Congress

Quote Of The Day 1-16-14

Our Quotes Of The Day don't always come from the House or Senate floor, or from committee meetings. These days, they come from tweets. Continuing in our bipartisan manner, we found this last night from Delegate Scott Surovell (D-44, Fairfax): Surovell Tweet (1)

Notice TFF's and your my own logos on, ahem, the right.

First it was the rush of NOVA Rs (Senator Dick Black and Delegate Barbara Comstock) to enter the race to win the 10th House District seat opening up due to U.S. Representative Frank Wolf's retirement. Then, yesterday, Jim Moran announced he was retiring from his 8th District seat, prompting reports that several NOVA Ds will jump into the fray. Ah, yes. The General Assembly as the farm system for Congress.

Big Labor, Big Corporations, CONGRESS: Obamacare Exemptions For Everyone But US! Five Ways Obamacare Could Impact You Immediately

The ticking time bomb known as Obamacare — complete with exploding federal deficits, obliterated state budgets and collateral damage to jobs, businesses, the economy in general and, oh yeah, the thing it was supposed to fix, your health coverage — is nigh. Perhaps no one has brought more attention to the peril than U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, our 2013 Gala Speaker on October 5 (see information about for tickets). As the clock counts down to its October implementation, and Congressional conservatives such as Senator Cruz and several stalwarts in the House of Representatives press on now that the Senate returned the government funding bill back to the House without the Obamacare defunding language — not to mention the impending decision Virginia must make as to whether to expand Medicaid under Obamacare — its impact will create some very real negative changes. Kelsey Harris at The Heritage Foundation's The Foundry Blog lists five:

1. Will young adults, whose premiums will skyrocket, ever go to a doctor if it's cheaper to pay the tax than to buy insurance?

The absolute insanity of this never ceases to amaze me: Make it so expensive for young people to buy insurance, but then offer them a taxpayer subsidy to enter the Obamacare exchange. This saves money how? It gets even more expensive if a person who is driven out of his or her insurance seeks medical attention at an emergency room, the exact scenario the leftist authors of the law say they're trying to prevent.

2. When will people have time to find a new doctor?

Despite promises by the president, people will not be able to keep their doctors.

3. Premiums for young families will rise dramatically.

Rising costs will make it more difficult to buy necessary supplies for children.

4. Lost jobs or reduced hours and revoked coverage.

Because of the costs to employers, many companies are reducing full-time jobs to part-time jobs or laying off people because enormous and burdensome regulations on businesses that employ a certain threshold of full-time workers. Additionally, it has forced many to cease offering insurance plans that cover spouses. Since, even today, that means cutting off the wife form the insurance plan, one might conclude that this is a real War on Women.

5.  Another striker against women, especially single moms.

Since moms typically have custody of children in broken marriages, who will provide health insurance for the children when and if the mom is laid off?

Don't believe the lost jobs argument? Think it's hyperbole and a scare tactic? You don't have to wait until Obamacare is in full force. It's been happening for sometime now, as Rusty Weiss documents here at the FreedomWorks Blog. Here's a list of only some companies that have, or will lay off employees or eliminate jobs:

1. Welch Allyn: 275 employees this year and planned on dropping roughly 10 percent of its workforce over the next three years.

2. Orlando Health: 400 jobs.

3. Stryker: 1,000 jobs.

4. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center: 950 jobs.

5. Boston Scientific: Between 1,200 and 1,400 jobs in 2011; up to 1,000 employees this year.

6. Smith & Nephew: 100 employees.

7. A Blue Cross/Blue Shield: 100 employees.

8. Medtronic: 1,000 jobs by the end of the fourth quarter.

9. Reading Hospital: 391 jobs.

10. Abbott Laboratories: 1,900 jobs.

All cited specific new regulations and/or new taxes in Obamacare that have made it untenable for them to maintain their present staffing levels. In the meantime, big corporations, big labor and  Congress all have received Obamacare exemptions granted by . . . Congress itself and President Obama! Everyone but the average American citizen. In a few short days we'll know it and feel it for sure.

Photo

Everyone but us! (H/T FreedomWorks via Doc Thompson)

Inside The Tax Increase Numbers: The Laundry List Of What Will Be Taxed And By How Much

Here's the list of what will be taxed and by how much in the proposed "transportation tax increase" now before both chambers of the General Assembly. Not angry yet? Read on:

» A 3.5  percent wholesale sales tax paid by distributors would replace the current 17.5 cents per gallon flat tax on gasoline. The new tax, though, will be passed on to consumers, along with a 6 percent wholesale sales tax on diesel fuel.

» The 5 percent retail sales and use tax paid statewide on most purchases will increase to 6 percent in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, and to 5.3 percent in the rest of the state.

» A $100 annual fee will be levied on alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrids.

» The sales tax on the purchase of cars (new or used) will increase from 3 percent to 4 percent.

» In Northern Virginia, the tax on house sales will increase by 40 cents per hundred dollars. That's an extra $1,600 on the sale of a $400,000 home.

» Also in Northern Virginia, the occupancy tax for hotels will increase 2 percent.

» If Congress passes the Marketplace Equity Act (which requires online businesses to collect sales taxes) the proceeds will be distributed as follows: 55.55 percent for schools; 22.2 percent for local governments with no restrictions; and 22.2 percent for roads and transit.

» If Congress does not pass the Internet sales tax collections act, an additional 1.6  percent tax will be added to the wholesale gas tax.

» There is no guarantee that these new revenues will be spent entirely on transportation since the Senate, twice this session (including today) defeated a proposed constitutional amendment to lock away transportation funds from general fund spending. The Senate has defeated this needed reform for years.

» There is no guarantee that the General Assembly or a future governor won't come back for more tax increases.

» All of these tax increases are on top of the newly increased "fiscal cliff" tax increases by Congress and President Obama and pending local tax increases many Virginia jurisdictions are looking into, such as meals and property tax increases.

If all this isn't enough, there has not been a good faith effort to cut spending in other areas and reapportion it to transportation. Now are you angry?

Please immediately contact your Delegate (click here) and your Senator (click here) and urge them to vote against this massive tax hike scheme!

ObamaCare Explained

A joke going around the Internet is more accurate than most highbrow, elitist, know-better-than-the-rest-of-us explanations, rationalizations and politicalizations of the (twice unconstitutionally-ruled) government takeover of healthcare:

Let's get this straight . . .

We're going to be "gifted" with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't, which purportedly covers at least ten million more people without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, rammed through by a Speaker who didn't know what was in it, passed by a Congress that didn't read it but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury secretary who didn't pay his taxes, for which we'll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke! What the heck could possibly go wrong?

You have to admit . . . it's a lot clearer than those charts the Obama administration and Congressional libs rolled out to explain it.

 

Selective Justice From President Obama And His Justice Department

Last week, President Barack Obama directed the U.S. Department of Justice to relinquish defending the Defense of Marriage Act, a law passed by Congress in 1996 defining marriage as between one man and one woman.  The positive I find in this announcement is that finally the Obama administration is being honest about its hostility toward DOMA — no more halfhearted statements. The negatives, however, are overwhelming.   As I told the Richmond Times-Dispatch last week, the president is responsible for defending the laws duly enacted by Congress. It's disappointing that President Obama would unilaterally make a decision to abdicate that duty. The job of the executive branch is to enforce and defend the nation's laws, not to selectively pick and choose. Thirty-one states have marriage amendments on the books defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Clearly, voters believe that the content of DOMA is a reasonable measure. This administration has been clear on its position on homosexual rights, but they stand outside the majority of Americans.   President Obama's directive could have far reaching consequences. This decision could potentially impact every yet-to-be-decided case related to marriage (including California's Proposition 8 appeal). Essentially, the fully compensated defense attorney is failing to show up for his defendant's court date, an action where the judge would sanction the attorney. In what other area of the law would this be tolerated?    With the president ordering the Justice Department to abandon its duties, the only course of action to defend DOMA is for Congress to intervene. According to Politico, House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican majority on Friday will announce a course of legal action to defend DOMA, perhaps directing the House's legal counsel to defend DOMA in court. (On a side note, this situation perfectly illustrates the importance of elections. Had Nancy Pelosi retained her position as House Speaker, it is highly unlikely that she would even consider defending DOMA in the Justice Department's stead and the fate of marriage would be doomed.)   A breakdown of DOMA ties to a breakdown of American families. There is a litany of statistics showing that a one-man, one-woman marriage is the best institution in which to raise children and to lower the potential for poverty, illiteracy and crime. Even if the president refuses to order the defense of the laws of the land, we must continue to push for the defense of a law that is good for our families, our churches and our communities.

Major Tax And Spending Reform Once Dead, Now Alive And We Need Your Help!

Last Tuesday afternoon, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee appeared to send a major reform to oblivion without having to go on record: Although it had jurisdiction of HJ 615, a proposed constitutional amendment to prevent tax increases from appearing in the budget bill, it decided instead to refer it to the Finance Committee. Such referrals this late in session normally are a quiet way of killing a bill without having to vote to do so. Furthermore, it was done without the notification of the resolution's patron, also a normal telltale sign of no good. However, today, the Finance Committee announced it would, in fact, hear the resolution Monday afternoon! There is no time to lose. Please contact members of the Finance Committee to vote for this resolution that will bring much needed reform to Virginia's budgeting process, slow down tax and fee increases, and bring some transparency to the way our lawmakers raise and spend our hard earned tax dollars. We need you to contact members of the committee, urgently, and encourage a vote for HJ 615!

HJ 615, patroned by Delegates Bill Janis (R-56, Henrico) and Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas), will safeguard your tax dollars by banning tax and fee increases, as well as banning the termination of tax credits, in the budget bill. The budget bill is supposed to be a spending bill only. But in recent years, governors and legislators of both parties have stuck tax and fee increases in it (such as when Mark Warner pushed through his infamous tax increase). The budget bill, which contains more than $70 billion, is given to lawmakers on the last day of session and they only have a few hours to digest it. It is nearly impossible to identify tax increases of any type.

HJ 615 would subject the budget to the Single Object Rule, which prohibits non-germane amendments to bills, a rule all other legislation must live by in the General Assembly (unlike Congress where members attach pet projects to must-pass bills, such as funding military personnel). Unfortunately, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled that the budget bill, which takes precedence over all other laws once enacted, is not subject to the SRO.

This resolution passed the House 80-15. It even passed a Senate P&E sub-committee 5-1 before the full committee sent it to Finance. So there is widespread support for it, but that doesn't always translate into victory when a few people hold the fate of legislation in their hands. Let's not let this second chance go to waste.

If the General Assembly needs more revenue to fund its projects and programs, it should have the courage to propose and vote on ending tax credits and increasing taxes and fees separately, up or down, on the record. Increases in our tax burden should not buried in a must-pass budget with deadline pressure to approve so that state government can continue to function. But with transparent, separate tax increase bills and up-and-down on-the-record votes, we doubt lawmakers will be in any hurry to raise our taxes. So, this not only is a reform of the budget process that adds transparency, it's a step toward reducing the size of government.

Click here for links to contact information for Senate Finance Committee members.

Federal Judge In Florida: Obamacare Unconstitutional

Today, a second federal judge in as many months ruled Obamacare unconstitutional (see Avik Roy at The Apothecary blog at Forbes.com). That's two lawsuits involving 27 states against the federal government's healthcare takeover and two rulings that it is unconsitutional. Perhaps the most devastating aspect of Judge Roger Vinson's decision is that he ruled the entire law is unconstitutional because the offending portion — the individual mandate that forces Americans, for the first time in history, to buy a product — is not severable. In other words, when the law was drafted, in its legislative sloppiness, the U.S. Senate did not include a clause that declared if any part of it was ruled unconstitutional, the remainder of the law remained in effect. Even Judge Henry Hudson, of the Eastern District of Virginia, who was the first judge to rule Obamacare unconstitutional, refused to go that far. But Judge Vinson did not enjoin the law (see 21StateLawSuit.com), either.

Much like Judge Hudson's opinion, however, Judge Vinson said the law goes well beyond the limits of the Commerce Clause and any High Court precedent. He wrote:

The individual mandate exceeds Congress’ commerce power, as it is understood, defined, and applied in the existing Supreme Court case law.

Here is Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's reaction: 

I am heartened by the fact that another federal judge has found that the individual mandate forcing citizens to buy private health insurance is unconstitutional. The judge also found that the individual mandate could not be severed from the remainder of the law, so he declared the entire act invalid.

Constitutional principles have scored another victory today. Liberty has scored another victory today.

I congratulate Florida Attorney General Bondi, former Attorney General McCollum, and the attorneys general and governors who joined the Florida suit, on their victory.

Here is Governor Bob McDonnell's reaction:

Judge Vinson's ruling is yet another strike against the individual mandate specifically, and the entire federal health care law generally. For the second time in as many months, a federal judge has found that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority by mandating that citizens of this nation purchase a commercial product or else face a penalty.

Judge Henry Hudson reached a similar conclusion in his December ruling on the Commonwealth's challenge to the Act. However, Judge Vinson's decision goes one step further. The Judge also ruled that the individual mandate component is not severable from the overall Act in which it is contained, meaning that this one unconstitutional provision renders the entire bill void.

I agree with both Judge Vinson and Judge Hudson that the individual mandate is clearly unconstitutional. However, this matter is far from settled. Today's decision adds to the growing uncertainty surrounding federal health care reform. That uncertainty is leaving states, businesses and individuals unable to properly plan for 2014 and the scheduled implementation of this new law.

For this reason I reiterate my request that the Department of Justice join with the states to request fast tracking the challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to the Supreme Court of the United States, where the final decision regarding its constitutionality will ultimately be determined. All parties involved, no matter where they stand on this measure, should support moving this issue to its final stage, and bringing finality to a complicated matter that will have an impact on every state, employer and citizen of this nation.

General Assembly Issue Three: Restoring The Balance Of Power

This is the third in a series about key issues facing this year’s General Assembly. Issue One, Life Defined And Protected, was posted Tuesday and Issue Two, Eliminate ObamaCare Induced Abortion Funding In Virginia, was posted yesterday.

It's the word of the day — federalism. Few Americans have any idea what it actually means or know its historical origins, but with the massive expansion of the federal government since the election of President Obama, more people are learning. From the government take over of health care, student loans and auto companies, to bailouts of banks, AIG and Fannie Mac and Freddie Mae, we have seen an unprecedented expansion of federal power.

Essentially, federalism means that the federal government will do what it is constitutionally empowered to do, and the states will take care of their own business. It has long been forgotten that the federal government exists at the mercy of the states or, as per the constitution, "to the people" — not the other way around. The government was meant to be our servant (thus the term "public service"), but now Washington has become the master, controlling aspects of life and the economy once thought preposterous, and demanding us to feed it with ever more of our heard earned money and compliance with its controls on our liberty.

But as the federal government explodes in size and power, some efforts are being undertaken to attempt to restore at least some balance of power (see Pat McSweeney's Richmond Times-Dispatch op-ed). The recent elections are evidence that while Americans may not be entirely familiar with federalism, they support it.

In Virginia, an effort to restore federalism is being led by House Speaker Bill Howell (R-28, Fredericksburg) through a repeal amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The repeal amendment would simply allow for any federal law — ObamaCare, for example — to be repealed if two-thirds of the states agree on the repeal. You might say it's a bill to protect "fly over country" from ideas that start in New York and California.

The Family Foundation supports this effort. We believe that there is an important role for the federal government but that its jurisdiction is limited. A repeal amendment would be a step toward restoring the intent of the constitution.

A concern is that the resolution calls for the ratification of this amendment through a constitutional convention, rather than through the congressional-state legislative ratification process. While some think a convention could have unintended consequences, any effort to do so can be limited to this issue alone. Frankly, the constitution is being misinterpreted by the courts and federal government just about every day. The repeal amendment would give states the ability to correct some of those misinterpretations.

Senators Ryan McDougle (R-4, Mechanicsville) and Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester), and Delegate Jim LeMunyon (R-67, Oak Hill) have introduced legislation (SJ 280 and HJ 542, respectively) requiring Congress to call a convention to add the repeal amendment to the constitution. At least two-thirds of the states would have to pass similar resolutions before Congress must act.

Our Founding Fathers understood the need for a system of checks and balances — both within the federal government (executive, legislative and judicial) — and between the federal government and the states that created it. The repeal amendment would be another tool that could be used to protect our freedoms and ensure that balance is restored.

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.

Stop Hating, Start Debating Part II

Yesterday, we commented on the far left Southern Poverty Law Center's aspersions on more than 150 organizations that stand for traditional marriage. Today, we share some thoughts on the subject of Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. In a letter to supporters, he wrote:

The surest sign one is losing a debate is to resort to character assassination. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a liberal fundraising machine whose tactics have been condemned by observers across the political spectrum, is doing just that.

The group, once known for combating racial bigotry, is now attacking several groups that uphold Judeo-Christian moral views, including marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

How does the SPLC attack? By labeling its opponents "hate groups." No discussion. No consideration of the issues. No engagement. No debate!

These types of slanderous tactics are not limited to a handful of Christian groups. They have been used against voters who signed petitions and voted for marriage amendments in all thirty states that have considered them, as well as against the millions of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement.

This is intolerance pure and simple. Elements of the radical Left are trying to shut down informed discussion of policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts. The SPLC has even admitted that their goal is to censor our views in the media.

We need you to stand with us. Please visit StartDebatingStopHating.com, and join with other national leaders and me in telling the radical Left it is time to stop spreading hate-charged rhetoric about individuals and organizations simply because they disagree with our ideas. Our debates can and must remain civil — but they must never be suppressed.

Remember, if they can silence pro-family organizations, they will attempt to use pressure and the power of government to target pastors and citizens like you who publicly stand for traditional principles.

This is the standard operating procedure for the Angry Left. Having nothing to offer but government control over people's lives, it demonizes anyone and any group of people who stand for traditional values, because those values are grounded in liberty and freedom which is antithetical to its aims. It's too much to ask, but if those in the Mainstream Media, who pontificate about the coarseness of our politics, didn't legitimize attack machines such as the SPLC, the political discourse in this country would improve the next day.

What is sad about the partnership of radical leftists and the MSM is that what they accuse values voters of cheapens the charge against those who actually engage in those behaviors. It's crying wolf. The fact that this partnership cares not about that reveals its sincerity in exposing true hate and harm at the expense of advancing their radical agenda.

Breaking: Virginia Wins Round One In HC Legal Challenge!

Federal District Court Judge Henry Hudson, of the Eastern District of Virginia, ruled within the last few minutes that the individual mandate provision of the new federal health care law is unconstitutional. News leaked out at noon, when Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sent a tweet that claimed:

HC ruling is in. Va won this round.

He followed that up with an e-mail about 17 minutes later:

Today, a federal judge in Richmond ruled the individual mandate of the federal health care law UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

In other words — we won!

This won't be the final round, as this will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court, but today is a critical milestone in the protection of the Constitution.

I am still fully digesting the court's ruling, so I'll get back to you again later with more details, but I wanted you to hear the good news right away.

Thank so many of you for your support to become the Attorney General of Virginia, and your support since then. Today is a day to celebrate those same first principles that our founding fathers articulated over 200 years ago.

We are proud to defend their work and the same first principles today in the 21st century.

Stay tuned — and thank you for your support.

To Judge Hudson's decision. Here are pertinent quotes from his 42 page opinion (see here):

Page 24:

Neither the Supreme Court nor any federal court of appeals has extended Commerce Clause powers to compel an individual to involuntarily enter a stream of commerce by purchasing a commodity in the private market. In doing so, enactment of the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision exceeds the Commerce Clause powers vested in Congress under Article I. ...

Page 37-38:

The absence of a constitutionally viable exercise of this enumerated power is fatal to the accompanying sanction for noncompliance. ...

A thorough survey of pertinent constitutional case law has yielded no reported decisions from any federal appellate courts extending the Commerce Clause or General Welfare Clause to encompass regulation of a person's decision not to purchase a product, notwithstanding its effect on interstate commerce or role in a global regulatory scheme. The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimal Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers (emphasis added). At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance — or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage — it's about an individual's right to choose to participate.

Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution confers upon Congress only discrete enumerated governmental powers. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states, respectively, or to the people.

On careful review, this Court must conclude that section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — specifically the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision — exceeds the constitutional boundaries of congressional power.

Judge Hudson, however, did not do two things the Commonwealth asked: He did not place an injunction on the law, stating the individual mandate won't take affect for three more years while acknowledging his decision will be appealed. However, he cited precedent stating that "declaratory judgment is the functional equivalent of an injunction," and noted the Commonwealth conceded the administration is duty-bound to honor the decision. 

He also did not invalidate the entire law, saying there were more than 400 provisions unrelated to the specific provision challenged. That, however, gives an idea as to how obnoxiously crafted the legislation was.

Left Wing Economist Guru Krugman Admits To Death Panels In Obamacare; Amanpour's Reaction Sustains His Truth!

When conservatives, such as Sarah Palin, first brought up the fact that the health care legislation in Congress at the time, and eventually passed, included death panels, the Left threw a hissy fit (see Saul Relative at Yahoo! as an example). Her statement was called, "Lie of the Year," among many other unflattering things. So, where's the Left's outrage at economist Paul Krugman?  Mr. Krugman is the leading voice in America for government intervention in the economy. Liberals revere him and has won a Nobel Prize for economics. He writes frequently in the New York Times, where he deviates from economics to thrash conservatives, adding to his prominence among the ruling class elites who think they know everything and that they must control your decisions through an increasingly larger government. We he speaks and writes, the Left — activists and those in government — take heed.

Last weekend, on ABC's This Week, Mr. Krugman went well beyond what Governor Palin said about Obamacare — and it wasn't the first time either. Not only did he adamantly claim there were death panels, he was proud of it! He said the "death panels" — his term — will save the government money (see FoxNews.com) by denying and choosing which treatments will be funded (not to mention his call for a behemoth new national sales, or "VAT," tax). So, the hyper left should be furious at Mr. Krugman. Either he let the cat out of the bag, exposing Obamacare advocates as the real liars, or, if they truly believe there are no death panels, they should impale his intelligence as they did (and still do) to Governor Palin (see Ethel Fenig at American Thinker). 

Hear it all for yourself. The first video is from last weekend. But, remarkably, without much notice, he said the same thing in the spring without much attention paid to it. But don't believe me: Check the shock on liberal host Christiane Amanpour's face in the first video. A facial expression is worth more than a 1,000 blog posts.

 Krugman: Endorse the "Death Panels!" Amanpour: Darn it Paul, you're giving it away!

 Krugman: "Death Panels" will save money and make "binding judgements" on treatment!

Historic Elections: But Why?

The results of yesterday's elections are historic in many obvious ways. Unlike 1994, Virginians participated in making that history by turning over three liberal incumbent members of the House of Representatives (see Washington Post), including a 28-year veteran previoulsy thought unbeatable, someone who hadn't had a competitive race in years. So we congratulate three friends of The Family Foundation who won their races yesterday and are on their way to Congress:

» Congressman-elect Morgan Griffith (Newsweek's The Gaggle blog), a 100 percent TFF voter as a member of the House of Delegates;

» Congressman-elect Robert Hurt (Danville Register & Bee), a 91 percent TFF voter as a member of the Virginia Senate; and

» Congressman-elect Scott Rigell (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot), a donor to our organization.

In the 11th district, liberal incumbent Gerry Connolly has a narrow lead over conservative challenger Keith Fimian, a vote likely to be recounted (Wall Street Journal Washington Wire blog). Pending that outcome, eight of Virginia's 11 Representatives are Republican. We were pleased to participate in the voter education and get-out-the-vote efforts in these districts. Some of you may have received our GOTV phone calls over the weekend.

In some ways, though, the elections went beyond politics. While the national and state media focus on Congressional outcomes, something happened a bit below the surface that is even more historic — and perhaps longer term.

For example, at least 19 state legislative bodies, including those in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina and Ohio flipped partisan control to Republicans (John Hood at National Review's The Corner blog and Ryan Beckwith at CQ Politics' The Eye blog). In fact, the North Carolina Legislature is Republican for the first time since 1870. The Alabama legislature is Republican for the first time since 1876.

I don't tell you that to trumpet Republicans, but because our sister family policy council organizations inform us that many of those elected yesterday support pro-family policies. These organizations ran campaigns similar to our Winning Matters 2009 program and saw pro-life, pro-family candidates win across the board. More important than simply electing people of one particular party, citizens in these states elected pro-family conservatives.

Possibly more telling, voters in Iowa defeated three Supreme Court judges instrumental in imposing homosexual marriage on that state against the will of the people via judicial fiat (New York Times). It is the first time since judges have been on the ballot in Iowa (1962) that they have been defeated on Election Day. Once again, when the issue of marriage is put to the people, traditional marriage wins.

Now, the question is, will the message sent by the voters yesterday carry over into next year's crucial Virginia Senate elections? Will party leaders get the message that motivates voters and give us candidates that are unapologetically pro-life and pro-family? Will Virginia follow the lead of other states that brought wholesale change to their legislatures? Will party leaders endorse incumbents for the sake of "party unity" or listen to the voters? Time will tell if they truly got the message.

We're All Socialists Now Part 2: Video Of Perriello Supporters Proclaiming "Socialism Is Cool!"

Earlier this month there was a "social justice" rally at the Mall in Washington, D.C., meant to counter the Glenn Beck rally in August. (The attendance wasn't within a fraction of the Beck event and yet the attendees thoroughly trashed and littered the Mall, whereas, by all news accounts, the conservative event left nary a hot dog wrapper.) While that comparison chewed up minutes on talk radio, space on Web sites and column inches in newspapers, the most important revelation to come out of the second event was the makeup of the crowd. It was populated by proud socialists and communists. We posted the shocking video from that rally (click here), complete with signs and shirts bearing  socialist slogans, book stands selling communist classics and groups chanting extremist sentiments. No attempt was made to hide their true philosophy and intentions for America.

While a bunch of radicals descending on D.C. may seem pretty far removed from what we must contend with in Virginia, that extremism is closer to home than one might suspect. Sure, we know there are very deep pockets of blue in Virginia, but this hard core? This radically left wing?  

Yes, and it is shocking! Just as with the D.C. march, Americans For Prosperity showed up at the Obama-Perriello rally Friday in Charlottesville(as well as the counter rally) and politely attempted to hand out, for free, the organization's "Socialism Isn't Cool" bumper stickers. As Virginia AFP Director Ben Marchi tells a Perriello supporter in the video below, even the president says he isn't a socialist. But the contentious radicals proudly proclaim socialism (and Perrielloism and Obamaism)! 

Okay, maybe it isn't that shocking that they're socialists. However, their blatant nature and the guy wearing the hammer and sickle is a bit over the top. Who you calling socialist? Why, they're calling themselves that — and dumbfounded as to why Americans reject them. As for the candidate these people support for Congress — Mr. Perriello — remember the adage about the friends one keeps when judging the person in question.

As with the original video, this speaks for itself:

To Perriello supporters, socialism is VERY COOL, indeed!

More Traffic Problems For Perriello?

An e-mail I read today from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about the Tom Perriello-Robert Hurt race in Virginia's 5th Congressional district, said that "Tom never met a red light he didn't like." I figured it was a reference to his illegal lane change last week in which he sideswiped another vehicle sending one woman to the hospital with minor injuries. But the e-mail included an article from Roll Call's John McArdle which began:

Besides nearly hitting a deer on the road outside Rocky Mount, running a red light in Martinsville and Republican trackers tailing him in Danville and South Boston. ...

The chamber even made a game of it, including Mr. Perriello on its Where Is Nancy? locater/blog. Here is, in part, what Chamber senior vice president for Political Affairs Bill Miller wrote:

Have you seen Nancy? She may be riding around with Congressman Perriello. After standing with Nancy on trillions of dollars in government spending, you’d think she’d show up for her tax and spend pal, Tom Perriello. He’s been spotted driving all over Virginia trying to reinvent himself and run away from his near lockstep voting record with Nancy Pelosi.

Tom never met a red light he didn’t fly through in Congress, voting with Nancy Pelosi on government run health care, cap and trade and the reckless budget. So if you see Tom, tell him to stop. Virginia cannot afford his reckless policies.

So, apparently, Rep. Perriello ran a red light in Martinsville, but that's the extent of what we could find. The Roll Call article mentioned nothing more of it and no other media seems to have picked up on it. The question is, how did Roll Call learn of it? Did Mr. McArdle witness it? Was it leaked to him? Did the police stop Mr. Perriello? Some might say Mr. Perriello stopped himself with his left wing voting record the last two years.

Super(congress)man Bobby Scott

We all hear politicians talk themselves up, about how they got this bill passed and that amendment added, yada, yada, yada. But at last night's Crusade For Voters candidate forum in Richmond, Congressman Bobby Scott, the Democrat who represents the 3rd district broke new ground. Responding to his Republican opponent Chuck Smith, he touted his credentials as the best friend children ever had in Congress and claimed that he got legislation into the health care bill that protected children. Now, that's very interesting . . . the bill was crafted entirely in the Senate. So, unless Mr. Scott inconspicuously swapped jobs with Mark Warner or Jim Webb, it's inconceivable that he drafted one dotted "i" of the health care bill. Mr. Scott must be a new breed of legislator: Supercongressman, able to leap either chamber in a single bound.

Bolling Op-Ed Offers Ideas On Economy To President Obama

In Sunday's Roanoke Times, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling offered up an op-ed with some basic, sound ideas for improving the economy to President Obama in what amounted to an open letter. He provided seven suggestions to the president's economic team, but the likelihood of the administration adhering to any of them is slight at best. After all, not only is this the most ideologically left-wing rooted president in history . . . but he doesn't have an ecomomic team. They've all resigned (Business & Media Institute). Just in case someone remained behind, the White House should take heed from someone who, in his role of Chief Jobs Creation Officer, meets with people every day who create jobs, not theoriticians who have worked in government their entire lives. The country is overtaxed, over regulated and feels the weight of the behemoth government suffocating the life out of our economic system.

Among the ideas offered by the LG are to extend all of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and provide additional tax relief, reign in the job-killing EPA and relax restrictive regulations preventing banks from lending money to businesses for expansion. He also advocates repealing "those portions of the federal health care bill that impose massive mandates, fines and penalties on businesses." That may be almost all of the new law, but he should have stated simply that it should be repealed in its entirety.

Lastly, Mr. Bolling wisely suggests a reduction of federal spending by at least  five percent per year until it reaches 2006 levels. A good start, and better than the House Republicans' "Pledge To America" which plans to bring  spending down to the 2008 level. But the federal budget was in the $2.5 trillion range even in 2006. There is much more fat to be cut.

If Republicans do succeed in winning control of either or both chambers of Congress, it's first test will be to prove their seriousness in significantly reducing the size and scope of governement and to provide a glide path down to solvency.

Alert: Voter Registration Deadline Is Tuesday!

This Tuesday, October 12, is the last day to register to vote for the upcoming November 2 midterm Congressional elections (Virginia also has a couple of constitutional amendments on the ballot). If you have recently moved, have never registered to vote, or have friends, family or fellow church goers who are not registered, please don't miss or let them miss this important deadline. This year's mid-term elections are extremely important. Voters will be asked to decide if they want to continue Congress' big-spending, freedom-limiting agenda or if they want a Congress that will limit the out-of-control spending and promote our shared values. Don't take your civic responsibility lightly. We have been given and awesome privilege and responsibility as citizens to select those who make our laws and govern our nation. We believe the Lord will hold us accountable for how we steward the gift of republican democracy. Virginia has several competitive races this year and your vote can make a difference.

If this is your first time registering to vote in Virginia, you will need to bring a proof of residency and a picture I.D. If you know others who have recently moved or recently turned 18, please remind them to register to vote by Tuesday also. Then, once you and your family and friends are registered, make sure to go out and vote on November 2.

Even Bill Didn't Read The Bill

Never before this year has the Congress passed such a mammoth intervention in the marketplace, such as the infamous health care bill, with so many outstanding questions. The reason for the unanswered — and unknowable — is, of course, that very few members read it. Remember madam speaker's clownish remark? "We have to pass the bill so we can know what's in it." That boomerang has come back to bite Bill Clinton as well. A vociferous proponent of the bill because of the Utopia it would bring us, it turns out those well wishes were vacuous by the nature of his ignorance of the legislation's own mechanisms. He as much admitted it on Meet The Press on Sunday (see Jonah Goldberg at AEI's Enterprise Blog). When asked by host David Gregory why the public has a distaste for the bill despite Mr. Clinton's prognostication in 2009 that they would love it once it was signed into law, he responded:

Well, I was wrong about that for two reasons. First of all, the benefits of the bill are spread out over three or four years. It takes a long time to implement it. And secondly, there was — there’s been an enormous and highly effective attack on it.

Hmmm. He didn't know it would take several years, huh? Even I knew that. So, Bill didn't read the bill. Guess what Mr. Former President? The people you disparage as "attacking" it are doing nothing more than providing the truth of the facts; facts found in the bill, because, unlike you, they've read it and know what's in it. (In fact, the only "attacking" was by the bill's supporters who demonized opponents as, ironically, "extremists.") It wasn't popular then and it's not now precisely because people have done what you apparently did not — they read it, they understand it and they know it's not good for them or the country. That's why it's not popular. 

The only wait that has people antsy is the wait to repeal it. Only then, there will be true joy.

Alert: Senate Votes Tuesday To Turn Military Bases Into Abortion Centers, Allow Open Homosexuals

FRC Action President Tony Perkins just sent out an urgent appeal on legislation before Congress that is a high priority on the homosexual lobby's agenda: Ending the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy and allowing open homosexuals into the U.S. Armed Forces. But it's worse than that. there's a major payback to the abortion lobby as well. In what is supposed to be a Defense Department authorization bill, the leadership of the most left wing Congress ever also have included language that would make American military medical centers, both domestic and overseas, full-service abortion centers — Planned Parenthood on steroids. If this is what the American public so desperately desires, why won't the leadership put these measures in stand alone legislation for an up or down vote? Why, instead, is it attempting to hijack the authorization process for our military during a time of war? As Tony requests, we hope you call our senators, Mark Warner and Jim Webb at (202) 224-3121, as soon as possible and ask them to oppose this bill. The vote is Tuesday.

Here's Tony's take:

With the economy still in the doldrums, and a massive job-killing tax increase scheduled for January looming over our heads, you would think that legislation to help average Americans find jobs in the private sector would be the top priority for the Democratic leadership in Congress. If you thought that, you would be wrong.

This Tuesday the Senate will vote on a bill that would overturn the 1993 law which codified the military's longstanding prohibition of homosexual conduct in the ranks. The language that would force open homosexuality upon the military is found in the defense authorization bill — along with another anti-family provision that would turn U.S. military medical facilities here and around the globe into abortion centers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has arranged it so that pro-family senators do not have an opportunity to offer any of their own amendments to counter his political abuse of our military. This means the only way to stop this monstrosity is to vote against proceeding to the bill.

This bill is not necessary to fund our military — an appropriations bill does that.

Senators should reject Reid's distorted priorities by voting against advancing this bill at every step. Call your senators today at (202) 224-3121 and tell them to stop using the military to impose this administration's radical homosexual agenda.

Thank you for taking action today and God bless you.