Let’s Revive Extreme Vetting for Politicians

It’s amazing the American public can be so right in general and so wrong in particular when it comes to evaluating Congress. The Gallup survey found the approval rating for Congress as a whole is currently a dismal 20 percent. This means our DC swamp denizens are tied with members of the opposition media, lawyers and car salesmen when it comes to the public’s general distaste.

But at the same time, when rating their individual member of Congress, the public gives that representative a much better grade of nearly 50 percent. Somehow the fact their representative is part and parcel of the entire wretched institution escapes voters.

On Election Day the situation is even worse.

We’re told in most cases familiarity breeds contempt. In politics familiarity evidently stupefies, because an absolutely stunning 98 percent of the incumbents up for re–election in 2016 were returned to office.

Members of Congress are evidently as hard to fire as employees of the Veterans Administration.

Re–elect numbers at the sure thing level only serve to make Republican cowardice when faced with the daunting prospect of keeping their promises that much more repugnant. Sending the same people back election after election only guarantees voters will get the same lack of results election after election.

What’s the solution? Strange as it may seem Mexico may have a suggestion and I don’t mean revolution or cartel government. Find out by clicking the link below and finish the column at Newsmax:

https://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/constitution-military-tlaxcallan/2017/08/15/id/807832/

 

Off–Year Election Prospects Grim for Conservatives

Democrat Terry McAuliffe prepares to photograph his favorite person.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe prepares to photograph his favorite person.

In 2009 gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia provided a morale boost for conservatives still smarting from the Obama victory. Chris Christie won in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell won in Virginia.

The chance for morale boosting repeat this year is very small.

In New Jersey we’ve discovered Christie is now Obama’s newest BFF and is showing all the symptoms of an advanced case of RINO’s disease with egomaniacal complications.

Here in Virginia, there is little optimism regarding Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign for governor. It’s looking more and more like he should have kept his original promise to run for re–election as attorney general. Then there truly would have been a balm in Gilead.

Retiring Lt. Governor Bill Bolling could have run unopposed on the GOP side — while he continued to keep his inner RINO in the closet — Cuccinelli would be AG and E. W. Jackson could have become Lt. Governor. Two conservatives out of three isn’t bad and former GOP consultant — and Bolling inner circle member — Boyd Marcus would not have had to defect to the Democrats in a fit of pique.

It pains me to say this, but ‘moderate’ Bolling actually would have been a stronger candidate than Cuccinelli, because he has no ties whatsoever to FBI investigation target Jonnie Williams — the VA GOP answer to Santa Claus — and his Star Scientific patent medicine company. A Bolling candidacy would have been immune to the fallout from Big Watch Bob McDonnell’s gifts–that–keep–on–giving scandal. Simply because Bolling didn’t run up a tab with Williams. Bolling doesn’t wear a $7,500 gift watch, didn’t take free vacations, his children didn’t receive $25,000 in wedding gifts, his wife didn’t receive a $15,000 shopping spree and the family business didn’t get a $75,000 loan.

(Rumor has it that once Bolling learned Williams’ product wasn’t a weight loss aid, he had no more interest in Star Scientific.)

Instead we have an incumbent governor passing the hat to raise money to pay lawyers working to prevent an indictment. Williams is singing like a canary. And both are damaging Cuccinelli who took what amounted to tip money from Jonnie — particularly when compared to the jackpot McDonnell hit when Williams became a “family friend.”

No wonder Ken is currently polling seven points behind the Democrat nominee Terry ‘Flim Flam Man’ McAuliffe. I suppose we’re lucky the deficit isn’t larger. McDonnell could have helped the situation if he had resigned during the summer, but even Star Scientific doesn’t manufacture an anti–inflammatory powerful enough to lubricate McDonnell’s passage out of the mansion.

So McAuliffe’s refusal to release his tax returns — for a brief moment an important issue — becomes a non–issue in the environment generated by the Williams/McDonnell gifts scandal. Looking at it from a voter’s perspective it’s a wash, McAuliffe is just better about hiding his financial peccadilloes.

In this political climate it’s crucial for the Cuccinelli campaign to avoid any mistakes that call the nominee’s character into question. So what do they do? The campaign airs a negative commercial that calls the campaign’s character into question.

The spot contains testimonials from people who were ruined by the bankruptcy of a company from which McAuliffe made millions. Any effectiveness the commercial had ended when the people giving the testimonials told the Washington Post that no one told them the footage would be in a campaign commercial. On the contrary, they say they were told the interviews were for a documentary. And they say the Cuccinelli campaign lied to them.

I’ve been making campaign commercials for 33 years and I can tell you that any competent media firm has a simple way to settle controversies like this. All the campaign has to do is show the reporter the talent releases signed during the taping.

That way if the interviewees change their mind later or the McAuliffe people pressure them, you have proof the interview subjects knew what they were getting into before the spot aired.

Only the Cuccinelli campaign didn’t show Washington Post reporters any signed releases. During their WaPost interview they did not address “whether the employees in the ad were told how the footage would be used.”

I don’t want to pile on here, but I have some advice for the campaign. If the media consultant and the production company didn’t get signed permission releases from non–professional talent the company is sloppy, incompetent and deserves to be fired.

If the media consultant and the production company have releases but the releases say the footage is to be used in a documentary and not a campaign commercial, they are sleazy, incompetent and deserve to be fired.

Voters are accustomed to a certain amount of hyperbole in positive campaign spots, that’s why no one chokes when Lindsey Graham and the word “fighting” appear in the same spot. But negative commercials must be accurate and the allegations based on verifiable fact. Ken’s campaign has done it’s best to undermine his positive and negative message.

We have a Cuccinelli campaign that says McAuliffe can’t be trusted, plays fast and loose with the truth and won’t release his taxes. Then the same campaign releases a commercial that plays fast and loose with the truth to people already reeling from losing their livelihood. And just to make sure the news stays bad Cuccinelli — after foot dragging for months — decides to donate $18,000 to charity to offset the same amount he received in gifts from Jonnie Williams.

In one fell swoop the campaign helps McAuliffe by generating another week or two of negative coverage regarding the gifts. Waiting this late in the campaign to donate money from gifts Cuccinelli never should have taken is stupidity compounded.

I’m told that the reason Cuccinelli decided to break his promise and not run for re–election as AG is his big money backers told him they would not donate unless he ran for governor. I’m wondering how the plutocrats feel about their investment now?

For more on Cuccinelli and the gifts scandal click here

For more on how McDonnell caused the gifts scandal click here and here

For more on how Bolling discovered his inner RINO click here

For more on how Marcus discovered his inner turncoat click here

Obamacare – Good Enough for You, But not Good Enough for Congress

Angry conservatives prepare to attend their local town hall meeting.

Angry conservatives prepare to attend their local town hall meeting.

If you want to get a very clear idea of the utter contempt in which our corrupt political class holds the voters who put them in office, look no further than the Congressional Obamacare exemption. Don’t confuse this with previous exemptions a bystander Congress has allowed the Obama administration to award supportive unions and other politically favored groups.

This exemption is specifically for Congress.

Under Obamacare Members of Congress and staff are required to buy individual health insurance from state insurance exchanges, just like their constituents Ma & Pa Kettle.

Since the majority of members possess Anthony Weiner levels of common sense, this portion of the law they passed created confusion in that august body. What exchange should the staffers use; the one in the District (land of dependency and demagoguery) or the one in their home state designed by people not clever enough to make it to Washington?

Anyone smarter than a 6th grader could see the answer at a glance. Just as the DC staffers by their Viagra from CVS and the staffers back home frequent Wal–Mart, staffers based in DC buy insurance where they live and staffers back at home buy at home.

There you see? All better now.

Even this minor confusion shows why Congress’ used–car–salesman level approval rating is richly deserved. Even Robert Pear, a reporter for the lefty New York Times was moved to observe, “The confusion raises the inevitable question: If they did not know exactly what they were doing to themselves, did lawmakers who wrote and passed the bill fully grasp the details of how it would influence the lives of other Americans?”

Any conservative could easily answer that question. Hell no!

But for the political class the ‘where’ was not nearly as important as the ‘whom,’ as in who pays for this wondrous new insurance coverage a benevolent Obama has given?

Currently Congressional staffers have a great health insurance policy subsidized by you! While they are beavering away, coming up with new ways to control your life, their Cadillac plans are paid for with a 75 percent, tax–free subsidy.

Now the policy and the subsidy disappear. Giving members and staff another chance to be like real Americans when they realize Obama’s promise if you like your doctor and your insurance you can keep both, was just another Choom Gang alumnus blowing smoke.

This created a situation rich in unintended irony. As the Heritage Foundation wrote, “Members of Congress and their staffs are facing the same problems that confront millions of employers and employees—their fellow citizens—throughout America. They will be unable to keep the health coverage they have today, and will instead be consigned to the government health exchanges, whether they like it or not. …In short, Members of Congress will feel the effects of their own legislative handiwork directly.”

Naturally, this caused panic. In fact this unintended consequence was the only positive development to come from Obamacare. According to Politico, “Dozens of lawmakers and aides are so afraid that their health insurance premiums will skyrocket next year thanks to Obamacare that they are thinking about retiring early or just quitting.

The fear: Government-subsidized premiums will disappear at the end of the year under a provision in the health care law that nudges aides and lawmakers onto the government health care exchanges, which could make their benefits exorbitantly expensive.”

Great, self–induced term limits! Patchwork to be sure and no doubt short term, but a start nonetheless.

Other Congressional “leaders” feared the country would suffer from a “brain drain” as experienced staffers fled for the private sector where they are constantly assuring us they will make so much more money. My comment is, don’t let the door hit you in the behind.

And of course our dynamic Republican leader is on the job. Rep. John Boehner — Mr. Solidarity with the common man — was hoping Sen. Harry Reid would create a legislative fix (apt word that).

When asked about secret talks to rekindle the boiler fire in the federal gravy train, Boehner spokesman Michael Steele said, ““The speaker’s objective is to spare the entire country from the ravages of the president’s health care law. …If the speaker has the opportunity to save anyone from Obamacare, he will.”

Keep in mind the “anyone” escaping in this instance are the same people making you live under the undiluted Obamacare regime.

Fortunately for the hand–wringing Boehner and shameless Democrats the decision has been taken out of their hand. They won’t be forced to vote on Hypocrisy Bill 358. Pharaoh has spoken. President Obama intervened and ordered the Office of Personnel Management to decree the 75 percent insurance subsidies will continue for members and staff.

There is no provision in the law for this exemption, the OPM has no authority to issue the decision, but it’s in keeping with the legal theory that if Obama wants it, it must be OK.

So where does this leave you? It should leave you enraged. These posturing Republicans who bravely talk about repealing Obamacare are as quiet as church mice in regard to exempting themselves. I’ve had enough and it’s high time you felt the same.

Congress will be in recess soon and Senators and Congressman will be returning to their districts for town hall meetings. Go to the meeting. Take off work if necessary. Ask your representative if he and his staff are taking advantage of the Obamacare exemption.

If the answer is ‘yes’ or he avoids the question (which means the answer is ‘yes’) then you have a duty to vote against him. So what if he’s replaced by a Democrat. Better a leftist than a liar.

If Obamacare is a litmus test on liberty, as Republican Members of Congress have been telling us, it’s also a litmus test for those representing us. Any Representative or Senator who accepts the Obamacare exemption is a posturing Washington hypocrite and not fit to represent me.

Science Proves Leftists Are Wimpy

Obama voter prepares for the beach.

Obama voter prepares for the beach.

Sometimes a story just sounds too good to be true. A study published in Psychological Science has found that girly–men are more likely to support a cradle–to–grave welfare state and “share–the–wealth” economic policy than more robust male specimens. This sounds reasonable to me and the fact it appears the research wasn’t paid for by tax dollars is a bonus.

“Psychological scientists” Michael Bang Peterson, of Aarhus University in Denmark, and Daniel Sznycer, of the University of California, found that conservative or right wing beliefs are strongly correlated with physical strength.

The researchers studied bicep size, socio–economic status and political views from participants in the U.S., Argentina and Denmark. Selecting participants from the U.S. and Denmark is not surprising, since that’s where the researchers are based, but why Argentina? Juan Perón was a famous Argentine strongman, but his appellation had nothing to do with muscularity and everything to do with being authoritarian socialist.

One wonders how specific participants were selected and the interviews conducted. Possibly they visited gyms and offered to spot the weightlifters if they could ask questions between sets. It would have been interesting to eavesdrop on some of the conversations researchers had after removing the calipers from the bicep.

You certainly wouldn’t want to ask a politically sensitive question of someone who was benching 300 lbs.

According to the hypothesis established before the testing began, Dirty Harry should be a reliable Republican voter, while Napoleon Dynamite will be supporting Barack Obama until he can afford to hire a personal trainer and release his inner Tarzan.

But the data according to what the Mail Online reported didn’t support the hypothesis. “The data revealed that wealthy men with high upper-body strength were less likely to support redistribution, while less wealthy men of the same strength were more likely to support it.” Had the hypothesis been accurate personal wealth should not have affected support for socialism as long their pecs were equally ripped.

Once the scientists stopped collecting data and started pumping up the results, they proved they know more about the motivation for feeling the burn than they do about the desire to “share the wealth.”

Professor Petersen concluded, “‘Our results demonstrate that physically weak males are more reluctant than physically strong males to assert their self-interest – just as if disputes over national policies were a matter of direct physical confrontation among small numbers of individuals, rather than abstract electoral dynamics among millions.”

That conclusion gets it exactly backwards and leads me to believe the Peterson and Snzycer need more work in the gym. When “weak males” support “share–the–wealth” politicians the weaklings realize they are too feeble to make it on their own. So instead they support policies that encourage the government — which hires those buff IRS collectors — to do the strong-arm stuff for them. Force those who have made it on their own to, in the words of our socialist–in–chief, “spread the wealth around.”

This goes a long way to explain why male art history majors are such strong Democrat supporters.

The only disappointing information contained in the study applied to women. There was no link between upper body strength and conservative views among the fairer sex.

They only question left unanswered is: Do women, regardless of their own strength, who prefer strong men also prefer conservative economics?

There’s No Such Thing as a Slight Sense of Entitlement

BOOST: Breakfast of Virginia's champion.

BOOST: Breakfast of Virginia’s champion.

We’ve all seen photos of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Particularly last year when he was being mentioned as a possible vice presidential pick on the Romney ticket. He would be beaming, with a large, toothy smile, looking well groomed and squeaky clean. And no wonder, this wholesome image was the product of a group effort, since the governor relies on Virginia taxpayers to keep him smelling fresh.

According to Laura Vozzella in the Washington Post, the McDonnell family has used its government–supplied credit card much like the GSA uses its card. Billing the taxpayers for “body wash, sunscreen, dog vitamins and a digestive system detox cleanse.”*

It takes a man with high self–esteem to bill the taxpayer for his weekly dose of Colon Blow, knowing the information is only an FOIA request from the public domain, to say nothing of opposition researchers. But at the same time it’s comforting to know there are no blockages, legislative or otherwise in the governor’s mansion.

And really, who wants a first family with that bloated feeling?

Virginia’s governor is the fifth–best paid in the country, earning $175,000 a year in addition to a “free mansion, food, personal chef, maids and one of nation’s few state-funded butlers,” so it’s somewhat startling to learn our governor is only a taxpayer–funded credit card purchase away from offending.

McDonnell makes almost three times the median income in Virginia ($63,302 a year) yet still expects the rednecks to spring for his body wash. I suppose it would reflect poorly on the state as a whole if none of the other governors wanted to stand next to him in a group photo, but I draw the line at raising his kids, too.

The McDonnells “used state employees to run personal errands for their adult children. In the middle of a workday, for example, a staffer retrieved Rachel McDonnell’s newly hemmed pants at a tailoring shop nine miles from the governor’s mansion. Another time, a state worker was dispatched to a dry cleaner 20 miles away to pick up a storage box for Cailin McDonnell’s wedding dress.”

Maybe it’s just me but I thought it was illegal for someone too young to have her own driver’s license to get married in Virginia, so Cailin ought to be able to get her own wedding dress. On the other hand, taxpayers should feel grateful they only had to cover the gas and employee time for the wedding. Jonnie R. Williams Sr. — who became the governor’s new BFF shortly after the inauguration — had to pony up $15,000.00 to cover the wedding’s catering bill.

The taxpayer’s incidentals tab also included “dry-cleaning the twin sons’ suits and shirts, repairing the first lady’s shoes and putting new shoulder pads into an item of her clothing. The McDonnells billed their energy drinks, body wash, deodorant and breath-freshening strips to the state as well.”

Six months into the governor’s first and only term a state employee not intimidated by the first family’s remarkably fresh breath and bouncy attitude attempted to reign in the credit card spree. She pointed out the McDonnells should use some of their 175,000 simoleons to buy their own deodorant, shoe repairs and children’s dry–cleaning. Taxpayers also should not be on the hook for clothing alterations, dry-cleaning for other family members, deodorant or body wash, pet food or treats, or food for non-family meals or non-state functions.

What the state will pay for is bad enough. The memo is very specific and one wonders why it took an auditor to point this out to the first family. Dry-cleaning for the governor and first lady is covered and “toilet paper, mouthwash, bar soap.” Which seems reasonable, I don’t begrudge tourists the use of toilet paper and soap in our highway rest stops, so stocking those supplies in the governor’s mansion makes sense. The same goes for cleaning supplies to keep the mansion spiffy and food in the kitchen for functions of state and family meals.

But the admonition didn’t take. “The McDonnells have continued to let taxpayers pick up the tab for numerous personal items, including vitamins, nasal spray and sleep-inducing elixirs.” “Sleep–inducing elixirs” sounds a lot like booze to me, but maybe it was Nyquil.

And to prove there is no such thing as a slight sense of entitlement, the governor argued that taxpayers should be paying for his energy drinks. His chief of staff, Martin Kent overruled the auditors and declared with some umbrage that, “While other governors and spouses may have had bacon and eggs, or cereal, or etc for breakfast, Governor McDonnell drinks Boost every morning, and the First Lady has a 5-Hour energy and/or a Boost. That is their breakfast. And that is why those items are covered, just like breakfast is covered for EVERY Governor and First Lady.”

I don’t know about you, but just reading that reminds me of one of those awkward times where I’m an unwilling witness to an argument between a Wal–Mart cashier and a SNAP program participant who’s arguing that Twizzlers and YooHoo should be covered by food stamps.

It’s easy for conservatives to be uncharitable when thinking about welfare recipients and wonder why don’t they have a little pride and get a job? But the same question is applicable here: You’re making $175,000 a year with a free house, maid and transportation yet you quibble about paying for your own energy drink?

In 2011 McDonnell made a good speech at the CPAC conference where he described what an honor it was to work in the same office once occupied by Thomas Jefferson.  Something tells me no future Virginia governor will publically discuss what an honor it is to have breakfast in the same kitchen where Bob McDonnell chugged his morning Boost.

*(Note: any material in quotes, and not otherwise attributed, comes from Ms. Vozella’s excellent reporting.)

What Is It About ‘Stereotype’ that the Tea Party Doesn’t Understand?

runaways-tpcToo bad Tea party types are such ingrates. Now that the mainstream media (MSM) is finally starting to cover the IRS political scandal, you’d think the Tea party would go out of its way to reward the media for emerging from its Obama–induced coma.

Consider what would have happened if there had been four deaths in connection with the IRS attacks, as happened in Benghazi. Result: It happened a long time ago and what difference does it make?

Repaying the MSM would not have been difficult. For example, at the recent Tea Party–dominated Republican convention in Virginia, conservatives could’ve done something simple like book a minstrel show for entertainment, sing ‘Dixie’ before the National Anthem or burn a cross for illumination. Stereotypes would have been confirmed and MSM self–satisfaction could continue unchallenged.

But no, out of seven candidates running for Lt. Governor the overwhelmingly white, middle–aged Tea Party Republicans had to go and pick the only black guy in the bunch! Even worse. E. W. Jackson had raised the least money of any of the candidates and instead had to base his hope for victory on an impassioned speech before the assembled delegates.

A black guy that can make a speech and impress Republicans? Who’d a thunk it?

In fact the WaPost complained, “it’s almost inconceivable that (Jackson) could have won an open party primary.” Which is true, since a primary would have been dominated by something WaPost leftists claim to hate even more than conservative blacks and that’s money in politics.

Bottom line? Media leftists prefer capitalist money influencing elections to blacks escaping the Democrat plantation. (But on the plus side, Rev. Jackson is one candidate you can legitimately ask about the content of his prayers.)

Instead Jackson, who in addition to being a minister is a graduate of Harvard Law School and a Marine veteran, won through personal contact and the force of his personality. And what a personality it is! No mottled shades of gray here.

Media leftists consider conservative minority politicians to be deeply embarrassing and something a decent person would want to keep private and within the family; like a son who wanted to marry a man. Besides being guilty of thought crimes, a black Republican that opposes the Democrat platform of amnesty, abortion and alternative lifestyle is called an Uncle Tom.

This is another example of leftist revisionism. Back when Democrats were leaning on the Supreme Court for legitimacy and dominated politics and culture while being on the wrong side of slavery; a black who supported ‘massa and claimed to be happy with his lot, was called an Uncle Tom for kneeling before power. Frederick Douglass was a hero for fighting against injustice and going against prevailing legal and cultural norms. (Dang, wasn’t Douglass a Republican, too?)

Today Democrats again lean on the Supreme Court for legitimacy, dominate politics along with culture and are on the wrong side of abortion. The legal system is cluttered with “hate crime” legislation, homosexuals qualify for special rights, Christians are to be kept in the closet and any attempt to regulate abortion is called a “war on women.” Yet a black that supports conservatives is instantly branded an Uncle Tom, when the reverse is actually true. This means Utah’s Mia Love is Fredericka Douglass on a courageous crusade for truth and Susan Rice is Aunt Jemima.

And make no mistake the WaPost is in a snit regarding Jackson. Columnist Robert McCartney did everything but call him “macca” in a column this week. McCartney says that Jackson on the ticket will reflect poorly on gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli. This is because fiery black ministers only cause problems when they are linked for a few months to a white candidate, while sitting in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years is just a coincidence for Barack Obama.

McCartney quotes Jackson as saying gays have “perverted” minds and are “very sick people psychologically and mentally and emotionally.” And he adds Jackson has described President Obama as “an evil presence” and liberal abortion policy as “infanticide.”

So I think VA Republicans are just going to have to resign themselves to losing Megan McCain’s vote this year.

Another red flag for McCartney came when Jackson said Planned Parenthood has been more lethal to blacks than the Ku Klux Klan. I will admit the only politician with the moral stature necessary to make modern–day slavery comparisons is Joe Biden. But that being said, Jackson does have the facts on his side — as if that makes any difference to the left.

The number of blacks killed by lynching in the US between 1864 and 1968 was 4,946. You can add to that beatings and intimidation by both the Klan and freelance bigots who didn’t want to be bogged down with a formal commitment to an organization.

Compare that with 18,778,000 black babies killed by an abortionist between only 1973 and 2013. Nathan Bedford Forest doesn’t begin to compare with your local Planned Parenthood facility manager when it comes to eliminating young blacks.

The WaPost was also appalled at VA Republicans for having a convention in the first place. In their view being committed enough to give up your Saturday and attend a largely boring convention disqualifies one for participation in the decision–making process.

The mandarins at the Post complain that the 8,000 delegates attending the Richmond convention were less than one percent of the people who claim to be Republicans in Virginia. Yet I don’t recall them complaining when only 5,556 delegates to the Democrat National Convention in 2012 approved a far left platform way out of the mainstream of American thought. (I hope the WaPost has not reverted to the practice of only counting 3/5ths of a Republican for apportionment purposes as Democrats did during slavery.)

Virginia conservatives have provided voters with a clear choice in November: A Republican ticket composed of social and government conservatives versus whatever opportunists the Democrats have handy.

The media will just have to cope with the fact that Jackson’s nomination has ruined what was to be the favorite headline this fall: VA Republicans – Whiter Than White; Righter Than Right.

It’s Always Christmas If You’re a Politician

virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli brandishing one of the forms he forgot to fill out.

Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli brandishing one of the forms he forgot to fill out.

What is it about an elected official that compels rich people to want to give him gifts? Do they look needy? Hungry? Depressed? Is there a secret gift registry of which I’m unaware? Could it be a mentoring program where plutocrats adopt a middle–class governor or attorney general and show them how capitalism has paid off? Sort of a rescue program except no Labradors are involved?

Any of those reasons are an improvement over the suspicions of my wife. She believes the gifts are given because the recipients hold high public office and it might come in handy for a rich person to have a governor or attorney general in their pocket. So she is disappointed in Ken Cuccinelli. Again. And that goes for me, too.

For those of you who don’t follow Virginia politics, Ken Cuccinelli is the Tea Party–backed Republican attorney general who filed the first court case against Obamacare. He also fought the EPA on job–killing regulations. And the AG filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get the papers “global warming” guru Michael Mann used to get grants while he was at the University of Virginia.

I was first disappointed in Cuccinelli when he broke a promise to serve two terms as AG and not run for governor after his first. Details are here. Now Cuccinelli and Gov. Bob McDonnell are enmeshed within a gift controversy brought on in large part by McDonnell’s failure to use his head and Cuccinelli’s failure to use his ballpoint.

The nexus of the scandal is Jonnie R. Williams, Sr. who runs Star Scientific, a former cigarette company that has progressed from selling cancer to marketing Anatabloc a nutritional supplement made from a substance found in tobacco. Anatabloc is used to fight inflammation and its also contained in facial cream where it may help to remove wrinkles caused by smoking.

Williams is a new BFF that both Cuccinelli and McDonnell have known for about five years. (Hmmm that’s just about the time they’ve been in office, but it must surely be a coincidence.) Williams gave $15,000 to McDonnell’s daughter so she could pay the ‘Let ‘em Eat Cake’ catering bill at her wedding. Williams has also given the family free use of his vacation home at Smith Mountain Lake and let the governor drive his Ferrari back to Richmond from that same vacation spread in Western Virginia. All told William’s publicly disclosed gifts to McDonnell and his political action committee come to over $120,000.

And it’s all perfectly legal. I just hope the wedding catering smelled better than the rest of the gifts. In fact, the catering started the scandal ball rolling, because McDonnell didn’t declare the gift, since it went to his daughter. I mean, what’s out of the ordinary about some BFF you’ve known since 2009 dropping 15 gees on your daughter’s wedding? It sure beats a blender.

Now FBI agents are investigating the relationship between the governor, his wife Maureen (who has promoted Anatabloc) and Williams to see if there was a quid pro quo.

Once the media started following the foie gras the trail led to Cuccinelli. He hasn’t had any weddings recently — although with a brood his size it’s only a matter of time — but he did invest in Star Scientific stock after meeting Williams. I’m sure he thought it was a great opportunity. Lance Armstrong and Barry Bonds had such great success with dietary supplements, what could possibly go wrong?

Cuccinelli also stayed at the Smith Mountain vacation home twice, accepted $6,700 worth of Anatabloc, took a flight to New York, borrowed Williams’ boat, took a trip to Kentucky, stayed at Williams’ house near Richmond, ate a Williams’ provided turkey dinner and was surprised to discover he owned over $10,000 in Star Scientific stock.

Many of these gifts and the stock were not reported promptly on disclosure forms. It’s appears Cuccinelli is a lawyer, but he’s not good with details and paperwork.

The worst part of this mess is that none of it had to happen. Conservatives were convinced Cuccinelli was different. He wouldn’t fall prey to the pitfalls of influence and influencers. But he did. And because he did, Cuccinelli is dealing with a campaign issue that never should have happened and one that sullies his reputation for ethics and honesty.

Delusional Democrats are fantasizing that the controversy may force McDonnell to resign. This is very unlikely, not the least because the events don’t rise to the level of a major scandal. But if McDonnell did resign, it would restore a disenchanted Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling’s faith in Providence. At the stroke of a pen Bolling would get to be governor without running a primary campaign, and even better he would be governor before Ken Cuccinelli!

Meanwhile I have some practical gift receiving advice for Cuccinelli and other conservative politicians who — I hope — don’t want to lose touch with the Americans that elected them:

  1. Don’t take a gift from any ‘friend’ you made after you left high school unless it comes with a receipt, preferably from Wal–Mart.
  2. Don’t buy stock in a ‘friend’s’ hot company if you didn’t know him in high school.
  3. Even if you knew him in high school, don’t take any gifts from a company with ‘science’ in the name that isn’t run by someone in a lab coat.
  4. Don’t take a gift from any ‘friend’ who owns a company that the SEC, FEC, IRS, FDA or the PTA is investigating.
  5. Don’t hitch a ride on an airplane, yacht or submarine owned by a stranger you met after high school, unless you all chip in for gas.
  6. Don’t accept free vacation housing from a ‘friend’ you met after high school, unless it’s a tent.
  7. Don’t offer to valet park a ‘friend’s’ Ferrari if you have to drive it more than 200 yards.

Marco Rubio and the Magic Beans

Immigration-CautionShortly after last year’s presidential defeat and at the beginning of the Great Republican Panic of 2013, I wrote here about what a bad idea morally and legally amnesty for illegal aliens is. Guess what? It still is.

In a sane universe “immigration reform” would be specifically designed to benefit the citizens of the nation passing the law, rather than be a law that only benefits non–citizens who came here illegally at the expense of the citizens.

But that hasn’t stopped Sen. Marco Rubio (R–FL) from eagerly joining the Gang of Ocho’s efforts to pass a “comprehensive” amnesty bill. After being trapped in a room with both Sen. Chuck Schumer (D–Publicity) and Sen. John McCain (R–Media Loves Me, Unless I Run for President), Rubio has evidently developed Stockholm Syndrome. He claims this amnesty bill does not have any amnesty provisions. Instead is has a “path to citizenship” where the length of time before amnesty kicks in somehow makes amnesty more tolerable for conservatives.

Yet I have a simple test for supporters of any immigration reform bill. If removing the portions that deal with granting citizenship to people who came to the US illegally causes Democrat support to vanish, then what you have is an amnesty bill and not a “reform” at all.

During her testimony before Congress in support of the bill, Sec. of Homeland Security Janet Incompetano said the 844–page bill has many benefits, including stricter accountability for employers and improving border security. Yet you can accomplish both of those goals without legalizing 12 million illegal aliens and doing so might just reduce the number of illegals here now.

Opponents of actually enforcing immigration law claim the government can’t deport 12 million people, but no one I know is advocating that. In fact this is one of the areas where I prefer a libertarian solution: the illegals got here on their own without government assistance and they can leave on their own, too.

In a true magic beans moment, Rubio is so proud of the 13–year “path to citizenship” — as if a slow motion surrender to illegality is an improvement over an immediate surrender. Maybe he thinks during this cooling off period Republican outreach teams can contact the newly legal and persuade them they are really naturally conservative and should be voting GOP.

But I’ve got news for Marco: it’s not going to happen. His 13–year path is going to be the civil unions of the immigration fight. As soon as Rubio’s bill is passed Democrats will begin complaining about second–class citizenship for brown people. As Neil Munro has written, the bill already has 400 “exemptions, exceptions, waivers, determinations and grants of discretion and even better will be administered by the OBAMA ADMINISTRATION!

We will be lucky if the 13–years lasts 13 months.

Democrats will get their immediate temporary permanent status for the illegals and the increased border security will never happen. The same goes for employer sanctions.

We heard the amnesty and border security shuffle when Reagan granted amnesty to 3 million (Gee, wasn’t he a Republican?). Amnesty was immediate and border security was absent, which is why we are preparing to legalize 12 million now.

The fines Rubio dreams of (much like the $1,500 fines the Commonwealth of Virginia was going to impose of indigent drunk drivers) will never be collected and the English proficiency test will be found to be culturally insensitive. Instead, illegals will get a waiver for the fine and if they can look at two photos and distinguish George Washington from Simon Bolivar their English is good to go, too.

You think I’m exaggerating? Ha! The Democrats in charge of the District of Columbia are preparing to introduce legislation that would require pharmacies, and possibly doctor’s offices, to provide translators — at business expense — for any customer or patient who does not speak English. That in a nutshell (apt phrasing, that) is the Democrat philosophy on immigration.

And by the way, I was being conservative when I said 12 million illegals would join us. According to NumbersUSA it will be more like 33 million, because “comprehensive reform” doesn’t manage to reform one of the major failings of current immigration policy called “family reunification.”

You probably think unifying families makes sense, because parents should be able to bring their children into the country. But you are wrong, that policy would be the reform. Current Democrat policy defines “family” as grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, kissing–cousins, step–relatives and BFFs. So 33 million may be a conservative estimate.

Tea Party favorite Rubio is flacking for a bill that will only encourage more illegal immigration in the future, will not provide increased border security, will cost taxpayers billions, will depress wages for lower income workers, will burden the welfare system and — according to a report from Emily Schultheis in Politico — give Democrats 11 million so new voters, which is about the voting population of Ohio.

This leaves conservatives with a choice of opinions regarding Marco Rubio. One, he’s either too gullible to ever be allowed in the Oval Office or two, he’s a Democrat sleeper agent.

Umbrella Organizations Always Leave Taxpayers Wet

government wasteSen. Tom Coburn (R–OK), a truly great American, has released his annual report on waste, duplication and redundancy in federal programs. Evidently inspecting catfish is both a vital and difficult task, because it currently takes three different federal agencies to do the job. And as soon as someone can reliably map the location of catfish sex organs, TSA is interested in participating, too.

An editorial in The Washington Examiner has more detail, but what’s important for my purpose is the total figure. If the savings recommendations in Coburn’s last three waste reports had been implemented, taxpayers could have saved almost $300 billion. That’s enough to pay for Obama vacations and Joe Biden’s shotgun shells for the rest of their term.

The problem with figures that large is it doesn’t bother the spenders because it’s not their money and it depresses the taxpayer because he can’t imagine how one would obtain such a sum or make a dent in paying for it.

But don’t despair. We have a waste and duplication situation in Prince William County, VA — where I live — that is easy to comprehend, since it’s one thousandth the size of the fed’s situation, and will give useful training in the art of not wasting taxpayer dollars, because the situation is replicated all across the US.

Currently the county pays almost $300,000 in annual dues to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government. There are 22 governing bodies that participate and the organization is supposed to have a unified voice on area matters that include police, fire, transportation, homeland security, growth planning and environmental concerns. There is probably a similar organization near where you live.

The WaPost describes the group thusly, “Politically, the council’s members range from very liberal Democrats to tea party Republicans. It’s able to get things done by sticking to non-controversial issues. Those include collecting traffic data and improving communications among emergency personnel after shortcomings were revealed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.”

What this means is the only projects COG supports are those no one in their right mind would oppose anyway. So why are PWC taxpayers sending $300,000 a year to an organization that does what PWC elected officials are already paid to do anyway? Can’t our homegrown pols represent our interests?

These area umbrella organizations (there’s an apt metaphor: taxpayers get soaked while the organization employees are high and dry) only serve as resume builders for politicians who are eager to move up the electoral ladder and “showing leadership” on a regional basis looks impressive to gullible reporters. COG only serves to increase the size of government and the busybodies it enables.

Until quite recently, if a PWC politician wanted to adhere to a genuine conservative philosophy and withdraw from COG he would have been roasted as a know–nothing reactionary. But that was then, COG, thanks to the hubris of its leftist Democrat members, has now given conservative jurisdictions an excellent reason to withdraw and stop paying dues.

Last month the COG board of directors — with three leftist Dems in charge — voted in favor of calling for a federal ban on assault weapons and armor-piercing bullets, a firearm purchase waiting period and tracing of guns. In MD, DC and Alexandria supporters broke out in drum circles to celebrate. But PW, Loudoun and Frederick counties and Manassas leaders were outraged and collectively threatened to withhold more than $500,000 in dues.

These Virginians said the board had overstepping its bounds and the policy was “inappropriate and disrespectful” of the views of individual localities. Regional cooperation did not include passing federal law and revising the Constitution and was not why COG was created.

It makes you wonder doesn’t it? For that matter, what is COG’s position on Joe Biden’s warning shot or Michelle’s bangs?

The PWC Board of Supervisors was angry enough to pass a resolution opposing COG’s gun control advocacy, with only one member voting against. Frank Principi (D–Ambitious) is one of two PWC members of the COG board and the former COG chairman. Principi didn’t bother to attend the meeting where the gun resolution was passed, but he did find time to vote against the county’s resolution condemning it.

Principi claims he supports the 2nd Amendment — as long as it’s confined to a dusty old parchment — but he didn’t want the board to “pile on.” Principi — a noted profile in political courage in his own mind — blamed politicians who are angling for statewide office for making the COG resolution an issue. What Principi didn’t say was that if he had voted in favor of the county resolution it would have been the kiss of death in a Democrat primary, where the vote would be characterized as ‘caving in to the NRA.’

Feeling the heat, COG backtracked last Wednesday and rescinded the resolution and returned the issue to a committee for further study.  Principi was motivated enough to actually attend that meeting where he voted in favor of both. This is fine, a positive step, but PWC should still head for the door. There are plenty of areas in the county where 300 grand would be better spent.

Fairfax County Board Chairman Sharon Bulova (D–Left), still surprised by the uproar, commented, “I’m hopeful we can find some language, some middle ground, where COG can be a voice on this issue of gun violence, gun safety, safety in our schools and mental health. All of these are appropriate subjects for COG to discuss and come to some consensus on.”

I could not agree more. How about passing a resolution honoring a Fairfax County organization called the National Rifle Association? It’s been doing excellent work on all these issues for years.

A Voter in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Focus Group

Rino Poster Edited

The new, focus–group tested GOP logo,

The new, focus–group tested GOP logo.

It’s remarkable that the political party allegedly joined at the hip with Big Business has such an incredible problem with a basic operational task like marketing. Somehow when it came time to divvy up the commercial sector, the Republicans got all the boring accountants, while the Democrats scooped up all the cool art directors.

Confining Republican outreach efforts to shareholder annual meetings and Daughters of the American Revolution gatherings is obviously not working. We’re going to have to get a “twitter” and compose some “twits” er, “tweets” if the GOP intends to become the happenin’ party.

Fortunately, great minds are at work on this project and they have arrived at a solution. Over the next few years the GOP will be including up a storm. According to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, the party will be establishing “swearing–in citizenship teams” to approach the newly naturalized with the new, improved GOP message.

I have this mental picture of first contact that’s a combination of ‘The Andromeda Strain’ and ‘Alien’ but I’m sure that’s too harsh. No doubt the teams will be so earnest they squeak when they walk and they will have memorized an “elevator speech” for new citizens who get within range. Assuming Organizing for America and the SNAP people have not hogged all the good tables at the accompanying trade show.

But that’s not all, this “not your grumpy old man’s GOP” will also reach out to minorities who didn’t get here by crossing a river. Priebus says, “We will talk regularly and openly with groups with which we’ve had minimal contact in the past: LULAC, the Urban League, the NAACP, NALEO, La Raza. And we will take our message to college campuses, with an especially strong focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” And I suppose if the communists were still around, Republicans would have coffee with the KGB.

What he expects to accomplish by reaching out to the already convinced remains to be seen. I don’t recall being approached by a Honda salesman as I drove off the lot in my new Infiniti. A more useful approach to me would be contacting minority homeowners in suburban neighborhoods that are mixed racially and politically. Your chances of finding an open mind are vastly greater there than at the NAACP or Urban League.

Still, even if you find an open mind, there is the problem of party beliefs that are still a source of embarrassment to many in GOP leadership.

Which is why Priebus’ handpicked committee has come up with a solution. All national Republicans have to do to achieve presidential success is become Democrats, or more specifically Southern Democrats, since we won’t agree to spend as much money as the Yankee Dems.

And current or holdover members of the GOP base will be permitted to retain some conservative social views, but we are urged to avoid discussing our feelings in polite company or any gathering that includes representatives of the news media.

It’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” applied to an entirely different demographic group.

Specifically, the Priebus group claims it is “not a policy committee” and then recommends “comprehensive immigration reform,” which is code terminology for amnesty; and a change in “issues involving the treatment and the rights of gays,” which is code for quit criticizing Adam and Steve if they want to get “married.”

This is beyond strange. NRC big thinkers want the party to work hard to accommodate the views of two demographic groups that have no interest in voting for us so we will what? Get kinder treatment on MSNBC? Meanwhile the people composing the base of the party are alienated by their betters.

Undocumented Democrats are not going to vote Republican after receiving amnesty. You can get the details here. And homosexuals are not going to give up the best tables at trendy restaurants so they can break bread with Ralph Reed at CPAC. And speaking of Ralph, who is the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, he takes a dim view of the report, If the Republican party tries to retreat from being a pro-marriage, pro-family party, the big tent is going to become a pup tent very fast.” And he adds, “I am concerned that some in the party are going wobbly on this issue,” which is putting it mildly.

As for amnesty, a Washington Post/ABC poll found that Republican party members opposed amnesty by a margin of 60 to 35 percent, with 5 percent refusing to answer since the question was not in Spanish.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, proposes to hit the GOP where it hurts when he says, “”I would not give my money to the national party, to the national Republican Party. I would not give it to the RNC, I would not give it to the Republican Senatorial Committee nor to the Republican Congressional Committee,” which pretty much covers all the bases.

Good advice, particularly when you consider the recent lawsuit filed over entertainment problems in connection with last summer’s Republican National Convention.

Now I’m not referring to the run–of–the–mill lawsuit involving some rookie advance man who plays an unauthorized version of In–A–Gadda–Da–Vida at a rally to get the crowd fired up. (Usually the 17–minute album version, since even the most ancient, establishment Republican officeholder can shuffle up to the stage in that length of time.)

When Tom Petty or Heart or John Mellencamp demands a GOP candidate stop using their song, it’s not necessarily due to a disagreement on the issues. (Buying weed has taught them all about the free market and specifically the theory of supply & demand.) It’s because they know if the public starts associating their music with the accountant party, instead of the art directors, any hope of a revival tour will dry up.

No, I’m referring to the lawsuit that reveals the people in charge of entertainment at the convention offered Lady Gaga $1 million to perform.

For those readers who still miss Anita Bryant and may not be up to speed on Gaga, here is a brief rundown of her background. She’s a homosexual activist who supports homosexual marriage, the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” enjoys performing in her underwear before large crowds and appears in blasphemous music videos.

And if that wasn’t enough, she thinks the rich don’t pay enough taxes!

There is no tactful way to say this. These people are idiots and have no idea what they are doing. Money given to them is by definition wasted. Even if by some stroke of misfortune Gaga had agreed to appear, there is no telling what she would have done once she was on stage.

That would have been a real two–fer: national laughingstock and object of scorn by the delegates. Besides convention delegates don’t go to hear Lawrence Welk or Wendy O. Williams. They go for the privilege of waiting in security lines, sitting on uncomfortable chairs, wearing silly hats, listening to obscure arguments and being bored by long–winded speakers.

Besides the panic currently being experienced by national GOP leadership is misplaced. As Michael Medved has helpfully pointed out the Republican vote among 18 to 29 year olds increased to 37 percent, a significant boost from 2008’s 32 percent. Voters under 30 of the white persuasion went for Romney over Obama by a strong 7 percentage points. It was minority Obama generating sympathy and solidarity among minority youth that won him that demographic’s vote. A situation unlikely to be repeated when the white brothers: Hillary or Joe, run in 2016.

Finally, if simple outreach and individual contact is the root of the problem, why don’t we try marketing the existing recipe before we start tinkering with the product?

Meanwhile, if Chairman Priebus wants to generate excitement and attract more and trendier youth to GOP conventions, do what they do in Trinidad: Serve rum backed with plenty of drums.