health care

Happy Tax Day!

Today is (federal) Tax Day. (Virginia income taxes are not due until May 1, although many prepare and pay both on this day.) Americans are working longer than ever to earn the money it takes to pay their share of local, state and federal taxes. Taxes now cost families more per year than the cost of their food, clothing and shelter combined!  If that doesn't overjoy you, than this might: It's where all your hard earned money is spent. Hint: Most of it went to pay for government "benefits." Draining away families' ability to take care of themselves at some point becomes a moral question when their government wastes the money taxed away from them, and then, like a junkie, goes into debt funding its addiction, only to hit up families for more taxes just to keep a step ahead of the collection enforcer.

Amy Payne of The Heritage Foundation explains the budget breakdown today at The Foundry Blog:

In 2013, the major entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care — consumed 49 percent of all federal spending. These programs, and interest on the debt, are on track to consume an even greater share of spending in future years, while the portion of federal spending dedicated to other national priorities will decline.

Major entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) gobbled up 49 percent, while more federal benefits took another 20 percent. These additional "income security" benefits include federal employee retirement and disability, unemployment benefits, and welfare programs such as food and housing assistance. Obamacare spending didn’t really kick in until 2014, so that will show up in next year’s breakdown.

Meanwhile . . .

National defense has been cut, while the major entitlements picked up an even larger percentage.

This chart from Heritage illustrates it plainly:

Where Does All the Money Go?

It's not that we oppose taxes. We oppose more than what is needed to pay for core government responsibilities and functions. We oppose going into debt and not only choking off economic prosperity now, but hanging that debt on future generations that won't have a say on the policies that assuredly will leave them with a country well past its world preeminence (if that hasn't happened already).

Along the way, currently, not only has the government become an addict, its policies have created dependency on countless families, tearing apart our social fabric and sense of community. What else to expect when one junkie pushes junk on the unsuspecting? Sobering, huh? Happy Tax Day!

Pass A Clean Budget! Sign The Petition.

As was predicted for weeks, the General Assembly was not be able to come to an agreement on a state budget prior to leaving Richmond on Saturday. Governor Terry McAuliffe and a majority of senators have made adopting a budget contingent on expanding Obamacare, putting Virginia's economic well-being at risk. Already, far-left organizations like moveon.org are spending millions of dollars to rhetorically assault legislators taking a stand against Obamacare. We need to counter the Left's efforts by doing all we can to stand with those lawmakers who are standing for us!

One simple way you can make your voice heard is by signing the petition at www.passthebudgetterry.com/.

Even many of those who support the expansion of Obamacare, such as the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, have urged the governor and senate to decouple the budget from that debate. Holding state government, local governments, schools and, more importantly, the taxpayers of Virginia hostage because they know they don't have the votes to expand the failure that is Obamacare places an already fragile economy in peril.

Sixty-four members of the House of Delegates and 17 members of the Virginia Senate rejected the expansion of Obamacare. They need to know that we stand with them! Please sign the petition at www.passthebudgetterry.com/ so that they know you want a clean budget with no expansion of Obamacare.

It's unfortunate, but we are seeing more and more of Washington, D.C. style politics coming to Virginia. If the Left can't win the debate with facts and reason — which aren't on its side — it resorts to politically motivated scare tactics and rhetorical bludgeoning. Those who understand the dire straits our Republic is in because of our ever growing $17 trillion debt are painted as "uncaring" and not in favor of health care for those who are disadvantaged! The truth is that Medicaid is the least effective way of providing care to those in need and Obamacare has prevented us from having a real debate over how to fix our health care system.

The first step is to sign the petition. We are currently planning other ways by which you'll be able to make your voice heard regarding this important issue. Stay tuned for more details in the coming days!

Land Of The Free? Really?

It's ironic that while the rest of the world is moving toward economic freedom to ignite their economies, United States, under the governance of Washington's liberal elites, has retreated from liberty. It's true. While countries such as Denmark, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand and Australia were high-tailing forward, we moved backward, and Bahrain — Bahrain — is nipping at our heels. These are the conclusions of the The Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation annual Index of Economic Freedom. In fact, the report states that the U.S. score, which dropped to ninth in the study, fell from the ranks of the "economically free nations" to that of the "mostly free" ranks. According to the study, the U.S. decline was . . .

largely the result of large government spending increases and passage of President Barack Obama’s health care plan, which severely restricts consumer choice and private health care markets while increasing the size and cost of government.

Also of note is that more than half of the 183 countries in the survey improved their economic freedom, seeking to untangle their governments from the private sector to emerge from recession rather than increasing government's role (see Theodore Bromund at Heritage's The Foundry). The report rated countries' fiscal soundness and openness to trade and investment, government size, business and labor regulation, property rights, corruption, monetary stability and financial competition.

According to Virginia Fourth District Congressman Randy Forbes, who blogs about the study here:

It is clear that huge increases in government spending have impacted our economic freedom as a nation and it shows us that reining in government spending must be a top priority for the 112th Congress. Our nation was built on the premise that we are the “land of the free,” and that includes economic freedom. “Mostly free” should not be an economic option for the United States.

We now are in a period where big government not only threatens our liberty with ever increasing control over our decisions, but with the incomprehensible debt it has accrued in doing so. Debt enslaves people and societies to those to whom it owes the money. That those debts will never be called in is no longer realistic. We may always be be the home of the brave, but land of the free is not a guarantee.

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.

The Pulse Of The Nation . . . With Apologies To Dr. Seuss

From a friend who received this from someone, so I don't know if this is old Internet viral or not, but it's very good. With apologies to Dr. Seuss, this pretty much sums up how most of the country feels right now.

I do not like this new Uncle Sam;

I do not like his health care scam.

I do not like these dirty crooks,

or how they lie and cook the books.

I do not like when Congress steals,

I do not like their secret deals.

I do not like this speaker Nan,

I do not like this 'YES WE CAN.'

I do not like this spending spree,

I'm smart; I know that nothing's free,

I do not like your smug replies, when I complain about your lies.

I do not like this kind of hope.

I do not like it. Nope, nope, nope.

Happy 4th!

Update: Cuccinelli To Webcast Briefing On Health Care Lawsuit June 16

It's the talk of the nation and certainly has provided motivation for viscous attacks by left-wing bloggers and politicians, but it is right and just — the law suit brought by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli against the freedom crushing government run health insurance plan concocted and rammed through by President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Because the mainstream media and left wing groups have attempted to demonize the law suit, the attorney general smartly is going around them. So, here's a reminder thatthis Wednesday, June 16, at 8:00 p.m., Attorney General Cuccinelli will host a Webcast town hall meeting to discuss the facts of the case, the constitutional issues involved and the legal process. He also will take questions from the online audience.

Click here to sign up for this free event, that promises to be very informative as well.

We urge you to take part in this Webcast. As the national debate over government-run health care continues, the mainstream media and statists who support it continue to spoon feed their deception to the public over the airwaves, in newspapers and on the Internet, especially throught political party manipulated bloggers. Knowing the truth is essential as you discuss this important topic with your friends, co-workers and fellow church members.

Too many of our fellow Virginians do not know the actual content of our constitution or what it means. You must be equipped with the facts and arguments to be able to counter the pro-government run health insurance crowd.

We also hope you will take the time to read the attorney general's brief on the case (you can bet most of those raising their hackles about it haven't) by clicking here. It summarizes the constitutional law and historical arguments that are the foundation of the commonwealth's case against the Obama administration.

As Americans get ready for summer vacation and are fixated on the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, decisions will be made in the coming weeks and months that will affect the very foundations of our our way of life. We highly encourage you to join the Mr. Cuccinelli Wednesday night on the Webcast to learn more about this incredibly important case.

The Framers Had Doctors, Too: Judge Andrew Napolitano Explains The Commerce Clause

The Congress shall have the Power To . . . regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with Indian tribes. ...

Article I, Section 8, United States Constitution: "The Commerce Clause" 

Many in Congress admit they don't know where in the U.S. Constitution (the document they swear to uphold) it says Congress has the power to takeover health care or interfere in any aspect of the economy. Others, ignorantly, say it's in the Commerce Clause. Still others know they don't have the authority, but live a lie in order to consolidate power in government, rather than the people, to further their statist aims (See U.S. Rep. Phil Hare). A very few, unfortunately, know that the power is nowhere to be found in the document.

Above is the Commerce Clause verbatim. It clearly means that the federal government's only role is to ensure the equal treatment of commerce across borders, whether with other countries, native tribes or "among the several States." That's right! States! Notice the equal footing the Framers gave states with "foreign Nations" — both are capitalized. The Framers did not want New Jersey, for example, taxing goods coming into it from New York differently than it did goods coming into it from Virginia. Similarly, New Jersey and Virginia couldn't impose different tariffs on goods from England; the central government would referee that and put a uniform tariff on imports coming into the country at any port.

The Commerce Clause, then, had nothing to do with individuals conducting their own transactions, much less conducting the personal business of seeking treatment or medical advice. It means just what it says. Pretty simple.

Clarifying it further is former Judge Andrew Napolitano, seen on the Fox News Channel as its senior judicial analyst and heard on his own Fox News Radio program. Here is a telling excerpt from a piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal last September:

I asked South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, where in the Constitution it authorizes the federal government to regulate the delivery of health care. He replied: "There's nothing in the Constitution that says that the federal government has anything to do with most of the stuff we do."   

Rep. Clyburn, like many of his colleagues, seems to have conveniently forgotten that the federal government has only specific enumerated powers. He also seems to have overlooked the Ninth and 10th Amendments, which limit Congress's powers only to those granted in the Constitution. 

One of those powers — the power "to regulate" interstate commerce — is the favorite hook on which Congress hangs its hat in order to justify the regulation of anything it wants to control. ...

James Madison, who argued that to regulate meant to keep regular, would have shuddered at such circular reasoning. Madison's understanding was the commonly held one in 1789, since the principle reason for the Constitutional Convention was to establish a central government that would prevent ruinous state-imposed tariffs that favored in-state businesses. It would do so by assuring that commerce between the states was kept "regular."

In the video below, Judge Napolitano, the youngest Superior Court Judge in New Jersey history, expounds on the original intent of James Madison and the Framers as well as the evils of an all-powerful, big-government. (The Framers had doctors, too, and saw no need to mention "health care" in the Constitution!) Look no further than what the 18th century definition of "regulate" meant to know today's government is out of control. The article, linked above, and the video, are well worth the big education you will get for such a short expenditure of your time.

Judge Andrew Napolitano: If the Framers thought health was a constitutional power, they would've mentioned it. After all, people got sick, then, too.

Virginia News Stand: May 8, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Weekend Edition

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

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

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

News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

National News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Commentary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking For The Truth? Look At The Statistics: 1% Tax Increase Lowers GDP 2-3%

One of the most insightful and oft-quoted stock market analysts in the country is Virginia's very own Kent Engelke, chief economic strategist and managing director of Capitol Securities Management. His April 22 Early Morning Commentary quoted a profound statistic:

As per Bloomberg, next week the Treasury may sell an unprecedented $128 billion in notes which some believe might be the peak in issuance as the economy strengthens. At this juncture, primary dealers are estimating the Treasury will sell a record $2.4 trillion in debt in 2010 as compared to $2.11 trillion in 2009.

Regarding 2011, Treasury has stated the obvious that 2011 issuance will be based upon tax receipts and projected budget.

Will revenue and growth projections meet expectations? As written several times and as per the National Bureau of Economic Research, a tax increase of 1% of GDP lowers real GDP roughly 2% to 3%. In other words higher taxes lower GDP. Perhaps the only absolute is that taxes are going up next year.

Will revenue assumptions meet expectations, especially given that as per the IRS a record 47% of society will not pay federal taxes in 2009? Never have so few carried the burden of so many.

The NBER is a non-partisan, highly respected institution (it is the official arbiter of when recessions start and when they end). The highlighted statistic — not to mention the frightening aspect of Treasury debt — is something to heed: Raising taxes decreases economic activity, including job creation, tax generation (to reduce annual state and federal deficits and cumulative national debt), and, it reasons, access to health care.

So, exactly what has the Left done to us (against our collective will)? It has rammed through some of the largest tax increases in history through the health care bill, not to mention the plethora of other faults it encompasses. Is this ignorance? Demagoguery? Or just plain egalitarian socialism, where the playing field is leveled — so that everyone has horrible health care and chronically high unemployment? Maybe all of the above. 

Over the last couple of weeks, the Left has lied, impugned and tried to discredit the Tea Party movement (ironic since in the same breath they say it is an inconsequential and contrived flash in the pan). One of the lies is that the movement should "thank" President Obama for lowering taxes for 95 percent of Americans, which is Orwellian. Be that as it may, there is no disputing what is scheduled to happen in several months as the Bush tax cuts sunset as well as the onset of the new health care law taxes.

So, who's actually telling the truth and what will be the actual outcome for the economy? Hint: Statistics don't lie.  

Virginia News Stand: April 19, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations The Mostly All Virginia Edition

Today's News Stand is all Virginia, for the most part. Even The Weekly Standard'sMary Katherine Ham's feature on the use of the Internet by GOP campaigns has a lengthy portion devoted to the expertise in which Governor Bob McDonnell's campaign used new technology to find and target voters. We have a round-up of Tea Party Day across the commonwealth. Commentary also has a Virginia ledger today, with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's opinion piece making National Review Online.

News

Va. public broadcasting funds in peril (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Roxann Robinson to run for Nixon’s delegate seat (BearingDrift.com)

At UVa, Justice Scalia warns of scholars’ agendas, biases (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

How do LGBT people fare in the area? (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Think tank says Virginia budget raises taxes on poor (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Black Baptist pastors criticize McDonnell’s policies (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Tea-party supporters rally in Richmond (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Hundreds of Tea Party activists rally in downtown Norfolk (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Election plans brewing for Roanoke Tea Party (Roanoke Times)

Tea Party activists sh0w frustration at local rally (Charlottesville Daily Progress

Lynchburg tea partiers sound off on Tax Day (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Cuccinelli: I’m fighting for Constitution (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Cuccinelli opines that taxes and fees can be embedded in the state budget (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Will Marshall run for U.S. Senate in Va. again? (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

National News

Obama extends hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners of gays (Washington Post)

No hooking up, no sex for some coeds (CNN.com)

Analysis

Tea-party influence could cut two ways (Tyler Whitley/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Tea partiers in two camps: Palin vs. Paul (Politico.com/Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Techno-GOP (Mary Katherine Ham/The Weekly Standard)

Commentary

Unconstitutional Mandate: Virginia’s Obamacare lawsuit is about more than just health care(Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, III/National Review Online)

McDonnell is tarred by missteps (Jeff Schapiro/Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia News Stand: April 8, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Recent History Repeating Itself

Not only was the Confederate History Month proclamation by Governor Bob McDonnell deja vu from past controversies over such proclamations, it was recent history repeating itself : Only a few weeks ago, the governor issued an "executive directive" which seemingly watered down his own executive order that did not recognize sexual orientation in state hiring policy. At least this time, no one can blame the attorney general. Speaking of the AG, you know liberals' attention is diverted when the headlines are absent an attack in him. In National News, Nancy Pelosi is urging Bart Stupak to seek re-election. That ought to help him, and Dems everywhere, as the AP reports, just wish health care would go away. Which ignites the question: Why they'd vote for it!? Elsewhere, Harry Reid is begging for help while Michael Steele may have weathered his storm, and the Census Bureau admits to more problems (surprise me not).

Please check out Analysis and Commentary today. We proudly introduce another outstanding source upon which we draw upon: The American Spectator. Long one of my favorites, it brings incisive insight to the great issues of the day with a great array of writers, all while appropriately belittling the left as the occasion calls. But it's not afraid to hammer Republicans deserving of the beating. Today, W. James Antle, III, exposes Republicans already abandoning the "Repeal and Replace" war cry. Meanwhile, George Neumayr expounds on the left's campaign against the Catholic Church and the Pope. Also, Joseph Shattan may surprise you on what man was most responsible for electing Barack Obama, and why. In addition, Bobby Eberle, Dick Morris, Paul A. Ibbetson and Matt Towery all have unique takes on the president, the mid-term elections, technology and politics, and the culture, respectively. 

News

McDonnell apologizes for omitting slavery reference (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell apologizes for omission of slavery (The Daily Press)

McDonnell sorry for omitting slavery (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Virginia governor amends Confederate history proclamation to include slavery (Washington Post)

National News

Nearly half of US households pay no federal income tax (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Vulnerable Democrats are tiptoeing on health care (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Sen. Reid tells voters: 'I need your help' (AP/GOPUSA.com)

AP Sources: Dems urge Stupak to seek re-election (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Census Bureau concerned about head count problems (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Leahy won't delay hearing for appeals court pick (AP/GOPUSA.com)

GOP officials back Steele in conference call (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Republicans Against Repeal (W. James Antle, III/The American Spectator)

The End of History and the Last Pope (George Neumayr/The American Spectator)

Tax Freedom Day: Real or Imagined (Doug Bandow/The American Spectator)

Democrat Strategists Have It Wrong (Dick Morris/GOPUSA.com)

Techno-Politics: The War  for Downloadable Supremacy (Paul A. Ibbetson/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

The Man Who Elected Barack Obama (Joseph Shattan/The American Spectator)

iPad vs. Obama Pad . . . You Decide (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

America's Work Ethic Going the Way of France (Matt Towery/GOPUSA.com)

Theories and Reactions to Racial Theories (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)

Hank Johnson: Poster Boy For Liberal Genius

How often does the mainstream media portray liberals as the enlightened, the brilliant, the smart? Conservatives, on the other hand, are flat-earthers, dumb, Neanderthal. Yet time after time we see and hear liberal icons say things that should disqualify them from the ranks of the serious, such as Barack "57 states" Obama, which would go unnoticed except for the new and alternative media. It's bad enough they want to redistribute wealth and control people and business, worse still that they purposefully disregard the Constitution. But when they have completely lost the plot and substitute absurdity for thoughtfulness, by what right do they command credibility . . . from anyone? So, this is who we have making the decisions for us? U.S. Representative Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's leadership team (he's a regional whip), thinks Guam will "capsize" under the weight of a deployment of 5,000 Marines! Just as revealing is that  no one from the Speaker's team, much less Johnson, has shown the slightest bit of embarrassment. It smacks of arrogance and elitism. If this thinking is the new normal in the Age of Obama, no wonder these  people think they've "fixed" health care.

Rep. Johnson thinks islands capsize and he's making decisions at the highest levels of the House of Representatives.

Cuccinelli Petition Goes National

Yesterday, I commented on the frivolous, harrassing and taxpayer waste of money that is Delegate David Englin's Web site, which generates phone calls into the Attorney General's office. It's a poor response to the outpouring of nationwide support Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is receiving as he seeks to have the government takeover of health care ruled unconstitutional. Not only has he been interviewed and written about by several national news organizations, but there are Cuccinelli for President and support groups springing up on Facebook. There's also a petition of support that got a big boost today when conservative guru Richard Viguerie wrote about it in his daily e-mail. The petition — Stop The Mandate, Support Liberty Now (click here) — also was promoted on Facebook and seems to be gaining traction. It's a great way to show support for someone who, for doing the job he is sworn to do — uphold Virginia law — is the subject of so much vitriol from the hyper left.

Virginia News Stand: March 24, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations It's Up To Ken

It's official as of about 3:00 today: Virginia law prohibits the federal government from imposing an individual mandate on Virginians to buy health insurance. That's when Governor Bob McDonnell signed the Virginia Health Care Freedom legislation into law. Now, it's up to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to defend the feds' assault on us.

Here are some highlights of today's News Stand: It's not a day old and already there are problems with the children's portion of the takeover — that portion doesn't start until 2014. Hmm. Perhaps read the bill next time. So much for all the "good things" that begin immediately, Mr. President. Also, if health care, AIG, GM, the banking and insurance industries, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are enough, pretty soon the federal government will be the sole proprietor of student loans. Isn't that great? While they're at it, the White House says Joe Biden dropping the F-word yesterday was a good thing. Pure class, this bunch.

In Commentary and Analysis: It's always a good day when we feature Walter Williams. Today, we have him twice, along with the great Thomas Sowell. Tony Blankley chimes in, as well, mincing no words: they're socialists. 

News

McDonnell to sign Virginia Healthcare Freedom Act today (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Cuccinelli sues federal government to stop health-care reform law (Washington Post)

Virginia, 13 other states sue over health-care law (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

University, local lawmakers file suit over health-care bill (Lynchburg News & Advance)

For Beach activists, a goal: Stop clinic from opening (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Richmond firm receives lottery marketing contract (AP.org)

National News

Abortion activists fired up for 2010 (Politico/Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

Stem-Cell Health Care Must Put the Patients First (Roll Call)

Senate writing final chapter to health care bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Problems already with child health care coverage (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Banks losing student loan business to government (AP/GOPUSA.com)

White House, experts: Health care suit will fail (AP/GOPUSA.com)

White House embraces Biden profanity (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Judge: No school prom but lesbian's right violated (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Breyer, Scalia explain why they often disagree (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Protests cancel Coulter speech in Ottawa (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Analysis

Is Health Care a Right (Walter E. Williams/GMU.edu)

Commentary

Sunday's Socialist Triumph (Tony Blankley/GOPUSA.com)

An Off-Budget Office? (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

Constitutional Awakening (Walter E. Williams/GOPUSA.com)

John Dingell, Senior House Democrat, Admits Health Care Law Is About "Controlling People"!

U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-Mich.), the Dean of the House (i.e., longest serving member) and part of the Pelosi Putsch that rammed through the government takeover of our health care system, admitted yesterday on a Detroit radio station what opponents have said all along: The health care "reform" bill/now law has nothing to do with health care and everything to do with government control over people's lives. In response to a question from host Paul W. Smith, who asked why the major components of the bill don't start for four years if the bill is so good and we are in such a health care "crisis," Representative Dingell said the following:

"The harsh fact of the matter is when you're going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people." 

Of course, you can't expect a leftist to go an entire answer without some untruth. His claim that Republicans put forward no proposals is as false as saying Mr. Dingell has no nose — tort reform, allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines, medical savings accounts, Medicare reform, allowing small companies to band together to get a large company's discount on premiums for employees, incentives for individuals to buy insurance on their own so as to move away from the employer based system and several others, many of which were proposed at the White House summit a few weeks ago and at the House Republican retreat where President Obama (cynically) asked for suggestions, all of which were killed months ago by the leftist Pelosi leadership team. 

Mr. Dingell today blamed a lack of sleep for his statement. What he means is not that the lack of sleep made him say something inaccurate, but that it caused him to let out his fellow leftists' true intentions and objectives — that liberals' (re)definition of freedom is government control. Common sense has told this truth for more than a year, now. However much after the fact, Mr. Dingell confirmed it.

Virginia News Stand: March 23, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Suits And Budgets

The news is all about Virginia, as it always seems to be, as it has been for some years now. Must mean we're an important state. But Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's law suit against the federal government for its forced mandates on individuals is making headlines and he's making the rounds — on cable news — frequently: Fox News Channel multiple times, a viewer call-in on C-SPAN and even an appearance on DNC-TV, er, MSNBC.

The Wall Street Journal even says great things about Virginia, although the focus of the piece below is on our budget. By comparison the article notes, if Congress had just kept to its 2006 levels of spending, as the General Assembly did recently, the budget would be nearly in balance. Hmmm. 2006? Who's been running the show since then?

In Commentary, it's all about health care, with one of our generation's giants, Thomas Sowell, asking if we've reached a point of no return. We pray not. Michael Barrone, David Limbaugh and Debra Saunders also look at the dark side of the legislation. But it's not just "right wingers." The AP reports the the government is going to count our calories. Oh, how grand! Meanwhile, the Cornhusker Kid, Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) now says he'll vote against the "reconciliation" bill. Also from the AP: The Supreme Court says it's fine for schools to ban music and that the Tea Party is just getting going. Watch out, liberals.

News

McDonnell backs Cuccinelli on challenge to health-care bill (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Virginia attorney general ready to challenge health-care law (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

South Carolina, Florida AGs say they'll join Cuccinelli in challenging health-care bill (The Daily Press)

Attorneys general in 14 states sue to block healthcare reform law (Christian Science Monitor)

Liberty Counsel, attorney general challenge health care bill (Lynchburg News & Advance)

Virginia Democrats say Cuccinelli suit wastes taxpayer money (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Will lower taxes create school crisis? (Charlottesville Daily Progress)

Analysis

States of Progress: Two new Governors tackle deficits without tax increases (Wall Street Journal)

National News

It's not over for Tea Party activists (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Health overhaul: Immediate change, long term steps (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Your government will count your calories (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Axelrod, Steele tangle on health care overhaul (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Court: Student can't sue over 'Ave Marie' ban (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Ben Nelson plans to vote against health care bill (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

A Point of No Return? (Thomas Sowell/GOPUSA.com)

The Beginning of the End or a Rebirth of Freedom? (David Limbaugh/GOPUSA.com)

Leadership for a New Generation (Doug Patton/GOPUSA.com)

The New Electorate (Jon N. Hall/GOPUSA.com)

ObamaCare Means: Don't Look Behind the Curtain (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Stupak's 'Hans Brinker — Unmasked (Richard Olivastro/GOPUSA.com)

Health Plan Means Bigger Deficits and Higher Taxes (Michael Barrone/GOPUSA.com)

Virginia News Stand: March 22, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Day One Of Amerika? Or The First Day Of Revolution Two?

The News Stand has returned. Forgive us for its absence, but a little thing called General Assembly session kind of got in the way. Our Communications Department was kind of preoccupied. Today, of course, is quite the time to return. There's not much to add to the major news story of our time — the federal government's takeover of our health care system. We have some excellent commentary below. But I do want to add one ironic historical note, a reminder from our friend Norman Leahy at Tertium Quids: Today is the day in 1765 that the British Parliament passed The Stamp Act. We all know what that precipitated. Started here in Virginia, too. Parallels?

News

McDonnell to soon name panels on jobs, government reform, higher education (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Danville debate draws 7 who hope to challenge Perriello (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Democrats to gather in Richmond for low-key Jefferson-Jackson dinner (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Cuccinelli says Va. will sue over health-care bill (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

Abortion compromise doesn't satisfy critics (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Insurers, doctor-owned hospitals get late help (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

American People Say 'No' While Democrats Say 'Yes We Can' (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Health Plan Means Bigger Deficits and Higher Taxes (Michael Barrone/GOPUSA.com)

The Goal is Control (Henry Lamb/GOPUSA.com)

Doctors and Health Care Reform (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

'Don't Tread On Me' Was More Than A Slogan (Thomas D. Segel/GOPUSA.com)

The 'Historic' Health Care Bill that Americans Don't Want (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Ok . . . Let's Get Serious About Cutting Spending (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Unions, Public Schools and Minority Kids (Star Parker/GOPUSA.com)