novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

With all the recent news about how gosh darned exotic China really is, I don’t know that anyone needs further convincing, but here ya go anyway (cat lovers may not want to click on the link):

“When we went inside, we saw about 70 cats being kept in cages stacked one on top of the other in two tiny rooms.

“Disease spreads quickly among them and they die slowly in agony and distress. The government won’t even do the cats the kindness of giving them lethal injections when they become sick. They just wait for them to die.

“It is the abandoned pets that suffer the most and die the soonest. They relied so much on their owners that they can’t cope with the new environment…”

The killing of the six stray cats at the kindergarten – where staff at a Beijing cigarette factory leave their children – is the most striking illustration of the city-wide fear of cats.

A teacher at the nursery said: “We did it out of love for the children. We were worried the cats might harm them. These six cats had been hanging around the kindergarten looking for food.

“So three male teachers put out plates of tuna in cages for bait, trapped the cats and then beat them to death with sticks…”

You have to hand it to the Chinese that they so resolutely allow any tinch of humanitarian scruples to slide right off their backs.

And, frankly, who can blame them. When the powers that be decide “We need to get rid of a WHOLE BUNCH of cats before the Olympics,” (5 months away), if you quibble over logistics you might never get anything accomplished. You could easily end up with animal lovers hemming and hawing about animal rights and basic human decency until the whole program is nibbled to death by ducks.

The fact that the round up will be accomplished in a fashion that most civilized societies would view as, well, harsh, is not going to interfere with the round up actually occurring. In China, they get things done.

Well, this sure makes you think:

In the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, we heard this from Democrats, constantly: You have to have worn the uniform, in order to qualify as president. Moreover, you have to have gone to war, in order to qualify as president…

Mystical environmentalism is the disease. Stories like this one will be the cure:

According to my source, architect Mayne has stated that federal office workers do not get enough exercise. To address this, he installed elevators in the building that only stop at every third floor. This requires employees to walk up or down one or two flights of metal stairs.

Persons with physical disabilities who cannot use stairs can use a separate elevator that stops at every floor. The foreseeable result is that employees seeking to avoid stairs use the disabled access elevator, leaving this car crammed with people and making the ride to the top extremely slow…

That’s just a teaser – read and chuckle.

UPDATE: There will be a conference on this very topic on Monday in Williamsburg.

Today’s edition of the Washington Post has a fantastic article touching on the AG/LG jockeying for position heading into 2009.   The article builds on some of what I have mentioned here as of late.  The full article is worth a read, but here are some juicy excerpts:

…Bolling’s political success this year is based on more than his distance from the transportation plan.

With all 19 Senate Republicans basically unified on big votes, the chamber’s Democrats have struggled to keep their working majority. The Senate deadlocked last week on a vote to cut off state funding to Planned Parenthood because it offers abortion services.

The 20 to 20 vote meant Bolling was able to break a tie for the first time this year. He sided with the Republicans to cut off the funding. Bolling couldn’t have asked for a better vote to bolster his standing among antiabortion activists, who dominate GOP nominating contests.

“At a time when Governor Kaine has chosen to eliminate $250,000 in state funding for programs that teach abstinence education to young people across Virginia,” Bolling said after his vote, legislators “should not be using taxpayer dollars to fund an organization that uses those funds to provide abortions and abortion-related services.”

Bolling has also been taking an increasingly active role in the Senate Republican caucus, helping its members strategize over how to rebel against the Democratic majority.

As president of the Senate, Bolling gets to decide who has the majority on voice votes.

Even though Democrats almost always have the verbal advantage in the chamber, Bolling often sides with the GOP on voice votes, which forces Democrats to demand recorded votes.

Bolling has also taken a leading role in the partisan debate over the state budget. Bolling, assisted by GOP senators, found a clause in the state constitution that suggested a four-fifths vote was needed to approve the Senate budget because it included a transfer of lottery proceeds.

Senate Democrats voted to override Bolling’s decision, but the Division of Legislative Services released a letter last week that indicated his analysis of the constitution might have been correct…

 Check it out!

Marquez vs Vasquez -kerblooie is this one great fight. I ain’t blogging this one, folks. It is too good. If you get Showtime turn it on. The is the rubber match of three – they are tied 1 all. Vasquez (red shorts) is the champ – Marquez is hammering him but he comes back, literally off the mat, like Rodan.

Full-time bloggers find all the best links.

Good stuff.

I had to share this phenomenal LTE from Senator Cuccinelli.  We should all hope and pray that Virginia will be so fortunate as to have this man as our next Attorney General come 2009.

To the Editor:

I’ve been living the “budget battle” that’s been in the news this week and I wanted to take a moment to update you on some of the details. On Thursday, the Senate Democrats barely passed their budget and every Republican voted against it. In my experience, tough times have a way of revealing our priorities and this week’s budget did exactly that.

As I often do, I’d like to share some of the facts with you and get your viewpoint.

When it comes to the budget, there are two things that all of us agree on: (1) we are facing a serious – $640 million – budget shortfall, and (2) we must devote significant new resources to improving Virginia’s mental health system.

Unfortunately, that’s where the agreement stops. We can’t even seem to agree on how much money we can expect from tax revenue in the next two years and that is a major concern for me. If we overestimate the tax dollars the state will receive and spend money that we may never see, we’ll be in an even worse situation next year.

Despite the shortfall, Senate Democrats framed their budget around hundreds of millions of dollars of new programs. At the same time, they reduced spending on K-12 education by $43 million, removed $180 million from the funds we allocated to improve transportation last year, and risked the state’s credit rating by taking $423 million from the Rainy Day Fund.

So, help me understand this – we can fund experimental and unproven preschool programs – but we can’t help Fairfax build new schools? Lottery proceeds were always supposed to be for education but this budget diverts them to new spending programs requested by Tim Kaine. By the way, when the state doesn’t honor its financial commitments to help Fairfax or other counties build new schools, the schools still need built, and you and I will pay for them with increased real estate taxes.

Not only are our education funds at risk, Northern Virginia roads once again are the scapegoat for our budget woes. The Secretary of Transportation shows a 1.1 billion shortfall in our 6 year transportation budget. If there is one area where we shouldn’t be cutting funds, it’s our transportation systems. As a Northern Virginian, I would think the Democrat majority leader would know how much we need these dollars, but that does not appear to be the case with his budget reducing last year’s gains by almost fifty percent.

Here is the bottom line for me. The Rainy Day Fund is for emergencies and we need to use these monies carefully because the current recession could get worse and many economists think it will. Six years ago, we faced a six billion dollar shortfall and we took about the same amount out of the Rainy Day Fund then as the Democrats want to take from it now, with a far smaller shortfall. That’s just not responsible and we can do better.

My goal has been to defend the core budget priorities that are important to the people of Western Fairfax and transportation funding is at the top of that list, right next to education and public safety. The Democrat budget puts these core priorities at risk in order fund their pet programs and I could not support it.

So, let me know – do you agree with my vote against this budget or would you have supported it? Why or why not? Please contact me at district37@sov.state.va.us and let me know what you think.

Sincerely,

Senator Ken Cuccinelli, II

37th, District