Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan to hold rally in Fishersville area of Shenandoah Valley

In one of the biggest events to hit the central Shenandoah Valley in years, the Republican presidential team of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will hold a rally in Fishersville at the Expoland fairgrounds.

Doors will open at 4:00 p.m. Thursday, October 4, at Expoland with the rally slated to begin at 6:00 p.m. Country music star Trace Adkins will appear with them.

On Sunday afternoon an airplane was seen flying over Charlottesville pulling a banner than read, "Romney here 10/4." There's more than one way to get the word out.

You’re invited to a Victory Rally with
Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and
the Republican Team

Special Guest
Country Music Star Trace Adkins

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Doors Open 4:00 PM | Event Begins 6:00 PM

Augusta Expoland
277 Expo Road
Fishersville, VA 22939

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible.

No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

To RSVP and get your ticket, please visit:
For questions, contact us at: | (757) 279-8253
For Important Campaign Updates: Text (VA) to GOMITT (466488)

Cross-posted at Bearing Drift

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Trace Adkins in Fishersville Oct. 4

You’re invited to a Victory Rally with
Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, and
the Republican Team

Special Guest
Country Music Star Trace Adkins

Thursday, October 4, 2012
Doors Open 4:00 PM | Event Begins 6:00 PM

Augusta Expoland
277 Expo Road
Fishersville, VA 22939

All attendees will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible.

No bags, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids, or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

To RSVP and get your ticket, please visit:
For questions, contact us at: | (757) 279-8253
For Important Campaign Updates: Text (VA) to GOMITT (466488)

Sunday lunch is cooking....

Casual Sunday lunch ... chicken and veggies cooking on the stove top.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 30, 2012

Nichols apple barn in Middletown, Virginia

We roamed to Middletown today to buy apples from Nichols Apple Barn. They didn't disappoint and the barn was full of juicy choices for eating, pies, and applesauce.

Pink Ladies on the trees in the orchard with the apple barn in the background.

Staymans and others were available for $14 a bushel.

Mr. Nichols visited and gave us carte blanche to roam the orchard where Pink Ladies and Staymans as well as a few Golden Delicious were still on the trees. This is an annual trek for our friends Barb and Larry.

Pink Lady

Golden Delicious

That's a good-looking Stayman.

This was last year's visit to the apple barn. Soon we will make the trek for this year's journey. It's apple season in Virginia....

David Nichols
1832 Chapel Road
Middletown, VA 22645

Take I-81 exit 302 and follow signs to Middletown. At the traffic light, turn right (west) on Route 627 (Chapel Road) and travel 1 mile. Orchard is on the right.
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday; 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday; closed Sunday. Open approximately August 1-October 31.
Comments: We are conveniently located 3 miles from the intersection of I-66 and I-81. Just follow the signs to Middletown.
Products: Fresh-picked peaches, apples and pumpkins. Peach varieties include John Boy, Sunhigh, Loring, Cresthaven and Redskin. Apple varieties include Red Delicious, Ida Red, Golden Delicious, Stayman and York. Pumpkins start October 1. Dates may vary depending on the season.

More autumn photos:
- Skyline Drive ... every bend in the road bring fall colors
- Shenandoah National Park ... peak autumn weekend 2011
- Lake Moomaw in the Alleghany Mountains
- The mountain colors of Warm Springs, Va.
- Back roads of Bath County, Va.
- The fall colors of Lake Moomaw

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
From October 2011

Saturday, September 29, 2012

National Rifle Association endorses George Allen for U.S. Senate

George Allen has an "A" rating with the National Rifle Association. Tim Kaine has an "F."

It was not much of a surprise that on Saturday in Chantilly, Virginia, the NRA endorsed former Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen for the Virginia U.S. Senate. They had endorsed him last spring prior to the Republican primary when he ran against four opponents.

The endorsement came from the NRA's Political Victory Fund during the Nation's Gun Show. Chairman Chris W. Cox noted that, "George Allen has a proven record of defending the Second Amendment. Because of his strong support of our rights, George Allen has earned an “A” rating and endorsement from the NRA-PVF.

“The choice is clear in this election. George Allen will respect our right to self-defense and honor our rich hunting heritage. Tim Kaine will not,” Cox continued. “We urge all NRA members and gun owners in Virginia to vote George Allen for U.S. Senate on November 6.”

George Allen has a long-standing record of advocating for 2nd Amendment rights. While Governor of Virginia, he supported and signed Virginia's Right-to-Carry law, abolished parole for violent criminals, and promoted truth-in-sentencing legislation.

While in Congress, Allen co-sponsored and voted for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects American gun makers from being sued into bankruptcy. He also sponsored National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity legislation, cosponsored the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act, and voted to prohibit gun confiscation during states of emergency.

In contrast, his opponent, Tim Kaine, has a lengthy record of opposing the rights of gun owners. As a result, Kaine is rated “F” by the NRA-PVF.

As Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Tim Kaine strongly supported the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court – the same Sonia Sotomayor who signed an opinion saying that Americans do not have an individual right to keep and bear arms.

Kaine, as a Richmond councilman, suggested that the city of Richmond team up with Fairfax and Norfolk to push gun control laws. Further, he was endorsed by the anti-gun Brady Campaign in 2001 when he ran for Lieutenant Governor. And as governor, Tim Kaine vetoed HB 1106, which would have allowed law-abiding Virginians to carry a handgun in their personal motor vehicle or vessel as long as it was secured in a container or compartment.

George Allen was grateful for the endorsement, saying, “I am honored to have earned the endorsement of the National Rifle Association in this pivotal Senate race. It is meaningful to me to have the support of so many patriotic men and women in the sportsmen community who share my commitment to protecting our natural right of self-defense embodied in the Second Amendment and the freedom to hunt and fish.

"I appreciate the NRA’s principled protection of our Second Amendment rights through safe and responsible firearm ownership. As Governor, I was proud to have led historic reforms including the abolition of parole and juvenile justice reform that successfully reduced crime by cracking down on criminals without restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens.

"As Virginia’s Senator, I will continue standing for our constitutional rights in Washington while promoting responsible policies to keep our families and our streets safe.”

The National Rifle Association was established in 1871 and is the nation's oldest civil and sportsmen's group with four million members nationwide. The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund is responsible for political candidate ratings and endorsements. These are based on candidate voting records, public statements and responses to NRA-PVF questionnaires.

The NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services.

--From NRA-PVF Press Release

Cross-posted at Bearing Drift

Meandering Virginia's Blue Ridge Parkway

The scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains is enhanced by the Blue Ridge Parkway, that ribbon of roadway that meanders along the high ridges starting at Afton Mountain, Virginia. On an overcast, rainy day, wisps of fog drift up the hollows and cross the Parkway in an eerie quiet that is broken only by the sounds of falling acorns and wind rustling through the trees.

The grayness seemed to increase the feeling of isolation that was part of everyday life for mountain folks in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Looking at Humpback Rock from the Parkway entrance to the hiking trail, it is hidden behind the fog on a mild, rainy, early fall day.

There is something about foggy days in the mountains that draws me to the high ridges. It's fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western Virginia....

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 28, 2012

Mitt Romney VA update from state chair Bill Bolling

Dear Friends,

I want to thank you for working so hard to make certain that America’s Comeback Team of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan is elected in November.  We are breaking records with the number of phone calls made and doors knocked on!  

Thanks to your hard work, we have made more than 14 times more door knocks than in 2008 and we have made more than 17 times more phone calls than in 2008.  You can read the Republican National Committee’s memo on our ground game here.

These types of grassroots activities are critically important to making certain that Mitt Romney wins Virginia in November.  If you have not done so already, please sign up today to volunteer for Mitt Romney's campaign.  You can volunteer to help by visiting this website: HELP MITT WIN!

Mitt Romney is well positioned to win Virginia, but we have to close strong. Yesterday, NBC12 released a new poll on the Presidential campaign in Virginia. There are important signs in that poll that suggest that President Obama is not going to be elected to a second term. For example, the poll revealed that: 
  • The Presidential campaign in Virginia is a statistical dead heat.
  • 48% of Virginians disapprove of the job President Obama is doing. 
  • Virginians oppose President Obama’s devastating defense cuts 45% to 37%.  (Mitt was in Northern Virginia earlier this week talking about this important issue)
  • And by far, the top issue to Virginia voters is job and economy.
Only one candidate has a plan to bring jobs back to the Commonwealth and create a stronger plan for the middle class – Mitt Romney. 

President Obama has spent the last four years driving jobs out of Virginia and making it harder for businesses across America to start and grow, and if he is re-elected he will continue his assault on our economy and American business.

In fact, the Obama administration recently devised a new scheme that undermines right-to-work laws and allows the creation of micro-unions to increase union membership.  Micro-unions are a threat to the economic viability of our state and our nation and they should be stopped before they further undermine an already weak economy, resulting in the collapse of more businesses and the loss of more jobs.  Read my op ed in the Washington Examiner about this important issue.

We have just 39 days until Election Day.  Now is the time to make certain we are doing everything we can to help Mitt Romney get elected in November!  Please volunteer today at HELP MITT WIN.  We need everyone's help to defeat Barack Obama, elect Mitt Romney and get America back on the right track.

Thanks for all you do!

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling

Friday, September 28, 2012

Saturday: Fee-free day at Shenandoah, other national parks

On Saturday, September 29, 2012, the $15 entrance fee will be waived for visitors to Shenandoah National Park for fee-free day in America's national parks.

The colors of fall are starting their annual show a little early this year with  20 percent of the foliage already sporting reds and yellows. See for yourself on the video cam and then head for the Blue Ridge. The mountains are calling....

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 28, 2012
Cross-posted at Bearing Drift

Blue Ridge Parkway: Humpback Rock Farm slips into fall

The colors of fall have begun settling on Humpback Rock Farm at milepost 5.8 along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The nineteenth-century mountain farm located just south of Afton is made up of a rustic cabin, barn, hen house, spring house, and other outbuildings typical of a time from the past. Mr. Scarecrow watches over the last of fruits and vegetables in the garden as days shorten and temperatures drop.

During October, every weekend will feature costumed historical interpreters and musical entertainment. On crisp autumn days,  the fire in the cabin will warm chilly visitors while cooking demonstrations take place, or sit on a split-log bench under the chestnut tree and enjoy lively, toe-tapping mountain music from local artisans. Stroll along the self-guided trail with signs along the way that explain the buildings and crafts of the time.

Friday the colors of fall could be seen at the farm and along the Parkway. There's a special feeling in the mountains at this time of year especially on days when there are few others around so it's easy to imagine the feeling of living in such isolation.

On a rainy day, the well-known Humpback Rock that looms over the farm could not be seen behind the fog. With temperatures in the 60s, it was a good day to hike some of the trails and take in the beauty of the mountains.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 28, 2012

Afton Mountain: Swannanoa Golf Course

The fog crept in through mountain passes and drifted over an empty golf course.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 28, 2012

Afton Mountain rainy day

Much appreciated rain fell in the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains Friday. This view was from the Visitor Center parking area.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 28, 2012

Blue Ridge Parkway: Humpback Rock picnic area reopens

 After closing for the summer for repaving and other repairs, Humpback Rock picnic area has reopened in time for the fall color season.

Fire up the grill ... October is right around the corner.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 28, 2012

Kettle Corn on Afton Mountain

Sadly, it's the only place to eat on Afton Mountain. My husband loves the kettle corn so on this rainy day he was a happy camper....

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 28, 2012

Waynesboro ... fall color begins

Maple trees in the median of Hopeman Boulevard in Waynesboro
have begun their annual fall color show.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 28, 2012

Hard-hitting political ad for Allen West

Hard hitting, powerful, to the point. Allen West -- conservative Republican, former Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army, combat veteran of Iraq. This ad nails it.

Cross-posted at Bearing Drift

6th Congressional District: Goodlatte and Schmookler to meet in 3 debates

Three debates have been set up in the 6th Congressional District race between Republican incumbent Bob Goodlatte and Democratic challenger Andy Schmookler.

The debates have been strategically scheduled to cover the 6th District which runs from the northern counties of Shenandoah, Warren, and Page south to Roanoke City.

"These debates will provide voters with the opportunity to hear what I'm focusing on -- the economy, cutting government spending, and getting Americans back to work," said Goodlatte.

Goodlatte spoke with residents of the central Shenandoah Valley at the April SWAC (Staunton-Waynesboro-Augusta County) Political Breakfast in Waynesboro, and Schmookler was guest speaker at the SWAC Political Breakfast in March.

Here is the debate schedule:

Saturday, October 13 - 1:30 p.m. at James Breckinridge Middle School in Roanoke City. It will be hosted by the NAACP and the Williamson Road Area Business Association.

Monday, October 15 - 10:30 a.m. at Turner Ashby High School in Rockingham County.

Tuesday, October 16 - 7:30 p.m. at Liberty University in Lynchburg. It will be hosted by the Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce.

Poll: Independents breaking big for George Allen

The Virginia U.S. Senate race is still tied. A new Suffolk University/NBC-12 poll released Thursday showed George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D) at 44%-44%. The poll was conducted Sept. 24-26 and surveyed 600 likely voters, for a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points. Those sampled were 35 percent Republican, 38 percent Democrat, and 27 percent Independent.

This poll continues a trend that has been seen since August: Independents broke for George Allen by 23 percentage points, 52-28 percent.

The poll confirmed that Allen is leading in western-southwestern Virginia where he leads Kaine by 23%. Not surprisingly, Kaine, who is no friend to the rural coal industry, is leading in Northern Virginia.

Interestingly, only 12 percent of those surveyed watched last week's Fairfax Senate debate. However, women thought Allen won the debate 50-40 percent, and Independents went with Allen 60-35 percent.

Election Day is November 6.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tim Kaine no longer in denial ... he believes in higher taxes

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) is no longer hiding from his track record of saying one thing about raising taxes and actually raising taxes. The one-time governor, who proposed $4 billion in tax increases, with his recent comment during his debate with George Allen (R) that everyone should pay a minimum income tax, has finally come clean and an honest debate can ensue.  

--Video by Jim Hoeft

VA Black Conservative Forum calls on Kaine to repudiate ads attacking George Allen as racist

Terrence Boulden, president of the Virginia Black Conservative Forum, has issued a press release on behalf of Forum members calling on Democrat Tim Kaine to repudiate an advertising campaign by a labor-backed super PAC that describes George Allen as a racist. While the Republican candidate talks about jobs, economic development, and bringing prosperity back to an ailing America, Kaine supporters are on the attack with false allegations. The press release:
Media Contact: Terrence Boulden (President)

Members of the Virginia Black Conservative Forum are calling on Tim Kaine to repudiate an advertising campaign by a labor-backed super PAC that describes George Allen as a racist.

Reported in POLITICO this morning, the ad campaign “will focus on voters in Northern Virginia and Richmond, both union members and non-union members, and particularly African-American and Latino voters,” and is “hitting Allen in Northern Virginia over a range of race-related controversies,” including the now-famous “macaca” incident which Gov. Allen apologized for in 2011.

VBC President Terrence Boulden said, “I became a Republican because of Allen’s common sense leadership as governor. I’ve come to know him over the years, and the Allen these ads portray is not the Allen I have come to know.” [emphasis added]

“Whenever you have to resort to calling someone a “racist” to justify why people shouldn’t vote for them, it’s because you can’t win on your own record and your own policies,” said Coby W. Dillard, the founder of VBC. “When you have to hide behind a third party to launch that attack, it says much more about your character than it does about the person you’re attacking. Gov. Kaine is hoping that this ad campaign will distract Virginia’s voters from the failed policies of the Obama administration, which he championed as the handpicked chairman of the DNC.”

“VBC calls for the Kaine campaign to join us in denouncing the vile and despicable web ads released by the super PAC Workers’ Voice accusing Governor Allen of racism,” said Carl Tate. “This Senate campaign should be about job creation and economic growth and we hope Governor Kaine agrees. That’s the debate the people of the Commonwealth deserve.”
High unemployment, low home prices, high gasoline prices, overreaching government, bailouts -- these attacks are trying to divert attention from those important issues.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The George Allen ad and my journey with Rhonda Winfield

"George Allen cared enough to reach out as father and husband to a grieving mother, committed to carrying on my son's legacy with leadership and strength."
- Rhonda Winfield, Virginia Voices ad

I saw the new George Allen television ad for his U.S. Senate campaign, and it brought back a flurry of emotions that still touch me to this day. Titled "Rhonda," it features Rhonda Winfield, an Augusta County woman who experienced every mother's nightmare when her 19-year-old son, Lance Corporal Jason Redifer, USMC, was killed in Iraq on January 31, 2005.

I remember the pain and emotion when Rhonda shared her story on an overnight trip to D.C. where we talked for hours at dinner. As the mother of a son the same age, I could not begin to imagine the gut-wrenching sorrow of losing a child.

The atmosphere at the time was like this:

America had been plunged into war after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Rhonda's son was the first casualty from the Shenandoah Valley who gave his life for this country.

His military funeral was held in a white chapel overflowing with friends and relatives on an unseasonably warm February day in the farming community of Stuarts Draft. Combat boots, helmet, and flak jacket were displayed at the front of the sanctuary along with a rocking chair with Jason's cowboy boots, work gloves, and chaps, and a fishing pole leaning against the arm of the chair. It was a heart-wrenching ceremony that ended with Jason's fellow Marines presenting the Purple Heart to his mother who had, sadly, joined the ranks of Gold Star moms.

Around that time, another Gold Star mom, Cindy Sheehan, began traveling the country promoting an anti-war agenda after her son died in Operation Iraqi Freedom. However, she did not represent other Gold Star moms whose voices were missing from the dialogue. That voice was found in a woman named Rhonda Winfield.

The catalyst was a newscast that reported Sheehan had set up an anti-war site in Crawford, Texas, complete with a display of white crosses bearing the names of those killed during the war. One of those names was Jason Redifer.

It was August 2005 and I was volunteering at the Republican booth at the Augusta County Fair when Rhonda dropped by, and the discussion turned to Sheehan and the white crosses. Rhonda was upset knowing that Jason's name was on one of them. She desperately wanted to be a voice in opposition to Sheehan.

The turn of events is best captured in her 2006 book, When Johnny Doesn't Come Marching Home: A Mother's Story of the Price of Freedom, where she wrote:
By the time I had finished [venting about Cindy Sheehan], I had not only raised my blood pressure by at least twenty points but had unwittingly organized a rally.

My friend, Lynn Mitchell, who had launched the hailstorm of emotion at the fair, emailed me the next evening with a news release for my approval inviting everyone to come join me on the courthouse steps the following weekend for a rally in support of our troops. Game on! (pp. 126-127)
The rally would be a way to help give Rhonda a public voice as a Gold Star mother with a different point of view from that of Cindy Sheehan. With the help of friends, we planned the event and immediately began sending press releases to every news outlet possible -- local, regional, and national. If Sheehan was so visible in the news, why not try to offer Rhonda the opportunity she was seeking so she could be heard?

What happened next none of us expected. Rhonda wrote about it in her book:
When I awakened the next morning I received a phone call from Lynn. Thinking it was just another call to fine tune details for the rally, I greeted her with my usual jokes and immediately noticed that she wasn't laughing. ... I asked what was up and she said, "I hope you were serious about wanting to get your message out. FOX News just called. They picked up our press release for the Rally in the Valley. They want you to appear on their FOX News Sunday show." (p. 130)
Chris Wallace with Fox News Channel was going to interview two Gold Star moms with opposing opinions about the war. This was Rhonda's chance and, even though it was not Cindy Sheehan herself, it was someone from her camp and that was enough for Rhonda.

She asked me to accompany her in the car sent by Fox News to pick us up after the rally on Saturday and drive us to D.C. for an overnight stay before her appearance early Sunday morning. Not only did Rhonda appear on Fox News Sunday but she was composed and articulate on live national television while discussing her point of view that was the polar opposite of the politically-active, anti-war woman beside her.

Leaving D.C. after the Sunday morning show, the driver took us to Arlington Cemetery to visit Jason's grave. Although I had planned to sit in the car and allow Rhonda some time alone with her son, she asked that I accompany her. It was a solemn walk from the car to the grave site as I could see the still-raw emotions bubbling up in her. What we found when we reached the headstone was another grieving mother. Rhonda reached out to her and they clung to one another in a heart-aching sadness only grieving mothers can know.

Rhonda always wore Jason's dog tags around her neck. She had them when she appeared on Fox News, and they were around her neck eight months later in April 2006 when we drove to Harrisonburg for a rally with George Allen, who was running for re-election. After the event, she waited to meet him, and to my surprise, gave him the dog tags.

From the new George Allen Virginia Voices ad, in Rhonda's own words:
"Following Jason’s death, we received an outpouring of love and support. One of the letters that we received was from George Allen. What made it different was a hand written note, parent to parent. I was able to attend a speech George Allen was giving. I was so moved, that I took Jason’s dog tags off my neck and I handed them to him and he still has those dog tags to this day."
Quite frankly, as we left the rally and walked down the sidewalk, I asked if she was absolutely certain she wanted to give away those dog tags. She said, simply, yes.

The summer and fall of 2006 were spent on campaign stops and working headquarters. Rhonda finally had the opportunity to meet Cindy Sheehan in Northern Virginia the day before the election and gave her a copy of her book that included a letter to Cindy.

I treasure those special times with Rhonda and the journey she allowed me to be on with her as a friend. Very few people in life give so much to the protection and sacrifice for this country.

For the whole story read the moving book, When Johnny Doesn't Come Marching Home, by Rhonda Winfield.

Shenandoah ... cruise the Skyline Drive

 Skyline Drive during leaf season 2011.

Are the cooler days of fall calling you to Virginia's higher ridges? Take a spin along the Skyline Drive and explore the scenic wonders of Shenandoah National Park. Leaf season is still a few weeks away but some early-changers are visible at higher elevations. Go ahead ... get away from it all ... spend a day and get lost in the beauty of Shenandoah.

Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Romney, Obama, and the skewed polls

It amazes me how many Republicans are sadly shaking their heads, worried about the latest media reports proclaiming Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in trouble. The very people who tell me they don't believe a thing written by the mainstream media ... are now believing the doom and gloom "reported" by the mainstream media.

Wes Pruden, editor emeritus of The Washington Times, took a pragmatic view of it all in his column today, "Why the media spin on Nov. 6 is wrong." He started by writing:
A few more “really bad weeks” like last week for Mitt Romney and somebody will have to stick a fork in President Obama. He’ll be done.
In other words, don't get sidetracked by Obama's media cheering section.

Pruden went on to qualify his statement by adding:
Despite the hammering Mr. Romney took from the president and his media claque, he moved from 5 or 6 points behind in the Gallup Poll to a dead-even tie at the end of the week. Rasmussen, whose different methodology has made it consistently the most reliable of the polls, called the race dead-even as well.
Think about it. The United States Ambassador to Libya was murdered by terrorists in that country along with four other Americans, and the President seems to have barely been able to bother himself with the issue. In many countries, such aggression would be considered an act of war. To this president, it is barely a blip at a time when he is on the campaign trail day and night trying to win reelection to the White House.

In a stunning revelation, Americans learned that Obama refused to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but had time to make appearances on frivolous television shows like The View and David Letterman.

Pruden ended his column by asking voters to keep an open mind while stories of doom and gloom are dutifully trotted out by the mainstream media. He closed by noting:
A new website,, attempts to redefine the data used by pollsters against actual voting results from both 2004 and 2008. Once crunched, their numbers show a Romney lead between 5 and 11 points. These numbers might not be “unskewed” so much as “differently skewed.” But they might be more accurate – or at least a warning that despite Chicken Little’s hysteria, the fat lady has not sung.
As with every election, it's not over until it's over.

Cross-posted at Bearing Drift

Monday, September 24, 2012

Donald Trump addresses Liberty University

Real estate mogul, entrepreneur, entertainer, and part-time politician Donald Trump addressed thousands of students, faculty, the public, and press at Liberty University's packed auditorium Monday. The University had an overflow, standing room only crowd that was expected to be in excess of 10,000 with satellite locations at Thomas Road Baptist Church and Towns Alumni Lecture Hall available for thousands of additional viewers.

The event opened with prayer and worship music by the Liberty Worship Band and a special music group called the Sounds of Liberty. University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., then introduced Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a Liberty parent, who sat on stage with University administration for the event.

Trump was introduced by President and Chancellor Falwell who read a biography of the seemingly larger-than-life man, speaking of his many successes that included real estate, the Miss USA pageant, an extremely successful "The Apprentice" television show, and the author of numerous books in addition to his short-lived recent run for President of the United States before endorsing Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

He is also famous for making, "You're fired," a household phrase and is the owner of a nice piece of real estate outside Charlottesville known as Trump Winery that is run by his son, Eric, also of "Apprentice" fame.

Before beginning his remarks, the University bestowed an honorary Doctorate of Business degree to the 66-year-old Trump who thanked Liberty University and praised them for their success. He spoke highly of Liberty's founder, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell Sr., and his aspirations and accomplishments. Trump, who waived his speaking fee for today's appearance, also praised Falwell's sons for carrying on their father's dream and the tradition of the University.

In front of a crowd where some thought he was too worldly to address a Christian university, Trump spoke about growing up in the First Presbyterian Church in Queens, NY, where he attended Sunday School. He said that learning about God -- the knowledge of God -- was greater than having all the business knowledge in the world. He emphasized his desire to be at this gathering and noted that he was Presbyterian and a Christian ... a real Christian.

He then went on to say our country is in real trouble and criticized Democrat President Barack Obama, calling him a Teflon president because nothing sticks to him and the press have failed to scrutinize his blunders.

"Our leaders do not get it," he noted. He said Obama is weak on the economy and foreign policy, that he screwed up the Olympics and mishandled Libya, and criticized him for inviting presidents to the White House from other countries who are really dictators and not presidents at all.

Trump also repeated a belief he has said before, emphasizing that if America is going to fight wars for other countries, we should ask those countries for 50 percent of their oil revenues as repayment. "And I would ask for 75 percent but I'm being generous," he added.

The United States, he said, has spent $1.5 trillion on wars and gotten nothing in return. "To the victor goes the spoils" was the way it used to be but not anymore, and he added that America has enough domestic oil without having to buy foreign oil.

The country, he remarked, is being run horribly by "idiot politicians," and then turned to Michele Bachmann whose re-election race shows she is up two points in the polls and said, "You are going to win. You'd better win!"

Trump went on to say that our dollar has been devalued and foreign policy is a mess and, for our country, we need to recover now or we will never recover. This, he said, will be the most important election American has ever had.

Trump, who was the first speaker in campus history to have his remarks streamed live on the Liberty University website, then changed gears and commented that he was going to talk about success. He launched into a story about how his agent had told him not to do "The Apprentice" but Trump had entered into a handshake agreement with ABC and committed to the show so he went through with it. "The Apprentice" went on to become the #1 show, and Trump and his agent ended up parting ways.

"Number one -- always honor your handshake," Trump said, as he began telling his audience the seven points of success.

Number 2: Follow your instincts, your gut feelings.

Number 3: Love what you're doing.

Number 4: Work hard.

Number 5: Never give up.

Number 6: You've got to be able to handle pressure. He stressed he has lots of friends and even more enemies -- lots of enemies.

Number 7: Have a real passion for what you're doing.

Then Trump joked that there were three things he couldn't say at Liberty, business points that he usually passes along when he speaks to other groups, but he couldn't say them at Liberty.

And then he promptly went on to share the other three.

Number 8: Get even.

Number 9: Don't let people take advantage of you.

Number 10: Get a prenuptial.

"But," he added, "these are the things I can't say at Liberty."

Taking a few questions from the audience, Donald Trump expanded on his business wisdom. Growing up in Queens as the son of a contractor, he used to look across at the buildings in Manhattan and he wanted to construct buildings like that. "The harder you work, the luckier you are," he said.

Best college courses to take? "Learn something useful. Don't waste time -- don't get a useless degree." However, he then added, "But if you truly have a passion for something, go for it. Use your college education as a base."

As Trump concluded his remarks, Falwell returned to the podium and they joked around and poked fun at each other before Falwell thanked him for coming to address Liberty's Convocation, and the entire auditorium stood to applaud and give Donald Trump a standing ovation.

SWAC Political Breakfast features Augusta supervisors on staggered terms, economic development, jobs, more

Augusta County Board of Supervisors Chairman Tracy Pyles (Pastures District) spoke at Saturday's SWAC Political Breakfast. Check out reporter Bob Stuart's two in-depth articles (listed below) covering the multiple topics discussed by Chairman Pyles and Supervisors Marshall Pattie and David Karaffa.

Beverley Manor District Supervisor David Karaffa (right) answered a question.

Supervisor Marshall Pattie (North River District) spoke while Bruce and Pam Richmond listened.

Debbie Pyles (left) listened as her husband addressed a constituent's question.

Supervisor Pattie mentioned Kurt Michael's involvement in an issue of extreme importance to him -- fire and rescue. Here Dr. Michael listened intently to the discussion.

After breakfast, reporter Bob Stuart talked with the supervisors. The News Virginian had two articles by him about SWAC Breakfast:

  - Augusta County Supervisors mull staggered terms: Board to conduct public hearing Wednesday
  - Supervisors focus on economic development

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
September 22, 2012