Here Come The Social IssuesJan. 28, 2014
Today, Senate Democrats took advantage of their new "majority" by changing Senate rules and committee make up, after having won two recent special elections and holding the lieutenant governor's tie breaking vote. The mid-session shake up is unprecedented. At one point, as the Democrats introduced a new rules package and erased the old ones, the President of the Senate, Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, said there were "no rules" in effect! Literal translation: The rules are what we say they are. Consequently, there is no question that after today's power grab, Senate Democrats will elevate their abortion and sex agenda to their top priority. Though some bills they introduced have already failed to pass committee, we expect, since no rules seem to apply anymore, for those bills to be revived and advanced. There is little doubt that "social issues" will dominate their agenda in the coming days, to the detriment of passing a state budget on time or addressing the dangerous health care issues faced by the implosion of Obamacare.
To ensure they'll be able to defeat any legislation that protects vulnerable human life or advances educational freedom or parental rights, Democrats added an extra abortion apologist to their takeover of the Education and Health committee, while also creating a three seat (9-6) majority. But in addition to stacking committees out of proportion to their "majority," they did something not only unprecedented, but something beyond imagination.
In a too-late-by-three-years-response to being outsmarted in 2011, when they were an outright majority, and when pro-life advocates outmaneuvered them to add abortion center safety to legislation on a Senate bill amended by the House of Delegates, which forced a full floor vote on that bill, Senate Democrats today created a new rule where they can send bills they passed but amended by the House to the (new) Rules Committee. Normally, a Senate bill amended by the House goes back to the full Senate for a vote, and vice versa. Republicans argued that such a rule violates not only the spirit, but the letter of proper procedure, and indeed the rule of law. But ignoring the rule of law seems to be the normal operating procedure for some liberal politicians these days.
This afternoon's often tense debate over changing Senate rules in the middle of that chamber's four-year term did nothing but add fuel to an ever growing partisan fire here in Richmond. (What's happened to The Virginia Way that so many liberals, trying to appear centrist, have clamored for?)
Regardless of one's perspective on the validity of today's power change, one thing is perfectly clear: elections matter. Democrats in Richmond hold power in the state Senate by just 11 votes; the number by which their 20th member won his recent special election. If there is a better example of why voting for candidates who share our values no matter the circumstance, we don't know what it is. Democrats have power, not because they are winning more people to their views, but because people who share our views are not turning out on election day. In November, more than 70,000 fewer self-identified evangelicals voted in the governor's race than voted in 2009. That decline in turnout made the difference in a close election.
At The Family Foundation, we are committed to reversing that trend. That's why The Family Foundation Action, or political arm, has hired a full time political director to elevate our get-out-the-vote apparatus to levels we've never before reached. Today is a dark day for the Virginia Senate and for our values. But it is only one day.
Better days are coming.
PolitiFact Or PolitiBiased?Jan. 22, 2014
In the summer of 2012, the Republican Party of Virginia issued a scathing 86-page critique of PolitiFact alleging bias against Republicans and conservatives. This critique was made in the summer leading up to the election of Tim Kaine to the U.S. Senate. PolitiFact's legitimacy is directly tied to the perception that it is providing an unbiased fact-check of politicians. As you would expect, PolitiFact swiftly responded to the complaint:
The party takes issue with the fact that 26 of our last 36 rulings have concerned Republican candidates and elected officials. But Virginia is largely controlled by Republican politicians. The governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general belong to the party, as do eight of the 13 members of Virginia's congressional delegation, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Both houses of the General Assembly are run by Republicans. In addition, the GOP fielded four candidates in its primary for the U.S. Senate this spring and sponsored three debates between them. Democrats, in contrast, handed their nomination to an unopposed Tim Kaine.
Well, times are a changing. Virginia now is largely controlled by Democrats. The governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general belong to the Democrats. Pending the outcome of the 6th Senate District special election (currently in recount mode with Democrat Lynwood Lewis holding a 9-vote lead over Republican Wayne Coleman), Republicans may control only the House of Delegates. With the retirement of U.S. Representative Jim Moran, it seems that every Democrat in Northern Virginia has declared for his federal seat. Quite a different political environment from just eighteen months ago. It's time to put PolitiFact to the test and see how fairly they review and critique liberals and Democrats.
On Sunday, PolitiFact launched its "Macker-meter" to track whether Governor Terry McAuliffe keeps his campaign promises. PolitiFact is going to track 17 promises "the Macker" made on the campaign trail. Of course, they tracked 48 promises for former Governor Bob McDonnell. Don't worry, PolitiFact has an explanation for this discrepancy of what they will monitor:
McDonnell — a 17-year veteran of elective office when he ran for governor — put out more than a dozen nuanced policy papers during his campaign. We could not find the same level of detail from McAuliffe, a first-time elective office holder who was criticized during last year's campaign for being light on policy.
In other words, Governor McAuliffe gets a pass because it is his first-time being elected to office. But he is not the political novice PolitiFact describes. They conveniently leave out his failed run for governor four years earlier and his decades of well publicized political experience.
PolitiFact also released its first promise check. Governor McAuliffe received a "promise kept" for signing an executive order putting restrictions on gifts, but because his executive order is only valid for one year, they will check back to see what happens next year. I may be mistaken, but I recall that promises Governor McDonnell didn't fully complete were given scores of "in the works" and PolitiFact checked back before determining if it was a promise kept. Double standard? Time will tell.
Regardless, this is great news for Governor McAuliffe. By failing to espouse specific, nuanced policy positions during the campaign, he will be lightly judged by PolitiFact. We'll leave the question of why the press corp did not call for the governor to task for failing to provide a detailed policy plan prior to the election for another day.
#Distraction: Family Foundation Reaction To Today's Pro-Abortion, Homosexual Rights News ConferencesJan. 13, 2014
Late this morning, two groups of liberal General Assembly legislators held Capitol Square news conferences heralding their agendas. At the first one, Democrat Senators Donald McEachin and Adam Ebbin, and Democrat Delegate Patrick Hope, promoted the so-called "Equality Agenda" (i.e., homosexual rights). At the second, the so-called Women's Health Care Caucus (i.e., the pro-abortion caucus), led by Democrat Delegates Kaye Kory, Jennifer McClellan and Vivian Watts, and Senators Barbara Favola and McEachin (he does get around) echoed the abortion industry's taxpayer-funded-abortion-at-any-time-for-any-reason talking points. Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb issued the following statement in reply with an ad lib comment by yours truly:
Fewer Americans are working today than at any point since the Carter administration; but instead of focusing on jobs and the economy, liberals in Virginia have introduced nearly 20 bills dealing with sex and abortion. The Left's attacks on marriage, religious liberty and parental rights won't be distracting enough for Virginians to notice they don’t have jobs (or have lost their health insurance), but they could undermine Governor Terry McAuliffe's claims that he wants to work across party lines and avoid divisive issues.
We've always heard the General Assembly has more important things to do than consider divisive "social issues," especially when there there are so many kitchen table problems to solve. That said . . . can anyone say #distraction?
Time And MoneyMar. 13, 2012
During the recently completed session of the General Assembly, we heard a lot of complaints about the emphasis on certain types of bills — "social issues" — and how they were sucking the oxygen out of "the issues that matter," even though "social issues" were less than 2 percent of bills that were introduced in the House. Combined with the Senate, that percentage probably dropped to less than 1 percent. Pro-life bills were less than .2 percent. Of course, none of that includes "social issues" brought up by the left, such as the bizarre introduction in the Senate (for the second consecutive session) of the long-deceased, so-called "Equal Rights Amendment" for ratification the U.S. Constitution (SJ 130, which actually passed that radically right-wing chamber 24-15, before "wasting" the House's time, where it died, again). Of course, the session really isn't "completed." Technically, it is, because the members agreed to adjourn. It adjourned only to go into special session later this month because the budget ("The most important thing we do," according to General Assembly liberals) wasn't adopted. In the Senate, it was hardly even started. Talk about "wasting time and money" as the liberals in the capitol, mainstream media, and The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live (the new sources of information for the intellectual elite) told us we were doing in debating "social issues" — anyone cost out a special session of the General Assembly? How about the time? It will already be at least two weeks late before a budget is adopted, and "social issues" have nothing to do with the delay since bills beside the budget are done on a totally separate track. The "most important thing we do," "wasting time and money," "work on the issues that matter". ...
So, who's wasting "time and money"? Here's a web ad from the Republican Party of Virginia that shows there are, at least, some sane voices from across political spectrum who understand who really is obstructing, who really is wasting "time and money."
Are you serious? The ERA and no budget? Some sane voices, even on the left, recognize the folly: In an unprecedented inaction, Senate Democrats blocked approval of the Senate budget and two versions of a House budget, not even getting to the necessary conference committee process.
White House Double Standard Proves Liberals Reserve Unto Themselves The Right To Play NastySep. 08, 2011
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney's inarticulate "kabuki dance" with Jake Tapper of ABC News Tuesday actually spoke volumes (see Dana Loesch at BigJournalism.com). Tapper, who leans left, but is one of the few fair Mainstream Media types, cornered Carney with two instances of President Barack Obama's "You-play-nice-while-we-slam-your-face-against-a-car-hood" double standard. Carney had no escape and simply embarrassed himself. The dialogue exposed the Left's bullying tactics: "We will call you every name in the book when you legitimately question our failed policies. We will tar you as racists, bigots, rednecks, terrorists, barbarians — even SOBs. But if your respond, we alone cry foul and demand you stop the extreme rhetoric for the good of the country." It's a poisoned political rhetoric, but the play they choose to run to obscure their failed stewardship of the country. It's a disgrace and beneath the dignity of the office of President.
Carney and President Obama cannot bring themselves to condemn the vile language used by Teamsters Boss James P. Hoffa against conservatives and the Tea Party.
Even Amidst Vile Arizona Text Book, Liberals Insist Nothing Wrong With Public EducationMay. 12, 2011
Wow! The video below is about the most shocking thing — which is saying landfills — I've ever seen or heard regarding public education. It will floor you. If you haven't heard the audio or seen the video yet, or heard media outlets reporting or discussing (debating) it yet, you soon will. It's a case of The Left taking offense at being called extreme and anti-American when its their own words at work. Not much can be added to what you will see. (See The Blaze.com for more on this story.) Here's the background: The Tuscon (Arizona) Unified School District is using a text book for students as early as the 3rd grade, in a course of study called the Ethnic Studies Curriculum, which contains content that not only disparages and lies about America and certain groups of Americans (whites, Christians), but does it in a vile way, including several four-letter words! "Blood sucking capitalists" is about as mild as it gets in this leftist propaganda "text book."
Parents finally confronted the district school board about this recently, a portion of which is on the video. The school board members act as if this is news to them and one doesn't even recognize the irony when he asks a parent to stop reading the offending words at the meeting even though children in school are being subjected to them! Still, liberals and teacher union bosses and political hacks, and their liberal legislative allies at all levels of government throughout the country insist nothing is wrong with public education . . . except a lack of money (which pays for this trash). Amazing!
Warning: The video below contains coarse and vile language.
Oh, wait. Maybe the public schools just need more money! That's the answer . . . it always is!
Planned Parenthood: In Their Own (Shrieking) WordsMar. 30, 2011
As with yesterday's post about the NEA, where a high ranking official without shame articulated that group's real objectives (money and power) in contradiction to its stated goals of improving education, today we bring you something similar, though thoroughly crude and disturbing, by Planned Parenthood. It's a video, by our friends at Catholicvote.org, of a Planned Parenthood march and rally earlier this year. The video simply records pro-abortion radicals saying (often screaming) what they believe, while (to put it kindly) distorting what pro-lifers believe. Of course, the Mainstream Media won't embarrass its own movement by covering such nonsense (but when there's a Tea Party rally calling for commonsense spending restraint . . . you know what happens). Neither did the MSM cover this rally of "liberals" last year, where participants gladly called themselves socialists and communists. (But let a conservative call these radicals what they admit to being and the media contrives a firestorm.) Still, it's important to hear what the pro-abortion side truly believes (government funding and insurance coverage of abortion on demand), in their own (shrill) words. Nothing close to "safe, legal and rare." Of course, liberals claim that conservatives distort their positions and it is conservatives who are out of touch. But it's hard to claim Planned Parenthood is reasonable after watching this. As with the teachers union, what Planned Parenthood says (and how it acts) for public consumption and what it sincerely shrieks when it thinks no one is watching is vastly different.
"Government should fund Planned Parenthood."
"I want Planned Parenthood to be like Starbucks. I want a Planned Parenthood on every corner."
ObamaCare Lawsuit: Who's Wasting Money Now?Mar. 16, 2011
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.
Saslaw: "80 Out Of 81 Ain't Bad" Unless Your The UnbornMar. 04, 2011
Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-35, Springfield) is known for his bluntness. Sometimes that's refreshing in politics. But there's a fine line between blunt and crude. Today, on Washington station WAMU-FM's The Politics Hour, he offered this braggadocio when asked about the abortion center regulation amendment to SB 924 that the Senate approved on a 21-20 vote, as reported by Rosalind Helderman of the Washington Post's Virginia Politics blog:
"Let me just say this: Over the last decade, it's no secret. I happen to be pro-choice. I've been pretty much responsible for bottling up or killing 80 bills."
He noted that most of those anti-abortion bills have died in the Senate's Education and Health Committee, whose pro-abortion rights membership, he said, he'd helped "engineer."
"One finally got through through circuitous means," he said. "Eighty of 81 ain't a bad batting average."
Not bad at all, senator, unless you're one of the hundreds (even thousands) of unborn babies who've died because of your obstruction. On the other hand, he didn't try to fool anyone — no pretense of "safe, legal and rare," so many liberals try to effect to appease some voters as a sensible position. He gladly took credit for the out of proportion stacking of the Education and Health Committee, as well. But it was nice to see Ms. Helderman's equally frank, fair and accurate description of Senator Saslaw as "pro-abortion," a term we expound upon here as the true motivation of many who call themselves "pro-choice."
Speaking of stacking committees, he was equally blunt on redistricting, saying he expected to redraw district lines in an effort to elect more liberals. The interview also included a surprise caller that sparked real fireworks. It's worth a listen. You can find the audio here.
Education Choice Bill Up For Vote Tuesday In Senate Finance: Who's Living In The Past?Feb. 11, 2011
Bringing at least a modicum of school choice and education freedom long has been a goal of reform minded people who realize that the government-run education monopoly is holding back academic achievement. This Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee has a chance to show its open mindedness and independence from the education establishment when it votes on HB 2314, patroned by Delegate Jimmie Massie's (R-72, Henrico). The bill establishes a tax credit for businesses donating to non-profit organizations providing scholarships to free and reduced lunch students (family of four earning less than $40,793 per year). Despite fierce opposition from the Virginia School Board Association and the Virginia Education Association, the bill passed the House of Delegates 54-45 this week.
The modesty of this bill is testimony to how tenacious and powerful the Educrat establishment is in Richmond. It will fight to the death anything that hints at cracking its monopoly or reforms it from within. This is no exaggeration. The Educrats even are resisting a bill to provide for more physical education (HB 1644), patroned by Delegate John O'Bannon (R-73, Henrico). (See Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog.)
On the heels of yesterday's well-attended Family Foundation Day at the Capitol and rally focused on school choice, we think there is real momentum to pass HB 2314. It's certainly well passed time, considering the state of public education in certain areas of the state and for certain families that are trapped with no option but to attend an inadequate public school. Similar scholarship programs in Pennsylvania and Florida have been huge successes. Florida's program is a prime example, where demand for a program started in 2001 has grown from $50 million to $88 million, providing scholarships for more than 33,000 low-income children. The bill is designed to avoid the nefarious "negative fiscal impact" to the state. In fact, the fiscal impact will be all positive. Florida's program, for example, saved that state $36 million in the 2008-09 fiscal year alone, according to the Florida Office of Program Analysis and Government Accountability. In Florida and elsewhere, thousands of children have been given opportunities for a better education through scholarships created because funding is available. Despite cries of "taking money from children" in public schools, the scholarship programs in other states have in no way negatively affected public schools. Unfortunately, the Senate Finance Committee has been very hostile to any legislation that provides education freedom to families. Last year, it killed a similar bill by a 9-6 vote — see committee members make outlandish and outrageous comments. In two different polls conducted by, or on behalf of, The Family Foundation or other education freedom supporters over the past three years, large majorities of Virginians have indicated their support for tax credits like the one created in HB 2314.
Certain liberals like to say, "Conservatives want to take us back," although they never specify where. Perhaps it's more a case of liberals holding us back — or stuck in the past — with ideas no longer as effective as once were, and never moving forward with proven reforms.
BREAKING NEWS: LiveAction Stings Richmond Planned Parenthood Abortion Center In Undercover Video Abetting Underage Human Sex Trafficking!Feb. 02, 2011
This is breaking news and we will have more comment later in an e-mail alert: The pro-life organization LiveAction.org taped an undercover video sting of a Planned Parenthood abortion center in Richmond where staff proved willing and able to aid and abet an undercover "pimp" looking for abortion services for his illegal alien underage prostitutes! Please look out for a Family Foundation e-mail alert this afternoon (sign up now if you do not receive them) to learn more the video, its relationship to General Assembly liberals and what you can do about it. Also, please join us and several national partners in a live Webcast tonight at 8:30 at ExposePlannedParenthood.com to learn more. The alert will include information about the Webcast as well.
Now, here's the appalling and disgusting video, with LiveAction's description:
Nothing as vile as this could happen in Virginia, right? Wrong! Time to permanently defund Planned Parenthood!
In January of 2011, undercover investigators walked into Planned Parenthood's abortion clinic in Richmond, VA. They told the staffer that they manage a prostitution ring of 14 and 15 year old girls.
Wil Planned Parenthood...
1. Comply with the law?
2. Assure the pimp that they are trusted partners with the sex industry?
3. Coach the pimp on how to circumvent parental consent laws for his underage sex slaves to get secret abortions?
Sex trafficking of minors is a federal crime and punishable by imprisonment for 10 years to life.
Any person who aids, abets, or counsels a federal crime to be committed may be punished as if they had committed the crime themselves.
General Assembly Week In Review: Several Victories, Much Craziness (And More To Come)Jan. 28, 2011
Nothing adequately can explain the pace of the General Assembly. Especially the short session. More goes on that we can — and would love to — report. It is no exaggeration to say that we could employ an entire news team to cover all that we see (and hear). Lobbying and blogging is a killer. But here's a week in review of some significant legislation. We had several legislative victories this week, including five resolutions to amend the Virginia Constitution this morning in the House Privileges and Elections Committee:
HJ 593, patroned by Delegate Bill Carrico (R-5, Galax), is a religious liberty amendment that protects public prayer. It passed by a 14-7 vote after some committee liberals raised several objections.
Also regarding religious liberty, HJ 614, patroned by Delegate Tag Greason (R-32, Loudon), which prohibits the state from blocking tuition loans and grants to students seeking theological education for the purposes of becoming a military chaplain. It passed with only three dissenting votes. This bill was debated thoroughly in sub-committee earlier in the week. The state already pays the salary of chaplains and Delegate Greason's amendment would allow for tuition assistance as well.
Three limited government resolutions also passed. HJ 539 requires a super majority vote by the General Assembly and local governing bodies to increase state and local taxes; and HJ 540 limits increased spending by the General Assembly and local governing bodies to the previous year's level plus the percentage increase in population and inflation. Both are patroned Delegate Mark Cole (R-88, Spottsylvania). HJ 539 survived a procedural vote to kill it, and then was reported by an 13-8 vote, while HJ 540 passed by a 11-9 vote.
Finally, this morning, after extensive debate, HJ 615, patroned by Delegate Bill Janis (R-56, Henrico), the House Majority Whip, passed by a 14-7 vote. This resolution precludes tax and fee increases in the state budget. Any revenue increase, including the termination of tax credits, would have to be introduced as a separate bill for an up or down vote. In recent years, governors and lawmakers have buried such increases within billions of dollars of spending in the budget. Even when promulgated, many lawmakers had no choice but to vote for such budgets or else precipitate a government shutdown.
The proposed constitutional amendments to protect property rights were carried over and will be heard a week from today. Yesterday, there was good news on taxes: The House passed by a 94-5 vote HB 1437, also patroned by Delegate Cole, which would allow localities the option of ending the BPOL tax. This tax, which was started 199 years ago to fund the War of 1812, is a job killer and well passed its own life expectancy. The same day, by a 97-2 vote, the House approved HB 1587, patroned by Delegate Sal Iaquinto (R-84, Virginia Beach), which would exempt start-up businesses from the BPOL tax for two years.
Earlier this week, the House of Delegates passed another Family Foundation priority piece of legislation: HJ 542, The Repeal Amendment. Patroned by Delegate Jim LeMunyon (R-67, Chantilly), it would repeal any federal law if two-thirds of the states agree. The bill was hotly debated in both committee and on the floor of the House of Delegates, with opponents making subtle and not so subtle accusations of racism toward supporters.
Next week is the final week before "Crossover," and with many bills still left to be debated, almost anything imaginable will happen. Even some unimaginable.
National Media Descends On Cuccinelli, Bob Schieffer WowedDec. 17, 2010
What were liberals saying about Virginia's lawsuit against the federal government's health care law — that it was a waste of time, that it had no chance, that it was . . . frivolous? Client Number 9 spoke for them all and said "no judge or legal scholar" thought Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli had a snowball's chance in August. The AG told him and all of critics they were wrong. Since March he has taken undignified shots from radical leftists — many granted cover as mainstream by, of course, the mainstream media and Washington elitists — and on Monday he was vindicated. As expected, there's been a media crush on the Attorney General Cuccinelli, with the suddenly awaken press wanting to know what this case was all about after all. One telling interview is below, with long-time Washington media stalwart Bob Schieffer of CBS News, who admitted that Mr. Cuccinelli gave him the best explanation of the issue than anyone has ever given him. Amazing! Maybe that conservative whack job really does know the constitution! Bob, you need to get out more. The issue isn't that complex and smart people don't exclusively live in D.C.
Below, are two more interviews, one each with Attorney General Cuccinelli and Governor Bob McDonnell on Fox News Channel with Greta Van Susteran. In addition to the video, here is a great interview the attorney general gave to National Review Online.
Obamacare Unconstitutional! AG Cuccinelli's Follow-Up From Court's DecisionDec. 13, 2010
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli just sent this e-mail to supporters:
As I told you earlier today, Virginia won the first round of the constitutional fight over the federal health care law. I also told you I'd get back to you with more details later in the day, and I'm keeping my promise.
I will tell you up front that I will also go into still more detail later this week — when time allows.
Arguments and Outcomes
There were two basic arguments in this case.
First, Virginia argued that the individual mandate was beyond the power of Congress and the President to impose under the Constitution. Specifically, Congress claimed that their regulatory power under the Commerce Clause allowed them to order you to buy their government-approved health insurance, even if you decide not to buy health insurance.
The judge ruled that the federal government does not have the power to compel you to buy health insurance as part of its attempt to regulate the entire field of health care and health insurance. Thus, Virginia won this argument.
Second, the federal government advanced a 'fallback' argument in case it lost on its commerce clause argument. The feds' fallback argument was that the financial penalty you have to pay if you don't buy the government mandated health insurance is a tax.
This may sound like an odd argument from a political standpoint — usually they say everything is NOT a tax (in fact, they argued the penalty was not a tax while they were trying to get the bill passed); however, they changed position after the bill became law to try and save the bill. What they were trying to do was to get the courts to agree that because the penalty would presumably raise some revenue, it was therefore a 'tax' under the taxing and spending for the General Welfare Clause of the Constitution.
No judge in the country has bought this argument, and Judge Hudson was no exception. He ruled that the taxing power of Congress does not save the bill, because the penalty for not buying the mandated health insurance is not a tax.
The federal government only had to win on either of these two arguments, while Virginia needed to win both to prevail, and we won both!
Certainly the federal government will appeal their loss in the district court to the 4th circuit court of appeals within the next 30 days. And whichever side loses in the 4th circuit will certainly appeal to the Supreme Court. And no one has any serious doubts that ultimately the constitutionality of the individual mandate will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
That could take approximately (very rough approximation) two years. We are discussing with the Department of Justice accelerating the case, and those discussions have been very cordial thus far. More on that later.
Today is a great day for the Constitution. Today the Constitution has been protected from the federal government, and remember, an important reason for the constitution in the first place was to limit the power of the federal government.
Today is also a day of a small degree of vindication. When we first filed suit, the screeching of the liberals was deafening. Everything from accusing us of playing politics instead of practicing law, to filing what they called a 'frivolous' lawsuit.
I want you to know, that our team makes decisions based on the Constitution and the laws. Period. We deal with the consequences of our decisions separately, but first and foremost we have been and will continue to be true to the Constitution and laws of the United States and Virginia, regardless of whether it's easy or hard in any particular case.
Obama, Liberals View Americans As "Enemies," GOP Told To Sit In The BackOct. 26, 2010
How many times can a president decry his own nation? We know Barack Obama doesn't think much of certain "bitter clingers." He also hammers away at people and institutions that create jobs as "selfish." His administration is more concerned with white Christian veterans from Western states than documented law breakers. We could launch a blog only on the insults he heaps upon his fellow Americans. But yesterday he went a step further and called for the "punishment" (at the polls) of conservatives whom he called "enemies." So much for the "post-partisan" presidency, the uniting "annointed one." In the Age of Obama, if you have a different idea you are branded.
I'm not your ruler, daggonit, so go out and punish our enemies!
You have to feel sorry for him, though. He clearly laments the fact that he is not our king, although he governs as a ruler and not a democrat. But let's give the president some charity. After all, he said his opponents could join him in a car ride . . . only, they must "sit in the back seat" (see Stop The ACLU).
The great conciliator: "Enemies" need to take a seat "in the back." So much for uniting the country.
The State Of Affairs In The Age Of Obama (And Reid And Pelosi)Oct. 06, 2010
This hot-off-the-editing-computer ad from the Republican Governors Association says it all. From government takeovers, reduced freedoms, unfathomable debt, sky rocketing unemployment, prohibitive taxes, incompetence, oil spills, arrogance and blame, and a general lack of standing in the world — and no end in sight (see BigGovernment.com) — it's all compressed here into two minutes and 40 seconds:
A stark video compilation of the disaster of the last two years under Obama-Reid-Pelosi: America in decline while Obama vacations and the liberals bale on tax relief.
Who You Calling A Socialist?Oct. 05, 2010
This video from Americans For Prosperity speaks for itself. Last weekend, a few thousand "liberal" and "social justice" types marched on the Mall in Washington, D.C. — the so-called "One Nation Rally" — to give voice to their issues. Or, at least that's how the Mainstream Media portrayed it. Take a look at this video. This footage didn't make CBS, NBC or CNN. These aren't your typical liberals. On the other hand, too much of old-style liberalism has been mainlined by these extremists (i.e., "progressives") to the point where there's barely a blip of difference between the two. By their own admission, they all are socialists. The signs and literature distributed at the rally are chilling.
We're all socialists now (Obama supporters all): Among the bulk of the protesters: the Communist Workers Party, the Socialist Party and something called the Socialist Alternative.
What's A Crisis And When Are We In One?Sep. 30, 2010
Listen to the liberals: We have a health care crisis. We have an education crisis. We have an obesity crisis. We have an environmental crisis. We have a swine flu crisis (oh, wait, that was last year). We have just about every type of crisis, but one: An employment crisis. While the unemployment rate is near 10 percent, GDP at a pitiful 1 percent and the underemployment rate of those who've quit looking for work or who work only part-time is estimated to be around 18 percent. But, somehow, we don't hear the word "crisis" used by liberal politicians or their allies in the mainstream media when, in fact, our economic situation truly is in crisis and the aspect of not having a job is considerably more serious than some kid's spare tire or any of the many contrived "crises" liberals in office or behind an anchor desk or with a by line pound at us each and every day.
Many people have serious problems and concerns. It may be their health, it may be a crummy school. It may be they are worried about a polar bear and think by recycling their plastic they can say its habitat. Rarely do they rise to the level of a mass crisis requiring national government intervention. A country on the verge of economic collapse under the weight of unfathomable debt and decreasing job growth, however, does qualify as a crisis. Yet, the liberals in charge care not in lieu of their pet gripes of matters not of their concern or beyond their authority.
The White House's Response To Virginia's Round One Health Care WinAug. 03, 2010
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.