Category Archives: party

Our Weasel Of The Week!!

Yes, once again, It’s time to present this week’s statuette of shame, The Golden Weasel!!

Every Tuesday, the Council nominates some of the slimiest, most despicable characters in public life for some deed of evil, cowardice or corruption they’ve performed. Then we vote to single out one particular Weasel for special mention, to whom we award the statuette of shame, our special, 100% plastic Golden Weasel. This week’s nominees were particularly slimy and despicable, but the votes are in and we have our winner…the envelope please…

Mitt Romney Falls Apart When Pressed On His Previous Support For Donald Trump

Failed GOP Candidate Mitt Romney!!

The Noisy Room : My nomination this week goes to Mitt Romney. Romney really stepped in it over Donald Trump. Sean Hannity came out and slammed him on being willing to maul someone in his own party, but wasn’t willing to go after Barack Obama. There are a couple of reasons for that. One, none of the weenies in the GOP dare to go after someone who is black. They are terrified of being called racist. Second, Romney is a Progressive just as Obama is. He’s not as much of one, but he quietly agrees with a number of stances of those on the left. Third, he views Donald Trump as a direct threat to the power structure of the GOP. So, hypocritically he goes out and attacks one of our own in a way he would never savage the left. It’s despicable.

While I am not a fan of Donald Trump’s currently, you just don’t do this. I also think this is a calculated move on Romney’s part and that is even worse. He asked people to vote for any candidate but Trump that they figured could win their state. That move was meant to fracture the party even further and to deliberately result in a brokered convention. He didn’t call for Cruz and Rubio to unite over Trump… he called for party divisiveness. This is exactly the type of thing that has resulted in the rise of Donald Trump. The manipulation, the corruption, the underhandedness, the dishonesty on both sides of the political aisle is epic. Trump is a Frankenstein of the GOP’s own making. Romney’s lambasting of him was disgraceful and showed the true face of Republican elitists. If we have a two-faced weasel, it should go to Romney.

Ah good old Mutt, er, Mitt. The funniest part of his little swim in the sewer for me was when video surfaced after his speech of him fawning all over Trump back when Trump endorsed him and gave him money…and for the same stances on the issues Romney is demonizing Trump for now! Watch this:

Even funnier for me was Trump’s press conference last night, when he had samples of all of the products from the companies Romney claimed went ‘bankrupt’ on stage…Trump wine, Trump water, Trump steaks, it was all there, as Donald Trump told the story of each company, as well as the story behind Trump airlines, which he sold at a nice profit!

Romney’s Bain Capital were essentially corporate raiders buying up companies in trouble at fire sale prices in order to try and either rehabilitate them or strip them of assets and sell them off. The idea of Romney bashing anyone else as ‘someone who has crushed a lot of people’ is ludicrous.

What isn’t funny at all is Mitt Romney calling for a brokered convention. Indications are now that with Marco Rubio pretty much gone, Ted Cruz looks like he might be the new, grudging establishment choice, especially with a lot of Bush’s people now signing on to his campaign. That includes Neil Bush, of Silverado Trust and Portgate fame.

As much as some people dislike Donald Trump, he may have a good chance of arriving at the convention with close to the amount of delegates needed to nominate him, much more than any other candidate. If that happens and trickery of the kind Romney has in mind takes place to disenfranchise the people who voted for him in the primaries, we’ll undoubtedly see Mrs. Clinton in the White House because millions will sit home.

For that alone, Mitt Romney richly deserves his Weasel.

Well, there it is.

Check back next Tuesday to see who next week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week are!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum, and remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it…or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

Credit: 

Our Weasel Of The Week!!


Article written by: Tom White

Our Weasel of The Week Nominees!

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/89/256833910_dc5e794df2.jpg

It’s time once again for the Watcher’s Council’s ‘Weasel Of The Week’ nominations, where we pick our choices to compete for the award of the famed Golden Weasel to a public figure who particularly deserves to be slimed and mocked for his or her dastardly deeds during the week. Every Tuesday morning, tune in for the Weasel of the Week nominations!

Here are this weeks’ nominees….

Mitt Romney Falls Apart When Pressed On His Previous Support For Donald Trump
Failed GOP Candidate Mitt Romney!!

The Noisy Room : My nomination this week goes to Mitt Romney. Romney really stepped in it over Donald Trump. Sean Hannity came out and slammed him on being willing to maul someone in his own party, but wasn’t willing to go after Barack Obama. There are a couple of reasons for that. One, none of the weenies in the GOP dare to go after someone who is black. They are terrified of being called racist. Second, Romney is a Progressive just as Obama is. He’s not as much of one, but he quietly agrees with a number of stances of those on the left. Third, he views Donald Trump as a direct threat to the power structure of the GOP. So, hypocritically he goes out and attacks one of our own in a way he would never savage the left. It’s despicable.

While I am not a fan of Donald Trump’s currently, you just don’t do this. I also think this is a calculated move on Romney’s part and that is even worse. He asked people to vote for any candidate but Trump that they figured could win their state. That move was meant to fracture the party even further and to deliberately result in a brokered convention. He didn’t call for Cruz and Rubio to unite over Trump… he called for party divisiveness. This is exactly the type of thing that has resulted in the rise of Donald Trump. The manipulation, the corruption, the underhandedness, the dishonesty on both sides of the political aisle is epic. Trump is a Frankenstein of the GOP’s own making. Romney’s lambasting of him was disgraceful and showed the true face of Republican elitists. If we have a two-faced weasel, it should go to Romney.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Hubbard_Hall_-_Bowdoin_College_-_IMG_7782.JPG
Bowdoin College!

The Daley Gator : Bowdoin College for punishing students for have a tequila-themed party. Pretty weaselly!

Well, there it is. What despicable Weasels…EITHER OF THEM COULD WIN! Check back Thursday to see which Weasel walks off with the statuette of shame!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum.

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council, and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere, and you won’t want to miss it...or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

This article is from:

Our Weasel of The Week Nominees!


Article written by: Tom White

Blogger Sandy is Where? Doing What? Today?

Where’s you know who, oops I mean where’s Sandy the blogger today?

He’s on a panel to interview several of the Libertarian candidates for President right here in RVA TODAY!  It is at the Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Airport from 130pm to 300pm.  Here’s the list of who I understand are coming:

Might not be too late to sneak in!  Ought to be interesting – although not as entertaining as the GOP debates!  (I admit:  I’m not as attractive as Megyn Kelly!  But I have some good questions for the hopefuls!)

No I am not joining the LP (not yet!  As I have said to paraphrase the President:  All I need is a pen and sheet of paper!) but if you join a political party you submit to its discipline and I am not sure a blogger should do that.  But I hope the Libertarians regard me as a friend.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Del. Rasoul’s Ballot Access Bill fails in Virginia House Elections Subcommittee

Del. Sam Rasoul’s bill to reduce the percentage of the statewide vote for a political party to avoid petitioning failed in the Virginia House of Delegates Elections Subcommitee on a voice vote.

One delegate, Luke Torian (D) of Prince William County, did move to report the bill favorably (I sent him a email thanks) but but that motion failed without a second and the voice vote appeared to be overwhelming in opposition.

This bill would have given ballot access to the Libertarians if it had passed due to the over six percent turnout for Robert Sarvis in the governor’s race in 2013 by virtue of the provision that allows ballot access to continue for two statewide elections if it is won by vote percentage.

Delegate Rasoul spoke on how the median percentage for ballot access is between 2 and 3% and how only a few states are at or above Virginia’s percentage (Alabama has a 20% requirement).

Two citizens spoke on this bill along with Del. Rasoul; Elwood Sanders (yes this blogger) had a detailed presentation including the chart from Richard Winger (with credit given) which was introduced into evidence before the subcommittee.

Sanders opened with Jefferson’s quote:

The ballot is the rational and peaceable instrument of reform…

But the ballot does little good if there is only one choice.  Sanders argued that there are too many uncontested elections at the local and state legislative level, citing over 60 of the House members and half of the Virginia General Assembly, every county officer in Hanover County in the general election (one had a primary), many members of the Board of Supervisors throughout Virginia, and all five school board members in King William County for example.  He also suggested that many voters voted in real elections for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck or similar characters to protest single candidates on the ballot.

This led to a vigorous exchange between Sanders and Delegate Steve Landes on the need for this bill to increase participation.

Landes suggested there are other reasons for people not seeking to run for office.  Sanders agreed, including politics of personal destruction, “ungodly” (I apologized for the use of the word at the time but I am wondering if the word is accurate!) amounts of money to run and gerrymandering among others.  This is only one solution among many.  Landes cited the ease to get signatures for the House (125) and that even incumbents have to get signatures in the event of a contested primary.  Sanders agreed; however the petitioning requirement is onerous for statewide offices and the funding of Robert Sarvis’ gubernatorial petitions (the false account of the “Obama bundler”) was actually an issue in the election – and how a candidate gets signatures should not be an issue in a campaign.

Sanders stated truthfully that he is not a member of any political party which led to Landes asking about what third parties have difficulty getting on the ballot:  Libertarians?  Socialists?  Communists?  Sanders’ response was that the Libertarians have had trouble getting on the ballot – several did not get the signatures to run for Congress for example and had to abandon their campaign or run a write-in campaign.  Sanders also cited the ability of the Democrats without petitioning to place Prof. Jack Trammell on the ballot against Republican Dave Brat and felt other parties might ought to have the same.

It might be great now and then to not have to contest an election but continued uncontested elections are corrosive to the political process and hurts the mandate that victory brings to the winner or at least it can do so.  This also discourages voting and participation.

Finally Sanders suggested the ten percent political party requirement might be flirting with a constitutional violation since new parties have a right to start and have reasonable ballot access.  Five percent in this case is still above the median.  Alas, Del. Landes was unconvinced as the chair had to call time on Sanders.  Del. Rasoul’s bill failed.

Blogger’s note:  I am sorry I do not have at this writing the name of the other speaker who basically agreed with me.  I thank him for coming and participating in the political process.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Status of Ballot Access and Similar Bills in Virginia – It Depends on YOU!

The status of better ballot access in the Commonwealth depends on YOU!  But here’s the leading bills you can help with:

HB 82 – introduced by Sandy’s new hero – Del. Sam Rasoul – would lower the threshold for a political party to reach the ballot without signatures from ten to five percent based on the last two statewide elections.

HB 1040 – This is Del. Rasoul’s “open primary” bill.  I am still not sold on it but I do admit he made a good case for it at the Crusade for Voters meeting Tuesday night.  It would or at least could open up the political system in a county like Hanover.  Rasoul thinks a primary like this would encourage the candidates to reach to the center rather than extremes.  I think its strength is that groups such as African-Americans who might in a county like Hanover feel disenfranchised or marginalized due to the GOP primary being the effective election would be encouraged to vote and candidates would be encouraged to reach out to these groups to win one of those top two spots and then expand that electoral coalition in the general election.  Political parties could endorse candidates but not have conventions to elect candidates.  (This also might do away with the need for the “incumbent protection bill” – see below – where an incumbent office-holder chooses his or her method for running – primary or convention – and also it does away with unethical interference in the party primary.)  Maybe I am warmer to it already…

Alas, there is no other bills (There are related issues such as political party registration and this interesting bill introduced by Del. Freitas that would abolish the “incumbent protection act” allowing office-holders in the General Assembly to decide if they want to run in a primary or convention) on ballot access.  No one introduced the Sanders proposal in Style last November.  No one introduced a bill to reduce number of signatures for statewide office, either.  Ought to be reduced to 5000.

If you want to help provide better ballot access in Virginia, both of these bill go to the Elections subcommittee and here’s who sits on this subcommittee:

House Privileges and Elections
Sub-Committee: Elections

MEMBERSHIP

Ransone (Chairman), Landes, Fowler, Adams, Sickles, Torian, Cole

So, if one of these is YOUR delegate, you know what to do!  (Again, click on the delegate’s name and you’ll find his or her email address.)  This committee is scheduled to meet at 730 am (yes that’s right!) on Thursdays!  There is perhaps something a bit ironic about such as meeting time to get more transparent government but there is only a limited amount of time in session to get these meetings conducted.  Check the dockets carefully here.  I’ll try to make it for both.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

RAH for Del. Rasoul – He Has Introduced a Proposed Constitutional Amendment Requiring Term Limits!

There may have to be a new contender for “Sandy’s Favorite Democrat:  Del. Sam Rasoul

Here is what (according to this report in the Roanoke Times – I actually owe a hat tip to Blue Virginia  – it’s where I found it) Del. Rasoul has come up with and let me encourage him a bit to go a bit further:

Del. Sam Rasoul, D-Roanoke, announced plans Monday for a slate of bills he described as good government proposals.

Rasoul said he’ll carry legislation in the new year to impose term limits on General Assembly members, adopt a “top-two” primary system and continue the pursuit of an independent redistricting commission.

Now I am not sure I am for the top-two primary system in that it can hinder small parties and independents and may weaken party strength.  But it would open up a local political system like Hanover County where the GOP primary is tantamount to election and many like African-Americans and Democrats might feel disenfranchised due to their party affinity.

Still:  It’s a great point to debate.

I also am intrigued by the independent redistricting commission.  But I had a discussion with Senator McDougle and he persuaded me that redistricting must be done by those elected to do so.  If you set up an “independent” commission, you have to see who sits on the commission and it moves the politics to the commission and that would be even less transparent (if that is possible!) than it is now!  Again, good point to debate.

But the cream of the cream is the term limits – twelve years in each house and 24 years over all.  (I would even consider eight years but any limit is better than none.

Now my fellow Republicans:  Time to say YES to term limits.  It has been a tea party favorite for years.

Del. Rasoul wants to open up the political system:

“We must give more power back to the voters and restore trust in politics,” Rasoul said in a statement. “The current system often results in little competition and choice for citizens, which does not give people the best representation and transparency.”

I agree 100% with Del. Rasoul’s intent.

Finally we have this juvenile sentencing bill that I am not sure about:

He previously filed HB 53, which would create a path to early release for certain juvenile offenders serving long-term prison sentences.

The bill would apply to juveniles who committed a crime other than homicide after parole was abolished in 1995 and who were sentenced to life in prison or to a term that would keep them incarcerated until after they were 60.

Those inmates would be allowed to petition a panel of judges for a change in sentence at age 35 or after serving 20 years, whichever comes later. Inmates convicted of homicide wouldn’t be eligible for consideration.

This is to forestall a potential change in constitutional law based on the case of Graham v. Florida, where the US Supreme Court said in non-homicide cases involving juveniles there cannot be life without parole but must be a “reasonable possibility” of release.  The Virginia Supreme Court limited Graham by saying that the geriatric parole possibility in statutory law meets Graham’s constitutional muster.

Now I did not agree with the original Graham decision.  Juveniles can and do commit heinous crimes.  But studies do show that juveniles are more likely to take risky decisions and do not always understand the ramifications of their actions.  And with European law trying to now say a life sentence is a human rights violation, I am not crazy about liberal sentencing laws.  BUT, I can see perhaps a opportunity to show repentance but I would place it at 45 years of age or 30 years behind bars.

Sam Rasoul is a legislator of vision.  Let me encourage him to at least introduce my political party defining bill that I called for recently in the Style Weekly (I just got the check for the article – yes I got paid – $125!  Advocacy can pay!) and make it easier for ballot access.

Can thank Del. Rasoul for his advocacy at DelSRasoul [at] house.virginia.gov.  Ask him NICELY to adopt the Sanders ballot access bill, too.

And urge your delegate and senator to sign on to this term limits bill.  We can have term limits on the ballot by 2017 or 2018.

 


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

About that UKIP By-Election in Oldham West…

UKIP came in third in the popular vote among the political parties but only won one seat in parliament in the 2015 General Election last May.  (It’s the reason the party has decided to go to a proportional representation system advocacy but that really is not in the best interest of the libertarian euroskeptic party – but that another story!)

Now the party has a real chance to pick the Big MO back with a win or even a close second in the by-election in Oldham West.  Oldham West is a northern England seat that would normally be solidly for Labour.  But the election of their new (and radical) party leader Jeremy Corbyn has hurt Labour and now this election will show how much damage Corbyn’s election will cause.

In the online Sunnation, we have this article:

Patriotic voters are poised to give Jeremy Corbyn a bloody nose in his first major test at the ballot box.

***

Senior figures now fear they could even lose Oldham West and Royton, where they are defending a comfortable 14,738 majority.

And there’s more, here at the Telegraph (called by some in Britain the “Torygraph”) we have confirmation of this:

Labour support at the ballot box could be halved in the first electoral test for Jeremy Corbyn since becoming leader, private polling by the party has suggested.

***

However, the same canvassing returns in recent weeks found that just half those voters said they would now back Labour.

The result would mean that a majority of almost 15,000 could be halved in the Oldham West by-election on December 3.

Some party figures believe the result could be even worse. Ian Warren, an expert who advised former Labour leader Ed Miliband on how to fight Ukip before the general election, said the majority in the previously ultra-safe seat could fall to a low as 2,000 to 3,000.

So can UKIP actually win in Oldham West?  Yes I think so.  It would be a bit of a longshot but first, by-elections tend to have lower turnout than regular elections, the committed from the most enthusiastic parties tend to vote (that favors UKIP because Labour is divided and many will be discouraged from voting) and sometimes a by-election reflects national issues.  And the climate right now favors a “statement” election.

Another factor to consider:  Will Tory voters whose candidate has no chance go to UKIP to beat Labour?  Or will they rather see Labour prevail than UKIP take the victory?

We’ll see Thursday December 3!


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Sandy’s ARTICLE on Better Ballot Access OUT Today in Style Weekly!

It’s OUT!  And it’s so much fun to have my name in print again (and I even get a small stipend – enough for a nice dinner for the best looking most wonderful girl in the world!) but the message is clear and compelling:

Here it is at Style.

Couple of highlights:

Virginia has some of the most restrictive ballot-access laws in the nation. Either a political party must get 10 percent of the vote in a statewide election, not counting ones for president, or each statewide candidate for that party must get 10,000 signatures.

***

All these uncontested elections in Virginia might be nice when the candidates are favorites of yours without opponents, but they’re corrosive to the process in that the incumbents feel less accountable to the people. Such elections also prevent candidates from having mandates when they go to Richmond. Uncontested elections discourage voting even for the occasional contested race on the same ballot.

Read my solution at Style but it is a party-based petition concept.  It is out this week starting today.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

AG Herring Announces $4 Million UPS Settlement – UPS Announces Rate Hike – Virginians Get Screwed

What a tool Virginia elected for Attorney General. This demonstrates the Classic liberal “Progressive” thought process better than anything I can think of off the top of my head.

I just received an email from AG Herring in which he crows about milking UPS – the delivery service that we all use – for $4 million because some state packages arrived late after our tax dollars paid for the faster service.

I admit on the surface that it seems UPS took money and failed to deliver as promised, happens to me all the time. And going after them is a natural response.

Herring wrote in the email:

“Virginia taxpayers paid for guaranteed delivery times and UPS failed to live up to their end of the bargain,” said Attorney General Herring. “We’re working every day to defend the rights of Virginia consumers and their government against corporations that improperly profit at the expense of taxpayers.”

So while the state gets their share of the loot from UPS – a whopping $240,000 for 10 years of late packages (2004 – 2014) what do the taxpayers (and the state) get?

A UPS price hike.

UPS announced yesterday that it has rolled out its 2016 rate increases.

Big Brown said that effective December 28, UPS Ground rates and accessorial charges will head up by an average of 4.9 percent, and UPS Air and International services and accessorials, including UPSAir Freight rates within and between the United States and Canada will increase by an average net of 5.2 percent. And rates for UPS Freight, the company’s less-than-truckload (LTL) segment, will increase 4.9 percent and take effect on October 26.

UPS also said that surcharges for Over Maximum packages and tables for Ground Air and International fuel surcharges will increase on November 2, and on January 4, 2016, it said there will be a charge for the company’s Third-Party Billing Service. For the Third-Party Billing Service, UPS bills shipping charges to a party other than the shipper or receiver, with the third party required to have a valid UPS account number and must have agreed to accept the charges.

Company officials said that rate and surcharge tables are geared to address the impact of increased costs and changing demand for select UPS products and other market factors.

Note the underlined portion in the sentence above. Any idea what the “select” products are? How much you want to bet they are the same products UPS was just forced to pony up $4 million for?

This always happens when government looks out for the little guy.

So your next order from Amazon or EBay will be more expensive.

Thanks Mark Herring. For nothing!!!


Article written by: Tom White

BULLETIN: Development Coming on the Indigent Defense Front and Why Should a Libertarian/Conservative Support a Statewide Indigent Defense System?

There should be a development on the indigent defense front and I’ll announce it when it is time.

In the meantime, why should a tea party guy or gal or a libertarian or a conservative support a statewide indigent defense system?

  • We stand for constitutional rights.  The Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to counsel to every criminal defendant and that should not be limited by poverty.  Pro-gun groups for example should support a statewide indigent defense system because the protection of one constitutional rights helps to protect others.
  • The present crazy quilt where we have public defender offices in some counties or cities and not others is unequal justice under law
  • We have the money.  The judicial branch in Virginia brought in $280,000,000 more than it spent in costs according to a letter written by several statewide attorney groups.
  • It can be done:  Other states such as Colorado have a statewide PD system.

So, let your tea party leader or the tea party federation or your favorite GOP delegate or senator.  I have communicated with both Del. Peace and Sen. McDougle.  You can do it.  Feel free to comment after you do it.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders