RPV Advance 2016

The Republican Party of Virginia’s annual Advance is this weekend, Dec. 9th- 10th, in Richmond. Special guests include Senators Tim Scott and Tom Cotton, Governor Chris Christie and former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina.

We will be there to live tweet the event. You can follow us on Twitter @RedNoVA8.

Tickets for the Advance are still available, linked here. We suggest you attend; it’s always a good time.

And without further delay, here is the most important news item of the event; the list of hospitality suites for Friday night…

advance-2016-hospitality-suites.

Still Senator Kaine First To Attack

Earlier this week a terrorist used a knife in a public attack but was shot by a cop. Annnnnnnddddddd still Senator Tim Kaine wanted to be the first to achieve political expediency by quickly tweeting a statement against gun violence. This is dangerously stupid and completely irresponsible of a sitting senator. After realizing the gross inaccuracy of the statement, Kaine deleted the tweet.

It does makes us wonder though; do the Democrats have an app set up to blast out anti-2A talking points whenever a gun goes off? Of course, this app doesn’t work in big cities where the Democrats enjoy one-party rule. Anyway, we just have to laugh at still Senator Kaine and give joyful thanks that he is not the Vice President-Elect.

Below is a pic of Kaine’s since deleted tweet.

kaine-on-guns-not-knifes.

Mattis Picked For Sec Def

President-Elect Donald Trump has announced his intention to nominate General James Mattis, Marine Corps (Ret.), for secretary of defense.

This is a great pick as General Mattis is highly respected throughout our military. His subject matter expertise on the logistical management of the defense budget is an asset. His presence at the top level of the Pentagon will surely be a morale boaster to our troops who have been asked to do an awful lot, especially over the last 15 years.

One of the many reasons we like this selection is because General Mattis is a scholar, who is a scholar because he is a humble man who reads to understand and appreciate his field of work as best he can. Below, and linked here, is an email General Mattis sent to one of his colleagues on why reading history is an important tool for the modern day:

….The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way. By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.

Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before. It doesn’t give me all the answers, but it lights what is often a dark path ahead.

With TF 58, I had w/ me Slim’s book, books about the Russian and British experiences in AFG, and a couple others. Going into Iraq, “The Siege” (about the Brits’ defeat at Al Kut in WW I) was req’d reading for field grade officers. I also had Slim’s book; reviewed T.E. Lawrence’s “Seven Pillars of Wisdom”; a good book about the life of Gertrude Bell (the Brit archaeologist who virtually founded the modern Iraq state in the aftermath of WW I and the fall of the Ottoman empire); and “From Beirut to Jerusalem”. I also went deeply into Liddell Hart’s book on Sherman, and Fuller’s book on Alexander the Great got a lot of my attention (although I never imagined that my HQ would end up only 500 meters from where he lay in state in Babylon).

Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun. For all the “4th Generation of War” intellectuals running around today saying that the nature of war has fundamentally changed, the tactics are wholly new, etc, I must respectfully say… “Not really”: Alex the Great would not be in the least bit perplexed by the enemy that we face right now in Iraq, and our leaders going into this fight do their troops a disservice by not studying (studying, vice just reading) the men who have gone before us.

We have been fighting on this planet for 5000 years and we should take advantage of their experience. “Winging it” and filling body bags as we sort out what works reminds us of the moral dictates and the cost of incompetence in our profession. As commanders and staff officers, we are coaches and sentries for our units: how can we coach anything if we don’t know a hell of a lot more than just the TTPs? What happens when you’re on a dynamic battlefield and things are changing faster than higher HQ can stay abreast? Do you not adapt because you cannot conceptualize faster than the enemy’s adaptation? (Darwin has a pretty good theory about the outcome for those who cannot adapt to changing circumstance — in the information age things can change rather abruptly and at warp speed, especially the moral high ground which our regimented thinkers cede far too quickly in our recent fights.) And how can you be a sentinel and not have your unit caught flat-footed if you don’t know what the warning signs are — that your unit’s preps are not sufficient for the specifics of a tasking that you have not anticipated?

Perhaps if you are in support functions waiting on the warfighters to spell out the specifics of what you are to do, you can avoid the consequences of not reading. Those who must adapt to overcoming an independent enemy’s will are not allowed that luxury.

This is not new to the USMC approach to warfighting — Going into Kuwait 12 years ago, I read (and reread) Rommel’s Papers (remember “Kampstaffel”?), Montgomery’s book (“Eyes Officers”…), “Grant Takes Command” (need for commanders to get along, “commanders’ relationships” being more important than “command relationships”), and some others. As a result, the enemy has paid when I had the opportunity to go against them, and I believe that many of my young guys lived because I didn’t waste their lives because I didn’t have the vision in my mind of how to destroy the enemy at least cost to our guys and to the innocents on the battlefields.

Hope this answers your question…. I will cc my ADC in the event he can add to this. He is the only officer I know who has read more than I.

Semper Fi, Mattis

Wow. Great pick.

trump-and-mattis.

Phones Down Touchdown

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was in NoVA on Tuesday night to help kick-off the safe driving campaign called “Phones Down. Touchdown.”

The name says it all. Put down the phone when you are driving and concentrate on the road. This is a real simple way to be safer behind the wheel. You can sign their pledge to put down your cell phone when you are driving through this link.

Below is a picture of Cousins with Braddock District Supervisor John Cook.

cook-with-cousins.

School Choice Wins With New Education Secretary

President-Elect Donald Trump has announced he will name Betsy DeVos as the next Secretary of Education. With DeVos we can expect more local control of schools and more freedom for parents to send their kids to an alternative choice rather than a failing school. Her website says “her political efforts are focused on advancing educational choices.” This is a big win for advocates of school choice.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse expressed his support in a Facebook post; “The nomination of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is great news for those of us who care about educational freedom, local control for parents and more opportunity for all. But it’s even better news for the millions of low-income kids who for too long have been locked out of their best shot at an education that allows them to compete.” Senator Sasse concludes his post his post with, “This is an excellent pick.”

Some conservatives expressed concerns over DeVos position on The Common Core. She irrefutably stated in a tweet that she is “not a supporter-period.”

But the left will line up, ready to stop freedom in education. Teachers’ unions have come out against DeVos and they should because, like so many supporters of school choice, she does not believe the government should have a monopoly on education.

The Wall Street Journal describes liberals’ gripe on this topic well with,

“Ms. DeVos, a prominent charter-school advocate, would enter the office at a time when traditional public schools are fighting charter schools for students, as enrollment drives state and local funding. Some school districts, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, have reported losing thousands of students and millions of dollars.
Charter schools, publicly funded campuses that are mostly privately run, are the fastest-growing educational option. Enrollment in charters rose 219% from 2004 to 2014 to more than 2.5 million students, while school-district enrollment dropped by 1%, according to an analysis of the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics.”

New York Senator Chuck Schumer took the usual Democrat line of more money solves all problems when he tweeted “Students thrive when we invest in public education, this Ed Sec pick threatens that.” More appropriately, DeVos will work to stop forced union membership, break up the idea of a government-ran monopoly on education and offer more freedom for parents in the education of their children.

A little deregulation is a move in the right direction for the Department of Education. Founded in 1867, the Department of Education did not become a cabinet-level agency until 1980, when Jimmy Carter was president. This is a case where rolling back another growth in the federal government leftover from a Democrat’s administration will benefit the states.

Betsy DeVos looks like a great selection for Secretary of Education. We are wishing her the best in her pursuit of furthering school choice, home schooling, vouchers, and charter schools. With DeVos deregulating in Washington, freedom in education finally has the legs it needs to meet its full potential.

dept-of-edu.

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is by far the best holiday on the calendar. There are three key elements to today; food, family and football.

With the best of luck to all who are trying to avoid political conversations this year, allow us to offer two topics;

1) The best way to cook a turkey is on the charcoal grill.

turkey.

2) Randy Moss had the best Thanksgiving Day game against the Cowboys.

moss-on-thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

19,000 Reasons To Be Happy

For those little snowflakes who are still too distraught from the 2016 election to rejoin society, here is something to brighten your day; the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed today at over 19,000 points for the first time ever.

The market has responded well to the election of Donald Trump as president. Since his win on November 8, the Dow has climbed over 800 points, including a 250 point bounce the day after the victory. The Trump Administration is off to a solid start.

dow-jones-at-19000.

Bell Out Of 2017 AG Race

Delegate Rob Bell announced this afternoon that he will not seek the Republican nomination for Attorney General in 2017. This announcement comes as a big surprise for the 2017 election cycle as Bell has done a lot of work laying the ground floor for a run for AG. This could be a prelude to another unpredictable year in American politics.

Here is the statement Del. Bell emailed out today;

Now that the 2016 election is over, it is time for the 2017 Virginia statewide campaigns to begin in earnest. After careful consideration, I have decided that I will not seek the position of Attorney General.

I have spent the last year traveling the state and laying the groundwork for a campaign. However, as you may know, I have two young children, one of whom has special needs. This school year has brought significant new challenges that require my personal and immediate attention. Despite my best efforts, it has become clear to me that I can’t possibly fulfill my responsibilities as a father while making a statewide run.

I am therefore ending my Attorney General campaign. I am profoundly grateful to everyone who has offered support, time, or encouragement. Unless told otherwise, I will be returning the donations I have received. Though I won’t be a statewide candidate I do look forward to strongly supporting the Republican ticket, especially against Mark Herring.

For several years, I have had the honor of serving in the General Assembly seat once held by Thomas Jefferson. I look forward to continuing my work in the House of Delegates and spending Thanksgiving with my family.

Sincerely,
Delegate Rob Bell

We thank Del. Bell for his principled service in the House of Delegates and for his work defending Virginia’s Constitution while furthering the conservative cause. We would not be surprised if Rob Bell is our pick for Attorney General at a later date down the road. Until then, we will continue to support his work in the House and wish him the best in what should be a smooth run to re-election.

bell-delegate-header.

Not A Real Protest

High School students in Maryland walked out of school today in a planned ‘’protest” the school administers knew about. Huh? The group chanted “not my president” as they skipped school in front of impotent administrators and teachers. And exactly what were they protesting? Election fraud? Civil Rights violations? Nope. Just sour grapes that their preferred choice lost, keep in mind the group had hardly any actual voters in it as most High Schools kids are not old enough to vote. Complaining about the results simply on the grounds that you are displeased with them is not a form of protest.

This kind of nonsense needs to be punished. These kids skipped school. They deserve the negative consequences of their actions. It will help teach them about free speech and democracy.

More on this here.

kids-protesting-trump.

Attack Of The More Tolerant Party

The Democrats are losing their minds right now. They just don’t understand how their brand of government and market socialism was rejected. They also just don’t understand how their intellectual bullying is both faulty and repugnant. So the special little snowflakes are taking to violence in the streets. It is absolutely disgusting.This needs to stop. Hillary Clinton lost for several big reasons and a ton of small ones. Those reasons will be dissected by everyone including writers at this blog for years to come. The bottom-line is simple: Donald Trump won, fair and square.

And the leaders of the Democratic Party need to step up to stop this violence and disrespect. Today, a photo of Mr. and Mrs. Obama with Mr. and Mrs. Trump was canceled by the Obamas. It is fair to speculate that Michelle Obama led the way on this decision. That is absolutely classless. A move like that is something a leader wouldn’t do and is part of the reason why liberals think it is okay to resort to violence to express their sad feelings.

The irony of it all is that crazy liberals are saying worse things about American voters than Trump ever said about anyone. But liberals describe themselves as more tolerant than their conservative counterparts. Give me a break.

To the little snowflakes too distraught to function and to anyone who is ashamed to be an American (some of my friends are actually telling me they are “ashamed to be American”) I suggest you call your US Senator and speak strongly about the “advise and consent” part of selecting a Supreme Court nominee because with Republicans controlling the White House, the Senate, and the House, you are not going to like what one-party rule can do with the backing of a majority on the Supreme Court.

Keep crying snowflakes, it is going to get a little worse for you.

trump-red.

Blank Line For Congress

Red NoVA endorses the blank line on your ballot for Congress in the 11th District. At this point no representation would be better than incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly.

When Connolly walked out on a hearing on the assassination of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, he walked out on his job and on the people of his district. Anyone else would have been fired if they had left a meeting like that.

And when Connolly asked an IRS official in a congressional hearing, “Are reports that you can fly accurate?” he made a fool of himself and disgraced his office. Anyone else would have been fired if they had asked a question like that during a meeting.

Rep. Gerry Connolly deserves to be fired. We encourage everyone in the 11th District to just fill in the bubble for Write-in, but then just leave the line blank. The blank line would be an improvement through addition by subtraction.

blank-line-for-congress.

Meals Tax Disproportionately Hits Families

Guest Post by Elizabeth Schultz

Ostensibly, the Meals Tax Referendum is designed to drive more money into the Fairfax County Public Schools budget to offset the dependency on the individual taxpayer’s personal property taxes.

The Meals Tax Referendum requires no prioritization of spending policies by FCPS, just ‘promises’ – does not guarantee – more taxpayer-generated revenue.

However, there is no decrease to the property tax, only an additional tax increase on food in a county where residents have experienced stagnant wages, slow growth in home values, sequestration and the roll back of high-paying jobs. The combined effect of these has further unbalanced family incomes in the face of a consistent high cost of living.

An increased Meals Tax disproportionately hits families, taxing not just restaurant meals – which families have already scaled back on – but also the prepared items in grocery stores, super-marts, membership clubs and convenience stores. Families take advantage of prepared items because they are trying to meet the demands of schedules complicated by working, commuting, and student athletics and activities.

Fairfax County has also been directly impacted by policies at the local, state and national level which have substantially changed our county’s population. Notably, from FY2009 to FY2017, the student population grew 11.0%, from 168,384 to 186,842.

In the same period of time, the eligibility for Free and Reduced Meals (FRM) increased 45.8%, from 35,750 to 52,129 students. While the FRM student population, a poverty indicator, grew at four times the student population growth, the regular price of meals served to students who do not qualify for Free and Reduced Meals increased 20.0% for elementary lunches and 23.1% for middle and high school lunches.

It appears that the governing of Fairfax County involving the creation and enforcement – or lack of enforcement – of policies pertaining to housing, taxation, land use, transportation, education and economic development, has drastically changed the taxpayer and student population base according the FCPS Capital Improvement Plans over time.

Further taxing a population which is increasing in its poverty statistics is the last thing that will help Fairfax when those who are already struggling to remain here are doing so under subsidies while the balance of the population who have and continue to bear the cost of those subsidies is decreasing.

The households supported by a single income, two-working parent families and FCPS’ own employees, teachers, instructional assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and support personnel all will be directly impacted by this additional tax increase – as well as the apparent on-going increase of families living in poverty in Fairfax County.

Vote NO on The Meals Tax Referendum: increasing taxes is something we just can’t afford.

-Elizabeth L. Schultz
Fairfax County School Board
Springfield District

This is provided in my individual capacity and does not reflect the position taken by the full Board.

no-meals-tax.

Elizabeth Schultz is a member of the Fairfax County School Board. You can follow Elizabeth on Twitter @ThinkSchultz

Say No To The Meals Tax On November 8

Guest Post by Matt Ames

In just a few short days, Fairfax County voters have an extremely important decision to make that will significantly affect our local economy. They will decide whether or not to add a 4% “meals tax” on all restaurant meals and prepared foods they purchase in the County. This proposed tax is on top of the existing 6% sales tax, which will make the total tax 10%. This will nearly double the tax that County residents currently pay.

The tax will apply to meals and beverages purchased at every kind of restaurant, coffee shop, food truck, convenience store and more. Even prepared foods such as a rotisserie chicken purchased in a grocery store deli will be taxed. In short, if you don’t cook your food from scratch in your own kitchen, you will pay a higher tax.

The pro-tax crowd has carefully honed their message; a vote for the tax will “support our schools” and “raise teacher salaries.” However, as is usually the case, these arguments are misleading at best and an extreme oversimplification of the real issues voters face.

As they make up their minds and head to the polls, voters deserve the clear facts.

The Meals Tax will be the second $100 Million tax in one year. Earlier this year, the Board of Supervisors raised property taxes by 6%. In the last five years, property taxes have increased a whopping 26%. But that’s not all. Other taxes and fees have increased during the same time period as well.

Again and again, Fairfax County residents have stepped up and paid the taxes they have been asked to pay. But despite billions in tax revenues received, our County government has spent even more. In fact, the School Board alone projects a $134 million budget shortfall in the next fiscal year. The County currently projects its own $79 million budget shortfall. Combined, the County is $213 million in the red without any serious plan to address the problem other than coming to its residents for more money.

The claim that 70% of the money collected by way of the tax will automatically go to the schools is untrue. The Board of Supervisors will continue to decide each year how much money to transfer to the School Board. They are not legally bound to increase the School Board budget by the amount the meals tax brings in. This means that today’s promises of plenty may be offset by tomorrow’s revised priorities.

Even if the School Board gets more funding, there is no guarantee that the money will be spent directly on teacher salaries or children’s education, or that every school in the County will benefit from the increased funding.

The Meals Tax is a regressive tax that will hit vulnerable Fairfax County resident populations such as low-income working families, senior citizens and young people the hardest. All County residents will pay the additional tax whether they can afford to or not. There are no exceptions for those who may be struggling. A new meals tax may force some residents to make difficult choices. Even the Washington Post has had to admit that “Levies on meals, like most sales taxes, are regressive; as a percentage of income, they hurt the poor more than the rich.”

The Meals Tax unfairly singles out the restaurant and food services industry. The restaurant business is intensely competitive and prone to failure. Many operators are small business owners. The average profit margin is 3%. Even small increases in costs or reductions in sales can force a restaurant out of business and put people out of work.

There is no question that the tax will negatively impact an industry that provides 40,000 good paying jobs right here in Fairfax County. As one local restaurateur recently summed it up, “There is no way I can raise my prices by 4%, how can I expect my customers to pay 4% more in taxes and not have it make a difference?”

The Meals Tax is not a new idea. In 1992, the Board of Supervisors proposed the same idea, and the voters said NO. In 2014, the Board brought it up again, but under pressure from residents and businesses, decided to wait. Now they are back and the measure is on the ballot.

It is critical that voters say NO to the Meals Tax on November 8.

meals-tax-sticker.

Matt Ames is chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee.

Happy Halloween

Say no to Ken Bone. The best political themed Halloween costume, The National Debt, was worn by Senator Rand Paul last year and it is just as relevant today. An updated version of this costume for this year would need to read $19 trillion and that is really scary.

Happy Halloween everyone.

rand-halloween.

Reopened

News broke yesterday that the FBI has reopened their case against Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified materials.

FBI Director James Comey sent Congress a letter to inform them of this, pictured below. In the letter Director Comey states, “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the [Clinton] investigation.” Reports are the “unrelated case” is the one on Anthony Wiener’s sexting to his girl friends (real quick; Weiner is Huma Abedin’s husband and Huma is Hillary Clinton’s right hand).

And to think, Donald Trump said Weiner would eventually take down the Clintons.

fbi-reopens-hillary-email-case.