Anti-Choice crusaders mandate an ultra sound

The Richmond Times Dispatch:

A bill that would require a woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound took another step toward passage in the Virginia Senate Monday — but not before outnumbered Democrats rose to express their opposition in clinical terms.

Sen. Janet D. Howell, D-Fairfax proposed an amendment — that any man seeking prescription medication for erectile dysfunction must first submit to a digital rectal exam and cardiac stress test.

Howell told colleagues on the Senate floor that she was proposing the amendment because Senate Bill 484 requires women “to have an unnecessary medical procedure, it’s adding to the cost and it’s opening them up for emotional blackmail.”

“I think we should just have a little gender equity here,” Howell added.

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Amazon slips through the tax loophole



When Virginians make purchases from they are not paying sales tax on that item (unless the consumer reports it on their taxes).

The Virginia General Assembly is considering a bill to change that.

The bill clarifies the current law, which says that any retailer with a physical presence in Virginia must collect and remit the 5 percent sales tax. Amazon, which has two facilities in Virginia,  hasn’t done that.

Apparently a 2007 ruling from the state tax department said that Amazon isn’t required to collect and remit sales tax because its facilities in Virginia don’t handle sales.

To add to the story, it was announced last month that Amazon would receive more than $4.3 million in financial aid and other incentives from the state to build two fulfillment centers outside of Richmond. Those centers would bring 1,350 jobs to the area. Amazon is investing $135 million in the buildings.

The retail community has voiced its displeasure with the loophole.

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Gingrich declares war on stem cell reseach and in vitro fertilization


Washington Post:

Speaking at a Baptist church in Winter Park on Saturday, the former speaker received a standing ovation when he declared that embryonic stem-cell research amounts to “the use of science to desensitize society over the killing of babies.”

And in a news conference Sunday, he said he would ban all embryonic stem-cell research, including that done on discarded embryos created by in vitro fertilization.

Gingrich added that he would also create a commission to study the ethics of in vitro fertilization, which has involved the creation of hundreds of thousands of excess embryos stored or discarded by fertility clinics.

“I believe life begins at conception, and the question I was raising was what happens to embryos in fertility clinics, and I would favor a commission to look seriously at the ethics of how we manage fertility clinics,” Gingrich said at a news conference outside another Baptist church here. “If you have in vitro fertilization, you are creating life; therefore, we should look seriously at what the rules should be for clinics that are doing that, because they are creating life.”

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Voter ID bill moves to House floor


Richmond Times Dispatch:

A bill that would require voters who show up at the polls without identification to cast provisional ballots is headed to the House floor after being lambasted by Democrats in a committee hearing Friday.

I have to disagree with the Democrats on this one.  I see absolutely nothing wrong with requiring voter ID.  There are very few rights that an American citizen has to start with.  Legal residents pretty much have the same rights we do other than voting in state and federal elections.  What happens if if a provisional vote is cast?  According to Delegate Albo:

“I’m trying to understand what the controversy of the bill is,” said Del. David B. Albo, R-Fairfax, noting that the provisional ballots are reviewed the day after the election by the local electoral board.

“If they are legit, they get counted,” Albo said. “If they’re not legit, they don’t get counted.”

On Friday afternoon, the ACLU decried the bill as a voter-suppression measure.

Anyone who lacks the proper ID should be able to get one without charge at DMV.  I am surprised that people can register to vote without some form of identification.   In this day and age, how does a person go anywhere or do anything without some form of ID?  Go Republicans!  This is one bill that makes sense in a sea of ones that don’t. 


The President threatens Governor Jan Brewer?

Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona apparently forgot her manners, again, and pointed her finger in the face of the President of the United States on the tarmac during President Obama’s latest trip to Arizona.  Governor Brewer later told the press that she felt threatened by the President.  A picture speaks  a thousand words.

I don’t know what Governor Brewer thought the President was going to do to her.  They were in plain view and the secret service security team was right there. 

Sadly, this encounter is just another example of the breakdown of protocol and manners in the country. Pointing or wagging one’s finger in the face of the President of the United States, regardless of who he is is simply not acceptable.  I feel certain that Brewer is now the darling of those Obama haters who feel she ‘told him off good.’ 

I think that protocol needs to be taught in every classroom across America.  Obviously much has been forgotten or in Brewer’s case, never learned.  There are just certain behaviors one upholds when speaking to the President of the United States.  We use terms like’ Mr. President’ when addressing him. We even do that if he is our best friend when in public.   (or her if that should ever come to pass) 

Brewer set a bad example for everyone who sees this picture and is an embarrassment to our country.  The eyes of the world are on us.  What must they be thinking?


Roanoke Times: One paycheck away from drug use

The Roakoke Times has one of the best editorials I have read on the proposed bill to drug test recipients of Virginia’s Temporary Aid for Needy Families Program.  Perhaps soon those who get a VRS check will be expected to pass the pee test also.

The Roanoke Times Editorial:

Some legislators want jobless Virginians to prove they’re ‘clean.’ Maybe they should be tested, too.

The moment some poor worker’s company downsizes him out of a job, he is no longer Mr. Upstanding Citizen. In the eyes of some lawmakers, he’s a suspected drug abuser.

Indeed it’s a quick slippery slide from employed to addict. Or at least that’s what Virginians (employed Virginians anyway) could be led to believe given the flurry of bills some of their representatives are pushing in Richmond to drug test those seeking government aid.

Certain lawmakers are intoxicated with the notion that “if you are going to be supported by the people of the commonwealth, then you’re going to stay clean.” That’s how Sen. Dick Black, a Loudoun Republican, put it to the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, which published an account of bills that tie state aid to drug tests.

Only it’s not all state aid. Just that given to those struggling the most.

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Va Senate bill to curb teen cell phone use while driving



 Teen drivers who use cell phones while operating a vehicle can now be ticketed for that behavior if police stop them for another offense. A bill that cleared the Virginia Senate today would tighten the restriction on cell phone use by provisional license holders, meaning authorities could stop them simply for using their phone while operating a vehicle.

What is to keep the kid from putting the cell phone down if they are getting pulled over?  This bill makes no sense.

After seeing studies about distractions while talking on the phone, it might be time for a bill restricting cell phone use while driving, regardless of age.  Anyone caught texting while driving should be dragged out of their car and beaten soundly about the head and shoulders.  

Virginia needs to stop ignorning the cell phone/texting problem and legislate some serious laws with teeth.  Too many accidents are a result of people fiddling with their technology.  Eyes off the road, even for a second, can be deadly.

Virginia drug testing bill advances


One of several Virginia Republican bills–which aims to require drug tests for welfare recipients–may be one step closer to becoming law.

The bill would require initial screening of people seeking benefits under Virginia’s Temporary Aid for Needy Families Program.   Those who screen positive would have blood drawn for more definitive tests.  Those who fail would forfeit their benefits for at least a year.

For those alarmed about illegal search and seizures, this bill might cause some heartburn.  Additionally, for those who test positive, what about their children who rely on those benefits?  Will they also be punished?  What drugs would ‘big brother’ be looking for?   If an individual is supposed to be taking rx drugs for mental health, would they be denied benefits if they were NOT taking their meds?

Would this bill be Constitutional?  Does the Federal government allow such drug testing? Where do funds come from for Temporary Aid for Needy Families Program?  Are these federal funds?

I  see a lot of problems with this kind of government intervention.  This bill might drive the libertarians nuts.

Rep. Lamborn compares POTUS association to “touching a tar baby”

The Denver Post:

Lamborn said through a spokesperson that he didn’t mean disrepect.

“Congressman Lamborn regrets any misunderstanding. He simply meant to refer to a sticky situation or quagmire.”

Yes, Right!  What an accident.(NOT!)  The Washington Post reports that Rep. Doug Lamborn is once again going to skip the State of the Union Address because he ‘disagrees’ with the policies of President Obama.  In fact, he disagreed so much last August, before Obama’s  Joint Session of Congress address, that he said he didn’t want to associate with President Obama.  Specifically, he compared working with the president  to “touching a tar baby.” (emphasis ours)

Supposedly, John Boehner encouraged everyone to attend.  He needs to require it.  Isn’t he the boss?  Where is Eric Cantor?  Isn’t he supposed to be helping the Speaker get everyone in line?

Lamborn’s comparison is totally unacceptable and he should resign.  No one today is so stupid they do not realize that a comparison of that sort is racially offensive.  No one.  Americans should refuse to accept any such statement from Lamborn and he should be censured.

Meanwhile, other lawmakers will practice bipartisan seating.  Kudos to those legislators who are willing to reach across the aisle.  No Labels has prepared a list of  Who’s sitting with Whom.   We may disagree about policy without the rancor and the hate we are seeing out of some lawmakers.  Lamborn must be pandering to his base.  Obviously his base must be comprised of people *I* want nothing to do with .  That is just very obvious “code.”

The fringe right is mainstreaming racist language


Democratic cat murdered in Arkansas


Don’t mess with non-Democrats in Arkansas.  The following story is hitting the internet all over the place.  A fairly non-political friend first sent it to me.  I didn’t use it because I felt her source was slanted.  Then I started seeing it everywhere.  So here it goes:

(Reuters) – A cat belonging to an Arkansas Democratic campaign manager was found dead on Sunday night with the word “Liberal” spray-painted across its side, the campaign manager said.

The cat was a pet of Jake Burris, who manages Democrat Ken Aden’s bid for Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District. Aden is running against incumbent Republican Representative Steve Womack.

Burris was returning to his Russellville, Arkansas home with his four children when he found the cat on his doorstep, the Aden campaign said in a press release on Monday.

The mixed-breed Siamese cat had one side of its head bashed in to “the point the cat’s eyeball was barely hanging from its socket,” the release said.

Aden told Reuters that the event was “horrible, to say the least.”

“Thankfully, there are not that many people who want to do something like this,” Aden said. “The majority of people in this district are hard-working folks, but you get the occasional crazy individual out there.”


Someone knew what they were doing.  How incredibly cruel.  Most people regardless of how much they disagreed with your politics wouldn’t do anything this low and hideous.  Hopefully, the cat murderer will brag and will be apprehended.  What punishment would even be appropriate for this sick individual(s)?

Warning:  Dead Cat Picture below the fold.

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Virginia child rapists to get life in prison

If all goes as planned and this bill passes, Virginia child rapists will get mandatory  life in prison.  According to the Richmond Times Dispatch:

The Senate Courts of Justice committee Monday passed a bill that would eliminate judicial discretion in the sentencing of adults convicted of the rape of children and sentence anyone convicted of the crime to a mandatory life sentence in prison.

Current law allows a judge to impose a sentence ranging from five years to life for the crime committed against a child under the age of 13.

Senate Bill 436, sponsored by Sen. Mark D. Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg passed the GOP-controlled committee on an 8-7 vote. Due to the need to assess its potential financial impact, it was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

I am trying to figure out why I should hate this bill.  An 8-7 split tells me that it’s controversial.  I am trying to find the controversy.  I cannot do it.  It sounds like a smart plan to me.  Child rapists are the lowest of all the low life.  We certainly don’t want them back out on the streets–EVER.

Aurora Borealis: Keep your fingers crossed

We may get to see the aurora  Tuesday night, with clear skies and a little luck.  The northern lights are rare this far south and are generally seen only in the higher lattitudes.  Tomorrow night might just be the exception.  Last night the sun hurled another coronal mass ejection at the earth, just as it had done last week.  CME’s are energetic blasts of radiation and heavily charged plasma.  They can disrupt the earth’s magnetic field as well as radio and satellite communication.  They also cause spectacular light shows in the form of the Aurora Borealis.  According to the Washington Post:

The solar storm is the biggest since 2005, he added.

The storm will peak Tuesday when a speeding cloud of plasma and charged particles blasts past Earth, distorting the planet’s magnetic field with impacts possibly ranging as far south in latitude as Texas and Arizona.

“We expect moderate to potentially strong geomagnetic storming that can cause pipeline corrosion effects and power grid fluctuations,” Biesecker said.

NASA scientists predict that the storm will peak about 9 a.m. Tuesday, although it could peak up to seven hours earlier or later, said Michael Hesse of NASA’s Space Weather Laboratory, at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. The storm is expected to continue through Wednesday.

“It’s not going to be a catastrophe, but there could be noticeable geomagnetic current induced on the electrical grid,” he said.

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