Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Kudos Mr. President

For once, he has done something right.

"Haunted by the memory of a lost opportunity to kill Osama Bin Laden before he attacked the World Trade Center in New York, US military planners have won President Barack Obama's support for a new generation of high-speed weapons that are intended to strike anywhere on Earth within an hour."

Hat tip: NoVATownHall.

Cross-posted @ WCTRC

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Roanoke Tea Partiers, Celebrate by Voting for Al Bedrosian Tomorrow

Al Bedrosian is a true conservative activist, committed to first principles, and he is running for Roanoke Co. Republican Party Chair. We need people like him in party leadership. If you live in Roanoke Co. celebrate tax day by voting for him on April 15th.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What do we do with Michael Steele…? UPDATES

After the California sex club incident, and then Steele using the race card on television, many Republicans and Conservatives are at a loss of what to do with him. Do we kick him out? Force him to resign? Let him stay – as he has insisted on doing? Make a scene?

In my opinion, Erick Erickson from RedState nails it here -

"I did not support Michael Steele for Chairman of the Republican Party, but was perfectly happy to give him a chance to prove himself. That all pretty much went out the window the moment he decided to start throwing the race card around against Republicans when feeling threatened.

If Michael Steele left tomorrow, I would not cry. As it stands now, the RNC under Michael Steele has raised a massive amount of money and spent a massive amount of money. There will not be much if any to hand over to state parties by November for the various victory funds.

That said, the GOP won in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts, draining resources along the way. If we are going to blame Michael Steele for all the bad, we should at least charitably credit him for the good too.

Were Michael Steele to leave the RNC tomorrow, what really would have changed? The incestuous culture of consultants will still be there sucking the same money from the building.

The narrative will shift to the GOP throwing out the black man. Steele would become the sympathetic victim at the hands of evil racist Republicans who really always wanted that racist country clubber from South Carolina to be Chairman anyway.

It serves no good purpose to try to oust Michael Steele right now. A two-thirds vote would be required. The votes aren't there. The process would be ugly and would be a distraction. Steele could in various ways use RNC dollars to defend himself instead of beat the Democrats. The Democrats would use the opportunity to smear the GOP even more. Pursuit of removal would be folly.

At the end of the day, though, it is not all Michael Steele's fault. A lot of the blame for things these days is being foisted up by a press all too happy to highlight Republican problems and ignore Democrat problems. Some of what is happening is within Steele's control and some of it is not. The Democrats and some Republicans have happily peddled the story about Michael Steele's incompetent management, some because of very real concerns, but some to distraction from other issues.

Here we are in April, more than a year after his election, having the same debate we had before his election — from spendthrift ways to management skills to consultants milking the RNC. All of the present problems derive from known knowns. Were the RNC leadership to replace him it would be because they are embarrassed, not because they have all of a sudden grown wiser.

And this is the Achilles heel of the whole GOP structure right now. From the Chairman of the Party to the Congressional leadership, we have in place a bunch of people who led us out of power who will lead us back into power. Sure, Steele was not there, but those he has surrounded himself with and who advise him and take donor money were as much a part of the problem as the congressional guys.

With the exception of the top of the House leadership, there is little indication that any lessons were ever learned regarding the Republican defeats of 2006 and 2008. If the GOP wins big in 2010 it will be in spite of themselves — but they'll take it, use it, and abuse it.

Again — it is April of 2010. The election is less than seven months away. We go into the election with the army we have, not the one we would prefer. We go with Michael Steele and Mitch McConnell and the rest, so suck it up and deal with it.

Don't like it? Join me in beating them in the primaries. Then we can talk."

UPDATE 9:29am: Politico reports

Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay resigned Monday, becoming the highest-ranking official to depart the committee after revelations that the national party spent nearly $2,000 at California sex club.

McKay's departure in turn prompted one of RNC Chairman Michael Steele's closest advisers to cut ties to the party – an indication that a full-scale bloodletting is under way at the troubled committee.

It should be interesting to see where it goes from here…

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How will the Student Loan provisions affect me? Part II

For some odd reason, the student loan provisions have not been debated at all over these past weeks, and when they have been discussed, they are viewed in a positive light. Those who disagree with the government takeover of yet another private sector have stayed silent. This has been shocking to me! None of our government officials have made a peep. I was thrilled, however, when the following statement was released by our very own Governor Bob McDonnell. Perhaps now some of this will be refuted.

Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on Federal Student Loan Legislation

RICHMOND- Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today regarding the federal takeover of the student loan industry.

"When the President signed the Health Care Reconciliation Bill into law this week he also simultaneously expanded the reach of the federal government deeper into yet another major industry: student loans. Included in the health care bill is an unrelated policy measure that places all of Virginia's colleges and universities and students into a federally-administered student loan delivery system. This provision was never debated. Virginia parents, students and college administrators never received an opportunity to appropriately comment on a sweeping new policy that will have an immediate impact on the citizens of Virginia and our economy.

Student loan provider Sallie Mae, a private originator of student loans, is based in Reston, Virginia. The Wall Street Journal reports that the signing of this onerous legislation will force the prompt layoffs of 2,500 of their 8,600 employees. This will mean significant job losses in Virginia where we already have a 7.2% unemployment rate. The effect of the job losses will not just be felt by those who suffer them, but will ripple throughout our economy.

The federal takeover of the student loan delivery system will take away yet more choices from American parents and students. Now the federal government will have monopoly control of the entire industry. Virginia colleges and universities must now move to the mandated federally-administered system, taking choice away from our institutions of higher learning as to which system of student loan delivery works best for their purposes. Virginia colleges and universities will have just four months to move from the current system to the federally-administered one. This will all occur while incoming college freshman are in the middle of applying for loans to pay for their higher education. It will greatly complicate matters for students and parents across the Commonwealth during an already stressful and difficult period.

The expansion of the federal government into the private sector is now occurring at an alarming pace. From the auto industry to healthcare to student loans, Washington continues to grow bigger, while the choices available to American citizens in the free market grow fewer. The legislation signed this week places the student-loan delivery system entirely in the hands of the federal government, providing fewer funding options for students and parents, forcing colleges and universities to adhere to a one-size fits all federal system in a matter of months, and again increasing the power of the federal government. It will cost a number of Virginians their jobs. And it all occurred with little to no public conversation or input by burying the provisions in a health care bill. I urge Virginia's federal representatives to seek all possible means by which this policy can be reformed."


Randy Forbes Leads Historic Congressional Church Service

In the middle of the chaos of the healthcare vote in the House of Represenatives one representative urged his colleagues to pause and do something that used to be common in the Capitol Building. That man was Rep. Randy Forbes, and on that beautiful Sunday morning he lead about 300 congressmen in a church service in Statuary Hall, the first in that place in over 130 years. He exhorted his colleagues to trust God and act on that trust.

"When we look at our Founding Fathers we don't have to ask the question 'I
wonder what would have happened if they had trusted God?" Forbes said. "They
did. Our question is 'What would have happened had they not trusted God?'"

"And the question we left them with is 100 years from today, 30 years from today what will our children be asking?" he continued. "Will they have to ask the question,'I wonder what would have happened if they had trusted God?' or will they be able to ask the same question that we get to ask: 'I wonder what would have happened had they not trusted God?'"

Rep. Forbes has always been a principled warrior in the House of Representatives, and as chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus he is unafraid to remind people what should be the source of their political convictions. I applaud Rep. Forbes for once again reminding people that Christianity must be central to this nation.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tony Perkins: Don't Give Money to the RNC

Citing concerns about the recent use of RNC spent $2,000.00 at a depraved club near Los Angeles, Tony Perkins (head of the Family Research Council) told people not to donate to the RNC. In the letter he expressed his dissapointment that the RNC is happy about their use of Ted Olson for their campaign finance lawsuit. Ted Olson is also fighting hard in California to overturn Prop 8. Mark DeMoss has already closed his checkbook to the RNC after problems earlier this year.

GOP congressional leaders seem to be disenchanted with the current RNC leadership as well. The RNC is having a hard time with fundraising already. If Michael Steele can't fundraise and work with the congressional leadership, why is he chairman again?

(I am not advocating removing Michael Steel from chairman, just curious what the answer to that question is.)

They Should Have Read the Bill...

The story of the healthcare bill was the story of backroom deals, thousand+ page long manager amendments forced on the full floor at the last moment, avoiding the committee process, etc... Al this resulted in congressman being unable to read the bill (something RPV helped Congress with), and inevitably things were surprisingly included and omitted from the bill.

The best known mistake was Democrats omission of coverage of preexisting conditions for children. There was also the exemption of House and Senate staff from the bill.

However some conservative was able to sneak in $250 million in funding for abstinence education. I'm sure Democrat activists wish that aspect had been stripped from the bill. I tip my hat to the conservative with the spine and ability to include this funding in the bill.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How will the Student Loan provisions affect me?

Legislators stuck several new Student Loan provisions into the recently passed-and-signed-into-law Healthcare Bill, but haven't had time to gloat because of trying to quell the uprising that has ensued the signing.

Because of the "brush off" method used to get new student loan provisions through, there has been immense confusion as to what really is changing and how. After a little research, I hope this can quell some of that confusion.

Q: What does the overhaul of student lending do?

A: Basically, it cuts banks out of the government-backed student loan business. Money for the loans has come either directly from the government or through private financial institutions, which have collected billions of dollars in federal subsidies to protect against default.

Under the changes, banks will no longer act as middlemen, and all colleges and universities must switch to the direct lending program by July 1. Many already have made the switch in anticipation of the new law.

Private lenders can still make student loans that are not backed by the government, and they will continue to have contracts to service some federal loans. But the new law represents a significant change in what has been a multibillion-dollar business for the banking industry.

Q: What will Obama do with the money? How will this affect students and their parents?

A: A chunk of the savings will go toward Pell Grants for college students — to award more grants and to provide larger amounts. Community colleges and institutions with predominantly minority populations also will receive funding.

Q: OK, what exactly is happening to Pell Grants?

A: More than $40 billion will go toward the grants, which are targeted toward students from low- and moderate-income families. Between 2013 and 2017, the maximum award will increase to $5,975 from $5,550. The administration also expects more than 820,000 additional awards to be made by the 2020-2021 academic year because of the changes.

Some of the money will address shortfalls in the Pell Grant program that developed because students were qualifying for more and larger grants. More than 6 million students received such grants in the 2008-09 academic year, an increase of about 50% from a decade earlier, according to the College Board.

Q: How else will students benefit?

A: Students who have low incomes or meet certain other eligibility requirements and who take out loans after July 1, 2014, will see their payments limited to 10% of their discretionary income after graduation. Current law caps payments at 15% of income.

For students who make their loan payments on time, the government will forgive the balance after 20 years, instead of 25. Public service workers — teachers, nurses, police officers and those in the military — will see any remaining debt forgiven after just 10 years of repayment.

Q: What's in the new law for community colleges?

Community colleges, which enroll more than 6 million students and are growing fast, will receive $2 billion over the next four years for a competitive grant program to provide training and education programs. The grant program was created in the economic stimulus bill enacted last year, but never funded.

Q: What about funding for institutions that serve mostly minority student bodies?

These colleges and universities will share $2.55 billion in additional funding over the next decade.

Q: Does anybody lose as a result of the changes?

A: Banks and other financial institutions. Sallie Mae, the biggest student lender, has about 8,500 employees in the student loan program and has said close to one-third of them may lose their jobs as a result of the overhaul. Sallie Mae still will have contracts to service federal loans.

Virginia Offshore Drilling: A Victory, a Smokescreen, or Both?

The big news of the day is that President Obama announced he supports drilling off the coast of Virginia. Some are viewing this as a victory for Bob McDonnell. He campaigned hard on the need to drill offshore, and use the procedes to fund transportation. The next step is to get congress to approve a bill that will give VA at least 37.5% of the royalties from the sale of the oil. If this can be accomplished VA will have found a major new revenue source for transportation.

While Virginian's are excited some House Republicans are not as excited. Rep. Mike Pence views this as a smokescreen and a vote buying move for Obama's cap and trade bill.
The President's announcement today is a smokescreen. It will almost certainly delay any new offshore exploration until at least 2012 and include only a fraction of the offshore resources that the previous Administration included in its plan. Unfortunately, this is yet another feeble attempt to gain votes for the President's national energy tax bill that is languishing in the Senate.

Bob McDonnell, congratulations on your victory. Movement on this issue from a president this liberal is certainly a pleasant surprise. Hopefully we can beat cap and trade, and still open up offshore drilling off the coast of VA.

Al Bedrosian for Roanoke Co. Republican Chairman

Al Bedrosian, homeschool dad, Republican nominee for House of Delegates in 1999, and longtime Roanoke area activist, is running for chairman of the Roanoke County Republican Committee. Al Bedrosian was an early and vocal supporter of Sen. Ralph Smith's successful primary challenge against Brandon Bell, a committed pro-life activist, and someone who is unafraid to challenge the party structure when it is capitulating on our conservative beliefs. He has also been a leader in the Roanoke area homeschool community. This is the kind of person we need running the Roanoke Co. Republican Committee. I would encourage you to read his announcement letter, and vote for him on April 15th.

What would be a better way to celebrate tax day then electing a principled constitutional conservative to chair the Roanoke County Committee? Conservatives, Tea Partiers, homeschoolers, disenchanted voters; this is your chance to do something to make a difference

Because I have a strong interest in our political system and government, I have decided to be a candidate for Chairman of the Roanoke County Republican Party. This election will be held on Thursday, April 15th, (registration begins at 6pm – the meeting starts promptly at 7pm). If you are a registered voter in Roanoke County, I need your vote. You do not have to be a republican or part of the republican party. You just have to be a registered voter in Roanoke County. (If you live in Botetourt – see note below.)

I have decided to be a candidate because I think most of the problems facing our great state and country are because Christian conservatives are unwilling to take a stand. I think the liberals/socialist in America are doing exactly what they should be doing – they are attacking the Christian/Constitutional foundation of this country. And they are doing it because they oppose what it stands for. But where are those that believe in the Christian foundation of America – and believe in freedom? Well, that is why I want to re-energize the Republican party to be what it should be --- it needs to stand for solid Christian / Constitutional principles and it needs to hold its own accountable. We have come to idolize our politicians instead of making sure they are protecting the constitution. We need to educate Americans on why socialism does not work and why our founding fathers set up the best form of government this world has ever seen. We need to get back to a time of personal responsibility and accountability and let the free markets take care of the economy, let the churches and local communities take care of the poor, and we as citizens need to be responsible for ourselves and our families and stop looking to the government for help. When we look to the government to provide more security in every aspect of our lives we lose more freedom. The time is NOW to strengthen the Republican party and hold it accountable to the Constitution. I want to do my part in making this a reality. I want to help find candidates that we can be excited about and not always have to chose the lesser of two evils.

The Mass meeting to elect the Roanoke County Republican chairman will be held on Thursday, April 15th at the Roanoke County Administration Building on Route 419 in Southwest County (near the Shoney’s and Rigazzis - 5204 Bernard Drive, Roanoke, VA 24018). Registration starts at 6pm -- The doors will close at 7pm to start the meeting (with no exceptions allowed). If you are not registered and seated at this time you will not be able to vote. I suggest that you arrive no later than 6:30 to register. This is a great experience to see how our form of government really works from the ground up. Bring your family.

Please email me and let me know if I can count on you for your vote at this meeting. Please pass this email note to your friends!
NOTE: If you live in Botetourt County– the meeting to elect a Republican chairman is on Tuesday, April 20th – I am supporting the current chairman, Doug Gimbert – let me know if you would be able to attend and vote for him.


Al Bedrosian