Monday, February 20, 2017

Statement by Speaker William J. Howell

The following is a release from Speaker Bill Howell's office:

"Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) announced Monday that he will not seek re-election. Howell's full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below. 

Since the House has returned to the Morning Hour, I ask the members to indulge me a moment while I take this opportunity to share some news.
 
Serving in this esteemed body which is the Virginia House of Delegates for the last 30 years has been a distinct privilege.  Likewise, serving as the Speaker of the House for 15 years now truly has been the greatest professional honor of my life.
 
While I obviously will miss all of you and while I will always look back with only fondness at every day I served here, I have decided that I will not be seeking re-election to the House. 
 
Cessie and I are so grateful for the opportunity that we have had to serve.  There truly are no words to fully describe the joy and fulfillment we have received from this incredible opportunity for public service.  But, we also know there is much more joy and fulfillment to come, albeit differently and beyond Capitol Square and this body.  We are blessed to have two good sons and seven energetic grandkids.  We have our youth!  And, we cannot wait to take some time together to travel, spend more time with our family and, frankly, just to relax together.
 
The House of Delegates truly is an historic institution.  I love it dearly.  I believe it represents the hope, enduring strength and resiliency of our exciting and ongoing experiment in representative self-government.
 
If America is a shining city on a hill, then our Virginia House of Delegates is the brightest light atop the highest tower.
 
As a Delegate and as Speaker, I always have tried to serve in a manner worthy of that stature.
 
I believe the Office of Speaker rises above partisan politics.  This is an institutional role, with constitutional and other attendant obligations that transcend the fractured moments that often drive our politics.
 
I also always have tried to be open, accessible and, most of all, fair.
 
When I became Speaker in 2003, I pledged to lead this historic chamber with the honor and integrity it deserves and to faithfully uphold the dignity of this constitutional office. 
 
Throughout my tenure, when faced with difficult decisions that go along with this Office, I have strived to reflect those enduring values.  And, in practice, I always sought to put what’s good for the whole institution, and all that it represents, ahead of any other interest.
 
I pray you will judge my time as Speaker on that more than anything.
 
 When I accepted the Speaker’s gavel, I reminded myself and others that what kind of people we are, and how we treat one another, is as important as the bills we pass and the laws we make.  May we never lose sight of this worthy aspiration.
 
Like you, I understand that our mission is so much larger than ourselves.  Ultimately, our purpose is continuing to fulfill the four-century-old mission of Virginia – preserving human freedom and advancing opportunities for all.
 
So today, I hope you join me in taking pride in everything that this body – Republicans and Democrats working together more often than not – has accomplished over the last 15 years.  The House of Delegates has been a stable and consistent factor in reforming and improving state government for the past decade.  Our shared enterprises, through difficult and good times alike, has made our Commonwealth stronger and more prosperous.  And together, I believe we have enhanced the lives and livelihoods of our fellow citizens we are so privileged to represent and serve.
 
 Now and always, I am optimistic that this House – the oldest continuous representative law-making body in the New World – will continue to inspire and fulfill the enormous potential of Virginia’s bright future.
 
So, I will close by saying from the bottom of my heart, thank you!
 
I am so grateful for the trust and faith you placed in me 15 years ago.  And, I appreciate that you have continued to maintain that trust in me.  The many friendships that have made here over almost 30 years are worth more than any bill I have ever championed or passed.  I am proud to know you all and honored to serve with each of you.
 
All of you are very talented individuals and highly capable leaders.  You are valuable parts of something much bigger than any one of us.  So, it is easier for me to make this announcement now and to leave next year knowing that this institution will continue to thrive.
 
Thank you.  May God Bless you.  May God Bless our great country and wonderful Commonwealth.  And, may God continue to Bless this historic House of Delegates."

Monday, December 12, 2016

CNN is Fake News

The liberals are now claiming that there is a problem with “fake news”. Actually, the only ones that I have ever known to propagate stories that are false, or what we call fake news, are liberals. Some examples of their fake news include, but not limited to, Anthropogenic global warming, the cops are racists, Islam is the religion of peace, illegal aliens don’t cost taxpayers money, college education can be made free, increasing the minimum wage does not cost jobs, government spending is good for the economy, green energy etc… And their latest Vladimir Putin caused Hillary to lose Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

And it is especially galling when I hear news readers on CNN complain about fake news. Now that Dan Rather is retired CNN is the biggest propagator of fake news in the country.

Now I will admit that I only watched a total of about 20 minutes of CNN during the campaign, but in those 20 minutes I was exposed to 3 fake stories:

1) George H.W. Bush’s vote. Well, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a Hillary supporter was at an event, for a charitable foundation. Former President George H.W. Bush was in attendance. Townsend stood in the rope line to shake hands with Bush. She was wearing a Hillary button, and when she exchanged words with Bush, he, according to her, mumbled, “I will vote for her.” Now, whether he said that just to be polite, or he was serious we can’t know, but safe to say he thought it was off the record. Townsend then went to her Facebook page and posted that the former Republican President was voting for Hillary. From there CNN decided this was a news story. Isn't it interesting that producers at CNN check Townsend's facebook page for "news".

Never mind that Bush thought it was off the record, never mind that Townsend was a Hillary supporter and may have heard what she wanted to hear. Did they consider the possibility that she made it up? No, they thought this would help Hillary. It is a fake story for a couple reasons. He did not endorse Hillary. He did not encourage anyone to vote for her. If he wants to privately vote for a candidate that is his choice, but that is not a news story because he did not publicly back her.

2) Obama believes Trump to be unqualified. I was at the barber shop getting my haircut when I was exposed to this one. CNN was reporting that their source inside the White House claimed that Obama felt Trump was unqualified to be President. Wow, who would have thought that. That is quite a scoop. CNN ran a picture of a smiling Obama with the tag line, “Obama thinks Trump is unqualified.” This is not news, it is a campaign commercial.

3) Trump is a rapist. News reader Alisyn(that is how she spells it) Camerota grilled a female Trump supporter, yelling, “Trump has been accused of rape.” “You realize, that, right?” Camerota provided no evidence, no names, nothing. Just a smear.

Imagine if I'd watched more than 20 minutes of CNN. I'd have dozens of examples of their fake news.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Mirage of the Popular vote

The founding Fathers created our electoral college system to force Presidential candidates to win states, not so much individual votes. They wanted candidates to campaign in every region of the country. They purposely did not want a national popular vote. Indeed, a national popular vote runs counter to their notion of Federalism.

The electoral system combines a popular vote within each state. So, if a candidate wins the popular vote in a state he gets its electoral college votes. In effect we have 50, plus the District of Columbia, separate elections. The results are tallied next month by the Electoral college.

In our system, every state gets at least 3 electoral votes, which guarantees they have something to offer a Presidential candidate. In effect a reason to come to the state to campaign.

Lately I hear lots of Democrats complaining that it is unfair that Hillary won the national popular vote but lost the election. They now have a cause, get rid of the electoral college. And to buffer the cause many ignorant liberals claim that the electoral college was designed to preserve slavery. Funny up until last month they never mentioned it.

But beyond the Constitutional reality of our system is the fact that liberals live on top of liberals. What I mean by that is that liberal voters are packed into a few states, albeit big states. States like New York, Illinois and California. Those states do have a lot of electoral votes, but driving up the popular votes for the Democrat candidate does not translates into any more electoral college votes.

In our Federal system those three states, New York, Illinois and California translate into 6 Senate seats. By comparison North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming also claim 6 Senate seats. Now I don’t think that there is anything unfair about that. We have a Federal system which offered every State two Senate seats to enter the Union. There is a process to change the Constitution, but why would the small to mid-sized states want to cede more power to New York, Illinois and California?

Now what if liberals could manage to move people out of New York, Illinois and California, spread them throughout the country. Would that make the country more liberal? Would that guarantee Democrats win the White House?

I doubt it. The transplanted blue stators are likely to adopt the voting patterns of their new state. They start paying less in taxes, face less regulations and mandates, and pretty soon they shake the murrain of political correctness. It is just as likely as not that the Californian transplanted to Alabama will pretty soon start to vote like an Alabamian.

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Case Against Hillary. Vote for Trump

One of my earliest and most indelible memories of Hillary Clinton took place in January of 1998. I was driving into work, it was about 5am, I had a job where I had to be in early. I was driving down the George Washington Parkway. My car radio was tuned into a news station, and the lead story that morning was that Newsweek had a story that the President of the United States had an affair with a 22-year-old intern, and had asked her to lie about it under oath. First Lady Hillary Clinton was going to go on NBC’s Today Show later that morning to offer the White House defense.

Now you would think that before she went on the show she would say to her husband over breakfast, “Honey, I am going on national television and may be asked about the story that you had an affair with a 22-year-old intern and had asked her to lie about it under oath. What should I tell them?”

According to the public record she never asked that basic question, which any spouse would ask. She didn’t ask it because she knew she would have to start lying and covering for him. Lying and covering for Bill was something Hillary had gotten good at in Arkansas.

When she went on the Today show and was asked the obvious question she quickly dodged it, and offered a counter attack. She said, “The great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president."

This was an obvious diversion, she knew, or could have verified that the charges against her husband were true. She knowingly lied. Before the scandal broke she was spreading the lie that Bill was mentoring Monica. How nice, maybe he was helping her with long division.

I don’t think the Clintons ever believed that truth and morality applied to them. They are grifters. They lie naturally. They lie when it is in their interest. For them the ends justify the means. When our embassy in Libya was attacked, Hillary acknowledged in an email to her daughter that it was a terrorist attack. However, to the American people she floated the idea that the attack was in response to a YouTube video, which she believed was an offensive depiction of Islam. From a political standpoint a terrorist attack would be detrimental going into the election. So Hillary thought maybe she could find another explanation. Blame it on a bad video.

Hillary complained that they were broke when they left the White House. Why were they broke? Because of all their legal bills! They had legal bills because of their behavior. They were being investigated for a number of things and needed defense lawyers. A word to the wise when you engage in unethical behavior you need to hire lots of lawyers.

When they left the White House, she and her husband packed a moving truck with White House furniture, china, antiques which did not belong to them. Even petty theft is not beneath them. The Park Service forced them to return the stolen loot.

Now the latest Hillary scandal deals with her use of email. In a nutshell Hillary was given an email by the state department, but she decided to use her husband’s server in the basement of their New York house. When the state department asked for the emails she said she had deleted them. When the justice department asked for the server she said she didn’t know where it was. They found it in a computer shop in New Jersey. It was wiped clean with bleachbit, a software that erases the hard drive.

Well the reason for the private server was to keep secret what the Clinton’s were doing with their foundation. The Associated Press reported that over half of Hillary’s discretionary meetings as secretary of state was with foundation donors!

The Clinton's are worth 30 to 40 million dollars. How did they make that money? Influence peddling.

Now many will say Hillary has a long resume and lots of experience. I agree she has spent a lot of time in Washington, but her record of accomplishment is extremely short for someone who has spent nearly a quarter of a century inside the beltway.

In her couple terms in the US Senate she was a reliable liberal vote, which for the media translates to experience. But she never made a mark in the institution. If her term as Secretary of State was simply unsuccessful, we could say well she gave it a shot, and maybe she is better suited for another job. However, her term was worse than unsuccessful, it was disastrous. I can’t think of one example or instance where she persuaded a single world leader to do anything.

Our relations with Russia sunk to cold war levels, Iraq went from a generally stable emerging Democracy to a lawless Islamic state. We had a new friend in Libya, but because of our failure to support him he was otherthrown by a mob.

So, I won’t be voting for Hillary. I will cast my vote for Donald Trump. Trump certainly has his faults, but like Chester A. Arthur he could grow in office. He is smart, a successful businessman, has executive experience, honest albeit brutally honest.

Trump may be what Washington needs.

He will enforce our immigration laws, fight Islamic terror, cut government spending. He will fight for good trade deals, and repeal every one of Obama’s executive orders, many of which are Constitutionally dubious.

On November 8th lets close the chapter on the Clintons. Break with the past and give an outsider, Donald Trump, a chance.