Republican Mike Makee Will Face Democrat Jennifer Foy for Open HD-02 Seat

Mike Makee (pronounced Mackie) served his country as a U.S. Naval commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Now he is prepared to serve his Commonwealth in the General Assembly, stepping in to run for the open House of Delegates Second District seat left vacant by retiring Republican Delegate Mark Dudenhefer.

House District 2 covers parts of Prince William and Stafford counties. In November the District carried Hillary Clinton with 56 percent to Donald Trump’s 39 percent.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Makee, 47, of Stafford, retired in 2012 after 20 years of service, graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and earning a Master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. Currently a government contractor specializing in ballistic missile defense, he serves in the community on the Stafford County Utilities Commission representing the Rock Hill District, and is treasurer of the Stafford County Republican Committee.

House Speaker William Howell, while announcing that a new candidate had been named, noted that Makee “believes in the ideas and values that House Republicans have championed over the last 15 years – creating good jobs, responsibly balancing budgets and solving Virginia’s toughest challenges.”

Republicans had until August 18 to find someone to run after the previous candidate, Laquan Austion, withdrew when questions arose after it was discovered he had not completed the educational degrees listed on his resume.

“I want to use my leadership skills, experience in the Navy and understanding of our community to grow and strengthen our economy, work to solve our transportation problems, and fight for a better future for everyone in Northern Virginia,” Makee said of his decision. He added, “I look forward to campaigning to every voter in every corner of the district and earning the support of my neighbors and our community.”

Makee and his wife are the parents of six children, according to Potomac Local. This is his first run for public office.

Makee will face off against Democrat Jennifer Carroll Foy, a VMI graduate who works as a public defender and adjunct professor at Northern Virginia Community College. She and her husband live in Woodbridge.

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John Adams for AG Endorsed by Va Police Benevolent Association

John and Lisa Adams. Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell.

On Tuesday the Virginia Police Benevolent Association (PBA) endorsed John Adams, the Republican candidate for Attorney General.

In 2013 they endorsed current Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, who is running for reelection against Adams.

Saying “public safety will be my top priority as attorney general,” Adams accepted the endorsement of the organization composed of more than 4,700 law enforcement officers employed by federal, state, county, and municipal governments

Writing on Facebook, Adams noted:

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Two 82nd Airborne Paratroopers Killed In Iraq

Two American soldiers were killed Sunday in northern Iraq, according to the Department of Defense and the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve:

Two U.S. service members were killed and five others were injured conducting combat operations in northern Iraq today, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today. 

The two soldiers were identified as  Sgt. Roshain E. Brooks, 30, of Brooklyn, New York, and Spc. Allen Levi Stigler Jr., 22, of Arlington, Texas.

Both were with the 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, from Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

An artillery round meant to be fired at an Islamic State target in northern Iraq on Sunday exploded prematurely, defense officials said.

Stars and Stripes reported:

The soldiers and five others wounded in the blast were evacuated by helicopter from an undisclosed firebase in Iraq, where American troops are aiding Iraq forces in their continuing battle with ISIS after the militants were ousted from their Mosul stronghold last month, Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, said Monday. The two artillerymen died after they were evacuated. The other five injured soldiers were expected to survive their wounds, Manning told reporters at the Pentagon.

The artillery crew was targeting an ISIS mortar position when the mishap occurred, Manning said. The unit was firing an M777 howitzer, a towed 155 mm artillery piece, according to another defense official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Despite ISIS’ claims Sunday that it killed the soldiers with rocket fire, Manning said “there is no indication at all that ISIS had anything to do with” the soldiers’ deaths. He said the incident was under investigation.

Sgt. Brooks joined the Army in July 2012 and deployed to Afghanistan from June to November 2014. This was his first deployment to Iraq. He had been awarded the Army Commendation Medal with “C” Device, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Parachutist Badge and the Air Assault Badge.

Spc. Stigler joined the Army in November 2013. He was assigned to the Second Infantry Division in Camp Casey, Korea from May 2014 to June 2015 following his completion of combat training and advanced individual training. In July 2015, he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division.  This was his first combat deployment.

Several decorations had been awarded to Spc. Stigler while serving including the Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, the Parachutist Badge, and the National Defense Service Medal among others.

Spc. Stigler and Sgt. Brooks were posthumously awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, and Combat Action Badge.

Stars and Stripes added:

With the deaths Sunday, nine Americans have been killed supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in 2017, including noncombat deaths. Nearly 50 Americans have been wounded in action since the anti-ISIS campaign began in August 2014, according to Pentagon data.

U.S. troops worked alongside Iraqi security forces to train and advise them throughout their brutal nine-month battle to retake Mosul, the final major city that the terrorist group held in Iraq. The city has been largely turned over to Iraqi Federal Police, described as “hold forces,” who are clearing it of any remaining ISIS fighters and explosives, Manning said.

At least three towns in Iraq are still controlled by ISIS: Tal Afar, about 40 miles west of Mosul, Hawija in northern Iraq and al-Qaim, along the Euphrates River at the Syrian border. U.S. troops are helping the Iraqi forces to prepare an offensive on Tal Afar in the near future, Manning said. The United States believes there about 2,000 ISIS militants there.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other top U.S. officials have pledged to continue providing the Iraqis with military assistance including airpower and advisers on the ground until ISIS is entirely defeated in the country.

It seems to be an afterthought in America when we lose American military members. We’ve been at war for a long time, and military families lose loved ones, yet it is difficult to know it from the lack of news when there are casualties.

Sunday as we mourned the loss of three lives during the violence in Charlottesville, these soldiers lost their lives in combat. Families and friends in New York and Texas are mourning. Saying “thank you” somehow seems to fall short.

Freedom is not free.

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Racist, Anti-Semitic Website Kicked to the Curb By Go Daddy

The alt-right, racist, anti-Semitic website Storm Front has been kicked to the curb by Go Daddy. Google has refused to accept them as they look for a host.

Out of curiosity, I went to the website to check out the hate behind Charlottesville’s white nationalist march over the weekend that left three dead and dozens injured. Across the top of the sit, under the name, it proclaimed, “Summer Of Hate Edition.” That pretty much said it all.

I should have stopped then but I dug deeper.

What I found were the “featured” stories on the main page:

  • “Richard Spender’s Press Conference On Charlottesville”
  • Trump Finally Gives Half-Assed Charlottesville Statement to Whining Jew Media
  • Trump Attacks Histrionic Black Bastard Who Resigned From Council Over Alleged Misstatement

As I scrolled down the page, these disgusting titles were listed under the title “Jewish Problem:”

  • Kikes Pressing Trump to Condemn Innocent Nazis Who were Attacked by Terrorist Cops and Leftist Terrorists
  • Starbucks Managers Interview Somalis with Latent Tuberculosis for Jobs as Part of Jewish Chairman’s Plan to Destroy America
  • London: Inbred Jewish Tapir Stabs Two People in Kike Neighborhood

I’m not around people who talk like that so it was a little shocking.

Perhaps the most disgusting front page article was this: “Heather Heyer: Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident was a Fat, Childless 32-Year-Old Slut.” For those unfamiliar with the name, this is the young woman killed Saturday when a speeding car plowed into a large crowd during the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

For those having difficult believing such hate is around us, here are the stories as proof. On top of that, they carry the David Duke radio show including the August 10 show that was titled, “The David Duke Show: A Call for Every True White Man to Stand Up in Charlottesville.”

I haven’t included any links. That’s intentional.

There’s more but that gives an idea of just one of the many hate-filled websites that were behind the march in Charlottesville … the mindset and the propaganda.

It’s disgusting. Pardon me while I go wash my hands.

Charlottesville Judge Sides With Alt-Right, Violence Breaks Out Friday Night

A federal judge sided with alt-right organizers and upheld their right to meet Saturday in Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park, where the Robert E. Lee statue is located that city council wants to remove.

Bearing Drift contributor Rick Sincere wrote Thursday about the last-minute lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Virginia and the Rutherford Institute on behalf of Jason Kessler, alt-right organizer of the event, after the city of Charlottesville revoked the permit for Emancipation Park and moved it to McIntire Park about a mile away. McIntire Park is much larger than Emancipation Park and, with thousands of protesters expected, the city is understandably concerned.

Friday night by 10:00 reports were coming from observers in Charlottesville that hundreds of alt-right supporters were already marching with torches through the streets and surrounding the newly renovated Rotunda on the University of Virginia campus where a brawl broke out between white supremacists and those opposing them.

NBC-12 will have coverage. Be safe, Cville.

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Summer Recipes: Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic

DSCN4187

It’s late summer and, I don’t know about you, but our tomatoes are rolling in from the garden here in the central Shenandoah Valley. The fun of having fresh vegetables and herbs is the abundance of recipes that are useful during these warm summer months.

With so many tomatoes — we have a variety of cherry and regular-sized tomatoes — it’s sometimes a challenge to find enough ways to use them before they rot. We share with everyone we know but still have plenty because Mr. Mitchell loves to work in the garden so there’s always enough for everyone.

DSCN4179In this recipe I’m able to use our cherry tomatoes and freshly harvested basil leaves from my deck herbs. For dinner tonight I tweaked this a bit by sautéing the tomatoes and garlic in olive oil on the stove top since I try to limit my use of the oven on hot days which, I suppose, could change the name to Pasta with Sautéed Tomatoes and Garlic. I added the kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and, wow, the flavors popped. Yum.

The pasta can be adjusted for gluten free diets. Nothing says summer like the garden-to-table freshness of a home vegetable garden. From MyRecipes.com … enjoy!

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic

Ingredients

1 tablespoon kosher salt
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 pints multicolored cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved
1/4 cup small basil leaves

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt. Add pasta; cook 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 6 tablespoons cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan. Combine reserved cooking liquid and 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil 4 minutes or until mixture measures 1/3 cup. Add oil mixture to pan with pasta; toss to coat.

3. While pasta cooks, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, tomatoes, and garlic on a jelly-roll pan, tossing to combine. Bake at 450° for 11 minutes or until tomatoes are lightly browned and begin to burst. Add tomato mixture, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to pasta; toss to coat. Top with cheese and basil.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 cup)
Total time: 35 Minutes

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell

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Where Are the GOP Gubernatorial Candidates This Weekend?

The GOP’s candidates are campaigning around Virginia this weekend. Where can you find them?

Ed Gillespie, candidate for Governor

Friday:  Wytheville, Bristol
Saturday:  Smyth, Pulaski, Floyd, Patrick, and Carroll Counties.

Galax — Fiddler’s Convention and Poor Man’s Dinner

 

Jill Vogel, candidate for Lieutenant Governor

Not available.

 

 

John Adams, candidate for Attorney General

Saturday: 
1:30 – Newport Agricultural Festival (434 Blue Grass Trail, Newport)
6:00 – Poor Man’s Dinner and Fiddler’s Convention in Galax
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Charlottesville Prepares For Alt-Right Crowds, Announces Street Closings

Street closings that will begin late Friday afternoon and last all Saturday have been announced by the Charlottesville Police Department as they prepare for what is being described as “largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A change in venue was met with protests from alt-right leaders who have filed a complain after their rally location was changed from Emancipation Park, former Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated for removal by Charlottesville City Council.

Bearing Drift’s Rick Sincere reported on the latest:

An article published on Bearing Drift is among the exhibits attached to a complaint filed in federal court late today by the ACLU of Virginia and the Rutherford Institute, calling on the City of Charlottesville to reverse its decision to revoke a permit granted to alt-right activist Jason Kessler to hold a rally in what was until recently called Lee Park, now known as Emancipation Park.

Billed as the “Unite the Right” rally, Newsweek reported on those planning to attend:

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Poll Shows GOP Needs to Catch Up In Gov, LG, AG Races

It’s early in the race. The numbers are skewed. We haven’t passed Labor Day, the traditional beginning of the fall election season. There’s still plenty of time before the November 7, 2017, election day.

Those are the reasons I can toss out to explain why Virginia Republicans are trailing Democrats for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General in the latest Virginia Commonwealth University Office of Public Policy Outreach-L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs poll. The poll also covered other areas of the 2017 election.

Here is the rundown of the numbers among likely voters.

Governor:

  • Ralph Northam (D)  42 percent
  • Ed Gillespie (R)  37 percent
  • Cliff Hyra (L)  6 percent
  • Undecided  13 percent

Lieutenant Governor:

  • Justin Fairfax (D)  43 percent
  • Jill Vogel (R)  38 percent
  • Undecided  15 percent

Attorney General:

  • Mark Herring (D)  45 percent
  • John Adams (R)  39 percent
  • Undecided  15 percent

For full results and to dig into the cross-tabs, see the poll results here.

Polls Show Northam Leading in Virginia Gubernatorial Race

2017 Virginia Gubernatorial Debate with Democrat Ralph Northam, Republican Ed Gillespie, and moderator Judy Woodruff (PBS NewsHour). Photo by Matt Hall.

The latest Virginia statewide poll on the gubernatorial race came out Tuesday (see Northam leads Gillespie by 6 points in new poll, Trump’s Va. approval at 36 percent).

As I studied over it trying to decide how to pass it along (not sugar coat or spin but, rather, lay the facts out there), former Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling posted his thoughts on Facebook that mirrored my own. I share them here:

“This is the second poll this week to give LG Ralph Northam an early lead over Republican Ed Gillespie. An earlier poll showed the candidates tied. We will see a plethora of these polls in coming weeks. My best advice is to ignore them. They haven’t been terribly reliable in recent years.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Gillespie will win big ‘downstate’ and the outcome of the election will depend on Northam’s ability to turn out the traditional Democratic vote in Northern Virginia and urban centers.

“At the end of the day, unless one candidate makes a big mistake, it will likely be a 2-3 point race, one way or the other. That’s been the trend in these top of the ticket statewide races for the past decade or so. The only blow out was in 2009 when Bob McDonnell defeated Creigh Deeds by a wide margin. All of the other races have been very close, and this one will likely be close as well.”

It is difficult to put a lot of faith in polls these days but if a trend is developing, it will be worth paying attention to in the months ahead. However, it is still early and we haven’t even crossed the traditional Labor Day beginning of the campaign season. Stay tuned….

Sources:

Cross-posted at Bearing Drift

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DNA Identifies 1641st Victim of 9/11 Terror Attack on World Trade Center

DNA testing has identified the 1,641st victim of the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center, according to Melissa Quinn at the Washington Examiner. The identity is being withheld out of respect for the family’s request for privacy.

On September 11, 2001, 2,753 were killed when terrorists flew airplanes into the Twin Towers and, 16 years later, there are still 1,112 who remain unidentified.

March 2015 was the last time a victim was identified. As new DNA testing methods are discovered, remains are tested again and again in hopes of bringing closure to families.

The Guardian further explained that the procedure included more sensitive DNA technology used by the medical examiner’s office, with some bone fragments tested over and over, sometimes almost a dozen times, hoping to produce an answer to the identity. Their methods and tenacity are amazing and encouraging, as explained in this expanded description of poring over the remains.

The sixteenth anniversary of the tragic 9/11 attacks is in four weeks, a time when the nation pauses to remember the loss of 3,000 innocent lives on American soil. Never forget.

Cross-posted at Bearing Drift

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Jenna Bush Hager to Keynote Fundraiser for Virginia Women’s Monument in RVA

Adèle Goodman Clark’s name is not well known but a monument honoring her as well as other groundbreaking women will be the recipient of a September fundraiser featuring Jenna Bush Hager as the keynote speaker.

Located in Capitol Square, the Virginia Women’s Monument, subtitled Voices from the Garden, is the first of its kind in the nation recognizing the full range of Virginia women’s achievements, from the first president of a bank, to the chief of the Pamunkeys, to women’s sufferage, to a 1700s newspaper publisher. The monument recognizes and honors their achievements.

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Stuarts Draft Company Adds Jobs for Augusta County

Stuarts Draft sits at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains in southern Augusta County, a flattened out plain that is an ancient river bed, that is divided by the South River that floods during heavy downpours. “Draft” probably refers to the winds whistling down the mountain slopes.

Its main claim to fame is mountain man John Colter, born in the vicinity sometime in the mid-1770s. When his family moved further west, his skills in the outdoors help him become a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and to explore western lands where he was the first white man to enter the Yellowstone and Grand Tetons areas.

This is the manufacturing center of Augusta County, long ago agreed on by supervisors as the area to locate factories like Target, Hershey, McKee Foods, and Hollister. They like its proximity to a ready work force as well as the east-west I-64 and north-south I-77.

And it is in that area that Virginia’s governor made the announcement Tuesday about new jobs.

Draftco, Inc, a machine and fabrication shop, settled there in 1965, as a fully equipped precision job shop with highly skilled craftsmen who have the capabilities to meet most any need involving conventional machine work, Computer Numerical Control machine work, welding and fabrication work, sheet metal fabrication, and machine and equipment building.

The announcement that the company will invest $450,000 to expand its manufacturing operation and create 16 new jobs was good news for the local economy.

Tracy Pyles (I-Pastures District), Chairman of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, noted that local jobs are always welcomed. “With a rich history vested in Augusta County, Draftco, Inc. has served as a leading machine and fabrication shop since the mid-1960s,” he said. “Having the chance to have home-grown jobs harvested by our eager and well-prepared young people brings a great since of pride to the County Board.”

“Draftco exemplifies a long-standing community business that provides skilled manufacturing jobs, good stable pay, and economic growth opportunities for our area,” said Senator Emmett Hanger (R-24th Senate District). He continued, “I am pleased the Commonwealth can assist with this expansion and insure the company’s vitality for another 50 years of business.”

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Joe Manchin Shows Backbone

In the world of politics, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has always been his own man. In today’s toxic political climate, he continues that path but his latest exchange showed he definitely belongs in the Backbone Club that consists of those not swayed by polls, bullied by fringe groups, or ruled by reelection fears.

Talking with the Charleston Gazette, Manchin was emphatic about standing up for what was important for West Virginians:

“I don’t give a s–t, you understand? I just don’t give a s–t,” he said. “Don’t care if I get elected, don’t care if I get defeated, how about that. If they think because I’m up for election, that I can be wrangled into voting for s–t that I don’t like and can’t explain, they’re all crazy.”

“I’m not scared of an election, let’s put it that way. Elections do not bother me or scare me. I’m going to continue to do the same thing I’ve always done, extremely independent.”

The Backbone Club is populated with other elected representatives who have taken a principled stand and not backed down: Sen. John McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake, Sen. Ben Sasse, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Susan Collins, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Cory Gardner, Rep. Barbara Comstock, and Gov. John Kasich. There may be others who deserve to be added to this list.

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Tourism: Night Sky Festival and Eclipse at Shenandoah National Park

Celebrate the night sky in Shenandoah National Park by attending the Second Annual Night Sky Festival. Join in the fun Friday, August 18, through Monday, August 21, at various locations along Skyline Drive:

– Guest presentations by astronomy experts
– Ranger programs
– Constellation tours
– Solar scope viewing
– Telescope viewing
– Junior Ranger programs
– Audio-visual presentations
– Hands-on activities

The weekend will culminate on Monday, August 21, with the 2017 solar eclipse that will cross the continental United States, the first since 1979. While Shenandoah National Park will only experience 80-85% coverage of the sun at approximately 2:40 pm, and will not experience a total eclipse, it is still a great place to join a Ranger to learn about why a solar eclipse happens, what to expect, and how to view it safely. Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (mile 4.6) AND Byrd Visitor Center (mile 51)

Below are workshops and events available throughout the weekend:

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