Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tracking the Bailout -or- Where's the Money Going?

Click on the image above, then click on the plus sign in the magnifying glass for a clearer view

In the last year, the government has assumed about $7.8 trillion in direct and indirect financial obligations. That is equal to about half the size of the nation’s entire economy and far eclipses the $700 billion that Congress authorized for the Treasury’s financial rescue plan.

Those obligations include about $1.4 trillion that has already been committed to loans, capital infusions to banks and the rescues of firms like Bear Stearns and the American International Group, the troubled insurance conglomerate. But they also include additional trillions in government guarantees on mortgages, bank deposits, commercial loans and money market funds.

Read the Story

Virginia, Front of Alternative Energy Research

By Rex Bowman
Richmond Times Dispatch

Published: November 30, 2008

Where tobacco once formed the foundation of the economies in Southside and parts of Southwest Virginia, the cash crop of the future could turn out to be energy research.

Using $32 million wrung from tobacco companies a decade ago, the communities of Lynchburg, Danville, South Boston and Abingdon are preparing to build four energy-research centers where scientists from Virginia Tech, other institutions and private businesses could work to find solutions to the nation's, and world's, energy problems.

Read the Story

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Give Her the Gift She's Always Wanted...

Very Important Video -- Please Watch

Changing the Present

National Security Advisor to Obama?

National Security Pick: From a Marine to a Mediator
Washington Post

James L. Jones, a retired four-star general, was among a mostly Republican crowd watching a presidential debate in October when Barack Obama casually mentioned that he got a lot of his advice on foreign policy from General Jones.

“Explain yourself!” some of the Republicans demanded, as General Jones later recalled it.

He did not. A 6-foot-5 Marine Corps commandant with the looks of John Wayne, General Jones is not given to talking about his political bent, be it Republican or Democrat. And yet, he is Mr. Obama’s choice for national security adviser, a job that will make him the main foreign policy sounding board and sage to a president with relatively little foreign policy experience.

Read the Story

Radioactive -- Uranium in S.W. Virginia

Va. Commission to Study Effects of Uranium Mining
By Anita Kumar
Washington Post Staff Writer

RICHMOND -- Despite opposition from the General Assembly, a state commission will study whether more than 60,000 tons of uranium can be safely mined in rural south-central Virginia in what is thought to be the nation's largest undeveloped uranium deposit.

The Coal and Energy Commission will ask the National Academy of Sciences and the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech to review concerns about possible land, air and drinking water contamination, among other economic and health issues.

Read the Story

Virginia Politics 2009 -- Northern Valley

Eventful year looming for politics in Virginia
By Drew Houff
The Winchester Star

Virginia holds an election each fall, and next Nov. 3, voters will select a governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.

Also, all members of the House of Delegates must decide whether they want to run for another two-year term, because all 100 seats are up for grabs.

After what promises to be a particularly busy General Assembly session beginning Jan. 14, some delegates may not be too eager for a campaign.

Read the Story

Virginia Politics 2009 -- Governor's Race

Field not set, but let governor fundraising begin!
Daily Press -- Hugh Lessig and Kimball Payne | State Politics
November 29, 2008

Only a night for political bigwigs is held at the "Mansion House" at Hampton University and hosted by Norma and Bill Harvey, Molly and Forrest Ward, and Mary and Lou Haddad.

Del. Brian Moran was the honored guest at a fundraising reception hosted by the three couples a few weeks ago, and it looks like he's starting to lock down some important financial backers as the 2009 gubernatorial race ratchets up. The Democrats have to start running early because the primary hits in early June and the current two-man field could quickly become a three-headed monster.

Read the Story

Poultry Farm Waste - What Next in Maryland?

Lee Richardson next to a manure shed on his chicken farm in Willards, Md. Excess poultry manure is washing into the Chesapeake Bay, worsening its condition.

How to handle the 650 million pounds of chicken manure produced in the state each year has sparked a fierce debate between environmentalists and the state’s powerful poultry industry. State officials hope to bring Maryland in line with most other states next month by enacting new rules for where, how and how long chicken farmers can spread the manure on their fields or store it in outdoor piles.

“We don’t let hog or dairy farms spread their waste unregulated, and we wouldn’t let a town of 25,000 people dump human manure untreated on open lands,” said Gerald W. Winegrad, a public policy professor at the
University of Maryland who is a former state senator. “So why should we allow a farm with 150,000 chickens do it?”

Read the Story

Friday, November 28, 2008

Food banks report spike in needy on Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 27, 2008 11:35:17 PM

The line for a Thanksgiving meal was long when the Chicago Christian Industrial League shelter opened Thursday morning, and volunteers served more than 200 people in the first 40 minutes -- record demand for the shelter.

Among the hungry were familiar faces, people who had eaten their last Thanksgiving meal at the shelter and others who had helped provide those meals, said executive director Mary Shaver.

"These are the people who are always giving money -- and now they're asking for help," Shaver said. "These were the people donating money to us."

Read the Story

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Let's Remember Our Military, thanks Frank Witt

Thank you Frank Witt for sharing this...

Click to Play

Science Supersized Your Turkey Dinner

Or, Even More Good Reasons to Buy Local

Your corn is sweeter, your potatoes are starchier and your turkey is much, much bigger than the foods that sat on your grandparents' Thanksgiving dinner table.

Most everything on your plate has undergone tremendous genetic change under the intense selective pressures of industrial farming. Pilgrims and American Indians ate foods called corn and turkey, but the actual organisms they consumed didn't look or taste much at all like our modern variants do.

In fact, just about every crop and animal that humans eat has experienced some consequential change in its DNA, but human expectations have changed right along with them. Thus, even though corn might be sweeter now, modern people don't necessarily savor it any more than their ancestors did.

Read the Story

Sheryl Crow - Shine Over Babylon

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Very Informative New Blog

A new blog? Just what we need you may say to yourself in this blog packed slice of the electronic ether. But the Valley Progress Report is an information rich site which tends to look at points of view and topics through a different lens.

I'm honored to be able to consider the Valley Progressive a good friend and wish VP well in this endeavor!

Check it out and weigh in!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Sarah Palin Movie - Don't Cry for Me Alaska

Pretty good profile of the Obama's Treasury Secretary

Timothy Geithner can be found here. Fed district chairs are pretty much unknown to the general public, so it's worth a read. Looks like Richardson for commerce.

The piece also tells you why Bush appointee Shelia Bair, chair of the FDIC absolutely rocks.

Do the recount

Wanna be a Minnesota recount election judge? You can vote on which Minnesota votes should count or not here by casting a vote on how you would rule in the case of these challenged ballots.

Some of them are not so easy.

Is Reaganomics to Blame?

30 reasons for Great Depression 2 by 2011

New-New Deal, bailouts, trillions in debt, antitax mindset spell disaster
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
Last Update: 11:53 AM ET Nov 19, 2008

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- By 2011? No recovery? No new bull? "Hey Paul, why do you keep talking about a bigger crash coming by 2011?" Readers ask that often. So here's a sequel to my predictions of 2000 and 2004, with a look three years ahead...

So once again, as history proves over and over, ideology trumps common sense, reality and the facts. Greed drives ideologues to blow bubbles. They pop. Crashes happen. The public is collateral damage.

Read the Story

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Join Us to Celebrate!

You are cordially invited to join us for the

Rockingham County Democratic Committee

Holiday Banquet


Victory Celebration

Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 6 PM

The Lucy Simms Continuing Education Center
620 Simms Ave.
Harrisonburg VA 22802

Click for Directions

With Guest Speakers:

Paul Reagan

Senator James Webb’s Chief of Staff

John Fishwick

Candidate for Attorney General

Jon Bowerbank

Candidate for Lieutenant Governor

Buffet Meal (by Early Katering)

Salad: Fresh greens with pears, pine nuts & Feta cheese (can request no nuts),

turkey, mashed potatoes, dilly green beans, homestyle white rolls, dessert

- Cash Bar -

Musical Entertainment provided by Shen Fine

Reservations: Adult - $30.00/Child - $10.00 (To grade 8)

For more information or to phone in reservations, call Tara Seay at 540-271-0604

Please make reservations with check by Saturday, November 29, as seating is limited.

Mail checks to: Tara Seay , RCDC Treasurer, 206 10th St., Grottoes, VA 24441

What took place locally

The Bottom Line?

What took place in Harrisonburg on November 4th is being debated among the self proclaimed local "experts" with few conclusions being the result.

One conclusion seems to be evident,
Kai Degner
Richard Baugh
David Wiens
Jeff Shafer
worked hard and smart, and won the confidence
of the majority of Harrisonburg's Voters.

Lowell Barb enjoyed similar success in Rockingham County.

Let us give them the grace to step into the leadership role
which these individuals have earned,
while knowing they enjoy our confidence and well wishes.

This area witnessed a fair competition among many good candidates
for all local offices.
Sincere thanks to those who put themselves out there for public scrutiny
in the effort to serve the greater community.

Congratulations to those victorious,
and to those who stepped up to the call.

Our area is better because of you all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

2009 Important Dates

The Virginia State Board of Elections set the following calendar of events for the November 2009 election:[1]

  • March 11 – Deadline for political party officials to request primary elections from the State Board of Elections
  • April 10 – Filing deadline for primary election candidates
  • May 11Voter registration deadline for primary election
  • June 2 – Application deadline for primary election mail-in absentee ballot
  • June 6 – Application deadline for primary election in-person absentee ballot
  • June 9 – Primary elections; deadline for parties to select candidates by non-primary methods; filing deadline for independent candidates
  • October 13 – Voter registration deadline for general election
  • October 27 – Application deadline for general election mail-in absentee ballot
  • October 31 – Application deadline for general election in-person absentee ballot
  • November 3 – General election
Note: You are eligible to register and vote in 2009 if you will be 18 years old on or before 11-03-09

U.S Situation, the Chinese Perspective

To relieve the crisis, the US must repay its debts, and to do that it needs to live a more frugal life instead of asking others to continue lending it the money to maintain its over-consumption.

Read the Story

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

VA, Dems have deep bench, Republicans weak

The Democratic Party in Virginia enjoys a depth of talent and ability as evidenced by:

McAuliffe Takes Steps To Run for Va. Governor

By Tim Craig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 11, 2008; B01

RICHMOND, Nov. 10 -- Former Democratic National Committee Chairman
Terry McAuliffe, a wealthy businessman and Washington insider, filed paperwork Monday to launch a potential candidacy for Virginia governor.
Ending months of speculation, McAuliffe said he plans to spend the next two months traveling to "every corner of Virginia" to gauge interest in his possible run.
Read the Story

Response from the Moran Campaign:

“We welcome Mr. McAuliffe to the race. We are confident that Delegate Moran’s 20 year record of fighting for Virginia, his partnership with Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and his vision of Virginia, are what Virginians want in their next Governor.
Delegate Moran helped make Virginia the best managed state in the nation so he doesn’t need governing advice from Washington, DC political operatives.
Given Mr. McAuliffe’s previous ambitions to run for Governor of Florida, he needs to explain to the people of Virginia if he’s doing this for the right reasons.”

Response from the Deeds Campaign:

"Senator Deeds has always expected that other folks would
enter this race and he's looking forward
to an
open and honest debate about how we keep
moving forward to rebuild our economy
and capitalize
on the historic progress seen last Tuesday
by the
victories in Virginia of Barack Obama and Mark Warner."

The Republican Party must place its entire hopes
Bob McDonnell who barely won over
Senator Creigh Deeds
in the race for Virginia Attorney General

in 2005 by some 330 votes statewide.

Many argue that if an actual recount of the
ballots were done in 2005,
the outcome
could have been quite different.

Apparently there are two kinds of Evangelicals.

Informed, and Ignorant. In a survey of Evangelicals it was determined that 80% of those that supported John McCain believe that Barack Obama is, or was a Muslim. You people are stupid bigots. There, I said it.

TODAY! Eat Pizza & Support Gemeinschaft Home

The Gemeinschaft Home opened in September of 1986 and provides community-oriented programs and supervision for individuals in transition from prison to free society.

Currently, the organization is slated to have state funding removed by the end of the year. While efforts to lobby are underway,

you can help tonight!

Eat at Pizza Hut at 2485 S Main St

from Noon-10pm TODAY

and 20% of your sales will go to Gemeinschaft!

Can't make it? Consider donating directly to Gemeinschaft. It's a great program that literally gives people a second shot at life, and right here for us to save.

Gemeinschaft Home
1423 Mt Clinton Pike
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Phone: 540 434 1690
Fax: 540 432 9479

British View of U.S. Election

Sarah Palin blamed by the US Secret Service over death threats against Barack Obama

Sarah Palin's attacks on Barack Obama's patriotism provoked a spike in death threats against the future president, Secret Service agents revealed during the final weeks of the campaign.

Read more

Obama has to pay for eight years of Bush's delusions

He will have to get out of Iraq, and he will have to tell Israel a few home truths

Read more

Obama puts 'hundreds' of Bush rulings under review

Read more

What We Face in Virginia, and the Nation

About a quarter of the state's major highways are in substandard condition and almost a third are congested. The state will have a $105 billion backlog of needed road and transit work by 2025, the report, "Virginia's Future Mobility," says. "Unless current transportation funding levels in the state increase, Virginia's residents, visitors and businesses can expect the state's roadways to become increasingly congested and deteriorated," according to study by The Road Information Project.
Richmond Times Dispatch 2/21/07

Virginia Facts on Infrastructure

American Society of Civil Engineers Report Card for America's Infrastructure


  • 29% of Virginia's major urban roads are congested.
  • 26% of Virginia's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
  • Vehicle travel on Virginia's highways increased 28% from 1990 to 2003. Virginia's population grew 19% between 1990 and 2003.
  • Driving on roads in need of repair costs Virginia motorists $1.2 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs --- $248 per motorist
  • Congestion in the Richmond area costs commuters $272 per person per year in excess fuel and lost time.
  • Congestion in the Virginia Beach area costs commuters $501 per person per year in excess fuel and lost time.
  • Congestion in the Washington, DC metropolitan area costs commuters $1,212 per person per year in excess fuel and lost time.

  • 26% of Virginia's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

  • There are 74 state-determined deficient dams in Virginia.
  • Virginia has 126 high hazard dams. A high hazard dam is defined as a dam whose failure would cause a loss of life and significant property damage.
  • The rehabilitation cost for Virginia's most critical dams is estimated at $147.2 million.

Drinking Water
  • Virginia's drinking water infrastructure need is $2.05 billion over the next 20 years.

  • Virginia has $3.52 billion in wastewater infrastructure needs.

Solid Waste
  • Virginia generates 1.49 tons of solid waste per capita.
  • Virginia recycles 29.1% of the state's solid waste.

  • 60% of Virginia's schools have at least one inadequate building feature.
  • 58% of Virginia's schools have at least one unsatisfactory environmental condition.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Vote However You Like

A new way to debate?

Ron Clark Academy Presidential Debate

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thank You Sam Rasoul!

Appreciation Reception for Sam Rasoul

Hosted by MuAwia and Heather Da-Mes and friends

Sunday, November 9th, 4:00pm

1526 Hillside Avenue

Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Click for Map

Sam and Layaly would like to meet with you to say thanks for your support during his campaign for Congress.

Join us as we welcome Sam, and show him how much we appreciate his hard work and sacrifices to bring about better government!

For more detail call 540-560-9045

GOP's Future, Sarah Palin?

The Future of the Republican Party in America?

When Ms. Palin was asked by an entertainment reporter if she would consider becoming a talk show host, she said, “I don’t have any idea of what the next chapter of life is going to open up into, and I look forward to just the surprises that life offers.”
Read more

Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative group, called it a “top order of business” to determine Ms. Palin’s future role. “Conservatives have been looking for leadership, and she has proven that she can electrify the grass roots like few people have in the last 20 years,” Mr. Bozell said. “No matter what she decides to do, there will be a small mother lode of financial support behind her.”
Read more

The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin's attacks.
Read more

Sarah Palin suffered her final indignity as John McCain's running mate on Tuesday, when her request to speak at his election-night rally in Phoenix was denied. So ended a GOP campaign that had been increasingly marked, in its final weeks, by internal tension and suspicion. But now that the campaign is over and President-elect Obama actually is "measuring the drapes," Palin can talk all she wants—and start making decisions for herself. So what is she likely to do?
Read more

The loudest cheers during John McCain's concession speech were for Gov. Sarah Palin. The hard-core faithful at the Arizona Biltmore Resort waved red pom-poms and roared for the 44-year-old Alaska governor, unknown outside conservative circles until August, when McCain added her to the ticket to appeal to the right-wing base that had long mistrusted him.
Read more

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Expectations high for changed tone

...And yet the biggest change of all — the one that the hundreds of thousands of supporters who came to Grant Park are expecting — will be intangible: The change of tone in the country.

Any president’s greatest power — as chief executive, commander-in-chief, symbol of the nation — is in the tone he sets, a message that infects every corner of the federal government, penetrates American popular culture, and shapes international opinion of the United States and what it stands for.

Read the story

Here is an exact transcript of President Elect Obama's speech

Monday, November 3, 2008

The GOP's "Hooters Vote"

In the Huffington Post, Riley Murray of Augusta County explores the "I Am Voting For The Chick!" signs that have popped up in the central Valley. In his post, The Pro-Palin Hooter's Demographic in Va, Riley asks why many women find these signs offensive, while the tone-deaf Republicans seem to love them. He wonders if this could be another, abet less well known, "Macacca moment" for Virginia Republicans.

Sample Ballot - Rockingham County

Here is one version of a sample ballot for Rockingham County
I've found and scanned for your information:

Click on the image for more detail.

GOP Congressman Endorses Sam Rasoul

The Rasoul for Congress campaign received the endorsement of Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, the Republican Congressman representing the 1st District of Maryland. Rep. Gilchrest sits on the Committees of Natural Resources and Transportation & Infrastructure and has served with Congressman Goodlatte on many issues common to both regions including this year's Farm Bill and Chesapeake Bay concerns. Congressman Gilchrest stated:
For 18 years I have served as a Republican member of the House of Representatives. But I am crossing party lines to endorse Sam Rasoul because of his positions on the important policy issues of today. I'm supporting Sam Rasoul because I know that he shares our values and will put principle above party in Washington.
h/t to and visit Cobalt6 for more information.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Yes, We Can Shenandoah Valley and Virginia

It it time for the final GOTV push all across Virginia. Don't depend on somebody else to get the job done - it is up to each and every one of us. Do your own personal phone banking over the next two days - call and email your friends and families and remind them to vote for Barack Obama, Mark Warner, and Sam Rasoul.