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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Convicted Criminal Tom Delay Facing 5 to Life

The Hammer To Visit The Slammer, Delay Convicted
As his last name says Tom delayed justice for years and the appeal process may waste a few more but tonight Tom DeLay is a convicted criminal who has gone from Dancing With The Stars to facing life behind bars.     It took too much time but at last this republican scam artist and low life has met the verdict he deserved.

Five to life behind bars on the money laundering charge and two to 20 years on the conspiracy charge.    Right wing apoligist for the criminal element will be crying the blues as one of their own gets the frog march.       It was reported that Shawn Hannity of Fox Propoganda collapsed and required medical treatment after learning of Delays fate.    (Shawn was diagnosed with a severe case of the vapors.     He breathed into a paper bag for a few moments, recovered and returned to the mike to shill for another right wing republican.)    Shawn shouldn't be so shakey as the Hammer will only do 2 to 5 and a few years on probation.

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay - once one of the most powerful and feared Republicans in Congress - was convicted Wednesday on charges he illegally funneled corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.

Jurors deliberated for 19 hours before returning guilty verdicts against DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.      He faces up to life in prison on the money laundering charge.

Prosecutors said DeLay, who once held the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives and whose heavy-handed style earned him the nickname "the Hammer," used his political action committee to illegally channel $190,000 in corporate donations into 2002 Texas legislative races through a money swap.

DeLay and his attorneys maintained the former Houston-area congressman did nothing wrong as no corporate funds went to
Texas candidates and the money swap was legal.

The verdict came after a three-week trial in which prosecutors presented more than 30 witnesses and volumes of e-mails and
other documents. DeLay's attorneys presented five witnesses.

Prosecutors said DeLay conspired with two associates, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, to use his Texas-based PAC to send
$190,000 in corporate money to an arm of the Washington-based Republican National Committee, or RNC.     The RNC then sent the
same amount to seven Texas House candidates. Under Texas law, corporate money can't go directly to political campaigns.

Prosecutors claim the money helped Republicans take control of the Texas House. That enabled the GOP majority to push through a Delay-engineered congressional redistricting plan that sent more Texas Republicans to Congress in 2004 - and strengthened DeLay's political power.

DeLay's attorneys argued the money swap resulted in the seven candidates getting donations from individuals, which they could legally use in Texas.

They also said DeLay only lent his name to the PAC and had little involvement in how it was run.    Prosecutors, who presented mostly circumstantial evidence, didn't prove he committed a crime, they said.

DeLay has chosen to have Senior Judge Pat Priest sentence him. He faces five years to life in prison on the money laundering charge and two to 20 years on the conspiracy charge. He also would be eligible for probation.

The 2005 criminal charges in Texas, as well as a separate federal investigation of DeLay's ties to disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, ended his 22-year political career representing suburban Houston. The Justice Department probe into DeLay's ties to Abramoff ended without any charges filed against DeLay.

Ellis and Colyandro, who face lesser charges, will be tried later.

Except for a 2009 appearance on ABC's hit television show "Dancing With the Stars," DeLay has been out of the spotlight
since resigning from Congress in 2006.     He now runs a consulting firm based in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land.

From our desks here at ACVDN we waive fondly to Tom as he starts this new phase of his life.    A great many of his friends are already serving time and others of his friends are scheduled for trial and will soon join him.     The only unanswered question is why did it take so long for the system to work?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

GOP Blocks Nuclear Arms Reduction Treaty

The headline is correct, the Republicans are Playing Politics with START Treaty.     As the parties last candidate for president John McCain is the leader of the republicans and he supports doing anything to make President Obama a one termer.
Build the danged fence
President Obama’s hopes of ratifying a new arms control treaty with Russia by the end of the year appeared to come undone on Tuesday as the chief Senate Republican negotiator moved to block a vote on the pact, one of the White House’s top foreign policy goals, in the lame-duck session of Congress.    The announcement by the senator, Jon Kyl of Arizona, the Republican point man on the issue, blindsided and angered the White House, which vowed to keep pressing for approval of the so-called New Start treaty.     But the White House strategy had hinged entirely on winning over Mr. Kyl, and Democrats, who began scrambling for a backup plan, said they considered the chances of success slim.

Over many months of negotiations, the administration committed to spending $80 billion to do that over the next 10 years, and on Friday offered to chip in $4.1 billion more over the next five years. As a gesture of commitment, the White House had made sure extra money for modernization was included in the stopgap spending resolution now keeping the government operating, even though almost no other program received an increase in money.    All told, White House officials counted 29 meetings, phone calls, briefings or letters involving Mr. Kyl or his staff.    They said they thought they had given him everything he wanted, and were optimistic about completing a deal this week, only to learn about his decision on Tuesday from reporters.

Who is Jon Kyl?...What Is His Major Malfunction?....Was there a shortage of letters in the alphabet when he was named?
How is it that having 1,550 nuclear weapons (the number AFTER the treaty) is not enough?    Because while the treaty would reduce nuclear weapons on both the U.S. and Russian sides, we would still obviously have more than enough to say, wipe any two continents off of the map immediately, and most likely the rest would die off from nuclear winter.     Not to mention that reducing nuclear weapons means a reduction in spending, as nuclear weapons really don’t look after themselves.    

 The GOP says that they need to study the issue further, which of course is the standard phrase that they say now when they want to block something until such a time as when they are back in the majority and hold the White House, and then they can declare what a wonderful thing they have done when they pass the exact same idea off as their own.

While Jon Kyl, a Republican from Arizona has said he wanted to halt the treaty, another Republican at least realizes that hey – maybe it might be a good idea if we could actually monitor what happens to nuclear weapons in Russia.
Dick Lugar demands passage of New START Treaty.     In doing so he proves that leadership in the GOP is not totally dead.     There is still a weak spark of love of country and doing the right thing for the people.     Click and view.
Dick Lugar in Support of Treaty

I think President Obama and the American people will win this one.

As John McCain has said many times "I can't believe that guy beat me for president".     John really means it.

ACVDN Salutes John McCain
  John has been on every side of every issue during his long stay in Washington but due to his poor and failing memory he thinks every one of his positions is brand new.      Recently re-elected John has realized his dream of riding out his time as a Senator.     He has found a place where his temper is tolerated and faulty memory is par for the course.    As a GOP Star he has no responsibility for anything and can devote 100% of his time to partisan dirty deeds and naps.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thank You To 21 Compassionate Republicans

A bill to extend jobless benefits for three months was defeated in the U.S. House, threatening to cut off aid to thousands of the nation’s long-term unemployed.

Republicans, in a replay of a dispute earlier this year, blocked the legislation because its $12 billion cost would be added to the government’s deficit.     They demanded offsetting savings elsewhere in the budget.     These are the same republicans that want to extend the Bush tax cuts to those making over $250,000 a year and don't worry about what that costs.

The 258-154 vote fell short of the two-thirds needed under an expedited approval process.     Voting against the bill were 11 Democrats and 143 Republicans.

Who are these worthless fools who call themselves Democrats?

Here are the 11 democrats who voted against unemployeement for Americas workers.    Glenn Nye from Virginias 2nd District lost his re-election bid and is a lame duck in this lame duck session. ACVDN says Good Riddance to sorry trash to Mr Nye.    Nye was never a Democrat, just a drag on the party and an embarrisment to Democrats across Virginia and beyond.

I don't have anything good to say about any of these backstabbing phonies.    Only 3 of them will last longer than the lame duck session as the voters terminated their services.    Heath Shuler is one of the ones who will be there to be a pain for the democrats but he lost in his bid for Minority leader to Nancy Pelosi.

Here are the 11 bozos that can't be counted on.

Representative Marion Berry (D - Arkansas) 1st District

Congressman Allen Boyd representing Florida's 2nd district

Congressman Bobby Bright 2nd District Alabama

Congressman Jim Cooper - Represents Tennessee's 5th Congressional District

Congressman Lincoln Davis Represents Tennessee's 4th Congressional District

Congressman Baron Hill, Representing Indiana's 9th Distict

Congressman Walt Minnick, Representing the 1st District of Idaho

Glenn Nye, US Representative for Virginia's 2nd District.

Congressman Collin Peterson -- Minnesota's 7th District

Representative Heath Shuler NC, 11th District

Congressman Gene Taylor 4th District Mississippi

NOT VOTING 7 Democrats...Hopefully these folks have good excuses for not being there when they were needed.

Democrat Corrine Brown
Democrat Delahunt
Democrat Kennedy
Democrat Lynch
Democrat McMahon
Democrat Moran (VA)
Democrat Space

Aid is set to expire Nov. 30 for some unemployed, and with Congress out of session next week for the Thanksgiving holiday, lawmakers will have little time to find agreement before then.

“This bill is like déjà vu all over again, and not in a good way,” said Representative Charles Boustany, a Louisiana Republican and third class phoney.    “We all want to help those in need but the American people also know someone has to pay when government spends money, and it shouldn’t be our children and grandchildren.” 
Congressman Boustany once attempted to buy an English Title.   There was one small problem it was a fraud. Apparently,   two con artists hoodwinked dumb wealthy Americans like Congressman Boustany that they could buy an English Title, which would give them all sorts of goodies like being called Lord Boustany and a seat to ride in the Queen Mum's 100th Birthday celebration back in the mid-1990's.    Lord Boustany was a NO Vote.

Representative Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, said “ending unemployment assistance will not only be devastating for these individuals and their families but it will also hurt the economy as a whole by undermining consumer confidence and demand.”

About 8,400 Americans will see their unemployment checks cut off by the end of the first week of December, according to Labor Department estimates.    By the end of the third week of December, 1.36 million Americans will be affected if Congress doesn’t act, the agency said.

The unemployment rate last month was 9.6 percent.     Jobless benefits were cut off earlier this year for some unemployed people after a similar dispute in the Senate led by Kentucky Republican Jim Bunning.

"I think it's a sad moment," said Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) after the vote.    "It appalls me that the Republicans keep pitching and pitching and pitching the tax cuts for the rich and won't join in a bill to help people keep their homes and not have to live in their cars."
The bill is H.R. 6419.   

Bottom Line, It sickens me every time I hear Obama talk about getting along with Republicans.     Every time he makes a concession in the spirit of bipartisan conduct and gets nothing in return.      Its time to pitch that hope crap in circular file 13 and face the real world.      If Obama would stand up and lead he might be surprised that there would be followers behind him.     He should keep his veto pen in his breast pocket and have somebody teach him how to work it.

 ACVDN says Thank You to the 21 Republicans who voted in support of their fellow citizens who have fallen on hard times.

I sincerely hope your act of kindness is rewarded in some way.

Our Congressman, Bob Goodlatte was NOT ONE OF THOSE 21 and I hope his action gets the proper reward.

Bob has the ability to drive by homeless starving people and never see them.     He's done it many times.      At thanksgiving and christmas Bob couldn't care less if the unemployed stop getting their checks.      Bob is really worried about getting the Bush tax cuts extended for folks making over $250,000 a year.     And you thought Bob didn't worry about anything.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lisa Murkowski Wins Alaska Senate Race

The AP, MSNBC, ACVDN and the count of the voters write in ballots project Lisa Murkowski to Wins Alaska Senate Race.    Murkowski Becomes First Incumbent Senator in U.S. History to Wage a Successful Write-In Campaign.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski defied the odds and defeated her Republican opponent Joe Miller to become the first incumbent, and only the second person in history to wage a successful write-in campaign for a U.S. Senate seat.

The Associated Press projected the incumbent senator will win the Alaska Senate race, beating Miller, the Tea Party favorite, who was backed by Fox TV host Sarah Palin.

In a historic election that pitted Republicans against Republicans, Murkowski emerged victorious by a narrow margin.     As of Tuesday evening, Murkowski had won more than 90 percent of the write-in votes and had a lead of more than 10,000 votes over Miller.

Despite her lead, Miller today refused to concede, saying he is "less cautiously optimistic" but he will wait until military ballots from overseas are counted to make a final decision.     Miller assailed the elections division, questioning whether the agency sent out military ballots in a timely manner.     He is also challenging the decision to count ballots that were misspelled, but which election officials say showed voter intent.

"We also want to make sure going forward the state of Alaska imposed the statutory standard, that we don't end up having in the future the same sort of thing we had in this race, where you have an unelected bureaucrat that basically makes the call," he said on Fox News today.     "We essentially got one super-voter right now that is applying inconsistently the standard that they developed just 36 hours before the count began."

The Desert Storm veteran was counting on support from military voters, whose ballots have yet to be counted.     Miller also suggested that he may request a recount, specifically a hand recount, of all his ballots.

"To suggest that we aren't going to, not necessarily take advantage but ensure the integrity of the vote by applying the same sort of count to our votes ... I just think it's kind of disingenuous," he said. "Sen. Murkowski is going to do what she's going to do.    We aren't going to stand in the way of her press conference obviously tonight but we're going to make sure we maintain our position, that the integrity of the vote matters and especially these military votes matter."

Miller may have to pay for the recount himself if he wants one.    If there is a difference of 20 or fewer votes, or less than 0.5 percent, the state pays for the recount.     If not, the candidate requesting the recount has to pay $15,000.     All of that money is refunded if the votes were indeed miscounted.

With today's win, Murkowski becomes the first incumbent senator to win through a write-in campaign.

The only other person to win a U.S. Senate seat in a write-in campaign was Strom Thurmond, who ran in South Carolina in 1954. No write-in candidate has ever been successful in Alaska.

Murkowski went quickly from the bottom to the top.    She lost in a brutal primary against Miller, a virtual unknown, who received an important endorsement from Palin and whose coffers were filled by the Tea Party Express, which helped several other candidates to victory.

Miller painted Murkowski as a Washington insider who supported President Obama's agenda and programs like the $787 billion stimulus bill.

Even though she eventually lost to the Tea Party candidate, in one of the biggest upsets of the primaries, Murkowski wouldn't give up. She waged a write-in campaign on the Republican ballot and spearheaded a campaign -- funded mostly by her own money -- that focused on not only her record but getting voters to remember the spelling of her name.

Miller, meanwhile, dropped in the polls as he was dogged by scandals involving his time as an attorney at the Fairbanks North Star Borough.     Miller admitted he used his employers equipment to voice his opposition to then-Republican party chairman Randy Ruedrich.

Miller was also accused by his opponents of hypocrisy.     The candidate was an outspoken critic of federal programs even though he and his family received Medicaid.     Miller, a staunch critic of big government and entitlement programs, also accepted federal farm subsidies and low-income hunting and fishing licenses, according to local reports.

Miller has continuously fought the results of the write-in ballots.     He currently has two lawsuits pending against the Alaska Elections Division.     One claiming that their decision to count misspelled ballots if they show voter intent is unconstitutional, and a second one seeking voter rolls from some precincts.

Murkowski received a lukewarm reception from the Republican leadership when she returned to Washington, D.C. on Monday.     The senator was stripped of her leadership post when she announced her write-in campaign, even as GOP leaders secretly prepared for the possibility of Miller's downfall.

The incumbent senator had heavy criticism for her opponents like Fox TV host Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint.

"I think some of the Republicans in the Congress feel pretty strongly that he and his actions potentially cost us the majority by encouraging candidates that ended up not being electable."

Murkowski will return to Washington in an odd position in the Republican Party.    The National Republican Senatorial Committee threw its support and cash behind Miller, opting to back the candidate who received the GOP nomination.    And she didn't have many friends within the tea party movement — with many of those voters seeing her as too liberal — putting her at odds with that faction of the party as well.

Though she plans to caucus with Republicans, she said she won't be beholden to any special interests or party — an initial sign that she may not try to reclaim her leadership post within the GOP conference.    She voluntarily resigned it in deciding to make her outsider run.

Murkowski says she will approach issues as they come to her, and vowed to do what's best for Alaskans.     She opposed a Republican-supported moratorium on earmark requests, a hot issue on Capitol Hill following the tea party surge in the mid-term elections.     She says a ban on earmarks won't do much to reduce federal spending and instead would leave bureaucrats to decide spending priorities.

The longshot nature of Murkowski's campaign seemed to invigorate the senator and her team.     Her one-time spokesman, Steve Wackowski, said he liked nothing more than hearing it couldn't be done — that that only made the campaign work harder in what amounted to a massive do-over after she flubbed the primary contest.

History wasn't on their side:  Nothing of this scale had been pulled off in Alaska, and had rarely been accomplished elsewhere.     The last Senate candidate to win as a write-in was Strom Thurmond in 1954.

But Murkowski wasn't the typical write-in candidate:  She enjoyed widespread name recognition as Alaska's senior senator and daughter of a local political dynasty, and had a $1 million-plus bank account.

She also showed a fire she'd lacked during the primary, when she referred to Miller as "my opponent" and fell victim to aggressive last-minute attack ads by the Tea Party Express.

This time, she pounced on Miller's every misstep.    While she still stressed her seniority and her willingness to be a voice for all Alaskans, her speeches sounded more like rallies than lectures, generally ending in her leading a raucous chorus of supporters in spelling her name: "M-U-R, K-O-W, S-K-I."

"She just had a fire in her belly to do this not for herself  but for the large number of people, literally hundreds, who begged her to do this," said John Tracy, who worked on her ad team.

Miller didn't do himself any favors after his upset of Murkowski in the August primary.     Court documents were released showing Miller was suspended as a government employee for using work computers for partisan political work and lying about it.    In other miscues, his security detail handcuffed a journalist asking questions at a town hall meeting, and it was revealed his family received many government handouts that he railed against as a tea party candidate.

Murkowski, 53, was appointed to the Senate seat long held by her father when he became governor in 2002;  she won the seat in her own right two years later, in a narrow win over Democrat Tony Knowles, and her father was ousted in the 2006 gubernatorial primary by Fox TV host Palin, contributing to the icy relationship between the two families.

The win comes a day before what would have been Sen. Ted Stevens' 87th birthday.     Stevens, a legend in Alaska for bringing home billions in federal aid and projects during his 40 years in the Senate, was one of Murkowski's biggest supporters, and a mentor.    He died in a plane crash two weeks before the primary.

Murkowski invoked his legacy during her write-in campaign as something she wanted to carry on.

Bottom line, this lady is tough and she's a fighter.     She fought and as sometimes happens when you fight, she won.     If the tea party and republicans don't want her the Democrats would be proud to welcome her to our party.    We would be better off with her spirit.    As Democrats we are used to fighting and losing, but     since electing Obama we don't put up a fight anymore we just cave and lose.    Congradulations to Lisa for having the spine to fight.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rangel Convicted on 11 of 13 Ethics Charges

Ask me what Democrats don't need?     Rep. Charles Rangel and his private little piece of the swamp that Nancy drained.
Rangel writes the tax rules and laws we have to live by, but he ignores them as they relate to him.     Democrats didn't cover it up, to their credit they exposed it.

Rep. Charles Rangel, once one of the most influential House members, was convicted Tuesday on 11 counts of breaking ethics rules and now faces punishment.      The veteran New York lawmaker immediately denounced the verdict as unfair.

An ethics panel of eight House peers deliberated over two days before delivering a jarring blow to the 20-term New York
Democrat's career.    Rangel was charged with 13 counts of financial and fundraising misconduct.

The conviction also was another setback for Democrats who lost control of the House to the GOP in the midterm elections.

Rangel, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, is not expected to resign.    He is 80 years old and remains a dominant political figure in New York's famed Harlem neighborhood.

He was forced to step down last March as Ways and Means chairman when the House ethics committee, in a separate case, admonished him for taking two Caribbean trips paid for by corporations.

At his one-day trial on Monday, Rangel was reduced to pleading for a postponement — arguing that his lawyers abandoned him after he paid them some $2 million but could afford no more.     The panel rejected his request, and Rangel walked out of the proceeding.

Rangel reacted bitterly to the conviction.

"How can anyone have confidence in the decision of the ethics subcommittee when I was deprived of due process rights, right to counsel and was not even in the room?"     Rangel said in a written statement.    "I can only hope that the full committee will treat me more fairly, and take into account my entire 40 years of service to the Congress before making any decisions on sanctions."

He called the panel's findings "unprecedented" because there was no rebuttal evidence.     He complained that the rejection of his appeal for more time violated "the basic constitutional right to counsel."

Rangel, echoing a statement he made in August in a speech to the House, added, "any failings in my conduct were the result of "good faith mistakes" and were caused by "sloppy and careless recordkeeping, but were not criminal or corrupt."

New York Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who attended Rangel's fundraiser in August while campaigning to clean up New York politics, said, "It's obviously a sad situation to experience.

"It's important that people have full faith in the integrity in public service, so it's painful to watch," Cuomo said Tuesday at a press event near Rochester. "But we'll see what happens at the end of the process."

Only last spring, Rangel wielded significant power in the House from his position as the main writer of tax legislation.     He was not present Tuesday when the verdict was announced.

The full ethics committee will now conduct a hearing on the appropriate punishment for Rangel, the silver-haired, gravelly-voiced and sartorially flashy veteran of 20 terms in the House.

Possible sanctions include a House vote deploring Rangel's conduct, a fine and denial of privileges.

The congressional panel, sitting as a jury, found that Rangel had used House stationery and staff to solicit money for a New York college center named after him.     It also concluded he solicited donors for the center with interests before the Ways and Means Committee, leaving the impression the money could influence official actions.

He also was found guilty of failing to disclose at least $600,000 in assets and income in a series of inaccurate reports to Congress; using a rent-subsidized New York apartment for a campaign office, when it was designated for residential use;  and failure to report to the IRS rental income from a housing unit in a Dominican Republic resort.

The ethics panel split 4-4 on a charge that Rangel violated a ban on gifts because he was to have an office — and storage of his papers — at the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York.

Two counts charging him with misuse of Congress' free mail privilege were merged into one.

The charges said the solicitation for the Rangel Center targeted foundations and businesses that were seeking official action from the House, or had interests that might be substantially affected by Rangel's congressional conduct.    However, Rangel was not accused of using his influence to pass or defeat legislation.

During Monday's trial proceeding, the chief counsel for the House ethics committee, Blake Chisam, told the jury that Rangel could have received permission to solicit nonprofit foundations.    However, he could not have used congressional stationery and staff as he was found to have done.

Rangel had previously acknowledged some of the charges, including submission of 10 years' worth of incomplete and inaccurate annual statements disclosing his assets and income.

He also admitted he initially did not report his rental income from a unit he owned at the Punta Cana resort in the Dominican Republic.

An apartment in Harlem's Lennox Terrace complex housed the Rangel for Congress and National Leadership PAC political committees, when the lease terms said the unit was designated for living purposes only.

Chisam had told the jury that other tenants were evicted at an increasing rate for violating the same lease terms.

Direct move to the core of the matter, ACVDN salutes the House Democrats.     This 40 year veteran of the house who writes the tax laws has no excuse for his conduct.     Rangel has been getting over on the system for years and due to his position he thought he would never be challenged.     Its to the Democrats credit that they took this powerful old codger on and convicted him.     The ethics committee did its job and the system is better for exposing the corruption of Charles Rangel.     Another little piece of the swamp drained.    Good going Nancy.

And Now The Big News

Refudiate Becomes Word of the Year in Oxford American Dictionary

Congratulations to Sarah Palin, Her Invented word “Refudiate” has been named the New Oxford American Dictionary’s 2010 Word of the Year.     The word “Refudiate,” which is a non-existent word in the dictionary, and used by Sarah Palin in a tweet back in July cause many criticism on her vocabulary.     This word got “famous” and now Oxford American Dictionary has announced this word as “word of the year”.

Monday, November 15, 2010

ACVDN Labels McConnell A Regular Republican

While Mitch McConnell was excoriating Democrats for telling then President Bush that he needed to start withdrawing from Iraq, he was busy begging President Bush to withdraw troops from Iraq simply for political expediency.    The hypocrisy of this stance is not surprising to those of us here at ACVDN as we have already labeled Mitch just a run of the mill regular republican acting as republicans always act.

George W. Bush got a lot wrong in his administration, but he certainly did figure out Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell.

In his new memoir, Decision Points, the former president tells of a meeting he held in September 2006 with Mr. McConnell, then the Republican whip in the Senate.    The occupation of Iraq was going horribly, American and Iraqi casualties were rising sharply, costs had mushroomed into the hundreds of billions of dollars, and Iraq was teetering on the brink of full-scale sectarian civil war.     Mr. McConnell was concerned, and he gave the president his advice.

But why was he concerned?     It wasn't because of bloodshed, destruction, a hemorrhaging budget or a slide toward disaster.

He was fearful that the morass in Iraq would cause the Republican Party to take a beating in the approaching mid-term elections.     And what was his advice? He urged the president to “bring some troops home from Iraq” to lessen the political risks, Mr. Bush writes.

This incident, which Sen. McConnell's office has not denied, shines brightly on the contemptible hypocrisy and obsessive partisanship that have come to mark the senator's time in office.
At the time that Sen. McConnell was privately advising Mr. Bush to reduce troop levels in Iraq, he was elsewhere excoriating congressional Democrats who had urged the same thing.     “The Democrat[ic] leadership finally agrees on something unfortunately it's retreat,”   Sen. McConnell had said in a statement on Sept. 5, 2006, about a Democratic letter to Mr. Bush appealing for cuts in troop levels. Sen. McConnell, who publicly was a stout defender of the war and Mr. Bush's conduct of the conflict, accused the Democrats of advocating a position that would endanger Americans and leave Iraqis at the mercy of al-Qaida.

Unless he is prepared to call a former president of his own party a liar, Mr. McConnell has a choice.    He can admit that he did not actually believe the Iraq mission was vital to American security, regardless of what he said at the time.    Or he can explain why the fortunes of the Republican Party are of greater importance than the safety of the United States.

The public has a right to expect its leaders to pursue loftier goals than partisan success.    When voters hear Sen. McConnell these days — at a time of continuing economic hardship — say that Republicans' top priority must be to limit President Obama to a single term, they should ask themselves:  Why does he place greater value on that purely political goal than on American citizens' well-being?

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, was highly critical of McConnell's request, and analysts said they were stunned by
Bush's revelation.

“If the story is true, Sen. McConnell will have to explain to the families of all the men and women who sacrificed in Iraq why he was willing to play politics with their lives,” Yarmuth, who was elected in 2006, said in an interview.

What Bush is saying puts McConnell in a bad light, said Michael Desch, chairman of the University of Notre Dame's political science department and formerly director of the University of Kentucky's Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.

“Because he had been a cheerleader for the president in the war, it makes him look like a bit of a hypocrite,” Desch said of McConnell. “It also makes him look bad because he seems to be trimming his sails in response to electoral politics, which doesn't look very statesmanlike.”

“Wow, it stuns me,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. “It's Darwinian — it's all about survival. …That is not helpful to McConnell.”

In 2006, McConnell was one of Bush's staunchest allies in the Senate, defending the administration's increasingly unpopular war in Iraq.

McConnell even went so far as to force a Senate vote in June 2006 on an amendment that would have called for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops by year's end.    The amendment was defeated 93-6.

But according to Bush's memoir, McConnell had a different concern when he met with the president in the Oval Office.    Bush said McConnell “has a sharp political nose, and he smelled trouble.”

“Mr. President,” McConnell is quoted as saying, “your unpopularity is going to cost us control of the Congress.”

Bush wrote that he knew “many Americans were tired of my presidency.”    The party also was in trouble because of scandals, wasteful spending, earmarks and a failure to deliver on Social Security reform, Bush wrote.

Bush said he responded to McConnell: “Well, Mitch, what do you want me to do about it?”

McConnell, the president wrote, answered: “Mr. President, bring some troops home from Iraq.”

So, thats the story.    Nothing unusual.     Just republicans being republicans, talking one way while walking in the opposite direction.      Talk family values while hanging out with hookers or hustling in airport bathrooms.      Talking about helping the people and being a completely controlled tool of big coal.     Hypocrits yes, but just run of the mill regular republicans driven crazy chasing power.      God bless um, they doing the best they can as we say in the south.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Lame Duck Session

Lame Duck

Members of Congress introduce some ten thousand bills and resolutions in each two-year session of Congress, only a small fraction of which are seriously considered and fewer still enacted as law.     Below is a list of Key Bills in Congress Now that are Expected to be handled in the Lame Duck Session.     To get full information on each bill or resolution click on the links.

H.R.-3458 ,    the net neutrality bill, would update the Communications Act of 1934 to set interoperability requirements for Internet Service Providers.

H.R.-5175 ,   the DISCLOSE Act, would require additional forms of disclosure of for corporate spending on electioneering.

S.-3815 ,   which would promote natural gas and electric vehicles.

S.-2827 ,   the Military Families Affordable Homes Act, which would expand the eligibility of military personnel for low-income residential rental housing.

S.-510 ,   the food safety bill, which would grant the FDA additional regulatory power to improve food safety.

H.R.-1751 ,   the DREAM Act, which would allow aliens to become permanent residents through attending university.

Financial Reform

Congress passed  H.R.-4173 ,   Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.

Health Care

H.R.-3590 ,    The health care reform bill and text enacted March 23, 2010. Votes on H.R. 3590 bill in the Senate (Dec. 24, 2009) and House (March 21, 2010).

H.R.-4872 ,   The reconciliation bill that made additional changes to the health care bill enacted March 30, 2010.    Stupak Amendment limiting funding for abortions and vote (Nov. 7, 2009).

Thats the lineup for the lame duck session.    Depending on how well these folks work together it could get done.   

Thank You to Thomas Hawk for the duck photos.     Click the link to see more of his work.

              Virginia House of Delegates
Ben Cline represents the 24th Legislative District in the Virginia House of Delegates, which includes the cities of Lexington and Buena Vista and portions of Amherst, Augusta, and Rockbridge Counties.    He was elected to the House in a special election in 2002 and re-elected to his fifth term in November 2009.    Ben serves on the House Finance Committee, the Commerce and Labor Committee, the Courts of Justice Committee, and the Committee on Militia, Police, and Public Safety.

Scott Garrett, R-Lynchburg represents Virginia’s 23rd House District which includes part of Amherst County and the entirety of the City of Lynchburg.

I am researching to get the information on the exact parts of Amherst county these two Delegates represent.    Ben Cline has the larger portion of the county.    Redistricting is going on now so relevant info should soon be available.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What Social Security Crisis?

Privatizers claim there is, but they don't believe it and here's how you can tell.

1. Claim:
The crisis starts when the first dollar is needed from the trust fund (in 2018).    But, private accounts require dipping into the trust from day one — they see no problem with that.

2. Claim:
The trust fund is just paper and of no use.    But they plan to spend all of it — ~$2 trillion

3. Claim:
Once the trust is gone Social Security is "bankrupt."    But, if they get their private accounts, no problem, they say.    Just borrow trillions.

When republicans talks to those over 55, they says there's no crisis for them.

The privatizers told us in 1983 they would need a crisis to push this through.    They're tired of waiting, so now they pretend there's a crisis.

A Crisis in 2018?      Privatizers claim that as soon as Social Security needs to use some of the interest the trust is earning, the treasury just won't be able to come up with the money. Oddly, the Treasury has borrowed billions for every other reason;   why not to pay back the Social Security it owes us?

This whole phoney crisis is about republicans directing commissions to their friends on wall street by hooking  retirement security to the ups and downs of the market.


You live in the 6th District and Rep. Robert Goodlatte is your Congressman.     Goodlatte promised when he first ran to term limit himself to 6 terms.    He was just re-elected to his 10th term in the House.

Bob Ranks 374 of 440 on Sponsored Bills with big number 7 sponsored with 0 becoming law.    He has Co-Sponsored 257 Bills with 8 becoming law.      Bob Votes with the republican  party 96% of the time and  Abstains 1% of the time.     What does Bob do the remaining 3% of the time?      I don't have a clue.

Here's a bill Bob sponsored

H.R.982  -  Tax Code Termination Act     To terminate the Internal Revenue Code of 1986

and another he sponsored

H.R.2305 - SAFE for America Act        To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the diversity immigrant program.

Wonder Why???? Nothing this guy sponsors becomes law.

Recent Voting History

The votes below were taken by roll call, a voting procedure that records a vote from every Senator or Representative on the bill under consideration.    Bob may have voted on other bills by the process known as "voice vote", but these votes are not recorded.

To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to extend grants and other assistance to facilitate a political status public education program for the people of Guam.    On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Concur in the Senate Amendments:   H R 3940   To amend Public Law 96-597 to clarify the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to extend grants and other assistance to facilitate political status public education programs for the peoples of the non-self governing territories of the United States.

Aye (with party) September 29, 2010
Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2010 On Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendments:   H R 3081   Making appropriations for the Department of State, foreign operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes

Nay (with party) September 29, 2010

Federal Election Integrity Act of 2009 On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended:    H R 512   To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit certain State election administration officials from actively participating in electoral campaigns.

Nay (with party) September 29, 2010

Should you need to contact your congressman here's his website

Good Luck
ACV Democratic News

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day 2010

Veterans' Day, holiday formerly observed in the United States as Armistice Day in commemoration of the signing of the Armistice ending World War I.    Nov. 11 officially became Veterans' Day on May 24, 1954, by act of Congress.     The day is set aside in honor of all those who have fought in defense of the United States.
Amherst Democrats
And Now a message from the First Lady

Veterans Day provides us with the chance to mark the debt of honor we owe to all those who have worn the uniform of the United States.    We remember those who gave their lives beneath our flag, in service of our freedom.

And with so many still fighting, we owe special thanks to the courageous families of those who serve.

Because when our servicemen and women deploy overseas, their loved ones are left to undertake heroic battles of their own at home. The unique challenges they face in support of men and women in uniform allow us all to enjoy the freedoms of our democracy.

Every time I have a chance to meet with these families, I'm struck by their strength and their quiet dignity -- they are truly some of the most selfless, courageous people I've met.

And today is also a day to acknowledge the sacrifices these brave men and women make every day, and pray for the safe return of those they love.

I've felt their calling personally, and I want to encourage Americans across the country to step up and do more for our military families. Take the time to stay informed about the concerns and activities of the families of service members in your community.     Let them know you recognize their struggles and appreciate all they do.

You can help by finding out the needs of the military families in your community and volunteering, from working with your local school's PTA to hiring a military spouse.

Today and every day, I am moved by the personal sacrifices made by service families.     And I'm humbled by the patriotism of those they support -- our soldiers and airmen, our sailors and Marines.

Today, if you can, please take a moment to offer your gratitude for the families of the veterans and active service members that you know.    Or go online to to find out how you can serve military families in your area.    Click Here to Visit


                                                                                                                                 Amherst VA Democrats
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden tell us about supporting veterans on Veterans Day.   View the PSA

Veteran's Day at the Lynchburg Museum

The Lynchburg Museum
901 Court Street
Lynchburg, VA 24504

The Lynchburg Museum System invites you to tour the Lynchburg Museum within the Old Court House for free in honor of all who have served our country. FREE!!!
                                                                                           ACV Democratic News
Bedford - The National D-Day Memorial is located in the town suffering the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation.   The Memorial pays tribute to the Allied Forces participating in the largest land, sea and air operation in history — the
invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. A Veterans Day Ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. honoring all who have served in
the United Sates Armed Forces with music and tributes.
Democrats of Amherst County Virginia
The Amherst County Democratic News thanks all Veterans for their service to our country.    Thank You for all you have done and continue to do in service of the greater good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Who Is My State Senator?

I live in Amherst County and the scenery is beautiful.
Who is my state senator?     Thats a great question that came up at the last meeting of the Democratic Committee and here's the answer.

You are in District 15 and are represented by senator Frank M. Ruff Jr. if  you live in Wright Shop, New Glasgow, and Courthouse precincts.    Here is his contact info.

Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr.

Republican - District 15

Capitol Office

Senate of Virginia
P.O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218


Room Number: 428

Legislative Assistant: Robbie McMillan
Phone: (804) 698-7515

Fax: (804) 698-7651

District Office
P.O. Box 332
Clarksville, VA 23927

Phone: (434) 374-5129

Fax: (434) 955-2224

Legislative Assistant: Robbie McMillan

Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources
Education and Health
General Laws and Technology
Local Government

Here's the rest of the story

If you live in the Coolwell, Monroe, Elon, Pleasant View, Amelon, and Madison Precincts then your Senator is Stephen D. Newman of District 23.

Here is his contact info.

Senator Stephen D. Newman

Republican - District 23

Capitol Office
Senate of Virginia
P.O. Box 396
Richmond, VA 23218


Room Number: 303

Legislative Assistant: Patti Dempsey
Phone: (804) 698-7523

Fax: (804) 698-7651

District Office
P.O. Box 480
Forest, VA 24551

Phone: (434) 385-1065

Fax: (434) 485-8111

Legislative Assistant: Patti Dempsey


Commerce and Labor
Education and Health

15 and 23 are a bit seperated on the numbers scale but when the politicians draw the district lines to accomodate partisan concerns thats the way it works out.     Another round of re-districting is underway based on the latest census so the lines may change.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Committee Meets Tuesday

The Committee will meet at CVCC AMHERST CENTER, Tuesday 11/9, 7PM.

To All Amherst County Democrats:

The Committee will meet at CVCC AMHERST CENTER, Tuesday 11/9, 7PM. Everyone is welcome.   It's important that Precinct Reps attend.

                                          Skipper Fitts
                                   Vice Chair, will preside.

Amherst County Democratic Committee

Precinct Reps
101 - Wright Shop - Magnolia Braxton
102 - New Glasgow - Ned Kable, OPEN
103 - Coolwell - OPEN

201 - Court House - Mary Anne Hostetler, Alix Ingber, OPEN
202 - Temperance - Marvin Gilbert

301 - Monroe - OPEN
302 - Elon - Marita Taylor, Mary Truitt, OPEN
303 - Plsnt View - Curtis Johnson

401 - Amelon - Robert Perry, Jason Fleshman, OPEN
402 - Lonco - Francis Wayne

501 - Madison Hts - Jeff Price, Dan Hughes, Allen Freeman

See You There, Tuesday 11/9, 7PM.

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