Why we must come to Ukraine’s aid

It is a painful irony that the right seems to have dropped the “What would Reagan do?” meme at the very moment when it is most apt. As Vladimir Putin tries to carve off the Crimea from Ukraine, the argument about how to react has devolved into two sides talking past each other on the dangers of doing nothing or going to war. Yet Reagan knew – and used – a plethora of options between those extremes in his winning battle with the Soviet Union. Those options are still in front of us.

In short, we can help Ukraine liberate itself from Putinist aggression. Here are the options (none of which are mutually exclusive, and many of which should, in my view, be taken).

Freeze Russian assets and block Russian tourists here: As Ben Judah notes in Politico, Russia’s kleptocrtatic elite has been squirreling money abroad for years, and we’ve let them do it. That in itself is not a bad thing for us; in fact, it grants us some decent leverage in moments like this. Russia’s central bank has already jacked up interest rates to protect the ruble’s value – and the market ran right over it (Bloomberg). If Putin’s rich cronies can’t get to their money, he has a problem.

Provide military aid to Ukraine: The statements out of Kyiv make it fairly clear that Ukraine sees the Crimea carve-off as an act of war, but there seems to be little the Ukrainian military can do (Telegraph, see note at 11:59); Putin knows this. Both sides might change their calculations if American arms started showing up in Ukrainian military installations. Even now, Russian troops haven’t entered Ukrainian military bases in Crimea – a sign that Putin isn’t looking for a fight. Make it clear he’ll get one if he stays – not from us per se, but from the locals using our arms – and he might rethink his position.

Provide support to the Crimean resistance: Putin will definitely rethink his position if his troops have to act like occupiers. While the majority of Crimeans may be Russian-speaking, that doesn’t mean support for Putin’s invasion is unanimous. Ethnic Ukrainians and Tartars in Crimea are likely furious at what has happened. Helping their efforts to resist occupation is right out of Reagan’s playbook. He used it to liberate Nicaragua (arming rebels), Afghanistan (ditto), and Poland (whose resistance preferred weapons of information – fax machines, printers, etc.), without any American military presence. Putin and his troops are acting as if they’re doing Crimea a favor. If Crimeans themselves rise up against him, this entire operation turns into a major Moscow headache.

If you want to put American troops in the region, put them in Kyiv or Lviv: An American military force in Ukraine (but not Crimea) will make clear that we stand with her against Putin, without setting off any triggers. I should note that this action is actually the weakest of the bunch, and I wouldn’t recommend it by itself. Still, a gesture of goodwill could be helpful.

Amidst all the talk of “resurgent Russia” and Putin’s attempt to recreate a Russian empire, we should keep one thing in mind: Russians are terrible imperialistsTheir first 20th century war to protect their empire from the Kaiser led to complete national collapse and a Communist revolution. The Communist version of the empire was so brutal and incompetent that the occupied peoples actually cheered the Nazis whenever they showed up. Stalin’s attempt to extend the empire into Eastern Europe lasted less than fifty years. Even now, the “statelets” of Abkhazia (Georgia) and Transnistria (Moldova) are seeing elections in which the voters are going off-script and rejecting the pro-Putin candidates.

There is no reason to doubt Putin will wear out his welcome in Crimea, too. In the meantime, we need to make it clear to him, Crimeans, other Ukrainians, and everyone else that we can and will help those resisting this irridentist aggression.

Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal

An Echo Of Reagan’s Words

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

— President Ronald Reagan from “The Speech” – October 27, 1964

“We have sentenced our children to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. Though we failed, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.” – November 7, 2012

Reagan Rock Election Day Landslide Mix

This past weekend, Sirius XM ran down the Top 40 songs from this week in 1984. We now take you back on this Election Day to that day 27 years ago when Reagan Rock Ruled and the Gipper went on to a 49 state landslide. Here’s hoping the VA GOP has some of that same luck in 2011.  (I’m taking that they chose this particular year to play as a good omen.)

As voting progresses today and we wait for the tallies to start coming in after 7 p.m., check out some of these awesome ’80s tunes.  So many classics packed into just one week’s Top 40 countdown!

Week of 11/3/84 Previous Week Song Artist Weeks in Top 40
40 I Need You Tonight Peter Wolf 1
39 Tears John Waite 1
38 The Wild Boys Duran Duran 1
37 Valotte Julian Lennon 1
36 We Are The Young Dan Hartman 1
35 Sugar Don’t Bite Sam Harris 1
34 Girls With Guns Tommy Shaw 1
33 38 I Can’t Drive 55 Sammy Hagar 2
32 24 Drive The Cars 14
31 We Belong Pat Benatar 1
30 39 Walking On A Thin Line Huey Lewis & The News 2
29 37 Cool It Now New Edition 2
28 36 Teacher Teacher 38 Special 2
27 33 Sea Of Love The Honeydrippers 2
26 20 Cover Me Bruce Springsteen 12
25 31 It Ain’t Enough Corey Hart 3
24 29 I Can’t Hold Back Survivor 3
23 8 Some Guys Have All The Luck Rod Stewart 9
22 17 Let’s Go Crazy Prince & The Revolution 13
21 5 I’m So Excited Pointer Sisters 12
20 25 The War Song Culture Club 3
19 23 No More Lonely Nights Paul McCartney 3
18 22 All Through The Night Cyndi Lauper 4
17 21 Penny Lover Lionel Richie 4
16 19 What About Me Kenny Rogers with Kim Carnes & James Ingram 6
15 3 Lucky Star Madonna 10
14 16 Swept Away Diana Ross 8
13 18 Strut Sheena Easton 8
12 15 Who Wears These Shoes Elton John 8
11 9 Hard Habit To Break Chicago 11
10 14 Desert Moon Dennis DeYoung 7
9 13 Out Of Touch Hall & Oates 6
8 12 I Feel For You Chaka Khan 6
7 11 Better Be Good To Me Tina Turner 7
6 10 Blue Jean David Bowie 7
5 6 On The Dark Side John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band 8
4 2 I Just Called To Say I Love You Stevie Wonder 10
3 7 Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Wham! 6
2 4 Purple Rain Prince & The Revolution 5
1 1 Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run) Billy Ocean 9

You Can Stop Those Reagan, Clinton Comparisons Now For Obama

For a while, we’ve been hearing comparisons between the low approval ratings that both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton had during in their first terms in office before going on to win reelection and where Barack Obama’s approval ratings are.

Well, those comparisons can now be stopped according to the latest ABC News / WashPo poll:

Just 43 percent now approve of the job he is doing overall, a new career low; 53 percent disapprove, a new high.

But!  But!  What about Reagan?  What about Clinton?

By this time in their presidencies, approval ratings for both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton — who also suffered serious midterm setbacks during their first term — had settled safely above the 50 percent mark. Both then stayed in positive territory throughout their reelection campaigns.

And that’s not all.

By 2 to 1, more Americans now say the administration’s economic policies are making the economy worse rather than better.

In other words, 66% of Americans now blame Obama for making what may have been bad under Bush even worse now.

Things are also bad for Obama when Americans are asked a version of the famous “are you better off today” question that Reagan used to bludgeon Jimmy Carter on his way to defeating Carter in 1980. By better than 2 to 1, more say they are not as well off financially as they were at the start of Obama’s term.

This politically sensitive indicator is about where it was for former president George H.W. Bush at the end of 1991, and those numbers moved little the following year, when Bush lost his reelection bid to Clinton.

Even in the toy aisle at Walmart, you can see that Obama is 20% worse than Jimmy Carter.

Back in 1979, just 1 year before Carter lost reelection to Reagan, a free Boba Fett figure was only 4 proofs of purchase.  Now, in 2011, that is up to 5 proofs or purchase, a 20% rate of inflation.

BREAKING: PWC School Board Names New Middle School For Ronald Reagan

In an effort to find middle ground in the minor skirmish that has erupted over the possibility of the PWC School Board bypassing the naming committee’s suggestion of Piney Branch Elementary School for the new school opening on the Linton Hall Road, a compromise has reportedly been reached.  At tonight’s School Board meeting, the board will make a motion to name the new elementary school Piney Branch as was suggested by the naming committee and simultaneously move to name the new middle school Ronald Reagan Middle School, bypassing the creation of a naming committee altogether.

More to come…

UPDATE: From PWC Public Schools

Tonight, the School Board approved the name of Piney Branch Elementary School for the new school under construction on Linton Hall Road (which will open this fall) and in the same vote approved Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School as the name for the school under construction at Silver Lake (which will open in the fall of 2012).

PWC School Bd. To Vote On Reagan Elementary Name Tonight

I would urge all of you to please get behind this citizen grassroots effort.  In this the centennial year of Ronald Reagan’s birthday, with celebrations going on all over the country all year long, what better timer to pay homage to one of the greatest Americans of all time, regardless of political persuasions.  May I remind everyone that upon re-election to his second term he received 59% of the popular vote and 97.5 % of the electoral vote, the most in history!!  He lifted the dark cloud of immenent nuclear threat and gave the whole world a sigh of relief.  He was a shining example of honor, high moral character, righteousness and had an unabiding faith in the American people’s exceptionalism and, his and our “Shining city on a hill”.  Don’t you think it is about time we gave at least some of our children such an example to look to and footsteps to aspire to fill?

Please contact your school board members and Chairman right away, at the e-mail addresses listed, below and urge them to approve the naming of the new elementary school on Linton Hall Rd as the “Ronald Reagan Elementary School”.  There is a school board meeting on Wednesday 3/2/2011 evening to consider this topic.

Thank You So Much,

Tom Whitmore

PWCRC Vice Chairman

P.S. Last evening the Prince William Republican Committee by unanimous Acclaim approved a resolution to endorse the naming of this new elementary school on Linton Hall Rd as the “Ronald Reagan Elementary School”!

Johns.jpg Milt Johns
8243 Crackling Fire Drive
Gainesville, VA 20155
703 -753-6838 Office, Fax
Official Website

Brentsville District
trenum1-08.jpg Gil Trenum
12038 Hooker Ln.
Nokesville, VA  20181
Official website:
Coles District
Otaigbe08.jpg Michael Otaigbe
14261 Silverdale Dr.
Woodbridge, VA  22193
Official Website:
Gainesville District
Richardson08-1.jpg Don Richardson
4255 Misty Ridge Drive
Haymarket VA 20169
(O) 703-753-6551  (H) 703-754-4052
Official Website

Neabsco District
LisaBell4-2010.jpg Lisa Bell
P.O. Box 6562
Woodbridge, VA 22195
Official Website

OccoquanDistrict, Vice Chairman
lattin1-08.jpg Grant Lattin
11970 Shorewood Ct
Woodbridge, VA 22192-1412
Official Website

Thanks Again,


PWC School Board To Vote On Naming Elementary School After Ronald Reagan THIS WED.!

This Wed., March 2, the Prince William County School Board will be voting on what to name the new elementary school opening Fall 2011 on Linton Hall Road.  The naming committee came up with the lame name of “Piney Branch Elementary School” — Ronald Reagan didn’t even make the top 18 suggestions of the committee despite it having strong supporters (it received the most suggestions from the public.)  I first suggested that name early last October and encouraged people to submit it to the naming committee by the Dec. 1 deadline.  Following is the message that I sent to the naming committee:

Since the new elementary school on Linton Hall Road here in Prince William County is set to open in 2011, the year when celebrations are being planned for the centennial of President Ronald Reagan’s birth, I think that it is only fitting that the school be named “Ronald Reagan Elementary School.”  On Oct. 7, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) sent a letter to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell calling on state officials to “take appropriate measures” to mark the occasion of President Reagan’s birth.  In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly voted to designate Feb. 6th as Ronald Reagan Day in Virginia with only one member out of all 140 delegates and senators voting against it.  It is clear that such a honor would have bipartisan support and the legacy of Reagan’s presidency could serve as an inspiration to the students at this school.

At the PWC GOP Committee meeting tonight, School Board member Don Richardson spoke and indicated that the Board would be voting on naming the school after Reagan on Wed.  He urged everyone to email the entire school board and ask that they support naming the school after President Reagan.  Please take the time to drop an email to the board, their email addresses follow, and let’s win this one for the Gipper!

MJOHNS@pwcs.edu; GLATTIN@pwcs.edu; BCOVINGTON@pwcs.edu; LBELL@pwcs.edu; MOTAIGBE@pwcs.edu; DRAMIREZ@pwcs.edu; DRICHARDSON@pwcs.edu; GTRENUM@pwcs.edu

President Reagan’s John Hancock Gets Trademarked While Reagan Jr. Gets “Hosed”

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library has filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to trademark President Reagan’s distinctive signature for use on various items.

Meanwhile, Ron Reagan, Jr. (a disgrace to the very name he bears) gets an earful from a couple of Tampa, Florida talk radio hosts while trying to push copies of his new unflattering book about his father.

“Within one minute of getting me on the air,” recalls Reagan, “Tedd had called me an a**hole, threatened to kick my a**, and told me that he, no, hadn’t bought my book and wasn’t going to unless he needed something extra to wipe his a** with.”

Quick, somebody give this guy a national show!


Happy Birthday, President Reagan.  You were an inspiration to millions, both at home and abroad.

Today, before the Super Bowl airs, a video tribute to Reagan will be shown.  A generation has passed since he was sworn into office and more than a half decade has flown by since, paraphrasing his eloquent speech from the Oval Office following the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, he “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”

Most people cannot begin to imagine a world that never had a Ronald Reagan.  Indeed, many students graduating from college this year were born after he left office, so they have to rely upon history rather than experience for their knowledge of his presidency.  That is no substitute for having lived it for 8 years.  It is the difference between having read a 1,000 page novel and having only seen the coming attractions movie trailer for the film adaptation of it.

We will never have another Ronald Reagan, but we continue to see his legacy thrive and grow as more people step forward to honor the principles that he stood for — a strong national defense, pro-economic growth tax and fiscal policies, and a commitment to the underlying values that makes America great.  On the centennial anniversary of his birth, we owe it to him and to America to recommit ourselves to upholding those principles.

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.”

— President Ronald Reagan from “The Speech” – October 27, 1964

Help Make Ronald Reagan Elementary School A Reality In PWC

Speaking of Ronald Reagan’s centennial

Here is an opportunity for Prince William County to take part in the celebration.

The Prince William County School Board is seeking name suggestions for the elementary school under construction at 8301 Linton Hall Rd. in Bristow.

Suggestions should be sent to the Prince William County School Division Community Relations Office, P.O. Box 389, Manassas, Va. 20108, or e-mailed to paynebj@pwcs.edu by Dec. 1.

The School Board’s naming committees will consider geographic or historical names, as well as those of deceased people who made local, state or national contributions.

Following is the suggestion that I submitted.

Since the new elementary school on Linton Hall Road here in Prince William County is set to open in 2011, the year when celebrations are being planned for the centennial of President Ronald Reagan’s birth, I think that it is only fitting that the school be named “Ronald Reagan Elementary School.”  On Oct. 7, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) sent a letter to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell calling on state officials to “take appropriate measures” to mark the occasion of President Reagan’s birth.  In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly voted to designate Feb. 6th as Ronald Reagan Day in Virginia with only one member out of all 140 delegates and senators voting against it.  It is clear that such a honor would have bipartisan support and the legacy of Reagan’s presidency could serve as an inspiration to the students at this school.

Please join me in working to get this new elementary school named after President Reagan!

Reagan Biographical Film In The Works

Just in time for President Reagan’s 100th birthday next year, Hollywood is looking to make a Reagan biography (and they make quick note that they will NOT go the hatchet-job route of the CBS mini-series “The Reagans.”)

Hollywood Reporter is running a poll on who should play Ronald Reagan in the film.  So far, the leader is Chris Pine who is the latest incarnation of both James T. Kirk and Jack Ryan.

Of course, if they want a young actor for Reagan’s youth scenes who is also a fan of the former president, they could always get Nick Jonas.  Just think of the additional demographic that would draw to the box office and introduce to the legacy of The Gipper.

Flag Day

Today we celebrate Flag Day, the birthday of our Stars and Stripes. As we think back over the history of our nation’s flag, we remember that the story of its early years was often one of hardship and trials, sometimes a fight for simple survival.

Such is the story behind our Star-Spangled Banner. It was 2 years into the War of 1812, and America seemed to be teetering on the edge of defeat. The British had already taken our Capital and burned the White House. Baltimore was the next target in a grand design to divide our forces and crush this newly independent nation of upstart colonies. All that stood between the British and Baltimore were the guns of Fort McHenry, blocking their entry into Baltimore Harbor.

The British bombardment lasted for 25 hours. Through the dark hours of the night, the rockets fired and the bombs exploded. And a young American patriot named Key, held captive aboard a British ship, watched anxiously for some proof, some sign, that liberty would prevail. You can imagine his joy when the next morning, in the dawn’s early light, he looked out and saw the banner still flying — a little tattered and torn, but still flying proudly above the ramparts. Fort McHenry and the brave men manning it had withstood the assault. Baltimore was saved. The United States, this great experiment in human freedom, as George Washington described it, would endure.

Thinking back to those times, one realizes that our democracy is so strong because it was forged in the fires of adversity. In those dark days of the war, it must have been easy to give in to despair. But our forefathers were motivated by a cause beyond themselves. From the harsh winter of Valley Forge to the blazing night above Fort McHenry, those patriot soldiers were sustained by the ideals of human freedom. Through the hardships and the setbacks, they kept their eyes on that ideal and purpose, just as through the smoke of battle they kept a lookout for the flag. For with the birth of our nation, the cause of human freedom had become forever tied to that flag and its survival.

As the American Republic grew and prospered and new stars were added to the flag, the ideal of freedom grew and prospered. From the rolling hills of Kentucky to the shores of California to the Sea of Tranquility on the Moon, our pioneers carried our flag before them, a symbol of the indomitable spirit of a free people. And let us never forget that in honoring our flag, we honor the American men and women who have courageously fought and died for it over the last 200 years, patriots who set an ideal above any consideration of self. Our flag flies free today because of their sacrifice.

And I hope you all will join Nancy and me and millions of other Americans at 7 o’clock this evening, eastern daylight time, when we pause a few minutes to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Though separated by many miles, we will be together in our thoughts. These anniversaries remind us that the great American experiment in freedom and democracy has really just begun. They remind us of the terrible hardships our forefathers willingly endured for their beliefs. And they challenge us to match that greatness of spirit in our own time, and I know we will. We are, after all, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

–Ronald Reagan, Flag Day 1986

UPDATED: Polls Are Closed In MA; Results Coming In – Brown WINS!!!

The polls closed in MA at 8 p.m. and results have begun to trickle in.

8:25 p.m. – With roughly 100K votes counted, Scott Brown leads 53 -47.  Rasmussen did the only exit poll and his findings show Brown won a whopping 22 percent of the Democratic vote.  (That includes former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn.)  Given that huge crossover and Brown’s apparent wide lead among independents, it appears that Brown is headed for victory tonight.

8:34 p.m. Jim Geraghty at NRO’s Campaign Spot notes:

Obama Towns Are Flipping To Scott Brown. Early Night, Folks.

In 2008, Ashland, Massachusetts went for Obama over McCain, 5,039 votes to 3,181.

Tonight Brown won Ashland 54 percent to 45 percent – 3,467 for Brown while Coakley carried 2,897.

You can call it, folks.

The only remaining question now is, just how ugly will the final results be for the Democrats and how many sitting Dem Senators and U.S. Reps. will decide to call it a career instead of being beaten in Nov.

8:41 p.m. – 21 percent reporting and Brown holds a 7 point lead, 53 -46.

8:55 p.m. – With nearly 40 percent of the vote counted, Brown is maintaining his lead.  This one is over folks.

8:56 p.m. – Grave diggers are spotted at the Ted Kennedy burial site.  Apparently they are checking to see if he has rolled over.

8:57 p.m. – When will calls for DNC Chairman Timmy! to resign begin?  (Not that we want that.  He’s one of the best things ever to happen to the GOP.)

8:58 p.m. – President Obama has achieved something that no president since Ronald Reagan did — he made MA go red in a statewide federal election.

All Over But The Voting In MA?

The momentum in the MA senate race to replace the late Ted “Where’s My Pants?” Kennedy in tomorrow’s special election is clearly on Scott Brown’s side. The Teleprompted One’s aides let it be known via CNN before his visit on Sunday that they thought Martha Coakley would lose, obviously trying to insulate him from being associated with yet another loss after Creigh Deeds and Jon Corzine went down in flames just 2 months ago.  (If in the event she pulls it out, they’ll then be able to credit Obama’s visit with making the difference.)

Now, a whole host of new polls have come out showing Brown going into the election with a lead of anywhere from 3 to 10 points.  Instead of being a squeaker, this race could turn out like New Jersey did where Chris Christie won by a fairly comfortable margin.

Aides in the Obama White House have been trying to model his presidency after that of Ronald Reagan and seek to draw comparisons between the two whenever they can (they note Reagan’s relatively low approval ratings going into his first mid-term elections.)  Here’s one comparison they haven’t made, though.  If Brown wins tomorrow, Obama will have been the first president since Reagan to have turned MA red in a statewide federal election (Reagan won MA in his ’84 reelection bid.)

I Reject The “New Normal” (And You Should, Too!)

AP has an article about how the “new normal” that Americans should get used to is one “of higher joblessness and lower standards of living.”

I refuse to participate in any such “new normal” and you should reject it as well.  That is NOT what defines America — just sitting back and accepting what someone has deemed to be our fate.

We should no more accept this “new normal” than we did President Jimmy Carter’s statement,

“I think it’s inevitable that there will be a lower standard of living than what everybody had always anticipated,” he told advisers in 1979. “The only trend is downward. But it’s impossible to get people to face up to this.”

Carter was wrong then and the AP / The Teleprompted One / VP Dunkin’ Donuts Joe are wrong now.

In Virginia, we are on the cusp of an election resembling that of 1993.

America may very well be ready for a repeat of 1980 in 2012.  The only question is, who will pick up the true Reagan mantle?

Palin Memoirs Due Out Nov. 17th

Former AK Gov. Sarah Palin’s memoirs, entitled “Going Rogue: An American Life,” which were not expected to be released until Spring 2010, will instead be out Nov. 17th with a first printing of 1.5 million copies.  The book clocks in at 400 pages and the subtitle, “An American Life,” is the title of Ronald Reagan’s autobiography after he left the White House.  Whether that is by design or coincidence, we will have to see.

Look for it to be this holiday season’s best seller for non-fiction.