Won’t You Come Home Bill Bolling?

Hugging Obama: the first step toward renouncing the Republican party.

Hugging Obama: the first step toward renouncing the Republican party.

Virginia’s Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is going to have to lose a considerable amount of weight and drastically increase his time on the tanning bed to physically resemble Charlie Crist, but Bolling’s ideological transformation is coming along nicely.

For those who don’t follow Florida politics, Charlie Crist is the former Republican governor who intended to be the state’s new US senator in 2010. When Crist announced he was well known and could raise money — music to establishment Republican ears — Crist was immediately endorsed by the National Republican Senatorial Committee in an effort intimidate potential primary competition.

Life was good! Crist had essentially been handed the nomination. Time to order some staffer to start measuring for new drapes in his senate office. Except Marco Rubio decided to enter the race. Rubio had everything going against him but the voters.

Crist wasn’t worried at first. But as the campaign continued, FL voters decided Crist was too cozy with Obama and lacked conservative commitment. Rubio won the primary and in a fit of pique, Crist changed his registration to Independent and ran as a spoiler.

Rubio beat him and the Democrat both.

Now really angry and wanting to “lash out” (thank goodness there weren’t any “assault rifles” handy!) Crist endorsed Obama in 2012. And he just made the news by changing his party affiliation to Democrat. Proving Republican voters were correct all along.

Bolling’s situation is quite similar. In 2009 he was in his first term and Bob McDonnell was the Attorney General. Both wanted to run for governor, but Bolling didn’t want a fight — something that appears to be characteristic. As Pope Alexander IV divided the world between the Spanish and the Portuguese — McDonnell divided the top Virginia offices between himself and Bolling. McDonnell ran for governor and promised to support Bolling in 2013.

Unfortunately, the nomination is not McDonnell’s to confer. The wealthy may be able to hand political office from relative to relative in Massachusetts, hence the “Kennedy” senate seat, but Virginian’s don’t cotton to inheriting office.

Like the English in Pope Alexander’s time, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli ignored an agreement he was not party to and worked to secure the nomination. He packed the GOP central committee with his supporters. After Cuccinelli announced, the committee changed the nomination process from a primary election to a convention.

At which point Bolling avoided another fight and dropped out in the belief he could not win a convention in which strong grass–roots support is a crucial factor.

Cuccinelli is not without sin in this saga. Ken initially promised voters he would run for re–election, which I thought was an excellent idea. He broke that promise when he announced for governor, but as former Texas Gov. Bill Clements once said in connection with a lie he told, “Well, there never was a Bible in the room.”

Few Republicans are as popular with liberals and their media choir as establishment Republicans defeated by a conservative. All it took for Bolling to become a statesman was for Cuccinelli to run him out of the primary. Now he is another unfortunate establishment moderate who — according to the media — is the best general election candidate. Unfortunately he can’t win a primary dominated by the right wing.

What’s wrong with mouth–breathing TEA party types? Didn’t they see how successful Republicans were with John McCain, George Allen and Mitt Romney?

Predictably, Bolling is now “growing in office” as he starts emerging from his “Cristsalis.” Bolling has come out and opposed uranium mining in Virginia because he agrees with “environmentalists” that it will create a hole in the ground. After the Newtown elementary school shooting, Bolling broke with McDonnell and opposed even researching the possibility of arming school staff. And Bolling warns he will be an “independent voice” during the 2013 gubernatorial campaign.

All that’s left for Bolling is to “evolve” his views on homosexual marriage and schedule a big hug photo op with Obama. Then he’s free to enter the race as an independent and undermine Cuccinelli’s candidacy.

Only Bolling won’t really be running as an Independent. He’ll be running as a Petulant. Nothing prevented Bolling from putting his supporters on the central committee. He wasted eight years instead of building a strong grass–roots organization. Bolling’s problem isn’t Cuccinelli or conservatives; it’s inertia.

Surprised a Degraded Culture Produces Depraved Individuals?

gun control signLast Friday was evidently International Maniac Congruence Day. In Newtown a 20–year–old loser — whose newspaper photo bears a striking resemblance to the SS Totenkoph insignia — shot and killed 20 elementary school students and six adults. While in Chenpeng, China another maniac stabbed 22 children and one adult in an elementary school.

Yet there has been no outcry in China for more cutlery control and CNN International has not been broadcasting remote from outside the Henckels’ knife factory. In fact there has been scant coverage of the Chinese attack.

The obscure, knife–wielding Chinaman proves it’s not a weapon problem — it’s a maniac problem. For where there’s a maniacal will, there’s a maniacal way.

So in the wake of Newtown, I’ll endorse the first politician who designates schools as “maniac–free zones.” You may scoff, but this law will be just as effective as “gun–free zones” and has the added advantage of directly addressing the cause of the problem.

Banning “assault weapons” is a knee–jerk response from ideological jerks. It’s like treating a drunk for difficulties with his equilibrium, rather than talking about alcohol. What’s more, “assault weapons” have been banned in Connecticut since 1993 and a fat lot of good it did at Sandy Hook Elementary. The Bushmaster rifle used there was registered and legal. The only measurable effect discussions of an “assault weapon” ban have is increased gun and ammunition sales.

Another liberal bright idea is establishing a bag limit for mass shootings like we currently have for ducks. Duck hunters are often limited in the number of shells their shotgun magazine can hold. This encourages hunters to obey the law specifying the maximum number of ducks one is allowed to shoot.

The same logic applies to the limit on “high capacity magazines.” Unfortunately, limiting magazine size just means the shooter needs bigger pockets. Many semi–automatic pistols thoughtfully let you know when the magazine is empty by locking the slide back. One simply has to drop the empty and slap a full one in — a process taking under two seconds. Besides, I am unaware of any spree killing that ended prematurely because the gunman ran out of ammunition.

In 2011 there were 32,367 automobile deaths — more than three times the number of firearms murders. Based on gun control logic, we should also ban automobiles that look like racecars, because sleek design encourages drivers to go too fast.

No one bothers to ask why we have a rash of these mass killings now and not in the 60’s when there were no background checks and you could buy a handgun through the mail. As anti–gun legislation has become more pervasive so have spree killings.

An early WaPost article said the motivation for the murders remains a “mystery.” Maybe it’s a “mystery” for liberals, but not for those with common sense. If you’re a disaffected, disturbed loser, who wants the nation to feel his pain, you follow the template written by media vultures and go to the nearest sitting duck zone and start shooting.

The same saturation coverage that validates dollar store teddy bear memorials, validates the violence that inspires misguided bystanders to leave a mylar balloon as close to the bloodstains as the yellow police tape will allow.

An inconvenient element young spree killers have in common is violent, sadistic video games. Only a few years ago video game makers usually had a “gore filter” that a player could engage if he didn’t want to wallow in video dismemberment. Now popular and violent games have no way to turn down the violence or the language.

The only restraint the video game industry displays is a reluctance to design a “Columbine Shootout” game with a “Virginia Tech” add–on.

Bans on guns and magazine size are displacement activity. The Newtown shooter did not want for anything materially, but he was empty inside. These secular, suicide terrorists turn their video game room into a personal murder madrassah.

Liberals say censorship or even societal disapproval of violent video games is unnecessary because the vast majority of players simply use the games for fun and companionship — a justification that equally accurate when applied to the “assault weapon” owning community.

At its base this is a mental health problem and requires a mental health solution. Liberals aren’t afraid of crazy people, as long as they are confined to Occupy camps, but they are afraid of guns. In the 80’s liberals tried to ban the sale of cheap “Saturday night specials.” Now it’s expensive “assault weapons.” This demonization of guns transforms firearms into symbols of power, which only serves to attract the mentally unstable.

We live in a society where it’s now popular to take personal responsibility for carbonating your own beverages, but liberals demonize conservatives who wish to take responsibility for their own defense. If Mrs. Lanza had locked her guns away from her disturbed son, Newtown doesn’t happen.

All the liberals and all their laws can’t force people to exercise common sense.

Misinterpreting Obama’s Tax Mandate

Obama-tax-the-richI have written before regarding Obama’s legitimate claim to a mandate for raising taxes on the “rich.” He made no secret of his plan to raise taxes during the campaign and voters — who for the most part know they won’t be paying the increased taxes — thought it was a fine idea and re–elected him.

This is a bad situation nationally, but potentially a good situation locally. That’s because locally–elected Democrats appear to be falling prey to what Alan Greenspan called “irrational exuberance.” They’re interpreting Obama’s mandate for national taxes as permission to increase local taxes, too.

Four of our local Prince William County, VA Board of Supervisors have presented budget proposals for the next fiscal year. And try as I might to avoid stereotyping these worthy public servants, dang if the Democrats don’t want to raise taxes, while the Republicans want to cut taxes.

All we need to be just like Washington is Warren Buffett, plutocrat with a guilty conscience, standing in front of the government center begging someone to raise his taxes.

Here’s where local Democrats are making their big mistake. PWC doesn’t face a “fiscal cliff” or any other kind of precipitous drop–off, because county budgets must balance every year. Spendacrats nationally — both Democrats & Republicans — have fought a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Consequently we have obese government that borrows almost 50 cents of every dollar it spends.

Voters get much more government than they pay for, hence Obama’s mandate.

Local balanced budgets serve to inhibit Democrat tax increase fever; since taxpayers must pay for all the government they receive, the same year they receive it.

Local Democrats who forget this will give Republicans and conservatives an opportunity to begin our political comeback.

I outlined Republican Chairman Corey Stewart’s budget a couple of weeks ago. In a nutshell Stewart would cut the average property tax bill by $132 next year. He saves $941,000.00 by eliminating supervisor’s ability to make charitable donations to private organizations with our tax dollars.

Stewart also ends the practice of subsidizing individual supervisor’s entertainment preferences by cutting all “arts” grants. He eliminates funding for Legal Services of Northern VA, ending the odd practice of the county funding the same group that often sues it. And he cuts money for programs Richmond orders, but doesn’t see fit to fund.

Total cuts amount to $9 million.

On the other hand, Democrat John Jenkins wants to boost county spending by $19 million and increase the average property tax bill by $408 (average assessed value is $310,000, so individual mileage will vary).

Evidently Democrat Frank Principi wants to do everything Jenkins does plus more. (It’s hard to be specific, Principi does not put particulars on his website and his office refused to answer an email query.) Principi would raise property tax bills an average of $447, so he can stimulate county spending by $44 million.

Jenkins wants to continue to play Santa Claus for charities with tax money, fund “arts” groups that can’t make it on their own, serve as free entertainment director for seniors, fund all the groups that Stewart cuts and keep neighborhood libraries open six days a week, to name but a few.

But “arts” spending is naturally not what Jenkins emphasizes. Local Democrats are not into disarmament as much as national Democrats, so he concentrates on the additional tax money that will be used to hire 25 new police officers and 25 to 30 new fire and rescue employees, because who could be against paying taxes for public safety?

I like cops and have had excellent experiences with the fire department. But that doesn’t stop me from asking if these additions are needed, which is one reason I’m no longer a Democrat. From 2010 to 2011 overall crime in the county decreased 6.7 percent and violent crime decreased 20.7 percent.

Now I certainly don’t want to penalize success, and the department is doing an excellent job, so let’s look at overall calls for service, which are often a leading indicator of future crime increases.

Well, nothing there either. Since between 2010 and 2011 the call for service total was essentially unchanged. Meanwhile, population increased by about 11,000 residents. Simply matching population growth could justify the addition of almost 12 officers.

The department added two in 2011, so one could support adding an additional 10 officers at a cost of approximately $1.2 million — not 25 at a cost of $3.1 million.

The situation with fire and rescue is similar. Calls for service increased 3 percent from 2011 to 2012, as did the population. But you don’t add fire and rescue the same way you do police officers, because for every paid fireman there are two volunteers. Since total fire and rescue is three times that of the police department, it makes more sense to add seven firemen at a cost of $770,000, instead of 25 at $2.75 million. The total for both comes to about $2 million in additional spending.

Jenkins could pay for all of these new government employees without raising taxes a penny if he simply embraced some of Stewart’s cuts. But local, like national, Democrats are not in the spending cut business. So it’s no wonder Jenkins was an integral part of the board that doubled PWC spending between 2000 and 2006.

Government grows because politicians aren’t spending their own money. The money Jenkins and Principi want to spend is free, because it’s yours. The only restraint on Democrats is the fact property taxes are paid by all property owners. There are no “one percenters” to gouge and Democrats are unable to embezzle from the future by borrowing, the way they do in Washington, DC.

And that’s the difference between the Obama mandate and local reality.

Still, it’s always so amusing when a local Democrat expresses concern about a taxpayer’s pocketbook.

During a recent board discussion of legislative priorities, Principi wanted the state to extend the Earned Income Tax Credit, because he wanted to “keep more money in the pockets of our citizens.”

Evidently because if the state took the money, Principi wouldn’t be able to get at it.

Let Obama Leap Off the Fiscal Cliff Alone

Fiscal Cliff Cartoon Blog VersionThe editorial cartoon on the left perfectly summarizes the political situation surrounding fiscal cliff negotiations. The lesson is Republicans will be blamed regardless.

CNN and Pew Research Center polls show a majority of the public will blame the GOP if the country goes over the cliff, even if Speaker Boehner fetches coffee for Obama during negotiations and compliments Michelle on her triceps.

To avoid this the GOP must start thinking strategically. That and take some very useful advice from two unlikely sources: Grover Norquist and Barack Obama.

Norquist urges Republicans to televise negotiations. This is a good idea that will allow the public to see just how intransigent Democrats are. While Obama warns House Republicans to get out of the way, which is exactly what they should do.

While the TV cameras are humming, Boehner should recognize the President built his campaign around raising taxes and voters supported that agenda. Boehner should explain that although Republicans disagree and believe Obama’s policies will plunge the nation back into a recession, if not depression, the people have spoken and Republicans will not obstruct him in any way.

Then — as Dante wrote about denizens of one level of the Inferno — we let Obama be himself with a vengeance. Republicans simply vote ‘present’ and, following the Obamacare precedent, the President’s socialistic, dangerous policy passes without a single Republican vote.

We lose tactically in the short run, but we win strategically in the long run. Negotiating minor cuts at the margin now not only won’t be a victory, it will allow Obama — and his Hallelujah Chorus in the media — to blame the failure of his fiscal policy on Republicans. That is impossible if Obama gets his way.

What’s more, bickering over petty spending cuts, discredits major cuts as a viable debt reduction strategy in the future. When these rounding–error cuts fail to make a difference, Democrats and the media will claim we tried cutting and it didn’t work.

Keep in mind Republican House leadership has a bad track record when it comes to negotiating cuts anyway. The last time we had a debt confrontation in 2011, Boehner came up with a total of $352 million in cuts. To put that in perspective, the amount represents one–tenth of one percent of the budget.

Whoop–tee–freakin’–doo. It would have made more sense to take the “savings” and buy lottery tickets. Last week’s Powerball jackpot was almost twice as large as the “cuts.”

And the wealthy job creators Obama’s tax increase will harm? I repeat, any Obama compromise means Republicans own the failure, because Obama didn’t get all he knew the nation really needed. And in the unlikely event he succeeds — and remember the media will set the bar remarkably low — Obama gets all the credit.

Some will object that House Republicans have just as strong a mandate as Obama, since they were elected, too. But that’s horse hockey. GOP congressmen were re–elected in gerrymandered districts designed to be impossible for Democrats to win. Obama won the entire nation and he’s right about his mandate, misguided as it is.

If recognizing the results of a democratic election is the proper policy in Egypt, it’s the proper policy here, even if the Socialism Brotherhood was the winner.

Holding out for miniscule spending cuts is simply negotiating the length of the rope Obama will use to hang Congressional Republicans.

There are only two instances where the GOP should fight today. One is opposing giving up Congressional debt ceiling authority in the future. The other is Boehner’s promise that if the Democrat Senate changes filibuster rules, all subsequent Senate bills will be DOA in the House.

Giving the President unilateral debt ceiling authority is like giving the Times Square homeless man a pair of boots and a credit card. No Congressional debt authority, along with rewriting filibuster rules, would cause long–term damage to the country and set a dangerous precedent.

Otherwise, let Obama own the agenda and own the responsibility. It will be impossible to blame Republicans for a result they did not in any way impede.

Our goal should be winning in 2014. It’s the asymmetrical strategy I advocated recently; and it is the kind of strategic thinking Republicans need to start utilizing.

Two years of short term pain will result in House and Senate gains that will allow Republicans to start reversing the course of Obamaism. Besides, I want to watch Democrats try to run in 2014 on a platform of “Osama’s Dead & So Is the Economy.”