Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More Far-Left Ignorance

You've really got to love the far Left.  Now (and once again) the boys and girls at Blow Me ... er, "Blue Virginia" are making elaborate, factually-inaccurate statements against Virginia's Attorney General, claiming that "Supreme Court Disses Kookinelli and his Health Care Lawsuit."

Now, never mind that the moonbats put a question mark after it; the text clearly criticizes the Attorney General and suggests that, by not taking Virginia's lawsuit against BarryCare yesterday, the Supreme Court was somehow not giving due regard to Virginia's lawsuit and her Attorney General.

The truth is, the Supreme Court was giving it no regard whatsoever in yesterday's order.  That is because the Supreme Court has not yet considered petition for certiorari filed by the Attorney General for consideration.  It won't do that until its conference of Tuesday, 22 November.

Incidentally, I know a thing or two about Supreme Court practice.  Today, the Court set my most recent case for argument on 10 January 2012.

So, a word to the boys and girls at Blow Me ... er, "Blue Virginia":  you don't have to be a Supreme Court practitioner, or even an attorney, to comment upon the workings of the Supreme Court.

However, you just might want to consider learning enough so that you can avoid sounding like a blithering idiot when you do comment upon it.

The sad thing is that the boys and girls at Blow Me ... er, "Blue Virginia" rely upon a WaPo story in support of their conclusion.  I expect that kind of ignorance from the boys and girls at Blow Me ... er, "Blue Virginia."  Heretofore, I did not expect it in even the worst advocacy journalism in the WaPo.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Far-Left Myth

I know; I know: you read the title, and thought, "Uh, could you be a little more specific?  After all, there are so many of them."

Well, gentle reader, I will address those I read today.  One was in Blow Me ... er, "Blue Virginia," which refers to "The risk is that we will see an 8-3 Republican majority locked into our purple, almost-evenly-divided state for the next decade (just 2 years after Democrats held a 6-5 edge)."

This is, of course, a lie of Goebbelsian proportions.  Virginia is not a "purple, almost-evenly-divided state"; it is a Republican state, and only the last vestiges of old Democrat power and machinations have managed to preserved the Democrat Party as a viable force in most parts of the Commonwealth.

Then, there was Robert McCartney's take in the Metro section of today's Washington Post, entitled "No matter who gains control of Virginia Senate, neither party won a mandate."

A simple review of the election returns demonstrates that, if McCartney truly believes this, then it must be time to institute mandatory drug testing for WaPo columnists.

Just a few of the numbers indicates that McCartney may be imbibing hallucinogenic substances.  The GOP gained seven --- count 'em, seven! --- seats in the House of Delegates, bringing their numbers to an historic high of sixty-six (66), if the results hold.

Nevertheless, you might say, the GOP gained only two Senate seats, bringing them to parity in the Virginia Senate, with ties broken by Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (for the next two years, the most powerful elected official in the Commonwealth).

But those numbers don't tell the story, as Virginia's Senate Democrats managed to lose two seats notwithstanding their control of the Senate redistricting process, and an historically shameless gerrymander which, among other things, divided jurisdictions and sometimes even precincts to advantage Democrat incumbents.

In Prince William County, for instance, population increases indicate that the County would be entitled to two full Senate seats, plus a small part of another one.  Nevertheless, only one full seat was situated in the County --- unsurprisingly, the Methuselah of the Senate, Democrat Chuck Colgan, who had to tout his relationship with Republican Governor Bob McDonnell and his "bipartisanship" to survive ---  while the rest of the County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park were carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey, as smaller parts of four other districts with majorities in other counties.  Thus, a county in which preliminary results indicate that 32,495 total votes were cast for GOP candidates, and 25,167 votes were cast for Democrat and other candidates finds itself represented by three Democrats (Chuck Colgan, George Barker, and Toddy Puller), with small portions of the County represented by two Republicans (Dick Black and Richard Stuart).  And among the five, only one (Democrat Chuck Colgan) actually resides in the County.

Democrat George Barker was the primary author of this plan, and that he got any votes from Prince William County residents is a testament to partisan Democrats' commitment to the pursuit and maintenance of power over local interests.

But the total numbers statewide demonstrate that it was, nevertheless, a masterful gerrymander by Senate Democrats.  Overall, the GOP won 771,698 votes in Senate races statewide, while Democrats and others won 580,773.  These numbers are staggering in comparison to the actual member-district results.  Republican nominees secured the votes of just over 57% of Virginians for the State Senate, while Democrats and others secured the votes of not even 43%.  Were the Senate to more closely reflect this electoral reality, Republicans would hold a 23-17 seat margin.  But alas, Republicans only hold twenty of those seats, if current results are confirmed.

A masterful gerrymander, indeed.

And the GOP did even better in the House of Delegates.  There, Republican candidates (I include Libertarian and Lacey B. Putney, who caucuses with the GOP) secured 775,403 votes statewide, while Democrats (I include Green candidates) and write-ins garnered only 487,514 votes.  In short, Republicans garnered a whopping 61.4% of the statewide vote for the House of Delegates, while Democrat and other candidates secured less than 40% of the vote.

So a "purple, almost-evenly-divided state"?!?!  "No mandate"?!?!?!  It would seem necessary to ascertain from the authors of those comments the color of the sky on their planet, because whatever it is, it ain't "Blue."

A Damn Shame

Rather than leaving his fate to others and submitting to the firing squad --- probably a circular one --- Joe Paterno has decided to retire at the end of this season.  Of course, at 84 years old, he's entitled to do as he wants to, but I think it's a shame.

I am not one of those who believes Paterno to be culpable.  As I understand it, the deviant child molester who provoked this whole imbroglio was long gone from Paterno's staff when he was apparently witnessed by another member of Penn State's staff to be molesting a boy on Penn State property, where he was contractually entitled to be.  No one had ever before suspected that he was a child molester.  The witness despicably did nothing to intervene, but instead reported it to Paterno, who reported that hearsay evidence up the chain to Athletic Department and University officials, who then failed to act, or even covered it up.

What else was Paterno supposed to have done?  He had no authority over his former staff member.  He had not witnessed the crime.  He is a state employee, and did precisely what was required of him under the law.  And given his badge of authority as such, to do more might have exposed him, the University, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to considerable liabilities.

The real problem appears to be that Paterno has become a victim of his own legend.

And legend he is.  The now-winningest coach in the history of college football, Paterno has always done it the right way, running an entirely clean program when other large universities have frequently failed to do so.  A noted disciplinarian, his players knew that they could not get away with the types of misbehavior engaged in by so many star college athletes.  Young men wanted to play for him.  Young men's parents wanted their sons to learn from him, knowing that --- again, unlike in so many other large-university programs --- their sons were highly likely to obtain their degrees under their tutelage.  In a day when the concept of in loco parentis has largely gone the way of the dinosaur, it was alive and well in State College, Pennsylvania, and exercised by Joe Paterno.

In his 46 years as Head Coach, he has won two National Championships, and probably deserved two others.  More importantly, he has taught men, and raised the Pennsylvania State University from mediocrity to national renown.

The problem for Paterno is that more is now expected, because more always has been delivered.

Attaching a scandal to Paterno is therefore a unique event in college sports, because no one has ever been able to do so.

And, as noted above, no one should be able to do so now.  He has no culpability --- moral, legal, or ethical --- in these circumstances.  Joe Paterno has never been and is not now a law unto himself, no matter that the legend suggests that he might be, that he could be.  It is a measure of the man that, to my knowledge, he never has tried to become so.  It is that humility which is one of the things that makes him the great man that he is.

I confess: I am a fan.  I grew up about 90 miles from State College, and my grandparents were long-time season ticket holders (40-yard line; home side; about halfway up).  After attending the 1972 Indianapolis 500 with my parents, and a Cincinnati Reds game a year later with my father, the only big-time sporting events I attended in my formative years were with my grandparents at Beaver Stadium.

And so now, we are going to witness one of the rarest events in Division I college football: Penn State is in need of a head football coach.

And I pity the man facing the task of filling Joe Paterno's black shoes.