One more week left in September. A new open thread is here. There is plenty to talk about. By now everyone has seen 9500 Liberty or at least had the opportunity to see it. I am watching “Waiting for Superman,” a documentary about America’s education system. Apparently it looks at the worst rather than the best. Davis Guggenheim of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is the filmmaker.

I am not sure I am buying in to all this. Mr. Howler was listening about all the crappy teachers. He threw in one remark and left the room: what about all the crappy students? The documentary opened Friday. I am sure we will hear a great deal more in the upcoming weeks.

104 Thoughts to “Open Thread Monday, September 27”

  1. @cargosquid

    I don’t think so…..I will keep my few little mining stocks and ETFs and call it a day.

    I wish I had bought gold 10 years ago. Lots of it. I am hoping turquoise becomes the new gold. Yea, that’s the ticket.

  2. Starryflights

    September 25, 2010, 7:00 AM ET
    Four States Democrats Must Hold to Keep the Senate

    If Democrats are buckling in those places, they’ll need a last line of defense elsewhere.

    Here’s where it appears to be: Nevada, Washington, California and Delaware.

    If Democrats can hold the first three and turn the fourth their way, they should be able to survive. Sen. Harry Reid is essentially even in Nevada, while fellow Democrats Sen. Patty Murray in Washington, Sen. Barbara Boxer in California and Chris Coons—left for dead before he got to run against tea-party favorite Christine O’Donnell in Delaware—all appear to be leading. That amounts to the silver lining amid Democrats’ dark clouds.

    That is good.

  3. Some pundits believe that the long term goals of the Tea Party would be better met by the Democrats retaining the Senate, so long as the GOP takes over the House, so as to provide an example and target for 2016. If Reid and Boxer, et al., continue to be as clueless and as arrogant as they are now, the Senate elections in 2016 would be huge turnover, instead of barely squeaking in now.

    Assuming, of course, that the GOP does not seize defeat from the mouth of victory, as they tend to do……..there’s a reason why conservatives call them the Stupid party

  4. Need to Know

    Here’s an update on Corey Stewart selling us out to developers. His reported campaign contributions from 2009 through now are seen in the link to VPAP below:

    Note that many contributions are misrepresented. For example, Corey reports receiving $30,000 in the Finance/Insurance category during this period. Comstock Partners in Reston gave him $10,000 of that amount and is reported as being a business classified as “Stockbrokers/Financial Advisors.” Their own web site states, however, “The principals of Comstock Partners are responsible for development of thousands of residential units and millions of square feet of class A office and retail developments in the Washington DC region and in other parts of the United States.”

    Comstock Partners is not registered as an advisor or broker with the Commonwealth of Virginia or the Securities and Exchange Commission. Check this out for yourself at

    Note that a company called “Comstock Partners” in Beverly Hills, California is registered but this company is not related to the development company in Reston that has been contributing to Stewart’s campaign that he has classified as a stockbroker or financial advisor.

    Also in the Finance/Insurance category, VPAP reports that Malcolm W. Cook in Woodbridge, who is reported as self-employed in the CPA’s/Accountants/Bookkeepers sub-category, gave Stewart two $10,000 contributions on June 1, 2009 and June 1, 2010. VPAP reports no other contributions from Cook to any other candidates. In actuality, Cook is Treasurer and a Board member of the Hylton Foundation.

    The Board of County Supervisors is taking up the Wartime Museum at the October 5 meeting. That scheme involves the Hyltons “donating” some virtually useless, undevelopable land situated between developments they have completed in Dale City in exchange for development rights elsewhere. The Hyltons stand to augment their fortunes substantially from their “generosity” to the citizens of Prince William County. Corey Stewart is the biggest cheerleader for this project and after reviewing his campaign contributions I have little doubt why.

    When you correct Corey’s campaign finance disclosures for these misrepresentations, the $65,507 he does report as coming from real estate and construction interests expands rapidly. There are many other such distortions in his reports, some more egregious than these. More to come later. Does anyone other than me smell fraud and campaign finance violations?

    1. I suppose there is no way to ensure that vpap reporting is correct unless you do a case by case look up on each contributor?

  5. By 2016, the political climate might be totally different. I have found, over the years, that the American people are as fickle as water. What pisses them off today might not piss them off tomorrow.

    And then there’s voter turn out. All the young vote or the senior votes in the world don’t count if people don’t go to the polls. Voter complacency and apathy are both a huge enemy of democracy in this country.

  6. Need to Know

    Moon – VPAP reports the campaign contributions based on the information candidates provide in their official filings. Any errors or fraud in those reports would flow through to VPAP’s reports. Rest assured that a lot of research has been and is still taking place now.

    As President Reagan once said, “You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

  7. hello

    Quick question for you Cargo… what do you think about buying silver? I’ve been buying silver for the past couple of years. Mainly because it’s cheaper per ounce but it looks like it’s trending right along with gold, just curious what you thought?

    1. How are you buying the silver? I mean in what form?

  8. “The Board of County Supervisors is taking up the Wartime Museum at the October 5 meeting. That scheme involves the Hyltons “donating” some virtually useless, undevelopable land”

    Since I’m interested in the Wartime Museum, please clarify this: Is this land that Hylton is “donating” the land going to the museum or or the Hyltons involved with the Museum?

  9. Big Dog

    There are a 1,000 escaped minks running loose in Ireland!!

    Why doesn’t Obama take action? Shame!

    (FOX is reporting the minks are Islamic!!! Beck is starting to cry!!!)

  10. Need to Know

    The land belongs currently to the Hyltons. They are “donating” it but the package the BOCS will consider October 5 includes new development rights that will benefit the Hyltons. They, Stewart and their proponents are waving the flag for a museum to honor veterans to garner support but it’s nothing more than a land deal to benefit special interests and campaign contributors. The “donation” of land will not go through unless the BOCS approves the entire package.

    The staff report can be found at:

    Note that this staff report reads like a promotional brochure for the project, lacking any semblance of due diligence and analysis as to whether the project is in the interests of PWC taxpayers or not.

    A few more details:

    The supporters state that the project will need $50 million and that they will raise all of that from private sources. Note, however, that after allegedly working on development of the project for nearly a decade they have, as of the last Form 990 filing, less than $1 million in real assets. Form 990 is the annual tax filing required by the IRS for non-profit organizations. You can see them by clicking on this link:

    The 2009 Form 990 shows total assets of a little over $4 million, but over $3 million of that is in the form of pledges and grants receivable that their statements have carried for at least two years. It’s not real money.

    There’s not a chance in h*** they are going to be able to raise enough money, especially in an economy such as we have now, to build this thing without extensive taxpayer support.

    The CEO of the Wartime Museum, Craig Stewart, has been taking about one-quarter of a million dollars ANNUALLY in salary and other compensation despite having no experience with museums. He was some sort of assistant director at a private school prior to talking this job. He is, however, well-connected in the same circles in which Corey Stewart travels. According to employment web sites, the average salary of a museum director in the DC area is less than $100,000.

    Corey Stewart claims this museum is not going to cost PWC taxpayers a cent. However, under pressure from citizens, County staff acknowledged in an addendum to the staff report that PWC taxpayers have already provided $721,565. That’s almost enough to pay Craig Stewart’s compensation for the approximately three years he has been employed with the Wartime Museum.

    Bottom line – PWC taxpayers will NEVER see a museum of the quality being promised by Corey Stewart, County staff and other museum supporters. If this project is approved on October 5, the Hyltons win big-time because they get rid of some useless land at the expense of PWC taxpayers and obtain some valuable new development rights elsewhere in PWC. Corey Stewart wins with a bundle of campaign contributions. Local big-wigs get a taxpayer-supported park to play out their fantasies of being soldiers, and Craig Stewart makes more than he could dream of in a real job. Losers – PWC taxpayers who will never see anything close to what’s being promised and will inevitably be asked to cough up more money to avoid having a junk tank lot next to I-95 much like the junk car lots along Route 1.

    The Wartime Museum is another Corey Stewart scam.

  11. Need to Know

    By the way, I am incredibly disappointed with the “reporting” that has been done on this issue by our local news media. I found all of this information and more (I’ll post more later but don’t have time now) through research done with public sources. The local media have done nothing more than reprint press releases from Stewart, the County Government and Wartime Museum supporters, and provide them with photo ops.

    Most likely, the BOCS will approve the Wartime Museum on October 5 and create another boondoggle for PWC taxpayers in this corrupt County. The only place where anything critical of this scam has been said is here on Moonhowlings. In the next three, four or so years when I’m proven right (and Corey Stewart plans to be in Richmond or somewhere other than PWC) PWC taxpayers will able to blame corrupt local politicians and bureaucrats, and a local news media that serves as their mouthpiece.

    Maybe our local news outlets are reading the blog, will realize that they have overlooked something important unintentionally, and do something about it. If they do, my hat will be off to them. However, as of today, only the contributors to this blog will be able to say, “I told you so.”

  12. Mom

    Well there is that little problem of not having an ordinance that allows density transfers, an ordinance required by the enabling statute. Oops, forgot this is PWC aka “The People’s Republic of We Don’t Need No Stinking Ordinances” or “The Land that Lawful Landuse Forgot”.

  13. Need to Know

    Mom, welcome back. I agree. Stewart thinks he can do whatever he and his campaign donors want. He tells his supporters whatever they want to hear, such as running illegals out of town, and then turns around and enables his development buddies to hire illegals. Why don’t more people speak out? Why don’t the other supervisors call him on this nonsense? What ever happened to the “Rule of Law”?

  14. Mom

    I get it from Corey, thirty pieces at a time.

  15. NTK, I think I would like to give your findings top billing…as a post. It is something everyone needs to see.

    I have not been focused this afternoon. Other things going on.

  16. Lafayette

    Just heard there was a fire near Carmello’s in Old Town. What’s going on over there?

    1. I hope it isn’t a book burning.

  17. My stationary reporter in Old Town told me that it is indeed Carmellos and that they had to break the windows out. It doesn’t sound good. My roving reporter told me it was a 4 alarm. Not sure what that means.

  18. Lafayette

    Seems as though it was a kitchen fire at Carmello’s and everyone’s ok.

  19. Good. So it wasn’t a 4 alarm?

  20. Lafayette

    I don’t think so. It might not even been a kitchen fire. Limited story is now on insidenova. The most important thing is nobody was hurt.

  21. AndyH

    Sorry, meant to add that that link is to a couple of pictures I took when I went up to see what was going on. Mayor is out of town so they call the second stringers..:)

  22. Lafayette

    Andy. I’m glad everyone is ok. I can’t believe both fires that have broken out in the past week I’ve been picking my daughter up from Stonewall. Thank goodness for first responders. Nice work.

  23. Wolverine

    I see that the PWC police have ruled young Austin Trenum’s death a suicide by hanging. In researching youth suicides, I found that, while 1.3% of all deaths in the U.S. are by suicide, the rate for kids 15-24 is 12.3%. Although the rate has declined somewhat from a high in 1994, it is still double the rate in the 1950’s. Most of these youthful suicides take place in the home and are the result of interpersonal conflicts. My God, what kind of psychological hole has this society dug for its young?!! If you have young kids or grandkids out there, if you are a parent, a grandparent, a godmother or a godfather, please put aside some of those things and activities which take up so much of our time and reach out to the kids so we can understand whatever is causing them so much pain. Maybe we can make a difference.

    1. College students also have a very high rate of suicide. Suicide is something like the third greatest cause of death amongst teens. It also is more prevalant with boys than girls. Perhaps girls have more ways to handle emotional difficulties. They can cry, cut themselves, and act out more than males at that age can.

      Regardless, Austin Tenum’s death has really set Prince William County on its ear. All of us reach out to the Trenums while affording them their privacy. I think each of us who is a parent or grandparent has thought “There but for the grace of God go I, ” this week.

  24. on bullies and suicide…

    … we have got to teach our kids to have respect for others and themselves. There is always the odd kid out who get’s off on causing other kids to suffer, but if you don’t give those individuals support and stand up for the oppressed, most likely the bullying will stop…

    But if we as adults can’t control our own culture of harassment for kicks….

    Andrew Shirvell if you have one shred of decency left, resign!

  25. punchak

    It’s disturbing how many young people feel on the outside. If you don’t fit in with the jocks, hip hop, cheerleader etc. groups, you’re no accepted for what you are. One of my daughter’s friends found her 17 year old son dead by hanging in the basement. He was one of the quiet, gentle teenagers who didn’t fit in.

    All over the news this morning, the story about an 18 yr old Rutgers student jumping off the Geo Washington bridge. Two fellow students had recorded him having sex with a man and put it out on the internet.

    The internet can cause many young people to loose their selfconfidence. When you’re 17-18 it’s a terrible thing to be verbally abused in cyber space.

  26. Morris Davis

    There were 4 suicides in a week at Fort Hood, Texas. All were veterans of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. That makes 14 confirmed suicides at Fort Hood this year and 6 more are under review and may be deemed suicides, too. The suicide rate for soliders at Fort Hood is 4 times the national average. In the past 5 years more than 1,000 GIs have killed themselves. As we approach what will be a full decade at war those numbers are likely to continue to grow.

  27. punchak

    Interesting and disturbing, Morris.

  28. That is very sad. How many people met the same fate after other wars and we just didn’t connect the dots?

    Is there any problem with returning troops and the unemployment rate?

  29. A lot of returning troops are starting to take up the promise of college education, my campus has a special councilor (a recent vet) in place to work with them to help them adapt into the school enviornment which can be a physcological battlefield in it’s own right.

    I think a lot of tragedy can be sparked by the mass media culture constantly bombarding you with the message that if you are not like the shiney people in the commercials, you have failed in some way.

    It’s absolute BS, but if you were raised by the TV/internet as a child, it’s illusions can have a profound effect on you, espcially if you feel like you fail to live up to these unobtainable expectations every single day.

    When situations in a virtual world promt suicides in the real one, it’s time to wake up…

  30. Does McDonnell do anything other than work on giving away our liquor stores? He is spending way too much time on this partisan iniative.

    He will go down in history as the Booze Gov.

    1. That is more of an attack on the Democrats than Obama.
      I think that was on last night.

  31. Here’s a little something to brighten you day:

    Summation: When asked if borrowing 42 cents on every dollar spent bothered him, the President replied with a comment about 60% of the budget being untouchable entitlement programs that he has trouble affecting. He then continued with that premise as a problem of growth, that the entitlements would grow to choke the budget.

    Hmmmmm, borrowing 42% for every dollar in the budget. That would mean that the EXISTING budget is what is funding the CURRENT entitlements. All the borrowing would be for the rest of the budget.

    In other words, Obama told the world in this interview that we are broke and no amount of taxation will fix it, especially with current spending levels. In fact, this makes the whole “Bush tax cuts” into a circus to distract us. Of course, he treats any tax cut as a future deficit and cost because to him, all income belongs first to the government.

    We are sooooooo screwed.

  32. Wolverine

    Wolverine thinks Michigan will soon have an opening for an assistant attorney general.

  33. Starryflights

    Calif. governor’s race upended by immigrant maid

    By JULIET WILLIAMS and MICHAEL R. BLOOD, Associated Press Writers

    SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Meg Whitman’s campaign for governor was
    thrown into turmoil Thursday as the Republican sought to fend off
    new evidence that she knowingly had an illegal immigrant housekeeper
    on her payroll for nearly a decade.

    Whitman denounced the allegations as a “baseless smear attack” by
    Democratic challenger Jerry Brown in what has become a dead-heat
    race five weeks before the election.

    Hahaha! I thought that these confused conservative Republicans were opposed to illegal immigration!

  34. Starry, it is sure turning in to a he said/she said.

  35. Pat.Herve

    they are opposed to illegal immigration, that does not mean that they will not exploit the ones that are here. Just ask Mitt Romney (who I like and would vote for) – he spoke to his illegal immigrant landscapers in Spanish. Or ask Secretary Chertoff, while he was still in the position, he had illegal immigrants cleaning his house, all while the Secret Service watched (and vetted them).

  36. There is that little thing of a false application that states the maid said she was legal to work in the US. Hmmmm, lets see…..Is Meg Whitman supposed to be a mind reader? As for the SS letter…that’s their smoking gun? Sooooo, the accusation is that Whitman hired a lying illegal alien that used fraud to get a job. And that woman is mad that she got fired, instead of, you know, deported. The real question is…why is that woman still in this country? If the story of a letter sent by Soc. Sec. is true, then nothing that Whitman was sent said that the maid WAS illegal.

    Again, the Democrats in Ca. have no solutions to problems that they created and are having to resort to smear tactics.

    Btw, the link has to be copy/pasted. It doesn’t work as a click.

  37. Btw…why is Allred, the maid’s LAWYER, putting her at risk for legal problems? I noticed that when I first read about this. Whitman did not break any laws. The maid did. Is Allred’s political hunger so great that she is willing to place her client in harm’s way? Is Allred stating that Whitman should have called INS? Even though the SS letter stated that the letter did not concern immigration status?

    Here’s the “controversy” shown in a more realistic view:

    “Allred may be right that the employer (in this case Whitman and her husband) should not have left it up to the housekeeper to clear up the problem, and should have been more suspicious. Had Whitman or her husband followed up, the housekeeper would have been fired several years ago.

    Call Allred a strict constructionist when it comes to the immigration laws, just like the people who are excoriated by the left as racists for seeking enforcement of federal immigration laws.

    The message Allred is sending is that if you are going to hire an immigrant, not only must you dot every federal immigration law “i” and cross every federal immigration law “t”, you also must not trust the immigrant if a problem arises. At least not if you want to run for public office.”

    and here:

  38. marinm

    Cargo, does that mean if I lie about my mortgage but can blame the evil mega-banking corporations that I can keep my house?? 😉

  39. Weeellll, I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, buuuuuttt… sure. Why not?

    I have noticed that one of the mortgage companies has halted foreclosures due to paperwork problems. And didn’t Obama say that he was going to help everyone with mortgage problems during the campaign?

  40. I almost forgot. What gives you, Starry, the the idea that REPUBLICANS are opposed to illegal immigration? Heck, Colin Powell, the left’s perfect Republican, admitted that he hires illegal aliens. Bush and McCain wanted amnesty. And the left always says that its the GOP business interests (because we all know that the Dems have no businesses) that wants cheap illegal labor.

    Its CONSERVATIVES that want the border enforced and illegal aliens removed from the US and the laws enforced.

  41. Lafayette

    Time for a new Open Thread, Moon. This now has going on three pages of comment. First day of the month. ‘Tis the Season of the Witch”, don’t ya know? 😉

  42. Cargo, I think in this area the crowd that was the most vocal about illegal immigration was from within the Republican party. Nationwide, I couldn’t tell you but here, it was definitely Republican.

  43. Cargo, I would agree with you if you made it not partisan. Whitman isn’t a mind reader, you are right. I heard she was paying her 23.00 an hour. Not too shabby.

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