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Democratic Committee Meeting

Monday, October 12, 2015

2 Million, 006 thousand, 669 Visitors Ago, The Amherst Democratic News is Born

2,006,669 VISITORS and READERS
360 issues

Dear Friends, Readers and Visitors,  

Thank You for years of Support.

The published output of the  Amherst Democratic News is available online and consists of 360 issues beginning June 9th, 2009 and may be researched in the Amherst Democratic News Blog Archive.  (entry to archive is at the bottom of each sheet by year, month, day and article title)    It is a complete record containing photos and text.

The very first issue covered the Agenda for the Amherst County Democrats monthly meeting on June 9th, 2009 at the Madison Heights Library at 7 pm.
David Burford was our chair, Betty Zieger read the Secretaries report and Roscoe "Skipper" Fitts was the Treasurer.  


Wright Shop........... Magnolia Braxton

Monroe................... Suzanne Chambers

Temperance............. M&M Gilbert

Court House............. Mary Ann Hostetier

Glasgow..................... Ned & Lynn Kable

Amelon...................... Robert Perry

Elon........................... Mary Truitt
PL. View.....................James Willie Rucker

Madison......................Linda Cocke

C'Well/ LON................Francis Wayne

Leon Parrish and Chair, Ned Kable at Ellen Arthur Kick  Off in Amherst.

The Summer Soltice Festival was approaching and Jeff Price was readying for a run for State Representative.       The Amherst Democratic News was a couple of days old and few if any thought it would still be publishing in  October of 2015.    Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States and all things were possible.

                    " May the blessings of God be upon you. "

Many Thanks for All Your Help

Amherst Democratic News

Fired Benghazi staffer says desire to get Hillary Clinton trumps search for truth

Maj. Bradley Podliska is preparing a lawsuit against the House Select Committee on Benghazi for firing him, alleging that the panel has unfairly targeted Hillary Clinton in its investigation of the 2012 attacks.

The Republican-led House committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attacks disproportionately targets former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a fired staffer says, an 
accusation that the committee itself vehemently denies.

"I knew that we needed to get to the truth to the victims' families. And the victims' families, they deserve the truth – whether or not Hillary Clinton was involved, whether or not other individuals were involved," Podliska says on CNN’s "State of the Union" Sunday.    "The victims' families are not going to get the truth and that's the  most unfortunate thing about this."

Recommended:   CIA-Senate dispute 101: 9 questions about who's spying on whom.

The former investigator, currently on active duty in Germany, was fired 10 months after joining the committee, which has spent $4.6 million on the investigation so far. 

Podliska is now preparing to sue the select committee, alleging that he was unjustly fired for his efforts to push for a comprehensive investigation, opposing the biased probe into Clinton. The partisan efforts, he explains, intensified after news broke that Clinton was using her private email server instead of the government-issued one.

"Hillary Clinton has a lot of explaining to do. We, however, did not need to shift resources to hyper focus on Hillary Clinton.   We didn't need to de-emphasize and in some cases drop the investigation on different agencies, different organizations and different individuals," Podliska told CNN.   "There's wrongdoing here and I think it needs to stop."

Podliska, a longtime Republican, says he was also fired for taking leave from the committee for active duty in the military, which would violate the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, The New York Times reports.

In a statement Sunday, chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, denied all of Podliska’s allegations on behalf of the committee. He said Podliska never acknowledged his concern over Clinton or partisan opportunism when he was dismissed this summer.

"Because I do not know him, and cannot recall ever speaking to him, I can say for certain he was never instructed by me to focus on Clinton, nor would he be a credible person to speak on my behalf," Gowdy says in the statement.

Gowdy says Podliska had actually been the one eager to scrutinize Clinton.

“Until his Friday conversations with media, this staffer has never mentioned Secretary Clinton as a cause of his termination, and he did not cite Clinton’s name in a legally mandated mediation,” Gowdy continues.   “The record makes it clear he himself was focused on Clinton improperly and was instructed to stop, and that issues with his conduct were noted on the record as far back as April.”

The Washington Post reports that Podliska had delegated to interns a PowerPoint assignment that looked into Clinton’s location and initial responses to the attacks that left four dead.

Democrats say Podliska’s accusations attest to what they have long suspected – that the committee’s Republicans do sustain a partiality against Clinton in their analysis of Benghazi. 

"It’s been clear that Secretary Clinton has been the true target of this investigation,  theRepublican whistle blower who has come forward only provides further evidence of what has been long evident,"  Rep. Adam Schiff of California, a senior Democrat on the Benghazi panel, said Saturday in a statement.   "It’s time to shut down the Benghazi Select Committee."

Clinton herself will testify before the committee for the first time on Oct. 22.


Jeb Bush appears to have paid the price in the eyes of Republican voters for a number of gaffes that included him saying in the aftermath of a college massacre that "stuff happens."

He may be the ultimate establishment Republican, but Bush -- brother and son to former presidents -- has seen his political ambitions stutter in the months since Donald Trump entered the race for the party nomination for the White House.

Bush's low energy style littered with gaffes doesn't seem to fit in today's campaign world.    Don't count Jeb out though cause he's got over 100 Million dollars to buy ads with and to hire someone else to speak for him.     None of the Bushes showed any real talent for the office but huge backing and money did the job for them.    Don't be surprised if it happens again.     You can teach a monkey to debate, the GOP got Sarah Palin over the hump and Jeb seems to be a few IQ points smarter than Sarah.

Bush's plummeting fortunes were confirmed in a CBS News poll released Sunday which said his favorable rating among Republican primary voters has dived 11 points since August.

Trump, with 27 percent, remains in the lead in the race for the Republican nomination, with Ben Carson (21 percent) in second place, according to the poll.

   5th Place, GW said "Thats good for Jeb"

Next are Ted Cruz (nine percent), Marco Rubio (eight percent).    Bush was in fifth in the crowded field of 15 Republican presidential hopefuls with six percent.

He was on 13 percent just two months ago.

The Bush campaign has shown a puzzling lack of traction against brash real-estate mogul Trump as he seeks to break out from the rest of the crowded field, reinforcing American voter skepticism about him following his father's and brother's footsteps into the White House.

The former Florida governor invited opprobrium for his reaction to the October 1 college shooting that left nine people dead and for his comments in August about women's health.

Hillary Clinton, with 46 percent, continues to lead in the race for the Democratic nomination, the poll said.

Trey Gowdy is right. The House is basically ungovernable.

In an interview with NBC's Kristen Welker, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy (R) offered his honest — and correct — assessment of his party in Congress.   Here's the key bit:

I think the House is bordering on ungovernable right now. ... Being speaker is a very difficult job. We need to have a family conversation and sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before that conversation starts.    We're getting close.

Now, Gowdy was explaining to Welker why he wouldn't be interested in the soon-to-be vacant job as speaker of the House.   But his reasoning is almost certainly why Paul Ryan isn't jumping at the job either, despite basically every establishment Republican in the country urging him to do it.

The problem for Ryan, Gowdy and anyone else who is thinking about being speaker can be explained in a very simple math problem. Republicans currently control 247 seats.  

There are, roughly, 40 Republican members — the vast majority of whom identify with the tea party-affiliated Freedom Caucus — who will vote against the wishes of leadership on almost any major measure unless the leadership adopts a very conservative stance.    If you subtract 40 from 247, you get 207 -- 11 votes short of what a speaker would need to pass a piece of legislation without relying on any Democratic votes.

A Republican speaker who needs to always lean on Democrats to pass anything doesn't really have all that much power.    And every time he (or she) leans on Democrats to pass something, that power erodes even more. 

But, you say, if Ryan was speaker, the Freedom Caucus wouldn't rebel!   They like Ryan!   He is conservatives' favorite establishment guy!

And you'd be right (sort of).    “Paul Ryan is a good man,”   Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, chair of the Freedom Caucus, said on “Fox News Sunday."   “If he gets in the race, certainly our group would look favorably on him."

So yes, Ryan would — as we noted in this space last week — almost certainly be the only member of the GOP conference who could get the 218 votes needed to be speaker in a floor vote.    But getting elected speaker — while a real accomplishment — is not the same thing as running the House effectively.

And that's where Ryan and the Freedom Caucus would almost certainly part ways.    If past is prologue, what the tea party-aligned GOP members of the House want on any given piece of legislation is absolute adherence to conservative principles.   So no raising of the debt ceiling.   No budget if federal dollars for Planned Parenthood are included.

In fact, no compromise — with Senate Republicans, with the White House, with anyone — at all.    And that is where Ryan would run into trouble.   At the core of being the leader of either the House or Senate is compromise — especially when the current occupant of the White House isn't in the same party that you are.

Ryan, Gowdy or anyone else who tried to "run" the House would, inevitably, be drawn into talks with Obama about how to cut a deal to keep the government open, or raise (or not) the debt ceiling. 

Being speaker is a powerful position, but you don't get the last and only word on how legislation turns out.    There is a group in the House three dozen 
or so strong that chooses not to understand that dynamic or simply doesn't care.

That was the problem Boehner was confronted with again and again during his time as speaker.    He would hold firm on the preferred conservative outcome and refuse to budge in negotiations with the White House.    But as deadlines drew near — and things like shutting down the government over a dispute over funding Obamacare loomed — Boehner would always advocate for talking to Senate Democrats and the White House in hopes of cutting the most advantageous deal possible.   But the tea party wing wanted no conversations, 
no deals.   Boehner's hands were tied.    The end.

It's hard to imagine the House under Ryan's control being all that much different.   I think he might get some honeymoon period from the tea partiers, but they are simply not a go-along-to-get-along bunch by nature.    And with some major fights coming up soon in Congress, it seems likely that the Freedom Caucus would revert back to their oppositional ways sooner rather than later.

The question for House Republicans — and again, Gowdy hit the nail on the head — is what "rock bottom" looks like.   Rock bottom at the presidential level for the party came in 1964 when Barry Goldwater won the Republican nomination but proved too conservative for the country as a whole and won only 52 electoral votes against Lyndon Johnson.

Given how heavily gerrymandered most House districts are (along with the GOP's significant natural advantage on the House map, given the concentration of Democrats in urban areas), it's hard to imagine House Republicans suffering broad-scale electoral losses (or losing control of the majority) before the national redrawing of congressional lines in 2021.   The one thing I can imagine that might meet the standards of "rock bottom" is if Ryan decides not to run for speaker and what follows is a protracted, nasty fight — 
the result of which is some sort of power-sharing deal within the GOP or, even more remarkably, with Democrats.

Those scenarios — especially a power-sharing deal with Democrats — seem very unlikely to me, which may mean that House Republicans are still a ways from rock bottom.   But even if they haven't bottomed out just yet, that doesn't mean there is anyone in the party who can lead it in its current form.   There isn't.

Ben Carson Loses Brain Surgeon License After Making Numerous Brainless Comments

The Medical Boards for all 50 States in the Union announced today that they have revoked Ben Carson's medical license and will no longer allow him to operate as a brain surgeon any where in the U.S.    And they cited as their reason Carson's mental and intellectual challenges -- otherwise known as the propensity to sound like a total and utter nutcase.

In a joint statement, the Medical Boards said:  We have been increasingly concerned about the gibberish emanating from Mr. Carson's cerebrum.    
We cite by way of example his belief that the holocaust could have been prevented by armed German citizens, that straight people go into prison and come out gay, and that Obamacare is the worse thing to happen to the country since slavery.

We are therefore suspending his medical license in any state where he is qualified to practice.   And should he choose to come out of retirement and re-apply for credentials, we will not allow him to operate on people's cerebrums, or indeed cerebellums, limbic systems and brain stems, until he can demonstrate that his own are in fully working 

While appearing on The Really Bad Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Ben Carson said:  "I'm very disappointed to hear this news and I categorically deny I'm crazy.    I think this 
is a concerted effort by Dr. Gregory House, Dr. No, Dr. Who and Dr. Doolittle to undermine my candidacy for the Presidency and I am therefore going to ignore it and carry on 
with my campaign regardless."

In his defense, Carson also highlighted comments made by other Republican candidates for the Presidency too.   "Listen, Donald Trump thinks he can deport 11 million people back to Mexico and then get Mexico to pay for a wall to stop them coming back in.

Carly Fiorina believes she can run the entire United States of America even after running little old HP into the ground.

And Ted Cruz doesn't want to work with Democrats to get things done, and yet he told Fox News in 2012 that he's prepared to work with Martians!    I mean seriously, if I'm a loony tune, these folks must be too."

Unfortunately for the Republican party, Carson's assertions have been borne out by the latest Real Clear Polidicks opinion poll.   On the question of which Republican candidate is the most  "bat shit crazy",  Ben Carson is tied in equal first place with Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Rand Paul.

The poll was conducted earlier this week, it had 330 million respondents and no margin for error.

Monday, October 5, 2015

House To Fight It Out for Leader, The Speaker Throwdown.

McCarthy Blows Election

With Kevin McCarthy's recent response to the simplest question about GOP accomplishments in Congress, from the friendliest interviewer,  Sean Hannity,  a GOPer could hope for, the future may as well be called Democrat. 

Here's what McCarthy offered if you happened to be away exploring conspiracies about liquid water on Mars: "Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?" he said.   "But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today?   Her numbers are dropping.   Why? Because she's untrustable."

The consequences of McCarthy's sleight of tongue can't be overstated.  It wasn't just a Washington gaffe, when someone accidentally tells the truth.   It was a self-inflicted, potentially fatal wound, not just to McCarthy but to Republicans more broadly, including those running for president.

One minute McCarthy was the near-certain next speaker of the House;  the next he was persona non grata as GOP colleagues, their own minds hurtling through various apocalyptic scenarios, hammered him.    Will they support him after he gave their secrets away?

McCarthy has since tried to cram the bad genie back into the bottle, but the damage has been done and can't be undone. 

Essentially, he had handed Clinton the keys to her prison cell.   Held hostage these past three years by a series of Republican interrogators about the September 2012 attack in Libya that killed our ambassador and three others, she has been liberated.     The only thing McCarthy didn't speak up on was that the GOP blocked money for extra security at the site, and this is already well known.

The Benghazi hearings that led to the private server, that led to the missing 30,000 emails, that led to the FBI investigation that thus far has led only to the conclusion that she was "hackable" have been reduced in the public mind to a political hit job organized to damage her chances of becoming the Democratic presidential nominee.   This is now the longest investigation in history and it is all a part of the republican quest for the presidency in 2016.   

This isn't necessarily the whole of it — House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy and others certainly believe there's more to know — but the cement has set on what McCarthy implied.   At the very least, any previous suspicions that Republicans were just out to get Clinton have cleared the bar of reasonable doubt.   The republicans are still just out to get Clinton and one of their dumb members has given the secret away.     Thank you Kevin McCarthy for getting so caught up in the games you play that you forgot it was a game.

GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah presented himself as a new face who can unite the House in the wake of Speaker John Boehner's sudden resignation last month. Boehner's deputy, 

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, remains the favorite, but Chaffetz's candidacy ensures there will be no coronation.

The House GOP will vote by secret ballot on Thursday, following by a floor vote in the full House later in the month.

"I can bridge that divide between our more centrist members and some of the more far-right-wing members.   That's why I've entered this race," Chaffetz told "Fox News Sunday."

"The American public wants to see a change.   They want a fresh start, " Chaffetz said.   "There's a reason why we see this phenomenon across the country, and you don't just give an automatic promotion to the existing leadership team.   That doesn't signal change."

Chaffetz, the 48-year-old chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has used that post to launch high-profile investigations of the Secret Service, Planned Parenthood and other issues.

His candidacy, which took most lawmakers by surprise when news began to emerge Friday, underscores chaos in the House little more than a week after Boehner, R-Ohio, announced he would resign rather than face a possible floor vote to depose him pushed by hard-line conservatives.

In the days immediately following, McCarthy was viewed as the presumptive favorite to replace the outgoing speaker, who quickly endorsed his No. 2.

But that dynamic began to shift, particularly following McCarthy's gaffe last week suggesting that the purpose of a special House committee investigating the deadly attacks in 2012 of the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, was to drive down Hillary Rodham Clinton's poll numbers. Clinton, secretary of state at that time, is now the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016.

McCarthy retracted the comment and said he regrets telling the truth, but it's given a potent weapon to Democrats ahead of a high-profile Oct. 22 appearance by Clinton before the committee.     This is considered a rookie mistake as republicans are well trained to avoid the truth at all costs.

The Benghazi attacks killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

Chaffetz acknowledged that McCarthy has the support of a majority of House Republicans, making Boehner's deputy the likely winner in secret-ballot elections set for Thursday.

But under House rules, that outcome does not guarantee that McCarthy will become speaker.   He also has to win a public vote of the full House later in October.   That outcome is less certain because of potential opposition to McCarthy from the same 30-plus hard-line conservatives who pushed Boehner out.

"You might have another one or two that step in the race to get their names in the race and I wouldn't be surprised by that,"  Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., who is supporting McCarthy, said on CNN's  "State of the Union."    ''I do think McCarthy has the votes for it.    He did speak inartfully this week.    There's no doubt, that's something that has hurt him and I'm sure he wishes he could take it back and reposition."    Marsha can dance a jig around a cow pattie, she took her never tell the truth lesions seriously.

There are 247 Republicans and 188 Democrats in the House, and Democrats would be certain to vote against McCarthy.   That means McCarthy could lose only 29 Republicans and still come out with majority support.

Chaffetz asserted that it's a vote McCarthy cannot win.   "He's going to fall short,"  Chaffetz said.

Indeed, so far McCarthy has not claimed he has the needed 218 votes locked up.   But Chaffetz' ability to get 218 votes in the House seems even less certain.   Nor is it clear that the House GOP's hard-line faction will embrace him, especially because of an episode where he briefly revoked a subcommittee chairman's gavel to try to enforce obedience to leadership.

That suggests ongoing tumult ahead in the weeks leading up to the floor vote, even as Congress is confronting a weighty to-do list, starting with raising the government's borrowing limit in early November.    At the same time the presidential contest is riding an anti-establishment wave that's seen some of the leading candidates denounce 
Congress' Republican leaders.

Amid the disarray some lawmakers are seeking more time to consider their options. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., planned to send a letter seeking a delay in elections to lower-level leadership posts.    But Rep. Steve Scalise's camp claimed Sunday he already had enough votes to win the race for House majority leader.

McCarthy's spokesman declined comment on Chaffetz's announcement.    Republicans don't have time for their own games much less govern the country.

But Republicans friendly to McCarthy began circulating material to reporters intended to discredit Chaffetz by pointing out some of his own occasionally controversial comments, such as refusing to rule out impeachment of President Barack Obama over Benghazi.    It is just wonderful when republicans attack each other, it makes Ronnie smile.

A hearing on Planned Parenthood that Chaffetz presided over last week also drew criticism from Republicans for failing to effectively prosecute the organization's practice of providing fetal tissues for research.    Republicans need fewer issues because they never settle one, they use it over and over and forget about it when they are in control.    Then the next time they are out of office they knock the dust off of it and talk it up big time.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., another McCarthy supporter, said on ABC's "This Week" that McCarthy's comments over Benghazi amounted to "a tempest in a teapot."

"I think some people are using it as an opening to get in the race.  That's fine.   This is politics. Hardball sport,"   Cole said.   "But I don't think it's going to change how anybody votes."   " I don't know if any of this will change a republicans mind but is is well known that facts will not change how they vote."

"I guess you folks see what I was dealing with now.    How could I keep all the idiots you elected in line and govern this country.    It is time for the voters to wake up and accept responsibility for the mess they have created.    Thanks to the Democrats for the many times they saved the country and me from the folly the radical house republicans had forced us to face."

"John Boehner"

Meet the Republicans who ousted John Boehner. They're just getting started

When the House broke for its August recess, Republican Rep. John Fleming went home to Louisiana to connect with voters.   He got an earful.

Fleming says his constituents see a GOP-controlled Congress failing to check President Obama, even as federal regulations are hurting them personally.   It doesn’t matter to them that the president has veto power, or that Democrats can still block Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate.

“They just don’t want to hear that.   That’s an excuse to them,”  he says in an interview.   “They at least want a fight.”

Fleming is doing his darndest.

In January, he and eight other hard-line Republicans formed the House Freedom Caucus to challenge the GOP leadership, which they claim is not fighting hard enough for Republican priorities.    Now they’re bigger and they're emboldened.  They just succeeded in driving out Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio, who recently stunned Washington with the news that he will retire from Congress on Oct. 30.

In the weeks ahead, the Freedom Caucus will have plentiful opportunities to push the fight further – from the speaker's race to a combustible mix of fiscal deadlines this fall.   Though members say they have not yet settled on a strategy, one thing is certain:   They are not afraid of government shutdowns, fiscal cliffs, or any other hardline tactics that typically made Boehner wince.

Republicans have not gotten what they wanted, they say, not because these gambits failed, but rather because leadership didn't commit to them, heart and soul. 

And they want that to end now.


For this invitation-only group of about 40 members, which meets regularly at a Capitol Hill restaurant called the Tortilla Coast, the fight starts with the GOP's election for the speakership and other GOP leadership offices, which will take place in a secret ballot on Thursday.

Mr. Boehner said he wanted to spare his members and the institution the “turmoil” of an expected attempt to oust him.   But to many conservatives, like the members of the Freedom Caucus, turmoil is not the problem.   They want real change in the top-down way the House is run and are making demands.

That pressure bubbled over Sunday when Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) of Utah suddenly joined the race, challenging Boehner’s presumed successor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) of California. 

Congressman Chaffetz says he was "recruited" as an alternative to majority leader McCarthy.   He doubts Boehner’s right-hand man can get enough conservatives to win a final floor vote for speaker without having to rely on Democrats.   That vote will occur at the end of the month.

"You don't just give an automatic promotion to the existing leadership team,"  Chaffetz said Fox News Sunday.   Voters “want us to take that fight to the Senate.   They want us to take that fight to the president.”

Beyond the race for the speakership, the House has a to-do list chock full of pressure points for the Freedom Caucus, including debt, budget, and tax deadlines.   Many in Washington are quaking over the deadlines.   They remember previous cliff-hanger negotiations between the Obama administration and Republicans in Congress.   They wonder whether the Freedom Caucus will trigger a government shutdown over federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the way hardliners did over Obamacare in 2013.

Caucus members see the coming weeks as an opportunity.   Exactly what their fight will look like  “is kind of fluid,” says Rep. Matt Salmon (R) of Arizona, another caucus founder.   But “as we go forward, we’re going to consider anything and everything,” he said last week.

Whether Republicans are fighting hard enough for their priorities is a matter of opinion, and forms a dividing line in the party that runs from voters, to Congress, to the presidential race.

Sixty percent of Republican voters say they feel “betrayed” by their political party, according to a September Fox News poll.   Two-thirds of GOP primary voters do not believe Republican majorities have done enough to block Obama’s agenda, the poll finds. 


“It’s somewhat subjective,  'Did you fight hard enough for your priorities?'   With Boehner, the answer is,  ‘No, you didn’t,’ ”  says Matt Kibbe, the former head of the tea party advocacy group Freedom Works.

Mr. Kibbe is the kind of person Boehner means when he rails against “false prophets” who gin up the base with unrealistic promises.   The speaker blames outside groups such as Freedom Works and Heritage Action for egging on the 2013 shutdown, a strategy he says was doomed to fail.   He and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell (R) of Kentucky have since vowed not to repeat a shutdown.

But Kibbe says it is Boehner who is the false prophet, promising in the 2010 GOP  “Pledge to America”  to roll back spending to 2008 levels and to repeal Obamacare if the Republicans won the House.

“You have to believe that they never meant it,” says Kibbe, who is now a senior adviser to Concerned American Voters, a super political action committee for GOP presidential candidate and libertarian,  Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

“This idea that shutting down the government is a fundamental loser for Republicans – I just don’t buy it,” Kibbe continues.   He notes that it was only after the shutdowns of 1995 and early ’96 that Republicans, under the leadership of Speaker Newt Gingrich, were able to strike a deal on welfare reform with President Clinton.

“Clinton took Gingrich seriously;  Obama has never taken Boehner seriously.”

Fleming couldn’t agree more.   He points to the stunning midterm election of 2014, which returned a historic number of Republicans to the House and handed the Senate to GOP control – despite the shutdown the year before.

Republicans rarely put a bill on the president’s desk that he doesn’t like, Fleming complains. Indeed, the president has only vetoed four bills in his seven years in office – though he’s made plenty of veto threats.

“We could be getting more than we’re getting now,”  Fleming says.   “By raising the white flag before the discussion debate even begins, we’ve already lost.”


Other Republicans – hardly moderates – don’t see it that way.

Take Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform.   He’s famous for his Taxpayer Protection Pledge to oppose tax increases.   Most Republicans in Congress have signed it.

Ideologically, Republicans are more united today than ever, he says.   What Republican is for Obamacare?   Or for tax increases?

Under Boehner’s leadership, he notes, the House scrapped earmarks.   Republicans negotiated permanent tax cuts for most Americans.   They got budget caps and the first real spending cuts since the end of World War II.   They reformed a part of Medicare in what’s known as the “Doc Fix.”   They even sued the president.

“People take progress for granted,” says Mr. Norquist.   "What you would like is not the question.    I would like rubies and diamonds.... It's, 'What can you accomplish?' "

In Congress, a backlash may be building against Freedom Caucus hardball tactics.   Last month, a caucus member quit, saying tactics were harming, not helping, the GOP cause.   Over in the Senate, Republican colleagues shouted down tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas last week over his procedural move related to spending and Planned Parenthood.

“There’s a lot of frustration.   In some sense, this group treats Republicans like they’re their enemy,”  says Rep. Tom Cole (R) of Oklahoma, a Boehner supporter.   “It’s always inappropriate to try and blackmail your teammates.”

The Oklahoman understands the anger of Freedom Caucus members.   The political roadblocks to the GOP agenda frustrate him, too, but anger clouds their judgment, he says.   The caucus pursues things that  “demonstrably don’t work,”  such as threatening to shut down the Department of Homeland Security over the president’s immigration policy.

Cole hopes that a new speaker can help calm the waters.   “I think we’ve got an opportunity for a little bit of a new beginning.”

Could we survive as a country with republicans running the whole show?

Amherst Democratic News


Friday, September 25, 2015

GOP In-Fighting Destroys Republican Party

As the new face of the republican party Donald J Trump 
will have quite a time stitching the GOP back together.

These two jokers are Happy,   Happy,   Happy.

Boehner Announces He's Quitting,  ALL CRYIED OUT.

Here's a big  KISS for you!

House Speaker John Boehner has had enough. And on Friday at a closed meeting with his Republican members, he told them he plans to retire from Congress and resign his seat effective Oct. 30.

Boehner was facing a no confidence challenge to his leadership from the 40+ members of the conservative Freedom Caucus, who’ve been increasingly frustrated at Boehner’s inability to block President Obama’s second-term agenda, everything from the Iran deal to making a dent in Obamacare.    Such a vote would’ve forced Boehner into the arms of Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats in order to survive, a move Boehner was apparently unwilling to make.    So, he resigned.

“Speaker Boehner believes that the first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution,”  his office said in a statement.   “The Speaker believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution.”

Almost since his first day in office, Boehner has struggled to reign in his right flank.   This wasn’t the speakership he’d envisioned.    As a young member in the 1990s, Boehner’s sole portrait in his office was of Nicholas Longworth, the last speaker from Ohio.   As I wrote in our TIME cover story on Boehner at the beginning of his 
speakership, he idolized Longworth, who was known for his pragmatism and deal making.   But with his hands tied by the Tea Party, there were no deals Boehner could make;  His attempts to pass sweeping legislation—a Grand Bargain to reduce long-term deficits, immigration reform, even tax reform—all fell victim to his party’s internal strife.

Boehner, 65, had planned to retire at the end of 2014, his office finally admitted publically for the first time after years of denying rumors.    He’d bought a condo in Florida in February 2014, only to see his heir apparent, Majority Leader Eric Cantor lose his seat, another Tea Party casualty, forcing Boehner to soldier on.    “The Speaker’s plan was to serve only through the end of last year.    Leader Cantor’s loss in his primary changed that calculation,”  his office said in a statement.

Boehner, a devout Catholic, on Thursday hosted Pope Francis and, his office said, prayed on the decision looming before him.   The no confidence vote seems to be the final straw that broke Boehner’s will to remain.

“I really hope they don’t do it,”  said former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, told me earlier this week of the vote. “I mean, I’m as conservative as they are, John’s as conservative as they are.   We just disagree on tactics.   Their tactics make no sense.”   Indeed, had Boehner stayed, he likely would’ve been forced to ask for Democratic help—and the pound of flesh that they would’ve extracted would’ve killed his speakership any way.   So, he decided, best to move on now rather than beggar his party to the opposition.

Boehner’s exit will likely elevate Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who took over Cantor’s spot in 2014.    It’s a meteoritic and unlikely rise for the former California deli owner who was only elected to Congress in 2006.   “The right flank likes McCarthy,” says one senior House GOP aide.    “He has done a lot of work to reach out to them and, fairly or unfairly, they feel he listens more to them than Boehner does.”

Up until Friday, Boehner had been aggressively defending his position, granting an interview with Politico last week to underline his money-raising prowess.   But, clearly, his calculations changed this week as he faced the no confidence vote followed by what is increasingly likely to be another government shutdown in late November or early December.

The conference greeted the news with mixed feelings.   While some on the right celebrated, others expressed remorse.   “Speaker Boehner has led the House through some of the toughest times our country has ever faced and did so with poise, patience, and an unmatched grace,” said Rep. Ed Royce, a California Republican who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee.   “He will be sorely missed.   I thank John for his service to our nation and wish him and Debbie all the best moving forward.”

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced Friday he will resign from Congress -- his seat as well as his speakership -- at the end of October after more than 20 years on Capitol Hill. 

       Does This Mo Fo  ever Smile?
The resignation will likely see a throng of Republicans vie to replace Boehner, who in recent months has faced pressure to step down over internal GOP fighting on issues such as funding for disease research, an education bill and the possible renewal of the Export-Import Bank. 


Below is a list of the members most likely to replace him.     The list of those interested in cutting his throat is 8x the listed names.

1. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.:  McCarthy has been the House majority leader since August 2014, after Eric Cantor was defeated in a primary and resigned, and was previously the majority whip.    Just last week the Californian said he supported Boehner, but in a recent Politico report he was named as one of the top candidates to move into the speakership.

2. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.: Along with McCarthy, the former Budget Committee chairman and 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee is rumored by Politico to be a likely pick.   He is popular among the House conference and is one of the best-known Republicans in the country.   Like McCarthy, he also placed his support behind Boehner just last week.   But in the immediate aftermath of Boehner's announcement, Ryan told NBC news that he would not run and that  "it's a good job for an empty nester."   Ryan has young children.

3. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas:   The chairman of the Financial Services Committee, who stepped down from his position as the fourth-ranking House Republican in January 2013, has only recently been associated with a possible run for speaker. Hensarling would command support from the powerful Texas delegation, the largest Republican state bloc in the House.

4. Tom Price, R-Ga.:   The current chairman of the Budget Committee has been seen as a potential speaker since he lost out on the bid for conference chairman to Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers of Washington in January 2013.    His main support will come from grassroots conservatives.   In 2014, he showed that he wished to remain a force in the GOP House by passing on the open Georgia Senate seat.

5. Steve Scalise, R-La.:   The House majority whip has been a prominent name in the GOP since he brought calm during a rough patch for the party during the 112th Congress when a debt limit crisis caused deep divides.   Likeo Price, Scalise decided to stay in power in the House instead of launching a Senate bid in 2014.

Embattled Speaker John Boehner, who rose from bartender's son to the most powerful man in Congress, will resign at the end of October, ending a tumultuous five-year tenure atop the House of Representatives.

Boehner, 65, planned to leave Congress at the end of 2014, one of his aides said Friday morning, but returned because of the unexpected defeat of Eric Cantor.

In the coming weeks, Boehner expected conservatives to try to strip him of his speakership — a vote he felt he could win, but one he and his allies thought would do serious harm to the institution.

Boehner was visibly emotional as he exited a meeting with Republicans surrounded by security guards.   He declined to answer questions but said "thank you" when a reporter congratulated him on his retirement.

"This is a wonderful day," said the Ohio Republican, who canceled a scheduled news conference.

"The speaker believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution," a Boehner aide said. "He is proud of what this majority has accomplished, and his speakership, but for the good of the Republican Conference and the institution, he will resign the speakership and his seat in Congress, effective Oct. 30."

On Thursday evening as he left the Capitol, Boehner told two reporters — one from POLITICO and another from The Washington Post — that he had nothing left to accomplish after he brought Pope Francis to the Capitol. When asked if he was resigning, Boehner laughed before exiting into an awaiting SUV with his Capitol Police detail.

First elected to the House in 1990, Boehner came into power on the momentum of the 2010 tea party wave.   But it was that movement that gave him constant problems.   He clashed with the right over the debt limit, government funding, Obamacare and taxes.  But his tenure will also be remembered for his complicated relationship with President Barack Obama.   He and Obama tried — but repeatedly failed — to cut a deal on a sweeping fiscal agreement.

But Boehner has had some significant victories, including the trade deal that Congress passed this year, and changes to entitlement programs.

Now that he doesn't have internal political considerations to weigh, Boehner is certain to push through a government-funding bill next week that funds Planned Parenthood and keeps the government open.

Conservatives roar as Rubio tells a crowd of Boehner's demise

“I have been doing this for 27 years, and this is the most selfless act that I have ever seen,” said Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) who is close with both Boehner and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).   Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), a former member of leadership who has clashed with Boehner, also called the Ohio Republican’s move  “one of the selfless acts I’ve seen in politics.”

“In the two years I served at the leadership table both my respect and affection grew for John Boehner," Hensarling said.

Conservatives – many of them members of the House Freedom Caucus – said they’re already preparing for the vote to replace Boehner.

“He has a long record of distinguished service but it's time for new leadership,”  said Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.).    “Conservatives will be working together, it's not going to be one or two of us, we're going to make a deal.”

Boehner's decision, relayed in a closed Republican meeting Friday morning, will indeed set off one of the most intense leadership scrambles in modern Congressional GOP politics.    Second in line is McCarthy, who is widely expected to serve as the next speaker.    But there is serious unrest in the House Republican ranks, as a small clutch of conservatives have continuously clashed with establishment Republicans.    It takes 218 votes on the House floor to win the speakership, and many GOP insiders believe that McCarthy is the only person who could cobble together a coalition to win.

Should McCarthy win, it will set off an intense battle for majority leader.   Boehner allies appear to be rallying around McCarthy for speaker already, providing him a hefty base for the internal House Republican Conference election, and a speaker vote on the House floor.

One man is already taking himself out of the contest.    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he will not run for any position.

“That is a good job for an empty nester,”  Ryan said.    “This was an act of pure selflessness”

The posturing within GOP ranks has been going on for weeks.    House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) has been laying the groundwork for that battle, as has House Republican 
Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).    Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) will be favored for House Republican whip.

There are wildcards, however.    Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), who has recently gained favor with the conservative right, is expected to eye a slot.

Boehner is one in a long line of speakers who have struggled with unrest in their own ranks, perhaps most notably dating back to Jim Wright, a Texas Democrat ousted in 1989 who lamented the “mindless cannibalism” of his colleagues.    In the aftermath of Wright's resignation, hyper-partisanship seemed to take hold, leading to heightened gridlock in Congress that many subsequent speakers have fought to break loose.

As for Boehner, there will be time for his close-knit team of aides to toast his speakership.    He is holding a barbecue Sunday in Washington for current and former staff.

Conservatives celebrated the news.    Heritage Action quickly issued a statement celebrating Boehner’s resignation.    “Americans deserve a Congress that fights for opportunity for all and favoritism to none,”  CEO Michael Needham said in a statement.    “Too often, Speaker Boehner has stood in the way.”

In another sign of the triumphant feeling among conservatives, the crowd at the Values Voter Summit broke into cheers when Sen. Marco Rubio announced that Boehner was stepping down.

At her weekly news conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the resignation "seismic" and "a stark indication of the disarray of the House Republicans.”

Pelosi and Boehner have not yet spoken, Pelosi said.    She had called him around 8:30 a.m. earlier Friday to check in on the latest on the government shutdown fight, but was told he was in a meeting and that he would call back.    She found out during a weekly Democratic caucus meeting, as phones lit up with the news of the resignation.

Government officials in Amherst County, Virginia can now require employers to fire any ex-con

The County issues business licenses for the privilege of doing business or exercising a trade, profession, occupation, vocation, calling, or activity in the County.   The [Amherst County Commissioner of Revenue] may withdraw the privilege of doing business or exercising a trade, profession, occupation, vocation, calling, or activity by revoking a business license if the licensee:   a Has been convicted in any court of a felony or of any crime or offense involving moral turpitude under the laws of any state, or of the United States, or knowingly employs in the business conducted under such license, as agent, servant, or employee, any person who has been convicted in any court of a felony or of any crime or offense involving moral turpitude.

Government officials in Amherst County, Virginia can now require employers to fire any ex-con

By Eugene Volokh August 31  
From Amherst County (Virginia) ordinance No. 2015-0004 (enacted May 19, 2015):

So if you have a felony conviction, or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude — e.g., petty theft or making a false statement — then you could be stripped of your business license, so you can’t go into business for yourself.    And if you’re working for someone else, the Commissioner can demand that you be fired; if you’re not fired, that counts as the employer’s “failure to take effective” “remedial action,” and your employer can be stripped of its license.

Thus, if you have any felony (or misdemeanor “moral turpitude”) conviction in Amherst County, your livelihood is at the mercy of the Commissioner of Revenue.   True, your 
employer could appeal the Commissioner’s decision to the County Board of Supervisors, or possibly to a court (which would then likely apply a rather deferential standard of review, given that the ordinance gives the Commissioner discretion). But that will only help if the employer goes to the expense, trouble, and political risk of going to bat 
for you, rather than just taking the easy way out and firing you on the government’s demand.

And this isn’t limited to particular job categories and particular criminal histories (e.g., barring people with child sex abuse records from working in day care centers, barring people with recent DUIs from driving trucks, and so on).    If the Commissioner wishes, anyone with the specified kind of conviction could essentially be disqualified from pretty much any job in the County.   Better not get on the Commissioner’s bad side, or have your employer get on the Commissioner’s bad side.

Let's read some comments from readers.    How do You feel about this?     Were You Aware this had been passed?      Who sponsored and wrote it?      Who's hand is responsible for this?


Dan Wendlick
9/9/2015 3:05 PM EDT
There wouldn't happen to be someone in the county commissioners office named Javert by any chance?

Bruce Amsbary
9/3/2015 5:13 PM EDT
Great, make felons and cons unemployable! What a great way to keep them from recommitting.

Jimmy Whitehead
9/3/2015  7:25 PM EDT
What will the tight ass rednecks and tea party scum do next?     Does Amherst County ever see the sunshine?

Suzanne Riley
9/3/2015 1:01 PM EDT
I thought the purpose of prison terms was for a criminal to pay his 'debt' to society. Upon release in my mind, they paid for their crime. Studies show steady home, steady job and family/community support prevents reoffending by 92%. Why on earth would these fools want to take away a key element of keeping people out of prison and being productive members of society?

Bruce Amsbary
9/3/2015 5:13 PM EDT
The operative word in your comment is "fools."

Mama Chit Chat
9/1/2015 4:40 PM EDT
So basically, the old farts in Amherst, VA have nothing better to do than to legally keep people who have presumably already "paid their debt to society" from earning an honest living? Is it Constitutionally legal to levy a second punishment? Are they in a roundabout way attempting to create more crime in the area?

Ed Grinberg
9/1/2015 1:02 PM EDT
I find this law less objectionable than those that prevent employers from "discriminating" against ex-cons.

9/1/2015 6:02 PM EDT
I find them equally offensive.

8/31/2015 11:59 PM EDT
In response to what both liberals and libertarians seem to realize is a terrible policy (while perhaps disagreeing as to why), may I suggest a compromise.  
 This policy should be struck down, not on the overbroad and limitless theory that it violates some substantive "freedom of contract," but on the narrower and (from a social-justice standpoint) pretty unimpeachable grounds that it denies ex-cons the right to work without notice and an opportunity to be heard. (As far as I can tell from reading it, the only party accorded procedural due process by this statute is the business owner, not the ex-con.)

David M. Nieporent
9/1/2015 6:05 AM EDT
So your idea of "compromise" is that libertarians should abandon libertarian arguments and adopt liberal ones that don't address libertarian concerns? 
 (How exactly would "notice and an opportunity to be heard" mitigate this law? What would the hearing look like? "Are you an ex-con?" "Yes." "Business license denied.")

9/1/2015 7:54 AM EDT
No, I think PT meant it as in, keep getting continuances forever while continuing to work.

Eric Rasmusen
8/31/2015 9:11 PM EDT
I'd want to know what the ordinance means before I approved or disapproved of it. Suppose someone convicted of five burglaries comes in and says he wants a business license to operate as a plumber, or a locksmith, or an electrician. Should the city not be able to deny him a license? I think most customers would like that--- or at least would like to be informed that they are letting an ex-(?) burglar into their house. On the other hand, if this means that the city officials *must* deny a car repair business license to someone convicted of rape or murder, that's a bad thing, because ex-cons should be working at something legitimate.

9/1/2015 12:03 AM EDT
See my proposal above, which would require a hearing before a person could be blacklisted from a particular position in this manner. I may be naive, but I would hope that a hearing requirement would help to differentiate your two hypotheticals.    Leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the Law.   It’s more like “leave to live by the Commissioner of Revenue’s leave, underneath the Commissioner’s discretion” in Amherst County, so long as you have any conviction for felony, misdemeanor petty theft, misdemeanor false statement, and the like.

Eric Rasmusen
8/31/2015 9:11 PM EDT
I'd want to know what the ordinance means before I approved or disapproved of it.   Suppose someone convicted of five burglaries comes in and says he wants a business license to operate as a plumber, or a locksmith, or an electrician.   Should the city not be able to deny him a license?   I think most customers would like that--- or at least would like to be informed that they are letting an ex-(?) burglar into their house.   On the other hand, if this means that the city officials *must* deny a car repair business license to someone convicted of rape or murder, that's a bad thing, because ex-cons should be working at something legitimate.

9/1/2015 12:03 AM EDT
See my proposal above, which would require a hearing before a person could be blacklisted from a particular position in this manner. I may be naive, but I would hope that a hearing requirement would help to differentiate your two hypotheticals.

David Welker
8/31/2015 8:01 PM EDT [Edited]
Hint to libertarians: 
 If you want to be more effective in your diatribes against arbitrary government power, THIS is the sort of thing you should be focusing on. Not the supposed horrors of businesses being required to put warning labels on their products.  
 I would actually be very happy if libertarians got their way on the top 50% of their priorities where they fight to curb ACTUAL abuse of government power. It is the other 50% that I worry about.

8/31/2015 8:07 PM EDT
Finally some help in the question at the top of every libertarian's mind, "what would Welker do..."

David Welker
8/31/2015 8:12 PM EDT [Edited]
There are more liberals than libertarians... So compared to you, I am in the majority. 
 By the way, do you actually have any substantive disagreements with my point???  
 I don't think you can come up with one. Because let's face it, you just aren't that smart.

8/31/2015 8:29 PM EDT
"By the way, do you actually have any substantive disagreements with my point??? " 
 Your point that libertarians should focus on things that you think are actual abuses of government power? Yeesh. Talk about not being very smart. Obviously the reason so few people on either side agree with you on much of anything is that nobody is smart enough to reach the conclusions that you reach.

David Welker
8/31/2015 8:59 PM EDT
 You lose. You did not formulate a coherent statement of disagreement. And I did not think you would be able to either. 
 Just a bunch of mumbling. 
 It is pretty obvious that if you want to be effective, you have to prioritize. That libertarians focus so much energy complaining about things that are just not that bad (like government mandated warnings on products) is an example of the failure to do so.

9/9/2015 1:12 PM EDT
Sorry, but most (all?) libertarians that I know try to apply logic, reason, liberty and the non-aggression principle to 100% of topics. If we only apply logic to 50% and apply "feel good" to the other 50%, then we would fall into the Dem/Rep category. Granted, being a Dem or a Rep that applies even 50% logic to anything would be a huge improvement!  Smile

Moishe Pipik
8/31/2015 7:22 PM EDT
And then when you do comply with the law, you'll get hit with a "disparate impact" lawsuit, and you will not win that case.

8/31/2015 7:16 PM EDT
I have to question whether such an ordinance would be allowed under the 14th amendment to say nothing of the 8th

9/2/2015 9:55 PM EDT
That was my first thought as well.   No one takes Meyer v Nebraska seriously anymore Frown 
 Without doubt, [the liberty protected by the 14A] denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to contract, to engage in any of the common occupations of life, to acquire useful knowledge, to marry, establish a home and bring up children, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience, and generally to enjoy those privileges long recognized at common law as essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Western Rover
8/31/2015 7:13 PM EDT
Doesn't sound much different from the "sheriff's card" scheme that has been running for decades in the Las Vegas area, not just for the usual fingerprinted jobs like kindergarten teacher or security guard, but for all kinds of other jobs, from landscaper to waitress to HVAC tech.    That scheme has been often criticized but never struck down as far as I know.

8/31/2015 6:30 PM EDT [Edited]
If only the courts would recognize a Liberty of Contract to allow businesses and employers to live without overbearing government oppression. Seems to me this would be a perfect case to revive the doctrine that the government can't interfere in such relationships without at least intermediate scrutiny.

8/31/2015 7:18 PM EDT
Given that this was the legal theory used to strike down anti-child labor laws and minimum wage laws, I think I will pass

8/31/2015 7:27 PM EDT
Ain't no way that could possibly screw with ex-cons!

8/31/2015 3:39 PM EDT
This strikes me as less a law to deal with a real problem than a law to expedite the solicitation of bribes.

Smooth_like a Rhapsody
8/31/2015 2:29 PM EDT
They are merely making sure that Hillary does not decide to move to town.

8/31/2015 2:09 PM EDT
Seems like the spot where the start to go off the rails is... "the privilege of doing business or exercising a trade, profession, occupation, vocation, calling, or activity in the County."

8/31/2015 1:46 PM EDT
A good case for the right-to-work folks to take up if they were actually interested in... the right to work.

8/31/2015 1:31 PM EDT
This seems like as good a test case as any to breathe some economic liberty back into the Constitution.

Rev. Arthur Kirkland
8/31/2015 1:23 PM EDT [Edited]
Finding authoritarian scolds running the show in the Lynchburg area doesn't surprise me.   Most of Virginia (population aside) is old-timey area, closer to West Virginia than to developed areas. After the young and educated depart for better locations, what's left is your Amherst County commissioners/council members/supervisors/selectmen/whatever.

8/31/2015 1:34 PM EDT
I hate agreeing with the Reverend but dang if he doesn't seem right here (with regard to the Lynchburg area).   This screams "morality for thee but not for me" and is devoid of the compassion that Christianity (at its best) excels at in favor of the judgement that Christianity(tm) (at its worst) revels in. 
 That said, I don't think most of Virginia is this way, even the more rural parts, there is something unique about the Amherst- Lynchburg area.

Michael Masinter
8/31/2015 2:08 PM EDT
West Virginia seceded from Virginia once already. Please don't tar West Virginians (I was born and reared in West Virgninia) with the sins of Virginians.

Rev. Arthur Kirkland
8/31/2015 7:05 PM EDT [Edited]
I was born and reared in West Virgninia 
 I hope you have overcome your provenance. I would wish West Virginia on no one.

David Welker
8/31/2015 8:02 PM EDT [Edited]
 Hey! Don't be mean. West Virginia fought on the right side of the Civil War. So there is that.  
 It isn't all bad.

David M. Nieporent
9/1/2015 6:01 AM EDT
I hope you have overcome your provenance.   I would wish West Virginia on no one. 
 Well, except all the Jews you want to deport there.

8/31/2015 1:15 PM EDT
Gosh, I wonder what an ex-con who's barred from making a living at a honest job will do.  Only good things, I guess.

Jeff Walden
9/1/2015 12:23 AM EDT

Getting into politics doesn't require a business license, does it?

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