Archives May 2018

Republican Congressional Debate: McAdams v. Fenty

Ryan McAdams and Shion Fenty are both vying for the Republican nomination for U.S. Congress in Virginia’s 4th Congressional District for the right to challenge incumbent Rep. Donald McEachin (D).

The two participated in a debate hosted by the Republican Party of Chesapeake – their only debate in Hampton Roads – in front of more than 75 people on Wednesday, May 30.

In this debate, the candidates cover topics ranging from immigration, national defense, cybersecurity, climate change, continuing resolutions, national debt, and much more.

The primary will be held June 12.

Links of note:
Republican Party of Chesapeake
Shion Fenty for Congress
Ryan McAdams for Congress

If you liked this podcast, please support it by subscribing either on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, or Stitcher – and please leave a review. It helps!

Subscribe on Android

Listening to a Podcast:

1) Click the player and listen to it via your device
2) Go to iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn or Stitcher – and please leave a review. and subscribe to the podcast to automatically download new shows to your device when they are uploaded. Listen to the shows through your iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn or Stitcher app. (How to from iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn and from Stitcher)
3) Added tip: Connect your device via Bluetooth or USB to your car radio, select the aux or media input on your radio for your device, and press play on your device for the show either on the post or through iTunes/Google Play/TuneIn/Stitcher.

So who is really with Trump? Jones or Taylor in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District?

“Washington is broken, and we need a fresh start,” was the mantra two years ago from Congressman Scott Taylor sparring with Congressman Randy Forbes over who should be the nominee for the Republican Party in the 2nd Congressional District.

“I am sick and tired of electing Republicans who say one thing to get elected, only to go to Washington and forget about us,” is now the claim from Mary Jones in her campaign announcement video, found on her website, throwing down the gauntlet on Taylor.
Such as it is in primary elections. The hunter becomes the hunted.

One moment you are the darling of the citizens at the gates, ready to overthrow the entrenched leadership. The next you are the “establishment elite.”

Of course, there’s a reason Jones has the ammunition to say what she does about Taylor.

Taylor did himself no favors attending a rally in New York City called “Global Citizen 2017” which encouraged continuing foreign aid and forging partnerships while bringing increased oversight and transparency to the practice. His short one-minute speech is cringe-worthy with its variation on “The Marine Corps Hymn,” but what it really provides is anyone who fears black helicopters more than enough reason to jump ship.

He also started his congressional career by introducing a bill to amend the Fair Housing Act to include “sexual orientation and gender identity as classes protected against discrimination in the sale, rental, or financing of housing.” Ostensibly, not a bad bill. But with marriage equality only recently becoming settled law, this proposal probably felt a little “too soon” to social conservatives. For what it’s worth, this bill remains in committee.

But Taylor’s worst offense, according to Jones, is his sometimes criticism of President Trump.

“When I see video of my representative on CNN and MSNBC bashing the president and calling him out as exhibiting a lack of leadership because of his comments on Charlottesville, when in fact he was correct, I find that to be undermining the president and counterproductive as far as moving his pro-America agenda forward,” she told me in a podcast interview in November.

Has Taylor really failed the citizens of the 2nd District and stymied the president’s agenda? As they say, he has a record we can check.

The political website FiveThirtyEight.com has all of the legislation that has come to a House floor vote listed with the president’s position and the congressman’s vote. Based upon the margin of victory Trump had in the 2nd District – 3.4 percent – Nate Silver and company predicted that Taylor would only vote in concert with Trump 73.6 percent of the time.

The reality? Taylor has voted with the president a whopping 98.6 percent of the time and the one time he was out of sync with the president – sanctions on Iran, Russia and North Korea – he voted the same as 418 of his colleagues.

It would seem that what Jones finds fault most with Taylor would be his words. But given the congressman’s other public statements, such as on Veterans Administration accountability, supporting shipbuilding, supporting the move of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and looking out for service members, Taylor’s rhetoric remains very much in concert with the district.

With the Democrats likely to settle on retired Navy officer Elaine Luria, Republicans will need to determine who can win in a district that only favored President Trump by a narrow margin, yet a representative who still continues to wholeheartedly and smartly advance the conservative agenda.

When 2nd District GOP voters make that decision June 12, I would remind them of Dragnet’s Jack Webb: “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Dr. Michael Ybarra

There are more than 1000 neurological disorders affecting 100 million Americans costing the country $800 billion according to a new study released by America’s Biopharmaceutical Companies. Dr. Michael Ybarra, an emergency room physician and Senior Director of Alliance Development at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) comes on the podcast to talk about the study and the path a medicine takes from being an idea the market.

Issues we talk about in the podcast include:

How he balances the work he’s doing with PhRMA with and being a clinical physician
The 2018 Medicines in Development Report on Neurological Disorders. What’s important about it?
Why are there now so many medicines? Are they similar with just slight variations or are they altogether different? For example, why do we need 46 medicines for Parkinson’s disease or 27 medicines for headaches?
What are some of the treatments patients receive now? Why does a medicine bring hope?
Medicine side effects: How to balance the side effect from the benefit of the medicine? How the law plays a role.
How much does it cost to get a drug to market? What is the process? What does Phase I/II/III mean and how long does it take for an application to be approved?
What are the challenges faced in drug production?
What is the balance between helping people with the least cost option and making a profit?
What is role of intellectual property and patents? What recourse do drug manufacturers have?
What are the challenges doctors face when trying to learn about these new medicines?
What are drug companies doing to help either work within the system to alleviate costs or reform the overall Affordable Care Act? Where do they fit in in the policy discussion?

Links of note:

Medicines in Development for Neurological Disorders – 2018 Report
President Trump’s recent drug policy announcement

Dr. Ybarra’s bio:

Michael Ybarra, MD, FAAEM/FACEP is a board-certified emergency physician and Senior Director of Alliance Development at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Dr. Ybarra is a graduate of Stanford University, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and completed residency training at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

After residency, Dr. Ybarra practiced academic emergency medicine. He was the Site Director for emergency medicine residents at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. He also became the founding Program Director of the Health Policy Fellowship, which is a partnership with MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, the McCourt School of Public Policy, and the Association of American Medical Colleges. He has authored a number of medical peer-reviewed publications, case reports, and book chapters.

In addition, Dr. Ybarra has also served in various roles with the American Academy of Emergency Medicine including as President of the Resident and Student Association and Director of the Young Physicians Section.

In 2014, Dr. Ybarra joined PhRMA as Senior Director of Alliance Development. In this capacity, he leads outreach to provider, multicultural, and LGBT organizations. His issue areas include communications with health care professionals, healthcare delivery reform, adherence, and the 340B drug discount program. He continues to practice clinically in the Emergency Department at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

If you liked this podcast, please support it by subscribing either on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, or Stitcher – and please leave a review. It helps!

Subscribe on Android

Listening to a Podcast:

1) Click the player and listen to it via your device
2) Go to iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn or Stitcher – and please leave a review. and subscribe to the podcast to automatically download new shows to your device when they are uploaded. Listen to the shows through your iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn or Stitcher app. (How to from iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn and from Stitcher)
3) Added tip: Connect your device via Bluetooth or USB to your car radio, select the aux or media input on your radio for your device, and press play on your device for the show either on the post or through iTunes/Google Play/TuneIn/Stitcher.

[socialpoll id=”2504506″]

David Adams, Virginia Shooting Sports Association

This podcast is all about guns. David Adams joins J.R. to talk about everything from what guns are best for home defense, learning how to shoot, to the debate about the right to own them. Adams of the Virginia Shooting Sports Association gives a straightforward account of the current debate and steers clear of soundbites and typical inflammatory rhetoric. It’s a conversation those on both sides of the issue will want to hear and maybe serve as a foundation for compromise.

About David Adams:

David Adams is a former president of the Virginia Shooting Sports Association, the state affiliate association of the NRA, and currently serves as the association’s Vice President. Besides being an officer of the association, he also maintains the association’s website and blog, and is the editor of the weekly member newsletter, the eBullet. A longtime Second Amendment activist, he served as the NRA-ILA Election Volunteer Coordinator (EVC) for Virginia’s 7th Congressional District for almost 20 years and is a past recipient of the NRA-ILA Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award. He served on the Richmond Metro Friends of NRA Committee for 10 years, including one year as chairman. A veteran of the political and legislative process for almost 30 years, he served in the administration of Governor Jim Gilmore, and Attorney General Jerry Kilgore.

Links of note:
Virginia Shooting Sports Association
The disparities in how black and white men die in gun violence, state by state
Delegate Todd Gilbert: Virginia Gun Rights in Jeopardy

If you liked this podcast, please support it by subscribing either on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, or Stitcher – and please leave a review. It helps!

Subscribe on Android

Listening to a Podcast:

1) Click the player and listen to it via your device
2) Go to iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn or Stitcher – and please leave a review. and subscribe to the podcast to automatically download new shows to your device when they are uploaded. Listen to the shows through your iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn or Stitcher app. (How to from iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn and from Stitcher)
3) Added tip: Connect your device via Bluetooth or USB to your car radio, select the aux or media input on your radio for your device, and press play on your device for the show either on the post or through iTunes/Google Play/TuneIn/Stitcher.

[socialpoll id=”2503662″]

We need to look into our own hearts while searching for moral ideals in divided American times

In the last few days, it’s been difficult to avoid the drama surrounding President Donald Trump, the nuances associated with those who are investigating him and a whirlwind of other misguided events that have been in the spotlight.

Honestly, I have not paid much attention to the salacious and ironic details regarding hush money payments to a woman who makes a living by having filmed sex.

Or to evangelical Christians who have pretzeled themselves by compartmentalizing their faith and marginalizing the president’s infidelity.

Or to the president’s most adamant detractors suddenly finding moral compasses that were conveniently misplaced between 1992 and 2000.

At the White House Correspondents Dinner, a comic seeking to be edgy found the edge and, as is always a danger playing near the edge, fell over it. The reaction has been predictably and disappointingly partisan. Having watched the “roast,” I found some of it funny, but most of it was obscene and simple meanness.

Yet, today, it is that kind of bravado that gets past the noise and brings notoriety. It has launched the comic to number one on all social media searches, and it has The New York Times, bastion of all that is right and good, lecturing us: “She told the truth, and no one should be apologizing.”

But perhaps there’s truth in all of this. And perhaps the complete and most relevant truth is that we have enabled the absence of love to become a norm in our society.

Committing adultery is not the misguided past. It’s flatly rejecting loving your spouse.

Having sex with multiple men for money on camera is not theater, but the absence of or corruption of love. It reduces the union into an anesthetic, medical activity.

Failing to recognize wrongs so flamboyant and flaunted is not forgiveness, but enablement.

Using words to demean and demoralize with hostile venom is not telling the “truth.” It’s intentionally causing division and anger.

I am far from being virtuous, but, at some point, we have to take responsibility that we are all very flawed people who are permitting ourselves to get sucked into a cauldron of hate – and that there is nothing in our society that can be blamed for what is happening but ourselves.

Mass murders are not happening because of the gun. Hate speech doesn’t exist because of social media. Failing to accept political compromise is not the fault of “fake news.”

The truth is that “we the people” are not forming a more perfect union.

We are allowing negative and abusive behavior to persist. And because we fail to do our own due diligence – allowing laziness to take hold of our emotions and overwhelm our intellect – we have no business engaging in the public square.

The Founders had an expectation for all of us that we would have civic virtue. One where we show caring, compassion, humility, and interest not just in our government but with our family, neighbors, friends and, yes, even our enemies.

This experiment in self-governance cannot work if we do not heed John Adams’ words: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Our society – if it fails to be religious – should at least pursue moral. And this starts with ourselves. All else will follow.

This column appears in The Princess Anne Independent.

Ryan McAdams

Ryan McAdams, a pastor from Providence Forge in Charles City County just outside of Richmond, is running to be the Republican nominee for Congress in Virginia’s 4th District. He stops by the podcast to discuss:

  • The newly drawn 4th District and its composition
  • The role of the Justice Department and Judiciary v. the states at determining their district lines
  • His background and interests
  • Baseball, coming from California to Virginia, his time at VMI and VCU, and being called to the ministry
  • His Faith and coming to Faith
  • The Congressional Prayer Caucus and his becoming the state director of the Virginia Prayer Caucus
  • Being inspired to run for Congress
  • A look at the 2016 numbers and lessons learned. Specifically, how to win in Henrico, Petersburg and Richmond, where the margin of victory for Congressman McEachin was significant
  • His thoughts on welfare reform, the criminal justice system, economic empowerment, and family/community values
  • How he addresses the current issues surrounding Pres. Donald Trump as a pastor and now, as a candidate
  • What’s motivating him

Links of note:
Ryan McAdams for Congress
2016 Election Results
GovTrack – Virginia’s 4th Congressional District (includes district map)

If you liked this podcast, please support it by subscribing either on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, or Stitcher – and please leave a review. It helps!

Subscribe on Android

Listening to a Podcast:

1) Click the player and listen to it via your device
2) Go to iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn or Stitcher – and please leave a review. and subscribe to the podcast to automatically download new shows to your device when they are uploaded. Listen to the shows through your iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn or Stitcher app. (How to from iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn and from Stitcher)
3) Added tip: Connect your device via Bluetooth or USB to your car radio, select the aux or media input on your radio for your device, and press play on your device for the show either on the post or through iTunes/Google Play/TuneIn/Stitcher.

E.W. Jackson

“I think that I allowed myself to be caricatured as a person who hates gays and lesbians and transgender people…and I was asked about some of the comments I made during my sermons and so forth and during interviews on Christian media and did I regret any of those. Well, now, I have had five years to think about that answer; to think about those comments. And, yes, I do regret some of those comments. And I regret them not because my convictions have changed. I’m a Bible-believing Christian. I believe about marriage what the Bible says. I believe about sexual morality what the Bible says. However, I also believe what it says about loving people. And I don’t think we ever ought to talk in a way that demeans people; that disrespects them; that makes them feel threatened or feel like you view them as less than human. That was a mistake on my part; I’m not going to make that same mistake again.”

E.W. Jackson is known for his exceptional ability to motivate and inspire. In this podcast, we talk about his own motivations to become Virginia’s next U.S. Senator.

We cover:

– How does he feel seeing Ralph Northam as governor when he had the chance to compete against him for the office of lieutenant governor in 2013?
– Growing up in Chester, PA as a foster child and then the later influence of his father.
– Role models in America today. Do we have a sufficient number in order to be able to preserve a society based on personal responsibility and civic virtue?
– What he learned as a Marine.
– How he grew from his education at the University of Massachusetts and Harvard.
– How he found home in Virginia.
– His speech this past Sunday in Charlottesville on race.
– Government’s role with respect to symbols of the Confederacy.
– Does he feel the Democratic Party is stoking the fires of racism for political gain and can divisiveness on race be overcome in the political arena? How does he feel his Republican opponents have handled the issue of race in their campaigns?
– How does he feel about the administration of President Donald Trump? Has it been successful? How would he act as a senator towards this administration both in working with them and holding them accountable?
– What does an EW Jackson for Senate campaign look like going against Senator Tim Kaine?
– His views on the Senate cloture rule to end debate being set at 60 votes.
– What he would like to see as his primary accomplishment over the course of six years as a U.S. senator.
– Words of wisdom.

For more information:

E.W. Jackson for Senate
At local stop, Jackson says race being used to tear country apart (Daily Progress)
GOP’s Nick Freitas says at Liberty University debate that Corey Stewart’s camp attacked his ethnicity (Richmond Times-Dispatch

If you liked this podcast, please support it by subscribing either on iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, or Stitcher – and please leave a review. It helps!

Subscribe on Android

Listening to a Podcast:

1) Click the player and listen to it via your device
2) Go to iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn or Stitcher – and please leave a review. and subscribe to the podcast to automatically download new shows to your device when they are uploaded. Listen to the shows through your iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn or Stitcher app. (How to from iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn and from Stitcher)
3) Added tip: Connect your device via Bluetooth or USB to your car radio, select the aux or media input on your radio for your device, and press play on your device for the show either on the post or through iTunes/Google Play/TuneIn/Stitcher.

Sessoms’ Resignation Gives Beach GOP a Chance to Apply a Lesson Learned

With the retirement of Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms after nearly three decades of public service, it seems appropriate to look back and learn some lessons.

In the case of Sessoms, at least for conservatives, it’s a strong lesson that a party “free for all” in a general election with partisan overtones is probably not a wise move.

Republicans, eager to defeat longtime incumbent Mayor Meyera Oberndorf, had three candidates running in the 2008 cycle. It was the city’s first test of shifting local elections, once the domain of May, alongside the federal one in November.

The challengers were Sessoms, a former city councilmember and vice mayor who openly claimed his long “affiliation” with the Republican Party. Proudly Republican Councilman John Moss. And a new voice on the scene, now-U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor.

In retrospect, the lack of a formal endorsement by the GOP, wanting to keep up the appearance “non-partisan elections” created divisions in the party that are still felt today. And the lack of party-backing led to loyalist confusion that resulted in ultimately backing the longtime public servant, Sessoms.

Oberndorf had no qualms bringing partisanship into the race. She formally endorsed and received the endorsement of her party’s presidential nominee: U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

In a twist, a “trickster” had fliers made up for Election Day featuring Obama and Sessoms. The move backfired because instead of creating questions of Sessoms’ conservative bona fides, it might have solidified him as the “true” Republican in the race in the eyes of voters and the alternative to Oberndorf among the plurality.

I stand by what I said then to The Virginian-Pilot: “Republican voters are going to have a difficult time choosing between mayoral candidates this election because Sessoms, Moss, and Taylor all are running under the party’s banner…. The city’s Republican Party should have endorsed one candidate.”

It was confusing then. Even worse, it resulted in a mayor who was unable to ever be the Republican standard bearer and unifying force so needed for conservatives in Virginia’s largest city over the past decade.

Instead, Sessoms’ tenure has been marred by political division, policy meanderings and public investigations that tarnished any ability to reflect positively on the GOP.

Whether it was Sessoms’ joining the party in 2011 only to be removed (by rule) after endorsing Democrat Gov. Terry McAuliffe in 2013, supporting boondoggles like light rail or having his public votes scrutinized for impropriety, all the potential goodwill for conservatives that could have come from his win in 2008 quickly evaporated.

Now Virginia Beach Republicans have a similar dilemma. Will they learn their lesson and unite behind a candidate or will the campaign devolve into a squabble that fails to bring unity to a community that desperately needs it?

It would appear that the stars might be aligning for City Councilmember Bobby Dyer, who represents the Centerville District, who has announced his candidacy. State Del. Glenn Davis, a former city councilmember, stated his intent not to run are any indication. Linwood Branch, a former member of the Virginia Beach City Council, is in the running, with the support of Sessoms. As of this writing, others are rumored but not announced.

Dyer’s campaign is sure to please conservatives who have felt the city is an ATM of taxpayer handouts for the well-connected. Dyer sees the city at a crossroads with economic challenges and wants to move the city away from a “culture of arrogance.” He promises to promote a free market approach to city government, where winners are not determined by government edict – and who they know – but by fair competition.

And Davis, who politely acknowledged Sessoms’ “leadership and commitment” in his statement, explained he decided not to seek the mayor’s job so he could continue to “grow economic opportunities” through mitigating tax and regulatory burdens on small business through his work in a very-closely divided Virginia House of Delegates where every vote, including his, counts.

Other candidates for mayor seeking to be the conservative choice could possibly emerge to challenge Dyer in the coming weeks. And this column is certainly not an endorsement of Dyer.But it will be wise for conservatives to find their candidate early and be supportive all the way, especially if they truly want the next decade in Virginia Beach to be one that actually promotes conservative values – and elects more conservatives to office.

This column appears in The Princess Anne Independent.