Wednesday, October 29, 2008

P. S. You're Fired

I know I said I was leaving the blogging world but I had to put up this one last post.

Tonight I got an email from the Secretary of Roanoke County Republican Committee. I was informed that I would be removed as a member of the committee if I didn't attend a meeting of the committee tomorrow night. Are you kidding me! Less than one week before an election you issue this threat in order to have warm bodies at a meeting. This party that I have been a part of since I was 10 years old has been imploding for two years and this just shows it continues.

This email came from a member of less than one year. I have been a member for over 22, served as Vice Chairman and Chairman along with serving two terms from this county in the Virginia Senate. We don't have the smartest bunch running the show these days. The policy of being removed from the committee was intended to deal with those missing three consecutive quarterly meeting not three meeting within the last three months. Oh well they are in charge and can do whatever they want.

This party I joined has fallen even farther than I thought possible. Virginia is likely to go Dem. for President and our Senate candidate will not likely break 40%. Based on the yard signs I have seen Roanoke County will even go for Mark Warner. Unbelievable.

Great plan guys--6 days from an election--threaten to remove a long time member from a committee.

Once the dust has settled from Nov. 4th our work will begin to put this GOP back together again.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Leaving the Blogging World

As you probably have noticed we haven't put up a post in some time. Zak and I have been focused on the real world problems facing our financial system and economy. It is hard to put an opinion forward and debate it as if it didn't affect real people. While I have a number of opinions regarding our financial future and political, I have decided for the near term future to keep them to myself.

My experience over the past year of blogging has been mixed. I was disappointed in the early days that comments seemed to be directed toward attacking me personally. It was something that I was used to from being in public office but it got old. That seemed to wane over time thankfully.

When we started this blog there wasn't really anyone commenting on Roanoke Valley GOP politics. Since then a great blog was initiated "Roanoke Valley Republicans". I suggest that everyone visit their site to get a flavor of what is happening around here.

Thanks to all who welcomed me to this endeavor and the best to all of you in the future.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Star City Harbinger: Commissioner Holland Uses Charity Event to Raise Campaign Cash

It's hard to believe an elected official would knowingly do this (OK, maybe it's not), but this sure looks bad.

I've thought for a long time that the Roanoke City Democratic Party would take care of the Holland issue by knocking him off in a primary and running a fresh face. It may be the only way they can hold this office.

This is probably the beginning of the inter party attacks Holland will face over the next year.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gas Lines in Roanoke

Just hearing that there are lines for gas and some stations are running out. Someone just told me that as she was getting gas at $3.49 a gallon the signs were changing to $3.77 as she did. Some stations were posting $4.09 a gallon, a $0.50 increase today. It has to be on supply chain issue due to Ike.

This is just a short term thing. If you don't need gas don't gas up this weekend. The pipeline supplying the east coast should be back up on Monday.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hunkering Down with Hanna

I've been on vacation in Myrtle Beach since Tuesday and will be here until next Tuesday. It is our annual post labor day visit. This year we were greated by Hurricane/TS Hanna. We debated yesterday whether to cut our trip short but decided to stay. At 6:00 this Friday evening winds are about 20 mph and steady rain. We are right on the beach and can see waves of 5-7 feet. The strength of the storm should hit about 2:00 AM so we may not get much sleep. The track changes somewhat but seems to be steering more east and north of us. We have been prepared for a direct hit. This storm however is big and unfocused without a hard punch like Gustav or other tougher storms. Anyway we should be ok. I have to say even down here I got up early to watch Gov. Palin's speech replayed on C-Span. Man, she is breath of fresh air for all Republicans. Finally some energy coming in on our side.

Goto go now--not really there's nothing to do besides watch Lady and the Tramp with my daughter. I'll update on this storm if I continue to be bored and the sound is too loud tonight. Currently we have a loud whistle coming from the wind blowing against our outside door.

You know what was weird today for me is the Gov. Kaine and the Gov. of NC both declared Virginia and NC in a state of emergency for Hanna. Weird because Gov. Sanford here in SC didn't even do this when his state is the location of landfall. He aptly stated that overreacting now could cause problems in the future when a true emergency came. Seems Gov. Kaine could learn from him.

UPDATE: 6:48 PM People are actual trying to swim in the surf. Maybe they think that Rip Tide warnings are something that someone has done to box of detergent in order to get it open fast. Not the brightest bulbs on the planet.

Getting dark so I'm not sure I will be able to see much to report on--but will if I can!

UPDATE: 10:00 Surf has picked up and is much louder but winds have died off. Rain is steady. Expect this to preceed heavier winds and storm surge. Weather channel has reported that pressure has dropped--maybe making Hanna a Hurricane. So far not much different that a long lasting thunderstorm. Hope to update later.

UPDATE: 11:00 Winds and surf much higher. Waves are coming in higher than high tide mark and high tide isn't until 12:30 AM. Waves are much higher and very loud. Can see white topping much further out. Landfall is probably close.

UPDATE: 7:30 AM Sat. I awoke about 2 AM to look at the surf and it was high but not as much as I would have thought. This morning, based on standing water, the small surge pushed water up to the high grass up from the beach but did not reach the hotel. We seamed to have lost power for about 20 minutes last night based on the clocks. Reports are that TS Hanna made landfall at 3:20 AM right where we are staying. You never want to encourage someone to ride out a storm but I'm glad we didn't leave as many did. This turned out to cause less damage that a typical thunderstorm in Roanoke. It seems odd to see the national reporters reaching for anything they can point to as damage.

Hurricane/TS Hanna tracking is now closed.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Buchanan: McCain's Gamble is Paying Off Big Time

I thought Pat Buchanan hit the nail on the head with his analysis of the Palin pick.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

ACC Football?

I wanted to title this post SEC football but I am still upset that my MSU Bulldogs was the only SEC team not getting it done on opening day. My guys are very talented but they need to get their heads together quick before Auburn and LSU or it will be a long year.

What surprised me the most yesterday was the horrible showing of the ACC. Both projected division leaders Va Tech and Clemson were taken apart. Clemson was even suggested to contend for a national title. They were dramatically overrated. I would say the best of the ACC would finish in the bottom of the SEC. It's also looks like Saban has Alabama ready well ahead of schedule. Not a great sign since we play them every year.

Heard that Va Tech is potentially playing Alabama to open next year's season. They better reconsider or they will have a day like Virginia did with USC yesterday.

As rough as my Dawgs had it yesterday the SEC looks well positioned to have a lot of great games this year. Bring it on!

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's VP Pick?

MSM on CNBC is reporting that the pick is Gov. Palin of Alaska. If this is true it is great move. Not only having a woman on the ticket but the Alaska angle is great also. She above all others can hammer the point of drilling in Alaska. Do it now. Then have the enviro left agrue with her. Whoa! I sure hope this is true.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama: You're No JFK

As I watch Obama's speech, I am waiting for the famous JFK line, only backwards:

Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what your country can do for you.

Whacha watching tonight?

Choice of viewing tonight. A stadium in Denver, CO or Columbia, SC. I'm going with the stadium in Columbia. Why because college football begins tonight with a SEC match up involving the ever interesting Steve Spurrier!

Granted I might DVR the guy from Denver, don't know yet.

Gustav, SPR and Offshore Drilling

I have several times posted that we need to release some of the oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to punch a hole in the bubble that emerged in oil prices. Now is the time to do it.

Oil has come down on demand destruction and came close to the support level of $110. In order for our economy to continue to prosper we need to go through that level to maybe $100 or even $85. That would be a great boost to our economy and do more than any tax cut would do. Again the government could sell some of the over 700 million barrels at the current price and buy some back at a lower price. Get that-- a break for all drivers and the government increases revenue, duh!

What needs to happen? President Bush needs to declare the continued production of Gulf Oil of strategic importance to the US and commit to releasing oil from the SPR to compensate for any lost production due to Gustav. Currently the Gulf produces about 25% of US Oil. That would do it. The oil bubble that has been easing would finally collapse when it was known that Gulf storms would not impede production.

Also have you seen the map of the oil platforms in the Gulf. It is insane to have them all clustered off the coast of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. If it is one thing I understand that is diversification. We need to be drilling now off Florida and the east coast to not only increase our domestic production but not have us go nuts every time a storm brews in the Gulf.

Update: Someone in the Dept. of Energy must be reading my blog because they issued a statement of the willingness to open up the SPR and the price of oil dropped $4 from the highs of the day. Good move, keep it up!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Will Bolling have to wait on Governor?

Ok so Biden is the pick and Kaine is left waiting. But to have made it to a very short list is something for the young Governor. He can count on being very high in consideration in a potential Obama cabinet.

What a minute! If Obama is elected won't he name a cabinet in December to have them prepared to take office in January. What if he wants Kaine to be say Attorney General of the US. Would Kaine take with only one year left and still facing a slowing economy and a difficult budget adjusting session in January of 2009. You betcha!

So Bolling may be elevated to Governor yet. However such an elevation coming next year when McDonnell is ramping up for Governor and Bolling is preparing to run for reelection will be even more disruptive to the GOP. Election year 2009 may not be as clear cut as we think.

Our only way out of this fix is to elect John McCain President and carrying Virginia will be absolutely key to making that happen.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kaine Succession--What If!

New rumors are out indicating that potentially Kaine has held a meeting to discuss succession if he were to accept the nomination for Vice President. While this is likely far fetched it does start the political wheels turning. First of all it is likely far fetched because without involving the Lt. Gov. all discussion would be mute and there is no way to involve a Republican in the that discussion.

So let's assume that Kaine is the pick--what happens? He can continue to serve as Governor while runs for VP. If elected he steps down and Bolling becomes Governor. This of course changes the landscape for 2009. With Bolling as an incumbent Governor, McDonnell then likely runs for reelection as AG. Now an open opportunity is created at Lt. Gov. for the Republicans. My prediction is Cuccinnelli moves over to run for Lt. Gov. In his mind he has to make a move in 2009 for fear he can't be reelected to the State Senate in 2011 in a Dem. redistricted seat. Unfortunately Brownlee is left out in the cold. It is unlikely he would translate well to Lt. Gov. and would have to wait until 2013 for AG if he still wants to run.

Even a more interesting scenario would be what if Kaine stepped down as Governor soon after being tapped to run for VP. First why would he do that and give up being Governor. It takes away any criticism in Virginia for not being here to do his job. If Obama looses and he were to continue to serve only one year as Governor there would be little he could truly accomplish. He knows the budget cuts the Governor will have to make will be difficult and he can off load that onto Bolling. Even if Obama looses Kaine as a VP candidate has put himself on a national stage. This would open up his opportunities for the future.

Even, even more interesting is what would Bolling do about the open Lt. Gov. position. I checked the constitution and it says nothing about having a special election for Lt. Gov. Bolling could allow it to stay open until the next election. In that instance the President Pro Tem would preside over the State Senate for the 2009 session. I think it likely that Gov. Bolling would call a special election due to pressure from other Republicans. They would want the opportunity to hold all three statewide positions. Think of it--it gives Republicans the opportunity to have all three statewide officeholders running for reelection for the first time in history. Well then when does he call the special......

He could call it for November to coincide with the national election. This would be fast and likely have the office go the way of the party carrying Virginia in the US Senate and Presidential election. I think it unlikely he would do that. Probably would want a low turnout race to be held in December. Ok who runs....

On the Republican side since the nominee would likely be decided by convention any number could jump in. The most likely would be Frederick and Cuccinelli since they are the farthermost along with have a statewide organization to tap into. The more interesting would the Dem. side. I think this would likely go to Jody Wagner. If Obama carries Virginia and Warner the senate, she would have an immense advantage in fundraising over the GOP. She might just pull it off. (Do you think she has known something about what might happen to Kaine being VP and resigned as Sec. of Finance to run for Lt. Gov. I thought for some time it was odd she would want to run against an incumbent in Bolling. Maybe she knew something no one else did) Heh what happens then? Does she run for reelection or jump into the Governor's race? Heck that is two many what ifs even for me. Let's see what happens with Kaine before we go there.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Councilman Rosen Blogging

I just came across Roanoke City Councilman Court Rosen's new blog. I am not aware of too many elected officials who are blogging. Sure, lots of campaigns and candidates have blogs, but you know most are not written by the candidates themselves. It seems like Court is writing this one and that's a good thing. It means we will hear first hand his thoughts about the issues and challenges facing Roanoke City. Readers also have the ability to comment. Looking forward to reading more.

Kaine as VP Pick?

Drudge is reporting that Obama will make his VP pick as early as tomorrow. Other Dem. focused blogs are speculating that it will be Kaine. Obama coming to Virginia over the next couple of days has fueled that speculation. It is widely reported that Kaine is definitely in the top three. He is as likely as the other two in that top three.

My only thought is a something my 3 year old daughter has been saying lately. As she has been listening to my wife talk on the phone one of her favorite sayings gets repeated over and over. If you have a three year old you understand. As my daughter would say "Are you kidding me?"

While Kaine doesn't really help Obama he doesn't seem to hurt. Much has been said about Kaine's lack of accomplishment but Obama doesn't have any accomplishments of his own. This pick, if it happens, would seem to go with the Clinton/Gore model. Pick someone you like, trust, very much like you but doesn't highlight any weaknesses of the candidate. I never thought he would go with someone with a military or diplomatic credentials. A pick like that would highlight that area as a weakness of the candidate. Obama's trip overseas was designed to give him all he needs in the way of international strengths.

I served with Governor Kaine and while he has no real accomplishments he is a likable person. Actually his greatest strength is speaking during very difficult emotional times. His comments following the Va Tech tragedy were extraordinary. He spoke at the funeral of a downed officer in Christiansburg. He has a tremendous ability to speak compassionately and still be uplifting. He has that uncanny ability to make you feel better at a trying time.

Not to make light of the Governor's attendance at memorial services or funerals, but isn't that one of the primary duties of a Vice President. Well seems like it actually might happen.

I'll wait to see if this does happen before speculating on the potential shift in Virginia politics.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Obama's Imperfect Speech--Funny!

If you are like me, you may be a bit sick of hearing about what a great orator Barack Obama is. But following George Bush, I think just about anyone would be "great".

This video was shot a couple months back, but I missed it and thought maybe others had as well. It's funny. And shows that Obama is not a "perfect" speaker.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympics Start

I'm not sure what I am more excited about today! Positive 300 point move on the Dow, SEC football starts in less than a month or the start of the Olympics. I'll go with the Olympics. There is something about individuals competing to be the best in what they do best. They get one opportunity every four years. They also know that they are probably at their peak right now. There won't really be another opportunity in four years. As they say, there is no tomorrow! I love it. Leave it all on the field, track or pool. It reminds me how I should live my life. Do what's right and give it all you've got.

Funny I never watch sports like gymnastics except during the Olympics. Every since the inspiration of women's gymnastics in 1984, I don't miss it. I'll never forget ML Retton posting a 10 on a particular event. It was enough to win her the gold. However, you always get two attempts. She came back and nailed another 10. She was there to be at her best. It is just something that stays with you for a long time. I also like the back stories of the the athletes that are there to compete but don't metal. If they gave all they had--that's what matters.

Sorry to all for the lack of posts recently. Had a pretty bad head cold recently that my daughter shared with me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bearing Drift: Cuccinelli's Supporters Need to Back Off

A good post from my friend over at Bearing Drift on the attacks being leveled at John Brownlee by Cuccinelli's supporters.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Federal Deficit Soars - Both Parites Share Blame

Today, the White House announced the budget deficit would reach a half a trillion dollars by 2009. A-HALF-A-TRILLION! The national debt has nearly doubled during Bush's tenure in office. Of course, this isn't all Bush's fault. The Congress holds it's share of blame. But how does something like this happen?

Democrats and Republicans love to spend our money. The question in how to pay for it. Republicans cut taxes, increase spending and amass enormous deficits, putting the long term fiscal health of our country in serious jeopardy. Democrats raise taxes, increase spending and cripple the American economy by transferring wealth from the private sector to the public one. Both strategies are a recipe for disaster. And we are on the brink.

Democrats have to realize that we can't afford to do all the things they want to do. And Republicans must realize that we have to pay for what we get. Don't pass the debt to future generations. Pay for it today. So as a society we have to decide what we want and how to pay for it. If we want new roads, we have to pay for them. If we don't want that new social program, then we need to oppose the new taxes to pay for it.

Of all the Republicans who vied for the nomination, John McCain is the best one to deal with this issue. He's spent his career fighting the pork barrel spending and has a "pay as you go" attitude. And he's certainly better than Obama. Obama will raise taxes and increase spending. Which is the last thing we need.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Turnout High for Roanoke Valley GOP BBQ - Good News for Goodlatte & McCain

According to Roanoke City GOP Chair Adam Boitnott, turnout for the valley wide family BBQ this past Saturday passed 200. That is a great turnout for a first time event. Congrats to the organizers.

It is also a good sign for Congressman Bob Goodlatte and John McCain. We've heard a lot about the apathy amongst Republicans this year. Maybe this event signifies a turning point here in the 6th District.