Yesterday’s story actually became the story. Most of our contributors know that there is a certain decorum around here and nearly everyone goes along with it without question. I think all of our ‘in moderations’ have even been turned loose and that we all agree that the rules around here really aren’t so bad. Hell, we even let people cuss and more than a few people last week used a socially inappropriate word or two without having to sit in the naughty chair.
One of the major rules here is about county employees. I went back through the thread and its comments just to make sure that *I* had adhered to our own rules. I think I did. I think I urged others to do the same. We also encourage people to be respectful of each other as much as is humanly possible during political debate. That extends to name calling.
So a certain councilman in the City of Manassas has decided to take on the City Council, single-handedly, and regulate Amethyst Health Center. By whose authority? Mr. Aveni, do you know that abortion is a legal procedure in all 50 states in the United States? Why are you trying to bankrupt the very city that you live in? Manassas should not become a lawsuit magnet.
The owner of the Amethyst Health Center will close the clinic when she is ready to close it, or, she will sell it. You cannot not stand in her way or alter her course. She will topple you like a house of cards while she smiles. The City of Manassas will be sued unless you all regulate all the other outpatient facilities the same way. That would include your plastic surgeons, your gastroenterologists, your oral surgeons, your urologists, and any other medical practice that performs surgery.
As Russian troops cross over into Ukraine, President Obama issued a stern warning to the Russian Federation: Stay out of Ukraine. The situation today is very critical. Will Putin withdraw the troops or will we have an international incident? Will the Ukraine remain independent? Can we trust Putin?
Virginia Republican Party Treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds is drawing rebuke for a Facebook comment that used off-color language in reference to a female GOP legislator.
The episode unfolded Tuesday night during an online discussion of a JH Politics blog article about donor activity in the hotly contested Republican nomination process for the 10th Congressional District in Northern Virginia.
The race to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf has drawn considerable GOP candidate interest, including from Fairfax County Del. Barbara Comstock and Prince William County Del. Bob Marshall.
It was Comstock’s name that elicited FitzSimmonds’ online ouburst.
There was a time not too long ago when Republicans decried “activist judges.” Now they’re lamenting that judges are not being activist enough.
“Unfortunately, the courts have been reluctant to exercise their constitutionally conferred power,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) proclaimed at a hearing Wednesday. He called on the courts “to check the president’s overreach,” and he complained that “the federal courts have read their own powers much more narrowly” than they should.
This newfound love of activist judges is the latest manifestation of what has been called Obama Derangement Syndrome: The president’s opponents are so determined to thwart him that they will reverse long-held views if they believe that doing so will weaken his stature.
For whatever reason, Jan Brewer did the right thing. Was she motivated by principle or was she motivated by money? Does it really matter? She vetoed a discriminatory bill.
Will this kind of bill take hold in other states? It already has. Many states have similar bills that are sneaking their way through various legislatures. It is up to people of conscience to say no. It is up to corporations who might be doing business in the state to let their feelings be known. Apple, American Airlines, Marriott and Super Bowl XLIX all spoke up stating that those types of values did not represent their brand. Both U. S. Senators also lobbied against the state bill.
I am sure there are disappointed rednecks and bigots in Arizona today.
A huge thank you goes out to Corey Stewart, John Jenkins, Frank Principi and Marty Nohe for attempting to keep the advertised tax rate at the current rate of $1.181. These supervisors understand that we must leave ourselves some wiggle room when numbers come in for real situations rather than predictions. Predictions can change, based on many factors, at this stage of the budget game. Supervisors Stewart, Jenkins, Principi and Nohe all have a place in the Moonhowlings Hall of Fame for their efforts to do the right thing at budget time.
Unfortunately, we had to reserve a row of naughty chairs for Supervisors Caddigan, May, Covington and Candland. Were they all trying to out-tea party each other? Those 4 naughty chairs sit in the Hall of Shame for right now. It’s not too late to redeem yourselves.
Mr. Candland’s response was not unexpected. He and his minions had been preaching austerity and fiscal doom and gloom all along. However, Mrs. Caddigan has always been a champion of the teachers–until she isn’t one. Mrs. C–what kind of deal did you cook up over there at Ruby Tuesdays? Please tell me I heard wrong! You have lost your “supports teachers and children” street cred. Creating an unholy alliance won’t really protect you. Mike May, I am surprised at you also. No more ‘good guy street cred.’
Whenever a state prisoner calls home, Virginia gets a tack-on fee. At 35 percent of the prepaid or collect-call charges, these add up to more than $3 million a year.
Del. Patrick A. Hope, D-Arlington, tried to change that this year, but was voted down. His House Bill 414 would have cut the state’s fee to 10 percent and dedicated that money to prisoner re-entry programs. Right now it just goes into the general fund.
“This is a tax on these families who have done nothing wrong,” Hope said. “It’s a deterrent to communicating with your kids or your mother and father.”
Over the last three years (2011-2013) this fee brought in between $3.86 million and $3.13 million to state coffers, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections. The department didn’t have the amount that its telephone provider, Global Tel Link, charged for the calls.
I can remember all sorts of people whining and complaining that Virginia shouldn’t be making money off of liquor sales back when Governor McDonnell wanted to privatize Virginia’s liquor stores. I suppose, however, it’s ok to skim a few million off of families of Virginia’s inmate population, every time they call home?
Let’s face it. None of us like to pay taxes. It’s against our grain to turn over our money to anyone else without seeing something visible and tangible in return. Local taxes are often invisible–Public money goes to schools, roads, community services like fire and rescue other people’s welfare, and to fix broken pipes and water mains. If you don’t commute, have kids in school or if your house doesn’t catch fire, then you might not have much of a notion as to where your ‘hard earned’ cash goes.
[Does anyone have money that isn't "hard earned?" Are there any of us who aren't tax payers?]
This Tuesday, the PWC Board of County Supervisors will set the proposed tax rate for FY 15 which begins July 1, 2014. To read local blogs, one would think that Tuesday is Doomsday. Prognosticators wearing long robes and carrying signs have been predicting the end of the world for months now with the evil chairman being the chief instigator to take that hard earned cash. One would think the evil chairman was a one horse show, rather than simply one of 8 elected officials. Enough about Wizard Stewart, the money grabber. Let’s examine a few things about the tax rate and what it represents.
SB 1062 has passed the Arizona legislature. It has not been signed into law yet. What will Jan Brewer do?
SB1062 basically says that business owners, as long as they state their religious beliefs, can deny services and products to gays and lesbians. Why don’t they just throw in Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, Asians, and anyone else they want to discriminate against and call it a day?
Is Arizona seriously this redneck?
If this bill becomes law I won’t travel to Arizona and it will break my heart. I love the region. No more Sedona, no more Grand Canyon. No more Flagstaff or Painted Desert. No more Tucson Gem Show. Is the discrimination against gays and lesbians the last bastion of prejudice? Hopefully Gov. Jan Brewer will do the right thing and veto the bill.
Smoke rises above burning barricades at Independence Square
Kiev burns. Over 70 civilians killed yesterday. The video footage reminds us of Hungary and Czechoslovakia back in the 50′s. Kiev is a modern, fairly western city. What do these protestors want? For starters, they don’t want to be killed by their government.
They want their monetary system to be more westernized. What’s the problem? Putin’s puppet, Viktor Yanukovych, wants to hold the Ukrainians down and under the yoke of the thug Putin. Fuel is expensive. Food is expensive. Housing is expensive.
Many countries who were under former Soviet rule have been plagues by high inflation and an unstable economic system. The bottom line is, many are willing to die for economic freedom for their country.
A local blog suggested the following to ‘cut spending’:
Eliminate the double-dipping by retired school teachers for making tens of
thousands of dollars as substitute teachers, but you never step into a
classroom. It is a sweet gig, but it is time to end it. Estimated savings: $3 million over five years.
I am highly curious. How do you double dip as a retired teacher? If you are retired, then you aren’t receiving a teacher pay check. If you aren’t receiving the first pay check, then you aren’t double dipping.
Secondly, I believe that the blogger is speaking of the ROP program. Yes, retired teachers are paid for performing various professional tasks throughout the school system, one of which might be substitute teaching. There are lots of other duties that need performing. Using members of the ROP team has saved the county millions of dollars since its inception and smart jurisdictions statewide have retired teachers ROPPING, although they might not call their program by that terminology.
The ROP program is not double dipping. When you ROP, you get one check from the county. If you are hired to perform other duties, it isn’t until you have completed your contractual ROP agreement for the year.
Time for a slice of crow. Olympic rules state that an athlete must be a citizen of the country they play for.
The Russian men’s hockey team is now out of the competition. That means Alex Ovechkin, the leader of Team Russia heads back to the United States. Putin’s dream of a gold medal in men’s hockey has gone down in defeat. To a non-hockey fan, this news is a blip on my radar, sort of.
I say sort of because I have a granddaughter who is wild about everything Ovechkin. I follow him through default. Maybe I could go so far as to call it osmosis. Whatever the reason, I am just plain old pissed at the toothless wonder, the Great 8. I am pissed at him because he is a turn coat. He should have never played for Team Russia. He should have never worn the number 8 jersey while playing for Russia.
Mr. Howler defended #8. He said, “Well, he IS Russian!” Tough. He was drafted by the Washington Capitals in 2004 and began playing in 2005 at age 20. It’s now 2014. For ten years Alex Ovechkin has been playing for the Washington Capitals. He has been making good old American money and lots of it. He is their star.
As Prince William County begins its budget deliberations, I want to encourage the supervisors to remember the poor, beleaguered schools, their students and their teachers. As it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a county to do the right thing by its schools. The BOCS must set the current tax rate.
Regardless of political correctness or other artificial constraints some folks will attempt to put on the situation, the BOCS needs to do 2 things. They need to set the tax rate high enough to start bringing the schools up to snuff after the long , lean period following the housing crash that began in 2007. They they need to give the School Board a little larger slice of the pie.
The school system needs to do three things:
1. Start reducing class size.
2. Give teachers and other employees a raise.
3. Make basic supplies more readily available.
Frankly, no one wants to hear the old tea party rallying call to ‘Stop Spending.’ Those words are simplistic answers for simplistic people. The average person has no idea what programs are mandated and what programs are not. I have spent more years in the system than most folks and I don’t know all the ins and outs in that regard. No one does when dealing with a hugely complex system like Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax or Stafford.