Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority. - William Jennings Bryan

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Dark Yesterdays And Bright Tomorrows

Rosa Parks lived with dark yesterdays and fought for bright tomorrows. That's how Senate Chaplain Barry Black memorialized the late civil rights activist Rosa Parks, who died this week at 92.

Rosa Parks was a quiet, unassuming lady. She didn't get up that morning in Montgomery planning to go down in history. All she planned on was to go to and from work. To live her life in the way she had done before. But when she refused to move from that seat in the front of that city bus, she created a firestorm and changed the world. And we're all greatful.

As I watch the memorial and her casket lay in honor in the U.S. Capitol in Washington on CNN, I can't help but think how different the world would be if it hadn't been for Miss Parks. I'm white, and I've never been around much racism toward blacks, so I never fully understood the gravity of her story. I guess it's the same story; We never know what we have until it's gone. Tonight, I want to thank Miss Parks for what she done not just for blacks, but for all Americans; help realize the dream that all men are indeed created equal.

With Scooter Libby and Harriet Miers both thrown out of the game (why not keep using Patrick Fitzgerald's baseball talk?), who does Bush bring in, here in what seems like his 7th inning stretch? People have said Bush needs to mix things up some. And I think it's simple. Fire Andy Card, get rid of Karl Rove, accept all the mistakes made and be open about it, and nominate a moderate legal mind to the Supreme Court.

But will George Bush do that? Short answer: No.

Tim Kaine is picking up steam in his quest to become Virginia's next governor. Today Kaine was endorsed by the Bristol Herald Courier (My hometown paper). The Courier endorsed Bush in 2004, and just recently endorsed Terry Kilgore in his Delegate race. Anyone who hasn't read the editorial yet, I would highly recommend it.

Well, I'm done with this for the night. I'm going to try to start being more regular in my postings. Hopefully I won't have any more huge projects for school for a couple weeks.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Let's Get This Mule Train Moving

A new Mason-Dixon Poll show that:

Jerry Kilgore holds a 2 point lead over Tim Kaine, with 5 for Potts and 9 undecided (44-42-5-9). This is within the margin of error, and two other recent polls have showed Kaine actually leading. This race will go down to the wire, and voter turnout will be the key to the victory. I'll be working the polls election day, where will you be?

Bill Bolling holds a 4 point lead over Leslie Byrne, with a huge undecided factor (41-37-22). Ill be honest when I admit that I thought Leslie Byrne had no chance whatsoever. She is rather abrasive, pretty far to the left, and not running a statewide race. Don't get me wrong, I support her. I like her style. It's fun to listen to. She has great ideas. She's strongly pro-union. But I worked for Chap Petersen because I thought he had the most statewide electability and was running an energetic campaign. But, be that as it may, Leslie Byrne has to win this. We can't have Tim Kaine fighting tooth and nail against his Lt. Governor for four years. This is a race where we need to show Leslie Byrne as mainstream, show her strong, strong support of unions, and show the women she supports them. Then we can win this race.

Bob McDonnell has a whopping 8 point lead over Creigh Deeds (42-34-24). This is panic mode time. Creigh Deeds is the best person for this job, he's energetic, fun to listen to, has great mainstream ideas. He introduced the Right to Hunt and Fish Act, and we need to blast that out of a megaphone. Deeds can't win without rural support. And he can't get rural support without showing his strong pro-gun record.

So I say it's time to get this mule train going. Let's get the show on the road. We've come too far to give up and fizzle out on Election Day night.


Also, has anybody noticed I haven't been writing much? No? Okay, fine then. No, seriously, I haven't been able to write because (like Kenton), school is pretty time-consuming. Especially English. And you folks from my high school reading this, you understand what I mean.

Until later.


Friday, October 21, 2005

And Now For Something Completely Different

Merle Haggard, 68 years old and still going strong, is releasing his 51st album, Chicago Wind, on October 25th.

1. Chicago Wind
2. Mexico
3. Honky Tonk Man
4. I Still Can't Say Goodbye
5. It Always Will Be
6. Leaving's Not The Only Way To Go
7. What I've Been Meaning To Say
8. Rebuild America First
9. Where's All The Freedom
10. White Man Singing The Blues
11. Some Of Us Fly (with Toby Keith)

Merle Haggard defies labels. Is he a Republican? Is he a Democrat? In the 1970's, George Wallace begged for him to campaign for him, and allow him to use "Fightin' Side of Me" as a theme song, but he refused. He said he owed a debt of gratitude to Ronald Reagan for pardoning him in 1960 (while serving in San Quentin prison). He defended the Dixie Chicks when they said they were ashamed Presidnt Bush was from Texas. On his last country CD, That's the News, he had two songs speaking out against the war and the Patriot Act, and one song in support of the troops.

On this CD, which of course I haven't heard yet, he tackles the war again, this time head-on at 90 miles an hour.

Here, in part, is the lyrics to "Rebuild America First":
Yea, men in position but backing away
Freedom is stuck in reverse
Let's get out of Iraq and get back on the track
And let's rebuild America first.

Then, in "Where's All The Freedom?" the Hag discusses the Ten Commandments, gasoline prices, and civil liberties:
Are we a nation under God anymore
How long do we cower down
Is this really still our ground
Our country is like a prisoner of war
Where's all the freedom that we're fightin' for?

I tend to believe Merle Haggard is a classic patriotic Democrat. He's against the war, for God and the Bible, for the troops, and for helping people in need.

Sounds like a pretty good campaign platform in the making to me.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I Know It's Early, But...

One of my favorite passtimes is hypothesizing on future races, future candidates, etc. I got to thinking; After Tim Kaine has served 4 years and is forced into retirement, who should my party run? For that matter, who should we run for all the 2009 races?

Well, let me throw you three slates of candidates and see which you like the best.

SCENARIO ONE-Represent, Y'all! (Candidates from the central/western/southwest part of the state)
Governor: Creigh Deeds (Charlottesville)
Lt. Governor: Phillip Puckett (Lebanon)
Attorney General: Onzlee Ware (Roanoke)

SCENARIO TWO-The North Will Rise Again (Candidates from Northern Virginia only)
Governor: Leslie Byrne (Fairfax)
Lt. Governor: Chap Petersen (Fairfax)
Attorney General: Brian Moran (Alexandria)

SCENARIOS THREE AND FOUR-Where Did He Come Up With That? (Candidates who have little in common, but might make a good ticket)
Governor: Don Beyer (Alexandria)
Lt. Governor: Paul Fraim (Norfolk)
Attorney General: John Edwards (Roanoke)

Governor: Bobby Scott (Richmond)
Lt. Governor: L.F. Payne (Amherst)
Attorney General: Bud Phillips (Castlewood)

How does that grab you? Any other possiblities you like the sound of? Any of these sound good?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Thanks To A Legend

I recently won a trivia contest on Jesse McReynolds's website ( ), and, as the prize, I won a free CD. Jesse McReynolds is a 41-year member of the historic Grand Ole Opry, and a legendary bluegrass musician. I chose the 2001 CD Jesse recorded with his late brother Jim as the historic group "Jim and Jesse" called "Our Kind of Country." Jim and Jesse traditionally played only bluegrass (with occasional Chuck Berry and The Doors songs tossed in), but this CD covered 12 1960's honky tonk country songs with the feel and sound of the vintage country era. He and his wonderful wife, Joy, also sent me a book, "Blue Moon of kentucky" a photo collection by photographer Les Leverett, autographed by both Leverett and Mr. McReynolds.

Since Jim's death in 2002, Jesse, now 76, has soldiered on, releasing 3 CD's ("New Horizons," "Bending The Rules," and "A Tribute to Brother Duets") and still performs several dozen shows a year.

It was at a show in 2004 in Coeburn, Virginia when I first met him. But my family and his had been connected since long before that; He and his brother were childhood friends of my maternal grandmother in their hometown of Coeburn. In 1950, when my aunt was just born, Jim and Jesse's sister sewed her first baby blanket and baby outfit.

And, on an extremely personal note, and one I seldom speak of, when I was on my deathbed in 1992 from kidney failure (I was closer to death than I care to admit for 18 days), my father was waiting in the Emergency Room waiting area at the old Bristol Hospital. Jim and Jesse happened to be there because of their sister (who sewed my aunt's blanket) who was in extremely ill health at the time. He began talking to them, and the three talked for about twenty minutes before Jesse led them in prayer for me.

I've kind of got off on a tangent here, but I've always wanted to get this "thank you" out in the open. Not just for the CD and book (which I do appreciate), but for the kindness shown to a worried family over a decade ago.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I Think Not

I supported John Roberts. I know Chief Justice Roberts is a Conservative. But he is no Scalia/Thomas. He will hopefully be a unifier on the court. But Harriet Miers is a different story.

Harriet Miers has no record. Is she a Democrat pretending to be a Republican (she gave money to Al Gore's 88 campaign)? Is she a kneejerk conservative being paraded as mainstream? We can't take that risk. She is up for Sandra Day O'Connor's seat. We're talking crucial swing vote here. If this were Antonin Scalia's seat, I'd say sure, why the heck not? We couldn't do much worse.

But Harriet Miers is no mainstream thinker like Sandra Day O'Connor is. President Bush nominated a great legal mind in John Roberts. I can deal with the fact that he's a Conservative, because I know he know's his law and how to conduct a court. He replaces a Conservative, so the numbers didn't change. With any luck, over the years he may moderate his views, but keep the friendly but tough personality on the bench (similar to Renhquist) that he has.

But, again, Miss Miers is different. She has no record. She has no judicial experience. She's a blank slate. She cannot avoid the questions like previous nominees have, and here's why: They all had a record that would speak for itself. Senators know Roberts was conservative. Senators in 1993 knew Ruth Bader Ginsburg was liberal. But what do Senators know about Miers?

Joe Biden (who, if Mark Warner wasn't in the 2008 Presidential race, I would definitly support) will grill Miers to no end. And I'm glad.

Ted Kennedy will pin Miers down with tough questions that will make her think, form opinions, and, we're all praying, voice those opinions. And, once again, I'm glad.

I remember Joe Biden saying during Roberts' confirmation something close to "You're getting a lifetime appointment. You never have to answer to anyone again." For Harriet Miers, who has never been qualified to serve on the Supreme Court answered to anyone before anyway will be almost expected to say something. But will she? I doubt it.

That's why I'm calling on the Senate to reject Harriet Miers' nomination and demand President Bush send up a mainstream thinker with a track record to prove it.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


There has been some noise on blogs today about Ohio. Major Paul Hackett, the Cincinnati attorney-turned-war hero who almost cause a huge upset in an August special Congressional election, recently announced he would run for the U.S. Senate against Senator Mike DeWine. This was after seemingly every other state Democrat disclaimed interest in running. Well, hold on a minute.

Congressman Sherrod Brown from Akron has announced he will run. He had previously discounted himself from running, and at the time was the Democrats' best shot.

Well, I'm going to go out on a limb and say he still is.

I know I'm in the minority among Democratic bloggers when I say this, but, while Paul Hackett seems to be a likable fellow and he did do a good job in the special election, I just don't see how it qualifies him to run for the U.S. Senate against a two-term incumbent.

We're not talking about a Congressional race running against a woman with a way of putting her foot in her mouth; We're talking big show. We're talking statewide, targeted battleground, Bush coming in, Democrats coming in, Rove's attack machine. We need somebody who's ready for a big fight.

Don't get me wrong here. Paul Hackett is a hero in every sense of the word. But that doesn't qualify him to be a U.S. Senator. I think he needs to set his sights a tad bit lower, then aim up eventually.

If he takes down Congresswoman Jean Schmidt in 2006, then he has the credit to run for Senate in 2010. If he runs for Lt. Governor or Attorney General in 2006, then by all means, bring on Voinovich! But not now. This isn't his time.

I hope Major Hackett will see that a bloody primary isn't in the party's best interest, and I hope he pulls out of the race. By the way, I think he would be great as Ted Strickland's Lt. Governor running mate.

But, tonight let me make my endorsement (for what it's worth...which could be up to 79 cents) official. Sherrod Brown for Senate. Take Down The Corruption.


I'll be talking about my opinion on whether Harriet Miers should be confirmed, I'll be talking about Jerry Kilgore's (crumbling) campaign, and also, very likely responding to a response I recently got in a comments area. I do love really good, mean, bloody fights controversy, you know

Monday, October 03, 2005

It's Miers

This morning, President Bush nominated White House Counsel Harriet Miers, 60, to serve on the Supreme Court, replacing Sandra Day O'Connor.

My first reaction was, "Gee, I missed the mark on guessing who it would be," although I did mention her as one of seven. (My actual first reaction was "Gee, she has scarey eyes.")

Miers has no judicial experience whatsoever, but is an experienced lawyer.

As I did with John Roberts, I'll hold off on judgement until I know more about her. She could be a Scalia in sheep's clothing, or maybe another Souter. We'll have to wait and find out.

Woo-hoo! Another carnival! This time, naviagte your mouse to the web address bar and put in (or click on the link), and enjoy guessing who everybody really is! (As a forewarning, you'll see names like "Not Russ Potts," "Not Jim Moran," "Not Robert Byrd," and your truly, "Not William Wampler." (Okay, so I gave mine away. Sue me.)


Sunday, October 02, 2005

To Clear Up Some Things

I had a pretty thoughtful discussion with one of my friends tonight. He had talked to his Preacher and now had some serious questions about whether or not you could be a Liberal and a Christian. He decided, after speaking with the preacher that being a Democrat depended on your views on Gays and abortion. I got to thinking, and I'd like to share my Democratic Creedo with you..

I'm a Liberal because we need affordable health care for all Americans.
I'm a Liberal because no hunter, regardless of the game you hunt, needs a machine gun.
I'm a Liberal because, as our Declaration of Independence says, "...[A]ll men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
I'm a Liberal because unions are an essential in securing safety and equality for the American worker.
I'm a Liberal because our environment is being harmed by industries, and needs protection.
I'm a Liberal because Social Security is one of this nation's foundations, and should be protected.
I'm a Liberal because the American farmer has been crippled by industrial farms and is in dire need of government support.
I'm a Liberal because if we want to combat murders, we don't need to increase the number of people sentenced to death--we need to combat gang violence and crack down on illegal drug trafficking.
I'm a Liberal because I don't believe the government should be able to pry into your personal life (this includes library records and random phone tapping).
I'm a Liberal because every American--poor or rich, black or white, Northerner or Southerner, Liberal or Conservative--deserves the right to believe what they want.
Okay, now that I've got that off my chest.


As far as sports are concerned, this has been a pretty daggone terrible week for me.

My Washington Nationals have been shut out of post-season play.

My 2nd choice, the Cleveland Indians, are getting dangerously close to being eliminated, too.

My High School football team LOST HOMECOMING...46-28. (But hey, what else is new there?, and I got to sit with a really pretty girl thru half-time, so that made it worth it)

Okay, now some quick stuff...
VA: Creigh Deeds gets the NRA's endorsement. Well, Bob McDonnell can just go home now and give it up. Congratulations (in advance) Attorney General Deeds.

ND: Governor John Hoeven (R) announced he won't run for the US Senate against incumbent Kent Conrad (D) in 2006. Especially great news, and a glaring example of Elizabeth Dole's failure at the NRSC in recruiting.

IL: Former Governor Jim Edgar (R) announced he won't challenge incumbent Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) in 2006. First George Ryan's scandals, then the 2004 Senate race...can it get any worse for Illinois Republicans? (very likely)

WV: I was in Charleston Thursday. I'm seeing a few Byrd 2006 signs and stickers (extremely early, by the way) and very little activity at Shelley Moore Capito's campaign office. Like a guy from up there I know says, Robert Byrd will serve another 150 years.

HOMECOMING: Two women were outside our football game Friday handing out Kilgore for Governor literature and "Sportsmen for Kilgore" stickers. A teacher (a Republican for Kaine, by the way) was holding out a Food City bag as you came through the gate, where most of the Kilgore literature was deposited. He said "They just showed up. Somebody is going out in a minute to tell them to leave."

2008: Has Governor Mark Warner filmed his first 2008 Presidential ad? Maybe. His new ad for Tim Kaine seems just like a practice round. Warner 2008 all the way!

SUPREME COURT: John Roberts was confirmed 78-22 (very close to my prediction, by the way) on Thursday, and sworn in by John Paul Stevens later that day at the White House. When will Bush announce his choice? Probably Monday. I've been hearing three new names; Karen Williams, Deanell Tacha, and Viet Dinh. Who do you think it will be? Leave it in the comments section.

Okay, I'm out.