Iraq

Governor McDonnell Gives Republican Response Today: Targets ObamaCare

Governor Bob McDonnell today gave the national Republican response to the weekly presidential radio/Internet address. After thanking our military personnel for its bravery in Libya and humanitarian assistance in Japan, as well as its ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, he went after Washington for its unsustainable spending and debt, and the increasing costs of Medicaid, which is rapidly accounting for as much as a fifth to a quarter of states' budgets. He then cited Virginia as an example of balancing budgets through spending reductions. He also keenly noted that while Washington liberals were in a tremendous hurry to push through ObamaCare (it became law one year ago this week), which will add more to the national debt and state obligations, it is dragging its feet in determining its legality by blocking, stalling and delaying the legal process, costing us yet more millions of tax dollars. Governor McDonnell concluded by enumerating proposals by Republican governors that actually would reform health care without the new mammoth and oppressive bureaucracy that is ObamaCare.

"It's also unconstitutional. ... But now, the very same administration that was in such a rush to pass the bill is in no hurry to find out if it's legal. ... Shockingly, the Obama administration opposes an expedited appeal to the Supreme Court."

Okay. Maybe not so shockingly.

Breaking News: McDonnell Tells Fairfax Registrar To Count The Military's Votes!

The U.S. Military doesn't fight and die overseas to protect our freedoms so that unscrupulous people in power back home can deny them their own constitutional rights.

When the news first broke late last week that the grossly partisan Fairfax County registrar, Rokey Suleman (contact here), was not going to count absentee ballots by military personnel, we were livid. This same man registered Fairfax County Jail inmates to vote earlier this month. (Why not? Captive audience, right?) But he wanted to deny the votes of hundreds of Virginians who are abroad fighting for our (including his) security and freedom. The gall of this man!

From the D.C. Examiner:

Inmates at the Fairfax County jail were encouraged to register and vote last week by (Democrat) elections officials making what the county's (Democrat) sheriff called the first visit of its kind in his 30 years with the county. 

We were ready to blog about this absolute gross injustice — first brought to the public's attention by Delegates Bill Janis (R-56, Glen Allen) and Scott Lingamfelter (R-31, Woodbridge), both military veterans (Delegate Lingamfelter was a tank colonel in the Gulf War) — when we just received a news release from the office of Attorney General Bob McDonnell announcing that he has written and issued an opinion that tells Mr. Suleman to shape up and count the votes! (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot article, here.) Delegate Janis last week officially requested the opinion from Attorney General McDonnell — himself a vet and whose daughter has been deployed to Iraq.  

At issue was a minor technicality (Richmond Times-Dispatch article, here) that no Virginia registrar had ever considered an impediment to the counting of the votes of overseas military personnel, especially since a federal law allows military personnel a waiver for the particular circumstance in question. Yet, Mr. Suleman, the jailbird cherry picker, proposed to be the first to ignore the federal law. (Human Events article here).

Another irony: Fairfax County is the home to George Washington. Fine way of continuing the tradition, Mr. Suleman, of respecting the U.S. Military, which your county's most famous citizen did so much to form.

Meanwhile, where was Governor Tim Kaine on this issue? Not a peep. Isn't he Barack Obama's national co-chairman? Coincidence in his silence? We can tell you that besides travelling the country to campaign for liberal Democrats while the commonwealth's finances are falling apart, Governor Kaine was busy restoring felons' voting rights at such a dizzying rate that one wonders if he has diligently reviewed their applications. At this point last year he had restored a record 729 felons voting rights outdone only by this year's blistering pace of 758, per Delegate Janis on WRVA radio Friday afternoon.

The right to vote is a cherished value in our country. Actions by Mr. Suleman and the governor, not to mention renegade groups such as ACORN (see the CNN column of Tara Wall, deputy editorial page editor of The Washington Times), devalue the votes of all law abiding citizens and the brave men and women in uniform who constantly defend us and our freedoms.

Posted below is the news release issued by the office of Attorney General Bob McDonnell. The link to the opinion itself is at the conclusion of the statement. 

McDonnell Opinion: Count Absentee Military Ballots

Opinion Finds Federal Law Preempts State Law; Federal Ballots without Witness Address Are Lawful, Must be Counted

Fairfax — Attorney General Bob McDonnell released a formal opinion today concluding that federal absentee ballots from overseas military voters lacking the printed name and address of a witness must be counted. The opinion affirms that federal law preempts state law, thus clarifying the state and federal statutes regarding the issue. The confusion centered over whether a state law requiring a witness's printed name and address controls federal absentee ballots or the federal law governs this issue. The opinion was requested by Delegate Bill Janis (R-Henrico) and is attached to this release.

In the formal opinion the Attorney General finds, "It is . . . my opinion that the applicable provision of Virginia law, § 24.2-702.1(B), interpreted to require an overseas military voter submitting only a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot to include the printed name and address of the person who signs the witness statement is preempted by the provisions of the (federal) Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. Finally, it is my opinion that general registrars may not reject a Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot submitted by overseas military voters for the November 4, 2008 federal election that does not include a printed name and address for the person who signs the witness statement. ..."

Approximately 100 Federal Write-In Absentee Ballots have been set aside in Fairfax County pending a legal conclusion regarding the discrepancy between state and federal law. Additional Federal Write-In Absentee Ballots may also have been received in other jurisdictions. The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot is most commonly used by members of the military who are stationed overseas and have not received a state absentee ballot. It is a means by which service members can be guaranteed a vote in federal elections.

A copy of this formal opinion was provided to the State Board of Elections this afternoon.

Click here for Attorney General McDonnell's official seven page opinion.

True Story: Angry Left Logic Admits Abortion Is Murder

This is a true story. This guy I know of, but not formally met, saw me at the Richmond Folk Music Festival yesterday. A mutual friend mentioned that I was attending the Sarah Palin rally today. His first response was, "Oh, good. Are you going to shoot her?" He repeated it as I ignored him. The hate speech is bad enough, but believe me, that's not the point. Read on. After another repetition of his question, I told him that I liked her. He spat out that he could never like someone like her, said something about hating her, then gave his reason: She shoots and "kills moose" but is against abortion. I'm not making this up, but this isn't news anyway. We hear this type of twisted ideology all the time. 

Of course it's ridiculously sad — more concern for animals than babies. But that's still not the point.

Here's the point: He admitted by inference and equation something pro-abortionists  never admit — abortion is murder! To be clear, when I said we ought not to talk about it because I support protecting innocent life, he raged on about the killing in Iraq. So, he meant what he said: in his mind, and those of pro-abortionists, abortion is murder and it is okay by them and always should be legal.

In a peculiar way, I wanted to thank him for revealing the true sentiments of the pro-abortionist movement. I only wish he would testify for us at the General Assembly. 

Quick, Call The ACLU!

There is another "church-state separation" constitutional crisis about to take place Friday. (See this for the first one we uncovered.) According to a blurb in the community news section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch today, contemporary Christian and urban Gospel bands will perform in a concert Friday at Fort Lee, near Petersburg, home of the U.S. Army's Quartermaster Command.

You can't get more government than an Army base, now can you? So, quick! Someone call the ACLU! Religious music at a government facility? After all, those singers will mention God, won't they? Perhaps, Jesus as well? We can't have that. I mean, if the ACLU will fight to keep the Boy Scouts Jamboree off Fort A.P. Hill just because they recognize God, or work to keep mentions of Jesus out of commencement speeches or anywhere near a a school, then what to make of an entire concert, with praise and devotional music?

We're sure the people in attendance Friday night, both uniformed and civilian, and especially those who are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan this week, will completely enjoy themselves, and well they should. Given where the concert is taking place, it's probably the last place where the ACLU wants to pick a fight.

Republican Moral Divide

A quick look at Barak Obama's campaign web site finds several references to faith and values. Unfortnately, there doesn't appear to be any such reference on John McCain's site.  This, while a new Gallop poll indicates that Republican voters are growing more concerned over the state of the nation's moral values. In just two years, the percent of registered Republicans who said the moral condition of American is "poor" has risen by 15 points. Today, 51 percent of the GOP is frustrated with the nation's moral climate, compared to 36 percent two years ago.

So, Republican voters appear to be more concerned about traditional values — not less. As such, these voters are more likely to seek out candidates who they believe share their concerns. Apparently, McCain and his advisors still don't get it.

And its not just Republican voters with concerns. Since 2002, Republicans, Democrats and Independents have grown more pessimistic about the nation's moral direction. In fact, 81 percent believe the nation's moral state is "getting worse."

So, in that context, how smart is it for McCain and other Republicans to avoid talking about moral issues? While their campaign consultants may convince candidates to avoid all talk about marriage and abortion, that appears to be exactly what the voters (and activists) want them talking about. 

Don't get me wrong. Candidates can't talk only about moral issues. They have to address rising gas prices, the economy, Iraq, terrorism, etc. But they can't completely avoid moral issues either.

The message to Republican candidates is clear — avoid these issues at your peril. Don't expect the activists and voters who got you into office to be energized if you refuse to even mention the issues they care about. 

Memorial Day

Nothing irks me more than our cultural illiteracy — and of all of our massive misunderstandings of American culture, nothing has come to be more misunderstood in recent years as Memorial Day. It's almost understandable since most people get their education from the media, most of whom could not be more unqualified. Every year, for the last several years, this weekend no exception, it's the same mantra. I can't tell you how many times this weekend already I've heard or read on the radio, television or in print: "Thank the troops this weekend, thank a vet."

Yes, we should always thank our soldiers, seamen, Marines and airmen; and members of the Coast Guard, National Guard and reserve units; and veterans of all the service branches. Our police and firemen as well. But that's not the meaning of Memorial Day.

From the American Heritage College Dictionary:

me•mo•ri•aln. Something, as a holiday, intended to celebrate or honor the memory of a person or event.

Me•mo•ri•al Dayn. May 30, observed in the United States to commemorate members of the armed forces killed in war, officially observed on the last Monday in May.

The point being: We should always thank our vets and active duty military; they are with us now and are constant reminders of the sacrifice and diligence needed to protect our country and preserve our freedom. Plus, they have their own days: Veterans Day (November 11) and Armed Forces Day (May 17). But Memorial Day, as those very same vets will tell you, is to honor those no longer with us, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of America. Those who birthed our freedom and left us with it intact, and a society in which we can be so carefree as to picnic, sunbathe and vacation on what is such a solemn day. From the Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan.

We can't thank them in person. The least we can do, one day a year, is to honor them and pray for them, as well as for the families of service men and women recently departed. We should do it more often than once a year. But at least one day. Today. Memorial Day.

MEMORIAL DAY by C. W. Johnson

We walked among the crosses Where our fallen soldiers lay. And listened to the bugle As TAPS began to play. The Chaplain led a prayer We stood with heads bowed low. And I thought of fallen comrades I had known so long ago. They came from every city Across this fertile land. That we might live in freedom. They lie here 'neath the sand. I felt a little guilty My sacrifice was small. I only lost a little time But these men lost their all. Now the services are over For this Memorial Day. To the names upon these crosses I just want to say, Thanks for what you've given No one could ask for more. May you rest with God in Heaven From now through evermore.

All In The (Liberal) Family

When liberal Hollywood producer Norman Lear, of People for the American Way fame, created the hit 1970s show "All In The Family," he admitted part of his motivation was to caricature conservatives through stereotype. The main character, Archie Bunker, was a bigoted, Second Amendment loving, homophobic, chauvinistic, xenophobic, jingoistic, racist ignoramus. Part of actor Carrol O'Connor's portrayal involved Archie's vicious stereotyping of anyone and everyone different from him — Poles ("Pollacks"), Jews ("Hebes"), Middle Easterners ("A-Rabs") and blacks to name a few. While certainly there are racists in every culture, there is no country where minorities of any type — racial, religious, ethnic — can succeed as in America. Where are these bigots that Lear tried to portray as everyday Americans trying to stunt the progress of our country? There is no country that, when they do raise their disgraceful voices, they are shunned as they are here. Nowhere in America do they hold real power.

The show got huge ratings, some calling it the best sitcom of all time. But Lear discovered the show actually backfired. Despite the buffoonish nature of Archie, what was exposed was the condescension and elitism of its liberal characters and the show's philosophical bent.

For years this has been the case in real life. Now, perhaps thinking the country's culture has moved comfortably toward their leftist view, liberal politicians and elitists are saying publicly what they think and work toward. In the fall of 2006, John Kerry — who wanted to be the Commander-In-Chief — said the military was the option of last resort for the dumb. During the last several months, front-running Democrat candidate for president Barack Obama has said that racism is "typical" in white people and that working-class folks in small town America "cling" to their religion and guns out of fear and nonacceptance of others.

Now, liberal horror novelist Stephen King, as with Kerry, has piled on the military. Speaking at the Library of Congress to a school group (nothing like indoctrinating students), King said:

"The fact is if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don't, then you've got the Army, Iraq, I don't know, something like that."

King, a major donor to liberal candidates and causes, and an Obama supporter, thought he could he get away with his comments, just as Obama thought he could when trashing mid-America in San Francisco. But he forgot about the blogosphere. NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard brought King's belittling comments about the military to light. (Click here.) What's sadly ironic is that it is our military, who handle weapons and implement planning and logistics more complex than King could ever comprehend, secure his right to write his lunatic plots and say his imbecilic comments. (Click here for Sheppard's reply to King's feeble response.)

Ironies tend to come full circle. In this case, what further adds to it is that Archie Bunker was a God-believing, high school drop-out, working class, proud union man; a socio-economic class today described as "Reagan Democrats." (In one episode, years before he was elected, Archie admitted that he wrote-in Ronald Reagan's name for president.) Now, just who is it the Democrats are so desperate to attract? The same people they mock.

So, What Position Will M. Warner Take?

Now that we know — as if we needed confirmation — that Governor Tim Kaine will outline a tax increase for his transportation plan come Monday, it puts a certain former governor with a, shall we say, shady history on the issue of taxes, in a bit of a bind. Will former Governor Mark Warner embrace the plan? If he does, it will explode his already gaping tax credentials hole into a crater. If he doesn't, he gives the low-tax General Assembly Republicans all sorts of cover and undermines his hand-picked successor. What will it be: His natural appetite for taking away hard-earned money from Virginia's families? Or, will will he throw his pal, in what seems to be the trend this Democrat political season, under the bus? Most likely, he'll use the time-tested political dodge. But he won't get away with it.

Look at his record of broken promises and reversals of position, which is piling up faster than dead bodies during whack frenzy last-season of The Soprano's:  

  • Promise: Finish the car tax elimination. Result: Didn't even try.

  • Promise: End the death tax. Result: Vetoed it.

  • Promise: No tax increase. Result: Largest tax increase in Virginia history despite a surplus.

Which brings about another question: Since we didn't get into the "transportation crisis" overnight, who didn't get the job done before Governor Kaine? I mean, who was the governor between 2002-2006? Oh yeah, the same Mark Warner who wants raise our federal taxes as well (after months of denying it, he went on record yesterday saying he wants to let the Bush tax cuts expire). 

Not that these are tax issues, but adding to the skepticism of his veracity and trustworthyness, Mr. Warner now says he's not for a date certain for withdrawal from Iraq. Really? This is what he said at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in February:

"And come January, 2009, we need to start to bring our brave troops home from Iraq. . . ." Sounds pretty certain to me.

He also vetoed a Virginia energy plan agreeing to off-shore drilling if the feds ever granted such permission. But at the Shad Planking April 16, he said:

"I've said in terms of offshore, we ought to take a look."

Who can trust this guy? Tim Kaine better hope he can or his plan will end up in the same place those Soprano's characters did. We continue to hope.