A candidates' forum, will be held on Monday, June 4. It should give the voters of the Sixth District their first opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison of their choices for Congress from the two major parties. You have heard about the best laid plans going wrong. Andy Schmookler (Democrat) and Karen Kwiatkowski (Republican) have agreed to the debate but Bob Goodlatte (Present Congressman) can not find time to attend. Bob has held the job for 22 years and managed to occupy the back bench the whole time surfacing only to vote against social security and medicare and other issues of importance to senior citizens. Most years Bob had the luxury of running unopposed. He is not that lucky this time asd he has a primary challenge and a general election challenge. This might be the year the old free rider gets his wings clipped. You can only keep the voters in the dark so long and Goodlatte has done it longer than most.
Amherst County Virginia Democratic News
Meet The 6th District Candidates for US Congress
Monday, June 4th, 6:30-8:30
Congressional candidates of both major parties will discuss and debate the root problems confronting American society.
The event is co-sponsored by Occupy Harrisonburg and the Harrisonburg/ Rockingham County Liberty Alliance. Republican challenger, Karen Kwiatkowski, and Democratic nominee, Andy Schmookler have agreed to participate. The incumbent, Bob Goodlatte, was also invited, but declined due to a conflict in time between the debate and a hockey game he planned to watch on tv.
Time: Monday, June 4th, 6:30-8:30PM
April and Andy
Place: Community Mennonite Church, at the Corner of High Street (Route 42) between West Market (Route 33) and West Water Streets.
Andy takes Questions
Free and open to the public; parking available at the church or nearby.
Does Goodlatte get a picture even though he is skipping the event ?, you ask. Yes. If we penalized Goodlatte every time he failed to show, failed to care and plain just didn't do his job he would be the invisible man.
Failed To Show Up
Sadly he is still visible. Republicans get a thought in their mind and just never let it go. They will still be searching the ballot for Goodlatte's name years after he takes his retirement and goes home.
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Prince Edward County
What is it and can I get some?
Here's a quote by Karl Rove you will need to think about.
"As people do better, they start voting like Republicans -- unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing." Karl Rove
Now so you won't accuse me of being unfair here it is in context.
A little while after I met with Kent Conrad, I spoke on the phone with Karl Rove, who has been the chief political strategist for Bush's entire career in elected office. Obviously, Rove was thinking past the tax cut, to a whole first-year program for Bush that could strengthen the Republican Party considerably. "Take a look at our agenda," Rove said. "Education. This year, we picked up seven points in the suburbs over '96. Our education plan allows us to make further gains in the suburbs. It will also allow us to make gains with Hispanics and African-Americans. The tax cuts will make the economy grow. As people do better, they start voting like Republicans -- unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing. Look at the course of the campaign. There's a lot of data. If you give people the choice between a tax cut and more government services, they'll choose the tax cut. The more Bush talked about an across-the-board cut, the more support for it grew. People do have a desire for basic services--schools, helping the less
fortunate -- but not for unrestricted government."
The next time some jerk at Fox, like Shawn Hannity, quotes a democrat see if they are willing to provide context.
Karl Rove Likes Advertising
There has probably never been a completely honest advertisement done for any candidate. Way back in the presidential campaign of 1840, William Henry Harrison was sold to the public as a humble frontiersman. The log cabin and hard cider were his campaign symbols. In reality, he was born into a wealthy, slave-owning, plantation family in Virginia.
If creating positive spin about a candidate has been around for a long time, negative campaigning has been part of the political process for just as long. The presidential election of 1800 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson remains one of the nastiest on record. But the gargantuan amount of money available in modern campaigns promises to produce a quantum leap in meanness.
Currently, the Obama campaign is circulating tough attack videos that claim to expose the truth about Mitt Romney’s time as a venture capitalist. The ads feature beleaguered workers who lost their jobs when Romney’s firm, Bain Capital, came in to restructure the companies they worked for. Several Democrats, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, have criticized this line of attack, saying it goes too far in condemning a perfectly reasonable type of business practice, but the Obama campaign is not relenting. Rendell is nothing more than a whore for business bucks disguised as a Democratic spokesman.
Republicans, meanwhile, got into their own internal spat when one conservative ad shop proposed revisiting President Obama’s long relationship with firebrand Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright. Sarah Palin was all for it, but Romney nipped the idea in the bud.
Rove agreed with Romney. Replaying the Wright debate would be "stupid,” he said. Instead, his "super PAC," Crossroads GPS, is spending $10 million to broadcast a video that hits the president on economic issues and makes its appeal to middle-of-the-road women who may have voted for Obama in 2008. It is the biggest ad buy so far in the 2012 campaign.
In the video, a mom worries about the national debt and her kids’ future. There is a visual reference to burdensome student loans, a verbal assertion that federal spending has skyrocketed during the Obama years, a plea to cut the deficit and a warning that Obama wants to raise taxes. This heavily focus-group-tested package ends with a plea to join a grass-roots effort to tell the president he must change his profligate ways. It is expertly executed and, of course, it is also hugely misleading.
On student loans, Obama doubled Pell Grants and eliminated banking fees from the student loan equation, while Romney and the Republicans are all for cutting federal student aid. Skyrocketing federal spending? More deception. It is a plain fact that spending has flattened out during Obama’s time in office. Deficit reduction?
Obama’s present plan is projected to cut the deficit by $2 trillion over the next 10 years while the scheme proposed by Romney would increase the deficit by $5 trillion over the same period, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. And raising taxes? The president is pushing higher taxes for the rich, not for any struggling, middle-class moms.
Oh, and that grass-roots effort? That’s really Karl Rove and the millionaires and billionaires who pay for his ads.
What makes Rove brilliant? He knows better than to waste time with silly issues, like the president’s birth certificate. He knows the economy is the biggest concern of most voters. And he knows that the average Jane or Joe does not have a command of the economic facts and so will not question the false assertions Rove’s team has injected into a heartstrings-tugging scenario.
Election campaigns are not about facts and truth, they are about images and myths. Karl Rove is a master of myths; the boy genius of the old boys club. Once you realize the public you are playing to is not that smart the door opens to really advertise.
GOP Embraces Stupid
Anti-Intellectualism Runs Rampant in the Republican Party
If one were to turn on the television today, and hear a political candidate say "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed," it would be assumed that the candidate was a Democrat attacking
out of control military spending. However, this famous quote was uttered by Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, who also happened to be a Republican. Unfortunately, this was before Republicans became the anti-intellectual party they are today. According to Gallup, 60% of Republicans claim that evolution did not occur and humans were created in their present form, only 41% believe climate change is actually occurring, and 35% are in favor of gay rights. In order for democracy to function effectively, both parties should be in the business of telling the truth as they see it, rather than denying scientific findings that contradict a cherished worldview. The Republican party is not fulfilling their current role as a true alternative to the Democratic party, and this hurts democracy by dumbing down the public debate, ensuring
intellectually unqualified candidates win office, and by breaking their moral obligation in a democracy to actually be a reasonable governing alternative.
Public debate can happen anywhere and everywhere. From the kitchen table to the campaign trail, every individual has an opinion about the state of the country, whether they vote or not. Problems with society can be seen by anyone, regardless of whether they are active news watchers. The level of this debate, however, is often determined by how the media frames issues, how representatives from each party explain their stances on the particular issues of the day. And the media will often frame issues based on the language the representatives are using to explain themselves. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the candidates themselves take reasonable positions on issues in order to ensure supporters of the party help contribute overall to the level of public discourse.
The current GOP has become a circus. Instead of elevating the public debate, they consistently dumb it down by taking positions that lack any rational or empirical support. It is common now, for any Republican candidate running for Congress or the Presidency to deny that climate change is occurring due to human activity, to claim that being gay is an immoral choice some weird people make, that evolution is "just a theory," and creationism should be taught as an "alternative" to evolution. These positions are intellectually indefensible. There is absolutely no evidence to support them, and instead of admitting discoveries that deal with our complex reality, Republican political candidates are bought and paid for by oil companies and groups like the "moral majority." When individuals in their houses and businesses across the country discuss politics, the Republican supporters immediately, and unthinkingly, parrot the factually challenged claims that their parties
representatives peddle on an increasing basis.
When a party becomes so intellectually vapid that they no longer put forth ideas that are worth considering, it is not a surprise that individuals such as Christine O'Donnell, or Sharon Angle, could run under the Republican banner, with the former running ads saying she is "not a witch," and the latter evading the media after
claiming people should turn to "second amendment remedies" if the election does not turn out the way they had hoped. Nor does it cause one to pause that Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich would be running on the Presidential ticket. Romney worked as a "vulture capitalist" (words of...Rick Perry) before his recent run, and Newt
Gingrich has asked, “What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]? That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior.” With it's obvious racism, Gingrich deserves no place in the national discourse.
The prime example of an intellectually disqualified candidate is former President George Bush, for his policies, and those that believe like him, are mostly to blame for the recent disaster America is currently in.
Bush came into office with a positive outlook for the future. Clinton had balanced the budget, and then the tax cuts for the rich came, along with two wars that were not paid for, and a costly prescription drug bill that did little to help seniors. Deregulation (initially passed by a Republican Congress and signed by Bill Clinton,
which bears responsibility also, repealing the Glass-Steagal Act) is a major contributor to the current financial crisis, and it is the type of unregulated free market thinking so many Republicans support, and which Bush claimed to believe in. Global warming was consistently denied under Bush, and there was absolutely no
action on furthering gay rights. It was not until Obama and the Democratic Congress took office that DADT was repealed, an actual example of knowledgeable lawmakers. One also cannot forget the incredible damage Bush did to America's reputation, by not having more international support for the Iraq war, and his open admission that he authorized the use of torture in American foreign policy. And, even though he is not completely to blame for the current budget outlook, his administration was fiscally and morally irresponsible.
When a political party consistently runs factually challenged candidates, it does a disservice to the democracy that it resides in. For a democracy to function effectively, both political parties must ensure that representative candidates are reasonable, tolerant, and intellectually honest. If one party abdicates that responsibility, it is immoral. For this ensures that if the party's candidates win, once in office they will make poor policy decisions, due to the fact that they are either willfully ignorant of information they should know, or do not have the country's best intentions at heart, and instead are being paid by oil and pharmaceutical companies. In either case, bad decisions are an inevitable result. Climate change is not
stopped, gay rights are voted against, religious propaganda is pushed in public schools, and society overall suffers. Moral issues of the day go down on the wrong side of history.
In conclusion, in order for the Republicans to be a viable alternative in America's two-party system, they must undergo a radical transformation. Scientific advancements cannot be denied, intellectually inferior candidates must be purged from the party; this will ensure that the Republicans will be able to once again fulfill their obligation to be a true alternative to the Democratic party, with a vibrant conservatism grounded in facts, and not fantasy. It would remind us of all that is good about America that should be preserved, while also confronting the realities of modern life.
The GOP panders to the lowest common denominator. This serves their corporate benefactors because it allows them to get away with incredible influence in government. The Tea Party wing now directs the Republican party. The party used to be conservative but with a strong intellectual foundation. The intellect is now gone. I'm fine with the present shape of the GOP since it produces no real leaders, just weak candidates that beat themselves. Mitt Romney is prone to crash and burn. Republicans have been pushing trickle down economics for 30 years and there is no trickle. It does not work, it only fattens the bank accounts of the wealthy.
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