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Archive for June, 2010

Jon Stewart: Blame Clinton!

June 30th, 2010 19 comments

I thought I was imagining all the blame Clinton rhetoric.  Now I see I was not imagining it. 

 

I strongly suspect that Fox and Friends is going to be like the tiger who kept running around the tree until they turn in to butter.  I will never get past Gretchen explaining why her job was as important as the President’s.  Never….Never…Never….Any respect, any credibility….gone.

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Granados Column: A great leader smothered by ambition

June 29th, 2010 43 comments

Alex Granados now gives his personal opinion. Posted in its entirety from News & Messenger:

Alex Granados
Published: June 27, 2010

I like Corey Stewart. I really do. When I became editorial page editor a few years back, I went out to lunch with him. I found him to be interesting, friendly and kind. Meeting and talking with him at various times since then has done nothing to change that perception. He is intelligent, articulate and a strong leader.

Having said all of that, I find myself often opposed to some of his public actions. Now, I don’t mean the everyday aspects of governance involving the humdrum of local administration, I mean the big things. And often, it’s not even that I disagree with him. No, it’s his style that rankles me.

Lest you think I’m being superficial, let me explain.

The main issue for which Mr. Stewart is known is probably illegal immigration. He was a staunch supporter of the county’s illegal immigration resolution, and he is spearheading the fight to bring Arizona-style illegal immigration reform to Virginia.

What bothers me is how much he seems to relish the limelight, how much he seems to enjoy injecting himself in controversial topics, how much he appears to be trying to use Prince William County as a jumping off point to something bigger.

This was touched upon in an editorial Friday, but that is the newspaper’s opinion. I wanted to explain mine.

The initial Prince William County illegal immigration resolution was supervisor John Stirrup’s baby, but somewhere along the line, Stewart adopted it. He went on television, he spoke to newspapers local and national, and he raised his political profile quite a few feet in the process. The pinnacle of this came when he stepped out of a public hearing on the issue to give an interview to CNN. What better example of his putting his fame above county residents could there be?

Now, with his latest push for statewide illegal immigration reform, Stewart is once again setting himself up for national attention. Arizona’s recent legislation has brought media from around country to that one state out of 50. No doubt, if Virginia tries the same thing, all eyes will be on our commonwealth. More specifically, those eyes will focus on the ringleader of it all: Corey Stewart.

However, Mr. Stewart will ultimately have nothing to do with the passage of the legislation. It will be voted on by our representatives. But if he keeps in the public eye on this issue, the credit will go to him, not our leaders in Richmond.

I guess when you get right down to it, my problem is that I question his motives.

I talked to Stewart about his most recent push for illegal immigration reform. He prefaced his remarks by giving me a litany of accomplishments that he says the News & Messenger has overlooked. But in fairness, none of them has had his name so intricately tied to it as has illegal immigration. We have even praised some county accomplishments, but not, according to Mr. Stewart, with credit being served where due. He says that the only time we single him out is when we want to criticize something. But if that is true, it is only because he attaches his name to some issues with such prominence that they cannot be discussed without also discussing him.

Like I said, I like Mr. Stewart. He is a nice person. I even think he is a good county leader. However, I wonder if he has a little guy named “Blind Ambition” on his shoulder, periodically leading him astray. If he could learn to listen to B.A. less, I think Stewart could be one of the best leaders the county has ever had.

I mean that honestly and with respect, Mr. Chairman

I expect many of our contributors and readers disagree with Mr. Granados. Consensus here at ‘Howlings is that Stewart has given up far too much to developers after promising to do otherwise.

Additionally, Corey should play the local paper a little smarter.  How ’bout it Corey?

And finally, most people find Corey likable, funny, friendly, and just a hell of a lot of fun. Too bad he has to spoil all that stepping on the backs of the constituents of Prince William County. Corey, play to your strengths!

Categories: Corey Stewart Tags:

Paul McCartney Bashes Bush

June 29th, 2010 17 comments

On Wednesday, June 2, 2010, President Obama presented Sir Paul McCartney with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song awarded by the Library of Congress.

Unfortunately, as he thanked the crowd for his award, Sir McCartney had to make an unnecessary nasty remark about former President Bush. I am not a conservative. I am not a Bush fan. Now I am not a McCartney fan.

McCartney was being a low life. You don’t come to someone else’s country and make ugly comments about the former president. We can do it. He can’t. Wrong venue. If he’s out having some bangers and mash with his buddies, fine. If he’s in a formal setting with the current President of the United States, not so fine. It was supposed to be a happy, formal occassion, not a time to take pot shots.

McCartney should write a formal apology to Mr. and Mrs. Bush. Some things transcend politics.

Activist Judges

June 29th, 2010 34 comments

Doesn’t that mean a judge who does something you don’t approve of? Really now, be honest. The buzz words ‘interpret the Constitution’ is another one of those tricky little expressions. If all a justice had to do was to sit down and read the Constitution, then there would be no need for the Supreme Court. All interpretations and opinions not only come from reading the Constitution but also from studying other cases and what has been said about them.

Now the attack is on Justice Thurgood Marshall. People didn’t like his decisions. Therefore, he became an ‘activist judge.’ When I was a kid, all over the south there were signs that said ‘Impeach Earl Warren.’ He was probably an activist judge.

Right now, I am trying to sort out why Thurgood Marshall was an activist judge and Anthony Scalia isn’t. I think it has something to do with who likes his decisions. Just a hunch.

Elena Kagan worked for Thurgood Marshall. Perhaps she knew him better than the average bear. If his family is any indication, I can certainly understand why. Lovely people. I had the pleasure of knowing them through my employment about 15 years ago. They live locally, or at least they used to. Too bad Ms. Kagan had to hear her old boss trashed by that bunch of loser senators.

Categories: SCOTUS Tags:

Open Thread Monday, June 28, 2010

June 28th, 2010 33 comments
Categories: General Tags:

Robert Byrd, Longest Serving Senator, Dies at 92

June 28th, 2010 26 comments

 

Robert Byrd, West Virginia, was the longest serving legislator in the history of the U. S. Congress. He was loved by his constituents but he is not without controvery. In his earlier, pre-Senate days, he briefly belonged to the Klan. He publically admitted his mistake in later years but some Americans have been unforgiving and continually bring up this brief time in his career. It should not be allowed to over-shadow his remarkable career as a statesman.

From the Washington Post:

Starting in 1958, Mr. Byrd was elected to the Senate an unprecedented nine times. He wrote a four-volume history of the body, was majority leader twice and chaired the powerful Appropriations Committee, controlling the nation’s purse strings, and yet the positions of influence he held did not convey the astonishing arc of his life.

A child of the West Virginia coal fields, Mr. Byrd rose from the grinding poverty that has plagued his state since before the Great Depression, overcame an early and ugly association with the Ku Klux Klan, worked his way through night school and by force of will, determination and iron discipline made himself a person of authority and influence in Washington.

Although he mined extraordinary amounts of federal largesse for his perennially impoverished state, his reach extended beyond the bounds of the Mountain State.

As chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee on the District from 1961 to 1969, he reveled in his role as scourge, grilling city officials at marathon hearings and railing against unemployed black men and unwed mothers on welfare.

He was known for his stentorian orations seasoned with biblical and classical allusions and took pride in being the Senate’s resident constitutional scholar, keeping a copy of the Constitution in his breast pocket. He saw himself both as institutional memory and as guardian of the Senate’s prerogatives.

Most West Virginians had more immediate concerns, and Mr. Byrd strove to address them. On the Appropriations Committee, he pumped billions of dollars worth of jobs, programs and projects into a state that ranked near the bottom of nearly every economic indicator when he began his political career as a state legislator in the late 1940s. Countless congressional earmarks later, West Virginia is home to prisons, technology centers, laboratories and Navy and Coast Guard offices (despite being a landlocked state).

Critics mocked him as the “prince of pork,” but West Virginians expressed their gratitude by naming countless roads and buildings after him. He also was the only West Virginian to be elected to both houses of the state legislature and both houses of Congress.

As a young man, Mr. Byrd was an “exalted cyclops” of the Ku Klux Klan. Although he apologized numerous times for what he considered a youthful indiscretion, his early votes in Congress — notably a filibuster against the 1964 Civil Rights Act — reflected racially separatist views. As those views moderated, Mr. Byrd rose in the party hierarchy.

A lifelong autodidact and a firm believer in continuing education — vocational schools, community colleges, adult education — Mr. Byrd practiced what he preached. While in the U.S. House from 1953 to 1959, he took night classes at law schools. He received a law degree from American University in 1963 and is the only member of Congress to put himself through law school while in office.

“Senator Byrd came from humble beginnings in the southern coalfields, was raised by hard-working West Virginians, and triumphantly rose to the heights of power in America,” Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) said in a statement. “But he never forgot where he came from nor who he represented, and he never abused that power for his own gain.”
 

I have never talked to a West Virginian who didn’t have a special place in his or her heart for Senator Byrd. Senator Byrd never forgot his roots and always took care of his state. I expect West Virginia will be in mourning for a long time.

Categories: General, Senate Tags:

Not So Fast with Repealing the 14th

June 28th, 2010 25 comments

The Supreme Court has ruled to uphold gun rights in all 50 states. Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinion and the 2nd was upheld in the 14th Amendment. Isn’t that one that so many people want tweaked? Not so fast….

I am sure our readers will know more about this ruling than I. Here is your thread….

Gretchen as Important as the Prez

June 28th, 2010 9 comments

I’ve missed Jon Stewart. Maybe I have been off, but I don’t think he has been particularly funny. Last Wednesday was a different story. I was just out of commission and didn’t get it posted.

The more I hear about McChrystal, the more I think it might have been for the best. There were some incompatibilities there. The most shocking part of the segment is Gretchen Carlson’s delusions of grandeur. Now that is scary. Does she really that taken with her own self-importance?

UFB. Totally amazing.

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Shep Smith Gets Grossed Out!

June 27th, 2010 7 comments

Shep Smith loses it momentarily with Judge Napolitano for supposedly defending BP.
Go Shep! We love it when Shep loses it.

Can you believe that Napolitano tried to blame the locals for the Katrina mess?

 

Categories: Disaster Tags:

Finally, N & M Takes a Position

June 26th, 2010 45 comments

Included, in its entirety. 

From the News and Messenger:

EDITORIAL: Stewart’s duty is to Prince William County

Our View
Published: June 26, 2010
Corey Stewart, not content to let the spotlight shine only on leaders in another state, is now pushing a law in Virginia similar to illegal immigration legislation in Arizona.

Virginia’s version would, among other things, “Make it a violation of Virginia law to fail to complete alien registration documents,” according to Stewart’s website: http://www.coreystewart.com/ruleoflaw. Police officers would be required to check “in any lawful contact, the legal presence of an individual, when practicable.” Go to Stewart’s website to see all aspects of the proposed law.

The issue here isn’t whether the legislation is a good idea, it’s whether Stewart has any business pursuing it. His job is to be the chairman of the Board of County Supervisors, so what is he doing trying to change state law? That is the job of our delegates and state senators, some of whom have stated that they are pursuing state remedies for illegal immigration already. Perhaps if this were a proposal supported mainly for the good of the county, we would understand. However, arguably, Prince William County, which already has a controversial illegal immigration law, is the jurisdiction that would benefit least—despite Stewart’s assertion that some illegal immigrants who have fled may be returning.

In an interview with Editorial Page Editor Alex Granados, Stewart said that state leaders in Richmond have shown themselves incapable of doing what’s necessary.

“The legislature down there has had three years to do something, and they have done nothing,” he said.

Furthermore, he says that the attention he has received in the past as a crusader against illegal immigration will be a boon to his current effort.

“For better or worse, I have the notoriety on the issue that I can use,” he said.

And by spreading news about the proposed bill to everyday citizens, he hopes they will pressure state legislators to take action.

Stewart is right that state legislators have not found a fix for illegal immigration. But that probably has more to do with the fact that the issue is complicated than with anything else. The newspaper has never found our area’s leaders particularly fearful of controversy. Quite the opposite, in fact. And regardless, it is not Stewart’s place, as BOCS chairman, to do their job for them. He has a responsibility to Prince William County, one that cannot be effectively fulfilled when he is focused on reforming state law.

As for Stewart’s notoriety and its usefulness, he is correct. His reputation will bring attention to illegal immigration reform. However, it will also bring attention to Prince William County—attention that it does not need.

When the county went through its debate over illegal immigration years ago, a great deal of negative publicity was focused here. Perceptions of the area across the country varied widely, but no matter the opinion, the county became intertwined with controversy.

Gradually, the uproar has faded. However, with Stewart’s involvement in this new illegal immigration fight, the county, once again, will become a focal point.

In a time when local jurisdictions are battling a tough economy, Stewart should not hamstring us with a possibly negative reputation. What businesses will want to invest in a seemingly divided community? What professionals will want to move here when all they hear about us in the news relates to strife? Stewart’s notoriety might be good for illegal immigration reform, but it’s not good for the county.

Whether or not the attempt to model Virginia after Arizona succeeds, one of the main people to benefit from this will be Stewart. We have already seen with his short-lived attempt to become lieutenant governor that he has higher ambitions. We don’t fault him for that—that is the nature of political leaders. However, we have a problem with Stewart harping on issues outside the county for the sake of his own reputation, which we believe is the case here.

 

Virginia probably does need better illegal immigration laws. It also needs strong leaders to make it happen. But we don’t need Corey Stewart to do that now. He was elected to focus on the residents of Prince William County, not the state. Until he is actually elected to higher office, we would like to see him keep his focus here.