Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bainbridge Forum Exposes the Character of Leadership

by Johnny Walker

@KingstonJW on Twitter

There was a lot to be said on Bainbridge Island last Tuesday night, as candidates for the 23rd Legislative District in Washington State, and the Kitsap County Commissioner race pitched their ideas and pitted themselves against each other in the 10th annual candidate forum hosted by American Legion Post 172. While I wrote last week that candidate forums were grueling and predictable, I’m compelled to correct myself today. This one was a sparker.

For anyone listening, the political differences were obvious and sometimes heated. Democrat and Republican contenders lined themselves up along predictable philosophies on how to resolve our State and County’s pressing fiscal problems, but what stood out more than usual was how the tone plus content of individual candidates opened windows to their personal character and leadership styles. This is important when voters ask themselves, “how did we get here?” and “how are we moving forward?”

Representative Sherry Appleton, who emotionally over reacted to a small group that began applauding her report of increasing State budget cuts up to 10.5%, hurled the first glaring shot over the brow. “I can’t imagine that anyone would clap about that,” she said, “that human services would be decimated – and you clap?” The problem with Appleton’s challenge is fundamental. The audience had completely ceased its very brief applause before she uttered the potential impact. Not only did Appleton misread the audience response, she used the opportunity as a springboard to attack the audience, intimidate them, and declare her moral superiority over those who might dissent. This is problematic and consistent with Appleton’s leadership style.

Appleton went on to say that she did not understand the mindset that would decimate health care and, “My thinking is that there are people who need help and that’s what government’s job is, is to help them.” While vaguely true, Appleton’s statement conveniently dismisses that her primary role is not services, but to protect individual rights, and that her self proclaimed moral superiority is secondary to the will of the people.

Article I Section I: Political Power (Washington State Constitution): All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.”

There is nothing in the Article that gives government a blanket charter to simply deliver services according to some undefined moral code. To be clear, Representative Appleton is not merely misguided in her priorities, she is unapologetic. “It will haunt me if someone dies on my watch,” she says, because “we’re not funding it.” And later, “If we have to raise a tax so that somebody will be safe, I will vote to raise that tax.”

As we look into the window of how Sherry Appleton has performed in her Representative role, we can see that the intentions that make her a wonderful person are also the intentions that have put Washington State at grave financial risk. She is the problem and not the solution. She has demonstrated clearly that she will tax and spend according to her own moral code, regardless of constitutional principles, and will unapologetically hinder the speech of the people, even to the point of falsely mocking them. Is this the kind of leader that Washington needs today? I hope not.

A very fine orator, Representative Christine Rolfes is much more subtle in her defense to win a second term but still clear about her guiding principles. Referring to her accomplishments while in office, she told the audience, “we’ve led in this area a progressive agenda,” self-identifying and clearly aligning left of mainstream. She articulated an impressive list of services she has supported that were the result of a tax and spend, progressive, philosophy. While she did a great job of describing the difficulties in financial management during hard times, she avoided the simple truth that she helped put us in those hard times with unsustainable budgeting.

One of the most telling glimpses into Christine Rofles’ character; however, was her delight in baiting the competition at a personal level. I believe she completely jumped the shark when she sought to dismiss challenger James Olsen’s community service through his church. This level of arrogance should be a red flag to any Christian voter because it implies that community service through a religious organization is somehow not as valid or is secondary to a purely secular activity. For those who believe Godly concepts would be beneficial to government leadership, then Representative Rolfes spells trouble. It was also mean-spirited, obviously designed to bait Olsen’s more transparent temperament. Rolfes’ emphasis on the ability to broadly collaborate while dismissing religious community value is indefensible.

In theatrical terms, the window to Josh Brown, incumbent and candidate for the open Commissioner’s seat in Kitsap County, was more of a dark comedy than the potential tragedies I’ve inferred with the other incumbents. On one hand I have to admire this guy. He is younger and better looking than I am, smart and seems to have a good grasp of the facts. Why then did he have to take cheap shots at challenger Abby Burlingame?

I admit I chuckled when Burlingame answered Commissioner Brown’s first question of the night – it was about her experience. Had this question come from the audience, it would have been perfectly acceptable but the truth is that Josh Brown was less qualified to enter office on his campaign four years ago than Abby Burlingame is on her first try this year, and she told him so. It was arrogant and silly, perhaps belying his youth, but an unnecessary cheap shot regardless. Is this a window into his typical management style? Brown seemed to take a step backward about his relative experience in closing remarks when he said, “its not lost on me that four years ago, a lot of people thought that; does Josh have the experience?” This will be thought of as a good recovery by advisors but voters shouldn't forget the first shot. I also didn’t miss that in opening remarks he stumped experience, education, and background, while in closing remarks he changed it to education, experience and, “frankly, integrity.” What does this mean? Was it political savvy adapting to his failed attack on Burlingame’s experience, or was it another cheap shot introducing integrity as a potential campaign issue?

In this election cycle, perhaps more than others, polarization of positions seems relatively apparent. What is left is the middle. One way for the middle to decide is to ask, “how did the State and County get to where they are, and are the same people who brought us there willing or able to lead us out?” The messages and actions of Representative’s Appleton and Rolfes make it pretty clear that they are the problem and unlikely to change in ways that can successfully lead a new course forward. While they acknowledge the need to slow down, there is no hint of changing direction.

I’ve less experience with Commissioner Brown but I value Abby Burlingame’s passion to prioritize core services and take a less elitist posture, something the Commissioner appears to struggle with. Brown should note that it was Appleton and Rolfes’ education and experience that put our State at risk. How he manages transparency and integrity through the course of his campaign may well be a deciding factor for voters.

Know your candidates and vote. November is coming.

Photo Center Left: Chaplain Nels Johansen confers with Bainbridge Island resident during a break in the action. The forum was held at American Legion Post 172 on Bucklin Hill Rd., Bainbridge Island, WA

Patty Murray Plays The Politics Of The Past

Buying votes from the taxpayers with their own money (after taking a considerable handling charge), and fattening her donors besides.
From today's Seattle Times:

When Sen. Patty Murray announced earlier this month that she had inserted $57 million in earmarks in the 2011 defense appropriations bill, she touted the two dozen projects as critical jobs-creation spending.

It was another election-season reminder of the 18-year Democratic incumbent's ability to steer federal dollars back home as a member of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

What Murray didn't mention is that at least nine of her defense-bill earmarks — worth $19.5 million — were awarded to clients of her former aides who now work as lobbyists.

At least 17 former Murray staff members have slid over to the lobbying sector, capitalizing on insider knowledge and connections to win favor for their clients, including lucrative earmarks.

They include Murray's former chief of staff, Rick Desimone, who landed a $1 million earmark in the defense bill for a Canadian medical company with offices in Kirkland. The bill was an even bigger win for Shay Hancock, Murray's former lead defense staffer, who lobbied for three firms that got $7.5 million in earmarks.
Murray's clout as an appropriator helps explain why lobbyists and their firms — including those that employ her former staffers — are among her biggest campaign contributors.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Patty Murray: The Stupidest Person In America

Ann Coulter follows up on yesterday's interview with a column.
Murray, whose college major was "recreation," got her start in politics fighting to save her own useless government job.

The laughably apocryphal story she tells is that she was told by some crusty old male politician, still unnamed decades later: "You're just a mom in tennis shoes -- you can't make a difference!" (You know how politicians love gratuitously insulting their constituents.)

This stuck in Murray's craw and so, filled with righteous anger, she ran for state office and won as a "mom in tennis shoes."

The real story is that Murray was teaching a "parenting" class at a community college, which no one was taking, so the state decided to cut it. Murray's reaction was, "Wait -- I'm a public employee! You have no right to fire me!"

She wasn't a parent upset that her child's school was dropping an art history class. She was a deadbeat public employee who didn't want her job cut. No one was taking her course, but she thought taxpayers should be required to pay her salary anyway.

Fighting to keep your own cushy job isn't a point of principle; it's evidence of a narcissistic personality disorder. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kitsap Patriots Plan for Staying Power

by Johnny Walker, CPP
@KingstonJW on Twitter

Where the first meeting of the Kitsap Patriots Tea Party was more of a bash on Silverdale’s waterfront, bedecked with music, hotdogs and a full-blown candidate forum, their second meeting on September 27th at the Silverdale Beach Hotel concentrated on planning for the future. In a more sober spirit of assembling for the hard work of developing a local organization to build on, about 100 Partiers applied themselves to nominate leadership, clarify its mission, and talk earnestly about the coming elections in November.

“We are non partisan, constitution oriented, non discriminatory, action oriented, performance monitoring Americans. We are neither right nor left, we are the center about which all others flail.” Jack Hamilton

Opened with the Pledge of Allegiance, and followed by the Reverend Duncan Clark with a prayer written in 1791, the evening was kicked off by local conservative commentator Jack Hamilton who shepherded attendees through the steps to formalize a leadership hierarchy, nominating Directors of the Board and other positions. Perhaps the most notable nomination was that of Keli Carender, who remained uncontested for President. It seems an appropriate honor for this group that they would become the beneficiary of her energy and leadership. After all, she started it all with a 2009 protest in Seattle. After setting off a nation-wide firestorm of conservative activism, it is good to see her appreciated at home with a local following. Welcome back, Keli.

During Q&A, I asked Keli how she would respond to a recent national interview with Van Jones, who said that people should fear the Tea Party movement for what could happen were they to “actually be in charge.” In typical no fear fashion, Keli suggested it was Van Jones who is afraid. “People fear the righteous,” she said. “Van Jones has a lot of power” and “people are going to put power back where it belongs.” “It must be scary for him,” she said, and more directly to Van Jones the person, “I’m glad you are frightened.” Keli reminded the audience, “We are finally fighting back; fighting for individual liberty and justice for all.” About the future of the movement after November, Keli said, “We learned our lesson.” After a celebration and a short rest, “maybe a day, we are going back to work” and “be on them like glue!” “This election is just the first tiny little step…” I like follow through leadership, don't you?

Also in attendance for a keynote presentation was Trent England of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. He gave a dynamic speech applying historical anecdotes with the political challenges of our time - always a good educational technique. Clearly a master of his subject matter, Trent walked the audience from the Boston village green to November 2010 as a work of patriotism and sacrifice by “simple people” who did and must continue to do the things that have to be done against what may seem the greatest of powers. To the delight of the audience, Trent’s daughter, Rachael age 5, recited a part of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (pictured left), to emphasize a point.

There is so much to admire here in the Tea Party struggle against incredible odds that the political class and mainstream media thought was only a passing cause just a few months ago. And it might have been had they listened. Instead, assailed by insults and mockery, a new political revolution is in progress. It has become admirable again and entirely American to stand up to tyranny, to stand up to oppressive government, to stand in the village green and demand a voice that must be heard; to demand that their inalienable rights endowed by their creator and not the State, be not disturbed; to demand that their representatives listen to them or be replaced. Instead, there has developed a peaceful revolution where the modern militia has armed itself with words, law, and constitutional principles instead of guns. They are standing on the village green. They are voting in November. It is good to be an American.

35 Days. Know your candidates and vote. November is coming.

There Is No One Stupider In Politics Than Patty Murray

Thursday, September 23, 2010

40 Days Out: Analysis Of All The Key Senate Races!

A great article by my friend John Hawkins of Right Wing News!

As you read these run-downs, keep in mind that we have yet to reach the most crucial part of the campaign season. Over the next 40 days, the voters will be paying attention, the candidates will be spending everything left in their coffers, and you will see surprisingly rapid changes in some of these races. For the moment, however, this should give you a pretty good idea of how things stand.

Senator Murray's Miracle Bill

Sen. Murray promised her health care bill would be a miracle cure-all, not just for all Washingtonians, but for all Americans. But, as Washingtonians begin to receive their premium notices they are realizing Senator Murray's health care elixir is little more than snake oil, as it has actually increased health care costs, cuts Medicare by $500 billion, and is a massive tax hike on Washingtonians.

Articles on Democrats Running for Congress

Travis Childers
Dina Titus
Carol Shea-Porter
Ann Kuster
Harry Teague
John Hall
Michael Arcuri
Larry Kissell
Earl Pomeroy
Steve Driehaus
Mary Jo Kilroy
Zack Space
Kathy Dahlkemper
Bryan Lentz
Patrick Murphy
Chris Carney
Paul Kanjorski
John Spratt
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Roy Herron
Chet Edwards
Ciro Rodriguez
Glenn Nye
Tom Perriello
Denny Heck
Mike Oliviero
Julie Lassa
Steve Kagen
Steve Raby
Ami Bera
Joe Garcia
Trent Van Haaften
Stephene Ann Moore
John Callahan
Jon Hulburd
Jon Hurlburd
Stephen Pougnet
Lori Edwards
Ravi Sangisetty
Pat Miles
Tarryl Clark
Tom White
Matthew Zeller
Paula Brooks
Manan Trivedi
Brett Carter
Suzan Delbene
Colleen Hanabusa
Robert Dold
Cedric Richmond
Lisa Murkowski
Barbara Boxer
Michael Bennet
Alexi Giannoulias
Robin Carnahan
Paul Hodes
Lee Fisher
Joe Sestak
Harry Reid
Scott McAdams
Kendrick Meek
Charlie Crist
Jack Conway
Patty Murray
Russ Feingold
Richard Blumenthal
Joe Manchin
Chris Coons
Ron Wyden
Kirsten Gillibrand
Mike McMahon
Scott Murphy
Bill Owens
Heath Schuler
Charlie Wilson
Betty Sutton
Kurt Schrader
Mark Critz
Lincoln Davis
Rick Boucher
Gerry Connolly
Rick Larsen
Ann Kirkpatrick
Harry Mitchell
Jerry McNerney
John Salazar
Betsy Markey
Allen Boyd
Alan Grayson
Alan Grayson
Suzanne Kosmas
Jim Marshall
Debbie Halvorson
Bill Foster
Phil Hare
Baron Hill
Leonard Boswell
Frank Kratovil
Gary McDowell
Mark Schauer
Mike Ross
Dennis Cardoza
Christopher Murphy
John Barrow
Melissa Bean
Bruce Braley
Dave Loebsack
John Yarmuth
Chellie Pingree
Tim Walz
Russ Carnahan
Rush Holt
Carolyn McCarthy
Dan Maffei
Bob Etheridge
Mike McIntyre
David Wu
Jason Altmire
Tim Holden
David Cicilline
Jim Matheson
Ron Kind
Bobby Bright
Gabrielle Giffords
Jim Costa
Loretta Sanchez
Ed Perlmutter
Jim Himes
John Carney
Ron Klein
Sanford Bishop, Jr.
Walter Minnick
Joe Donnelly
Ben Chandler
Gary Peters
Ike Skelton
John Adler
Martin Heinrich

Kathy Haigh slams the Tea Party and then...

I'm posting an article written by Dinah Lee Espedal Griffey:

Kathy Haigh referred to Dan Griffey as A Tea Party Racist, then said she didn't, and then tried to get the Tea Party support after she deemed them dangerous. So what does Kathy Haigh really think? That she needs to say what ever it takes to get re-elected. From her stance on the Tea party to her stance on balancing the budget. You never know what she will come up with next...It is always changing. Lucky for her, so is her audience so she seems to get away with it election cycle after election cycle.

Tea Party 2010 These tactics are nothing new. A lot of the elected officials, such as Kathy Haigh, who do not want to be held accountable for not representing the people, excessively raising taxes, and supporting personal pet projects, have resorted to these gimicks.

What is new, is that the Liberals on the verge of loosing an election are trying to get on the good side of the Tea Party. They mention their causes and nod when they speak...but are they listening?

No. They are doing what they always do when they want to get re-elected- tell you what they think you want to hear. Come January they will not know who you are, why you are wanting input in your Government and all the promises made will be dropped on the floor to be swept away with the remnants of another election. Let's not allow the minipulation to win again. Vote for a Representative who will tellyou the truth not just what you want to hear. Vote for Dan Griffey for State House!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Judge Them by Their Actions

Johnny Walker
@KingstonJW on Twitter

Candidate forums are grueling, and I’m not talking about how hard it is on the candidates. The whole concept of sitting on cheap chairs in a hot room with a hundred people hoping to hear something new, interesting and credible from an overly large group of time-limited politicians is nonsensical; perhaps even non sequitur. Both the voters and the candidates deserve better. But so it was in the dated and dirty Silverdale Community Center this past Monday evening, as candidates from the 23rd, 26th, 35th Washington Legislative Districts and 3rd Kitsap County Commissioner District assembled for job interviews. Even the uncontested Sheriff, Steve Boyer, was on hand for questions and answers off to the side. It was a busy evening.

To be fair, the familiar, friendly, faces I saw working diligently on behalf of our hosts, the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners, did a swell job putting on a spread and helping attendees feel welcome. I’ll even credit their President for the best joke of the night. In opening remarks Tim Matthes quipped that “the problem with political jokes is that sometimes they get elected.” It was a subtle and perhaps appropriate introduction but the actual forum consisted almost entirely of predictable talking points with little time for drilling in.

One of my most interesting moments from the evening bubbled up from incumbent Democrat, Representative Kathy Haigh of the 35th District, who was the only Democrat who made it a point to reach out in a positive way to the Tea Party. During remarks from the stage, she said she had a lot in common with Tea Partiers. Considering her top Party brass and allies have spent considerable effort demonizing the movement, I caught up with her later on to clarify. Haigh asked that people should, “Judge me by my actions and not by what people say about the party.” She says she agrees with Tea Partiers on more things than not, and wants to concentrate on the things “we agree on.” That seems both collaborative and fair… and so we talked about her favorite topic - education.

Kathy Haigh clearly has a passion for education and if she could get votes based on enthusiasm alone, she would absolutely have mine. With more than two decades involved in the educational system and 12 years on the legislature, Haigh clearly has the kind of corporate knowledge that could decipher Washington’s educational beast, but there is a problem here. She and her majority party have had a lot of time to do it but haven’t. Representative Haig has some very good ideas, like reinventing the concept that kids can be held back for non-performance, 6 month entry cycles, and team teaching approaches that sadly remain conceptual to most schools today. She agrees that we may need to “blow up the system” to fix it and figure out how to get rid of bad teachers (but hasn’t a clear plan how). Representative Haigh seems quite articulate in the education business and voters should question her carefully before the final vote, but if independents are to judge her by her actions on education, it may be that she has a lot of ideas a little too late. And on other matters, Haigh voted to suspend I-960 and to increase taxes instead of reducing the size of government. This will be a hard campaign for Representative Haigh if she wants independents to judge her by her actions.

In another interesting campaign, one that could almost be tagged the “Beauty and the Beast" campaign for all of its tension, I don’t believe incumbent Christine Rolfes’ (D) experience, cool and measured presence quite outclassed her more cutting competitor, James Olsen (R) with his pointed, direct but constitutional approach to prioritizing the business of government. Frankly, any politician that seems to place a greater value on global citizenship than effective local citizenship is not deserving of my vote so Representative Rolfes loses traction here for a return seat. Yes, we may be born citizens but need to be taught how to be good citizens. We cannot hope to have good global citizens in our community without first teaching them fundamentally to become good local citizens. In consideration of the current unbalanced State budget, Rolfes also fails in her leadership and ability to make tough decisions. She should not need reminding that the State Democrats are in clear majority and have architected the current crisis through increased and unsustainable spending. Passing the buck to the governor to get them out of it instead of getting back in session to do her job is a leadership fail.

Know your candidates and vote. November is coming.

Photo center left; Rep Haigh takes a moment in Silverdale, WA for interview

Union Hires Scabs To Do Its Protesting

Minimum wage. No benefits. Wal Mart treats its voluntarily non-union employees far better than the union treats their employees.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Working Stiffed
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Octomom, Obama, and Public Assistance

Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman Guiterrez (born Natalie Denise Suleman), is popularly known as "Octomom". She is most widely known for giving birth to octuplets in January 2009.

29278, WHITTIER, CALIFORNIA, Sunday, March 15, 2009, Supposed poverty stricken mother of 14 children, Nadya Suleman finds spare funds to pamper herself at a local nail salon in Whittier. The new mother of 8 additional children lives off of charity and food stamps yet has money for Starbucks, McDonalds and even a manicure and pedicure. After getting her nails done, Nadya ran from the nail salon to her car and went home to her 6 elder children. Earlier in the day she was seen leaving the hospital where her 8 newborns are being held, she supposedly spent the night and appeared to not have gotten much rest as she fell asleep at the table while having her nails done. Photograph: Barnsley, Thompsett, PacificCoastNews.com UK OFFICE: 44 131 557 7760/7761/7762 US OFFICE: 1 310 261 9676

She is a controversial figure, having used in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in all her pregnancies. She had six prior children, was unemployed, and on public assistance when she gave birth to her eight youngest children. Octomom is a high school graduate, has a four-year college degree, and even has taken some graduate level courses.

Suleman gained much attention following the highly unusual birth of eight children. She received monetary contributions, TV deals, and has been in numerous magazine articles as well. Now that some of the initial reaction to her unprecedented situation has worn off, she apparently is spiraling back down to the same conditions which allowed her to get pregnant with eight embryos simultaneously in the first place: dependence on government run public assistance programs.

With a record-high 40 million people on food stamps in Obama's America, and free healthcare being promised in the future, what are the odds of more such Octomom-style debacles taking place?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Obama Throws God Under The Bus

Obama edits the Declaration of Independence to his liking. No reason to suffer through another banal Obama speech. Just jump ahead to 22:30.

The Failure of Conventional Wisdom

by Johnny Walker
KingstonJW on twitter

The Republican tantrum after Christine O’Donnell’s victory over nine term favorite Michael Castle in the Delaware primary helps clarify some important realities of the 2010 political landscape. Republican candidates surviving for the general election should be taking note.

  1. No, Tea Party activists are not a wing of the Republican Party. They are independents that may be just as angry at Republican failures in principled leadership as they are with liberal ideologues.
  2. Yes, the several decentralized Tea Parties are a viable and sustainable influence – more of a “we the people” campaign than Astroturf. The more the establishment ridicules or ignores them, the more powerful they will probably get.
  3. And yes, Generals and master strategists of the Republican Party have been just as naïve about Tea Party activism as the Democrats. They need to get over it, and quickly.

"Generals are notorious for their tendency to fight the last war… Sadly enough, fighting the last war, is often a losing proposition. Conditions change. Objectives change. Strategies change. And you must change. If you don’t, you lose." - Drs. Terry Madonna and Michael Young, Franklin & Marshall College, 2002 - (full article here)

In many ways, we can forgive stalwarts like Karl Rove and Charles Krouthammer for reacting poorly when their conventional wisdom was overwhelmed by the new dynamic. They are, after all, among the best of the field from the last war. Tea Party activists are decentralized and not constrained by conventional rules. They exist because conventional rules have failed them and so the play by their own. They demand to be heard, not talked down to, and have different objectives that are less about sustaining a hierarchical Party establishment for a country run by the beltway, and much more about their elected honoring principles representing them, their States, and the Constitution.

The conditions of American politics have changed. There remains a stubbornly high unemployment rate in spite of trillions in borrowed new spending, financial bailouts, and lost dreams. President Obama’s administration promised hope and change but delivered increased division through far left ideology, out of control spending, tax increases, and an abandonment of the center. Buyer’s remorse has taken hold and is growing. Republicans are not untainted but continuing to blame others is old news.

Political objectives have tightened up. It’s the economy, jobs and protecting constitutional values. It is not about transforming America with unsustainable and divisive social programs.

Strategy has changed. It is not all about compromise and being managed by backroom deals and promises of the political class. Passing bills that haven’t been read is wildly unpopular. It is no longer about hope of change; it is about actual change through the common sense of principled leadership. It is clear that Tea Party voters will sacrifice experience because experience without honoring principles is what failed them.

If Republicans want to lead the political agenda in 2011, they are going to have to do a lot more than just watch the Tea Party annoy progressives. There are no guarantees and I don’t think Tea Party activists really care whether or not you are a Republican or a Democrat. What they care about is whether or not you are paying attention to “we the people” and their priorities. Right now, it seems true that Republicans are the most likely alignment but Michael Castle will tell you there isn’t a rule that guarantees success.

If winning in November is important, the Roves and Krauthammer’s of this world should consider becoming more trusted advisors that help the inexperienced win instead of naysayers predicting doom. It might be wiser to get on the bus than get run over by it.

November is coming. Know your candidates and vote.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Truth Equals Disinformation

According to a very prominent Democrat.

Democratic Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton denies any wrongdoing, but is lashing out at Andrew Breitbart for “misinformation” after his BigGovernment.com posted audio of a questionable voicemail message she left with a lobbyist asking for campaign cash.

“The conservative blogger, Andrew Breitbart, best known for his misinformation concerning Shirley Sherrod, is trying to mislead again,” reads a statement posted on Norton’s campaign website, referencing a past clip BigGoverment published that caused an uproar. Norton, a U.S. House delegate for Washington D.C., won the Democratic nomination for the seat Tuesday.

In the voicemail posted on BigGovernment, Norton says she’s a 20-year incumbent who is “handling the largest economic development project in the United States now,” among other projects. Then she asks for a campaign donation.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Connecticut Smackdown

Richard Blumenthal once has a twenty plus point lead. But professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon is closing so fast the the Cook Report now rates the race a toss-up.

The sober, nonpartisan Cook Political Report updated its assessment of the Connecticut Senate race today, moving the contest between Democrat Richard Blumenthal and Republican Linda McMahon from Lean Democratic to Toss Up. This will add to growing dread among Democrats that Mr. Blumenthal is letting this race slip away. The change in rating will add to growing Republican enthusiasm for Mrs. McMahon as she becomes the more visible and confident candidate in the race.

Obamanomics In A Nutshell

Throwing people out of work does not increase unemployment.

The deep-water drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico has not increased unemployment in the region, says a new report from the Obama administration that was immediately disputed by Louisiana lawmakers.

The report, released at a Senate hearing Thursday, said the moratorium imposed after the BP oil spill might have temporarily cost 8,000 to 12,000 jobs on oil rigs and elsewhere. But it found no net job loss in the region, thanks in part to a big hiring push for cleanup crews and massive spending by BP on the recovery effort.

The scenario is far rosier than described in some previous reports, including an Interior Department estimate over the summer that said there could be 23,000 jobs lost from the moratorium.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tolerance and Hypocrisy of the Left

by Johnny Walker
KingstonJW on twitter

I was perusing one of my social networking sites today and became aware of a link to a site called, I’m Voting Tea Party. For those concerned about age appropriate slogans, use workplace discretion before accessing, but the site does a good job of illustrating the left’s lopsided rhetoric about tolerance. I’ve heard no condemnation about this site and don’t imagine I will. The left’s idea of tolerance is shameful and malicious.

In the past, I have messaged clear disdain for the NAACP’s unfounded racial attacks on the Tea Party movement via Twitter (@KingstonJW). From the very top of the organization, President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous has characterized Tea Partiers as racist and the NAACP website today still alleges the Tea Party’s “widespread use of racist imagery on signs and banners at Tea Party rallies across the country.” No credible evidence exists that this has ever been true but the left tolerates the lie because it serves their political agenda. The mainstream media ignores the messaging for the same reasons. As recent as last week, NAACP Director and Senior VP Hilary Shelton voiced similar allegations as he talked about a new initiative to track Tea Party racist behavior. Shelton is known to have lied on national TV about his attendance at a Tea Party event.

At least three left minded organizations, the NAACP, Think Progress, and Media Matters, are supporting a site called Tea Party Tracker.org, which encourages their supporters to “track” the Tea Party, collect, and publish evidence of their extremist imagery online. After looking at the site, it seems to me that anything the left disagrees with will be censured as extremist. So much for civil liberties and freedom to speak.

Lets look at the evidence. On one side (right), Tea Party Tracker.org cites an image claiming blacks own slaves in countries outside of the US, and another equating Obamacare to slavery. It’s not my intent to argue any merits to those messages, but I’ve heard no denial from the NAACP that blacks don’t own slaves in other countries, and it seems to me any compelled subservience is a kind of slavery. Whatever. On the other side (left), a commercial website offers up t-shirts with a variety of provocative messages including, “OBAMA won’t let my company harvest the organs of immigrants, that’s why I’m voting Tea Party,” and the similar “OBAMA won’t force Muslims to worship Jesus” t-shirt. How are these not equally offensive?

Where is the outrage? Where is the left’s vilification? It is hidden within their hypocrisy and ideology.

Of course, there isn’t any outrage or tracking and this is why the NAACP and likeminded organizations on the left are losing relevance. They are no longer credible because they have become partisan, political, and blatantly hypocritical.

Let me be clear. I was brought up in an age and environment that allows me to appreciate the insulting humor of Don Rickles without going over the edge, remembering him with some irony as Mr. Warmth. But that kind of satire and humor is not really politically appropriate today and the truth is not always convenient. Tea Party conservatives need to be on their best behavior knowing that anything the say and do will be held against them with the full force of power leveraged by now bigoted organizations like the NAACP. At the same time, they should be willing to immediately and loudly call out the left's hypocrisy when they see it.

November is coming. Know your candidates and vote.

Islam in a nutshell?

I was sent the information below today and it really does a great job of pulling together the facts about "Islamization".

As a country we were founded on the basis of giving those who suffer under the hand of those that abuse religion a chance to practice their faith without fear. However that was based on the assumption that those fleeing that tyranny were doing so to live in peace not to be part of a agenda based on violent overthrow of everything our country stands for.

Throughout history the very freedom’s our society exists to protect have been under attack by every force that feels that those freedoms should not be entrusted to mere citizens. Some take the direct approach, NAZI Germany for example, some take a more subversive tact, such as Marxism, but Islamization is the most dangerous we have ever seen.

Now this is not to say that simply being of Muslim faith in itself is bad, but when you are being used as a tool to fuel the kind of evil that has control over this movement it is going to put you in the crossfire, deserved or not. Those behind the Mosque at Ground Zero are not peaceful Muslims trying to practice their faith without the tyranny of the leadership, they are the leadership, they are not ignorant of the mission and they know that the whole point of building this Mosque is the “plant the flag” on conquered territory. If they could build it on the actual WTC they would, that is what their way of life calls for.

Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond's book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat

Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life.

Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.

Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious privileges.

When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well.

Here's how it works:

As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:

United States -- Muslim 0.6%
Australia -- Muslim 1.5%
Canada -- Muslim 1.9%
China -- Muslim 1.8%
Italy -- Muslim 1.5%
Norway -- Muslim 1.8%

At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:

Denmark -- Muslim 2%
Germany -- Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom -- Muslim 2.7%
Spain -- Muslim 4%
Thailand -- Muslim 4.6%

From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims.. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves -- along with threats for failure to comply. This is occurring in:

France -- Muslim 8%
Philippines -- 5%
Sweden -- Muslim 5%
Switzerland -- Muslim 4.3%
The Netherlands -- Muslim 5.5%
Trinidad & Tobago -- Muslim 5.8%

At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris, we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections in:

Guyana -- Muslim 10%
India -- Muslim 13.4%
Israel -- Muslim 16%
Kenya -- Muslim 10%
Russia -- Muslim 15%

After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian
churches and Jewish synagogues, such as in:

Ethiopia -- Muslim 32.8%

At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare, such as in:

Bosnia -- Muslim 40%
Chad -- Muslim 53..1%
Lebanon -- Muslim 59.7%

From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels, such as in:

Albania -- Muslim 70%
Malaysia -- Muslim 60.4%
Qatar -- Muslim 77.5%
Sudan -- Muslim 70%

After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim, such as has been experienced and in some ways is on-going in:

Bangladesh -- Muslim 83%
Egypt -- Muslim 90%
Gaza -- Muslim 98.7%
Indonesia -- Muslim 86.1%
Iran -- Muslim 98%
Iraq -- Muslim 97%
Jordan -- Muslim 92%
Morocco -- Muslim 98.7%
Pakistan -- Muslim 97%
Palestine -- Muslim 99%
Syria -- Muslim 90%
Tajikistan -- Muslim 90%
Turkey -- Muslim 99.8%
United Arab Emirates -- Muslim 96%

100% will usher in the peace of 'Dar-es-Salaam' -- the Islamic House of Peace. Here there's supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word, such as in:

Afghanistan -- Muslim 100%
Saudi Arabia -- Muslim 100%
Somalia -- Muslim 100%
Yemen -- Muslim 100%

Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons.

'Before I was nine, I had learned the basic canon of Arab life. It was me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; the tribe against the world, and all of us against the infidel. -- Leon Uris, 'The Haj'

It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Muslim populations, such as France, the minority Muslim populations live in ghettos, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which they live by Sharia Law. The national police do not even enter these ghettos. There are no national courts, nor schools, nor non-Muslim religious facilities. In such situations, Muslims do not integrate into the community at large. The children attend madrasses. They learn only the Koran. To even associate with an infidel is a crime punishable with death. Therefore, in some areas of certain nations, Muslim Imams and extremists exercise more power than the national average would indicate.

Today's 1.5 billion Muslims make up 22% of the world's population. But their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians, Hindus,
Buddhists, Jews, and all other believers. Muslims will exceed 50% of the world's population by the end of this century.

Well, boys and girls, today we are letting the fox guard the henhouse. The wolves will be herding the sheep!

Obama appoints two devout Muslims to Homeland Security posts. Doesn't this make you feel safer already?

Obama and Janet Napolitano appoint Arif Alikhan, a devout Muslim, as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano swore in Kareem Shora, a devout Muslim who was born in Damascus, Syria, as ADC National Executive Director as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).

NOTE: Has anyone ever heard a new government official being identified as a devout Catholic, a devout Jew or a devout Protestant...? Just wondering.

Devout Muslims being appointed to critical Homeland Security positions?
Doesn't this make you feel safer already??

That should make the US' homeland much safer, huh!!
Was it not "Devout Muslim men" that flew planes into U.S. buildings 8 years ago?

Was it not a Devout Muslim who killed 13 at Fort Hood?

Also: This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to finish.
Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities.
Can a good Muslim be a good American? This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years.

The following is his reply:
Theologically - no . . . Because his allegiance is to Allah, The moon God of Arabia
Religiously – no… Because no other religion is accepted by His Allah except Islam (Quran, 2:256)(Koran)
Scripturally - no… Because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.
Geographically – no… Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.
Socially - no… Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews..
Politically - no…Because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.
Domestically - no… Because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34)
Intellectually - no… Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
Philosophically - no… Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression.. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.
Spiritually - no… Because when we declare 'one nation under God,' the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran's 99 excellent names.
Therefore, after much study and deliberation....
Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. - - - They obviously cannot be both 'good' Muslims and good Americans.
Call it what you wish, it's still the truth. You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future. The religious war is bigger than we know or understand.
Can a Muslim be a positive member of society in a Christian Country?

Monday, September 13, 2010

50 Days and Counting....

I was sitting at work today browsing Facebook (hey, they let me!) and one of my friends' stsaus updates caught my eye. It read: COUNTDOWN: 50 Days Until Election Day! Some friends indicated their positive thouhgts by 'liking' it. One of the comments said, "dude you're not allowed to like your own stuff!" But I have to wonder, with only 50 days left, how can we afford to NOT like our own stuff? If we don't show our enthusiasm, and spirit, how can we expect to let the fever catch, to bring people out who crave change and get them VOTING? I realize I am taking this a bit out of the context it was meant, but it started this thought process.
50 days is not very much time- but it IS enough. You can register to vote, you can register others, you can work a booth at a fair, you can reset fallen yard signs. Call your local party or the state party and find out how to help!

So what are you going to do to 'like' your own stuff? Can you give an hour to phone bank? Can you donate the change in your couch to a worthy candidate? The smallest gifts add into the greatest one- worthy candidates to represent your needs!

Yakima Tea Party Activist Calls For Hostile Takeover of Republicans

In an email being circulated by Yakima Tea Party Activist Jere Irwin, he advocates a "hostile takeover" of the Yakima County Republican Party leadership. The 14th Legislative District features a race for State Representative between two Republicans. Incumbent Norm Johnson, and challenger Michele Strobel. Johnson is considered a moderate Republican, and voted in the last legislative session to support the controversial domestic partnership bill. Strobel is running as a conservative, and has made the domestic partnership issue a central point of her campaign.

Irwin, a Strobel supporter, is upset that the Yakima County Republican Party Executive Board has chosen to endorse the incumbent, Norm Johnson. The endorsement itself has been controversial, since some of Johnson's supporters first proposed it during the primary election. Yakima County Republicans have traditionally stayed neutral in partisan primaries, until the general election cycle. However, Washington's relatively new top-two primary system has yielded a race between two Republicans. The County Executive Board decided to make an endorsement decision anyway. In a sharply divided house, the endorsement was given to Johnson. However, the Party also decided to give $500 to Strobel's campaign as well. The campaign contribution to the candidate without the endorsement has apparently not been well received by supporters of either candidate.

In the interest of full disclosure: I have attended Yakima Tea Party functions in the past, and am a recipient of Jere Irwin's mass emails. This is the total extent of my involvement with the local Tea Party groups. I am also a Republican Precinct Committee Officer in Yakima County, but am not on the Executive Board. I do not live in the 14th Legislative District, and would have preferred that the County Party stay neutral when two Republicans are running against each other.

NOTE: Jere Irwin ran unsuccessfully for Precinct Committee Officer this year. He was defeated by Al Schweppe, a member of the County Executive Board, and former candidate for State Representative.

For those that are interested, I am posting the entire text of Irwin's email here:

Riding for Watkins with Soul

All work and no play makes for a dreary political campaign. That certainly wasn’t the case on Sunday afternoon, September 12th, as a core group of motorcyclists quick-toured the northeast section of Washington’s 1st Congressional District, finishing the 55 mile loop at a fund raising barbeque highlighted with live soul music. Following the James Watkins campaign has its benefits.

Even though the weather threatened to spit and blow a little, the ride was dry, safe, and even a bit balmy. Just like James hopes to do in Congress, he and wife Ashley lead the tour easily (and at the speed limit) without unnecessary drama. The ride started in Lake Forest Park, progressing through the communities of Canyon Park, Maltby, Woodinville, Cottage Lake, Duvall, High Bridge Rd., Lost Lake, Echo Lake, and then back through Bothell to Kenmore, where supporter Paul Hess hosted a first class reception at his home. To the delight of the arriving motorcyclists, the Queen of Ivory Soul, Miss May Palmer, greeted them with standards that could only be bested by the likes of Etta James or Aretha Franklin. Like I said, following James and crew has its benefits… they know how to have fun but also know how to get down to business.

After some dogs and food for thought, James addressed the moderate crowd with his now comfortable talking points and campaign update. While I did hear a few relatively new topics come up such as concerns for stop-loss military retention and what he calls the over-criminalization of America, the most interesting question of the night came from the host, who wanted to know why James wasn’t getting the support he needs back east and why should he support him. I’m paraphrasing but the bottom line was that Republican strategists in D.C. think that regardless of polling data showing otherwise, this left coast Congressional district may be a bit too blue for their taste. James Watkins doesn’t think that assessment is right one.

Instead of primarily relying on a dollars focused campaign, James says he is running a content-oriented and volunteer campaign that will both out-message and outwork the incumbent. Watkins feels that swing voters want good government more than ideology. He expects the independent’s vote to be critical as he continues to press strong messaging for more jobs and less government. Watkins believes DC insiders are not looking closely enough at the energy behind his 500 volunteers that will outwork incumbent Jay Inslee, who relies on heavy contributions to sustain basic tasks. I spoke with Watkins later on and asked him a little more about how he is differentiating with Jay Inslee. “Jay Inslee is a smooth politician,” he said, “He comes down firmly on both sides of the issue.” Watkins sees this as a big difference that is important to swing voters. He wants voters to know exactly where he stands on issues without prevarication.

Sidebar: For motorcyclists wanting to know, Watkins was riding two up on a 2002 BMW K1200RS Sport-Tour, and has Iron Butt cheeks to prove out his fitted seat, customized by Rich’s Custom Seats of Kingston, WA. He rides it now as a daily commuter and you are likely to see it at campaign appearances. Watkins’ first bike was a 50’s era Panhead, which may explain the smile on his face as he checked out my Glide before the event.

Know your candidates and vote. November is coming.

Photos: Top center, Watkins' caravan near Echo Lake, WA; Top Left, Watkins campaign flags on bike; Center right, May Palmer sings in Kenmore, WA; bottom left, James Watkins tries on Harley Road Glide for fit.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

James Olsen for 23rd Keynotes on Bainbridge Island

First impressions of James Olsen (R), a hardworking and passionate candidate for Washington’s 23rd Legislative District, can sometimes be a bit misleading. His direct, frank, and honest communications is not usual among politicians, could tend to unwanted controversy, and does not always lend itself to the vague middle ground that hedges a bet (or a vote). James Olsen likes to say what’s on his mind, and oft does so with a military precision learned through 30 years of Coast Guard service. But in this time where conservative resurgence seems more likely than ever, his straight talk was well received among the Bainbridge Island Republican Women, who hosted his keynote at their regular Wing Point Golf & Country Club lunch meeting, September 8th. Overall, it was a superb event, topped off with an unannounced cameo by James Watkins, Republican candidate for the 1st Congressional District.

Preaching to the choir, you would think that James Olsen’s standard talking points for driving fiscal accountability and creating job growth in Washington would have been routine, but not so. James demonstrated the energy and passion of a “fighter” on a mission, completely unlike what I’ve seen thus far out of the incumbent and apparent stealth candidate, Christine Rolfes (D). James also took advantage of new media resources to augment his talking points. In a short video, Follow the Money, compiled by his wife and advisor, Mary Dombrowski, Olsen educated the group about the size and origin of financial contributions supporting Rolfes from out of district. He then posits the question about whom Christine Rolfes may really be representing. It was indeed a thought provoking exercise. More campaign videos are available online (intro).

Among the talking points, Olsen described himself as an experienced business person who understands fiscal accountability, describing Rolfes as a “career politician who will never take the steps necessary” to move Washington out of the current economic crisis. He is “outraged at the shredding of I-960” and the subsequent passage of 77 new tax measures costing taxpayers almost $800 million dollars. “Too many taxes and over regulation is a job killer,” he said, precisely the opposite of what government needs to be doing.

The meeting did not go without controversy, however. One luncheon guest asked about Olsen’s position on pro-choice. “I am proud to be pro-life,” he made clear, following equally firm that he did not believe it his role to fight Roe v. Wade, and wanting to stay clearly within the scope of what he can directly influence in Olympia. When questioned about government subsidies for public housing and the arts, Olsen was more direct; “the State has core missions to do,” going on to note that artists need to compete just as businesses and individuals do.

As the meeting started to wind down, James Watkins managed a cameo appearance and addressed the group. In my observation, Watkins has been very skillful to stay consistently on topic but embellished this time with a special anecdote. Describing his observations at a recent Shoreline parade, he recalled an impassioned Democrat supporter who exclaimed it was patriotic to pay more taxes for more government. Watkins looked at the crowd and asked them if they wanted more government or more jobs? To the horror of the Democrat supporter, a crowd ended up chanting “less government, more jobs”. It is good to see the word is getting out.

Know your candidates and vote. November is coming.

Photos: top left, left to right, BIRW President Betsy Greene, James Watkins, James Olsen, and BIRW event coordinator Sunny Day. Left center: James Olsen

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Gregoire denies clemency for death row inmate - Spokesman.com - Sept. 8, 2010

That's what he gets for scheduling his execution so close to an election that's already looking bad for Democrats.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has denied clemency for Washington death row inmate Cal Coburn Brown.

Gregoire issued a statement today saying she found no basis to change the death sentence that was imposed by the jury.

Brown is scheduled to be executed early Friday for the 1991 torture and murder of 22-year-old Holly Washa, a Burien woman.