What she REALLY said: Sandra Fluke’s testamony about contraception

From Rachel Maddow:

The Background:

Last week, the House Oversight Committee, led by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), held a one-sided hearing on contraception access, featuring an opening panel of five conservative men — and no one else. Democrats on the committee had invited a witness, Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke, but Issa refused to allow her to participate.

House Dems aren’t taking “no” for an answer.

In case it wasn’t already apparent how politicized women’s health has become on Capitol Hill, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Tuesday that a Democratic panel will meet this week to hear testimony from just one witness: Sandra Fluke, the woman who House Republicans refused to let testify at their hearing on the birth control rule last week.

Pelosi announced that the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee will meet Thursday at 10 a.m. to discuss women’s health. A senior Democratic aide said it is common practice for party leaders to use that committee to cast a spotlight on overtly political matters.

“We’ve used the Steering and Policy Committee as a place to highlight what the Republicans ARE NOT doing with their hearings,” the aide said in an email.

There was, however, an unexpected twist yesterday afternoon. The Democratic Steering & Policy Committee’s hearing will be held in the House Recording Studio, in order to help broadcast the event, except in this case, it won’t be seen by anyone outside the room. According to House Dems, the Republican-controlled Committee on House Administration has refused to allow the hearing to be televised.

In other words, the House GOP blocked Sandra Fluke from testifying at a hearing last week, and now they’re apparently blocking the public from hearing Sandra Fluke’s testimony at another hearing this week.


Now I understand! It’s about punishment: HB 462 returned to House for approval

Richmond Times Dispatch:


The Virginia Senate today passed precedent-setting legislation that would force women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion.

The 21-19 vote on an amended version of House Bill 462, sponsored by Del. Kathy J. Byron, R-Campbell marked a victory for anti-abortion advocates and the conservative wing of the Republican Party, which has been frustrated in recent days with the scuttling of bills aimed at restricting access, funding and length of time a woman may access abortion services.

Senators agreed to an amendment under which a victim of rape or incest who reports the attack would not have to undergo an ultrasound to get an abortion. The amendment means that the measure must go back to the House of Delegates to see if it agrees to the amendment.

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School violence: The Killing Fields?

I would like to talk about something that makes ME sick.   Sick and numb.  Today a third student has died as a result of that fatal shooting at Chardon High School outside of Cleveland.  Every day there is violence in schools.  Earlier in the week, an 11 year old girl died in California  as a result of fighting with another girl, over a boy.  There are probably others student deaths that weren’t sensational enough to make the news.   Are our schools becoming killing fields? 

What can be done to stop this type of senseless violence?  The 11 year old girl was a participant.  We can assume willing.  However, the 4 students who were shot yesterday were simply sitting in the cafeteria eating breakfast.  How did the shooter get access to the cafeteria?  He wasn’t even a student in that school any more.  He went to alternative school.  We can only assume that he walked right in with the rest of the students at 7:30 am.

Is there a way to make our schools safer?  From all accounts this school, like Columbine a decade ago, wasn’t in a heavy crime area.  It was just an ordinary school, like our kids go to.  It wasn’t inner city. 

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In Virginia: Women’s Strike Force forms to fight anti abortion legislators

Spurred on by David Albo’s silly, tiresome anecdote about his wife cutting him off because of trans-vaginal probes attached to his name, influential Virginia woman have sprung into action and formed a new pac called the Women’s Strike Force. Enough is enough. Leslie Byrne is one of the founders.

From the Women’s Strike Force website:

The Women’s Strike Force is a Virginia PAC dedicated to recruiting and supporting all candidates opposing any elected official who supported the “personhood” or mandatory ultrasound legislation in the Virginia General Assembly.

All funds raised will be used to beat every Virginia Legislator who voted in favor of HB1 or HB462/SB484.

Donations may be made at www.womenstrikeforce.org

They take credit cards and pay pal.

The women  strike back.  May the force be with them.

Is there a war of people of faith?

Tonight Bill O’Reilly spent a great deal of his show addressing Rick Santorum’s remarks about JFK making him (Rick) want to throw up.  The remarks of both men were heard and then O’Reilly deferred to Ronald Reagan.  While saying that Santorum had gone too far, O’Reilly pretty much said that there was a war on people of faith.

Frankly, as a ‘people of faith,’ I have never felt a war on my faith.  What I have felt is people of other faiths trying to shove theirs down my throat, from knocks at the door, to having to say someone’s prayer in public meetings, or listen to lectures from others about who would and would not get to the promised land.  I have been questioned about my right to call myself a Christian. 

Yes, I feel under attack.  I shouldn’t have to do any of those things.  I prefer a secular world outside of my church.  I feel that I go to my church to learn, worship,  restore and commune.  What I bring out is behavior that is reflective  of my faith.  I should treat others as I would like to be treated.  I watch Elena live her faith.  As you all know, we are of different faiths.  Yet she and I have more in common than I do with many other Christians.  I was raised that my religion was not to be shouted about.   To do so was to show off. 

So I don’t feel the war.  How is war declared on Christians?  I don’t want the recent flap on contraception as part of an answer.  That  just becomes circular talk.   Let’s find some other examples.  How about wars on other faiths?   When did it start?   Was Madalyn Murray O’Hare the beginning or did her efforts free us up from other people’s religion?  I would very much like to hear how the secular world has declared war. 


Rick Santorum: JFK’s promise to keep Pope out of politics ‘makes me want to throw up’

From the New York Daily News:

RICK SANTORUM on Sunday said President Kennedy’s famous 1960 speech pledging to keep Pope and politics separate “makes me want to throw up.”

He spoke about the importance of political leaders respecting people of faith — then slammed President Obama for apologizing for the accidental burning of Korans at an American military base.

“I think it shows weakness,” he told ABC.

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.

“To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up.”

On NBC, he said, “This idea that we need to segregate faith is a dangerous idea, and we’re seeing the Obama administration not only segregating faith but imposing the state’s values.”

Most Americans have always admired JFK for his ability to convince  the voters that he intended to keep church and state separate.  He later became the first (and to date, only) Catholic president.  He assured America that he would not be under the control of the Vatican in a speech given to ministers  in Houston, Texas in 1960.  Had Kennedy left doubt in the minds of voters, he would have not been elected president of the United States. 

Rick Santorum seems to be trying to tear down that wall of separation so many of us revere with his bare hands.  He simply doesn’t get it. 

On Saturday Rick Santorum dug himself deeper into the cultural warrior quagmire by calling President Obama a snob because he wants all kids to have the opportunity to go to college.  According to the Washington Post:

“President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob,” the former Pennsylvania senator said. “There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor to try to indoctrinate them. Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image.”

Is wanting to go to college the making of a snob?  Since when did going to college stop being the American dream?  I will be the first person to say not everyone should go to college.  Academically  some folks simply don’t belong there.  But not going to college shouldn’t be because of inability to pay.  Santorum also took a slam about liberal arts colleges.  Liberal Arts colleges, according to Wikipedia:

Students in the liberal arts generally major in a particular discipline while receiving exposure to a wide range of academic subjects, including sciences as well as the traditional humanities subjects taught as liberal arts.

A “liberal arts” institution can be defined as a “college or university curriculum aimed at imparting broad general knowledge and developing general intellectual capacities, in contrast to a professional, vocational, or technical curriculum.”

Since when is being literate and possessing general knowledge a sign of snobbery?  Does he want us all to be dumb asses?  That makes no sense if the United States is going to compete in a global economy. 

Is it possible that any one would consider Rick Santorum for president?  In one weekend he has managed to shred the very fabric of what makes most of us Americans.  Rick Santorum makes ME want to throw up. 

  What is this foolish man trying to do?  He attempted to dilute the first amendment and he bashed our egalitarian educational system.  He is unelectable. 

Hear Barry Lynn from Americans United for Separation of Church and State



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Bob Marshall throws Governor McDonnell under the bus


This violation courtesy of the Virginia GOP

(Ultra sound trans-vaginal probe ‘decorated’ by The Rachel Maddow Show)


Bob McDonnell is is walking a thin line as he is  quietly trying to do damage control on the devastating mess the far right wing of his party made last week, in particular, with two extremist abortion bills.  One bill, sponsored by anti-abortion activist Bob  Marshall, defined personhood  to be at conception.   The other required all women seeking  an abortion to undergo an ultra sound first.  The sneaky part of that bill was that 90% of all women seeking abortion would require a trans-vaginal probe in order to determine gestational age. 

Governor McDonnell had originally stated that he would sign the ultra sound bill until last week when Virginia became the laughing stock of the nation on Saturday Night Live, Rachel Maddow, Colbert Nation, and Jon Stewart’s Daily Show.   He quickly back-pedaled when those shows started informing the public what all was really involved.  Two protests  on the Virginia State Capital Grounds last week punctuated the attitude of Virginia women.  One protest was silent.  Legislators had to past hundreds of protesters who just stared at them and said absolutely nothing. 

 The good governor, not wanting to be known as the Vaginal Probe governor, should he be selected as the Vice presidential candidate,  tried to talk the lawmakers into less draconian measures.  Probably the Maddow prop like the one shown above that stated “I can see the White House from here” probably smarted the most as McDonnell attempted to reined in his maverick legislators.  Some refused to listen.  According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, Bob Marshall was having none of that and was more than willing to throw Gov. McDonnell under the bus:

Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, among the most conservative members of the legislature — and the sponsor of the “personhood” bill that the Senate scuttled Thursday — disagrees. Marshall said the governor badly mishandled the abortion issues in particular.

“You don’t attempt to correct the manipulations of your opponent (and) you sound the call for retreat? Who the hell would put that person in charge of an army in the field?” he said.

Marshall suggested that McDonnell’s maneuvering was an attempt to salvage independent and moderate votes in November.

“This is clearly an abandonment of Ronald Reagan’s legacy,” he said. “He’s also abandoned the Republican platform.”

Is it any wonder that many in the GOP want Marshall out?  He simply is not a team player.

On the other hand, McDonnell might be getting what he deserves.  He should research all bills before he signs them or says he will sign them.  Furthermore, the hyspocrisy of this bill is astounding.  Is Virginia not one of the states suing the federal government over mandated health care?  How about mandated ultra sounds that are an unnecessary medical procedure that add cost and discomfort to the entire procedure.  I guess that’s OK though.  The outcome on the ultra sound bill is still unclear.  There are still several more anti abortion bills that will require attention.

Williams and Buchanan both fired for stating opinions

Has anyone noticed 2 missing people from TV news shows?  We all know that Juan Williams was fired by NPR over remarks they felt were not politically correct.  Well, 2 other people have disappeared.  Where is the Judge?  Judge Napolitano vaporized from Fox News.  At least they gave Glenn Beck a send off.  The Judge just poofed. 

He isn’t the only MIA.  Pat Buchanan also was fired from MSNBC, very quietly.  He too poofed.  I hadn’t missed him.  I noticed he hadn’t been on for a while.  Apparently in his case,  his book, “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”     irritated too many people who called for his ouster.  Pat has written about his firing in a piece he calls  The New Black List.

Juan Williams interviewed Pat Buchanan.  The two journalists have a few things in common, the main one being that they were both fired for stating their opinions.  During the interview, he asked Pat Buchannan if he was a racist.





 Pat Buchanan claims that what some of the groups who clamored for his ouster are black-listing those they want to silence.  Juan Williams agreed with him.  Both men had a very congenial conversation.  This is an interview worth watching. 

 Are people being black-listed and who is responsible?   By the way, Buchanan said no, he wasn’t a racist.

Virginia Women don’t take crap

Women lined the way to the Virginia General Assembly building to silently protest the house bill that would require a trans-vaginal ultrasound before the state would ‘allow’ her to have an abortion.

The protest yesterday over the personhood bill was NOT silent. Not even close.

The women of Virginia do not plan to go back to the dark ages.


As an aside, is Bob Marshall likening himself to Christ?

Demonstrators lined the pathways leading from the General Assembly Building to the Capitol, cheering Democratic opposition and giving the silent treatment to Republican supporters of the measure. Marshall sidestepped the gantlet, telling a reporter: “Even Christ avoided stonings.”

What a coward!  Get out there and face the music, Mr. Marshall.  And by the way, you and Jesus Christ have little in common.  He was humble, for starters.

The Discretionary Funds of PWC: Where’s the beef?

Many folks have contacted us about the PWC discretionary funds that are given to the PWC BOCS.  Last week the Committee of 100 dedicated an entire evening to discussion about this practice.  What are discretionary funds?  Money that the supervisors get to pay for office, staff, supplies,  charity and regional arts and entertainment.  They can spend some, all or none of it.  Before it goes to items not part of keeping the office, the supervisors announce their intentions a meeting before they donate.  Usually the other supervisors rubber stamp their approval.  I can’t ever remember when that didn’t happen.

Many citizens feel that this practice is just playing too loosey goosey with county funds.  Others feel that the supervisors act like they are pulling out their personal checkbook and resent that there is no mention of the taxpayers when these donations are made.

The topic of discretionary funds came to a head when Supervisor Wally Covington attempted to give $100,000 to a charity run by his wife.  The citizens and blogosphere errupted and Mr. Covington rightly pulled in his intention announcement.   This episode in PWC history left residents with more determination than ever to put an end to the discretionary fund practice.  The problem is, which of the supervisors will willingly give up the ‘keys to the safe?’  Will they be willing to vote themselves out of discretionary funds?  Furthermore, PWC is the only county in the area that uses this financial system of public funds.  What is a better way to handle this kinds of money.  It also brings up the question of county support for charities and other worthwhile endeavors.  Who gets money from the public coffers and who doesn’t?

Your input is greatly needed.

Rachel Maddow does post-mortum on McDonnell’s about face


Rachel Maddow sticks the skewer in Right Wing Virginia zealots one more time as she examines the ultra-sound bill once again.  The bill sponsor has pulled the bill.  Republicans met with Governor McDonnell this week to discuss the problem he had, being painted into a corner.  Some legislators simply blew him off.  When it was decided to ‘reword’ the bill, they all decried that they knew not what they did.  Rachel calls them out as liars. Of course they knew.  They were told by women’s groups and the Democrats that ultra sound involved trans-vaginal ultrasound.

This week we will be gathering information on the vote.  You might want to examine if you want to cast your ballot in the future for someone who would mandate that a woman be probed without her consent just to undergo a medical procedure. 

Making a list and checking it twice.  Gonna find out whose naughty or nice.  Woman control tried to come to town.

Did Bob Marshall cry himself to sleep last night?

Washington Post:

In a highly unusual move, the full Virginia Senate killed the so-called ‘personhood’ bill for the year just hours after it seemed likely to surv ive.

The Senate voted 24-14 to send the bill back to Senate Education and Health Committee, with two anti-abortion Democrats abstaining.

Sen. Richard Saslaw (D-Fairfax) made the motion. Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment (R-James City) agreed, saying the bill needed more time to be examined.

The bill would have provided that “unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the commonwealth, subject only to the laws and constitutions of Virginia and the United States, precedents of the United States Supreme Court, and provisions to the contrary in the statutes of the commonwealth.”

The action came not long after a Senate committee voted along party lines to approve the bill, despite the opposition of those who argued that the broad measure could prohibit birth control and in vitro fertilization.

Couple this lastest development with the trans-vaginal ultrasound bill being pulled, and the best laid plans of mice and men went down in a blaze of ….nothingness. The women of Virginia decided they were having none of this nonsense. Many also credit the comediennes and liberal commentators for the defeat. Rachel Maddow was informative. She presented the time line and explained the dangers of the bills. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Amy Pohler and Seth Myer mocked, mimicked and ridiculed Virginia lawmakers. Morning Joe discussed both bills and pointed out the damage both could do to McDonnell’s chances for Vice President.

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Prince William County, The Prince of Hypocrisy

So ,let me get this straight, in spite of the Planning Commission denial of the application and Staff’s recommendation that it be denied, the BOCS votes to approve the CPA Wolf Run development. The proverbial “Cherry” on the top is the subsequent two Supervisors, Stewart and Candland, who decry the approved “advertised” tax rate of 1.215 up from last years 1.204.

Let’s recap shall we. Corey approves the HUGE residential development of Avendale, Candland approves what SHOULD have been commercial zoning into residential with his Wolf Run vote, and they are complaining about having to increase taxes to pay for needed local resources like teachers and new police stations?

Stewart said one item that he thinks can be cut from Peacor’s proposed budget is the Central District Police Station, which has generated some neighborhood opposition. Stewart said it needs to be built at some point but could probably be pushed off to the future.

Peacor’s facility budget calls for a new station near Davis Ford Road and Prince William Parkway to maintain response times and relieve overcrowding of the area’s other police stations. The station would cost of $28.1 million over the next three fiscal years.

What world do some people live in? The BOARD is directly responsible to for ensuring the needs of the community are met. Who do they believe will ultimately pay for the new housing they themselves approve?

Here is a suggestion, all these Comp plan amendments that will come before you in the next month or so, all these developers (well, really, only two) who will ask for special allowances to build houses in areas zoned for commercial, just say one word…… “NO”!

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