Keeping In Touch with politics and other issues in Central Virginia .....The Virginia 22nd Senate District and The 6th Congressional District......Vote Democratic for a Better Future....Protect Your Benefits
Democratic Committee Meeting
Monday, December 21, 2009
The U.S. has flirted with some kind of national health policy six times over the past 100 years, only to see the reform impulse wither each time. For instance, a key plank in Theodore Roosevelt's losing Presidential campaign of 1912 was national health insurance.
President Harry Truman tried again after World War II, but he was thwarted by a
potent combination of political forces, including the vehement opposition of the American Medical Assn., which was determined to defend doctors' incomes against the threat of "socialized" medicine.
John F. Kennedy made health care a major issue in his 1960 campaign. He concentrated on what then was called medical care for the aged. He couldn't get it through Congress.
Lyndon B. Johnson did, but even with his legendary legislative skills and the overwhelming Democratic majorities in Congress after the 1964 elections, it took more than a year of hard, sometimes arm-bending persuasion to get Medicare enacted. It was a hard sell with conservative Democrats, not unlike the problem Obama faces now.
That one major victory for government health insurance was an exception to the pattern of starting each attempt from scratch instead of evolving it from what had gone before. When Johnson signed the Medicare bill in 1965 and gave Truman card No. 1, he traveled to Independence, Missouri, to share "this moment of triumph" with the president who had first proposed it 20 years before.
It provided government health insurance at age 65, tied to Social Security. Broader coverage, which FDR, Truman and Johnson all would have liked to gain, was beyond political reach. Not only for LBJ, but also for Republican Richard M. Nixon, who proposed universal health insurance in 1974, seeking to use employer-based coverage along with federal subsidies so that all Americans would be insured. It was to be done by private insurers, not the government. There was bipartisan support until Watergate intervened.
The political perils of change were dramatized in 1988 after Congress enacted a Medicare overhaul that included prescription drug benefits financed with higher fees on upper-income recipients, who rebelled. They protested, demonstrated and even chased the sponsor, then-Democratic Rep. Dan Rostenkowski to his car. Those changes were repealed the next year.
Prescription drug coverage was added to Medicare in 2003, pushed by President George W. Bush, who claimed it as one of his major achievements in winning re-election. It did not come easily. The administration understated cost estimates by half, and Republican leaders muscled it through the House by one vote. To hold down the cost, they wrote a gap into the coverage.
Most people agree that universal health-insurance coverage is a good thing. The question that rightly troubles everyone is how to pay for it. But it can be paid for, and it makes good economic sense to do so. The issue now is whether our politicians are up to the task of offering health-care benefits to all citizens.
President Barack Obama's campaign to reform health care has been won and all of the citizens of the United States are better for his efforts.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Joe Lieberman argues that poverty could be abolished if people were just allowed to keep more of their minimum wage. ACV Democratic News
A guy was traveling through Mexico on vacation when, lo and behold, he lost his wallet ...... and all identification. Cutting his trip short, he attempts to make his way home but is stopped by the Customs Agent at the border.
"May I see your identification, please?" asks the agent.
"I'm sorry, but I lost my wallet," replies the guy.
"Sure, buddy, I hear that every day. No ID, no crossing the border," says the agent.
"But I can prove that I'm an American!" he exclaims. "I have a picture of George Bush tattooed on one butt cheek and a picture of Dick Cheney on the other."
"This I gotta see," replies the agent.
With that, Joe drops his pants and bends over in front of the agent.
"By golly, you're right!" exclaims the agent. "Go on home to Connecticut ."
"Thanks!" he says. "But how did you know I was from Connecticut ?"
The agent replies, "I recognized the picture of Joe Lierberman in the middle.
Amherst County Virginia Democratic News
Joe Lieberman is on a lifeboat with a young woman who was denied insurance coverage because she was raped, a middle-class guy who can’t afford his premiums, and a sickly child. He stabs them all in the back. Amherst VA Democrats
A little girl asked her father, "Daddy? Do all Fairy Tales begin with 'Once Upon A Time'?" He replied, "No, there is a whole series of Fairy Tales that begin with 'If elected I promise'."
Joe Lieberman is the JOKE
Amherst County Democrats
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
With the help of President Obama, Senators Warner and Web, Van Barfoot Wins Another One.
RICHMOND, Va. — One of the nation's oldest Medal of Honor winners was back in the fight Thursday, this time against a neighborhood association that wants him to take down a front-yard flagpole.
Supporters, including President Obama and Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb, have been falling in behind 90-year-old retired Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, a World War II veteran awarded the lofty Congressional honor for actions including standing up to three German tanks with a bazooka and stopping their advance.
Barfoot put up the 21-foot flagpole in September in front of his suburban Richmond home. He raises the American flag daily at sunrise and retires it at sunset.
Army Col. Van T. Barfoot, Medal of Honor Winner Respects and Displays the Flag. How did he get the Medal of Honor? While his platoon was under German assault near Carano, Italy, in May 1944 he stood up to three German tanks with a bazooka and stopping their advance.
This story has a happy ending.
Amherst County Virginia Democratic News
RICHMOND, Va. (Dec. 9) -- A 90-year-old Medal of Honor winner can keep his 21-foot flagpole in his front yard after a homeowners association dropped its request to remove it, a spokesman for Democratic Virginia Sen. Mark Warner said Tuesday.
Amherst County Democrats
Barfoot won the Medal of Honor for actions while his platoon was under German assault near Carano, Italy, in May 1944. He was credited with standing up to three German tanks with a bazooka and stopping their advance.
Established July 12, 1862 the Medal of Honor was first awarded during the American Civil War. In total 3,448 have been awarded. There are 104 living Medal of Honor Winners.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Republican voters are paying a lot more attention to the Tea Party movement than anyone else. Forty-three percent (43%) of GOP voters are following news about the movement Very Closely. Another 30% are following it Somewhat Closely. Just 12% of Democrats are following stories about the Tea Party movement Very Closely.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
You'd Better Deliver or You'll Be Gone. Amherst County Virginia Democratic News
Amherst County Democrats
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Last July, Lincoln published an essay on the op-ed page of the largest daily paper in Arkansas that stated clearly why a public option should be part of a broader reform plan: "Individuals should be able to choose from a range of quality health insurance plans. Options should include private plans as well as a quality, affordable public plan or non-profit plan that can accomplish the same goals as those of a public plan."
"For some in my caucus, when they talk about a public option, they're talking about another entitlement program, and we can't afford that right now as a nation. ... I would not support a solely government-funded public option. We can't afford that," she has said.
Second, the public option proposed in either the Senate or House versions of the bill would not be funded solely by the government, because both bills require the plan to be supported fully through premiums paid by the insured.
Third, the proposed bill is not only deficit-neutral but is estimated to reduce the federal deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next two decades.
Joe Conason writes for the New York Observer.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Kaine admitted Deeds was "unable to energize his base, falling into a Republican trap that led him to shrink from the president and his policies," exactly what Blue Dogs and cowardly conservative Democrats are doing across the country, where quasi-Democrats like John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA), Parker Griffith (Blue Dog-AL), Travis Childers (Blue Dog-MS), Glenn Nye (Blue Dog-VA), Bobby Bright (Blue Dog-AL), Frank Kratovil (Blue Dog-MD), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) and John Adler (D-NJ) are preparing to cede their seats to Republicans by re-enacting Deeds' catastrophic campaign strategy.
Where Deeds got absolutely crushed, though, was in Appalachian Virginia -- the western and southwestern part of the state. An area called Deeds Country by the Deeds campaign, What a Joke? This should concern national Democrats for three reasons. First, Deeds is an Appalachian Virginian himself, yet outside of his home base of Bath County and next-door Alleghany County, he was beaten silly in his home region, losing by proportions of 2-1 and 3-1 in many counties.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Let's stress this from the outset: Democrats will almost certainly retain control of the Senate. Some bloggers aside, few of the top analysts on the Republican side question this conclusion. The GOP's real hope is to cut the Democratic margin by a few seats, so that they can regain the power to stop legislation (assuming they stick together--a giant "if"). And this will be a significant development, should it happen. As we can already see, Senate Democrats can have difficulty passing major legislation even with 60 seats. There are some moderate Democrats who can easily defect, such as Sens. Ben Nelson (D-NE), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). In addition, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats, is probably best described as a Republocrat. (So ironic, isn't it, given his vice presidential bid on Al Gore's 2000 ticket.)
Florida looks likely for the GOP, though Gov. Charlie Crist is no longer the unassailable frontrunner. Conservatives much prefer former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, who is backed by allies of former Gov. Jeb Bush (and eventually, Bush himself). Either Crist or Rubio would be the November favorite over Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek.
Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, though Mongiardo shot himself in both feet and several other places in a recent profane recorded conversation where he attacked Gov. Steve Beshear (D). Beshear had endorsed
Mongiardo, but the lieutenant governor was angry that Beshear was soaking up the available campaign cash for himself. ("I am close to saying f--- it all...I do not need this job...a U.S. Senate seat," exclaimed Mongiardo.) Despite this embarrassment, Mongiardo still leads Conway in the primary. Many Democrats fondly remember that Mongiardo nearly defeated U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning (R) in 2004.
In two other states where a Republican senator is retiring, New Hampshire and Ohio, the likely GOP nominees (ex-Congressman Rob Portman and ex-state attorney general Kelly Ayotte) are somewhere between slight favorite and even-money bet, depending on whose polls and analysis you believe. Portman will likely face Ohio Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D), while Ayotte's opponent will be Congressman Paul Hodes (D). Democrats are confident they can elect Fisher and Hodes, but the Buckeye and Granite States are sensitive barometers of the national drift, which could be in the GOP's direction in 2010.
she would resign in March, after the primary. We'll see. If she loses to Perry, Hutchison can change her mind again, since her seat isn't up until 2012, and many Texans would not want to lose her considerable Senate seniority. The Lone Star State normally leans Republican, but without knowing (1) exactly when--or even whether--Hutchison will resign, or (2) the identity of Gov. Rick Perry's interim appointee, if there is one, or (3) the number of other Republicans who will run, or (4) the name of the Democratic opponent for Hutchison's seat, it is impossible to rate. We'll revisit this seat once the circumstances become clearer.
Probably the biggest surprise in Democratic vulnerability is Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the Majority Leader. It is the top Senate position that has Reid in trouble--the "Daschle effect," referring to the 2004 defeat of Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. Conservative states do not seem to take well to their senators serving as a partisan battering ram for the liberal party. In early polls Reid is losing handily to two second-tier GOP candidates, real estate developer and son of a legendary basketball coach Danny Tarkanian and GOP state chair Sue Lowden, the likely eventual nominee. Yet no one should cavalierly write off the wily, long-term incumbent. Reid has raised over $11 million and already is airing reelection TV ads. He will almost certainly set a spending record for Nevada, and he will have every resource the Obama White House can supply him.
The long and short of the 2010 Senate line-up is that Republicans have an opportunity to become relevant again by netting a few seats. They might do better. GOP leaders dream of holding every one of their seven open seats and securing their two shaky incumbents in LA and NC. Then Republican challengers could take AR, CO, CT, DE, IL, ND, NV, and PA. This would yield a Senate of 52 Democrats and 48 Republicans--still not enough for outright control but sufficient to tie the Senate in knots most of the time.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Bartlett has just come out with another book, "The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward." It has received an equally chilly reception from the right-wing media and associated think tanks. That is, they're making no mention of it.
Welcome to the world of grownups, where tax cuts don't magically pay for themselves -- and where middle-class people must pay more for middle-class benefits. When it comes to addressing deficits, Democrats may be lax adolescents, but Republicans are total babies.
Media Matters for America ranks Harrop 20th among the top 100 syndicated columnists for total reader reach and 14th based on average circulation.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I don't know about you but I was bothered by the thumping the democrats took in the recent election and wondered how we ended up with our losing candidate so lets look at the primary in Amherst County to see how it began. Primary turnout of voters for the entirety of Amherst County was 727 people or just 3.76% of total voters. Of those 727 who voted 427 went for Deeds, 221 for McAuliffe and 79 for Moran.
Voters of any affiliation may vote in the primary as long as they only cast votes in one primary. Republicans had no primary so Amherst Counties 727 votes could have been cast by democrats, republicans, independents or other.
Lets look at the seperate precincts in Amherst County to get an idea of how important your one vote is. We'll start with WRIGHT SHOP where Terry R. McAuliffe got 18 votes (33.96%), Brian J. Moran got 2 votes (3.77%) and R. Creigh Deeds received 33 votes (62.26%) of the total of 53 votes cast.
As you can see a dozen people working together can do great things in a precinct to sway the outcome. Here's the raw data on the remaining precincts:
102 - NEW GLASGOW
Terry R. McAuliffe - 16 - 25.39%
Brian J. Moran - - - - 7 - 11.11%
R. Creigh Deeds - - 40 - 63.49%
103 - COOLWELL
Terry R. McAuliffe - - 5 - - - 31.25%
Brian J. Moran - - - - 1 - - - - 6.25%
R. Creigh Deeds - - -10 - - - 62.5%
201 - COURT HOUSE
Terry R. McAuliffe - - 43 - - 29.05%
Brian J. Moran - - - - - 22 - -14.86%
R. Creigh Deeds - - - - 83 - - 56.08%
202 - TEMPERANCE
Terry R. McAuliffe - - - - 8 - - 18.18%
Brian J. Moran - - - - - - 7 - - 15.90%
R. Creigh Deeds - - - - 29 - - 65.90%
301 - MONROE
Terry R. McAuliffe - -17 - -32.69%
Brian J. Moran - - - - -7 - -13.46%
R. Creigh Deeds - - -28 - - 53.84%
302 - ELON
Terry R. McAuliffe - - 32 - -32.32%
Brian J. Moran - - - - -10 - - 10.10%
R. Creigh Deeds - - - - 57 - -57.57%
303 - PLEASANT VIEW
Terry R. McAuliffe - -8 - - 42.10%
Brian J. Moran - - - - -3 - -15.78%
R. Creigh Deeds - - - -8 - - 42.10%
401 - AMELON
Terry R. McAuliffe - - 22 - -24.44%
Brian J. Moran - - - - - 7 - -7.77%
R. Creigh Deeds n- - -61 - -67.77%
402 - LONCO
Terry R. McAuliffe - - 5 - - 35.71%
Brian J. Moran - - - - 3 - - 21.42%
R. Creigh Deeds - - - 6 - - - 42.85%
501 - MADISON
Terry R. McAuliffe - - 42 - - 37.16%
Brian J. Moran - - - - - 8 - - 7.07%
R. Creigh Deeds - - - - 63 - - 55.75%
AB - Central Absentee Precinct
Terry R. McAuliffe - - - 5 - - 31.25%
Brian J. Moran - - - - - -2 - - 12.5%
R. Creigh Deeds- - - - - 9 - - 56.25%
These results are typical for the entire state which means complete lack of interest decided our fate in the election.
319,168 voters of 5,071,226 total voters state wide (6.293%) participated in the primary as compared to the Primary turnout of voters for the entirety of Amherst County was 727 people or just 3.76% of total voters. Amherst county voters demonstrated a little less than 60% of the dismal interest the voters state wide showed. There are 19,333 total voters in Amherst County and 6.293% of that number would be 1216 voters. That would be 489 more voters if Amherst County demonstrated the same interest as the State of Virginia as a whole.
Complete figures on all elections and primaries are available at:
Here's a comment on the election itself and what those numbers mean. These figures are also available from the State Board of Elections for all the cities and the 95 counties in Virginia.
If Creigh Deeds had managed to motivate Obama/Biden voters at the same rate as Bob McDonnell managed to motivate McCain/Palin voters, he would have won. Easily. Even if he had only managed to motivate them at half the rate McDonnell did, he would have won. If Deeds had been half as good a candidate as his republican opponent he would have won. Instead, the geniuses - David Petts, Joe Abbey, Monica and David Dixon, Susan Swecker - at the Deeds campaign decided it was smarter to run away from the very things that got those "Obama voters" out to the polls last year. As if that's not bad enough, the Deeds' geniuses decided to spend way too much time tooling around the mirage known as "Deeds Country" (I say "mirage" because Deeds got absolutely wiped out there on Tuesday) instead of focusing on African American voters and the "urban crescent" more broadly. This is almost criminal negligence, utterly mind boggling in its stupidity. And yes, I'm real sorry Deeds diehards got their feelings hurt, but as Jim Webb says, "the fish rots from the head down," so Creigh Deeds is ultimately responsible for this. He hired those folks, let them "plan their work and work their plan." And boy, did they ever. Deeds is the one who said he's not an "Obama Democrat." Deeds and his campaign dragged others down with them.
Last November, Barack Obama received 2.0 million votes and John McCain received 1.7 million votes in the State of Virginia. This November, Creigh Deeds received 0.8 million votes and Bob McDonnell received 1.2 million votes. Deeds "underperformed" Obama by 1.2 million votes, while McDonnell "underperformed" McCain by only 0.5 million votes. The difference between those two "underperformances": 700,000 votes, or more than twice the total that Deeds lost by.
Back to the local level and Amherst County. After the primary there was nothing you could do to change the outcome of the Deeds/Mcdonnell race. From the very moment he won the primary Deeds did everything dead wrong and took the party down with him. Even had 500 more local voters showed up and changed the counties totals to another candidate Deeds would still have won the primary and gone on to lose the race.
If there's a bright spot it is that Deeds can't keep his promise to opt out of any health care reform that President Obama signs.
If you are searching for the legendary city of Atlantis it is located just beyond Deeds Country, turn left on Fantasy Lane. Best of Luck on your journey.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The total number of voters in Virginia is 4,955,755. 1,973,993 people voted. Thats 39.83% of total voters.
The bulk of those who showed up to vote were republican.
McDonnell got 1,157,697 (58.64%) votes and Deeds got 814,068 (41.23%) votes. The republicans won in a landslide while the democrat candidate attracted only minimal interest.
For all the money Deeds spent and all the campaign time the democrats put in they won 6.23% of the votes over their 35% base. McDonnell and his campaign captured 23.64% over their 35% base. Expressed in its most simple form: If Deeds had remained in Bath County and walked with his mule in the field each day instead of spending millions of dollars campaigning he would have garnered 35% plus of the vote. His efforts produced almost nothing.
There are 95 counties in Virginia. Deeds won in Alleghany, Arlington, Bath, Charles City, Greenville and Surry. McDonnell carried the remaining 89 counties. In the grand scheme of things some of these counties Deeds won produce few votes. Since there are so few Deeds counties I will list them and their vote.
Exit polling showed support for Obama remained steady despite Virginia's Republican sweep, led by Bob McDonnell's landslide victory over Democrat Creigh Deeds in the governor's race.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Here in Virginia we worry about a thesis that disrespects women that was authored by the republican candidate for governor. Its much bigger than that, The GOP disrespects women across the board. Read on, this is unbleivable.
It is stunning that 30 Republican members of the United States Senate would vote to protect a corporation, in this case Halliburton/KBR, over a woman who was gang raped. The details:
In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was gang-raped by her co-workers while she was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. She was detained in a shipping container for at least 24 hours without food, water, or a bed, and "warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job." (Jones was not an isolated case.) Jones was prevented from bringing charges in court against KBR because her employment contract stipulated that sexual assault allegations would only be heard in private arbitration.
Offering Ms. Jones legal relief was Senator Al Franken of Minnesota who offered an amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies like KBR "if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court."
Seems simple enough. And yet, to GOP Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama allowing victims of sexual assault a day in court is tantamount to a "political attack" at Halliburton. That 29 others, all men, chose to join him in opposing the Franken amendment is simply mind-boggling.
Here are those who vote to protect a corporation over a victim of rape:
In the debate, Senator Sessions maintained that Franken's amendment overreached into the private sector and suggested that it violated the due process clause of the Constitution.
To which, Senator Franken fired back quoting the Constitution. "Article 1 Section 8 of our Constitution gives Congress the right to spend money for the welfare of our citizens. Because of this, Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote, 'Congress may attach conditions on the receipt of federal funds and has repeatedly employed that power to further broad policy objectives,'" Franken said. "That is why Congress could pass laws cutting off highway funds to states that didn't raise their drinking age to 21. That's why this whole bill [the Defense Appropriations bill] is full of limitations on contractors -- what bonuses they can give and what kind of health care they can offer. The spending power is a broad power and my amendment is well within it."
If you are female or a brother, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, husband to someone who is a female or just someone who believes in justice and you vote republican drop us a comment about the GOP mindset.
Amherst County Virginia Democratic News
We made history here in Virginia last year. Together with your neighbors, you built a movement in order to move this commonwealth and our country forward.
Join fellow Virginians in keeping the promise of change alive by volunteering for Creigh Deeds.
We've worked too hard and come too far to let Virginia slip back. Creigh Deeds has embraced the movement you started by speaking directly and honestly to Virginians about the challenges ahead and the ideas that will move us forward.
His record of bringing people together to create solutions to difficult challenges is exactly the kind of change we built this movement to achieve -- and it's exactly what Virginia needs now.
But it's up to you to make sure that your friends and neighbors know the stark choice they face in this election by making calls and knocking on doors. And it's up to you to make sure that those we helped to vote and get involved for the first time in Virginia last year do so again now.
We know firsthand that we can win elections in Virginia the right way -- one real, thoughtful conversation at a time. But we also know the only way it can happen is when people who believe in our cause step up and get involved. That means this year, right now, it all comes down to you.
Help keep the promise of change alive by getting involved and building support for Creigh Deeds in these final two weeks:
Amherst County Virginia Democratic News
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