Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of Year Pushback against Right Wing BS



This is pretty good...

Get out your notebook and pen, and start writing letters...






Sledding into a conflict of interest

Robert Sledd, appointed by Governor-elect Bob McDonnell as Secretary of Commerce and Trade, wants to stay on the board of directors of three corporations while serving in public office. Sledd desires the arrangement so much that he's even offering to take a pay cut. In a weak attempt to justify the questionable situation, a McDonnell spokesman said:
The point of his proposing this is to save the commonwealth money, and to stay connected to the business community....
Sledd is on the board of directors of Universal Corp., a Richmond-based tobacco giant; SCP Pool Corp.; and Owens & Minor Co., a Richmond medical supplies distributor. He earns more than $224,000 from the companies, not counting Universal Corp., for which his earnings are not available.

It is appalling that Governor-elect McDonnell and Mr. Sledd would even float this idea. Even friends worry it may create an impression of conflict-of-interest since the Secretary of Commerce and Trade is the big kahuna over more than a dozen state agencies that oversee businesses. The Secretary is also a key advisor to the Governor on policies, influences legislation, and enforces state laws on business issues.

This arrangement, although neither technically illegal nor unheard of in American politics, is just plain wrong. Dave Levinthal of the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics (created the OpenSecrets.org that tracks federal campaign contributions) noted:
If you're in a position of public trust and you're working on behalf of a private interest all the while, there are some concerns that could be raised about where your interests really lie.
Bob Gibson of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, a UVA-based training program that emphasizes ethics, bipartisanship, thoughtful public policy, and building public confidence in government called the arrangement "unusual."

Mr. McDonnell, Mr. Sledd - the very fact that you are considering this "unusual" deal should give Virginians reason to pause and consider how well your ethical and moral barometers really function. We want and demand a full-time Secretary of Commerce and Trade who is not burdened by perceived and actual conflicts-of-interests. If Mr. Sledd is unwilling to give up those directorships during the next four years, then he should withdraw from the appointment before the new Governor takes office. Otherwise there will be a taint of favoritism and the stench of a government official working for someone other than the people.

Cross-posted at Coarse Cracked Corn.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Reorganization of Rockingham County Democratic Committee



Passing the Torch to the next Leadership Team!

Date:
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Time:
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location:
The Rockingham County Administration Center
Street:
20 East Gay Street
City/Town:
Harrisonburg, LA

Rockingham County Democrats will choose the leadership team to take us forward as we build on the solid gains we've made this decade.
Come out and get involved as we move the County Democratic Committee into the next decade of Community Building, Education on Important Issues, Progressive Direction and Ideals, and Service to the Valley.

Join us as we continue the work of better and more representative government!

We will be electing the following:

Chair

Vice-Chair

District Chair for each of Rockingham County's Five Election Districts

Treasurer

Secretary

This is the makeup of our elected Executive Committee, after the Executive Team is chosen by our membership (You!) The new Executive Team will appoint positions such as Precinct Chairs, Outreach Coordinator, Fundraising Coordinator, Program Director etc...

Now is the time and now is the opportunity for you to get involved and make your impact!

If you would like to seek one of these positions or nominate someone, please let me know!

Your participation is vital to our shared tomorrow!

Thank you so much for trusting me, and honoring me with a leadership role in this organization!

I remain always yours in service and dedication,
Lowell Fulk

540-820-2592 cell
540-896-1323 home
lowellfulk@activist.com


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Would you please join together to give support and comfort to our Troops?


Whatever opinion each of us holds regarding the wars in which we are involved, the fact remains that the wonderful young people who are serving the United States in Afghanistan and Iraq, or have been wounded while serving there, they are ours.  And they need for us to let them know that we love and support them...  Republican or Democrat or Independent or whatever political affiliation each of us might hold, whether we like Obama, Bush, Paul, Palin or whomever, the valiant folks who are serving our country are our kids...

I'm asking for your help in showing our Troops our support and appreciation.  It is a small thing indeed, what each of us can do in order to let them know this, in a way which will bless their lives.

Please click here, or visit the Face Book event page to find out how you can help bring some sense of Home for the Holidays to the Young Americans who are serving, and who have served our country.

Thank you, and may God Bless you...

Lowell Fulk

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Operation Show We Care 2009





INVITES YOU TO JOIN US
AS WE SHOW REAL SUPPORT
FOR OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN
SERVING THE UNITED STATES
IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN

PLEASE HELP US SEND THEM A BIT OF HOME
WHILE THEY ARE SO FAR AWAY…

WE ARE ALSO PUTTING TOGETHER CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS TO GIVE
OUT AT WALTER REED ARMY MEDICAL CENTER
AND BETHESDA NAVAL HOSPITAL

We are in the process of collecting food, magazines, DVDs, CDs, snacks, personal items, toiletries, and many other such items to enrich their lives and to remind them that we remember and love them and hold them always in our thoughts and prayers.

Your help with this effort will make a great difference!

Email me for list of the types of items our young people in combat zones would greatly appreciate.

Please, as you shop, keep in mind that individually packaged servings work best for things like cup-a-soup, mac-n-cheese etc…

Also,

Small personal sized toiletry items can be more readily packed and stored as they carry on their misson.

Stores like Sharp Shopper, Costco, the Dollar Stores etc… are good places to find things mentioned on the list.

How do you know what to buy?

Think about the little things that you enjoy, and perhaps take for granted, and let’s be a blessing as best we can to these wonderful young people!

Write back to me at this email address and I will provide you with either a drop off location or arrange for our local young people from 7Gpac to pick up your contribution at your home!

Keep in mind that we also need to raise money for postage and shipping to get our care packages delivered overseas.

If you can help with a small contribution to help cover the shipping costs,
Please make your check to:

Seven Generations PAC

And mail to:

7Gpac
11830 Fort Turley Trail
Linville, VA 22834

Put Operation Show We Care in the memo/for line of your check.



Your help with this effort can make an enormous difference!

Remember, many hands make light work.

One more very important part of this operation…

Please include a card or message with your donated items letting our young soldiers know that you care and that you appreciate the sacrifices they are making on our behalf. They need to know that no matter what,

We love and support them…

Thank you ever so much for your help!

Lowell and Dianne Fulk and Family

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kate Obenshain's "Low Income Babies"



"Low income women don't pay for their own abortions and that won't change. The point here is that the government should not be paying for any abortions." - Kate Obenshain


What the heck is Kate talking about?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

RCDC Holiday Covered Dish Celebration

RCDC Holiday Covered Dish Celebration

Join Us to Thank Our Wonderful Candidates and Celebrate the Holiday Season!



Date:
Friday, December 11, 2009
Time:
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Location:
The Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center
Street:
620 Simms Ave.
City/Town:
Harrisonburg, VA

Description 

Hello Neighbors, Friends, and Fellow Democrats

The RCDC would like to cordially invite you to a holiday celebration on December 11, 2009. In the spirit of commUNITY, we are hosting a traditional covered dish pot luck supper for you, your family, and your friends.

Let's get together to honor and celebrate the local candidates whose journeys in the recent local elections made us all proud!

Broadway High School Small Ensemble will dazzle and entertain us!

A little conversation, a lot of admiration, and an old fashioned community supper will make for a wonderful way to enjoy the holidays and the end to another fantastic year in the Valley.

Please bring your favorite covered dish----entree, vegetable, fruit, dessert, etc., and join the festivities and fellowship.

We look forward to seeing you!

The Rockingham County Democratic Committee

Contact:

Lowell Fulk at lowellfulk@activist.com or 540-820-2592
for more details.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Webb on Afghanistan


A Plan in need of Clarity - U.S. Senator Jim Webb from Virginia

I have great regard for the careful process the Obama administration employed in its efforts to define a new approach for the long-standing military commitment in Afghanistan and to put an operational framework in place for our responsible withdrawal. I intend, nevertheless, to continue to call on the administration to clarify to the American public and Congress how it defines success and how we reach an end point.

Since early 2009, I have said repeatedly that the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan must proceed based on four considerations:


(1) the fragility of the Afghan government;

(2) whether building a national army of considerable scale is achievable;

(3) whether an increased U.S. military presence will ultimately have a positive effect in the country, or whether we will be seen as an occupying force; and

(4) the linkage of events in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the coming weeks I intend to examine the administration's plan to see how it addresses these criteria and how it will affect our troops. 

Read more

Cap and Trade - An Argument Against

A different take on cap and trade...






Leading Climate Change Scientist: 'Cap and trade won't work'

A leading global warming scientist, James Hansen, made recent statements on Friday that he hopes the Copenhagen summit will fail, according to a Washingtonsblog posting:
He is vehemently opposed to the carbon market schemes – in which permits to pollute are bought and sold – which are seen by the EU and other governments as the most efficient way to cut emissions and move to a new clean energy economy.
Hanson, who was quoted in he Guardian, said:
"I would rather it not happen if people accept that as being the right track because it's a disaster track," said Hansen, who heads the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York."
 Read more 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Poll on Healthcare Reform




My support for healthcare reform is:

Growing stronger

Diminishing

The same, I want it to happen

The same, I didn't support healthcare reform to begin with

  

Free polls from Pollhost.com

Poll on Afghanistan Troop Increase

What is your opinion?



Do you support President Obama's decision to send 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan?


Yes


No


Undecided





  


Free polls from Pollhost.com

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Common Sense Curriculum

This is an issue several of us brought before the House Committee on Education, and the State Board of Education, repeatedly from 1999 through the legislative session in 2003.  In the zeal for standardized testing via SOL, and NCBL, algebra and geometry became the "minimum" acceptable math skills to achieve a diploma in Virginia.  Math for living life was not even a for credit class as part of the math curriculum.  If there is one skill set which should be cultivated for EVERY student graduating from a Virginia High School, it should be economic mathematical understanding and ability... 
Please consider helping to push this issue forward.
Thanks,
Lowell



On Oct. 6, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, a Democrat from Texas, introduced in Congress the Financial Education for Teachers and Students Act, which would authorize federal grants for pilot programs to teach financial literacy to middle and high school students.

In this season of pitched legislative battles about health care reform, climate change, and financial regulation, it is difficult to imagine that Johnson's bill will garner much attention, much less attract the support necessary for enactment.

And yet, consider:

  • The secretary of the treasury (Timothy Geithner) and the chairman of the congressional committee with primary oversight over the Internal Revenue Code (Charles Rangel) have both claimed, during the past year, that they did not understand or were unaware of (!) the rules governing preparation of their income tax returns.
  • In order to purchase homes that they could not afford, millions of Americans borrowed money on conditions that they did not understand (negligently in some cases, willfully in others) and with which they could not comply. The resulting mortgage and credit crises nearly brought down the entire U.S. financial system.
  • Over the course of several decades, the average American stopped saving almost entirely -- a trend only recently reversed by the onset of the great recession.
  • Individuals, families, localities, states, and, indeed, the federal government have demonstrated an inability to balance their books, and the result is a debt burden with serious consequences for future generations.
Given this litany of failures, has there ever been a better time to focus on teaching financial literacy?
The trends and behaviors that contributed to the recession illustrate the need to expand our ideas about a "core curriculum" -- reading, writing, math, science, and history -- so that it also includes money management.

Courses in financial planning could teach students to become good financial citizens in the same way that civics and government courses nurture good political citizens.

Read the op-ed

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kick a Jew Day in Florida Middle School


Ten North Naples Middle School students were suspended last week after district officials said they participated in “kick a Jew day.”

District Spokesman Joe Landon said a student told the dean of students at dismissal on Thursday that she was kicked because it was “kick a Jew day.”

The following morning Principal Margaret Jackson addressed the entire student body on the morning news regarding the incident, reviewing the code of student conduct, explaining why what happened was wrong, the need to respect one another and possible consequences, Landon said.



Jackson asked that anyone with information on the incident come to the office and speak with her or the assistant principal as they investigated the incident.

As a result, the district determined that 10 students should be punished. The students received a one day, in-school suspension, which was served today. The parents of the 10 students were also called and conferences with the parents followed the phone calls, according to Landon.

Read the story

Obama Administration Limits Lobbyists' Influence



Hundreds, if not thousands, of lobbyists are likely to be ejected from federal advisory panels as part of a little-noticed initiative by the Obama administration to curb K Street's influence in Washington, according to White House officials and lobbying experts.

The new policy -- issued with little fanfare this fall by the White House ethics counsel -- may turn out to be the most far-reaching lobbying rule change so far from President Obama, who also has sought to restrict the ability of lobbyists to get jobs in his administration and to negotiate over stimulus contracts.


The initiative is aimed at a system of advisory committees so vast that federal officials don't have exact numbers for its size; the most recent estimates tally nearly 1,000 panels with total membership exceeding 60,000 people.

Under the policy, which is being phased in over the coming months, none of the more than 13,000 lobbyists in Washington would be able to hold seats on the committees, which advise agencies on trade rules, troop levels, environmental regulations, consumer protections and thousands of other government policies.

"Some folks have developed a comfortable Beltway perch sitting on these boards while at the same time working as lobbyists to influence the government," said White House ethics counsel Norm Eisen, who disclosed the policy in a September blog posting on the White House Web site. "That is just the kind of special interest access that the president objects to."

Read more

Cap and Trade Video Explanation # 2




Monday, November 23, 2009

Unbelievable...




The things, you say,
Your thoughtless prose just gives you away.
The things, you say,
You're unbelievable.





Affordable Solar for Your Home


Solar energy is by far the Earth's most available energy source. Solar power is capable of providing many times the total current energy demand.


Cap and Trade Video Explanation # 1



The 111th Congress must pass a cap and trade bill that creates jobs and helps our economy while achieving the number one goal: stabilizing our climate.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Return of the Militia - Patriots or Extremists?

100 new militia groups since Obama elected; watchdog alarmed


Some 100 new militia groups have formed since the election of President Barack Obama, says the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In a re-run of the phenomenon seen when President Bill Clinton took office, gun-rights advocates, libertarians, survivalists and others are forming militias as a symbol of their resistance to what they see as an administration that threatens to restrict their right to bear arms and expand government control over the lives of private citizens.

"The truth is that these groups are popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a social-justice group that has been tracking the rise of militias over the past year.





SPLC Report: Return of the Militias

They're back. Almost a decade after largely disappearing from public view, right-wing militias, ideologically driven tax defiers and sovereign citizens are appearing in large numbers around the country. "Paper terrorism" — the use of property liens and citizens' "courts" to harass enemies — is on the rise. And once-popular militia conspiracy theories are making the rounds again, this time accompanied by nativist theories about secret Mexican plans to "reconquer" the American Southwest. One law enforcement agency has found 50 new militia training groups — one of them made up of present and former police officers and soldiers. Authorities around the country are reporting a worrying uptick in Patriot activities and propaganda. "This is the most significant growth we've seen in 10 to 12 years," says one. "All it's lacking is a spark. I think it's only a matter of time before you see threats and violence."


A key difference this time is that the federal government — the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy — is headed by a black man. That, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the percentage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily motivated by race hate. One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama. At the same time, ostensibly mainstream politicians and media pundits have helped to spread Patriot and related propaganda, from conspiracy theories about a secret network of U.S. concentration camps to wholly unsubstantiated claims about the president's country of birth.




Please vote in our poll!
You may choose more than one answer.


I believe that the growing Militia trend

will protect my rights.

will destabilize our country.

won't have any effect.

decreases the likelihood of government intrusion.

increases the likelihood of domestic terrorism.

will protect us from foreign terrorism.

makes me feel threatened.

makes me feel safe.

is a good thing.

is a bad thing.

  

Free polls from Pollhost.com

Learning to speak "Teabag" in one easy lesson...


The Result of Valley Republican Inaction on I-81


A series of crashes along Interstate 81 have been causing headaches for drivers in Rockingham County.
The first crash occurred near mile marker 248 in Harrisonburg around 1 p.m. Friday. It closed one northbound lane and backed up traffic for about four miles.

A second crash around 2 p.m. at mile marker 245, also in Harrisonburg, did not cause as many problems.
However, other crashes occurred north of the city, causing backups.
Around 2:30 p.m., a third crash at mile marker 256 in Rockingham County closed one lane in each direction for a time.

Traffic was backed up for about five miles due to this crash. According to 511 Virginia, this was a multi-vehicle crash.

The fourth crash occurred just before 3 p.m. at mile marker 250, also in Rockingham County. The north left lane was closed.
Traffic from this crash was backed up about six miles.

Around 4 p.m., a crash occurred at mile marker 242 south of Harrisonburg and closed one lane on the northbound side. Traffic backed up for about four miles.
Congestion on the interstates may be heavier this weekend as students head home for Thanksgiving break.
 This story comes from WHSV TV3 


These pictures are all from accidents on I-81.

 
Our Valley Delegation to the General Assembly of Virginia has repeatedly refused to take action to prevent this ongoing crisis.

Before his retirement from the Virginia Senate, Republican Kevin Miller proposed raising funds for transportation by a sleight increase in the motor fuels tax.  Republican Steve Landes was quite vocal in his condemnation of the idea.

Senator Emmett Hanger brought the issue up again only to be persecuted time after time by his own Republican party here in the Valley, even to the point that he was opposed in a Republican Primary for re-nomination.


John Lesinski, Gene Hart, Greg Marrow, Erik Curren, and Jeff Price all campaigned on addressing this issue here in the Valley.  As Democrats.

Todd Gilbert, Matthew Lohr, Steve Landes, Dickie Bell, and Ben Cline, all Republicans, each promised to never, ever, no matter what, to support a tax increase for any reason whatsoever.  All of these individuals refuse to tell their constituents the truth about critical infrastructure funding necessities in Virginia, and most importantly to us, here in the Shenandoah Valley.

This day, November 20th 2009, belongs to them...

You are being represented by Todd, Matt, Steve, Dickie, and Ben.  And Mark Obenshain...

We have fewer State Troopers in Rockingham County than we did 25 years ago.  We have an enormous problem on Interstate 81 right here in the Shenandoah Valley.  Where have our guys been?  Where are they now?  Blaming Youtube Videos???

I hope Valley Voters get this figured out...





Friday, November 20, 2009

"Supporters" Upset with Palin over Autographs


click on picture to purchase

Fascinating...

Not sure what to make of all this.






Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sarah Palin. Christian? Really?

I see where Sarah Palin will be shilling her book at the Roanoke Barnes & Noble this Sunday at 10:00 am. Seems like she could give it a rest on the Sabbath. Guess I'm old school.

Huge Cuts at VDOT




The next round of VDOT funding cuts are under consideration today:

Roadway maintenance ($277 million), highway construction ($255 million), administrative services ($115.2 million) and mass transit ($46.3 million) are among the areas slated for major cuts to achieve the $851.5 million in savings.


Want to guess whose road funding is going to be cut? Here is a clue: The Valley has never raised sufficient tax revenues to pay our way on road funding.

I'm sure this can all be cleared up by Mark Obenshain and his Delegate acolytes - with an "outside audit", the sale of the liquor stores, and some fairy dust!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Does Bob McDonnell Believe This!



Bob McDonnell's mentor, and $100,000 campaign donor, Pat Robertson had this to say on his TV show (700 Club) last Monday:

"If we don't stop covering up what Islam is ... Islam is a violent -- I was going to say religion, but it's not a religion, it's a political system, it's a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination," Robertson said. "You're dealing with not a religion, you're dealing with a political system, and I think we should treat it as such, and treat its adherents as such as we would members of the communist party, members of some fascist group."


Reverend Robertson must have been asleep when his seminary teacher discussed the descendants of Abraham.

Bob attended Pat Robertson's school - Christian Broadcasting University, they are very close. Does Bob McDonnell share Robertson's view of the Islamic faith? This would be a good time for Bob McDonnell to deliver on his campaign promise to be the governor of all Virginia, not just the wacko right wing part. Who is the real Bob McDonnell? Virginia awaits the answer.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It's O.K. to Lie, Appeals Court tells Fox News

This is actually old news, but important to bring back up in the context of a new study...


On February 14, a Florida Appeals court ruled there is absolutely nothing illegal about lying, concealing or distorting information by a major press organization. The court reversed the $425,000 jury verdict in favor of journalist Jane Akre who charged she was pressured by Fox Television management and lawyers to air what she knew and documented to be false information. The ruling basically declares it is technically not against any law, rule, or regulation to deliberately lie or distort the news on a television broadcast. 

Read more 





A European study shows that, over time, even the most sophisticated readers can be manipulated.





There's nobody more cynical about the media than your average European.
Only 12 percent of Europeans claim to trust the media, compared to 15 percent of North Americans, 29 percent of Pacific Asians and 48 percent of Africans, the BBC has found.

Yet new research out of the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that even the most hardened Europeans may succumb to media manipulation and change their political views if they are bombarded long enough with biased news.

Read more



Outfoxed - The Movie




 
The documentary "Outfoxed" illustrates how competing news outlets have followed Fox's lead in order to maintain market share with Journalism being the ultimate loser in the process.

"Outfoxed" examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a "race to the bottom" in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public's right to know.
The film explores Murdoch's burgeoning kingdom and the impact on society when a broad swath of media is controlled by one person.

Read more


FCC Consumer Facts - False Information
 

Senators Webb, Warner speak on Health Care Reform


About 23,000 of Virginia's uninsured are getting continuous medical care through a program run out of Virginia Commonwealth University's Health System.

It's designed to fill a gap in which uninsured people who lack continuous care often rely on emergency rooms for treatment.
The program is an example of the right kind of health-care reform as it relates to service delivery, cost and compensation, says Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., who recently took to the Senate floor to tout the program.

"Between 2000 and 2005 emergency-room visits dropped 14 percent by having this kind of continuity of care," he said. "As well, thesepatients didn't show up at other emergency rooms, they were treated earlier in the prognosis of their illness," he said.

Read more

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tracking the Stimulus and Recovery Efforts


There is much confusion regarding how much money has been disbursed and committed, and how much has already been used, and to what effect.


I have included links to two good sources on the left side of the page along with the "tracking Obama" link which has been up for most of this year.

Accountability is very important and we all must pay attention and attempt at least to learn the truth in order to wade through all of the partisan noise.

I hope you find these resources helpful.

Lowell

Let's Be a Blessing!





Decade One in the 21st Century



Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dobbs Gone...

Lou Dobbs leaves CNN for 'new opportunities'

CNN's Lou Dobbs, a lightning rod for criticism following his transition from a business journalist to an opinionated anchor on such issues as illegal immigration, told viewers on Wednesday that he was quitting his nightly show to pursue new opportunities.


"This will be my last broadcast," Dobbs said after giving the day's headlines. Dobbs, who hosts a daily radio show unrelated to CNN, said the network had allowed him to be released early from his contract.

Read more of the heartbreaking news

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Special Veterans Day



We are a nation that is dedicated to the proposition that all men and women are created equal. We live that truth within our military, and see it in the varied backgrounds of those we lay to rest today. We defend that truth at home and abroad, and we know that Americans will always be found on the side of liberty and equality. That is who we are as a people...


Thank you, all who have served. A grateful nation honors your sacrifice.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Governor Elect Bob McDonnell Faces Challenging Times


Big win notwithstanding, Republican Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell will start his administration hampered by a slashed state budget, a politically divided legislature and a sour economy.
Less than 24 hours after he was elected Virginia's 71st governor, McDonnell acknowledged that he will face tough economic times when he takes office Jan. 16.

"Tuesday's election "certainly creates a large majority there that gives me the ability to . . . get full cooperation to get a lot of things done in the House," McDonnell said during his first news conference as governor-elect.
"And then obviously the challenge is for me to get these solutions put together in a bipartisan fashion that we're able to get [them] through the Senate," he said.

McDonnell maintains that he expects to carry out the agenda he outlined during his campaign. And he insisted Wednesday that he will do so without raising taxes.
That agenda includes doubling the size of the Governor's Opportunity Fund, which is used to lure industry to Virginia; tax credits for job creation; merit pay for teachers; and transportation improvements.

Read more 


McDonnell Pledges to Govern as He Campaigned

His campaign was over, but governor-elect Bob McDonnell made another promise Wednesday as he began the transition from candidate to chief executive.

"I just want everybody in Virginia to know that I intend to govern the same way I campaigned," McDonnell said.
"I try to tell people in a detailed way what we intend to do, and now that it's time to govern, I want to go about the business of getting the results and accomplishing those goals."

"I intend to hold myself accountable for everything I said I was going to do," said McDonnell, who won 59 percent of the vote to defeat Democrat Creigh Deeds.

Read more

Affordable Health Care Act Information



The public option would be available to those who are otherwise uninsured and would not be available to anyone who is already covered by an existing employer’s plan.


Mollohan helped clear the way for passage of the bill by arguing forcefully for an amendment to prohibit federal funding of abortion. Without that amendment, the votes of several dozen Democratic Members of Congress remained in doubt. Mollohan obtained the signatures of 28 of those Representatives on a letter to the House leadership endorsing the amendment. Late Friday night, the House leadership relented and decided to allow a vote on the amendment, which passed 240-194-1.


Noting that the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) strongly endorsed the legislation, Mollohan pointed out that seniors would be among the major beneficiaries of the bill. "Seniors who have fallen into the prescription drug donut hole will see a reduction in their out-of-pocket expenses. Additionally, this legislation will shore up the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund.”


Small business owners would also benefit from the legislation. “Their health care costs have grown a whopping 129% since 2000, and they are in desperate need of relief,” Mollohan said. “The national insurance marketplace set up by this legislation will allow them to comparison shop and get the best coverage at the cheapest price for their employees. Additionally, it will provide a tax credit to help them provide insurance for their employees.”


Other provisions in the legislation would promote competition among insurers by ending their existing antitrust exemption; allow young adults to remain on their parents’ policies through age 26; prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against anyone because of their health status; and provide subsidies to help lower-income families purchase basic insurance coverage.


The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the legislation will also reduce the national debt by $109 billion over ten years.

Read the story 


More news on the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act

Statement by James P. Firman, President and CEO of the National Council on Aging:

After a carefully analysis, we have concluded that the bill is a good deal for America's seniors. H.R. 3962 would improve care for older Americans, protect and strengthen the Medicare program, significantly reduce the number of uninsured Americans, and make important delivery system reforms that should reduce costs and improve quality - all in a fiscally responsible manner. 

Read more