Mattis Easily Clears First Hurdle

The Senate today voted to waive the waiting period for retired General James Mattis so that he can serve as secretary of defense. The vote was 24-3 in committee and 81-17 from the floor. All the nay votes were from Democrats. A confirmation vote still needs to be held, which Mattis is expected to win easily.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York called Mattis’ confirmation “a historic mistake.” She pushed the point of civilian control of the military, but failed to address how Mattis is still too connected to the military to be considered a civilian. She just highlighted that he is still with-in the waiting period and therefore nothing further needs to be examined. She was careful not to criticize Mattis, but by doing so she ended up not making much of a case at all.

Here is a list of the 17 Democrats who voted against the Mattis waiver (you can expect their presidential exploratory committees to soon follow):
Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Sen. Richard Blumenthal
Sen. Corey Booker
Sen. Tammy Duckworth
Sen. Dick Durbin
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Patrick Leahy
Sen. Ed Markey
Sen. Jeff Merkley
Sen. Chris Murphy
Sen. Patty Murray
Sen. Bernie Sanders
Sen. Jon Tester
Sen. Tom Udall
Sen. Chris Van Hollen
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Ron Wyden

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Virginia Senate Holds At 21-19

Two special elections today to fill open seats in the Virginia State Senate both went to the incumbent party. Republican Mark Peake won in the 22nd District and Democrat Jennifer McClellan won in the 9th.

No real surprise here. Democrats were hoping for a spoiler independent candidate in the 22nd who could take votes from the right, but he did terrible. There was an issue with ballots in Lynchburg, but everything seems ok. Peake was supposed to win, and he did. The 9th is so hopeless for Republicans that we didn’t run a Republican nominated candidate, so no surprise there either.

Tomorrow begins a new session in Richmond for the General Assembly. The scoreboard in the State Senate will remain as it did last year with a 21-19 majority for the Republicans.

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Vote For Peake In The 22nd

There is a special election Tuesday, January 10, to fill the open state senate seat in the 22nd District. There is only one Republican in the race, Mark Peake, and it’s important that he wins.

Hanging in the balance is majority control of the State Senate. With Peake holding the seat, Republicans maintain a one-seat majority. Without him, it would be all tied up with Democratic Lt. Governor ready to break ties for his party. So it is really Peake or bust.

There is talk of a spoiler in the race. Some guy is trying to run to the right of Peake. He did not help in the 2016 elections in his district and did not participate in the nomination process for this seat. Peake won the nomination and there is too much at stake to entertain feelings of what shade of Republican we have here. A vote for Peake is a vote for the Republican majority.

So if you like Senator Dick Black and think he can better serve our commonwealth in the majority then you need to reach out to the Peake campaign and help with their phone calls from home campaign. You can sign-up here to help out. It is not too late, the campaign will be making Get-Out-The-Vote calls on Tuesday until the polls close. This is an important election. Support Mark Peake for State Senate.

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Physical Privacy Act Press Conference Thursday In Richmond

Virginia First Foundation has announced a press conference scheduled for Thursday morning January 12th in Richmond to support the Physical Privacy Act (HB 1612). Delegate Bob Marshall, patron of the bill, will speak at the press conference. Below is the email from Virginia First Foundation announcing the event.

Our first priority is passage of the Physical Privacy Act (HB 1612), sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall. We will be holding a press conference on January 12th at the Capitol in House Room 1 at 10am.

This legislation, if passed, will ensure that the privacy of minors is protected and will ensure that no child is unwillingly or unknowingly violated in any way while utilizing public school locker rooms and restrooms. Students wishing to seek private accommodations may still do so, for whatever reason, as long as they do not violate the rights of privacy for other students.

This legislation also ensures that parents are included in making decisions. Parents will be notified if a child wishes to be acknowledged as the opposite sex and will be notified if accommodations are requested. It also encompasses protection in places like our family public restroom facilities, such as rest stops, and in government buildings.

Virginia First Foundation board member, Pastor Travis Witt issued the following statement: “HB 1612 is a positive and common sense approach to the safety, privacy, and well-being of all of Virginia’s children. To ensure that individual privacy and safety are protected for all of Virginia’s children, this bill must be passed. It makes adequate provisions for children seeking single-use restrooms when needed and ensures that children are not forced to experience forced physical exposure to the opposite sex against their will. This is a common sense solution for students, parents, administrators, and legislators. We urge all Virginia lawmakers to support this bill. This bill includes parents in the decision making and every liberty-minded individual supports privacy and safety for all of Virginia’s children. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report entitled, “Child Maltreatment 2010,” highlighted that sexual abuse is not solely restricted to physical contact. Such abuse can include non-contact abuse such as exposure. The long term effect on children cannot fully be measured. Psychologists have been warning for years that early exposure to sexual issues can have long term damage on children such as early sex, high-risk sex, and sexual violence. Public school facilities are not the place for social experiments that permit early exposure to sexual issues when there is ample evidence that such exposure can lead to long term developmental damage. The Physical Privacy Act ensures that safety, privacy, and well-being of all of Virginia’s children are protected.”

You can sign-up for updates from Virginia First Foundation at VAfirstfoundation.org/join.

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Friday Funnies

Democrats took their last opportunity to protest the results of the 2016 presidential election today at the certification of the Electoral College vote. Their desperate, failed efforts were funny to watch.

Some Ds, still upset that their choice lost, tried to disrupt the proceedings. They were unsuccessful. A congressman from Georgia tried to protest the vote but she didn’t have standing, didn’t want to follow procedure, and ended up just embarrassing herself. Vice President Joe Biden, who as president of the Senate presided over the certification process, said it all when he simply told her, “It is over.” Well said.

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But Democrats Don’t Like A Contest

Former one-term congressman Tom Pierrello plans to seek the Democratic nomination for governor this year against Lt. Governor Ralph Northam. Pierrello’s entry into the race is a surprise as the Democrats wanted a cleared field for their anointed ones. The Ds don’t like contests so this really throws a wrench in the works.

Pierrello is an odd shade of a Democrat. He is a close political ally to President Barack Obama, but has been endorsed in the past by the NRA. He is more attractive to the hard-partisan radical leftist sect of the Democratic Party than Northam is, and yet will have to reconcile not being with the Democratic Party’s dogma on gun control, which makes up a large part of one issue voters over on the left.

Whichever shade you color him, Pierrello is really just a one-hit wonder who in 2008 swept in on the populist whims of anti-George W. Bush attitudes. In office, Pierrello voted with Obama often enough that the president came out to Charlottesville in 2010 for Pierrello’s re-election. This was a mistake evident by Pierrello’s loss that November, but more to the point asking Obama to campaign with you in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District exposes the disconnect the radical left has with America. What poll in 2010 showed attaching yourself to Obama would be beneficial to a candidate in Virginia’s 5th? The left likes to tell voters what is best for them, not listen to and then represent their people’s interests. Pierrello’s one-term in office is a good example of how the principle of “We the people” is exercised in our republic.

This late addition to the race must be upsetting to the Democratic Party establishment, who has already gone to the trouble of selecting the nominees for their voters. Northam is supposed to be unopposed for the gubernatorial nomination, just like the races for Lt. Governor and Attorney General. The decision has been made. How can this happen?

Now Democratic primary voters will actually have to make a, oh no, choice. We certainly can understand how the party of hierarchy is upset with this disturbance in their prearranged completion of democracy.

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2016 Quote Of The Year

“Donald Trump is going to be our president.” –Hillary Clinton, Nov. 9, 2016

What a year it has been. So many things happened in the political arena that produced some memorable quotes.

We chose the above quote from Hillary Clinton’s concession speech for two major reasons. First, it offers the conclusion to a presidential campaign that seemed to drag on forever while absorbing a fanatical amount of media attention. No matter where you went, there was some sort of mention of either Trump or Clinton. This quote officially ends the campaign and we are thankful for that.

Second, this quote is significant because it represents the death of the Clinton brand in the Democratic Party and the country’s repudiation of President Barack Obama’s radical left agenda. The Democratic Party is in trouble right now. Clinton won just 20 states and got blown out in the number of counties won by her Republican opponent. There are only four states with a Democratic governor and Democratic control of the state legislature. A great amount of seats nationwide have been picked up by Republicans during Obama’s two terms. The Democrats are in shambles right now.

Things are so bad over at the DNC that they had to go through two national chairs to protect their anointed one so that she could become the nominee. This we saw. What we didn’t understand was that things are so bad over at Obama/Clinton incorporated that they couldn’t beat populist and TV celebrity Donald Trump. Clinton had been running for president for the last sixteen years. The Democrats had their party and major national media outlets all lined up for an easy win. But, after stacking the deck in the Democrats’ favor as best as possible, “Donald Trump is going to be our president,” which is why this quote from Hillary Clinton is our 2016 Quote of the Year.

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Judicial Watch Wins Appeal

Here is the press release from Judicial Watch on today’s ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals, also linked here.

(Washington DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding today’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in a case that would require Secretary of State John Kerry to seek the help of the attorney general in recovering additional Hillary Clinton emails:

The courts seem to be fed up with the Obama administration’s refusal to enforce the rule of law on the Clinton emails. Today’s appeals court ruling rejects the Obama State Department’s excuses justifying its failure to ask the attorney general, as the law requires, to pursue the recovery of the Clinton emails. This ruling means that the Trump Justice Department will have to decide if it wants to finally enforce the rule of law and try to retrieve all the emails Clinton and her aides unlawfully took with them when they left the State Department.

The appellate ruling reverses a decision in which the District Court declared “moot” a Judicial Watch’s lawsuit challenging the failure of Secretary of State John Kerry to comply with the Federal Records Act (FRA) in seeking to recover the emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other high level State Department officials who used non-“state.gov” email accounts to conduct official business (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. John F. Kerry (No. 16-5015)). According to the FRA, if an agency head becomes aware of “any actual, impending, or threatened unlawful removal . . . or destruction of [agency] records,” he or she “shall notify the Archivist . . . and with the assistance of the Archivist shall initiate action through the Attorney General for the recovery of [those] records.”

An appellate panel found:

Appellants sought the only relief provided by the Federal Records Act—an enforcement action through the Attorney General. But nothing the Department did (either before or after those complaints were filed) gave appellants what they wanted. Instead of proceeding through the Attorney General, the Department asked the former Secretary to return her emails voluntarily and similarly requested that the FBI share any records it obtained. Even though those efforts bore some fruit, the Department has not explained why shaking the tree harder—e.g., by following the statutory mandate to seek action by the Attorney General—might not bear more still. It is therefore abundantly clear that, in terms of assuring government recovery of emails, appellants have not “been given everything [they] asked for.” Absent a showing that the requested enforcement action could not shake loose a few more emails, the case is not moot.

In May 2015 Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the State Department failed to take action following a letter to Kerry “notifying him of the unlawful removal of the Clinton emails and requesting that he initiate enforcement action pursuant to the FRA,” including working through the Attorney General to recover the emails. Judicial Watch’s lawsuit subsequently was consolidated with a later lawsuit by Cause of Action Institute. This ruling reverses a January 2016 decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissing the case and remands it.

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Merry Christmas

O Come All Ye Faithful
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Friday Funnies

“Now, we’re feeling what not having hope feels like.” -Michelle Obama

She said this during an interview with Oprah. She also scoffs right afterward and then begins to discuss how hope is “a necessary concept.”

There is no substance in her fluff remarks. Populism rode her and her husband into office on the vague word “hope” and they are sticking to their talking points. Of course this must be all Donald Trump’s fault and not the rejection of a radical leftist agenda that she tried to advocate for.

She’s taking the loss a little hard. Her quote is pretty funny considering that despite how meaningless it is, Democrats are eating it up like it is pure wisdom.

No hope? How hopelessly pathetic is that? Thanks for the laugh, Mrs. Obama.

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Electoral College Final Results; 304 To 227

The official votes in the 2016 presidential election were cast yesterday by the Electoral College. Republican nominee Donald Trump won 304 electoral votes, officially making him the president-elect. He will be sworn in on January 20, 2017.

The results were surprisingly. There was talk of a possible movement by unfaithful electors to leave Trump for a compromise candidate. But in the end, the surprise was more electors were unfaithful to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as she won that race five to two with her unfaithful electors giving three votes to another former secretary of state in Colin Powell, one to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and one vote going to Native American Rights activist Faith Spotted Eagle. Trump’s two unfaithful electors went to Ohio Governor John Kasich and former congressman Ron Paul.

Here is the final scoreboard;

Republican nominee Donald J. Trump- 304 (minus 2 from his pledged total)
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton- 227 (minus 5 from her pledged total)
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell- 3
Ohio Governor John Kasich- 1
Former Congressman Ron Paul- 1
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders- 1
Native American Rights activist Faith Spotted Eagle- 1

Now let’s move on and actually give the new administration a chance before we start hammering away.

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Big Day For The Electoral College

George Will’s column in yesterday’s Washington Post on the wisdom of the Electoral College is a must read. And with the electors meeting today to cast their votes to officially elect Donald Trump as the next president some people out there may need a reminder why the Electoral College is an essential component for a federal-state republic.

Will’s column can be summed up in the following line; “the electoral college shapes the character of majorities by helping to generate those that are neither geographically nor ideologically narrow, and that depict, more than the popular vote does, national decisiveness.” The column is linked here.

And when you factor in the size of our federal-state republic, both in terms of population and geography, the Electoral College becomes even more important in preventing, as Will puts it, narrow geographical pluralities from speaking for the whole country. Had the popular vote been the determining factor then Hillary Clinton’s win would have been from major cities, just 20 states, and from a plurality which fell short of a majority of the votes. That doesn’t sound like a win. Of course, had the rules been different then the way the campaigns went about attracting votes would have also been entirely different.

The Electoral College forces a candidate to be super-regional, and therefore diverse in platform. After all, the winner is the president of the whole country, not just the big cities and the wealthy suburbs.

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Sunday Morning Book Review

Igniting The American Revolution by Derek Beck takes the reader from the Boston Tea Party in 1773 to the Americans taking Fort Ticonderoga and then control of Lake Champlain in 1775. Only 270 pages, it’s a quick read through a fast-paced set of key events which propelled colonial America to war.

The beginning scene is what was then known as The Destruction of the Tea. The author explains how this was a protest that had a global impact and was conducted with the discipline of a military exercise. No one was allowed to steal any of the tea and the one who tried was quickly stopped and removed. We don’t have protests like that anymore.

The result of The Destruction of the Tea was Boston was put into a military controlled lockdown. General Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, is a major figure who the author treats fairly. His control over Boston is described as strong but never exceedingly harsh. While some of the soldiers behaved in ways that no one could defend, General Gage held his officers to the highest standards.

Other major figures in the book are heroic Paul Revere and traitorous Benjamin Church. Revere is properly described as brave, selfless and honest. His ride from out of Boston across the water to Charlestown then on to Lexington is one of most important events in American history and the author gives it its due credit. Also credited is Revere’s network of spies that had eyes on the British from Boston harbor to the outskirts of Charlestown. Revere and his network sounded the alarm in the countryside that the redcoats were coming. Note; it is unlikely Revere was saying the “British are coming” and the author rightly points this out.

Church was also part of a spy network, but for the other side. He gave intelligence to the British and likely directly to Gage himself. His treachery is listed throughout.

The most detail can be found in the descriptions of the military structure on both sides and in their movements engaging each other first at Lexington and then at Concord. Greater detail is offered in a lengthy appendix section (14 in all).

The title suggests a comprehensive account of the lead-up to war, but the attention hardly leaves New England. As a Virginian I was not expecting this but don’t take this as criticism because keeping things in Massachusetts allowed the book to flow very smoothly from the key events of the Boston Tea Party to the first shots of the war at the battle of Lexington and Concord.

This is an outstanding book.

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Brat For Vets

The latest email from Representative Dave Brat mentions the House’s commitment to veterans. Below is the part that highlights vets, the full email is linked here.

The House also passed multiple bills to help put veterans back to work and ensure they receive the quality of care they deserve. You can see the bills below

H.R. 5166, the WINGMAN Act – I was an original cosponsor of this legislation to help Congressional offices better serve the veterans in their district in navigating the Department of Veterans Affairs.

H.R. 5458, the Veterans TRICARE Choice Act

H.R. 3286, the HIRE Vets Act

H.R. 5600, the No Hero Left Untreated Act

H.R. 4757, To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand the eligibility for headstones, markers, and medallions furnished by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for deceased individuals who were awarded the Medal of Honor and are buried in private cemeteries

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Trump Picks ExxonMobil Executive For State Department

President-Elect Donald Trump has selected Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil, to be the next secretary of state. Trump called Tillerson “a world class player.” He will serve our country well in this position.

Tillerson’s qualifications are perfectly fitting for the state department in that he has managed a multi-national business, dealt directly with foreign leaders, and accomplished the construction of many large infrastructure projects which have required as much diplomacy as they required business skill. He is a manager who is well-known in international circles.

These qualifications are stark contrasts from his last two predecessors. This pick should have the liberals going nutty because in addition to the big oil part, Tillerson is the opposite of how the Democrats have recently used the top spot at state department.

The office of secretary of state can be used for political positioning in two ways. The first is to give it to the person who your party wants to launch as the next presidential contender, which is why Barack Obama chose Hillary Clinton. The other way is to give the position to a career party player to reward them for their service and to not disturb the already set political order, which is why Obama picked John Kerry. Tillerson fits neither category.

Former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates said Tillerson “would bring to the position vast knowledge, experience and success in dealing with dozens of governments and leaders in every corner of the world.” Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice said Tillerson has “a deep understanding of the global economy and a belief in America’s special role in the world.”

As qualified as Rex Tillerson is, none of it will matter to the left, who will see ExxonMobil and then claim to already know enough to oppose, which is too bad because Tillerson is qualified. Tillerson is not using the position to launch to the presidency like Clinton, and he is not a political hack in is twilight like Kerry; he is a global economist who has built relationships by building large infrastructure projects throughout the world. Tillerson is, as Trump puts it, “a world class player.” He is a fine choice for secretary of state.

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NFL Greats Brown, Lewis Meet With Trump

The Trump Tower watch is a wild spectacle. Politicos want to know who is coming in and so does TMZ and other celebrity stalking cameramen. So we weren’t too surprised when the populist president-elect meet with pop culture figure Kayne West today. But we are a little surprised by the appearance of NFL legends Jim Brown and Ray Lewis. After their meeting with Donald Trump the two Hall of Famers sung praises for the president-elect, story linked here.

You never know who will show up next.

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Let ‘Em Cry

Out-going and soon to be forgotten Senator Harry Reid said that FBI Director James “Comey helped Trump significantly.”

Rep. Adam Schiff said the Russians were “sowing discord and at this they were spectacularly successful.”

And the crazies are just calling every Trump voter a racist, or sexist, or some other name.

Maybe Republicans shouldn’t be so openly trying to convince Democrats that it actually was Hillary Clinton who played the biggest factor her in loss. There is a concern that all the crying about the FBI, Russia, and name calling are delegitimizing the democratic process, which is a real concern. But I may be okay with this futile attempt from sore losers because it allows the Democrats to stay in their little bubbles, where people want to be called “special snowflakes,” gender is fluid and decided by an individual’s own snowflake feeling for that time, minimum wage jobs are career positions where upward movement is not necessary or desired, and, of course, trophies are given for participation. The majority of America does not agree with the radical leftist policies of the establishment players of the Democrat Party (Clinton failed to capture a majority of the vote but please use the selection of majority to flip your lid).

The letter that Comey sent explaining that new information was found which may be relevant to the investigation of Clinton’s mishandling of classified information probably didn’t hurt her half as bad as how quickly Obama’s justice department was able to turn around a few days later and issue an official statement saying the new info didn’t have anything incriminating in it. The whole scenario made it fair to suggest that the nothing-to-see-here outcome, which came just as fast as Clinton needed it to, was both a predictable and suspicious wrap-up to an issue that plagued Clinton all year long. Being above the law is not a desirable trait for a candidate and the Clinton team, right before the election, had to remind everyone that their boss was untouchable.

Schiff’s point on influence from Russia is especially troubling because he fails to refute the authenticity of the information found in the Democrat Party email hack. So what Schiff is saying is that the integrity of the election was compromised because Russia helped to release accurate information showing that the Democrats had no integrity and were actively breaking rules throughout the process. That is a problem because the Democrats really don’t have the integrity to hold power but when caught they don’t have to take any responsibility at all. Just blame Russia will be the new escape plan for Democrats to avoid having some serious examinations of their own ethics, or lack thereof.

The liberals lost because Hillary Clinton had zero accomplishments to run on and her, let’s call it leadership, on sending all the snowflakes to the same bathroom is a baffling thing to champion. She deserved to lose. She really was that bad of a candidate. But maybe we are better off not explaining this to the Ds so that they can continue to lose and Republicans can build majorities right before another round of re-districting begins.

So to any Democrats who have managed to make it out of bed this afternoon; yeah, Russia, and um, uh, meanness won, so here, have a flower, you are a special snowflake and your feelings matter. This is going to be a fun time in politics.

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