Arizona

Common Ground On Abortion?

Last week, Gallup released some very encouraging polling numbers regarding abortion regulations. Since the poll didn't relate to homosexual activity or signal growing support of abortion, the national news media decided you didn't need to know. We did. The poll, conducted in July and released last week, shows that even self-identified "pro-choice" Americans are more likely to support laws prohibiting abortion after the first trimester except for the most extreme circumstances. A majority polled also stated that abortion should be illegal in all or most circumstances. Support was overwhelming for laws such as parental consent, informed consent and bans on partial birth abortion, all of which we have successfully passed in Virginia.

It seems that the extreme abortion industry, led by Planned Parenthood and NARAL, have seen that they are rapidly losing ground in the area of public opinion. Rants on NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia's blog chastise the General Assembly for passing the most reasonable and widely supported abortion measures, such as parental consent and informed consent. As public opinion continues to move toward life, the pro-abortion rhetoric gets more desperate — and peculiar. In Arizona, for example, Planned Parenthood argued against a requirement that abortions be performed by a licensed doctor, calling it an "undue burden." Luckily, the state appeals court last week unanimously rejected its argument. (See another Planned Parenthood deception, here, at LiveAction.org. You won't believe the new low road it's taken.)

Clearly outside the mainstream, these organizations continue to advocate abortion on demand throughout pregnancy with no restrictions and no oversight — and support forcing you to pay for it. Except for a very few, such thinking is clearly beyond the values most Virginians share and explains why pro-abortion candidates that take these extreme positions are fewer and fewer in number.

We understand that, as with polling on homosexual behavior and marriage, opinions on abortion often are confused and conflicting. One isolated media poll does not the truth make. For example, within a few days earlier this summer two separate polls came to opposite conclusions on the issue of same-sex marriage. Regardless of the polling, all that really matters is that the 31 times the issue has been put to a vote, traditional marriage has won. Plus, Virginians continue to send pro-marriage legislators to Richmond.

The same holds true for the issue of abortion. Virginians have been sending more and more pro-life legislators to Richmond in recent elections, indicating that the abortion polling numbers may be on to something. As we've said for years, more and more Americans — and Virginians — are becoming pro-life every day. The results are the passage of reasonable, common sense measures, such as abortion center safety regulations. Consequently, we look forward to having more pro-life advocates in the General Assembly this coming January.

Even Amidst Vile Arizona Text Book, Liberals Insist Nothing Wrong With Public Education

Wow! The video below is about the most shocking thing — which is saying landfills — I've ever seen or heard regarding public education. It will floor you. If you haven't heard the audio or seen the video yet, or heard media outlets reporting or discussing (debating) it yet, you soon will. It's a case of The Left taking offense at being called extreme and anti-American when its their own words at work. Not much can be added to what you will see. (See The Blaze.com for more on this story.) Here's the background: The Tuscon (Arizona) Unified School District is using a text book for students as early as the 3rd grade, in a course of study called the Ethnic Studies Curriculum, which contains content that not only disparages and lies about America and certain groups of Americans (whites, Christians), but does it in a vile way, including several four-letter words! "Blood sucking capitalists" is about as mild as it gets in this leftist propaganda "text book."

Parents finally confronted the district school board about this recently, a portion of which is on the video. The school board members act as if this is news to them and one doesn't even recognize the irony when he asks a parent to stop reading the offending words at the meeting even though children in school are being subjected to them! Still, liberals and teacher union bosses and political hacks, and their liberal legislative allies at all levels of government throughout the country insist nothing is wrong with public education  . . . except a lack of money (which pays for this trash). Amazing!

Warning: The video below contains coarse and vile language.

Oh, wait. Maybe the public schools  just need more money! That's the answer  . . . it always is!

Peggy West, Continuing The Liberal Intellectual Tradition

Don't you just love liberal elitists, with their fancy educations, who have no hesitation in characterizing conservatism as some backwards, hateful philosophy only the brainless or mean, oppressive free-marketers can abide? If there's anymore proof needed that conservatism is about intellect and not feelings, we don't know where to find it. But the video below is a start. First, there was the numerically challenged "57 States Obama," then the physics challenged "Guam May Capsize Hank Johnson," now, the geographically challenged "Arizona Doesn't Border Mexico Peggy West," a big-time liberal Milwaukee supervisor, who wants her fair city to boycott the Grand Canyon State. Wait! Can't forget "Navy Corpseman Obama" either! Oh, geez, I could list hundreds more, but the list is insufferable. Let's just get on with it — and these are the people running our country?

The latest in the great line of great modern liberal thinkers.

New Jersey: A Nice Place For Education Reform

There's an old saying that, "New Jersey is a nice place to be from." Despite its reputation and the brunt of numerous jokes, New Jersey soon may be the place for cutting edge education reform. At least from an education freedom viewpoint, our friends to the north are getting closer to bringing education freedom and choice to families than we are here in Virginia. Earlier this month, the New Jersey Senate advanced a bill similar to legislation The Family Foundation advocates for here in Virginia that creates a tax credit for donations made to private scholarship foundations. The foundations then can give scholarships to students that meet certain eligibility criteria so that they can attend a school of their choice. Unflattering, and deceptively called a "voucher" by opponents and the mainstream media, these scholarship programs have seen great success in several places, from Florida to Pennsylvania.

The fact that New Jersey is attempting to join the growing list of states that offer this education freedom while Virginia continues to stall shows just how quickly we are falling behind more modern education movements in other states. The legislation in New Jersey faced the opposition of the powerful New Jersey Education Association (sister to our own anti-reform, left-wing Virginia Education Association). But through the leadership of Governor Chris Christie and several Democrat legislators, including a key committee chairman, the bill is advancing — complete with the drama of the Senate committee moving its meeting outside the capitol so that thousands of school choice advocates holding a rally could hear the debate.

Opposition to education reform, such as scholarship programs, continue to be stuck in the past. African-American leaders and legislators all over the country are beginning to reject the typical accusations that these tax credits will "drain money from public schools" or reestablish segregation. Even the Newark Star-Ledger, which has one of the most liberal editorial boards in the nation, has endorsed the tax credit bill.

In fact, the bill introduced by Delegate Jimmie Massie (R-72, Henrico) during this year’s legislative session would have saved the state and local governments money while reducing class sizes (children leaving for private schools), thereby improving teacher-student ratios, something the education establishment claims it wants. Far from hurting low-income families in urban areas, the private-aid scholarship program the bill would establish would provide them a way out of failing schools that are not meeting their needs nor preparing them to be able to compete in a global economy.

Momentum for school choice is growing. Successful programs in Florida, Arizona and other states are improving education outcomes for many children, despite efforts to block them. In the Arizona case, the U.S. Supreme Court will review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision declaring education freedom is unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit is the most overturned appeals court in the nation and is infamous for its overtly radical decisions. Stay tuned. There will be a lot of action in on this important matter in New Jersey, Arizona and even here in Virginia.

Virginia News Stand: April 30, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Close Of Business, April

It's almost like it's a holiday weekend — there's not much going on. Maybe it's a collective political sigh. After all, it's been an eventful week. So, today brings us more reflection on all of the good news on the cultural front as the media still can't get enough of it. Leading the News, again, is coverage of Governor Bob McDonnell's reversal of the Kaine administration's gag order on Virginia State Police chaplains not to pray according to their faith tradition. We're mentioned in both articles linked below.

News

*McDonnell reverses chaplain prayer policy (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star

*McDonnell lifts ban on State Police troopers referring to Jesus in public prayers (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

VCU reaffirms nondiscrimination policy (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

Hawaii Lawmakers OK Civil Unions, Send Bill to Gov (AP/FoxNews.com)

Lawsuits target AZ law amid calls for boycotts (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Denver school district bans work travel to Arizona (AP/GOPUSA.com)   

Congress sets Puerto Rico statehood effort in motion (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Crist's defection could be gift to Democrats (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Feds open criminal probe of Goldman (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Palin wades into Minn. governor's race (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Okla. lawmakers want tougher immigration law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Barack Obama, America's Selective Salary Policeman (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Strikingly Unpresidential (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

First, He Was a Community Organizer (Frank Salvato/GOPUSA.com)

Will 'Independent Day' Work? (Matt Towery/GOPUSA.com)

Superheroes and Slashers (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

Pastors Energized To Make A Difference After This Week's "Watchmen on the Wall" Conference

Nearly 250 pastors and church leaders earlier this week joined together in Williamsburg at a "Watchmen on the Wall" conference co-sponsored by the Family Research Council and The Family Foundation of Virginia. The attendees were urged to speak out on important issues of the day and to encourage their members to take their civic responsibilities seriously.This year The Family Research Council is hosting several "Watchmen on the Wall" pastor conferences across the nation, including in Washington, D.C.; California, Arizona and New Hampshire. To date, nearly 2,000 pastors have joined together and hundreds of others have joined The Family Research Council's pastors' effort. Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told the crowd, "Your leadership is absolutely fundamental and essential to this nation. My hope for America is not bailing out Wall Street. My hope for America is not in education. My hope for America is not in our strong military. My hope for America is Jesus Christ."

Former U.S. Representative Bob McEwen (R-Ohio) encouraged pastors to make sure people in their congregations are registered to vote. He said, "There are fifty million self-identified evangelicals in the United States. That's fifty million votes. Fifty million votes wins everything." Statistics indicate that at least half of self-identified evangelicals are not registered to vote. Dozens of churches in Virginia have been holding voter registration drives and will continue to do so up until the registration deadline (click here to see how to get involved).

Pastors also were educated by Alliance Defense Fundsenior counsel Jordan Lorence about their legal rights concerning speaking about issues, educating their congregations and providing election materials. Lorence has argued numerous times before the United States Supreme Court. 

The audience also heard from Bishop Harry Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, Delegate Brenda Pogge (R-96, Yorktown) and Attorney General Bob McDonnell. 

The Family Foundation, along with its pastor outreach arm, Pastors For Family Values, co-hosted the event. Pastors For Family Values provides support for pastors who speak on cultural issues and provide civil leadership. Pastors For Family Values formed in 2007 after Virginians in 2006 overwhelmingly voted to pass a Constitutional amendment defining marriage — as an outgrowth of pastoral involvement in that effort, several pastors of various denominations and ethnicities approached The Family Foundation with the concept of forming a pastors group.

It is absolutely essential for church leaders to take the lead and speak out on the values issues that shape our nation and our culture. While some organizations try to intimidate and discourage religious leaders from exercising their rights and freedoms in the political sphere, we urge them to reject those fear tactics and take a vocal stand on important issues. Only when our churches take a stand will we see our laws begin to reflect the traditional values our nation once stood upon.

Attendees left the "Watchmen on the Wall" conference excited and challenged. Nearly 20,000 church going Virginians were represented by the participating pastors. The impact these pastors and those church members can have on Virginia's political culture is enormous.

There is a tremendous amount of energy among pastors and church leaders and there is no question this energy will affect the congregations they represent. The potential impact of this energy and leadership cannot be underestimated. It isn't intended simply to affect one election or one campaign cycle but to bring change to an entire culture. This week was an important step toward that change.

Poll: Rate Sarah Palin

Now that the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), has picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to run with him as the GOP's vice presidential candidate, and there's been a full 24 hour news cycle to digest it all, what do you think? Give us your impressions by voting in the poll below. We'd love to have your comments as well — let us know the reasons for your vote. Please post them in the blog's thread (not at polldaddy). The poll closes Friday, September 5, at noon (to give you a chance to size her up at the Republican National Convention. You can only vote once.

School Choice: Whether Educrats Like It Or Not

Despite rabid opposition from the education establishment across the nation, more states are realizing that restoring parents' freedom to choose how their child is educated is critical to guaranteeing the best education possible. In recent years Georgia, Florida, Arizona and Pennsylvania, to name a few, have passed various forms of education choice legislation. Even the District of Columbia has opened the doors of education freedom to parents. In Virginia, the birthplace of liberty in our nation, the idea of extending that freedom to parents of children in elementary and secondary schools is met with ferocious hostility by the education unions and, unfortunately, a majority of legislators. "Choice," it seems, is limited by too many only to abortion. While Virginia government provides direct assistance to families with children in pre-K programs or college, no such assistance is available for kids K-12. In fact, college TAG grants provide essentially the same type of education choice we need in K-12, so for the state to say the general model won't work is a little disingenuous.

We have long advocated for providing parents the freedom to choose the best education environment for their children. As we move through the 21st century, we remain in a 19th century education model — a "once size fits all" approach that fails too many children. Educrats simply offer to continue to pour more and more money into a system — notice their rhetoric is always about the "system" — instead of allowing parents to find the best environment for their children's particular needs.

Tuesday, we were pleased to join several other organizations in Virginia to announce the formation of School Choice Virginia, started by school choice advocate Delegate Chris Saxman (R-20, Staunton). The event garnered a lot of statewide attention (see our post and the news links here, as well as a new article, today, here.) This group will review the myriad of potential proposals and work to bring about real education freedom in Virginia through advocacy and education.

At the Richmond press conference announcing the group, former Washington, D.C., City Councilman Ken Chavous, an African-American Democrat, endorsed our efforts. Mr. Chavous has seen first hand the impact of giving families more opportunities to educate children in communities where far too many never even make it to graduation. He now is traveling the country, working with legislators and organizations, to bring education choice to all of our nation's families.

In his comments, Mr. Chavous made it clear that this is not a partisan issue — it became largely so, as so many others, when it became federalized. Rather, this is an issue of liberty and it's about what is best for our nations' children. We can no longer be held hostage by the education establishment.

Not only will education freedom help students struggling in poor performing schools, but it also will save taxpayers money. Study after study shows that when choice is introduced, enrollment in public schools decreases, but much of the money spent on the students that leave stays with the school. In essence, the schools have more money to spend per child.  Though we know that money isn't the answer, this undermines opponents who claim that school choice will "take money from public schools." Nothing could be further from the truth. Not only that, but the new competition forces public schools to improve — and in many cases they do.

Frankly, school choice is coming to Virginia. It's coming whether the educrat establishment likes it or not. It may take some time, but as more and more states recognize the need for educational freedom, the only question that remains is whether Virginia will take the lead in granting families more liberty, or whether it will once again choose to fall further and further behind the rest of the nation in the area of freedom.