The Police Are Going Rogue II

kellythomasafter_thumb_5I wrote previously about the horrific death of Kelly Thomas.  The police ended this man’s life and did it brutally, acting more like predators than police.  I hate to see such behavior as the actions of these cops only make it harder on the rest who are doing a tough job.

In Georgia a teen, Christopher Roupe, 17, of Euharlee, was shot answering his own front door.  Why?  The officer mistook the Wii controller in his hand for a pistol.  Chris dreamed of joining the US Marine Corps.  Chris had no record.  The officer, Beth Gatny, broke down into tears, but the department is insisting that Christopher had a gun.  If so, why the tears?  390-wii-0219Why is the police department trying to defend the indefensible?  Obviously the officer at the door was in fear for her life before the door was opened.  Why was she in this frame of mind?

A big part of the issue is the police have become highly fearful of the public they are supposed to be protecting. “A cop is killed every 58 hours.”  OK.  There are over 1 million police in our country.   The life of each cop is worth preserving.  Still two questions need to be answered, first “What caused the officer’s death?”, and, “Is the police response & threat posture relative to the threat reasonable?”

When it comes to fatalities an officer is in more danger when driving than he is interacting with the citizenry.  48 Officers died last year in traffic accidents; 33 were shot. This is the lowest number since the 1880’s.  The issue then is police response and expectation of danger.  The numbers demonstrate that the civilian populace is not gunning our police down.

The question is why are the police so fearful, and thereby trigger happy, given that statistically they are not in much greater danger than the rest of us, given the mortality rates?  Policing is a tough job, but there are 14 jobs in the US more dangerous.  The narrative that it is a jungle out there throughout the nation is false.  We have far lower rates of crime than at any point in the past 50 years.  Violent crime rates are DOWN more than 66% since 1973 according to GALLUP.  When one considers that violent crime is focused in big cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Camden and Detroit – the attitude of the police and the public at large outside of these jurisdictions only becomes more perplexing.

fbicrimeactual

The fear in the ranks of the police is real. The militarization of the police is real. The Us v. Them worldview is real. The three combined is a dangerous cocktail. Deescalation is in order.  Frankly is is past due.  Over 5000 people have been killed by the police since Sept 11, 1991.  That is more than the number of soldiers that where killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.  This is an alarming statistic.

The narrative that police are under siege is doing the public a disservice – last year over 400 people where kill by the police. This narrative is breeding police who are fearful and suspicious of the citizen living in their jurisdictions.  The nation has to walk itself back from the path it has taken.  The war on crime.  The war on drugs.  The war on gangs.  Every crime fighting initiative is couched in a martial tone and the end result is a militarized police force, divorced from the community, and far too ready to use lethal force.

You’re Eight Times More Likely to be Killed by a Police Officer than a Terrorist.

Police training needs to shift its focus from SWAT tactics back to community policing.  The number of SWAT teams in the US has grown exponentially.  We simply do not need that many SWAT teams.  The crime statistics do not demonstrate such a need.  They need to take off the flak jackets both physical and mental.  Police need to  be retrained to de-escalate situations instead of taking SWAT’s military approach of subdue and defeat.  The police should not be in a wartime frame of mind.  They are peace officers, deputies, constables.  They are not warriors or soldiers.  Our law enforcement personnel work by and large in peaceful environments.  Their policing and methods should reflect this.

Will Western Antarctic ice really flood our shores? No.

Would it surprise you to learn that the global warming alarmists fouled up again? Me neither, but this time its the legacy media that deserves the blame.

For those who are keeping track (admittedly not easy given the numbers), we have now reached forty-six examples of data manipulationerrorsand other shenanigans from global warming alarmistsand that’s just from what I’ve been able to blog on this subject since Climategate broke in November of 2009which is now about four and a half  years ago. This time, however, it’s a matter of the scientific studies cited being grossly exaggerated and badly misinterpreted.

The two studies were published by Geophysical Research Letters and Science respectively. Together, they have been reported as evidence that Antarctic ice will melt to such an extent that sea levels will rise by as much as 4 feet, and that such melting is “inevitable.” The only silver lining is that such melting could take centuries (or perhaps a millennium), but that didn’t stop the Governor of California from claiming two of his state’s biggest airports will be under water (Watts Up With That).

Larry Hamlin has a post on WUWT debunking the media hype, but I thought it would be best to read the studies myself to see what they actually said. The decision was an eye opener.

First, the GRL paper, which from a methodological perspective, does the exact opposite of what was claimed. It did not predict future ice behavior, but rather mapped an equation to past ice data for several glaciers in Western Antarctica (going back no more than forty years) and as an aside, used it to model temperature change.

The Science paper is even narrower, looking at only one Western Antarctic glacier (Thwaites). Furthermore, the authors of this paper provide neither their data nor their equations for their model (the GRL authors did both), instead only mentioning a melt coefficient. The projections they use for ice melting (and projected sea level rise) are only for the effects of the Thwaites glacier – meaning any countering effects from the rest of the continent were not considered (the authors themselves acknowledged that Antarctic ice as a whole is expected to increase, but only used it to gauge effects on Thwaites itself).

To be fair, the authors admit to the limitations of their work (emphasis added):

Our simulations are not coupled to a global climate model to provide forcing nor do they include an ice-shelf cavity-circulation model to derive melt rates. Few if any such fully coupled models presently exist. As such, our simulations do not constitute a projection of future sea level in response to projected climate forcing.

In other words, the paper explicitly rejects doing what legacy media reports claim it does.

How bad has the alarmist media been on this? This New York Times story even throws up the ozone layer as a reason – something neither study even mentions.

Keep in mind, Antarctic ice as a whole just reached a thirty-year high (WUWT). As for the western Antarctic, it’s had a history of ups and downs (WUWT), in no small part due to a recently discovered under-ice volcano (WUWT).

In other words, don’t believe the hype.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Hitler and AGW Cultists Stuck in Sea Ice

The real trouble with government funded science is that when the government wants a certain answer – the guys getting the funding try too hard to provide the answer the government wants.  Climate-gate was just the tip of the iceberg.  No pun intended … really, honest,  cross my heart.  News Flash: the extent of the Antarctic Polar Sea Ice this year is the largest ever since we started keeping records … in the 1970’s.

The saddest part of all this is not my shameless violation Godwin’s law, it is that the American media refused to mention in many cases that this ship of fools stuck in the ice was a bunch of AGW cultists.  American deserve better from their fourth estate.  In typical fashion, the humorless left could not or would not see the wonderful irony in all this and resorted to, you guessed it, name calling as a means of defending the antics of this group. One would think university trained climatologists could have checked the weather and ice pack conditions prior to setting sail.

The British media, chastened after the fiasco at East Anglia University, has fully reported the story. The scientists went down to the Antarctic specifically to demonstrate that the polar ice caps were gone in the summer.  Instead they were stuck in the largest ever record sea ice field.  They wound up having to be rescued by helicopter.  The carbon tax on the rescue operation should reforest the Amazon Basin.

The scientists have been stuck aboard the stricken MV Akademik Schokalskiy since Christmas Day, with repeated sea rescue attempts being abandoned as icebreaking ships failed to reach them.

Even the Chinese rescue ship was also stuck in the ice trying to rescue these waifs.  None of this made the front page in the NYT or elsewhere in the American Media Industrial Complex.  The public has been sold of bill of goods on the matter of global warming, by people who want to use this issue as a means of global wealth redistribution and control.  If they really believed it, those making money off the scam, like Al Gore, would not be living in 30,000 SQFT super mansions.

I am considering posting a recipe for BBQ Seal or roasted Penguin tomorrow … so stayed tuned.  I just cannot think what the vegetable side should be … nothing green grows down there except lichen and seaweed.  Your recommendation for wine or beer selection would be appreciated.

L.A. Times Doesn’t Know Much About Civil Rights History…

The L.A. Times gets a big fat “F” in 20th century American Civil Rights history for this ignorant statement:

Since Democrats led the passage of civil rights legislation that marchers pushed for in 1963, Republicans have struggled to recover with black voters, leaving a stark racial divide in American politics.

Fortunately, Larry Elders sets them straight:

Only 64 percent of Democrats in Congress voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act (153 for, 91 against in the House; and 46 for, 21 against in the Senate). But 80 percent of Republicans (136 for, 35 against in the House; and 27 for, 6 against in the Senate) voted for the 1964 Act.

So, exactly which party led the passage of the legislation in Congress?  Last time I checked my math, 80% was greater than 64%.  That would indicate to me that it was the Republicans leading the way.  Without their overwhelming support, despite Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate, this legislation would not have passed since Democrats were far, far short of the 218 they needed in the House (65 votes to be precise) and four votes short of 50 in the Senate despite commanding 67 seats.

Freedom of speech mortally wounded in the UK, but may survive in Australia

The politicians have finally figured out how to regulate the press in the United Kingdom (Telegraph).

No, that’s not a good thing. The entire political spectrum outside of Parliament (from Toby Young to Dan Hodges) is furious. Hodges is particular about how “it’s already undermining legitimate journalism” – with specific examples of critical British stories that would never have seen the light of day “had the Leveson recommendations been in force” (Leveson is the synecdoche for the press regulation scheme). Keep in mind that Hodges is loudly, cuttingly, and hilariously Labour.

On the plus side, it appears the Down Under assault on the free press has been dealt a crushing blow by three MPs who refuse to back it (Australian and Andrew Bolt). Given the fluid state of the Australian House of Representatives, the opposition of three Independent MPs should be enough to sink the ridiculous attempt of the Australian government to restrict the press.

Then again, the nonsense out of London may give Canberra new momentum.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

The Power Of The PWC Press

Less than a week after my latest column on taxes and spending in Prince William County was published in PW Today, County Exec. Melissa Peacor had this to say:

“There seems to be some misunderstanding and I am going to apologize, I was probably not as artful as I would have wanted on the day that I said that.  I was trying to give an example during carry overs the fact that we have a culture of savings.  And I said that if something is budgeted at $5 we will work very hard to bring it in at $4 and save that dollar.  It seems to be a very large misunderstanding our there that I have basically admitted that we budget $5 in this County when we know it only costs $4 and that’s just not true.  So I apologize for my unartful speaking on that — I was trying to given an example that would be easy to understand, so please, maybe we can put this to rest that we do not over-budget the budget by 20%.  That is not a policy of the Board of County Supervisors.  So I just wanted to say that because I know it’s out there, but we don’t do that, I promise you.”
Melissa Peacor, January 22, 2013
BOCS Meeting

This issue of spending, taxation, and so-called “carry-over” budgets has been bubbling for quite some time with PWC-centric blogs such as The Sheriff of Nottingham in Prince William County, The Alborn Foundation, and The Derecho just to name a few.  They each have done outstanding work on bringing the entire process to light and every resident owes them a debt of gratitude.  I do find it interesting that Ms. Peacor did not feel compelled to respond to the numerous posts written since she made her original statement last August and only now publicly addresses this after it hit the mainstream print media in PW Today.  I guess local press still holds some power.

As for the substance of Ms. Peacor’s attempted explanation, it simply falls flat.  As I wrote:

Between fiscal years 2007 and 2012, an average of $31.4 million per year in budgeted funds went unspent.  That is nearly $75 for every one of the 419,006 men, women and children that the last U.S. Census determined are living in the county – $300 for the average family of four.  The county’s surpluses ranged from a low of $18.7 million in FY 2012 to a high of $43.9 million in FY 2007.

. . .

There is a problem with the county’s budget process when its needs are overestimated by this much for six consecutive fiscal years.  It is even more troubling that the only time it dipped below $20 million is after Ms. Peacor is said to have instructed agencies to spend down their funds so there would not be as much left over.  That is exactly the type of thinking that has gotten our federal government so deeply into debt.

This is not a “culture of savings” as she attempts to claim.  If it were, future budgets would have been adjusted accordingly and/or the savings would have been returned to the taxpayers who fund the county government.  Then there is this:

“So I apologize for my unartful speaking on that — I was trying to given an example that would be easy to understand, so please, maybe we can put this to rest that we do not over-budget the budget by 20%.  That is not a policy of the Board of County Supervisors.  So I just wanted to say that because I know it’s out there, but we don’t do that, I promise you.”

It may not be a policy of the BOCS to do this, but it is apparently a practice that her office (and that of her predecessor’s office of which she was a part) engages in. And what is this with her use of “we” immediately following BOCS? You, Ms. Peacor, are NOT a member of the Board, you are NOT elected to your position, you certainly do NOT have the powers of a County Executive like elected ones in Maryland, and in fact you ARE an employee at will of the BOCS.

As for inartful speaking, I will grant her that. Just look at the crux of the language she used in her explanation.

maybe we can put this to rest that we do not over-budget the budget by 20%.

If you are putting to rest that they do not over-budget the budget by 20%, that is basically a double-negative (putting to rest and not) thus making it a positive. I think what she meant to say is that we can put to rest that they do over-budget. (Then again, no one ever accused her of being the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, including some of her most vehement supporters.)

The important thing is county government is on notice — the people and the press are watching them.  Business as usual is over.

not business as usual

FYI, my PW Today column “View from the Potomac” will return next week as I was traveling last weekend and did not have time to meet deadline for this week’s paper.

The Wall Street Journal and AFP weighs in on McDonnell’s transportation tax hike

The short version – they’re not happy: “Many states are grappling with road congestion and a scarcity of dollars for improvements. Let’s hope they aren’t tempted by the unfortunate financing plan released this month by Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell.”

The longer version: they prefer the gas tax to a sales tax hike; they prefer congestion-pricing to the gas tax; they hate the Federally-dependent internet sales tax. Unfortunately, they’re not knowledgeable enough on Virginia policy to know about the state-funded subdivision road maintenance. Still, they make a nice point about the budget:

It’s especially unfortunate to see Mr. McDonnell take this tax turn in the last year of an otherwise successful tenure. One of his two Democratic predecessors passed a major tax increase that was supposed to ease gridlock but instead financed a new, higher general spending plateau. The state’s own audit commission reports that the budget swelled to $39 billion in 2011 from $23.5 billion in 2002, a 66% spending increase.

The editors also noted that about $300 million is slated for the Dulles Silver Line – which is, suffice to say, not particularly popular up there.

All in all, it’s good to see someone noticing that McDonnell’s plan is (a) a tax increase, and (b) a poor alternative to freeing up funds by reducing spending.

From a different perspective, Americans for Prosperity also commented on the plan. AFP was more favorable in general, but as Shaun Kenney noted on BD, they’re insisting on revenue neutrality (i.e., make sure it’s not a tax increase). Good for them.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

PWC Gets Its Own Drudge Report

Not long ago it appeared that Prince William County would be an arid wasteland of news coverage with the announcement that Warren Buffett was shutting down the county’s lone remaining newspaper that he had just bought. Hyper-local news web sites such as PotomacLocal.com, ManassasLocal.com and the various Patch sites appeared to be all we would be left with. Then came the announcements that two new weekly print newspapers, Prince William Today (which also salvaged the InsideNOVA.com site) and the Prince William Times, would begin publishing at the start of this month.

Now, PWC has its own version of the Drudge Report — a one-stop place for all of your local news. The PWC News Network has now launched and features an aggregation of local news from multiple sources. It has as its innovative business model an auction system for ad placement based upon how much someone is willing to pay for clicks and views.

Head on over and bookmark PWC News Network and check back regularly to find out the latest about what is going on in Virginia’s second largest county.

PWToday Launches; Features Exclusive Content By VV Editor Jim Riley

Prince William Today, the new weekly print newspaper for the county that has arisen to take the place of the now-defunct News & Messenger, published its inaugural issue on Jan. 10.  As previously mentioned, I will be contributing op-ed columns to the paper featuring exclusive content available nowhere else.  Head on over and read my first column on InsideNOVA.com entitled “Is everything as it seems?”  If you live in PWC, be sure to subscribe!

Looking For Prince William County News? (And An Announcement…)

The last days of 2012 brought about the end of the News & Messenger, Prince William County’s lone remaining newspaper that traced its origins back 143 years.  This left the county without a print newspaper, but not for long.  On January 10, Prince William Today, a weekly newspaper published by Northern Virginia Media Services, will see its inaugural issue hit the streets. NVMS also owns Leesburg Today and the Arlington and Fairfax Sun Gazette newspapers.

PW Today has purchased the InsideNOVA.com website and Facebook page (which has over 27,000 followers.)  Several staffers from the N&M will be moving over to PW Today, so you can depend on continuity and consistency from the people who know our community the best.

Now for the announcement.  I have accepted an offer extended by Kari Pugh, Editor of PW Today / InsideNOVA.com, to write a regular op-ed column for the paper with a focus on local issues or a local take on national issues.  I will continue to post here at Virtucon, but will also have exclusive content written specifically for PW Today that I will link to from here.  Look for my first column in the paper’s debut issue.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already “Liked” InsideNOVA.com on Facebook, head on over and do so now.

This is why we should fear government: UK Edition

As a result of some decidely problematic media behavior, there is a clamor in Britain to regulate the press; there is a smaller boomlet for this in Australia as well. As one would expect, media being as unpopular as it is, their claim of concern for free speech has gone on deaf ears – despite the fact that such a concern is completely valid.

Luckily for all of us, a British political hack jumped the gun and revealed the worst-case scenario for all to see (Iain Martin, Telegraph):

As the Telegraph reports:

“When a reporter approached Mrs Miller’s office last Thursday, her special adviser, Joanna Hindley, pointed out that the Editor of The Telegraph was involved in meetings with the Prime Minister and the Culture Secretary over implementing the recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson.

“Maria has obviously been having quite a lot of editors’ meetings around Leveson at the moment. So I am just going to kind of flag up that connection for you to think about,” said Miss Hindley.

Miss Hindley also said the reporter should discuss the issue with “people a little higher up your organisation”.

Miss Hindley immediately contacted The Telegraph’s head of public affairs to raise concerns about the story.

You don’t even have to read between the lines here. It’s bold as brass: my boss knows your boss; she’s taking some big decisions which could impact on the publication you work for; watch your step sunshine, you are just a little reporter person; call someone more senior while I get on the phone to your public affairs people.

What is this if not proof that the political class should not be allowed within a mile of regulating the press? They are at it even before they have got oversight of regulation.

Indeed…and the fact that she is a Tory (the only party whose leader – PM David Cameron – specifically opposes regulation) says volumes about how no political faction can be trusted with power over the press.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Bill Whittle outlines the way forward for conservatives

An excellent and practical video. It’s well worth the hour you’ll spend watching it, and for those of us who have been extremely discouraged by the results of the election, Bill give a gracious-but-firm kick in the butt!

UK Independent reports US was warned two days before 9/11/12

If this is true, the Administration has a lot of explaining to do…

According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and “lockdown”, under which movement is severely restricted.

Now, please note I said, “if.” This report comes from the Independent (UK) (had it been the Telegraph – which did report that the security was terrible in Benghazi, I’d be much more confident that it were true).

That said, the Administration did itself no favors with its reaction (Politico):

A U.S. official told POLITICO: “There’s no intelligence indicating that the attack in Benghazi was premeditated.”

Are they kidding? They’ve already leaked like a sieve to American media that the assassination of Ambassador Stevens was an al Qaeda operation. To suddenly deny that now makes the Indy look much more credible.

H/t to Rich Lowry for the Indy and Politico links.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

Conservative Virginia bloggers demand revocation of Laura Vozella’s press credentials to the RNC

The Honorable Pat Mullins
Chairman
Republican Party of Virginia
115 East Grace Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

Dear Chairman Mullins,

On August 20th, 2012 the Washington Post launched a scurrilous, yet sadly typical, attack on Republican U.S. Senate nominee George Allen.

While Allen had made a statement repudiating Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s remarks, the Washington Post‘s Laura Vozzella chose to take the opportunity to attack Allen by linking him to a vote for a judicial appointment — a connection so bizarre, it could only have come from a DSCC opposition research book, not to mention far beyond the scope of her article.

Vozzella has a long history of bashing conservatives, so naturally the Washington Post is a perfect home for her.

What strikes the bloggers and readers of the Jeffersoniad as bizarre is this: why would the Republican Party of Virginia grant this vitriolic and anti-conservative “reporter” with credentials at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida?

Bloggers have long been up front and critical about the difference between real journalism that presents perspectives and the sort of op-ed reporting the Washington Post has long engaged in against Virginia conservatives — particularly George Allen.

Therefore, the members of the Jeffersoniad Blog Alliance demand the Republican Party of Virginia immediately revoke Laura Vozzella’s credentials for the 2012 RNC Convention in Tampa, Florida as an example and a warning that while journalism will be respected, copy-and-paste hatchet jobs courtesy of the Kaine/DSCC machine can no longer be treated as journalism and is unworthy of such respect.

Regards,

Jim Hoeft
Bearing Drift

Jim Riley
Virginia Virtucon

Tom White
Virginia RIGHT!

D.J. McGuire
The Right-Wing Liberal

Trent A. Barton
Virginia Virtucon

David Shepherd
Virginia Gentleman

Lynn Mitchell
SWAC Girl

Brian Kirwin
Bearing Drift

Jeanine Martin
Virginia Virtucon

Dean Settle
The Bulletproof Monk

Kat Wilton
Cathouse Chat

Michael Fletcher
The Write Side Of My Brain

Brian Schoeneman
Bearing Drift

Krystle Weeks
Crystal Clear Conservative

Shaun Kenney
ShaunKenney.com

Steve Thomas
Virginia Virtucon

Terrence Boulden
Virginia Virtucon

references:

Bearing Drift – “WaPo’s Laura Vozella Sure Knows How to Slant the News

Washington Post – “George Allen criticizes Akin for ‘legitimate rape’ comments; voted to confirm judge who once held similar view

Where Are All The Articles About Paul Ryan Being The First Gen X-er Candidate On A Ticket?

When Bill Clinton and Al Gore teamed up in 1992, there was a plethora of media reports about how the Baby Boom generation had finally arrived on the political scene.  (To a lesser extent, there were some similar articles with regard to Dan Quayle in 1988.)  Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964.  Barack Obama was born in 1961 and Sarah Palin clocked in at the very end in 1964.

Paul Ryan was born in 1970 and is the first Gen X-er on a national ticket, but there has been scant mention of that fact.  The first such article about this popped up in the Washington Examiner today, spurred by a new Zogby poll that shows the Romney-Ryan ticket already garnering 40% of the youth vote that Obama had run up the numbers in 4 years ago.  Hot on the heels of that is a piece by Kirsten Powers in the Daily Beast that begins:

We’ve finally been vindicated: Members of Generation X have a representative who is anything but a slacker.

That’s been the Baby Boomer put down of Gen X-ers going back to the ’80s.

Only problem is a 25 year study of 4,000 Gen Xers debunks this caricature.  We’re not slackers.  We’ve never been slackers.  That was just something Boomers told themselves to make themselves feel better by comparison.  I can tell you that Gen X-ers, the first generation told that we wouldn’t see a return on our Social Security taxes, have long viewed our role as one of having to clean up the mess that the Baby Boomers and their 1960s counterculture left behind for us.

Last year, the first Baby Boomers turned 65 years old.  One can only assume that the silence regarding Ryan’s status as a Gen X-er is yet another form of denial from an aging press corps that is having difficulty coming to grips with their increasing irrelevance.

Politifact Virginia’s boss offers fact-free defense

Yesterday, Riley detailed the voting history of Politifact Viginia Editor Warren Fiske - a voting history which skewed heavily to the Democrats. It turns out the folks at the Richmond Times-Dispatch pay attention to VV, because RTD editor Daniel Finnegan whipped up a defense of Fiske.

The only problem is that Finnegan’s defense of Fiske wouldn’t pass muster on an unbiased version of Fiske’s sit, because Finnegan himself dropped three whoppers of what Churchill once called “terminological inexactitude.”

Finnegan was kind enough to put all of his errors in the second paragraph, which reads as follows:

First, Warren has not voted in a primary since taking this position. Second, according to Henrico County voting records, Warren has voted in five primaries, four Democratic and one Republican, since 2004, which is far back as the county records go. During that time, however, the Republican Party of Virginia held only two primaries. Warren voted in the 2005 GOP primary for Governor, bypassing a same-day Democratic primary for the two lesser statewide offices (Lt. Governor and Attorney General). The only other year he faced a choice was in 2008, when he voted in the Democratic presidential primary instead of the GOP primary. It is worth noting that Mitt Romney suspended his campaign right before the 2008 Virginia primary, so the Democratic primary was the competitive race.

Well, if you take Finnegan at his word, that would certainly sound less problematic for Fiske’s readership. Only you can’t take him at his word, and here’s why.

Henrico County had more than two Republican primaries since 2004:Most of the county witnessed the Stosch-Blackburn State Senate primary of 2007. Is it possible that Fiske wasn’t in that section? Yes, but that would mean he was almost certainly in the part of Henrico that had the equally compelling McEachin-Lambert race on the Democrats’ side. Yet Finnegan says Fiske voted in only four primaries for the Democrats, which would mean either he missed a statewide primary (2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009), was completely tone deaf to the McEachin-Lambert race, or (most likely) he was actually in the 12th district but chose not to vote in the GOP primary that year. We don’t know, because Finnegan either forgot 2007 or is hoping we would.

Meanwhile, there was only one primary for the Democrats in 2005, not two.The Attorney General nomination was not on the ballot in June of 2005. There were two competitive Republican primaries that year (for LG and AG).

Last. but most, the Republican presidental primary in 2008 was the more competitive primary, contrary to Finnegan’s assertion. While Mitt Romney withdrew for the field before Primary Day in Virginia, Mike Huckabee – the winner of the Iowa caucuses – did not. Thus the Virginia GOP primary was big news (the first serious McCain-Huckabee two-way fight), whereas the Virginia race for the Democrats was a foregone conclusion (Hillary Clinton largely ignored “the Potomac Primary”). In fact, Barack Obama won his Virginia primary by 28 points, whereas McCain carried his by less than 10.

Given this paragraph of horrors, Finnegan’s insistence that his goal is “to improve the political discourse” is laughable dreck.

Better luck next time, Danny Boy.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

PolitiFact bias starts at the polls

Earlier this month RPV called so-called “PolitiFact” for a bias that led to 72.2% of their “rulings” to focus on Republican candidates. Hot on the heels of PolitiFact’s half hearted “nuh uh” comes the revelation that one editor’s bias comes straight from the polls:

“We are poring through the backgrounds of these writers and what Republicans are finding would appear to back up our argument about media bias,” said the official. PolitiFact units operate out of newspapers in Ohio, Virginia, Florida, New Jersey, Georgia, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

The GOP truth squad, for example, wants to find out the party registration of reporters or editors. For example, they found that a PolitiFact Virginia editor has voted in five Democratic primaries and one Republican primary over the last 10 years. They are also looking over the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the reporters and editors for hint of bias.

Which leads to some questions that need answering:

Which editor is this?

What primaries did he or she vote in?

Who did he or she vote for in these primaries?

How has their reporting reflected his or her bias on Election Day?

The fact checking of PolitiFact continues…

Paul Akers (of the Worst Editorial Board in Virginia) continues his war on conservatives

Akers continues his weekly sour grapes over losing the election (he backed every Democrat locally) by dinging the Conservative majority on the Spotsy BoS on fire and rescue. Replete with his normal combination of untruths and exaggerations, this one is easily disproven.

As usual, some background:

Two years ago, a young lady was killed in a house fire in northern Spotsy, which is served by the Chancellor Volunteer Fire and Rescue (the southern part of the county is served by the Spotsy Vol. Fire Dept and Spotsy Vol. Rescue; career staff man all stations on weekdays from 6 am to 6 pm). Fire crews from two stations arrived in short order (5 minutes or so) and began to search. This in and of itself was a small miracle considering their home did not have working smoke detectors (and to everyone reading, check yours today). However, they could not find the young lady, who was trapped in a room with no door handle. The house had piles of clutter everywhere, which is why the space heater fire spread quickly. The fire personnel were not told by dispatch of the lady’s existence until a few minutes in, and despite best efforts did not find her in time. She passed in one of the most tragic incidents in the county in some time.

Enter the politicians and the FLS.

The reporter (Dan Telvock, now with the F’berg Patch) covering Spotsy saw this as his big break, and released a number of news articles very critical of the CVFR. To be sure, there were some protocol breakdowns and mistakes made which were addressed soon after, including bringing new heat sensor technology that helps find people behind doors and material. This is definitely to the good. However, the local union then stepped in to pile on, backed by Telvock’s half-true articles, to try to eliminate the volunteers altogether and make Spotsy an all-union shop (where have we seen this before?).

Eventually further changes were made by the liberal BoS majority, who finally tired of the paper’s biased coverage of the issue and stopped giving Telvock advance materials agead of Board meetings. Faced with a community backlash, Telvock left the FLS to start the F’berg Patch (I’d post a link, but they might not be around by the time you click on it).

Fast forward to 2011. Two days after Republican and conservative candidates gained the majority on the BoS, the lame-duck Board decided to make an unfunded hire of 55 new firefighters in 2012- when most of them would be out of office. It was a thumb in the eye of the new supervisors, who could either raise taxes 5 cents to pay for it or take on the paper and its union bias and stay the hire. The new Supervisors decided to stay the hire and develop their own plan for 24/7 coverage of Spotsy fire and rescue stations, even the rural ones, one that relied on strengthening the (very good) combined fire and rescue system Spotsy has in place.

Of course, Paul Akers and the Worst Editorial Board in Virginia couldn’t abide this clear challenge to its authority.

Allow me to tick off the untrue or half true statements in this editorial:

-“unanimous approval last November by the county Board of Supervisors to spend $5.5 million on a multiyear plan to add personnel”: That approval came from a lame duck Board that had been swept out of power literally two days earlier. They could have done this anytime before then, but knew it would mean a 5 cent tax hike and didn’t want it to become a campaign issue. They also didn’t fund it, meaning that happy task would fall to the new Board.

-“County Administrator Doug Barnes put the plan on a back burner until the new supervisors could have their say. We were unaware that ignoring his bosses’ will was part of Mr. Barnes’ job description.”: What did you expect him to do? That this was a political stunt was clearly obvious to everyone.

-“voting 4-3 to drop the initial $1.5 million hiring plan, claiming their decision to renege is what the people of Spotsylvania elected them to do”: No, what they claimed they were elected to do was to use the taxpayers money wisely. Breaking the bank on 55 new union guys seems hasty (even one of the most liberal supervisors left on the BoS admitted it was hasty), while spending a fraction of the money on recruitment of volunteers to fill the rural stations hasn’t been tried in three years. Previous recruitment drives yielded great results. Why would we not try this again?

-“discounting the 21 months of thoughtful review that occurred between the day Sandy Hill died and the day the former board approved the spending package”: Yes, this ‘thoughtful analysis’ included the former Chairman of the BoS saying he’d “rather use a garden hose on his house than call the volunteers”. Truth is, the one thing the old never considered or analyzed was the negative effect the paper’s constant attacks had on recruitment or morale. That needs to be explored.

-“But we already know that operating on a shoestring resulted in a funeral for one of those Spotsylvania residents”: Typical alarmism. First, the combined system is hardly run on a shoestring. Second, this is a typical line of attack for liberals: If you don’t throw tons of money at a problem, it can’t be fixed. Hogwash.

-“Perhaps the soul-searching now falls to the voters of Spotsylvania County, who might be surprised to learn that although a fatal fire revealed an organization in serious need of reform, status quo is suddenly OK.” The currenty BoS asked for other options from the legacy Fire and Rescue Commission (which, curiously, was never consulted before the hiring decision was made). They refused to give any. So the Commission was restructured and more options will be forthcoming. The entire Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management was restructured and centralized, and the highest training standards in the state were set for fire and rescue. Does this sound like status quo to you?

FLS=the Fredericksburg region’s National Enquirer

The Worst Editorial Board in Virginia goes Kucinich

The FLS Editorial Board, also known as the Worst Editorial Board in Virginia, has gone off the deep end and out of the mainstream of even liberal thought, highlighted by professional liberal shill Richard Amrhine:

What’s going on in Richmond these days is a disgusting display of ideological conservatism at its worst, and unless someone is willing to instill some moderation, it’s going to take years for Virginia to claw itself back to reality.

Amrhine (who is otherwise best known for a poorly written and mean-spirited attack piece on new Sen. Bryce Reeves and his wife right after Reeves defeated Houck) goes on to call outstanding Delegates Marshall and Cole “Compassion-free” for wanting to prevent tax money from being spent on abortions, as well as actually asking women seeking one to see their baby before terminating him or her. Or for asking someone trying to vote to actually prove they are who they say they are, instead of the current “pinky swear” ID method (though at least he admits those most likely to commit voter fraud are Dems).

This type of partisan tripe is sadly typical of Amrhine, who has been the voice of the national Democrats in Fredericksburg for years. That the Editorial Board includes him and gives him a forum for this sloppily written, easily disproven partisan leftist bunk is one more reason they are the “Worst Editorial Board in the Commonwealth”.