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Entitlement Society, Part 2: The Government Can!

Blogging isn't the easy, sit-at-home-in-your-pajamas job it is often portrayed as. But there are instances, taken individually, that make that assertion difficult to disprove. Take yesterday. A 700-plus word, thoughtful essay on the necessity for better transparency laws in Virginia took quite some time and research to complete. Blogs aren't all snark and diatribe. Good ones aren't, anyway. Multiply that by multiple posts a day and cross-posting over several social media platforms, and you've got a lot of responsibility on your hands. Then there was last night. I get these e-mails from the crazy aunt that I normally delete straightaway. There was nothing especially enticing about the subject line of her latest, but I opened it anyway. It simply said that I had to hear the song at the link provided, so I did. I now have today's blog post.

Now, go back to Friday's post about the rising entitlement culture among college students. This hilarious Tim Hawkins song about government dependency, "The Government Can (see lyrics)," should be their anthem (see Douglas Goodman at Policymic.com). It's a parody of the Sammy Davis, Jr., 1970s hit, "The Candy Man." Yes, blogging can be easy!

Version one, live, particularly funny for Hawkins' ad libs and dancing:

"Who can take your money? With a twinkle in their eye? Take it all away and give it to some other guy? The government can!"

Version two, a studio produced video with more than five million YouTube views, is hysterical for its effects and animation:

"Who can give a bailout? Tell us to behave? Make the Founding Fathers roll over in their graves? The government can!"

P.S. I love the very beginning: "Hey everybody! Gather 'round! I'm here to give you anything you like! You want free college, money, mortgages?! Whatever you like!" It's right out of what those college students' demands (and this song was written a couple of years ago). Then there's the line, ". . . throw away the Constitution!" Again, how prescient. See this post from last week.

David Barton Schools Jon Stewart On The Constitution And Religious Liberty

We were very blessed that the respected historian David Barton taped a video for us last fall, while here to keynote our Pastors Summit, to promote this year's Call To Prayer in Colonial Williamsburg on June 1. Little did we know, coincidentally, that he appeared on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart yesterday, the day after we debuted the video here and via e-mail, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to tens of thousands of people (see it here). As an avid student of history, especially the Founding period of America, and with a degree in history and English from one of the commonwealth's well thought of institutions of higher learning, I always thought of myself as pretty well informed on early American history. Not that I knew it all, but with a life-long study of it, I thought I at least knew the major points pretty well. But then I started my association with The Family Foundation and got my first exposure to Mr. Barton, the founder of WallBuilders.

What a breath of fresh air! Not only does he give voice, reason and fact to what I always instinctively and academically believed was our Founding Fathers' actual intent regarding religious liberty, he also has thousands of original period documents which prove the point — that nowhere in the constitution can it be construed that government is hostile to religious expression, whether in private or public. No one in America has done more research from original sources on this topic than David Barton and he can quote from them faster than I can items from a fast food menu. It's hard to imagine a more informed person on this subject — anywhere.

He also points to hundreds of events from the period, long neglected in the classroom, that flesh out principles by which these Founders lived, argued, fought and died. Actions do speak louder than words, even words on paper, and the same men who put those words to paper participated in events that today would have them fined, suspended, fired or kicked out of club, association, job or public position. Go figure. In the end, though, no one is better than simply explaining the simple or basic elements of an already straightforward document: Congress shall establish no law . . . how does that translate to prohibiting a prayer to Jesus at a high school graduation? Or state police chaplains praying in Jesus' name? Or a city council opening its session with a prayer? How are public acts of prayer a Congressional law establishing a religion? Maybe if secularists just read the constitution they would come to understand this themselves. Otherwise, we are left to think they have a blatant disregard for it and are intent on nothing less than to "transform" America.

No one exemplifies this misguided, misinterpreted, contorted, secularist slant on the constitution in pop culture more than Jon Stewart. I give him credit for inviting Mr. Barton on his show (at the insistence of another guest, former Arkansas Governor and another friend of The Family Foundation, Mike Huckabee). But it was nothing more than mismatch, a true learning moment for Mr. Stewart.

Learning curve: David Barton taught Jon Stewart, a William & Mary grad (and not his real name), a good deal Wednesday night on The Daily Show. (Part 1 is mainly introductory talk.)

It's unfair debating a left-wing celebrity type, but instructive: Stewart gives truth to the adage "That a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing."

Join Us On Flickr!

We've just added Flickr to our network of Internet sites. We hope you take time to visit our page there, bookmark it, and return to it from time to time. Our first presentation is a slide show of General Assembly highlights created out of freeze frames from the many videos we shot and produced of committee hearings. All of those videos are on our YouTube channel, which we encourage you to peruse so as to see how things really are done in Richmond (and what we're up against). We have a permanent link to our Flickr page, as well as all of our social media sites (including Facebook and Twitter), in the column on the right under the Family Foundation Internet Network header. 

Click here to visit our new Flickr page.

Half-Time Report: Several Family Foundation Priorities Pass The House!

Today is crossover at the General Assembly, the day when the House and Senate have to complete work on bills introduced in their respective chambers. Consequently, yesterday the House spent nearly 11 hours on the floor debating bills, with final votes taking place today. The Senate did their marathon debate and vote session today. Several Family Foundation priorities passed the House of Delegates, some after lengthy debates took place on the proposals yesterday.

HB 1440, patroned by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas), which would provide protection (civil recourse) for the unborn in cases where they lose their life due to the negligence of another, passed 62-36 — despite the wild accusations by Delegate Vivian Watts (D-39, Fairfax), who claimed the legislation would outlaw contraception. Delegate Dave Albo (R-42, Fairfax), the chairman of the Courts of Justice Committee, which reviewed the bill, defended it on the floor. He said that he had several attorneys and committee legal counsel review the legislation and all agreed that the bill, nearly identical to a 20-year-plus Missouri law, and which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1989, would not affect legal contraception in any way.

HB 2147, patroned by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Rockbridge), would prevent health insurance plans in the Virginia health insurance exchange, required by ObamaCare, from providing abortion coverage. This preemptive strike against ObamaCare, should it be implemented, passed 60-36.

The House today also passed by a vote of 54-45 HB 2314, legislation patroned by Delegate Jimmie Massie (R-72, Henrico), that would provide a tax credit for corporate donations to private scholarship programs. This education opportunity legislation is tailored to help low-income families. It is modeled after a successful Florida scholarship program that has helped more than 20,000 students and saved the state more than $36 million in FY2008-09. (We hope you join us this Thursday for our Family Foundation Day at the Capitol and Rally, which will focus on this legislation.)

Also passing today was legislation that will create an "In God We Trust" license plate. The bill, HB 1418, is an omnibus license plate bill patroned by Delegate John O’Bannon (R-73, Richmond) that incorporates the "IGWT" plate bill introduced by Delegate Dickie Bell (R-20, Staunton). A Senate bill (SB 811), patroned by Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg) creating the same license plate also passed the Senate today.

Thank you to everyone who has contacted their delegates and senators on these and other issues. After today the bills that have passed the House or Senate will "crossover" to the other chamber to go through the committee process. Please continue to respond to our action alerts (sign up here) and keep up with all the General Assembly news and video by returning to this site, and by following us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as the General Assembly session continues in the coming weeks.

"Like" Us By January 12!

It's one of those cold realities of our calendar: a few days after celebrating the promise of a New Year, our vacation evaporates and the real world beckons our attention ever so quickly. It's especially true for us as the General Assembly starts its "short session" in just a few days. We are busy preparing for the thousands of bills that will be filed and the more-demanding-than-normal-pace of the short session (almost as many bills, two less weeks). Because of that pace, and the importance of this session, we need your help now. But we're not asking a lot, only that you take a few seconds and:

Help us reach our goal of 1,000 Facebook friends by January 12, the start of the 2011 General Assembly!

All you need to do is click on the link above, sign in or register, and click "Like" on our Facebook page.

Success at the General Assembly depends on active and engaged constituents contacting their legislators on crucial votes in committee and on the floor. As much as we lobby them, constituents have the most influence. Currently, we have more than 800 Facebook fans. Not bad. But we are only as effective as the number of informed values voters who contact their lawmakers — and in order for us to maximize our collective clout, the timely communication of information is vital. Facebook is an essential tool to accomplish this.

Additionally, follow us on Twitter. With Twitter and Facebook, not only can you receive our instant notifications on important actions, it is easy to forward that information to others.

We also will continue to make great use of our YouTube channel. There, we will post videos of key committee hearings so that all is exposed and you can see for yourself how your representatives voted on major legislation — and where they can't hide behind procedural votes.

Of course, this blog will keep the public informed on all the goings-on during session. With our team of lobbyists, as well as key contacts and sources, no one covers the General Assembly online better than we do. After another record shattering year of readers, we hope you will continue to share our posts on your social media sites and via e-mail. 

But in the meantime, please go to our Facebook page, click "Like," spread the word on your social media sites, then sit back and get ready for all the breaking news from the 2011 General Assembly.

When A Second Is Too Long: H.S. Football Player Penalized For Thanking God

Since when is a second too long? According to a Washington State high school football referee, when a running back scores a touchdown and kneels and points Heavenward. Last week, in a state semi-final football game, Tumwater High School junior running back Ronnie Hastie scored another touchdown in his remarkable year. After each and every one, he has taken a brief knee and pointed skyward. The most advanced Swiss timing device doesn't clock it at more than one second. Yet, a referee threw a flag at him for delay of game — 15 yards for praising God.

Technically, it was "unsportsmanlike conduct" but a league official said, as you can see in the YouTube video below, that the rules state a player must give the ball to a referee immediately after scoring — nothing about "drawing attention to yourself" as the ref told Hastie. So, either the ref, who wasn't even in the picture when Hastie scored, thinks one second is somehow a delay of the action (never mind the place kicking team had to come on the field, anyway), or he made up his own rule. It's also a fact that Hastie has done this after each touchdown he's scored this year and drawn not one flag. According to the Seattle Times, the league is reviewing the ref's decision.

Apparently, this means a player can do almost anything he wants as long as he gives the ball back to the referee immediately (see Curtis Cartier at Seattle Weekly). But does this ref take into consideration the plausibility of players being able to search them out after a long run when the refs are still huffing and puffing it 30 yards behind? Or what about during a game winning touchdown, when the ball carrier is mobbed by teammates? Ridiculous is nothing when trying to squelch religious expression. Religion and state? Everyone there was there on their own accord, having traveled and paid admission. This wasn't being held "captive" at a school assembly.

Fortunately, the penatly was no factor in determining the outcome as Tumwater won in a route. If the same ref was assigned in the championship game, he would have been in a bind. Tumwater's opponent? Archbishop Murphy. As it was, Tumwater won the the title, 34-14.

"Fifteen yards: Illegal praise to God!" Be sure to read the info accompanying the video at YouTube.

A Great In Your Face To Christmas Commercialism

Tomorrow night, barring a presidential interruption, The Charlie Brown Christmas special will air on ABC (or see it here on FanPop). The show's everlasting quality and meaning is grounded in a longing for the meaning of Christmas beyond the corruption of the Holy Day by crass commercialism. While the Peanuts gang may be more subtle, there's no question its Christmas special is an in-your-face slam at those who would secularize Christmas. In a modern day slam along the same lines, we have this "Christmas Flash Mob" stunt produced by Alphabet Photography of Niagara Falls, Ontario. How appropriate! One of the most famous songs of praise to Christ in the middle of a mall! This must see video was done less than a month ago and already is a YouTube sensation with about 12.5 million views!

A modern day sequel to A Charlie Brown Christmas? Timeless music in an unusual place, a must see, truly putting Christ back in Christmas.

Spitzer Out Of His League Debating Cuccinelli

Last night, Client No.9, the former New York attorney general and governor, Eliot Spitzer, tried a typical elitist tactic when debating Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on the CNN program Parker Spitzer. Not having any constitutional basis on which to debate Mr. Cuccinelli, he relied on the patently immature "virtually every constitutional scholar says you don't have a case" assertion. First, it's not true. Second saying it over and over won't ever make it true. Not that Client No.9 didn't try a legal argument. He did, but it was mission aborted from twin malfunctions of indecipherable run-arounds and a simple thing called the constitution (not to mention an incredible misunderstanding of the bill's provisions). Attorney General Cuccinelli simply cited reason, history, the law, precedent and the constitution. Which is why he filed the lawsuit against the federal government's health care law — it is so brazenly beyond the widest stretches ever imagined of the constitution (see Cuccinelli news conference).

Then it was time for Spitzer's sophomoric, "well, my dad said," exclamation. What the Left means when they say that is: We know more than you, so just go home and mind your business. You're an idiot for wasting your time. Arrogance is the one thing they are good at.

So, who are these constitutional scholars? They are never named. Maybe the line should be modified to "every liberal constitutional scholar." The fact is, there are plenty of constitutional scholars who say Virginia's case against Obamacare is sound. Here's eight, in one quick search, courtesy of Hadley Heath at healthcarelawsuits.org. Besides, we'll take Madison, Hamilton and Jayover any liberal law school dean any day of the week.  

While Mr. Spitzer wasn't as obnoxious as he was to Senator-elect Rand Paul (R-Ky.), he was condescending. That said, what else does he have to go on? Since more people saw Client No.9 during his legal troubles (zennie62.com) than watch his show (wonkette.com) — and only slightly more than 100 have viewed the video on YouTube as of this posting — we thought we'd bring it to you.

Spitzer's legal incoherence was easy for Cuccinelli to take apart. Client No.9 amazingly thinks there are no checks on Congress.

VA-8 Update: Will This Be The Out-Of-The-Blue Shocker?

Every wave election has a result that, no matter how big the tsunami, catches everyone off guard. Many are saying today will bring one of those tidal waves. Predictions range from a GOP House pickup of anywhere from 60-80 seats. If so, where will the shocker come from? In Virginia, the spotlight has been on the 2nd, 5th, 9th and 11th Congressional districts. But there is some late buzz on a possible upset in the reliably deep blue Alexandria-based 8th district. There, long-time extreme left wing Democrat Jim "We'll Take Everything You Have" Moran, who has a history of fighting with colleagues and constituents alike, taking questionable loans and bashing Israel, is facing Republican Patrick Murray, a retired Army Colonel and aide to former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

The race, closer than most expected, was thrust into the spotlight recently when Moran blurted out another one of his infamous insults. This time the professional politician accused conservative candidates of being nothing more than "strawmen" with no real public service to their country, including his opponent (see Government Executive), in the process insulting every soldier, sailor, Marine, airman and guardsman. Outragously, the man who's drawn a lifetime of checks as an elected official, accused Murray of being on the public dole — for his military service (see Murray's response on Fox News Channel). Immediately, Murray's campaign was flooded with ex-military volunteers.

Further boosting Murray was an impressive debate performance (see YouTube) and a Murray internal poll remarkably had Moran with only a 2.5 point lead. Match that with record turnouts in the 8th and 11th districts (also boosting Keith Fimian) June primaries, where only recently Northern Virginia Republicans caucused in drugstore photo booths, and some special election wins last year, and anything can happen.

As Virginia Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26, Harrisonburg) wrote today (see complete letter):

In a wave election — and this has all the makings of one — you tend to get a stunning upset or two, with a race no one thought was close, perhaps one no one even bothered to poll. I fully expect the pundits to be scratching their heads at the results in a couple of districts — and why shouldn't they be right here in Virginia?

Why shouldn't it be, say, Chuck Smith in the third district, or Patrick Murray in the eighth?

Finally, here's some up-to-the-hour on-the-ground eyewitness testimony as recorded on Kathryn Jean Lopez at The Corner at National Review Online.

Kathryn, I voted for Patrick Murray this morning, and I’m feeling bullish about his prospects based on what I saw at the polls. The lines were longer than ‘08 (though I went a bit earlier this year, at 10:00 AM). I heard a couple going over the sample ballot and agreeing to vote “no” on all the bond issues — Arlington hasn’t been denied a bond in 31 years. I heard an elderly woman say very sharply to the Moran volunteer’s offer of literature, “No THANK you!”, and then I heard a man tell the poll worker that he hasn’t voted in forty years because he thinks they’re all bums. And last, on my way out, I heard that same Moran volunteer call after another woman, “Well at least we can agree that it’s cold out!” But the sweetest moment of all was when I sat down to write this: a good friend of mine from Alexandria called to tell me that for the first time in his life, he voted for a Republican. He hadn’t even told his wife yet .... Happy election day

The final straw? Rep. Moran's insult, saying military service wasn't public service, and calling conservative candidates strawmen, may spell his doom in a wave election. It may be what we're talking about tomorrow.

Poll: Griffith Pulls Even With Boucher In 9th Congressional District

Of the four Congressional races targeted by the Republican Party of Virginia this year, the one in the legendary "Fightin' Ninth" seemed the most difficult. Incumbent Democrat Rick Boucher has held the seat for 28 years and GOP challenger Morgan Griffith, the House of Delegates Majority Leader, got a late start in the campaign and wasn't nearly as well funded. But anyone who knows Delegate Griffith knows he's a tenacious worker and despite the pile of money spent against him by Mr. Boucher and outside left-wing interest groups such as NARAL, he has methodically made his way back into the race. Starting from 20 points down, to eight, then four and now . . . according to a poll by the National Republican Congressional Committee . . . it's even at 44 percent.

The poll was one of many House Republicans conducted to gauge which campaigns around the country are now in play for them. The field is expanding, where even long-time lefties such as Barney Frank and Jim Oberstar have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money this late into the game (a sign that even Dems don't want to go down with them). The news comes from Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post's The Fix blog, where he keeps readers up to date on races across the country. The question in the Commonwealth is whether Virginians in the great Southwest want to to spend years 29 and 30 with Rick Boucher (see YouTube).

A King-Sized Interview In The Big Apple

I am very excited to be in New York City to participate in The King's College Distinguished Visitor Series. I will be interviewed today by The King's College provost and World Magazine editor-in-chief Marvin Olasky in front of a crowd of the college's students. The King's College is a liberal arts school located in the Empire State Building. This year's Distinguished Visitor Series includes the likes of George Gilder, Dick Armey, Chuck Colson and and many other familiar names from academia, business, journalism, public policy, economics and culture. Past participants include U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, Grover Norquist, John Stossel and Ken Blackwell. Click here to see the complete list of this year's distinguished speakers and click here to see the list from the last three years of speakers up to August 30, and download the podcasts of those who interest you most. It's a terrific roster of intelligent and thought-provoking men and women. We will post the podcast of my interview here when it becomes available on The King's College Web site. Video will be available at the college's YouTube channel.

This year, the series added another element to its speakers' profile. According to Mr. Olasky:

The Distinguished Visitors Series allows students to learn from and interact with some of our nation’s top leaders. And this year we're complementing our established invitees with some younger Americans who will talk about ideas but also about discerning callings and starting careers (see Style Weekly).

I am honored to be a part of this series. I know it is possible only because of the good work by thousands of Virginians who share the common cause of defending our traditional values in the culture at large, and who work hard every day to bring reason and truth in the public square.

Administration Spokesmen? Abbott & Costello Explain The "Stimulus"

Finally, someone explains with clarity the how the "stimulus" is creating (or "saving") jobs. They are not "Loafing" around, either. It makes as much sense as anything Press Secretary Robert Gibbs says (YouTube). If Abbott and Costello could have only known . . . .

Abbott & Costello perfectly explain how the "stimulus" spending bill works. It's not their signature "Who's On First?" routine, but since no one in the Obama administration knows either . . . .

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.

The White House's Response To Virginia's Round One Health Care Win

Perusing liberal blogs today has been a hoot. The Left Wing is in hysterics (for example, see Blue Virginia). At least it uses a nice picture of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. More composed, of course, but no less disingenuous, is the White House itself. Stephanie Cutter, writing on its blog, posted the following:

Having failed in the legislative arena, opponents of reform are now turning to the courts in an attempt to overturn the work of the democratically elected branches of government.

The federal government believes this procedural ruling is in error and conflicts with long-standing and well-established legal precedents . . . designed to preserve the "judiciary’s proper role in our system of government" and to ensure that our courts do not become forums for political debates.

Now that this preliminary stage has ended, the government fully expects to prevail on the merits. The Affordable Care Act falls well within Congress’s power to regulate under the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the General Welfare Clause.

So little written, so much nonsense. Regarding activist courts, the Left Wing should know better. Much better. But they often prove not understand the U.S. Constitution — or purposefully misguide: The courts were put in place as a safeguard against government encroachment on individual liberty. So, when the government overreaches (especially when new requirements are established), individuals, localities and states have recourse. It is the check against the ruling class which, if not held back, could easily consolidate all power unto itself. By the White House's logic no law can be overturned as long as it is — by definition — passed by Congress and signed by the president. Absurd!

Real judicial activism is legislating from the bench, rather than undoing a law, or something not previously on the books. So the White House has it only half correct, but it is liberals who, over the decades, when failing to get legislation passed into law, have resorted to seeking decrees from courts to invent laws and "rights" nowhere to be found in the constitution. There was no more frank admission of this than the infamous remark by now-Justice Sonia Sotomayor where she said, "The court of appeals is where policy is made." (See YouTube.)

The White House also cities numerous clauses, a debate it assuredly doesn't want to have — at least not before it finishes debating itself. None of the clauses mentioned empower the government to force people to purchases something they may not use. Knowing this, the Justice Department argued at the hearing to dismiss on July 1 that the law comes under the taxing authority of the constitution. But at every turn, including his campaign and during the shambolic legislative process leading up to the health care vote, Barack Obama and Congressional liberals said it was not a tax bill.

As a candidate, Mr. Obama went so far as to oppose an individual mandate, opposition to which is the thrust of Attorney General Cuccinelli's argument (see news release). That the White House and its own DOJ are on separate pages tells us much and perhaps liberal bloggers need rant at them before taking aim on the attorney general. Even bloggers at the White House.

Blogosphere Exclusive: Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's Post-Hearing News Conference!

It's been a full day, not the type you plan for when trying to ease into a holiday weekend. First, it was two hours in a federal courthouse waiting for, and then sitting through, arguments by the Department of Justice and the Office of Attorney General as to why Virginia's lawsuit against the federal health care law should be, respectively, dismissed and go forward to trial (see the Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog). More on that later (lots of legalese to sort through before a long weekend). But we wanted to be the first (and perhaps only) blog (or any media) in Virginia to provide video of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's entire post-hearing news conference (see AG's news center for news release). At least we didn't see any other bloggers with cameras in attendance and television stations typically don't post entire events online.  By the way, there was a fairly large contingent of media assembled for this. At the time of this post, there are 200-plus articles on it per a Google search (state and national publications), highly unusual for a hearing on a motion to dismiss. Imagine what it will be like in October of the case proceeds. Judge Henry Hudson (who presided over the Michael Vick dog fighting trial)said in court today that his decision on that matter will come within 30 days.

Because of YouTube criteria, we broke the news conference into three parts (see our YouTube channel). Please share it with others (it can be viewed on mobile devices as well). The attorney general opens with a statement outlining the constitutional principles behind the lawsuit and summarizes the arguments from both sides at the hearing. He then takes questions from the media about three minutes into part 2.

Part 1 (9:25):

This lawsuit is not about health care. It is about liberty. ... Today we were protecting the U.S. Constitution and Virginia statutes as my oath of office calls for. 

Part 2 (9:37):

Since 1819. ... A penalty for inaction is not a tax of any kind known in our constitutional history.

Part 3 (8:53)

The state is a separate sovereign entity in our constitutional system. It was set up by The Founders to the benefit of all our citizens. I was very clear in my campaign that if the federal government overstepped it's proper boundaries that Virginia would fight back.

Newly Released Family Foundation 2010 General Assembly Report Available Online

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

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

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

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

Save The Date: The Family Foundation's 25th Anniversary Gala October 9!

Our Annual Gala this year will be a little more special than most years and we're excited about that. It will be extra special because it will be our 25th Anniversary Gala, and we're celebrating it on a Saturday evening instead of the typical weekday so more people can attend.

So, please save the date: October 9 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Befitting a silver anniversary event, we're planning activities throughout the day in addition to the dinner, which will make the Gala a fully rounded, lively and engaging celebration. It is certain to be a memorable event as we look back on a quarter century of defending our shared values and celebrate our many victories. We’ll also look ahead to the next 25 years as we advance our critical mission.

Okay, Okay . . . people hear that all the time and the word has been out for a bit, but people keep asking me who the keynote speaker is, or even if we have one lined up yet. The answer is, yes, we do a have a speaker and, just as with last year, when former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee inspired a crowd of more than 1,250 guests, the keynoter this year will encourage, motivate and energize you for the future. In fact, we have a pretty good track record of Gala speakers: William Bennett, Tony Snow, former Senators Rick Santorum and George Allen, Gary Bauer, David Barton, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Steve Forbes, Maggie Gallagher, Eric Metaxas and former Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, among them.

This year's speaker — named one of the "Top 20 Most Influential Conservatives in America" and a frequent national television guest — is a national leader for conservative principles and is certain to bring a powerful, engaging and inspiring message that you won't want to miss. In fact, you will be disappointed if you do. So, please get your tickets now to see. . . .

Stay tuned for the big reveal in the weeks to come. We will have exciting announcements and updates delivered to you in exciting ways, so sign up for our e-mails, return to this blog, join us on FacebookTwitter and YouTube. Help us launch an exciting new era at The Family Foundation where we bring our traditional message to new audiences with modern techniques. 

The dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m., preceded by a private reception for sponsors with the speaker. We hope you’ll reserve this date on your calendar.

Additional information on sponsorship packages, tickets and program advertisements will be provided this summer via email and online at www.familyfoundation.org/gala.htm. To receive the information by mail, please call us at (804) 343-0010 or e-mail Gala@FamilyFoundation.org.

Pelosi: Socialism Is The New Entrepreneurism

Well, how else to describe it? The Embarrassment Speaker of the House basically said now it's okay to quit your job and do whatever you want because the government's got your back — and your stomach, your lungs, your kidneys and everything else under the "health care bill." No worries. Want to become a rock 'n roll star at 40? Excellent! Just buy a guitar (sorry, government doesn't pay for that — yet — or maybe it does somewhere in the stimulus bill), take some lessons and become the next Eric Clapton. Take your time, too, because if you get sick, we have health care! It is, believe it or not, the new entrepreneurism. The Embarrassment Speaker said so herself. Via CNSNews.com and YouTube:

Nancy Pelosi: "Pick up your guitar and play, just like yesterday." But you know, Nance, this time, "we won't be fooled again."

The Left's Warped Sense Of Fair And Balanced: "Left Vs. Center-Left"

The American left can't get over itself, which is a shame. It truly stifles honest and thorough debate on the issues of the day. But it is more insulated with itself the the Bubble Boy from Seinfeld fame. No better illustration of that, no better admission of that (one might even claim arrogance, in fact), came from MSNBC's Chris Matthews, he of the tingling leg sensation when he hears Barack Obama speak (see YouTube). This time, instead of talking "stimulus," Mr. Matthews espouses his idea of fair and balanced presentation of views. There's no problem with the time he allots various sides. The problem is what he considers the various sides. Apparently, Mr. Matthews thinks the range of political discourse in America should range only from the "left" to the "center-left" (about 1:30 into the video below). Now, there's tolerance for you! Interestingly, he blames President Obama's sinking popularity and the distaste for government-run health care on the Fox News Channel, as if one cable outlet can dominate opinion over three broadcast and two cable networks and a host of major daily papers and weekly magazines.

More astonishing, he can't comprehend that people inherently know that government interference, especially in something as sensitive as health care, is wrong, and the care, inevitably, incompetent. But, that's what happens when you live in a (misguided, liberal) bubble.

Chris Matthews: Fair is fair — liberals vs. extreme liberals, and that's all you need to hear!

If ObamaCare Is Based On ObamaMath, No Wonder The Plan Is A Disaster!

So, you may have heard the Smartest President Ever yesterday (Frugal Cafe) give his latest health care takeover pep talk, or at least some sound bytes. You might not have heard this one because it doesn't exactly flatter our president. It's funny how his left-wing media allies play only certain parts of the speech over and over again. I guess they think it makes him look smart . . . like when he said there were 57 states — oops! They don't show that often, er, ever. That's why we have YouTube. But yesterday, this mathematically challenged president said if his health care takeover plan is passed, employers could save "3,000 percent" on their health care premiums and give their employees "a raise." Why, he thinks of it all, doesn't he?

Ummm, let me get this straight Mr. President: Even if employers wouldn't have to pay any health care costs, according to my private school education (don't know about yours), that would max out to a 100 percent savings. We all know public schools are having a tough time of it, sir, but man, you're giving private schools a bad name, too!

No wonder the bill before Congress is so bad. If it's based on ObamaMath, can ObamaCare really do what he says it can? Not at all.

 

Imagine if Dan Quayle or W had said this: Late night comedic material for a month. Seriously, how well does he understand his own bill?