novatownhall blog

Where you are held accountable for your convictions and record

From the guys over at Blogger of the Year Blog:

Creepiest blind date ever.

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This Friday, candidates for Virginia’s 10th District U.S. Congressional seat will debate on WAMU radio’s Politics Hour.

Well, most of the candidates. GOP primary candidate Vern McKinley will be there. Democratic candidates Judy Feder and Mike Turner will be there. But Congressman Frank Wolf thus far is not planning to participate.

Here is last week’s press release from the McKinley campaign:

Congressman Frank Wolf of Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District has not faced a Republican primary challenge since he first won his seat as part of the “Reagan Wave” in 1980. Today, he faces strong criticism from many conservatives for turning from the “Reagan Values” that he once campaigned on. Vern McKinley, Republican challenger in the 10th district, is running a campaign on these issues. McKinley is an experienced policy expert who would bring vast federal government, international and private sector experience to Congress, along with a vision of limited government.

At least four independent efforts have been made over the past few weeks to organize a debate of the issues between Congressman Wolf and McKinley: the Politics Hour on WAMU with Kojo Nnamdi; the “Road to…” show on FCAC Channel 10; the Sterling Foundation; and the Loudoun County High School Young Republicans, all of which were turned down by the Congressman. The 10th Congressional District has a long-standing history of political debates. During Congressman Wolf’s early campaigns in the 1970s then-Congressman Fisher made himself available for debates several times against then-challenger Frank Wolf. Next week McKinley will debate the two Democratic Candidates in the 10th Congressional district to get out his message. This week he also debated the Libertarian Party candidates for President, including Bob Barr and Mike Gravel.

The two Republican candidates appeared at this past weekend’s 10th Congressional District Republican Convention, but were only given two minutes each to speak. “Two minutes is not enough to inform the Republican faithful on where we stand on the issues. I hereby challenge Congressman Wolf to have a debate on the direction of the Republican Party. There are stark contrasts between Congressman Wolf and the limited government base of the party, of which I am a member. Republican voters have sent Congressman Wolf back to Washington time and again over the past three decades. Yet he doesn’t think they deserve to hear him explain his transformation into a big government Republican. We need to talk about his stance on spending and entitlements, on the proper role of government, the 2nd amendment, life and foreign policy matters,” noted McKinley.

“The Congressman’s supporters are spreading misinformation and distortions about my work in emerging market economies, such as Sudan and Libya, where I have advised on the transition to more open, free-market based, financial systems. What we need is an open debate about the issues and our years in public service. Otherwise conclusions will be based on rumor and innuendo,” McKinley concluded.

To learn more about the McKinley for Congress campaign, please visit

I suppose Wolf feels he has nothing to gain from the debate – no reason to submit to attacks from three sides. But he has in the past articulated his positions well, so he should have no worries about being “out-debated.” His refusal to participate conveys a sense of fear, as though he does not want to have to defend his record in the Congress.

UPDATE: Read the comments – some good discussion!

Important new article in TNR: Al Qaeda’s days may be numbered.

You are not going to see a lot of pro-Bush commentary on this blog. But the truth needs to be told: The president has not been wrong about everything. His Supreme Court appointments, for instance, have been stellar.

On the Iraq war, for which the Republican party is getting spanked on a Zeusian scale, the president can be faulted on the prosecution. But it’s important to cut through the ideological fog and recall that the instigation and original rationales for invading Iraq were solid. John Lillpop yesterday noted as much:

For example, a popular refrain is that President Bush lied about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in order to implement a grand strategy fashioned by neo-conservatives well before Bush actually took office. Said strategy was supposedly aimed at using military force to install democratic regimes friendly to the U.S. throughout the Middle East.

However, the left has never adequately answered the following question. If Bush knew there was no WMD, why would he send 150,000 troops into Iraq since his “lie” would be immediately exposed by invading coalition forces and reported by a large contingent of media embedded within those forces?

NOT acting on the information available would have constituted criminal negligence by the Bush administration. As it turned out, there was a connection between Saddam and major terrorist groups. More importantly, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction programs in place to be activated as soon as international pressure and watchdogs let up.

As Lillpop notes quite clearly, the “Bush lied” charge is a fallacy. Bush acted on intelligence that was affirmed by his very recent predecessors in the Clinton administration and, in fact, throughout the world. Innumerable pieces of evidence of Iraq’s support for international terrorism, including the terrorist training facilities in Iraq should have been sufficient for Democrats and media intelligentsia to acknowledge that Saddam in 2003 was a clear and present danger. And at the time, for the most part, they did.

But the ugly head of politics has been reared for some time now, and many Americans are unaware or have forgotten that the Bush administration was on solid ground with the decision to invade Iraq.

Good news, apparently. Prosecutions for identity theft on a large scale.

Now let’s sit tight and wait for an update on the prosecutions of the root perpetrators.

UPDATE: In the comments, Greg points us to this exhaustive background on the Postville immigration bust story. Yes, it is worse than you think.

Blog Fu, aka the president of Help Save Manassas, and some of his team spent the morning at a local 7-11 photographing and filming the ad hoc hiring taking place.

Half the enjoyment is in the telling, so go read the whole thing.

It appears they gathered some good information on people hiring under the table. Maybe some of it will be actionable by local law enforcement. There is this one particular section of the U.S. Code which just might be actionable for a police force participating with ICE.

Kudos and thanks to Greg and the others for taking the time to go out and help make a difference.

If you have not been following it, there seems to be a lively time going on in Denver right now:

One of the sponsors of the convention is Shotgun Willie’s, a local strip joint. Each delegate’s credentials packet includes a coupon for half-price admission. Shotgun Willie’s also has a booth in the exhibition hall, next to the Mike Gravel booth.

No wonder Libertarians always seem slightly bemused by Republican political events …

More R.S. McCain coverage is at the American Spectator blog and at R.S.’ own little slice of the blogosphere, The Other McCain. Just scroll on down the screen for the full chronology on each.

Also, scroll down at Donny Ferguson’s blog, Third Party Watch, Reason Magazine