Friday, September 30, 2005

Adventures in Sycophancy

The boys and girls over at Too Conservative are fantasizing again about a Chairman Sean victory in the primary for Lieutenant Governor. Never has so much been said about someone who spent so much but accomplished so little of the Conservative agenda. Get over it, guys and girls.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

NRA Endorsement for Virginia Attorney General

It seems that the National Rifle Association's political arm has endorsed Creigh Deeds in the race for Attorney General.

This may be the only race in which Democrats were smart. Deeds must by to the right of McDonnell on this issue. My dim recollection is that McDonnell may have supported one-gun-a-month, or has other foolish surrenders to the gun grabbers.

Hope it doesn't hurt him too much. However, I did support Steve Baril for the nomination, much to the consternation (well, OK: mild and good-natured rebuke) of many of my Conservative friends.

Democrats and Double Standards

When Jeane Kirkpatrick got the attention of President Ronald Reagan, it was through an essay entitled "Dictatorships and Double Standards."

Perhaps some day I'll write a lengthy piece about Democrats and double standards.

One of the best right now is the whiplash caused by reading Democrats on 51st Delegate District Democrat nominee Earnie Porta, and Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Here's what Raising Kaine has got to say about Porta:
The bottom line here is that Earnie Porta - like all Americans — is innocent until proven guilty. And, in this case, it looks like he’s completely innocent of any wrongdoing. So why is Michele McQuigg, as Porta asks, “resorting to these types of despicable campaign smear tactics?” Fascinating.
But, of course, Earnie Porta was adjudicated "guilty." What about liable don't the boys and girls at Raising Kaine understand?

But then there's the case of Tom DeLay. Here's what Raising Kaine had to say about the presumption of innocence to which Tom DeLay is entitled:
[T]he question here in Virginia for Jerry W. Kilgore and his campaign team — led by Scott “Max Cleland is an Osama-Loving Traitor” Howell — is not WHETHER the DeLay/Frist/Bush daily scandals will hurt them but HOW BADLY.
Never mind the standard Democrat lie about Max Cleland (he was defeated because he elevated the interests of a Democrat interest group over national security concerns); nice double standard, boys and girls.

Isn't it interesting how Democrats stand by their adjudicated wrongdoers, while attacking Republicans for wrongdoing which just happens to be alleged by Democrats?

Roberts Confirmed

Sitting in a hotel room in Sacramento, I note that fellow Hoosier John Roberts has just been confirmed, as Chief Justice of the United States, by a vote of 78-22.

UPDATE: Not a single one of the despicable 22 --- all Democrats --- should ever be treated as a serious candidate for President of the United States. If any one of them is ever elected President, Republicans should guarantee opposition to his or her Supreme Court nominees

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Not Quite "The Game," but....

Thanks to Old Zach at Sic Semper Tyrannis for bringing my attention to this great article on the impending "Fracas in Farmville" (actually, seven miles south) on Saturday.

I hadn't recalled that this was lopsided in our favor. Two years ago, this one was stolen from H-SC on a bad call on the last Bridgewater drive. H-SC was (wrongly, in my partisan opinion, but I saw the play, and it was a bizarre call) called for roughing the passer on 4th and ten with under two minutes; Bridgewater was able to score to take its first lead of the game, and there was inadequate time left for H-SC to score again. It was a high-scoring game.

If you're there, look for the new tan Montana on the Hill, just past Hampden House. The Youngs will be tailgating, with a traditional pitcher of Bloodies. Denizens of the blogosphere are welcome.

BTW, "The Game," for the unanointed, is the traditional last game of the regular season, between Hampden-Sydney and Randolph-Macon or, as we like to call it, "the coeducational experiment in Ashland."

UPDATE: As noted in the comments, the final score was 31-24, with Bridgewater coming out on top. I wish that I could say that it was otherwise. A great game, it cannot be said that this was one decided by the officials. It was, sadly for the Tigers, a game in which their opponent's performance was superior to theirs. If some solace can be taken over this loss, it is in the fact that it was decided by the efforts of the players, not by the mistakes of the officials. Congrats to Bridgewater.

Another Democrat Double-Standard

Well, it seems that the boys and girls over at Raising Kaine are rendering their defense of Earnie Porta.

I appreciate that they've posted Porta's very carefully-worded response. It quite effectively demonstrates that there's a "there" there, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein.

Please note that being "absolved ... of personal liability," doesn't mean that he was absolved of liability; judgment was entered against Porta, as one can discover by checking the opinion and the docket sheet. Moreover, it is my understanding that the trial transcript detailed Porta's actions in helping create and perpetuate the hostile work environment.

BTW, whatever happened to that old Democrat standard (utilized for the "October Surprise" investigation) that the mere seriousness of the allegation is enough? Were this woman's complaints not "serious"? Or does that standard only apply when the allegations are lodged against Republicans? Of course, here, it's not "allegations"; it's a judgment, vacated after an appeal was filed upon settlement. That's the record. And horn-dog Earnie can neither evade those facts nor those set forth in the trial transcript.

Day 5 ... and Counting

Yesterday, I posted about the judgment entered against Earnie Porta for sex discrimination in the workplace. I also asked why the Potomac News hasn't written about it yet, four days after being tipped off.

Well, it's another day (day five) and still no reporting by the Pot. News.

We're waiting.......

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Another Question on Earnie Porta

Why hasn't the Potomac News done a story on this? According to one source, they've had the story since Friday last.

Shades of Luke West, i.e., giving aid and comfort to Democrats. Arnaud de Borchgrave once wrote a novel about such activities: The Spike.

Oh, but I forgot: Managing Editor Susan Svihlik was a "Goldwater Girl."

Just like Hitlary.

Developments on Earnie Porta (51st District Dem)

Well, Chad got it posted first, and Mitch posted early this morning but it seems that bubble has burst on the Earnie Porta run for the House of Delegates. The Democrats have chosen a positively Clintonista type as their nominee against Delegate Michele McQuigg in the 51st District.
After a five-year court battle, a jury awarded a former Georgetown employee $90,000 in compensatory damages and back pay and $1 million in punitive damages … when it found that her supervisor at Georgetown’s Office of Treasury Services sexually harassed her during her employment there.

Monica Estes was the university’s cash manager in the Division of Financial Affairs from 1993 to December 1996, when she was fired. According to a transcript of the trial proceedings, the jury found that Estes was “subjected to a sexually hostile work environment” and was “discharged in retaliation for engaging in protected activity.”

According to her lawyer, Debra Katz, Estes’s supervisor, Earnest Porta, maintained a “locker room environment” in the office and increased the harassment when Estes complained to university officials. Ultimately, Katz said, “a series of reasons were manufactured” to fire her.
Delegate, hell! It has not yet been confirmed that Porta will soon be announcing his run for the Democrat nomination for President of the United States.

UPDATE: Chad has waaaay too much time on his hands. Here's the link, courtesy of him, to the actual decision of the United States District Court for the District of the District of Columbia. It's a .pdf file, so don't even bother hitting the link unless you have Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Only in the Post

Far left "journalist" I.F. Stone once commented to the effect that the Washington Post is a great paper, because you never know on which page you'll find the Page One story.

Don't know if this falls into that category, but a story today discusses the soon-to-be elected head of "Change to Win," the group of unions that has broken with the AFL-CIO. In it, Thomas B. Edsall notes that "The AFL-CIO, under the leadership of George Meany, was tilting rightward, refusing to endorse Democratic presidential nominee George S. McGovern."

I had to laugh. Only in the Post would someone say, with an apparently straight face, that a refusal of a traditional Democrat ally to endorse a far Left nominee was "tilting rightward."

There's a huge difference between "tilting rightward" and tilting so far Left that you fall over and break your left wrist, dislocate your left shoulder, and suffer scrapes and bruises to the entire left side of your body.

Not that Tom Edsall can tell the difference.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Stealing a Page from Our Playbook

It seems that Rick Coplen and his buddies in the Prince William County Democrat Committee have stolen a twelve-year-old page from the Prince William County Young Republicans' playbook. Waldo mentions it over here.

Gotta say, I love Waldo's headline: "Dog Bites Man."

At least, when we did it (at a debate in 1993, against David Brickley) we were honest enough to give Dave a (low) passing grade on getting elected School Boards. The pass was because he did it. The fact that his grade was low was due to the fact that he should have been able to do it years earlier, more successfully, and without burdening the locality with a referendum to approve it as a member of the then-Democrat majority.

'Course, as to the substance, PW Democrats are out to lunch. As usual.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

John Marshall Article in Washington Times

Yesterday was the 250th anniversary of the birth of the Great Chief Justice, John Marshall, and two of my favorite college professors had a nice tribute piece in the Washington Times.

Managed to beat George F. Will by a day, too.

Worth a read. David Marion taught the best course on Constitutional Law that I ever took. Including law school.

Nice Article Today on High School Classmate

It's always nice to see a friend succeed, and there's a very flattering article in the hometown newspaper on high school classmate Don Eckrod.

Kudos to Don and his colleagues, and thanks to classmate Kathleen Dunkelberger for bringing it to my attention.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Hilda Barg's Campaign Violates HOA Restrictions

Driving home last night, I noticed a "Hilda Barg for Delegate" sign on the lawn of one of my neighbors.

Don't know, and kinda doubt, that it's this guy.

Nevertheless, it's a clear violation of existing restrictions in that little piece of heaven known as Montclair.

I guess Hilda's minions have the same respect for rules that she does for the taxpayers' money.

Chairman Sean on the Warpath

I believe that this is an article from the Gainesville Times, forwarded to me on the Prince William Taxpayers' Alliance listserve. What's interesting is Chairman Sean's remark. It strikes me as a bold statement from a guy who tried to claim that he was a Conservative, after raising taxes on the average County taxpayer by about 50%, and after never requiring County 'crats to write a budget within existing revenue. Bitter much, Sean?

And one wonders whether the "fraud" is not a group which is headed by his former campaign manager. If Chairman Sean's definition of "what services ... citizens require" motivates the goals of AFP, then it is the "fraud." Most of the "services" to which Chairman Sean refers, and that he has refused to limit, are simply vote-buying welfare schemes.

New anti-tax group moves into county
By Tara Slate Donaldson

There's a new anti-tax group in Prince William County and while it's still a small organization, its organizers are promising big efforts in the drive for tax relief.

Americans for Prosperity, a national organization, launched its Prince William branch earlier this month as part of its expansion into Virginia.

The organization seeks to bring fiscally responsible government to Virginia, said state director Rob Whitney, who stressed that the non-profit group is bipartisan.

"Just because you're a Republican doesn't mean you're not going to spend money," he said, pointing to state Senate Finance Chairman John Chichester (R-28th), who conservative Republicans blame for recent tax increases. "Party does not necessarily link you to a certain fiscal ideology."

The primary goal of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is to pass a Taxpayers Bill of Rights in Virginia. Such a law would require a voter approval for any tax increases. It would also limit the amount of revenue that the state government can spend each year and it would require voter approval for those limits to be increased.

Whitney said that such a bill had been introduced in Virginia before but had been voted down in the Senate Finance Committee. "Big shock," he added.

This year, he said, AFP plans to get identical bills introduced into both the House of Delegates and the state Senate. He said that Staunton Del. Chris Saxman (R-20th) is likely to carry the bill in the House. Saxman is the chairman of the state's Cost Cutting Caucus and an initial supporter of the Virginia branch of the AFP.

"There's never been a unified move in the legislature," Whitney said, explaining that the organized push for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights will likely meet with more success than the various contradictory bills usually introduced each year.

Whitney was joined in the Sept. 12 kickoff meeting by seven residents who stopped in to learn more about the new group. Several of those present are members of the county's existing anti-tax group, the Prince William Taxpayers Alliance. Bert Buscher, Gainesville District chairman for the Prince William County Republican Committee, pointed out that the two groups seem to duplicate each other's goals.

Rick Hendrix, chairman of the Taxpayers Alliance, was also at the meeting and he explained that the alliance is a PAC while the AFP is a nonprofit.

"AFP has more money," he joked.

He said it's important to have both organizations because there are many county residents who agree with anti-tax principals but, because of the rift between the Taxpayer Alliance and the county's mainstream Republican organization, won't join the alliance.

That point was underscored by Sean Connaughton (R), chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, who is constantly at odds with the Taxpayer Alliance.

Connaughton said he supports the AFP and may consider joining. In fact, he said, he encouraged his former campaign manager, Whitney, to take the job as state director for the group.

The difference between the two organizations, Connaughton said, is that "The Taxpayer Alliance is a fraud."

"It looks down the wrong end of the telescope," focusing only on the tax rate without regard to what services and infrastructure citizens require, he said, contrasting it with the AFP.

Americans for Prosperity, he said, wants to make sure "governments stay focused on delivering core services and that they do so without unduly increasing the tax burden."

Denny Daugherty of Gainesville, a member of the Prince William Taxpayer Alliance, said during the AFP meeting that the two groups have very similar goals but function on different levels.

The alliance, like its counterparts around the state, has a local focus while the AFP can reach voters and legislators on a statewide basis.

"What we haven't had in the past ... is a statewide organization," Daugherty said of the alliance. "We were effective in communicating with our local delegates but there were 95 other delegates."

The AFP is aiming to change all that. The group launched its Virginia chapter in the last days of August and followed up quickly by hosting small organizational meetings, like the one in Prince William, throughout the state. In addition to Prince William, groups are now being organized in Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Roanoke.

For more information on Americans for Prosperity, or to join, visit or call Whitney at (703) 969-9302

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Roberts Gets Out of Committee

It's time (well, really, past time) to declare war on the far Left.

Soon-to-be Chief Justice John Roberts was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today by a 13-5 vote.

My old friend Leonard Leo, speaking to the three Democrats who broke partisan ranks, had a nice quotation: "We're supposed to think the Democrats are being magnanimous? Give me a break."

LG Debate

Chad Dotson has a good rundown on the debate between the respective candidates for Lieutenant Governor --- Republican Bill Bolling and Democrat Leslie Byrne --- here.

Give Leslie credit: she listens to her master's voice, and spouts the usual union lie ... er, line, on Right to Work laws.

Never mind the many other special privileges granted to union bosses, and the fact that far Left politicians (like her) "freeload" (to borrow a word) off of the involuntary monies exacted from employees and spent by union bosses.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave....

Jim Riley over at Too Conservative has a great takedown of the response of someone claiming to be former Harry Parrish primary campaign manager responding to the news that the indictment against Parrish primary opponent Steve Chapman has been dropped. The individual posts as AWCheney at both Bacon's Rebellion and Virginia 2005 Elections (Not Larry Sabato). Since there is an Anke Cheney active in PWC GOP politics, I cannot help but assume that this individual is posting under her own name, and is who she says she is.

Jim rightly notes that this response is positively Clintonian, and gives lie to Harry's pretense of ignorance when the charges were initially brought. Indeed, that response contains a great deal of nonsense that Jim doesn't address, but reflects the bitterness of so-called "moderates" who demonize any Conservative who dares to engage them on the battlefield of ideas.

One thing that Jim doesn't address is this comment "For the first time I, as a lifelong Republican and Conservative in the Commonwealth of Virginia, have felt ashamed to be a Republican or a Conservative!"

Now, I've been around for about 15 years in PWC politics, and I don't ever remember anyone confusing Anke Cheney for a Conservative.

But that having been said, I would suggest that shame -- like guilt -- is only appropriate for one's own actions. Therefore, I am not surprised that she feels ashamed. Given her affiliation with the Parrish primary campaign and its campaign of slander, she should go with the feeling.

Republican Women vs. Democrat Women

I've always said that our women are more attractive than their women. Neal Boortz has documentary evidence, demonstrating that I didn't say it just to curry favor with Mrs. Young.

Tip of the hat to Shaun Kenney, who found this before I did. No excuse, really; when I started this project, a link to Neal's website was the first thing I put on the blogroll.

Where Does He Go to Get His Reputation Back?

The title is a reference to a famous question asked by President Reagan's first Labor Secretary, Ray Donovan, after his acquittal on corruption charges.

It seems that the felony indictment against former GOP House of Delegates candidate Steve Chapman for voter fraud has been dropped, and trial on the remaining misdemeanor charge pushed back until 22 March, 2006.

I commented on the shamelessness of Delegate Harry Parrish and his campaign's links to these charges here. Note the carefully worded non-denial denial of Harry cited in today's Potomac News: "Parrish said at the time that the first he'd heard of his opponent's indictment was from reporters." Of course, that doesn't address the issue of the charges brought to Democrat Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert, and the fact that Parrish operative Kenny Klinge --- acting on behalf of the candidate, if not with his knowledge --- was behind them. Harry never answered the question as to whether Klinge was acting with his knowledge and approval. Since he was not fired, such knowledge and/or approval should be assumed.

One now wonders whether Harry's Dem opponent, Donald Shuemaker, will have the wit to point out the sleaziness of Harry's and/or his campaign's attacks upon his Republican rival. Voters won't have too long to wait, however, as there is a debate scheduled for tomorrow night before the Prince William Committee of 100.

How many others owe --- or perhaps will owe, depending upon the outcome of the minor charge still pending --- Steve Chapman an apology?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hurricane Katrina -- Democrat Fundraising Device

Well, it seems that the Poodle is using Hurricane Katrina as a fundraising device. You can read the actual comments here.

Remember the 2002 controversy about President Bush and images from 9/11? If you don't, here's the CNN story. And here's what the Socialists ... er, Democrats, had to say about it. Here's three Socialist, ... er, Democrat relatives of victims of 9/11, otherwise known as the Jersey Chicks, expressing their outrage. Buzzflash called it "photo profiteering."

And here's what these "mainstream media" and far Left sites had to say about John Kerry's attempt to profiteer over the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina:

It seems that if you Google "Kerry" and "Katrina" on the Jersey Chicks' site, most of what you come up with is fawning articles by Nation editor Katrina vandenHeuvel over the candidacy of John Kerry for President. CNN has no mention of Kerry's fundraising appeal. Buzzflash is silent.

Socialist Texan Molly Ivins has an article entitled "Happy Media Accountability Day!" It's subject is "Project Censored," which "offers a list of the [10] stories the mainstream media missed," things like "Bush Administration Moves to Eliminate Open Government" [No. 1], or "Iraq Coverage" [No. 2: because far Lefties didn't like the way it was covered], "Distorted Election Coverage" [No. 3: same reason, because a far Lefty's study of exit poll data wasn't given credence over the actual vote totals in Ohio], "The Real Oil for Food Scam" [No. 6: AKA: "It's all a Vast, Right Wing Plot to discredit the UN"], and "Journalists Face Unprecedented Dangers to Life and Livelihood" [No. 7: those poor dears; being a busybody in a war zone carries dangers].

Add John Kerry's exploitation of tragedy, Molly. Or is the far Left demonstrating its hypocrisy yet again by giving one of their own a pass for behavior for which they savaged a Republican President?

Is "Blue in the Commonwealth" for Real?

Interesting. Just posted a comment over at Blue in Virginia (see link to the right), and it indicated that it had been posted three hours earlier.

Is this just an error? Or does it mean that "Blue," who represents himself as a high school kid in Richmond, is actually misrepresenting himself, and is actually something else, somewhere else (and in the Pacific time zone)?

Maybe it's nothing, but if this little anomaly indicates that he is misrepresenting himself, then this is yet another reason I despise anonymity.

UPDATE: Well, Blue finally visited (and is obviously doing so too infrequently), and saw my little post. He responded thus, which I am putting in the body of the post in the interest of fairness:

Yeah...i had it set on Pacific time by accident.

Good find, but I'm afraid you're wrong. I'm not a political operative pretending to be a student at James River High School in Midlothian. I actually AM a student at James River High School.


More Evidence on the Decline of America

When I was a kid, I started reading the newspaper when I was about ten years old. My parent had divorced, and my grandparents let us live in their old home in Northumberland, Pennsylvania (they had just moved). My grandfather subscribed to the Philadelphia Inquirer, and didn't stop the subscription. I was the only one who read it in the house.

My own son is now nine years old, and it's stories like this one that make me glad that he's expressed no interest in reading our major local newspaper.

Potts' First Campaign Ad

Russ "Chamber" Potts is out with his first (and perhaps only) campaign ad, and I suspect that more people will see it through the blogosphere than on television. After all, he managed to get perhaps all of his voters in the commercial itself.

Most disturbing is Potts' claim, at the outset, to be an "independent Republican." Give it up, Rusty. This claim is despicable, in light of his rejection of the Republican nominee, and even the Republican nominating process, which he declined to enter, probably because he didn't have a prayer of winning it.

Whatever Potts is in this race --- liar; scalawag; traitor --- he's not a "Republican."

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Return of the Great Prevaricator

Bill Clinton is back in the news, and not just for raising money to aid victims of natural disasters.

Now, Slick Willie is breaking with tradition, and attacking his successor.

Yet another demonstration that the Great Prevaricator is all class.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Problem With The New Pledge Ruling

As I've listened to the visceral screaming --- from all sides --- on yesterday's ruling on the Pledge of Allegiance, I can't help but be fascinated.

It's an interesting case, personally. I had a case in front of Judge Lawrence Karlton. Interesting fellow. Generally cordial, even though I knew he wasn't ideologically predisposed towards my position. Very demanding. Once made me feel sorry for an opposing counsel. Not easy to do when opposing counsel is a union lawyer.

But in reading his decision, it's also quite clear that --- all due respect (Judge Karlton once stopped me after saying this, noting that it was unnecessary and, besides, he knew I was next going to tell him why he was wrong) --- the court in Sacramento got this one wrong.

Without addressing the merits, the court suggested that it was bound by the Ninth Circuit's prior decision in the Newdow case. However, the Supreme Court had reversed Newdow, stating that he lacked "standing" to pursue his non-custodial daughter's claim. Under that circumstance, the panel's earlier decision became a legal nullity, authority for precisely nothing. The district court therefore clearly erred by treating it as controlling authority.

It will be interesting to see whether the Ninth Circuit reverses on this rather elementary ground, or addresses the merits. Having already improperly addressed the merits of Mr. Newdow's noxious argument without insuring that the proper forms were observed, it would seem imprudent for the Court to do so.

Time to Take Off the Gloves

Senator Orrin Hatch was the guest on C-SPAN this morning, and took quite a few calls.

One point that he made was that Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer both were confirmed by overwhelming margins (85+ votes). That they were Liberals was beyond question. However, Republicans recognized that they were well-qualified for the job, AND that Bill Clinton (Damn it!) had won the presidency, and was entitled to nominees of his ideological stripe.

Nevertheless, Democrats won't concede this fundamental principle, and give every indication that they are going to vote against Chief Justice-designate John Roberts because he refuses to pledge his support for Democrat litmus-tests on abortion, reverse discrimination, and other parts of the far-Left agenda that can't win at the ballot box, and therefore have to depend upon activist courts for their enactment.

Republicans Senators should really lay down the gauntlet on this one. George Bush won the presidency. Twice. The second time, with a majority of votes cast (something that Clinton never did; remember, when he made his appointments to the Supreme Court, he was a 43% President). If Judge Roberts is confirmed with fewer than 80 votes, Republican Senators should promise that any Democrat nominee who fails to satisfy GOP litmus tests will not receive ANY Republican support.

If Democrats can't support Roberts, then the GOP should promise to apply the same standards as Democrats. Democrat shamelessness should not provoke GOP appeasement.

A Real American Tragedy

It's truly tragic that one of the most beautiful and talented women in movies is such a screaming, anti-American airhead.

Here's the quotation, in which she attempts to talk about a substantive article:
"I totally agreed with it. I feel like we're really in trouble. I just had a baby and thought, 'I don't want to live there.' Bush's anti-environment, pro-war policies are a dis. . . ."
Interestingly, the author of the piece found it inappropriate:
Well, you can guess the rest. Her speech is deeply felt and not unintelligent, yet entirely predictable and ill-suited to these pages, where analysis of American domestic affairs is confined to the highly partisan manoeuvrings of Brad and Jennifer.

Hall of Famer for Governor?

Thanks to Chad over at Commonwealth Conservative, I was reminded today of wonderful news from the Old Sod --- the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania --- where former Pittsburgh Steeler and Hall-of-Fame receiver Lynn Swann is considering a run for Governor against incumbent Democrat Ed Rendell.

I'm one of those who believe (sorry, Chad) that football is now the quintessential American sport. One of my biggest thrills professionally was the opportunity to represent some of the Washington Redskins a few years back, even though I've never been particularly enthusiastic about the burgundy and gold. I grew up in Central Pennsylvania during the glory days of the Steelers' dynasty. Lynn Swann was an important part of that dynasty. Who can forget his four acrobatic catches against the Dallas Cowboys in one of the Steelers' four Super Bowl victories?

Well, it turns out that Swann is a Republican, and it appears, a conservative Republican at that. He was a staunch supporter of President Bush last year.

I heard something said about my home state some time ago, and it's a valid observation: "Pennsylvania has got Philadelphia on one end, and Pittsburgh on the other. In the middle is Alabama." It's a valid cultural and political observation, since only the margins in the two major cities (with the exception of a few pockets like Harrisburg and Scranton) put Pennsylvania in the "blue" column during the last two presidential elections. Indeed, if memory serves, the margin in Pennsylvania in 2004 was smaller than the margin in Ohio.

And as for central Pennsylvania, as I've frequently observed to my assistant, I grew up in an area that was so lily white that, to be a racist, you had to hate the "Polacks" [for the terminally humorless out there, this is the use of irony to make a point, and overstatement for emphasis] My high school did an almost all-white version of "The Wiz." It wasn't as though we discriminated in casting, as there was one black student in the production. She was the only black student at Shikellamy High School in the early Eighties.

Lynn Swann as gubernatorial candidate has a unique opportunity to dispel some racial myths and racist sentiments, demonstrating to even the most marginally thoughtful among those who harbor racial animus that we're all in the same boat together, and that the color of one's skin is not a legitimate or even useful basis for judging one's fellows.

One cannot help but wish him well.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Light Blogging

Apologies to readers (both of you) for the light blogging of the last few days. Was in Anchorage on a case, and then went to Hampden-Sydney for last weekend's Alumni Council meetings and to see the football team kick the snot out of Gettysburg College, 56-40. Sadly, couldn't root for the Lutherans on this occasion.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Winner!

Thanks to Chad Dotson for declaring your Intrepid Correspondent this week's winner of his caption contest.

Given the quality of the competition, I am truly humbled. My current location makes me particularly fond of entry #67.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Site Change

Remember the whole Jim Bakker/Jessica Hahn scandal?

Lewis Grizzard, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, suggested that the appropriate punishment would be to put him naked, hands tied, in a locked room with a pork chop tied around his neck.

And four pit bull bitches with extreme PMS.

I'd like to do the same with spammers.

Because of a number of spam comments, which I have deleated, I have been forced to add "word verification" to comments, making it (slightly) more difficult to comment here.

I apologize for the inconvenience, Gentle Reader.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Forrest Gump

At the risk of stepping on Chad Dotson's toes, I just caught the end of Forrest Gump on TNT, in one of its three-day marathons.

If you're not choked up by the poetry of this fine performance by Tom Hanks (with other great performances by Mykelti Williamson, Robin Wright Penn, and Sally Field, a breakthrough performance by Gary Sinise; and a very young Haley Joel Osment), you have no heart.

Who's to Blame for Problems with Katrina Recovery?

One problem with being in Alaska is that all of the Sunday talking heads shows are on waaaaay too early.

Apparently, the main theme today (other than the death of the Chief Justice) was playing the blame game on Hurricane Katrina. There have been plenty of complaints about the federal response, or lack thereof, or problems therewith, coming mainly from congressional Democrats, and the Democrat Governor of Louisiana and Mayor of New Orleans. A lot of it seems to be gratuitous Bush-bashing.

Brit Hume on Fox News Sunday probably got it about right. While there are certainly elements of the Federal response after the disaster which are worthy of criticism, it would seem that blame the scope of the need for response can be squarely attributed to local authorities. Not enough resources to evacuate those who stayed? Thanks to Shaun Kenney for this link to 250 submerged New Orleans school buses.

Could someone explain to me how George W. Bush was responsible for moving them out of harm's way so that they could be used for evacuation? Can you imagine Rudy Guiliani whining like the Mayor of New Orleans?

It seems to me that the Federal role is, by its nature, limited. Moreover, it was the responsibility of local authorities to evacuate the residents before the storm hit, to the extent that it wasn't the responsibilities of those individuals themselves.

And it seems to me to be a mistake to make rescue and recovery a function of the Department of Homeland Security. DHS has enough responsibilities for anticipating, preventing, and recovery from intentional attacks upon the Nation. Making it responsible for similar activities in response to natural disasters strikes me as confusing its mission.

To his credit, I caught Mickey Kaus talking to Larry Kudlow, and Kaus did not join in the chorus. It's pretty bad when a denizen of the blogosphere is more reasonable than elected Democrat politicians.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Gas Prices

Alaska is always a fascinating place. I've had the privilege of litigating a number of cases here over the last ten or eleven years.

One thing has been consistent: gas prices have always been higher than at home in Virginia.

Driving around tonight, I noticed that gas prices were a dollar a gallon cheaper than they were this morning, when I drove to Reagan National Airport to catch my flight.

Imperfect, to be sure, but it certainly causes one to conclude that someone on the East Coast is gouging consumers.

Death of the Chief Justice

In Alaska, for an oral argument, and came back from dinner to learn that Chief Justice William Rehnquist has gone to his reward.

I'm reminded of the Justice (can't remember which one) who, when asked if he was going to retire, commented that he was appointed for life, and would serve out his term.

Conservatives have lost one of the stalwarts on a Court increasingly out of touch with the country, and sometimes, the Constitution.

I have a single, very fond memory of Chief Justice Rehnquist. When I was admitted to practice before the Court in 1992, he made it a point to personally welcome by name each of the three attorneys who had appeared in person to be sworn in. It was a nice touch, particularly since most attorneys admitted to Supreme Court practice will never hear their name uttered by a Supreme Court justice again.


Friday, September 02, 2005

On "Kristina"

Was listening to C-SPAN on the way into work today. Brian Lamb's guest was an old acquaintance of mine from Third Generation days, John Fund, of the Wall Street Journal.

Not surprisingly, the discussion was mainly on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. At one point, the comment was made about the name of the storm, and how the Nation's Kristina vandenHeuvel was upset because her name was associated with such misery, and that she expected some "Right Winger" to make the association. Apparently, Rush Limbaugh and National Review Online's Jonah Goldberg did.

That's just not fair. It's only vandenHeuvel's socialist/Marxist agenda which is associated with unremitting misery of the kind being suffered in the Gulf Coast.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Senate Dems Soliciting Confirmation Questions

Thanks to the boys and/or girls over at NoVA Squishes ... er, Too Conservative (and spare me the protestations, guys; at least I've changed the moniker to recognize your extra-PWC character), here's a link to a Senate Democrat website that invites the reader to submit their own questions for Judge Roberts in his impending confirmation hearing.

I've submitted two already:

1. Do you believe that a President who commits a felony (e.g., perjury) in order to evade liability for his private actions is entitled to special privileges shielding him from liability?

2. Do you believe that former recruiters for the Ku Klux Klan possess any authority in constitutional interpretation?

Feel free to add your own questions below.

Pot. News Watch

Could someone please, PLEASE!, tell the Pot. News, that national elections are held in even years, not odd ones. Senator George Allen's re-election race is in 2006, not 2007.

In its lead editorial today (sorry, no link; they're slow over there), the Pot. News starts out by noting that:
Gov. Mark Warner confirmed this week what many political pundits had predicted. He will not challenge U.S. Sen. George Allen in 2007.
(emphasis added). Later, it makes the same mistake:
By not challenging Allen in 2007, Warner has taken the path of least resistance toward a challenge for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

(emphasis added).

Once might be a typo. Twice seems careless.

UPDATE: OK, the link is here. And apparently, my old friends at the Pot. News don't come here. The mistake remains.

An Appropriate Legislative Response to Katrina

The pictures coming out of the Gulf Coast are heartbreaking, and it appears to be a human disaster of proportions this nation has not seen in decades, if ever. One wonders whether New Orleans will ever --- or should ever --- be restored to its former glory.

As I recall, one legislative response to the infamy of 9/11 was permitting taxpayers to convert unused vacation into a one-time charitable donation, without complicated tax consequences.

I hope that some forward-thinking Members of Congress would quickly introduce and pass similar legislation to promote private magnanimity in the face of this disaster.

Washington Teachers Union Prosecution

Congrats to law school classmate James W. Cooper (Emory '89L) on his victory as part of the team prosecuting officials of the Washington Teachers Union for looting the union's treasury. The Washington Post story is here.

Perhaps its my built-in biases, but why is "the biggest public corruption prosecution in the District in recent years" on page two of the Metro Section?

I think it was I.F. Stone who once commented that what makes the Washington Post a great newspaper is the fact that you never know on what page you'll find the Page One story.