Friday, February 29, 2008

I Want My Refund

It seems that the Virginia Supreme Court has today issued a decision throwing out that portion of last year's tax-increase bill ... er, "compromise" which permits an unelected body to soak Northern Virginia taxpayers for more money.

The 23-page unanimous opinion by Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn is online here, in .pdf format. The case was spearheaded by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William), and reverses the judgment of the Arlington County Circuit Court (the NVTA had brought an action to rubberstamp its authority in a tax-friendly jurisdiction).

I would think the chances for further appeal are virtually nil. The decision is based wholly upon the Court's interpretation of the Virginia Constitution, and that interpretation is considered authoritative. It is highly unlikely that the United States Supreme Court would grant certiorari under these circumstances.

For those blogosphere moonbats who belittle Bob and his constitutionalist leanings, this is quite a vindication. For Bob, that is.

What a great day. Perhaps Governor Timmy! can spend the next few days contemplating how he can refund to the taxpayers of Northern Virginia --- including yours truly --- the funds unconstitutionally extracted from us in the last two months.

And Repubmocrats can contemplate the wages of surrender. They told us last year that compromise was politically expedient, politically necessary. Yet just nine months later, Republicans lost control of the State Senate, and have been on the decline in the House of Delegates. Now, their "solution" --- and let's not buy into the far Left mythos that Democrats had nothing to do with this --- is in the trash.

What was that about the benefits of "compromise"?

Oh, and this should give quite a boost to Bob's senatorial ambitions.


Marxist journalist I.F. Stone famously observed that the Washington Post "is a great paper. You never know on what page you will find a page-one story."

Young's Corollary: What makes the Potomac News a worthless rag is the fact that you never know what you'll find, if anything.

Today was a good example. One reads the tease just below the masthead: "Rights denied? State ACLU sues county over voter ID A3."

Sounded interesting. I always like to follow efforts to facilitate voter fraud.

So I turned to page A3. Nice story on "City man sentenced for immigration fraud." Another on "Marshall to hold press conference on gun bill." A third on "Lawyers advise immigrants before county crackdown." A photo from AP about a dog rescue in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, just up the Susquehanna River from where I was raised. Oh, and more than a half-page of advertising.

But no story about the ACLU and its lawsuit. So I looked throughout the news section with a keen eye. Nothing on the front page. Nothing on page A2. Page A4? Well there were the obituaries, the police blotter, and a few more news stories. Oh, and the same story on "Lawyers advise immigrants before county crackdown." Word for word. Nothing on page A5. The op-eds on page A6. A story on street racing with a catchy reference to James Dean on page A7. And on the last page of the section, A8? Weather, and two other news stories.

But no story anywhere on the ACLU and its lawsuit.

I have a fairly low opinion of the Pot. News, and particularly its Executive Editor, Susan Svihlik, who discontinued my column --- arguably, the most influential political column in Prince William County at the time --- with no warning whatsoever, and then lied about it afterword (she said she received only one complaint, but I was blind-copied on about a dozen e-mails of complaint).

But this is just plain incompetence. You can't get a promised story into the paper, and then repeat the same story twice? Wow.

On second thought, just about what I'd expect.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley, Jr. --- RIP

Just got an e-mail letting me know that the Godfather of the modern Conservative movement, or at least, its midwife, died last night in his study at home in Connecticut.

National Review Online reports it here.

Though Buckley had a Right to Work case in the 1960s, it was well before my time (I was about five at the time), and I never had occasion to meet the man. However, having read his column for decades, read his books, and watched him on many talking heads shows --- including his own, Firing Line --- I feel as though I have lost a wise old friend.

I quote him frequently, with my sons: "I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken."

A giant of 20th Century opinion journalism has left the scene.


Hypocrisy Alert!

Times like these, I wish I could emulate Ben Tribbett's wig-flipping Larry Sabato.

It seems that some in the far Left moonbatosphere are up in arms over radio talk-show host Bill Cunningham's reference --- in warming up a crowd for John McCain, who limp-wristedly disassociated himself from the comment --- to the leading Democrat presidential contender as "Barack Hussein Obama." They don't like the fact that someone is using his full name.

'Course, they don't mind referring to the former junior Senator from Virginia as George Felix Allen, which was part and parcel of the Virginia Democrats'/Jim Webb campaign's attacks on the former Senator.

Feel the love ... er, hypocrisy, on Cobalt 6, here and here.

Not that it would make any difference at this point, but one might take the criticism more seriously if it were accompanied by an apology to Senator Allen. As Byron York observed at the Corner on National Review Online, "Perhaps if they had criticized the whole George Felix Allen thing, they might have more credibility."

'Course, the boys and girls over at Ranting Kids ... er, Raising Dough, ... er, "Raising Kaine" have pointedly not lept to Cunningham's defense.

There are at least a few non-hypocrites out there.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Light Blogging For Foreseeable Future

It seems that I will be quite busy into the first few weeks of the Supreme Court's next term. Because the update to docket sheets is a little slow, the better link is here, for now.

Quite overwhelming. Now, back to work.

Why Michelle Obama Shouldn't Be Proud Of America

I expect that Michelle Obama, wife of Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Barack Hussein Obama (D-Ill.) will take a lot of grief in the coming days over her comment that, for the first time in her adult life, she is "proud" of America, apparently because the man with whom she sleeps is a serious contender for the nomination of one of America's two major political parties.

I won't be joining in.

As I've written before, "pride" is something one takes in one's accomplishments, what one achieves, not that which is beyond one's control. Hence, there is a conceptual problem with taking "pride" in one's skin color, or one's sex (male or female), or one's national origin, since one has no choice in such matters.

And there is certainly little about America's accomplishments in the last quarter-century or so --- she is only a few months younger than I --- in which any far Leftie like Michelle Obama can legitimately take "pride."

Here's her biography, from the campaign's website:
After high school Michelle went on to Princeton University where in 1985 she graduated with a B.A. in sociology and a minor in African American studies. After college, Michelle continued her education at Harvard Law School, where she earned her degree in 1988.

For three years after law school, Michelle worked as an associate in the area of marketing and intellectual property at Chicago law firm Sidley and Austin, where she met Barack Obama. She left the corporate law world in 1991 to pursue a career in public service, serving as an assistant to the mayor and then as the assistant commissioner of planning and development for the City of Chicago.

In 1993, she became the founding executive director of Public Allies - Chicago, a leadership training program that received AmeriCorps National Service funding and helped young adults develop skills for future careers in the public sector.

Michelle began her involvement with the University of Chicago in 1996. As associate dean of student services, she developed the University's first community service program. Michelle also served as executive director of community and external affairs until 2005, when she was appointed vice president of community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Medical Center. She also managed the business diversity program.

Michelle has fostered the University of Chicago's relationship with the surrounding community and developed the diversity program, making them both integral parts of the Medical Center's mission.

Those are, of course, her accomplishments, and they are probably things in which she rightly takes great pride. They indicate that, among other things, she has fed at the public trough, and promoted others to do so ("Public Allies - Chicago, a leadership training program that received AmeriCorps National Service funding"). What of America's accomplishments?

The fall of the Soviet Union? Of course, in the last, twilight days of that struggle, Democrats were challenging Ronaldus Magnus' policies. In 1980, they tried to warn us that Reagan would start a nuclear war. When Reagan liberated Grenada, they attacked. When Reagan aided the contras in Nicaragua (which now has a democratic government), they attacked. Democrats, in whole or in large part, opposed every major foreign policy initiative of Ronald Reagan.

Was Michelle Obama among those who did? It's a little hard to tell, since she wasn't as prominent then as now. But if her political ideology was then where it is now, one can only assume that she would have signed on to likes of the outrageous "Dear Commandante" letter sent by left-wing congressional Democrats to Marxist Nicaraguan dictator Manuel Noriega.

The massive economic engine which is the economy bestowed on us by Alan Greenspan and Ronald Reagan? Who knows? Michelle Obama appears to have been a participant in it in some way for a short time, but after only three years, left the private sector to feed at the public trough. But apparently, she doesn't take "pride" even in that.

So I agree. Michelle Obama should not have "taken pride in America" during her adult life. As a far-Left Democrat, she has had precious little to do with America's accomplishments during her adult life. To the contrary, her ideology demands that she hold those accomplishments in contempt.

A contempt which revealed itself in her recent comment.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Funniest Line Of The Day

What to do when your ideology repels most Americans? Deny its nature.

From the boys and girls at Ranting Kids ... er, Raising Dough ... er, "Raising Kaine":
"there is no actual 'left' in American politics."
As I once heard in a movie about a drug dealer, someone has obviously spent too much time sampling his own product.

Playing The Tax Game

Big government types love to tell us how reasonable their efforts to extract more money from the people who earn it are.

"It's just the cost of one Starbucks latte per month."

"It's just the cost of one soda per day."

Here's my new favorite, justifying the Democrat Senate's DOA proposal to increase the gas tax by one cent a year for the next five years, raising $2 million per year (an estimate which seems low), from Senate Democrat leader, Little Dicky Saslaw:
"the increase would cost the average family the equivalent of 'two Big Mac meals a year.'”
But what if Republicans tried to transfer funds from, say, education spending? How about taking it from spending on school lunches? "The transfer would cost the average pudgy sixth-grader in Virginia's government schools the cost of a Big Mac lunch once a month."

Or from teachers' salaries? Given that there are
86,569 government-school teachers in Virginia it would only cost each teacher less than $24, and "The transfer would cost the average government schoolteachers' family the equivalent of one Big Mac meal a year."

As I've said before, there are a lot of good conceptual reasons why the gas tax --- a flat amount per gallon sold --- is unsound. Strong arguments can be made that it should be restructured as a percentage of the cost of a gallon of gas.

Leave it to Democrats to avoid the strong intellectual arguments, and instead rely upon Little Dicky's demagogic tactics.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Have They Seen The Light?

Saw the headline for "Legalized Parasitism" on Ranting Kids ... er, Raising Dough ... er, "Raising Kaine," and thought that I might be reading an article about the evils of forced-unionism ... er, "union security" schemes and government-granted monopoly bargaining privileges.

Or maybe condemnation of the Liberal welfare state and the "war" on prosperity ... er, "poverty."

Or maybe an attack on Social[ist] Security.

Or socialized medicine, a.k.a. "national health care."

But no. It was just another attack on the free market.

There's a lot to condemn about payday lenders. It's an unseemly business.

But the fact that the compassion fascists on the far Left condemn the practice probably means that there's much to commend about it, too.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Return Of The "But-Heads"

That's "but-heads," not "buttheads," famed in song and story. Well, famed in a few movies --- Back to the Future, to be specific --- anyway.

You know the type. You hear them frequently on talk radio, and on C-SPAN. They're the Democrat seminar callers, the ones sent forth to create a false impression that Republicans are leaving the party and abandoning its principles because of ... well, whatever is ticking off Democrats lately.

They're the ones who declare, "I'm a life-long Republican, but I now support Democrat [whomever]." Or "Everybody hates taxes, but I support [whatever the latest tax increase proposal to come along]." Or "I'm not a socialist, but I support Socialized Medicine."

Or "I'm a Republican, but now I support Barack Obama for President."

That's the latest one, advanced in today's Washington Post. There, we read about "Republican Laura DeBusk," a Glen Allen resident who says she voted for President Bush twice, but is now supporting Barack Obama for President. The title of the article? "In Virginia, a Longtime Republican Votes for Change."

Sure. And a monkey just emerged from the lower end of my alimentary canal. Sure, sure: there are probably some --- even a few with a public record of support for GOP candidates --- who may do the same thing. Certainly, a journal with the resources of the WaPo should be able to find someone whose claims to being a Republican are more than self-verified.

Here are some of the "gems" from the article:

DeBusk likes a lot about Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), too, but it's not enough to overcome her disenchantment with a Republican Party she thinks is adrift and uninspired, both in Virginia and nationally. She voted for President Bush twice and regrets where he has taken the country and what she thinks he has done to the good name of the United States of America. She's tired of what she sees as a lackluster string of Republicans that have run and, lately, lost in a Virginia that seems more liberal by the day. And she watched with particular dismay as Republican Sen. George Allen's 2006 reelection campaign went up in flames after he uttered a remark perceived by many [and sold by the WaPo] as racist.

The Laura DeBusks of the country are just the kind of voters that Sen. Obama (D-Ill.) has courted -- sick of what they've been offered, tired of where things are headed and willing to try something, anything, new. Exit polls from elections across the country last week showed that Obama won the majority of independent voters. DeBusk, like many voters, worries about Obama's lack of experience, and she disagrees with him on a handful of issues, particularly his tax policies. But her desire for change is so great, she's willing to take the chance.

The problem, of course, is that the article is one step removed from voter fraud. You see, there's utterly no proof whatsoever that DeBusk is or ever has been a Republican. To the contrary: the article itself contains evidence that large portions of piece are contrived frauds.

The tip-off, in black-and-white, is the claim that DeBusk's husband "husband, Chris, 38, ... is also a registered Republican...."

You see, we don't have "registered Republicans" in Virginia. As national Democrats swung over into the "moonbat" column, Virginia Democrats for years prevented registration by party (unnecessary when Virginia was a virtually one-party state), and allowing parties to limit voters to those identifying themselves with either respective party. Republicans, terminally insecure, and in the last six years, facing Democrat Governors, have failed to move forward to allow voter registration since the GOP gained control of the state legislature.

Anyone marginally informed about Virginia politics knows this. So how is it that DeBusk is as active/informed/engaged as she claims to be? The obvious implication? She is not, nor never has been. At least, not as a Republican.

Nevertheless, she claims that "She has been a member of the party all her adult life...." Really? How? Neither, nor lists her as a contributor to, well, anything. Either under her married name or under her maiden name. And she grew up in Annandale and attended William & Mary, graduating in 1992. Perhaps she's newly engaged in the political process, but nothing more than her self-serving (or Obama-serving) claims support the notion that she is "a life-long Republican."

I'm certainly willing to be educated. But nothing publicly available sustains the notion that Laura Barchi DeBusk is or ever has been a Republican. "Googling" her name produces little beyond but comments about today's articles. And if one is going to be the subject of a feature article in one of America's major newspapers, one would expect to find more evidence than unverifiable claims.

But of course, the far Left is all over the notion that Republicans are defecting from the party to support a raging Socialist like Barack Obama. One asks "How Many are Like Laura Barchi DeBusk?"

Assuming the truth of the facts stated about Laura Barchi DeBusk, the question might be rephrased as "Real Republicans voting for Obama?" My guess is few.

But drawing a few reasonable conclusions from the misrepresentations made in the article, the questions is appropriately rephrased as "Lying Democrats?"

Oh, Hell! That's easy: Lots.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hitlary's Contribution

Given the news that the Clintons have infused Hitlary's presidential campaign with $5 million of ill-gotten booty ... er, "their own money," one has to wonder whether Democrats have finally come to their senses, and want to throw Team Clinton under the bus.

The apparent ascendancy of a guy who was, until four years ago, just an Illinois state Senator demonstrates that, while the latter might be true, the former remains just a pipe dream.

Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to read too much into the Clinton's personal cash infusion.

It seems to me that there are only two or three main reasons why a candidate would put a considerable amount of his or her own resources into a campaign.

First, the candidate may be running to satisfy his or her ego, as a function of his or her lust for power and prominence. Think: Ross Peron ... er, "Perot." Some might even say Mitt Romney.

Second, the candidate may see the need for a cash infusion at a strategic time as just the thing to guarantee victory. I vividly remember Tom Davis telling me, back in 1994, of making such an infusion in the last weeks of the campaign, because he didn't want to come up short at the last minute.

Third, the campaign is desperate, and it's the last gasp of a sputtering, dying candidacy.

It remains to be seen whether Hitlary's move is a function of the second or third reason.

However, contrary to reports out today, it may not be the Year of the Rat, after all.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Where's Hitlary?

In Arlington, Virginia, of course. After all, Virginia will --- in six days --- be selecting delegates for the Democrat National Convention.

Arkansas, a state in which Hitlary Clinton was First Lady for more than a decade, already selected its delegates, on Super Tuesday.

Hence, it no longer has something that Hitlary wants (i.e., power).

Never mind that many people in Arkansas died last night in a spate of tornadoes which ravaged the South.

Didn't both Presidents Bush get savaged for not "caring" when they didn't show up in disaster areas promptly enough?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Homos DON'T Want To Destroy Marriage?!?!

Who was it who said advocates for the radical homosexual agenda don’t want to “destroy” marriage? Never suggested that they did, myself.

Exhibit A for the contrary proposition appears in Maryland.

Nice to see that Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery) has come out of the closet on the real goals of radical homosexuals. Little surprise for someone who --- as a law professor in an American law school, and a Democrat --- is almost certainly an extreme positivist, with no respect whatsoever for natural law. According to the WaPo:

Raskin is a lead sponsor of that bill as well. "If those of us who are straight can experience the sense of indignity gay citizens experience every day, just for a moment, then this bill will serve its purpose," he said.

Oh, foresooth! "Gay citizens" experiencing "indignity ... every day"! I guess they really do get more than the rest of us. After all, the indignity of their perverse sexual behavior on a daily basis!

Doug Mataconis offers his contrary view here.

At Home With Hitlary

Driving into work this morning, I heard on the radio that Hitlary Clinton (D-Wherever) will be spending the day at home in her living room, doing 37 remote interviews.

Oh, the possibilities!
Did she have to Google the address to find "her" house?

Will this be the most time she's ever spent in her "home"?

Hopefully, Bill doesn't "notch" anything (indicating his conquests) within eyeshot, for those pesky TV interviews.
You can join the fun, too!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Best. Super Bowl. Ever.

Not much more to say about the game. An objectively great contest to be enjoyed by any fan of the game, without regard to whether you like the Patriots or the Giants. Perhaps even better if you don't particularly like either team.

'Cept it was nice to see Peyton Manning in the box, watching his little brother. And not taking some of the attention away from his brother's moment of glory by horning in on the celebration, as Eli Manning was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

What a class act.

What a great night for Archie Manning, seeing his younger son win a Super Bowl, only a year after Peyton's victory and MVP award.


WaPo Hypocrisy, Redux

Today's Washington Post carries a story about Prince William religious leaders who attack the recent crackdown on public services for illegal immigrants residing in the County.

Two things are interesting about the article.

First, it fails to identify the "leaders" who have signed on to the letter to County officials. I certainly believe that such actions might be of interest to the various congregations served by these "leaders."

Second, it is unaccompanied by an attack editorial criticizing these "leaders" for attempting to mix religion and politics.

Imagine, if you will, the hue and cry if the topic of the letter had been a liberal abortion regime, or public funding of health services, or government schools?

Friday, February 01, 2008

Because They Should Be Doing Better Things?

Took the family out to dinner tonight, and saw a report that the ever-estimable Arlen Specter (R-PA) is questioning why the NFL destroyed videotapes regarding the early-season "scandal" over the New England Patriots' videotaping of opponents' practice sessions, instead of saving it for senatorial investigating committees.

Uh, because the Senate should have better things to do than investigating a game?

Is There No Depths To Which Islamo-Fascists Will Not Sink?

As the misnomered "war" in Iraq is being won, word comes that Islamo-Nazis are now using women with Down's Syndrome to perpetrate their acts of terror.

In a world which was recently treated to the positive contributions that individuals meeting this challenge can make, this vile and despicable strategy reveals, yet again, the utter moral depravity of the enemy.

I have to imagine that, if I were the forensic analyst who discovered this (Down's is a genetic disorder which would show up in DNA testing), I would have had to take time out from my analysis to go throw up upon this discovery.