Monday, January 31, 2011

Florida Judge Rules Health Care Law Unconstitutional


Report here. Full opinion here.

I haven't read the opinion yet, but I certainly don't expect this will be the outcome after all appeals are exhausted (as much as I would like it to be).

Relevant portion of opinion below the fold.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Second Amendment Rocks!

As wonderful as our First Amendment rights are, every time I see a foreign insurrection where the masses are armed against a repressive regime with literally nothing more than sticks and stones, I thank God for our right to bear arms.

Cross-posted at

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bearing Drift Goes Print

Our friendly mailman today delivered a single piece of mail - the first print edition of Bearing Drift magazine.  I'm not quite sure whether an electronic magazine/blog going to print is a move up in stature or a move backward in technology.  At any rate, congratulations to the Bearing Drift crew including former TC contributor Brian Schoeneman.

On the Good Side
The print edition features solid, substantive articles including Brian's detailed description of the redistricting process.  Also on the good side is the cover story, a guest article by Lt.Gov. Bill Bolling.  Bill sure is grabbing some headlines lately, which, again, makes me wonder whether he'll throw in his hat for the US Senate.

On the "Opportunity" Side
LCRC's own Eve Marie Barner offered an article on health care, which was fine.  However, as is the case with just about any political discussion with Eve, Ken Cuccinelli figures prominently.  Again, that's fine, too, but I think it would be fair/helpful for readers to know the background of the authors including, in this case, Eve's former employment by Mr. Cuccinelli.

Overall, though, I think it's a great addition to my mailbox.  And my heartfelt congratulations and best wishes for a successful run in the print arena.  I'd put up a link to it, but  . . .

cross-posted at

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State of the Union: Didn't Watch, Don't Care

The state of the union address is much like the weather report. A lot of bold statements by some overconfident yahoo that likely will never come true anyway.

I've always liked Justice Scalia's approach - just stay home and see what's on HBO.

Cross-posted to

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

While We're Under the Hood . . .

Looks like el-Atari’s contributions aren’t the only questionable entries on Sheriff Simpson’s campaign finance reports.  In the same January 2011 filing, Simpson reported the return of a $1,480 to the Virginia Regional Transportation Association, a NON-PROFIT corporation that has made numerous contributions to Simpson's campaigns going back as far as at least 2007.  See reports here for a contribution in April 2010here for June 2010here for April 2008,  and here for 2008 in-kind contribution as a few examples.  Even considering the $1,480, it doesn't look like all the contributions were returned.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but aren't charitable organizations prohibited from making political contributions?  I'll leave it to other to connect the dots with respect to Virginia Regional Transportation.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baggage Flies Free

It’s no surprise that former senator and governor George Allen announced today that he’s seeking to take back his old seat in the Senate from Jim Webb. It’s a shame that such a promising political career took such a quick and sudden nosedive with his macaca moment, and Allen just can’t seem to get past that turbulence.

As far as other potential candidates, Del. Bob Marshall has overfilled his bags with, shall we say, “novel” legislation that even staunch conservatives won’t help him carry. The rest of the pack so lack name recognition and gravitas that they won’t even make it through the security checkpoint.

The One (and I use the capitalization intentionally and tongue-in-cheek given recent posts on this site) high-flyer whom I would like to see run is Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. He has the name recognition, credentials and money to really take off. He doesn’t have the pizzazz of an Allen or Marshall, but he’s a very solid leader, especially on business issues.

NOTE: In the interest of full disclosure, Lt. Gov. Bolling has invited conservative bloggers to a day at the Capitol.  Although I am not above taking a bribe for a favorable piece, it will take more than rubber chicken dinner to do it. (and that's just a joke, by the way).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Has School Discipline Gone Too Far?

The Washington Post today reported that a sophomore at Woodson High apparently committed suicide after being subject to some undisclosed school disciplinary action. The story implies that the Fairfax County School District’s disciplinary policies are too harsh, quoting one parent as saying the schools treat students committing even minor infractions “like the Una bomber.”

Tragic incidents often raise questions of the type raised by the Post – and justifiably so in this case. I don’t mean to imply that the school’s disciplinary actions caused the poor boy’s death, but even a quick glance at the student codes of both Fairfax County and Loudoun County reveals extreme, vague and inconsistent policies. For example, a student can be expelled for bringing Advil or a cap gun to school (nothing new there, but still ridiculous). In fact, in Loudoun, a student shall be expelled for bringing in any substance “believed to be capable of affecting the brain.” Guess that would include . . . well . . . food. In Fairfax, a kid can be expelled if the principle thinks the student may make a threat of violence. On the other hand, there’s no expulsion for students in either county who appear at school under the influence. Oh, noo. They’re just sent off to rehab.

No policy is perfect, but the threat of expulsion should not loom for every schoolyard scuffle. These policies are patently unreasonable, unworkable and unjustifiable, and sorely in need of substantial revision.

Cross-posted to

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Undoubtedly A Welcomed Criticism

Gov. McDonnell is being criticized by the Sons of the Confederacy for his "ongoing failure" to recognize that the Civil War is still being fought by a crazy few.

Cross Posted at Too Conservative

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bob for Bonds (and I am, too)

Northern Virginia’s transportation problems quite obviously are nothing new. Though many have claimed the issue is unforgivably complex, if you have agreement on two fundamental assumptions, the debate becomes simple. The assumptions are:

1. Roads need to be built. We already have done all we reasonably can in terms of carpooling and mass transit.

2. Those roads need to be paid for. Ultimately, there’s a price to be paid by someone whether they are the taxpayers or the roads’ users.

Once there’s agreement on these assumptions, there are really only two questions to address: where do we put the roads and what’s the best way of financing those improvements?

Lucky for your, you have me to answer both. (answers below the fold)

Taking the second question first, the best realistic way to finance transportation projects is through the issuance of bonds, and Gov. Bob McDonnell has proposed doing just that. Bonds are the smartest way of financing long-term capital improvements like schools and roads, especially when rates are as low as they are now. Check out this study by Brookings for a further discussion.

On the first question, east-west congestion (the source of most of the traffic problems in northern Virginia), would be greatly alleviated by the following:

-Allow carpools into the Dulles access road, and open the existing carpool lane on the toll road to all traffic. Cheap and easy.

-Add a third lane of Routes 29 and 50 from Falls Church through Fairfax akin to the three lanes that currently exist in Arlington. Fairfax needs to get over itself and quit being the bottleneck.

-Add a third lane to Route 7 from the Loudoun County line through Great Falls into Tysons Corner. Again, Fairfax, I’m talking to you.

-Add two lanes to I-66 through Arlington and open it to all traffic. Arlington, too, needs to just suck it up and realize it has an interstate highway running through the county. And when the money is already there for at least one lane (per Rep. Frank Wolf), there’s really no excuse.

Problem solved.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Del. Bob Marshall Endorses Dick Black

I shouldn't be surprised, but somehow I am still disappointed. For one thing, he should have waited at least until the redistricting was completed.

Email announcing the endorsement is below the fold. Just one line from it, though: "Dick Black is one of the most highly-respected legislators in Virginia." How many problems with this sentence? Well, one is the tense. A second is its truth.

Trouble viewing this email? Read it online

"Double Barrel" Blunder

Apparently, the violence/gun metaphors just won't die (pun intended). This latest one coming from Rep. James Clyburn. Cyburn described the president's speech in Tucson as a "double barrel effort." In fairness, I think he was trying to say that the president had two issues to address, but should we really give him any slack after his statements denouncing violence in political rhetoric?

Michelle Malkin certainly isn't in her piece on it.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A New Low in Partisanship

Just when you think the whole thing couldn't get any worse, the Tuscon memorial service turns into a 13,000 person partisan pep rally for President Teleprompter. His introduction by whoever it was, for goodness sake, made reference to Obama as a "great visionary" who appeared there with his wife "at great personal sacrifice." He then concludes the service applauding the President for his "remarkable inspiring words." With more than a dozen applause interruptions during the President's remarks, a solemn pause for reflection this service certainly was not.

If Republicans didn't have a reason to complain of the Democrats' politicization of the sad event last Saturday, they sure do now.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Blame Game

I really tried to stay out of this discussion, but my disgust with the political finger pointing has now gotten the better of me. Yes, this is a forum for political discussion and the topic of the tone of those discussions certainly is fair game. However, to blame this tragedy on anyone other than the deranged man who pulled the trigger and shot those innocent people is wrong. Wrong, too, is to blame his actions on anything other than his obvious mental illness.

Yes, some kill the innocent as a way of stating their political beliefs. Others simply have a physiological ailment where a position on an issue could trigger violence just as easily as the positioning of a tissue. And because anyone who kills the innocent is inherently deranged to a certain degree, it’s not always easy to tell the difference between those motivated by an overwhelming, misplaced passion and those who have a profound psychological problem. Here, though, you won’t see any reference to politicians or political tone in this guy’s YouTube message. Currency, grammar, and mind control are his issues - not health care, not taxes, not gun ownership.

In a country where people increasing blame other people for their own failures, we also have taken to blaming everyone imaginable for any tragedy, particularly when a single individual brings about the tragedy. My suggestion is simply to stop the blame game for now, pray for the families, and let the justice system do its job.

I don’t plan to reply to any comments on this so don’t waste your time calling me na├»ve or an idiot. Frankly, this is one time when I know I’m right and I don’t give a damn what others may think.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Was Against It, Until I Signed the Law Authorizing It, But I’m Still Against It

On several occasions now, President Teleprompter has said when signing legislation that, in effect, the Devil (aka Republicans) made him do it. Previously, he signed the extension of the Bush tax cuts, complaining all the while that the Republicans were big meanies. Well, he does it again with this- the defense appropriations bill which, among other things, limits civilian trials for Gitmo detainees.

Mr. President, I’d like to introduce you to someone you’ve never met but will have to live with over the next two years. Her name is Miss Compromise. Give her a big kiss from me, then shut up and quit your whining.

Helen Thomas: Tan, Rested and Ready for Action

One time White House correspondent Helen Thomas, removed from her front-row seat by Hearst Newspapers last summer, has rejoined the world of journalism in accepting a position as a columnist for international media powerhouse The Falls Church News-Press, free weekly circulation 30,000.

The Marshall Mint

By most accounts, Bob Marshall is a good guy and, unlike most politicians, genuine in his beliefs. That said, he does take some fairly conservative stands on the issues – some of which are pretty far out there.

Like this one. He wants the state to conduct a study to determine whether Virginia should mint its own gold and silver coins.

Allow me to save us all a million dollars in taxes, Bob. The Constitution squarely places the power “to coin money” in the federal government. For those of you playing at home, look at Article 1, sections 8 and 10.

While Delegate Marshall states the coins wouldn’t be actual “money,” it's a nuance far beyond my limited mental capacity and the intent is obviously the same. Regardless, between Marshall’s coinage proposal and LeMunyon’s repeal amendment, we northern Virginians must look to the rest of the country more like The Army of Northern Virginia.

And, as I recall, that didn't work out so well last time.

WaPo article here

Redistricting Fun

Unless I'm reading the maps wrong (and that's a definite possibility because I am, after all, an idiot), all the redistricting proposals submitted to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors would put incumbent Potomac District supervisor Andrea McGimsey in the same supervisorial district as rumored-but-unannounced candidate Suzanne Volpe who had hoped to take over from outgoing Sugarland Run supervisor Susan Buckley. Maybe that's how the County staff interpreted mandate no. 7 which reads, literally, "Protect Incumbents."

"That's What Democracy Is All About."

In a recently published interview with Justice Antonin Scalia, he let it all out - everything from the role of the Supreme Court to the inferiority of Washington pizza. I particularly like this quote, which undoubtedly will unnerve many.

"You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't. Nobody ever thought that that's what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don't need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box. You don't like the death penalty anymore, that's fine. You want a right to abortion? There's nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn't mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it's a good idea and pass a law. That's what democracy is all about. It's not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society."

A No-Lose for Republicans

Former Virginia governor and current DNC chairman Tim Kaine sees the chances of a viable Democrat challenging Barack Obama "as virtually nil."

Whether Kaine's right or wrong, the Republicans win. If there is a decent Democratic candidate, it will be a bloody battle - leaving Republicans rested and ready for the general election. If there isn't, the Republicans will have one big, fat target to pick off.

LeMunyon the Socialist

Rather than leaving the tolls on the Dulles Toll Road to the free market, Delegate Jim LeMunyon has introduced legislation to vest control of the tolls in the boards of supervisors of Loudoun County and Fairfax County.

This is just the latest in a spate of poorly reasoned proposals he's championed. Like his "repeal amendment," this toll road proposal has no chance of success either in the General Assembly or the courts. They're nothing more than election year populism - and a huge waste of everyone's time and energy.

The more I see of LeMunyon, the less I like.

Christmas Wish List

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a very good blogger this year. I only pissed off one supervisor (but he kind of deserved it anyway) and I’ve really, really tried to restrain myself when it comes to Dick Black. So, with that I have just a few things on my wish list.

1. A constitutional amendment that limits the term of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate to no more than 12 years.

2. A constitutional amendment that requires a balanced budget unless 2/3 of the Congress and the president concur.

3. Just one more constitutional amendment – one that caps the maximum income tax at 25% of a person’s income.

4. Closed primaries for Virginia

That’s about it. Oh, and if you could bring us a local sports team that’s worth rooting for, that would be great, too.

Merry Christmas!


Have Gun, Will Travel - Arenas Traded to Orlando

Ahh, it's such a magical time of year. And by "magical," I mean Magic-al for Gilbert Arenas that is. Traded to the Orlando Magic for Rashad Lewis in what clearly was a big win for the Wizards. Frankly, I would have traded Arenas for a six-pack of warm Old Milwaukee Light and a Pop Tart.

Nitwits like Gilbert Arenas who don't know how to properly use a gun do such a disservice to those of us who do. Glad to see him go

Enough of The View!

If John Boehner has "emotional problems" because he cried during an interview, then isn't just about everyone Barbara Walters has ever interviewed unstable?  Get over yourselves!

No "Science" from this “BS

The USA Today, one of mainstream media’s purveyors of panic, ran an article yesterday in which Surgeon General Regina Benjamin is quoted as saying, "One cigarette can cause a heart attack." What a load.

I don’t smoke, I hate smokers who think my road is their ashtray, and, counter to my libertarian tendencies, I favor the recent smoking ban. The hyperbole coming from the nation's chief medical officer who holds BS, MD and MBA degrees, however, is simply ridiculous.

Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

Will Rogers never met a man he didn’t like, and I’ve never met a tax cut I didn’t like. However, Will Rogers never met Eugene Delgaudio, and we’ve never had federal spending this out of control.

In a double-whammy for the already outrageous budget deficit, the most recent deal between the Republican leadership and President Teleprompter extends the Bush tax cuts and lowers some other taxes, but, instead of reducing spending accordingly, the compromise increases spending by extending unemployment benefits. I liken it to an economically struggling husband and wife who want to purchase different things, and, instead of one giving in to the other, they buy both – on credit. The net result here is a whopping $900 billion increase in the budget deficit, and, sure as Eugene’s hat is orange, inflation is not too far behind. Or worse - look at Ireland, for example.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for lower taxes (and I must admit that I get far too much satisfaction in watching Obama attempt to explain how he didn't break another campaign promise), but I’m not convinced that this is a good deal for America. Already, we’re seeing a sell off on Treasuries in response so someone else out there must agree with me.

Is it just me . . .

Or does Obama seem completely out of his league when it comes to dealing with a feisty, nuclear North Korea? I swear the man has all the political gravitas of, well, turkey gravy.

Gobble, gobble.

Another Sheriff's Race Post

Last night’s Loudoun County Republican Committee meeting featured speeches by the three candidates for the Republican nomination for sheriff. Though I’m not endorsing anyone at this point, Mike Chapman clearly stood out. He presented well - polished and professional with a solid message about the need for changing law enforcement practices to address changes in the county. The other candidates? Well, not so much. I was struck especially by the remark by one candidate emphasizing his pro-life beliefs. That’s fine, but I don’t see what it has to do with the selection of a sheriff.

Chapman would be a strong challenger to Sheriff Simpson who, having held the position for 15 years and successfully run as an independent last time, is well entrenched.

Times are Tough

Yeah, times are tough, I tell ya. They're sooo bad that

I got a pre-declined for a credit card in the mail

I bought a toaster and my free gift with purchase was a bank

If the bank returns your check marked "Insufficient Funds," you call them and ask if they meant you or them

Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America

Motel Six won't leave the light on anymore

The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates

Yeah, times are so bad that I called the Suicide Hotline, and got transferred to a call center in Pakistan. When I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.

I'll be here all week.

The Real Solution to Convention Fees: End Conventions

UPDATED UPDATE: My apologies for my previous reference to Del. Marshall's position on conventions in general. I've revised the post accordingly.

UPDATED: I was scooped by Loudoun Insider, but I'll publish my comments on Marshall's email separately because their slightly different from those of my blogging colleague.

In a recent email addressed to “Party Chair, Members of State Central Committee, Interested Republicans,” Del. Bob Marshall cries foul at a proposal to impose mandatory state convention fees citing, among other things, the impact of such fees on participation in the electoral process.

If public participation is the concern, the obvious solution is to simply end the antiquated convention process with its attendant back-room deals (and resulting unelectable extremist nominees) and select Republican nominees through a primary election.

And for those of you conspiracy theorists who think the Dems will infiltrate any primary, two homework questions for you:

1. Show me one election where an open primary ultimately made a difference in the election of the nominee.

2. Explain why the General Assembly has not changed the law if not to protect incumbents and/or reduce their own expense in mounting a primary campaign.

The full email is at Mason Conservative.

From the "It's About Time" File, Rangel Convicted on 11 Counts

Just how many times does a chairman of the Ways and Means Commitee have to be found guilty of tax evasion before he's finally kicked out of Congress? I fervently hope the full committee also convicts, and, with any luck with the new Congress, he's expelled if not impeached.

“The Death of Real News.” Good Riddance.

As one of those hoping to play a small role in the demise of the mainstream media’s hold on both fact and opinion, I find Ted Koppel’s editorial in today’s Washington Post particularly validating.

Koppel waxes nostalgically about some idyllic time when virtuous, altruistic wisemen at the three television networks controlled the flow of news, being the only ones smart enough to be trusted with gathering and reporting relevant information. Koppel sees the opening of the door to a greater breadth of opinion as a genuine threat, and, in his words, “not good for the republic.”

Koppel’s hypothesis that people need someone else to think for them initially was disproven with a little social experiment 234 years ago, and things have worked out just fine since. Moreover, the root of this more recent revolution is reflected in Koppel’s own words in which he claims the wise men of old were “relatively unbiased.” “Relatively?’ The media’s unwillingness to admit its bias has incited this insurrection and it alone has made the most compelling case for its overthrow. Get ready, Mr. Koppel, the townspeople are coming! And this time the laptop is the torch, social media is the pitchfork and the Internet is the guillotine.

More Dick Black Antics

Not to pile on to the discussion of Dick Black's shameless campaign tactics, but last night he appeared at a fundraiser for Del. Tag Greason bringing his own name tag that, in a font at least ten times larger than that of all the other guests (including the governor), says "Hon. Dick Black." Yes, he once held a title, but he's nothing at all now and certainly shouldn't be using the "Hon." title where the event is a fundraiser for the person who currently holds that position.

And to bring your own name tag? Really?

"At home in Indonesia, Obama reaches out to Muslims"

At "home" in Indonesia?! Interesting headline for an AP article - seems like something you'd see at a Birther rally. Wonder how long it will take until the Obamans get to the editor.

"Sure to be the early Christmas present you have all been waiting for"

Is it

(a) Nancy Pelosi's delusional run for House minority leader or

(b) the return of the McRibb?

As tasty as the McRibb is, Republican's are still likely to prefer the former. Note, however, that she doesn’t come with a toy since she's from San Francisco.

Ahhh, the sweet return of gridlock!

With 21 months of unprecedented government growth rammed through Congress without so much as the time it takes to read the multiple 2000-plus page bills, it’s nice to see that we can take some comfort in the fact that the insanity has, at least temporarily, subsided as one house of Congress in now safely in the hands of the Republicans.

Indeed, now the real economic recovery can begin. For one, businesses, whether big or small, instinctively retreat in the face of uncertainty, especially when it comes to government regulation. Many employers didn’t hire because of the possibility of higher taxes, greater regulation or additional healthcare obligations – all of which came true. Now, however, we have at least some modicum of stability on the horizon, so maybe, just maybe, we can see some real growth in employment.

I think it’s all time for us to gather round and sing to the tune of Dr. Seuss’ “Welcome, Christmas,”

Welcome, welcome
Gridlock, gridlock

Welcome, welcome
Gridlock, gridlock

Congress now is in our grasp
So now ends our collective gasp

Saturday, January 1, 2011

McDonnell Won't Back Virginia Currency Bill

Obviously, Gov. McDonnell found my previous post compelling, and has now stated he will not back Del. Marshall's currency plan.

Cato, . . . well . . . ahh, never mind.