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Thursday, January 30, 2014

John McCain is a Liberal ???????

Arizona GOP Censures John McCain for Liberal Record

Hey Arizona, wake the heck up.   John can be any thing his changable little mind wants to be for five and one half years of his six year term and you will re elect him if he panders to you for the six months before the election.   I'm not making this up he has pulled that same number over and over.   

There are two things John likes, wars and lots of attention.   No problem has ever arisen that John didn't want to solve with military power.   If he can get on television and get his name in the papers sure he'll join the democrats.   I'm not making that up either, You've seen him do it.   John has even taught his little sofa buddy Lindsay to play it that way too.   Look at Graham, he's up for re election and he's a completely different person.   Rest assured that two weeks after you reelect John McCain and Lindsay Graham they will revert to their normal patterns of behavior and remain there for five and one half years.   

Then six months before the election they will put on their makeup and entertain you and get your vote.   You see they are much smarter than you.   They fool you with the same trick time and time again.   I get a laugh out of it because each time you are surprised like a small child when grandpa pulls a quarter out of his ear.

Arizona Republicans are seeking to pass a resolution censuring U.S. Sen. John McCain for a voting record they say is aligned with liberal Democrats.    They introduced the resolution at the Arizona Republican Party’s state meeting Saturday Jan. 25, 2014 and it passed big time.

The Arizona Republican Party formally censured Sen. John McCain on Saturday, citing a voting record they say is too liberal.

The resolution to censure McCain was approved by a voice-vote during a meeting of state committee members in Tempe, state party spokesman Tim Sifert said.   It needed signatures from at least 20 percent of state committee members to reach the floor for debate and it got triple that.
McCain spokesman declined to comment on the censure.  But former three-term Sen. Jon Kyl called the members who censured McCain “wacky, dumb little republicans.”

“I’ve gone to dozens of these meetings Kyl said and every now and then some really strange people pass a wacky resolution.   “But most people realize it does not represent the broad majority of the sensible Republicans who vote regularly.”
Kyl also said McCain’s voting record was “generally conservative the majority of the time.”

McCain isn’t up for re-election until 2016, when he will turn 80.  McCain's goal for the rest of his time on earth are to start a couple more wars and to die on the senate floor.   He announced in October that he was considering running for a sixth term so look for McCain to start walking tall and talking big about six months before the 2016 election.      McCain correctly figures that your memory only extends back three months and twelve days.

According to the resolution, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee has campaigned as a conservative but has lent his support to issues  “associated with liberal Democrats,”  such as immigration reform and funding the federal health care law and had even said some nice things in support of Obama.    When its a free bar McCain has been known to say lots of things.
Several Republican county committees in Arizona have recently censured McCain.
Timothy Schwartz, the Legislative District 30 Republican chairman who helped write the resolution, said the censure showed that McCain was losing support from his own party.    It is feared that democrats will vote for McCain and keep him in office due to his helping hand that he extends to democratic efforts.   There are some southern senators who are democratic but vote less with the party than McCain does.

My guess is that if McCain wants to run again he'll win and you will vote for him and then later complain about his loyalty.   Could be its something in the air in Arizona?

 “We would gladly consider embracing Sen. McCain if he says he will stand behind us and represented us,”  Schwartz said.   Closer to next election McCain will say those things and Schwartz will pose with and get his picture taken with John, both men smiling.

Fred DuVal, a Democrat who plans to run for Arizona governor, called the censure an  “outrageous response to the good work Sen. McCain did crafting a reasonable solution to fix our broken immigration system.”    I am so glad the democrat running for Governor came to John's defense.   It shows the democrats appreciate all the work McCain has helped them with.    To do less would be rude.

McCain has been dogged by conservatives objecting to his views on immigration and campaign finance, among other issues, since he first ran for Congress in 1982.   But since 1982 John has used the six months prior to election day to pander to republicans and get their votes.   Republican activists were also turned off by his moderate stances in the 2000 presidential race but they got over that and re elected him to his senate post.   John put on a tremendous  "Build the Dang Fence"  campaign and waltzed into another term easily.
McCain was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982 and won his Senate seat in 1986.   Come on guys, McCain gave you Sara Palin.   How much more do you expect one little old war hawk to do for the folks in Arizona?     Run for President again?

What's Mitt Up To These Days

Mitt Romney in Dispute Over His Beach Mansion

What takes up Mitt's time now that the people have freed up his future?

“It’s always frustrating to get a building permit on the ocean,” Ann Romney said recently on a San Diego TV station, in a classic example of Ann Romneyisms that are true but probably wouldn’t attract much sympathy among voters were her husband still in politics.

Indeed, if Mitt Romney thought moving across the country would save him from the kinds of impassioned waterfront landowner disputes over public beach access you see all the time on Massachusetts waterfronts well, he was wrong.

In our Friday edition of “What’s Mitt Romney up to now that he doesn’t care what you think,” the Los Angeles Times reports that the California Coastal Commission must decide whether he can build that 11,000-square-foot mansion on his property in La Jolla California  (you’ll remember it as the one with plans for a car elevator.)    Though he already received approval from the San Diego Planning Commission, the Coastal Commission got involved because Romney attracted the ire of one local citizen  “who is known in La Jolla for his commitment to preserving beach access,”  as the Times diplomatically phrases it.    He’s a man who has since moved away from Romney’s neighborhood but is still filing a complaint to say that the property was surveyed incorrectly in a way that allows for a bigger structure than should otherwise be there.

This story really does evoke the politics of the small, wealthier coastal towns of Massachusetts.  One Romney supporter tells the L.A. Times that the neighbors who are complaining about his house “didn’t vote for Gov. Romney and in fact represent the radical left wing,” and hey, we, too, have lots of people who didn’t vote for Gov. Romney.    He must feel right at home over there.

Update: An L.A. Times columnist reports that the Romneys have received the Commission’s approval.  Bring on the car elevator!

What's Mitt Romney doing now that he's lost the presidential election?

Getting weird.

TMZ reports that Romney, who is 65, took his wife Ann on a romantic movie date to see the Twilight Saga's final chapter, Breaking Dawn: Part 2, in California this weekend, even though there were other movies playing in California, not to mention on FX and Netflix.

Breaking Dawn:   Part 2 is the movie Mitt Romney selected, purchased tickets for, and then sat down and watched in silence to completion.    Twilight is the cinematic world in which Mitt elected to lose himself for one night.

After the movie, the Mitt and Ann moved on to a pizza place across the street, where Mitt Romney probably ordered  "a circle of your most classic pie, please"  because he's so normal and chill now.

TMZ reports that the Romneys appeared to be traveling without body guards or Secret Service, which makes sense because, according to Slate, those guys hang around for a week or so after a non-incumbent loses an election, then step out one day  "just on a coffee run, Mitt"  and never, ever come back.

House GOPers’ New Plan to Take Down Obama: Sue Him

Texas attorney general Greg Abbott likes to joke that his job is simple:  "I go into the office, I sue Barack Obama, and then I go home."    But it’s not just Republicans attorneys general who are taking the president to court these days.    Forget impeachment—increasingly, House Republicans are using personal lawsuits as a way to rein in what they view as unchecked presidential power on everything from the Affordable Care Act to immigration reform to nuclear weapons.

"It appears right now that we may have to do it, that I may have to do it, or somebody may have to do it, as an individual, outside of Congress, to litigate on one of these issues,"  Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.)  told a local radio station last week.    Coffman, who got in trouble last May when he suggested that Obama was foreign born and not eligible for office, didn't elaborate on which executive overreach set him off, although he discussed the nuclear agreement with Iran and the 2012 decision on welfare as possible violations.    By Monday, his office had walked back Coffman's litigation threat, but the congressman is in good company.

In November, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), a sponsor of 2004's Lawsuit Reduction Act, which was designed to curb the number of frivolous lawsuits, signaled that a large faction of House Republicans would be open to filing a lawsuit to block Obama’s perceived overreach on everything from Obamacare to immigration.    "There's no question we should do that...yes…and that’s something that we talked about a lot," he told The Hill.

This wasn't Franks’ first legal threat:   in 2009, he suggested at a town hall meeting that he'd be open to filing a lawsuit to force President Obama, who had already released a birth certificate, to release another type of birth certificate.    (It was an empty threat, it turned out.)       Note Franks is another nutjob from Arizona.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has also floated the idea of challenging Obama in court, specifically over the president's decision to allow insurance companies to continue offering 2013 health care plans for another year, despite the requirements of the ACA.    And in September, Rep. Tom Marino (R-Penn.) said he was considering filing a lawsuit—or even pressing criminal charges—against the administration for postponement of several Affordable Care Provisions.     Marino spokeswoman Sarah Wolf said the congressman hasn't taken any further steps toward a lawsuit, but pointed Mother Jones to a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week in which witnesses said President Obama's actions  "could potentially rise to the level of an impeachable offence.    We expect more to come as a result of this hearing in the near future."

Incensed by the administration’s decision to allow certain undocumented students to receive legal Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) promised in 2012  "to bring a suit and seek a court order to stop implementation of this policy."  (He hasn't, but we suppose there's still time.)    That August, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) sued the White House for more information on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives' Fast and Furious scandal.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) told a town hall meeting in his district in August that he, too, was considering his personal legal options against the administration.    (Amash hasn’t sued anyone yet.)

In 2011, a bipartisan group of 10 members of Congress filed suit over the administration’s decision to intervene in the Libyan civil war.    (That suit was thrown out.)

Although some of the upper chamber's most conservative members, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), have sought to tone down legal threats, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said in September he was  "laying the groundwork"  for a lawsuit to challenge the Office of Personnel Management's decision to allow congressional staffers to receive employer contributions.    Johnson hasn't filed any paperwork yet.

And In June, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced his intention to file a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration in response to Edward Snowden's revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs.    To date, no such lawsuit has materialized, but Paul didn't come away empty—the announcement doubled as a fundraising pitch.      How dumb are republicans that they donate money to candidates who talk this utter foolishness?

For the most part, all that talk about suing the president has been just that—talk.    But at least one congressional lawsuit against the president is going forward, and it could have a far-reaching impact. 

In 2012, Senate Republicans joined a lawsuit against President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, arguing that Obama had acted outside of his authority by circumventing the Senate when the chamber was still technically in session.    That case is going to the Supreme Court.    And if the hypothetical legal options don't work out, there's always impeachment.      Dream on Mitch and Eric and John, Dream On.

Dear Red States:

We're ticked off at your Neanderthal attitudes and politics and we've decided we're leaving.

We in New York intend to form our own country and we're taking the other Blue States with us.

In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the rest of the Northeast.

We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation and especially to the people of the new country of The Enlightened States of America (E.S.A).

To sum up briefly:

You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get Andrew Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren.   You get Bobby Jindal and Todd Akin.

We get the Statue of Liberty.    You get OpryLand.

We get Intel and Microsoft.   You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard.   You get Ol' Miss.

We get 85 percent of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs.

You get Alabama.

We get two-thirds of the tax revenue.   You get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families.   You get a bunch of single moms.

With the Blue States in hand we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines  (you can serve French wines at state dinners)  90% of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the US low sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.
With the Red States you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans and their projected health care costs, 92% of all US mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.
We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.
We're taking the good weed too. You can have that crap they grow in Mexico.


Citizen of the Enlightened States of America

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Anti-Woman Atrocity from Bob Goodlatte, Again

Those of you holding out hope that 6th District Congressman Bob Goodlatte--your favorite congressman here in Amherst County--is going to finally come to his senses and begin to represent the people, may want to reconsider that notion after his recent bone-headed statement.    You might want to begin by dropping the hope and holding your noses instead.    Or maby continue turning a blind eye to Bob's incompetence.    What will your choice be?

Goodlatte is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee--a perk arising from length of service, which he used to oppose (term limits), and Republicans controlling the House, the result of severe gerrymandering (cheating)--which is considering removal of government funding for abortion.    Goodlatte says that forcing all those women to carry their pregnancies to term  "very much promotes job creation,"  according to Think Progress.    HR7 would restrict access to abortion by slamming the door on insurance coverage and tax credits.       In Bob's mind this would create jobs.     Do you share that thought?

Goodlate is quoted as saying that his support of the bill   "... is the morally right thing to do and it is also very very true that having a growing population and having new children brought into the world is not harmful to job creation.    It very much promotes job creation for all the care and services and so on that need to be provided by a lot of people to raise children.”       

At this point I feel obligated to reveal that Goodlatte is a couple of bricks shy of a full load.       Coming up short is nothing new for Bob Goodlatte and goes unnoticed to the republican audience he serves.      Everybody wakes up at some point and the good citizens of Amherst County seem to be coming to grips with reality.

So, he wants to create more poor people who can take care of rich people's kids, right?   Are we hearing this from a sitting U.S. Congressman?

Trouble is, says Think Progress, "denying women autonomy over their reproductive lives is not a wise economic policy.    Without access to affordable family planning services, women are less likely to be able to finish their education, advance their career, or achieve financial independence.    The low-income women who end up carrying unwanted pregnancies to term end up slipping deeper into poverty and struggling with long-term mental health issues.    That ends up impacting the social safety net, putting a greater strain on the Medicaid program.    In fact, the Guttmacher Institute estimates that every $1 invested into family planning programs yields more than $5 in savings for the U.S. government."

Democrats on the committee, of course, are beside themselves:  "As we urge Congress in 2014 to consider legislative action that would meaningfully address the economic insecurity currently facing millions of women and families, the Judiciary Committee’s first action to mark up legislation that would harm women’s access to reproductive health care is truly dispiriting.”

Kill abortion, kill the American Healthcare Act, kill taxes. Republican mantra.    Absolutely no thought of how things can or will work, only the "no" vote counts.    It is tiresome, anti American, anti-woman and pro-nothing.     How any woman would ever consider voting for these knuckle-dragging Cro-Magnons is far, far beyond my comprehension.

Ultimately, the fact that we have a Democratically-controlled Senate and a president of the saner party will nullify whatever the House does with this bill.    But it is at its very best a cautionary tale for those with any interest at all in our country retaining even a touch of freedom.

The Goodlatte Jobs Plan

House Republican:    More babies equals more jobs, so let's ban abortion

 Some staggering idiocy coming from Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chair of the House Judiciary Committee. As his committee was marking up an anti-abortion bill, the Virginia Republican said:

    “I would suggest that it is very much the case that those of us in the majority support this legislation because it is the morally right thing to do but it is also very very true that having a growing population and having new children brought into the world is not harmful to job creation,” he said. “It very much promotes job creation for all the care and services and so on that need to be provided by a lot of people to raise children.”

Goodlatte came out with this gem in the same meeting in which Republicans voted down the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would prohibit discrimination against pregnant women.   So:    If you're pregnant, you shouldn't have basic protections against your employer demanding that you lift heavy objects or preventing you from carrying a water bottle.    But women should have no choice but to have more children because it would create jobs—jobs like childcare and teaching that Republicans think should pay low wages and get little respect.    The job creation argument is wrong in any case:

    Without access to affordable family planning services, women are less likely to be able to finish their education, advance their career, or achieve financial independence. The low-income women who end up carrying unwanted pregnancies to term end up slipping deeper into poverty and struggling with long-term mental health issues. That ends up impacting the social safety net, putting a greater strain on the Medicaid program.     Lets say this again because it is important,  the Guttmacher Institute estimates that every $1 invested into family planning programs yields more than $5 in savings for the U.S. government.

Now, if Goodlatte really thinks having a growing population would be good for job creation, he could always back immigration reform and get the growing population without the forced childbearing that would leave many women in poverty.     But making it harder for women to control their reproductive lives is the point of the  "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion" Act Goodlatte was pushing.    And job creation?    This comment is about as serious about job creation as House Republicans have gotten in the past few years, which is to say it's not a priority, and when they claim it is they're always trying to justify something awful and unrelated.     Republicans in the House are a joke and in relation to that Goodlatte is a leader.

 Immigration Reform?   Where Does Bob Stand On This Today?

                  President Obama Delivers

When it comes to the big speeches, President Obama doesn’t disappoint.    His nearly 80-minute State of the Union address didn’t so much talk about income inequality as it did economic insecurity.    
The president talked about the middle-class writ large:   those who aspire to it, those who are nestled in it, those who are struggling to hang on to it and those who are trying to get back in it. 

Obama was long on warmth and mercifully short on wonkery. And he did this by weaving his call for a “year of action” on behalf of the American people with the stories of the American people.

Amanda Shelley exemplified the fulfilled promise of the Affordable Care Act.

 A pre-existing condition used to mean that someone like Amanda Shelley, a physician assistant and single mom from Arizona, couldn’t get health insurance.     But on January 1st, she got covered.    On January 3rd, she felt a sharp pain.    On January 6th, she had emergency surgery.    Just one week earlier, Amanda said, that surgery would’ve meant bankruptcy.
That’s what health insurance reform is all about — the peace of mind that if misfortune strikes, you don’t have to lose everything.

Estiven Rodriguez represented the power of access to education.

 Estiven Rodriguez couldn’t speak a word of English when he moved to New York City at age nine.    But last month, thanks to the support of great teachers and an innovative tutoring program, he led a march of his classmates – through a crowd of cheering parents and neighbors – from their high school to the post office, where they mailed off their college applications.    And this son of a factory worker just found out he’s going to college this fall.

Nick Chute and John Soranno personified the benefit of raising the minimum wage.

 In the year since I asked this Congress to raise the minimum wage, five states have passed laws to raise theirs. Many businesses have done it on their own.  Nick Chute is here tonight with his boss, John Soranno.  John’s an owner of Punch Pizza in Minneapolis, and Nick helps make the dough.  Only now he makes more of it: John just gave his employees a raise, to ten bucks an hour – a decision that eased their financial stress and boosted their morale.
 Tonight, I ask more of America’s business leaders to follow John’s lead and do what you can to raise your employees’ wages.

It’s good for the economy.    It’s good for America.
Obama punctuated this story by calling on Congress to pass a bill that would raise the national minimum wage to $10.10.   To great applause, the president urged Congress to “Say yes. Give America a raise.”
And the powerful story of Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg, reminded us that the freedoms we hold dear are neither free nor come without sacrifice.

 On his tenth deployment, Cory was nearly killed by a massive roadside bomb in Afghanistan.   His comrades found him in a canal, face down, underwater, shrapnel in his brain.   For months, he lay in a coma.   And the next time I met him, in the hospital, he couldn’t speak, could barely move.    Over the years, he’s endured dozens of surgeries and procedures, hours of grueling rehab every day … And, day by day, he’s learned to speak again and stand again and walk again.    And he’s working toward the day when he can serve his country again.   “My recovery has not been easy,”  he says.  “Nothing in life that’s worth anything is easy.”
But in showing the power of access to opportunity, Obama went very personal and bipartisan early on in his speech.   It was part of a larger riff on the wish of the American people for Washington to stop the fighting and move the nation forward.

They believe, and I believe, that here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth, but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams.    That’s what drew our forebears here.    It’s how the daughter of a factory worker is CEO of America’s largest automaker.    How the son of a barkeep is Speaker of the House.    How the son of a single mom can be President of the greatest nation on Earth.

The automaker CEO was Mary Barra of General Motors.   The son of a single mom was Obama, of course.    And the son of a barkeep was Speaker John Boehner.    It was a warm moment that earned a thumbs up from the Ohio Republican to the Illinois Democrat.    In that instant you saw a glimmer of hope that the bipartisan spirit that once ruled Capitol Hill would roam those hallowed halls once more.    Pity, with four Republican responses to Obama’s address, we all know that that glimmer of hope is fleeting.

 Fractured GOP gives four separate State of the Union rebuttals

Fans of State of the Union rebuttals were treated to an embarrassment of riches Tuesday night when a fractured Republican Party responded to President Obama’s speech in four separate installments.

Only two of those responses were officially sanctioned by the national party. Washington Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers delivered the official response in English, while Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen gave an amended version of the same speech in Spanish.

RELATED: The good, the bad, and the weird at Obama’s State of the Union, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee gave what was described as the Tea Party rebuttal in a live stream hosted on the website of the Tea Party Express, while Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul uploaded a response to the State of the Union on his official YouTube channel.

The fact that both official responses were delivered by women appears to be no coincidence, as the Republican Party has worked to increase its appeal among women voters. To that end, Rodgers’ speech emphasized her personal biography and experiences as a mother, even as it implied that the GOP would not be budging on abortion. Though Rodgers did not explicitly refer to the subject, argued that giving birth to a son with Down’s syndrome had “made me more determined to see the potential in every human life.”

Just hours before Rodgers delivered her speech, the House of Representatives voted to restrict private insurance coverage of abortion through the Affordable Care Act exchanges.

While Rodgers addressed the controversy obliquely – and Lee mentioned protecting “viable, unborn children” explicitly – all four rebuttals dedicated a significant amount of time to the issue of economic inequality. Economic opportunity was a central theme in the president’s State of the Union address, and the four Republicans attempted to re-frame the problem in a manner more aligned with conservative policies.

 SOTU came down to one message…

One of the main causes of inequality, Lee claimed, is the result of “immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big government programs.”    Paul also blamed big government, saying that “prosperity comes when more money is left in the private marketplace.”

While Paul is famous for his idiosyncratic style and advocacy civil liberties issues and criminal justice reform, the libertarian-leaning senator largely stuck to economic policy and doctrinaire Republican principles in his speech.    He even went so far as to quote Ronald Reagan twice, once at the very beginning of his remarks.

Lee seemed more comfortable chiding the Republican Party, which he said can be “just as out-of-touch as the Democratic establishment.”    The tea-party senator was also the only of the four speakers to emphasize National Security Agency surveillance, saying that he was frustrated with “an ever-growing government that somehow thinks it is okay to lie to, spy on, and even target its own citizens.”    Paul, who is a harsh critic of the NSA in Congress, avoided the subject.

There were other republicans who offered rebuttals to the President's State of the Union, so many in fact I don't know who they were.     In any event they were speaking to their own select section of the fractured republican party.     Be good, stay healthy and Vote Democratic.

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Rand Paul CALLS Bill Clinton A Preditor

Rand Paul is a man who desires to run for president.   Rand Paul twists the truth and distorts the facts.   When Rand Paul reached back 15 plus years in time and called Bill Clinton a predator and identified Monica Lewinski's age as 20 at the time of the affair, that was a lie, a twisting or distortion of the facts.   Phrase it any way you want to Rand Paul did not speak truthfully or factually.

Monica Lewinsky worked at the White House, first as an intern and then as an employee, from July 1995 to April 1996. With the assistance of family friend Walter Kaye, a prominent contributor to political causes, she obtained an internship starting in early July, when she was 21 years old.

Rand Paul represents Kentucky so lets look at their laws first.

Minors – Age of Majority – Kentucky

Persons of the age of eighteen (18) years are of the age of majority for all purposes in this Commonwealth except for the purchase of alcoholic beverages and for purposes of care and treatment of children with disabilities, for which twenty-one (21) years is the age of majority, all other statutes to the contrary notwithstanding.

Title 1, Chap. 2, §2.015

The age of consent is the age at or above which a person is considered to have the legal capacity to consent to sexual activity.

Here's an interesting twist on Kentucky law.   The age of majority in Kentucky for purposes of the marriage law is 18.   To satisfy the laws of Rand Paul's state you can engage in sex at 16 and then 2 years later if you want you can get married.

Here's a tid bit for the conservatives who decry all changes and contend the old ways are better.   While the age of consent is now set between 16 and 18 in all U.S. states, the age of consent has widely varied across the country in the past.   In 1880, the age of consent was 10 in most states but ranged from 7 in Delaware to 12 across nine states and the District of Columbia.

Monica Lewinski got her job at the white house after she was 21.  Rand Paul stated that Monica was 20 years of age while in his own state of Kentucky the age of consent is 16.   Mz. Lewinski was 5 years older than she needed to be to say "Yes" in Kentucky.    Rand should spend his time and effort trying to change the Kentucky laws or put a little time in teaching his children how to behave.

As far as Rand's dreams of being president go, the major thing Rand Paul has to worry about is Hillary stomping a mud hole in his dumb ass and then proceeding to walk it dry.

We'll get to the war on women but first lets look at how Rand's children behave and treat women.

We interrupt this Rand Paul story for some great news for Virginia Democrats.     In addition to controlling all the state wide offices in Virginia we now have control of the Senate.

 Great News For Democrats 

Wexton Wins in the 33rd, Dems Control VA Senate

DPVA Chair Charniele Herring released the following statement on Senator-Elect Jennifer Wexton's victory in the special election for the 33rd Senate District:

"Congratulations to Jennifer Wexton for winning a major victory in the 33rd Senate District tonight," said DPVA Chair Charniele Herring. "Her win solidifies Democratic control in Virginia's Senate.

"Jennifer will continue Mark Herring's long history of working to strengthen Virginia's economy and supporting legislation that makes the Commonwealth the best place to live, work, and raise a family."

Thank You to all Amherst County Democrats for your hard work and dedication, another victory is yours.

We return to the Rand Paul story.

The Paul Families Personal War on Women

William Hilton Paul was charged with consuming beer/wine underage, disorderly conduct and being intoxicated and disruptive.   Mr. Paul is suspected of assaulting a female flight attendant “by aggressive physical force.”

This happened a year ago so stuff your republican complaints where the sun don't shine.   I'm using the Rand Paul time frame for attack, 15 years.   Rand reached back to 1998.

The Associated Press reported that 19-year-old William Paul, the son of Republican senator Rand Paul from Kentucky and grandson of ever-present presidential candidate Ron Paul, was charged with misdemeanor assault.  William Paul was taking a flight that deplaned in Charlotte-Douglas International Airport.   While details of the arrest remain vague as the story develops, what is known is that young Mr. Paul is suspected of assaulting a female flight attendant “by aggressive physical force.”

We are aware of the historically poor choices made by young adults from time to time and it is critical not to rush to a determined judgment until all facts are brought to light. As I read the AP’s brief piece, I found myself weary and resigned. While William Paul has never run for public office, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, does it?

Remember in October 2010 when volunteer Lauren Valle had her head stomped at a Rand Paul Rally?   Who can forget the repugnant images of the small woman falling under the burly feet of Paul’s testosterone-enraged security detail.
A close Paul aide labeled the incident “incredibly unfortunate” at the time.,   Can we feign surprise at the disrespectful and dangerous treatment of female protesters from a team that believes it has a right to comprehensively control the female body?    Rand Paul is opposed to abortion without exception, even in cases of rape or incest.    He supports a Human Life Amendment and a Life at Conception Act, which confer more privileges and protection on a cluster of cells than a living, independently breathing female adult.    Need it be said that he also favors the overturn of Roe v. Wade, allowing states to decide the issue of abortion unburdened from federal involvement?

And here is Rand Paul’s enlightened stance on the tolerance of sexual harassment in the office:    “There are people now who hesitate to tell a joke to a woman in the workplace, any kind of joke, because it could be interpreted incorrectly.”

In 2012, Rand Paul had this to say about the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill designed to equate the pay of workers irrespective of gender:    “Three hundred million people get to vote everyday on what you should be paid or what the price of goods are…  In the Soviet Union, the Politburo decided the price of bread, and they either had no bread or too much bread.    So setting prices or wages by the government is always a bad idea.”

Given his father’s illustrious track record as a patriarchal patronizer of female equality, William Paul’s brush with the law is hardly shocking.    The entitled son of the political elite is further accused of “underage drinking, disorderly conduct and being intoxicated and disruptive.”

Rand Paul must be very proud.    His son has done a magnificent job of ingesting and reflecting his father’s ideology.    If Paul is concerned about the effect of William’s imbroglio on his popularity and re-election chances, clearly, he has no one to blame but himself.

The Phoney Doctor Scam as Practiced by Rand Paul

The eye doctor isn’t properly certified?    Dr. Kent Sepkowitz on Paul’s slick end-run around the profession’s licensing rules—and what it tells you about the kind of politician he is.

Scarcely a day passes that we don’t find out something new and objectionable about Dr. Rand Paul.    The risk in the pile-on is that a real doozie will get missed, lost in the daily torrent.   The recent news—his lack of standard certification as an ophthalmologist and its relationship to his self-anointing and self-created National Board of Ophthalmology—is just such a Big Deal.    Its specifics, however, are so complicated and unrewarding to follow as to threaten to place it on the endangered scandal list.

I am here to make certain that we don’t let this one slide.   His decision to sidestep the standard way doctors are certified in America is—even by summer politician standards—slimy, lazy, self-serving, and, important to remember as we sink deeper into his muck, revealing of the real reason for his me-against-the-Man shtick.   (Hint: He’s not looking out for you, Mr. Little Guy).    But before we read from the latest entry of the Randiad, let me guide you through the mind-numbing world of American physician credentialing.

Trying to gin up a moral issue out of the selfish power play is reminiscent of Nixon’s view of the law as something to try to outsmart.    It’s also disrespectful to the oddball but often courageous stances of his father and other giants of the right willing to fight on principle.

Here’s how it works:    To practice medicine legally requires a license issued by the state.    Eligibility for licensure is granted after graduating medical school and after passing a series of difficult standardized exams prepared by the National Board of Medical Examiners.    Once completed, licensure is forever (assuming a person behaves and isn’t a total disaster).    Rand is a licensed physician.

But a guy's got to practice medicine somewhere—an eye specialist like Dr. Paul, for example, needs a hospital's operating rooms to ply his trade.    And that's where certification comes in.    Whereas licensure is a one-size-fits-all blanket of general adequacy, certification is granted by a specialty board to indicate competency in a specific field such as ophthalmology (or medicine or surgery or psychiatry).    Certification tests long have been administered by venerable, apolitical groups such as the American Board of Ophthalmology (or Internal Medicine or whatever).    The certificate is a national credential that, although not absolutely necessary to practice medicine, is more or less required for any doctor seeking an affiliation with a hospital.

It gets even more complicated, but hang in there;  Rand is hoping the distinctions are just too subtle for anyone to really care about.    In the 1980s, American medicine decided that it should police itself.     A little.    So the Grand Old Men of the various fields decided that already certified specialists should recertify once a decade.    Rand initially did the right thing and became certified;   but when his 10 years were up, he decided he’d had enough and chose not to recertify.    Rather, he organized his own certifying program for ophthalmology based right there in his hometown of Bowling Green.    He then appointed himself president of the group, which he named the National Board of Ophthalmologists, and better yet, declared his wife (not a doctor) VP and his father-in-law secretary.

 Talk about convenient!    It remains unclear what the NBO criteria for certification are;    the organization appears to have no website or easily located documents (though it is registered with the state of Kentucky as a nonprofit and claims to have certified a few hundred eye doctors).

All of this would be OK with me;   I just took the frigging recertification test in my field and I hated every minute of it.   It is humiliating and infuriating and insulting and a waste of time and money.    Indeed, I applaud Rand’s sticking his tongue out at the gasbags who insist on teenage procedures (multiple-choice tests proctored now by cybersecurity) to assure that a doctor is certified in his field.

But Rand lost me when he articulated the reason why he resisted.    Being a conscientious objector or pissed off adult simply wasn’t good enough.    No, he decided to cast it as a high-end moral stance against groups that discriminate—groups like the American Board of Ophthalmology.    And what exactly was their discriminatory practice?    Opposing civil rights maybe?    Nope—much, much worse.    The old geezers who made up the test requirements built a nice little loophole for themselves:    They excluded themselves from having to recertify—instead they were “grandfathered” in.    And in so doing they discriminated against poor Rand and me and thousands of other of victimized doctors.    Thank goodness someone had the strength to make a stand against the nefarious two-tiered system.    Ah the pure horseshit—true Kentucky thoroughbred stuff.

Trying to gin up a moral issue out of the selfish power play is reminiscent of Nixon’s view of the law as something to try to outsmart.    It’s also disrespectful to the oddball but often courageous stances of his father and other giants of the right willing to fight on principle.    With his creation of a ludicrous home-brew “certifying board,”  he has shown his dedication not to a movement but to the single goal of making life a little bit more convenient for Rand Paul.    And here Paul does appear to speak for his generation:    He has given us the finest example yet of yuppie selfishness in senescence.

 Rand Paul Voted NO on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.

Congressional Summary:

    Amends the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) to add or expand definitions of several terms used in such Act, including :    "culturally specific services" to mean community based services that offer culturally relevant and linguistically specific services and resources to culturally specific communities;
    "personally identifying information"  with respect to a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking;
    "underserved populations"  as populations that face barriers in accessing and using victim services because of geographic location, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity;   and   "youth"  to mean a person who is 11 to 24 years old.

Opponent's Argument for voting No (The Week; Huffington Post, and The Atlantic):   House Republicans had objected to provisions in the Senate bill that extended VAWA's protections to lesbians, gays, immigrants, and Native Americans.    For example, Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) voted against the VAWA bill because it was a "politically–motivated, constitutionally-dubious Senate version bent on dividing women into categories by race, transgender politics and sexual preference."    The objections can be grouped in two broadly ideological areas--that the law is an unnecessary overreach by the federal government, and that it represents a "feminist" attack on family values.     The act's grants have encouraged states to implement "mandatory-arrest" policies, under which police responding to domestic-violence calls are required to make an arrest.    These policies were intended to combat the too-common situation in which a victim is intimidated into recanting an abuse accusation.    Critics also say VAWA has been subject to waste, fraud, and abuse because of insufficient oversight.

Paul says, "Paul (R-KY)"
Reference:   Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act; Bill S. 47 ; vote number 13-SV019 on Feb 12, 2013 

President To Give State of the Union Speech

 The Next Act in the GOP Circus

Leaders of different factions of the republican party respond to the President.

Tonight, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) will deliver his own response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, in yet another example of the presidential hopeful’s desire to build a national profile.

Last year, Paul gave a similar response to the president’s speech. He spoke from the National Press Club and focused on the agenda of the Tea Party Express, which sponsored the speech.

This year, however, Paul will not speak as a tea party spokesman. Instead, he will prerecord his rebuttal in his Senate office and publish it on YouTube soon after the president finishes.   He will then appear on CNN and Fox News that night and sit for several Sunday show interviews later in the week, all part of his drive to draw attention to his critique and boost his name recognition as he plans his 2016 presidential run.

At the moment, Paul’s top advisers, such as Doug Stafford and Sergio Gor, are focused on broadening Paul’s national reach while simultaneously keeping him close to the GOP’s conservative base, who they hope will share Paul’s video response on social media. Next week’s push will be a multi-platform, multi-faceted effort, a Paul aide said.     Paul's recent attack on Bill Clinton got great coverage so look for that trick to surface again.

Paul will not be the only high-profile Republican who will speak out.    Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers will give the official GOP response, according to the office of House Speaker John A. Boehner.     Florida Sen. Marco Rubio gave the Republican rejoinder last year and became famous for his product placement ad for Poland Springs Water.

Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R), a close friend of Paul’s and a leading conservative voice during last year’s government shutdown, will also deliver an alternative GOP response to the president’s speech. Like Paul’s speech last year, Lee’s will be sponsored by the Tea Party Express.    

The many different divisions of the republican party are in negotiations to purchase a cable station so that next year they can have dusk to dawn, never ending responses to the President's State of The Union Message.     So far they have recruited over 80 republicans willing to do a rebuttal to the state of the union.    This year they have set microphones up outside the chamber so that members can stop and give their comments.     As Ted Cruz recently said, "No matter what your idea of a republican issue is one of these divisions of the party will be speaking for you."

According to a recent Public Policy Polling survey of New Hampshire Republicans, Paul is tied with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for second place among potential GOP contenders, each with 12 percent support.   Mitt Romney weighs in with 9 percent support even though he has expressed no interest in running.    Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leads the pack with 14 percent support and Mike Lee and Ted Cruz are dragging the bottom with less than 4 percent support.    None of the above scored a healthy 7 percent tally.

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mike Huckabee: Women Can't Control Their Libido

Mike Huckabee Says  Women Can't Control Their Libido

This hayseed carnival attraction preacher proves that republicans view women as nothing more than farm animals.   Fox news and its viewers love this jerk.
Former Arkansas Governor and Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee (R) asserted Wednesday that Democrats are telling women “they cannot control their libido” by offering no-copay contraception through the Affordable Care Act.    He made the comments during a luncheon at the Republican National Convention, which is actively trying to dispel the party’s anti-woman image.   This is what they talk about at the Republican National Convention?

During his speech, Huckabee also likened Obamacare’s expanded contraception coverage to a sugar daddy.   Democrats want women to think “they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of government,” he said.   Republicans, by contrast, want to “empower them to be something other than victims of their gender.”

Republicans who walk lock step with Huckabee are Idiots.

While these comments have sparked fresh outrage, the former governor has been blithely offending women for most of his career.  In the past, he’s speculated that women have trouble multitasking during their periods and passionately supported former Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) after the failed Senate candidate claimed victims of “legitimate rape” can’t get pregnant.   He has also specifically endorsed the belief that “wives graciously submit to their husband’s sacrificial leadership.”

GOP strategists have worked hard since the 2012 election to keep Republicans from alienating female voters by holding training sessions and advising candidates to simply avoid talking about rape.

But offensive comments by prominent Republicans keep thwarting these efforts. On Wednesday alone, one GOP congressman running for re-election argued that wives should “voluntarily submit” to their husbands, while another Congressional candidate dropped out in the midst of a firestorm over his justification of marital rape.

Can you imagine how insulting republicans would be if they were not going out of their way to win the female vote?   We didn't used to take nuts like Huckabee seriously and now republicans cheer his twisted way of thinking.

Mike Huckabee's Craziest Comments

By Julian Brookes

Playing-it-coy presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is taking heat for comparing failure to act on the federal debt to – what else? – letting the Nazis get away with the Holocaust.    "Let there never be a time in this country when some father has to look over his daughter's shoulder and see her ask the haunting question, 'why didn't somebody do something?'" he told a crowd of NRA members last weekend.    (Steve Kornacki at Salon points out that Huckabee has used the exact same anology before, in relation to abortion.)

It's an open question whether Huckabee is crazy like a fox or crazy like a ... lunatic.   What's not in dispute is that he's some kind of crazy.    If you have any doubts on that score, consider these collected Huck-isms.

Obama’s worldview was shaped by a world filled with madrassas: "I do think he has a different worldview and I think it's in part molded out of a very different experience.    Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas."

Hillary skipped the 2010 campaign trail to have an "alibi" when she challenged Obama in 2012:   "She saw this train wreck coming and took off for Cambodia."

Obama never uses the word "terrorism": "[W]ith a liberal President - you're going to get universal healthcare, you're going to get higher taxes, you're going to get weak foreign policy, you're going to get a flat refusal to acknowledge the use of the term 'terrorist' or 'terrorism.'"

Homsexuality is like pedophilia, bestiality:   "Well, I don’t think that’s a radical view to say we’re going to affirm marriage. I think the radical view is to say that we’re going to change the definition of marriage so that it can mean two men, two women, a man and three women, a man and a child, a man and animal."

Obama grew up in Kenya:    "[I]f you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather."

The U.S. financial crisis was caused by economic terrorists:   "There may, in fact, be evidence of economic terrorism that is fueling a lot of what's going on.    Now it's a fascinating idea, that if somebody could break down the world economy, it would have a greater impact that any bomb ever set off.    It seems to be there is plausible argument for it."

We need a U.S.-Mexico border fence to keep out ... Pakistanis: “The fact is that the immigration  issue is not so much about people coming to pick lettuce or make beds, it’s about someone coming with a shoulder-fired missile."

Mormons believe that "Jesus and the devil are brothers"
Or so he asked, wonderingly, at a 2007 debate with Republican presidential contenders, including (noted Mormon) Mitt Romney.

Related: In this 2007 Rolling Stone profile, Matt Taibbi concluded after much sober consideration that Huckabee, for all his personal warmth and charm, is "full-blown nuts, a Christian goofball of the highest order."

Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women

1)  Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape.    After a major backlash, they promised to stop.    But they haven't yet.    Shocker.
2)   A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser."    But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."
3)   In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)
4)   Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.

5)   In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

6)   Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program.   Why?   No need, they said.    Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.

7)   And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion.    That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.

8)   Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too.   A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.

9)   Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.

10)   And if that wasn't enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program.    (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can't make this stuff up). 

 West Virginia Spill Included Second Chemical, Officials Report 

Elk River in Charleston, W.Va. The White House has issued a federal disaster declaration in West Virginia, where a chemical spill that may have contaminated tap water has led officials to tell at least 300,000 people not to bathe, brush their teeth or wash their clothes. The West Virginia National Guard planned to distribute bottled drinking water to emergency services agencies in the nine affected counties.

The West Virginia chemical spill that left 300,000 residents without tap water for a week contained a second, previously unreported chemical, federal and state officials announced Tuesday.

Local businesses remain closed and unable to serve food and water InCharleston, W.V., Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 after a chemical spill Thursday in the Elk River that has contaminated the public water supply in nine counties.    Frustration is mounting for many of the 300,000 West Virginia residents who've gone ten days without clean tap water.

The 7,500 gallons of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol released into the Elk River on Jan. 9 also included a product known as "PPH," which contains glycol ether, the Charleston Gazette's Ken Ward Jr. reported.

"We have to go back and confirm things and make sure we're doing our due diligence for public health," said Gen. James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard. Officials are confident that the West Virginia American Water Co.'s treatment plant near the Elk River likely removed the PPH during normal treatment operations since the spill.

Local businesses remain closed and unable to serve food and water InCharleston, W.V., Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 after a chemical spill Thursday in the Elk River that has contaminated the public water supply in nine counties. Frustration is mounting for many of the 300,000 West Virginia residents who've gone ten days without clean tap water.

Restrictions on using tap water were lifted for most of the affected residents by Friday. W.Va. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin addressed ongoing concerns on Monday, saying, "If you do not feel comfortable drinking or cooking in this water, then use bottled water." He added, "I'm not going to say absolutely, 100 percent that everything is safe. But what I can say is if you do not feel comfortable, don't use it."

The company behind the spill, Freedom Industries, has filed for bankruptcy.

This is what happens when there are no, or lax, regulations on business.    They screw up and foul the water supply and declare bankruptcy and get the hell out of dodge leaving the citizens holding the bag.

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Former ENRON Lobbyist to Challenge Senator Mark Warner

Former ENRON Lobbyist to Challenge Senator Mark Warner

                                          Ed Gillispie   and   George W Bush

                                 Ed is doing a hell of a job.  

Ed Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman, has told senior members of his party that he will challenge Senator Mark R. Warner of Virginia and announce his candidacy as early as next week, giving Republicans a first time office seeker foe a  candidate in what has become one of the nation’s most competitive swing states.

The bid by Mr. Gillespie, a longtime party operative turned lobbyist with ties to both Republican grass-roots and establishment wings, also underlines the intent of more mainstream Virginia Republicans to retake control of the party from athe Tea Party.   The Tea Party backed and ran the candidate that lost the governorship.

Gillespie begins the race as a pronounced underdog.   Mr. Warner, a former governor now in his first Senate term, is the most popular politician in Virginia, and has $7.1 million in his campaign account and access to millions from his personal fortune.  But Republicans in the state believe that, because of resistance to the new health law and President Obama’s declining popularity that voters will forget the superior job Mark Warner has done for Virginia and vote for the former RNC chairman.

In Mr. Gillespie, Republicans have a viable candidate who can raise the money needed to run in a large state and mount a serious campaign in a contest they had thought to be out of reach.   Virginia Republicans, mirroring the party’s national struggle, are suffering from deep ideological rifts between the Tea Party activists, personified by last year’s losing candidate for governor, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, and their traditional, business-oriented wing.

“Ed brings a long record in the conservative movement and a national profile to a party that’s looking for unity and a lot of resources,” said Pete Snyder, who narrowly lost the Republican nomination to run for lieutenant governor last year.

Mr. Gillespie declined to comment.  

Even with all his experience in politics, serving as a congressional aide and a counselor to President George W. Bush, Mr. Gillespie has never been a candidate.   He will embark on a campaign when, for the first time since 1969, Virginia Republicans hold no statewide office, and voters know far less about him than about Mr. Warner.   It is unknown if former president George W. Bush will stump for Mr. Gillespie in Virginia.

And before he can try to unseat the incumbent, Mr. Gillespie first has to overcome any suspicions among conservatives about his long history as a lobbyist, and his stance as an unapologetic supporter of a comprehensive immigration overhaul.    There are already two announced, though little-known, Republican candidates running for the nomination, which will be decided in June at a convention in Roanoke.

Mr. Gillespie, who opposes abortion rights and is conservative on most other issues, is running on the belief that he can unite the party in a way that did not happen last year.   He has been reaching out to some of Virginia’s conservative activists since Election Day, sounding them out and asking for their support.   Mr. Gillespie represents that he can seperate himself from the hard core views of Ken Cuccinelli and appeal to moderate republicans.

Mike Farris, a conservative who once ran for statewide office and is now a top figure at Patrick Henry College and the National Home School Legal Defense Association, said he had talked to Mr. Gillespie “several times” in recent weeks and was open to what he called the former party chairman’s “steep uphill but possibly winnable” candidacy.   There are no good candidates so we might as well go with Gillespie, we should not allow Warner to run unopposed.   He should at least have to work a bit for his victory.

“Anybody associated with the national Republican hierarchy is a little bit suspect,” Mr. Farris said.  “Sometimes that’s fair, it is certainly warented.    He’s going to have to prove he’s not the same as the rest of the Washington Republican establishment.”    The Tea Party won't accept Mr. Gillespie if he is just another of the Washington Republican establishment.   His connections as a advisor to GW Bush doesn't help.

Mr. Gillespie has also sought out Morton Blackwell, Virginia’s longtime national Republican committeeman and conservative movement stalwart.    “I have encouraged him to run, and I have told some others that I have encouraged him to run,” said Mr. Blackwell, who has known Mr. Gillespie since the candidate-to-be was an aide to the former House majority leader Dick Armey.

Republicans, both in Virginia and in Washington, partly blame the party’s choice of a hard-liner-dominated nominating convention over a primary last year for the losses by each of their three nominees for statewide office.   But in a state where there is no registration by party, the bulk of the state party’s governing board would prefer to stick with conventions to ensure that conservative candidates win.    So it was notable when Mr. Gillespie reached out late last year to one conservative activist who sits on the state party’s governing board to make it clear that he would not try to engineer a switch to a primary in 2014.

“That spoke volumes to me, that he would respect the party and not try to get involved,” said the member of the Virginia Republican central committee, who later added, “I really think he is our only shot.”   We don't want anybody to change the way we do things in the republican party in Virginia.   We may lose another election but at least we stand for something and that's what the Tea Party is all about.

Mr. Gillespie, is a former state party chairman and has begun lining up his team, retaining the ad-maker, pollster and campaign manager from indicted former Governor Bob McDonnell’s campaign.

Mr. Gillespie’s lobbying career, which included representing Enron, the notorious Texas energy company, is his most significant vulnerability.   “The likelihood that he will be embarrassed by this race is at least as great as the likelihood that he will run a respectable race,” said Geoff Garin..   Translated if you are on the ballot you have some chance of winning.

Ellen Qualls, a Virginia Democratic strategist who previously worked for Mr. Warner, noted that “Virginians have known Mark Warner since 1996,”  when he made the jump from working in politics to candidate by taking on the Republican senator at the time, John Warner.   The current Senator Warner did better than he was expected to do that year, setting himself up to run for governor in 2001.

GOP’s electoral vote scheme likely illegal in Virginia

A scheme under consideration in Virginia to rig the Electoral College in Republicans’ favor could well violate a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, experts on the law say.    But that very provision is itself under challenge by the GOP, and could be struck down by the Supreme Court later this year.

A Republican bill that would allocate Virginia’s electoral votes based on the popular vote in each congressional district cleared its first hurdle in the state legislature Wednesday.    Had the bill been in effect in the last election, Mitt Romney would have won 9 of Virginia’s 13 electoral votes, despite losing the popular vote in the state to President Obama by nearly 5 percentage points.

Republicans have raised versions of the idea in several other blue states where they currently have state-level control, including Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.    If all four states approved the plan, future GOP presidential candidates would get a major—and anti-democratic—leg up.

But in Virginia, where the plan has advanced the furthest, several voting-rights experts told it could be on shaky legal ground. Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act requires certain states, including Virginia, to clear any voting changes with the U.S. Justice Department.    If the Feds find that the change would have a “retrogressive effect” on minority voters, they can block it.

“Does this change make African-American voters worse off than they were before?” asked Daniel Tokaji, a prominent election-law scholar and a professor at Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University, laying out what he said was the key legal question at issue. “It’s hard to argue it doesn’t.”

“I think there’s a very strong argument to be made that this change has a retrogressive effect on African-American voters in particular and perhaps Latino voters as well,” Tokaji reiterated, adding that the issue had been a subject of online discussion among election-law experts in recent days.

Brenda Wright, a top lawyer at Demos and an expert on voting rights, agreed. “I think there would be strong arguments” that the change harmed minority voters, she said.

And Gerald Hebert, a veteran election lawyer and the former acting head of the Voting Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, offered further support for that view.     “Any move to reallocate electoral votes on the basis of congressional districts—especially in states with sizeable minority population—raises potential violations of the VRA [Voting Rights Act],”    Hebert wrote in an email to

Because Section 5 only covers states and jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination, it doesn’t apply to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan or Wisconsin.     Tokaji and Wright both said it might be possible to challenge the efforts there under a different section of the Voting Rights Act, but it would be a much heavier lift, in part because the burden of proof would be on those challenging the law.
  By contrast, under Section 5, Virginia would have the burden of proving that the change didn’t hurt minority voters.

On its face, that seems like a difficult argument to make. By switching to a system based on congressional districts, the plan would drastically reduce the power of the state’s African-American voters, who tend to be packed into a small number of districts.
That’s why civil-rights groups are up in arms.  The NAACP’s Wade Henderson, on msnbc’s The Melissa Harris-Perry Show Sunday, called it “a diabolical scheme.”

But opponents of the plan won’t want to count on Section 5—because it may not be around much longer.    The Supreme Court has said that this session, it will take up a challenge to the provision, being brought by Alabama and other southern states, who argue that the progress they’ve made since the 1960s on civil rights means it’s no longer needed.    The Roberts Court hasn’t generally been supportive of voting rights, and many court observers expect Section 5 could be struck down.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on Section 5 in June. There could be even more than we thought riding on that decision.

Late Update, 2:25pm:    A Virginia Republican on the committee set to consider the Electoral College change, State Sen. Ralph Smith, says he opposes it.     Smith’s opposition, along with that of all Democrats, would ensure the bill dies in committee.

Now that Bob and Maureen McDonnell have been indicted, the legal proceedings are just in the early stages.

                     The Faces of Republican Corruption

The McDonnells will be arraigned Friday, which is when they will have to enter a guilty or not guilty plea.

So far, they're maintaining their innocence.

The 43-page indictment details the charges against the McDonnells in the case of the United States of America vs. Robert F. McDonnell and Maureen G McDonnell.

In response, the McDonnells have filed two motions.

One asks prosecutors to release all evidence that could actually show the McDonnells are innocent, while the other, asks for information on the grand jury proceedings.

Both Bob and Maureen McDonnell are both charged and could face separate judgment.

The indictment makes it seem as if Maureen was very involved in a lot of the discussions with Jonnie Williams, but right now, it's not clear if the dots all connect.

"What you see is a pattern of behavior, where there were gifts made, and then soon after that, it appears certain actions were taken, but it's not completely clear those actions were taken in the official capacity of the governor. I think that's what their primary defense will be here," said P. Marshall Yoder, a legal analyst.

That's the quid-pro-quo in the case.

Jonnie Williams is a witness in the case and has been granted immunity, which is why the indictment has so much information.

Possible punishment of several decades in prison and more than a Million dollars in fines but 5 to 7 is probable sentence with a quater Million dollar fine.     McDonnell is the first Governor to fail so miserably in service to the state.

 Good Luck and God Speed Gov. McAuliffe

 Gov. Terry McAuliffe promised fiscal discipline but also a continued push for Medicaid expansion in a speech that capped his first full business day on the job Monday, seeking to strike a bipartisan tone in a divided Capitol.

Appearing before a joint session of the House and Senate two days after he was sworn in as Virginia’s 72nd governor, McAuliffe (D) used his speech to continue the balancing act he will have to pull off to get anything through a GOP-dominated House and a Senate where control is in flux.

 Much of his speech stressed his commitment to expanding and diversifying the state’s economy. He announced two already hatched economic development deals and vowed to preserve the state’s sterling bond rating, all easy sells to Republicans.

Yet he also hit upon priorities popular with his liberal base. In addition to expanding Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor, McAuliffe voiced support for gay rights and abortion rights as well as the Dream Act, particularly its provision to allow the children of some illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.

“As we launch this new chapter in our history, let us resolve to show the partisans in Washington and across the nation that here in Virginia, in a commonwealth that pioneered government by consensus, there is no challenge too great, no debate too intractable and no idea too ambitious that we cannot come together on common ground to build the future our families deserve,” McAuliffe said.

The governor also announced goals of preserving 400,000 acres of farmland and open space, expanding broadband service to rural communities and taking partisan politics out of the redistricting process.

House Majority Leader M. Kirkland Cox (R-Colonial Heights) was put off by McAuliffe’s calling for action on Medicaid this session.

“I was disturbed by that,” Cox said. “He threw down the gauntlet.”

The speech was the highest-profile moment of a day that began for McAuliffe at 4 a.m. — with the jolt of an alarm clock set as a prank by his predecessor, former governor Robert F. McDonnell (R), who also positioned a taxidermy bear to greet McAuliffe in the

governor’s office bathroom.

McAuliffe went on from there to hold his first Cabinet meeting at 9 a.m.

“He said, ‘Thank you for the great work on the transition,’ and then it was basically on to business,”said spokesman Brian Coy.

Going around the conference table, each Cabinet secretary discussed whatever was on his or her front burner.

The Cabinet meeting took place in the conference room in McAuliffe’s ceremonial offices in the third floor of the Capitol. The new governor bounced throughout the day between that office and his other office, on the third floor of the Patrick Henry Building, a short walk away on Capitol Square.

About a half-hour before the General Assembly gaveled into session, McAuliffe stopped in at the Capitol to visit with Republican and Democratic legislators in their closed-door caucus meetings.   His entrance prompted applause on both sides of the aisle.

He also spent part of the day preparing for the speech, which he used to announce that Carnival cruises would return next year to Norfolk.   He also announced that Telos, a cybersecurity company, will invest $5 million in its Loudoun County operations, creating 160 high-tech jobs.    And he revealed that he had directed his transportation secretary to develop a plan to revise the tolling schedule for the Midtown Tunnel Project in Hampton Roads.

After delivering the speech in the Capitol, McAuliffe was scheduled to host a reception in the Executive Mansion for all 140 legislators.

Also in the Capitol Monday, Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam (D) gaveled the Senate into session for the first time since his swearing-in on Saturday.    A pediatric neurologist from the Eastern Shore, Northam shook the hands of blue-blazered Senate pages on his way up the carpeted steps to the rostrum.

Legislators had red fleece blankets on their desks when they reported to the chambers Monday, each emblazoned with an image of the Capitol and the words “Inauguration of Virginia’s 72nd governor Terry McAuliffe.”

“Is this a trap?” joked Sen. Richard H. Black (R-Loudoun), referring to the new attention on gift-giving to state officials in the wake of a gifts scandal that consumed McDonnell’s last year in office.

McAuliffe has imposed a $100 limit on gifts to members of the executive branch, and legislators are widely expected to impose limits on themselves before the session is up.

“Please tell me this is not valued at more than $100,” said Sen. Thomas A. Garrett Jr. (R-Louisa), who promptly gave his blanket away to a Senate page.

McAuliffe may be just what Virginia needs following the last four corrupt years of the McDonnell administration.     Good Luck and God Speed Terry.


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