June 2006 Archives

Below is Senator Cuccinelli's latest email update:

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Dear Fellow Republicans,

Well, we FINALLY have a budget. I’m not comfortable with how much the government is growing, particularly given that we did not shift more of our spending over to transportation. HOWEVER, we did NOT raise taxes and we did finish before the end of the fiscal year.

Our fiscal year ends on June 30th – Friday! We literally came within days of starting our next fiscal year without a budget (that has never happened in the 387 year history of the Virginia legislature). Thankfully, all parties came to an agreement before we went over that cliff… one that Gov. Kaine would have been perfectly happy to see us careen over as he sat back and laughed at the GOP-controlled legislature.

We are scheduled to go back on July 24th to continue the discussion about transportation… stay tuned!

The rest of the Cuccinelli Compass is continued below, check it out to see the good Senator discuss his 5 potential challengers and the Democrats' first test-poll in preparation for 2007, and then click here to support one of Northern Virginia's finest.

Vernon Robinson for Congress

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Yeah, he's in another state, but watching this advertisement might inspire you to overlook such parochial concerns.
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I didn't know anything about him until 10 minutes ago when that link landed in my inbox, but he seems to be on the right side of the issues.

Go here to contribute.

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NOVA Town Hall has heard rumblings that Governor Kaine is planning on offering a cabinet position to Senator Nick Rerras (6th District) to get him out of the Senate.

Will Senator Rerras accept such an offer? Which Democrats and Republicans will seek to replace him?

Local media coverage of HelpSaveLoudoun

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The local write up on last week's NOVA TownHall/HelpSaveLoudoun is now up at the Loudoun Connection Web site. After the meeting some attendees and I were talking about the media coverage. I was told that anything short of being branded as Nazi's would be stunningly positive.

Terrorists and their supporters in the U.S. just won a significant victory in the U.S. Supreme Court in the Hamden case.

Background from the liberal sympathizers' viewpoint here.

Current discussion here.

UPDATE: Good discussion at Lucianne.com. I'll be interested in getting NR's take on this when he gets back, but it seems like this decision could result in less prisoners being taken (read that however you wish).

UPDATE II: Some intelligent discussion here. Slightly less intelligent, here.

UPDATE III: Needless to say, Glenn Reynolds has some interesting links; in particular this take from the counterterrorism blog declaring the decision a 'gift' to the Bush administration.

UPDATE IV: Our alert commenters have pointed out my blanket insinuation "liberals support terrorists" is not entirely true. For the record, I do not believe every single liberal in the whole wide world supports every single terrorist. Such a statement would be plain silly. For instance, I have no idea what any liberal thinks about the Tamil Tigers.

What I should have said was "Islamic terrorists and their supporters in the U.S...": because these have a common enemy, which puts them in many ways on the same "team," because as everyone knows Islamic terrorism, to the extent it even exists, was caused by George W. Bush. This began when Yasser Arafat and others - witnessing the bureaucratic largesse that enabled George W. Bush to skate by with light duty in the Air National Guard, accurately predicted the ease with which Bush would later steal the U.S. presidency and coax leaders of both parties to support an unjustified war in Iraq - formed the Black September group which erupted onto the world stage at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The process continued in the early 1990s when Osama bin Laden - observing the effectiveness with which Texas Rangers Managing General Partner George W. Bush compelled the people of Arlington to foot the bill for a new stadium, accurately predicted that Bush would later convince the American people to support an unjustified war in Iraq - became radicalized. This short sentence is included here for reasons of style. But while I think there is evidence of liberal support for Islamic terrorists, I do not think it is unqualified support in the sense that I think most liberals believe that when George W. Bush is no longer president, Islamic terrorism will disappear from the Earth, except maybe in the occupied portions of Palestine, where it serves a needed purpose. I apologize for the sweeping generalization of my initial post, and I hope this explanation clarifies everything so that our liberal commenters and I are now on the same page. Thank you.

From the Washington Post, it looks like Buckley v. Valeo is here to stay, but the Supreme Court does seem to have finally reached a level of normal commonsense conservatism that most of us can live with. This article is fairly well-written and offers some interesting insight into what we may see out of the court in the future on issues affecting campaign contributions. Also, it was good to see the court smack around one of Howard Dean's crazy Vermont laws. And one more thing, what has happened to Stephen Breyer?

Border Fence Update

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The welcome news this week is that the U.S. Senate may finally be getting it with regard to securing our southern border as one of the prerequisites for any future "immigration reform."


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Here is a boots-on-the-ground report from the folks who at long last are doing the job the U.S. government has failed to do. This is the latest Guard the Borders report from Euphoric Reality.

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The following article is reprinted with permission via Minuteman HQ email.

An Update from the Minuteman Fence Project Manager

First, let me say thanks to the brave ranchers who are stepping up to put their lives on the line to stop the illegal invasion. They live and work within spitting distance of the Mexican border every day. These brave men and women are working side by side with Minutemen in this war zone they call home, allowing us to secure America.

Second, let’s be clear. Not every single mile of the border or every ranch or rancher is the same. The full-on Israeli-style Security Fence is our primary design and first choice for construction. However, when circumstances dictate adjustment to a Border Fence with barbed wire and a vehicle barrier or another design to meet local requirements, we will make the necessary adaptations—and keep building.

Read the details about the fence, below the fold.

Congratulations to Sean Connaughton for his presidential appointment... this is great news for him personally and it opens up the chairmanship for a solid slow-growth fiscal conservative.

Spin and speculation has already begun... with Too Conservative seemingly firing the first salvo in his attempt to pull a "Chapman" on conservative Supervisor Corey Stewart. While their preference for the more “moderate” Republicans is well know... there really is no basis to claim "Only Supervisors Nohe and Covington will be able to win a general election.”

I tend to agree more with Not Larry Sabato’s thoughtful analysis… with the exception of his claim that Stewart is the front runner (with this kind of race anything can happen and there really isn’t a front runner yet).

We here at NOVA Town Hall look forward to watching as this interesting race unfolds.

From the latest VCAP email, discussing the budget and the usual Chichester absurdity:

The House Republicans ignored the name calling and stood firm. They stood on principle. They would not yield.

Why this amazing turnaround from 2004 when Senator Chichester pushed through the biggest tax hike in history?

It is because of you and VCAP.

The full update is below the fold...

The Supreme Court has validated most of what Tom Delay and the Texas Republicans did in their redistricting with a very small change needed to protect hispanic voting rights.

Here's what I found most interesting about the decision:

On a different issue, the court ruled that state legislators may draw new maps as often as they like — not just once a decade as Texas Democrats claimed. That means Democratic and Republican state lawmakers can push through new maps anytime there is a power shift at a state capital.

Any thoughts?

This might work.

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As reported by the Washington Times, key Republican Senators are considering postponing their amnesty program until after the borders have been secured. It will be interesting to see if this can pass the full Senate and whether this is sufficient to lure the House onboard.

Are black Americans supporting more and more pro-life candidates? Via Life News:

Dr. Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., notes that abortion has disproportionately affected the black community. While black women constitute about 13% of the childbearing population, they have over one-third of the abortions.

The abortion rate of black women is three times higher than that of white women and 60% of African-American women who become pregnant will have an abortion. More than 14 million abortions have been done on black women and abortion businesses are frequently located in minority communities.

"I join the voices of thousands across America who can no longer sit idly by and allow this horrible spirit of murder to cut down," King says. "If the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is to live, our babies must live."

Meanwhile, polls show black Americans are pro-life and supporting pro-life candidates in greater margins than before.

Given Democratic Nominee Jim Webb's lackluster performance in Virginia's black communities during the primary, his opposition to defending marriage as one-man and one-woman with the Virginia Marriage Amendment (which is extremely popular in ethnic and minority communities), and his opposition to commonsense pro-life legislation... will he be able to regroup and capture enough (probably meaning 90+%) of the black vote to compete with Senator George Allen, who supports marriage and pro-life legislation?

While Pat Robertson has made himself more and more of an embarrassment nationally, Jerry Falwell has been working hard to make himself somewhat more legitimate. The following is from one of his emails:

Throughout our nation an effort is afoot to eradicate our religious freedoms. This isn’t an idle claim. To illustrate how our religious freedoms are being attacked, I want to highlight just a few of the many cases in which our religious rights are under fire.

As I mentioned in an earlier column, businessman Tim Bono was told by the Arlington (Va.) County Human Rights Commission that he must duplicate pro-homosexual videos even though doing so would counter the Christian standards he had established for his business. Thankfully, with the help of Liberty Counsel, Mr. Bono filed a complaint with the commission and the complaint filed by a lesbian activist was dismissed this week. Liberty Counsel will now proceed with the suit that challenges the commission’s authority to recognize “sexual orientation” as a civil right.

In San Diego, a three–judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to stay a federal district judge’s order to remove the Mt. Soledad Cross, meaning the city must remove the historic cross by August 1, or face fines of $5,000 per day. The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been fighting to save the cross since 2004. Richard Thompson, the Law Center’s president and chief counsel, said, “It is an outrage and insult not only to Christians, but people of all faiths, that this memorial site to our veterans and fallen war heroes would be desecrated by removal of a universally recognized symbol of sacrifice just because one atheist was upset about it.”

A federal judge in Sacramento this week dismissed atheist Michael Newdow’s lawsuit against the national motto, “In God We Trust.” In the present case, Newdow v. Congress, Newdow argued that having to use money inscribed with the national motto offends him and is unconstitutional. While this is an encouraging win, the effort to purge even innocuous references to God from the public square continues. Barry Lynn of the high-profile Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has admitted that his organization wants to eliminate phrases like “In God We Trust” from our currency.

In Henderson, Nevada, a high school senior had her microphone unplugged by school officials after she mentioned her Christian beliefs and quoted the Bible in her valedictory address a few days ago. The Rutherford Institute says it will file a First Amendment lawsuit against the school district for violating Brittany McComb’s constitutional right to free speech and equal protection under the law. “This is yet another example of a politically correct culture silencing Christians in order to not offend those of other beliefs,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. (Similar occurrences have taken place in other American high schools.)

In Atlanta, Alliance Defense Fund attorneys have filed suit in defense of FAA employee Larry Dombrowski who was suspended without pay for expressing his religious beliefs and views on homosexual behavior at work. “Religious employees, including those of the federal government, are not second-class citizens,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Kevin Theriot. “No government employer is permitted by the Constitution to silence speech in the workplace just because it expresses religious views.”

In Whittier, Calif., elementary school officials backed down after earlier telling Christian students they could not sing a religious song in a talent show. After saying the song was “not appropriate,” the school backed down after receiving a legal demand letter from the Pacific Justice Institute. The students represented their school’s Good News Club, a nationwide after-school program which encourages kids in their faith. PJI staff attorney Matthew McReynolds, who wrote to the school on the students’ behalf, said, “The Supreme Court has said this isn’t all that complicated—schools don’t endorse everything they fail to censor. Student-initiated _expression, including talent shows, is clearly protected by the First Amendment and cannot be excluded just because it’s religious.” Still, education officials across this nation continue to target Christian students who attempt to voice their beliefs at school.

I could quite literally write all day giving examples of religious persecution in our nation. Our Founding Fathers would be disgusted with this effort to exterminate religious _expression in the public square. Thank God there are courageous individuals like those listed above who are willing to fight for their rights. And thankfully the organizations listed above, and many others, are working to preserve our rights. Without them, America would be lost in a sea of abject secularism.

REMINDER: All Falwell Confidential readers are invited join us in Lynchburg, Virginia for Thomas Road Baptist Church’s Golden Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, July 2. The service will feature the Grand Opening of the new 6000-seat TRBC sanctuary and the one-million-square-foot educational, worship and recreational facility. The Grand Opening service will be held from 10:30 a.m.–noon, and will feature the music of Charles Billingsley, Guy Penrod (of the Gaither Vocal Band) and the seven Penrod boys. I will bring a special message. An old-fashioned Independence Day Celebration will follow, from 2 p.m.-10 p.m., on the adjacent grounds of Liberty University’s Williams Football Stadium. There will be a host of rides and games for all ages, lots of great food and fellowship, as well as tours of the campus and the new TRBC. Then at 10:00, we will launch Central Virginia’s most magnificent fireworks display on Liberty Mountain. Join us for this special very day!

Anyone need more proof that there is religious persecution of Christians in this country?

CQ Politics has changed its rating of Virginia's 2nd Congressional District race from "Republican Favored" to "Leans Republican":

The early skirmishing between freshman Republican Rep. Thelma Drake and Democrat Phil Kellam, a well-known local official in the district’s population center of Virginia Beach, signals a contest that is more competitive than initially expected in the Republican-leaning 2nd. This, in turn, has spurred CQPolitics.com to change its rating to Leans Republican from Republican Favored.

The changed rating means that Drake still has an edge, but that the contest should be close. The change also places Virginia 2 among the most highly competitive races in the nation. There are now three dozen contests in CQ’s most competitive categories of “No Clear Favorite” and “Leans” Republican or Democratic: 25 of these races are for seats held by Republicans, while 11 are for those held by Democrats.

Good to know that talented politico Tim Murtaugh is at the helm of the Drake campaign as things tighten up.

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Via Life News we learn more about the Gates Foundation's support of abortion-on-demand and the impact William Buffett's massive donation.

The donation causes huge concerns for pro-life advocates as the Gates Foundation has given the Planned Parenthood Federation of America abortion business almost $12.5 million since 1998, including funds to persuade teenagers to support abortion and to lobby the United Nations to advance pro-abortion proposals.

The Gates foundation has also given nearly $21 million to the International Planned Parenthood abortion business over the last seven years. The funds have gone to promote abortions in third-world nations and to set up pro-abortion family planning centers in South America, Africa and eastern European nations.

Bill Gates and his wife have also spent millions promoting abortion closer to home.

Their foundation has given nearly $2 million to Planned Parenthood of Central Washington and Planned Parenthood of Western Washington to fund abortion centers. The Gates Foundation also gave the Planned Parenthood Federation of Canada more than $1.3 million to promote abortions there.

The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing.

-4 USC Sec. 8

Too Conservative has brought to our attention that US Senate Candidate Webb will not support an amendment against desecration of the US Flag.

For a long time, I was undecided on this issue. Then, some time ago, I had a discussion with my father, a retired Army Major, that removed my indecision. He pointed out to me that the traditional use of flags has been to mark territory. Flags used in battle were a primary method of determining victory and captured territory for either side:

For centuries the nature of warfare centered around capturing the flag of the enemy. It didn't matter how many soldiers were killed, wounded, or captured in a battle. Victory only came when the flag was captured. Likewise, the only way to avoid being defeated was to protect your own flag.

Of course, modern warfare no longer abides by these standards. However, a national flag is still more than just a symbol…it is an institution in itself. Think of those who gave their life...not just for what the flag stands for...but literally to protect the flag itself. Burning the US flag is not a form of free speech (in fact it is not “speech” at all). In the eyes of this vet, it is an attack on America itself.

James Webb, God Bless him for his sacrifice and service to America, has forgotten what he has sworn to protect.

Check out this post on Shaun Kenney's website (and the interesting comment thread within).

Cardinal Rode, the Pope, and the Catholic Church are deserving of praise for their rock-solid rejection of the plague of moral relativism and their strident defense of family and marriage. The Holy Father was dead accurate when he said the following only hours before being chosen as the Successor of the Apostle Peter:

We are moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.

I encourage everyone to engage in the dialogue going on in Sean Kenney's comment thread. While the principal argument in defense of marriage (and family) is wholly secular, it is nonetheless important to understand and appreciate religious angle in which many people approach this issue in their daily lives.

Things are still way too hectic but I am hoping be back in full force on the blog soon. In the meantime I did want to toss up a quick post regarding this article by Robert Novak.

Supporters of a constitutional amendment to keep the courts from legalizing homosexual marriage, stunned by poor support in the recent Senate vote, are beginning a campaign for a constitutional convention.

The provision of the Constitution's Article V requiring such a convention if called by two-thirds of the state legislatures has never been used. Fear of throwing the Constitution open to general amendment has overridden support for specific issues. However, key advocates of barring gay marriages believe the constitutional convention strategy will keep the issue alive.

I haven't heard much about this approach... but with 20 states having passing state Marriage Amendments by an average of 71% this could be a viable option (but I am not yet convinced it is the best approach). Without getting too deep into a debate on same-sex marriage itself or the value of the federal Marriage Protection Amendment… what do you think of this approach?

Note to commenters: Outwitting the Movable Type spam filter

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Here's the deal. Apparently, the built-in Movable Type comment spam filter kicks in when a comment contains links enclosed in html brackets, using the helpful html instructions at the top of the comment box.

The solution is to just paste in your links. They still end working as hyperlinks in the comment thread.

For example, the following usage may invoke the comment spam filter:

Women who can kick my butt intrigue me.

But the following would not:

Women who can kick my butt intrigue me
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2006/06/23/apop.DTL

It does not show up as a hyperlink above, in this regular post, but in the comments (at least in Mozilla) it does. And even if it didn't work in another browser, everyone knows how to cut and paste a link so no big deal.

I expect this will be helpful for Movable Type users everywhere who have not already figured it out.

Just when you thought it was safe....

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...Charles is back! So the discussion continues...

That comment thread has not yet been rated, because I'll be away from the computer running around suburbia all day.

Old Dominion Brewing Company Brewfest, 2006

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If trying lots of different kinds of beer, and having to work a little for each 6 ounces, sounds like fun, you should head over to the Old Dominion Brewfest this weekend.

You have to use these little 6 ounce glasses, and then buy round pogs - tokens - for a dollar a piece, and then trade one pog for one fill up at any of about 50 microbrewery exhibits. The basic drill is, go though the line, trade a pog for a fill up, then get in another line and drink and chat until you get to the next keg. The timing works out just about right, I found.

I'm no longer a beer drinker, so I only tried a few, and anyways that is not what I am here to report about.

The focus of my report tonight is, how life is just a little bit cuter when you're a Republican.


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BREAKING NEWS:

Donkey Cons (BUY TWO) has just received a tape containing the 12th Imam of Kosistan's latest fatwa!!

Yeah, John Kerry, pulling out the troops arbitrarily really worked in Vietnam. I think this is a political mistake on the part of Dems to put a withdraw the troops bill out if they weren't going to speak with one voice. You can read the Washington Times story here.

Below is a press release from Lt. Governor Bill Bolling on the new state budget. His comments (not to mention his work on behalf of Virginia's taxpayers) have already won him praise from Bacon's Rebellion, where they said: "Rarely have I seen a public official hit so many of the right notes regarding transportation in such a short space." Check it out:

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The Bolling Report: June 21, 2006
GENERAL ASSEMBLY FINISHES WORK ON NEW STATE BUDGET

After 161 days of trying, the Senate and House of Delegates have given final approval to a new state budget for the 2006/2008 biennium. The budget will now be communicated to Governor Kaine for his consideration. The General Assembly will return to Richmond on June 28th to consider the Governor’s budget amendments.

This year’s budget impasse was precipitated by a debate over whether or not it was necessary to raise taxes to increase funding for highway construction projects in Virginia. For several months the Governor and Senate insisted on higher transportation taxes, but the House of Delegates steadfastly refused to consider any tax increases.

The primary obstacle to a budget agreement was removed on May 23rd when the Senate passed a budget that eliminated any reference to transportation tax increases. Since then budget negotiators have been working to resolve other differences in the budgets that had been adopted by the respective bodies of the General Assembly.

The budget adopted by the General Assembly will fully fund the core responsibilities of state government. For example, the budget will:

*Provide an additional $1.56B for direct aid to localities for public education. It also includes more than $240M in additional funding for Virginia’s colleges and universities

*Provide over $90M to open four new correctional facilities, $10M to fill 70 State Trooper vacancies, and significant additional funding to enhance Virginia’s sex offender registry and implement a more aggressive post discharge monitoring program of violent sexual offenders

*Provide $222M to clean up Virginia’s waterways - $200M to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and another $22M to meet water quality challenges in the Southern Rivers Watershed.

*Provide a 4% salary increase in 2007 for state employees, state supported local employees and public school teachers

The budget also makes some important investments in transportation. While there was no agreement on a long term transportation plan, budget negotiators did agree to set aside $336M in surplus money to provide a one time shot in the arm for critical transportation projects.

In addition, the budget adopted by the Senate and House of Delegates will fully eliminate the death tax in Virginia effective July 1, 2007. The death tax is a very unfair tax that should have been eliminated long ago. I call on Governor Kaine to join me in pledging his support to this important initiative. Virginia’s families, family farmers and small business owners will be watching to see if the Governor will stand on their side in this important debate

All in all, the budget adopted by the General Assembly is a sound one. It relies on economic growth to fund the core responsibilities of state government, targets investments to critical service areas, eliminates the death tax and does not include higher taxes.

Much has been written about the disagreements that prevented the General Assembly from reaching a budget agreement prior to now. While we all wish that this process would have been resolved much earlier than it was, in the final analysis the General Assembly did its job and produced a budget that will help build a better Virginia.

Obviously, the debate over additional funding for transportation is not over. It is possible that the General Assembly will have to return to Richmond later this year to continue its discussion over the adoption of a long term transportation plan. If not, this issue will be with us again in 2007.

While I fully support efforts to make a significant ongoing investment in transportation, I remained convinced that we can do this without raising taxes. With Virginia’s economy continuing to grow at a very rapid rate, we can increase funding for transportation without raising taxes if we are prepared to direct our resources to our highest priorities.

There may be other acceptable ways to provide additional funding for critical transportation projects, such as the use of tolls to help pay for projects that are constructed through the Public Private Transportation Act. However, I do not see any appetite at the legislative level for higher taxes.

As the debate over building a transportation system for the 21st century continues, we must also remember two other important areas – improving efficiency within the Virginia Department of Transportation and doing a better job linking land use planning and transportation planning at the local level.

In summary, I congratulate the members of the General Assembly for reaching a budget agreement that funds the core responsibilities of state government without raising taxes, and for including the elimination of the death tax in this agreement. I have enjoyed working with them throughout this process, and I look forward to working with them in the future.

Help Save Loudoun Public Meeting

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NOVA TownHall held a joint meeting with Help Save Loudoun on Tuesday, June 20 in Sterling. Despite the fact our meeting room was canceled less than two hours prior to the event because a car ran into the library's electrical transformer, we were able to find a new location close by and had over 30 local residents in attendance.


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This was the kick-off public meeting for Help Save Loudoun, the next-door extension of Help Save Herndon, the grassroots citizens' group which garnered international attention for helping to overturn the town government of Herndon, Virginia in May, 2006, after Herndon's mayor and a majority of town council members appropriated taxpayer dollars to fund a day labor center for illegal migrant workers. Loudoun County abuts the western edge of Herndon.

Attendees (here, with one of my favorite people in the world, former Herndon Town Council Member Ann Null) discussed local problems such as zoning and overcrowding violations, and the negative impact on local workers caused by businesses that hire illegal aliens.


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"Help Save Loudoun will assist local residents with reporting and tracking overcrowding and zoning violations, but it's also the first step in creating a new political body for influencing our elected officials in Loudoun and the state of Virginia," said member Diane Bonieski. "It's a group of citizens saying 'enough is enough.' You're welcome to come, but you have to follow the rule of law."

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WMD's in Iraq

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Where has this story been hiding for the last two years?

When 'Wrong' Doesn't Mean 'I Condemn Thee'

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This is going to be the continuation of the mother of all gay marriage comment threads, because that one is just getting WAY too long. I'm not even going to try and summarize it except to say it is a very wide ranging debate, of varying emotional intensity, on the topics of gay 'marriage' and homosexuality in general. Get yourself a nice keg of root beer and a wheelbarrow full of peanuts, and go read it if you haven't already. If you just want to get up to speed on the following part of the discussion, scroll to the bottom and read the last 8 or 10 posts.

Now: When you last saw us, I had jumped into a debate I wasn't really part of to say I thought the accusation of 'homophobia' was being bandied about too generously. I was asked to explain my personal feelings about homosexuality, which I did as honestly as possible.

This, apparently, is rarely done, and judging by the incensed responses, I believe we have officially named reason number 224 that "Joe will never run for public office."

This is unfortunate, however, because as with so many debates today, most of the screeching is over misreadings or misrepresentations of what was actually said.

Pseudonymous commenter Zimzo's final remark was


Sorry, Joe, but there is a huge difference between not wanting to BE homosexual and thinking homosexuality is WRONG. There are plenty of straight people who support gay marriage, who don't think there is anything wrong with homosexuality, morally or otherwise, and can even watch "Brokeback Mountain" without turning their eyes away in disgust.

Pseudonymous commenter Gnossis' final remark was

Again, Joe, why dwell on the physical aspect of a gay relationship? What one does sexually in the privacy of his/her home is hardly of your or my concern. Can you somehow tie this back into your reason for outlawing a loving, monogamous relationship between two consenting individuals of the same sex?

Click on the link below to read my response, and for much more of my ranting and raving about homosexual sex.

It's really sad to watch the Protestant denominations race to see who can become the most out of touch with their own parishoners. The Presbyterians and especially the Episcopalians are at it again.

UPDATE:

I'm still not sure if the Episcopalian leadership is listening, but it's a small step in the right direction.

I was forwarded the below email (apparently being circulated last week) from former 10th District Chairman candidate Heidi Stirrup regarding to the horrendous manner in which the 10th District Convention was run. For more information on the convention please see NOVA Town Hall’s extensive live coverage here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Dear friends:

It is with great sadness that we find ourselves having to appeal the illegal actions that took place at the 10th District Convention on May 20, 2006. If we do not challenge and appeal these illegal actions, we will signal our approval of a Convention held contrary to the State Party Plan. If we do not challenge or appeal, we will only encourage even more abusive actions and illegal behavior in the future, which could lead to a breakdown in our Party order and Party unity. If we do not challenge or appeal, the abusers of the Convention delegates will go unpunished.

Among other abuses, delegates made motions that were in order, but were illegally ruled out of order. Delegates who had the only microphone in the Convention Hall were physically removed from use of the microphone and yelled at by the illegally elected Temporary Chair during a proper motion. Delegates who challenged credentials of Democrats and other supporters of Republican opponents were denied a full hearing.

These kinds of actions violated Roberts Rules of Order and because of these illegal actions, the proceedings of the Convention itself are null and void. Our appeal (15 pages) addresses all these issues in detail. In order to submit this appeal, we will need the signature of properly filed Delegates at this convention. The appeal must be filed by this coming Monday.

In the end, what we are fighting for is a Republican Party where Republicans, not Democrats, elect our Party officials and nominees. We also want to see Republican Conventions run by rules, not bulldozed by some who blatantly disregard the rules.

Therefore, if you are interested in signing the appeal, I will need your signature before Monday. You may stop by our house anytime beginning tonight through Sunday night to sign. Thank you for your willingness to stand up for what's right. Of course, feel free to call me or email with questions, comments or concerns. I welcome your views always!

Sincerely,

Heidi H. Stirrup

Heidi is right when she calls to light the egregious violations of Roberts Rules of Order... I was appalled to watch as calls for "division" were repeatedly ignored and nearly every motion made by Stirrup supporters illegally dismissed. Obviously Jim Rich had the votes to win so why run a blatantly illegal convention? It flies in the face of the principles of fairness and inclusion upon which our great Party is built and hopefully Heidi’s appeal can help prevent future Machiavellian abuses.

Charles of Two Conservatives is in a bad way at the moment. Please pay him a visit and send along a good word.

Charles is amazing and I didn't realize just how much until I read about the full extent of his injury.

I say this because Charles spent about four days commenting on this really wide-ranging thread here and his contributions were very substantial. He wrote more in our comments than I have written here during certain months. After presenting a number of thoughtful arguments on the general topic of gay marriage, getting pummelled by some of our other visitors, and coming back for more, he simply noted "I'm laid up."

Well, he really is laid up. He saw fit to jump in and write a ton here when his hard drive broke, then kept writing when HE broke. He never goes begging for links. I strongly urge all of our readers to take a moment to visit the Web site of this incredibly selfless good guy and all-around great American. He just keeps on tickin'.

From all of us at NOVA TownHall: Get well, and thanks, Charles. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you out.

Details can be found here.

When will Virginia enact a similar "Trigger Law" to protect unborn children once Roe v Wade is shot down?

Hallelujah

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The Virginia legislature has finally done its job and agreed to a budget. This is exactly how the last budget showdown should have ended, but I guess one tax increase was enough for the moderates in the House.

We'll just have to wait and see how that special session for transportation goes whenever that happens. I predict a fairly easy win for the forces of darkness as I don't think the House Republicans' unified front will last, but we shall see.

Quite a Marriage Amendment debate

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As a red-blooded American, there's nothing I enjoy more than walking up to another man, jamming my forehead against his, then yellin' at each other for four hours straight.

But even so, the argument going on in Sophrosyne's VA4Marriage post has me impressed and humbled. Anyone interested in the issue will find it well worth reading, but if you intend to get involved plan to have your thinking cap on and sources available for review.

And to clear up the nagging question: I believe Sophrosyne is going to declare itself gender-neutral until November in order to be able to contribute objectively to the ongoing debate.

UPDATE: Jiminy Christmas! In 25 years they will still be teaching graduate-level courses on that comment thread, is my prediction. And not just on the mystery of "Sophie's" sexuality either.

Via the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Webb has interesting and important things to say about the war, and we'll find out if that is the No. 1 issue in Virginia, and how Virginians come down on it, in the coming months. But in terms of domestic policy, of all other nonwar policy, he sounds to me like Nancy Pelosi with medals.

Looks like there might be a deal today on the budget. I guess we can at least hope so.

Yesterday was the groundbreaking on the 9-11 Pentagon Memorial. As a Northern Virginia resident with many friends who work in the Pentagon (and worked there on that September morning in 2001), this issue hits close to home. Please follow the link and do what you can to support the memorial.

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Dear Fellow American,

We all remember where we were on September 11, 2001 when our country was attacked by terrorists. The victims who were murdered that day in the World Trade Center, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and in the Pentagon must never be forgotten.

My younger brother, David Laychak, died that day in the Pentagon attack. He left behind his wife and two young children. His loss is something that will always be a part of their lives and of mine.

Four and a half years ago, friends, acquaintances, even complete strangers were there to provide comfort, solace and friendship during a very difficult time. People still ask what they can do to help. My answer is simple. Help us build the Pentagon Memorial.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Memorial will take place today, June 15, 2006. For the family members who lost loved ones in the Pentagon attack, this is a day we have looked forward to for over four years. Rosemary Dillard lost her husband, Eddie in the Pentagon attack. She shares her thoughts about the memorial, "I live to make sure this memorial is built. I live to see them lift that first shovelful of earth from the ground."

I want to make sure the world does not forget my brother, David and Rosemary's husband, Eddie who are only two of the 184 people who died at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, 59 passengers and crewmembers aboard American Airlines Flight 77 and 125 service members and civilians working in the Pentagon that morning. All the families hope that the completed memorial will be a place where everyone can come to remember, reflect and renew.

Remember the victims who were killed because they were doing nothing other than living their daily lives like you and I do every day.

Reflect on the events that occured that warm September Tuesday morning that have changed our country forever and through this tragedy find solace, peace and healing.

Renew our commitment to build a place where we can honor the family members, friends and colleagues that were lost and come away with a feeling of hope.

My hope is that if your travels bring you to Washington, DC, you will be able to visit this memorial and know that you were a big part of making it possible. Your support today will help us build and sustain the memorial for all to remember, reflect and renew on the events of September 11, 2001.

I wish you and your family well and thank you for your generosity.

Sincerely,

James J. Laychak, President
Pentagon Memorial Fund, Inc.
Brother of Dave Laychak

P.S. You have a unique opportunity to be part of history by helping us build the Pentagon Memorial to remember the innocent victims who were murdered in the Pentagon attack on 9/11. Please help us ensure future generations never forget what happened on September 11, 2001. And please forward this email to all of your friends. Thank you.

P.P.S. We also welcome you to visit our re-designed website, www.PentagonMemorial.net where you can sign up for email updates, see renderings of the Memorial, share your personal story and sign our guestbook.

Everyone should head on over to Commonwealth Conservative and check out the great live-blog with our Attorney General, Bob McDonnell. I asked a few questions, one of which was: "Could you please comment on the Marriage Amendment and the all the hoopla the opponents of the amendment seem to be making about your interpretation as to its affects. What, if anything, will you be doing to support passage of the Marriage Amendment this November?"

Here the AG's reply:

Bob: The Marriage Amendment elevates to Constitutional protection the long-standing view in western civilization that marriage is between one man and one woman. This policy is already embodied in several statutes in Virginia. However, because of several recent United States Supreme Court and other states’ Supreme Court decisions, the legislature correctly believed that state constitutional protection was necessary. The official explanation of the Amendment passed by the General Assembly, upon the advice of this office, as required by law, states clearly that the ordinary civil rights of unmarried persons will not be affected by this Amendment. I strongly support the passage of the Amendment.

I look forward to seeing our AG in person on August 1st when he visits one of our NOVA Town Hall meetups.

NOVA TownHall will be staving off the 'dog days' in DC with a robust summer meeting schedule on a variety of critical issues for residents of Northern Virginia.


Bob-McDonnell_sm.jpg

Our headliner will be Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, who will speak on the topics of the Virginia Marriage Amendment, and Illegal Immigration, on August 1, 2006, 7:00 pm, at the Cascades Library (adjacent to the Cascades Shopping Center in Sterling).

Meeting details here.

Click on the link below for the rest of the NVTH summer meeting schedule.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing June 14 and one of the agenda items was Verizon's application for a cable TV franchise that would allow Verizon "to provide cable television services to residents along with the broadband services and telephone service that they currently have the authority to provide."

(If you're REALLY free at the moment, you can actually go watch the entire meeting, or just skip to the Verizon portion, via the link on this page. That, my friends, is pretty cool technology for a county government.)

Verizon is in the process of laying fiber optic cable throughout portions of Fairfax and Loudoun counties, including Herndon and Sterling. In case you're not familiar with the technology, fiber optic is to normal cable like the Beltway is to Elden Street: They can both carry lots of traffic, but the one carries more than the other. Verizon's FIOS package will provide phone, high definition TV and high speed Internet service on one wire to your house.

For most residents in the Herndon – Sterling area, this means Verizon would provide a cable TV option to compete with your current cable or satellite provider. I can't say whether Verizon's will be better, but it will certainly provide an impetus for the others to optimize their products, pricing and customer service. With more competition, the consumer wins.

Please click the link below for the suspense, the heartbreak, and the thrilling conclusion.

From the Family Foundation:

The Family Foundation: Action Alert: Pro-life Budget Amendments Need Your Support!

The regular session of the General Assembly is over but the work is not done. The details of the 2006-2008 biennial budget are still being debated this week among a select group of legislators chosen to be members of the "Conference Committee." A Conference Committee is formed when the House and Senate cannot come to agreement on a proposal. While much of the attention has focused on tax increases and transportation, there are other issues that we need you to contact these "conferees" regarding!

The House of Delegate's proposed budget includes two amendments that are not part of the Senate budget. As a result, the conferees will make the final decision regarding their inclusion in the final budget.

One amendment would bar taxpayer funding of abortions in Virginia. The Commonwealth annually pays for abortions for women of low-income in certain circumstances through Medicaid. This amendment, proposed by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-13, Manassas), eliminates that funding.

A second amendment, offered by Delegate Vince Callahan (R-34, McLean), would bar taxpayer money from being used for scientific research on human embryos. The debate surrounding the use of human embryos for research is full of misinformation and deception. The fact is that there is not a single treatment or even proposed treatment for any condition that has resulted from embryonic stem cell research. Virginia should focus its research on what works - adult stem cells. In fact, The Family Foundation supports legislation this year that creates a statewide source for adult stem cells, the Virginia Cord Blood Bank Initiative

Together, these amendments would protect taxpayers from funding the destruction of human life.

ACTION: Please contact this year's budget conferees and urge them to keep the amendment stripping abortion funding (4-5.04#2h) and the amendment barring funding of embryonic stem cell research (4-0.01#1h) in the final budget.

This says it all for me about Tuesday aside from the quotes from the people who think Allen is in trouble.

Also, not to contradict high priest of VA politics Sabato, who said, "But Virginians, unaccustomed to June primaries when summer holidays are beginning, rarely turn out in a primary," but didn't we have a June primary last year?

With all the discussion of the Allen-Webb Senate race, let's not forget the Marriage Amendment (which should help Allen since Webb is opposed to the necessary move of protecting marriage from radical redefinition by defining marriage as between one man and one woman in the VA constitution).

It looks like things are picking up steam here in NOVA, a good thing since the baseless misinformation presented by the Marriage Amendment opponents needs to be respectfully exposed for the political rubbish it is.

Besides being in a convention, a church and a political party, va4marriage.org was also represented at one of the largest community events in the state. Volunteers for the campaign helped pass out wedding cake at "Celebrate Fairfax." As expected, those who oppose the marriage amendment were also present at this event. We were pleased to be able to counter the misinformation being distributed.

The full FF Info Alert is below the fold, enjoy. Oh, and be sure to check out the NOVA subcoalition of Va4marriage.org, NOVA4marriage.org.

Oops!

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Below is an excerpt from Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki:

"We emphasize the peaceful nature of our nuclear weapons... I mean... of our nuclear power plant, and nuclear energy and activities. We have no need for nuclear weapons, as we've often said. Nuclear weapons are not part of our defense doctrine."

The pro-illegal commenter who inspired so much debate over the past week (see here, here, here, and here), after all the discussion, still has a pretty low opinion of the people who oppose illegal immigration.


Thanks for educating me, Joe. All of this just confirms what I feared. I spend a lot of time defending the South and often point out that the reaction to the Chicago Freedom Movement, which fought discriminatory housing practices in the Chicago area, was in many ways more hostile than in the South. Martin Luther King Jr. said after their famous march there in 1966 said that he had "never seen as much hatred and hostility on the part of so many people." And now in this month that we celebrate the 39th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, I see that the two most important issues to certain Virginians are to keep gay people from marrying their partners and keep Latinos from moving into their neighborhoods. Extraordinary....

Click the link below to read the rest of Zimzo's message and my reply.

Pro-illegal commenter Stay Puft replies to Amy as follows (click on the link below):

Yes, Virginia, there IS a problem, pt 4

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The first three parts of this series have presented a wealth of information about problems arising from illegal immigration in Northern Virginia. Rounding out the responses to this debate is Nathan Muller of www.forthecause.us with a plethora of hard data about tax receipts, impact on wages, and costs borne by local and state governments (or, "taxpayers").


The charge of "racism" is simply a tactic to instill feelings of guilt and shame in the hope that it will paralyze us into inaction and make us disappear from the scene. We all know the charge is baseless, but some people actually think this works. In reality, such people are intellectually incapacitated and demonstrate it loudly by incessantly playing the race card.

Now, here are just a few facts to consider about the real impact of illegal immigration on our communities...


Please click the link below to read the rest of this important report.

Yes, Virginia, there IS a problem, pt 3

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Continuing the discussion that has arisen from this recent debate about whether illegal immigration is, in fact, a problem in Northern Virginia, Amy describes her first-hand experience in Sterling:


I live near a formal Day Labor site that was created in Herndon, VA just 6 months ago even though Herndon citizens and surrounding communities said they do not want it created (The Herndon Mayor and most of the town council members who voted for the site have now been replaced-FYI).

Please click the link below to read the rest of Amy's extensive, detailed report.

Ready to Roll

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Well, with over 92% of the precincts reporting it looks like Jim Webb just won the Democratic primary. Congratulations Mr. Webb, you just earned yourself a date with the A-Team on November 7th.

Yes, Virginia, there IS a problem, pt 2

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Responding to commenter Zimzo's suggestion that opponents of illegal immigration are borderline racists, a Help Save Herndon member replies:


Zimzo uses the same old pro-illegal alien attack and labels everyone as a racist. This approach is old and laughable and not very creative. Zimzo is truly an amateur when it comes to using the bigot and racist argument.

Zimzo uses the La Raza, Casa De Maryland, and LULAC mantra to attack with the "Racist" paint brush and then tries to blend facts with fiction. An illegal alien is not an immigrant.

Since we are dealing with "fact", who in HelpSaveHerndon is "racist" Zimzo? You spend a lot of energy defending criminals yet spend little or no time trying to understand why Americans simply choose not to live in a society that does not respect the law.

When you get a break from blogging try walking the W&O trail and see the illegal immigrants living out of cars and in the woods. You may also want to open your eyes and visit the Herndon court on Wednesday at 9:30. Witness for yourself what illegal aliens bring to your community. Not racist, just fact.

HelpSaveHerndon is comprised of informed citizens who have spent the time and energy to understand the issues. We have been active in the legislative process and have been extremely effective in local politics. We are also successful in getting laws passed. One recent success was the passage of two bills recently signed by Tim Kaine which prohibits non-citizens from voting. Their names have been scrubbed from voter lists. Zimzo could view this as a racist act but we Virginians want Virginians to vote not illegal aliens.

Click here for more information on this topic.

Yes, Virginia, there IS a problem, pt 1

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In the vigorous illegal immigration debate that's been going on here the past few days, one of the participants - who apparently hails from an abandoned missile silo somewhere in Nebraska - has been arguing assiduously that the whole notion of 'residential overcrowding' as a community problem is actually a myth propagated by conservatives to deflect public attention from the war in Iraq.

After your guffaws subside, please climb back up on your chair and click on the link below to read the first post on local problems arising from illegal immigration.

It's good to see Lt. Governor Bill Bolling holding Governor Kaine to task for his decision to delay the Walton death sentence. Regardless of one's view of capital punishment... this incident further proves we just can't trust Tim Kaine. We should be grateful we have a LG willing to hold him accountable for his poor decisions and broken promises. After all Kaine has basically broken every major campaign promise he made in 2005 (the Marriage Amendment and tax-hikes immediately come to mind)

Here is some of what Bolling had to say regarding Kaine's actions:

"I disagree with the Governor's decision to defer this execution. Mr. Walton was duly convicted in a Virginia court of the brutal murder of three innocent people in Danville in 1996. He shot one individual in the head and stuffed his lifeless body in a closet. He shot another as she begged for her life. A jury found Mr. Walton guilty of these crimes and properly sentenced him to death."

"There is no justification for the Governor's decision to defer Mr. Walton's execution. Mr. Walton's lawyers have argued for years that he was mentally incompetent, but this argument has consistently been rejected by the courts. The courts have found that Mr. Walton can and should be executed because he clearly knew what he was doing when he committed these crimes."

"Interestingly, the United States Supreme Court rejected these very appeals moments before the Governor chose to defer Mr. Walton's execution. The courts have considered this case in detail. They found Mr. Walton guilty of these brutal murders, they sentenced him to death, and they have affirmed their finding on numerous occasions."

"I am also concerned that the Governor has indicated that he will embark on an independent "extra judicial" assessment of whether or not Mr. Walton is mentally competent. Unfortunately, the Governor has not told us how this independent assessment will be conducted, what standards will be used for reaching a conclusion, or what steps will be taken to protect the rights of the victims families or the Commonwealth."

Primary Day

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In the spirit of today's Democratic Primary... here is a fun quote from The Hotline:

"It's great to be here, back in Fairfax County," Sen. John Kerry greeted a crowd of well over 100 standing in a parking lot in the shadows of the Arlington County courthouse and gov't center.

Glad to see Webb's out-of-state liberal supporters know Virginia so well.

Mason Conservative has a great post up discussing the ruling of U.S. District Judge Frank C. Damrell, Jr. in a case brought by radical atheist and child exploiter (in the past using his child for political attacks on the Pledge of Allegiance) Michael Newdow to remove "In God We Trust" from our money.

Illegal Immigration Facts

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One of our best commenters here, Moderate 5-19, submitted the following in response to the immigration/hate post from the other day:


But let’s attempt to lower the rhetoric, name calling and inflammatory pictures and just try to look at this issue logically. The FACT is that just being in this country illegally is breaking the law and that in and of itself should not be tolerated. The FACT is that illegals in the country do not (usually) have health insurance thus when they show up in the emergency room we all pay for their care. The FACT is that it does cost more to educate ESL students then non ESL students. The FACT is that many illegals come across the border for the sole purpose of giving birth in the hopes that their children (who are now legal citizens) will act as an “umbilical cord” to this country. The FACT is that employers hire illegals because they can pay them thousands less then Americans, thus driving down American wages. The FACT is that illegals do not have taxes taken out of their pay. The FACT is that money sent from illegals back to Mexico is Mexico’s main income stream thus President Fox has no incentive to stop illegal crossing on that side of the border. The FACT is that unsecured borders make for a less secure country. The FACT is that people die every week trying to cross the border and that in and of itself should be reason enough to stop illegal crossings. And in my opinion President Bush’s plan for illegal immigration is amnesty and ultimately hurts America.

To the belief that immigrants do work that Americans won’t, I still don’t believe that to be true. I believe Americans will not and should not do those jobs for the pay employers pay illegals, but that does not mean the jobs won’t get done. Americans have done those jobs in the past and we have no proof that if paid a fair and living wage Americans won't do them in the today.


Well said, sir.

This just in from VCAP (via email):

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Dear XXXX,

Don't vote Tuesday!

In 2004, the Virginia Republican State Central Committee passed a new party rule that states you may be barred from participating in future Republican conventions, mass meetings, and primaries if you have voted in a Democratic primary.

Please ensure your right to elect conservative Republican candidates in the 2007 Republican nomination process by NOT voting in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Thanks.
Robin DeJarnette

Not sure if this will become entangled in this.

UPDATED: Around 6:00 p.m. this afternoon VCAP sent out the below email with the subject "Clarification for vote tomorrow":

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Dear XXXX,

Point of Clarification.

In 2004, the Virginia Republican State Central Committee passed a new party rule that states you could be barred from participating in future Republican conventions, mass meetings, and primaries if you have previously voted in a Democratic primary.

VCAP is a non-partisan PAC that supports fiscally and socially conservative candidates. We have no affiliation with the Republican Party of Virginia or decisions made by the State Central Committee. We merely wanted to pass along information we had learned of regarding changes to the Republican Party Plan and how it may affect your ability to vote in future Republican primary elections. We are recommending people reference the following blogs on Bacon’s Rebellion to better understand why State Central passed this amendment to the Party Plan in the first place:

http://www.baconsrebellion.co m/Issues05/05-23/Rodokanakis.htm

http://www.baconsrebellion.co m/Issues06/05-30/Rodokanakis.php

You can clearly vote in whichever elections you choose. VCAP is not trying to suppress your vote. Rather, we wanted to share information with you that we had learned and how it could impact your ability to participate in future Republican primaries.

I hope this makes sense. Sorry for any confusion we may have caused.

Thanks.
Robin DeJarnette

Carnival of WIJF: Virginia Blog Carnival!

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Hey, I just realized it's been up since yesterday: A real Carnival over at Shaun Kenney's place. Step right up!

Immigration-related information resources

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Guard the Borders is on vacation this week, but American Daughter has stepped up to fill the gap with a valuable collection of links related to the illegal immigration issue.

Click here to visit (and bookmark) the post. It's a great reference tool.

And when you have three or four hours to spare, please humor me and be sure to read my post from last night before it gets hopelessly buried under the blizzard of output from my ridiculously prolific fellow bloggers.

Marriage 20-0

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As you may have noticed I've been too busy to blog very frequently the past week or so, thus I missed mentioning the success of the state Marriage Amendment in Alabama last week. Per the AP:

Perhaps demonstrating that the protection of the definition of marriage should not be a partisan issue, 81 percent of Alabama voters June 6 approved a state constitutional marriage amendment -- an amendment that was placed on the ballot by the legislature and sponsored by two Democrats.

The amendment won handily in every county, making Alabama the 20th state to adopt a constitutional marriage amendment. Those 20 amendments have been adopted with an average of 71 percent of the vote.

The Alabama amendment, like many of the 19 other amendments defending marriage, contains language preventing the establishment of any "union replicating marriage" or designed to approximate marriage. The Anti-Marriage Amendment crowd in Virginia is already ratcheting up their misinformation campaign built around the idea that somehow these straightforward amendments protecting the definition of marriage and preventing the creation of marriage under another name (i.e. Civil Unions) will shatter every citizen’s contract rights, Power of Attorney, 401k etc. It’ll be enjoyable to watch as another state enacts language similar to Virginia’s proposed amendment and the myths spouted by the amendment’s opponents again fail to materialize (and don't even get me started on the absurdity of any argument based on one overturned domestic abuse ruling in Ohio... even if 2 separate appeals courts hadn't overturned this singular ridiculous decision, it would still be meaningless to Virginia since Ohio domestic abuse law is unique in that the statute is linked to marriage while Virginia and most other states link their domestic violence laws to households.) It just goes to show that the American people refuse to be hoodwinked by some hollow fear-campaign.

Below is the Family Foundation’s Information Alert discussing the passage of Alabama’s amendment. If you haven’t done so already, please sign up to support the campaign for the Marriage Amendment (info at the bottom of the alert):

The Family Foundation Thursday, June 8, 2006

Information Alert: Marriage 20-0!!

As the U.S. Senate rejected the federal marriage protection amendment, yet another state added such a protection to their constitution.

On Tuesday, Alabama became the 20th state to pass a constitutional amendment protecting marriage. That amendment passed with an astounding 81 percent of the vote! State amendments are now 20-0 when put before the people.

Yet again, when this issue is given to the people to decide, traditional marriage wins in a landslide. Today, the Democrat controlled Pennsylvania House voted overwhelmingly for that state's marriage amendment. In November, at least 7 states, including Virginia, will have marriage amendments on the ballot.

This week's U.S. Senate vote simply makes clear the absolute necessity that the people of Virginia protect marriage through our state Constitution in November and thus join the wave of states that understand the importance of protecting the definition of marriage for future generations.

I hope you have already signed the Virginia marriage amendment statement of support on va4marriage.org. If not, I hope you do so today. We also need volunteers to help with this effort. It is so important that every pro-marriage Virginian take part in this effort so that victory will be guaranteed! For information on you can help call us at 804-343-0010 or email steve@familyfoundation.org.

Via Drudge and DesMoinsRegister.com.

A new poll of likely caucus attendees in Iowa shows that Marky Mark has failed to catch on in Iowa, finishing tied for a distant fifth with 3% (along with Tom Daschle, not good company in a poll for President). I thought the national democrats were failling in love with him. This should be a sobering moment for his handlers as they have a long way to go in the next year, perhaps too far. Maybe the Washington Post will be able to push Warner into the national spotlight all on its own, but this is not a good sign at all for our former governor.

This continues a discussion that developed a few days ago; to get the context please go read this post and the thread of comments.

Bottom line: The commenter, Zimzo, makes a case that 'the rhetoric of anti-immigration groups does share characteristics with the the rhetoric of racist groups' and also implies there is more to it than rhetoric. He says it's really a matter of narrow-minded thinking. Hate.

He discounts my contention that illegal immigration has a negative effect on American communities and questions the factual basis of my argument. He goes on to say my arguments - and by extension those of anyone else who opposes illegal immigration - derive from a Republican effort to distract attention from the Iraq war.

If anyone is so inclined, it would be nice to get some input in Comments on the following topics brought up in this thread:

  • Is it possible to be 'anti-illegal' and not be racist? Don't Help Save Herndon, the Minutemen and others use the same language as the white supremecists?
  • Is the 'Reconquista' ideology something we should even pay attention to?
  • Is this whole idea of overcrowded houses, zoning violations, and degraded schools a reality, or is it just a myth? Does anyone have any evidence?
  • Those people on the border who express 'extremist' views about illegal immigrants who may be criminals: Are they crazy?
  • The numbers of people coming across our southern border are negligable, right? Just the occasional peasant family seeking a better life?
  • Any comments on other topics brought up in the messages below?
I'm going to print his entire comment, with responses from me, and I hope some of our readers with thoughts on this topic will weigh in. Zimzo states the pro-illegal case clearly and eloquently, and therefore I think his essay is a worthy object for discussion with regard to this very important issue.

Please click on the link below to read the rest.

Carnival of WIJF: YearlyKos 2006

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Two truly EXCELLENT posts with different perspectives on the 'YearlyKos' 2006 Convention comprise today's Carnival.

First, Donkey Cons (Buy Two!) has a round up and some fascinating background on a few choice Vegas losers.

Second, American Daughter somewhat surprisingly has a semi-positive take on the event, although she also provides a thorough fisking of an apparently REALLY dumb NY Times article (which is saying a lot). It's a very good piece of writing.

SO DON'T DAWDLE YOUR LIFE AWAY, GO READ THEM BOTH RIGHT NOW!!!

By the way, it's worth noting that Markos Himself has a nearly perfect record of raising millions of dollars for candidates who go on to LOSE their elections. I mean, it's pretty remarkable because he's proven a very effective fund raiser, but I think every single person he's supported has lost. Maybe one candidate did succeed but that's it. So if I was a Democrat running for office, I'd be nowhere NEAR Las Vegas this week (though I'd move heaven and Earth to get my opponent to attend). Just my opinion.

UPDATE: Commenter Political Critic writes the following:


Markos purposely raises money for candidates who are well behind in races. In most of the cases, these candidates were able to close the gap, just not enough to win. So even if his success rate is 1 out of 25 or so, it still makes a difference.

When I surfed on over to TC today and saw this post, I knew that every answer would be in support of Connaughton, a democrat, or bashing Connaughton, and...... I was right. People on the blogs talk about man crushes. This borders on something much more pathological.

Chad has some interesting commentary up about the primary on Tuesday.

I agree that Webb has blown the opportunity to win this race. I think the Warner ruling coalition in the Democrat party was ready, willing, and able to help him destroy Miller, but Webb seems to have taken his opponent for granted. On Tuesday, I think we'll see a split between moderates and liberals, and liberals have never lost their control in a primary that I can recall since the death of the Byrd machine (If anyone has a good example, I'd be interested as I can't remember one). I don't think this is a real threat to their party unity as they are too committed to hating the Republicans to actually splinter, but I think this race has managed to sully some of their recent unity.

Webb's attempt to look like a true liberal have come off as disengenuous from his previous salute to the Confederacy, disdain for affirmative action, revelation about abortion, and support of his opponent and Republican Presidents. He's tried to flip-flop, but, on all of these issues except abortion, the changes have been too recent and public. I think the Democrats should go with the more consistent candidate whose only party sin that I can see is being involved with an outsourcing of technology jobs.

Finally, the Miller people seem to have managed to tag Webb as something of an anti-semite close to the primary. I don't think the accusations are based in reality, but I think the attack has stuck in some people's minds. However, Virginia's worst congressman, Jim Moran got away with anti-semetic remarks so I'm not sure that the Dem primary voters care what their candidate thinks about those of the Jewish faith.

'You old white people. It is your duty to die'

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Commenter Had Enough sends the following:

__________________________________________

The following is disturbing! But, it is REALITY.

The photos were from the marches in the streets, some in DC and some in other cities. Please sit!

The photos that the media would not show!

This is Our Continent

Aztlan Communications Network

The only illegals on this continent are the criminal Europeans

The following are actual tapes of the true agenda of invasion.

Audio clips of the true agenda of Illegal Alien Lobby

The following is a sample of a few speeches by some who are lawmakers:

HISPANIC LEADERS SPEAK OUT!

Augustin Cebada, Brown Berets:
"Go back to Boston! Go back to Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims! Get out! We are the future. You are old and tired. Go on. We have beaten you. Leave like beaten rats. You old white people. It is your duty to die . . . Through love of having children, we are going to take over."

Richard Alatorre, Los Angeles City Council:
"They're afraid we're going to take over the governmental institutions and other institutions. They're right. We will take them over . . . We are here to stay."

Excelsior, the national newspaper of Mexico:
"The American Southwest seems to be slowly returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without firing a single shot."

Professor Jose Angel Gutierrez, University of Texas:
"We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. The explosion is in our population ... I love it. They are sh---ing in their pants with fear. I love it."

Art Torres, Chairman of the California Democratic Party:
"Remember 187 - proposition to deny taxpayer funds for services to non-citizens - was the last gasp of white America in California."

Gloria Molina, Los Angeles County Supervisor:
"We are politicizing every single one of these new citizens that are becoming citizens of this country . . . I gotta tell you that a lot of people are saying, 'I'm going to go out there and vote because I want to pay them back.'"

Mario Obledo, California Coalition of Hispanic Organizations and California State Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under Governor Jerry Brown, also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton:
"California is going to be a Hispanic state. Anyone who doesn't like it should leave."

Jose Pescador Osuna, Mexican Consul General:
"We are practicing 'La Reconquista' in California."

Professor Fernando Guerra, Loyola Marymount University:
"We need to avoid a white backlash by using codes understood by Latinos... "

Are these just the words of a few extremists?

Consider that I could fill up many pages with such quotes. Also, consider that these are mainstream Mexican leaders.

THE U.S. VS MEXICO: On February 15, 1998, the U.S. and Mexican soccer teams met at the Los Angeles Coliseum. The crowd was overwhelmingly pro-Mexican even though most lived in this country. They booed during the National Anthem and U.S. flags were held upside down. As the match progressed, supporters of the U.S. team were insulted, pelted with projectiles, punched and spat upon. Beer and trash were thrown at the U.S. players before and after the match. The coach of the U.S. team, Steve Sampson said, "This was the most painful experience I have ever had in this profession."

__________________________________________

Thanks, Had Enough, this is a good bit of research.

At the Herndon Minutemen rally in February, one of the speakers from California noted darkly "It's too late for us - don't make the same mistakes we did." You get the impression many people in other parts of the U.S. haven't woken up yet to what is happening around them.

Bunker Hill, 2006

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You say you want a revolution....

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Help Save Herndon, which fired the shot heard round the political world, celebrated it's one-year anniversary last night. (l to r) HSH founders Aubrey Stokes, Phil Jones, and Butch Vaughan


Read the rest, below the fold.

Via the AP and MSNBC.com.

Joseph Vento is an American hero. As the proud owner of one of the best cheesesteak restaurants in Philadelphia (which is saying something), he instituted an English-only policy for his customers. His restaurant is located in South Philly, which has become home to an increasing number of legal and illegal immigrants.

Vento, whose grandparents struggled to learn English after immigrating from Sicily in the 1920s, said he posted the sign about six months ago amid concerns over immigration reform and the increasing number of customers who could not order in English when they wanted Philly’s gooey, greasy specialty — fried steak, sliced or chopped, in a long roll, with cheese and fried onions.

Regardless of your position on amnesty, the balkanization of certain immigrant communities is becoming a serious problem in this country, and immigrant groups are flexing a new found strength in politics. It's good to see someone still supporting the principle of American unity through a melting pot concept rather than multiculturalism.

Despite threats and attacks by liberal groups labeling him as a rascist and xenophobic, Mr. Vento has stood his ground so far, but liberal immigrant groups seem to be bent on ending Vento's opposition.

But the policy has “really upset a lot of a people,” said Brad Baldia of Day Without An Immigrant, a coalition of immigrant groups. “For some people, I think we’re just going to say, ‘Le gusta Pat’s.”’

Juntos, a Hispanic neighborhood organization, said it plans to send people to Geno’s to try to order in Spanish and may pursue court action, depending on what happens.

The article goes on to mention that Vento supports the Iraq war and the death penalty. If the courts try to shut him down, maybe we should invite Mr. Vento to open up shop here. Virginia could use some better cheesesteaks.

Al-Zarqawi got to the Pearly Gates of heaven late last night and St. Peter made him go to an empty waiting room.

After about a minute George Washinton showed up and gave Al-Zarqawi a beating that would have killed him, had he not already been dead. Washington then left without a word.

About a minute after that, Thomas Jefferson showed up and took a turn beating Al-Zarqawi, followed by another severe beating from Robert E. Lee.

At this point St. Peter stuck his head in the door to check on Al-Zarqawi.

"St. Peter, I don't understand...I died in a jihad...where is the paradise promised to me by the Koran?"

St. Peter looked at him in a puzzled manner and said:

(drumroll)

"What part of seventy-two Virginians did you not understand?"

(cymbal crash)

Some in the Virginia blogosphere have been pretty critical of Lt. Governor Bolling’s recent comments regarding a government shutdown… See Chad’s post here.

I am no lawyer but frankly don’t see what the big deal is. As I understand it, the Lt. Governor was saying that while there A) is a legal question to be decided by the courts and constitutional scholars, B) he believes Governor Kaine (or any Governor) has the responsibility to ensure that the core responsibilities of the government are not interrupted unless a court instructs him to do otherwise. Unless the courts clarify the matter and tell the Governor he does not have the authority to keep essential services in operation, the Governor is doing his job by keeping things running.

I am not sure suing Governor Kaine to shut down the government (what I believe McDonnell is proposing) would be very responsible.

As Lt. Governor Bolling said in his recent statement on the matter:

"In my judgment, there are two separate issues involved in this debate. The first question is whether or not the Governor has the legal authority to continue funding certain state programs in the absence of a budget agreement. This is a matter of first impression for Virginia, and constitutional scholars do not agree on the answer to this question. I would leave that issue to constitutional scholars and ultimately the courts to decide."

"However, the Governor has a moral responsibility to make certain that the core services of state government are not interrupted by the General Assembly's inability to finish its work on time. To that extent I support the Governor's decision to continue providing funding for important programs such as public safety, education, health care, etc. To do otherwise would jeopardize public health and safety, and that would not be in the best interests of Virginia."

I look forward to learning more as this issue plays out, although I am hopeful we will soon have a budget (hopefully with NO unnecessary tax hike)... as the Virginia constitution mandates.

I wish I could wake up every morning to news like this!

If I had to pick a day to be stuck in, Groundhog Day style, this might just be it.

God Bless America.

UPDATE: Statemen by the President
(Provided by Sophrosyne)

Rose Garden
Washington, D.C.

7:31 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Last night in Iraq, United States military forces killed the terrorist al Zarqawi. At 6:15 p.m. Baghdad time, special operation forces, acting on tips and intelligence from Iraqis, confirmed Zarqawi's location, and delivered justice to the most wanted terrorist in Iraq.

Zarqawi was the operational commander of the terrorist movement in Iraq. He led a campaign of car bombings, assassinations and suicide attacks that has taken the lives of many American forces and thousands of innocent Iraqis. Osama bin Laden called this Jordanian terrorist "the prince of al Qaeda in Iraq." He called on the terrorists around the world to listen to him and obey him. Zarqawi personally beheaded American hostages and other civilians in Iraq. He masterminded the destruction of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. He was responsible for the assassination of an American diplomat in Jordan, and the bombing of a hotel in Amman.

Through his every action, he sought to defeat America and our coalition partners, and turn Iraq into a safe haven from which al Qaeda could wage its war on free nations. To achieve these ends, he worked to divide Iraqis and incite civil war. And only last week he released an audio tape attacking Iraq's elected leaders, and denouncing those advocating the end of sectarianism.

Now Zarqawi has met his end, and this violent man will never murder again. Iraqis can be justly proud of their new government and its early steps to improve their security. And Americans can be enormously proud of the men and women of our armed forces, who worked tirelessly with their Iraqi counterparts to track down this brutal terrorist and put him out of business.

The operation against Zarqawi was conducted with courage and professionalism by the finest military in the world. Coalition and Iraqi forces persevered through years of near misses and false leads, and they never gave up. Last night their persistence and determination were rewarded. On behalf of all Americans, I congratulate our troops on this remarkable achievement.

Zarqawi is dead, but the difficult and necessary mission in Iraq continues. We can expect the terrorists and insurgents to carry on without him. We can expect the sectarian violence to continue. Yet the ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders.

Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al Qaeda. It's a victory in the global war on terror, and it is an opportunity for Iraq's new government to turn the tide of this struggle. A few minutes ago I spoke to Prime Minister Maliki. I congratulated him on close collaboration between coalition and Iraqi forces that helped make this day possible. Iraq's freely elected Prime Minister is determined to defeat our common enemies and bring security and the rule of law to all its people.

Earlier this morning he announced the completion of his cabinet appointments, with the naming of a new Minister of Defense, a new Minister of the Interior, and a new Minister of State for National Security. These new ministers are part of a democratic government that represents all Iraqis. They will play a vital role as the Iraqi government addresses its top priorities -- reconciliation and reconstruction and putting an end to the kidnappings and beheadings and suicide bombings that plague the Iraqi people. I assured Prime Minister Maliki that he will have the full support of the United States of America.

On Monday I will meet with my national security team and other key members of my Cabinet at Camp David to discuss the way forward in Iraq. Our top diplomats and military commanders in Iraq will give me an assessment of recent changes in the political and economic and security situation on the ground. On Tuesday, Iraq's new Ambassador to the United States will join us, and we will have a teleconference discussion with the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet. Together we will discuss how to best deploy America's resources in Iraq and achieve our shared goal of an Iraq that can govern itself, defend itself and sustain itself.

We have tough days ahead of us in Iraq that will require the continued patience of the American people. Yet the developments of the last 24 hours give us renewed confidence in the final outcome of this struggle: the defeat of terrorism threats, and a more peaceful world for our children and grandchildren.

May God bless the Iraqi people and may God continue to bless America.

END 7:37 A.M. EDT

Carnival of WIJF: Ace, on Progressivism

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This Carnival is solely devoted to one of the best blog posts I've found in a long time. I was cruising around for a bunch of WIJF posts when I ran across a link on one of the primo entertaining blogs, Iowahawk.

I don't always agree with Ace of Spades, and I don't agree with all of his statements in today's selected post. He knows religion, and specifically understands evangelical Christianity although sometimes he sort of belittles it. That's his deal, which I don't quite get.

Also, his deal is he is a "professional blogger" now, having given up working for The Man and relocated to a less expensive living arrangement and now supports himself almost exclusively via the blog - which I also don't get, but in the sense I respect the heck out of him for managing to pull it off.

Plus he's a great writer and cultural critic, and very well educated besides. This post is evidence of the man's talent:


Because there is so much ego involved in the self-definition as progressive, the need for intellectual conformity becomes stultifying. For, if one can believe something different than you -- even if they are, on balance, progressive -- this represents a direct challenge to your own self-valuation as an intellectual worthy. Conservatives have sometimes heated debates about what the right position is, but they're not debates about whether or not someone is worthy or intelligent. Whether or not someone is a "good conservative" is sometimes argued, but that argument is not simultaneously about whether someone is a good human being. Lefitsts, sometimes by their own surprisingly honest self-admission, acknowledge that they are sometimes too eager to define and, worse still, enforce a group-mediated orthodoxy on the wider church, and excommunicate those who are deemed heretical.

Go read it all, it is well worth it.

One of the most beguiling phenomena of the modern age is the obviously intelligent liberal. That phrase, to conservatives, is a major contradiction in terms. But we all know it is a reality. Whether from the smart guys you read on the progressive Web sites or magazines, or the smart liberals you know personally, if you are a literate conservative you have wondered more than once, "How could this intelligent person make such statements?"

Drawing on an accurate understanding of human psychology and keen awareness of our leftist brethren, Ace's essay answers the question.

Via CNN.

Those in favor of defending marriage only gained one vote from the 2004 vote (49 instead of 48). We can rest assured that this will all change once politicians can no longer hide behind the excuse that they support marriage as the union of one man and one woman but this matter should be left to the states... i.e. once some activist judge follows flawed judicial logic (examined here) and overturns the federal DOMA and thus the right of states to address this issue.

For those wondering, here is Senator Warner's position:

As I did two years ago when this Amendment was first considered, I intend to vote in favor of proceeding to consider this important issue in the Senate. Again, I believe that marriage should remain between a man and a woman. In the event cloture is invoked on the resolution, however, I will work with my colleagues to amend the legislation so that it makes clear and plain that decisions about civil unions will be left to the individual states.

whew

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Good to see that we won't lose every seat this fall.

Amnesty a Done Deal?

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Just in case you're not already REALLY ticked off today (and what good conservative is not perpetually so?) please take a moment to read this report by Debbie Schlussel:


Federal agents in the Department of Homeland Security are angry.

They know something we don't: President Bush is arrogantly assuming his proposed Guest Workers amnesty is a done deal. And he’s spending on the still illegal program like a drunken sailor.


If this is true, and - as the article suggests - Congress is really complicit, I'd say it's time to clean House (along with Senate).

Who called it?

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I knew the budget impasse wasn't going to end so easily. Chad has a post up about it. Here's the link to the Shapiro column.

A budget with no new money for transportation isn't very palatable to the House Republicans in the NoVA/Tidewater corridor so we'll see where the two sides go from here.

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Today the United States Senate begins consideration of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as between one man and one woman- thus elevating existing law beyond the reach of activist judges. As it has been widely reported, this effort lacks the necessary support of 2/3 of the Senate and is likely to fail. Fellow Virginian Chuck Colson (who today will be meeting with President Bush along with former VA GOP gubernatorial nominee Mark Early) explains the need for the amendment here. He says:

Unfortunately, a lot of politicians don’t get it. They argue that we do not need a marriage amendment. If we want to keep marriage between one man and one woman—which they say they do—then all we have to do is pass state referenda. Nineteen states have already done so. So amending the U.S. Constitution is unnecessary. Well, these politicians apparently do not understand the inexorable logic of a series of cases that make it virtually certain that when state statutes barring gay “marriage” reach the Supreme Court, they will be struck down. Other politicians understand all too well, and when they claim that we do not need a marriage amendment, they are being disingenuous.

Let me explain the precedents that make it inevitable that the Court will uphold gay “marriage.” In the 1992 case Casey v. Planned Parenthood, Justice Kennedy affirmed the right of abortion with a sweeping definition of liberty as the right of a person to determine for himself the meaning of life.

Many feared this definition could embrace anything. Soon enough, it did.

After an examination of some Supreme Court decisions Colson delves deeper into why the federal amendment is needed:

Now, what all of this means is that the Supreme Court, following its own precedents, will declare any law restricting the right of homosexuals to marry unconstitutional. The die is cast. An appeal is already coming up from a Nebraska case in which a judge threw out a statute banning gay “marriage” as unconstitutional. Within two years this will be at the Supreme Court, and the axe will fall.

Just as with Roe v. Wade, the Court will take away the states’ rights to legislate.

The time to act is now. Don’t let politicians deceive you and tell you this is a state issue. The Supreme Court has already closed the door on that.

Colson is absolutely correct. While the battle to protect marriage in the states (including the VA Marriage Amendment) is extremely critical… ultimately the buck stops at the U.S Supreme Court. That is why the amendment being debated today and the never-ending effort to hold the White House and Senate in order to nominate strict constructionists to the Judiciary is so important.

Senator Allen is in favor of the federal Marriage Protection Amendment but I do not know where Senator Warner stands (although I can unfortunately guess…). His office has not yet responded to my email inquiries. PLEASE contact Senator Warner’s office today and let him know you believe marriage is between one man and one woman. You can do so here.

Now that the stakes are so clear, I’d like to offer a Marriage Carnival of What I Just Found (composed mostly of Townhall.com articles). Of course we will continue to have up-to-date coverage of Virginia’s efforts to protect marriage from radical redefinition with the Virginia Marriage Amendment this November.

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Marriage Carnival of What I Just Found

I might actually have to watch this.

How not to win friends and influence people

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The overriding explanation of the thousands of illegal immigrants who are moving into our communities is that they are in the process of becoming Americans. Good. The problem is what we see daily.

Here is more on this topic, from Heidi at Euphoric Reality:

__________________________________________

From Spanish-speaking illegal workers, to angry tenured professors and arrogant politicians, we are hearing more and more tenets and demands from a movement called Reconquista. The movement, once dismissed as extreme racist rhetoric, has rapidly gained traction and momentum among millions of ill-educated illegal aliens and well-established Mexicans alike. Reconquista gives voice to the angry demands of present-day Mexicans who mistakenly think they have indigenous rights to the land of the Southwestern United States - which they claim was "stolen" by an imperialist American government. The centerpiece of their agenda is the mythical Aztlan.

In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal "gringo" invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlan from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny.

"From whence came our forefathers...?" Nothing could be further from the truth - not that the facts matter much in their efforts to further "La Raza" - or The Race. Using racially-charged arguments to batter at the traditional guilt mentality of Americans, proponents of Aztlan aim to "reconquer" the Southwestern United States as their due. Apparently, they fail to understand that the tribes of present-day Mexico never inhabited the Southwest U.S., nor for the most part did Mexicans themselves - it was mostly open land [frontier] except for northern Native Americans (as you will see below).

A manifest destiny has been embraced by many within mainstreamed advocacy groups in America such as La Raza, LULAC, and most commonly MECHa, the radical student organization which has specifically embraced the tenets of Atzlan. "Por La Raza todo, Fuera de La Raza nada," is translated as "For the Race, everything, for those outside of the Race, nothing." Though that singular statement seems to sum up the demands of today's angry illegal Mexican aliens, there is much more to their Plan to restore Aztlan:

[Continue, below the fold]

On Sunday I read with disgust this Washington Post op-ed discussed here on Red State. So sad.

I saw this on Republitarian:

Periodic awards

...10. Best paid blogger....Vince Harris

Comments on Republitarian confirm the paid status. Hmmm... this raises some interesting questions.

Rumor Mill

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Sources close to State Senator Russ Potts have indicated that he is seriously considering stepping down after the budget is resolved. We can only hope that he does so. Russ should ride off into the sunset while the gettin is good.

Via Life News:

Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, says she will sign into law a statewide abortion ban that would take effect if the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade. The decision is delighting pro-life groups who are pressing for the ban in the legislature.

The abortion ban only contains an exception to allow abortions in order to save the life of the mother. Blanco had previously said she wanted rape and incest exceptions added as well, but the House and Senate voted against them.

When will the Commonwealth enact a "trigger law" to protect the unborn when Roe v Wade falls?

Via Mark M. Alexander's column:

A few years ago, the most learned debates over the ordination of a homosexual cleric as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire revealed that not only the Episcopal clergy and laity needed assistance understanding this issue, but the Christian Church as a whole needed clarity. Indeed our whole society needs a better, and in some cases more compassionate, understanding of homosexual pathology.

Consequently, The Patriot has just published The Homosexual Agenda and The Christian Response online, a comprehensive yet concise review of gender-disorientation pathology. It's an essay that anyone, inside or outside the Church, making a psychological, theological or social argument concerning homosexuality, should read.

The real value of this landmark report's substance is not measured in the accolades from conservatives around the world who have reviewed it, but in the unguarded praise it has received from homosexuals (including some activists), who responded that, for the first time, they have been able to comprehend, with the help of this analysis, both the Christian theological and conservative social perspective and objections, without feeling personally attacked.

I haven't read the report yet but it sounds like it will be an interesting read. Obviously any religious argument certainly shouldn’t be the primary component of the argument for the Marriage Amendment and protecting the current definition of marriage (that does not willfully deny a child a mother or a father) from activist judges (which is what the amendment is all about because it merely elevates existing law).

Notable DNC transfers to state Democratic Party committees:

• California: $139,949
• Ohio: $86,627
• Florida: $84,891
• New York: $63,398
• Pennsylvania: $60,557
• Virginia: $58,470

More here.

(Realizing this is a little later than when I had claimed that we would have this previously...)

NovaTownhall: Are you running for Attorney General again in 2009?

Steve Baril: I’m still trying to recover from my last adventure! Seriously, I was involved in politics long before I was ever a candidate, and I intend to stay involved. For example, I am focused on getting the Marriage Amendment passed and helping RPV with fundraising.

NT: Along the same lines, have you considered running against independent Delegate Katherine Waddell?

SB: Yes, but I am supporting Manoli Loupassi, Vice Mayor of the City of Richmond. Manoli is the right guy and it’s the right time in his career to take back this important seat for the GOP.

NT: You seem to have taken an active interest in the fight to pass the marriage amendment this November. How will you be advancing the cause between now and Election Day?

SB: I’m heading up the Republican outreach for the campaign. I have been speaking to local units to whip up grassroots support among Republican activists. If we can get the grassroots energized, we will be a long way towards passing the Marriage Amendment.

NT: You previously stated on our website that fellow blogger Not Larry Sabato mischaracterized your arguments supporting the marriage amendment in the speech you gave to the Teenage Republican convention. Could you give us a shorter version of the position in your speech about why you are supporting the marriage amendment?

SB: I said that there are liberal forces in our midst who want to redefine traditional marriage as between “Bob and Bruce, Martha and Margaret, or whatever…” The blogger misquoted me and came up with an outrageous argument that I never made. I am supporting the Marriage Amendment, in a nutshell, because marriage is the bedrock of the family in our culture. I believe in democracy and representative government, not judicial fiat or usurpation to establish public policy. So, I believe every citizen has the right to go to the polls to vote his conscience on whether this constitutional amendment should pass, or fail. I predict it will pass resoundingly.

NT: Do you plan to be involved with fundraising or campaigning for any of the congressional delegation like Senator Allen or Congresswoman Drake?

SB: Yes, I’ve already attended two events for Thelma Drake, and I am sure I’ll be attending others for her and George Allen. In fact, the beauty of the Marriage Amendment is that it should drive conservative, family-oriented voters to the polls to vote for Thelma and George. Their vote could be the difference in Thelma’s race. And, I believe we will attract support from minorities who may not generally vote Republican. I’m advocating a “win-win” situation.

NT: What was the most important lesson you took away from the primary campaign in 2005?

SB: Not to listen to damn consultants! Just kidding. But, I learned to be myself—it’s what got me this far.

NT: To what do you attribute Jerry Kilgore’s loss?

SB: I think there were a number of factors that resulted in a good man not winning the election. I think it is an oversimplification to try to attribute Jerry’s loss to any one thing.

NT: Do you believe that in 2005 the conservative Republican base did not turn out as projected because the Democrats and some moderate/liberal Senate Republicans have managed to blur the distinction between the two parties and thus “damaged the Republican label”?

SB: Picking up on my last answer, it may be true that some conservatives did not work as hard as they should have, but it’s also true that many moderates got hoodwinked by the lies of candidate Kaine. Take the issue of taxes or the Marriage Amendment for example. Also, President Bush’s numbers were certainly down from the year before, and all of these factors and many more added up to an unfortunate result. The simple fact that is that it happened, and we need to get over it, and get back to the basics.

NT: What can be done to reinvigorate the conservative base and draw a clear contrast for the voters?

SB: As I said before, I’m urging grassroots activists to get involved with the Marriage Amendment as well as the contested races of Thelma Drake, Virgil Goode, Bill Carrico, and George Allen. This is the way to get over a bad loss and reinvigorate our conservative base.

NT: Are you involved with any high profile cases this year in your practice with Williams Mullen?

SB: I head up the Complex Business Litigation Team at Williams Mullen and am lucky to be responsible for some of the firm’s largest cases. It’s what I do well, and I really enjoy it.

NT: Some attacked you as not being a ‘true’ conservative [both socially and fiscally] in the last election or as not being as conservative as now Attorney General McDonnell. How do you respond to such claims?

SB: I never took those comments so much as a criticism of me as a compliment of Bob McDonnell’s longstanding leadership as a conservative in the Republican Party. I took away from all this that I needed to do a better job articulating and demonstrating my social and fiscal conservative credentials. I might add that Bob and I never attacked each other on our respective conservative values. I think that in itself says something about where I stand.

NT: Do you think Senator Allen will run for President if he wins reelection, and if so, what do you think his chances are?

SB: I hope so because I think he would make a great President.

NT: How strong of a position do you think the Virginia legislature should take against eminent domain abuse in light of the failure of the assembly to agree on legislation?

SB: Here again, I think we have a duty to take a strong stand on this public policy issue so as not to let activist judges dictate policy for us.

NT: How often do you read blogs?

SB: Frequently.

NT: What was your opinion of this year’s budget impasse over the state senate’s desire for a tax increase for transportation?

SB: I just can’t understand how anyone could ask hardworking people to pay more in taxes when the state government is running a surplus of over $1 billion. It just doesn’t make any sense to me.

NT: Who do you think will benefit the most out of the compromise over the budget, the House, the Senate, or the Governor?

SB: I think the House will be the big winners and the Governor will be the big loser. He really exposed his true colors on this issue. As for the Senate, who knows how the Senators will fair in their districts?

NT: Does this tactic of holding the government hostage over a tax-hike help one side more than the other?

SB: It appears to have backfired on the Governor and the Senate. The important thing now is to address transportation needs without a tax hike. I have spoken often about many ways to do just that; it is simply a matter of having the political will to do it.

NT: What options do you prefer as possible solutions to the gridlock in the I-95/I-64 corridor?

SB: I spent a lot of time promoting my Marshall Plan for Transportation in Virginia. I think I was pretty clear on where I stood.

NT: Do we have a chance of having a Republican Senate that shares the
Republican Party’s values anytime soon?

SB: Yes.

NT: What do you think of groups such as VCAP that challenge liberal incumbents?

SB: I think they have every right to challenge anyone they want. That’s the American way.

NT: Have you heard any reports on former Redskin Darrell Green running for the State Senate, originally reported online on the Too Conservative blog? What do you think of his potential candidacy in the 33rd Senate district?

SB: No, but I predict he will be able to outrun his opponent!

NT: Thank you very much, Mr. Baril, for taking time out to answer our questions.

I don’t have much time to comment on these interesting stories but I think they are worth a read so I am going to post them here as a “Carnival of What I Just Found”… enjoy!

Haditha

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"I firmly believe that only a combat soldier has the right to judge another combat soldier. Only a rifle company combat soldier knows how hard it is to return his sanity, to do his duty and to survive with some semblance of honor. You have to learn to forgive others, and yourself, for some of the things that are done."

-Tom Gibson, discussing an alleged war crime committed by an American during the 1944 Normandy Invasion
(as quoted in Stephen Ambrose's "Band of Brothers")

Whether or not the allegations of what happened in Haditha are true or not, I do not know, and I will not make a judgement on this.

What I do know is that Rep. Murtha is handling this in an extremely poor manner. Between his current position and his military background, Murtha has enough power to make things right through the proper military courts, as would be his duty. But, make no mistake, the objective of his public outcry is to advance his political agenda. Murtha opposes the war in Iraq. He wants you to oppose the war in Iraq. He will emphasize every negative occurance in Iraq in order to accomplish this.

If you think I am out on a limb here, I just want to ask you one thing...When was the last time Murtha has been so vocal in applauding the military for anything good we have accomplished?

Murtha has betrayed the US Armed Forces.

Here's an article over at the Times-Dispatch about a case that I've been following since the beginning.

A former lesbian who now lives in Virginia is battling her ex-partner for custody of the child that the ex-lesbian gave birth to during their civil union created in Vermont. This is a good example of why a federal amendment is the only way to really protect the sanctity of marriage and parental bonds. Someone should point this out to John McCain and the rest of the "states' laws are the best way to go" crowd.

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Maggie Gallagher is on the front lines of the battle for marriage and religious liberty, witnessing first hand the impact of judicially recognized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts (due to the failure of the state to enact a Marriage Protection Amendment similar to the one before Virginians this November). Yesterday she covered this story of a firefighter who lost his job for signing a petition opposing same-sex marriage. Today Gallagher discusses the persecution of the Catholic Church in Massachusetts due to its firm support of traditional marriage (first reported here in the Boston Globe):

The question in Boston is not whether gays are going to be allowed legally to adopt. It is whether religious people who morally object to gay adoption will be allowed to help children find homes. This is not about gay adoption—it is about our fundamental commitment to religious liberty in this country.

It is a crime to run an adoption agency in Massachusetts without a license from the state. To get a license you have to agree to place children with same-sex couples. For the first time in America, Christians are being told by their government that they are not good citizens, not worthy enough to be permitted to help abandoned babies find good homes.

At least twenty other states have similar anti-discrimination laws on orientation. What makes Massachusetts unique, though, is same-sex “marriage.” In other states, marriage could provide a “safe harbor” for Christian and other religious organizations. Faith-based organizations could run adoption agencies that specialize in placing children in married homes. But, of course, in Massachusetts, that would also require Christian or other religious organizations to place children in same-sex homes.

And it is not just adoption licenses. What we are witnessing is the unfolding of the logic that gay “marriage” is a civil right. People who believe marriage is the union of husband and wife must (if courts rule this way) be treated like racists by their own government. The potential punishment the state could impose on faith groups is enormous: yanking radio broadcasting licenses, professional licenses (marriage counselors, social workers, psychologists), and the state accreditation of Christian (or other religious) schools and universities. And yes, the tax-exempt status of organizations of faithful Christians and other people of good will are at risk. [Emphasis mine]

Virginia needs to support the Marriage Amendment this fall to ensure that some activist judge is not permitted to radically redefine marriage in the Commonwealth and thus unleash countless attacks on people of faith and even secular citizens who simply believe marriage is, as it has been understood for millennium, between one man and one woman. Gallagher gives us this excellent summary of what is at stake in the marriage debate, directly applicable to Virginia:

What is at stake in the marriage debate? Among other things, it is now clear: the capacity of Christian and other religious organizations to pass on a faithful vision of marriage to our own children, through religious institutions. Religious liberty is at risk. How can we fail to act?

The full Bolling report is below the fold, enjoy.

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