Thursday, November 30, 2006

Job in state gold mine is STILL not enough.....

Here they go again...the state employees already lobbying for an even BIGGER RAISE this year.....We need to be CUTTING spending, not raising it.

Pay hike least of our worries

How would you like a job that offered you 12 paid holidays each year, a real retirement plan (not a shaky 401(k)), the ability to carry over a full month of vacation after five years of service, health and life insurance, generous vacation and sick leave, educational benefits, and the ability to work from home via telecommuting?

Does anybody hear the late Fred Astaire crooning, "Heaven, I'm in heaven ..."?

And no, we're not talking about a career in the military; those perks are part of the package Virginia state employees get.

Now, given all that, would you be so bold as to expect a 6 percent pay increase, too? That, however, is what the Virginia Governmental Employees Association is lobbying for state workers to get, even though they are already slated to receive a 3 percent pay increase next year.

Out here in the real world, us working stiffs are ecstatic if we get a 3 percent hike. Five holidays a year, max. Retirement? Maybe, if you save enough. Health and life insurance? Maybe, if your employer can afford it. Telecommuting? Doubtful. Educational benefits? Probably not. Carrying over vacation? Uh-uh.

So when we hear the argument floated that state employees deserve that 6 percent pay hike because they're 17 percent behind their counterparts in the private sector in base pay, well, don't make us laugh. State employees must be at least 20 percent ahead of the rest of us when it comes to bennies and perks.

Don't get us wrong; we know state employees work hard, just like the rest of us do, and we appreciate that. But most of us would kill to get half of the package that state employees are getting, and hold the pay hike.

Another argument being made to sweeten the proposal to hike state employees' pay an additional 3 percent is the good state of Virginia's economy and the burgeoning surplus.

So, what about our chronically under-funded school systems? What about transportation, ignored year after year? We think those (and a host of other things) come before a state pay hike.

We'd remind lawmakers who might consider throwing their support behind this idea as a vote-getter that there may be 116,000 state employees, but there are almost 7.5 million of us "regular" folks. We vote, too.

Opinions expressed in this feature represent the majority opinion of the newspaper's editorial board, consisting of: Roger Watson, president and publisher; David Fritz, executive editor; Cindy Corell, city editor; Jim McCloskey, editorial cartoonist; Dennis Neal, opinion page editor; and Macon Rich, production director.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Interesting perspective on GOP loss

From a conservative website.........I think this has some useful ideas as we head into next year's state elections....despite our sadness at what just happened.

My 2 cents....when Republicans act like Democrats....people choose the real thing.

And....we cannot make friends of our enemies by making enemies of our friends....Republicans who ran away from conservative principles lost...and Democrats who said they were conservative won.

In the Fight
A Good Election Loss for the GOP

By Matt Friedeman
November 8, 2006

(AgapePress) - In general, this was a good election. The only way to make it great would be for Republicans to have lost another five seats in the Senate and another 20 in the House. The worse the loss, the quicker and more intensely the GOP searches for its wandering soul.

The party of Reagan is sick and has been for some time. It is not pleasant when the electorate finally recognizes it. And the situation will not improve significantly until the Republican Party recognizes its ill health and begins to take corrective measures. The measures are these:

Remember that you once were, and should be again, the party of small government. That some in the GOP think there is such a thing as big government conservatism only shows how ailing it really is. Stick a thermometer in the mouth of the Bush crowd and their friends in the Senate and the House and watch the mercury climb to the letters GOS -- short for "Grand Old Spending."

Bush has signed every spending bill that crossed his desk. His veto pen, apparently, was lost or stolen.

His enormous education bill in 2001 was a loser, the big farm bill in 2002 was atrocious and the enormous Medicare prescription drug bill in 2003 could only cause the last remaining fiscal conservative in the White House to blush. Chalk the latter up as the largest entitlement expansion in the last four decades. For shame.
As the deficit ballooned, all the president could talk about was cutting it in half. Faint-hearted, that.

Reagan said, "Government is not the solution, it is the problem." Our current president has said, "I am running with a compassionate conservative philosophy: that government should help people improve their lives, not try to run their lives." Unfortunately, "help" has meant much more. And more means the government is running our lives more today than they did yesterday.

Do some real soul-searching, stat. No better time to do so. In the House, culturally and economically moderate Republicans took a serious hit. In the Senate it is a major loss that Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was defeated, but it is a plus that Ohio's Sen. Mike DeWine and Rhode Island's Sen. Lincoln Chaffee are walking out with him. The latter, always a particularly onerous liberal inclusion into the party, won't be part of the revival discussions. In other words, there are fewer liberals and moderates today, and a number of good conservatives should ponder what could happen in 2008 if the passionate Contract with America days could be revived. That is, get an economic and culturally conservative plan and execute it.

Find that pen. My hunch is that today Karl Rove and others are beginning to remember where they left that veto pen. Mr. Bush will need it as Democrats try to thrust all manner of deviance, higher taxes, and more spending on the populace. With the Democrats' big election night over, so is Bush's ability to assert his will from the Oval Office. But the Dems aren't going to rule the roost either; hence, gridlock.

Search for and find your morally conservative character. The Judeo-Christian ethic is nothing to be ashamed of in public policy or personal life. When you either act like you are ashamed of it or find yourself, for instance, reluctant to flush out a congressman making passes at pages, well, you should be backpedaling on Election Day. Run on a higher moral plane, and appreciate that the American people holds you to that standard.

Embrace gridlock. Not a bad word, gridlock. It means things stay pretty much the same and, given the domestic possibilities with liberals running the committees, that is not bad. Heretofore President Bush wasn't exactly moving the cultural agenda forward. So, nothing has really changed. Also, remember that presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton will be part of a gridlock Senate, and she has had her feminine pedestal stolen from her by the new most-important-woman-on-the-Hill Nancy Pelosi. Hard to successfully run for president as a New York liberal in the first place, but especially difficult from this diminished position.

Clench your teeth and listen, real good. Which means the biggest challenge for the opposition for the next two years is having to listen to the shrill and not infrequently bitter Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Her San Francisco-style gavel now rules the House. Keep your ears open to Judiciary Committee chair John Conyers, Jr., of Michigan; a Banking Committee (Financial Services) chair, Barney Frank of Massachusetts; the Ways and Means Committee led by Charles B. Rangel of New York; and the Energy and Commerce leadership of John D. Dingell of Michigan.

Tall order, this listening mandate, but nothing should more quickly encourage those on the cultural and economic right to invigorate themselves.

The loss of this election should be good for the GOP. If they change. Really, truly, change.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

John Kerry: Stuck in Irak

John Kerry should RESIGN after his awful remarks, bashing our military. He claims that is a joke gone wrong (what was funny about any of that??) but his true feelings come out. The same John Kerry that made these remarks was the one that testified against his fellow soldiers in Vietnam, calling them "murderers and rapists". The concepts of duty, honor and country appear to be foreign to the liberal mindset.

Our troops are smart people who have done an excellent job.

Kerry is a disgrace to America. His "regrets" are too weak a statement. He should apologize fully and then RESIGN his Senate seat.

You can email him here: