Eleventh Hour Salon Mud – The Left Is Worried

Salon is trying to swing some voters at the eleventh hour for Tim Kaine using half-truths about George Allen.  It’s not surprising since 1) Democrats are worried about Allen’s lead with Independents and 2) Salon doesn’t want to be evicted from the cocktail parties for their coverage of Tim Kaine’s “I’d be open to a federal tax” answer during the McLean debate.

The issue was over how the legislature was addressing Virginia’s state song Carry Me Back To Old Virginny written by popular black composer James Bland who was saddened by the homelessness of freed Blacks in the North.

Salon uses a video, provided by Democrats and not their own research, to imply that George Allen is a racist.  And what are the odds that it came from the Kaine campaign?

The facts are that:

  • Allen acknowledged that by today’s standards, certain lyrics in the song can be considered racially insensitive.
  • Allen supported changing the lyrics, as Governor he signed the legislation that officially retired the song.
  • He did not defend maintaining the status quo.  He did not defend the song as the Salon headline states.
  • The bill’s patron partially agreed with Allen; but there were no recriminations or Salon-like horror leveled at the time.
  • Instead of rewriting history Soviet-style, Allen was requesting that the new version be separately identified and noted that other states have multiple songs.
  • Allen was opposing political correctness, which has infected our political discourse and caused so much division.   Well-meaning people give honest, reasonable views but if the Left doesn’t like it, then they slander their opponents.
  • To this day, Virginia is still considering options to replace the song and no one, including Doug Wilder, who originally raised the issue, has continued to make it an issue; so it must not be that critical.
  • Tim Kaine as governor did not make an issue over it by demanding a replacement song post haste; and he never misses an opportunity to insinuate that his opponents are racist.

If you care about historical integrity, then it is better to preserve each version so future generations can evaluate the contrast for themselves.  Future generations may judge what is racial and what is political differently than we do today.

And maintaining a faithful record to history was the reason for projects like the Virginia Slavery Museum which has had financial problems but which George Allen as governor supported with initial funding.  As senator, Allen also secured funding for historically Black Colleges.

As the article shows, the Left is desperate and continues to divide people into artificial groups that they then pit against each other instead of focusing on what we agree on.  It’s no wonder why half the country is at war with the other half.  Thanks Salon, you really helped to enlighten us today on America’s most pressing issue.  You probably haven’t even read the song’s lyrics or conducted any actual research.  Next time, don’t hide behind innuendo; make your charge and back it up with all the facts in context.

And finally a question for Tim Kaine, where is that positive campaign that you promised us?  Are you going to hide behind Salon and HuffPo on this?

Here are Bland’s  1878 version lyrics.  The reference to darkey’s and Massa, and Missis are from the first person.

Carry me back to old Virginny.
There’s where the cotton and corn and taters grow.
There’s where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time.
There’s where this old darkey’s heart am long’d to go.

There’s where I labored so hard for old Massa,
Day after day in the field of yellow corn;
No place on earth do I love more sincerely
Than old Virginny, the state where I was born.

Carry me back to old Virginny.
There’s where the cotton and the corn and taters grow;
There’s where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time.
There’s where this old darkey’s heart am long’d to go.

Carry me back to old Virginny,
There let me live till I wither and decay.
Long by the old Dismal Swamp have I wandered,
There’s where this old darkey’s life will pass away.

Massa and Missis have long since gone before me,
Soon we will meet on that bright and golden shore.
There we’ll be happy and free from all sorrow,
There’s where we’ll meet and we’ll never part no more.

Carry me back to old Virginny.
There’s where the cotton and the corn and taters grow;
There’s where the birds warble sweet in the spring-time.
There’s where this old darkey’s heart am long’d to go.

If you consider all the lyrics, title, and melody, Bland is saying that things were so bad that he wants to be taken back to Virginia to die – not as an endorsement of slavery and cruelty that was experienced there – either because he still loved the state or it helped illustrate how bad conditions were in the North.

There’s obviously different points of view, so take a listen:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUmI-PfF-8k

Fairfax Democrat Shenanigans

We have Democratic shenanigans at work in trying to set up a legal fight and changing the rules at the last minute.  Poll watchers are there to watch and if necessary they can speak to the Chief Election Officer.  They are not there to advise voters about anything.  Poll workers trying to check in voters don’t need to be inundated with arguments from wannabe lawyer poll watchers.

If Democrats believe that there is significant confusion, then they can set up a table outside the no politicking perimeter and offer all the help that they want to.  They might to also take the opportunity to instruct Democrats on the proper way to show ID at airports, when stopped by law enforcement, and at convenience stores.

http://www.examiner.com/article/gop-democrats-claim-victory-fairfax-poll-fracas

Yes To Allen, No To Kaine

America is in danger.  We face unprecedented loss of liberty, weakened national security, ignored Constitutional firewalls, and an European fiscal future.  My children will inherit a severely weakened country; and her future is more uncertain than ever.

The Senate election is just as critical as the Presidency; and my family’s choice is George Allen.  Tim Kaine is an extreme Leftist/Progressive, albeit with a smooth Clintonian style.  Electing him is asking for six years of Barack Obama and Harry Reid’s policies and tactics.

As governor, Kaine fought for higher taxes, Cap and Trade, entitlement expansion, amnesty, and gun control.  Kaine is very much like Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Martin O’Malley and he operates with mindset of a Richmond City Councilman, not a national leader who represents all Virginia.

Allen accomplished more as governor with a Democratic legislature resulting in fiscal discipline, job growth, truth in sentencing, raising academic standards, and creating the 529 savings plan.  As senator, he upheld the Constitution, opposed taxes, and proposed market solutions and a balanced budget.  He understands Washington and national defense.

But Tim Kaine’s recent claim to be a bipartisan is the most absurd for the following reasons:

He was handpicked by Barack Obama (who also selected Debbie Wasserman Schultz) to head the Democratic Party.  Can anyone seriously argue that Obama’s Chief Political Pitchman and Fundraiser can be re-branded as a moderate?

As DNC Chairman, Kaine did not exercise a moderating influence.  He led a historic loss of Democrat seats at all levels in government in 2010 and he saw the Democrat Party affiliation significantly decline.

We are facing Sequestration cuts.  It’s like using a chainsaw when a scalpel will do. The Super Committee broke down in November 2011 in a fight to raise taxes on the rich.  Yet this is the same argument that Kaine is using to sell his “balanced approach”, which incidentally, has never been independently vetted.  Would a bipartisan try to reuse a failed approach or would he propose re-evaluating cuts using a more deliberative and bottom up process?  And would a bipartisan cut Defense by this much in time of war?

Under Democrat control, the US Senate has failed its basic duty to produce a budget in four years.  Mark Warner and Jim Webb have been part of the problem and have voted in lock step with Barack Obama.  Mark Warner is Kaine’s mentor, so why is gridlock less likely with Kaine?  What would he do differently?

Early in 2006, Kaine unilaterally signed over the Silver Line to MWAA bypassing the legislative approval and the procurement process.  Now, we in NoVa are paying the price in perpetually increasing Dulles Toll Road fares managed by a corrupt organization.

On day 6, Kaine proposed a massive tax increase.  He fought like cats and dogs with the Republican House throughout his term.  His regional tax idea was ruled unconstitutional, his abuser fines had to be refunded, and his Special Sessions ended in failure. He closed rest stops to try and pressure the legislature.  His final budget during the recession was so poorly designed that it was summarily rejected 97-0 and even the bill’s sponsor abstained.

Kaine failed to honor his commitment to fund transportation while overlooking $1.4 billion in unspent VDOT funds and he spent enormous energy on the Silver Line in pursuit of his green agenda.

Kaine decided to make the so called “war on women” a center piece of his campaign and has thrown ridiculous innuendos at George Allen.  Kaine’s social positions include abortion on demand, gay marriage, criticizing the Catholic Church’s lawsuit, and opposing Virginia’s marriage amendment.  After he left state government for the national stage, he has steadily moved to the far left.

Obamacare was the most far reaching, partisan, and non-transparent legislation in modern history.  Most of the country wants it repealed or significantly modified.  Yet Kaine has been its most visible and ardent supporter.

Finally, Tim Kaine resorts to unprofessional statements and racial innuendo to disarm his opponents. He answers difficult policy questions as if he is still in the courtroom.  In addition, he uses religion as a political credential and to argue for “social justice” legislation while ignoring his Church’s key teachings.

If you want a repeat of the last four years and a Leftist/Progressive ideologue representing you, then Tim Kaine is your man.  If you want a change and someone who will work with Mitt Romney, then vote for George Allen who is the only candidate with a record of accomplishments as governor and Senator.

Questions for Anyone Who Thinks that Tim Kaine Is a Moderate

Name an instance where Tim Kaine led a Big Tent issue?

Would a bipartisan leave office with a budget so bad that it was immediately voted down 97-0 and the bill’s patron voting present?

Why would Tim Kaine, who claims to be pro-education, remove $120 million in funding for Northern Virginia which every Democrat and Republican state legislator opposed in writing? 

Mitt Romney was able to produce legislation with an 87% Democratic legislature.  What legislative accomplishments does Tim Kaine have to show for his 4 years?

Would a bipartisan unilaterally hand over the Dulles Toll Road to MWAA bypassing the normal legislative and procurement process, or ram through special tax districts that were later declared unconstitutional, or create abuser fines that were so politically volatile that they had to be refunded?

Barack Obama picked Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Kaine to lead the Democratic Party.  Other than stylistic differences, is it reasonable to think that Tim Kaine’s policies differ from Debbie Wasserman or Barack Obama?  And when has a moderate ever managed a national political party?

During his 2005 campaign as governor, Tim Kaine said transportation was his number one priority.  Why did focus on his own projects instead of first producing a consensus to properly fund transportation? 

Why can’t Tim Kaine find non-Democratic legislators that agree with him other than Katherine Waddell (I) (pro-abortion, pro-homosexual rights funded by Hager’s Boss Mark Warner), Brandon Bell (I) (received $200K from Virginia Democrats and endorsed by Mark Warner), Vince Callahan (R)  (who endorsed Mark Warner)? 

Does a moderate engage in race baiting?

We have Sequestration cut backs because the Super Committee in Nov 2011 broke down over the issue of raising taxes in a lack luster recovery.  Tim Kaine has been proposing the same formula again.  Does a bipartisan continue to beat this dead horse or would he propose a significantly different option?

If Tim Kaine is a moderate politician, then why did the Democratic Party under his leadership see Democratic Party affiliation plummet in addition to losing an unprecedented number of Democratic seats at all levels of government after the 2010 election?

Why did Tim Kaine’s Special Sessions end in failure with no compromise legislation?

Why did Tim Kaine resort to closing interstate rest stops?

Why did Tim Kaine prohibit a free and open discussion about the science behind man made global warming and then attack UVa’s Climatologist Dr. Patrick Michaels?

If Mark Warner and Jim Webb voted in lockstep for Obamacare and Obama’s agenda, not to mention failing to produce a budget, how would Tim Kaine be any different from them?

Tim Kaine’s History of Obstructing Military Votes

Those who care about voting integrity will want to consider how Tim Kaine’s administration participated in denying military votes in 2008.  To this day, he has never acknowledged or apologized for his role.  Meanwhile on the campaign trail, he pretends to be the military’s friend.  Back when our historically destructive President was being elected, Tim Kaine clearly wanted every Richmond city vote counted, but obviously not every military vote.

The Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) is responsible for ensuring the citizens’ right to vote and ensuring statewide compliance and uniformity.  Tim Kaine appointed Jean Cunningham to be the SBE Chair.  She is a fellow Richmond lawyer, Leftist partisan and civil rights activist.

During 2008 election, the McCain-Palin 2008 Campaign sued Kaine’s administration.  The pre-Eric Holder Department of Justice also weighed in and charged 16 Virginia electoral boards with violating overseas military personnel the right to vote. The districts include the cities of Richmond, Colonial Heights, Williamsburg, and Caroline County.

The case was heard by U.S. District Judge Richard Williams who ruled that the state of Virginia had violated the voting rights of military personnel and overseas citizens last year by failing to mail absentee ballots in time for them to be counted on Election Day.

Unbelievably, Kaine’s administration argued that they had no obligation to send ballots to military personnel deployed overseas until the day before the election.

His administration then proceeded to ignore Judge Williams’s order.

Then in October, Judge Williams ordered Virginia a second time to count the votes and gave them 30 days to comply.

As a result of this episode, we know that Kaine:

  • Selected a radical activist to the run the Virginia State Board of Elections.
  • Approved his administration rationalization in Federal Court that they had no obligation to get overseas military ballots out early.
  • That his administration was found guilty.
  • That his administration ignored the order and the Judge Williams had to order them to count the votes a second time.
  • Meanwhile, Kaine did back flips to make sure that Democrat-rich Richmond had more than enough voting resources while denying votes in those same districts.

The bottom line is that Tim Kaine violated the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Article X of the Virginia Constitution, and Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

You see, Kaine is a slick talking Leftist ideologue that is cut from the same mold as Barack Obama.  And if we needed Congress to investigate situations like Benghazi, Tim Kaine would be right there with his ex-DNC Chairman hat on running interference for Democrats and again throwing the military under the bus.

Tim Kaine: Enemy of Religious Freedom

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Tim Kaine is a menace to religious liberty and his actions ought to disqualify him from office.  Ironically (or by design), he and his media sycophants constantly use his Catholic resume as a political credential and shield.

Now, as we enter the last two weeks of the campaign, right on cue, the WaPo is trying to again neutralize Kaine’s extreme Leftist views like they did during the 2005 Virginia governor campaign.

Kaine often says that his year in Honduras as a Jesuit missionary aid was formative – and it was.  However, it was not to spread the gospel or exhort us away from sin and toward righteous living; instead it was to justify government, taxes, regulations, and utopia illusions under the rubric or so called social justice.  He is guilty of encouraging people to turn away from God and the spiritual and to turn toward the government and temporal.

The issues with Tim Kaine are constitutionality and credibility:

  • He will not defend all of our First Amendment rights.
  • He presumes to dictate how people should pray in public.
  • He uses his Catholic faith as a political credential and then arbitrarily ignores Church’s teaching on non-negotiable tenets of faith.
  • He over-rationalizes his government policy positions with religious sentiment.

Failing to Defend the First Amendment

Kaine has turned his back on the very Catholic Church that he seeks of identify with in her time of need.  And he has an even higher duty to speak out because he has been a vocal defender of Obamacare and Barack Obama.

When the Obama Administration announced their HHS mandates, Tim Kaine’s response to this unconstitutional act was to feign one day of angst when instead he should have unequivocally condemned the President’s outrageous decision.   Then Kaine went even further after the Catholic Church announced its lawsuit.  He said on WFIR that the Church was wrong and further defended contraception because it “brings down healthcare costs.”

However, when it came to Muslims, Kaine had no problem using the Constitution to defend the Ground Zero mosque saying that “if a synagogue or church I don’t think there would be any controversy” (which implied that those who opposed building on that specific site were bigots.)

Dictating How We Pray

Tim Kaine arrogantly presumes to tell Christians how to pray in public, which is both insulting and infringing on the free exercise clause.  This is unacceptable for anyone to do, especially a former government official or candidate for office.

When we pray in public we are praying to a holy God as our conscience dictates.  We are not making a speech or reframing our convictions to satisfy Tim Kaine’s comfort zone.  Religion challenges, and yes, it may also offend the culture and government.  How does Tim Kaine know that a particular prayer isn’t what needs to be said?  Or is a public prayer to him just theater?

(1) As governor, Tim Kaine implemented and defended a new policy requiring non-sectarian prayers by chaplains who worked on a voluntary basis with the Virginia State Police.  Rather than comply, the six Christian chaplains (Daniels in our midst) resigned.  Bob McDonnell rescinded King Nebuchadnezzar’s edict.  Video.

(2) While on the campaign trail during a PBS event on Religion and Ethics, Kaine complained about overtly Christian prayers:

“We shouldn’t pray loudly in front of the temple, there is some Scriptural wisdom about being not too, put it out front and I think that causes some people some concerns” 8:20

“I’ve had the experience in Virginia of going to too many events where it’s a public event and there is a prayer at the start that is explicitly Christian that alienates Jewish folks, or other folks of other faiths.” 9:20

Then, after this chiding, he ended with “we should be very free to be who we are.”

If you do not care for the way someone else prays, then simply exercise your superior tolerance and give the person the benefit of the doubt or just ignore it.  Problem solved.  But perhaps your discomfort evidences some inconvenient truth.  At any rate, no prayer can be uttered that is more offensive and dangerous than a government official who dares to prescribe what a prayer should sound like.  Tim Kaine owes these chaplains an apology.

Cafeteria Catholic-Cafeteria Constitution

The Catholic Church has a set of well-established non-negotiables that include abortion, same-sex marriage, and the death penalty.  Kaine had no problem opposing 20-25 expansionist death penalty amendments, even the so called triggerman rule which sought to clarify a loophole after the Beltway Snipers.  He vetoed all legislation related to the death penalty.  However, he did authorize most executions that came before him except for the Jens Soering episode where Kaine sought to circumvent the law.

On the other hand, Tim Kaine makes no such legal resistance to abortion.  He can’t even bring himself to verbally condemn abortion as intrinsically evil.  In fact, he no longer makes any pretense regarding abortion at all and is actively supported by Planned Parenthood who held a mega-fundraiser for him in New York City this summer.

As governor, he terminated abstinence funding as governor and he even complained about signing off on the Choose Life license plate.  And during the Senate campaign, he has condemned every recent Virginia law which sought to legally discourage abortions.  Furthermore, he has been Barack Obama’s chief enabler and defender, the most extreme abortion President in history.  When you think about it, Kaine is going out of his way to construct a campaign based on opposing the Church by using his “War on Women” campaign theme.

And just to touch on same-sex marriage, Kaine endorses and celebrates it.  That’s not surprising since he also opposed Virginia’s constitutional marriage amendment.

Conflating Religion and Public Policy

Government can’t create morality and it can’t exist without it.  Tim Kaine rejects that notion by perverting the proper roles of Church and State.  And as a side note, when you politicize religion you also politicize and cheapen morality and you end up with an immoral culture.  Sound familiar?

Take for example man-made global warming.  Referring again to the PBS Religion and Ethics event Kaine said that man-made global warming is our “biggest issue” and that “lightening our impact is the challenge of the age.”  Then he goes on to say that we are causing storms and chaos that unnecessarily impact underdeveloped countries.  The green agenda is a massive use of resources; but more importantly, after the ruling on CO2, it institutes tremendous control over the individual and private property, like Obamacare.

If Tim Kaine wants to be an Al Gore style global warming alarmist, then so be it.  But please keep your arguments to matters of fact and dispense with emotional quasi-religious appeals.  Kaine is quick to accuse others of being anti-science; but then he violates the tenet of science which is to question everything, and to test hypotheses with all available objective data and to dispassionately answer criticism with verifiable evidence and logic.  “Settled science” is an oxymoron.

DNC Convention

The Democratic Party removed God and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel from its platform.  Then it was reversed due to public pressure while Democrats effectively booed God during the voting process.  That’s their prerogative.  But as the former DNC Chairman, didn’t the same Tim Kaine who says we should bring faith and comity into politics have some obligation to speak out not to mention after the vitriol heaped upon Cardinal Dolan by his party?

Conclusion

So what are we to do with Catholic politicians like Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, and Tim Kaine?  They wrap themselves in the Church when justifying public policy; but then they brazenly throw off her teachings, including how Catholic lawmakers should respond to unjust laws.

If you make a sacred commitment to the Church and then arbitrarily pick and choose what you like about its core doctrines, then you will inevitably violate your oath to uphold the Constitution thereby further eroding the rule of law.  And we have seen quite enough of that under Barack Obama.

The bottom line is that we don’t need another false prophet-politician wielding the levers of government in the name of compassion.  In case you haven’t noticed, state sponsored compassion is destroying us.  America needs a new birth of religious freedom, not a cradle of socialism.

Catholic Church, you and all American faiths have a lot to answer for.  Our streets are filled with cultural sewage – proof that religious leaders in America have lost their moral authority.  Every day, America becomes like secular Europe because of this unholy alliance between Church and State.  An alliance based on obtaining tax payer money for charity in return for the blessing and imprimatur on an evil Leftist/Progressive agenda.

Virginia, you were once the birthplace of religious freedom in America.  Embrace that cause again and reject Tim Kaine in November, if for no other reason than his violations to our Constitution and our in alienable right to religious freedom.  If you vote for Tim Kaine, you dishonor the Constitution.

P.S. Michael, who is one of the main tweeters for the Tim Kaine campaign, furnished another example today.  Luke is talking about Jesus is calling people to spread the gospel and save souls, not to elect Tim Kaine or to get along in Congress – just another example of how Kaine uses religion for political ends.

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Cross-posted on DefeatTimKaine.com

The Official Guide To Understanding Tim Kaine Bipartisanship

Tim Kaine, predecessor to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is constantly trying to convince us that he is bipartisan.  After 20 years in office, if he was, then we could see that for ourselves.

Tim Kaine has an odd and twisted approach to government.  It is a mix of Jeremiah Wright-style religion, extreme liberal policies, a tendentious civil rights view of America, all topped off with professorial tone and smooth delivery.  In his own way, our Obamabot is trying to pull off a “Barack The Unifier” redux here in Virginia.

And indeed, Tim Kaine is quite adept at this bipartisan fan dance; but when you filter out his style and listen closely to his words, you will hear a repetitive and angry Leftist who is desperately trying to pull Virginia back to the Progressive socialist agenda.  It goes something like this:

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Who Really Is More Virginian?

The media has a fixation on how much money a candidate collects from Virginia residents as compared to outside of the state.  The unstated assumption is that the candidate who receives more campaign donations from within their state is the true Virginian, more in touch, and better liked.

This is a silly premise since it does not take into account the localized concentrations in wealth in certain localities or the added motivation from donors that derive their livelihood from the “business” of government:  a public sector job, government procurement, lobbying, or the making of laws and running elections.  Furthermore, Congressional elections have national impact like the senior Senator from Nevada who degrades my life.  Nevertheless, we will play along to correct the perception.

If you go to the fec.gov site and download the Itemized Individual Contributions data [1], you will get the following results:

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Kaine has collected more dollars from Virginia, but proportionally speaking, that is relative to his own base, he receives 46% from Virginia while Allen receives 61% from Virginia.  So next time you see these in/out of state data tossed around, you can evaluate the statistics from this perspective.  So now the media can safely report that, case closed, George Allen is the real Virginian and move on to actually reporting some facts about both men’s records as governor as opposed to retweeting their press releases or cut and pasting the occasional blurb from the latest poll.

But while we are on the topic of money, let’s dispel one of Tim Kaine’s complaints:  evil “secret money”.  The amounts in the chart tables also contain contributions from organizations called aggregators.  It’s like a PayPal for politicians.  Admittedly, the Democrats are more effective in using aggregators to collect money on a national scale for their key candidates such as ActBlue, which funnels money to Kaine.  Democrats always have the edge when it comes to centralization.

The point is that these aggregators do not report the person who is contributing, which is exactly Kaine’s complaint about Karl Rove et al.  Here’s a sample of what the Kaine campaign provides to the FEC: 

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And the totals are not trivial:

  • ActBlue Virginia:  $528,004
  • League Of Conservation Voters Action Fund:  $74,135

Of course those amounts are not on the same scale of Crossroads GPS ad dollars, but I’m sure Tim Kaine would agree that it’s the principle that matters.  The Republicans do not have an aggregator similar to ActBlue involved in this race.

So to summarize, if you consider Kaine’s total dollars, he gets proportionally more of his dollars from outside of Virginia.  And when you look at transfers from other political organizations and politicians, Kaine also receives a nice chunk from California, New York, DC, and Harry Reid-type Democrats.  His ability to draw outside funds should be no surprise since he was the chief DNC fundraiser for two years.  In addition, Senate Democrats want to keep their leadership roles and Tim Kaine is one of their key investments.

Cross-posted on DefeatTimKaine.com

[1] A couple of points on the data:  the detail records are manually created in Congress and then handed to the FEC.  They will tell you that this data always contains errors and never equal the summary numbers which the campaigns submit first.  Also, if you use data from vpap.org bear in mind that exclude receipts under $200, which ignores approximately 6000 small donations.

The Kaine Polling Gap

In the Virginia US Senate race, George Allen is doing better than Mitt Romney and Tim Kaine is doing worse than Barack Obama.  Furthermore, Kaine’s numbers have weakened over the last three months.  How can a former governor who is also a consistent and visible supporter of Barack Obama also post worse numbers than the President in his home state?

The following charts compare the senate candidates to their party’s presidential nominees.  The data comes from Real Clear Politics. 

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In the 32 polls that polled both the presidential and senate candidates, Allen has outpolled Mitt Romney 18 times while Kaine has outperformed Obama 11 times.  Since Allen won the Republican senate primary in June, Kaine’s numbers have been lower than Obama’s by an average of 2.3 percentage points.

What explains this overall pattern?  Certainly no one can accuse Tim Kaine of distancing himself from Barack Obama.  He continues to fervently support Barack Obama on Obamacare, taxes, war on women, and immigration; and he chides Democrats who have untethered themselves from Obama.

Bland Messaging

Kaine’s proposals are theoretical.  His main pitch is that we need to create a “Talent Economy”.  This is transparent plea to spend more stimulus and education dollars and to make the immigration Dream Act law.  However, many people believe that we already spend enormous sums on government-run education and we are not seeing results.

Furthermore, our more pressing problem, some would say crisis, is not about building some new future “Talent Economy” but to save the current Real Economy from fiscal Armageddon.  If Tim Kaine (who has a BA in Economics) had read a little more Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek, then he could be making tangible contributions in unwinding our fiscal mess.

Lower Personal Favorability than Allen

According to recent polls that include favorability data, Allen’s Total Favorability has typically been higher than Kaine’s ; and Kaine’s Total Unfavorabily has been worse than Allen’s.   This probably comes as a shock to WaPo readers.

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The other recent polls (Gravis Marketing on Sep 8-9 Allen +5) and (NBC/WSJ/Marist on Sep 9-11 Tied) and (CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac  on Aug 6 Kaine +2) did not report favorability data; presumably they didn’t collect it. The chart does not include people who said that they were Unsure.

Update:  See my update in the comments about today’s Rasmussen’s poll.

Kaine’s Role as DNC Chairman Undermines His Bipartisan Claim

After you have been hand-picked by a divisive president to run the Democratic Party machine, then it becomes a tough sell to convince people that you are a moderate.  Kaine was preceded by Howard Dean and backfilled by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (who does a flawless Beetlejuice impersonation.)  As head of the DNC, Kaine’s primary function was to serve as Obama’s chief fundraiser and political advocate – a role that only a true believer can fill.

And during his DNC tenure, Kaine no longer had any reason to temper his liberal beliefs; so he became openly left on the social issues, judges, DOMA/DADT, or entitlement spending.  Take abortion for example.  Kaine presented himself as a candidate with deep Catholic faith who led voters.  Now, Planned Parenthood holds fundraisers in New York City in his honor and he is a featured speaker at their rallies.

Sequestration Mishandling

During the June NoVa Tech Town Hall Q&A, we heard the business community ask Kaine and Allen what their position was on sequestration, which impacts the defense contracting community.  Allen’s answer was direct:  immediately repeal it because you don’t make cuts in defense like that with a war on, overseas unrest, or after having already made defense cuts.  Kaine said that Congress needs to make a plan, which is to say he was caught flatfooted in of all places, Democrat-rich Fairfax.

Later, Kaine made matters worse by trying to link sequestration to the impending tax increases in January (which includes reviving AMT by the way).  What he has been trying to do is use the defense budget as political leverage to increase taxes on the 1%.  This gamesmanship does not sit well and it looks like the business as usual horse-trading that gave us sequestration and a $16 trillion debt in the first place.  Kaine also proposed raising Social Security taxes and imposing an Internet Sales Tax during the Town Hall.

Low Motivation

Kaine was the Democrat’s “break in case of fire” candidate, much like how Jim Webb was plucked out to run against Allen in 2005.  Kaine is a good fundraiser and he spins a good yarn; but he doesn’t seem to quite have the same heart for politics.  The 2010 mid-term referendum on Barack Obama was not a resume enhancer for Kaine.

I have listened for Kaine to state why he is running, and all I hear are statements like America simply has to elect Barack Obama or that he is running to keep Virginia from back sliding.  These are not positive rallying cries.

In addition, Kaine is not getting much exposure.  His 60+ appearances at small businesses and now his recently announced meetings in 50 private homes for the next 50 days are typically not covered or are not open to the public.  Perhaps Kaine is like many, if not most, candidates who are content to let this election be a second referendum on Barack Obama so he can’t be blamed if the Democrats lose.

Debatable Fiscal Management Claims

Kaine regularly says that he balanced the 2010-12 biennial budget and made the “tough cuts”.  However, voters may be learning about the true Kaine-budget story.  For example:

  • Virginia’s constitution requires a balanced budget.
  • In Virginia (and a dumb process to be sure), just before the outgoing governor leaves office, he submits a budget for the next two years.  In the case of one-term Virginia, that always means a different governor; so there is no requirement to sell or implement your own proposed budget. This is like asking the CEO who is leaving a company to design a multiyear strategic plan for his soon to be former employer during the exit interview with Human Resources.
  • Kaine’s proposed budget cuts were both random and temporary.  However, his tax increases were permanent.  There was no guiding strategy in downsizing the state’s budget.
  • Kaine significantly raised college tuition, which many Virginia parents and students with loans can attest.
  • Kaine was multitasking in 2009 serving as governor and DNC Chairman.  Jim Gilmore (R) did the same thing; however, in 2009 Virginia was experiencing the effects from a national recession and Kaine was begging for stimulus money.  That was hardly the time for a sitting governor to start moonlighting for his next job. Today he touts cutting his pay; actually he owes Virginia a refund for 2009.
  • The incoming McDonnell administration found close to $1 billion in unspent transportation funds, which made Kaine look foolish especially after arguing over transportation funding throughout his term.

Kaine also vigorously supports Obamacare and reflexively attacked Paul Ryan’s fiscal plan.  These are not the actions of a politician who is prepared to make unpopular decisions and to start cutting the debt.

Summary

Those are my explanations as to why our former governor is not performing well as the POTUS in his home state.  Admittedly, it’s pure opinion since we have no data on these issues.  But there is something wrong with the Dem strategy or the candidate given his consistent polling gap.

But perhaps the answer is simple, Tim Kaine always has been, is, and always will be a taxaholic.

Cross-posted on DefeatTimKaine.com

Unlimited Dulles Tolls: Tim Kaine’s Transportation Legacy

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Former governor Tim Kaine is the central player and the initiating root cause that led us to the escalating tolls controversy on the Dulles Toll Road (DTR).  Immediately after taking office in 2006, Kaine exploited a legal gap that short-circuited the normal procurement process.  He then cut a deal outside of normal legislative oversight while also ignoring protests.  This deal transferred complete control of the DTR including toll setting power to MWAA in return for funding the state’s share of the Silver Line construction and operational costs.

As predicted, MWAA has continued to increase tolls and they will continue to do so up to whatever level they deem necessary.  The latest estimates predict that tolls will ratchet up to $4.50 next year, $6.75 by 2018, and $16.75 by 2043, and yes, that is the cost each way. [1]   In May, Bill McMorris described why Kaine’s deal “could sink his candidacy for U.S. Senate”; and he may soon be proved correct. [2]

The Silver Line is a complex $6 billion project; however, MWAA is an airport operator that has never built a transit project, which explains their incompetent management thus far.   MWAA is also a unique federal creation that is not subject to normal public or private sector regulation and oversight, which explains their corruption.  In addition, MWAA is not even part of WMATA, which is the overall METRO manager.

Virginia’s ability to influence on MWAA is limited to selecting 5 of the 13 board members.  Naturally, Kaine picked Dennis Martire, an actively serving union Vice President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America.  Martire led the effort to alter the Project Labor Agreement, which is designed to drive more contracts to the Silver Line union honey pot. [3]

Kaine’s MWAA deal occurred from December 2005 to May 2006.  His actions back then illustrate how he would legislate in the future as senator, God forbid.  And as is often the case, Kaine’s actions readily diverge from his stated beliefs.  His career, whether it is the Silver Line, Obamacare, or taxes, is a pattern of intransience despite his affable style and courtroom-honed communication skills.

Tim Kaine nominated himself to be the chief salesman of the Silver Line because 1) it fit into his Cap and Trade green agenda, 2) it guaranteed future union contributions and foot soldiers for him and other Virginia Democrats, and 3) it quickly got him off the hook with Democrat-rich Fairfax.  NoVa commuters were upset over traffic congestion and they demanded action, any action; and he wasn’t about to waste the crisis.

This episode reveals three of Kaine’s personal traits, which do not mix well with good government.  Specifically he showed a:

  1. Lack of Integrity:  He feigned support for the prescribed formal selection process, which was well underway, while starting his own private negotiations with MWAA.
  2. Lack of Transparency:  He unilaterally signed a formal Memo of Agreement (MOU) with MWAA without consulting the legislature and took advantage of a legal gray area.
  3. Lack of Bipartisanship:  He did not respond to repeated concerns raised by House Speaker Howell or even Fairfax Democrats who also recognized that their constituents would someday be at the mercy of MWAA tolls.

1.  Lack of Integrity

Virginia has a process called the Public-Private Transportation Act (PPTA), which allows vendors to submit a broad range of options.  Tim Kaine said that he favored this business-like approach, or as he called it the “Yellow Pages Rule”:  If government is providing a service that two or more private companies also offer, then government ought to get out of the business. [4]

By December 2005, four companies had submitted competing Silver Line proposals and made it through the first approval step.  One bidder had structured a proposal that gave Virginia $800 million up front, which the Commonwealth could use on other projects.   Using the PPTA process, Virginia could negotiate terms, service level agreements, penalties and performance incentives.   Richmond’s Pocahontas Parkway (Route 895) was a public-private partnership.

However, right after Kaine was elected but before he took office, MWAA went into gear and solicited Kaine directly with a competing proposal [5].  Since MWAA was not a private company, Kaine used this technicality to justify keeping MWAA’s proposal out of the PPTA process that was underway.   The Dulles Toll Road was an extremely valuable asset that was paid for and generating revenue.

As a result, no advisory panel was ever formed to evaluate all of the proposals against each other.  This violated common due diligence practices, as well as the spirit of Virginia’s laws.  Clearly, it was not an objective and agnostic “Yellow Pages Rule” approach.

The Washington examiner summed it up like this:

In fact, there were so many early warning signs that this megaproject would go off the rails that Kaine should have spotted them a long time ago. But he ignored them all. [6]

2. Transparency

While the General Assembly was in session, Kaine continued to conduct his private discussions with MWAA.   Naturally, questions were asked such as “what about the current proposals” and “why would we even entertain a proposal from an organization that has no qualifications in building a transit system?”

But the public will never know what transpired.  The following reviews and checks did not occur:

  • No public hearings were held.
  • No minutes were published.
  • No public comments were accepted and responded to.
  • MWAA was not required to meet the minimum qualifications that the other vendors had already passed.
  • MWAA’s proposal was never scored and documented against the other competing proposals.
  • No vendor post-selection review was held, which is traditionally the end of a government procurement process where losing vendors are provided feedback on why their proposal was not selected.
  • No third party analysis or independent due diligence was conducted, which is amazing given the cost and a non-revocable type of arrangement.
  • No one asked if MWAA was even permitted to offer the proposal since they were regulated by myriad of airport revenue utilization rules.
  • While MWAA used their control of the Access Road property as leverage, in fact the land is owned by the federal government and is only assigned to MWAA.  The federal government can step in at any time and grant new easements or even return the land back to Virginia.

Just before Kaine signed the MOU, MWAA came forward with its first of many cost increases and design cut backs.  The new estimate in March was raised from $1.8 to $2 billion for Phase 1 and another cost analysis was scheduled later in the summer. [7]

Despite questions and the surprise cost estimate increase, Governor Kaine signed a Memorandum Of Understanding on March 24, 2006, which transferred the DTR to MWAA.  [8]

The MOU and MWAA would later be unsuccessfully challenged in court.  AG Ken Cuchinelli later advised that it was legal because there “was no precedent from the Supreme Court of Virginia delineating the precise authority of the Governor in this context”.  However, in terms of a transportation solution, Cuchinelli called the Silver Line an “economic boondoggle”.

Afterwards, Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer provided talking points, which were met with more unanswered questions.  Here is a link to VaCostCutting.com who nicely summarized the concerns. [9]

3. Lack of Bipartisanship

Not unexpectedly, the Republican House Speaker Howell immediately called foul and challenged Kaine for not submitting the MWAA proposal to public review, a PPTA Advisory Board, the Transportation Committee, or General Assembly.

Key Republicans like George Allen and Frank Wolfe said the Silver Line should be built; but they did not support Kaine’s unilateral actions or selecting MWAA.  Frank Wolfe has recently been offering various proposals to deal with MWAA corruption and regain Virginia control.  (Atomizing their MWAA Frankenstein and starting over with an actual transit expert would be a nice warm-up exercise for the new Republican Congress.)

Even the “Jim Moran of Fairfax” and then County Board of Supervisor Chairman Gerry Connolly and Barbara Favola sided with the Republicans on this issue and expressed concern about the potential impact of Kaine’s opened-ended deal on the Fairfax budget.  From day one, politicians foresaw the resulting higher tolls that are now materializing.  But Fairfax didn’t force the issue when they had the chance to do so.

Kaine’s attitude was expressed by his spokesman Delacey Skinner who said,

“The Governor has confidence in the airports authority to do this. That’s kind of the end of it.” [10]

“That’s kind of the end of it” is also a good description of Kaine’s relationships after a contentious first legislative session after which he demanded a Special Session rematch.  Kaine’s first session as governor was contentious because he tried to push through a surprise tax proposal while the Commonwealth was running a surplus due to Mark Warner’s earlier tax increases.  In addition, he led everyone to believe that he would not raise taxes during the 2005 campaign (although it’s more accurate to say that he declined to state, to use a Kaine campaign phrase.)

For a self-ascribed bipartisan, Kaine had the shortest honeymoon in Virginia history and he never again regained the trust or had a productive relationship with the Republican opposition.  This falling out, along with the slowing economy and unemployment probably explains why Kaine jumped at the chance to be Obama’s DNC Chairman during his last year in office.

But then in a final show of Wasserman-style chutzpah, Kaine testified before US House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure just a month later in May 2006 and offered the following admonition on how to effectively run public-private transportation partnerships.  In his opening statement he said:

“Fourth, the decision to enter into a public-private partnership, as well as the implementation of that partnership, needs to be open to the public.  Protection of bargaining rights and proprietary information can exist in a climate of transparency and accountability.” [11]

Summary

While it is tempting to explore the other Silver Line debacles, to do so would require Ken Burns and documentary level resources.  Suffice it to say that the Silver Line was never about reducing commute congestion.  The number of estimated riders has always been soft and only a fraction of the total daily commutes.  And you have to admit that when the US Department of Transportation tries to pull out of a major project in a Democrat-rich Virginia county, then the project is clearly a bad idea.

The Silver Line will not solve congestion because it is driven by social causes, money flowing to developers and special interests, and most importantly:  getting politicians off of the hook after decades of kicking the can.

So as Virginians watch DTR tolls increase outside of their control, remember how Tim Kaine started this mess and how he set up the deal which left Virginia vulnerable.  If he had followed a transparent process and if had collaborated in a bipartisan manner based on objective engineering data, then a better solution would have probably resulted.  At least Virginia voters would still own their paid-off DTR and they would have the political recourse to change leadership and direction.

And just as the predictions of higher tolls are coming true, remember the other prediction:  that those higher tolls will drive commuters off of the DTR creating an even worse congestion and pollution.

Thank you Tim Kaine.  Your legacy will indeed live on.

References:

[1] Excerpts from Information Paper Traffic and Revenue Study Update and 2012 Process for Establishing Toll Rates, February 2012, CDM Smith.

[2] Mark of Kaine”, McMorris, B. May 17, 2012, The Washington Free Beacon.

[3] “Who Is Dennis Martire?”, May 23, 2011, Bacons Rebellion blog.

[4] “Follow the Rule”, April 9, 2006, The Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Article accessed from VaCostCutting.com on September 8, 2012.

[5] “Letter to the Governor and Governor-Elect of Virginia”, December 20, 2005. MWAA.  PDF

[6] “Dulles Rail: Call it Kaine’s Katastrophe”, Hollingsworth, B. , May 17, 2011.  The Washington Examiner.

[7] “Dulles Rail Project Faces Cuts as Costs Swell”, MacGillis, A., March 23, 2006, The Washington Post.

[8] Memorandum of Understanding, March 2006, Metwashairports.com. MOU pdf.  Additional MWAA documents on their website.

 [9] “Dulles Toll Road: MWAA v. Private”, April 5, 2006, VaCostCutting.com blog.

[10] “Opposition Building Over Toll Road Deal”,  Shear, M. and Ginsber, S.  March 30, 2006.  The Washington Post.

[11] “Testimony before the United States House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Public-Private Partnerships”, Kaine, T., May 2006, US House.

Tim Kaine and the Decline in Democrat Party Affiliation

While head of the Democrat Party, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine presided over a steady decline in Democrat Party affiliation.  During his tenure from January 2009 to April 2011, the percentage of people who aligned themselves with the Democrat Party fell from 40.9% to 33.5%, and it has continued falling under Kaine’s successor the perpetually hyperventilated Debbie Wasserman Schultz. 

Simultaneously, Republican identification rose and last month (August 2012), Republicans led Democrats by 4.3 percentage points, a nice trend going into November.   Reince Priebus, the state committees, and Romney’s campaign are getting the job done.

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Chart data is from Rasmussen’s long term Mood of America tracking and Gallup has shown similar results this year.

The logical response to this steady decline would have been to adjust and appeal to moderates.  Tim Kaine says that he is a moderate who only wants to work across the aisle, so he was the ideal person to meet the challenge.  As the Chief Political Officer, his job description was to increase the Democrat brand and raise money.

Kaine had many political advantages.  His party was in power and held supermajorities.  There was no Republican political leader.  Democrats had enlarged 2008 voter rolls, they enjoyed a compliant media, and people blamed Bush.  However, Kaine did not use this window to moderate the Democrat message and policies.  He made no attempt at a third way strategy.  DNC openings were not filled with moderates, but the Patrick Gaspards of the world.

If Kaine was simply going through the motions and secretly wanted to distance himself from Obama, then he would have voluntarily moved on right after the disastrous mid-term election.  As far as we know, he would have continued on as DNC Chairman if Jim Webb had not decided to retire.

More proof that Kaine does not have a moderate core is found in his abiding and rigid support for Barack Obama; unless of course you believe that Obama is a moderate.  Even today, Kaine reminds us that he was the first politician outside of Illinois to endorse Barack Obama and that not voting for Obama is tantamount to racism, backsliding, or as it’s called now:  refusing to go Forward.  Although, based on last week’s MSNBC convention coverage, we’ve learned that most words in Merriam-Webster can now be considered racist.

And apparently Independents have not been running into Tim Kaine’s arms.  According to the polls, Independents favor George Allen and his favorables are better (+6.1%) than Kaine’s (+1.8%).  This week, the Politico admitted that Allen was leading with Independents, but concluded that Kaine had a better month in August because he began running ads in Spanish.

No, Tim Kaine had his chance to put a moderate thumbprint on the Democrat Party and he was well-aware of the declining affiliation numbers.  And until this senate campaign, he enjoyed the illusion of being a moderate “I’m only here to serve” politician – that is until he persisted in supporting Obamacare plus an array of taxes.  Tim Kaine never preached the gospel of moderation to the DNC Choir because he was too busy leading the choir and the data shows the consequences.

PolitiFact Rates Mostly Deceptive

PolitiFact continues with its disinformation and water carrying for Tim Kaine.  In this particular piece of contorted journalism, they agree with George Allen’s claim and then go on to say that he is Mostly False.

The story begins during the July 21, 2012 debate, when George Allen made the claim saying to Kaine:

“But Virginia, at the end of your term, had a larger state workforce than at the beginning of your term.”

Since Democrats like to say that we started into the worst recession since FDR starting under George Bush in 2007, then how Tim Kaine responded from 2007-2010 is kind of important.

PolitiFact rated Allen’s claim Mostly False in George Allen says the state government workforce grew when Tim Kaine was governor.

The topic is about employee staffing counts or Full-Time Equivalents, which is a standard industry term.  It’s not about dollars, inflation adjusted dollars, or some manipulated ratio for effect like state employees not on sick leave per pound of CO2 emitted on Tuesday mornings;  so this exercise should be simple.

Allen based his claim on a US Census table; however, Politifact decided that they were going to use the Virginia State Department of Human Resources Management (DHRM).   The fact that PolitiFact doesn’t immediately evaluate the US Census data but skips to their preferred source is the first clue as to where this piece of objective reporting is heading.

Nevertheless, we’ll stick with the DHRM data. We go their home page, which is reassuringly subtitled the 1st Place in HR Information, and look for FTE data.

Then we select the link titled State Employment Level Trends 1991 – 2011 which is a Powerpoint that contains several tables.  Page 5 is titled Total Full-Time Equivalent –2001 to 2011 State Employees.  Kaine was in office from January 2006 to January 2010 (actually 2009 is debatable but I digress).

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The DHRM EPR table shows that starting with Jan 2006 and ending with Jan 2010, the total number of Salaried and Temporary Employees increased, whether you look at just the Executive Branch (+295) or the Statewide Total (+1,108).  They aren’t a huge difference but they are increases.   I would give much more weight to the large increases in permanent salaried staff, but let’s keep it simple.

Then PolitiFact immediately starts out with misdirection by quoting Anne Waring saying that the agency counts staff as of the last day of the month.  So what?  The above numbers are what her department publishes and represents to the public as accurate final figures.

Then buried four paragraphs later, Politifact actually agrees with George Allen and cites the 295 figure which is shown in the above table; however, they go on to editorialize “That makes Allen’s statement right, but not by much.”  Again, so what?  Even a journalist can agree that 295 and 1,108 are positive numbers and not zero or negative.  So the article should have concluded then and there with a green light confirming George Allen’s claim.

But no, we need an orange light.

We could even cut PolitiFact some slack and let them add that the state DHRM records are less than what the US Census reported; but that doesn’t change the accuracy of Allen’s claim.  If PolitiFact wanted to research why the US Census and State numbers differed, then go for it.  But the US Census is a legitimate source; it’s the all-knowing federal government.

Next, PolitiFact obfuscates by claiming that Kaine is only responsible for the Executive Branch, which is highlighted in yellow.  Well, if he can propose a smorgasbord of taxes and cuts, defer hiring, etc. in his ill-fated Biennial Budget; then he can accept responsibility for the entire state workforce budget.  Unlike the PolitiFact , we don’t care with how hard the workforce reductions would have been on Gov. Kaine’s nerves or how much “limited control” he had.  He wanted the big chair, so deal with it.

And I may be mistaken, but I think that I’ve heard Tim Kaine claim credit, about 100 times, that he made $5 billion in difficult cuts, demonstrated stellar fiscal management, and created a record that he wants to take to Washington.

Then PolitiFact creates a third diversion by getting into temporary workers at colleges working in December.  Again so what?  The * under Temporary is not explained and the education staff is separately listed on the bottom four lines titled Higher Education.  The entire paragraph is strained and muddled.

Bottomline:  we have published data from PolitiFact ’s preferred source that concurs with Allen’s point, but Politifact goes on to make two separate conclusions based on data with no citation or link that we can confirm.

And now for the final insult.  Even though PolitiFact admits that Allen is correct, since they have come up with two of their own sets of figures, they conclude that Allen is really only correct only 1 out 3 times, and therefore rates it Mostly False.

Well, I rate PolitiFact  Mostly Deceptive.  May Google Adwords continue to eat your revenue.

The data in the above spreadsheet was taken from page 5:

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Getting Involved as an Election Officer

Perhaps you have been asking yourself how I can get involved.  Maybe you have limited time or are not really comfortable with direct political solicitation like canvassing or phone banking.  Have you thought about serving as an election officer?

Our electoral system hinges on citizen volunteers, ethical people who volunteer a day or two a year.  Each precinct needs Election Officers from two or more parties; it’s a trust but verify thing.  Without this check, fraud could occur. A corrupt poll worker can fraudulently check in absent voters that are on the rolls and fill out a ballot.  Even if that person shows up later, they can check in someone else to keep the totals balanced and so forth.

Fairly running a precinct is critical.  It is impossible to govern if its citizens lose faith in the electoral process.  One wonders if the country could withstand another disaster like 2000; and unfortunately not much has been done to prevent a re-occurrence.

Virginia has its share of voter fraud.  We have the corrupt Voter Participation Center organization which sent 200,000 pre-populated registration forms in Virginia as well as several 2008 prosecutions.  And lest you think that Virginia is clean and pure as the wind driven snow,  in 2008, 16 electoral boards in Virginia were found guilty in Federal Court of denying the military vote in fact they had to be forced by a second court order to finalize the count.

And these examples are only what they catch and chose to prosecute.  Even in my happy quasi-country corner of Loudoun, a merchant tells me that crisp $100 bills and unfamiliar people magically appear on an Election Day.

During an Election Day, there are four groups that are performing different roles:

Election Board employees:  they come on site to inspect the physical layout and opening zero reports, collect interim totals, provide technology support, and answer questions.  Of course, they handle collecting and publishing the actual results.

Outside party workers:  these form the gauntlet of candidate supporters who you encounter at the polling entrance and who are making their last appeal and handing out sample ballots (be careful of those by the way).

Inside Poll Watcher:  these are individuals who have been selected by a political party to remain inside and observe the check-in process.  They can challenge (actually anyone can make a challenge) those voters who they believe are not qualified.  It’s also common for them to report back to the party mid-day with who has voted so they can figure out and ping their likely supporters have not yet voted.  If you want to be a watcher, then contact your local party.

Election Officers:  these are the 5-12 volunteers who operate the precinct.  They work as agents of the county election board and take an oath to conduct the precinct according to the law with no political advocacy.  There is a Chief and sometimes an Assistant Chief so you don’t have to learn all the detailed rules (and believe me there are many).  You can choose the task that you are most comfortable in performing; and I assume most counties are like Loudoun, which provides a short classroom and hands-on training with the equipment.

  • An Election Officer may help with the following tasks:
  • Initial setup of furniture, equipment and signs.
  • Check-in voters and hand them a paper ballot or electronic voter card.
  • Monitor electronic voting machines.  An Election Officer has to scan a security card before each person can vote.
  • Monitor paper ballot readers and handle spoiled ballots.
  • When large crowds are expected, someone may help people waiting on line to verify if they are in the right precinct.
  • Disassemble and store the equipment.
  • Fill out, cross-check, and secure the paperwork.

The Chief and Assistant Chief are there to handle all of the one-offs, the rare out of sorts voter, and the paperwork.  It really is low stress; and again, you only have to do the tasks that you are comfortable in performing.  The technology is easy and if there is an equipment problem then the Chief will handle it.

I guarantee that you will enjoy the interaction and meeting new people.  I have never encountered a grumpy poll worker; everyone is there to protect the integrity of the process and that is its own reward.

You can request to be assigned at your regular precinct although it helps if you are flexible enough to be reassigned where they have holes.  In Loudoun, you can decide if you want to work a half or full day and they compensate you around $100, which shouldn’t be the reason but it does make for a nice dinner.  You can also sign up as a group to work a precinct, just make every effort to recruit people with different political persuasions.  State law prohibits employers from obstructing your participation, but in my experience, employers are happy to support community volunteers.

The only inconvenience is that you can’t leave the building, no cell phones, and you need to vote absentee if you are not working at your own precinct.  You can have another person bring you food and other necessary items, just no socializing or giving out any information.

If you are interested, contact your county election board now since they are finalizing preparations for November.

The Gloss Is Off

There is bound to be more behind this week’s UVa story.  Methinks the Cavalier deniest too much.  How can they display so much enthusiasm for retaining an ousted school president and then deny the One?  No, there’s something amiss here and inquiring minds want to know.

The stated reason doesn’t make any sense.  The first week on campus consists of settling in, changing classes and dorm rooms, attending welcome events that groups sponsor, resolving parking issues, etc.  The initial days would have the least impact on productive class time.

Then we see Larry Sabato coming to the defense by tweeting out in professorial tone “Sorry, folks. #UVA made correct decision. Classes should not be cancelled for any political event.  Bad precedent”.  But wait; UVa canceled classes to watch Obama’s swearing in ceremony.  Is not continuing the legacy even more important than starting it?

The excuse of canceling classes made no sense? Then I read that Obama was requesting venues like the McIntire Amphitheater.  What is this?  Have they forgotten their state of the art Scott stadium and other sport arenas?  Who dares show such lack of faith in the One?  Romney was man enough to hold a rally in a football stadium and in Detroit no less.

The stadium and other arenas are conveniently located in outlying residential sections, which won’t impact central campus traffic.  The only requirement is to find 50K+ believers who want to vote solely on the basis of race again – should be easy in a college town.

No, I suspect that UVa did not want to be the host for a half-empty unenthusiastic event filled with Cville Democrat Party old timers and create another embarrassing PR blunder.  Which leads us to ask, if Obama can’t get crowds on a college campus then what?  He’s alienated most every other group.  Maybe Kaine’s earlier rally at the Pavilion entrance in April was an indicator of receding student enthusiasm since the only students in attendance were either on stage or collecting signatures.

Face it, the marketing gloss is off this guy and the Great Bamboozle is coming to an end.  But I could be wrong.  The Pavilion is only a hop skip and jump from campus for students.  We will be paying attention to the camera angles and use of the zoom and comparing this to the energy at Obama’s October 2007 event.  Maybe Tim Kaine will make an appearance and reuse his “I Had a Feeling Speech”; although he’s probably saving that gem for the convention.

Observations On Our 46th President

I was surprised and pleased when Mitt selected Paul Ryan.  He made a clear and serious calculation to abandon the “Obama competency” strategy and to go for substance:  entitlement reform.  Having the courage to embrace the rail is the first step in solving the deficit, debt, and unfunded liability disasters that loom closer every day.  Perhaps we can in fact start to wean people off of government entitlements and raze the Democrat plantation once and for all – oh happy day.

Explaining entitlement reform and government finances in detail should be fertile ground for a Merger and Acquisition guy.  In that world, you need to absorb and distill vast amounts of imperfect information, weigh multiple variables, and convince people to make a high stakes decision.  I even saw Mitt use the trusty Boston 2×2 box to illustrate a point last week, cool beans.  I just wish that Mitt had the philosophical background to give his opponents the “Milton Friedman treatment” and talk about the morality of capitalism.

Fortunately, Democrats continue to ignore the fact that reality and math have de-energized the third rail.  The hapless Obama campaign pivoted every gun within hours of Ryan’s selection, blindly firing like Hussein’s anti-air craft batteries trying to shoot down stealth fighters over Baghdad.  I can’t wait for the stories this week where Ryan kills millions of people so he can pile their bodies to finish the border fence.  Face it, the Chicago thug and his sycophants like Tim Kaine are out of ideas and Greek columns.

And showing the loyalty that a lemming would applaud, our former Gov. Kaine reflexively piled onto Medicare and Social Security attack on Ryan.  But in doing so, he made his second major campaign mistake because he undercut his claim to fiscal responsibility and bipartisanship. (His first mistake was getting caught flat footed on sequestration in the Democrat-rich burbs)  Kaine’s a smooth talking liberal who only occasionally shows us some ankle like when he called the Tea Party Donner Party cannibals.  Keep it coming Governor, the more contrast the better.

Democrats still refuse to accept that a growing number in my generation are acknowledging the damage that wealth transfer schemes, aka entitlements, have done; and that we are trying to redeem ourselves in front of our children – this is what animates the Tea Party.  Sadly, we will leave our kids a weaker country, but at least a growing number of us want to show them how to fix it, starting with entitlements.

So here is what I like about Paul Ryan:

  • He is on a mission to bring actual needed change.  It’s not about him.
  • He communicates ideas and counters objections with good cheer.  In fact, he thrives on debate.
  • He is serious and action oriented.  Listen to his opening lines which typically call for a response. You won’t see him warming the crowd with jokes or relying on poll-crafted talking points.
  • He addresses the root cause and not symptoms – deficits are primarily a symptom of entitlements.
  • He engages and refutes his opponent’s fallacies. I love the way he counters the It’s Bush’s Fault Syndrome with you know Obama had two years of unrestricted freedom and completely ignored Republicans to implement all of his policies, so he by definition owns the results.  (Obama is such an amateur that he doesn’t even know how to co-opt the other party.)
  • He doesn’t seem to be a creature of DC or have run for Congress to be part of the club, seek notoriety, or embellish his resume.  Being home in Wisconsin is more important than hobnobbing with over-educated masterminds on K Street.
  • He appears to be man dedicated to traditional values which is a prerequisite to solving our financial mess – separating social and fiscal issues is a false dichotomy.
  • He can facilitate a change in Republican legislative leadership, if Mitt will support him.
  • He no doubt reads and understands a bill before he votes on it.
  • He is not Ivy League educated.
  • His election will be a fitting tribute to Jack Kemp’s legacy.
  • He complements Mitt’s background by injecting confidence in conservative governing principles.  Being a successful businessman could become a negative if Mitt thinks in terms of losing market share and over-filters his words (a common problem with moderates) or if he relies on data more than his instinct.

Here’s what concerns me:

  • Romney will get cold feet over the demagoguery and fall back to the “we can grow ourselves out of every problem”.  The fact is for 30 years, tax revenue has increased, but Congress has spent exponentially more.
  • Romney will abandon the rule of law and go “comprehensive immigration” on us disrespecting everyone who plays by the rules.
  • Republican legislators refuse to close ranks around Ryan to protect their status quo.  So far, their support has been, shall we say, muted.
  • Ron Paul supporters, who claim to be very concerned about fiscal issues, will find some point on which to accuse Ryan of some libertarian heresy and give Obama a half of a vote.

So thank you Gov. Romney for making a bold choice and giving us added confidence in your candidacy.  And although this is your ticket allow me be the first to request that your campaign wizards let Ryan be Ryan.  He’s earned it.

Gov. Demagogue

Gov. Kaine regularly exhibits passive aggressive behaviors, which is an unsettling trait for someone who seeks to wield the levers of power.   He is a second rate demagogue – Barack Obama being an example of a first rate demagogue.  Demagogues are deceptive and unreliable people who hold fast to an agenda that is as rigid as it is well-hidden.  Personally, I can tolerate an honest Rahm Emanuel easier than a contrived Tim Kaine.

From Merriam-Webster, Demagogue: A leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.

Tim Kaine’s campaign attempts to present the image of a moderate who only wants to extend his “hand across the aisle” but that is pure marketing.  He preaches civility but eventually falls into rhetoric such as:

“What we’re seeing in the Republican Party is that they invited the Tea Party in and it’s turning into the Donner Party.”

“Republicans want fewer people to vote, not more”

[Rand] Paul, a Tea Party member, says the Civil Rights Act shouldn’t have been passed

“‘I’m going to hold those who vote responsible”, Kaine said. “When I have that open hand extended and they reject it, I don’t think they’re going to like the outcome.”

“the chairwoman of Virginia’s electoral board, Jean Cunningham , is black, that its vice chairman, Harold Pyon, is Korean-American, and that Nancy Rodrigues, secretary of the State Board of Elections, is Hispanic. So this isn’t like the old-fashioned Virginia electoral board” [this was the same Board that justified denying military absentee vote in 2008 and was found guilty in federal court]

Another example occurred last week while Tim Kaine was addressing public sector unions and the Federal-Postal Coalition last week.  Former Gov. Kaine: Attacks on federal employees ‘revolting’

Kaine said that waging war against public workers “is not a management model that works.”

Notice how Kaine starts by accusing opponents of waging another war.  In the case of the postal closures, an appropriate discussion would be to admit that the Postal Service is no longer an economical service primarily due to technology dislocation.  If he cared about postal workers as opposed to union votes, then he would have opened a reasoned discussion and listed options that would transition them into the private sector, which would maximize the number of postal workers that would retain long term employment.

In addition, his phrase “is not a management model that works” makes no sense.  There is no logical linkage between external detractors and an internal organizational structure. Tim Kaine knows virtually nothing about modes of management or private industry.  But he often uses pseudo-intellectual phrases like a wannabe professor (my career prediction if he loses.)

He went on to say:

“You and I both know that some — for one reason or another — want to make public employees the all-purpose punching bag in American political life,” Kaine said. “That, I find revolting.

“You and I” and “all-purpose punching bag” is a standard demagogic technique, which is trying to create an “it’s only you and me against the barbarians” identification.

Revolting?  That too is hyperbole and pandering.  He dismissed the fact that many Americans are deeply concerned about the negative impacts of government policy and apparent unwillingness to scale government back to within a light year of its Constitutional role.  The private sector understands the need for necessary government but we are not sure if government understands that only the private sector creates wealth and enables their existence.

This disconnect has reached the point, where in Tea Party fashion, we are no longer willing to stand for an ever-increasing government that is impacting the economy, privacy, and property rights.  A true leader would articulate the reality and suggest ways that the public section unions can scale back become part of the solution in a coherent systematic manner.

Also, during the speech he made reference again to his being agnostic on in/outsourcing.

He also said he is “agnostic” on outsourcing some federal jobs to the private sector, although he said inherently governmental jobs should always be done by federal employees.

This is not an acceptable answer for someone who wants to decide public policy that affects Virginia.  As a senator, you don’t get to vote Agnostic.  Furthermore, this issue is an especially interesting test question because you have to make a decision between two powerful sectors in NoVa.  (Kaine gave the same non-answer in the June NoVa Tech Town Hall).  Obviously he refuses to take a position that might anger one group; maybe that’s his notion of compromise.

You see, Tim Kaine for all his time is government, knows very little about governance or developing solutions.  He is an ideologue so he rarely offers unique or persuasive suggestions (well except for the abuser fees and shutting down rest stops) and he always follows the Democrat party line, for example on taxes, Cap and Trade, gun control, and immigration.

The Postal Service problem could have been relatively easy topic to tackle and offer solutions.  In fact, it could have been an ideal launching point for a more general discussion on federal government.  But instead, we saw the real Tim Kaine in operation – a demagogue who uses division.  He is no leader and he is just a field sales representative for the Democrat Party offering trite verbal bullet points filled with fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Kristallnacht II

ImageI agree 100% with Dan Cathy and applaud his courage in the face of this timid and conformist culture.  My generation’s trek down Abbey Lane has made one left turn too many, and now we are quite the totalitarians.

Elected officials have brazenly threatened to use zoning and licensing powers to block a private enterprise based on their Christian beliefs and associations – not because of any act. And they have paid no price.  Until now, localities have been content to limit their mischief to denying church construction permits, regulating pot luck suppers, and levying fines for holding religious meetings in homes.  These actions redefine chutzpah and are another step in America’s unique assault on Christianity.  I will focus on the Gay Lobby since they are the vanguard that is leading this assault; however, I acknowledge that they have many and more powerful allies.

Not surprisingly, one of the offending officials is President Obama’s trusted ex-Chief of Staff.  The picture of Rahm condemning Chick-fil-A while he solicits help from Farrakhan is as odd as — let’s see, yes — a ballet dancer evolving into an Obama/Chicago thug.  Then again, sweet home Chicago is the bastion of the American Communist Party and not a few like-minded politicians and academics.  The only thing more detestable than these politicians are the people who reelect them.

We are witnessing the Progressive use of state power to marginalize, suppress, and ultimately persecute those who stand for the Christian, i.e. biblical, world view.  It’s a stunning irony since only Christianity could have founded this country and provided the ethical structure, individualism, free enterprise, and limited government which is necessary for true tolerance. 

The Gay Lobby’s tactics backfired this time because they reflexively comingled it with election year politics; but their hatred will burn on.  They should confine their war to the legal, media, and academic spheres where they are winning.

Despite his week’s peaceful and charitable push back, Chick-fil-A will ultimately lose this battle like other businesses have lost.  They will be forced to grab the ankles, bend over, and publically endorse homosexuality or else forfeit  their business.  There are too many terrorists masquerading as lawyers and financial weapons at the state’s and activist’s disposal.  If necessary, the Gay Lobby will infiltrate Chick-fil-A and fabricate an issue.  Next time, their enemies will come better prepared.

What is the evidence of a systematic assault on Christianity, and I would add, civil society?

  1. Philosophical Relativism:  We are told that objective truth does not exist and that everything is relative, to which we reply, is that an absolute statement?  We are also told that there is no truth, and we reply, is that true?  The Law of Non-contradiction easily demonstrates the logical inconsistency, but the impact is still profound since it destroys the basis for reasoned debate, which is by definition the pursuit of truth.
  2. Redefinition of Words:  Rational debate is almost impossible also because we have allowed the Left to redefine the meaning of words.  Traditional tolerance is a key value in civil society, but it has been rendered inert by Orwellian Doublegayspeak.  Before 1984, tolerance meant to accept the existence of things that we believed to be wrong or even evil only because the intervention was worse than the consequences.  The Gay Lobby has led the redefinition of tolerance and turned it inside out; and now it means that any holding any opposing view is intolerant.  But it is worse since they also demand that society go further and accept, endorse and celebrate their behaviors.
  3. Judging:  This false neutrality also masquerades as the flip side of tolerance.  The notion that thou shalt not judge (America’s favorite and most misunderstood Bible verse) is an insidious form of self-censorship.  And to condemn judging is an act of judging, therefore contradictory and illogical.  We must all make value judgments because it is required to assess, progress, and survive – but it must be based on facts and reason and not vanity and pride.  Even conservative talk radio hosts, the last arena of debate, have been intimidated.  It is not uncommon to hear a personality rail against government while avoiding the impacts on government caused by sexual promiscuity and deviancy.  They often say “Well I don’t care what people do…”, which means they give up their prerogative to comment further on the subject.  It’s a testament to the power of #1, #2, in addition to the desire to be liked by man.  Caring does not automatically require that we intend to act on something (unless you are a Democrat); and certainly not by using government coercion.  But caring does mandate that we formulate a position and engage in debate.  It’s never good enough to say I’m for something without also stating why, which admittedly does require thinking, judging, and reflection.
  4. Public Discourse:  Words today are used to exert power and manipulate the vote, consumers, and the classroom ranging from the teleprompter to the pulpit.  Words are no longer used to convey ideas and meaning.  The real danger behind a phrase like “hope and change” and “fundamental transformation” is that 100 people hear 100 different meanings because the demagogue says just enough to invite the audience to fill in their own definition using their own biases.  The demagogue takes no position and posits no argument, yet all of the listeners agree, believe, and follow.
  5. No Boundaries:  Where is the new line of deviancy where society must act?  I ask because the new tolerance would seem to prohibit society from drawing any line.  The notion of consenting adults is not adequate.  Why exclude children or define any age when only feelings matter.  Why not accept NAMBLA’s Man-Boy love? Isn’t the difference between a Man and Boy just a state of mind and sexual maturity?  You see, it’s not a slippery slope argument but a total escape from reason, natural law, and ordered liberty that we are toying with.
  6. Constitutional Redefinition:  Religious expression has been pushed out of the public square by embellishing the plain text of the First Amendment.  The Constitution simply prohibits the Congress from passing federal legislation that creates a national religious order or limits anyone’s or any group’s exercise.  The Constitution was written at a time where uneducated farmers understood the need to control government.  The texts are clear and it comes with an 85 chapter user manual called the Federalist Papers.  Jefferson’s Query XVII provides specific examples of state-sponsored Anglican religion in Virginia, which have nothing to do with the ACLU and PAW legal machinations that have been more destructive than any war.  (And don’t even start with the “Isn’t the ACLU on Chick-fil-A’s side” propaganda.)  The Founders knew that government could not create morality, but they also accepted that no government could survive without it.  Vigorous religious influence was expected and welcomed.  Rendering to God what is God’s was a key counterweight to government overreach, and God is the author of sexuality.  But we have allowed the governing class to unilaterally rewrite our most sacred contract using their penumbra of emanations.  By doing this, we have failed to meet our highest civic duty as citizens, which is to defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic.  (The Oath of Allegiance is not just for military recruits and naturalized immigrants.)
  7. Disunity:  The Gay Lobby has not been content to simply cherry pick Christian ideas and form new congregations and “call it a day”.  Instead, they have implemented a divisive internal 30 year campaign to divide the community of Christ, introduce heresy, and redefine unambiguous Christian principles.  Churches that have succumbed to compromise have been humiliated by the consequences and seen their impact on the culture evaporate.
  8. Offending:  If the Gay Lobby could rewrite the Constitution, it would simply say, “I have an inalienable right to not be offended and to punish anyone that does offend me”.  Right after becoming married, my wife purchased poster that said “Everyone has a right to my opinion.”  I still prefer to think of it as a compliment but my wife is wise and it could have also been a warning for visitors.  That poster should be our modus operandi.  It’s embarrassingly unintellectual and juvenile for a great country to whine about being offended, especially when the whiners have such poor manners.
  9. Dishonesty:  The Gay Lobby lied about its goals.  They appealed to just “stay out of our bedrooms”.  Yet as soon as the sodomy laws were repealed, gays rebuilt their bedrooms with glass walls and forced everyone to watch saturating every type of media and curricula with their message.  Those who deceive lose their credibility.  Everything the Gay Lobby wants, it can have today through private contracts, except for preferential tax treatment.  This is more proof that the agenda is to refine societal norms and demand acceptance.  If they were so sure that their lifestyle was legitimate, they would need no government imprimatur.
  10. Children:  Not being content to live and let live, the Gay Lobby seeks to normalize their lifestyles using the next generation.  To accomplish this, they have further sexualized our children (not that they don’t have a lot of help).  Now elementary children are indoctrinated in sexual practices and gays can adopt children, which is a form of child abuse.  A nation is no better than the worst that treats the most innocent, born and unborn.  The One who said Thou shalt not judge also said that would better for a person to be drowned with millstone hung around his neck than to cause a child to sin.
  11. Public Hostility and Ridicule:  Next to the mob on the quad, comedy is the place where the Gay Lobby speaks its mind no holds barred.  Kathy Griffin calling 17 year Willow Palin a dirty whore and future porn star should suffice for today’s example.  This form of propaganda is similar to marginalizing Jews in the 1930’s.  And for decades, academia has sought to under undermine Christianity.  I can still see my first English professor standing on his chair and mocking Billy Graham’s sermons — tame stuff compared to campuses today.
  12. Pigheaded:  The Gay Lobby cares nothing for the millions of votes that have been cast affirming traditional marriage. So far, every referendum has gone against the Gay Lobby; of course there is Maryland in November.  Only in the courts, legislature, and Obama’s refusal to enforce DOMA have they won.  Apparently the popular vote only matters when the Electoral College goes against your candidate.  Yet gays refuse to pause, reflect, or accept that the majority do not want this. 
  13. Financial Intimidation:  Workforce laws and company handbooks have been redesigned to enforce the “Thou Shalt Not Offend” commandment.  At work, you cannot express a non-conforming opinion.  Careers are quickly and subtly ended especially if you are a manager.  And who has had not had to sit through a red-shirted sensitivity meeting or attend annual retraining sessions just to hear your employer exult and demand acceptance and celebrate lifestyles that you believe are wrong.
  14. Hate Crimes:  But that is not enough.  The Gay Lobby, aided by other minorities, has taken being offended to the criminal level.  Hate crimes are Thought Crimes and (1) they are unjust law because there is no objective standard (the offendee must meet a very low standard ), (2) they violate equal protection under law by creating artificial preferred groups, and (3)  they are enforced according to political goals. Hate Crimes are similar to defending yourself against the IRS where you are presumed guilty according to indecipherable regulations and are then forced to disprove a negative which is logically impossible to do.  Theoretically, practicing Christianity in America is a hate crime.  Must we start using our opponent’s tactics and start suing indiscriminately to get these despicable un-American laws repealed?

Up to now, I have used the term Gay Lobby knowing full well that people are not monolithic. However, I will not take the easy path and give the benefit of the doubt.  We are deluding ourselves into believing that the Gay Lobby is a fringe element.  We hope and want to believe that there is a Silent Moderate Gay Majority; however, there is no compelling evidence.  They are either (1) intimidated and afraid to stand up for their beliefs, in which case they are cowards or (2) they agree with message and are happy to see it so enacted but hold short from openly endorsing it, in which case they are duplicitous.  Moderate Gays are the fringe element until we see them challenging the Gay Lobby with equal if not greater zeal.  I think those with that courage would find allies in the Christian community.

In fact, most Christians would be satisfied to adopt a Just Leave Me Alone solution (we aren’t much into government control and utopian solutions). Plus, we already have one major religion that is based on theocracy and that’s not going so well.  But harmony is not possible as long as gays use the force of government to force acceptance, redefine norms, and indoctrinate our children.  When it comes to wielding the power of government, neutrality between opposing world views is not possible.

I expect that most people will dismiss this post and amble back to their television or cyber society.  I believe that they are afraid to see human nature as it is or care to reflect on the lessons of history.  Daniel Goldhagen demonstrated in horrific detail how a sexually immoral, materialistic, educated, technologically advanced, race-obsessed, democratic, currency-manipulated, 1%-hating, welfare and statist country descended into the abyss to become Hitler’s Willing Executioners.  The parallels between the Weimar Republic and America are startling.  May we not be so foolish or arrogant as to believe that it could never happen here.  We can argue about how far down the path America has come, but the evidence is clear where the trend and trajectory is heading for Christians.

And Dan Cathy is right when he says that we are inviting God’s judgment.  But judgment doesn’t always come by external intervention, sometimes He allows us reap precisely what we have sown.

Even though the outlook is bleak, Christians must labor on and attempt to redeem society with truth dispensed in love and good works.  But first we need to reestablish biblical standards and accountability in our Churches, return to practicing true charity, and strip away all monetary and ideological collaboration with the state.  As God wills, all things are possible; and perhaps we will yet escape the day when Christians must sew on yellow crosses and endure an American Kristallnacht.

Allen-Kaine NoVa Tech Town Hall Q&A Notes

The Northern Virginia Technology Council held a Q&A today, June 28, at Microsoft’s Reston office.  One candidate was present at a time, Kaine first, then Allen.   Each gave a condensed stump speech and was then quizzed by the panelists followed by a few audience questions.

1. What is your position on sequestration?  (Sequestration is the automatic $1.2 trillion cuts to the defense budget which is creating no small amount of anxiety – it’s the most important concern by NoVa businesses)

Kaine:  I hope something will be done and the Senate needs to publish a plan.  We also need to empower experts.  Then he moved on to mention his “I cut $5 billion claim” and emphasized that he would be a good Gang of 6 member.  He admitted that sequestration was purposely made ugly.

Allen:  I opposed sequestration and the use of super commissions.  Defense is the key Constitutional duty so it should not receive the majority of cuts.  We also need the discipline imposed by a balanced budget and line item veto.

Winner:  None.  The group wanted to hear specific short term actions.   Of course, like Taxmegedon, Sequestration will automatically kick in before the next Senate is seated.

 2. Do you support Internet sales taxes?  (The cost to comply with every state tax code is prohibitive especially for small businesses.)

Kaine:  We need fundamental fairness and a more equitable policy.  He used a Richmond bicycle shop anecdote to illustrate why the current system is inherently unfair to brick and mortar.

Allen:  Opposes internet taxation and cited his legislation that opposed Internet access taxes.  He also cited the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling where retailers don’t have to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence.

Winner:  Allen, Kaine’s use of words like equity and fairness implied that he endorses implementing an Internet sales tax.

3. Do you support repatriation of foreign profits?  (This change would allow companies to bring profits earned oversees back to the US without having to pay the difference between lower foreign corporate rates and the higher US rate usually around 30%.)

Kaine:  I support repatriation, but then he made two other points:

  • He disagreed that US corporate tax rates are too high because other taxes like VAT are not considered.
  • The difference in tax rates between salary and earnings is too much.  In other words, he implied that capital gain tax rates should be increased.

Allen:  I advocated for repatriation while in Senate and repatriation is addressed in my economic blueprint.  Corporate tax rates must have certainty, simplicity and should target 20%.  Companies should be allowed to choose either the current or a flat tax option.

Winner:  Allen, in addition, Kaine further undercut himself after going beyond the question and volunteering his position that capital gains rates need to be increased.

4. What is your position on insourcing?  (The Obama administration has been moving functions back into government, ostensibly because it is cheaper, but in reality to increase the number of public sector employees.  Business is asking for a fair apples-apples procurement process, for example, the cost of government labor does not factor in long term costs like pension and other benefits.)

Kaine:  I’m an agnostic.  I increased minority and women owned contracting while in Richmond.  The devil is in the details regarding how you do a fair comparison.  I don’t beat up on business or unions.  (He forgot to add except for oil companies)

Allen:  There needs to be a moratorium on further insourcing until the process is better defined.  Private companies are usually the best option, without the burden of long term costs plus they more effectively use technology.

Winner:  Allen for a straightforward answer.

5. How do we increase STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) graduates? (Education funding is not really a federal concern; probably a planted question to fit in with Kaine’s Talent Economy stump speech)

Kaine:  I want to work to the Education Committee.  We need more pre-K investment.  He said that his Honduras experience motivates him to support vocational education.  He also criticized No Child Left Behind (which he originally supported until the education establishment turned on it) because it focuses on competency instead of excellence (that’s Kaine-speak).  He made an awkward but unintentionally humorous statement in saying “I’m proof that colleges produce talent”.

Allen:  He mirrored Kaine’s answer on vocational training and the need to sell STEM early in the school experience.

Winner:  None – weak answers by both.  The group wasn’t asking about vocational education.  The candidates do not understand the IT industry.  It was surprising that Kaine didn’t jump back into his Talent Economy and let’s just plow more dollars into education homily.

6. What is your view on immigration?

Kaine:  I support the Dream Act.  Undocumented individuals should only pay a fine and be granted citizenship.  We will never deport anyone (repeated three times).

Allen:  We should attach a green card to college diplomas.

Winner:  Kaine for being willing to drop all restrictions as soon as possible.  This week’s Arizona ruling has given him renewed confidence to support amnesty.  Allen “went Romney” and skirted around the larger immigration issue.

For all the money poured into this system, it was a pathetic sight to see a group like this effectively say that American education has failed to deliver enough qualified technology graduates and that they must have more foreign educated green cards now.   But I need to add that NoVa IT businesses are as hypocritical as the construction trade because they also want lower cost labor, less attitude, and lower expectations.  Still, no politician is willing to propose radical change in education.

7. Regarding cyber security, should the federal government use regulations or incentives to facilitate information sharing?

Kaine:  He struggled with the question and rerouted the response to how he supported DARPA.

Allen:  The bias should be to incentivizing because government regulations introduce too much legal liability.  He also discussed intrusions into privacy.

Winner:  Allen, he is more conversant about business and technology than Kaine.

8. How do we control spending, especially Social Security?

Kaine:  We need to increase social security taxable income (he’s talking about the $105K cutoff threshold) by taxing all regular income with Social Security tax rates (which would also increase the employers matching amount).  Social Security is not the cause of the deficit.  (That’s  pretending that the trust fund still exists; but we know that social security taxes effectively go into the general fund along with inter-department IOUs).

Allen:  Favors raising the retirement age and eliminating benefits for people making a million dollars.

Winner:  None.  Both men were just tinkering around the margins.

9. What do think of the UVa decision?

Kaine:  he repeated his absolute support for Teresa Williams and again denounced the BOV.  No mention of McDonnell’s role.

Allen:  Recognizing the question as a set up, Allen said that he had to agree that Coach London was a good hire.  The audience appreciated the humor.  Then he went on to agree with the reinstatement decision.

Winner:  Kaine.  The question was off topic and designed to help Kaine; however, it was a missed opportunity.  The group wanted to talk about intensifying STEM, which was a key point in Helen Dragas’s summary of issues at UVa, so this was a perfect opportunity to discuss curriculum reform.

Audience Questions

The audience questions were mainly variations on the panel’s questions.  But one question for Kaine came from a person who sounds like disciple of Richard Dawkins who is a rabid atheist and Christian hater.  The question was “how do you see these religious conservatives standing in the way of science and more funding for STEM?”

Kaine:  I’m troubled by the anti-science that’s out there like those who deny that humans are not the cause of global warming.  (It would have been nice if Kaine had put on his “I’m a Catholic with deep faith” robe and denounced the man’s ignorance).

Interestingly, there was no panel question on Obamacare.  Then again, this group was more concerned about immediate revenue impacts caused by sequestration and insourcing.  Allen did get an Obamacare-friendly question/statement from the audience on why Health Savings Accounts don’t work, which Allen swatted down.  It sounded like another question planted for Kaine.

The Close

Kaine:  I’m the healer, can’t we all get along.

Allen:  I have record of addressing these concerns.

Overall winner:  None because neither candidate specifically addressed the group’s key concerns in sufficient detail.

Kaine came across as a big government guy who is ready and willing to raise taxes.  His Progressive/Leftist beliefs now leak through much more than when he was governor.  But Kaine is good on his feet and he blends Bill Clinton-like policy wonkiness with Democrat social justice moralizing.

Allen came across as more business friendly, personable, and knowledgeable about federal policies.  He connected with the group, but he needs to challenge Kaine’s premises and present a crisper alternative with a more urgent call to action.

I thought the panel’s primary questions were too parochial and tactical for high tech business leaders – a bit too much of a whiny “hey who took my place at the federal teat” complaint session.  They ignored the larger federal policy issues such as the macro economic trends, energy, access to capital, and regulatory over-control.  After all, Fairfax-Arlington-Alexandria did vote overwhelmingly for Obama, so maybe this group needs to be engaging the electorate about their concerns.

This Q&A and the December debate may show why the polls are tied.  Although there are core differences in governance philosophy, they are currently muted in pastels.

UVa’s Campaign against Change

I initially viewed Teresa Sullivan’s forced resignation as an academic village squabble.  But the fixation on a procedural error while ignoring the substantial policy issues piqued my curiosity along with Larry Sabato, the Oracle of Hoosville, converting his Crystal Ball Facebook posts into a Save Our President live blog campaign.  Perhaps the Director of UVa Center for Politics is concerned about due process, or perhaps Political “Science” is now ranked far below STEM-H  (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics-Healthcare) on the list of practical marketable curricula.

Finally, Rector Helen Dragas summarized the policy issues  on Thursday, which are a serious and wide ranging list of cost and technology concerns, specifically:

  • State funding has significantly decreased since 2000 in terms of non-inflation adjusted dollars.  (That would be during Kaine and Warner’s administrations [my comment]).
  • UVA is not planning or managing how technology is changing content delivery, a trend which Stanford’s president, John Hennessy recently called “a tsunami coming”.
  • UVA Medical Center can’t compete with private hospitals.
  • UVA’s own financial aid program, called AccessUVA, is too expensive.
  • Faculty compensation is not competitive especially in light of upcoming retirements.
  • Student to faculty metrics are growing worse and adversely impacting quality.
  • Large donations for squash courts and a pantheism and yoga center do not help us fund the real priorities [my description of her diplomatically worded bullet point].
  • No accountability or quality outcomes metrics system, which was a nice way of saying that some degree programs are clearly useless.
  • Antiquated internal information technology.

Then Dragas ends with the statement “This is but a partial list.”  That list strikes me as a categorical indictment on Sullivan’s inability to manage high level problems or effect change.

Governor McDonnell proceeded to weigh in on Friday with his own letter.  Clearly he wants the issue to just go away.  His numerous personal references are out of place for an executive directive and the text seems defensive and even a bit self-serving, e.g. I’ve been on a trade mission, see all the good things and millions that I have provided along with other offerings to the gods of education, and of course the perfunctory Thomas Jefferson said lecture.

If the intent is to not micro-manage, then why would you publish a letter on Friday and demand that the BOV finalize and document their decision by Tuesday under threat of summary execution?  Not only does it sound like micro-managing but also bowing to political pressure.  And it may be impractical to close the circle in two business days.  Furthermore, dismissing the Board will not bring matters to a speedy conclusion.  Will he void the interim appointment and unilaterally reinstate Teresa Sullivan?  If he does nothing, then the outcry will grow louder. By inserting himself along with this ultimatum, he increases the likelihood of having to micro-manage.

The letter goes too far and needlessly inserts McDonnell into the middle of the controversy.  More prudent milestones are needed.  Imagine the lobbying that will occur if he appoints an entirely new board.  Although maybe that’s his plan, in which case I retract all of my criticism.

And of course we have Tim Kaine informing us that he knows that the BOV did not have the votes to remove her in the first place and a face to face meeting would have changed everything.  He doesn’t identify the weak and incompetent board members who must have been bullied into voting to remove her and also violating the rules.  And given Kaine’s need to engage on state governance issues instead of federal policy, Allen must have hit a nerve when he implied that Kaine was out of touch and no longer understood what it meant to be a real Virginian.  Kaine said:

“Once they had their meeting and I talked to some board members, I just concluded that if the board had actually had their meeting before they acted, they wouldn’t have had two-thirds votes to remove her.”

Given the laundry list of issues and that Sullivan quickly resigned, it’s more likely that they have been at loggerheads for a long time and that everyone was ready to move on.  Sullivan may be a popular figure but she must not have the requisite executive skills.

But I can agree with Bob McDonnell on one item, there is a lack of transparency here (and a problem not unfamiliar to Virginia government).  Often severe organizational problems like this are accompanied with the unwillingness to speak and think in an honest manner.  If you believe in public education, then you should welcome a full and public hearing of the Board’s issues before taking any further action without artificial deadlines and threats.

Readings During Our Summer of Discontent: The Roots of Obama’s Rage

On Father’s Day, as I watched President Obama end the week by again dishonoring our Constitution, I recalled Dinesh D’Souza’s book The Roots of Obama’s Rage.  D’Souza has studied and understands Barack Obama.  His book is the definitive Barack Obama decoder ring.  If you really want to understand Obama’s cold enigmatic approach, disinterest in race, Obamacare, foreign policy, NASA outreach to Muslims, taxes, lapel pins, war conduct, BP spill, the stimulus, or why Indonesians tore down a statue of him, and other apparent contradictory actions, then read The Roots of Obama’s Rage and then read Obama’s autobiography Dreams from My Father.

Dinesh D’Souza was raised in Mumbai, India and immigrated to America at 17 to study at Dartmouth.  He is the rightful heir to Bill Buckley.  His career ranges across political, academics, and into Christian apologetics in the style of Ravi Zacharias.  Currently, he is the President of The King’s College in New York City.  But key to this task, he shares a similar background with Obama and is uniquely versed in anti-colonial leaders, writings, and history.

D’Souza thesis is that Barack Obama is primarily driven by an anti-colonial hatred, a rage which he willingly inherited from his father.  It gelled purpose into his life and transformed him from “roof hits” Barry into Barack the Second.

Anti-colonialism is the most pervasive ideology in Africa, Asia, and South America.  This ideology exists in dilute form within the American – reparations and lowered standards for example.  Yet ironically, blacks are the least likely group to grasp Obama.  Obama is uninterested in the trivia of American black politics because he is functioning on a global level.  Barack is the Neo who fights for the Third World, not them.  And this Neo, this messiah, believes that the sins of colonialism must be paid in full, and America as the last remaining colonial power, must be downsized for illicitly profiting from the poor.

Obama is not a liberal, socialist, a Sharpton minus the bull horn, or even a Democrat politician.  And he is not an amateur.  On the contrary he has been overwhelmingly successful.  He is gifted soldier on a search and destroy mission deep inside enemy territory.

Such a claim is hard to accept, but not for the lack of evidence.  No one wants to admit that they were so easily lured in by the promise of racial absolution (popularized by Shelby Steele) by an ideologue that was pursuing a much different agenda.  And no one wants to admit that they helped elect the first anti-American president.  They still want to believe Joe Biden’s “clean, articulate” introduction of Barack Obama to America back in 2006.  They think becoming American in spirit is automatic.  So they need to dismiss Obama’s years wandering outside of the mainstream of America, the impact of family, and mentors like Ayers, Wright, Fanon, Alinski, Soetoro, Davis, Said, and Unger as right wingnut obsession and amateur psychoanalysis.  But D’Souza’s model has been validated over the last four years and it’s the best (and really the only) theory standing.

The Roots of Obama’s Rage is organized into five sections.

Chapters 1 and 2 define the anti-colonial argument and five tenets.  He shows why Obama cannot be politically classified and why he is not driven by or interested in race.  Obama is pursuing his father’s political and economic agenda which is based on four guiding principles:

  • Reign in the military and intervention including allies
  • Reverse the consumption of global resources
  • Bring the more powerful private sectors under government control
  • Castigate and expose the rich

In Chapter 3 D’Souza begins to test his anti-colonial model against several small and large decisions; however, the more thorough analysis is offered in chapters 8 and 9.

Chapter 4 and 5 trace how Obama chose to be black.  It starts on the campaign trail in Selma where he tried to wrap himself with the 60’s civil rights movement.  Then a detailed timeline of his childhood is presented.  Barack Sr. was a bad actor who only once met his son.  Yet Obama overlooked this abandonment at his mother’s urging and transmuted his father’s gift of communication, into a weapon.  As he moved through college, he quickly became politically active and was further shaped by anti-colonial professors at Harvard, Edward said and Roberto Unger.  Unger showed him how the power structure worked and how to dismantle it using the law.

Chapter 6 is pivotal.  Upon graduating from college Obama moved back to a more familiar Chicago where Bill Ayer’s mother and father once sponsored him.  There he found a political/spiritual home at Trinity Church.  The first sermon that he heard Jeremiah Wright preach was on an anti-colonial theme “The Audacity of Hope” which featured the line “white folk’s greed runs a world in need”.  That sermon became the title of Obama’s political treatise and resume.  But it was his pilgrimage back to Kenya that completed his transformation from Barry to Barack.  At his father’s grave he absolved him by giving his own life to the mission that Barack Sr. had been too weak to complete.

Chapter 7 deals with the transition of the ideological Obama to the political Obama in pursuit of that mission. His tactics were as impressive as they were ruthless (as his political opponents would attest).  Obama understood that he had a built-in voter base but he still needed to tap into the 100 year reservoir of white guilt.  He deftly accomplished this by co-opting some conservative rhetoric, but more importantly, castrating Jessie Jackson’s shake down model and race hustle which is why Jackson later said that it was he who “wanted to cut his [Obama’s] nuts off”.  Obama even took down the first black president for good measure.  Obama merely had to look black and act white and avoid extreme language.  No one knew who he was or cared – having voted present was good enough.  A unilaterally disarmed opponent like John McCain and a financial panic just before the election easily dispensed with any questions that still remained.

Chapters 8 and 9 return to applying the anti-colonial model in more detail.  He explains why Obama underwrote off shore drilling off Brazil while effectively shuts down drilling off US coastline and why he approached the BP blowout in a lackadaisical manner.  He shows how environmental policy is not about clean air but is a transfer mechanism to make rich nations poorer and poor nations richer.  Housing, stimulus spending, the 1%ers, and foreign policy are similarly explained.

D’Souza’s book has been criticized from the right and left; however, no one has proposed a substitute model or demonstrated where his model fails to adequately explain Obama’s decisions and obfuscations.  The criticisms tend to be random, ad hominem, and dismissive.  Many people view Obama as an enigma but apparently few have the intellectual curiosity to understand what drives the most power man in the world.  Some critics insist that simple liberalism explains Obama’s actions even though they admit that Obama is a transcendent and impenetrable figure.  Some demand explicit verbal admissions from Obama while ignoring his own written words.  I predict The Roots of Obama’s Rage will get the attention that it deserves when the movie 2016 is released this summer and when the Obama vetting process finally begins.

The book ends by pointing out Obama’s folly:  he fights a battle that has essentially  been won.  The former Third World has moved on and is succeeding.  Justice is being dispensed by capitalism.  The positive  gifts implanted by the colonial powers are now empowering those countries that are rich in resources, possess cost competitive labor, and enjoy a market system unburdened by the heavy hand of government.  Just last week a global Pew survey said that people believe that America has been surpassed by China as the world’s economic power.  An author once said that liberty like the Holy Spirit is more like a bird than a candle flame.  The candle can be extinguished but he bird simply flies off to a more hospitable branch.  That may be America’s fate.  But whatever the results are in November, Barack Obama Sr. is proud.  His vision for America is finally unfolding.

Behind Curtain #2: Our Talent Candidate

Our former governor, Tim Kaine, has spotlighted his campaign with the phrase Talent Economy.  This concept along with favorable magazine rankings forms his economic policy, which he would like to take to Washington.

When Tim Kaine says Talent Economy, he is really advocating for three government programs:

  • More spending on education from pre-K to post-graduate including more college load subsidies.
  • More public sector spending on infrastructure, i.e. more stimulus.
  • Backdoor amnesty.

First, the rhetoric is classic Kaine.  He likes to invent phrases that sound intellectual while avoiding unambiguous policy statements.   At best it is clever marketing.  At worst it is deception like hope and change.   We recently saw another example when Kaine pulled out the phrase “relationship equality” to evade questions on gay marriage.

Second, talent is elitist because it presumes that only the college educated will drive the economy.  Formal education does not equate to talent.  Talent is an innate ability that is cultivated by practical experience.  Formal education tends to only provide conceptual frameworks, if anything at all.  Practical education begins the first day that you show up for work and start to develop a marketable skill set.  In other words, talent does not drive an economy; risk taking, perseverance, innovation does.

Third, Kaine proposes nothing new.  We are already doing all of these things and they have failed and made matters worse.  Severe recessions are historically followed by strong recoveries within two years and nothing like that is on the horizon.  Doing more of the same is being dogmatic and foolish.

Fourth, it shows a lack of urgency over our fiscal condition.  Even if his formula worked, we need hard spending cuts made by serious people today.  We may hit an irreversible tipping point well before the next generation graduates with “better talent”.  And talent doesn’t have a good track record.  Our country has suffered enough at the hands of Ivy League talent.  Anyone can make a mistake but it takes a smart person to really screw things up – smart being Hawking’s Brights or Rush’s Wizards of Smart.

Fifth, and not surprising, Kaine’s solution fails to acknowledge that government is the problem.  What we need is a senator that has the courage to take a chainsaw to the administrative-regulatory state.  We need a policy of undoing statist policies along with firing administrative officials that exceed legislation.  We need an economic policy that frees free enterprise.  Here is a starter set:

  • Repeal Obamacare and get employers out of the business of healthcare management.
  • Cease banking, housing, and cheap money policies that compete with and divert capital from private business.
  • Implement stable predictable tax policies, budgets, with no more continuing resolutions.
  • Implement regular reductions in entitlement spending and eliminate whole agencies.
  • Pass tort reform legislation including the current out of control Human Resource discrimination and employment laws.
  • Sunset compliance regulations that do not produce transparency or eliminate fraud.
  • Reduce the cost to hire an employee, Workman’s Comp, Unemployment Insurance, liability insurance.
  • Reduce corporate taxation which is the highest of any country.
  • Stop importing cheap labor.
  • Remove incentives that discourage work.

But naturally Tim Kaine, who is a trial lawyer by trade and a social justice advocate by calling, will have none of this.  He is a statist, an Ivy League talent, and why he must never be allowed to wield the power of government again.  And removing all politicians like Tim Kaine and Barack Obama in November is an excellent economic policy that doesn’t require any legislation.

Tim Kaine King of Torts

Bill McMorris at the Washington Free Beacon writes in his usual well-researched style about Tim Kaine’s legal career in THE HEARTBREAK KID  http://freebeacon.com/the-heartbreak-kid/

The article begins with a small businessman caught in Tim Kaine’s legal sights and ends with a discussion on tort reform.  Kaine was an aggressive civil rights litigator.  He found his legal niche as a pioneer in housing and red-lining litigation which eventually propelled him into Richmond politics.  And he was a recognized expert:  the US Department of Housing and Urban Development recruited him to edit their 1991 Fair Housing Law Manual Virginia edition.

Now compare this story to Kaine’s campaign stops and business roundtables where he presents his economic plan labeled the talent economy.  Kaine’s Talent Economy really means more public sector spending primarily education, infrastructure stimulus spending, and comprehensive immigration reform.  It also betrays a Leftist/Progressive fallacy that education spending always results in a trained workforce possessing marketable skills and that talent always results in business success.

What businesses really need are stability, predictability, and a government which is not micro-managing the private sector.  If Tim Kaine understood risk management and running a business then he would be talking about these needs:

  • Spending and tax discipline and not continuing resolutions and tax bills
  • Repealing regulation excess
  • Driving up employee costs with Obamacare and subjective Fair Pay laws
  • Low cost energy – electricity and fuel
  • Access to capital
  • Customers who are confident and willing spend
  • Reasonable business tax rates – the US has the highest rate
  • BPOL (Business, Professional, and Occupational Licenses) tax reform – Del. Mark Cole tried to address this the 2012 session with HB10
  • AND putting teeth in discouraging frivolous lawsuits and the other tort reform goals

One lawsuit can drain a startup’s cash, discourage future investors, and demoralize people who are working on a shoestring in hopes of getting in on the ground floor.  These lawsuits can come from many avenues:  patents, human resources, federal state local regulations, a competitor, and other compliance requirements.  Every dollar spent on legal expenses is a dollar spent less on employees and customers.

Americans deserve to live in a country where lawyers like Tim Kaine are not allowed to wield Thor’s Hammer of financial destruction over businesses and individuals.  But asking a civil rights trial lawyer like Kaine to write fewer and prudent laws is like asking an electrician to outlaw wire.

We look forward to more actual reporting like today’s article; there is certainly fertile ground for more.  At CPAC, Andrew Breitbart, who will live forever in citizen journalists, said that we are going to vet President Obama.  And during this political season, Tim Kaine will also be vetted for the first time in his political career in spite of the WaPo.