Tag: Virginia

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates and note that none of the charges appear to be connect to the Trump campaign.  They also discuss the guilty plea from former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos on charges of making false statements.  And they are aghast as a new ad from the Latino Victory Fund paints anyone who supports the GOP candidate for governor in Virginia as racists who want to kill minority children.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America discuss the Washington Post revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee provided some of the funding for the infamous and largely discredited Trump dossier that involved significant collaboration with officials in Russia, and they shake their heads as Democrats insist this was just simple opposition research.  They’re also unmoved by Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s denunciation of President Trump or Flake’s decision to fight back by retiring from the Senate, when it’s obvious the real reason he ended his campaign was because he can’t win.  Before the GOP field gets too crowded, they enthusiastically endorse Ricochet’s Jon Gabriel for the open Senate seat, but Jim sees scandal looming on the horizon.  And they get a kick out of the Washington Post fact checkers making a big deal out of determining that Virginia GOP gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie was wrong by claiming there were 2,000 MS-13 gang members living in one Virginia county when the best guess of law enforcement is there are just 1,400 violent criminals from that gang roaming area streets and neighborhoods.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America note Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie grabbing a small lead in one poll and greatly closing the gap in others as his tough stance on gang violence resonates with voters.  They’re also stunned to see Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones knotted at 42-42 in a new poll of the special election to fill a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama.  And they suggest an intervention may be needed after Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig unveils his ludicrous five-point plan to make Hillary Clinton president in the near future.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer a court decision that upholds Wisconsin’s right to work law and rejects the argument of organized labor that it has a right to part of workers’ paychecks.  They also shudder as a new study shows students of all political stripes evenly divided on whether “hate speech” should be protected speech, whether it’s OK to shout down speakers they don’t like, or even whether uncomfortable views should be allowed on campus.  And they have fun with a political ad that is a horrible parody of a famous scene from “Top Gun.”

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley for leading another round of sanctions aimed at North Korea in response to another nuclear test.  They also groan as the Democrat running for governor in Virginia implies that voting her him will give kids there a better chance for success and Jim slams any politician who promises that electing them will solve everyone’s problems.  And they discuss Jim Carrey’s on-air castigation of New York Fashion Week as meaningless, leading Jim to reveal tales of how the recent National Review cruise shared the ship with a lot of people connected to this superficial event.

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I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review on Ricochet on the following Sunday. Seawriter Book Review  ‘Dunmore’s War’ shows its significance to Colonial America By […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Rich McFadden of Radio America discuss the Capitol Police response to the shooting early Wednesday morning in Alexandria, VA where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others were injured during their practice for the 2017 Congressional Baseball Game. They also speculate about the possible motive of the 66-year old shooter from Illinois based on reports of his incendiary political views found on his social media account. And they react to the polarized responses on social media that are erupting across the political spectrum following the attack.

After offering an alternative explanation for why some graduates walked out of Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement speech at Notre Dame, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud President Trump’s speech imploring Middle East leaders to do their part to stamp out terrorists.  They also grimace as polling shows either Democrat running for governor in Virginia winning the general election by double digits.  And they wonder what the Secret Service was thinking when they gave the green light to the elaborate sword dance in Saudi Arabia involving President Trump and members of his cabinet.

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Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there […]

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New Face of the Republican Party


barbara-comstockSomething quite startling happened in a close House race in northern Virginia this year. The Washington Post endorsed the incumbent Republican, Barbara Comstock. Comstock has been a familiar figure in the region for decades, but not in a way that would typically earn the Post’s admiration. In the 1990s, as chief counsel to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, she made the Clintons sweat with investigations into their Hydra-headed scandals. She served three terms in the Virginia House of Delegates, winning each time in a district that leaned Democrat. In 2014, she ran for and won a seat she now holds by a 16-point margin.

In a year when the two major party presidential nominees are dismaying and demoralizing, it’s a relief to pay tribute to a politician who is honorable, able, and worthy.

Comstock knocked on 10,000 doors in each of her races for the House of Delegates, and was dogged and diligent about constituent service. From transportation to cyber security to snow emergencies, she filled her district’s inboxes with helpful information and offers of assistance.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America react to Liberty University students denouncing Jerry Falwell, Jr. for making the school synonymous with Donald Trump.  They also discuss reports of Trump pulling mostly or entirely out of Virginia, making his road to victory more difficult.  They have fun with the Clinton team’s contradictory explanations for all the embarrassing emails coming out from Wikileaks.  And they they note Bob Dylan’s winning of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Paul Ryan, the Scam PACs, and a Failure of Conservative Journalism


Paul RyanPaul Ryan will convincingly win his primary election tomorrow. This has never really been in question: Ryan was never going to be “Cantored.”  Not only are the two men different — Ryan is a more skillful politician, more popular, more grounded in the district he represents — but their challengers are different, and the political terrain is strikingly different. It doesn’t take a detailed knowledge of Virginia or Wisconsin to understand these things, only a basic familiarity with each states’ politics that any remotely serious journalist or politico can figure out. Any news source or influential figure who has been selling the idea that Ryan is likely to lose, treating Paul Nehlen as more credible than Ryan’s last primary challenger, or drawing a shallow comparison to Eric Cantor’s defeat should be considered less than reliable. They’ve done nothing to defeat Ryan. They have simply enabled a scam.

Cantor’s defeat was a surprise but not a mystery, and serious analysis would put it in context of the confusing, frustrating mess that is Virginia Republican politics. The last disastrous year of the McDonnell administration and the Cuccinelli-Bolling primary left a bitter taste. A new citizen trying to learn the ropes discovers the typical unhelpful mainstream-media coverage, a semi-conservative paper or two, and a few feuding blogs run mostly by political operative types, all claiming the “conservative” mantle and tearing the others down. I learned much about arcane feuds over party procedure, not very much about actual policy debates, and ended thoroughly disenchanted with both the “establishment” and “tea party” sides.  There are some solid conservative leaders in Virginia, but the conservative political environment is muddled, divisive, and distrustful. It is a perfect environment for a revolt against an out-of-touch DC insider. Dave Brat was a local credible candidate seizing on widespread local frustrations. If the same causes led to Trump’s Virginia win, local results do not quite match up: on March 1, Marco Rubio won 35 percent to Trump’s 32 percent in the 7th congressional district. Brat’s home turf doesn’t fit any simplistic narrative.

In Wisconsin the conservatives have taken over the establishment, and the result is a serious, practical conservatism. The political debate is shaped by a powerful talk radio presence creating an electorate reasonably informed on the issues in the state. Nothing I’ve found in Virginia matches this level of analysis of state budget issues or court cases or primary elections; you can usually know if your legislator is up to something, and you can make an informed decision. Conservatives fought tough, bitter battles to elect a governor, legislature, and supreme court — and they do not believe those efforts were wasted, because they have seen meaningful results. They are proud of what they’ve achieved, and they’ve seen how hard it is to truly fight. They know that Scott Walker and Paul Ryan have extremely difficult jobs, and activists such as the Racine Tea Party founder consider Ryan one of their own and don’t appreciate someone coming from outside calling him a globalist sell-out traitor:

Feds Investigating VA Gov. Terry McAuliffe for Campaign Contributions


Clinton_McAuliffeBreaking news from CNN:

Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe is the subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and prosecutors from the Justice Department’s public integrity unit, U.S. officials briefed on the probe say.

The investigation dates to at least last year and has focused, at least in part, on whether donations to his gubernatorial campaign violated the law, the officials said.

“Hi, What Did You Do with the Confederacy?”


MercyStreetPosterwSawboneI live in Alexandria, VA, a close-in suburb of Washington. On a good day, I can be in DC in 10 minutes. On a great day, I wouldn’t be in DC (rimshot). I love it here, though. According to our local blog, Red Brick Town, “Alexandria, Virginia is the Most Liberal City in Virginia.” I live in a section of town called Del Ray, which is the tip of the liberal iceberg. I like to call it a hippie commune, with multiple yoga studios, holistic medicine practitioners, and coffee shops mere blocks from each other. One of the coffee shops has a Moms Demand gun control sign in their window. As a pretty hard right conservative, I don’t fit in at all, but, that is pretty much the story of my life.

Recently, I started taking water aerobics at the local YMCA. As a 44-year old man, I am 1) the youngest in the class and 2) the only guy. Not a problem as everyone is kind and welcoming, probably because I haven’t told any of them I work for NRA News. The only time I felt awkward was yesterday, when I couldn’t contribute to the classwide discussion of hot flashes. I just stared at the wall and prayed that it would end.

The water aerobics ladies also discussed “Downton Abbey,” another topic I have no clue about, but at least it’s not cringe-inducing. One of them mentioned PBS was coming out with a new series that took place here in Alexandria, called “Mercy Street.” I found that to be an interesting tidbit, then went back to trying not to drown as we did our underwater karate kicks.

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Virginia’s Attorney General today announced that his state is, as of February 1 of 2016, canceling its Concealed Carry reciprocity with 25 states, including my own state of Ohio.  His stated reasons are outright lies and fabrications, but his real reason for canceling the permit reciprocity is pure and simple spite.  Democrats cannot, at this […]

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Liberty University Allows Concealed Carry in Residence Halls


shutterstock_324614162Liberty University — the Lynchburg, Virginia school where Ted Cruz launched his campaign for president — announced that they are repealing a rule that prohibits firearms in residence halls. This isn’t a ground breaking change, as Liberty has previously allowed concealed carry on campus:

Liberty has allowed students, faculty and staff — who have the proper state permits — to carry concealed guns on campus since 2011, Falwell said, a measure taken in response to the 2007 massacre at nearby Virginia Tech. He obtained a permit himself in 2013. Under Virginia law, residents may obtain a concealed-carry permit if they are 21 or older. About 950 people at Liberty now have concealed-carry permits, Falwell said. He said hundreds more in recent days have signed up for a training course to get a permit.

University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. has long been an advocate of the Second Amendment and holds — and uses — a concealed carry permit himself. He’s one of the more forward-thinking university administrators on this subject, ensuring that those in his charge have the resources to defend themselves.

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Those of us in the Commonwealth of Virginia who take our ability to defend ourselves and our ability to keep and bear arms seriously have had to put up with the ridiculous behavior of not just our committed enemies in the federal government, but also with those in the state government.  Delegate Joe Morrissey is […]

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How Likely Is an Eric Cantor Write-In Campaign?


130424_eric_cantor_ap_605Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-ranking House Republican, lost to Tea Party candidate David Brat by a stunning 11 points. National Democrats are now hoping Cantor will run as a write-in candidate in the general election, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, is allowed under state law, as long as he doesn’t run as an independent.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi said the American people should take notice because the Tea Party victory has pulled the Republican Party further to the “radical right.” The truth is, of course, that the Tea Party isn’t radical at all with its emphasis on limited government (I know, truly extreme stuff). Pelosi and her ilk are the ones who have pulled the Democratic Party to the radical left, especially with its maniacal devotion to amnesty—and establishment Republicans haven’t done enough to stop them. Virginians in District 7 have sent a clear message that they’ve had enough.

Now, Pelosi smells blood in the water. “As far as the midterm elections are concerned,” she said, “it’s a whole new ballgame.” 

First-in-the-Nation Law in Virginia Bans Unconstitutional Campus ‘Free Speech Zones’


On Friday, April 3, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a first-of-its-kind bill that effectively designates all outdoor areas on Virginia public campuses as public forums. This has the practical effect of not allowing campus speech to be quarantined into ‘free speech zones.’ I wrote a column announcing the news over at The Huffington Post:

Students in Virginia might be surprised to know that the open areas on campus were not already public forums, but the Virginia state legislature has made it official. The bill, authored by Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, passed both houses of the Virginia General Assembly unanimously. My organization, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), urged the passage of the bill, and FIRE’s own Joe Cohn testified on behalf of the legislation in hearings in both legislative houses.