Thomas Jefferson is a Rock Star

Somehow, everyone wants to claim my hometown’s founding father, Thomas Jefferson.  Jefferson was born on April 13,  1743 in Shadwell, Virginia.   Shadwell was actually a plantation.  It burned around 1770 and Jefferson moved to Monticello Mountain outside of Charlottesville.  He is truly Virginia’s native son. 

Jefferson is claimed by Democrats, libertarians  and Republicans alike.  Certainly the Jefferson Jackson Dinner Fling put on the Democrats each year speaks to their affinity for Jefferson.  The Tea Party people seem mighty fond of Jefferson also.  He was quoted all over the place today during the rallies.  Some quotes are included below. 

Jefferson was an inventor, an author, he wrote the Declaration of Independence, he was a farmer, a building, a statesman, an educator, a diplomat, a scientist, a musician, a visionary, a philosopher…the list goes on. He founded and built the University of Virginia towards the end of his life.  His ‘academical village’ is one of the top universities in the nation. 

You have to be doing something right when that many different people coming from that many points of view think you are a rock star.  Exactly what is it about Jefferson that people find so appealing?

Some quotes from Jefferson might help illustrate his popularity:

“A wise and frugal government – A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government…”

“On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the legislature must the people rise in rebellion or their silence be construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions should we have had already?”

“The principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”

“The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife.”

“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.”

Obama Mandated Visitation Rights in Hospitals to Partners of Gays

President Obama mandated visitation rights for  partners of gays and lesbians in hospitals who receive Medicaid and Medicare funding.   Far too often in the past, parents of gays and lesbians held all the power and partners could be prevented from even seeing their signficant other. 

According to the Washington Post:


The president directed the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation in a memo that was e-mailed to reporters Thursday night while he was at a fundraiser in Miami.

Administration officials and gay activists, who have been quietly working together on the issue, said the new rule will affect any hospital that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding, a move that covers the vast majority of the nation’s health-care institutions.

It is currently common policy in many hospitals that only those related by blood or marriage be allowed to visit patients.

“Discrimination touches every facet of the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, including at times of crisis and illness, when we need our loved ones with us more than ever,” Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said in praising the decision.

Hopefully this right would be extended to any partnership, not just a partnership between gays.  Straight people have unconventional relationships also.  However, this is a good place to start.

NYTimes Tea Party Poll

From the New York Times:  (bold is mine)

Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The 18 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters tend to be Republican, white, male, married and older than 45.

They hold more conservative views on a range of issues than Republicans generally. They are also more likely to describe themselves as “very conservative” and President Obama as “very liberal.

And while most Republicans say they are “dissatisfied” with Washington, Tea Party supporters are more likely to classify themselves as “angry.”

The Tea Party movement burst onto the scene a year ago in protest of the economic stimulus package, and its supporters have vowed to purge the Republican Party of officials they consider not sufficiently conservative and to block the Democratic agenda on the economy, the environment and health care. But the demographics and attitudes of those in the movement have been known largelyanecdotally. The Times/CBS poll offers a detailed look at the profile and attitudes of those supporters.

Their responses are like the general public’s in many ways. Most describe the amount they paid in taxes this year as “fair.” Most send their children to public schools. A plurality do not think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president, and, despite their push for smaller government, they think that Social Security and Medicare are worth the cost to taxpayers. They actually are just as likely as Americans as a whole to have returned their census forms, though some conservative leaders have urged a boycott.Tea Party supporters’ fierce animosity toward Washington, and the president in particular, is rooted in deep pessimism about the direction of the country and the conviction that the policies of the Obama administration are disproportionately directed at helping the poor rather than the middle class or the rich.

The overwhelming majority of supporters say Mr. Obama does not share the values most Americans live by and that he does not understand the problems of people like themselves. More than half say the policies of the administration favor the poor, and 25 percent think that the administration favors blacks over whites — compared with 11 percent of the general public.They are more likely than the general public, and Republicans, to say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people.

Asked what they are angry about, Tea Party supporters offered three main concerns: the recent health care overhaul, government spending and a feeling that their opinions are not represented in Washington.


Do you agree or disagree?

Trust Women/Respect Choice signed into law! Thanks Governor McDonnell

trust women

Thanks to Governor Bob McDonnell for doing the right thing. He has signed the Trust Women/Respect Choice license plate into law and has maintained the funding for prevention services. $15 for each plate will go towards Planned Parenthood.

The license plate faced a three-month back and forth challenge in the General Assembly. Apparently some of our legislators confused reproductive rights with first amendment rights and tried all sorts of sneaky tricks to stop the stream of money into Planned Parenthood.

Virginia is one of only FOUR states to have a pro-choice license plate, let alone one with a funding stream supporting reproductive health care services.

Hat Tip to Governor McDonnell. Frankly, I am pleasantly surprised. This really was a free speech issue.

The governor can be emailed from the here. I have already emailed him a thank you.