Saturday, September 29, 2007

Immigration Mutation

By “Hoot” and “Holler”

Hat tip to Bwana and Chris

We have seen the most incredible metamorphosis by Janet (the “Hoot,” as Bwana calls her) Oleszek, a member of the Fairfax County School Board and Democratic challenger to Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37). Maybe listening to her barking poodle, Jonathan Murray (whom I shall have to call “Holler” just to go along with “Hoot”) is scrambling her already dysfunctional brain.

A couple of days ago, I posted an account of Janet’s presentation to the Men’s Club of Congregation Adat Reyim. At that time (Sunday, September 23), she said the following about her positions on illegal immigration:

  • She agreed with Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly
  • Threats of increased crime and threats to the educational system were more perception than reality
  • She supported giving ICE power to jailers, but not to go into communities looking for illegal alien problems (such as, we presume, to look for problems caused by overcrowded houses, poor sanitary conditions, and other safety hazards).
  • She stated religious objections to going beyond increasing power of jailers.
  • She took no position on expanding 287(g) authority, but characterized it as a “slippery slope.”
  • She had no response on what public services should or should not be made available, but again hid behind religious objections.

Interestingly, other congregants voiced their interest in Janet’s views of illegal immigration at that time.

Now let’s fast forward just TWO DAYS to a debate she had with Senator Ken Cuccinelli. Maybe her little puppy “Holler” wrote some brief crib notes for her, because she said things that were quite different from what she told the Adat Reyim audience. Here is Chris’s account:

Janet was up and surprised many by how good she was here. Her focus was penalizing businesses, who fuel illegal immigration--something I wholeheartedly agree with. She mentioned support of ICE for police and jailers to deal with criminals already in the system for deportation. Very good! The moderator then asks Janet how she would punish businesses, at which she said "I DON'T HAVE ANY SPECIFICS." My god lady, make something up! That is what I screaming in my head. She said that legislative services had plenty of ideas.

So what’s going on here? She changed her tone in just TWO DAYS, and her debate remarks were made SIX WEEKS before the election. Has she been so tone deaf that she has had no idea that this might be an important issue, or has “Holler” the lap dog been telling her that the “D” by her name would carry it for her? Has she not even been thinking about the issue? In any case, it is only logical that she gives a response like “I DON’T HAVE ANY SPECIFICS,” because, in truth, she has no ideas, she is just discovering the concern now, but she just wants the issue to go away.

So Hoot, you need a brain under that Laura Bush hairstyle. And Holler, remember, this is a serious election for someone to represent about 200,000 people, not some University of Florida frat party. The next five weeks is not the time to “wake up” suddenly. You’ve had at least nine months to do that. Ken Cuccinelli has been a serious representative of his district for the past five years. Let’s keep it that way and not trust the people’s business to amateurs.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Too Beautiful for Columbia

So Bobo Bollinger has to invite A-Mad-Dingo-Jihad, a patron of her murderers, instead?

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin and Powerline

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jim Moran Takes Responsibility for Kaine Appointment

“Only Trying to Help”

Hat tip: Greg and Riley

Congressman James Moran (D-VA-8) today admitted that he was behind Gov. Tim Kaine’s (D) short-lived appointment of Dr. Esam Omeish to the Commonwealth’s Commission on Immigration. “Dr. Omeish is a good friend who has taught me a lot of what I know about foreign policy,” said Moran. “Look, we all know that Kaine has no idea how to deal with this immigration, and my brother is pretty useless. So I was only trying to help here.”

No one from the Muslim American Society was available for comment. However, a source inside the organization stated that “we like Jim. He is the most culturally sensitive guy we know.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Whaddaya Know . . .

It Was Prelude!

Cuccinelli destroys Oleszek in debate

Hat tip: Chris

Janet Oleszek . . . Speaks?

Some of you may remember a blog post I did back in spring concerning how Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37) spoke before a Men’s Club meeting at Congregation Adat Reyim. On Sunday, September 23, his Democratic opponent, Janet Oleszek, an at-large member of the Fairfax County School Board, got to address the group as well. The crowds for both talks were roughly equivalent in size; however, many who were present at Olezsek’s talk had not attended Cuccinelli’s and vice versa. Still it was an interesting session, and while the notes I have may not cover every point, I will try to cover some major areas of interest.

While Ken Cuccinelli had come alone to the meeting, Janet Oleszek brought a crutch campaign assistant, Jonathan Murray. The total length of the talk, including time for questions and answers, was about one hour.

Oleszek began the talk by telling the audience why she was running for office. She said it was because of kids and schools that she ran for school board and now for the State Senate. Education is her big thing.

She gave some background on herself, that she is originally from California and came to the DC area when her father got a government job. She volunteered a lot in PTAs, and ran for School Board on the platform of having full-day kindergarten. As of April 2006, the Fairfax County School Board mandated full-day kindergarten to be implemented County-wide by 2009 or 2010.

She says that there are not enough advocates for teachers and kids in Richmond, and that Richmond needs another teacher there.

Her list of accomplishments included:
Fifth lowest per-pupil expenditure in the DC area
More kids passing Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests
Less “No Child left behind” (Direct quote; interpretation is up to the reader)

She said that she wants students fluent in at least one other language, so we should start teaching foreign language in elementary school. (For those of us with kids in the public schools, we are hard-pressed to understand how she wants to do this without phonics.) She says we compete with nations who spend a lot of time on youth (and cited countries like India). She said it is our only responsibility other than safety. We get 19 cents for every dollar we send to Richmond for education. She also discussed a slide presentation former Governor where education money went. (Not that Warner was any big help for Fairfax County in terms of getting us our fair share.)

Her initial presentation was about ten minutes, and then she took questions.

One person said he had heard that Loudoun County pays teachers more than Fairfax County does. He also said that Loudoun County has a policy of building a new school after one reaches a student population of 1,500. He seemed to think that Robinson Secondary School had over 5,000 students.

Janet Oleszek said that the starting salary for teachers in Fairfax County was $45,000 per year. However, Loudoun and Prince William Counties get more State aid. The Fairfax County School Board has no funding ability; that comes from the Board of Supervisors.

She said that Robinson has 3242 kids in it, but it is a six-year school. She will try to get more tax dollars from Richmond to the Board of Supervisors in the hope that it can be used for education. She said that the State can do a better job.

Oleszek cited demographics that cause the disparity in funding between Fairfax and the neighboring counties to the west. The funding formula is based on population, income, and number of students who speak English, among other things. She said that Loudoun also has a waiver from the Labor Day start. She supports year-round schools, especially those for low-income students.

Oleszek said that local kids have a harder time getting into the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and William and Mary. She said the universities are short of seats, and there will be a shortage of slots for Northern Virginia kids.

A congregant asked her about charitable organizations. The State takes money from Fairfax County and gives it to others. She was asked if there was anything wrong with that.

Oleszek answered that in theory, there was nothing wrong with giving more aid to the poorer counties of Southside and SW Virginia. However, Fairfax County gets negatively impacted when this is done so much.

She also mentioned as a transportation-related item that we are losing our teachers due to commutes and loss of carpools. She said that the turnover is worse than the standard 5-% over five years because if a teacher who commutes from a longer distance gets pregnant and the carpool gets dissolved, other teachers in the carpool are more likely to quit. This was the only thing she said about transportation in her time speaking before this audience, even though congregants were told in advance that Janet Oleszek wanted to share her thoughts on issues like transportation. Well, obviously, those are her complete thoughts.

A congregant wanted to know about her views on abortion, civil unions, and taxes. Concerning abortion, she said that reproductive rights belong to a woman and is a decision for her in consultation with her doctor. She views civil unions as a civil right and says that the government does not belong in our bedrooms. She says taxes are a necessity of life, and while she doesn’t like paying them, the government wouldn’t run without them. She stressed the importance of charities and for public/private partnerships.

She said that she is the opposite to her opponent on many issues. She cited the gun control issue, and said that she has two sons, aged 30 and 24. Her younger son recently graduated from Virginia Tech. She said that guns and the Virginia Tech shooting had an impact on tens of thousands of people. As a result of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, she said “There is no reason under G-d not to have gun control.” (Direct quote)

Janet Oleszek was asked why not have year-round schools. Her response was that parents don’t necessarily want it, and it can cut into summer jobs, etc. There is also an extra cost to running the schools year round. She talked about how kids graduate (we presume from college) with high debt, and asked if we are doing the best for our kids. She said that Los Angeles and Denver do year round schools successfully. (We do wonder, though, why so many parents have decided to flee those school systems, then.)

A congregant asked Oleszek if she was familiar with Daniel Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind.” The book postulates that a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) is the new MBA. Oleszek answered that a strong correlation exists between musical ability and mathematical proficiency. She said that it is hard to sell arts programs in a competitive place like Fairfax County. She also mentioned that India is looming, and spends more resources on kids than we do. She said that because we spend a lot on courses, convincing parents to spend more on arts programs is difficult. She also pointed to her own voting choices – that arts are critical.

(Interestingly, this source says that the United States spends 2 ½ times more per capita as a percentage of GDP on primary education than India does. India spends slightly more per capiuta on secondary education than the U.S., according to a different graph here.)

Oleszek’s assistant Jonathan Murray then stood up to make a brief talk to attack Ken Cuccinelli. He told the audience that partisan differences exist. He made the usual attacks concerning abortion, gun control, and taxes. He was even angry at Ken’s humorous attempt to change the Virginia State song to “Tax Man.” (Apparently, they did not have sarcasm where Jonathan grew up.) Jonathan also said that “Janet didn’t want to say this.” Yeah, right.

A congregant asked Janet what she thought of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. She said that she was opposed to the way it was implemented, and that it had the biggest unfunded mandates she had ever seen. She said that at test time, you could “Feel the tension . . . cut it with a knife.” Oleszek said that the consequences of failure were draconian, and that kids can “voucher themselves” into a private school “where there are no standards.” (Nice remark, given that a large percentage of this audience would relish the thought of “vouchering” their kids into religious day schools.) She was positive about the fact that NCLB allows States to develop their own criteria and praised Virginia’s Standard of Learning (SOL) tests.

A congregant reminded Oleszek that in private business and government, people and organizations have performance reviews, which the unions oppose in education. Oleszek replied that she “will not deny the need for accountability.” She gave no specifics.

Oleszek was asked if she was familiar with former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan’s book that mentioned how at the K – 4 level American schools are at a par with other countries, but kids in grades 5 – 12 start falling behind. American kids are last in a lot of categories (left unsaid was despite the doubling of spending on education after inflation). Janet Oleszek was unfamiliar with the book and wondered what was the context (e.g., math and economics). She spoke of how she held focus groups, and the thing that parents wanted most was for their kids to learn how to balance a checkbook. She said that Fairfax County graduates disprove Greenspan’s remarks. She was told that Greenspan was not necessarily limiting his focus to math and economics. Her response was that schools here are a republic, but those abroad do not face the same challenges that we do.

Someone (clearly friendly to or even active in Janet’s campaign) asked her how she stays focused and combats one-liners when voters are inundated with mailings. Janet deferred to Jonathan to answer this one. Jonathan said that responding is hard, but made more attacks on Ken Cuccinelli, this time on transportation. (We told you Janet had nothing to say!) He also said that their campaign is gaining with this kind of campaigning. He made a bizarre disingenuous remark that people won’t buy into the notion that Janet is responsible for raising property taxes by an extra 25% because the School Board does not have taxing authority.

Janet was asked about illegal immigration – what should the State’s role be and what level of public services should be made available. Janet pointed to a letter to the editor of the Washington Post from Gerry Connolly which just happened to appear on Sunday. ( She says she agrees completely with Gerry Connolly. Janet said that we do not have the authority to deport, only the Feds do. She characterized what states and localities are doing as reacting to “perceived” threats on crime and education, threats she said were not true. She said she supports giving ICE authority to jailers to penalize criminals. She asked, “Do you want to penalize non-criminals?” She said “As Jews, this is scary.” (Apparently, she doesn’t know that coming into the U.S. illegally is a criminal act, or that many Jews may be waiting in line to enter the country legally like so many others are.)

Her solution was to allow ICE powers to jailers only, not to allow ICE agents into communities to check residences or to “arrest those who look different.” She said that according to Federal law, they can’t check schools.

She mentioned the 287(g) program, which is a Federal grant to train police to enforce immigration laws. She characterized this as a “slippery slope.” (Some might tell her that public urination also creates a “slippery slope.”) She also said that crime is going down anyway. When she was reminded about the question on what public services should be made available, she responded that in the absence of a law requiring resident status, she can’t answer a question on public services. She reiterated that as Jews we should find this all scary.

Janet was asked what she admired about Ken, specifically to say something positive about something he has done as an elected official. She was silent.

A congregant remembered how Ken talked at length about building coalitions in the State House to gain votes on issues, and wanted to know what Janet did to gain votes for her issues on the School Board. She said that progress is incremental, but over time she got what she wanted, often by compromising (for example, on curriculum or school boundaries). Jonathan stepped in to make more partisan attacks on Ken Cuccinelli by implying that Ken cannot build coalitions. (Obviously, Jonathan should read the Isophorone Blog a lot more.) Janet pointed to the new Glasgow Middle School as an example of her success.

At that point, Janet and Jonathan had spoken for about an hour, so they ended the talk (as it was also nearing time for parents to get their kids from religious school). Janet lingered to answer questions from individuals. She was overheard to have been asked if she would have voted for the transportation compromise bill that emerged from conference, passed, and got sent to the Governor. Janet said that the bill was flawed, and if she were in the Senate the bill would have looked a lot different. So she was then asked if that meant she would have opposed the bill. She would not answer the question, only to say that it would have been different with her around. It was pointed out to her that the bill that came out in February was a matter of public record, and if the specific set of items in this large bill was something she could or could not accept. Jonathan stepped in and said that the bill was not public record to a lot of people when it was voted on. (So how do they criticize anyone who voted for it? Has Janet read it yet?) At that point a lot of other people wanted to talk to Janet and Jonathan, both of whom clearly did not want to talk about transportation specifics.

Overall, Janet was carefully trying to show off her left-leaning credentials to this audience. She is clearly not as conversant on as many issues as Ken Cuccinelli is, which is probably why she has been avoiding debates. She also does not like to give specifics on several important budget and transportation issues important to voters.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Quo Usque Tandem

Jim Moran Steps in It Again

Hat Tip: Greg and Ward

Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 – 43 BCE)

Well, according to the Washington Post, Congressman James Moran (D-VA-8) made some statements that upset the Jewish community. He gave an interview to Tikkun, a far-left Jewish magazine, in which he is quoted as saying,
the most powerful lobby and has pushed this war from the beginning. I don't think they represent the mainstream of American Jewish thinking at all, but because they are so well organized, and their members are extraordinarily powerful -- most of them are quite wealthy -- they have been able to exert power.
Well, it’s almost refreshing to know that you don’t think this was some conspiracy by Bush’s oil company friends or Cheney’s former colleagues at Halliburton! Do the MoveOn crowd and Michael Moore know you say this?

What is so interesting is the reaction of groups like the National Jewish Democratic Council. Its director, Ira Forman, characterized Moran’s statements as not only “incorrect and irresponsible,” but also “dangerous.” I daresay that I agree and applaud Forman for his comments. It is certainly Moran’s right to criticize Israeli policies, the Iraq War, etc., but when he does so by using (deliberate?) falsehoods, you have to wonder about his motivations. Several Arab countries also fund lobbyists in the U.S. as well; will Moran be critical of them? Many before me have noted that another hallmark of a Jew-hater is the double standard.

Ronald Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, had this to say, according to the Post:

"He uses several age-old canards that have been used throughout history that have brought violence upon Jews. . . He uses clearly anti-Semitic images such as Jewish control of the media and wealthy Jews using their wealth to control policy."

Hey, did it ever occur to Jim Moran that if someone can afford to give to AIPAC, or for that matter, any lobbying organization, that person probably has a lot of disposable income? Maybe Moran can recall an incident or two in which a lobbyist with a lot of disposable income was able to give him a loan (hint, hint)?

Also interesting is the fact that Jim Moran’s brother Brian is a Delegate from Alexandria who is widely mentioned as a possible 2009 Democratic Gubernatorial candidate in Virginia. Does Brian share Jim’s views? Will Brian condemn Jim’s views? What else does Brian know about Jim, and when did he know it?

As far as Tikkun Magazine is concerned, its editor, Rabbi Michael Lerner, has a history of making remarks that might be more easily confused with those of Louis Farrakhan. Maybe Lerner suffers from a neurosis similar to that of Woody Allen. Even more interesting, Lerner himself was banned from an “antiwar” rally in 2003 because he dared to criticize the “one-sided hostility to Israel” expressed by Communist front groups like International A.N.S.W.E.R. However, Lerner doesn’t seem to understand that by continuing to lie down with (or making excuses for) dogs, he will pick up fleas.

As you know, we had a recent flap in Virginia concerning a Democratic operative with a reputation for Jew-baiting. Besides the obvious joke (as Ward made) about this operative being suited to work for Jim Moran, what amazed me was how some bloggers kept being apologists for this clown Joe Stanley. Sort of the same pattern like Lerner and Moran, wouldn’t you say? You’d think people would learn after all these decades or centuries, but I guess ideology is more important in these cases. These are the kinds of fools who haven’t heard of coal mines and canaries, I suspect. No wonder the National Jewish Democratic Council had me so surprised!

The Post had a telling quote from Ron Halber: "There are only so many mistakes he can make before it's fair to call him an anti-Semite." Or as Cicero might have said, “How long, tell me, Catiline, will you abuse our patience?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

States I've Visited

Something silly: Here is a map of States I've visited:

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Some notes:

I've driven through RI, and I've passed through KS and NM by train. However, I still counted them in (because I spent quite a bit of time doing so, or as much as possible in the case of RI).

I've also changed planes in MN, and passed through a corner of IA by train at night, but I didn't count them (because the time spent was pretty short).

All the rest I've visited or made at least one stop. Apparently, Wisconsin is the only State east of the Mississippi River I have yet to visit.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Oleszek Proposes State Senate Rules Change

Debate to be Banned under Plan

Hat tip: Greg

Democrat Janet Oleszek, who is challenging Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37) in this year’s State Senate race, has promised that, if elected, she would propose a major revamping of Senate debate rules. Oleszek said that the “current system is arcane and does not keep up with 21st century technology.” Under her plan, extemporaneous debate would be banned. Instead, Senators would be required to submit all questions and arguments to a special web site.

Oleszek continued: “Since high school graduation rates in Fairfax County have been dropping under my leadership, it is only appropriate that Senators be given more time to look up difficult concepts such as transportation or immigration before trying to make an argument. I predict that the lasting mark I have left on the Fairfax County School system is just one reason why the Senate needs to change its rules, and soon.

In a possible hint at compromise, Oleszek said that she would allow “limited use of preprinted cue cards” and to allow increased hiring of staff to hold the flash cards for Senators. While she supports the efforts of Northern Virginia Democrats such as Minority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-35) to keep their jurisdictions from receiving a fair share of education funding, Oleszek stated that increasing the number of “highly trained” Senate staffers to perform this work would help mitigate this circumstance. She also said that she would give preference to non-citizens to perform such work because “it would teach civics that they otherwise do not learn. In fact, I would not even ask if such people were here in the United States legally, and certainly not make them say the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Friday, September 07, 2007

Bluegrass Beyoncé

You will either really like this or really hate this. Yes, it's Sugarland!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Edwards Health Care Plan: Sue Every Doctor for Malpractice

Minimum Requirement of Twice per Decade

Hat tip: Ace

Former Senator John”Breck Girl” Edwards announced yesterday a requirement that every American would be required under his universal health care proposal to see a doctor for preventive care. However, most news wires did not pick up on the fact that Mr. Edwards, a former trial lawyer, also has a litigation requirement. Under the Edwards plan, every American would be required to sue a medical practitioner for malpractice once every five years, or at least twice in a ten-year period.

“Under this plan we will eliminate another aspect of ‘Two Americas,’” said Edwards, “those who enrich themselves by taking advantage of their medical education, and those who do not have the education and/or training to do so.”

Edwards used the litigation proposal to make a statement about judicial appointments: “In my Administration we will appoint judges who will have a better understanding of the fairness to society this plan brings. Why, I can just ‘channel’ victories to most Americans who become plaintiffs under my plan.” Edwards also said that he would not tax any awards, but contributions to the Trial Lawyers’ Association, the Democratic National Committee, and several hair stylists who would assist indigent plaintiffs as well as attorneys with houses smaller than 50,000 square feet.

Edwards concluded his remarks with a statement that “a sound mind needs to have a sound body of legal advice.”

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sign of the Times?

Sometimes you just wish you had a digital camera with you!

I don’t know if you see these things in your area, but one of the left-wing groups has taken to putting these antiwar yard signs in the highway medians. They have a red (how appropriate!) background and say “Support the Troops, End the War Now” on them. Yeah, like any of us really believe the reptilian lachrymation (i.e., crocodile tears) about the lefties supporting the troops!

So were running errands this weekend and driving along the Fairfax County Parkway where a lot of these annoying signs have been planted. Apparently, someone did some creative editing. The bottom half of the signs (which said “End the War Now”) got cut off, and the word “War” was pasted on the top of the signs. Now they read “Support the War.”

At least some of George Soros’ money got put to good use!

I still like better these signs that SWAC Girl had posted:

80 Years Later . . .

They’ll Still be Talking About It!

Every once in awhile you read about these great, improbable upsets. This time Appalachian State University of Boone, North Carolina, upset the University of Michigan 34-32 in Michigan’s home opener. Now I’m not much of a sports fan or writer, but I think it shows just what happens when these big sports powerhouses get too cocky.

I also went to a small college, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. It’s well-known for strong academic programs, but let’s face it, not for sports. Well, they, too have their own version of the great upset football story. Back in 1926, the Tech Tartans were playing Notre Dame (then coached by the legendary Knute Rockne) at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field. Coach Rockne though so little of the lowly Tech Tartans that he skipped the game to see Army play Navy in Chicago. As things turned out on November 27, 1926, Carnegie Tech, as it was then known, beat Notre Dame 19-0. (I guess this was one that they didn't win for the Gipper.) At CMU, they still talk about that game, too!

So in 2087, do you think the Michigan story will still be told at Appalachian State?