Washington Examiner

March Madness

It seems that the Bracketologist in Chief, in between attending NCAA basketball tournament games and denying the religious liberty of Christian churches and institutions by forcing them to pay for abortions and contraception, took time recently to edit more than his tournament bracket sheet. (See him on ESPN making his March Madness tournament picks.)

It's not only religious institutions. The Obama administration is whipping the states into his ideological conformity through fiat and declaration, as well. It is more than enough for nine state attorneys general, including Virginia's Ken Cuccinelli, who recently released a report on the thousands of new regulatory burdens by the administration that do not meet constitutional muster and/or that are outright violations of law. Said Attorney General Cuccinelli at a news conference last week in Washington:

The release of this report — this laundry list of transgressions — confirms that this Administration repeatedly shows disdain for states, for federal laws it finds inconvenient, the Constitution, the courts, and the American people. This has to stop.

This is not about policy. ... (It is about) this administration's disregard for the law. (President Obama and his deputies are) the greatest set of lawbreakers that have run the federal government in our lifetimes. ...

The report has gained national attention. Paul Bedard has more in his "Washington Secrets" column in the Washington Examiner, here, and Neil Munro at The Daily Caller covers it, here.

It's that time of year, again. Time to fill out your brackets or edit your constitution, whichever is giving you more trouble.

ObamaCare Lawsuit: Who's Wasting Money Now?

Speaking of Virginia's lawsuit against ObamaCare: Remember all the liberal hysteria regarding all the money Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli supposedly is spending on the constitutional challenge to the federal health care law (Richmond Times-Dispatch) — as if government spending has ever been an issue with liberals? Never mind that he is defending Virginia law (the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act), which it is his duty to do. Where are the howls of disgust by the same people now that the Obama Justice Department refuses to agree (Times-Dispatch) with the Attorney General for an expedited appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court (Washington Examiner)? Without such an appeal, we're talking at least two cases in U.S. Courts of Appeals, at least another year or more of legal work and court proceedings, endless briefs and motions, travel from Washington to Richmond and Atlanta, meetings, hundreds of hours of federal government employee time and who knows what else it takes to try a case these days — only this will be two cases simultaneously, not to mention any further cases that are filed in federal district courts by other states or aggrieved parties. It's no exaggeration to say the cost could be in the millions. That's a lot more than the $350 it cost the Commonwealth to file its case in Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia . . . but a lot less than the $1.1 billion it will cost Virginia to implement ObamaCare. The pricelessness of the hypocrisy is passed only by the reality of the true costs.

TEA Party Queen Looks Into Options

Is Jamie Radtke making moves that would confirm our pre-recent-election speculation that she is interested in running for office? It all started after her very successful Virginia TEA Party Convention (see Lynn Mitchell in the Washington Examiner) in October that prompted Virginia politics commentator Dr. Bob Holsworth to write on his Virginia Tomorrow blog that she would be a formidable candidate for office one day. But, we wondered, which office?  Then, late last week, she resigned as chairwoman of the Virginia TEA Party Patriots Federation, according to Anita Kumar at the Washington Post's Virginia Politics blog, in order to explore a possible a campaign for the U.S. Senate seat now occupied by Jim Webb. This followed her victory in a poll at Bearing Drift over more established and likely candidates, including the previous holder of that seat, George Allen, as well as Prince William County Board Chairman Corey Stewart, and Delegate Bob Marshall.

According to the Post, Radtke, as we thought, was thinking of a Virginia Senate run. But after the success of the convention, she has been encouraged to think globally, as it were. Is it all a head fake, to build visibility for a 2011 state Senate GOP primary run after all? Could that also be said for Stewart's recent interest in the job, since he long has eyed the Lt. Governor's post? (See his provocative interview at tbd.com.) Then there's the possibility, as reported by the Post and Bearing Drift that former Congressman Tom Davis may seek the GOP nomination as well.

So, will Virginia join some states from this year's election and throw a Boston Tea Party in two years or settle for a traditional, genteel tea party, complete with appropriate china? For the junkie, 2012 can't get here soon enough. For some of us, can't we just get through the General Assembly and the 2011 elections, first?

VA-9 Update: Griffith Edges Ahead In Latest SurveyUSA Poll; Independent Does Boucher's Dirty Work And Takes Free Ski Vacations?

Republican House candidate Morgan Griffith, the House of Delegates Majority Leader, continues to gain momentum Virginia's 9th congressional district race. Starting off 20 points down in its first poll a few months ago, the last News7/SurveyUSA poll released a week ago shows a change in the numbers between long-time incumbent Rick Boucher and Delegate Griffith (see SurveyUSA for analysis).

Just a few weeks ago, Boucher appeared to be cruising to another term with double-digit leads. Each subsequent poll showed Griffith making progress until he was within striking distance, and now, possibly poised to a major upset. According to the poll, the race is too close to call as independents have shifted their votes to Griffith, and Boucher's lead among women has evaporated.

Here is a look at the results (see WDBJ.com/News7 for more):

Morgan Griffith (R): 47 percent

Rick Boucher (D): 46 percent

Jeremiah Heaton (I): 4 pecent

Undecided: 3 percent

Margin of error: 4.1 percent

But there's more to the story. The independent, Mr. Heaton, isn't only a wild card, he's more like a wild man. In the most recent debate, he relentlessly attacked Griffith on personal matters, including his wife, while nary a complaint against the incumbent. That's particularly odd, since since elections are referendums on incumbents. But the out of left field attacks on Delegate Griffith's family were over the top. It led to much suspicion in the local media about not only why Mr. Heaton made the attacks, but who put him up to it (see Roanoke Times). Adding to the intrigue was Mr. Boucher's "good cop" approach, which was strange considering his perilous position in the polls. But why do the dirty work if a rapid dog is willing to do it for you? 

But it wouldn't be the Fightin' Ninth if not for still more controversy. The Washington Examiner's David Freddoso recently reported that Mr. Boucher, on top of buying a new Fordwith campaign cash (see Not Larry Sabato), he's been vacationing in plush Rocky Mountain ski resorts on lobbyists money. Seems Mr. Boucher has parlayed his sellout of the coal industry into some influence among the special interests, basically flaunting it in a district that is seeing some of the worst economic conditions in the country.

It's all a Winter Wonderland to Mr. Boucher who seems more and more out of touch with his constituents. Will he be out of a job late tonight?

Will it only snow . . . or completely avalanche on Rick Boucher and the Democrats tonight?

Fimian Takes The Fight To Connolly In Last Night's Debate

In the hotly contested and close 11th district Congressional race, Republican Keith Fimian, by all accounts, took it to incumbent Democrat Gerry Connolly at Tysons Corner debate last night.  Here's a Fimian quote as reporter by the Washington Examiner (click here for the entire article):

The single most important thing government can do to create jobs is reduce uncertainty. Mr. Connolly doesn't know that — he's never created a job his whole life. As a consequence, he is not in a position to fix what's broken.

The line is emerging, perhaps, as Fimian's closing argument. He is spotlighting Connolly's record as chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and now in Congress: increased property taxes, two pay raises, and a $650 million deficit. In only one term in Congress, Connolly voted for  more than $600 billion in new taxes, supported Nancy Pelosi 97 percent of the time, and helped create an unsustainable national debt by voting for the stimulus and Obamacare.

Fimian sees a "pattern," thus the name of his latest television ad:

Republican Keith Fimian setting the record straight on Gerry Connolly's "pro-business" record.

HHS Attempted To Coverup Its Own Research: Abstinence Education Works

The reaction to Tuesday's announcement that Governor Bob McDonnell has applied for federal funds for abstinence-centered education has been intense (see Washinton Post Virginia Politics Blog). As you would suspect, Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia have opened rhetorical fire on the governor, as have several leftist blogs and commentators. If you read the comments at the end of newspaper articles (and unless you have a thick skin I wouldn't) you would think the decision to help our teenagers delay sexual activity until marriage is a conspiracy to bring back chastity belts. You may be running into some of the same misinformed rhetoric in your circles, much of it based on false claims or outright deception. Of course, those who profit from risky sexual behavior, Virginia's abortion industry, are viscerally opposed to the idea that teenagers can control themselves. One legislator who works closely with Planned Parenthood and NARAL carried this message (see Norfolk Virginian-Pilot):

The reality is with teenagers their hormones come into play, and abstinence-only doesn't always work.

Then again, if they can be taught effective ways of postponing sexual activity it cuts into the abortion industry's profits.

But the primary argument has been that "abstinence education doesn’t work," "parents don't support abstinence education," or "it’s naive to think that teenagers can be abstinent." None of those arguments, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are correct. In fact, this year a study paid for by HHS, and its own recent survey, found that abstinence education is highly effective and widely supported by parents and teenagers (Washington Post).

The HHS survey released late last month (see here) found that 70 percent of parents agreed that it is "against [their] values for [their] adolescents to have sexual intercourse before marriage" and that "having sexual intercourse is something only married people should do." Adolescent beliefs, according to the survey, were similar.

More interestingly, HHS buried the survey results and was forced to release it to the public only after a deluge of Freedom of Information Act requests (as reported by Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential). Why, one must ask, would HHS not want people to know the results of taxpayer funded research — results that show Americans want and support abstinence before marriage?

Let’s face it, the battle over sex education is indeed a battle of worldviews and a battle for the hearts, minds, and bodies of our children. The fact is that abstinence centered programs do work and they are making a difference — science is showing that. It’s up to us to get the word out.

We hope that if you haven't already, that you please thank Governor McDonnell for taking this strong stand on abstinence education funding by clicking here to e-mail his office. Abstinence opponents are well-funded and are on the attack. We have to show the governor that the families of Virginia appreciate his action. Please contact him today.

The Case For Lower Taxes: By Obama's Top Economic Adviser

Liberals always scream at any tax rate reductions. It doesn't matter if the rates are across the board and equitable. The contrived and demagogic class warfare card gets pulled out faster than a Las Vegas dealer. We're at that point again. This New Year's Eve, the tax rate reductions from 2001 and 2003 will expire and rates will sky rocket, further hammering the economy and deepening the Obama recession. Liberals in Washington, including the president, say with a straight face the revenue gained from the automatic tax increase will bring in more than $700 billion over the next several years, money needed to close the deficit. Apparently spending $787 billion in one year isn't a problem, however, as he did with the so-called "stimulus" bill, which was supposed to keep unemployment below 8 percent. (Not to mention today's $26 billion federal bailout of the national teacher union's pension fund.) (Wall Street Journal Washington Wire blog.)

(By the way, in a move that eerily presages the future under ObamaCare, it will be better to die on New Year's Eve if you are planning to leave an estate to a loved one. On January 1, that loved one will get hit with a massive tax increase, as the death tax itself rises from the dead.)

But some Democrats are lobbying for an extension of the tax cuts, such as Evan Bayh of Indiana (Washington Examiner). Of course, it won't happen because the president is busy demonizing every action by the Bush administration as evil, and extendin the tax cut are politically untenable . . . for him. Never mind the bogus premise that raising taxes beyond a certain point increases tax revenue, because it decreases revenue, while lower tax rates increase it as history has shown time and again.

Don't believe me? Then try this one on for size. One of Virginia's most quoted economists, Christine Chmura, in the Richmond Times-Dispatch yesterday, wrote about a study on tax rate reductions by two University of California-Berkeley economists (not your most conservative campus). The study was a bit different because it examined a broad scope of federal taxation as well as four categories, including reducing the deficit and economic growth. Their findings?

The resulting estimates indicate that tax increases are highly contractionary.

Then, Chmura summarized the rest of their findings:

The large effects are driven considerably by a sharp reduction in investment.

Other parts of the economy, such as consumer spending on goods and services, as well as imports, also are negatively impacted.

However, the economists also found that tax increases to reduce a persistent budget deficit leads to a reduction in real gross domestic product. ...

She urged Congress to heed the study, published in 2007. But perhaps so should the president. It was written by professors David Romer and his wife, Christine — Mr. Obama's very own Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Congressman Stark: The Federal Government Can Do Anything It Wants, New Rasmussen Poll Shows Americans Vehemently Disagree

U.S. Representative Fortney "Pete" Stark (D-Calif.) has been in Congress close to 40 years and is one of the most hardcore leftists in the House (see Michael Tennant at The New American). He also is known for outrageous and derogatory comments that, were he a conservative, rightly would hound him out of office (see Elisabeth Meinecke at Human Events). Last year, at a town hall meeting, he told a constituent that, "I wouldn't dignify you by peeing on your leg." (See YouTube.) In June, he mocked those who want the federal government to do something it is supposed to do — secure the border — by asking, "Who are you going to kill today?" (See YouTube.) Those examples only scratch the surface. He's been known to yell at and threaten colleagues, as well. Suffice it to say, he's an arrogant bully, who does not care about anyone but himself, his radical left-wing idealogue colleagues and far left special interest power brokers.

Then, occasionally, he speaks the truth. At least the truth as he wants it. Which is instructive in that it reveals what the Leftist Ruling Class in Washington has in store, should they continue to go unchecked. You can hear for yourself what this senior member of the House thinks about unlimited federal power, an attitude likely to mean the far-left leadership of the House is likely to continue overreaching. It also demonstrates that there's only one way to curb this power — November is coming — as a new Rasmussen poll showed only 9 percent of Americans share Mr. Stark's view of American governance (see Ed Morrissey at HotAir.com). 

In the video below, from a town hall meeting two weeks ago, Congressman Stark dismissed a constituent's concern over the health care law's expansive reach into personal lives by telling her Congress is not limited by the U.S Constitution:

Congressman Stark: We have unlimited power to do whatever we want, except that which we are supposed to do.

But Mr. Stark isn't alone. According to the poll (see Rasmussen Reports), 54 percent of the political class align themselves with him (see Mark Tapscott of the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog, here). Steve Watson of PrisonPlanet.com adds that the disconnect extends to the Health Care law, too, with 83 percent of the political class supporting it and 72 percent of voters opposing it.

It's Not Only About Congress

The November mid-term elections this November is about more than who controls Congress. Although it looks increasingly like a wave of near unprecedented proportions will wipe out the Leftists in charge of the House, and possibly the Senate, (see Michael Barone's analysis in the Washington Examiner), it could be going pear shaped for the libs in more way than one. There are more than 20 state legislative chambers that may flip from Democrat to Republican control this year, reports Joseph Weber at the Washington Times. A flip of this magnitude by either party always is huge news as states are the great policy labs as well as providing a bench for future statewide and federal office. But this year, still more is at stake: redistricting. The party in charge of a state's legislature will draw the new Congressional districts based on the census figures as well as their own districts. A large legislative sweep could ensure GOP control of Congress and state houses for at least 10 years. Not only that, the GOP is poised to regain a majority of governorships according to polling data.

Here's the devastating news to left-wing hearts:

A survey by the Washington-based Governing magazine last week found that more chambers could change party hands in 2010 than in any other election cycle since at least 2002. Although more than 20 Democrat-controlled state chambers are in play, Republicans are in jeopardy of losing just four.

Other surveys show Republican gubernatorial candidates looking strong in many states, increasing the chance of a major shift in the balance of power in state-level politics heading into the 2012 presidential election.

The party in the White House usually loses seats at the state level in midterm elections.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the White House party has been a net loser of state legislative seats in every election in the past 110 years except 1934 and 2002, the first midterm elections of Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush, respectively.

That dynamic, combined with voter concerns about the economy, federal spending and Democratic control of 55 percent of state seats means 2010 is "shaping up to be the worst election for Democrats since 1994," said the NCSL's Tim Storey. 

Virginia News Stand: May 26, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations You Want Bipartisanship?

The president visited the Senate Republicans yesterday asking for bipartisanship, then promptly went to a partisan fundraiser to mock them. Classy. Not only that, he's disingenuous, as ever. There is bipartisanship in Washington — and it's all against his policies as evidenced by the large numbers of Democrats who voted against the health care bill and cap and trade. Now, Democrats are joining Republican calls for the White House to be more forthcoming on a brewing scandal — did the president offer a candidate a job to drop out of a primary? The candidate, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) says yes. By the way, if it happened, it wouldn't be your normal political patronage. It's against the law.

Elsewhere, we're sorry to hear the Jay and Stephanie Burkholder have given up their lawsuit against the city of Roanoke for stealing their land and giving it to a private company. It's been a long fight and the legal expenses are mounting. The Burkholders pledge to work for, as are we, a state constitutional amendment beginning the next session of the General Assembly to prevent such government abuse and protect property rights. We'll have more comment about this later this week.

More notes of interest in this News Stand: The GOP wants your ideas. It has started a Web site to take the ideas from every day Americans. U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia's 6th District explains in Human Events. Lawrence Meyers of Big Hollywood explains how we fuel Hollywood trash while Mark J. Fitzgibbons, usually of the Washington Examiner, goes national in the American Thinker, putting the lie on the G-Men's reply to Virginia's lawsuit against the health care law; and Ronald Kessler of News Max says it all when he writes that conservatives are the mainstream — and that's not partisan. All of the above is below. Check it out. 

News

Burkholders give up fight for Reserve Ave. property (Roanoke Times)

Government challenges state's health care stance (Roanoke Times)

Fifth District candidates face off (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Allen says ‘poor judgment’ led to 'macaca moment' (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell says he didn't know of Fred Malek's Nixon work, SEC settlement (Washington Post)

National News

House GOP unveils Web site to build agenda (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Republicans, Dems press White House on job offer to Sestak (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama gets an earful in clash with GOP senators (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama offers scaled down version of Bush plan to put troops on the border (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP hopes candidate will flip Wash. Senate seat (AP/GOPUSA.com

Analysis

Does Hollywood Ideology Affect Hollywood Revenue? (Lawrence Meyers/Big Hollywood-Breitbart.com)

Commentary

ObamaCare Lawsuit Reveals National Grab to Regulate Individual 'Decisions' (Mark J. Fitzgibbons/American Thinker Blog)

Conservatives Are the Mainstream (Ronald Kessler/NewsMax.com)

America — It's Time to Speak Out (U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va./Human Events)

Obama's Border Security Plan: More Desk Jobs! (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Look Who's Behind the White House — Sestak Stonewall (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Preposterous Bill Press (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

West of the Potomac, GOP Hopes Rise (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Republicans take it to the president (Fresh Ink Blog GOPUSA.com

Gov't employees used crystal meth & downloaded porn. ... (Kay Daly/Fresh Ink Blog GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 28, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Cultural Conservatism's Comeback (Or Was It Ever Really Dead?)

Who said cultural conservatism is dead? In Virginia last week, there was bipartisan support to end taxpayer funding of elective abortion and within the last 24 hours two major blows for traditional values — and constitutional law — occurred. Yesterday, the Oklahoma Senate joined with the House there in a bipartisan vote to override Democrat Governor Brad Henry's veto of an informed consent bill which would requires women seeking abortions to see an ultrasound of her baby and receive certain information, not terribly different than a bill we have advocated for in the General Assembly the last several years. (There is always hope!) Then, earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a memorial Cross on federal land in the Mojave Desert can stay, reversing a lower court ruling.

But was cultural conservatism dead? Hard to believe that when each state that has voted on a Marriage Amendment has passed it. The truth is that there are certain truths in life and embedded in the constitution. Only when they are purposefully misinterpreted and laws misapplied to achieve agenda goals are they ever defeated. But defeat is not death. Values endure. We've seen that in the last 24 hours.

News

Gov discusses Confederacy, felons' rights, condoms (The Daily Press)

Va. ponies up millions to add Northrop (Washington Examiner)

Albemarle tea party crashes Fifth District chairman’s endorsement (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Audio

Ask The Governor (39:56) (WTOP/WTOP.com)

National News

Strict Abortion Measures Enacted in Oklahoma (New York Times)

States seek new ways to restrict abortions (USA Today)

High court supports Mojave cross in Calif. (AP/FoxNews.com)

High Court Says Mojave Desert Cross Can Remain (Wall Street Journal)

Sounding alarm on gonorrhea (Washington Times)

Poll finds Americans in an anti-incumbent mood as midterm elections near (Washington Post)

Reid: Senate to act on climate before immigration (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP eyes comeback for New England House seats (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Not us: Goldman execs deny wrongdoing in crisis (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama continues to hammer AZ immigration law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

AG: Court challenge possible on immigration law (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

How Arizona became center of immigration debate (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

How Mexico Treats Illegal Aliens (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Trying To Make People Like Us (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

Arizona's 21-Bottle Salute (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

The Return of 'Social Utility' (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 13, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Calling Mr. Ripley 

It's more Tea Party mania as Tax Day fast approaches. Groups are seeking Tea Party support in potential opposition to President Obama's next choice to the U.S. Supreme Court; liberal activists are trying to infiltrate Tea Parties with the purpose of embarrassing them (as we've known all along, and which the mainstream media finally has picked up on, see Aleksandra Kulczuga at The Daily Caller as well as the AP); and in Virginia, Tea Party activists have won two western GOP unit chair elections in recent days.

Meanwhile, nationally, and speaking of Tea Parties, support for the health care law is plummeting faster than a Soprano victim in the Elizabeth River, and more Americans than pay income tax think we're over taxed! That should tell you something, and Scott Rasmussen and Richard Olivastro do in Analysis and Commentary, respectively.

Think the Virginia Health Care Freedom Act is nervy, standing up to the big, bad federales? William Green of the Tenth Amendment Center has an idea that will knock your boots off. Also in that vein, and speaking of New Jersey (The Soprano's), many here patted themselves on the back after Governor McDonnell and the General Assembly balanced our budget without a general tax increase and reduced spending to $70 billion (over two years), a figure last seen in 2006. Very nice. But, as Norman Leahy notes at Tertium Quids, the other new governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey, is fighting for, and winning, real reforms, not to mention that even though it is larger than Virginia, it's annual budget is $29.3 billion. Even more impressive: The N.J. deficit is $10 billion; our two-year deficit was $4 billion. New Jersey more frugal than Virginia? Call Mr. Ripley.

News

Morrissey, Style Weekly settle $10 million libel lawsuit (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Griffith reaping GOP support (Roanoke Times)

Boyer elected head of Bedford GOP unit (Lynchburg News & Advance)

National News

Groups look for Tea Party support on nomination (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Foes of Tea Party movement to infiltrate rallies (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Census: No evidence of a conservative boycott (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on gay adoption: Kids 'aren't puppies' (New York Daily News)

Analysis

Support for Repeal of Health Care Plan Up To 58% (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

66% Say America Is Overtaxed (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

Florida Senate GOP Primary: Rubio 57%, Crist 28% (Scott Rasmussen/Rasmussen Reports)

Christie may be the real GOP model (Norman Leahy/Tertium Quids Blog)

Media Research Center: Coverage of Tea Parties is disparaging and biased (Aleksandra Kulczuga/The Daily Caller Blog)

Commentary

Next it will be government crashing the Tea Party (Richard Viguerie & Mark Fitzgibbons/Washington Examiner)

Ending the Fed From the Bottom Up (William Green/Tenth Amendment Center)

Stupak's Final Retreat (Editorial/Washington Times)

Good Riddance (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Democrats Manipulate CBO (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Can You Afford More Taxes? (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

A V-Shaped Boom Is Coming (Larry Kudlow/GOPUSA.com)

Is Romney Grasping at Straws? (Aaron Goldstein/The American Spectator)

Virginia News Stand: April 12, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Time For Tea (Parties)

It's a busy Monday version of the News Stand. We're in the news, again, because liberals are complaining about us. Translation: We're doing an effective job thwarting their agenda.

Someone else doing an effective job are the lobbyists paid for by local governments with  your tax money, who lobby, mostly, against interests of taxpayers and for the interests of government. Hundreds of thousands of dollars across the state, in fact. The Norfolk Virginian-Pilot features one such lobbyist and the dough she rakes in for the Virginia Beach School Board. However, some localities have stopped paying for outside help, which is good. But they continue to lobby the General Assembly with in-house staff. Not much better. Elsewhere, Tea Parties are spring up across the state and there are several dispatches regarding such. In news sure to cheer Planned Parenthood, a Catholic pharmacy which did not sell contraception, closed.

Nationally, we see the class exhibited by the New Jersey teachers union (it circulated an e-mail wishing for Republican Governor Chris Christie's death). In Analysis, Internet safety  activist Stacy Rumenap looks at a recent big win in federal court against the FCC and Henry Lamb discusses how President Obama got that national security force he campaigned for . . . in the health care bill! Nancy Pelosi was right. We did have to pass the bill to learn what was in it! In Commentary, Michelle Malkin and Mark Tapscott examine how the left in the media and out will try to sabotage the Tea Parties.

News

*UR recognition of Family Foundation leader protested (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

*Jepson alumna condemned by students for leadership award (The Collegian)

*Family Foundation lobbies McDonnell on abortion, stem cell research (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Some school divisions think lobbyists worth the investment (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Catholic pharmacy shutters in Virginia (Washington Times)

Tea Party: We're taxed enough (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Farris, Viguerie To Speak At Culpeper Tea Party (Culpeper Star Exponent)

Tea Party seeks to ‘wake up’ America at Freedom Rally (Danville Register & Bee)

New flap brings McDonnell’s national viability to fore (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

'Jobs' governor's first 90 days have veered off course (The Daily Press)

Mims sworn in as Supreme Court justice (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

After loss, Va.'s Deeds tries to regain his footing (Washington Post)

National News

Teachers union memo 'prays' for governor's death (CNN.com)

Obama election-year jobs agenda stalls in Congress (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP senators push for 'mainstream' court nominee (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Psst: Hilary Rodham Clinton for court? (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP Chairman Steele: 'I've made mistakes' (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Obamacare Will Be at Center of High Court Hearing (Michael Barone/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's Private Army (Henry Lamb/GOPUSA.com)

Court Rules FCC Lacks Authority to Regulate Internet (Stacy Rumenap/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Crash course: Your illustrated guide to Tea Party saboteurs (Michelle Malkin/MichelleMalkin.com)

Will Mainstream Media reporters and editors expose, screen out, or help Tea Party saboteurs? (Mark Tapscott/Beltway Confidential-WashingtonExaminer.com)

Are All Cultures Equal? (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: April 7, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Back In The Day, Again

We've been here before . . . and before and before. A governor signs a proclamation designating April Confederate History Month and all, well, war, breaks out. One minute Governor Bob McDonnell is loved by libs for an executive directive; the next, they're on his back about a proclamation. But the libs are keeping busy. They're still harassing Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli over his law suit challenging the constitutionality of the government takeover of the health care system.

Nationally, Senate Republicans' spine seems to be growing thicker and sturdier, but it's too early to tell. But apparently, they are ready to oppose a hyper liberal Obama circuit court nominee. In Analysis, the great Michael Barone looks back at the mid-term election of 1946 to look for trends in 2010. Who knew? But 1946 was the biggest GOP Congressional landslide in decades, much bigger than even the famous 1994 sweep. Also, Phillip Dennis gives an inside look inside the Tea Party movement and its leadership. His conclusion may surprise the casual observer (and floor liberals!). Meanwhile, Commentary features our normal all-stars, including Walter E. Williams, Michelle Malkin and Thomas Sowell.

News

Democrats seek more information from Cuccinelli (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell Confederate History proclamation criticized (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell: April is Confederate History Month (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

McDonnell's Confederate History Month proclamation irks civil rights leaders (Washington Post)

McDonnell declaration draws ire, approval (Roanoke Times)

Allen rallies GOP faithful (Roanoke Times)

Church & Culture: Religious themes abound in arts, politics, sports (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

Ready-to-run Mitt Romney could trip in health care (Philadelphia Daily News)

Republicans step up opposition to liberal court nominee (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Black conservative tea party backers take heat (AP/GOPUSA.com)

O'Connor: More justices may skip State of Union (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

What 1946 Can Tell Us About 2010 (Michael Barone/The American)

Palin? Armey? Republican Or Dem? The Leader Of Tea Party Is . . . No One! (Phillip Dennis/Investors Business Daily)

Fear and loathing at the RNC (Byron York/Washington Examiner)

Commentary

True Confessions from America's Census Workers (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

The Face of Hate (J. Matt Barber/GOPUSA.com)

Parting Company (Walter E. Williams/GOPUSA.com)

Not Necessarily Discrimination (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

A Sinking Ship of State (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: March 31, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Obama Says Drill, Baby, Drill

Wow, the Obama administration is doing something that makes sense? Allowing drilling off the coast of Virginia? There must be some catch. But, at least in its preliminary stage, Governor Bob McDonnell and the vast majority of Virginians are getting their wish. Of course, he's slamming the door on production in Alaska, California, Florida and elsewhere. No doubt, he's aiming for some political cover, especially as he now pushes for extreme regulatory restrictions on U.S. energy consumption. (See? I'm for all types of energy, I support drilling.)

Elsewhere, does the governor's "no major budget changes" include the status quo on Planned Parenthood, elective abortion and embryonic stem cell research? He also looks to make some permanent restructuring (smaller) state government. So have others. We'll see.

Meanwhile, offering reason to the disingenuousness of the left, who claim Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's court challenge to the federal government's health care takeover is a waste of taxpayer money, are editorials, commentaries and news coverage from all over the commonwealth. I commend them to you all. Speaking of the power grab, it's not all as great as the libs projected as they find out not more than a week after it passed. So much for that child coverage being cheaper — or even existent; and Henry Waxman is showing his tolerance for speech and financial freedom by a witch trial for companies that dare say they will lose money because of the health care takeover. The AP has the details. 

News

Va. governor to name team to reshape, shrink operations (Washington Post)

McDonnell not expecting major budget changes (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Cuccinelli: Health-care lawsuit could save state $1 billion (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Obama to Allow Oil Drilling Off Virginia Coast (AP/AOLNews)

Group opposing health care orders DNC to stop using its slogan (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

One threat proven real against GOP Congressman (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Editorial: Health Care: Unconstitutional (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

University of Wyo. cancels William Ayers speech (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health premiums could rise 17 pct. for young adults (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama administration moves to fix kids coverage gap (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama: Tea party features 'core group' against him (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Obama signs student loan/health care legislation in Virginia (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

Is the Va. attorney general wasting tax money on Obamacare lawsuit? No. (Mark Hemingway/Washington Examiner)

Virginia Democrats suddenly discover spending discipline (Mark J. Fitzgibbons/Washington Examiner)

'Change' Is Not New (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Liberals In Vitriol Denial (Brent Bozell/GOPUSA.com)

Henry Waxman: the Witch Hunter of Capitol Hill (Michelle Malkin/GOPUSA.com)

Frustrating, Stubborn Facts (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

Why the Tenth Amendment is Important (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

Obama's Gifts to the 'Outlier' Have Only Just Begun (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

The (Health Care) Law of Unintended Consequences (Doug Patton/GOPUSA.com)

Clowns to the left, Jokers on the Right (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia's Budget Process

Yesterday, Governor-elect Bob McDonnell (see his statement) urged a revamping of Virginia's budget process, one as peculiar as the one-term gubernatorial limit (Washington Times), keeping a campaign promise he and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling made in September. As it is now, the Old Dominion's two-year budget is proposed by the governor in even years, meaning the lame duck outgoing governor proposes one while the incoming governor is still moving furniture into the executive mansion. It's up to the new guy and the General Assembly to amend it, while the old guy laughs at them stumbling all over themselves (Richmond Times-Dispatch). It also means a governor only has one opportunity to thoroughly shape fiscal policy and spending priorities during his one term — the two year budget beginning with the second even year of his term (Washington Examiner). So, Governor-elect McDonnell proposes to move the governor's budget submission to odd number years (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog). Not a bad idea. He even has Governor Tim Kaine's support (whose outgoing, tax-increase laden budget is a great impetus for this change) as well as that of key lawmakers, and it was recommended as far back as 2002 from the Wilder Commission that studied ways to improve efficiency in state government. 

But another idea has floated through Capitol Square in recent years: Keep the even year cycle, but let the new governor do the proposing. To give him time, move the legislative session back a month or two. That way, he can propose two full budgets and the next governor can start with a clean slate. Under the odd year proposal, a new governor would take office in the middle of a already adopted two-year budget (better than the current system) and could propose amendments. But why not have the governor do what he was elected to do and have an impact the entire four year term? Besides, starting the legislative session in January can be such a bummer coming off the holiday season. Never does such good cheer turn to agony so fast.

Gov's mansion

Bob McDonnell will hardly have moved in before he has to start tearing up Governor Tim Kaine's proposed lame duck budget.

Virginia News Stand: September 11, 2009

Annotations & Elucidations We Post. You Decide.

Since we had a long edition yesterday, here's a brief digest of all that's fit to post. Of particular note are the three pieces in Analysis. More coverage, by John McCormack of The Weekly Standard, on Creigh Deeds' hypocrisy on the homosexual special rights issue; and Michael Barrone of the Washington Examiner and Rosalind Helderman of the Washington Post duke it out over the Post's coverage of Bob McDonnell. We post the columns, you decide.

News:

McDonnell, Deeds detail plans for business (The Daily Press)

Taxes, electricity rates at issue in governor's race (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell Rides Deeds on Health (Washington Post

Virginia Beach delegate's aide accused of embezzlement (Norfolk Virginian-Pliot

Landes: No Apology Necessary (Harrisonburg Daily News-Record)

Analysis:

'Mr. Deeds does not support gay rights' (John McCormack/Washington Examiner Beltway Confidential Blog)

Is the Post's campaign to 'Macaca' McDonnell sputtering? (Michael Barrone/Washington Examiner Beltway Confidential Blog)

Learning New Steps for Doing the Macaca (Rosalind Helderman/Washington Post)

National:

GOP poised for midterm gains? Sabato's 'Crystal Ball' predicts uptick in House (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

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).

Quote Of The Day

From one of our favorite senators, Janet Howell (D-32, Reston), who previously graced the QOD when she admitted she didn't have to read a bill to vote on it, comes this gem today, while chairing the Privileges and Elections Committee: When presenting a bill, Delegate Mark Cole (R-88, Spottsylvania) admitted it had a fiscal impact of around $75,000. But, he said, "it's already in the House budget."

Senator Howell, in the leadership of the Senate's  majority party and member of the Finance Committee, asked:

"Is it in the Senate budget?"

Umm, senator, the Senate famously and deliberately refused to pass a budget by its deadline last week (see Washington Examiner, here). Let's see. Senator Howell doesn't read the bills upon which she votes and doesn't pay attention in Finance Committee. Yes, we're in good hands.

 

Building The Case For Budget Transparency

If you haven't been able to tell, we've dropped several lines over the last few weeks about the lack of budget transparency in Virginia and urging the General Assembly to pass a bill this session that will make searching through Virginia's budget as easy as a Google search. (It's never too early to contact your senators and delegates, click here if you don't know who they are.) We will continue to comment on this essential piece of good and open government, that has a broad coalition, across the political spectrum, supporting it. The only people against it are the politicians, of both parties, whose power rests largely in appropriating money, much of which the average voter would be disgusted to know they are spending.

But, for now, although a federal problem, could there be a better reason to have full disclosure of any government's appropriations than the arrogant bank executives (see Washington Examiner, here) who refuse to reveal what they've done with the hundreds of billions of TARP tax dollars which have been used to bail out their sorry, mismanaged rear-ends? Just asking.