Thursday, January 24, 2008

More Whining From Ward Armstrong

After whining about his new committee assignments, House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong seems to have developed quite an enjoyment of his newest GA activity, whining.

Today, in a sophomoric display, Ward and his fellow Democrats refused to vote on a Bill put forward by Delegate Adam Ebbin (D-Arlington), former Virginia Department of Commerce and Labor Chief Deputy Commissioner under Governor Mark Warner, which would have allowed state and local government employees to collectively bargain with a union. Once approved, the bill would have marked a reversal of Virginia’s long-standing status as a Right to Work state.

Every House Republican voted against this anti-business measure, citing it's detrimental effect on Virginia’s economy and likely to endanger the Commonwealth’s status as America’s best state for business. In contrast, House Democrats, urged on by the insistence of Minority Leader Armstrong, remained in their seats refusing to cast a vote on this critical piece of legislation, even though sponsored by a delegate from within their ranks.
"What we learned today is that Virginia is just five votes away from abandoning its status as a Right to Work state," declared House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem). "The Democrats expressed an unwillingness to have their votes recorded because they don’t want the public to know the extent of their fealty to organized labor. The Democrat leadership’s refusal to allow their members to vote violated a basic responsibility of elected public service, and did so to allow them to continue their practice of saying one thing to business and another to labor."

"HB 852 pointed a dagger at one of the fundamental tenets that has enabled Virginia to become the best place in America for business to do business," remarked House Majority Whip M. Kirkland "Kirk" Cox (R-Colonial Heights). "There was a clear choice. A vote 'for' this bill was a vote for giving Virginia’s pubic employees over to union boss control and a vote 'against' was a vote to protect and preserve an essential component to Virginia’s business-friendly environment. I am pleased that all House Republicans voted against this assault on public employees and the taxpayers of Virginia and am puzzled why Democrat members chose once again to turn away from tough decisions."

"Today’s vote was another disturbing trend from Virginia Democrats' efforts to erode the positive business climate that Republicans have fought hard to create and continue," noted Delegate Terry G. Kilgore (R-Scott), Chairman of the House Commerce and Labor Committee. "House Republicans believe Virginia’s status as a Right to Work state is crucial to retaining the vitality of our Commonwealth’s economy. Failure to actively vote against this dangerous bill demonstrates that House Democrats do not support this pro-business legislation."
What I find interesting about Armstrong's whining is how convenient it seems to be. He whines one day that bills may be killed in subcommittee with no recorded vote, yet when a Bill is placed on the floor that he and his fellow Democrats are ashamed to publicly vote on, he whines even more.

(Click the image to enlarge)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Roscoe Reynolds' Dilemma

Today (Monday,1/21/07) the Senate's Courts of Justice Committee will get to decide whether or not SB 109 goes to the floor for a final vote. What is SB 109? It is Governor Kaine's preferred version of the controversial "Gunshow Loophole Ban".

Our very own Senator, Roscoe Reynolds, will play a pivotal role in Monday's vote. The Courts of Justice Committee is made up of 14 members; Marsh(Chairman), Saslaw, Quayle, Norment, Howell, Lucas, Edwards, Reynolds, Puller, Cuccinelli, Obenshain, McDougle, Deeds, and Hurt. By party that works out to 8 Democrats, 6 Republicans.

Of the 8 Democrats, 6 may safely vote the Governor's preference, 2 are faced with a dilemma; Reynolds, who represents Hillsville, home of one of the largest gun shows on the east coast, and Deeds, an announced candidate for Governor.

Of the 6 Republicans, all 6 will safely vote to kill the bill on Monday Wednesday.

Now, back to Reynolds. He'll either satisfy Governor Kaine and the rest of his party, or he'll represent his constituents. Right now he's not too concerned with the NRA, he knows he'll have 4 years to raise his score back up.

UPDATE: The Committee vote on this bill is now scheduled for Wednesday, 1/23/07

My best guess is that he'll try to do both. He'll vote yes on Monday Wednesday to move it out of the committee, then vote against it when it becomes safe to do so out on the floor. A vote by Reynolds to kill the bill would be party suicide, since Deeds can't save him. A tie vote also kills the bill. No, he is pretty much forced to vote in favor of this bill on Monday Wednesday.

Later on, when the bill hits the floor for a full vote, his fortunes improve tremendously. At that time it will be safe for him to vote against it if it looks likely to either pass or fail by any reasonable margin, he'll only be in a tight spot if it ends up being very close. I also would guess that his fellow Democrats will give him cover to vote against it, knowing the impact a YES vote would have on him in Hillsville and Carroll County.

Watch this vote on Monday Wednesday, then watch it again when it hits the floor of the Senate. This is certain to be one of those famous "Havin' it Both Ways" Roscoe Reynolds votes.

Let the show begin.

While pondering the options available to Senator Reynolds I failed to consider one other option, admittedly a long-shot. That option being simply to not vote in committee. If he fails to vote, the bill is certain to pass and he takes the pressure off Senator Deeds. Not a bad option if you happen to be the Governor's go-to guy for tough bills like this one and the Driver Remedial fees like he was last year.

It may be terribly cynical of me, but there is a very good chance Roscoe will not be in Richmond on Wednesday. Dr. Frederick U. “Teg” Baublitz, a distinguished practitioner of Optometry for 54 years in Martinsville, has died. His graveside service will be held on Wednesday, January 23, 2007 at Oakwood Cemetery in Martinsville.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

TreeHuggers ARGH!! (Guest Post)

Some of you may be aware of a little discussion forum that badrose and I maintain at If not I would like to invite anyone to drop in on the conversation anytime.

One of our regular visitors is a local expatriate now living in the DC area who goes by the username, Likudnic. A solid conservative, Likudnic is usually good for a thought provoking post. Yesterday was no exception.

I liked Likudnic's recent commentary enough that I felt compelled to publish it here, with permission of course.

TreeHuggers ARGH!!
I was standing in line at the bank today to get a loan so I could run by the store and get a gallon of milk and a dozen eggs, fuming about the tree hugging, eco-terrorists and milquetoast politicians that let them run this country's energy policies.

Energy prices rose by 18.4 percent last year, causing, among other things milk to jump up 11%, and eggs 29%. Rail cars are lined up with corn (at $4+ a bushel) so that we can make more ethanol. Of course, the oil hating environmentalists don't take into account that all the increased fertilizer and pesticides have to run-off somewhere. Like our lakes and rivers. Core inflation, excluding energy and food, is up by only 0.2%.

OPEC can charge $100 or a million dollars for a gallon of oil because the U.S. has shown that it's willing to pay anything to keep from having to actually use the incredible amount of natural resources we are sitting on.

Now, Congress' new CAFE standards which ups fuel mileage from 25mpg to 35mpg, is costing automakers some $85bil, which in turn will add an extra few thousand onto the price of a new car. Hello! You liberal Idiots! Has it occurred to you that better fuel efficiency will also mean people will be driving more!? You're forgetting your global warming extremism, here.

The icing on the cake is when I read today that Syria-Sympathizer Pelosi has replaced the food in the Capitol cafeteria, vending machines, etc. to gourmet selections as part of here "greening" of the Capitol. Of course, two small wedges of brie and cheddar, six grapes, two saltines and one strawberry will take you for $5.00. But suck it up. It's good for you because the Dominatrix says so.

So, to sum up my rant, in the short year that the liberals have been in control of the House, the price of gas, food and cars has jumped. The housing market is down. AND toxins in our rivers and lakes has increased.
Thank you Likudnic, for filling some space here while I'm under the weather.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

All Quiet On The Western Front

I haven't written much lately. Sometimes writing is difficult, other times it's as simple as sitting at a keyboard and sweating blood until each word is right. I read a phrase something like that somewhere once, it stuck. And it's true. I don't remember who said it, though.

I'm still working on the re-write of my Jenny Wiley story. I have many political commentaries in draft mode. The blood pours, but all the words are not right yet.

A few days ago I promised to finish the payday lending series, it's coming along nicely and may be finished later today.

Oh. And I'm still working on that commencement speech that no school will ever invite me to give. But if they do, it'll be ready.

I appreciate my loyal readers and suggest you go visit someone to whom writing seems to come easy. My friend Billy Jack has a couple of new articles that will make you think.

Welcome Chris

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Allow me to introduce the newest member of the Old Dominion Blog Alliance, Spank That Donkey.

I've been privileged to know Chris for some time now and I'm very pleased to welcome him into the ranks of Virginia's premier conservative blogs.