Keeping In Touch with politics and other issues in Central Virginia .....The Virginia 22nd Senate District and The 6th Congressional District......Vote Democratic for a Better Future....Protect Your Benefits

Democratic Committee Meeting

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Sky Is Falling, There is No Freedom Left

Right Wing Conservative Republicans like Cliven Bundy are Mentally Ill.

Nothing unusual about Calvin Bundy, he's a right wing republican nut job.   Right here at home in Virginia's 5th and 6th Congressional districts there are thousands just like him.   The main difference is they don't have cattle that they are grazing on federal lands for free.   Beyond that their thoughts and beliefs are exactly the same as Cliven Bundy's.   They hate the poor, minorities and anyone the slightest bit different from them.   So as you read about Cliven Bundy don't make the mistake of thinking he is anything special.   Look around you will see him everywhere that republicans hold political power.

 Almost overnight, Cliven Bundy became a hero of the anti-government right wing after his armed standoff against the Bureau of Land Management, to which he owes over $1 million in grazing fees.    Fox News’ Sean Hannity has lavished praise on the Nevada rancher, who has also elicited support from several Tea Party lawmakers.

Unfortunately for conservative politicians trying to elevate him as a patriot battling government overreach, Bundy is using his new national platform to argue that black people were better off as slaves.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,”  Bundy said at a news conference on Saturday, recounting how he had seen black people in a public housing project in North Las Vegas. “Because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?”  he asked.   “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton.    And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are 
they better off under government subsidy?   They didn’t get no more freedom.   They got less freedom.”

After the comments broke, a few of Bundy’s prominent supporters immediately set about distancing themselves.

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), who called Bundy a patriot last week, was the first to denounce the comments;   his spokesman told the New York Times the senator   “completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.”    Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) was quick to follow:   “His remarks on race are offensive and I wholeheartedly disagree with him,”   he said in a statement.    Neither man faced the cameras and delivered the message personally.    Both Senators hid behind statements released by their spokesmen.

Others, however, haven’t said a word.    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) also rose to Bundy’s defense earlier this week.     “I have a problem with the federal government putting citizens in the position of having to feel like they have to use force to deal with their own government.    That’s the bigger issue,” Perry said Wednesday.     Cruz called the standoff “the unfortunate and tragic culmination of the path that President Obama has set the federal government on.”    Perry said he had not yet heard Bundy’s 
comments Thursday morning, and Cruz has stayed quiet thus far.

Conservative pundit Dana Loesch even stuck to Bundy’s defense, arguing Thursday that he simply lacks media training.    There is no escaping the knowledge that conservative thoughts are symbolic of mental illness.

This cycle has become all too familiar when it comes to conservative media symbols.    Conservative media and lawmakers rallied around Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson after he was suspended from A&E for making offensive comments about gay people and African Americans.    In fact, Robertson sounded a lot like Bundy when he asserted that African American sharecroppers were  “singing and happy”    in “pre-entitlement, pre-welfare” America.    Joe the Plumber, the Republican hero of the 2008 presidential campaign, also used his platform to amplify racist speech, reposting an essay claiming that “wanting a white Republican president doesn’t make you racist, it just makes you American.”

Bundy, meanwhile, is reportedly asking the New York Times to retract his musings on black America, insisting,  “I’m not racist,” but was just  “wondering” if they are better off without slavery.   The Bundy Ranch Facebook page agreed:    “Cliven is a good man, he loves all people, he is not a racist man.   He wants what’s best for everyone and free grazing for his cattle.”

Conservatives and Fox News Turn on Bundy

Fox News now calls Bundy an Ignorant Despicable Repugnant Racist.   That's a big drop from the Conservative right wing hero Bundy was just a few hours ago.

Since Wednesday night, when the New York Times published Cliven Bundy's observations about "the Negro"—including his musing that African Americans were better off as cotton-picking slaves than they are today—conservative pundits have scrambled to distance themselves from the Nevada rancher, whose recent standoff with federal officials over grazing fees on public land became a rallying cry for anti-government conservatives.    Fox News host Sean Hannity, who had vociferously championed Bundy as a hero, kicked off his Thursday show by slamming Bundy for his "ignorant, racist, repugnant, despicable" remarks.

Bundy defended his initial comments on Thursday saying,  "If they think I'm racist, they're totally wrong…Again, I'm wondering are 

they better off under the old system of slavery or are they better off under the welfare slavery that they're under now.    You know, 
I'm not saying one way or the other."     And on Friday morning, he told CNN that he didn't see a problem with using terms like "Negro" or "boy" for black people.   "If those people cannot take those kind of words and not be (offended), then Martin Luther King hasn't 
got his job done yet,"   he told anchor Chris Cuomo.

Meanwhile, Bundy's daughter, Shiree Bundy Cox, is striking back at conservatives who have turned tail on Bundy, especially Hannity.    In a Facebook post Thursday night, she accused Hannity of abandoning her father and pandering to ratings.    Here's a snippet:

    I'm sure most of you have heard the news about my dad being called a racist.   Wow!    The media loves to take things out of context don't they?    First off I'd just like to say that my dad has never been the most eloquent speaking person.   Like someone said, he's a Moses who needs an Aaron to speak for him.    This is true. Second, however, is that the media has turned this into a circus side show.    It's like their trying to throw us off the real subject.    Why was this ever even brought up?    What does this have to do with 
land rights issues?    Sean Hannity was all for reporting the happenings at the Bundy Ranch until this popped up.   I wonder if someone hoped it would be that way…  By the way, I think Mr. Hannity is more worried about his ratings than he really is about what my dad said.    If he supports a supposed racist, what will that do to his ratings?    He's already lost his  #1 spot on Fox.

Cox, who is one of 14 children, also suggested that the controversy concerning Bundy's racist comments had somehow been 
orchestrated to undermine her father's cause:

Glenn Beck was never 100% on board with my dad, but now he has an excuse to distance himself even farther.    Could there be 
people out there who want it that way?    Get the un main stream media out of the way from reporting this situation in a positive 
light and the battle is more than won for the opposing side… Again I'd like to ask, "What does my dad's opinion on the state of the 
Blacks on welfare have to do with the land rights issue?"   Nothing! It's a detouring tactic.     It's taking away from the real issues 
and what has been accomplished.    The mainstream media want this to happen to make people deviate from the real important things and focus on a comment that has absolutely no relevance.    It's a tactic that has been used for decades.    I hope people will see this for what it really is.

While she came down hard on his critics, Cox's defense of her father was not so fierce:   "Is my dad a racist.   No, I really don't 
think so.   Could he have said what he means with a little more tact?    Sure he could have.    But most of all, should it even be an issue 
right now?    Nope."  

One wonders why Bundy threw his thoughts on this issue into the conversation.    It's not like someone else made the quotes up and credited them to Bundy though Bundy did try to pretend that was what had happened until the video appeared and proved him to be making up a story.

Conservatism as a Mental Disease

Conservatism, as a political attitude, is defined by the desire to conserve and is reflected in a resistance to, or at least suspicion of, change.   However, although the desire to resist change may be the recurrent theme within conservatism, what distinguishes conservatism as an ideology from rival political creeds is the distinctive way in which this position is upheld.    The central themes of conservative ideology are tradition, human imperfection, organic society, authority and property.   For a conservative, tradition reflects the accumulated wisdom of the past, and institutions and practices that have been 'tested by time';   it should be preserved for the benefit of the living and for generations yet to come.   Conservatives view human nature pessimistically in at least three senses.    First, human beings are limited, dependent and security-seeking creatures; second, they are morally corrupt, tainted by selfishness, greed and a thirst for power; third, human rationality is unable to cope with the infinite complexity of the world (hence the conservative faith in pragmatism and their preference for describing their beliefs as an 'attitude of mind' rather than an ideology).    The belief that society should be viewed as an organic whole implies that institutions and values have arisen through natural necessity and should be preserved to safeguard the fragile 'fabric of society'.

Conservatives view authority as the basis for social cohesion, arguing that it gives people a sense of who they are and what is
expected of them, and reflects the hierarchical nature of all social institutions.    Conservatives value property because it gives
people security and a measure of independence from government, and also encourages them to respect the law and the property of

However, there are significant divisions within conservative thought.    Authoritarian conservatism is starkly autocratic and
reactionary, stressing that government  'from above'  is the only means of establishing order, and thus contrasts with the more
modest and pragmatic Anglo-American conservatism that stems from the writing of Edmund Burke (1729-97).    Paternalistic conservatism draws upon a combination of prudence and principle in arguing both that  'reform from above'  is preferable to  'revolution from below',  and that the wealthy have an obligation to look after the less well-off, duty being the price of privilege.   Such ideas were most influentially expressed by Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81).    This tradition is most fully developed in the form of One Nation conservatism, which advocates a 'middle way' approach to state-market relations and gives qualified support to economic management and welfarism.    Libertarian conservatism advocates the greatest possible economic liberty and the least possible government regulation of social life, echoing laissez-faire liberalism, but harnesses this to a belief in a more traditional, conservative
social philosophy that stresses the importance of authority and duty. This tradition provided the basis for New Right theories and values.

Conservative ideas and doctrines first emerged in the late eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century.    They arose as a reaction against the growing pace of economic and social change, which was in many ways symbolised by the French Revolution (1789).

In trying to resist the pressures unleashed by the growth of liberalism, socialism and nationalism, conservatism stood in defence of an increasingly embattled traditional social order.   Authoritarian conservatism took root in continental Europe but was increasingly marginalized by the advance of constitutionalism and democracy, and eventually collapsed with the fall of fascism, with which it had often collaborated.   The Disraelian form of conservatism ultimately proved to be more successful, using Burke's notion of 'change in order to conserve', it allowed conservatism to adapt values such as tradition, hierarchy and authority to the emerging conditions of mass politics, thereby broadening its social and electoral base.

Conservatism's remarkable resilience stems from its ideological caution and political flexibility, enabling it, at different times, to embrace welfarist and interventionist policies as manifestations of the One Nation ideal, and to advocate 'rolling back the state' as recommended by the New Right.

Conservative thought, however, has always been open to the charge that it amounts to nothing more than ruling class ideology.    In
proclaiming the need to resist change, it legitimises the status quo and defends the interests of dominant or elite groups.    Other
critics allege that divisions between traditional conservatism and the New Right runs so deep that the conservative tradition has
become entirely incoherent.    In their defence, conservatives argue that they merely advance certain enduring, if at times unpalatable, truths about human nature and the societies we live in.    That human beings are morally and intellectually imperfect, and seek the security that only tradition, authority and a shared culture can offer, merely underlines the wisdom of  'travelling light'  in ideological terms.    Experience and history, conservatives warn, will always provide a sounder basis for political action than will abstract principles such as freedom, equality and justice.    Conservatism represents  a flexible set of values that the ruling class change at will as the need to maintain power dictate.     It is rooted in the fear of others taking their posessions away from them and is therefore a position of weakness.

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News



Friday, April 11, 2014

Amherst Dems, 4-10-14 Meeting

Ned invited guest speakers, Claudia Tucker and John Marks.    Both members of the Board of Supervisors.  The general theme for the evening was "Democracy is All Local" and the supervisors fielded questions on a wide array of subjects.   If you weren't there you should have been.    You missed a good one.   
               Ned Kable and Claudia Tucker
                      John Marks and Ned

  From this point on just Photos of AM DEMS

Please plan to attend our regular monthly second Thursday meetings and plan to come to dinner so we can exchange ideas.    

Please note that the May and June meetings will be at Merredith’s Restaurant, 1558 Dixie Airport Rd., Madison Heights.   We’d like to hold meetings throughout the County, and look to you for suggestions on sites.

Second Thursday of each month, BE THERE.

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Louie Gohmert Represents Tyler Texas

Louie Gohmert is to the knuckle dragging residents of East Texas what Bob Goodlatte is to the knuckle dragging right wing republicans in the hill country of Amherst County.

                    Crazy Amherst Bob
                    Crazy Texas Louie

Louis Gohmert doesn't need evidence.   He doesn't need proof, or sourcing, or the ability to back up a claim with anything other than the vitriol in his voice and the consternation in his gut.  All he needs is an idea, and a microphone, and away we go.

Gohmert's idiocies idiosyncrasies have brought plenty of poor repute to his Tyler-based district, comprising 12 counties that have been as satisfied with Gohmert's run as a dung beetle is with the massed, messy ball it enjoys rolling around.   And Gohmert's latest outburst -- alleging that the Obama administration isn't simply kowtowing to the Muslim Brotherhood, but that they've actually infiltrated his rank -- fits wonderfully within his trend of head-in-the-sand statements that make people wonder why anyone would choose to actually live in Texas.

It's a shame that Gohmert won't be around when future textbooks remind children of how studiously stupid you can look when you fail to corroborate claims with attendant evidence.   However, with this list of the five most imbecilic things Gohmert's ever asserted, here's hoping he may have some taste as to how future generations will view both him and those who've decided to reelect him ad nauseum:

5.   While discussing the putative reality that caribou, for some reason that only a rural Texan representative could fathom, enjoy the warmth of an oil pipeline:   "So when [caribou] want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline. ... So my real concern now [is] if oil stops running through the pipeline ... do we need a study to see how adversely the caribou would be affected if that warm oil ever quit flowing?"

I'm pretty sure that the only thing we'd need a follow-up study on, Mr. Gohmert, is whether you have cracked a lone biology book within the past few decades, or if you'd like to cite, I don't know, a single study purporting to back up the notion that a warm pipeline -- a warm pipeline -- will expedite the mating rituals of ungulates.   (Or have you ever even encountered the word "ungulate" before?)  Fortunately, George HW Bush had a thought along the same lines, saying,  "The caribou love [the pipeline].   They rub against it and they have babies."   Fair enough, Mr. President.   Whatever you say.

4.   After the massacre in Aurora, Colo., Gohmert determined that the cause of James Holmes's rampage wasn't, say, mental health issues, or some form of social trigger -- but, rather, that he didn't have the appropriate fear of a vengeful, unforgiving God: 

"You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place. ... We've threatened high school graduation participations, if they use God's name, they're going to be jailed ... I mean that kind of stuff.   Where was God?   What have we done with God?   We don't want him around.   I kind of like his protective hand being present."

Right, Louie. I'm sure your God took such great offense to being taken out of the valedictory remarks that he let 12 people get gunned down.   I'm sure your God is such an egoistic priss that he decided to get back at us for not being the sufficiently pious nation we once were -- what, like when we legally sanctioned Jim Crow?    or when your state employed human chattel?   or when we snapped every antebellum treaty signed with a Native American tribe? -- that He said, No, fine, James, this is all you, whatever you want.   I'm sure that's how your Judeo-Christian God works.   He has feelings too, you know.

3.   When nominating Florida Rep. Allen West as Speaker of the House ... after West had already lost his reelection bid.   (Louie didn't so much say as anything terribly heinous this time around, but it was certainly one of the most moronic moves he's yet made. 

West, well-known for being nearly court martialed for firing a gun past an already-held suspect's head in Iraq, was one of the scummier politicians recently in the House.   Gohmert couldn't get enough of him.)  

2.   Last week, Gohmert went to WorldNetDaily, one of the only conspiracy sites giving Alex Jones a run, to spout, once more, a belief that the enemies have already reached our shore:    "This administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America."

"So many," he says.   This administration, this claque pushing into a second term the predominance of the American people demanded, has "so many Muslim Brotherhood members" within it.   Not that he'd like to name any other than, say, Huma Abedin, the former Hilary Clinton aide that Gohmert and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann determined was a mole last summer.    Ted Cruz has already grabbed the mantle of Modern McCarthyism, so Gohmert has to conduct a few House hearings before he can threaten Cruz's position.   But he's on his way.   Proof is for the weak.   Slander is for the successful.   And it's high-time the administration of the B. Hussein Gang is revealed for the anti-American, pro-Allah clique it is.

1.   Much like Houston's own State Rep. Debbie Riddle, Gohmert is convinced, all evidence otherwise, that there are terrorist organizations -- somewhere, somehow -- concocting schemes to send their pregnant Black Widows to our American shores, spawning natural-born terrorists, and then using them and their US Citizenship Cards, decades on, to decimate the land we call home:    "[The children] could be raised and coddled as future terrorists [and] twenty, thirty years down the road, they can be sent in to help destroy our way of life."

As before, Gohmert seems interminably incapable of citing any forms of evidence. The man's rhetorical devices are as hollow as they are unbearable;  he'd be laughed out of any courtroom and debate society the nation over.   Fortunately, we have video evidence of Gohmert squaring against his dearth of evidence, and if you'd like to spend 10 minutes of your life gnashing your teeth while Louie provides ample fodder for future Americans to continue mocking Texas's 1st District, it is available:

Rep. Gohmert's Record For Stunning Technological Ignorance Is Broken By... Rep. Gohmert

             Tyler Texas Village Idiot

My goodness.   Earlier we posted about Rep. Louis Gohmert's incredible, head-shakingly ignorant exchange with lawyer Orin Kerr during a Congressional hearing concerning "hacking" and the CFAA.   In that discussion, Gohmert spoke out in favor of being able to "hack back" and destroy the computers of hackers -- and grew indignant at the mere suggestion that this might have unintended consequences or lead people to attack the wrong targets.   Gohmert thought that such talk was just Kerr trying to protect hackers.

I thought perhaps Rep. Gohmert was just having a bad day.   Maybe he's having a bad month.   In a different hearing, held yesterday concerning ECPA reform, Gohmert opened his mouth again, and it was even worse.   Much, much worse.   Cringe-inducingly clueless.

The short version of this is that he seems to think that when Google has advertisements on Gmail, that's the same thing as selling all of the information in your email to advertisers.   And no matter how many times Google's lawyer politely tries to explain the difference, Gohmert doesn't get it.   He thinks he's making a point -- smirking the whole time -- that what Google does is somehow the equivalent of government snooping, in that he keeps asking if Google can just "sell" access to everyone's email to the government.   I'm going to post a transcript below, and because I simply cannot not interject how ridiculously uninformed Gohmert's line of questioning is, I'm going to interject in the transcript as appropriate.

 Rep. Gohmert:   I was curious.   Doesn't Google sell information acquired from emails to different vendors so that they can target 
certain individuals with their promotions?

Google lawyer whose name I didn't catch:   Uh, no, we don't sell email content.   We do have a system -- similar to the system we 
have for scanning for spam and malware -- that can identify what type of ads are most relevant to serve on email messages.   It's an 
automated process.   There's no human interaction.   Certainly, the email is not sold to anybody or disclosed.

    Gohmert:   So how do these other vendors get our emails and think that we may be interested in the products they're selling. 

Okay, already we're off to a great start in monumental ignorance.    The initial question was based on a complete falsehood -- that 
Google sells such information -- and after the lawyer told him that this is not true, Gohmert completely ignores that and still 
asks how they get the emails.   It never seems to occur to him that they don't get the emails.

Google lawyer:   They don't actually get your email.   What they're able to do is through our advertising business be able to identify keywords that they would like to trigger the display of one of their ads, but they don't get information about who the user is or any...

Gohmert:   Well that brings me back.   So they get information about keywords in our emails that they use to decide who to send 
promotions to, albeit automatically done.   Correct? 

NO. Not correct.   In fact, that's the exact opposite of what the lawyer just said. Gohmert can't seem to comprehend that Google 
placing targeted ads next to emails has NOTHING to do with sending any information back to the advertiser.   I wonder, when Rep. Gohmert turns on his television to watch the evening news, does he think that the TV station is sending his name, address, channel watching info, etc. back to advertisers?   That's not how it works.   At all.   The advertisers state where they want their ads to 
appear, and Google's system figures out where to place the ads.   At no point does any information from email accounts go back to 
anyone.   And yet Gohmert keeps asking.

And not understanding the rather basic answers.   Unfortunately, the lawyer tries to actually explain reality to Gohmert in a 
professional and detailed manner, when it seems clear that the proper way to answer his questions is in shorter, simpler sentences 
such as:   "No, that's 100% incorrect."

Lawyer:   The email context is used to identify what ads are most relevant to the user...

Gohmert:   And do they pay for the right or the contractual ability to target those individuals who use those keywords?

Lawyer:   I might phrase that slightly differently, but the gist is correct, that advertisers are able to bid for the placement of advertisements to users, where our system has detected might be interested in the advertisement.

Gohmert:   Okay, so what would prevent the federal government from making a deal with Google, so they could also "Scroogle" 
people, and say  "I want to know everyone who has ever used the term 'Benghazi'"  or  "I want everyone who's ever used... a certain 
term."   Would you discriminate against the government, or would you allow the government to know about all emails that included 
those words? 

Okay, try not to hit your head on your desk after that exchange.    First, he (perhaps accidentally) gets a statement more or less 
correct, that advertisers pay to have their ads show up, but immediately follows that up with something completely unrelated to that.   First, he tosses in "Scroogled" -- a term that Microsoft uses in its advertising against Gmail and in favor of -- 
suggesting exactly where this  "line"  of questioning may have originated.   Tip to Microsoft lobbyists, by the way:   if you want to put Google on the hot seat, it might help to try a line of questioning that actually makes sense.

Then, the second part, you just have to say huh?   The lawyer already explained, repeatedly, that Google doesn't send any information back to the advertiser, and yet he's trying to suggest that the government snooping through your email is the same thing... and Google somehow not giving the government that info is Google "discriminating" against the government?   What?   Really?

Lawyer [confounded look]  Uh... sir, I think those are apples and oranges. I think the disclosure of the identity...

Gohmert:   I'm not asking for a fruit comparison.   I'm just asking would you be willing to make that deal with the government?   The 
same one you do with private advertisers, so that the government would know which emails are using which words. 

Seriously?   I recognize that there are no requirements on intelligence to get elected to Congress, but is there anyone who honestly could not comprehend what he meant by saying it's "apples and oranges"?   But, clearly he does not understand that because not only does he mock the analogy, he then repeats the same question in which he insists -- despite the multiple explanations that state the exact opposite -- that advertisers get access to emails and information about email users, and that the government should be able to do the same thing.

 Lawyer:   Thank you, sir. I meant by that, that it isn't the same deal that's being suggested there.

 Gohmert:   But I'm asking specifically if the same type of deal could be made by the federal government?   [some pointless rant 
about US government videos aired overseas that is completely irrelevant and which it wasn't worth transcribing]   But if that same 
government will spend tens of thousands to do a commercial, they might, under some hare-brained idea like to do a deal to get all 
the email addresses that use certain words.   Couldn't they make that same kind of deal that private advertisers do? 

Holy crap.   Gohmert, for the fourth time already, nobody gets email addresses.   No private business gets the email addresses.   No private business gets to see inside of anyone's email.   Seeing inside someone's email has nothing to do with buying ads in email. If the government wants to  "do the same deal as private advertisers"  then yes it can advertise on Gmail... and it still won't get the email addresses or any other information about emailers, because at no point does Google advertising work that way.

 Lawyer: We would not honor a request from the government for such a...

Gohmert:   So you would discriminate against the government if they tried to do what your private advertisers do? 

No.  No.  No.  No.  No.  The lawyer already told you half a dozen times, no.   The government can do exactly what private advertisers do, which is buy ads.   And, just like private advertisers, they would get back no email addresses or any such information.

 Lawyer: I don't think that describes what private advertisers...

Gohmert:   Okay, does anybody here have any -- obviously, you're doing a good job protecting your employer -- but does anybody 
have any proposed legislation that would assist us in what we're doing? 

What are we doing, here?   Because it certainly seems like you're making one of the most ignorant arguments ever to come out of an 
elected officials' mouth, and that's saying quite a bit.   You keep saying "private advertisers get A" when the reality is that 
private advertisers get nothing of the sort -- and then you ignore that (over and over and over and over again) and then say "well 
if private advertisers get A, why can't the government get A."   The answer is because neither of them get A and never have.

Gohmert:   I would be very interested in any phrase, any clauses, any items that we might add to legislation, or take from existing legislation, to help us deal with this problem.   Because I am very interested and very concerned about our privacy and our email. 

If you were either interested or concerned then you would know that no such information goes back to advertisers before you stepped into the room (hell, before you got elected, really).   But, even if you were ignorant of that fact before the hearing, the fact that the lawyer tried half a dozen times, in a half a dozen different ways to tell you that the information is not shared should have 
educated you on that fact.   So I'm "very interested" in what sort of "language" Gohmert is going to try to add to legislation that 
deals with a non-existent problem that he insists is real.

Gohmert:   And just so the simpletons that sometimes write for the Huffington Post understand, I don't want the government to have all that information.

Rep. Sensenbrenner:    For the point of personal privilege, my son writes for the Huffington Post.

Gohmert:   Well then maybe he's not one of the simpletons I was referring to.

Sensenbrenner:   He does have a Phd.

Gohmert:   Well, you can still be a PHUL. 

Har, har, har... wait, what?   So much insanity to unpack.   First of all, Gohmert seems to think that people will be making fun of him 
for suggesting that the government should "buy" access to your email on Google.   And, yes, we will make fun of that, but not for the reasons that he thinks they will.   No one thinks that Gohmert seriously wants the government to buy access to information on Google. 

What everyone's laughing (or cringing) at is the idea that anyone could buy that info, because you can't.   No private advertiser.   No 
government.   It's just not possible.

But, I guess we're all just "simpletons."

Seriously, however, we as citizens deserve better politicians.   No one expects politicians to necessarily understand every aspect of 
technology, but there are some simple concepts that you should at least be able to grasp when explained to you repeatedly by experts. When a politician repeatedly demonstrates no ability to comprehend a rather basic concept -- and to then granstand on 
their own ignorance -- it's time to find better politicians.   Quickly.

The voters in Texas and the voters in the 6th district of Virginia owe it to humanity to not elect fools to be their representatives in Congress.

Senate Republicans Block Paycheck Fairness Act For Third Time

             Mitch Leads Filibuster

Senate Republicans blocked a vote on Wednesday to open debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would hold employers more accountable for wage discrimination against women.   The Senate voted 53 to 44 to move forward on the bill, falling short of the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.

The bill would prohibit retaliation against employees who share their salary information with each other, which supporters say would eliminate the culture of silence that keeps women in the dark about pay discrimination.   It would also require the Department of Labor to collect wage data from employers, broken down by race and gender, and require employers to show that wage differentials between men and women in the same jobs are for a reason other than sex.

All Republicans present and one Independent, Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), voted against proceeding to debate the bill.   All Democrats and Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) voted in favor.

"At a time when the Obama economy is already hurting women so much, this legislation would double down on job loss, all while lining the pockets of trial lawyers,"  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said before the vote.   "In other words, it's just another Democratic idea that threatens to hurt the very people that it claims to help."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) criticized McConnell's caucus for opposing the bill.

"Are they so repulsed by equal pay for hardworking women that they'll obstruct equal pay for equal work?"   he said Wednesday before the vote.   "I'm at a loss as to why anyone would decline to debate this important issue."

The bill is part of the Democrats' larger policy push, ahead of the November election, to increase economic security for women, which includes proposals to raise the minimum wage, allow workers to earn a certain amount of paid family and sick leave and expand affordable childcare and pre-Kindergarten for working parents.

"This is not just an issue of fairness,"  President Barack Obama said in a speech on Tuesday.   "It’s also a family issue and an economic issue, because women make up about half of our workforce and they’re increasingly the breadwinners for a whole lot of families out there.   So when they make less money, it means less money for gas, less money for groceries, less money for child care, less money for college tuition, less money is going into retirement savings."

U.S. Census Bureau data shows that women who work full-time earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar men earn in a year.  When you compare women and men with the same education and experience levels working the same jobs, the pay gap shrinks, but there is still an unexplained gap of 7 to 9 percent, economists estimate, suggesting persistent pay discrimination against women.

Most Republicans in Congress object to all of the Democrats' proposals related to women's economic security.    Senate Republicans have blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act twice before, claiming that it will only result in more lawsuits against employers.    GOP lawmakers slammed the Paycheck Fairness Act again on Tuesday, calling it "condescending" to women.

"Many ladies I know feel like they are being used as pawns, and find it condescending [that] Democrats are trying to use this issue as a political distraction from the failures of their economic policy," Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), the GOP conference's vice chair, said Tuesday at a press conference.

Equal pay advocates expressed their dismay after Wednesday's vote, suggesting the consequences will be felt in November.

"Today's vote is a disappointment for women and families across the United States. Considering the impact of the gender pay gap, 
it's mystifying that the Senate can't even agree to debate it!"  said Lisa Maatz, the vice president of government relations at the 
American Association of University Women.    "That's what happened today –- GOP senators essentially filibustered equal pay for women. 

Given the size of the gender voting gap, Republicans are foolish to cede this issue to Democrats."

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Next Meeting 4-10-14 Amherst County Democrats

Our next meeting: April 10, 2014

Join us at our next meeting!

Dear Fellow Democrats:

Our next Meeting is coming up on Thursday April 10th, and will again be held at What a Blessing Bakery.   Our guest speakers will be 

Amherst Supervisors Claudia Tucker and John Marks.   I have asked them to outline what they believe the longer term objective of the Board should be, how current Board decisions help us get there, and how we as concerned citizens can be a part of the process.

There will be a buffet dinner available at $15 per person from 6 pm to 7 pm, a brief business meeting at 7 PM, including a report from Skipper Fitts on the first meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee, following which our speakers will take the floor.   I hope this will encourage dialog on how we can work with local officials to make Amherst a better place to live and work.

Please email me at or phone me at 434-989-2846 if you plan to have dinner so that I can give What a Blessing a head count.

Please plan to attend our regular monthly second Thursday meetings and plan to come to dinner so we can exchange ideas.   Please note 

that the May and June meetings will be at Merredith’s Restaurant, 1558 Dixie Airport Rd., Madison Heights.   We’d like to hold 
meetings throughout the County, and look to you for suggestions on sites.


Ned Kable, Chair-Amherst Democrats

Mark Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2008, and serves on the Senate Finance, Banking, Budget, and Intelligence committees.   During his time in the Senate, Senator Warner has established himself as a national leader in efforts to find bipartisan consensus to create balanced solutions to reduce the federal debt and deficit.   He also has been a champion for military men and women, their families, and our military veterans.  Senator Warner also is a leader in Congress in efforts to promote private-sector innovation and to help our nation's small businesses and start-up companies succeed.

Senator Warner is a leader in seeking bipartisan compromises to try and break through Congressional gridlock.  He organized the Senate's Gang of Six, which has worked since 2011 to find a bipartisan path towards responsible deficit and debt reduction, and he has reached across the aisle to co-sponsor numerous bills with Republican colleagues.

Senator Warner’s business experience has informed his work towards leaner, more efficient government.   He was chosen by his 
colleagues on the Budget Committee to lead a bipartisan task force to eliminate unnecessary program overlap and wasteful duplication within the federal bureaucracy, and he has introduced bills to measure and eliminate waste in federal agencies. 

As the senior senator from Virginia, a state with a proud history of military service and a large population of service members, their families, and veterans, Senator Warner has been a strong advocate for the men and women of our armed forces.    He has intervened to improve older, dilapidated military housing in Hampton Roads and to combat the use of toxic drywall in military and civilian housing.   His efforts also prompted the Veterans Administration to significantly improve its services to female military veterans. 

Senator Warner has acted swiftly and decisively to resolve issues in the Commonwealth that demanded his immediate attention.  

After two Virginia Air National Guard pilots blew-the-whistle on chronic safety concerns with the new F-22 stealth fighter jet, Senator Warner intervened to protect the pilots from reprisals and prompted the Air Force to step-up its investigation into the cause of the F-22 safety issues.   He also mobilized several of Virginia’s leading technology companies to correct mistakes and mis-management discovered at the Army’s Arlington National Cemetery. 

From 2002 to 2006, Senator Warner served as Governor of Virginia, where he worked in a bipartisan way to turn record budget deficits into a surplus.   Governor Warner also focused on improving public education and expanding economic opportunity in every region of the state.   He recruited 135,000 new jobs to Virginia during his four-year term.   When Governor Warner left office in 2006, Virginia was consistently recognized as the nation’s “best-managed state," the “best state for business” and the state offering the best educational opportunities to its young people.

Before entering public office, Senator Warner was an early investor in the cellular telephone business.   He co-founded the company 
that became Nextel, and ultimately made early investments in hundreds of start-up technology companies that have created tens-of-thousands of private sector jobs.

Senator Warner, his wife Lisa Collis, and their three daughters live in Alexandria, Virginia. 

Mark Warner is a GREAT Senator, let's work to keep him.

Duck Dynasty Congressman In Sex Scandal

Rep. Vance McAllister (R-LA), a first-term conservative congressman elected in a November special election, was shown in a romantic embrace with a staff member on a video tape released Monday.

The Duck Dynasty congressman got caught sticking his beak in the wrong place.

Rep. Vance McAllister, a freshman Republican elected in a November special election with the support of the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty, is already in a political scandal and asking forgiveness from his constituents.    McAllister, a family values social conservative, was caught on camera apparently making out with his scheduler, Melissa Peacock, in the hallway of his Monroe, Louisiana, district office.   In what appears to be the building's security footage, the newly elected congressman seems to be cannoodling with Peacock, who was a max donor to McAllister's special election campaign. 

The scandal could make re-election far more difficult for McAllister.    He won in a special election upset over State Senator Neil Riser, who was considered the establishment GOP candidate.   The district, where President Obama only won 38% of the vote in 2012, is not considered competitive for Democrats.

Sadly for McAllister, newly elected Louisiana Republican hasn't even seemed to be enjoying his job so far.    In January, the Shreveport Times reported that McAllister said that his job "sucks [and] it ain't no fun."

In a statement, McAllister said:

"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness.   I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve.       Trust is something I know has to be earned whether your a husband, a father, or a congressman.    I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I've disappointed.   From day one, I've always tried to be an honest man.    I ran for congress to make a difference and not to just be another politician.    I don't want to make a political statement on this, I would just simply like to say that I'm very sorry for what I've done.    While I realize I serve the public, I would appreciate the privacy given to my children as we get through this."

         Adolf Hitler waves to his GOP buddy Foster Friess

Major GOP Donor Sends Out Obamacare Hitler Parody

Foster Friess, a major Republican donor, sent out a "humorous parody" video on Monday of Hitler complaining about Obamacare.

What could go wrong sending out a "humorous parody" of Adolf Hitler complaining about his Obamacare?

The idea certainly didn't raise any red flags for Foster Friess, the conservative billionaire and Rick Santorum backer in 2012 who 
sent a "Humorous Parody of Hitler Realizing He Can’t Keep His Doctor Under ObamaCare" to his email list on Monday afternoon. 

The video, features a clip from the 2004 German movie "Downfall" of Hitler realizing that all was lost while his Berlin bunker. 

However, the subtitles have been changed to show the genocidal German dictator complaining that he was being forced to see a Jewish doctor, Dr. Feingold, for his prostate screening instead of Dr Steiner under Obamacare.   Hitler then rages that he was told that if he liked his plan, he could keep it.   The video ends with Hitler noting that "Obama now has a growing integrity gap.    His poll 
numbers are plummeting."    It ends with the Nazi leader mournfully noting "there's no way we can pin this one on Bush."

This isn't Friess's first brush with controversy.    The conservative donor famously said on live television in 2012 that "You know, 
back in my days, they'd use Bayer aspirin for contraception.   The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn't that costly."  

With gaffes like these, it just may be that Friess's political talents are better suited to simply writing checks than to writing emails as well.

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News

Blog Archive