Tag Archives: virginia

Someone’s upset: Cantor defeated in Primary

Eric CantorThe House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been upset in Virginia’s Republican primary.

Results are still coming in, but several agencies are reporting that the political newcomer, economics professor Dave Brat went up against Cantor Tuesday in the 7th District Republican primary and pulled out the impossible. Continue reading Someone’s upset: Cantor defeated in Primary

Not So United States of America

The United States of America
The United States of America

Here, in the later part of the year in 2012, the United States of America is again fielding the topic of mass states’ secession. People all across the country have signed petitions to have nearly 40 states secede from the Union. The petitions have been officially filed with the United States government and some have gotten large enough to garner a response from the White House. The petitions recently popped up days after President Obama was reelected, but petitioners are saying it wasn’t the reelection or the president that sparked it, but the policies and the federal government itself. The idea of seceding from the nation or for any state or governing body is not a new concept to the United States, as everyone knows we’ve seen it before, 150 years ago when southern states felt it was in their best interest. Secession didn’t work out well then, and any effort since has hardly been considered credible, but now are we supposed to take the concerns of well over 100,000 people serious?

Last year, the White House created a section on their website, whitehouse.gov, where people could petition the current administration’s policy experts. All one has to do is go to the website and register a free account in the “We the People” petitioning section. If the petition gets a certain amount of attention and receives 25,000 signatures within 30 days the administration will issue an official response. An official response is a far cry from action being taken, but hearing something from your government on something you’re passionate about is a step in the right direction. Whether this whole secession movement as a whole is a step in the right direction is another story.

The most serious secession movement that the United States faced was defeated in the American Civil War. Eleven states angry over slavery rights attempted to secede and caused a war with the rest of the country. Over the past century several different states and counties have talked about secession from other localities. We often hear about it with Texas or even with Alaska. Some counties try to secede from their states to other states or to their own sovereignty. In either case, some of the disputes are met with genuine political discussion, while others are just for pride and fun. This situation where states like Texas with close to 77,000 signatures, Louisiana with nearly 30,000, and other states like Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee who all have over 20,000 signatures, are concerned with the government spending and policies that are made for every state to follow. It’s not just limited to southern states as you may think. New York and California are also on the petition website with a growing list of petitioners. All with the common GOP gripe of big national government complaints.

Not for nothin’ but who needs to leave the country, when you can leave the country. We often hear the threat of people saying they want to leave the country if their certain political preference does not get elected, but this is a new twist on it. I mentioned before that we’re seeing states other than the traditional “red” states mentioned, but just as people vote differently in those states seeing such petitions should come as no surprise from anyone who does not support the current administration. In all of the case of each state we have seen little to no support from the state government or legislature. Even Republican governor of Texas Rick Perry backed away from it. But crazier things have happened. It caused a war before. Also another super-power, the Soviet Union, has also split into several different nations. But in this case, secession is just as likely as a Romney presidency in 2012.

The Face of Fraud?

Colin Small
Colin Small, accused of voter registration fraud in Virginia

A 23-year-old is becoming the newest face of voter fraud in America. Collin Small, was arrested last week and charged with several counts involving voter fraud after he was caught throwing away voter registration forms in Virginia. Wednesday, Virginia’s State Board of Elections has asked the state’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to investigate the case as Democratic Party officials are alleging this instance is part of a widespread effort of the Republican Party suppressing Democratic votes. There are strong cases out there where new legislation is threatening people’s right to successfully cast their vote. Maybe it’s not as blatant is it was 50 or 100 years ago, but Democrats and Republicans are involved in disputes across the nation over voter ID laws. There’s also a case where a GOP consulting firm is being investigated for suspicious voter registration forms that had been submitted in Florida. Is this case of the young man tossing forms one battle in the never-ending voter fraud war, or an isolated incident not intended to manipulate votes as many have suggested?

Colin Small was working for the Virginia Republican Party when he was seen throwing a bag of voter registration forms into the private dumpster of a local business. He was arrested and charged with four counts of destruction of voter registration applications, eight counts of failing to disclose voter registration applications, and one count of obstruction of justice. Small, who describes himself as a grassroots field director for the RNC, is becoming the poster-child of what Democrats are saying Republicans are trying to do across the country. Immediately after hearing news of someone working for the Republican Party throwing away voter registration forms, it’s easy to assume that it was intentional and those names on the forms were likely Democratic supporters. After it happened Democrats called on the attorney general’s office to investigate and they also have requested a federal investigation into it as well. After firing him, the Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins released a statement saying, “The Republican Party of Virginia will not tolerate any action by any person that could threaten the integrity of our electoral process.”

So now, apparently we are to believe that 23-year-old Colin Small is the mastermind behind getting Mitt Romney the presidency by implementing a voter registration scheme in the crucial swing state of Virginia in favor of the Republican Party. Either that or he’s just a pawn, or secret operative, put in place by higher-ups in the Republican Party to alter votes. But looking further into the case of young Colin Small, we know it was just eight forms he’s accused of discarding. While every vote counts, eight votes would hardly swing the pendulum. In addition, Small was contracted by the Republican Party of Virginia to follow-up with voters whose registration forms were incomplete. Even though Virginia does not require voters to register by party, those forms that were trashed were likely potential Republican voters. The day the offense took place was on the same day of the voter registration deadline. It would seem that Small missed the deadline and chose what he thought was the easy way out. So he unwittingly chose arrest over getting fired for not doing his job properly.

Not for nothin’ but let’s not jump to conclusions. If anything, we probably should congratulate Colin Small for actively being involved and “trying” to get others involved in the election process. While there does seem to be some efforts out there to suppress votes, specifically those voters who are voting for the Democratic ticket, I don’t think this is one of those. Republican lawmakers are creating laws, modifying them and interpreting them in a way where people may not be able to vote. Perhaps there is a valid claim to want to prevent voter fraud, but in reality people will be prevented from voting. It has not been officially determined that Colin Small intended on doing either. However we can say he’s not in office and not influencing any laws. So part of a conspiracy, probably not. But no disrespect, he’s probably just a dumb kid who didn’t know any better.

Romney’s Choice

Paul Ryan
Paul Ryan

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has made his choice for his running mate as Vice-President of the United States. United States House Representative Paul Ryan was announced to a crowd in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia. The selection was a clear message for Governor Romney’s focus on our country’s economic future and his goal to unify his support from his own party which is quite insecure at best in some respects. But while his choice further shows his vision and party support, it sends a different message to those across the aisle, who believe that the selection of Ryan is just more of the same.

Paul Ryan is the seven term representative from Wisconsin. At 42 years old, he’s already one of the Republican Party’s leaders and most respected in congress. So what do we know about Paul Ryan? When it comes to fiscal and budget issues, Ryan is the GOP’s go-to guy. Last year, Ryan drafted the republican answer for the economy in the “Path to Prosperity.” As the Republican Party’s budget proposal for our federal government, Ryan’s plan was passed in the Republican controlled House, but naturally struck down by the Democratic controlled Senate. The bill was voted against largely because it included much of the same tax rate reductions for the wealthy and cuts to affect the poor and middle classes that Democrats see typically favor by their Republican counterparts. His plan also included stark changes to the Medicaid system. We also know about Ryan that in the past, the Tea Party favorite has voted for the war in Iraq, Medicaid Part D, and bailouts of both Wall Street and auto industries.

The Obama Campaign has commentated on Ryan’s selection as Romney’s running-mate saying, “Like Mitt Romney, Ryan’s severely conservative positions are out of touch with most American’s values.” To Democrats, this selection is not providing much of a difference from the party’s candidate for president. Usually, vice presidential candidates are chosen to help bring balance to the ticket. Many times we’ll see after the party is split in two during the competitive primary stages, a candidate chooses the one person that opposed his ideologies so much that such move would definitely unify the party. In 2008 Barack Obama was criticized because of his inexperience, in contrast he picked senior Senator Joe Biden. Every Republican man’s dream date, Sarah Palin was chosen by John McCain. She was young, attractive and had some very strong conservative values. Palin had qualities that could have balanced any ticket for any party. In both cases though, we learned that presidential candidates intended to fulfill shortcomings and to reach out to critics, not just in their party, but those votes in the middle that would win them the election.

Not for nothin’ but I can’t say this pick of Paul Ryan by Romney is a winning move. Yeah, it wraps up wavering support in his party, but the move doesn’t seem to reach out to those undecided voters who could go either way. It seems like Paul Ryan is much of the same as Mitt Romney, just a few years younger. These days, there’s an “it” factor or a popularity dynamic to win an election. Paul Ryan is not screaming some feature that the other team doesn’t have. He’s the same white male “Washington insider”, as some would say, that that has dominated politics for years. Mitt Romney did a good job with winning his party over, but made a poor decision in trying to win this election.

The New “IT” Girl

Gabby Douglas
Gabby Douglas

The country is abuzz about a new sports hero. The 2012 Summer Olympics has brought us a new athlete, the likes that have not been spoken of on this level and reverence in years. America’s latest champion is none other than Olympic gymnast Gabriel Douglas, or as she’s been affectionately identified in social networks, “Gabby”. Gabby Douglas is definitely the new “it” girl; having gained the national fame and notoriety that garners the most prominent celebrities in the world. As she steals the hearts of America this first week of the Summer Olympics, she is forcing our country to recognize her accomplishments as the first black person in the history of the Olympics to win the gold medal for the individual all-around in women’s gymnastics and the first American to win gold in the same Olympics in the team competition and the individual all-around. With that in tow, Gabby, or “The Flying Squirrel” if you will, is easily becoming the 2012 version of what was captured by swimmer Michael Phelps in 2008. She is vaulting her status and her sport into our society like it never has been before. But being as innocent as she seems, and realizing what she has done, does Gabby Douglas have the potential to go beyond the impact of Phelps and enter the realm of Tiger Woods status?

Tiger Woods status would put her in the crowd of the greatest and most popular athletes we have ever seen in the United States. That’s the class of Michael Jordan, Muhammed Ali and Babe Ruth. The motivating story we hear from Gabby gives us the account that she never gave up and went through a lot of test in her young life to achieve her dreams. From Virginia Beach, VA to London, Gabby-fever is taking over. America is rallying behind her like no other in this Olympics. Her name is highlighted much more than her swimming counterpart Michael Phelps. Although Phelps did go down in history as the most decorated athlete in the Olympics, it looks as if he’s taking a back seat, perhaps rightfully so. We were introduced to Phelps in 2004 and in 2008 he won America over. This year will be his last Olympics and the proverbial torch is being passed. Yes its true in this Olympics Phelps also has more medals, but who has more congratulatory tweets from celebs and endorsement deals in the works?

But how far can Gabby take it? Gabby is 16 years old and, in all intents and purposes, she’s in her prime in her sport. Gymnast started out with the 20’s being their prime years, but the world eventually figured out that the smaller and lighter ones were the people who could perform the more difficult task. So, Olympic gold medalist went from 20-somethings to teenagers and in some cases tweens. This is Gabby’s first and probably her only Olympics. There have been other great gymnast who manage to revive the magical run of one Olympic games to four years later to another, but it is quite rare for a gymnast these days. When 2016 comes around, will Gabby be forgotten about? How will that affect her popularity? She may never have the chance to top Michael Phelps medal total.

Not for nothin’, but Gabby Douglas has the it factor. And whatever it is, whether it’s a phenomenon, a wave of nationalism, or just great athletics, Gabby Douglas is the reason America has to celebrate most of this Olympics. She’s inspiring a nation and rallying thousands to have a renewed interest in gymnastics. Just as Tiger Woods did with golf, we could see a new era in a sport that many have not paid much attention to. Well we are paying attention to Gabby and the world is paying attention to the United States of America because of it. All of which is making her the most talked about person in America over the past week. And being the most talked about person, far surpasses the most talked about Olympian and the most talked about athlete in general. Go Team USA. Go Team Gabby.