "full funding of education in grades kindergarten through 12".

Roscoe Reynolds, Out Of The Gate With A Tax Increase Proposal

I've been listening to a couple of recordings of Roscoe Reynolds' campaign opening speeches and he indicates that his primary concerns if he is returned to the Senate will include education funding. He states that education funding from Virginia and the Federal Government are way too low, stating on several occasions that he wants "...the state to fully fund education in grades kindergarten through 12". (see similar statement here.)

After looking into this question of "fully funded education" for just a short while it became obvious that a blanket statement like Roscoe's is purely a "feel good" throw-away line. One that, on the surface, can't be argued against by anyone with a modicum of "compassion". It's true, it takes a cold-hearted bastard to dismiss out of hand such a statement about education funding, but I didn't dismiss it out of hand. I did some research. On the other hand, it takes a cynical politician to use a statement like that without stating either how he would suggest it be accomplished or even how to define it.

The only conclusion one can come to is that it would require a massive tax increase and would, by necessity, remove local oversight of school district budgets, replacing that oversight with some central state agency.

Just how does one define "fully funded"? Let me throw out a definition that I think we could all agree on; Fully funded would mean that a school district's yearly budget would be completely fulfilled trough revenues from other than local tax revenues. How's that sound? Is that a reasonable definition of "fully funded".

I've been looking into the relationship between state, Federal, and local revenues in the most recent data sets available for the 8 school districts in the 20th Senate District. On average each school district receives 83.31% of its budget from non-local sources, leaving the local school board and the Board of Supervisors or City Council to determine how to make up the shortfall. In that respect the 20th District's schools are underfunded.

Look at that last statement again, though. You'll notice I said "on the average". It's true, when I add all of the non-local revenues, and divide by the sum of all local revenues in the 8 school districts the non-local dollars only comprise 83.31% of 20th district expenditures.

But does that mean Roscoe is correct when he says he wants "the state to fully fund education in grades kindergarten through 12"? No. Emphatically no. Not when you look at individual school districts and see how disparate they are, even here in the 20th district. There is an even greater disparity across the state.

For example, the Grayson County and Martinsville City school district budgets show the greatest disparity in the 20th Senate District, with Martinsville receiving less than 75% of expenditures from non-local sources, while Grayson County received almost 95% of expenditures from non-local sources. Across the state there are even greater disparities, from the extreme on one end where Fairfax County only received 36.29% of expenditures from non-local sources, to Williamsburg-James City which had a windfall of 824.68%. Yes, you read that correctly, it's not a typo. Williamsburg-James City collected 824.68% (that would be $81,879,354.87, eighty-one million, eight hundred seventy nine thousand, three hundred fifty four dollars, and some change.) more from non-local sources than budgeted.

So, let's suppose Roscoe gets his wish and legislation is proposed that would increase state taxes enough to "fully fund education in grades kindergarten through 12", who decides which school district has to cut their budget and which must increase theirs? There is simply no way to implement such a pie in the sky proposal across the board with such disparate school district budgets.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Campaign Officially Begins Today

Today at 1:00pm the campaign for the 20th Senate District officially begins. At 1:00pm in Stuart Jeff Evans will be confirmed as the Republican candidate by Donald Lawson, the Chairman of the 20th Senate District Republican Committee.

I've already published several articles about Jeff and his campaign;
Come out to Stuart today and meet Jeff. He'll be happy to spend time with you and discuss the direction you think our 6 county area should be headed. Pay no attention to the white haired guy with the big mustache, though.

Also be sure to visit the campaign website, www.wjeffevans.com

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Letter From A George Mason University Senior

What is going on at GMU?

Howdy all,

I'm a GMU student for the past 4 years, and there's definitely a slow
progress towards the campus being Muslim. First, they installed foot
washing basins in ALL of the bathrooms of the central Student building.
The "ecumenical" prayer areas were slowly taken over by Muslims, and
any students not conforming to Muslim beliefs (i.e., no shoes, no women)
were removed from the PUBLIC area. Then, the campus went through the
effort of getting Halal food served... and are repeating the effort again
at my expense, considering the last vendor couldn't be bothered to be
ISLAMIC enough to be "Kosher..." or meet the health code requirements.

There was a brief dustup recently when "TOLERANT" idiots did their best
to NOT TOLERATE any dissenting views, interrupting a speaker invited by
the College Republicans to speak on campus. Repercussions for their
actions? None in the least!

NOW, the ISLAMOFASCISTS want THEIR "public" prayer area expanded to take
up most of the third floor (my favorite haunt!), taking away room from
the public STUDY area.

Is this a school? Or is it an Islamic Outreach?

With some of the idiots working there, maybe it IS better as the latter,
but sheesh... Enough's enough!

Any of y'all have any thoughts on this? It's really getting beyond
ridiculous at this point, and I'm SICK of having to PUT UP WITH IT.

I've got the background and linkage over at my site if you're interested.
Thanks to Charles for bringing this to my attention!


Brian Ledbetter
snapped shot
Senior, George Mason University

Thanks to JAB

Monday, May 07, 2007

The New Look

As I said in an earlier post, I've been getting complaints about a slow loading site for some time now. My template was getting to be about a year old, and it had grown quite bloated with all the little additions I had made during that time. I decided I needed to trim it down and speed it up, so I made a few tweaks to do just that. While doing that I blew it up.

So I decided to completely redo the whole thing. I had a few required traits for a template that must be met, beginning with the need to be "fluid". That means that regardless of the screen resolution you have set in your computer you will see my blog as a full screen display. In case you've ever wondered why most blogs, or most websites for that matter, show up as a narrow band on the left or center of your screen, it's because they are designed to be viewed at 800 by 600 resolution. But only 10% or less of you actually use that low resolution. I have never been one to reduce myself to the lowest common denominator, but I want everyone to be able to read this page without having to do a horizontal scroll. That's very easy if you limit your website to a single column, but I wanted three.

I couldn't find any templates available for Blogger that are both fluid and in a three column format. So, I started with a freely available Wordpress three column template and made it fluid. I then stripped out all the Wordpress gunk, and went to work in Wordpad and Firefox to create a new template. My old template was based entirely on tables, similar to Excel or any other spreadsheet program. I eliminated all tables in this new template, save two. And I'm working on a way to get rid of one of those. This new template is almost entirely CSS driven, yet it works well with the new Blogger.

I have a few issues I'm still not completely satisfied with, I don't like the way links are displayed for example, but I'll be working on those in the days to come. When I'm finished I'll offer a generic, easily customized version of this template to anyone who wants it.

Best Laugh Of The Day

You can't make this stuff up.

I'm working on it, but I'll have more on this later.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Speed Counts

Many of my blog friends have complained for some time now that this site opens very slow. That's appropriate I suppose, since I too am a very slow starter. I've taken those complaints to heart, though, and moved some things around. I've moved as many JavaScripts as possible to the end of the page and eliminated several altogether.The result should be a much faster load time.

I hope these changes work for you.

Deal with it being slow again for a while. I completely blew my template up while working on it. I'm going to take a break and watch the race.

I'm through monkeying with it now.

Friday, May 04, 2007

An Experiment In The Works

We've heard a lot lately from the left about gun control, mostly hot air about how banning weapons will drastically reduce violence. An exception would be the liberal loon (Hi Dan!) at the Roanoke Times. The Times editorialists don't seem to be so concerned with whether a gun ban would be effective or not, just that that would be the intent.

There is a real world experiment beginning right now that will clear this whole thing up. A total gun ban has been decreed by the new Mayor of Mogadishu (yes, THAT Mogadishu). Now all we have to do is sit back watch the violence dissipate like the smoke from the barrel of a Kalashnikov.

More Reagan Derby, Afterthoughts

Immediately after the debate I listed those second tier candidates I thought did the most for their campaign. Duncan Hunter showed that he does have the skills necessary to hang with the big guys, Gov. Gilmore and Gov. Huckabee both did well, neither one was the embarrassment I feared they might be.

Now, let's talk about those "big guys";

By all accounts Rudy Giuliani was the front runner going into the event, I suspect that is no longer the case. I was quite surprised by Rudy's poor performance. He led off the first round, and from his stuttery, almost flailing response I half expected to see an "Admiral Stockdale" moment from him before the 90 minutes were up.

That was very odd because Giuliani often speaks off the cuff with no prepared remarks and does very well in that mode. Why he was so visibly nervous last night eludes me, unless he was having subconscious second thoughts that (horrors) he might actually win.

look for YouTube video clips of John McCain to be featured on Democratic blogs in the next few days. His wild arm gestures and finger pointing, while not rising to Howard Dean level, will not go missed by the hit and run Democratic blogs. I did like his "gates of hell" quote, though.

Of the big three Mitt Romney was the clear winner. His solid performance should move him to within inches of Giuliani and Fred Thompson, especially after Rudy's self inflicted wounds from last night begin to bleed on numerous commentaries in the coming days.

The "debate" format was strange, to put it mildly. It reminded me more of a game show with too many contestants. Matthews was harsh, abrasive, and clearly partisan. He could not have given more credence to the "liberal media" charge if he had specifically gone on stage with that intent. But all 10 candidates are to be commended for unflinchingly (well, Giuliani did flinch quite a bit) agreeing to a debate in what was known beforehand to be a hostile environment. No, the Reagan Library is not the environment I'm speaking of. I mean the land of Kieth Olberman and Chris Matthews, MSNBC. Contrast that with the way the Democrats peeled away like sparrows upon sighting a falcon from a debate scheduled on Fox.

Reagan Derby, Afterthoughts

As time allows today I'll offer my extended thoughts on the debate last evening.

First, I think everyone was either amused or annoyed by Chris Matthews' performance as moderator. Personally, I thought he was simply being the liberal loon that he is. Then, during my drive to Stuart this morning it suddenly became clear to me. My Martinsville and Henry County readers will know what I'm talking about, the rest of you will just have to take my word for it.

Chris Matthews is Charles Roarke with an education and a better wardrobe.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Reagan Derby

Tonight there will be 10 Republican candidates appearing on a stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Look for each to spend the evening trying to convince you that he, more so than the others, best represents the legacy of Ronald Reagan.

Tonight there will be little, if any, pandering to the general voting populace. Tonight they will be preaching to us, the choir. The Republican base. The Republican base that is disappointed with some, if not many, of George W. Bush's decisions during the past 6 years, so look for each to showcase his conservative credentials.

Chris Matthews, moderator.

Begins by acknowledging Nancy and Arnold. Then introduces the candidates. 90 minutes, what have I set myself up for? Refresh often.

The opening round;

Giuliani begins, seemed a little stuttery, unsure of himself maybe?

McCain, forcefully condemns Congressional Democrats.

Thompson, clear and concise plan laid out.

Hunter, the equal of Thompson.

Romney, somewhat rambling, but better than Giuliani.

Brownback, uninspiring. Sounding like something of a policy guy.

Huckabee, Good answer regarding Rumsfeld firing.

Gilmore, similar to Brownback.

Paul, gives a very sound answer to why he voted against war in Iraq.

Tancredo, I missed his opening round statement somehow.

Round two has Chris digging into policy questions. Let's watch and see who shakes out on top in this round.

Gilmore surprisingly good response to why Bin Laden must be captured.

"What do you dislike most about America Gov. Romney?" What kind of question is that?

Hunter is strong against Iran.

Paul is being the good libertarian.

Giuliani sidesteps Roe v Wade nimbly, as does Romney.

Romney handled the Catholic Communion issue well.

Wow. Matthews just accused Huckabee of changing courses regarding Romney's Mormonism. He did not do so.

Hunter strong on illegal immigration and border security.

Matthews is letting the format fall to pieces.

Gilmore has done much better than I expected (sorry Riley). What's with Matthews trying to lead everyone down this "centrist" path?

Huckabee answers well on "grading the President".

I haven't mentioned Tancredo much yet. He is very compelling with his illegal immigration answers.

On Ron Paul; Electing a Libertarian President is like hiring a vegetarian to manage your steakhouse. You have to like his ideals, but can he satisfy?

Huckabee just hit a home run by backing the Fair Tax. Wait until the next debate when they see thousands attending a Fair Tax rally across the street, more will join Huckabee that evening. I won't say I told you so.

This format really sucks. One or two answer a question, the rest are left out.

Gilmore the only real conservative? Good answer.

Where are some of these questions coming from, Daily Kos? Too many "gotcha" questions.

Gilmore again is coming across very well. Riley may yet be vindicated.

My final thoughts?

Go to the NASCAR race this weekend in Richmond. You will see 43 drivers that are the best in the world. Each of them were superstars at their home arena, potential winners each and every weekend. The ultimate outcome at Richmond will be that 42 of them will lose. But they are all winners. I saw very much the same thing this evening, 10 winners, any one of which could be our next President.

Unlike NASCAR there were no losers tonight, but no clear winner either.

The strongest of the bunch? Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, Jim Gilmore, in that order get my vote as tonights standouts, with Huckabee and Brownback earning honorable mention.

Comments remain open...

Comments Fixed

For some time now I've had a small problem with Internet Explorer and my Haloscan comments. It seems that users of Mr. Gates' browser would be directed to blogger comments instead of Haloscan. It's been completely transparent to most, since I just copy and paste the errant comments into Haloscan.

I didn't want to give up Haloscan since it is so good at blocking spam. In the almost two years I've been using it I can count on one hand the number of spam comments that have made it through.

Today I found time to dig into my Blogger code and search for the offending line that was causing the problem. I was successful. Actually it wasn't a complete line in the code, just one innocuous statement. Clip, it's gone, and Internet Explorer now works with my comments.

Now Ron, Leslie, Chris, and many others can comment to their hearts content, including this evening when I live blog the Reagan Derby.

Republican Debate This Evening

Matt Drudge calls it the "Reagan Derby". I don't see multiple Reagans in the lineup, Duncan Hunter maybe, but the rest are a long way off.

I'll be coming out of a dark hole this evening long enough to live blog the Republican debate. I will definitely have the IE vs Comment problem corrected by that time. Join the fun.

Laptops ready!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Andrew Clem = Chutzpah Squared

The most famous definition of "chutzpah" is, of course: chutzpah is when a man kills both his parents and begs the court for mercy because he's an orphan.

I think Andrew Clem has just topped that one. In his most recent post Mr. Clem claims that, "At last count, there were fifteen blogs signed up on Bloggers for Sayre, but most of their identities are either anonymous or dubious". But he doesn't tell you the whole story. Just over a month ago he clamored to join the group that he has now described as "dubious".

Of the 15 contributors to Bloggers 4 Sayre nine were members of the Old Dominion Blog Alliance at the time Mr. Clem requested membership. (Nine would be "most" in a group of 15, right, Clem?) Those nine are still members of the ODBA. Of the nine ODBA members, seven use the same name on their blog that they are known by in public life, or their legal name is featured somewhere on their front page. Of the 15, four are known by Clem through the SWAC area Republican Party. He knows their blog persona, whether their legal name is posted on the blog or not. In total 11 contributors at Bloggers4Sayer are known by name, if not on sight, to Mr. Clem. I can't say with certainty that he knows who F.A.C.T. Report, Rightside VA, Yankee Phillip, or (get this) Jim Hoeft is. But he most certainly is familiar with "most" of the bloggers4Sayer group.

Could this be simply sour grapes stemming from a non-favorable vote on his acceptance into the ODBA? It sure seems like it, since we were obviously not too "dubious" for his taste just a little more than a month ago.

Oh, I just noticed, I used the title Mr. Clem in the previous paragraph. I'm so sorry. As he so pointedly mentioned to Kilo in an e-mail dated 3-19-2007 "P.S. Actually, it is "Dr. Clem." (Of course, I've never seen any documentation of that "dubious" claim.)

Damn! Whether it's a liberal like Waldo or Lowell, or a self-proclaimed Conservative like Mr. Clem (I said I didn't see the documentation), I will not tolerate hypocrisy.