Media

The Moral Superiority Of Capitalism: Daniel Hannan Debunks The "Occupy" Movement

Hearing about Margaret Thatcher's passing this morning got me thinking about this era's great British leader, Daniel Hannan, who is a Conservative Party Member to the European Parliament. I haven't heard much from him lately. You may remember how he burst on the international scene almost exactly four years ago with this dramatic and exquisite dressing down of then British Prime Minister Gordon Brown over his socialist policies that nearly bankrupted the UK. The video went viral and inspired conservatives the world over. Hannan became an instant hero and frequent guest on American media outlets and had a successful book tour here. As it turns out, MEP Hannan is as active as ever, and last January took on American socialist Cornell West at the Oxford Union in a debate about capitalism and the so-called "occupy" movement (see Anne Sorock at legalinsurrection.com.). Actually, it's difficult to call something a movement that can't even find where it's going; Apparently, the protesters in London got lost on the way to the London Stock Exchange. Hannan was his usual, refreshing self: humorous, direct, minced no words while using apt and timeless parables, and spoke with a passionate combination of commonsense and detail. In short, he outlines the moral superiority of capitalism while debunking the prevailing notions in the media, pop culture and academia that somehow socialism is "fair."

Much like the Florida legislators who couldn't believe they had to ask a Planned Parenthood lobbyist such a rudimentary moral question concerning saving a life, Hannan finds it absurd that capitalism's ability to provide the greatest measure of prosperity to the greatest number of people is in dispute, as well as the incredulous notion that the bank bailouts the "occupy" movement protested were capitalist measures! In fact, the left, in its critique of the bailouts, was criticizing its own practice of state intervention — but, as is its tactic, ascribed the failed policy to its free market opponents for political gain.

Daniel Hannan: The thinker and orator of our times, eloquently debunking the so-called "occupy" movement.

The one aspect of free market capitalism that inexplicably escapes its advocacy by conservatives is its moral superiority to any other economic system. This is perhaps the single most important facet in educating people about capitalism. It's inherent freedom, instinctive provisions for every need, and ability to foster the innovation that enriches not only the inventor, but the user as well, is unparalleled. Daniel Hannan may be one of the few prominent voices currently extolling these virtues internationally (and we need many more). But its is one strong, powerful and effective voice at that . . . unparalleled in its own way.

Us, Them & The Media

Us . . .

One thousand pro-lifers . . . 

Them . . .

. . . about 18  pro-abortion supporters (plus a bullhorn).

Yet, the media took the 18 just as serious as the 1,000 and gave the them equal coverage, if not more. In fact, the Richmond Times-Dispatch ran only one picture — one of the protesters similar to the one above, giving the impression that there was only one event, or that the tiny event was larger than the huge event. No matter how obvious the evidence is to the contrary, nothing will ever persuade these "objective" journalists into reporting anything that will even remotely conflict with its abortion-on-demand-is-the-majority narrative — no matter how big and large the facts and evidence are, even when it's 1,000 people standing in their midst.

To sample the coverage, check out today's News Clips. Meanwhile, let us know what you thought of the rally and the media's coverage. (See still more coverage here.)

Media Seeks TFF's Opinion On President Obama's Political Coming-Out-Of-The-Closet

The unintended consequences of President Obama's coming out of the political closet to tell everyone what we already knew — that he supports homosexual marriage — we're in the news! Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb was interviewed by WRIC-TV (see below or click here), the Richmond Times-Dispatch (click here) and the Washington Post/AP (click here) about the president's declaration and its impact on the dynamics of the presidential campaign in Virginia, seen as a key swing/battleground state in this November's election, and WWBT-TV ran a statement TFF issued on its 11:00 newscast (click here). It reads:

President Obama is busy pandering to his dwindling base in an election year. It's the sign of a desperate candidate.

In the WRIC report, Delegate Joe Morrissey (D-74, Henrico), just can't contain his glee. He hasn't smiled so broadly or been this giddy since his law license was restored last week. Offering different perspectives are Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas) and Victoria.

But if President Obama is being so courageous, as some on the left in these (and other) media reports are saying, why didn't he come out before the North Carolina vote Tuesday, where Tar Heels passed its Marriage Amendment by a 61-39 margin. (It also bans civil unions.) After all, he won North Carolina in 2008 and the Democrats will have their convention in Charlotte. Leading from behind, once again. Never was a man so brave where risk was so unapparent. No wonder he's so loved.

Also interviewed on WRIC is Governor Bob McDonnell, who has an interesting take. While he is continues to be for traditional marriage and supportive of Virginia's Marriage Amendment, he agreed with the president in one respect. He said marriage should be a state issue, not a federal one. Hmmm. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney thinks there should be a federal Marriage Amendment. Does this affect his Veepstakes candidacy?

Ahhhh. Good to see Delegate Joe Morrissey smile again. He didn't have much reason to during the General Assembly this winter.

Watch Breitbart, Bachmann, Cain, Pawlenty, Conservative Stars Live Online Starting Tomorrow At RightOnline!

The rapid change in the shape of the media is one of the exciting aspects of politics and policy today. No longer must conservative candidates, office holders, public policy organizations, think tanks, interest groups and issues advocates rely on traditional media to report on them and their message. Not that the mainstream media would cover conservative campaigns, officials and organizations fairly anyway. On the other hand, conservatives for years were overrun by the Left in effectively utilizing the Internet. Neither new or old media, one by choice and one by default, was kind to conservatives. Much of that is changing. Conservatives are getting better and better at using new, digital means of communicating and shaping stories, issues and campaigns, and in reaching voters directly. They have equalized the game. One of the reasons for that is the annual RightOnline Conference sponsored by our friends at Americans for Prosperity. Every year it brings together conservative bloggers, online commentators, social media junkies and the like, to learn more about the new media and technology, network with each other and make news themselves. The next RightOnline Conference is this weekend in Minneapolis and while not everyone can go (1,300 are expected), everyone can watch and participate.

Among those who will address attendees are conservative author and new media magnate Andrew Breitbart (making his first national speech since he broke the Anthony Weiner scandal) and presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Tim Pawlenty. You can see them and many other prominent conservative leaders by logging on to RightOnline.com starting at 10:30 Friday morning. (Click here to see live video stream schedule.)

But not only will you get to see and hear a number of the new wave of conservative leaders speak to important issues, broach new ideas and advance conservative principles, RightOnline.com will provide the opportunity to talk with fellow activists through its interactive chat feature. It all kicks off at 2:00 p.m. Friday, with featured speakers Congressman John Kline, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, and Ann McElhinney. We hope you take some time to log-on and experience the new media. There's nothing mainstream about it.

Ethics In The Lab: Family Foundation Releases New Policy Paper

Stem cell research has been at the center of one of the hottest debates in the 21st century where science and ethics have clashed. Additionally, many lab procedures flirt with the bounds of ethics and morality — cloning, genetic engineering, in vitro fertilization, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis to name just a few. Some scientists see new lab procedures as holding the answer to many of medicine's most difficult challenges. They see a future with the ability to clone, cure the most noxious of diseases — perhaps, even, the ability to achieve genetic perfection. But such a utopian vision dismisses the spiritual side of the equation, overriding it with the "absolutes" of science. This vision ignores the moral and ethical questions surrounding medical research:

What are the potential human costs of these so-called "advances in medicine and technology?"

Are some humans "disposable" if their destruction leads to medical advances?

As science moves into uncharted territory, Americans are caught between the hope it provides and the quickly fading morals that guard against sacrificing human life. Responding to these challenges, The Family Foundation has produced, Do No Harm: Ethics in the Laboratory, a new policy paper. In this paper, we address the oft-asked questions of

When does life begin?

Is embryonic stem cell research ethical?

Is in vitro fertilization a choice that respects life?

I encourage you to read Do No Harm as I believe you will find it instructive and enlightening. Click here to read the report in its entirety.

The Family Foundation has worked with pro-life allies for several years to educate the public and legislators on this important topic. We have successfully amended legislation that attempted to funnel your tax dollars into unethical research to ensure that Virginians are not forced to subsidize these questionable programs. There is still work to be done and too many politicians in Richmond are willing to waste our money on unethical and unproductive research. Our hope is that this paper will provide information to citizens, the media and elected officials they may not otherwise know.

To help us continue to produce research that produces policy papers such as Do No Harm and our previous papers, and to help us disseminate it to legislators, policy makers and the media, click here.

When Talk Isn't Cheap: LI Campaign Communications Workshops Valuable Tool In Messaging

A lot of conservatives these days talk a lot about our country's problems and what to do about it. It always comes down to electing winning the battle of ideas by framing the issues and educating the electorate so we can elect the right people and/or getting the people already in to feel the heat. But talk is . . . well . . . you know what they say. But it doesn't have to be. Our friends at Arlington-based The Leadership Institute, the leader in training conservatives for careers and activism in campaigns, grassroots organizations, think tanks and public policy organizations (such as The Family Foundation), government, journalism, media (new and old) and all things politics and public policy, has two more Campaign Communication Workshops scheduled in Virginia this summer (yes, summer lasts through September 21). It had such a great turnout of Family Foundation supporters  its last field school in August in Arlington, that it has a special offer for Family Foundation supporters who attend either of the next two: In Virginia Beach on September 11 and in Radford on September 18

Here's who should attend and what they will learn at these workshops:

» How to communicate your values and ideas with the public while connecting on a personal level with individual voters. You will learn how to develop and deliver a compelling positive message and how to handle negative information as well.

» Ideal attendees for these Campaign Communications Workshops are volunteers, community activists, elected or party officials, current or future candidates, and campaign managers.

» This half-day session includes the following lectures:

• Presenting a Compelling Message

• Direct Voter Contact — Door-to-Door

• Handling Negative Information

» As a bonus, the Radford Workshop will offer additional sessions on Phone Operations and Getting YOUR Vote Out for those attendees who may want a full day of training — at no additional charge.

The workshop instructors are experienced campaign professionals, and among the faculty is Morton Blackwell, one fo the founders of America's conservative movement (he was the youngest Goldwater delegate at the 1964 Republican National Convention), as well as the founder and president of the Leadership Institute (read more about his legendary career).

Registration for the workshops is $20.00 and includes a light continental breakfast. (Early registration is only $10.00.) To register online, visit www.LeadershipInstitute.org. For further information, contact Christopher Doss at CDoss@LIMail.us or (703) 247-2000.

Now, for that Special Offer to Family Foundation members and supporters. Talk doesn't have to be cheap and it won't once you learn the valuable tools, tactics and skills LI's pros will impart to you in the workshops. But the cost can be, if not cheap, let's say, less expensive: Use the promo code "liberty"when registering online or when calling or e-mailing. The Leadership Institute will be happy to give you a discount and a very worthwhile session in campaign communications that you will be able to use effectively for a lifetime.

Newly Released Family Foundation 2010 General Assembly Report Available Online

Each year, The Family Foundation compiles a General Assembly report — essentially a storybook retelling of the past session along with Family Foundation commentary and insider information, based on the hard work of our lobbyists and the insights they gained through legislative interaction and contacts. Now, fresh off the press, is our 2010 report, entitled Expect The Unexpected. We hope you take the opportunity to read this uniquely  insightful, thorough and well put together review of this year's legislative session. It is available for you to read by clicking here. In addition, this year's report has an exciting new feature: When you click on certain pictures, you will be redirected to our YouTube channel where you can view video of the corresponding committee hearings, Family Foundation television interviews, candidate campaign promises, and more. This report, in combination with related videos, will give you a insider's look at what happened this past session so that you can better understand what effect it will have on you and pro-family citizens of Virginia. Combined, the print and video provides an interactive and in-depth coverage and review of session unlike any public policy organization in Virginia.

If you like what you see, then don't forget that we compile and convey information about the General Assembly as events happen at the capitol each session, so please follow us on the social networking sites YouTube, Twitter and Facebook; and subscribe to our blog's RSS Feed as well as our e-mail alerts. Additionally, today we added to this site links to several studies and position papers we've written or commissioned in recent years, giving you full access to research and information you can use to make the case for traditional values and constitutional government in the public square. Look in the right margin for the heading Family Foundation Publications & Position Papers.

In days past, session intrigue was oblique, at best. No longer. Wait until 6:00 to see the video on the local news — or the next morning's paper? If they cover session at all, will they report on the committees and votes you care about? Even then, will it be accurate? Or fair? Will they have the level of detail and behind the scenes information we get working in the trenches, previously obscured from the public? The Internet allows us to be the media ourselves and report on the actions of our lawmakers. We now can multiply our reach and arm more people with more information, which helps advance our shared the principles that much quicker.

To order a hard copy of Expect the Unexpected, send $3.00 (cash or check) to cover printing and shipping expenses to The Family Foundation at 830 East Main Street, Suite 1201, Richmond, VA 23219 (write "2010 GA Report" in the memo line or include a note). Alternatively, you can pay online by credit card by clicking here. (Be sure to type "2010 GA Report" in the box entitled "How did you find out about The Family Foundation?") We hope you forward this link and spread the word to people interested in staying informed on the important issues confronting Virginia and the culture at large.

Virginia News Stand: May 8, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Weekend Edition

Wow! It looks like there was public prayer in Fredericksburg and the city is still standing. Amazing! Who would've thought? In other news sure to frighten liberals, the feds asked for and received more time to respond to Virginia's defense of its Health Care Freedom Act. Hmmm. Haven't all the experts said Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli doesn't have a chance? So, then, why do the G-men need more time? 

On the other hand, U.Va. snapped in line quickly, promising to turn over all documents the AG has requested in the case of former university professor Michael Mann, one of the main characters in the "Climate-gate" scandal, in which "global warming" scientists admitted they made up facts and concealed others to manipulate date and public perception — and, more importantly — public policy (i.e., job-killing taxes and cumbersome regulations). Meanwhile, Governor Bob McDonnell announced that transportation meetings now will be streamed online as well as members of a commission to recommend streamlining government. That should be news only when the recommendations, if any, are put into effect, as we've seen governor after governor put commissions in place. Nothing much ever results from them.

Nationally, Dems are worried stiff over two long-held House seats in which there are special elections this month. Many think they could be bellwethers for November.  

News

Prayers are shared with no complaints (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Online-schools firm hires former lawmaker as lobbyist (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

State has teeth but rarely bites schools suspected of cheating (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Bedford student sues after suspension over 'sexting' (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Feds given more time to respond to Virginia health care suit (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

U.Va. plans to comply with Cuccinelli subpoena (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Cuccinelli plans to propose legal changes in wake of U.Va. lacrosse killing (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell names commission to reshape, shrink government (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Gingrich to join McDonnell in Richmond to talk about health care (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

McDonnell announces transportation meetings will be streamed online (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

National News

Dems may abandon House race in Hawaii (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Dems fear losing four-decade grip on Pa. seat (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Graham prays at Pentagon, says 'Islam got a pass' (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Palin endorses Fiorina in California Senate race (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Ariz. governor rejects delay of immigration law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Lawmakers: Revoke citizenship of terrorists (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Wall Street regulations stagger ahead (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Debt-Deflation-Contagion Panic: It's a Bloody Mess (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

Leftist Turnout is what Motivates Obama (Dick Morris/GOPUSA.com)

Misperceptions and Media Bungles (Matt Towery/GOPUSA.com)

Fox Entertainment's Dung Pile (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

The Problem With the NFL (Oliver North/GOPUSA.com)

The Go-Fly List for Terrorists (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

How Dare Arizonans Try To Protect Themselves? (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Arizona: Been There, Done That (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

Governor McDonnell's Executive Directive

Late Wednesday afternoon, amidst growing tensions on college campuses, Governor Bob McDonnell issued a "Governor’s Directive," ordering those in the executive branch not to discriminate in their hiring practices (see here). His directive specifically referenced "sexual orientation." Governor McDonnell issued his directive in an apparent effort to ease the hostile atmosphere on our campuses and in the General Assembly. Four years ago, then-Attorney General McDonnell challenged Governor Tim Kaine’s executive order that added sexual orientation to the anti-discrimination policy, saying he didn’t have the authority to do so. It is still unclear exactly what legal weight, if any, a directive has, but media reports indicate that it does not have the same force of law of an executive order.

Much of the anger among college students has been generated by those who are supposed to be in authority at those schools — college presidents and administrators — who have criticized the advisory letter Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sent them last week. The letter stated that public colleges and universities with anti-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation are in conflict with state law. Instead of providing leadership, the college presidents and administrators have provoked anger and outrage with inflamed rhetoric.

A media backlash also was fed by heated and often mean-spirited rhetoric by a handful of General Assembly members, including Senator Donald McEachin (D-9, Henrico) who, in a floor speech earlier this week, referenced Governor McDonnell’s graduate school thesis, yelling on the Senate floor, "We are being governed by the thesis!" Joining in the daily diatribes were Delegate David Englin (D-45, Alexandria) and Delegate Joe Morrissey (D-74, Henrico). It was often insinuated that anyone who disagrees with adding sexual orientation to the non-discrimination policy is hateful and bigoted. But truth has been difficult to find in this debate.

In addition, some legislators made the outrageous claim that, without a non-discrimination policy that included sexual orientation, Virginia is not "business friendly" and would not be able to attract new jobs. But several publications and organizations currently recognize Virginia as the best state in America to do business without having this policy.

Nonetheless, yesterday morning, Senator Tommy Norment (R-3, Williamsburg), in a clear conflict of interest as an employee of the College of William and Mary, one of the colleges expressing outrage over the AG’s letter, amended an economic development bill introduced by the Governor with: "The Commonwealth of Virginia maintains an ecumenical atmosphere in its sexual orientation hiring policies in the private and public workforce."

Besides being a bizarre statement, it is a frightening overreach into the private workplace, which would include religious-based ministries and churches. Fortunately, on the floor of the Senate — because of the Governor’s directive — Senator Norment removed his amendment from the bill.

The Family Foundation has and continues to maintain that there is no need for special protections for homosexuals. As the issue was thoroughly debated and voted on multiple times throughout this year’s General Assembly, no evidence of discrimination was presented.

We absolutely agree with one statement in Governor McDonnell’s directive — that state employment should be based on "qualifications, merit and performance," regardless of one’s immutable or unimmutable characteristics.

Over the next several days, we will consult with experts to determine the legal ramifications of this directive, but we are concerned when the Governor’s action is being heralded as a step forward by the ACLU and the state’s largest homosexual lobby, Equality Virginia (Pilot on Politics).

In a statement, Kent Willis of the ACLU said, "We hope this is only the beginning, and that the Governor's example will inspire legislators to finally pass a law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in both private and public sector employment."

Any thought that the groups and organizations behind this effort will stop at public employment is naive. It is very clear that they want to force private businesses — including churches — to abide by their morality.

Charlie Brown, Linus, Innocence And The Meaning Of Christmas

We're not in the habit of promoting certain television programs, but it is worth noting one airing tonight on ABC at 8:00 Eastern. It's the A Charlie Brown Christmas special (see it online, here).  Last week, you may recall, President Barack Obama unceremoniously bumped the show from its original air date with the pomp of his West Point Afghanistan speech. ABC imediately re-scheduled.

The lackluster speech and indecisive policy added only slightly less to the public's displeasure of him than did the canceling of the special. That's because, despite what the media portrays and tried to convey, Americans still love traditional values and cultural institutions that portray and communicate them. It may be campy to some, who see it as a relic of a simpleton time, but countless millions, no matter how many times it has aired, sit down, many with their own children, and watch this most meaningful of shows. Especially in this era when even the innocence of cartoons has been debased and corrupted, not to mention that the word "Christmas" practically is shunned, A Charlie Brown Christmas  means a lot to most (see Ralph Couey's tribute in the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat).

In other words, people instinctively don't need modern culture's twist on what they inherently know is right, just and good. No amount of modernism (or "post-modern" culture), however sophisticated it positions itself in an attempt to make the public feel inadequate for not "progressing," can substitute for everlasting truth, or redefine what is wholesome. It is as ever present as the life sprung forth in Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree. For the Truth is out there. In this case, it's in this memorable scene:

Enduring values and the true meaning of Christmas continue to resonate in the truth that comes from innocence in this memorable television moment. In its simplicity, its message is more powerful than the one conveyed by modern culture.

Poll: What Type Of Governor Will Bob McDonnell Be?

So, the votes are cast and the election is over. Already, media pundits are talking about what it means. In today’s Washington Post, I am quoted concerning the expectations pro-family Virginians have for Governor-elect Bob McDonnell. Now it's your turn. What do you expect? Vote and leave us your thoughts.

Virginia News Stand: October 29, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  Military Shafted Again By Virginia Registrars

We lead off with another mention of The Family Foundation by a national organization (American Family Association). State and national media have paid a lot of attention to us recently for a variety of good reasons. This time, about our voter guides for the November 3 election. Additionally, our very own Victoria Cobb was interviewed by Richmond's NBC12 yesterday in response to the "Hate Crimes Bill" President Obama signed into law, but unfortunately, it has yet to post it on its Web page. (If this bill was so important, why did it have to be attached to the Defence Appropriations Bill?)

Speaking of the military, NBC12 does an excellent job reporting on 16 Virginia localities which again failed to mail on time (in violation of state law) military personnel their absentee ballots. In a sign that it's just as well it didn't post Victoria's video, the video of the absentee ballot report won't post here, but we have the link to it. This incompetence has not gone unnoticed as concerned citizens and military families rallied outside the State Board of Elections. 

Meanwhile, back on the campaign trail, it was desperate enough of Democrat attorney general candidate, Delegate Steve Shannon to call his Republican opponent, Senator Ken Cuccinelli, a racist last week because of his 10th Amendment support, but now he's a gay basher of sorts. Really, Delegate Shannon. Show some grace. If Senator Cuccinelli was all those things, why have you accepted dinner invitations at his home? 

News:

*Virginia residents to vote on Election Day — Tuesday, November 3, 2009 (AFAAction.net)

Military absentee ballots mailed late (transcript and video) (WWBT-TV/NBC12.com)

GOP headliners hopscotch Virginia for McDonnell (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Romney makes pitch for McDonnell at Virginia Beach lunch (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Giuliani stumps for McDonnell (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

McDonnell critics question ideology (Washington Post)

Deeds, McDonnell have similar blueprints for state's economy (The Daily Press)

Shannon criticizes Cuccinelli remarks on policies toward gays (Washington Post)

Cuccinelli is no libertarian (Augusta Free Press)

Democrats pour money into 6th race (Roanoke Times)  

Trible uses CNU letterhead to raise money for Hamilton (The Daily Press)

Nonprofit halts planned mailing of voting history (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Can you shame people into voting? (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

National News:

After 10-year dispute, expansion of hate crimes law to gays signed (Washington Post)

Post Poll: Who Is Bob McDonnell And Why Is He Winning?

The Washington Post poll on the statewide races is out this afternoon, showing the three Republican candidates with rather commanding leads just a few weeks before election day. I'll leave the chest pumping and panicked spinning to the campaigns. But as someone who is fascinated by the media and rather enjoys the give-and-take we have with some of our friends in the capitol press corps, the Post article really fascinates me.

There is not a single line in the entire article about why Bob McDonnell is winning. The entire article is about why Democrat Creigh Deeds is losing . . . amazing. It's like they are stunned and just can't write from the perspective of a Republican leading. The article goes so far as to include yet another quote from somebody who won't vote for McDonnell because of "the thesis." It's as if they think if they yell it a little louder people will care. Let it go. 

Anyway, I'm not one to bash the media in Virginia who follow the campaigns and the General Assembly. Honestly, I think most of them are very good journalists who have a very challenging job. Cynical, some are no doubt. Bias? Probably, at times. But overall, compared to the national media types I've dealt with, they're a good group. 

It really is too bad about the Post, though. Their reporters are incredibly smart and they do good journalism at times. But when Terry McAuliffe is calling them out for carrying water for Creigh Deeds, it's more than just sour grapes.

It's the truth.

Great Eye For The Constitution

As we've been researching the legislative voting records of Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds in preparation for media interviews, we came across something rather interesting. In 1998, then Delegate Deeds voted in favor of HB 1154, a ban on partial birth abortion. That law eventually was struck down by the courts as being unconstitutional. Then, in 2003, Senator Deeds voted against SB 1205 and HB 1541, also bans on partial birth abortion. That law was recently upheld by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

So, as a legislator, Deeds voted for a bill that was found unconstitutional and against a bill that was found constitutional. Great legal analysis by a current member of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee and someone who, should he be elected governor, will be tasked with analyzing the constitutionality of hundreds of bills that land on his desk.

Now This Is Extreme!

According to a Washington Post article today, analyzing the internal demogrpahics and responses to issues in its recent poll on the gubernatorial campaign:

More than six in 10 women ages 18 to 44 said they think abortion should be legal in all or more cases.

"In all or more cases?" How can there by "more" than "all"? Just shows how extreme some women and media have been conditioned to think — all abortion all the time!

Our Favorite Campaign

Most people might think we at The Family Foundation of Virginia, as involved in Virginia policy and politics as we are, love this time of year for its campaign season. Yes, but . . . not exactly what you might think. It's a different type of campaign that stirs our hearts. The campaign we speak of has nothing to do with politicians, ads or promises. This  campaign is called 40 Days For Life and we encourage you to take part in this wonderful, prayerful opportunity for Virginians to take a stand against abortion.

Unlike our statewide political campaigns, we're not alone. Beginning this Wednesday, September 23, and through the next 40 days ending November 1, citizens in Richmond, Alexandria, Charlottesville, Falls Church, Manassas and Roanoke will unite with more than 200 cities in 45 states for the largest simultaneous nationwide pro-life mobilization in history.

The 40 Days for Life campaign is a focused pro-life effort that has generated measurable lifesaving results in every community where it has been held. Some cities have reported as much as a 28 percent drop in local abortions and hundreds of new people joining local lifesaving ministry efforts. It is made up of three key components:

» Prayer and Fasting: inviting people of faith to join together for 40 days of fervent prayer and fasting for an end to abortion;

» Peaceful Constant Vigil: standing for life through a 40-day peaceful public witness outside a local abortion center; and

» Community Outreach: taking a positive, upbeat pro-life message to every corner of your city through media efforts, church presentations, petition drives and public visibility.

For more information about events in your area, please click on one of the following links:

Alexandria   Charlottesville   Falls Church   Manassas   Richmond   Roanoke

We encourage you to get your church involved. Volunteers are needed to take part in each aspect of 40 Days for Life. Along with prayer and fasting, people need to sign up for the vigil at a local abortion center, and for the community outreach. Please consider joining this important effort.

If you do not live in, or near, one of these localities, then think about starting a 40 Days For Life campaign where you live. For more information, visit 40 Days For Life, here.

This unique opportunity does require a commitment of time. But we truly believe that we need God’s direct intervention if we are going to renew a culture of life in America. We hope you will join thousands of citizens from across the nation and be a part of 40 Days For Life.

Forty Days For Life 

40 Days for Life

Virginia News Stand: September 16, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  An All-Star Cast

The last shall be first, right? So, today, I bring up our Commentary section first, because we have an all-star cast, with terrific insight on major issues and events in the news right now that may very well affect everything about the future of the country. The terrific Michelle Malkin looks into the ACORN abomination, where employees at offices all around the country have advocated the breaking several major laws while recorded on tape. The always on target Brent Bozell looks at the two-million person march last weekend, the largest tea party in world history. The insightful and patriotic Bobby Eberle commemorates 9/11,  while the great, and I do mean great, Walter E. Williams, says it all in one word: education. Each one is worth the read as well as RedState.com's analysis on how a pro-life Democrat will kill socialized medicine if it does not explicitly prohibit abortion coverage. 

In the gubernatorial campaign, it looks like — again, of people — the Washington Post is covering issues again. Finally. A makeup call? All else is the horse race: money and polls.  

News:

Deeds on the Defensive Over Collective Bargaining Positions (Washington Post)

Deeds, McDonnell woo lawyers and argue about taxes (The Daily Press)

New McDonnell ad accuses Deeds of misleading attack (Roanoke Times)

At Harbor Park, candidates for governor take a few whacks (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Poll: Gap between McDonnell, Deeds narrows (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell leads Deeds in cash on hand (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deeds raises more in period, but McDonnell has more cash (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Deeds outraises McDonnell (Washington Times)

Record Haul for Deeds, but McDonnell Has More in Bank (Washington Post)

November Candidates Meet And Greet At The Shenandoah County Fair (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Bell enjoys sizable lead in donations (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

National News:

Dems query Obama's view on health care for aliens (AP/GOPUSA.com)

THE INFLUENCE GAME: Health interests fund senators (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis:

Abortion is Lethal — Not Only to Babies, but also to ObamaCare  (RedState.com)

Commentary:

ACORN Watch: A 'Sting'-ing Indictment of Media Hypocricy (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Our 'Intolerance Festival' (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

Education (Walter E. Williams/GOPUSA.com)

Remembering 9/11 (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

What An Honor!

In May, we noticed that none other than Right Wing Watch, the blog of the well known national liberal organization People For The American Way, had commented about us. In fact, it was concerned about the launch of our "Winning Matters" program, which engages pastors to lead their congregations into full participation into the public square. We noted at the time that we must be doing something right if such a large, national organization and RWW were keeping their eyes on us, a lil' ol' state policy organization. So, imagine how we feel now that they've mentioned us again (see here), this time ridiculing Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., for speaking at some of our pastors events around the commonwealth. Wearing this online red badge of courage, we thought we'd report on something they really could chew on.

People For The American Way and other liberal, secular progressives believe, given recent election trends, that the death of Christianity in America is near — or at least we've been minimized to the point of a curious, but irrelevant, nuisance. It's apparent to the collective liberal institutional genius (media, academia, public education, special interest groups, unions, etc.), that many Americans finally are enlightened, no longer hold the traditional values that are the result of one's faith in God, and that the country has reached the Rubiconof a mother state with no looking back (the flipping of conservative Virginia their prize possession).

Those of us who still dare live in the Stone Age are so few in number that we can be essentially forgotten by society and left to dwell in our caves. Finally the progressives can officially progress . . .  

But maybe not. In Roanoke last week, we hosted a pastors event in connection with the Winning Matters 2009 Campaign. Approximately 40 pastors from around the region filled the room and were encouraged, equipped and empowered to continue influencing their congregations and communities on traditional values issues. (For information on other pastor events around Virginia, click here.)

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University's School of Law, reminded them of their personal and congregational rights to speak freely on the issues of the day. Rick Scarborough, of Vision America, challenged them to speak truth to their communities and leaders, as he has done for many years with great success. Family Foundation staff offered practical steps to make their churches more effective voices, including:

» Preaching a citizenship sermon; » Holding a voter registration drive; » Distributing General Assembly Report Cards; and » Distributing voter guides.

Each pastor there decided to stand up and be counted for the cause of Biblical values. They certainly didn't look dead in their passion to make a difference. Besides, even if they were, secular progressives forget that we serve a God who raises the dead. That alone, should give Right Wing Watch plenty to blog about.

Choose Life License Plates Go On Sale Tomorrow!

As mentioned in the News Stand today, bills passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Tim Kaine earlier this year now are in effect. Many generate headlines, some well out of proportion to their importance. Others are given little attention despite their worthiness. That's the media, after all, especially during the slowwww weeks of summer. However, there are three new, significant, pro-family laws we take pride in bringing to the public's attention, all of which The Family Foundation diligently supported during the General Assembly. The most visible of the three (see recap), and the one that received the most attention in the legislature (see Senate debate video), is the Choose Life license plates law. Techincally, it's a law. But, really, it's a great and much needed tool.

It allows for a portion of the proceeds of the sale of these new specialty plates to be distributed to pregnancy resource centers — and they go on sale tomorrow! The pre-sale of the Choose Life plates are by far the most popular of the six new plates created this past General Assembly.

Click here for the Choose Life Virginia Web site for more information. Click here for the DMV site where you can order your plates.

Once 1,000 Choose Life license plate registrations are received, $15 of the $25-plate-fees will be given to qualifying pregnancy resource centers, which offer medical, spiritual and physical support to women and families in crisis pregnancies. This funding is a way to provide tangible support for the mothers and fathers facing unplanned pregnancies.

The Choose Life license plates are a common sense, practical, problem-solving tool to help deal with society's most devastating problem. It should serve as an opportunity for those who support "choice" to find common ground in supporting women who choose to have their babies.

choose-life

WRVA Interview With Victoria Cobb On TFF Action General Assembly Report Card

This past Saturday, TFF Action President Victoria Cobb was a guest on Richmond radio station WRVA's Saturday Morning With The Lee Brothers to discuss the organization's 2008-09 General Assembly Report Card (click here to order, print or download). Scott and Richard Lee discuss with her various lawmakers' scores and how Report Card votes were determined. The Report Card has received a fair amount of media coverage, which you can access in today's News Stand. To hear the interview, which went up today on the hosts' Web site, click on the link below. It lasts about almost five minutes.

Family Foundation Action Report Card Interview With Victoria Cobb, Saturday Morning With The Lee Brothers, May 16, WRVA/1140-AM (4:52)