Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dittohead Leadership

Click the picture above to watch a video of Rush Limabaugh,
Sean Hannity, Bill O'Riley, Neal Boortz
and some of their loyal listeners.

Holy Rushbo!!!

The Grand Overlord and Leader
of the GOP

Republicans Dare Not Disobey the Mighty Rushbo!

Just listen to a Republican Congressman grovel to the Great One on live radio in front of 20,000,000 Disciples, for having the audacity to question and doubt His Holiness.

VA Politics: Hart, Marrow, Running for House of Delegates

Quality Democratic Candidates in the Shenandoah Valley!

Greg Marrow, 44, of McGaheysville, said this week that he plans to challenge Del. Steve Landes, R-Weyers Cave, in the 25th District.
Marrow, an optometrist in Harrisonburg, will seek the Democratic Party nomination.

Marrow's candidacy gives Democrats challengers in two of the four House of Delegates districts that represent Rockingham County.

Harrisonburg lawyer Gene Hart is a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 26th House District now held by Del. Matt Lohr, R-Broadway.

No challengers have emerged in districts represented by Del. Todd Gilbert, R-Woodstock, and Del. Chris Saxman, R-Staunton.

Marrow, who spent 12 years in the Navy including the Reserves, said he plans to run on environmental responsibility and supporting "green" job initiatives.

Our economy has evolved to one dependent on services, Marrow said, but he favors a return to manufacturing by encouraging companies that take advantage of emerging alternative energy applications.
"We do have the capacity to fill these empty warehouses with green technology," he said.

Read the DNR story on Greg Marrow and Gene Hart

Click here to email Greg

Gene Hart said he is running because he thinks the area can do better. "The Valley, especially our region, has not been well served by Republican control in the General Assembly,"

Hart chided local lawma
kers, saying they appear more concerned about state politics than what is best for the region they represent.

Hart said the state transportation debate is an example of lawmakers losing sight of local priorities.
"Someone should fight for us to widen Port Republic Road out to the new Rockingham Memorial Hospital site," he said.

A project to widen the road from the city limi
ts to the hospital's new site in the county was taken off a recent list of priority projects by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The CTB is an appointed body largely responsible for transportation planning and financing. Widening on the portion of Port Republic Road that is in the city just got under way.

Read the DNR story on Gene Hart

Click here to email Gene


Friday, February 27, 2009

Slay the gerrymander

CCC has previously posted about redistricting, gerrymandering, and the negative consequences for our democracy. Research across the nation clearly demonstrates gerrymandering reduces competition between the parties, heightens voter apathy while lowering voter participation, protects incumbents, reduces accountability of elected officials, and has other negative consequences.

About a dozen states have created independent commissions to draw legislative districts and several others have advisory or backup panels to help deal with the partisan bickering and gridlock redistricting often produces. For several General Assembly sessions, Senator Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) has worked on a constitutional amendment to create a redistricting commission. In 2008 this legislation passed with strong bipartisan support in the Senate, but was killed by Republicans in a subcommittee of the House Privileges & Elections committee. Among those voting to kill it was Delegate Steve Landes (R-Augusta). Because a constitutional amendment takes passage in two sessions of the General Assembly, with an intervening election, and approval by voters in a referendum, redistricting reform will not pass in time for Virginia's next redistricting following the 2010 census.

But, maybe something can be done over the next decade to assure that redistricting reform will be in place for the 2021 session of the General Assembly. The Virginia News Letter has an in-depth study of the negative consequences of this old political practice, Gerrymandering 's Long History in Virginia: Will This Decade Mark the End? From the introduction:
Every 10 years, a new U.S. census sets the stage for a round of political redistricting in Virginia and the nation. It also brings the likelihood that the boundaries of some newly drawn voting districts will be manipulated in an obvious effort to benefit one political party. This popular but unfair practice is called gerrymandering. Virginia, with a history of gerrymandering going back to the earliest days of the nation, should begin a reform process immediately to prepare for the redistricting that the 2010 census will require. Stroupe, chief of staff at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics and a member of the state Commission on Civics Education, recommends that the legislature strongly consider establishing an independent panel of current or former state judges to assist in redistricting.

Gerrymandering isn't always the reason for low political competition and low voter turnout. But, to the extent this form of political manipulation results in voter apathy and suppression, it serves as a significant limitation on one of the greatest exercises of liberty possessed by the citizens of this state and nation. Stroupe writes, “It is time the ‘Cradle of Democracy’ became the ‘Graveyard of Gerrymandering.’”
Kenneth Stroupe's essay should be required reading for candidates for statewide office and for the House of Delegates. Those who opposed the bill must be held accountable in November 09.

Previously posted at Coarse Cracked Corn.

Deeds Stands Up for Circuit City Workers

Creigh Deeds Stands Up for Circuit City Workers

Thanks to Anonymous Is a Woman for a very good post on her site!

Senator Creigh Deeds called on Circuit City CEO James Marcum today to keep his laid-off employees from losing their health care coverage and forgo his request for more than $4.6 million in bonuses for senior executives. Circuit City announced yesterday that all employees will lose their health insurance on March 31st and will not be eligible to extend their coverage under the COBRA health care program. The news broke the same day a federal bankruptcy judge approved more than $4.6 million in bonuses for corporate executives.

Read the story at the Anonymous Is a Woman blog

Thursday, February 26, 2009

JMU Dems Host Brian Moran at Clementine

What: Meet and Greet for Brian Moran, Candidate for Governor

Host: JMU Democrats

Start Time: Tuesday, March 3 at 7:15pm

End Time: Tuesday, March 3 at 9:00pm

Where: Clementine Cafe

Shenandoah Valley Young Democrats

Shenandoah Valley Young Democrats

A progressive group of Young Democrats
who recognize their responsibility to help protect
the natural environment in the commonwealth,
preserve funding for education; and healthcare,
and to promote the empowerment
of ethnic minorities in the political process.

New Member Meeting
March 9th
7:00 pm
1419 Founders Way, Harrisonburg
Contact Tiffanny 435-2738 for info

Look for us on facebook!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

McDonnell's Troubles Part Deu...

Was Bob McDonnell Paying Any Attention to the Office???

At All???

If Bob McDonnell can't run
the Attorney General's Office
What makes anyone think he can be Governor?

Thanks to Blue Virginia and Not Larry Sabato for being on the ball!

One Assistant Attorney General has been busted for a felony drug crime,

Now another Assistant AG under Bob McDonnell is embroiled in a domestic abuse situation, with a young woman who he met online,... when she was sixteen,... and living in another country....

Seems Anthony P. Meredith was able to lure this young woman to the United States when she became 18... Now she must fear not only for her and her child's safety, but also of concern is that this upstanding young republican Assistant AG tried to get her into trouble with the government over her residency in the U.S.... After he was the one who lured her here in the first place!

But of course Bob McDonnell is in no way responsible for what went on under His watch...

It's always someone else's responsibility when things go wrong for these guys, like the economy...

Monday, February 23, 2009

House Republicans raise a tax!!!

Hollywood couldn't have written a stranger script.

Heavens to Betsy! Quick, make sure the sky isn't falling! Republicans in Virginia's House of Delegates voted last week to raise a tax!

Doubled it, of all things!

And then -- oh, please go check the sky again -- they said the tax increase will spur economic growth.

Can you imagine such a thing?
Not all taxes are evil? Who'd have thought?

This particular tax is especially appealing. It punishes the wallets of tourists and business travelers who entertain themselves in hotel rooms by supporting the ultimate liberal bastion of evil: Hollywood.

Read the column

Putting politics ahead of jobs

Republicans in the House of Delegates care more about denying Democrats a victory than boosting the state's economy.

Two bills in the General Assembly would make smart investments in the commonwealth. A combination of financial incentives for corporations and tax cuts for consumers would foster a nascent industry and allow Virginians to hang onto a few dollars.

Unfortunately, the bills have stalled, sent off to a committee where they can quietly expire.

Here's the twist, though: This time it is Republicans railing against tax breaks and investing in the private sector.

That's right; the party that thinks tax cuts fix every problem, the one that loves to hand out money to corporations, has all but killed these bills.

Read the column

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Meet the Future!

Here are video messages from our three Outstanding Candidates for Governor.

(In alphabetical order...)

Check Back Often for Updated Information!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Drug Dealing Assistant A.G.

Dealing Drugs to our Children is Reprehensible

Bob McDonnell's Assistant Attorney General
Busted for Drugs with Intent to Distribute

Assistant Attorney General to A.G. Bob McDonnell
Steven F. Lederman

Bob McDonnell had this guy in

The Division of Child Support Enforcement

If Bob McDonnell can't run
the Attorney G
eneral's Office
What makes anyone think he can be Governor?

Va assistant attorney general faces drug charge
By the Associated Press

Virginia Assistant Attorney General Faces Drug Charge: CSEA Lacks Accountability

Assistant attorney general arrested in Norfolk on drug, weapons charges

Myron for TMac???

Terry McAuliffe's Newest Supporter?

Was Myron Rhodes (aka Republitarian) so impressed with VA Gubernatorial Candidate Terry McAuliffe during their encounter on Rhodes' farm just outside of Dayton Virginia this morning that Rhodes is now a strong supporter?


Friday, February 20, 2009

Politics -vs- Virginians

Partisan politics and power plays are causing harm to Virginia's future.

The articles of the previous post, and many in the recent past illustrate what some of us have been saying for some time. There are some politicians who would rather be in charge of a sinking ship than let someone else steer the vessel.

This spiteful nature is now manifesting itself through opposition to Virginia seizing the initiative in the development of the emerging field of alternative energy, and non partisan democracy...

We must get beyond Republican -vs- Democrat
and move toward Good Idea -vs- Bad Idea.

We must stop electing politicians who oppose a good idea, simply because someone from the other party had the idea. Such childishness is causing our future, and our childrens future great harm...

Here is another article providing yet further evidence that Creigh Deeds, Brian Moran, and Terry McAuliffe are on the right track, and trying to promote positive growth in Virginia's economy by pursuing the next boom industry:

Solar energy industry beginning to compete with fossil fuels

After 30 years of trying to squeeze electricity from sunlight, the solar energy industry is finally gaining some traction in its effort to compete with fossil fuels.

Does that mean most of the power in our homes will soon be coming from the sun?

Here are some questions and answers about solar energy as a source of electricity.

Q:Is solar energy getting close to being able to compete with fossil fuels?

Answer: It's definitely moving in that direction.

Rooftop solar panels already are producing cheaper electricity than traditional power plants during the day in California and Hawaii. And industry analysts say that as early as next year utilities could build solar power plants able to compete with traditional coal-fired or natural gas power plants.

Q:Has something changed recently to give solar a leg up?

Answer: There have been vast improvements in technology as equipment and installation costs have plummeted, thanks in part to manufacturing innovations and a huge plunge in polysilicon prices.

Read the article

House Repubs Bury Green Jobs

House GOP leaves Deeds’ green bills to rot

Republicans in the House of Delegates may have effectively killed two of Sen. R. Creigh Deeds’ bills that aimed to promote clean energy and create green jobs.

Deeds, who represents much of the Charlottesville area, says the GOP’s maneuver is an attempt to deny him a legislative success while he is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.

“I’m running for governor, and this is something I’ve been talking about for a year-and-a-half,” Deeds said. “They didn’t want to give me a victory. They didn’t want to give Tim Kaine a victory.”

Read the story

And, another partisan Republican move to undercut Creigh Deeds:

Gerrymandering Disgrace

The House Privileges and Elections Committee has killed a bill to create a bipartisan redistricting commission. The vote ranks as the most deplorable of the session.

Four Republicans on the committee killed the bill: John Cosgrove, Chris Jones, Steven Landes, and Jeff Frederick -- who also is chairman of the state GOP.

Read the RTD Editorial

Thursday, February 19, 2009

An axe for Saxman's bills

Delegate Chris Saxman (R-20) saw several of his bills get a well-deserved axe in the Virginia Senate yesterday. The delegate had ginned up lots of attention for a constitutional amendment to protect Virginia's right-to-work laws. Totally unnecessary - those laws are well enshrined in state law and culture. It was all grandstanding for the anti-union crowd.

Saxman also saw his bill to designate royalties from off-shore drilling go to Chesapeake Bay cleanup, transportation, and renewable energy. While CCC can support each of those goals, there is one problem - Virginia gets zero royalties because there is currently a federal moratorium on off-shore drilling. Another bit of grandstanding to kiss up to the "Drill Here, Drill Now" fanatics. The delegate's bill was ill-timed - bring it up again if/when there is off-shore drilling. It makes no sense to mandate specific spending today when future priorities may be very different.

And the Staunton delegate again cringed when his tax credits for organizations that provide scholarships bit the dust. He's been pushing some variation of tax credits/vouchers for private schools since he's been in the General Assembly. It is never the right time for public money (either vouchers or tax breaks) to support private schools (unless they meet the same SOL standards of public schools), but these tax credits at a time of severe budget shortfalls was absurd. Senator Emmett Hanger abstained - in previous years he's voted against his GOP friend.

Tonight is the night for Delegate Saxman's 15,000 home conference call for him to listen to voters. He'll probably talk about each of the kill bills to eek out a little political propaganda. Ought to be interesting to find out (not that we ever will) how many people (1) answer the phone, (2) stay on the call more than a few minutes, and (3) get a chance to ask the delegate a question. I'm all in favor of communication between the people and elected officials, but the possibility that Delegate Saxman does more listening than talking is as remote as the Dolly Sods. Bob Dickerman, the Staunton Democratic Chair, said it better in his letter to the editor.

Cross-posted at Coarse Cracked Corn.

'Green' legislation moving through General Assembly

Water quality, sustainable energy and land use are among the subjects of key conservation bills winding through the General Assembly as the 45-day session draws to a close.

When the legislature does its business in Richmond, conservation groups are busy shepherding bills they support while lobbying against those they oppose. There are plenty of both this session.

Read the story

36 to 4, VA Senate passes budget



Budget unifies senators on both sides of the aisle

RICHMOND – The Virginia Senate passed its version of the budget today, using federal stimulus money to curtail cuts to education, public safety and healthcare.

In a 36-4 vote, Senators passed S.B. 850, which lays out state funding plans for the next two years.

“This bill boils down to one word for me: jobs,” said Sen. Edd Houck (D-Spotsylvania). “Given the seriousness of our economy, we’ve adopted a plan that protects public jobs and secures funding for the Virginians who may hurt the most from the recession.”

With the stimulus package, the bill would restore about $1.2 billion of funding for programs that were previously scheduled for budget cuts, including economic development, public safety and money to help balance the budget at the end of the year.

The Virginia Senate may be the first legislative body to incorporate the federal stimulus plan.

“Our plan is supported by the governor, the Senate Democrats, the Senate Republicans and most House Democrats,” said Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax County). “We have worked with our colleagues across the aisle to provide a budget that carries out Virginia’s core responsibilities and uses the stimulus package to put people to work.

“We are pleased this budget unanimously passed the Senate Finance Committee, and we look forward to continuing cooperation in order to pass a final budget that is best for all Virginians.”

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

House GOP Kills Bi-Partisan Redistricting

Deeds has worked for Seven Years
to Pass a Fair and Unbiased Process

A unanimously passed Senate bill that would set up a bipartisan redistricting commission in Virginia died at sunrise Tuesday during a tiny House subcommittee meeting.

"Over the years, ... there are many instances where you could say Democrats did it to Republicans (or) Republicans did it to Democrats, but the truth is we're creating a system where legislators and politicians are actually choosing their voters rather than voters choosing their leaders," Ms. Valentine said.

In spite of it, Democrats retook a majority in the Senate two years ago and have pulled to within six seats of retaining a House majority.

Read the story

Are We Tough Enough to Bust the Trusts?

Those who made this mess should not be trusted
To Clean It Up...

It is Time for Reorganization with Oversight!

It is Time to Look Out for the Regular Working American!

Here's One Idea:

I would go back to Teddy Roosevelt 100 years ago, and think about trust busting. Okay? Now, the banks don't violate existing antitrust laws. That's 'cause our antitrust laws are 100 years old and need to be changed, okay? We need to break them up for exactly the same reason that Rockefeller and the oil interests, standard oil, at the end of the 19th century, was too powerful, economically and politically. And it had to be broken up. And breaking it up was the right thing to do. That's where we are with the banks today.

Read the interview...

Addicted to Fake Outrage

...what's even more inane than our irrational reefer madness is our addiction to the same high that every pothead craves: the high of escapism. Nerves fried from orange terror warnings, Drudge Report sirens and disaster capitalism's roller-coaster economics, our narcotic of choice is fake outrage — and it packs a punch. It gets us to turn on the television, tune in to the latest manufactured drama, and drop out of the real battle for the republic's future.

Read the column...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Democratic Meeting Thursday

You are cordially invited to attend this month’s meeting of


Rockingham County Democratic Committee

¨ When? Thursday, February, 19th.

¨ Where? Rockingham County Administration Center.

¨ What time? 7:00 p.m.

Our Meetings are open to all who want to get involved in helping our community

And improving our government at all levels.

We will be joined by Michael Tutor

Western Region Director

Wagner for Lt. Governor


Riley Murray, writer of the Blue Ridge Data Blog will present on:

“Tracking Democratic Progress in the Shenandoah Valley

Come find out the details!

And Meet Candidates for House of Delegates!

Also to be featured, time permitting:

The Winds of Change

A short documentary on Wind Generation of Electricity!

This month’s Door Prize will be:

“A Surprise Gift”

Please join us and bring a friend. Your community needs you!

You’ll have a good time-We promise!!!

We look forward to seeing you at the

Rockingham County Administration Center,

at 7:00p.m. on Thursday evening, February 19th.

For Information call 540-896-1323

GOP Governors Support for Obama

President Obama must wish governors could vote in Congress: While just three of the 219 Republican lawmakers backed the $787 billion economic recovery plan that he is signing into law on Tuesday, that trifling total would have been several times greater if support among the 22 Republican state executives counted.

The contrast reflects the two faces of the Republican Party these days.
Leaderless after losing the White House, the party is mostly defined by its Congressional wing, which flaunted its anti-spending ideology in opposing the stimulus package.

That militancy drew the mockery of late-night television comics, but the praise of conservative talk-show stars and the party faithful.

In the states, meanwhile, many Republican governors are practicing a pragmatic — their Congressional counterparts would say less-principled — conservatism.

Governors, unlike members of Congress, have to balance their budgets each year.

Read the story

Lohr votes against Green Energy Credit for Virginians

A House of Delegates committee has approved a measure introduced by Sen. R. Creigh Deeds that would exempt clean energy generating devices from the state’s sales tax.

The House Finance Committee endorsed the measure in a 14-8 vote Monday. The bill, SB 1216, already cleared the Senate. It now goes before the full House.

Read the story

Details of SB 1216 by Senator Creigh Deeds

SB 1216 History

The Committee Vote

Notice that ALL votes against this commonsense measure come from the same political party...

GOP Jihad on Obama

The GOP Leadership (Limbaugh and Company)
Want Obama to Fail

For Their Own Political Gain
No Matter What the Cost to America

The Republicans and their right-wing media allies are doing whatever they can to strangle the Obama phenomenon in its cradle; the mainstream media pundits are stressing the negative so they don’t get called “in the tank for Obama”; and the Democrats are shying away from holding the Bush-Cheney administration accountable for its crimes.

None of these developments is particularly surprising. Indeed, they track closely to the political-media pattern that took shape the last time a young Democrat won the White House, when Bill Clinton became President in 1993.

Then, the dispirited Republicans got a lift from the loud voice of a younger Rush Limbaugh who used his popular three-hour radio show to pillory Bill and Hillary Clinton. That, in turn, encouraged the congressional Republicans to vote as a bloc against President Clinton’s budget and economic plan.

Elsewhere in the article:

With the Republican Senate leaders vowing to filibuster the stimulus bill – thus forcing the Democrats to round up 60 votes – the Republicans were almost gleeful in their insurrection. The Washington Post quoted key Republicans expressing this exhilaration in a front-page story entitled “GOP Sees Positives in Negative Stand.”

"We're so far ahead of where we thought we'd be at this time," said Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, a backbencher eager to take a leadership role. "It's not a sign that we're back to where we need to be, but it's a sign that we're beginning to find our voice.”

"What transpired,” said Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the second-ranking House Republican, ”and will give us a shot in the arm going forward is that we are standing up on principle and just saying no." [Washington Post, Feb. 9, 2009]

One excited Republican congressman – Pete Sessions of Texas – went even further, comparing the GOP insurrectionist tactics to those of the Taliban, the radical Islamic group that is battling U.S. forces in Afghanistan and has been allied with Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist group.

“Insurgency, we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban,” Sessions said during a meeting with editors of the National Journal’s Hotline. “And that is that they went about systematically understanding how to disrupt and change a person’s entire processes.”

Read the story

Monday, February 16, 2009

House GOP Killing Green Jobs for Virginia


Chris Larkum works a green job as a Cityspace carpenter and solar foreman. A recent morning found him cutting lumber at a dusty house the company is renovating at 1417 Grove Ave. in Richmond's Fan District.

The house is getting solar panels, extra insulation, a green roof -- a roof with plants on it -- and woodwork using lumber harvested in an environmentally friendly manner, among other amenities.

The job does and doesn't feel like other construction work, Larkum said.

"Lifting up 2-by-4s is lifting up 2-by-4s," he said. "On the other hand, the practices that we use are new, more responsible practices."

Read the story

Renew Virginia program faring better in Senate

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's Renew Virginia program includes proposals to support green jobs and industries.

The governor says Virginia can create tens of thousands of green jobs by 2025.

So far, his program is faring better in the state Senate than in the House of Delegates. Among Kaine's plans are bills in the General Assembly that would:

Read the story

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The hateful fetish of Republican unity

The fetish of unity in the Republican Party has not only made bipartisanship impossible. It has made partisanship a religion. Not the kind of religion that leads people to tend the sick and feed the hungry, but the kind of religion that leads people to slay their enemies and convert their children.

That religion led one side in the stimulus voting. When the votes are eventually counted on the stimulus bill, I wonder if history will record who voted, or if it will judge the United States Senate on who had to vote.

There were 61 votes among current United States senators, the supermajority necessary to overcome the threat of a filibuster in this body of arcane rules where they call each other gentlemen and proceed with extreme courtesy.

Thirty-eight Republican members of that body knew they would lose the stimulus vote. The only question was how they would lose. Would they force one of their most senior members, Ted Kennedy, a senator serving with his tenth president, to leave his sickbed, perhaps his deathbed, to cast the deciding vote? Or would they force a more junior member, Sharod Brown, to abandon the ceremonies of his mother's burial to come to the Capitol and vote?

Of course the choice did not lie with the Republicans, with the losers on this cusp of history, but rather with Kennedy and with Brown. Would one of them pull away from the customs of life for the rituals of the Senate?

Brown did. History will record that he left a memorial for his mother, got on a plane, flew to the capital, voted, and flew back for her burial, losing those hours when he might have relaxed, might have spent time with family, might have grieved. Instead, he did his duty, knowing it is what his mother would have wanted him to do.

Had I been one of those thirty-eight who can give so little, I know what my mother would have told me to do. A vote by any one of those people could have saved Brown the trip. Mitch McConnell, who helped schedule the vote when it was so that he could leave on time for vacation, could have said to Brown, "I've got a safe seat; I'll change my vote as a courtesy." John McCain, claiming a sense of honor he often forgot when he ran for President, could have said, "I can cast a vote for this and save you the trip and my reputation will be intact. Decent people will understand why I did it." Judd Gregg, erstwhile Commerce nominee, could have acknowledged that constancy is not his long suit, and changed his vote to let Brown mourn at home instead of in planes and cars and a five-minute trip to the Capitol.

The whole Republican Party, for that matter, could have declined to filibuster, and said the supporters of the plan had the votes, and that the simple human decency of letting a man bury his mother was more important than procedural wrangling. But not more important, apparently, than their leader's travel plans.

On a Friday in June of 2002, when I had three votes for mayor and two against me, my grandmother died. She was 93. My mother was exhausted from standing vigil for a week. My family was gathering in Southwest Virginia. While schedules and arrangements were discussed, there was a chance that I would have to be at my grandmother's funeral instead of at the City Council meeting where I was expected to be named mayor.

I spoke to three people about speaking to the two who planned to vote against me. I pointed out that we had the votes, but that I would have to be at my grandmother's grave. Word came back through reluctant intermediaries. Maybe something could be worked out. What was I willing to concede?

But the day turned on the health of an aging aunt with paper-thin skin and twig-like bones, who often looked with faraway eyes at the open graves of those she'd grown up with or raised. She would be there on Sunday, and so the funeral would have to be then, and I could drive back to Harrisonburg for the City Council meeting on Monday. Except for the deep resentment that I will carry to my own grave, the question of whether my grandmother's funeral would keep me from becoming mayor was settled.

History should hold this against the Republican Party, the party of supposed family values. Many of those members have traded a vote for a dam in their state, or a museum, or a bridge. Many of them have juggled and negotiated over trivia and minutiae, and will again. But there was apparently no room in their rules or in their hearts for a mother's funeral.

Someone in that party where people of deep principle stand shoulder-to-shoulder with fetid finger-pointers, is someone who will step forward to complain of the cost of the plane that flew Senator Brown to Washington for this vote. That will be the final proof in this party of exaggerated cynicism that some know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Together, Again

File this under "incredibly sad", and "Life is Strange"

Beverly Eckert, widow of Sean Rooney - who died in the World Trade Center attacks was killed in the Buffalo plane crash last night. She was on her way to Buffalo to celebrate what would have been Sean's 58th birthday and to present a scholarship award in his name at their old high school - Canisius High School. They met there.

Beverly was co-chair of the Voices of September 11th. Rest in peace Beverly.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Virginia's un-representatives

GOP House of Representatives Secret Meeting

Republican congressmen should have been big enough to meet with the governor. It was a duty owed to the people they represent.

Gov. Tim Kaine had a breakfast meeting Monday with Virginia's congressional delegation, and none of its five Republicans came.

The people represented in Congress by Republicans, like those who live in Rep. Bob Goodlatte's 6th District, had neither an ear nor a voice at the table. Instead, the no-shows put on a little show of partisan gamesmanship at the expense of the people back home.

Yet Democrats in Virginia's congressional delegation showed up when Republican Jim Gilmore was serving both as governor and as chairman of the Republican National Committee eight years ago.

Read the column

Goodlatte should be involved in future plans

If someone who works for you was absent from a meeting that could have financial benefits for you, you'd be pretty upset, and understandably so. That's why we cannot fathom why five of the state's Republican congressmen were no-shows to a pow-wow with Gov. Tim Kaine to discuss Virginia's federal stimulus needs with their Democratic colleagues.

The breakfast meeting in Richmond is held every year for the Commonwealth's Washington contingent and routinely draws lawmakers from both sides of the aisle — until this year. What makes it even more astounding is even if scheduling conflicts necessitated the Republicans' absence, which would not have been uncommon, you'd think they would send a representative.

Not this bunch.

Read the column

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lohr, Landes, and Saxman Agree - The DNR Sucks

I agree boys!

A legislative panel last week killed a second bill that would have given local governments alternatives to publishing public notices in general-circulation newspapers. A subcommittee of the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee voted 3-8 against the proposal.

HB 2355 (sponsored by Steve Landes) would have allowed Virginia localities with more than 100,000 population to forgo placing public notices in newspapers. Instead, large governmental bodies could their Web sites or public-access radio or television to disseminate public notices.

Of course that doesn't apply to either Harrisonburg or Rockingham County. But it would have gone a long way towards getting public notices to the public via 21st century technology. So why did Delegates Matt Lohr, Steve Landes and Chris Saxman vote for this bill? They know most people in the Valley don't read the "Newspaper of Record" - the Daily News Record.

Under the legislation localities could post notices on government Web sites, communicate them through automated-voice or text-alert systems and air them on public-access television channels.

VPA Executive Director Ginger Stanley (a lobbyist for the Virginia Press Association) said government notices should be published in an independent entity - such as a newspaper - and not in an entity controlled by the government itself. An independent entity can verify and archive the notices, she said.

Sounds good Ginger, except your colleagues at the DNR don't archive. Put Public Notices on the Web.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

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2009 VA - Wind Power in the General Assembly

Coastal Wind Power for Virginia?

Despite today's stormy economy, the timing probably couldn't be better for proceeding with an experimental wind farm about 12 miles off Virginia Beach's shoreline.

After years of ignoring or downplaying the nation's energy problems and the significance of global warming, more Americans than ever - including public officials - seem to recognize the urgency of investing in clean, renewable energy resources.

In years past, there was skepticism that a productive wind farm could be safely built off Virginia's coast without interfering with the military, the fishing industry or tourism.

But, as The Pilot's Scott Harper recently reported, a group of scientists and energy experts - asked by the General Assembly in 2006 to generate ideas for green-power projects - has completed a two-year study showing that a wind farm off Virginia Beach would be viable.

Read the story

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Candidate Brian Moran

RockDem will work to showcase each of our outstanding candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to be our candidate for Governor of Virginia.

Here is an excellent video introducing Brian Moran!

Visit again soon to learn more about all of our Great Democratic Candidates!

(in alphabetical order...)

Deeds for Governor

McAuliffe for Governor

Moran for Governor

Obama and Kaine on the Economy

Two very important videos:

GOP Business Plan Bears Bitter Fruit

Thank You GOP
for putting our Country into this position.
Your favorite business model called Enron truly
paved the way...
A very special thanks to Dick Cheny and his ultra-super-top-secret
"Energy Task Force"

Click the picture for a larger view.

Mom (Democrats) are asked yet once again to clean up the mess...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Alarming - U.S. Army Suicide Rate

Army reports alarming spike in suicides last month

The Army is investigating an unexplained and stunning spike in suicides in January. The count is likely to surpass the number of combat deaths reported last month by all branches of the armed forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the fight against terrorism. "In January, we lost more soldiers to suicide than to al-Qaida," said Paul Rieckhoff, director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. He urged "bold and immediate action" by the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

read more

of Taking Responsibility... a Real Change

What a difference!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stimulus Skeptics Wrong (Again)

Mythology is overshadowing history in the debate over President Barack Obama's plan to stimulate the depressed economy. Excessive airtime is devoted to the prejudices of cable hosts and radio personalities who regurgitate ideas they barely understand (and who haven't entertained an original thought since the Reagan era). Urgent action that could prevent enormous suffering is delayed by all the same old agendas that have dominated Washington for the past three decades.

So let's dismiss the myths and get back to the facts.

read more

Agriculture Threatened Warns U.S. Secretary

California farms, vineyards in peril from warming, U.S. energy secretary warns

'We're looking at a scenario where there's no more agriculture in California,'
Steven Chu says. He sees education as a means to combat threat.

California's farms and vineyards could vanish by the end of the century, and its major cities could be in jeopardy, if Americans do not act to slow the advance of global warming, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said Tuesday.

In his first interview since taking office last month, the Nobel-prize-winning physicist offered some of the starkest comments yet on how seriously President Obama's cabinet views the threat of climate change, along with a detailed assessment of the administration's plans to combat it.

Read the story

SEC repeatedly warned about Madoff

Madoff tipster Harry Markopolos assails SEC

The man who waged a decade-long campaign to alert regulators to problems in the operations of fallen money manager Bernard Madoff told Congress today that he had feared for his physical safety.

Harry Markopolos also assailed the Securities and Exchange Commission in his first appearance before lawmakers. The SEC failed to act despite receiving credible allegations of fraud from Markopolos about Madoff's operations over a decade.

Because of the agency's inaction, "I became fearful for the safety of my family," Markopolos said at the hearing of a House Financial Services subcommittee.

"The SEC is ... captive to the industry it regulates and is afraid" to bring big cases against prominent individuals, Markopolos asserted. The agency "roars like a lion and bites like a flea" and "is busy protecting the big financial predators from investors," he said.

Read the story

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What WERE They Smokin'?

Dear Fellow Americans,
While you have been fighting the War on Drugs, these guys have been getting stupid with your life savings and the financial security of your nation. ...And the message has not been lost on your kids.

Have plans Saturday?

Plan to Help Your Neighbors, and Enjoy the Evening Too!

Dear Mr. Fulk,

My husband, Brannon Hottinger, said I should email you the upcoming events for Cystic Fibrosis, and you could email a bunch of people for me to see if they are interested. I really do appreciate you helping us. We are trying to make each event bigger and better to raise more money for the foundation, so they can find a cure and also find new and better medicines to help people with CF stay healthy.

The most current event is a Valentine Dinner and Dance that is going to be held on February 7 at Muhlenberg Lutheran Church in Harrisonburg. Dinner is served from 6-7, with dancing until 10:00. There will be a DJ. Babysitting is provided, and pictures will be available. The dinner is Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread, 2 kinds of Dessert, and coffee, tea and lemonade. Tickets are $14/person and all proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Other upcoming events will be the Great Strides walk on April 18 at Hillendale Park (which is our biggest event of the year), a pancake breakfast in August and other events in the summer such as a car show, car wash and bake sale (no dates have been set for those events yet).

Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening disease that affects the lungs and can cause you to die at an early age. Our daughter, Danielle, is 6, and she is doing great! We are praying and believing that she will stay that way for the rest of her life. And that they will find a cure right away. She has a lot of treatments to do and medicines to take to keep her healthy, but she does it all like a big champ!

Any support that we get is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much for your time. Let me know if you need any additional information or have any questions at all.

Thanks again.

Angie Hottinger :)

540-433-2884 home

540-246-1392 cell