Monday, February 12, 2018

Route 66 - Unfair to Prince William County at Any Speed

My wife and I reside in Prince William county, for you Virginia political junkies, we are in the 13th legislative district. I estimate that I spend 10 hours a week on 66 going to Alexandria. And some days I average 55 mph and some days, usually if there is an accident at the Vienna exit, I average 35 mph, but when we consider the policies regarding the use and tolls, it is clear that 66 is not the best deal for Prince William county motorists. In fact it's a bad deal.

In the morning east bound traffic is heavy, and it requires two or more motorists, and of course in the afternoon west bound traffic has the same requirements. So Prince William county motorists who work in Fairfax, Alexandria, Falls Church or DC, have to find someone to ride with or pay a fairly high toll. Or take an alternate side road, say Rt. 29 in my case, and get to work by lunch time!

Conversely, someone from Fairfax, Alexandria, Falls Church, DC, or Maryland can travel westbound in the morning and have no HOV requirement or toll.

The east bound in the morning and west bound in the afternoon requirements does not favor us here in Prince William county, and as the state moves forward with tolling Prince William county motorists will pay a disproportionate share of the cost.

HOV rules were designed to encourage conservation, which I think is a noble goal. And tolls on Rt. 66 are designed to raise money, which certainly may be necessary. However these goals namely raising money and encouraging conservation are two very different objectives, I'm opposed to the east bound am-westbound pm tolling scheme because I believe it shifts the financial burden unfairly onto Prince William county commuters.

Perhaps there are other ways to get the money that VDOT needs while at the same time spreading the cost more equitably among the Northern Virginia jurisdictions.

The other day I watched VA Transportation secretary Shannon Valentine explain to a House of Delegates committee that the toll is simply a choice. A commuter can avoid the toll by not driving on 66. When I heard that I thought to myself how galling. We paid for Rt. 66 decades ago. Now, if we want to use it at certain times, in a certain direction, we have to pay a toll.

The alternative that Shannon Valentine is talking about is that we take route 29, 50 or the GW Parkway which of course would increase the time that we spend in the car. Less time at work, or with our families. If time is money, and I believe it is, taking the alternate routes may cost us as much as a toll.

We here in Prince William county need members of the General Assembly who will fight for our interests. The use of tolls based on the current east bound in the morning-west bound in the afternoon formula shifts the financial burden unfairly to Prince William county.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Scarborough's Latest Conspiracy Theory

There is a famous scene in the 1994 classic comedy “Dumb and Dumber”, when Harry discovers that Lloyd traded their van for a motor scooter. Which was basically a bicycle with a lawn mower engine attached to it. An exasperated Harry shakes his head and says, “You know Lloyd, just when I think you couldn’t be any dumber…”

Well just when I thought MSNBC propagandist Joe Scarborough couldn’t go any lower he surprises me. I asked the question, how low would Joe go, two days ago after Scarborough claimed that the President was in the early stages of dementia. He had a “source”. I asked Scarborough on twitter was his source a political aide or a medical doctor? He didn’t respond.

Now Scarborough claims this:
“(Trump) only ran for president as part of a money-making scheme, and did not actually expect to win.”

The idea that a very rich man would choose to run for a public office to get richer is ridiculous. You might say insane. Other than Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton, I can think of no one that left the White House wealthier, adjusted for inflation, then when they arrived.

When Carter and Ford left the White House they were nearly broke. Reagan complained that for 8 years he took a pay cut. The fact is being President, for most accomplished people, means taking a pay cut.

My guess is that Trump made more money from hosting the reality TV show “The Apprentice” than a Presidential salary. Most successful people in the private sector make more than a President. And considering that Trump is not drawing a Presidential salary he is doing the job for nothing. Far from getting rich, in terms of opportunity cost Trump will lose money while serving as our 45th President.

So, let’s try to get into Scarborough’s mind, a scary thought I know, and figure out how he thinks Trump plans to profit from being President.

Perhaps this: Trump will be President for 4 or 8 years and then when he leaves office he will set up a presidential foundation that will take in money from Russian oligarchs, and make 6 figure fees for making speeches? Well, Joe that has been done. And that would be a matter to criticize him for after he leaves office.

Perhaps Joe thinks Trump is counting on people in West Virginia and western Pennsylvania, which voted for him big time, to, out of loyalty and gratitude stay at Trump hotels, which will make him even wealthier. So no longer will they stay at Red Roof Inns and Best Westerns. From now on all will stay at Trump International hotels and resorts. Cha ching!

What an idea, run for President to drive up occupancy rates at his family owned hotels. Now that is insane.

Perhaps Joe imagines that foreign leaders will stay at Trump hotels as a way of bribing the President. First, when a foreign leader travels wouldn't he or she stay at their embassy? Why do they need to stay at a hotel?

So as part of this scheme Trump must check hotel logs to find out which foreign leader stayed at a Trump hotel or resort and which leader did not. Well, what if two competing world leaders both stay at one of his hotels? Who does he favor? At that point does he employ that great tie breaker known as rock, paper, scissors?

So how exactly will Trump make money off being President? Scarborough didn’t exactly say. He simply muttered it's "all about contacts."

Friday, December 1, 2017

How Low Will Joe Go?

For most people when they learn that someone is in the early stages of dementia are saddened, perhaps shocked, and they pray and wish the best for the person. Well, that is the reaction of most decent human beings, but Joe and Mika Scarborough aren’t decent human beings.

They seemed to take delight, even giddy, in Joe’s claim that President Trump is in the early stages of dementia. How does Joe know that? Well, he has a "source", more on that in a second. Why are they so happy? For the morally void Scarboroughs one man’s dementia is an opportunity for a coup. The condition of dementia will hasten the invoking of the 25th amendment. That is their hope and prayer anyway.

Now before I address Scarborough’s "source", let me make one more point to demonstrate that the Scarborough's are despicable people.

When Joe(who as far as I know has no medical training) announced the diagnosis a couple days ago did he consider whether President Trump’s children and grandchildren have already been told that their father, and for some grandfather, has a fatal disease? Of course not.

What if Trump’s teenage son is watching and hears Scarborough announce a (fake) medical diagnosis. Would this bother Joe’s conscious? Of course not.

How would you like it if you turned on TV and saw some guy in a turtle neck and hipster glasses announce that your father is in the early stages of dementia?

Now, who is Joe’s source? Is it a press aide? Is it a cabinet secretary? Or is it a medical doctor? Or is the source an imaginary character that lives only in Joe Scarborough’s mind. My guess is the latter.

I have been involved in political campaigns for over 20 years and I have met a number of smart staffers and some that I thought were nuts, but I would never trust any one of them to make a medical diagnosis. Scarborough’s source can’t be a campaign staffer.

Is Scarborough’s source a cabinet member who is about to be fired? Perhaps he or she is not the most reliable source.

The only one who can make a diagnosis regarding stages of dementia is a doctor. Did Scarborough talk to the President’s doctor? Did he talk to a doctor who has examined the President? Did someone in the White House release the President’s medical file?

I tweeted Scarborough and asked him this question. He did not answer.

Personally I think Scarborough is making it all up. Going on national television, granted it is MSNBC so not many people are watching, and spreading a lie that the President has a fatal disease to advance a coup is the act of a truly despicable man.

I call it Joe Scarborough being Joe Scarborough.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mika Brzezinski Channels George Costanza

I will confess that I have seen every episode of the Seinfeld show at least once, possibly twice. Truly one of the great sitcoms of all time. Perhaps the most compelling character on the show is George Costanza. A man who does not have an honest bone in his body.

There was one episode that came to my mind today. I bet you remember the episode, George and Jerry were going to NBC to pitch their sitcom idea – a show about nothing! George was pretending to be a writer. Usually, he pretends to be an architect or a marine biologist, but to sell the show he needed to be a writer.

Well, George pitches the idea and it becomes obvious during the presentation that the TV executives are underwhelmed. They then offer some constructive criticism. George becomes indignant, stands up and says that this is the idea and he will make no changes, claiming “I will not compromise my artistic integrity.”

Later at the coffee shop an exasperated Jerry Seinfeld asks, “Artistic integrity?” “Where did you come up with that?” Jerry points out that George has neither artistic talent nor integrity.

But that’s what made George so funny. He claimed to have virtues he didn’t have. Claimed feelings he does not possess. Claimed knowledge he didn’t have. And he did it with a straight face.

Well, I was reading a transcript of “Morning Joe” today, I find reading a transcript of the show to be far better then watching it. Mika and her husband were lamenting the tough position that Democrat member of Congress John Conyers is in. It seems he may have sexually harassed female members of his staff and then used taxpayer money to settle.

I came across this line from Mika Brzezinski, which is one of the most dishonest (Costanza like) lines that I have ever read:
“I think it’s really important that the words due process have come up in this conversation,” said Brzezinski. “This one breaks my heart. It really does.”

Due process? Where did she come up with that? Every day she and her husband draw conclusions that are unsupported by facts. Due process implies that facts and evidence are considered. The Scarborough’s have no regard for such an inquiry.

Mika’s concern about due process is as genuine as George Costanza’s concern about “artist integrity.”

For example, Brzezinski claims that our President has mental issues. She has no medical qualification to make such a claim, cites no evidence, but she doesn’t care.

Well, now a Democrat, John Conyers is in trouble for sexual harassment and Mika is concerned about due process.

She is like George Costanza in the way that she dishonestly raises concerns with a straight face. As George Costanza once said, “Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.”