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General Assembly Issue Two: Eliminate ObamaCare Induced Abortion Funding In Virginia

This is the second in a series about key issues facing this year’s General Assembly. Issue One, Life Defined And Protected, was posted yesterday.

Last General Assembly session, just before Congressional liberals rammed through their government-run health insurance overhaul (see ObamaCare411.com), Virginia responded to the mood of its citizens and passed the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act. Once the federal health insurance changes were signed into law, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli quickly filed suit in federal court to defend (see video) the constitutional rights of Virginians

Legal challenges aside, ObamaCare is scheduled to be fully implemented by 2014. While we hope Virginia's lawsuit will succeed, no one can, with anything close to certainty, count on the courts to invalidate the law or on Congress to repeal it (see 21StateLawSuit.com). 

We especially are concerned about the provisions of the law that allow for abortion funding. That's because ObamaCare puts states in charge of their own health insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses. If enacted today, Virginia could potentially include, in its exchange, plans that cover elective abortion. In fact, Pennsylvania and Maryland already have moved to include such plans (see CNSNews.com). Without intervention by the General Assembly, pro-family citizens opposed to abortion would be mandated to fund this unethical destruction of human life. Virginians may be divided on the issue of abortion, but a vast majority are opposed to publicly funding it with their hard earned tax dollars.

However, there is a clause in the federal health insurance plan that allows states to opt out of abortion funding in their state run exchanges. Such action also fulfills the executive order signed by President Obama that theoretically protects Americans from funding abortion through the health insurance scheme. According to Americans United for Life, a total of 25 states, including Virginia, have either opted out or have plans to introduce legislation with the hope of preventing health insurance companies in the exchange from providing abortion coverage. 

Toward that end, The Family Foundation is supporting legislation introduced this session by Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg) and Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Rockbridge) that would prevent insurance plans in the Virginia exchange from providing abortion coverage. Especially in today's financial climate, it is unconscionable to mandate Virginians to underwrite a publicly unsupported issue resulting in the destruction of human life.

Recession? What Recession? The Good Times Are Rolling In The Insulated, Inside-The-Beltway Nation's Capital

No wonder the liberal politicians who control the House, Senate and presidency think the economy is flying: Their immediate surroundings are, in fact, humming. There is no recession in Washington, D.C., and when you stay insulated inside the beltway, and all you see is fat cats living it up from from $3.5 trillion in government spending, no wonder President Obama and Vice President Biden call this the :summer of recovery." Andrew Little, a Richmond investment banker with John B. Levy & Co. recently wrote in a Richmond Times-Dispatch column that the real estate market, which burst and led to the recession and remains in the tank around the country, is booming in Washington.

As one lender put it, "the closer you are to the printing press, the better chance you'll have of getting some business."

Another lender unfortunately described just how exclusive the area is that is attracting capital: "We are focused on Washington, D.C., but only inside the Beltway."

A recent sale of the Evening Star Building at 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington fetched a mind-boggling $790 a square foot, and there is talk that other buildings currently on the market will surpass $900 a square foot.

These numbers indicate a strong desire for investors to put their money into real estate again. But if "frenzied" describes Washington and four other markets, "frail" is more apt for virtually everywhere else.

He adds that interest rates in D.C. are lower than most markets (thus the "printing press" comment). He then notes a Memphis, Tenn., apartment building that sold for a minuscule $2.1 million after costs, or less than $2,500 per unit, even though the average price per unit nationally last year was $72,306. The lender eventually lost $37.3 million on the project. Since this doesn't qualify for pocket change in Washington, we doubt few in the leadership are raising a red flag of concern. But why should they? Not only is real estate booming in D.C., so, too, are salaries (see CNSNews.com).

According to a CBS News report yesterday:

Federal salaries have grown 33 percent faster than inflation. Their pay and benefits averaged $123,049 in 2009, up 36.9 percent since 2000. Private workers averaged $61,051, up just 8.8 percent during the same time.

Even when factoring out education and experience (federal workers have more of each), The Heritage Foundation's James Sherk found that federal employees get paid 22 percent more per hour on average than private-sector workers. The facts get worse. Conn Carroll of Heritage's The Foundry blog cites the Wall Street Journal's findings that personal incomes fell nationally last year except in markets with heavy concentrations of federal employees, as well as a USA Today report that federal salaries average double private sector wages.

Not only that, but Heritage research shows that while private sector jobs have decreased by 6.8 percent since December 2007, federal government jobs have grown 10 percent. Government work at all levels have added 64,000 new jobs in that period while the private sector has lost 7.8 million jobs. I could go on. For example, President Obama is pushing for a 1.4 percent raise for 2 million federal workers who also qualify for seniority raises, not to mention his most recent bailout, this one for the teachers union and rising pay and benefits for local and state employees.

So, the more people suffer, the less Washington liberals know what to do. They seem to care even less. From what they see, all is good.

Virginia News Stand: May 10, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations And They Say Nothing Happens On Monday

Virginia news is pretty slack today, but we are mentioned yet again in the media, this time by Washington Jewish Week, about the state police chaplain prayer policy. People can't seem to stop writing about us. It's because we are making an impact and — to the shock of a startled elite — social conservatism is not out of favor with Americans.

Except for those here watching over the impending European implosion, the major news nationally deals with a Supreme Court nominee and one who will vote to confirm her. President Barack Obama selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan to fill the spot of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. Meanwhile, one who will vote to confirm her, U.S. Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah), didn't even qualify for his party's primary ballot, the first Tea Party scalp this year. Infiltrating a Republican nomination process may sound predictable, and cheered by liberals who think GOP divisions may stave their pending November doom, but you may be surprised at the next incumbent Tea Party scalp in the queue: Democrat Representative Allan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), a senior appropriator, who has a primary challenge from a state senator gaining traction because of Rep. Mollohan's pork barrelling ear marks and questionable ethics. 

Finally, the health care law has come up short. Already. Again! According to the AP, that guaranteed "kid" coverage (up to age 26!) has run into a snag. Government efficiency and liberal utopia at its best.

News

*Virginia prayer reversal blasted (Washington Jewish Week)

Police chaplains wary of Va. program (Washington Post)

Effort to shrink Virginia government isn't new (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell reform commission chairman pick sparks protest (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

1st District GOP candidate: Lawmakers guilty of treason (Woodbridge/Manassas News & Messenger)

McDonnell backs O'Brien in Northern Virginia Senate primary (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Saxman now a lobbyist (Staunton News Leader)

National News

Obama Nominates Kagan to Seat on Supreme Court (Wall Street Journal)

Conservatives Note Kagan’s Anti-Military Views, Lack of Judicial Experience (CNSNews.com)

Federal Reserve opens credit line to Europe (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Premiums may undermine coverage guarantee for kids (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Anti-incumbent mood challenge to veteran Democrat (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Conservatives focus on KY following Bennett defeat in Utah (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan (Ed Whelan/National Review's The Corner Blog)

The Great Disentangling Has Begun: What Bob Bennett’s Defeat Means and Does Not (Erick Erickson/RedState.com)

Commentary

Will America Follow Greece? (Star Parker/GOPUSA.com)

Arizona Law Also Happens To Be Good Politics (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Startling Admission From Senior Liberal Congressman

U.S. Representative John Conyers, (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, at a recent National Press Club luncheon, ridiculed colleagues who have called on House members to read the socialized medicine bill now before that chamber. His response is the complete arrogance one expects from liberal elites who have absolute control of the government. His remarks either mean the legislation is too complex or not worth his sworn duty to his constituents and country. The scary thing is that he surely reflects the thoughts of a majority of Congressmen. The sad thing is that this didn't merit a mention in the Mainstream Media. Thanks to the CNSNews.com for taping and breaking the story. It runs only 36 seconds:

Representative Conyers doesn't cast a vote without consulting his lawyers. If he can't understand a bill, maybe he shouldn't vote for it and maybe it's too complicated to work. He probably doesn't do his personal business this way, but for something affecting 300 million people, it's no big deal.

Virginia News Stand: May 11, 2009

The News Stand isn't the only one returning today: Looks like the missing Musketeer, Senator Creigh Deeds of Bath has finally poked his nose out in the Democrat gubernatorial primary campaign. He garners two headlines around the state today and prominent mentions elsewhere. Perhaps he's been there all along and we just didn't know it, as the Washington Post and Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star attest to the lackluster campaign thus far. But maybe Terry McAuliffe's comment on a Richmond radio station will perk things up. Dems also tell The Post they think dreariness and fatigue are what led to some Republican wins in their NoVa bastion as of late. In national news, the current governor's boss, the president, appears poised to take a page from Tim Kaine's policy book and eliminate abstinence education funding. Then there are the tales of two states and approaches to education: A California Senate committee passed what's being called "Gay Day" legislation for schools' curriculum where parents, according to one report, can't opt out their children. By contrast, Texas officials chose a prominent historian to restore basic and traditional lessons, that have slowly evaporated over the years, to its public school curriculum.  

News:

After GOP Wins, Democrats Are Worried About Fatigue (Washington Post)

Delegates urged to attend meeting (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

In the Race for Governor, a Drizzle of Ads Portends a Deluge (Washington Post)

Dems' primary appears lackluster (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Ousted GOP chairman takes aim at 'insiders' (The Daily Press

Deeds: Education, technology key (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Facing uphill battle in governor's race, Deeds still presses ahead (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McAuliffe touts green energy (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Democrat to challenge incumbent in 6th District (Roanoke Times)

National News:

Obama would ax abstinence-only funding (OneNewsNow.com)

History scholar hopes to revamp Texas curriculum (OneNewsNow.com)

'Gay Day' Bill Passes California Senate Committee (CNSNews.com)