Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hello, Minneapolis!

We are here!

After getting up at 4:00 a.m. to begin our journey west to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, we arrived early and made it to our hotel where the Virginia crew was waiting to greet and sign in everyone.

Travel was excellent -- hats off to US Airways. It was rainy in Richmond but we left on time, arrived in Philly on time, and then left Philly on time. We must have had a tail wind because we cruised into the Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport 30 minutes early. Everything went perfectly.

Many from the Pennsylvania delegation to the convention were on our plane ... spotty political talk was heard throughout. When we arrived in M-SP, there were greeters all over the place to welcome all delegates to the city and to offer coupons for discounted and free items.

The shuttle to the hotel was full of delegates from Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Virginia.

This is truly the land of 10,000 lakes ... we saw many from the airplane on our approach. The mighty Mississippi River divides Minneapolis with Scandinavian influence from Saint Paul with Irish and German influence. Saint Paul is the capitol; Minneapolis is the larger city.

I am uploading photos of the trip so far.

"Pray for the best ... but prepare for the worst"

As Hurrican Gustav bears down on the Gulf Coast, Republicans gathering in Minneapolis-Saint Paul for the national convention are rearranging the schedule for Monday for the day's business. Only what is absolutely necessary will be taken care of between 3-5:00 p.m. and then the convention will adjourn for the day.

President George W. Bush, who was scheduled to address delegates on Monday evening, has announced he will be in Texas monitoring the response so he will not be here.

In a 4 p.m. press Sunday afternoon(EDT /3 p.m. Minneapolis), Sen. John McCain addressed the nation and the convention, asking that we take off our Republican hats and put our American hats on as we watch what will happen with the hurricane.

The Louisiana delegation will be flown home as necessary by RNC; some have taken them up on that offer. The hurricane is due to hit at noon Monday.

Our prayers and thoughts go to those on the Gulf Coast.

Congrats Yankee Phil!

Congrats to fellow SWAC blogger Yankee Philip for his # 1 BlogNetNews ranking. Good job, Phil!

Sunday ... heading to the Republican National Convention

It's 6 a.m. and SWAC Daughter and I are in the Richmond Airport waiting for our flight heading out to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. We still have over an hour until it leaves.

I am a stickler for being on time so we left my parents' home in Midlothian with plenty of time to spare. Thunderstorms moved through the Richmond area overnight so we drove in rain to the airport but it had stopped by the time we got here.

Check-in was easy enough since it was still early and hardly anyone was in the airport, and the security line, usually backed up, was non-existent with a dozen staff people on duty waiting for the crowd. After a quick stop at Caribou Coffee, we are now sitting in the terminal watching other planes take off and land, and catching up on the newspapers.

I picked up a Richmond Times-Dispatch which had the headline, "State GOP energized ahead of convention." Tyler Whitley seemed to have picked up on the enthusiasm of Virginia's delegation as they head west to the land of "Little House on the Prairie" and the Mall of America. The next five days are going to be exciting for Republicans.

While keeping an eye on the hurricane in the Gulf, the headlines also are reporting New Orleans is being evacuated. Our prayers and thoughts are with those folks and all those along the path of this monster hurricane.

We are scheduled to be in Minneapolis by noon their time keeping in mind they are an hour behind Virginia. Activities will begin almost immediately after arrival in what promises to be a busy week. More on those events later.

Check out our first Postcards from Minneapolis in the Waynesboro News Virginian in today's paper and reprinted below.

Delegates get ready for GOP convention
By Lynn and Katy Mitchell
For The News Virginian
Published: August 30, 2008

Editor’s Note: Throughout this week’s Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, local Republican blogger Lynn Mitchell, known as SWAC Girl, and her daughter, Katy, will be filing updates on the activities for The News Virginian.

It is finally here and we are on our way to the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul. As the Virginia delegation prepared to leave, their excitement shot through the roof Friday, when presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain announced that his running mate would be Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. My daughter and I shared in that excitement as we prepared to head to the land of “Little House on the Prairie” and the Mall of America. We packed, repacked, checked for cell phone chargers and camera cords and made sure the laptop was ready to go. I am an alternate delegate representing the 6th District of Virginia; my daughter is a guest of the convention.

We will arrive in Minneapolis around noon today, allowing time to settle into our room at the Radisson University Hotel on the University of Minnesota campus. Looking at maps, we appear to be several miles from the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, but shuttle service for convention goers will be available on a daily basis.

Today’s events begin at 2 p.m. with a reception featuring singer Lee Greenwood followed by a screening of the movie “An American Carol,” a film by director David Zucker that is described by the Weekly Standard as “a frontal attack on the excesses of the American left from several prominent members of a growing class of Hollywood conservatives.”

“Until now,” according to the Standard, “conservatives in Hollywood have always been too few and too worried about a backlash to do anything serious to challenge the left-wing status quo.”

The convention Delegation Party will begin at 6 p.m. at the Minneapolis Convention Center, followed at 8 p.m. by a Virginia Delegation Welcome Party and Arcade Night at our hotel that will run until 11:30 p.m. Breakfast each morning in our hotel will offer an opportunity for the Virginia delegation to meet before heading out for the day’s activities. Monday’s events include the Circus Juventas, followed by the first session of the convention that begins at 2:30 p.m.

I am a little nervous as I hear of protesters who plan to try and disrupt the convention. We are also keeping an eye on Hurricane Gustav as he barrels toward the U.S. coastline, and on Hannah who is coming in behind him.

The long-awaited convention has finally arrived.
– – –
Katy Mitchell, 20, is a business administration student at Blue Ridge Community College in the transfer program with plans to complete her studies at James Madison University. A gymnast from age 6 to 16, she was home-educated in grades K-12. Her interest in politics began at age 12, when she helped her brother assemble yard signs and worked GOP headquarters with her mother during then Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign.

Lynn Mitchell, 55, grew up in the Richmond area, moved to Augusta County in 1996 and spent 16 years educating her children at home. She is vice chairwoman of the Augusta County Republican Committee and 6th District representative of the Virginia Republican Party’s Central Committee. Known as SWAC Girl in the Virginia political blogosphere, she is ranked as the state’s most influential blogger on

John McCain for President - Sarah Palin for Vice President

Saturday, August 30, 2008

An interview with Del. Chris Saxman ... McCain's VA co-chairman

[Editor's Note: This interview with Delegate Chris Saxman took place Thursday evening before the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's Vice Presidential pick. His response on Friday to that news? "Game on!" He will be a delegate to the Republican National Convention next week in Minneapolis-Saint Paul.]

SWAC Girl: You have been a long-time supporter of John McCain, and you were on board last summer when he almost dropped out from lack of money and lack of support. Having gone through that, do you find it amazing now that he is the presumed nominee?

Chris Saxman: Yes and no. Yes, because it was over last summer. I mean over. We were all just scratching our heads at how he could stay in but he sure did. No, because that is who John McCain really is. A leader. A survivor. He is such an inspiration on so many levels but is incredibly down to earth. Sure, I caught a lot of heat for supporting him in 2000 and JUST a little more last year and this. He will be a great leader for the American people and a great inspiration to the next generation of leaders.

SWAC Girl: What do you think of Barack's lack of a bounce this week during his convention?

Chris Saxman: Well, it’s not over and I think it will be around 8-10 points in the end. The façade of the set behind him is most appropriate – looks good but there is nothing behind it. It will come down as quickly as it went up.

SWAC Girl: Swing voters reportedly are between the ages of 40-59 during this election. Obama has young voters; McCain has older voters. Do you agree because you and I fall into that swing group?

Chris Saxman: No, not because that is where we fall but where they are currently appealing. I think it will change and is. Obama numbers are falling in key states and in key demographics because people are taking a closer look at the candidates and going with an experienced leader who has a long record of working with the other party.

SWAC Girl: The stage backdrop for the GOP Convention is a huge American flag. Since John McCain is an American hero, do you think that personifies him?

Chris Saxman: Good question. I don’t think it personifies him although he is quite obviously an American hero of great magnitude.

SWAC Girl: I have heard you say in the past that John McCain's background made an impact on you as far as supporting him, and you were able to explain it to your son, William. Could you tell that story?

Chris Saxman: Well, we were watching one of the very early debates together side by side on the couch. I had my arm around William and we were just vegging, watching and listening….and William looks up at me and says, “Why are we supporting McCain?” Gratified that he accepted my wisdom without question, I knew that I could not sell him on policies or even McCain’s personal story of service and sacrifice. So, I just looked at him and said, “Because he inspires me to serve others."

SWAC Girl: You are 42. John McCain is 72. Do you think he is too old for the job as President?

Chris Saxman: Not at all. Have you ever met his mother, Roberta? She is 96 and so is her twin! She is sharp as a tack and an amazing woman. I’ve met her several times and she is always engaging and FUNNY … whenever you see people leave a conversation with her, they always say, “Wow, she’s a piece of work.” Almost to a person. I stayed with some of his DC staffers in SC during the primary in January and to a person they all agreed that he has so much energy that McCain just wears them out. And these are fresh out of college kids!

So, no. Not at all.

SWAC Girl: Any other thoughts about the convention? The line-up? The next two months? Convention?

Chris Saxman: No real thoughts…still have three soccer games this weekend to go to and a ton of work to knock out so I really have not thought about it too much. I have watched very little of the Democrats convention just been too busy with work and the kids practices and Mary Kathryn’s first varsity volleyball game! Lee beat Harrisonburg in 5 games!!!

The line up? I am sure it will be great. But the convention will be a complete introduction of John McCain to the country and people who have not paid attention will be amazed at his story and hopefully inspired by it to serve, as he says, a cause greater than themselves.

Next two months? It is going to be awesome.

SWAC Girl: Care to offer a prediction on the outcome of this race?

Chris Saxman: Sure. % or electoral? Just kidding. I really do think McCain will win. The experience factor will hurt Obama too much and people will accept that McCain really has been a reform leader for decades, was right on the Surge, was right on corruption in DC, and is right on more issues that matter to voters. The economy grew 3.3% in the last quarter so that will take some of the wind out of that sail. The critical vote on drilling when Congress is back in will really impact the congressional races and maybe the POTUS race. I think I know the McCain closing argument but will wait for him to make it. In the end, yes people want change – the question will be how much and who do people trust to really be independent of their party. Answer – John McCain. Why? He’s walked it not just talked it.

Cross-posted at

Friday, August 29, 2008

Alaska ... an independent land that brings us Sarah Palin

Anyone who has been to Alaska knows how it gets into your soul ... the independence of the people ... the vast spread of land ... wilderness, wild animals, frontier ... majestic Denali ... glaciers ... silt-filled rivers.

My sister lived in Alaska for a few years reporting for the Anchorage Daily News. I had the opportunity to visit and fall in love with a land that is very different from the Lower 48.

First and foremost, Alaskans are independent. Period. They personify the spirit of the Wild, Wild West ... they are self-reliant in a land where they do not depend on the government to care for them, where a false step could cause death in a heartbeat, where cabins are scattered miles apart in the vast wilderness ... where the Alaska Railroad still picks up and drops off folks who live so far out there are no roads, and they have no cars.

It is a rugged land with wide open skies, mountains, and run-ins with moose are common ... and dangerous. Almost every vehicle has gravel-pocks and cracks in their windshields because of the back roads. People pack an extra tire and gas on top of the car.

They are survivors ... and I see that independent spirit in Sarah Palin ... and it makes me proud. Her husband works the oil fields. They are hunters. They are involved in the community and with their kids.

Someone at Barticles made fun of her children's names. Hey -- it's Alaska! Folks there are free spirits. Besides, are we electing someone based on the name of their children?

The spirit of Alaska can be found in Sarah Palin ... and America, especially the Lower 48, can learn a thing or two from her.

McCain-Palin ... here's the video

My phone hasn't stopped ringing ... emails have come in all afternoon ... the buzz about John McCain's pick of Sarah Palin for Vice President is phenomenal. Only one negative was heard in a comment left on my blog. Everyone else has been ecstatic! Watch the video from today's event.

Home run for this campaign! VA delegates are stoked going to the convention. She is one of us ... an everyday person ... who loves her country, loves her family, loves her state ... she is positive and uplifting ... the complete opposite of the Democrats' negative attitude toward this great land we call America!


John McCain's official announcement about Sarah Palin

My Friends,

I am honored to announce that I have chosen Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as my choice for the Republican nominee for Vice President. As a father with three daughters, I can't express how proud I am to choose the first female Republican Vice-Presidential nominee.

Sarah Palin is a trailblazer and a reformer. As the first female governor of Alaska, she challenged a corrupt system and has been a tireless advocate for reform - passing a landmark bill on ethics reform. She has taken on the old politics in Alaska and reformed the state's energy industry. She rejects wasteful pork barrel spending. She's fearless - exactly the type of leader I want at my side and the type of leadership we will bring to Washington.

My friends, together Sarah Palin and I make the strongest presidential ticket and I know that she joins me in asking for your support as we head into our Convention week in Minnesota. We're shaking things up in this campaign - and Governor Palin and I are ready to bring real reform to Washington.

The polls indicate this will be a tight race as we head into the fall campaign against Senators Obama and Biden. I expect the polls to remain close all the way up to Election Day and that is why any help you can give today will go a long way to make history on November 4th.

You may already know that I have decided to accept federal matching funds for the final months of this campaign- keeping a campaign promise I made. But that means that August 31st marks the last day I can accept your primary contribution. Will you make an immediate donation of whatever you can give- whether it's $50 or $500 to ensure Governor Palin and I win in November?

You can be assured that as President and Vice President, Governor Palin and I will always put country before all else. We are ready to lead and I ask that you join our campaign today. Your support is deeply appreciated.


John McCain

P.S. I have chosen Governor Sarah Palin as my running mate and today we will hold a joint campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio. Please tune in to any of the cable news stations to watch this rally at noon eastern time. After watching the rally, I hope you'll visit my website to financially support our ticket as we head into next week's Republican Convention. Thank you.

The announcement is made by John McCain ... Sarah Palin!

It was a sea of American flags in Ohio when John McCain and his family took center stage to announce his running mate for Vice President.

"I had many good people to choose from," he said while expressing his gratefulness at their willingness to serve with him. "But I can only choose one."

"I found someone with an outstanding reputation ... who has fought against corruption ... fierce devotion. She knows where she comes from and stands up for what she believes is right. ... She is exactly who I need, who this country needs, to help me fight the same old Washington politics.

"My friends ... and fellow Americans, I am very pleased to introduce to you the next Vice President of the United States ...

"... Governor SARAH PALIN of the great state of Alaska!"

She entered and the crowd went ballistic as she approached the podium ... and she said, "Senator, I am honored to be chosen as your running mate!" and the place went ballistic again.

She then introduced husband Todd, an Alaskan fisherman and a Union man in the oil fields. Today is their 20th anniversary and she joked she had promised him a little surprise for their anniversary. She hoped to have delivered!

Four of her children were with them ... the oldest joined the Army on September 11, 2007, and will leave next month for Iraq. The crowd burst out into a chant of "USA! USA! USA!"

The excitement buzz in the Virginia Republicans is amazing ... this campaign just took off!

Eighty-eight years ago women won the right to vote in this country. Today, the women of America showed they aren't finished yet, in the words of Sarah Palin -- we are going to shatter that glass ceiling of leadership!

She finished her speech, "God bless America!"

McCain-Palin for 2008!

McCain - Palin GOP ticket!

She's a wife and a mom of five ... but Sarah Palin is also a tough executive who has strong leadership skills that make her a wildly popular governor in Alaska. Her current polling shows 80% approval in her home state.

· She has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources.

· She leads a state that matters to every one of us -- Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent.

· She has actually used her veto and cut budgetary spending. And she put a stop to the bridge to nowhere that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars.

· In Alaska, she challenged a corrupt system and passed a landmark ethics reform bill.

· As the head of Alaska's National Guard and as the mother of a soldier herself, Governor Palin understands what it takes to lead our nation and she understands the importance of supporting our troops.

Sarah Palin fights for what she believes in ... she's not afraid to take on the establishment. She follows her principles and works hard to enact change to better government.

John McCain for President

REAL CHANGE! It's Sarah Palin for the GOP!

It's Sarah Palin for the GOP!

John McCain is offering America real change!

He is putting his actions where his mouth is by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate. She's young, she's a wife and mom, she's pro-life, pro-NRA, unabashedly conservative. Nicknamed "Sarah the Barracuda," she fights for what she believes in.

"Change for America?" This is it!

Excitement grows over Republican VP choice

I am literally sitting on the edge of my seat ... Fox News is on ... emails and text messages flying back and forth ... blogs speculating ... internet stories building as we wait for John McCain's announcement of the Republican pick for Vice President. I thought it would be another ho-hum wait-to-see-who-they-picked morning ... but I am excited as names are crossed off the list.

The McCain campaign has succeeded in keeping a secret as excitement grows waiting to hear who has chosen and who we will be campaigning for over the next 60 days. Stay tuned....

The Swamp Blog offers more evidence it may be Sarah Palin and added background:
Palin is the first woman governor of Alaska, elected in 2006. She was also the youngest ever elected at the age of 42. She is the mother of five children, the youngest of whom was born in April and has Down's Syndrome. She ran on a clean government platform in '06 to defeat the incumbent Republican Governor Frank Murkowski.
If this is true, the sky is the limit on where this campaign can go.

Is it Sarah Palin?

Politico is reporting Karl Rove thinks it's Sarah Palin. When Karl Rove makes a prediction, I pay attention. Are we about to have a woman Vice President candidate? Go GOP!

Wouldn't it be great to have Virginian Eric Cantor on the ticket?

Reports now say Romney is out ... Sarah Palin moving up list

Politico and Fox News are both speculating about Alaska's 44-year-old Governor Sarah Palin for the GOP Vice Presidential choice ... conservative woman who has a lifetime membership in the NRA. That's my kind of woman!

But I am still holding out for Eric Cantor....

Politico reports MN's Pawlenty not likely VP choice

Politico is breaking it this morning that Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty will not be in Dayton, OH, today but at the MN State Fair instead.
"I'm going to be at the [Minnesota] state fair," Pawlenty said on WCCO just minutes ago.

"I will not be in Dayton, Ohio, so I think that's a fair assumption," he added in an interview with the Twin Cities radio station, when asked if this was an indication that he would not be chosen.

He added: "It was an honor to be considered."
The Republican Vice Presidential watch continues.

John McCain for President

Thursday, August 28, 2008

McCain campaign's reaction to Obama's acceptance speech

Tonight, the McCain campaign issued the following statement from Tucker Bounds, McCain 2008 spokesman, on Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention:

"Tonight, Americans witnessed a misleading speech that was so fundamentally at odds with the meager record of Barack Obama. When the temple comes down, the fireworks end, and the words are over, the facts remain: Senator Obama still has no record of bipartisanship, still opposes offshore drilling, still voted to raise taxes on those making just $42,000 per year, and still voted against funds for American troops in harm's way. The fact remains: Barack Obama is still not ready to be President."


MISLEADING CLAIM #1: Barack Obama Can Bring Democrats And Republicans Together. OBAMA: "America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

· NPR's Juan Williams: Barack Obama "Doesn't Have The Record" Of Bipartisanship That John McCain Has. NPR'S JUAN WILLIAMS: "You think about everything from campaign finance to immigration and on, and there's John McCain working across party lines. Senator Obama doesn't have a record. Now, he can make the claim and he can hold himself up as pure and trying to reach to a new generation of post partisan politics, but he has to do so largely based on rhetoric and wishful thinking because he doesn't have the record." (Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume," 5/7/08)

· Watch YouTube video.

· The Washington Post's Richard Cohen: "There Is Scant Evidence The Illinois Senator Takes Positions That Challenge His Base Or Otherwise Threaten Him Politically." "Obama might have a similar bottom line, core principles for which, in some sense, he is willing to die. If so, we don't know what they are. Nothing so far in his life approaches McCain's decision to refuse repatriation as a POW so as to deny his jailors a propaganda coup. In fact, there is scant evidence the Illinois senator takes positions that challenge his base or otherwise threaten him politically. That's why his reversal on campaign financing and his transparently false justification of it matter more than similar acts by McCain." (Richard Cohen, Op-Ed, "McCain's Core Advantage," The Washington Post, 6/24/08)

· Politico's Jonathan Martin: "He's pretty much a conventional liberal on the issues and has few examples of breaking with his own party, so how does Obama try to pull off being 'post-partisan?'" (Jonathan Martin, "Obama's Third Way: It's All In The Tone," Politico, 6/30/08)

· Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK): "His Record Does Not Reflect Working In A Bipartisan Fashion." "Boren, the lone Democrat in Oklahoma's congressional delegate, said that while Obama has talked about working with Republicans, 'unfortunately, his record does not reflect working in a bipartisan fashion.'" (Tim Talley, "Okla. Dem Calls Obama Liberal, Declines To Endorse," The Associated Press, 6/10/08)

· "The Record Shows Obama To Be A Fairly Doctrinaire Liberal Democrat ..." (Editorial, "Obama's Rhetoric Soars, But What Does His Record Suggest?" USA Today, 1/28/08)

· In 2007, Obama Voted With The Democrat Party 97 Percent Of The Time. (Congressional Quarterly Website,, Accessed 3/3/08)

· In 2006, Obama Voted With The Democrat Party 96 Percent Of The Time. (Congressional Quarterly Website,, Accessed 1/27/08)

· In 2005, Obama Voted With The Democrat Party 97 Percent Of The Time. (Congressional Quarterly Website,, Accessed 1/27/08)

MISLEADING CLAIM #2: Barack Obama Will Ensure That Our Troops On The Ground Have "The Equipment They Need In Battle." OBAMA: "As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

· Barack Obama Voted Against Providing $94.4 Billion In Critical Funding For The Troops In Iraq And Afghanistan. (H.R. 2206, CQ Vote #181: Passed 80-14: R 42-3; D 37-10; I 1-1, 5/24/07, Obama Voted Nay)

MISLEADING CLAIM #3: Barack Obama Has Not Supported The President. OBAMA: "These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush. ... But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)
· Barack Obama Says He Voted With President Bush "For The Most Part." REPORTER: "For a couple of days, they've been saying you voted to raise taxes something like 94 times. That seems to be the drumbeat that's going to happen during this campaign. Are you going to raise taxes in a big way for average Americans?" OBAMA: "I mean this is the standard fare of politics. And the truth of the matter is that the only bills that I voted for, for the most part, since I've been in the Senate were introduced by Republicans with George Bush. You know, they were the majority for a big chunk of the time I was there." (KMOV [St. Louis, MO], 6/10/08)

· Watch Barack Obama's KMOV Interview

· The New York Times' David Brooks: Democrats Saying McCain Represents The Third Bush Term Are "Just Factually Inaccurate." "Finally, the Obama people are too convinced that they can define McCain as Bush III. The case is just factually inaccurate. McCain will be able to pull out dozens of instances, from torture to global warming to spending, in which he broke with his party, as Rush Limbaugh will tell you." (David Brooks, Op-Ed, "Calling Dr. Doom," The New York Times, 6/3/08)

Newsweek's Michael Hirsh: "As We Now Know Nearly Four Years Later, McCain Was Dead On In His Analysis Of What Went Wrong In Iraq." "In early November 2003, at a time when Fred Dalton Thompson was playing a tough D.A. on 'Law and Order,' John McCain was cross-examining Donald Rumsfeld for real on Capitol Hill. It was still very early into the U.S. occupation of Iraq, but the as-yet-unacknowledged (by Rummy, that is) insurgency was already out of control. Alone among his fellow GOP senators, McCain blasted Rumsfeld for not putting enough U.S. troops on the ground, and for resorting too soon to 'Iraqification' -- that is, transferring security to ill-prepared Iraqi forces. In an extraordinarily blunt speech at the Council on Foreign Relations that grim autumn, McCain warned that ultimately Iraq could become another Vietnam 'if we lose popular support in the United States.' The next day, the secretary of Defense asked McCain to breakfast. 'I read y our speech,' harrumphed Rumsfeld (that 'must have been an enjoyable experience for him,' McCain later joked to me). Then Rummy patiently explained to his fellow Republican why he and his top civilian brass (Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith and the usual crowd of incompetents) would continue to do things the same way. They 'believed there was no need for additional troops,' McCain later related. McCain had already realized that Rumsfeld was a lost cause. The real question, the senator suggested to me back then, was whether George W. Bush himself would push Rummy to make changes. 'I'd like to see the president fully engaged,' McCain said. Bush needed to be on top of 'more details of what's going on.' As we now know nearly four years later, McCain was dead on in his analysis of what went wrong in Iraq. Right down to the need for Bush to get engaged and fire Rumsfeld. McCain was so right that, among military experts today, the emerging conventional wisdom about Bush's current 'surg e' is that if it had occurred back then -- when McCain wanted it and the political will existed in this country to support it for the necessary number of years -- it might well have succeeded." (Michael Hirsh, "Why McCain's Collapse Matters," Newsweek, 7/26/07)

· John McCain Voted Against The 2005 Bush-Cheney Energy Bill. (H.R. 6, CQ Vote #152: Motion Agreed To 92-4: R 53-1; D 38-3; I 1-0, 6/23/05, McCain Voted Nay; H.R. 6, CQ Vote #158: Passed 85-12: R 49-5; D 35-7; I 1-0, 6/28/05, McCain Voted Nay; H.R. 6, CQ Vote #213: Adopted 74-26: R 49-6; D 25-19; I 0-1, 7/29/05, McCain Voted Nay)

· John McCain Is "Widely Acknowledged To Have Charted A Course Independent Of Bush" On Climate Change. "On global warming, McCain is widely acknowledged to have charted a course independent of Bush. Immediately after the 2004 election, in which he stumped for Bush's re-election, he sharply distanced himself from Bush on climate change, calling the administration's stance 'terribly disappointing.' McCain had co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Joe Lieberman to curb greenhouse gases in 2003. Bush had opposed any such move, citing possible harm to the economy and doubts over global warming." (William March, "McCain Bucks Ties To Bush," The Tampa Tribune, 6/11/08)

MISLEADING CLAIM #4: John McCain Believes We've Made "Great Progress" And Families Aren't Hurting. OBAMA: "He said that our economy has made 'great progress' under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the e conomy are strong." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

· Obama Use Of Quote Is "Misleading" And "Distorts" John McCain's Words. "The second and third quotes the Obama campaign uses from McCain are more misleading. The ad shows McCain saying: '[T]here's been great progress economically.' The quote comes from an interview McCain did with Peter Cook at Bloomberg Television in April. ... McCain was making a case for what he believed were positive economic developments during Bush's time in office. However, the fuller quote shows McCain was saying that whatever progress had been made, it wouldn't be enough to comfort families 'facing these tremendous economic challenges.' His comments overall are pessimistic; he cites 'challenging times' and 'enormous difficulties.' The Obama campaign distorts his views by using just a snippet of his remarks." (D'Angelo Gore, "Distorting McCain's Remarks,", 8/19/08)

· In The Full Question And Answer Cited By Barack Obama, John McCain Clearly Said That We Are In "Tough Times" And Families Are Facing "Tremendous Economic Challenges." Bloomberg's Peter Cook: "I'm going to ask you a version of the Ronald Reagan question. You think if Americans were asked, are you better off today than you were before George Bush took office more than seven years ago, what answer would they give?" McCain: "Certainly, in this time, we are in very challenging times. We all recognize that. Families are sitting around the kitchen table this evening and figuring out whether they're going to be able to keep their home or not. They're figuring out whether they're -- why it is that suddenly and recently someone in their family or their neighbor has lost their job. There's no doubt that we are in enormous difficulties. "I think if you look at the overall record and millions of jobs have been created, et cetera, et cetera, yo u could make an argument that there's been great progress economically over that period of time. But that's no comfort. That's no comfort to families now that are facing these tremendous economic challenges. But let me just add, Peter, the fundamentals of America's economy are strong. We're the greatest exporter, the greatest importer, the greatest innovator, the greatest producer, still the greatest economic engine in the world. And, by the way, exports and free trade are a key element in economic recovery. But these are tough times, tough times, and nobody knows that more than American families including in small towns of Pennsylvania. They haven't lost their fundamental religious beliefs, their respect for the Constitution, their right to bear arms. They are still -- keep America as a beacon of hope and freedom throughout the world." (John McCain, Interview With Bloomberg TV, 4/17/08)

· Watch Video Of Obama Economic Attack Compared To John McCain's Full Response.

· ABC News: Barack Obama Proved "He Knows How To Twist With The Best Of Them" When He Cited The McCain Quote. "Although Obama gets substantial mileage out of running against politics as usual, he provided a reminder on Friday that he knows how to twist with the best of them. Speaking in Erie, Pa., Obama charged: 'John McCain went on television and said that there has "been great progress economically" over the last seven and a half years.' Obama did not tell his audience, however, that McCain's Thursday reference to economic progress was quickly followed by him adding that such progress is 'no comfort' to struggling families." (Teddy Davis And Talal Al-Khatib, "Obama Twists McCain On Economy," ABC News, 4/18/08)

MISLEADING CLAIM #5: Barack Obama Will Pay For His Massive Spending Increase. OBAMA: "Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime -- by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less -- because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

· Barack Obama: "I Do Not Make A Promise That We Can Reduce [The Budget Deficit] By 2013." "'I do not make a promise that we can reduce it by 2013 because I think it is important for us to make some critical investments right now in America's families,' Obama told reporters this week when asked if he'd match McCain's pledge." (Nedra Pickler, "Analysis: Obama Won't Try For McCain's Budget Goal," The Associated Press, 7/8/08)

· Chicago Tribune: Barack Obama Has "No Interest In Eliminating Deficit Spending." "Since winning the nomination, Obama reportedly has been moving toward the middle of the political spectrum. But on the budget, he still sounds left of center, with no interest in eliminating deficit spending." (Editorial, "Failure Of Nerve," Chicago Tribune, 7/8/08)

· The Associated Press: Barack Obama Not "Even Trying" To Balance The Budget And "Frankly Says He's Not Sure He'd Bring It Down At All In Four Years." "Barack Obama says John McCain's plan to balance the budget doesn't add up. Easy for him to say: It's not a goal he's even trying to reach. Not only does Obama say he won't eliminate the deficit in his first term, as McCain aims to do, he frankly says he's not sure he'd bring it down at all in four years, considering his own spending plans." (Nedra Pickler, "Analysis: Obama Won't Try For McCain's Budget Goal," The Associated Press, 7/8/08)

· The National Journal's John Maggs: "[Obama] Has Rhetorically Committed To A 'Pay-As-You-Go' Approach By Offsetting New Spending And Tax Cuts With New Taxes Or Spending Cuts, But His Proposals Do Not Come Close To Meeting This Standard." (John Maggs, "Obama On The Economy," The National Journal, 5/31/08)

· Los Angeles Times: Barack Obama "Has Not Identified New Revenue Sources Or Spending Cuts To Pay For Some Of" His Proposals. "The Obama campaign responds that tax cuts, once enacted, are usually renewed and do not expire. Therefore, they say, Obama can legitimately claim to be recouping money for other purposes by scaling back the tax cuts. Obama has not identified new revenue sources or spending cuts to pay for some of what he wants to do." (Peter Nicholas, "Adding Up The Cost Of Obama's Agenda," Los Angeles Times, 7/8/08)

· The New York Times' David Brooks Said For Barack Obama To Fund His Domestic Programs, He Will Have To Break His Pledge Not To Tax The Middle Class. "Both [Obama and Clinton] promised to not raise taxes on those making less than $200,000 or $250,000 a year. They both just emasculated their domestic programs. Returning the rich to their Clinton-era tax rates will yield, at best, $40 billion a year in revenue. It's impossible to fund a health care plan, let alone anything else, with that kind of money. The consequences are clear: if elected they will have to break their pledge, and thus destroy their credibility, or run a minimalist administration." (David Brooks, Op-Ed, "No Whining About The Media," The New York Times, 4/16/08)

MISLEADING CLAIM #6: Under Barack Obama, We Will Achieve Energy Independence. OBAMA: "And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

· The Detroit News: Barack Obama's Energy Plan Will "Do Nothing To Answer The Nation's Long-Term Needs." "The latest additions to Sen. Barack Obama's energy plan, outlined during an appearance in Lansing Monday, may win the Democratic presidential candidate some votes from disgruntled consumers in November, but they'll do nothing to answer the nation's long-term needs." (Editorial, "Obama's Energy Plan Is Fueled By Populism," The Detroit News, 8/5/08)

· The Washington Post Editorial: Barack Obama Offering Gimmicks On Energy. "When his presumptive Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), proposed a gas tax holiday as a way to reduce the high cost of driving, Mr. Obama showed political courage and intellectual honesty by refusing to sign on to that obvious gimmick. 'It's an idea to get them through an election,' Mr. Obama said. Now he has two such gimmicks of his own." (Editorial, "Tapping Tired Wells," The Washington Post, 8/6/08)

· Barack Obama Opposes Allowing States To Decide If They Want To Drill Offshore To Increase American Energy Independence. Obama: "The politics may have changed, but the facts haven't. The accuracy of Sen. McCain's original position has not changed: Offshore drilling would not lower gas prices today, it would not lower gas prices next year and it would not lower gas prices five years from now." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Press Availability, Jacksonville, FL, 6/20/08)

· Barack Obama Opposes Immediate Gas Tax Relief For American Families. Obama: "I think John McCain's proposal for a three month tax holiday is a bad idea." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Blue Bell, PA, 4/21/08)

· Barack Obama Called John McCain's $300 Million Prize For A Better Battery A "Gimmick." Obama: "In this campaign, John McCain is offering the same old gimmicks that will provide almost no short-term relief to folks who are struggling with high gas prices. Gimmicks that will only increase our addiction for another four years." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Las Vegas, NV, 6/24/08)

· Barack Obama Criticized Expanding Nuclear Power. Obama: "That might make sense in Washington, but it doesn't make sense for America. In fact, it makes about as much sense as his proposal to build 45 new nuclear reactors without a plan to store the waste some place other than, guess where? Right here in Nevada at Yucca Mountain." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Las Vegas, NV, 6/24/08)

· Barack Obama Is Proposing A Tax On Oil That Will Only Lead To Higher Prices At The Pump. "Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal for a windfall profits tax on oil companies could cost $15 billion a year at last year's profit levels, a campaign adviser said." (Daniel Whitten, "Obama May Levy $15 Billion Tax On Oil Company Profit," Bloomberg News, 5/1/08)

· The Washington Post: Barack Obama's Tax On Oil Will Only Lead To "Higher Prices At The Pump." "But to add a five-year tax increase on top of that to pay for a one-year gift to voters would, indeed, increase the cost of doing business. That cost would be passed along in forgone investment in new production, lower dividends for pension funds and other shareholders, and higher prices at the pump -- thus socking it to the consumers whom the plan is supposed to help. If oil prices fall, there might be no windfall profits to tax. Then the Obama rebate would have to be paid for through spending cuts, taxes on something else or borrowing." (Editorial, "Tapping Tired Wells," The Washington Post, 8/6/08)

MISLEADING CLAIM #7: Barack Obama Will Cut Taxes. OBAMA: "I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow. I will cut taxes -- cut taxes -- for 95% of all working families." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Denver, CO, 8/28/08)

· Barack Obama Voted Twice In Favor Of The Democrats' FY 2009 Budget Resolution. (S. Con. Res. 70, CQ Vote #85: Adopted 51-44: R 2-43; D 47-1; I 2-0, 3/14/08, Obama Voted Yea; S. Con. Res. 70, CQ Vote #142: Adopted 48- 45: R 2- 44; D 44- 1; I 2-0, 6/4/08, Obama Voted Yea)

· The Budget Resolution Would Have Allowed Most Of The Provisions Of The 2001 And 2003 Tax Cuts To Expire, Effectively Raising Taxes On Those Making $41,500 In Total Income. "What Obama voted for was a budget resolution that would have allowed most of the provisions of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts to expire. In particular, the resolution would allow the 25 percent tax bracket to return to its pre-2001 level of 28 percent. That bracket kicks in at $32,550 for an individual or $65,100 for a married couple. ... But as those of you who have filled out a 1040 know, that's not actually how income taxes work. We don't pay taxes on our total earnings; we pay them based on our 'taxable income.' The Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center's Eric Toder told that 'people with taxable income of $32,000 would have a total income greater than that.' In 2008, anyone filing taxes with single status would be entitled to a standar d deduction of $5,450, as well as a personal exemption of $3,500. So to have a taxable income high enough to reach the 25 percent bracket, an individual would need to earn at least $41,500 in total income, while a married couple would need a combined income of at least $83,000." ("The $32,000 Question,",, 7/8/08)

· "Obama's Votes Indicate A Willingness To Raise Taxes." "Certainly Obama's votes indicate a willingness to raise taxes, and Obama has not been shy about saying explicitly that he will raise some taxes." ("The $32,000 Question,",, 7/8/08)

· Obama Campaign: Barack Obama Voted For A Budget Resolution That Wouldn't Have Increased Taxes For Any Taxpayers Making Less Than $41,500. ROSEN: "Campaign aides to Senator Obama today, called the charge that he voted for tax hikes on people making only $32,000 a year, quote, 'bogus.' They circulated an analysis stating that the resolution that Obama had voted for would not have increase taxes on single taxpayer making less than $41,500 a year in total income." (Fox News' "America's Election Headquarters," 7/30/08)

· The New York Times: Barack Obama's "Vote Was On A Budget Resolution To Raise Taxes On People Making $41,500 A Year." ", a nonpartisan Web site, said the vote was on a budget resolution to raise taxes on people making $41,500 a year; the $32,000 figure, it said, was the amount of taxable income those people had." (Michael Cooper, "McCain Goes Negative, Worrying Some In GOP," The New York Times, 7/30/08)

John McCain for President
Cross-posted at

NewsMax VP poll mirrors Saxman VP poll sponsored a poll for Vice President and their results were the same as the one published tonight by Del. Chris Saxman: Mitt Romney was the overwhelming choice out of a large field of names. His 45.7% put him far ahead of second place Mike Huckabee with 12.9%. See the results here.

John McCain for President

Saxman's VP Poll ... 4% voted for Saxman!

Chris Saxman's Vice Presidential poll had one particular surprise ... 4% voted for Chris Saxman for VP! Apparently some have bigger plans for our Mr. Delegate. Here are the results:

Thanks to everyone who responded to my email yesterday asking for your thoughts on who the Republican Vice Presidential nominee will be. I had planned on keeping voting open a bit longer, but the buzz seems to be heating up that Senator McCain's pick may be revealed as early as tonight or first thing in the morning.

So here were your votes:

1. Who do you want to be the Republican Vice Presidential nominee?

Governor Mitt Romney - 30%
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison - 10%
Governor Mike Huckabee - 9%
Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice - 9%
Congressman Eric Cantor - 6%
Governor Sarah Palin - 6%
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell - 4%
Governor Bobby Jindal - 3%
National McCain Co-Chair Meg Whitman - 3%
Speaker Newt Gingrich - 3%
Senator Joe Lieberman - 2%
Lt. Governor Michael Steele - 2%
And each with 1% of the vote:
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Senator Fred Thompson
Governor Tim Pawlenty
Governor Mark Sanford
Pat Buchanan
Governor Haley Barbour
Governor Charlie Crist
Governor Tom Ridge
General David Petreaus

2. Who do you think the Republican VP nominee will be?

Fewer of you were willing to take a stab at this one, but the results were:

Governor Mitt Romney - 82%
Governor Tim Pawlenty - 8%
Governor Tom Ridge - 6%
Senator Joe Lieberman - 2%
Congressman Eric Cantor - 2%

Thanks again to everyone who responded, and like you, I look forward to learning who will be joining our Republican ticket!


Chris Saxman

PS- And a special thank you to the 4% of you who voted for me as your choice for VP- humbling and humorous all rolled into one!

John McCain for President
Cross-posted at

Day 3 of convention and Obama still sees no bounce....

Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention ... McCain and Obama are tied, 47% - 47%.

John McCain for President 2008

Greed takes over at parking lots outside Mile High Stadium

The Fox News folks who were trying to park their satellite truck this morning preparing for the day's activities at Mile High Stadium reported of parking sharks who are stiffing people for huge amounts of money.

They were setting up in a lot where the attendant told them it would be $50 per slot and they would need eight slots; a total of $400. When the guy raised it to $2,000, they left. The correspondent reporting it live on the air said "no go" ... she wasn't about to be stiffed for that much money.

Can't say I blame her. I guess the guy figured a big news outfit would pay anything he asked. He is now out $2,000, and Fox has found another site to park. Greed.

CO Republican Chair Dick Wadhams holds down fort in Denver

Two years after experiencing the agony of defeat with the unsuccessful George Allen campaign in Virginia, Dick Wadhams is settled in as Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, and this week he is busy. With the Democrats gathered in Denver, he is keeping an eye on what is going on.

Mr. Wadhams, who was the architect behind Republican Sen. John Thune's 2004 victory over Democratic Senator Tom Daschle in South Dakota, is a friend of brilliant Republican political strategist Karl Rove who is now a Fox News Channel political analyst. Karl Rove is also in Denver keeping an eye on what is occurring.

National Journal caught up with Mr. Wadhams as he was preparing for the Democrats to descend on his state, and he was ready with plans to work behind the scenes to offer the voice of opposition. Check out the article for insight into Colorado Republicans' role in keeping an eye on the Dems.

I have enjoyed the Fox News crew this week as they work the Democratic National Convention. The Fox & Friends anchors were having fun this morning and shared photos of their excursion yesterday to Idaho Springs to BeauJoe's pizza where they partook of the five-pounder pizza. Idaho Springs ... I know it well....

Fox News will all be heading to Saint Paul for next week's Republican National Convention. Follow updates at

Another look at Mark Warner's DNC speech....

Bumped from prime time TV coverage, Mark Warner's speech continues to stir discussion in the blogosphere. I got a laugh out of this version from DJ McGuire.

Jim Gilmore for Senate 2008
Cross-posted at

Denver police arrest reporter for taking Democrat senators' photos

I have my issues with the mainstream media ... but I agree with Jerry at From On High on this one.
Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic Senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel.
Even more astounding was this:
Police on the scene refused to tell ABC lawyers the charges against the producer, Asa Eslocker, who works with the ABC News investigative unit.
I would think the media would blast this all over the nation....

Mackenzie: Biden selection may help McCain

Ross Mackenzie's latest column for suggests that Barack Obama's selection of Joe Biden as his running mate may actually help John McCain.

Mr. Mackenzie, my all-time favorite newspaper guy who was editor of my hometown Richmond Times-Dispatch for years until his retirement in 2007, has been a John McCain supporter for a long time. In following the Joe Biden selection, he has made some spot-on observations:
Last year the National Journal, a moderately liberal enterprise, named Barack Obama the Senate’s No. 1 leftie senator, Ted Kennedy No. 2, and Biden No. 3. ...

... so much for Obama’s “change” and “outsider” mantras. Biden is the paradigmatic Washington insider — a practitioner of the same ol’ inside-the-Beltway same-ol’. What’s more, he exudes an engaging cluelessness. He comes right out of central casting as perhaps the worst possible national candidate for anything.
Ouch. Read the rest of his column for continued insight into Joe Biden. He closes with this:
It’s a head-shaker. Think about it. The Obama-Biden ticket consists of Tweedledum and Tweedledee Senate liberals straining to depict John McCain as but a clone of President Bush. That only can help McCain make the (winning) case that this campaign is not principally about George Bush — whose name of course will be absent from the November ballot — but Barack Obama.
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.

Cross-posted at

Gilmore Op-ed: "Card Check legislation would weaken VA's right to work laws"

By Jim Gilmore

If Barack Obama is elected President this fall, and the Democrats get a filibuster proof Senate as they hope to do with the election of Democrat Mark Warner, one of the first causalities of the new Obama Administration may well be Virginia’s historic Right to Work law.

The AFL-CIO and liberal Democrats allied with Big Labor are making it known that one of their major goals following the 2008 election is the enactment of the so-called Employee Free Choice Act which would strip workers of the right to vote by secret ballot on whether or not to join a union. The legislation would also leave workers subject to threats and intimidation by union organizers.

If this legislation – which Mark Warner supports -- becomes law, workers in Virginia and across the nation will no longer have control over their employment. For one thing without a secret ballot they will lose control over whether they have to belong to a union. Under this legislation, many workers would not even know a union organizing campaign was underway -- something I do not believe can be tolerated.

The legislation would mandate compulsory binding arbitration, would provide excessively punitive penalties that apply only to employers and not to unions and would deny working Virginians and other workers across the country the opportunity to express their opinions about union recognition.

Like many long standing liberal ideas which have been offered by Barack Obama and Mark Warner, including the continued restriction of America’s domestic oil production, this idea is one whose time has passed. In fact, the card check idea was used for union organizing in the 1940s but was abandoned as a failure.

The Employee Free Choice Act, if enacted, would strip away workers’ privacy and workers’ rights and would undermine Virginia’s long standing tradition of Right to Work. That is unacceptable to me and certainly should be unacceptable to the vast majority of working Virginians.

Cross-posted at Bloggers 4 Jim Gilmore

Kay Bailey Hutchison?

Yankee Phil has picked up on the rumors making the rounds about the possibility of Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's name being in the mix of possible GOP Vice Presidential nominees. A friend first floated her name by me recently ... I had not even thought of her. Not a bad choice ... I like her ... as well as Eric Cantor....

John McCain for President 2008

Catching wild pigs....

[This was sent by a friend ... worth the post.]

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab the Professor noticed one young man (exchange student) who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter.

The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?"

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke. "You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming.

"When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in The last side. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat, you slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

"Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity."

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America . The government keeps pushing us toward socialism and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, tobacco subsidies, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc.. While we continually lose our freedoms -- just a little at a time.

One should always remember: There is no such thing as a free lunch! Also, a politician will never provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

Also, if you see that all of this wonderful government "help" is a problem confronting the future of democracy in America, you might be correct!

In this "very important" election year, listen closely to what the candidates are promising you! Just maybe you will be able to tell who is about to slam the gate on America.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

What's the weather going to be like at GOP Convention?

I was curious to see what the weather would be like in Minneapolis-Saint Paul during the Republican National Convention ... and was surprised to find it is very similar to the Valley's weather at this time of the year.

Here is the 10-day forecast:

Sunday: High 86, low 68 - sunny
Monday: High 82, low 64 - sunny
Tuesday: High 77, low 56 - isolated showers
Wednesday: High 76, low 56 - partly cloudy
Thursday: High 75, low 56 - partly cloudy
Friday: High 74, low 56 - mostly cloudy

BNN makes changes

What's going on over at Blog Net News? Today the headlines and blog names were rearranged and there's a new look. Wonder what Dave has up his sleeve next?

NLS: "That will appeal to middle America...."

I almost fell off my chair laughing....

McCain campaign phone conference with GOP National Delegates

I was surprised to receive a call tonight at 6:45 saying a last-minute phone conference with the John McCain campaign would be in 15 minutes at 7:00 p.m.

The call went out to Republican National Convention delegates nationwide and featured McCain for President campaign manager Rick Davis, McCain Senior Advisor Charlie Black, and Gary Bauer, President of Our American Values. In 30 minutes they were able to update about the campaign and take questions from four delegates ... one from New York City, one from Oregon, one from Idaho, and the fourth was simply identified as "Wayne."

Charlie Black led off by thanking everyone for joining the call, and said they were looking forward to seeing everyone in Saint Paul for the convention.

He then turned it over to Rick Davis who said he was very excited about the upcoming convention and that he knew it would be a good convention for Republicans.

Mr. Davis emphasized that we couldn't be in a better position going into our convention because the American public is getting a good dose of liberalism from the Democrats. Meanwhile, the polling data is looking very good for John McCain and has continued to pick up during the Democrat convention.

With a McCain War Room right outside the convention center in Denver, he said the McCain people have been all over cable TV, and that Gov. Mitt Romney and Gov. Rudy Giuliani, who were willing to go to Denver and put themselves in the "slingshot," as he put it, were doing a great job of carrying our message.

John McCain is currently in Phoenix working on his acceptance speech, and Cindy McCain just returned from a trip to Georgia the Country (not Georgia the state) where she accompanied an aide group carrying supplies.

Rallies leading up to the convention start will help drive momentum, and after some nuts-and-bolts information about being delegates, he turned it back over to Charlie Black.

Mr. Black said we are dead even in the polls which is a surprise to the Democrats because they thought they would be going into their convention with at least a 10-point advantage. Even the swing states are doing well with most either even or leading a bit.

With four days of TV coverage to present John McCain, his family, his platform and issues to America, the delegates will play a big part in helping to get out the message. He emphasized the platform, the themes each night, and expanded on issues like winning the war in Iraq, Russia, Iran, pork barrel spending, keeping taxes low, cutting taxes as possible, and drill here, drill now with emphasis on more energy resources including nuclear and alternative power.

He then introduced Gary Bauer as a good friend of John McCain's and a long-time supporter.

Mr. Bauer said it was a pleasure talking with the delegates. He shared that he has been in Saint Paul for two days helping to work on the Republican Party Platform, and that he had breaking news. While some years had been a battle with heated debates over the platform, this year was encouraging with a platform on every major principle solidly in line with conservatives including lowering the tax burden, less government interference, strong defense, pro-family, and pro-life. Those planks, he said, were not written working hand-in-hand with the delegates to put together a solid, conservative platform that Ronald Reagan would have been proud of.

John McCain has a 25-year record of being pro-life, he said, and while he has not always agreed with McCain on every issue over the year -- and he probably wouldn't agree with him on some in the future -- John McCain was able to reach independents and Reagan Democrats because he is a leader.

During the question-and-answer period, the question asked by a caller from New York City was interesting. It was more of a statement ... he said, if I heard this correctly, that if John McCain were to take 28% of NYC, he would carry New York State. This caller predicted McCain would carry both because he is strong in New York. Apparently, on Super Tuesday, John McCain made a prediction that he would carry NYC on election day ... and this caller felt that was going to happen.

Before ending the call, Gary Bauer said he has been around Saint Paul the past two days wearing his GOP badge. While Minnesota hasn't gone Republican in a long time, he has been stopped by working-class people on the street who have told him that, for the first time in their lives, they are considering voting Republican and that they like John McCain.

The call ended after 30 minutes with Rick Davis saying he looked forward to having a great convention and seeing everyone in Saint Paul.

Saxman's GOP Vice Presidential poll

Del. Chris Saxman has a poll asking who you want to be the the GOP vice presidential nominee ... and who do you think it will be. Send him an email with your picks.

Here is what Del. Saxman wrote:

Well, we're just days away from the Republican National Convention, and the question on many minds is who will Senator John McCain pick to be his running mate.

As we've done here before, I'd like to know your thoughts.

1. Who do you want to be the Republican Vice Presidential nominee?

2. Who do you think the Republican VP nominee will be?

All responses will be kept confidential, and I will tally up the names and numbers before heading to Minneapolis this weekend. I look forward to hearing from you!


Chris Saxman

McCain momentum continues during Democratic convention

At a time when Barack Obama should be basking in the limelight of rising poll numbers during the Democratic National Convention ... he isn't.

Presidential tracking with Rasmussen today shows John McCain up a point over Obama: McCain 47%, Obama 46%.

It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall of the Democratic war room as they analyze the polls....

Warner stumbles ... to Gilmore's advantage?

There have been many takes on Mark Warner's speech last night at the Democratic National Convention including this analysis out of the Shenandoah Valley coming from Craig Orndorff at Shenandoah GOP.

It sounds as if Mark Warner didn't seal the deal last night as evidenced by Craig's post as well as numerous others. Jim Gilmore has an opportunity to grasp the moment.

Jim Gilmore for Senate

Cross-posted at Bloggers 4 Jim Gilmore

NewsMax will be at Republican National Convention

NewsMax will be at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. In a press release today, they announced plans for video coverage, news feeds, and more. This is an exciting addition to the conservative news lineup.

Here is the press release:

Ronald Kessler and Stewart Stogel to report live from Minneapolis-St. Paul

Newsmax Media (, a leading independent online news site and magazine, is covering the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul next week. Chief Washington Correspondent Ronald Kessler and writer Stewart Stogel will be reporting live from the event, featuring interviews and analysis with top newsmakers, opinion makers and bloggers.

Newsmax’s coverage plans for the Republican National Convention, taking place September 1-4, include; convention video and daily election news feed, breaking updates both online and in Newsmax’s election email newsletters, and live blogging coverage highlighting the major events of the convention.

"In this historic political year, we will be bringing our unique independent perspective and analysis to the convention," said Christopher Ruddy, CEO and editor in chief of Newsmax. "Our goal is to bring both conservative and alternative news perspective to our audience of more than 5 million readers, through, our email news alerts magazine and through several online newsletters."

In addition, Newsmax’s September cover story “The Influencers” features the Top 25 inside players, power brokers and dealmakers for the Republicans. The list classifies the top Republicans under several categories:

· The “Insiders & Strategists”—the movers and shakers who help formulate the policies that the president and Congress are seeking to implement including Newt Gingrich, William Kristol and Mark Salter

· The “Money Makers” who are the wealthy Brahmins of the party who back not only candidates, but political causes and think tanks in an effort to shape the public debate, featuring Sheldon Anderson, Mercer Reynolds and Bill Simon

· The “Political Activists” who reach out to millions in the grassroots, helping to frame public opinion and win elections, highlighting Tom DeLay, Richard Land and Paul Weyrich

About Newsmax Media

Newsmax ( is an independent online news site and magazine in the U.S. offering conservative and independent perspective. Now celebrating its 10-year anniversary, Newsmax is a one-stop shop to find out the latest breaking news and information on political, financial and health news in print, online and in email newsletters.
Cross-posted at

Good eye....

Riley ... good eye.

Frontier Culture Museum in Augusta County

This bucolic location is the Frontier Culture Museum which borders I-81 and Rt. 250 in Augusta County. With reproductions of farms throughout the centuries, it also boasts this Bluebird Trail with the shady picnic table to rest or eat lunch. Sadly, the sign had been defaced with a profanity (whited-out area on photo). Many children visit the Museum so it is sad to think some feel they must vandalize signs that children may have access to.

Changes to the Museum....

Old split rail fence is a sign of old ways....

Photos by SWAC Girl

Vets for Freedom ... "I am the Surge" TV ads

Vets for Freedom has released a new TV ad titled, "I am the Surge," which is an effort to educate the American public about the successes in Iraq. They are asking Americans to call Barack Obama's office and ask him to support our troops by supporting Senate Resolution 636. I called and got a recording that said they had a heavy call volume and invited me to visit the website or leave a message. I left a message.

From Vets for Freedom:
Greetings from Denver, Colorado. David Bellavia and I are at the Democratic National Convention informing delegates and the media about the dramatic success we witnessed in Iraq, and the need for victory on all fronts of the Global War on Terrorism.

Today we released a new television advertisement as part of our grassroots and media effort to educate the American public about the success of the surge in Iraq. The ad--"I am the Surge"--hits airwaves tomorrow and will run in the Denver media market this week, Minneapolis next week, and in Ohio, Michigan, Virginia, and Colorado in the weeks to come. Over $1 million will be dedicated to the message of this ad.

The thirty-second spot features three VFF members--all of which were part of the Surge--who can personally attest to success in Iraq; all three asking Senator Obama--point blank--to support their success, and the success of all troops, by supporting the bi-partisan resolution introduced by Senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham recognizing the success of the Surge and expressing gratitude to the men and women who made it possible as soon as the Senate returns from its five week vacation. (Senate Resolution 636, introduced July 31, 2008).

CLICK HERE to view ad.

CLICK HERE to read Senate Resolution 636.

As members of the largest Iraq and Afghanistan veterans organization in the country, we cannot stand by and let the incredible progress of our troops go unnoticed by the American public and lawmakers from either side of the aisle. It is essential that our top legislators--regardless of party--understand the importance of victory in Iraq and Afghanistan, the consequences of defeat, and the success of the surge in Iraq.

Senator Obama has said that he would still oppose the Surge in Iraq if given another opportunity, and has pointed to every outside factor--but the Surge--to explain improvements in Iraq. We hope he will listen to the veterans who have served there and support this important resolution for the sake of the troops.

As the ad mentions, please call Senator Obama’s office today (202-224-2854) and ask him to support our troops by supporting Senate Resolution 636.

It’s not enough to say you "support the troops." Now is the time to demonstrate--in the Senate and across the country--that supporting the troops means recognizing, honoring, and supporting their incredible success.
Have you made your call yet?

John McCain Convention Watch Parties

Next Thursday, John McCain will deliver his acceptance speech at the Republican Convention in Minnesota and you won't want to miss this exciting night. That's why we're asking you to gather with fellow supporters to host or attend a McCain Nation Convention Watching Party next Thursday, September 4th.

Our first McCain Nation National Event Day was a huge success - over 15,000 of your fellow McCain supporters participated. We're expecting more to participate in Convention Watching parties all across the country as John McCain officially accepts his Party's nomination next Thursday.

You are John McCain's best advocate in this election. You can make a huge difference in this campaign by reaching out to fellow McCain supporters and undecided voters to share why you support John McCain for president. Please visit the McCain Nation section of our website today to host or attend a Convention Watching Party next Thursday.

--From John McCain campaign

John McCain Store
John McCain for President 2008

CNN: "Angry Clinton supporters toast McCain, roast Obama"

Party unity seems to be lacking all around these days ... and nowhere is it more evident than with the Hillary Clinton supporters who are not happy that she was not even considered for the vice presidential spot on the Democratic ticket.

As reported by
The last place Kathy Archuleta could have ever imagined she'd spend the first night of the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, was at a happy hour sponsored by the Republican Party.

But the 54-year-old Democrat joined several other Hillary Clinton supporters, along with volunteers and officials from John McCain's campaign, at a Happy Hour for Hillary.

The event, sponsored by the Republican National Committee and approved by the McCain campaign, was a chance for McCain and Clinton supporters to come together for one cause: their opposition to Barack Obama's candidacy.
Recent polling data backs up that Barack Obama is not gaining ground during his convention. In fact, he has received a negative bounce since announcing Joe Biden as his running mate. CNN concluded:
As the convention heats up and tensions remain high over how to make sure Clinton's 18 million or so votes are counted, supporters will rally by her side, even if their pick in November is her enemy.
Her enemy? There is a reason politics is called a blood sport.

The circle of life....

She was a gentle soul ... a strong Christian, conservative ... a mom, wife, daughter ... going about life in her gentle Mennonite way ... long skirts and long hair and a permanent smile on her face, ready to reach out and help those in need. She was a gifted pianist and a beloved Sunday School teacher.

I used to hear her children laughing and playing in their yard ... the squeals of delight as they ran around outdoors chasing each other, dog yapping at their heels, just being kids. Even after their mother fell ill, when we knew the physical battle she was going through, the innocence of children's laughter ringing through the air reminded us of the circle of life.

At the age of 32, cancer crept into her body ... that incidious disease that went after this vibrant young woman. Her family tried everything to find a cure, traveling to visit doctors and hospitals, hoping to stop the cancer that eventually spread throughout her body. She lost her battle this week.

How does a family deal with the overwhelming grief that consumes children, spouse, siblings, and parents when a loved one is taken away? Faith.

Today it is raining in the Valley ... gentle but steady rain drops ... which somehow seems appropriate....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Country First" ... 2008 Republican National Convention Program

The 2008 Republican National Convention today announced the names of additional speakers for the program of events that will run Sept. 1-4. The convention’s overall theme, "Country First," reflects John McCain’s remarkable record of leadership and service to America. Each day of proceedings will center on a touchstone theme that has defined John McCain’s life and will be central to his vision for leading our nation forward as president.

"The 2008 Convention program will bring together Americans who will speak to John McCain's vision for reforming our government, building prosperity and ensuring peace for future generations. We are excited about next week and we are looking forward to showcasing John McCain’s life-long record of putting his country first," said Jill Hazelbaker, McCain 2008 communications director.

Among the new speakers announced today are Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio), U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist (Tenn.) and Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission Michael Williams. Their remarks will echo the themes that have been selected for each of the convention’s four days: service, reform, prosperity and peace.

"We are thrilled to announce our full program of speakers and program participants. We look forward to presenting a convention program that will share Senator McCain’s unparalleled record of experience and service with millions of Americans," said Maria Cino, president and CEO of the 2008 Republican National Convention.

The program of events follows. Additions to the program appear with an asterisk (*).

Monday, Sept. 1 - Service
"Love of country, my friends, is another way of saying love of your fellow countryman."
--Sen. John McCain

John McCain’s commitment to his fellow Americans, a commitment forged in service to his country, is one of the defining hallmarks of his life. Monday’s events will highlight John McCain’s record of service and sacrifice and reflect his commitment to serving a cause greater than one’s own self-interest.

Speakers will include:
- President George W. Bush
- Vice President Richard B. Cheney
- First Lady Laura Bush
- Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.)*
- Gov. Rick Perry (Texas)*
- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Calif.)
- Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.)*
- U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (N.C.)*
- U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.)*
- U.S. Sen. John Ensign (Nev.)*
- U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah)*
- U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.)
- U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.)*
- U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.)*
- U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.)*
- U.S. Rep. Thelma Drake (Va.)*
- U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (Ill.)*
- U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (Calif)*
- Maria Cino, President and CEO of the 2008 Republican National Convention*
- Jo Ann Davidson, Chairman of the 2008 Republican National Convention Committee on Arrangements*
- Tommy Espinoza*
- Maj. Gen. Rick Goddard, U.S. Air Force (Ret.)*
- Bill Gross*
- Ashley Gunn*
- Chris Hackett*
- Doug Leatherdale*
- Jay Love*
- Cynthia Lummis*
- Erik Paulsen*
- Capt. Leslie Smith, U.S. Army (Ret.)*

Program participants will include:

- Victoria Blackstone, Stars and Stripes Winner, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance
- Boy Scout Troop 738 of St Louis Park, Minn. will serve as the Color Guard

Tuesday, Sept. 2 - Reform
"If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you are disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and correct them."
--Sen. John McCain

John McCain’s life is a testament to the fundamental truth that every American can be a force for change. A restless reformer who has dedicated his career to taking on special interests and the status quo, John McCain will deliver the right kind of change and reform to meet the great challenges of our time. On Tuesday, the convention program will underscore his vision of a government that is transparent, principled and worthy of the American people it serves.

Speakers will include:
- Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani
- Gov. Jon Huntsman (Utah)
- Gov. Linda Lingle (Hawaii)
- Gov. Sarah Palin (Alaska)
- Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.)
- Former Gov. Tom Ridge (Pa.)
- Former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (Md.)
- U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.)*
- Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.)
- House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio)*
- U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.)*
- U.S. Rep. Luis Fortuño (Puerto Rico)*
- U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam (Fla.)*
- State Sen. Dennis Hollingsworth (Calif.)*
- Rosario Marin, California Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency and former Treasurer of the United States
- Chris Collins*
- Carolyn Dunn*
- Phil Hayes*
- Lisa Keegan*
- Ruth Novodor*
- Dr. Elena Rios *
- Shirley Sadler*
- Joe Watkins*

Program participants will include:

- Mary Leavitt will lead the Pledge of Allegiance
- The VFW of Red Lake, Minn. will serve as the Color Guard
- Rabbi Ira Flax will lead the convention in prayer
- Dr. Robert Certain will lead the convention in prayer

Wednesday, Sept. 3 - Prosperity
"America’s best days are still to come."
--Sen. John McCain

The American story is one of perseverance. Even in the face of tough times, the ingenuity and spirit of the American people has ushered in a new era of prosperity. Wednesday’s program will focus on John McCain’s plans to get our economy back on track and continue our long tradition of meeting the challenges we face and using our prosperity to help others. The day will conclude with an address by the vice presidential nominee.

Speakers will include:
- Mrs. Cindy McCain
- Republican Party’s Vice Presidential Nominee
- Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.)
- Former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.)
- U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.)
- U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas)*
- U.S. Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.)*
- Mayor Mick Cornett (Okla.)*
- State Sen. Abel Maldonado (Calif.)*
- Carly Fiorina, Victory ‘08 Chairman for the Republican National Committee and former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co.
- Meg Whitman, National Co-Chair for McCain 2008 and former President and CEO of eBay
- Renee Amoore*
- Anne Beiler*
- Jessica Colon*
- Christy Swanson*
- Raul "Danny" Vargas*

Program participants will include:

- Sharon Clahchischillage will lead the Pledge of Allegiance
- The Law Enforcement Memorial Association of Minnesota will serve as the Color Guard
- Father Edward Reese will lead the convention in prayer
- Rev. Eva Rodriguez will lead the convention in prayer

Thursday, Sept. 4 - Peace
"Our next president will have a mandate to build an enduring global peace on the foundations of freedom, security, opportunity, prosperity, and hope."
--Sen. John McCain

John McCain understands the challenges that America faces in the world and the sacrifice necessary to defend our freedom in a way that few others can fathom. Thursday’s events will reflect his vision of an America in pursuit of peace and seen as a beacon of goodwill and hope throughout the world. The evening will close with John McCain accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for the Presidency of the United States.

- John McCain
- Gov. Charlie Crist (Fla.)
- Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.)
- U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.)
- U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.)*
- U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.)
- Former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist (Tenn.)*
- U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin (Okla.)*
- Michael Williams, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission*
- David Flaum*
- Christopher Fussner*
- Lt. Gen. Carol Mutter, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)*
- Charlie Smith*

Program participants will include:

- The 934th Airlift Wing Air Force Reserves Joint Color Guard of Minn.
- Pastor Dan Yeary will lead the convention in prayer
- Archbishop Demetrios will lead the convention in prayer
- About the Republican National Convention

The 2008 Republican National Convention will be held at Saint Paul's Xcel Energy Center from Sept. 1-4, 2008. Approximately 45,000 delegates, alternate delegates, volunteers, members of the media and other guests are expected to attend the convention. Minneapolis-Saint Paul is expected to receive an estimated $150-$160 million positive economic boost from the four-day event.

Only six more days before the start of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. The newest update of the convention schedule came out today ... will be posting that later tonight.

Skeptical scientists overwhelm global warming conference

Al Gore was ridiculed by an Indian geologist at a recent summit of the UN's International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) held in Oslo. The International Geological Congress has been dubbed the geologists' equivalent of the Olympic Games with participation by the world's top geologists.
"I am really amazed that the Nobel Peace Prize has been given on scientifically incorrect conclusions by people who are not geologists," [Dr. Arun D.] Ahluwalia, a fellow of the Geological Society of India, said during a question and answer panel discussion.
Dr. Ahluwalia is with the Center of Advanced Study in Geology at Punjab University and a visiting scholar of the Geology Department at University of Cincinnati.

Dr. Ahluwalia also accused the climate panel as being elitist:
Ahluwalia, who has authored numerous scientific studies in the fields of geology and paleontology, referred to the UN climate panel as the "elite IPCC." "The IPCC has actually become a closed circuit; it doesn't listen to others. It doesn't have open minds."

Ahluwalia, a board member of the UN-supported International Year of the Planet also criticized the promoters of man-made global warming fears for "drawing out exaggerated conclusions" and took the UN to task for failing to allow dissenting voices.
Global warming has been questioned by many scientists worldwide including Professor Charles Hall from SUNY-Syracuse who said:
“About two thirds of the presenters and question-askers were hostile to, even dismissive of, the IPCC and the idea that the Earth's climate was responding to human influences. This was rather shocking to me who knows of several other such scientists but had no idea there were so many.”
The voices against global warming are becoming louder even as more scientific evidence is pointing to the possibility of global cooling.

Former Democratic Congressman Tim Penny supports McCain

John McCain picked up another endorsement Monday, one from an old friend who formerly was a Democrat and currently is an independent. According to the Mankato (MN) Free Press:
Former Democratic Congressman Tim Penny of Waseca put his mouth where his money is Monday, telling the media gathered in Denver for the Democratic National Convention that Republican Sen. John McCain is his choice in the presidential election.
Penny has contributed financially to McCain's campaign as well as lending his support. He was a popular congressman in a Republican area until he left Washington politics in 1994.

John McCain for President 2008

47% of Democratic women say Hillary should be on ticket

Many women in the Democrat ranks were Hillary supporters ... many wanted to see her name on the ballot in the vice presidential position. Will they support the Obama-Biden ticket? Rasmussen's polling shows 47% of Democratic women say Hillary should be on the ticket.


Negative bounce for Obama? Is Biden pulling down ticket?

Rasmussen polling continues its daily presidential tracking poll which shows John McCain and Barack Obama still tied at 44%-44% -- no bounce at all for Obama as the Democratic National Convention opened in Denver.

When "leaners" were added they were still tied 46%-46% which is a loss of 3% for Obama from the day before.

There is much discussion about the vice-presidential pick of Joe Biden. Since announcing the choice, polls have not picked up.

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week ... trucks deliver America

Goody bag from Wal-Mart store in Harrisonburg

This is National Truck Driver Week in America, a chance to thank all those hard-working drivers who truck goods nationwide to stores, shopping centers, grocers, hardware, home deliveries, construction sites, schools, colleges, churches, food services, manufacturing ... trucks move America.

My husband is a Teamster who drives an 18-wheeler in the Shenandoah Valley, delivering ... picking up ... part of the network of trucks moving goods around the area. When he was in Harrisonburg Monday, the Wal-Mart store was handing out goody bags to drivers ... a hodgepodge of snacks and useful items that someone who spends the majority of his day on the road could use.

Inside a gift bag they had provided:
3 small bags of assorted chips
Mountain Trail Mix
Dental floss
First aid kit
Rain-X Towelettes
Visor Organizer
Small flashlight and batteries
Notepad and pen
Oreo cookies
Assorted candy
It was a nice recognition that was appreciated by my husband who had eaten most of the candy before the photo could be taken. Thanks, Wal-Mart! And thanks to all those truckers.