Washington

Hands Off My Home, My Church, My Business: Be A Founder And End Eminent Domain Abuse, Vote YES On Question 1!

The proposed state constitutional amendment to protect Virginians from the abuse of eminent domain is the most important Virginia Constitutional amendment to limit government power before the voters in years. Ratifying it with a YES vote tomorrow will limit the size, power and scope of state and local government. A government that knows no bounds in taking property can take anything, including  the freedom to worship, to work and to live. Opponents of the amendment have made so many absurd accusations about the amendment's affects, if passed, it's hardly worth dignifying them. One, in a Washington Post editorial recently, said it would be "corporate welfare." Wrong! Corporate welfare is what we have now, with local governments taking private property on the cheap and giving it to developers to build big box stores and malls.

In the same breath, we're told by local governments that the amendment will stifle economic development, for the very reason it won't be able to provide the real corporate welfare (i.e., it won't be able to take land and turn it over cheaply to rich corporations). Isn't government supposed to be the guardian of the little guy? In fact, the best way to spur economic development is to ensure that risk takers and job creators will be able to develop and build their own businesses on their own land without the fear that one day the government will seize it for something it determines will be of better use.

Perhaps the most incredible charge is that the amendment will force higher taxes. Huh? That's a rich argument coming from local governments, which can't wait to hit its citizens with every new fee and tax it can conjure up. All of sudden, these governing bodies, which use our tax dollars as is to lobby against our interests and rights at the General Assembly, are concerned with our tax burden. They claim the amendment's just compensation clause will drive up the costs of acquiring land when a taking truly is necessary. So, what local governments are admitting is that have been cheating their citizens all these years by not paying them the true worth of their lands! In truth, this amendment will make governments choose their projects wisely, prioritize and hold down costs.

The amendment will do four things, only one of which is in the current statute — which itself can be watered down by a future General Assembly if not protected by the strength of the constitutional amendment:

1. It elevates owning property a "fundamental right" which is an elevated status of law in court. It gives the citizen more protection and the condemning authority a higher standard of proof.

2. It offers just compensation, not only for the land taken (barely covered in current Virginia law), but also compensation for lost business expenses and profit, as well as for lost access to a business in the cases where the government alters a property's entrance which causes the loss of business.

3. It allows only for the taking of such land that is needed. This prevents local governments and state agencies from taking excess land for a project and sitting on it then selling it later for a profit, leaving the landowner in the cold.

4. Most importantly, the amendment will prohibit the taking of land for anything other than a true public use — a school or a road, for example — something that the entire public needs and can use, and prohibits the taking of land to give to a private entity. It protects farmers, suburban land owners, small and family business owners, churches (which don't pay taxes and whose properties are jealously eyed by economic development departments always looking to increase tax revenue to grow government), to the inner city home owners, who too often have been victimized by displacement by redevelopment and housing authorities that think they know better what to do with the homes than the owners.

This amendment is important and fundamental to our rights. Virginia's Founders — Madison, Jefferson, Henry, Mason, Washington — enshrined property rights as a basic right of liberty to own property without fear of its confiscation by a despotic government. Unfortunately, over the decades, it's been stripped out. Here is a rare opportunity to restore our liberties and for generations to come, a chance to be a Founder of sorts.

Here are two short videos. In one, Bob Wilson, President of Central Radio in Norfolk, who is being hounded by the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority to give up his business for an Old Dominion University commercial plaza, explains the injustice of eminent domain. In the second, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, explains his support of the amendment, what it does and why its ratification Election Day is important (see Virginia Social Conservative Blog).

Big Guns' Appearances Within Week Enhance Virginia's Battleground Status

Unless you are living a fully hermetic life, you know Virginia is as much at the crossroads in the presidential campaign as it was for the armies of Washington, Rochambeau and Cornwallis in the summer and fall of 1781. Advertisements fill the airwaves during local programming on both television and radio and pop up on computer screens as people with Virginia ZIP Codes peruse social media sites, calls set off ring tones, and door knockers appear at our front steps with bright and shiny smiles. Nothing too unusual, especially in recent years as Virginia has trended "purple." But it has started earlier than ever — by months. While Democrats used to write off Virginia during presidential years, Barack Obama's superbly organized campaign and large crowd appearances changed the dynamic here and forced campaign stops by the Republican ticket in 2008. If some appearances during the home stretch four years ago put the spotlight on the commonwealth, how do three major swings through the Old Dominion within one August week sound?

News came down yesterday that newly minted Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan will be in downtown Richmond Thursday night with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal for a fundraiser and then on Friday morning hold a rally in the suburb of Glen Allen at Deep Run High School (see Richmond Times-Dispatch). Friday he and Governor Jindal will hold a fundraiser in Arlington. This comes on the heels of GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Ryan working the I-64/95 crescent Saturday with stops in Norfolk, Ashland and Manassas as part of Ryan's national introduction. Picking Virginia for the announcement of Ryan's selection in and of itself speaks volumes to the importance and weight Virginia carries in this year's election. This newly announced swing bookends a trip through South and Southwest Virginia yesterday by Vice President Joe Biden, who made national news in his own special way.

If all that isn't enough, tomorrow afternoon Governor Jindal will be the featured guest at a meet and greet at the South Chesterfield Victory office. For more information about any of these events, click here. These specific site visits underscore the sophistication of the modern campaign, with micro targeting of specific sections of certain areas to turn out and excite voters.

While it may all sound exciting, it also has the potential to test the endurance of even the hardest of hard core political junkies. Try to enjoy the rest of your summer. This fall we will have as much room for escape from the noise as Cornwallis did the Americans and French.

If You Can't Get To D.C. Monday, Attend The November Speaks! Virtual Rally Online

Another annoucement regarding the November Speaks! rally on November 15 on Capitol Hill in Washington: Americans For Prosperity launched a new Web site for the event which includes a page where you can participate in a virtual rally if you can't make it to the nation's capital (click here). The rally is designed to raise awareness of, and put pressure on, the lame duck Congress to stand down from any grandiose schemes for still larger government, higher taxes, debilitating regulations and crushing debt, all of which amounts to more control from Washington and less freedom everywhere else. Ignoring the recent election results, Nancy Pelosi yesterday brazenly threw a celebratory party to laud her "accomplishments." But she's not done yet. Starting Monday, she is reconvening Congress, while she still wields the Speaker's gavel, for one last attempt to ram through the big-government takeovers that remain on her leftist agenda. It's already being referred to as the "Zombie Congress" since so many members are the walking politically dead. Rejected overwhelmingly by the voters, they should not trample on the will of the people and leave quietly, having done enough damage.

Among the speakers at November Speaks! are U.S. Representatives Michele Bachman (R-Minn.) (see Paul Bedard's U.S. News Washington Whispers blog), Mike Pence (R-Ind.) (see the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blog) and newly elected Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) (see the Washington Post's Virginia Politics blog), as well as AFP President Tim Phillips. Other partners in staging November Speaks! are 60 Plus, Let Freedom Ring, Institute For Liberty, Tea Party D.C. and Smart Girl Politics. For more information about attending in person, click here.

Who You Calling A Socialist?

This video from Americans For Prosperity speaks for itself. Last weekend, a few thousand "liberal" and "social justice" types marched on the Mall in Washington, D.C. — the so-called "One Nation Rally" — to give voice to their issues. Or, at least that's how the Mainstream Media portrayed it. Take a look at this video. This footage didn't make CBS, NBC or CNN. These aren't your typical liberals. On the other hand, too much of old-style liberalism has been mainlined by these extremists (i.e., "progressives") to the point where there's barely a blip of difference between the two. By their own admission, they all are socialists. The signs and literature distributed at the rally are chilling.

We're all socialists now (Obama supporters all): Among the bulk of the protesters: the Communist Workers Party, the Socialist Party and something called the Socialist Alternative.

Family Foundation Files Brief In National Day Of Prayer Case

The Family Foundation today signed onto an amicus brief (see brief) by Liberty Institute filed in the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the National Day of Prayer in Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Obama (see news release). Those represented in the brief in addition to The Family Foundation include Dr. James Dobson, the Family Research Council, Focus on the Family Action (CitizenLink), the American Civil Rights Union, Let Freedom Ring, and Liberty Counsel, as well as 27 other state family policy councils. On April 15, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the federal government's observation of prayer is unconstitutional (see Christian Post), despite numerous rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court that protect long-standing traditions of religious invocations. Today's brief argues that not only is the National Day of Prayer constitutional, but that Judge Crabb's ruling establishes active hostility to religion and must be reversed.

When Congress passed a statute in 1952 calling for the president to issue a proclamation designating the National Day of Prayer, it memorialized the virtually unbroken tradition of presidents from Washington to Truman, each of whom designated a day of prayer.

In May, The Family Foundation also joined an amicus brief in the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in another important religious liberty case, Joyner v. Forsyth County (N.C.). The details of this case date back to March of 2007 when the American Civil Liberty Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed suit against North Carolina's Forsyth County Board of Supervisors stating:

[the Board] does not have a policy which discourages or prohibits those whom [the Board] has invited to deliver prayers from including references to Jesus Christ, or any other sectarian deity, as part of their prayers.

It is clear that attacks on our first freedom, the right of conscience, seem to be coming every day. The National Day of Prayer has been recognized by presidents of both parties and by Congress for decades and prayer has been part of our national character since its founding. It is appalling that a single judge can undermine that longstanding tradition but, unfortunately, the courts have a mixed record at best on protecting our First Amendment rights.

The Family Foundation has been, and always will be, a voice for religious freedom in our commonwealth. The words of Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom — that are the foundation for the tradition of religious liberty in our nation and the precursor to the First Amendment — must be preserved and protected. That is a legacy that we have inherited and we must defend.

Virginia News Stand: May 12, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations The Double Stack Edition

The News Stand was off yesterday so the news got stacked up. So much of it is interesting, we piled it all on today. In the commonwealth, Governor Bob McDonnell appointed another Democrat to his administration. Huh? At least this latter is explainable (we think): He appointed Larry Wilder, the son of former governor and Richmond Mayor Doug, as an advisor on convicts' re-entry into society. On the merits, Mr. Wilder has a certain perspective, given his past problems with the law. But more likely, the cynic would suggest, is that this might just have something to do with the former Democrat governor's weighty non-endorsement of Creigh Deeds last fall.

The governor also is busy trying to line up tolls I-95 on the North Carolina border. Anything but a "tax increase." Meanwhile, he appointed a commission to reform state government and suggest how it can operate more efficiently. Commissions come and go in Virginia. The jury will remain out on this until we see recommendations actually put into place and the ensuing positive results. Speaking of juries, Chief Justice Leroy Hassell, Sr., will resign from the top judicial spot, but remain on the court. The justices elect the chief justice themselves.  

Also in state, a sensattional trial finally is set to begin. Sensational, because Joseph Price, a co-defendant, is the former president of Equality Virginia, something the Washington Post conveniently fails to mention in its reporting.

Nationally, it's all going on: The Mojave Desert Cross, which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled legal two weeks ago, was stolen; senior citizens in a group home in Georgia were told they could not pray out loud before meals because the home accepted federal funds (Yes! Federal funds means no free speech, now sit down and shut-up granny!); a senior House Democrat lost renomination in West Virginia to a challenger from the right; and a poll shows Utah Republicans may throwout U.S. Senator Orin Hatch next, after refusing to renominate his colleague Robert Bennett last weekend.

But we're not close to done, with a big Surprise! coming from Washington — health care reform will cost $115 billion more than estimated just a couple of months ago! Also, a bill in Congress would allow states to veto offshore drilling, something with implications for the Old Dominion; and, in the rare good news from D.C., President Obama seeks a line item veto and the Senate votes to audit at least some of the Fed (see Richard Olivastro's commentary on this issue as well).

News

Va. Chief Justice Hassell to yield leadership post (The Daily Press)

McDonnell has high expectations for reform panel (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Delegate criticizes McDonnell choice for chairman of government-reform panel (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Public input sought on government reform (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Va. seeks tolls on I-95 near N.C. border (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell proposes tolls on Interstate 95 in Virginia near N.C. border (Washington Post)

Cuccinelli on Kagan: Not a fan, but lack of judicial experience not the issue (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Conspiracy trial in Robert Wone killing set to start (Washington Post)

Abortion opponents present petition to Va. Beach (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell appoints Wilder's son as special assistant for re-entry education (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Optometrist wins GOP nod in Chesterfield (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

LU officials to investigate Caner’s background claims (Lynchburg News & Advance)

National News

Thieves Steal Mojave Desert Memorial Cross in Nighttime Heist (FoxNews.com)

Senior citizens told they can't pray before meals (Rome, Ga. News-Tribune)

Voters' anti-establishment mood bites both parties (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Poll: Roughly half wouldn't vote for U.S. Sen. Hatch (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health overhaul law potentially costs $115B more (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Bill would allow states to veto offshore drilling (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Senate votes to examine Federal Reserve lending (AP/GOPUSA.com)

New force for broad immigration reform: conservative evangelicals (CNN.com)

Abortion could be sleeper issue in Supreme Court confirmation process (Washington Post)

Obama to Seek Line-Item Veto Power to Trim Spending From Bills (New York Times)

Michael Steele defends spending to RNC state party leaders during meeting (Washington Post)

Despite Content Purge, Pornographic Images Remain on Wikimedia (FoxNews.com)

Analysis

Reagan-Hating Kagan(Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

Change Watch: Elena Kagan–Supreme Court Nominee (FRCBlog.com)

Commentary

A 'Duty to Die'? (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Michelle Obama: Food Profiteer Turned Food Cop (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Cut Spending Today To Save Tomorrow (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Should the Fed Be Audited? (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

Moldy Oldy Wayne Newton

Last week, on February 2, old-school crooner Wayne Newton made his way to the General Assembly to testify on behalf of a bill to recognize a Virginia Native American tribe (see Washington Post article and video), to which the Virginia native belongs, in the House Rules Committee. Women staff and lobbyists alike swooned and several got pics and pecs with and by him. Three days later, however, reports the Detroit Free Press, "Mr. Las Vegas" got stuck with a $61,000 bill for abandoning his plane more than three years ago at an area airport and leaving it to rot and gather mold. Ewwwwwwwwww . . . and they kissed him!

Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Henry, Randolph and a host of legends once met in Richmond to discuss the great issues of the day. But, hey: These days we'll take our celebrity witnesses where we can get them. We're just glad Mr. Newton left his plane in Detroit to rot, and saved for that city something more than just a little symbolic given that area's rapid decline and near 20 percent unemployment.

Art In The Age Of Obama

Thanks to the alert by our friend Tea Party Jim, we now know the winner of the Public Option Please propagandagraffiti, Obama adoration, uhh, "art" contest. As Jim writes us:

The sickness of this kind of thinking is what is destroying this country. The thought that Washington, D.C., is the lifeblood of the nation is simply idiotic, but not surprising.

And apart from the misattribution of the quote, the doublespeak of the supposed Jefferson quote is nearly hilarious. "Without Liberty no happiness can be enjoyed by society" as the money quote to sell government rationed health care is simply Orwellian.

I can't add much more to that. Well stated, Jim. Gabriel Malor has something to say, too, at Ace of Spades HQ.

The winners are (although we thought liberalism doesn't have winners and losers, and that it makes everyone equal and happy):

First place and People's Choice winner, to an Amy Martin, with the perfectly understandable idea that our country is great because of Washington, D.C.:

publicoption1

Second Place, to Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (there's always a Tatyana involved in socialism, isn't there?), but lacking nothing in staged propaganda heart strings, and a bone to underappreciated photographers out there:

publicoption2

Finally, a disappointing, I'm sure, third place to the POTUS, represented by a Michael Cuffe, but it's my personal favorite, as well, and takes second to nothing in human adoration, if that's any consolation to him. After all, the bronze here is better than what he got at got at on his Olympics bid:

publicoption3

Virginia News Stand: October 12, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations  The Debate/Mason-Dixon Edition

The news is almost all campaign, with several national articles (including the New York Times, which has two pieces — one specifically on Virginia, in the News section, and one on Virginia and New Jersey and their national implications, in National News) continuing to shine the national flood lights on the commonwealth. Tonight is also debate night, the first live televised one. Will Democrat Creigh Deeds apologize for his negative campaign? Will he finally explain his transportation and tax increase plans (his last attempt at explaining the latter was called "embarrassing" today by his patron, the Washington Post, and now has been turned into a new ad, which will begin running tonight).

Now the Dems, including DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, are targeting Senator Ken Cuccinelli. He began an ad they say is unfair and misrepresents Democrat attorney general candidate Steve Shannon's position on the special session that remedied a Supreme Court decision that would ceased prosecutions on drunk drivers and drug offenders. Hmmm. How do you misrepresent Shannon's view? Calling it a "political stunt" is pretty hard to misinterpret.

But the big news was the release of Mason-Dixon's first poll this campaign season. Mason-Dixon is the gold standard in Virginia political polls. The last poll it conducts, the Sunday before each election day, has never predicted the wrong winner, so it is awaited with baited breath. Its 2009 debut has all three Republicans leading: Bob McDonnell up by eight for governor, Lt. Governor Bill Bollingup by 13, and Cuccinelli up by seven. Not to be outdone, however, is SurveyUSA, which conducted another poll last week for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke and WJLA-TV in Washington (its fourth consecutive weekly poll). It was mostly drowned out by the Washington Post poll results, which showed all three Republicans up by nine. SurveyUSA has the three Republicans up by 11, 17 and 10, respectively. Details on everything mentioned above, and more, are below.

News:

Mason-Dixon Poll: McDonnell up by 8 points over Deeds (Richmond Times-Dispatch/Lynchburg News & Advance

Mason-Dixon Shows McDonnell by 8 (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Poll: GOP's Bolling, Cuccinelli lead (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia: 4 Weeks Until Votes Are Counted, Republicans Remain Poised to Win 3 Top Statewide Contests (SurveyUSA.com)

Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll (SurveyUSA.com)

Va. Candidates Meet Tonight in First Live TV Debate (Washington Post)

Debate a major moment in Va. governor's race (AP/The Daily Press)

Two State Races May Put Lens on Obama (New York Times)

GOP Launches New Ad on Deeds and Taxes (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Cuccinelli Airs New Ad; Shannon, Kaine Protest (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog

Kaine says Obama supporters key for Deeds (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Biden calls Virginia race winnable for Deeds.... (The Shad Plank Blog)

Debate in House race heats up over transportation question (Lynchburg News & Advance)

8th District candidates debate in Roanoke Co. (Roanoke Times)

Sexually explicit novel pulled from Roanoke school libraries (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News:

Democrats May Lose Two Governors Races (Reuters/New York Times)

McDonnell Holds GOP Comeback Hopes in Virginia; Dems Hope Deeds Bet Pays Off  (PoliticsDaily.com)

House Votes to Add Sexual Orientation to Law on Hate Crimes (Washington Post)

Analysis:

Republican sweep looking likely in Virginia (Josh Kraushaar/The Scorecard Blog Politico.com)

You May Want To Listen To This: AG Debate Link And Analysis

Last week, the candidates for attorney general, Republican Senator Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Delegate Steve Shannon, both of Fairfax, had only their second debate and the first that was broadcast — but only on Washington radio station WTOP-AM. (Democrat debate ducking has been taken to a whole new level this year.) What's particularly perplexing is the lack of coverage the media has affored the few debates that have taken place in any of the three statewide races, especially given the media's endless pontificating about elections and issues versus slick and negative advertising. (With only a handful of debates, it sure doesn't take a lot to cover them, either.) Yet, three candidates repeatedly refuse to debate (despite being well behind in the polls) and, when there is one, it is not on statewide television.

But we did have that one AG debate on WTOP's The Politics Program with Mark Plotkin (listen here). The highlight seems to be Delegate Shannon's "I am a pro-business, law and order centrist," comment when, in fact, he has a 100-percent AFL-CIO voting record (see AFL-CIO here) and has received nearly $150,000 in campaign contributions from big labor during his six years in the General Assembly — $120,000 of which has come during his attorney general run (see VPAP.org). 

What makes the statement even more astonishing is that Delegate Shannon attended a seminar in mid-September in Annapolis, Md., put on by the Democrat Attorneys General Association, that taught attorneys general how to sue companies into achieving liberal, extremist environmental policies not won through the legislative process. A suit-filing, job-killing AG. Now that's business friendly.

As if that wasn't enough, when it was Delegate Shannon's turn to ask the one question each candidate was allowed to ask of the other, he asked Senator Cuccinelli about global warming and "cap and trade." If this is so important, why do Delegate Shannon's television ads stress Internet predators?

Instead, he wants to sue employers into closing down, such as the MeadWestvaco plant in Creigh Deeds' own senate district. Read here what company Vice President Mark George wrote in an op-ed about the affect "cap and trade" would have on its Alleghany factory. It's liberal strategy to redefine terms (marriage comes to mind), but instead of coming down the middle, Delegate Shannon comes right down Leftist Lane. 

Deeds Going Through Religious Experience

Not exactly. But this week Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds has thrown his fourth Hail Mary by my count. First, his lackluster campaign — a candidate whose idea of a solution to any problem is "to work together with the General Assembly" and who ducks hot issues such as cap-and-trade, card check, FOCA and nationalized health care, richly deserves the "lackluster" moniker — ran the abortion play. Sacked! Then came the "Bob McDonnell is George Bush" play. Sacked! Of course, there's the thesis play, as complicated as Al Groh's three-quarterback-spread-offense and not nearly as effective, especially since Deeds voted for the Marriage Amendment twice and has displayed his own views against (his words) "special rights" for homosexuals. Now, Deeds is running radio ads claiming that McDonnell is a tax increaser, despite the fact that Deeds has voted for almost any bill that would have raised any tax over the last eight years, including the 2004 record $1.4 billion tax increase. He also backed each one of the Tim Kaine/Dick Saslaw tax increase proposals, including a $1.015 billion increase that would have raised gas taxes ever year for five years when gas was near $3.00 a gallon (SB 713/2008).It would have cost Virginia families as much as $624 more per year in year five. 

All hypocrisy aside, if McDonnell is a Bush clone and Bush cut taxes (which ruined the economy, according to Deeds) where is Deeds' logic? According to Deeds, tax increases are good! That's why he's proposing another one if elected! Besides, if Deeds wants to throw federal issues into the race, shouldn't he answer to the above policies his party is pushing in Washington (including cap-and-trade which would shut down the largest employer in his senate district)?

Seems to me that Senator Deeds, instead of throwing Hail Mary's, should be praying them instead.

Deeds Not Hoping For Hope And Change

In the 1980s, when Virginia was an electoral lock for Republican presidential candidates, and when the GOP won the presidency three successive terms, Virginia Republicans weren't nearly as successful. In fact, they lost three gubernatorial elections on the trot. One rhetorical tactic the GOP tried during those campaigns was to tie the Democrat to the rampant liberalism personified by big spenders, culture relativists, moral equivalency types and foreign policy weaklings such as Tip O'Neil, Patsy Schroder, Teddy Kennedy, Jim Wright, Tom Harkin and the whole motley crew.

The Dems here inevitably replied that "Virginia Democrats are different" and Chuck Robb, Gerry Baliles and Doug Wilder certainly lent that persona, if not actual substance, and the public seemed happy enough with them. All of which has come full reverse cycle in this year's campaign. That is to say, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds won't say where he stands on what the "D.C. Democrats" are doing. Those are national issues he says, although a governor must be prepared to defend against federal the encroachment that inhibits his state's right of self government and to be a laboratory of innovation.

But Senator Deeds won't even say whether he supports or opposes "cap and trade" which would close the largest employer in his senate district! He won't comment, either, on socialized medicine, card check,  government control of the Internet and radio, or mandated abortion on demand, all of which are, or have been, put forth by the Obama administration and its uber-liberal allies in Congress.

But waaaaaaaaaaaaaaait just one minute!

 

He will comment on former President George W. Bush. That's right, Senator Deeds has new radio and television ads attacking the former president. So, who's he running against? Oh, and by the way, where's the mention of Governor Tim Kaine in those ads? Until a few months ago — when the governor's popularity began to plunge — Senator Deeds was fond of saying that he would continue the Kaine model. (Being Democrat National Committee chairman kinda debunks the whole "bi-partisan" thing.)

So, apparently, not even state issues are on the Deeds itinerary. Let's see: Senator Deeds won't talk about the last four years in Virginia and he won't talk about the last eight months in Washington. Guess that "Hope and Change" ain't working to well for him, either.

Liberal Senator's Staff Hosts Town Hall Meeting And A Tea Party Breaks Out!

Last week we posted a sampling of the feedback Congressional supporters of the socialized medicine legislation experienced at home in their districts and states. Here's three more, all from a town hall meeting in St. Louis, hosted by the staff of one of the top lightweights in Washington, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri). In the first one, McCaskill gets a civics 101 lesson, courtesy of one of America's truely best and brightest. It's something, clearly, she never learned:

Then, a to-the-point, commonsense question about true equality, a virtue for which liberals so eloquently exclaim that they, and they alone, uphold:

Finally, this meeting was supposed to be an equal representation of pro- and anti- "health care reform" constituents. We report. You decide.

Liberal politicians rarely see the light, but a motivated grassroots certainly can make them feel the heat! We can do the same here in Virginia.

Marx Couldn't Have Written It Better

Give U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass.) some credit. He is a flaming liberal, but he speaks what he truly believes. At least now that he and his like-minded left-wing ideologue colleagues have complete power in Washington. Today at the National Press Club, he actually said this (see rushlimbaugh.com):

I've had people come to us and complain, "Well, if you do that, I can't make any money." The answer is that's not my job. We're not here to help you make money. We are here to help have a system in which you will make money as an incident of your providing funds to those who will use it productively.

Combine that with President Obama's remark at his news conference last week that insurance companies are "too profitable," and one wonders by what right these people have to get inflamed when they and their policies are called socialist.

Number Two Senate Democrat: D.C. Abortion Rate High Because 'Residents Are Black'

As reported in today's Washington Examiner by David Freddoso (click here), U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), the Senate Majority Whip, last week told fellow Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) during a committee mark-up session that Washington, D.C.'s abortion rate is high because its citizens "are black." Here's the exchange, as reported by Freddoso, starting with a comment by Brownback about his attempt to make Democrats live up to former President Bill Clinton's (cynical) abortion mantra of "safe, legal and rare:" 

"Forty-one percent of pregnancies — that's not rare,"  (Brownback) said. "We do not need to have more abortions in the District of Columbia."

Durbin's reply to this point —and Brownback's interruption of him — follows below.

Durbin: In terms of safe, legal and rare, to the Senator from Kansas, I will tell you two things. First, it is a fact that a disproportionately large number of African Americans seek abortion in America, not just in the District of Columbia, but all across the nation.

Brownback: 41 percent?

Durbin: No, but it's also a fact that a disproportionately large number of African Americans live in the District of Columbia.

Brownback: 41 percent?

Durbin: I'm telling you, look at the numbers.

Brownback: I'm telling — I'm just asking you, aren't there enough [abortions] here?

Durbin: Look at the numbers, and you will find this to be true.

Brownback: This — this is not high enough?

Read the whole article (linked above) to get Senator Durbin's full unsavory patronization of D.C.'s black community, a community liberals supposedly care so much about. Or, click to hear the senators go after each other yourself (the audio also is on the article's Web page).

Tea Parties Continued: Make Your Voice Heard On Government Takeover Of Your Health Care!

Tomorrow at High Noon, the Tea Party movement in Virginia continues into another phase as people from all walks of life and all political persuasions will gather at the offices of Virginia's two U.S. senators to let them know socialized medicine, nationalized health care or whatever one wants to call it, is not acceptable. The monstrosity under consideration in Washington will destroy the world's greatest health care system through diminished quality, rationed services, exploding government debt, government bureaucrats picking who gets treated for what and when, and an increase in abortion services. It is nothing less than a complete government takeover of health care, which accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Since this is July, the month when the revolutionary ideals of American freedom from oppressive government were so eloquently and dramatically expressed, it is an appropriate a time to rekindle those ideals and let our senators know in very adamant terms that we want to remain true to our Founders' vision.

We won't be alone in Virginia. Americans in every state will visit senators'  district offices in a coordinated effort to demand that they protect our health care  freedoms to choose our doctors and to keep the government out of our health decisions.

If you are not able to make it, please take the time to call, e-mail or fax Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner so your voice is still heard. You may mail them by simply addressing envelopes with their names and the following: United States Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510; or you may call the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for their offices. To e-mail the senators, click on their names below. Also see below for district office locations and contact information.

Senator Jim Webb's District Offices (click to e-mail him)

Southside 308 Craghead Street Suite 102A Danville, VA 24541 Phone: 434-792-0976 Fax: 434-972-0960

Hampton Roads 222 Central Park Ave. Suite 120 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 Phone: 757-518-1674 Fax: 757-518-1679

Northern Virginia 1501 Lee Highway Suite 130 Arlington, VA 22209 Phone:703-807-0581 Fax:703-807-5198

Southwest 756 Park Avenue, N.W. Norton, VA 24273 Mail to: 756 Park Avenue, N.W. P.O. Box 1300 Norton, VA 24273 Phone: 276-679-4925 Fax: 276-679-4929

Central Virginia 507 East Franklin Street Richmond, VA 23219 Phone: 804-771-2221 Fax: 804-771-8313

Roanoke Valley 3140 Chaparral Drive Building C, Suite 101 Roanoke, VA 24018 Phone: 540-772-4236 Fax: 540-772-6870

Senator Mark Warner's District Offices (click to e-mail him)

Southwest  180 West Main Street Abingdon, VA 24210 Phone Number: 276-628-8158 Fax Number: 276-628-1036

Hampton Roads 101 W. Main Street Suite 4900 Norfolk, VA 23510 Phone Number: 757-441-3079 Fax Number: 757-441-6250

Central Virginia 5309 Commonwealth Centre Parkway Suite 401 Midlothian, VA 23112 Phone Number: 804-739-0247 Fax Number: 804-739-3478

Roanoke Valley 129B Salem Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24011 Phone Number: 540-857-2676 Fax Number: 540-857-2800

"Productivity Collapse" . . . Massive Education Spending Fails Report, But They Want Still More!

We owe our friend Norm Leahy at Tertium Quids a big Hat Tip (here) for bringing this to our attention. It hit us like a hammer over the head last week while putting together the most recent News Stand, where a couple of articles coalesced to drive the point home. The first paragraph has our preliminary commentary on the subject — the relation of government education spending and (lack of) student achievement.  As an April 29 article in the Wall Street Journal on a report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress confirms (here), despite trillions of dollars taxed away from private income at the local, state and federal levels since 1971, standardized test scores for 17-year-olds have improved by exactly three points: by one in English and by two in math. If a three point improvement over nearly 40 years and trillions of dollars of your money doesn't infuriate you, we could elaborate. But Andrew Coulson of The Cato Institute does it better than anyone else. As he posted at Cato's blog (here), and quoted by Leahy at TQ, it's simply a productivity collapse — twice the money for the same results:

"How serious of a collapse is it? Total k-12 expenditures in this country were about $630 billion two years ago (see Table 25, Digest of Ed Statistics 2008). The efficiency of our education system is less than half what it was in 1971 (i.e., we spend more than twice as much to get the same results — see Table 181, same source).

So if we'd managed to ensure that education productivity just stagnated, we'd be saving over $300 billion EVERY YEAR. If we'd actually seen productivity improvements in education such as we've seen in other fields, we'd be saving at least that much money and enjoying higher student achievement at the same time.

My guess is that most people would consider saving $3 trillion per decade and more fully realizing children's intellectual potential are both very important."

Prophetically, Leahy adds:

The knee-jerk response will be to throw even more money at the problem, hoping that somehow, an extra dollop of cash will change everything.

Exactly! On the heels of the report, we have this from the April 29 Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Virginia is in talks with Maryland and Washington about seeking part of an additional $5 billion in stimulus money that will be awarded to states most aggressively trying to improve student achievement.

On what basis is there proof that anything they do with that money will work? When is enough, enough? Certainly not another $5 billion, right?  Solution? Reforms so often blocked by the educationists and unions, such as more charter schools, more choice, more competition. But there's no need to reform when trillions for nothing come your way.

This wasted national treasure reminds me of the refrain of naive liberals about all the money "wasted" on defense spending: "Imagine all the good that could be done with that money instead of building bombs." Never mind that the military constantly improves efficiency and protects our country.

But . . . when it comes to governments, at any level, taxing our hard-earned income and spending it on an education system that has progressed by virtually nothing, it makes us think: Imagine all the good that could have been done with that money if left in the hands of parents to find better ways to educate their children.

Liberal Response To Tea Parties

It was inevitable, I suppose. Those of us who believe in limited, constitutional government as envisioned by the Founders and who see the free market as most conducive to individual and family financial success couldn't possibly be allowed to hold rallies in response to the new socialism coming from Washington without being labeled. After all, the postmodern liberal left lives for labels. So, what are all of us who simply want taxes to be reasonable? (Please, don't call us anti-tax . . . we really do believe in limited taxation for a limited government, just not oppressive taxation that has no end in sight.) Racist.

Yup, that's right. Get a decent education, get a good job, wait until you're married to have children, work endless hours, buy a house you can actually afford, make your mortgage payments on time, get frustrated over our government's exponential growth and bailouts for those who made poor economic decisions and failed businesses, decide to stand with your fellow Americans in protest and you, my friend, are a racist.

At least that's what our taxpayer supported friends at ACORN are telling the American people (using some of those tax dollars you greedy fringe wackos want to keep to feed your own children). 

As rumors spread that ACORN plans to crash Tea Parties planned tomorrow for over 250 locations nationwide, they are also putting the PR machine to work to try to stop the bleeding from Obama's increasing unpopular money grab plan. And what better plan than go to your friends in the MSM and get the labels out there.

So are you intimidated? Planning to cower at home tomorrow so you won't be seen on CNN under the banner "Racist Rally"? 

Somehow I doubt it. Then again, conservatives have seldom been intimidated by the label thing. 

Just don't call me anti-tax!

You Can Hear Me Now

For those dying to hear your anonymous admin on the airwaves, here I am: The interview was conducted today at 9:00 a.m. and is archived here, at Tertium Quids Radio ("Charting a Principle Course"). It runs about 30 minutes and host Norm Leahy did a great job keeping me focused (I have a terrible habit of going off topic) and in facilitating a great conversation. From Norm's headline, you get a spot on idea of the thrust of the interview. We covered a number of topics — education choice, life, marriage, property rights, limited government, campaign strategies and tactics, and more — under the general topic of the challenges  conservatives face and what do the national and Virginia Republican parties do in light of admonitions that they have gone too far to the right, despite the fact that social issues were rarely raised in the recently completed campaign, and that the Republican standard bearer was a moderate. 

In an attempt to sound like I knew what I was talking about, I fully prepared myself. The 30 minutes seemed as if it was 30 seconds. There wasn't enough time to cover all the topics I briefed myself on. One thing I omitted was that Senator John McCain lost the plot when he suspended his campaign to go to Washington to work on the financial crisis. He wasn't part of the solution, acted as if he was panicked and couldn't handle multiple issues at one time, and — to compound matters — allowed himself to be the easel for then-Senator Obama to paint him as W II when Senator McCain did nothing but vote for the Bush plan instead of standing up with those conservatives opposed to the bailout. Then-Senator Obama voted for it as well, but Senator McCain blew his chance to prove that he was the anti-Bush, rally skeptical conservatives (who ended up staying home) and flip the dynamics of the campaign. That allowed Senator Obama own the "change" issue.

But there I go again, off topic. Take a listen to TQ Radio and let us know what you think.

"Godless Pit"

Your tax dollars are at work again…this time funding what some had referred to as a “$600 million godless pit” in Washington, DC.  The nearly half billion dollar over budget Capital Visitor Center has been the national version of “the big dig.”  But out of control spending isn’t new to Washington DC (Google “Bailout”).  Unfortunately, the political correctness and anti-Christian bigotry that dominates bureaucratic Washington has been unleashed on the visitor center, leading to the removal of any references to God.

Rewriting founding documents, erasing references to God, and blatently misrepresenting history are but a few of the problems that have been discoverd.  Our own Virginia Congressman Randy Forbes has taken the lead in trying to restore the references to our true history by working with the folks desigining the center

In the meantime, Wallbuilders has this great video that shows some of the attacks on our history:


Of course, our friends with groups like "Americans United for Separation of Church and State" are doing all they can to banish God from any public mention.   As the battles over the past continues, the future looks more and more bleak.  Most Americans have no clue what our real history is, so few will notice the lack of truth at the visitor center. 

At what point do Christians in this nation finally say enough is enough and start to stand up?