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

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Top 100 Songs Of All-Time

Recently, Virginia Centrist put up a post about the 100 best guitar solo songs, and it got me to thinking, what are my favorite songs of all-time? Well, since you're wondering, here they are (the first 20 really are in numeric order, but the rest is just kind of an aproximation [sp.?])...

1-You're The Reason God Made Oklahoma (David Frizzell and Shelley West)
2-Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash)
3-I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams)
4-Mama Tried (Merle Haggard)
5-He Stopped Loving Her Today (George Jones)
6-The Wild Side Of Life (Hank Thompson)
7-Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young (Faron Young)
8-Tears In The Holston River (Johnny Cash and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)
9-Jambalaya (Hank Williams)
10-Blueberry Hill (Fats Domino)
11-Wabash Cannonball (Roy Acuff)
12-Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone? (Charley Pride)
13-Livin' In The Sunlight, Lovin' In The Moonlight (Tiny Tim)
14-Angel Band (Stanley Brothers)
15-I Never Picked Cotton (Roy Clark)
16-Uncle Pen (Bill Monroe)
17-Song Of The South (Tom T. Hall and Earl Scruggs)
18-Hello Darlin' (Conway Twitty)
19-Rank Stranger (Stanley Brothers)
20-Meet Me In Heaven (Janette Carter, June Carter-Cash, and Johnny Cash)
21-May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose (Little Jimmy Dickens)
22-Marie Laveau (Bobby Bare)
23-I've Always Been Crazy (Waylon Jennings)
24-Walkin' The Floor Over You (Ernest Tubb)
25-Choices (George Jones)
26-Fraulein (Bobby Helms)
27-Don't Say Aloha (Bashful Brother Oswald)
28-Rocky Top (Osborne Brothers)
29-Don't Get Above Your Raisin' (Flatt and Scruggs)
30-Freeborn Man (Jimmy Martin)
31-Goodhearted Woman (Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson)
32-America First (Merle Haggard)
33-Rapid City, South Dakota (Kinky Friedman)
34-Sing Me Back Home (Merle Haggard)
35-Cold Hard Facts Of Life (Porter Wagoner)
36-Coat Of Many Colors (Dolly Parton)
37-You Don't Know My Mind (Jimmy Martin)
38-Gone, Gone, Gone (Lefty Frizzell)
39-Howlin' At The Moon (Hank Williams)
40-Ahab The Arab (Ray Stevens)
41-Tiptoe Thru The Tulips (Tiny Tim)
42-Wild Weekend (Bill Anderson)
42-Me And Bobby McGee (Roger Miller)
43-Six More Miles (Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper)
44-T For Texas (Jimmie Rodgers)
45-The Road Goes On Forever (The Highwaymen)
46-Nothing I Can Do About It Now (Willie Nelson)
47-I Do Believe (Waylon Jennings)
48-I Wonder If God Likes Country Music (Bill Anderson and Roy Acuff)
49-I Don't Believe You Met My Baby (Louvin Brothers)
50-Hillybilly Rock (Marty Stuart)
51-Guitars, Cadillacs, and Hillbilly Music (Dwight Yoakam)
52-I'm Movin' On (Hank Snow)
53-John Henry (Doc Watson)
54-California Blues (Lefty Frizzell)
55-The One Rose That's Left In My Heart (Johnny Cash)
56-Frankie and Johnnie (Jimmie Rodgers)
57-Louisiana Saturday Night (Mel McDaniel)
58-Kiss An Angel Good Morning (Charley Pride)
59-The Prodigal Son (Roy Acuff)
60-Let Me Rest (Stanley Brothers)
61-Tennessee Saturday Night (Red Foley)
62-Cocaine Blues (Johnny Cash)
63-It Ain't Me Babe (Johnny Cash and June Carter-Cash)
64-Okie From Muskogee (Merle Haggard)
65-Ida Red (Uncle Charlie Osborne)
66-Train Of Love (Bob Dylan)
67-Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)
68-For The Good Times (Ray Price)
69-Sunday Morning Coming Down (Johnny Cash)
70-Country Roads (John Denver)
71-Great Balls Of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis)
72-Old Friends (Roger Miller, Ray Price, and Willie Nelson)
73-Midnight Rider (Waylon Jennings)
74-Will You Visit Me On Sundays? (Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn)
75-Cincinnati, Ohio (Connie Smith)
76-If The South Woulda Won (Hank Williams, Jr.)
77-Wild Irish Rose (George Jones)
78-Yellow Rose Of Texas (Johnny Lee)
79-The Baptism Of Jesse Taylor (Johnny Russell)
80-American Made (Oak Ridge Boys)
81-The F-Word (Hank Williams, Jr.)
82-The Race Is On (George Jones)
83-What Ever Happened To Us? (George Jones and Tammy Wynette)
84-There Ain't A Tune (Cowboy Jack Clement)
85-This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie)
86-A Fool Such As I (Hank Snow)
87-Leavin' Louisiana In The Broad Daylight (Oak Ridge Boys)
88-The Gambler (Kenny Rogers)
89-Keep On The Sunny Side (Carter Family)
90-No Expectations (Cowboy Jack Clement)
91-As We Travel Through The Desert (Uncle Charlie Osborne)
92-Help Me Make It Through The Night (Sammi Smith)
93-Al Smith (Uncle Dave Macon)
94-Time's A-Wastin' (Carl Smith and June Carter)
95-Faded Love (Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys)
96-Showboat Gambler (Jesse McReynolds)
97-Maple On The Hill (Mac Wiseman)
98-Games People Play (Hank Williams, Jr.)
99-Whiskey Lullaby (Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss)
100-Will The Circle Be Unbroken? (Roy Acuff, Johnny Cash, Ricky Skaggs, and Levon Helms)

Anybody else like any of these songs? Thoughts?


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Response From The DCCC

Recently, I made a post (found here) about what kind of issues would sell well for Democrats in rural Virginia. Shaula suggested in the comments section that I should e-mail it on to the VDP, DNC, and DCCC. So, I did. And I got back my first response today. Here it is below.

Subject: RE: Winning elections in Rural America
Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2006 10:43:21 -0500
From: "DCCC"
To: "Neal Osborne"

Dear Neal,
Thank you for taking the time to share your views with us regarding the current Democratic leadership, the state of politics in the country, and the strategy Democrats should follow as we head towards the upcoming 2006 mid-term elections and beyond. We certainly want you to know that we understand your frustrations, and are working hard to change the momentum and make major gains in next year's elections.
While we do not have the staff to provide a detailed response to your entire email, we do compile a sampling of email that we receive, taking excerpts from all points of view, which we then forward on to the Leadership. We encourage you to continue providing your input, and please know that we do read your emails and will do our best to respond to specific questions when we can.
We also invite you to visit our running weblog at, which includes a comments section where we encourage participation in the discussion from readers. You may find this avenue provides a quicker and more substantial conversation and response.
DCCC Action Team

I am appreciative that I got a response that may or may not be a form letter (but likely is). I consider it basically a non-answer, but I can't honeslty say I expected a lot more. But, as the e-mail says, they read what comes in, so hopefully they did, and the got the idea. One question, however: Frustrations? I didn't realize I was frustrated. Just opinionated...

I look forward to hearing back from the VDP.

Number One Has The Bridge

Thanks to Shaula over at Tsuredzuregusa for pointing me in the direction of this quiz. I was hoping to get Dr. McCoy, but this works, too:

Your results:
You are Will Riker
Will Riker
Jean-Luc Picard
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Mr. Scott
Beverly Crusher
Geordi LaForge
Deanna Troi
Mr. Sulu
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
At times you are self-centered
but you have many friends.
You love many women, but the right
woman could get you to settle down.

[Note: I couldn't get the last few lines of HTML to work, so I just found a picture of Riker on my own. But, hey, there's no big white spaces!]

Go here and take it for yourself (and let me know what you get).

Where Does He Get This Stuff?

My favorite news show is Countdown with Keith Olbermann, followed closely by The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (yeah, yeah, I know; it's not real news).

Tonight, on Countdown, I hear that everybody's favorite far-right angry man, Bill O'Reilly, is supporting a petition (found here) to "Bring Back Donahue." His petition never mentions Olbermann or the name of his show, just "the program currently airing weeknights on that network at 8:00 PM EST." One of his main ideas is that the ratings are much lower for Olbermann now than they were for Donahue when he was cancelled.

What? According to the ratings (as quoted by Olbermann on his show) for Donahue in January/February 2003 were 152,000 viewers per night, while Olbermann's January/February 2006 ratings are 157,000. Yep. Olbermann went way down.

My favorite part of the segment had to be Olbermann signing the petition himself on air, then a short (obviously staged) segment showing MSNBC employees lined up around a room waiting to sign the petition (including Tucker Carlson and Dan Abrams). Olbermann obviously got a kick out of the whole situation.

Which brings me to my main point; Who does Bill O'Reilly think he is? Is he so delusional that he believes he has the power to cancel a show (which is his rival for ratings) on another channel to "give Donahue a fair chance"? Oh, come on.

I'm awfully afraid that O'Reilly has become power crazy and believes he has much more influence than he really does. I find it hilarious he wants to "boycott" France, and tries to drum up the "War on Christmas," when in reality, it's mostly in his head.

I look forward to hearing what O'Reilly will say about the on-air joke Olbermann made of the petition.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Leslie Byrne?

On my last post, an anonymous person left the following post:

Anonymous said...
Neal: Great post!Working people need more champions. Leslie Byrne
7:04 AM

Wow. I wonder if that is a reference to Leslie Byrne as a champion of working people (which she definitly is), or if that's Leslie Byrne reading my blog (which would be amazingly neat)?

I really like Leslie Byrne's politics, and, although I was a Petersen supporter in the 2005 primary, I would go so far as to say she came to be my favorite candidate of the 3 statewide Democratic candidates.

I would really like to see her run for another office in the future (I was talking before James Webb decided to run that Leslie Byrne would be a great Senate candidate). I think she could run for Governor in 2009, for Congress against Tom Davis, or even the U.S. Senate if John Warner retires. I'll definitly be voting for her if she's on a ballot in the future here in Bristol.


Monday, February 20, 2006

About My Home

I heard somebody say that the Ninth Congressional District is just about the same in land size as the state of New Jersey. It encompasses a big chunk of the state. A big chunk that used to be a reliable Democrat region. But no more. It's now as swing district as one can imagine. Bush in 2004 and 2000. Warner in 2001, Kilgore in 2005. Twelve-term Democratic Congressman whose opponent can't break 42%.

The people of Southwest Virginia--my neighbors, my friends, my cousins--are, for the most part, socially conservative and economically progressive. Up until recently (and still in some homes, and I know, because I've seen it) pictures of Jesus, John F. Kennedy and John L. Lewis hung in almost every house.

The reason Democrats have a hard time here now, though, is because a lot of people (except the union folks in Dickenson and Buchanan Counties) believe the Democratic Party has lost touch with them. I say no. I say at least a third of the people who vote Republican in this district are up for grabs if the Democrats could connect with them.

In my opinion, if we want to start winning more down here, my party needs to talk about four things:
1-Health Care: So many people in my part of the country don't have health care, or don't have access to health care. The free medical clinic every year in Wise is great, and there's also a Doctor's office on wheels, the Crossroads Medical Mission, that travels around and helps folks. But, as great as it is, it's not enough. The government needs to help. Rural health care is extremely important to my people.
2-Transportation: When I mention transportation, I mean it in reference to places like Copper Creek (where the paternal side of my family has been for a long, long time), Molls Creek, Castlewood, Hansonville, Bolton, and Greendale. These places all have high populations of elderly/older people. A lot of these people can't drive. There needs to be a program, kind of like a "fleet of church buses," to go around and pick up folks who have called and said they needed to get into town. There's no excuse that people in this country--in the United States--can't get to Food City or to the doctor.
3-Agriculture: The government needs to do more to support the family farmer. Pay more into farm subsidies. We need to encourage farmers to keep farming, keep producing the products that America ia famous for producing. We also need to provide incentives to folks who don't have a farm to start one, and by that, I mean the government should do everything it can to help them get off to a good start.
4-Minimum Wage: It's a joke that our minimum wage is so low. $5.15? If you work at minimum wage, eight hours a day, fifty weeks a year (we assume you get a two-week vacation--you might not), then you're only getting $10,300 a year. That's definitly not enough for house payments, car payments, electric, water, and heat payments, plus food, clothes, medical expenses, and any other unforseen expenses. I think we need the minimum wage at at least $7.50 or $7.70 a year, or possibly more. It's disgusting to me that we have people living (some just two or three miles from my bluecollar house) in this nation who look like they're living in a third world country. This is America. This is wrong.

If we could talk about these kind of things and stay away from the nuclear issues--abortion, gay marriage--then we can win back rural America.

I expect that James Webb will talk about this. I expect if and when Creigh Deeds runs for statewide office again, he'll talk about some of this stuff, and I expect that any candidate who wants to win west of Roanoke should use these issues as a base to talk from.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Respect The Green Ring.

Your results:
You are Green Lantern

Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.

Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Thanks to Shaula at Tsuredzuregusa for the link to the quiz.

Green Lantern always was my (second) favorite. My favorite came in at #2.


[Note: I have no idea why there's a big blank space in this post. I tried to fix it, but no luck.]

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Slow Day?

It kind of looks to me like it was a slow day in the VA Blogosphere. So, just before I go to bed for the night, I'll leave everybody some stuff to think on:


“Tell the truth. Sing with passion. Work with laughter. Love with heart. 'Cause that's all that matters in the end.” - Kris Kristofferson

“Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” - Pope John XXIII

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” - Johnny Cash

And, to lighten the mood before you go...

“As a woman grows older, you can give her a tummy-tuck, you can give her LASIK if her vision goes bad and you can give her a hearing aid. But you can't cure stupid,” - Ron White

Goodnight Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Jenkins Retiring

Today, Congressman Bill Jenkins (R), who represents the 1st District of Tennessee, which encompasses Bristol, Kingsport, Johnson City, and everything else almost all the way down to Knoxville, announced he will not run for a sixth term in the House. Jenkins, who will turn 70 this year, said he wanted to spend more time with his family and work on his farm.

Jenkins was the Lt. Governor from 1969-1971. He replaced a 34-year incumbent, Congressman Jimmy Quillen (R) (pictured above in 1994), in 1996. If I'm not mistaken, he said then that he would only be serving five terms, as Northeast Tennessee had just had a longtime incumbent, and one of his main issues (albeit unspoken) was change. I had assumed Jenkins would run again. It's good to see that Congressman Jenkins is honoring his pledge.

I like Bill Jenkins. I met him down at the Jimmy Quillen Veterans Affairs Hospital when my grandpa was there. He's a genuinely nice guy, and he's never been partisan in his arguments.

Some of the potential candidates include:
State Senator Ron Ramsey (Blountville) (Ramsey is the leader of the Senate Republicans, who tried unsuccessfuly to unseat Lt. Governor John Wilder (D) in a State Senate vote where Republicans crossed the aisle to vote for Wilder.)
State Representative Steve Godsey (Blountville)
State Representative Matt Hill (Jonesborough)
State Representative David Davis (Johnson City)
State Representative Jason Mumpower (Bristol)
--I would say the favorite here is either Ramsey or Mumpower. Ramsey probably wants to run for statewide office (he was touted as a possible candidate for Governor), so he may pass on this race. Mumpower will be 33 years old this year, so it could be argued that he is inexperienced. But Hill is actually a few years younger than Mumpower, so if we're just going for experience here, then that would throw it in Davis's favor.
State Representative Nathan Vaughn (Kingsport)
Fmr. State Senator Carl Moore (Johnson City)
Dr. Graham Leonard (Kingsport)
--Okay, as you can see, the Democratic bench in Northeast Tennessee is kind of - sparse. Nathan Vaughn was elected when a Republican incumbent was found to have hit on boys in swimming pools, then shot himself. I think Vaughn would have trouble, because, although it's an awful thing in 2006, I believe it would be difficult to elect a black man in this district. Graham Leonard was the 2004 nominee, and received 26%. Carl Moore is definitly my favorite. He's a really nice guy (I met he and his wife at the Bristol Hospital once while I was riding the elevators). He is still relatively active in the party (he endorsed Wesley Clark for President in 2004). And he is extremely intelligent. So, my choice right now, and I'll make it an official endorsement (for what it's worth), is this: Carl Moore for Congress.

The 1st District of Tennessee is the most heavily Republican district I can think of. Since the beginning of the Civil War (1861), Republicans have held this seat for all but two years. Two years! Holy crap. And, unless my memory fails me, Republicans in presidential elections have won this race every year but 1948, when Strom Thurmond, the Dixiecrat, won it. I would place our chances of winning below 40%, but it's doable. If the tide turns against the Republican (President Bush has a 51% disapproval in Tennessee), and if Harold Ford can win the Senate race, I think we've got a shot!


[UPDATE: Here's a map of Tennessee's 1st District. As you can see by the little map in the corner, Gerrymandering is a problem in Tennessee. But, as I'm trying to point out, The 1st is a pretty big district, and any Democrat who wants to even have a shot will have to be energetic and willing to shake alot of hands, walk alot of sidewalks, and spend a whole lot of time going up and down I-81]

[UPDATE 2: I've just received word that former Johnson City Mayor and current State Claims Commissioner Vance Cheek will be running in the GOP primary.]

I Really Won't Miss Hackett

Today, Paul Hackett pulled out of the race for U.S. Senate in Ohio, under pressure from Senators Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid. Congressman Rahm Emanuel wanted him to run for the Congressional seat (OH-2) that he barely lost in 2005. He was pretty bitter about pulling out; "This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me...[F]or me, this is a second betrayal. First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me."

Here's what I think. I think Paul Hackett is an American hero. All our troops are. They're out there getting shot at for no apparent reason, and I'm sure many of them don't really like the idea of it. I also think Paul Hackett would be a good Congressman. But, what my problem is, this guy basically walked in off the street, ran for Congress (a really great campaign, by the way), and lost. So, what is the next logical step? Run for the United States Senate! Wait, run for the United States Senate?

If you lose a race, you try a similar race. That's why people like Tom Daschle will never be President, and why people like John Edwards and Al Gore would never be content serving as a U.S. Senator (Gore) or Governor (Edwards). But, back on subject, I think that he should have never announced for the Senate, and just began campaigning full-throttle against Jean Schmidt for 2006.

Now, because the Democratic party wants to win back the Senate, and believes Sherrod Brown is the more viable candidate, Hackett is put off. I say, if I were Hackett, I would "take one for the team", and run for Congress, and then, in 2010, run for either Voinovich's (probably open) seat, or maybe for Governor.

Does Hackett believe because he generated a whole lot of excitement in the NetRoots during a special election that he can convey that into a statewide win? Did he consider himself the "annointed" candidate?

Now, folks will say, "well, Schumer told Hackett's donors to quit giving", and if that's true, that is a very bad thing to do. That's not part of the Democratic process. I would say that is deplorable. But that's not the big question here.

I've been talking for a long time that Sherrod Brown is the guy to beat Mike DeWine, and I still believe that 100%. He is more Progressive than Hackett, much more experienced, and a really nice guy (I met him in the summer of 2004 when we went to Northeast Ohio on vacation). We (we, meaning Progressive bloggers) can't turn our backs on Brown. Brown can beat DeWine, and with our help, and a concerted effort by the national party, Sherrod Brown will defeat Mike DeWine.
So, in closing, Sherrod Brown for Senate!

(Note: I anticipate some negative feedback, so leave it in the comments, and I'll do my best to respond to everybody)


Pictures Of The Day

I don't know which picture is creepier...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Senate 2006

Every so often, I'm going to be analyzing which U.S. Senate races we have a chance of picking up in 2006, and this is the "preliminary" start of it. As I think I'm coming down with the flu, I'll just post the list, and insert analysises later.

Arizona - Likely Republican
Senator Jon Kyl (R) - Incumbent
ADP Chairman Jim Pederson (D) - Challenger

California - Solid Democrat
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D) - Incumbent
Dick Mountjoy (R) - Challenger

Connecticut - Solid Democrat
Senator Joe Lieberman (D) - Incumbent
Ned Lamont (D) - Primary Challenger

Delaware - Solid Democrat
Senator Tom Carper (D) - Incumbent
Mike Protack (R) - Challenger

Florida - Likely Democrat
Senator Bill Nelson (D) - Incumbent
Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R) - Challenger

Hawaii - Solid Democrat
Senator Daniel Akaka (D) - Incumbent
Congressman Ed Case (D) - Primary Challenger

Indiana - Solid Republican
Senator Dick Lugar (R) - Incumbent

Maine - Solid Republican
Senator Olympia Snowe (R) - Incumbent
Eric Menhert (D) - Challenger

Maryland - Open - Toss-Up
Congressman Ben Cardin (D)
Former NAACP Chairman Kweisi Mfume (D)
Lt. Governor Michael Steele (R)

Massachusetts - Solid Democrat
Senator Ted Kennedy (D) - Incumbent
Kevin Scott (R) - Challenger

Michigan - Leans Democrat
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) - Incumbent
Sheriff Mike Bouchard (R) - Challenger

Minnesota - Open - Leans Democrat
Ford Bell (D)
Amy Klobuchar (D)
Congressman Mark Kennedy (R)

Mississippi - Solid Republican
Senator Trent Lott (R) - Incumbent
State Representative Erik Fleming (D) - Challenger

Missouri - Toss-Up
Senator Jim Talent (R) - Incumbent
State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D)

Montana - Toss-Up
Senator Conrad Burns (R) - Incumbent
State Senator Jon Tester (D) - Challenger
State Auditor John Morrison (D) - Challenger

Nebraska - Likely Democrat
Senator Ben Nelson (D) - Incumbent
NRP Chairman David Kramer (R) - Challenger
Peter Ricketts (R) - Challenger

Nevada - Leans Republican
Senator John Ensign (R) - Incumbent
Jack Carter (D) - Challenger

New Jersey - Toss-Up
Senator Robert Menendez (D) - Incumbent
State Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R) - Challenger

New Mexico - Solid Democrat
Senator Jeff Bingaman (D) - Incumbent
Tom Benavides (R) - Challenger

New York - Solid Democrat
Senator Hillary Clinton (D) - Incumbent
Mayor John Spencer (R) - Challenger

North Dakota - Solid Democrat
Senator Kent Conrad (D) - Incumbent
Mayor John Warford (R) - Challenger

Ohio - Toss-Up
Senator Mike DeWine (R) - Incumbent
Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - Challenger
Major Paul Hackett (D) - Challenger

Pennsylvania - Lean Democrat
Senator Rick Santorum (R) - Incumbent
State Treasurer Bob Casey, Jr (D) - Challenger

Rhode Island - Toss Up
Senator Lincoln Chafee (R) - Incumbent
Mayor Stephen Laffey (R) - Primary Challenger
Secretary of State Matt Brown (D) - Challenger
Sheldon Whitehouse (D) - Challenger

Tennessee - Open - Lean Republican
Ed Bryant (R)
Van Hilleary (R)
Mayor Bob Corker (R)
Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. (D)

Texas - Solid Republican
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) - Incumbent
Barbara Radnofsky (D) - Challenger

Utah - Solid Republican
Senator Orrin Hatch (R) - Incumbent
Pete Ashdown (D) - Challenger

Vermont - Open - Solid Independent
Congressman Bernie Sanders (I)
Larry Drown (D)
Richard Tarrant (R)

Virginia - Lean Republican
Senator George Allen (R) - Incumbent
Harris Miller (D) - Challenger
Fmr. Navy Secretary James Webb (D) - Challenger

Washington - Likely Democrat
Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - Incumbent
Mike McGavick (R) - Challenger

West Virginia - Solid Democrat
Senator Robert C. Byrd (D) - Incumbent
John Raese (R) - Challenger

Wisconsin - Solid Democrat
Senator Herb Kohl (D) - Incumbent
Robert Lorge (R) - Challenger

Wyoming - Solid Republican
Senator Craig Thomas (R) - Incumbent
Dale Groutage (D) - Challenger
So, what this is basically saying is, we could pick up Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Montana, Missouri, and Ohio. We will need to hold on to New Jersey, Maryland, Vermont, and Minnesota. All we would need to do to take back the Senate is focus on a competitive seat (i.e. Virginia, Tennessee, and Nevada). If all goes our way (which never happens, but we can hope), we could end up with 53 Democrats, 47 Republicans. But all we need is 51, isn't it?


Sunday, February 12, 2006

He Does Love Hello Dolly

(Chief Justice John Roberts with Carol Channing)

I really don't have anything to say about this. I just found it pretty daggone...strange....

What Is He Thinking?

According to, the Washington Nationals offered Sammy Sosa a one-year, $500,000 non-guaranteed Major League contract sometime around Wednesday, and he hasn't responded! Okay, here's what I'm thinking; Sammy Sosa had about as bad a year in 2005 as a former big star could possibly have. He went from hitting 60 home runs three years in a row, to hitting 14 in 2005. He made $17,875,000 last year.

Now, the Washington Nationals are my favorite baseball team. I was pulling for Sammy Sosa back during the home run race while he was competing with Mark McGwire (mainly because I thought McGwire had a big neck). I also think that it is good to have Sosa as insurance in case Alfonso Soriano just completely refuses to play the outfield, or if Jose Guillen isn't up to par. But one of three things will need to happen before Spring Training;
1-Sosa swallows his pride, takes the pay cut, and has to prove to Jim Bowden and Frank Robinson that he can still play.
2-The Nationals refuse to raise the offer, and tell Sosa to take it or leave it.
3-The Nationals just say "forget it" and gamble on Soriano taking the outfield.

To sum it up, the reason Sosa won't go for a "no guarantee" contract is because he thinks, because of his earlier achievements, he should be allowed to play, even if he can't do it anymore. If he's in the same kind of shape as he was last year, I say we let Frank Robinson be a player/manager like he was for the Indians back in the 1970's. I mean, at 70, he could do just as well as Sosa did in 2005...

Jusqu'à ce que nous nous réunissions encore...


(P.S.-That is supposed to be "Until we meet again," but if it's not, hey, I'm just in French II, get off me.)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ain't It Pretty?

I got up at about 9:00 or 9:30 this morning, to find everything blanketed in snow (not the roads yet, but it's a little above freezing). As I'm not a meteorologist, all I can really say is this: there is alot of snow coming down very fast, and it's little bitty flakes (Justin can enligthen us all on that one).

The weather forecasts are calling for anywhere between 2-4" and 6-10", and different folks up at school have similar predictions. My French teacher is saying 3", my Psychology teacher is optomistic and saying 10". I'm saying 4". I'm also saying it'll be enough to get us out of school.

And if the power should get knocked out, I'll see you when I see you.


Friday, February 10, 2006

But What About The Bumper Stickers?

Former Secretary of the Navy James Webb has his Senate campaign website up, here. Above, I've got a picture of his campaign logo. I'm assuming it will change in the coming weeks, but, my question is this; What about the bumper stickers? I know I've still got Tim Kaine and Creigh Deeds stickers on my car (mainly because I'm afraid of what it'll look like when I pull them off), and when I take them off, I plan to replace them with a Boucher for Congress sticker and a Webb for Senate sticker. But I think his bumper stickers should be dark red or blue, with bold lettering (I'm sure y'all are interested in how I think a bumper sticker should look. Right.).

Below, I tossed together a little logo that I like (I made it in Paint, so it's nothing fancy). Thoughts? Any other ideas?


Thursday, February 09, 2006

I Think We've Got A Winner

I haven't talked about this yet, but with school, SWAC, guitar picking, and working on getting a girlfriend, time slips away.

But here we go anyway.

Today, former Secretary of the Navy James H. Webb announced he will be a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006, against Senator George Allen.

"'I don't wake up in the morning wanting to be a U.S. senator," Webb said in an interview. "I wake up every morning very concerned about the country. We need to put some focus back in our foreign policy, a different focus.'" [from the Washington Post]

I think we've got a very strong candidate in Secretary Webb. He has a military record that can't be touched (especially by a non-veteran), he can really take Senator Allen to task on national security and military issues. And, I'm guessing, can maybe even tap into the "Reagan Legacy," and pick up some of those Reagan Democrats that our party hasn't been very good at re-claiming.

As a few suggestions to Secretary Webb (I'm sure he has many more advisors who are more learned than me, however): He likely can get the core Democratic base, so he shouldn't spend valuable time and money courting them. Come to Southwest Virginia (I know of a guy willing to introduce him if he needs somebody. *cough cough*). Go to the Bristol Motor Speedway in March and August (even though its not in Virginia, high-profile politicians from both VA and TN campaign there [Bill Frist, George Allen, Rick Boucher, Tim Kaine, Bill Jenkins, and losers like Jerry Kilgore and Kevin Triplett]). Go for the "NASCAR Dads" and "Soccer Moms," and hit the military communities hard. I think veterans/current military/military families would like to vote for a veteran over a non-veteran.

Overall, and I'll be writing more on this race later, while our chances are below 50-50, we're working on it, and I think James Webb can give George Allen a run for his money.

And, who knows, if we can create the "perfect storm," we very well could have a "Senator Webb."


Monday, February 06, 2006

They'll Never Be President

All the big-time news outlets (Fox News, CNN, MSNBC) continually discuss Hillary Clinton and John McCain as the two most likely candidates for President in 2008. I say no way. Neither one of them.

It really doesn't do anybody any good to talk about two people who are way too polarizing to ever win, either nationwide or in a primary.

McCain could probably win nationwide. The only problem, however, is that McCain couldn't get through a primary (neither could Rudy Giuliani). Here's why:
  • He'll be 72 in 2008
  • Questions about his medical history (and skin cancer problems) will arise often.
  • He is the "father" (along with Russ Feingold) of campaign finance reform. Look at that two ways--either the corporate folks in the GOP will have a grudge against him, or, if they don't, he may have shot himself in the foot when it would come to paying his bills.
  • He went against President Bush on torture.
  • He would have trouble with the Conservative base, not only because he waged a mean campaign in 2000 against then-Governor Bush (not as mean as Bush's, however), but because he often clashes with his own party, and was even considered as a Vice Presidential nominee for John Kerry.

And, while I would vote for Hillary Clinton in a general election (not in a primary), she could never win nationwide. Here's why:

  • Right-wing commentators like Limbaugh, O'Reilly, and Hannity will be united against her, and do everything in their power to shoot down her chances.
  • We all remember the Universal Healthcare Fiasco of 1993/1994.
  • Her name on a ticket would unify Conservative Christians against not only her campaign, but against the Democratic Party, as questions would arise in churches about "babykilling," and with "Soccer Moms" about why she never left President Clinton (no joke, one of my best friends, God love her, bases her entire opinion of Hillary Clinton on that one question).
  • She would have a hard time with the Liberal base, as she has tried to position herself in the center, for instance: Suggesting in 2005 that the Iraqi insurgency was failing, Waffling on gay marriage/civil unions/FMA, and supporting an amendment banning flag burning.
  • Nobody wants to dust off 8-year-old Bill and Monica/Hillary jokes. It happened very recently in my AP Government class. Believe me, they're still not funny...

I think MSNBC/CNN/Fox should do us all a favor and start discussing the real possiblities: Warner, Edwards, Biden, Bayh, Kerry, Allen, Brownback, Romney, Frist, Pataki, who could have a chance of being their respective parties' nominee, and of being the leader of the free world.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Is That A Maybe?

Well, I previously reported that James Webb wouldn't be running for the Senate.

I guess I spoke prematurely.

According to Lowell, Mr. Webb is still considering it, and will make a formal announcement about yes or no this coming week.

I really hope Secretary Webb runs. I'll be working for him in any way I can (although, as an Officer of Election, I won't be able to work on election day).

I think we need to take George Allen out in November, or at least keep him tied down to Virginia during the campaign season. We don't need George Allen going nationwide.

I think that James Webb, however, can actually defeat George Allen. I think he has the potential to pull support like Paul Hackett did (and is doing now).

So, in closing, James Webb for Senate.


Yesteray, I somehow got myself out of bed at 4:40 am, and to my high school at 5:40 am, to leave on a bus with our VHSL Academic Team to go to the Regional competition at East Montgomery High School near Christiansburg, Virginia.

We we're eliminated in our 4th match by Holston High School (we shared a bus going and coming, since both schools are in the same county--talk about akward). We lost by 5 points (160-155), and I could argue that we should have won. The judges ruled one of Justin's answers incorrect, because it was "too specific." Hmm...

But had to say until 3:00, as Holston went up against Radford in the finals. Holston lost, with a score of like 90 to Radford's 320 or 310.

One thing interesting to note; while we were eating breakfast, I saw a guy in a green sweater and blue jeans looking at the trophy case. I looked at him for a second, then recognized him. I got Justin's attention, and he verified that it was indeed Creigh Deeds. I got to looking at a program, and say Bath County was represented, and one of the team members' last names was Deeds. Bath County got blown out of the water by Radford in the first round, and was eliminated apparently the same time we were. I meant to talk to Senator Deeds, but I never got around to it.

I had a great time, and I made a few new friends with the folks on our team, a couple of whom I had never really talked to. I think the JSB team will make it further next year, as the Captain will be returning for her last year.

Next stop: debate team.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Tag! I'm It!

Looks like Charlie over at Good Sense tagged me. Here goes nothing...

Four jobs I’ve had
1. Lawn mowing.
2. House painting.
3. Library assistant.
4. Guitar picker.

Four movies I can watch over and over
1. Walk the Line
2. Head of State
3. Airport
4. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

Four places I’ve lived
1. Bristol, TN (born there, so, yeah, I lived there, albeit briefly...)
2. Bristol, VA (Almost 15 years, with a 3 year break)
3. Lebanon, VA (2 years)
4. Dickensonville, VA (1 year)

Four T.V. shows I love
1. Monk
2. Night Court
3. Home Improvement
4. Lingo

Four places I’ve vacationed
1. Cleveland, OH
2. Huntsville, AL
3. Nashville, TN
4. Aurora, OH

Four of my favorite dishes
1. Chicken Livers with collard greens and biscuits.
2. Whopper (with heavy onion) value meal from Burger King.
3. Barbecue ribs with potato salad and cole slaw.
4. Big Pal with cheese and french fries from Pal's.

Four sites I visit daily
1. CNN
2. Raising Kaine
3. MLB
4. OurSenate

Four places I would rather be right now
1. John S. Battle football game (Yeah, we're like what?)
2. Grand Ole Opry
3. Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Museum
4. Carters' Fold

Four bloggers I am tagging
1. Kenton
2. Justin
3. Ben
4. Waldo