Congress gets it: Geithner whips out his pocket Constitution


After President Obama said he wasn’t going to second guess the Supreme Court Justices, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner was not as shy to put on his constitutional law professor hat:

Huffington Post:

At a Politico Playbook breakfast on May 25, Geithner was asked by host Mike Allen about the negotiations over default and the debt ceiling.

“I think there are some people who are pretending not to understand it, who think there’s leverage for them in threatening a default,” Geithner said. “I don’t understand it as a negotiating position. I mean really think about it, you’re going to say that– can I read you the 14th amendment?”

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Halperin in Time Out: Don’t call the Prez a D***

It looks like my favorite morning show folks screwed up. I think Mika and Joe need to be sent to the corner also because they laughed. I heard it and laughed too but I out of reach of MSNBC.

According to :

WASHINGTON — The White House says an off-color remark about President Barack Obama by MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin was inappropriate.

Halperin said during an appearance Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he thought Obama “was a dick yesterday.” The Time magazine editor at large was talking about Obama’s performance at a White House news conference on Wednesday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the comment was an inappropriate thing to say about any president. Carney also said he had expressed that sentiment to network executives.

Halperin quickly apologized on the air Thursday. MSNBC suspended him indefinitely hours later.

MSNBC also said Halperin’s comment was completely inappropriate and unacceptable. The network apologized to Obama.

It was inappropriate on the air. I think Halperin was set up though. I hope he isn’t suspended for more than a week. The difference between Faux News and MSNBC is that Faux walks up to the line on a continual basis but they don’t ever really cross it. They taunt it. MSNBC charges the position and crosses the line. Not often but often enough for someone to always be in time out, it seems.   Halperin apologized after the commercial break.  Apparently it wasn’t enough.

Jon Stewart is going to have a lot of material for tonight’s show.

2 am    Post Post:  And he did indeed use this incident as one of his skits. 



Glenn Beck’s Last Day

Glenn Beck makes his final appearance on Fox New in the 5 pm slot today.  He ruled the roost for a while, with millions of viewers.  Many people felt he was a cult leader.  Beck started off with a bang–slamming the Obama administration and others associated as liberals.  He at one time credited himself with being a Tea Party founder.  He certainly was a cheerleader for the movement. 

What has happened?  As Beck got wilder and wilder with his accusations and inappropriate comments, moderates and those on the left complained more and more.  Groups and individuals complained to sponsors.  Beck lost many of his sponsors.  Apparently Fox News told him to tone it down because he has.  Then he just got boring and preachy. 

Media Matters tried to take credit for his departure:

Beck’s departure from his Fox show didn’t just happen — this moment is the result of constant monitoring, meticulous fact-checking, and our dogged exposure of Beck’s toxic falsehoods and attacks.

We’ve worked every day to make sure reputable journalists, political leaders, and potential advertisers understood what kind of poison Beck injected into the debate. In the end, Beck lost his ratings, his relevance and, as advertisers departed, revenue for Fox News. And we were able to show the world that hate doesn’t pay.

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Is Michele Bachmann the new Goldilocks?

South Carolinian seem to be favorably impressed with Michele Bachmann.  They were somewhat put off by Romney, Pawlenty and Huntsman.   They felt they were too cold.  Conversely, Santorum, Cain, and Paul were too hot.  Conservatives just don’t think they can beat Obama.  Apparently Michele Bachmann is just right, for South Carolinians and they feel she can beat Obama.

That seems a bit premature.  The election isn’t for another year and several months.  There’s many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.  And lets not forget that Obama has been in office only 2 years and several months. 

It will be fun to watch.  Meanwhile, conservatives need to remember that moderates and Independents see Bachmann as very far right.  Huntsman and Romney (and Giuliani) are seen as more moderate Republicans.  What is going to trip up Republicans is the fact that those running in the primary have to pass the anti-Rino test.  Once they do that, they become too conservative for a general election.  Republicans need to rethink this catch-22 and perhaps put their eyes on the prize which of course, is the White House. 

How do conservatives overcome this dichotomy in reality?

Geithner Warns Sen. Johnson On Debt Ceiling

Fr0m :

Geithner was responding to a letter Johnson sent President Barack Obama in May, signed by 22 other Senate Republicans, that argued the government would have enough revenue to continue functioning if the government hit the debt ceiling and suggested the White House should make contingency spending plans for that event.

Geithner said in his letter that many members of the GOP, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, acknowledge that raising the debt ceiling is the responsible thing to do, and he quoted Boehner saying, “I think raising the debt limit is the responsible thing to do for our country, the responsible thing for our economy … if we were to fail to increase the debt limit, we would send our economy into a tail spin.”

Geithner also noted that Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a favorite of the Tea Party, said in 2010: “You don’t have much choice if you charge something on your credit card. You have to pay for it, and that’s effectively what this debt limit is … we’ve already spent the money. The question is now, do we shut down the government or do we fund what we’ve already done?

Even conservative icon President Ronald Reagan spoke out against playing with the debt limit, according to Geithner. Reagan wrote in 1983: “This country now possesses the strongest credit in the world. The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and on the value of the dollar in exchange markets. The Nation can ill afford to allow such a result. The risks, the costs, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns.”

Why is this a political issue?  I don’t want to hear something stupid  Obama supposedly said 5-6 years ago.  It doesn’t really matter.  In fact, it is irrelevant.  Let’s put politics aside and do what needs to happen for the good of the country.  The money has already been spent.   If every American gave $5 bucks a month, think how we could reduce the debt.  Why shouldn’t we pay for it?  It is we who reaped the benefits.





Oh, for Fox Sake – Who’s the Biggest A**hole

CC vs Fox smack down! Fox News has gotten  several days of very strong programming off Jon Stewart since his interview with Chris Wallace.  Stewart makes sure that their cup runneth over.  I dare you to watch without at least smiling.

Tom Petty orders Bachmann Campaign to cease and desist

Musician Tom Petty has complained to the Michelle Bachmann campaign about his song “American Girl” being used at her presidential run kick off.  He is in the process of getting a cease and desist order.  He had a similar issue with the Bush campaign over the song “I Won’t Back Down.” 


At what point does an artist stop having control over where his or her music is played?  I am not sure Petty has a leg to stand on if the campaign owns the recording.  Could he come along and tell a club they cannot play the same recording as dance music?  What about some kid with a boom box? What if Bachmann tells Tom Petty to stick it? 

If a person is in the business of  selling recordings of their music, then they have to expect it to be played. 

Tom Petty is living up to his name.   This is about as Petty as it gets. 

New Laws go in to effect July 1 in Virginia

The Richmond Times Dispatch has posted the new laws that will go in effect July 1.


Drinking and driving: Teens who drink and drive will face harsher penalties, including loss of their license for a year and either a $500 minimum fine or 50 hours of community service. Currently, the punishment is loss of license for six months and a maximum fine of $500.

On Friday, some Virginia restaurants will have the option of going BYOW — bring your own wine.

It’s just one of nearly 900 bills — out of 2,968 proposed — that passed during this year’s winter General Assembly session. Most of the new laws take effect July 1.

The wide array of new laws ranges from an expansion of the availability of protection orders to new measurement standards for selling shelled oysters. Here are some of the highlights.

Booze towns: Residents of towns with a population of more than 1,000 will now be able to vote on whether their county should allow the sale of mixed drinks. Previously, town residents could not vote in such county referendums. The law is meant to address situations where a “dry” town is located in a “wet” county, or vice-versa.

Bring your own wine: A new law will allow restaurants to permit patrons to bring their own wine. The catch? The restaurants will be allowed to charge a “corkage” fee for the privilege.

Underage drinking: Anyone who purchases alcoholic beverages for or otherwise helps someone who they know or have reason to believe is younger than 21 obtain or consume alcohol is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Current law does not address consumption or “reason to believe” that the person is underage.

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Civil War Battle of the Bands


You would think that after all that they would have just all gone home. What a horrible war. We soon get to relive it. The Sesquicentennial is almost upon us and I feel a strong wave of depression coming over me.

This month’s  issue  (actually it might say August 2011) of Smithsonian Magazine   features  The Battle of Bull Run: The End of Illusions on the cover.  The article, written by Ernest B. Furguson,  begins:

Both North and South expected victory to be glorious and quick, but the first major battle signaled the long and deadly war to come.

To those of us who are local, the article was not particularly revealing but the fact that it was about our area and about an event we have been anticipating for several years makes the article a must-read.   It provided an excellent in-depth coverage for a nation that also commemorates the most dreadful period in our nation’s history. 

The longer I live the more horrible that war becomes to me. I fear too many people will celebrate. There is nothing to celebrate other than death and destruction of property, stock and human beings. So I will be a grouch and stay home.

Will anyone be going to most of the events? Will the county and City make profits on the events? Will we be overrun with visitors? 

Further reading:  The Battle of Bull Run:  The End of Illusions

Warner warns of calamity if Washington won’t act on debt

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:

Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said Friday that he feels like someone walking around Washington with a sign that says, “The end is near. We’ve got to act.”

During a stop in Richmond, Warner expressed disappointment that budget deficit talks led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had collapsed Thursday when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-7th, and Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., walked away, blaming differences over taxes.

“People are still playing political games,” Warner said. “The idea that we can solve this on one side of the balance sheet is a fundamental lack of basic Econ 101.”

Warner, who has for months been working toward a solution with a bipartisan group of senators known as the “Gang of Six,” said Thursday’s developments gave new urgency to that effort, which has languished since Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., departed weeks ago.

“We’ve still got a few items outstanding, but if we can’t get those finalized, we ought to at least present what we have,” Warner said, adding he hopes they can do so in the next week.Read More

Sea levels rising at fastest rate in 2100 years

From  :

WASHINGTON — Sea level has been rising significantly over the past century of global warming, according to a study that offers the most detailed look yet at the changes in ocean levels during the last 2,100 years.

The researchers found that since the late 19th century – as the world became industrialized – sea level has risen more than 2 millimeters per year, on average. That’s a bit less than one-tenth of an inch, but it adds up over time.

It will lead to land loss, more flooding and saltwater invading bodies of fresh water, said lead researcher Benjamin Horton whose team examined sediment from North Carolina’s Outer Banks. He directs the Sea Level Research Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania.

The predicted effects he cites aren’t new and are predicted by many climate scientists. But outside experts say the research verifies increasing sea level rise compared to previous centuries.Read More

Bob Pugh First Candidate to Sign Rural Crescent Pledge

Since the formation of Advocates for the Rural Crescent in 2000, each electoral season the candidates have been invited to sign a pledge supporting the Rural Crescent.

This election cycle has begun and the pledges have been sent to all certified candidates to date.   Although several candidates do not have formal websites, I have sent the pledges via the VPAP published addresses.

Bob Pugh, republican running for Coles District Supervisor, has swiftly returned the pledge with an extensive cover letter:

            June 22, 2011

Elena L. Schlossberg-Kunkel

Advocates for the Rural Crescent

[address redacted]

Dear Elena:

I sign the Rural Crescent pledge with great pleasure.

Many Prince William County residents question why the Rural Crescent is needed, and some believe that it represents nothing more than tree-huggers pursuing an anti-growth agenda. Neither of those views reflects the value of this innovative land use policy to our community.

The Rural Crescent is one of the best tools we have to keep taxes low. Runaway residential development in areas where no roads, schools, firehouses, etc. exist imposes an enormous burden on taxpayers. This infrastructure is incredibly expensive to build, and what limited proffers developers do pay barely scratch the surface of the capital and operating costs their projects create. The difference is subsidized by current taxpayers. If anyone has any doubt, they should just look at how much faster than inflation property tax bills have been rising over the past couple of decades.

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Judge blocks enforcement of new Indiana Planned Parenthood law

Indiana enacted a law in recent months that barred medicaid payments to Planned Parenthood for general  health services.  The law is being challenged by both Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.  The new law didn’t pass the whiff test.  According to

A federal judge in Indianapolis on Friday blocked part of an Indiana law that cut off public funding for the state’s Planned Parenthood operations because they provide abortions, The Associated Press reported.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, who was appointed in 2010 by President Barack Obama, granted the organization an injunction that nullifies the portion of the Indiana law, recently signed by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Indiana also got slapped on the wrist by a Reagan appointed judge:

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker ordered Indiana to not enforce portions of an Arizona-style immigration bill due to take effect July 1, the Indianapolis Star reported.

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