Primary Day! Kiggans, Reeves, Vega and some real expensive chicken wings.
This Is It - Kenny Loggins, Bill Maher, and the single most disgusting ad in U.S. history.
Today is Primary Day here in Virginia and two Republican congressional races will be decided tonight. We are heading out for our #2 child’s wedding in less than 24 hours, so here goes a quick down and dirty Top Ten.
In the 2nd Congressional District (Virginia Beach), State Senator Jenn Kiggans is expected to win the GOP nomination to face incumbent Congresswoman Elaine Luria. Glenn Youngkin defeated Terry McAuliffe in the 2nd by 11 points in November when Joe Biden was underwater at -8.0 in the Real Clear Politics average. Now? Biden is -15. Luria is a very capable legislator in a district rated by the Cook Report PVI (Partisan Voting Index) +3 Republican. A tough hold in a toss up year for Democrats, VA2 is currently rated a Toss Up by Cook. Tomorrow it will move to a Lean Republican if Kiggans is the nominee. Second graphic is from the good folks at VPAP
2. The new 7th Congressional District has a MUCH more competitive field for the GOP nomination with State Senator Bryce Reeves, Prince William Supervisor Yesli Vega, and newcomer/former Green Beret Derrick Anderson leading the field. Reeves, Vega, and Anderson seem to have separated from the other candidates. Reeves has the better name ID, Anderson has had great fundraising given this is his first race, and Vega seems to be getting a lot of air time on conservative stations like Fox News. Late attacks on Reeves indicate he’s the front runner, but this is anyone’s race to win. IF I had to lay out a Trifecta - It would be Reeves, Vega, Anderson, but I would also place a side bet on Vega pulling the upset here. Cook PVI is +1 Democrat and the VPAP District profile shows Youngkin won the new district by 5 at a time when Biden was -8. The 7th will be a Toss Up tomorrow and maybe a Slight Lean Republican in the first round of polling. Lots of commuters in this district will highlight gas prices and inflation. Incumbent Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger has assiduously tried to position herself as a bipartisan moderate Democrat but is in a very new district compared to the old 7th and will have to grind out a door to door operation to hold off the GOP.
3. Speaking of inflation, William and his fiancee came home for Father’s Day. We grilled some chicken and watched the final nine of the U.S. Open. I will remember several things - a) Will Zalatoris missing the putt on 18 which would have forced a playoff b) cracking a few cold ones with my son over the grill and c) the price of the chicken wings (brined, seasoned, and sauced to perfection) - six chicken wings for $9.77 at the local Food Lion. Whisky Tango Foxtrot. But hey - at least we don’t have to go out and buy baby formula anymore.
4. IF you click and read ONE link in this newsletter, let it be this one The Myth of Ideological Polarization ‘Left’ and ‘right’ are illusory categories. What we’re really experiencing is tribal hostility.
Although America has two dominant ideological tribes, there is nothing uniting all of the positions of either side. The parties have coalesced around the concepts of “left” and “right,” but the concepts themselves are fictions. The ubiquitous left-right model of politics frames our thinking, shapes our language, and sets the terms of public debate, but it is completely wrong.
Reminder pre-pandemic chart from Perception Gap/More in Common:
Basically, 14% of the country run the dominant two political parties and they run on pure hatred of the other team. There is no algebraic line (-1…0… +1) of Left/Right anymore. Can’t wait for Oxford U to print that book!
5. Gallup survey shows our #1 moral problem in the U.S. - Consideration of Others. Steady for 10 years running. We are disaggregated and disintegrating as a people into cul-de-sacs within subdivision (over exaggeration but…). As a result, people live more alone and away from their core families/neighborhoods. One solution? Have a block party. Wear name tags. Don’t talk politics.
6. Another important - OK, scary as hell - column comes from Google’s Eric Schmidt: Semiconductor Dependency Imperils American Security
America is on the verge of losing the chip competition. Unless the U.S. government mobilizes a national effort similar to the one that created the technologies that won World War II, China could soon dominate semiconductors and the frontier technologies they will power.
One would think that after everything this nation has been through in the last two years, our elected leaders would have a call to action and focus on solving ALL of our national vulnerabilities. BUT… see #4.
7. The Sunday talk shows have been off my radar for sometime but for some strange reason I watched several. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm were on. Their body and actual language were all wrong. They did NOT want to be there. Both said a recession was “not inevitable.”
They looked like they were told “You’re going on the Sunday shows. Deal with it. Here are your talking points. Just get through it.”
That the White House made them do the perp walk with those talking points is very telling. And not it a good way. But you know that.
8. While the House of Representatives is likely to flip control back the GOP, the Senate is more uncertain. Having read this article from The Hill on the seven Senate seats most likely to flip in the fall, one cannot say Republicans have fielded the strongest slate of candidates. Echoes of 2010 are starting to rise.
And then there is this candidate in Missouri who is running quite possibly the most disgusting ad in U.S. history - click here for WAPO article and video.
The man actually goes into a house with a special ops team to hunt and kill RINOs - Republicans in Name Only. The candidate is a former Navy SEAL who is brandishing a shot gun. He currently leads the field. President Trump has yet to endorse in this race. From the candidate’s website.
Everything that is wrong in our politics and culture wrapped up in one candidate - Eric Greitens. If impersonating a human was a felony, Greitens would be guilty. Worried about Artificial Intelligence? You should be - but worry more about Artificial Humans. This is the current RCP average.
9. Speaking of political violence - there is a group out there called Jane’s Revenge which is described in Wikipedia thusly:
Jane's Revenge is an American far-left terrorist organization, which has perpetrated and threatened domestic terror attacks in the name of defending abortion rights. The group has committed acts of firebombing, vandalism, and arson. It was formed in 2022 in response to the leak of a possible Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
Reporting is pretty thin for a group that apparently has FIREBOMBED pregnancy help clinics.
Like I said on Friday - the process of begetting. Broken Windows Politics.
10. Recently, Bill Maher has, rightly, clubbed the NY Times and Hollywood. This week he went Baby Seal in the Arctic on the Washington Post. WOW.
Extra video for your consideration from Kenny Loggins “This Is It”
In 1979, my father needed an operation to clear arterial blockage. He said he was prepared to die. Upset that he wasn’t fighting, I went to singer-pianist Michael McDonald’s house and wrote lyrics to a song we called “This Is It.”
The next day, after Dad’s operation, I brought the tape to the hospital. When I played him the song, it included the line, “For once in your life / Here’s your miracle / Stand up and fight.” I feared he might be offended. Instead, we had a good cry.
Now - off to check in for tomorrow’s flight to William’s wedding, cut the lawn, drive to Newport News to speak to Rotarians, make final preparations, and pack. Wheels up 6:15am RIC to MIA to PUJ.
Thanks as always for your feedback.