Sunday, August 31, 2008

More Gustav Silliness. Dems Think God Will Kill For Them

And they seem to be reveling in the thought.






video

Cobalt6 Is Sick. I Mean Really Sick

Along with contributor Kestrel9000 and commenter Cliff Garstang.

No comment necessary. I hesitate to link, but here it is. [LINK]

I'm Baaack.....

After a long period of sporadic (at best) writing, I've renewed my commitment to these pages. This morning I awake to find I'm back inside the BNN top 20 influential Virginia blogs.

Now I'll pour myself a cup of Chock Full O' Nuts, that heavenly coffee, and bask. Yep, just bask.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A New, Temporary, Part-Time, Virginia Blogger

This guy, who has been seen almost daily for the past couple years stalking Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, will become a blogger next week.

Randy Marcus, the Lt. Governor's Chief of Staff, will be blogging live from the Republican National Convention for CBS6, WTVR.com in Richmond.

Welcome to the blog world Randy, perhaps you can even manage to continue after your return from St. Paul. I know most of Virginia's bloggers would welcome it.

Oh, and tell Tucker Martin to contact me. If he would like, he's welcome to blog here while he's in St. Paul. No sense in you having all the fun, now is there?

Sarah Palin, I Know How It Feels

A few years ago, here in Virginia we had a marriage amendment proposal on the ballot. For reasons having nothing to do with the issue of anyone's gayness, I opposed it. (Whether I was right or wrong was immaterial, it passed. And my life goes on, exactly as before.) I suddenly found myself to be the conservative poster child for every whacko leftist group in Virginia.

It seems that Governor Palin has also opposed a similar idea in Alaska. There, the proposal was to block the state from giving public employee benefits such as health insurance to same-sex couples. Her veto came at the advice of her Attorney General, who said the bill as written was contrary to Alaska's constitution.

Now that all that has been said, let's look at a website that has recently popped up. The name and URL of the site is http://www.sarahpalingayrights.com/, a name and URL that seems designed to inflame the Republican base. Never mind that I believe the Republican base to be beyond such simple minded platitudes, and not at all "anti-gay". Hey, I'm part of that base. I know too many people in that base. The Republican base does not hate gays.

The Republican base does not approve of that lifestyle. The Republican base does not want that lifestyle taught to their children as "normal", typical, or even "desirable". But they do not hate those who live that lifestyle, whether by choice or otherwise.

Back to the website. It's a nicely designed, clean interface, with the McCain star logo at the top. Must be the work of one of those extreme right-wing, anti-gay, agenda-driven hate groups, right?

Nope. let's look deeper and we begin to see the Joey Stanley style of repugnant campaign tactics.

The website in question, sarahpalingayrights.com, is hosted on a server at the IP address of 74.208.74.232 which itself resolves to; host 74.208.74.232
232.74.208.74.in-addr.arpa domain name pointer obamadefense.com

obamadefense.com? Yep, that's the domain name under which the sub-domain sarahpalingayrights.com is hosted.

Enter obamadefense.com into your browser and where does it take you? Click here to find out, obamadefense.com

So Joey Stanley is not atypical of Democrat(ick) dirty tricksters, is he?

H/T LGF

UPDATE:
Less than an hour ago, obamadefense.com redirected to http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/fightthesmearshome It now (10:02pm) redirects to this forum. Joey Stanley, please call home.

Whooo Hooo. As Funny As A Hurricane In New Orleans!

Democrats sure seem to have a displaced sense of humor. Or at least former Democratic National Chairmen do.

Don Fowler thinks a hurricane bearing down on New Orleans is a hoot.


H/T RedState

Quote Of The Day

From the comments at Spark It Up!

James Atticus Bowden;
This couldn't be any better. Hooah.

It's McCain-Palin-Gilmore and Barack Hussein Obama - Biden - Mark "I won't raise taxes then" and "now am afraid to debate Gilmore" Warner.

Win-Win-Win for Republican Conservatives.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My Final Lessons From Denver

After a week of hearing how a former "community organizer" with zero foreign policy experience should be considered ready to occupy the Commander in Chief's chair, I was almost ready to believe it.

Until.

Until today, when Obama spokesman Bill Burton said, "Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency." A heartbeat away is much better than no heartbeats away, huh? Remember what I said about experience the teacher?

I have learned in the past week that if I vote against Obama, I'm a racist. No question about it.

I learned all Summer from Hillary's campaign that if you can't vote for a woman, you're a sexist.

So, now I have to choose.

Do I prefer to be called a racist or a sexist? Tough choice, but I've been called a racist bigot before, and I know it's not true. Besides, if I have to choose which side to make angry with me, it sure as heck ain't gonna be the women.

A Few Things About mcCain's Choice Of Sarah Palin For VP

Governor Sarah Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has seen approval ratings of over 80 percent.

She has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources.

She leads a state that matters to every one of us -- Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent.

She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. And she put a stop to the bridge to nowhere that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.

In Alaska, she challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill.

As the head of Alaska's National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops.

Her experience in shaking up the status quo is exactly what is needed in Washington.

In choosing Governor Sarah Palin, John McCain put Washington on notice that he is serious about shaking up the status quo.

What we're seeing is a maverick who has shaken up Washington picking as his teammate a maverick governor who has shaken up her own state.

What it's going to take to change Washington is a team of Mavericks who have a record of accomplishment in shaking up the status quo.

H/T Mike Reynold (via email)

Badrose has this.. [LINK]
SWAC Girl this.. [LINK]
STD has this.. [LINK]
Leslie Carbone has noticed.. [LINK]

Can It Really Be Palin?

Oh, man, I hope so. Early news reports say it's Sarah Palin.

A great conservative, corruption busting, NRA member Governor. The first truly qualified female VP candidate ever. (Sorry Geraldine, but you never did quite cut it.)

More to come...

Things That Make Me Say, Hmmm....

Could this be because Pam went with Ward to Denver? (Actually, due to some silly, politically correct "quota system", Ward went with Pam.)

A Real Candidate For Change

Heh...









Wednesday, August 27, 2008

More Learning From The DNCC In Denver

I learned from Mark Warner that America during the Reagan administration was a time of great hope for those wishing to make a mark in the business world.

Mark Warner also taught me that the failed policies of Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter are not the model of America's future, even though the purpose of his speech was to promote Obama's visions of just such policies.

I learned that the Democratic National Convention, which so often turns out a future superstar for their party, will not do so this year. At least it will not be the former Governor of Virginia.

Hillary followed her game plan for 2012 perfectly. She is the consummate politician, having learned from last century's master. Did she really mean all that? I doubt it, but it was called for and she knew it.

If James Carville considered the opening evening to be a wasted opportunity, he must surely think even less of the second evening.

My education continues...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Warning To Virginia Bloggers

Do not, under any circumstances, link to the website of the Spotsylvania County Public Schools.

According to the official policy of the Spotsylvania County Public Schools, links to their websites are prohibited. The official policy, found in this pdf file, http://www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us/info/codeconduct/Code%20of%20Conduct%2007-08.pdf, clearly states;
Linking any Web page to the division website without the permission of the Office of Public Information is strictly prohibited. Linking any Web page to school websites without the permission of the school principal is strictly prohibited.(page 33) [LINK]
I'm sure that same policy would apply to the following sub-sites as well;
While the code of conduct, http://www.spotsylvania.k12.va.us/info/codeconduct/Code%20of%20Conduct%2007-08.pdf, does not specify what recourse, if any, the Spotsylvania County Public Schools will take against an offender, I'm sure you, as a responsible Virginia Blogger, will take this directive seriously.

H/T James Taranto

Yes Virginia, We Have A Plagiarist, cvillelaw

A few days ago, with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, I tweaked badrose a bit about a subject we each hold dear. Plagiarism is never to be tolerated. Ever.

Today, while looking through BNN, I read some words that seemed very familiar. Sure enough, those words were familiar. I'll simply present a table below, with content from Website "DC" on the left (appropriately), and Website "W" on the right.

Website "DC"Website "W"
PRWORA instituted Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which became effective July 1, 1997. Replacing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), which had been in effect since 1935, and supplanting the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program of 1988, TANF was heralded as a "reassertion of America's work ethic" by the US Chamber of Commerce, largely in response to the bill's workfare component. Some criticize the bill as a reinstitution of workhouses and believe the new system is ineffective in getting people out of poverty. Although PRWORA has expired, Congress has continued to fund the program until a new bill is enacted. PRWORA instituted Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) which became effective July 1, 1997. Replacing Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), which had been in effect since 1935, and supplanting the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program of 1988, TANF was heralded as a "reassertion of America's work ethic" by the US Chamber of Commerce, largely in response to the bill's workfare component. Some criticize the bill as a reinstitution of workhouses and believe the new system is ineffective in getting people out of poverty. Although PRWORA has expired, Congress has continued to fund the program until a new bill is enacted.
Social welfare to poor mothers had historically been funded by AFDC following its inclusion in the Social Security Act of 1935. As restrictions on the availability of cash support to poor families (especially single-parent, female-headed households) were reduced, AFDC caseloads increased dramatically from the 1930s to the late-1960s. Between 1936 and 1969, the number of families receiving welfare increased from 162,000 to 1,875,000. Social welfare to poor mothers had historically been funded by AFDC following its inclusion in the Social Security Act of 1935. As restrictions on the availability of cash support to poor families (especially single-parent, female-headed households) were reduced, AFDC caseloads increased dramatically from the 1930s to the late-1960s. Between 1936 and 1969, the number of families receiving welfare increased from 162,000 to 1,875,000.[2]

With many more people applying for welfare, and a larger percentage of those applying being accepted, AFDC caseloads swelled between the 1950s and 1960s. Primarily in response to concerns about the expansion of the welfare apparatus from (primarily) Republican politicians, federal funding for AFDC began to lag behind inflation. Between 1970 and 1994, a typical state's AFDC benefits for a family of three fell 47% in inflation-adjusted dollars
With many more people applying for welfare, and a larger percentage of those applying being accepted, AFDC caseloads swelled between the 1950s and 1960s.[3]New Right
politicians, federal funding for AFDC began to lag behind inflation. Between 1970 and 1994, a typical state's AFDC benefits for a family of three fell 47% after adjusting for inflation.

There is much, much more. I figure three random paragraphs should make the case.

Come clean cvllelaw. With a username such as you've chosen, one would think you would post a credit for using someone else's work.

Website "W" even provides links to indicate the source(s) of its statements. Cvillelaw goes so far as to omit those. If Cvillelaw is a law student, this is inexcusable. If Cvillelaw is a practicing attorney, it's even worse.

Water Heaters, Economics, And Headaches

On the phone yesterday. I had been looking at the website of one of those "big box" home improvement stores, the orange one if you must know, for a solution to a hot water problem. The guy at the Danville store told me he had a 2.5 gallon "point of use" water heater for 199 bucks, and a 6 gallon unit from the same maker for 193 bucks.

I was curious, so I asked, "Why is the smaller unit priced higher than the larger one?" "Oh", he answered, "since there is a much smaller demand for the 2.5 gallon unit, and we sell so few of them, we have to charge more".

I'll wait a moment while that sinks in.

I tried to explain that his logic flew in the face of all known economics, supply and demand and all that, yet he still insisted he was right. OK. I'll accept it. It's still wrong. But as long as he wants to believe that, who am I to try to convince him otherwise.

I've always been one to continue to pound my head against the wall in order to stop the headaches, so I ventured down another path with him. "Why", I asked, "does this same unit cost 30 dollars less on the website?"

"That's the price before shipping charges", he replied.

"OK, but you do stock this item in your store, correct?"

"Yes sir, we do".

"Then can you explain the 30 dollar difference between the store price and my price if I ordered it from the website?"

"I did, sir, that's the price before shipping charges". (Gotta give him credit, he was very polite. Stupid. But very polite about it.)

OK. This tiny little water heater, delivered to the big box store as part of a full truckload of other stuff, warrants a 30 dollar shipping charge added to the customer who drives to the store to pick it up. The same 30 dollars I would pay if I had a big ol' truck bring one single unit to my front door.

Damn. My head hurts.

There's a meaning here. I don't know what it is, but there's certainly a lesson here somewhere.

Monday, August 25, 2008

What I Learned Watching The DNCC Opening Night

I've learned a lot!

Did you know that Amtrak will export machinist jobs out of the country if Obama is not elected? I didn't, until some "real person" from Indiana told us tonight.

I've learned that one of the most distinguished, honorable, truthful, and yes, even the most ardent supporter of family values in the Senate is Ted Kennedy.

I've learned that if you're a politician, and you lie about an extramarital affair, the DNC will distance itself from you. You obviously do not hold strong to their values.

Unless your name is Clinton.

Or Kennedy.

Or maybe it's just if your name is Edwards.

Or perhaps if your indiscretion came to light just a few weeks before the convention.

I've learned that even a state house minority leader can get bumped as a delegate, if the proper "boy, girl, boy, girl" ratio is somehow not met. What would have happened if Ward was married to a black guy? Would he have not even been allowed as a guest?

That Barry will close the book on old time politics as usual. Does Joe know about this?

I learned that John Kennedy did not say, "The moon is too far away, why even try?" I learned that his baby brother does say, "Drilling for oil will take too long, why even try?"

In less than an hour I've learned all these things. I should be a freakin' genius by the time they leave Denver.

It's Called Analysis, Not News.

Heh.

Analysis. It means; "The separation of an intellectual or material whole into its constituent parts for individual study". To analyze is to take facts as presented and come to some logical conclusion, based upon a study of those facts. [LINK]

News Reporting, on the other hand, is simply the regurgitation of those facts. No conclusions to be drawn by the reporter, just a report based upon a timeline of events.

The MoveOn crowd surely knows the difference. Surely.

In their recent rant against an AP employee though, they either do not know, or they know their rather dense followers do not know. [LINK]

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Joe Biden On DC Schools

"There's less than 1 percent of the population in Iowa that is African American," Mr. Biden said. "There is probably less than 4 or 5 percent that are minorities. What is in Washington? So look, it goes back to what you start off with, what you're dealing with."

I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are You Really A Plagiarist If You Plagiarise a Plagiarist?

I'll need to ask badrose, (my favorite broad, by the way), about that....
[LINK]

The Problem With Experience Being The Best teacher

Peggy Noonan is one hell of a broad. Great writer and extremely intelligent insight wrapped in blonde good looks.

(An interesting term, broad. originally reserved for Hollywood up-and-comers who were deemed beautiful enough for a wide head and shoulders publicity photo, such a photo itself called a "broad". I still prefer to think of the word in those terms, unfortunately most women do not know the word's history and are therefore offended by it. They shouldn't be. But I digress.)

Ms. Noonan's latest column in the Wall Street Journal succinctly sums up the current attitude of the American voter as she explains McCain's narrowing of the polling gap;
Why is it a real race now, with John McCain rising in the polls and Barack Obama falling? There are many answers, but here I think is an essential one: The American people have begun paying attention.

It's hard for our political class to remember that Mr. Obama has been famous in America only since the winter of '08. America met him barely six months ago! The political class first interviewed him, or read the interview, in 2003 or '04, when he was a rising star. They know him. Everyone else is still absorbing.

This is what they see:

An attractive, intelligent man, interesting, but—he's hard to categorize. Is he Gen. Obama? No, no military background. Brilliant Businessman Obama? No, he never worked in business. Famous Name Obama? No, it's a new name, an unusual one. Longtime Southern Governor Obama? No. He's a community organizer (what's that?), then a lawyer (boo), then a state legislator (so what, so's my cousin), then U.S. senator (less than four years!).

There is no pre-existing category for him.

Add to that the wear and tear of Jeremiah Wright, secret Muslim rumors, media darling and, this week, abortion.

It took a toll, which led to a readjustment. His uniqueness, once his great power, is now his great problem.

And over there is Mr. McCain, and—well, we know him. He's POW/senator/prickly, irritating John McCain.
Yes. We know McCain. Not just us political junkies, but the old lady who lives down the street knows him. The guy who works at the liquor store has at least heard of him, and liked most of what he's heard. He's been the media darling that Obama now finds is such a sweet place to be.

Ms. Noonan nailed the biggest problem most folks have with Obama's performance at Rick Warren's debate. Obama chose a feel good, yet totally dishonest answer to the most informative question of the evening. A question to which, as she says, anyone who's ever purchased a package of condoms knows the answer.
As to the question when human life begins, the answer to which is above Mr. Obama's pay grade, oh, let's go on a little tear. You know why they call it birth control? Because it's meant to stop a birth from happening nine months later. We know when life begins. Everyone who ever bought a pack of condoms knows when life begins.
Is a caterpillar any less alive than a butterfly?

She continues;
If you want to argue whether legal abortion is morally defensible, have at it and go to it, but Mr. Obama's answers here seemed to me strange and disturbing.
She wraps it all up, and makes my rather confusing headline relevant after all with this;
I still think a one-term pledge could win it for [McCain], because it would allow America to punt. It would make the 2008 choice seem less fateful. People don't mind the chance to defer a choice when they're not at all sure about the product. It would give bitter Democrats a chance to regroup, and it would give those who like Obama but consider him a little half-baked to vote against him guiltlessly while he becomes fully baked. (Imagine the Q&A when Sen. Obama announces his second presidential run in 2011: "Well, Brian, I think, looking back, there is something to be said for the idea that I will be a better president now than frankly I would have been four years ago. Experience, if you allow it, is still the best of all teachers.") [LINK] emphasis added
But as I said in the headline, there is one major drawback to that old adage. The final sentence is always left out.

Learning from experience gives you the test first and the lesson afterward. America cannot afford that kind of schooling for our Presidents.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Where Did We Put Them?

The mystery has been solved! I now know why the laid off workers in Henry County could not attend the Obama Town Hall. As I said earlier, there were few, if any, workers directly affected by NAFTA in attendance, instead being replaced by the local Democratic elite, many elected officials, and various faculty members (but I repeat myself).

Now I know why. They lost them! Just put them down someplace and can't seem to remember just where...
video

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Rapture Of Obama Has Begun

A short while ago the invitation only town hall meeting here in Martinsville got underway. Billed since it was announced as an event whereby folks here in Henry County who have been dis-proportionally affected by the "failed policies of the Bush Administration", only those who were unemployed, or otherwise adversely affected by local job losses were to be invited. Never mind that NAFTA, one of the area's greatest problems, was not a Bush policy.

I've said before that there have been many reports of a required pledge to BO in exchange for tickets. The questioners seem to be verifying that. Not only are the questions very softball, there has been at least one, if not two, teachers who have asked questions. Public school teachers are not the first group one thinks of when inviting folks who have been adversely affected by plant closings due to NAFTA.

(Audio here soon)

UPDATE:
It appears most of the attendees were not the local downtrodden at all, instead the audience was comprised largely of the local Democratic party elite, teachers, and PHCC faculty. How many tickets were sent to PHCC, ostensibly to be handed out to students in the job re-training programs, yet were held and used by PHCC faculty?

Obama Didn't Invite Martinsville's Media To His Party

No, I'm sorry, that's a misleading headline. I should have said that Obama didn't invite the one media outlet here that THINKS it's "Martinsville's media" to the party.

The Martinsville Bulletin will be there, as will Charles Roarke's TV Station 18. I assume cable outlet 21 will be there, I know Fox News Radio, 900AM will be there as will B99FM radio. In short, all of Martinsville's media, (without the scare quotes).

Why is Bill Wyatt's media empire excluded? Well, it could be because his on air "talent" on Monday evening disclosed the "secret location" on air, in violation of the embargo. Or it could be that Bill's almost daily rant at his own listeners who dare not to acknowledge his obviously superior intellect and objectivity has completely destroyed any credibility still left unsquandered by Bob Lawson, the aforementioned "talent".

Or it could simply be that Bill's ego got in the way. This morning on Bill's "Coffee Break" show he spent most of the first half-hour complaining that he was not invited. "I'm the media here in Martinsville", he said, "why would they not come to me and ask for coverage?"

Well Bill, I happen to know why Roarke and Fox News will be there and you will not. Rather than sitting in the studio waiting to be asked, they each went to the Obama Headquarters and applied for press credentials.

Even pretty girls are sometimes not asked to go to the prom, until they make it known that they actually want to go. Sometimes they find that sitting at home with their hair in curlers, pride intact but their ego shattered, is not such a fun way to spend the evening.

UPDATE:
It seems Bill finally shucked the fuzzy slippers and bathrobe, dressed himself up for the prom, and went stag. He is broadcasting audio only, no video.

Obama's Martinsville "Town Hall" Meeting

I thought it odd enough when local news announced that Obama's Town Hall Meeting here was by invitation only. I mean Martinsville's a little place, but we can handle some pretty large crowds. Or we have been known to twice a year.

But now I've heard, from three different people who are not strongly acquainted with one another, that a signed pledge of support for Obama is being required for attendance. Perhaps that's why the Obama campaign office continued to sign people up for a "waiting list" long after all the tickets were gone, in anticipation of those who refused to sign.

I'm still looking into this "pledge of support" thing and hope to be able to provide a copy of one soon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mark Warner And The MZM "Tab"

A few days ago I explained Congressman Goode's limited role in the MZM deal here in Martinsville. DJ McGuire has since raised the interesting question, "Should Virginia's taxpayer's 'tab' be picked up by Mark Warner?" [LINK]

That's a great question, DJ. According to a Nov.3, 2003 press release from Governor Warner's office, "Governor Warner approved a $250,000 loan from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Martinsville with the project." [LINK]

The city's mayor at that time was Gene Teague. Teague is quoted in the press release praising all those who put the economic deal together, "The city’s multi-year investment in the Clearview Business Park, the shell building and our broadband MINET fiber optic network has paid off."

Mayor Teague says further, "The city thanks everyone on the economic development team that put this deal together. The Governor’s Opportunity Funds, Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds, as well as a $127,000 grant from the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth have enabled the city to make this property available."

Aw, c'mon Mr. Mayor. You left out Virgil.

Or perhaps all Virgil did was what he was asked to do, all a small government advocate should do, introduce the two parties and let them make the deal.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Patrick Henry Young Republicans Organize

Friday evening, at the Horsepature Ruritan Club, a group of young Republicans got together for their first organizational meeting. PHYR, (would that be pronounced,"fire"?), is now a provisional Young Republican Club representing the Henry and Patrick County areas. Henry County is in both the 5th and 9th Congressional Districts, while Patrick lies wholly within the 9th.

Alex Stanley and Aaron Evans have worked together over the past couple of weeks putting this group together, and as I understand it, they have seven or eight committed members already. The requirements for becoming a recognized unit under the Young Republican Federation is a minimum of ten Charter Members, plus a recommendation by either the local Republican Party Unit Chairman or the District Chairman. Aaron and Alex already have a commitment from both Unit Chairs, as well as a recommendation from Tucker Watkins, 5th District Chair. It looks like we will have an active Young Republican Club here very soon.

Thanks Alex and Aaron, for your enthusiasm and hard work. Us old guys are behind you all the way.

The Young Republican Federation of Virgina, the parent organization for each local club, is a group dedicated to the promotion of the Republican principles of personal liberty and responsibility, fiscal integrity, and a strong national defense.

In order to accomplish this objective, the YRFV establishes throughout the Commonwealth, a system of Young Republican Clubs. The YRFV then assists each club in attracting young men and women who share our commitment to these principles; educating them, encouraging their participation in the nominating and other internal processes of the Republican Party of Virginia, and organizing them into an effective force to secure the election of Republican candidates to all levels of public office.

Membership requirements for PHYR are simple. Prospective members must be a legal and qualified voter under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia who is at least eighteen (18) and not yet forty-one (41) and who is not an active member of the College Republican Federation of Virginia. Oh, and you gotta be able to shake loose ten bucks for annual dues.

If you are interested in becoming a Young Republican, use my comment section below and let me know. Your email address will remain hidden, yet I'll be able to send your contact information on to Aaron and Alex. (And in case you didn't know, Alex is a female. A very pretty young female, at that. So come on guys, join up. And young ladies, don't let Alex have all these guys for herself.)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Virgil Goode, MZM, And The Left's Big Lie, Revisited

Welcome to the digital age, James. As a relatively new blogger you must learn a few things. It's very easy to take five minutes and put up a "quick hit" such as you did yesterday on Virgil Goode. I'm sure you put in at least five minutes writing about Virgil's latest "lie". I can imagine you sitting back afterward while smiling smugly, thinking to yourself, "let's see how that goes over".

Responsible bloggers do not live for that quick, smug feeling of "gotcha" though. Most know that "gotcha" will all too often come back atcha. Responsible bloggers research their subjects and do not fall for the big lie. Not very often, anyway. I myself have done so, you and I both will again. But I resolved long ago not to resort to the smug name calling you've just enjoyed doing.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it." Often attributed to both Joseph Goebbels and many leftist fanatics who seem to relish using it to describe the Republican Party. In the real world, though, it's more often the Democratic Party that actually makes use of this despicable tactic.

That's probably because it works. It's been proven right here in Virginia, that it works. Mark Warner has proven it, using it to discredit the administration of Gov. Gilmore. The left wing grassroots has proven it, using the same tactic to claim that somehow Virgil Goode owes the city of Martinsville big bucks for trapping the City Council into a deal with MZM.

Fellow Henry County blogger and left wing grassroots organizer, James White, seems to have fallen completely for the "big lie". It seems James believes the lie so deeply, that he considers Virgil's truthful answer to be the lie instead.

James' video questioner asks Virgil Goode;
"... Have you ever considered picking up Martinsville's tab for the failed MZM deal?" To which Rep. Goode answers, "Martinsville actually ended up making money off that deal. They were A LOT better off"
James then responds with;
Ask Virgil Goode a question he doesn't want to answer and what does he do? He lies, then cuts and runs as fast as he can go. Welcome to the digital age Virgil.
(emphasis added) [LINK]
Yes, welcome to the digital age, indeed, James.

I've never been a Union Official, James. I've never been a grassroots left-wing kind of guy either, though. But now I see why both groups find it so easy to advocate taking money from one citizen in order to give it to another. After all, $100,000 just isn't a "lot" of money. Apparently not to you guys, anyway.

I went over all this, in great detail, in February of 2007, when Waldo Jaquith made the same claim.

I'll save you the trouble of looking that article up, and place the relevant portions here instead. Then, Waldo claimed, as James now implies, that Virgil Goode somehow manipulated the MZM/Martinsville deal that brought the defense contractor to the Clearview Business Park, and therefore he owes Martinsville some big bucks. It just ain't true. Neither statement. (Changes to original in red);
Let me tell you the truth of the matter. A truth that is easily discovered if one only looks for it, rather than merely wishing for future Al Weed (and now Perriello) campaign slogans, lies, and half-truths.

In late October of 2003 rumors began circulating throughout Henry County about a possible new employer, some said it would be a defense contractor. On October 30th Ginny Wray of the Martinsville Bulletin wrote a story confirming the rumors and naming MZM as the new employer, citing Virgil Goode as her source.

At this time MZM already had a presence in the 5th District so Virgil was familiar with the firm. He also was familiar with a shell building that Martinsville had to offer in the Clearview Business Park. According to Ms. Wray, Virgil urged MZM to take a look at Martinsville and their facility.

The following day a story by Mickey Powell of the Bulletin adds a few more details, with some quotes from Mitchell Wade, President and CEO of MZM at the time. Powell found it difficult to get much more information, such as the selling price of the shell building from either Wade or Tom Harned, Martinsville's Economic Development Director.

All we knew at that time was that the City had sold its $945,000 shell building to MZM for an undisclosed sum, and that Virgil Goode had introduced the two parties.

The following Tuesday, at an announcement ceremony attended by then Governor Mark Warner, it was disclosed that the City of Martinsville had received $1.027 million for the facility. $400,000 from MZM, $500,000 split equally between The Governor's Opportunity Fund and the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, and $127,000 in private funds from the Chamber's Partnership for Economic Growth, a partnership affiliated with the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. (Deduct the $940,000 cost of the building's construction and the city was left with $82,000 profit.)

According to Mickey Powell of the Martinsville Bulletin;
Information from the Center for Responsive Politics shows that MZM is Goode's top financial contributor, donating more than $37,000 to him during the current election cycle. That money was given either through a political action committee, people associated with the firm or their family members, a Web site indicates.

Goode admitted those contributions. He said, though, that he would have given information about the shell building to any firm, regardless of whether it financially backed him.

He received MZM's money "before I knew they were interested" in the building, he said.
This clearly refutes Waldo's insinuation of any "quid pro quo".

Now, let's look at what we know of the background negotiation that went on before this deal was announced.
  • Martinsville had a shell building that had been on the market for 3 years with no takers.
  • Martinsville owed $940,000 on this shell building and desperately needed both a buyer and the employment that a buyer would bring to the area.
  • A firm with a presence in Virgil's 5th District was searching for a facility in order to expand part of its business.
  • Virgil introduced the two parties and negotiation began for the purchase of the building. MZM offered $400,000 for the building, knowing that it would require another several million dollars in renovations to make the building suitable for its purposes.
  • Tom Harned, Martinsville's Economic Development Director at that time asked Virgil to request a better offer from MZM.
  • That request for a better offer was turned down by MZM.
  • Tom Harned then asked Wade to apply for state incentives to make up the difference.
  • Virgil Goode was not a party to these negotiations, though he was copied on most, if not all, of the correspondence between Harned and Wade.
  • At a stalemate point in the negotiations, Virgil suggested that Martinsville apply for two $250,000 grants from The Governor’s Opportunity Fund and the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission to help retire the debt on the building.
  • At that point MZM refused to cooperate, insisting that it wanted a simple cash real estate deal, leaving Martinsville with the option of dropping negotiations or signing the performance agreement obligating it to repay the forgivable loans if the company did not meet its projections.
  • At the time, John Sternlicht, general counsel to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the state agency that drafted the performance agreement, expressed concern about the unusual nature of the City's request.
  • Earl Reynolds, City Manager at the time responded to Sternlicht, “The city understands that this is outside the normal procedures,” indicating the City's eagerness to complete the deal.
  • Sternlicht's reply, from a Dec. 11, 2005 story by Lawrence Hammock in the Roanoke Times, “The company is usually on the hook. But in this instance, based on [Martinsville’s] urgent request, this is what we did," further indicates that the deal was pushed through to completion by Martinsville officials.
  • The final disposition is yet to be determined, but City Finance Director Wade Bartlett said in today's Martinsville Bulletin that any funds repaid will come from the City's fund balance, currently at $9.5million. The Bulletin article quotes Bartlett; "No matter how much of the $500,000 the city ends up paying, it will not impact our ability to provide services in the future to residents or bankrupt the city."
In summary, one can blame Earl Reynolds, Tom Harned, Gene Teague (then Mayor), Terry Roop (then Vice Mayor), and the rest of City Council for making the final decision to request the grants and taking the highly unusual step of signing the performance agreement. All Virgil Goode did was bring the two parties together.

Let's do a little accounting exercise, shall we?
Cost of shell building to Martinsville$945,000
From MZM$400,000
From Governor's Opportunity Fund$250,000
From Tobacco Commission$250,000
From C-PEG (Local Chamber Econ. Dev. group)$127,000
Total Sales Price$1,027,000
Profit (sales price, less actual cost of building)$82,000
Balance of tax and other revenues gained from MZM/Athena$161,430
Profit Sub-total$243,430
Refund of grants due to MZM non-performance (est) (Actual refund, 05/24/07 Bulletin Article, $143,000)($145,000) ($143,000)
Martinsville Final Balance $98,430
$100,430

The above balance sheet does not include revenues from utilities such as water, electric, and sewer. Also not included are local income and sales tax revenues from MZM/Athena employees. Obviously a $100,000 return on a $1 million dollar investment is not what one would hope for, especially since it ended after only a 4 year term, but it's not the catastrophic loss that Waldo (and now James) would have you believe it is..
Once again, the big lie has come to be thought of as the truth. Virgil Goode did not create the deal. The deal that "lost money" for the city of Martinsville. Congressman Goode did just what any small government advocate would want, he simply brought the two parties together to negotiate their own deal. A deal that DID NOT result in the spilling of any red ink over there on Church Street.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Goode Way In Front According To SurveyUSA

I've heard rumors today that Virgil Goode is well beyond the 60% mark in the latest SurveyUSA Congressional Poll. I've been unable to confirm the story that I've heard from some who are very close to,(but not inside) the Goode Campaign. I do have calls in to some sources within the campaign, but nothing firm has yet been confirmed.

Those same sources tell me that the DCCC is very close to pulling Perriello from its Most Favored Candidates list. Makes sense to me. It takes much more than a fresh face and youthfulness to beat a popular incumbent, especially when the incumbent holds a District-wide average approval rating that reaches north of 70%.

Will Perriello just be a younger Al Weed? Time alone will tell, but it's certainly beginning to look that way.

UPDATE:
Yesterday's rumors have been substantiated.



Cross Tabs Here
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Monday, August 11, 2008

The AG Visits I'm Not Emeril HQ, Part One

On Friday morning Attorney General Bob McDonnell dropped by my office here and visited a while. While he was here I invited my friend, the news director for the local Fox News Radio, 900am, to join us. Aaron and I spent almost an hour talking to the AG about many Virginia issues.

Over the next few days I'll have Bob McDonnell's answers to our questions here. Let's begin with his answer to our question, "What do you see as your primary objectives, should you be elected Governor?"

Friday, August 08, 2008

Who Would Have Thought

That the solution to our energy problems would be as simple as mere Hope and a tire gauge?

I'm encountering some difficulties working out the podcast of the first ever Fox News Radio and I'm Not Emeril joint interview with AG Bob McDonnell. It will be posted here soon. Perhaps even tonight!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Bob McDonnell Will Join Us Here Tomorrow

Coming up tomorrow will be our first joint effort with Fox News Radio. Our local Fox News affiliate, AM900, will join us as we interview Attorney General Bob McDonnell.

Watch for it here.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Virginia Blogging Oddity...

Among my Google Alerts I have one set for "Martinsville"+Virginia. This morning I awoke to find one of those in my email inbox, not an unusual occurrence at all.

What was unusual was that it took me to Waldo's Virginia Political Aggregator, a site I had just about forgotten about. There I found a post ostensibly from "Patriot Missile" a blogger and blog I had never heard of, writing about an Obama event here in Martinsville last evening.

My initial thought was that we now have another Henry County blogger, which I see as a good thing, so I clicked on through to check it out. Nope. Not a Henry County blogger, but instead some guy in Richmond named Ray.

While at Waldo's I checked out some of the other posts from "Patriot Missile". One took me to a leftist labor union leader here in Martinsville, another "signed" by Patriot Missile took me to a Democrat in Roanoke, and a third took me back to good ol' Ray in Richmond. None of these blogs have an author using the name "Patriot Missile". None of the "Patriot Missile" links took me to a blog with that title. Waldo does not have a link on his sidebar to "Patriot Missile".

He's got links to almost all of Virginia's blogs, but "Patriot Missile" ain't one of them.

Just wondering, is all.

Monday, August 04, 2008

My August Resolution

It's just like an exercise regimen, I suppose. I've never had an exercise regimen, but I have known some guys (and ladies) who have, and I can see the similarities.

Once you get into the bench presses, the push-ups, the ab crunches, and all the other sweaty stuff those guys put themselves through, they all tell me how much they enjoy it. They actually get into a "zone", they say, where the rest of the world is somehow off to the side, not really real, but not completely gone either. Problems at work today? They fade into insignificance after the first few drops of sweat begin to form on your brow. Your focus is solely upon the burn beginning to creep throughout your muscles. Stretching and contracting muscle cells convert glucose into lactic acid, creating that burn, then the lactic acid is absorbed and converted to a fuel by mitochondria in muscle cells. Our exercising friend then begins to experience an odd sort of feeling of "rightness" that settles in for the rest of the workout.

Or so I'm told.

Personally, I've never been one to get high on lactic acid. A couple of decades ago, and a different acid, sure. But not now, and not lactic acid. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy hard work. Even sweaty, stinging-in-your-eyes hard work. I just don't get off on jumping jacks.

I'd rather write. Of course, if you look back at the past editions of this on-going piece of work you might argue that point. I learned very quickly after I opened this website that I can't do the little one or two paragraph daily quick-hits that so many Virginia bloggers excel at. It's true. Go way back into my archives and find some truly bad stuff when I was trying to do just that.

Jim Hoeft is pretty dang good with a short piece, concise and to the point. Kilo, SWAC Girl, Scott White and many others do very well with that format, and most of them manage to post daily. Or almost daily. Jerry Fuhrman, you truly excel at it, my friend.

Jerry will have 6 short, witty, and very well composed pieces published most mornings before you've had your first cup of coffee.

Those who know me know that I seldom talk as much as my readers would assume I do. I am truly a man of few words. Spoken words.

All that proves my point. I've taken you, (and myself), off onto a journey that began with sweaty socks and ends up here. Where am I heading, you're sure to be wondering by now.

Like I said, it's just like an exercise regimen. Discipline yourself, get yourself motivated, set aside a certain time to do it, and just do it. You will enjoy it once you get past the apprehension. I have decided to do just that.

No, you won't be finding me down at the YMCA every other day. (I could enjoy hanging out around the entrance to Curves, but some would call that creepy).

Instead I've decided to give myself a deadline. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:00 I will publish something. Some days will better than others, but each week will have at least three honestly toiled over pieces from me on these pages.

Alright. I know. Day one of my regimen and you say I'm four and a half hours behind deadline. Look, it's either this or you'll be forced to watch me do ab crunches. Bite me.