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Democratic Committee Meeting

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Anything With an R After It

And the question is what will a Amherst County republican vote for?

E. W. Jackson Unites Amherst County Republicans

Amherst County Republicans are grining ear to ear and celebrating in the streets.  Why?, what unites these local grassroot GOP-ers?    They have already re-elected Bob Goodlatte to his tenth or eleventh term as their do nothing congressman.    How much more regressive can they get?    A man who represents their interests and shares their true thoughts is backing up Ken Cuccinelli as the candidate for lieutenant governor.    Nominated by the Virginia Republican Party and the number one republican choice to move Virginia backward is Earl Walker Jackson Sr., a man who mirrors the thoughts of Amherst grass root republicans.  

Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson are just a part of the happiness.   In the third spot, well more about him later lets enjoy Jackson for the moment.    Earl Walker Jackson, Sr. (born January 13, 1952) is a Christian minister, and lawyer and ultra right wing republican.    On May 18, 2013, he was nominated as the Republican Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia at the state party convention.   Republicans know what they like and want and it is a return to the 1950's America that they are comfortable living in.

Jackson was a Republican primary candidate for the United States Senate in Virginia in the 2012 election where he received almost 5% of the vote.     He is the founder and current president of S.T.A.N.D. (Staying True To America's National Destiny), a conservative non-profit organization that claims it is dedicated to restoring America's Judeo-Christian ethics.    He is head pastor at Exodus Faith Ministries, located in Chesapeake, Virginia.     Jackson has appeared as a commentator on national news networks such as C-SPAN and Fox News.

E.W. Jackson, the whack-a-doodle running mate of the Virginia GOP's whack-a-doodle gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli (don't forget there is a third whack-a-doodle I'll talk about later), defends himself from being tarnished by the statements he's made by saying he stands by everything he has said but you shouldn't hold it against him.   Why would Amherst County republicans be bothered by that?     There is so much that they overlook or pretend not to know so they can follow the big elephant.

“Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was,”  Jackson said then.   “And the Democrat party and their black civil rights allies are partners in this genocide.”    Yes he thinks like a republican, and talks like they do at church.

Friday, May 24, 2013..........Quote Of The Day.......... E.W. Jackson

"I say the things that I say because I’m a Christian, not because I hate anybody, but because I have religious values that matter to me.    Attacking me because I hold to those principles is attacking every church-going person, every family that’s living a traditional family life, everybody who believes that we all deserve the right to live. So I don’t have anything to rephrase or apologize for.     I would just say people should not paint me as one-dimensional." - E.W. Jackson, GOP nominee for Virginia lieutenant governor, standing by his declaration that gay people are perverted and sick. 
How can Virginia’s GOP choose someone as crazy as E.W. Jackson to be lieutenant governor and how can the republicans in Amherst County vote for him?     The republicans in Amherst County will vote for any horses ass that has a R by its name.    They have done it many times before.

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The following is from David Weigel

On Sunday afternoon, standing outside the Virginia GOP’s headquarters in vote-rich Fairfax County, Bishop E.W. Jackson finally became a real politician. He’d just won his party’s nomination for lieutenant governor. Democrats and the press, dazzled by their luck, had just started digging into Jackson’s YouTube record of incendiary quotes. Jackson asked his fellow Republicans to join him in a belly laugh.

“I was just quoted in the Huffington Post today, because the long knives have already come out,” said Jackson.   The crowd took its cue, and booed.   “They quoted me, and they said, just listen to what he said last night! ‘We've got to get the government off our backs, off our businesses, out of our families, out of our way.’   And they thought that was terrible.   We think it's great!”

This was true, in the most misleading way possible.   The Huffington Post had just run an SEO-optimized piece about Jackson, and its aggregation machine had grabbed that generic Tea Party quote from Jackson’s Saturday speech at the Virginia GOP convention. That quote was filler.   The story had led with a 2012 video of Jackson calling for blacks to bolt the  “Democrat Party,” because  “Planned Parenthood has been far more lethal to black lives than the KKK ever was,” and continued with a 2010 Jackson essay exposing how Barack Obama  “sees the world and Israel from a Muslim perspective.”

Jackson was spinning those Republicans in Fairfax.   He’d just become this year’s Michele Bachmann, this year’s Christine O’Donnell, a goateed content mill for liberal blogs and oppo researchers.   It’s an off year, and Virginia’s one of only two states electing a new state government in 2013, so, yes, the media’s going to pay attention to the YouTube preacher.

Anyone who doesn’t currently live and vote in Virginia should have two small questions.    1)  How did Jackson get this nomination?    2) What do I care who the lieutenant governor of Virginia is?

So let’s go in order.  Jackson’s victory was preordained 11 months ago, when the state GOP announced it would hold a convention, not a primary, to pick its next candidate.    Virginia voters don’t register by party; it’s hard, but doable, for a moderate to win a primary by appealing beyond the base.    Conventions, in Virginia and anywhere else, empower the activists who care enough about their party to spend a weekend in an air conditioned arena waving Gadsden flags and poster board campaign swag.

No moderate can win the nomination at a Virginia convention.   The party’s decision meant that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the hero behind the Obamacare and climate change lawsuits, would be the party’s candidate for governor. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, an occasionally-moderate Republican who’d spent two terms in the low-profile job, briefly flirted with a third party bid, then thought better of it and just kept sniping at Cuccinelli.

Meanwhile, waiting to take advantage of all this was E.W. Jackson. The bishop of Exodus Faith Ministries fit an archetype that’s done spectacularly well in the Obama era—the well-credentialed black Republican with the golden voice.   Jackson had a law degree from Harvard, a series of radio shows, and a deep moral disquiet with his father’s political party.    “I had a crisis of conscience in the late 1970s,”  he would write in 2012.    “Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank was pushing the homosexual agenda.   How could I, as a Christian, be committed to a party led by Mr. Frank?    In the end, I could not.    My desire to be in a right relationship with God and my faith was greater than my desire to be approved by my father, my family, or the black community.”

Starting in 2009, Jackson was getting noticed by TV bookers and Tea Partiers for being quick to condemn social liberalism or anything that whiffed of “race-baiting.”    He read Bible verses outside the Department of Justice “to test the limits of the expanded federal hate crimes law”—the DOJ passed the test and didn’t arrest him.    He’d issue press releases on the letterhead of his STAND America PAC (it never raised more than five figures) and ask why the Obama administration had sued Arizona over its 2010 immigration law but didn’t prosecute two members of the New Black Panther Party who’d stood outside a (mostly black, heavily Democratic) Philadelphia polling place.   “This administration,”  he said,  “has called the people of Arizona racists.    Since they are willing to throw that accusation around, they ought to also answer for their own apparent anti-white racial bias.”

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Oh! The Third Wack-A-Doodle.  

Who is the third wack-a-doodle on the extremest republican ticket?   Mark Obenshain is running for Attorney General and he is a perfect fit with the two upper ticket GOP candidates.

GOP attorney general candidate tried to force women to report miscarriages to police.

Virginia Sen. Mark Obenshain wanted to send women to jail who failed to report their miscarriages to the police and he will get the job done when you elect him Attorney General of Virginia.
Virginia Republicans selected state Sen. Mark Obenshain as their candidate to succeed fellow right-winger Ken Cuccinelli as the state’s top prosecutor over the weekend, a move that has invited additional scrutiny of Obenshain’s track record by state Democrats and progressive activists.

One of the first bits of legislative flotsam to resurface was a measure, introduced by Obenshain in 2009, to force women to report miscarriages to the police within 24 hours or face up to a year in jail.

The text of Obenshain’s bill:

[SB962] requires that when a fetal death occurs without medical attendance upon the mother at or after the delivery or abortion, the mother or someone acting on her behalf, within 24 hours, report the fetal death, location of the remains, and identity of the mother to the local or state police or sheriff’s department of the city or county where the fetal death occurred. The bill also specifies that no
one shall remove, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any remains without the express authorization of law-enforcement officials or the medical examiner, and that a violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.  

Cuccinelli, who recently tried to uphold his state’s unconstitutional anti-sodomy law and was chastised for being too fringe by his GOP donors, was delighted by his party’s selection of Obenshain, tweeting that the attorney general candidate would be “a great addition to the team.”

Jared Walczak, Obenshain’s deputy campaign manager for policy, has issued a statement regarding the 2009 legislation that Obenshain introduced:

At the request of one of his local Commonwealth’s Attorneys, Senator Obenshain carried legislation (SB 962 of 2009) dealing with a specific law enforcement issue. As sometimes happens, the legislation that emerged was far too broad, and would have had ramifications that neither he nor the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office ever intended. Senator Obenshain is strongly against imposing any added burden for women who suffer a miscarriage, and that was never the intent of the legislation. He explored possible amendments to address the bill’s unintended consequences, and met with representatives of both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice in an attempt to identify a
solution. Ultimately, however, he was not satisfied that any amendment could sufficiently narrow the scope of the bill to eliminate these unintended consequences, so he had the bill stricken at his own request.

Tarina Keene, NARAL’s executive director, also responded with a statement to the Huffington Post:

In 2009 we made it clear to Sen. Obenshain that NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia vehemently opposed his bill to criminalize tragic pregnancy complications and intimidate grieving Virginian women with the threat of law enforcement — not to mention jail time.   Although Sen. Obenshain did reach out to us amidst public backlash for a ‘solution,’ we clearly told him we would support nothing but immediate defeat of the legislation. While I’m relieved that he eventually decided to pull his bill, it is deeply troubling that an elected official would even consider such a callous and insulting effort.

It is no secret there are more republicans in Amherst County than democrats.   The split is approx. 60/40.   It is my belief that republicans are so partisan that they will vote for anything running as a republican, space alien, escapee from a mental hospital, farm animal, even a river rock.   They have proved it over and over and odds are excellent they will prove it once again next election by casting their votes for the GOP's ticket of three equelly crazy wack-a-doodle republican candidates.

 The State of Virginia is moving foreward and growing and may vote Democratic but Amherst County is stuck in the conservative, regressive, non thinking, republican, 1950's past. 

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Pat Robinson is a televangelist, businessman and ultra-conservative republican political activist and world class shit shooter.  He founded the Christian Coalition, and is the host of the TV show The 700 Club.   He sells weight lifting tapes and breakfast foods and offers advice on maintaining a good relationship to women.     Pat speaks directly with God.

Since this issue is mostly about wack-a-doodles lets finish up by checking in with Pat Robinson.   Pat is a great and well respected republican leader who has run for office himself.    Pat has some advice for women on how to keep a man and how to take a punch.   Pat tells women to keep their heads down and their mouths shut and to do exactly what their man tells them to do.   If your man is running around you need to fix yourself up, lose a few pounds and make his homelife more fun.   Who would want to come home to you?     Pat has no advice for men, it is always the womans fault.

Here are some quotes straight from the old man of Gods mouth, word for word and unfiltered.

"That guy was a homo — as sure as you're alive." (Robertson, describing a caller during his appearance on the Larry King Show)Windows Media Video

 Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians! It's no different! It is the same thing! It is happening all over again! It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians! Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today! More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history! ... And it is happening here and now! Same thing, but directed against Christians by the liberal government and media! Send money today or these liberals will be putting Christians like you and me in concentration camps! quoted in Ivins, Molly (15 September 1993), "Toss (some of 'em) to the lions", The Tuscaloosa News: 6A

After Ariel Sharon's severe stroke: "Ladies and Gentlemen I said last year that Israel was entering into the most dangerous periods of its entire existence as a nation. That is intensifying this year with the loss of Sharon. Sharon was personally a very likeable person and I am sad to see him in this condition, but I think we need to look at the Bible and the Book of Joel. The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who 'divide my land.' God considers this land to be His. You read the Bible and He says 'this is my land' and for any Prime Minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says 'no, this is mine.' I had a wonderful meeting with Yitzhak Rabin in 1974. He was tragically assassinated, it was a terrible thing that happened but
nevertheless he was dead. And now Ariel Sharon who again was a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with, I prayed with him personally, but here he's at the point of death. He was dividing God's land and I would say woe unto any Prime Minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations, or the United States of America. God says 'this land belongs to me. You'd better leave it alone.'"-2006

 "The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians." - 1992 Iowa fundraising letter opposing a state equal-rights amendment ("Equal Rights Initiative in Iowa Attacked", Washington Post, 23 August 1992);

 "If anybody understood what Hindus really believe, there would be no doubt that they have no business administering government policies in a country that favors freedom and equality."
(in reference to Hindu caste system)

 "If I could just get a nuclear device inside Foggy Bottom, I think that's the answer." (talking about the United States State

 "If you go all the way back to the days just following creation, men lived nine hundred years or more." - Answers to 200 of Life's most Probing Questions

 "It is clear that God is saying, 'I gave man dominion over the earth, but he lost it. Now I desire mature sons and daughters who will in My name exercise dominion over the earth and subdue Satan, the unruly, the rebellious. Take back My world from those who would loot it and abuse it. Rule as I would rule.'"- The Secret Kingdom

 "I'm not necessarily saying it's going to be nuclear. The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that." -
Pat Robertson, speaking about an upcoming "mass killing," on The 700 Club January 2, 2007

 One justice is 83 years old, another has cancer, and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire?" -- Letter on the Pat Robertson website posted in 2003 

 [Planned Parenthood] "is teaching kids to fornicate, teaching people to have adultery, every kind of bestiality, homosexuality, lesbianism – everything that the Bible condemns." (The 700 Club, variously dated as 9 Apr. 1991 or 14 Jan. 1991).

 Presbyterians are the spirit of the Antichrist.  The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, p. 239

"Satan is a tool of God's love in the sense that he forces us to see God's loving patience." - Answers to 200 of Life's most Probing Questions

 "The Islamic people, the Arabs, were the ones who captured Africans, put them in slavery, and sent them to America as slaves. Why would the people in America want to embrace the religion of slavers."

 "The media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government?    How dare you maintain that those who believe the Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?'    My simple answer is,   `Yes, they are.'"

 "There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution.  It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore."

 "[Hugo Ch├ívez is] going to make Venezuela a launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism all over the continent... he is an out-of-control dictator... a dangerous enemy to our south, controlling a huge pool of oil that could hurt us very badly."

 "We're importing Hinduism into America.   The whole thought of your karma, of meditation, of the fact that there's no end of life and there's this endless wheel of life, this is all Hinduism. Chanting too. Many of those chants are to Hindu Gods -- Vishnu, Hare Krishna.    The origin of it is all demonic.   We can't let that stuff come into America.    We've got the best defense, if you will -- a good offense."

 “You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if [President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela] thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war.   And I don’t think any oil shipments will stop. [...] We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability.   We
don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator. It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.” -- 22 August 2005, in a broadcast of his Christian Broadcasting Network's program, The 700 Club.

 "You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense, I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist." -- Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, January 14, 1991

 "I want to say it again, and again, and again: Islam is not a religion, it's a political system meant on -- bent on world domination, not a religion. It masquerades as a religion, but the religion covers a worldwide attempt to exercise power and to subjugate the world into their way of thinking." -- .

 "They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever.   And they got together and swore a pact to the devil.   They said 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.'  True story.   And so the devil said, 'Ok it’s a deal.'    And they kicked the French out.   The Haitians revolted and got themselves free.   But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another." -- Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, January 13, 2010, discussing the 12 Jan 2010 7.0 earthquake in Haiti

 What is this "mac and cheese"?    Is that a black thing?    The 700 Club, CBN, 23 November 2011, quoted in "Quoted:  Pat Robertson on Condi Rice’s mysterious Thanksgiving dish",  The Reliable Source (Washington Post), 23 November 2011after an interview segment where guest Condoleezza Rice named it as her favorite Thanksgiving dish

"…People who are atheists, they hate God, they hate the expression of God, and they are angry with the world, angry with themselves, angry with society and they take it out on innocent people who are worshipping God.    And whether it's a Sikh temple, or a Baptist church, or a Catholic church, or a Muslim mosque – whatever it is – I just abhor this kind of violence, and it's the kind of thing that we
should do something about.   But what do you do?"   The 700 Club, CBN, 6 August 2012, quoted in "Quoted:   Pat Robertson Links 'Hate' of God to Wis. Sikh Temple Shooting", CP U.S. (The Christian Post), 6 August 2012

Pat Robertson talking about President Obama:    He's not going to have a second term.    He's not going to win.    Romney will win the election. 
Benny Hinn:   You believe that?
 Pat Robertson:   I absolutely believe that.
 Benny Hinn:    What makes you believe that?
 Pat Robertson: Cause the Lord told me.  This Is Your Day, 31 October 2012, 10:47, quoted in Tashman, Brian (9 May 2013), "Pat Robertson, Who Said  'The Lord Told Me'  that  'Romney Will Win,'  Urges Viewers to Beware False Prophets",  Right Wing Watch

So, can demonic spirits attach themselves to inanimate objects? The answer is yes.    But I don't think every sweater you get from Goodwill has demons in it.    But, in a sense, you're mother's just being super cautious, so hey, it isn't going to hurt you to rebuke any spirits that happen to have attached themselves to those clothes. The 700 Club, 25 February 2013,

quoted in "Colbert Report Consumer Alert - Demonic Goodwill Items", The Colbert Report, 28 February 2013
 Responding to letter asking "I buy a lot of clothes and other items at Goodwill and other second-hand shops. Recently my mom told me that I need to pray over the items, bind familiar spirits, and bless the items before I bring them into the house. Is my mother correct?     Can demons attach themselves to material items?"

God is going to supply a million dollars, somebody is praying right now, right this second, you’re praying for a million dollars and God said, "I have heard your prayer, I know your need, and I'm going to supply the need that you requested," it's done, in Jesus' name. The 700 Club, 28 February 2013, quoted in Tashman, Brian (28 February 2013), "Pat Robertson's Prayers Can Make You A Millionaire", Right Wing Watch and Gryboski, Michael (1 March 2013), "Pat Robertson Claims God Will Give One of His Viewers $1M", The Christian Post

Those people overseas didn't go to Ivy League schools... Well, we're so sophisticated, we think we've got everything figured out. We know about evolution, we know about Darwin, we know about all these things that says God isn't real, we know about all this stuff. And if we've been in many schools, in the most advanced schools, we have been inundated with skepticism and secularism. And, uh, overseas they're simple, humble.   You tell 'em God loves 'em and they say, "Okay, he loves me". You say God will do miracles and they say, "Okay, we believe him".   That's what God's looking for, that's why they have miracles. The 700 Club, 1 April 2013, quoted in Tashman, Brian (1 April 2013), "Robertson: 'Simple' Foreigners More Likely to Experience Miracles than 'Sophisticated' Americans", Right Wing Watch  Answering a viewer question from Ken: "Why do amazing miracles (people raised from the dead, blind eyes open, lame people walking) happen with great frequency in places like Africa, and not here in the USA?"

Remember to stuff a couple of fives in an envelope and send it off to Pat.   Cash only please, Pat doesn't declare cash.     God gets it all.

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Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Friday, May 24, 2013

Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's Sane Candidate for Governor

As a businessman, entrepreneur, and father, Terry McAuliffe knows what it takes to build a strong economy and keep Virginia's families safe and strong.

He has five children with wife Dorothy: Dori, Jack, Mary, Sally, and Peter.
Terry started his first business, McAuliffe Driveway Maintenance, at the age of 14.   In 1979, he received a bachelor's degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.    After graduation, McAuliffe took a job in the 1980 presidential reelection campaign of Jimmy Carter, and at the age of 22 became the national finance director.   During this campaign, McAuliffe wrestled an eight-foot, 260-pound alligator for a $15,000 contribution.    

After the campaign, McAuliffe enrolled in law school at Georgetown University Law Center.   He received a Juris Doctor degree in 1984.   McAuliffe then served as chairman of the Federal City National Bank at the age of 30.

On Thursday, November 8, 2012, McAuliffe emailed supporters announcing his intention to run for Governor of Virginia in 2013.    In his email he states,  "It is absolutely clear to me that Virginians want their next Governor to focus on job creation and common sense fiscal responsibility instead of divisive partisan issues."

May 10, 2013
Every person who cheers at a rally or volunteers a Saturday to knock on doors is doing it for a reason.   They’re passionate about early childhood education, want to see Virginia attract new jobs, or care about protecting women’s access to health care.

We asked five people we met at recent events why they support Terry.   Here’s what they had to say:
Emma in Arlington: “I’m concerned about health care. Cuccinelli is opposed to it, but McAuliffe will protect us. Seniors are worried about making ends meet. I support McAuliffe – he won’t tear down Medicaid.” 
Gayle in Charlottesville:    “Terry McAuliffe is a pragmatic businessman who will bring jobs and improve education in Virginia. We need an economic stimulus, and he understands that because he has been an entrepreneur.”

Hillary in Fairfax (C):    “Terry McAuliffe will protect women’s health care. He’ll fight for the rights of women.”      Lindsey in Fairfax (L):    “I’ll do everything I can to get Terry elected.   He cares about women.”

Kia in Arlington:    “As a Navy veteran, I like Terry’s focus on helping returning veterans find work when they come home from serving.    And my husband and I are raising two children, so his emphasis on education is really important to us.”

Yolanda in Fairfax:    “McAuliffe is the leader we need to make it easier for businesses to succeed in Virginia. He’s forward-thinking and understands how important it is to build up the economy.”

After five days and nearly 1,200 miles, the Terry McAuliffe campaign wrapped up our launch tour today in Arlington!    Terry traveled all over the Commonwealth to lay out his commonsense approach to economic development, transportation and education.    He was met at each event by huge crowds who turned out to support his vision for Virginia’s future.

Seventy-six-year-old Bill Speiden is fiercely protective of his sprawling 100-acre farm in Orange County, Va.

“Ken Cuccinelli would be an environmental disaster for Virginia.   He questions global warming and ignores the scientific evidence,”  he said.   “As the darling of the Tea Party, Cuccinelli will continue attacking the environment.”

In his heyday, Speiden owned 1,600 acres in picturesque Orange County, with 280 cows and nearly 70 cattle grazing in the pasture near the Shenandoah Mountains.   He raised two sons on the land, and wants to protect their families from what he considers the “intrusive policies of Virginia Republicans.”

“I don’t believe politicians should be involved in women’s health issues.    McAuliffe will protect women, while Cuccinelli is awful,”   he said.    “McAuliffe is concerned about getting women the best health care.    It is horrific that Cuccinelli imposed strict hospital standards on women’s clinics, casting many into the wilderness.”

“I was nine months old when I moved my parents to Virginia from New York City,”   Speiden said.   “I want to protect this state. I’m an Independent, and McAuliffe has my vote.”

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Friday, May 3, 2013

Dear Santa, I'm 4 and I want a Crickett Rifle

THIS is the tragic toddler who was shot dead by her five-year-old brother playing with a gun he received as a birthday present.
Caroline Starks, 2 Years Old

Caroline Starks, two, was killed after her brother accidentally shot her while playing with his own .22-calibre gun - called My First Rifle.

The tragedy, which took place on Tuesday shortly after 1pm local time in Burkesville, Kentucky, has shocked America and the rest of the world.

The young boy had been playing with a Crickett gun, specially designed for kids, which was given to him last year.

Crickett guns are manufactured for kids by the Keystone Sporting Arms firm on a web page that boasts of their "child-friendly" rifles.

The Crickett site offers a range of rifles for children, some in pink, with a dedicated “kids corner” showing images of toddlers posing with guns.

But gun firm owner Bill McNeal refused to accept any responsibility for the toddler's death, instead blaming the careless parents.     The NRA lobbied Congress to get a law passed that freed gun makers from all liability reguardless of what use their product was put to.      This no liability agreement is unique and only enjoyed by gun manufacturers.      The Congress of the United States of America is owned by the NRA and that makes rules of this sort possible.

Mr McNeal, a Vietnam War veteran, said:   "Children are under control of their parents and at some point they have to take responsibily, whether it’s a gun, an automobile, a pitbull or a birth-control pill.

“I’m heartbroken over this but are the parents even capable of understanding stuff like this?   There are some parents out there can’t even pronounce their own name or spell it.

“I know right now the gun topic is hot because of a mentally deranged individual who killed his mother and shot children at a school – but sometimes you can’t stop anything.”

The pair's mum had been at home at the time but was outside in the garden, according to cops.

Kentucky state policeman Billy Gregory said:   “The mother was home at the time of the incident but she had stepped outside.   It's just one of those nightmares -- a quick thing that happens when you turn your back."

He added that it was not  "uncommon"  for a five-year-old to have a gun which a parent had passed down to their kid.

Kentucky has some of the most liberal gun laws in America with almost 15 million gun applications in a population of just over four million in the last decade.

Gun owners undergo background checks if they buy their guns from a licensed dealer but do not have to hold licenses and children can use their parents’ guns.

The Crickett firm opened in 1996 and in 2008 produced 60,000 Crickett and Chipmunk rifles for stores which sell them for as little as $125.00.

Coroner Mr White later admitted the incident would be ruled as an accident, saying:    "It’s just one of those crazy accidents.”

Welcome to Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell country.

Guns for Kids Marketing Debate Ignited by Latest Child Death

I know lots of people who hunt but they all go out of their way to keep firearms out of the hands of children and would never give a 4 year old a gun for a gift.   They don't let 4 year olds drive or drink or smoke.    Child protection services would intercede should parents do most of these things with young children.    I said MOST for a reason.   It seems a parent can give a child a gun at any age
and society takes no stance on the sanity involved in that action.
The NRA lobbies and twists arms so that guns can be made and sold specifically for children.   It is called the youth gun market.   The guns are smaller and come in colors and are just as deadly as the adult version.   Guns for children is a big market and very profitable because there are enough adults buying guns for children to make the cash registers ring.   An adult makes it possible for a child to get their hands on a gun by not safely storing their guns or by buying the youth a gun.   I'm sure even the most greedy gun dealer would not sell a 5 year old a gun however if the 5 year old had cash money he or she might score at a gun show.

Here's a description of the Cricket Youth rifle.    The Crickett rifle is specifically designed for the beginning shooter, backpackers, trappers, campers, gun clubs and youth clubs.   As a further guarantee of the exceptional quality of this rifle, a lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship is offered. Adult length of pull is 14 1/4". Youth length of pull is 11 1/2". Comes with Gun Lock.   A girls model comes in Barbie Pink.

With President and Vice President at White House after Congress failed to take any action to control gun violence.     The NRA kept its employees in line and the magic 60 votes could not be reached.

Wayne LaPierre is clearing his throat now and approaching the mike to tell America that if all the 6 year olds at Sandyhook carried Cricket rifles the masacare would not have happened.   You can count on the NRA to break ignorant each and every time.   500 Children die each year due to gun accidents and violence.   Wayne wants you to know that even 4 and 5 year olds have Second Admendment Rights.   This foolishness will end soon, there are too many guns in the hands of irresponsible people and the general public is getting tired of the same old do nothing from Congress.

BURKESVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A 5-year-old boy accidentally shot his 2-year-old sister to death in rural southern Kentucky with a rifle he had received as a gift last year, authorities said.
Caroline Starks, 2 years old

The children's mother was home at the time of the shooting Tuesday afternoon but had stepped out to the front porch for a few minutes and  "she heard the gun go off,"   Cumberland County Coroner Gary White said. He said the rifle was kept in a corner and the family didn't realize a bullet was left inside it.

White told the Lexington Herald-Leader the boy received the .22-caliber rifle as a gift.

"It's a Crickett,"  White said, referring to a company that specifically makes guns, clothes and books for children.    "It's a little rifle for a kid. ... The little boy's used to shooting the little gun."

The shooting, while accidental, highlights a cultural divide in the gun debate.    While many suburban and urban areas work to keep guns out of the hands of children, it's not uncommon for youths in rural areas to own guns for target practice and hunting.

"Down in Kentucky where we're from, you know, guns are passed down from generation to generation.    You start at a young age with guns for hunting and everything,"    White said Wednesday. What is more unusual than a child having a gun, he said, is  "that a kid would get shot with it."

"Accidents happen with guns.    They thought the gun was actually unloaded, and it wasn't,"   the coroner said.

White said the girl died of a single gunshot wound to the chest area.

In a brief news release, state police said the shooting occurred when the boy was  "playing"  with the rifle, but did not elaborate. It is not clear whether any charges will be filed, said Kentucky State Police spokesman Trooper Billy Gregory.

"I think it's too early to say whether there will or won't be," Gregory said.

The AP is not identifying the children because of their ages.
The company that made the gun, Milton, Pa.-based Keystone Sporting Arms, produced 60,000 Crickett and Chipmunk rifles in 2008, according to its website.    It also makes guns for adults, but most of its products are geared toward children.    The smaller guns come in all sorts of colors, including blue and pink.

The company's slogan is  "my first rifle"  and its website has a "Kids Corner"  section where pictures of young boys and girls are displayed, most of them showing the children at shooting ranges and on bird and deer hunts.    The smaller rifles are sold with a mount to use at a shooting range.

"The goal of KSA is to instill gun safety in the minds of youth shooters and encourage them to gain the knowledge and respect that hunting and shooting activities require and deserve,"  the website said.

No one at the company answered the phone Wednesday.

According to its website, Bill McNeal and his son Steve McNeal decided to make guns for young shooters in the mid-1990s and opened Keystone in 1996 with just four employees, producing 4,000 rifles that year.    It now employs about 70 people.

Burkesville sits amid rolling hills near the Tennessee-Kentucky state line along the Cumberland River, in the Appalachia region.   The small city is about 90 miles northeast of Nashville, Tenn.
It is home to a Mennonite community that gained attention in 2010 when nine of its members were killed in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

McDonnell and Cuccinelli, Taking Corruption to a New Low

“I didn’t have to report the gifts since they were given to my wife and daughter, not me” 

"I have lots of friends who give me stuff but mostly they give the stuff to my wife and daughter and dog, not to me so I don't have to report it.     Sometimes they may give something to someone on my staff but I don't know about it.     Occasionally like every weekend the kids may take food or liquor out of the mansion to use at a party they are having but I don't know about that and I'm sure the tax payers won't mind.     I'm Bob McDonnell and I didn't know about any of this and didn't do anything wrong.   I can still govern."

 Sir would you say that again, I want to make sure I'm hearing you correctly.   McDonnell didn’t report the various gifts on his disclosure forms, arguing that they were given to his wife and daughter, not him, and therefore he wasn’t required to disclose them.  

McDonnell says he’s still able to govern so he will keep on cashing his paycheck from Virginia tax payers.   His sidekick and hand picked replacement Ken Cuccinelli is not so secure as he remains in hiding and refuses to answer questions.   In Italian Cuccinelli means corrupt dirtbag.   Ken Cuccinelli even had an ownership interest in Star Scientific.   Will the investigation by the FBI show that that ownership interest was also an unreported gift?

It’s plausible that the McDonnells are close friends with Williams and that he’s simply shelling out what to him are pittance amounts out of kindness.    And one would think proving that any state action on behalf of Star Scientific were a quid-pro-quo.

Still, it doesn’t look good. McDonnell didn’t report the various gifts on his disclosure forms, arguing that they were given to his wife and daughter, not him, and therefore he wasn’t required to disclose them.    That may well be the case but going beyond the minimum standard would seem the prudent course here. And, frankly, a state governor should generally decline large personal gifts, regardless, just to keep these sort of questions from coming up in the first place.

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell sought to assure Virginians on Tuesday that he is able to do his job as governor and not be distracted as the FBI explores the relationship that he and his wife have with the businessman who helped pay for their daughter’s wedding. 

McDonnell’s remarks were his first extensive comments following revelations in The Washington Post in late March that Star Scientific chief executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. paid the $15,000 catering tab at Cailin McDonnell’s June 2011 wedding.

Odds are good that McDonnell who is known as Gov. Vaginal Probe will end up with a new nickname but his plans to run for president in 2016 are fading.

The controversy also has extended to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, the presumptive Republican nominee for governor, who initially failed to disclose substantial stock holdings in Star and personal gifts from Williams.     Ken has been re-doing his disclosure forms at the rate of three a week for the last two months.   This incident most likely won't affect Ken since his support comes from the Tea Party.    As long as you don't raise taxes the Tea Party is fine with a little corruption.    Ken is in hiding but his wife is doing tv ads for his campaign to replace McDonnell.

In an hour-long radio interview, McDonnell (R) denied any provable wrong doing.  But he acknowledged that the gift from Williams could raise questions and that it had created pain for his family.   

The issue trailed McDonnell into the afternoon, when he was asked about it at a Council on Foreign Relations forum.    McDonnell had traveled to Washington for that event to discuss the across-the-board federal spending cuts known as sequestration but found himself defending the role he and his wife played in promoting Star.    Mrs. McDonnell traveled doing promotional work for Star.

“I’ve had a remarkable opportunity to serve these last 3 1/2 years, and there’s nothing going on at all that impairs my ability to do a good job and to serve the people of Virginia,” McDonnell said on WTOP.    McDonnell said he plans to keep on cashing the Gov's checks til they throw him out of office or the term ends, whichever comes first.

McDonnell offered his most complete defense of his actions to date at the two appearances, saying he never did any traceable favors for Williams or his company in exchange for campaign contributions and personal gifts given to him personally.

“I’ve been blessed to have a lot of friends,” he said. “And Mr. Williams and his wife, Celeste, have been family friends for four or five years.   But I think it’s important for the people of Virginia to know nothing has been done that can be documented with regard to my relationship with Mr. Williams or his company, Star Scientific, to give any kind of special benefits to him or his company.”

The governor’s comments came on the day The Post reported that FBI agents are conducting interviews about the McDonnells’ links to Williams and actions they have taken to promote the dietary-supplement maker.    McDonnell, asked about it on the radio program, said it was his practice never to comment on ongoing criminal cases or reveal anything that could cause problems later — a reference to the felony embezzlement case of the former mansion chef who catered the wedding.

Three days before the wedding, first lady Maureen McDonnell traveled to Florida to address a group of investors about Star’s supplement, sold under the brand name Anatabloc.   The governor and wife later hosted a luncheon at the mansion to mark the product’s arrival in stores.    Bob was firm in stating he would do this for any company even if they had never given his wife or daughter anything.    Even if they never loaned him a car or fronted a vacation for him.    Bob said he was just that kind of fellow who enjoyed helping others.     The Gov didn't mention when the next luncheon at the mansion would take place or which company he would be promoting or when he and his wife would travel to an out of state location to promote a product.     Bob finished by saying  "it's all very normal and  innocent you know."

At the District forum, McDonnell said that his wife’s actions on behalf of Star were consistent with her longtime interest in “nutraceuticals”   and her efforts as first lady to help boost Virginia businesses.     Just ask anyone who knows my wife and they will tell you she is very interested in nutraceuticals, she talks about them all the time.   “My wife is the first lady,”  he said.    “You know how much she gets paid by the people of  Virginia?     Zero.   Zip.   Nada.   Not a red cent.    She’s a volunteer.    She’s done a very good job as first lady.”     If some company wants to give her some gifts or something then what's the problem?

McDonnell also spoke of his struggle to be a  “normal citizen dad” amid the pomp of the governor’s office.    Thats why he borrowed the $190,000 sports car to get back to Richmond from Smith Mounntain Lake.    Bob and his family wanted to see how normal people live.   

Former mansion chef Todd Schneider suggested in a court motion last week that McDonnell’s five adult children had taken large quantities of food and liquor to their own homes or college dorm rooms.    The kids just wanted to see how normal people shop.     We may not pay his wife a salary but we are paying to feed and liquor up 5 adult children.     It appears that no one in this family has any problem accepting gifts.     The food and liquor went to the Gov's children so he didn't have to declare this gift either.

“While I’m the governor of Virginia, I try to . . . have a normal family life,”  he said on WTOP.    “And sometimes when you’re working in a normal family, things aren’t exactly pretty, whether you’re a governor or whether you’re a normal citizen.    I try to be a normal citizen dad as much as possible. . . .

We’re normal people, and I’m proud to be the dad of five kids.    I think I’ve got great kids.    I’m blessed to have them.    But you know, we are a normal family with all the ups and downs and pains and travails of any other normal family.”

Under Virginia law, elected officials may accept gifts of unlimited value if they disclose those worth more than $50.    McDonnell did not report the wedding payment, but on the radio show, he stood by his contention that there was no need to do so because it was a gift to his daughter, not him.    The law does not require gifts to immediate family members to be disclosed.

I'm the Gov.    You can't bribe me.     Leave the gifts with my wife or kids.

But McDonnell also acknowledged for the first time that the gift could  “raise eyebrows,”  as WTOP host Mark Lewis put it. Because the father of the bride often pays for weddings, Lewis said, “there’s a blurred line there as to who the real recipient of the gift was.”

“I do understand that,”  McDonnell responded.    Get over it, there's nothing you can do about it. 

Asked whether he had any regrets and if in hindsight he wished the wedding payment had not been accepted, McDonnell said:    “The decision really ultimately was my daughter’s.    This whole thing is my daughter's fault.    That’s hard to say in retrospect.    Obviously, there’s been a lot of attention to that.    It’s caused a fair amount of pain for me personally but I didn't do anything wrong.”

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Republican Corruption in Virginia Politics

Bob McDonnell Relationship With Jonnie Williams, Star Scientific CEO, Investigated By FBI

Caught with hand in cookie jar, Bob sold influence one time too many

Gov. Bob McDonnell said Tuesday his administration never gave special treatment to a dietary supplement company that is under a federal securities investigation and whose chief executive gave more than $100,000 in political contributions and thousands of dollars more in gifts to McDonnell's family.

McDonnell said on WTOP radio he and first lady Maureen McDonnell have been friends with Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams for four or five years.   He acknowledged receiving gifts from Williams, including a $15,000 check to his daughter to help her pay for her June 2011 wedding.

Williams' gifts to McDonnell and to state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, both Republicans, have come under growing scrutiny in the past two months.   It intensified after the former Executive Mansion chef Todd Schneider was charged with stealing food from the mansion and alleged that his prosecution by Cuccinelli was politically motivated.

Ken fished the same hole as Bob and both got caught red handed

Cuccinelli is running for governor this year; McDonnell, elected in 2009, can't run because Virginia is the only state that doesn't allow its governor to serve consecutive terms.

The FBI is looking at the relationship between McDonnell and Williams, according to two people who spoke on condition of anonymity because their roles preclude them from talking publicly. At the moment neither is charged with wrongdoing, the investigation is on going.

Federal authorities began questioning people close to the McDonnells as an outgrowth of the securities probe, the two people said. FBI agents have asked about gifts the McDonnells received and whether the governor or his administration aided the company in return.McDonnell said he appeared at an event promoting Star Scientific at the Executive Mansion in August 2011, but said the company has received no state economic development incentives from his administration.

"During my time as governor, neither Jonnie Williams nor Star Scientific or any other person or any other company that's come before our administration for something regarding the budget or legislation or anything else has been given any special treatment," McDonnell said on his monthly call-in radio show.   The word given may be the key word here.    Try substituting sold for the word given with the understanding that republican politicians don't give anybody anything for free.     Without reguard for what the FBI determines normal people have an opinion of what took place here and mine says it smells to high heaven.

News of the FBI probe was first reported Monday by The Washington Post.   A day later, Circuit Judge Margaret Spencer barred attorneys from discussing the case.

Here is what is known.

The investigation was revealed after the former chef at the Executive Mansion alleged in court papers that he gave FBI and state police investigators evidence a year ago of wrongdoing by McDonnell and his family.    It included documents showing Williams paid Schneider's private catering company $15,000 for McDonnell's daughter Cailin's wedding reception, court records showed. Schneider had been the mansion chef.

McDonnell did not disclose the gift on his January 2012 statement of economic interests, saying state law does not require the disclosure of gifts to family members.

"I made the determination – and I believe it was correct – that it was a gift to my daughter, and therefore under the current laws it did not need to be disclosed.   I think obviously from the attention it has gotten, it has certainly now been disclosed," he said.

McDonnell has acknowledged signing the catering contract.   Court documents filed by Schneider claim he paid a deposit for the services and Maureen McDonnell received a $3,500 check for overpayment of catering expenses.

Asked if he'd allow his daughter to accept the gift again, McDonnell struggled with the reply.

"That's hard to say in retrospect.   Obviously there's been a lot of attention to that.    It's caused a fair amount of pain for me personally I'm a governor but I'm a dad and I love my daughter very much,"   he said.    Williams has given McDonnell's political action committee nearly $80,000 and gave his 2009 campaign for governor $28,584, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonprofit group that tracks of money in Virginia politics. McDonnell received personal gifts totaling $7,382 from the company in 2012, according to the group.

Based just outside of Richmond, Star Scientific started as a cigarette company in 1990, focused on ways to remove harmful compounds from tobacco.   The company incurred annual losses for most of that time, including a $22.9 million loss last year.

In November, Williams, who has been CEO since 1999, announced he was cutting his salary from $1 million a year to $1 a month until the company becomes profitable.    A month later, the company, which has 23 full-time employees, said it would shift its focus to its anti-inflammatory supplement, Anatabloc.

Schneider headed the mansion kitchen operations from 2010, when McDonnell moved in, until last year, when he was dismissed during a state police probe.    He was later charged with four counts of taking state property worth $200 or more.

Schneider's motion said he told federal and state investigators that the mansion staff and other state employees had witnessed him being instructed to take state-purchased food as payment for personal services, and that they saw others  "openly taking cases of food and other supplies from the governor's mansion."

The motions said the charges against him should be dismissed on the grounds that Cuccinelli had a conflict of interest because he had also accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from Williams and Star Scientific.

Cuccinelli filed a motion last week to recuse his office from prosecuting Schneider.    A hearing was scheduled Thursday.  Political and official aides to Cuccinelli dismissed the motion by Schneider's attorney, Steven D. Benjamin, as a further effort to politicize and sensationalize a criminal trial.    Brian Gottstein, a spokesman for the Virginia attorney general's office, said the case "will be tried in court and not in the media."

Just before Schneider's indictment in March, defense lawyers said Cuccinelli's office ignored Schneider's information  "concerning the use of the mansion by Williams, the promotion of Williams' food supplement by the governor and first lady,"  according to the motion.

Benjamin said Cuccinelli sold 1,500 shares of Star Scientific stock last summer at a profit of $7,000.

He also noted Cuccinelli's free use of Williams' Smith Mountain Lake vacation lodge for a summer 2012 vacation worth $3,000 and another stay there for Thanksgiving in 2010, complete with a catered holiday dinner worth $1,500.

Cuccinelli did not disclose the gifts until last week and has dropped out of sight and will answer no questions.

Will Cuccinelli Emerge from Bunker to Appear in Court Tomorrow?       Ken needs to resign and should be charged with a crime for his actions, the same for Bob.     Both have disgraced themselves and the State of Virginia.

Aside from his  “no cameras or recorders”  Friday afternoon media availability last week, at which the candidate admitted to thousands of dollars in unreported Star Scientific gifts, the Cuccinelli campaign has gone to great lengths to keep their candidate from explaining his ethical lapses to Virginians.

That hide and seek approach raises the question of whether Cuccinelli will step into public tomorrow at 2:00pm to argue his motion to recuse himself from the embezzlement trial of former Governor’s mansion chef Todd Schneider in Richmond Circuit Court.

Ken Cuccinelli won’t resign because he says he made a promise to be Attorney General for 4 years.    Will he be bothered to be the Attorney General tomorrow in court when the time comes to explain why he can’t be the Attorney General in Todd Schneider’s embezzlement case?

Cuccinelli is not much more than pond scum and we are left to hope his dream of replacing McDonnell is fading faster than yesterday's news.     When any party gets this crooked they need to be replaced.    



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