Thursday, December 31, 2009

SWAC bloggers Fishersville Mike and Bob receive national recognition

Recognition ... a couple of SWAC bloggers have caught the eye of Instapundit.

Check out Fishersville Mike's award-winning link ...

... and Bob at The Journey's link for North Slope Jobs for Virginia.

Way to go, guys!

Blue moon over the Blue Ridge Mountains ... New Year's Eve 2009

Tonight's full moon over the Blue Ridge Mountains was the second in December 2009 ... a "blue moon."

Taken around 9:00 p.m., the moon kept sliding behind dark clouds that were supposed to bring some type of wintry weather.

New Year's Eve 2009.
Plenty of snow still on the ground in the Shenandoah Valley and the mountains in the distance are still covered.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
31 December 2009

Hillary Clinton most admired woman ... thumb in eye of Obama White House

This has got to be a thumb in the eye of the Obama White House because Michelle Obama was not voted the most admired woman in the U.S. That honor fell instead to former First Lady Hillary Clinton.


Read it and weep

Senate health care timeline....

"Systemic failure"

More finger pointing....

Sen. Ben Nelson's approval numbers drop in NE

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NB) was bought out by Harry Reid and the Obama White House to secure his vote for nationalized health care ... and now he is hearing from those he represents at home. His approval rating has dropped dramatically so he ran a 30-second television ad during Wednesday night's Cornhuskers football game. The Heritage Foundation noted:
Politicians usually don’t run ads a month after November, and almost never more than two years before they are up for re-election. But after a new poll showed Nelson with a 55% unfavorable rating and down 30 points to a would-be 2012 challenger, Nelson decided to take to the air. The source of Nebraskans displeasure with Nelson is no secret. 64% of the state opposes the health care legislation Nelson recently voted for in the Senate, and only 17% approve of the special deal Nelson made for Nebraska’s Medicaid program, more commonly known as the Cornhusker Kickback, in order to secure his vote.
Read it all here.

Sherlock Holmes ... the movie

Sherlock Holmes the movie was good and was enjoyed by all in our group from the 14-year-old to the 20-somethings to the adults.

The $8 popcorn was bad and, at movie theater prices, you don't want mediocre popcorn. A small soda was $5.75. We skipped the drinks.

There was non-stop action throughout the two-hour movie that starred Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock and Jude Law as Dr. Watson ... lots of intrigue and deductions as one would expect. The Sherlock Holmes expert in our group gave it a thumbs-up.

Christmas gift ... Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue"

... on CD ... from SWAC Daughter.

Rush Limbaugh hospitalized ... update

Update 12/31/09: From ... ALERT: Rush was admitted to a Honolulu hospital today and is resting comfortably after suffering chest pains. Rush appreciates your prayers and well wishes. He will keep you updated via and on Thursday's radio program.

More at Wednesday night's post.

Prayers for Rush – Michelle Malkin
Prayers For Rush – Redstate
Rush Limbaugh Rushed to Hospital in Serious Condition – Gateway Pundit

Augusta native named RPV Executive Director

Dave Rexrode has come a long way since his days at James Madison University as a political science major and president of the Virginia College Republicans.

His first gig after college was the campaign of a Staunton resident named Chris Saxman who was running for the newly-created 20th House seat in 2001. That's when Dave's path crossed mine. I was a volunteer on the Saxman campaign and enjoyed working with this young man. I remember the two of us sitting on my front porch in the rocking chairs talking politics as well as running all over the place with campaign signs, working local parades, and everything else involved in electing someone to public office. Chris Saxman won, his entry into public office, and Dave went on to other campaigns throughout the years.

He has now been appointed Executive Director of the Republican Party of Virginia. Not bad for a 31-year-old Augusta County native.

Congratulations, Dave!

Bob Stuart has more at the Waynesboro News-Virginian.

A decade of prices ... increases and decreases

It's the end of a decade and everything has gone up in price. Or has it?

Here are some items that have decreased in price since 1999:
- Average domestic airfare: $329.00 down to $301.00: -8.51%
- Credit card average APR: 15.07% down to 13.71%: -9.02%
- Batteries, AA, 4, Energizer: $3.99 down to $3.49: -12.53%
- iMac desktop computer, Apple: $1,499.00 down to $999.00: -33.36%
- Prime rate: 8.50% down to 3.25%: -6

But most prices have increased over the past 10 years. A sample:
- Empire State Building Observation Deck: $4.00 increased to $20.00: +400.00%
- New York Times daily edition: $0.75 increased to $2.00: +166.66%
- Slurpee, largest, 7-11: $0.99 increased to $2.12: +114.14%
- Gallon of gasoline: $1.30 increased to $2.56: +96.92%
- Average ticket price, Boston Red Sox: $28.33 increased to $50.24: +77.34%
- Average expanded basic cable (per month): $31.22 increased to $49.65: +59.03%
- Babysitting per hour: $7-$10 increased to $10-$15: +50.00%
- Home value, average: $119,600.00 increased to $173,100.00: +44.73%
- Electricity per 500 kwh: $45.38 increased to $65.21: +43.70%
- Movie ticket: $5.06 increased to $7.18: +41.90%
- Coca-Cola, one liter: $1.14 increased to $1.34: +17.54%
- Gallon of milk: $2.88 increased to $3.05: +5.90%
- Top 100 Music CD: $13.65 increased to $13.98: +2.42%

Check out for more prices changes over the past decade.

Rush Limbaugh: "Radio Personality of the Decade"

Rush Limbaugh, conservative radio talk show host extraordinaire, has been named "Radio Personality of the Decade" by Adweek, a leading industry magazine and website:
Love him (as his "dittohead" fans do) or hate him (as every liberal does), no radio host or personality comes close to Rush Limbaugh in size of audience or volume of political discourse.

The man manages to stay in the headlines no matter who's in the White House or who's gunning for him. For example, when Sen. Harry Reid sent a letter to Limbaugh's syndicator criticizing a comment Rush made, the talk host auctioned the letter on eBay, donating the proceeds to charity.

As Rush would say, it's his opposition that is elevating him. "All it takes is the mention of my name, and the predictable left-wing groups have a cow," he proudly declared in 2003. Even Rush can't destroy Rush. He beat an oxycontin addiction and overcame a loss of hearing.

Through it all, Limbaugh remains cleared on 600 radio stations, his audience falls somewhere between 14 million and 20 million weekly listeners, and syndicator Premiere Radio Networks pulls in an estimated $50 million in annual ad revenue. A recent CBS/Vanity Fair poll found that he's the most popular conservative voice—no politician comes close. Yet Rush insists it's not about politics but about ideas. But it's also about keeping his loyal AM listeners tuning in for 21 years.
Congratulations, Rush Limbaugh ... count SWAC Girl as one of those millions who listens and subscribes to 24/7.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery ... we need your conservative leadership.

It's time for Obama to be accountable

Donald at American Power says it well:
The politicization of national security is really accelerating today, with Democrats blaming former President George W. Bush for the attempted bombing of Northwest 253. See, "Dems Blame Bush Admin For Terror Attempt," and "EVERYTHING IS ALWAYS GOOD NEWS FOR REPUBLICANS ..." And others from the previous administration are causing some aggressive prevarication on the left. See, "Dick Cheney needs a reminder - 9/11 on his watch."

But we're a year into the Obama administration. Time for blame is long past.
Excellent commentary from Donald ... read the entire post.

Leaders stand up ... they don't whine.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Prayers for Rush Limbaugh

[Update 12/31/09: From ALERT: Rush was admitted to a Honolulu hospital today and is resting comfortably after suffering chest pains. Rush appreciates your prayers and well wishes. He will keep you updated via and on Thursday's radio program.]

On December 23, the last day before leaving on vacation, Rush Limbaugh signed off his Christmas radio talk show as he has for years by playing the Mannheim Steamroller version of Stille Nacht (Silent Night), one of the most beautiful instrumentals of this beloved Christmas carol. Rush said that particular song was special to him and had been especially meaningful when his father passed away.

Here's the transcript of Rush's comments from Rush 24/7:
I first discovered Mannheim Steamroller in 1985 while in Sacramento, interesting enough, watching NFL playoff games. They played it as bump music. I fell in love with it very quickly, and it had a lot of emotional connections to me when my father died, the time of year and a number of other things.

This song particularly. It's on their first Christmas album. The first time I heard it to the end, the crescendo of strings -- or not strings, but the replication of strings -- it actually brought tears to my eyes.

We always close out our Christmas show with this version with as little chatter from me as possible so you can listen to it. I just want to thank you again. It's been another great year for all of us here at EIB. It wouldn't have been possible without you. We love you more than we can ever express. We can never repay the thanks that we all owe you. You've meant more to me than you'll ever know. Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, and see you back next year -- with a bright, shiny face full of optimism. See you then.

(Silent Night plays out the show)
Tonight Breitbart is reporting that Rush, in Hawaii during the holidays, was rushed to a hospital and was in serious condition with chest pains. Our prayers go out for him to be in God's protective hands ... and I couldn't help but think about Stille Nacht, the song that means so much to him.

TeamSarah members are posting prayers for Rush.

Neither snow nor rain ~ nor flu ~ will keep RedState from its daily update

I laughed as I read Erick Erickson's post today cataloging the events that led up to his morning updates from RedState along with the hurdles he had overcome the past year ... and it reminded me of the unofficial post office motto:
Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
The post office backs away from that creed ... but not Erick.

I silently thanked him.

RedState updates start my mornings with information, news, insight, and opinion. It takes dedication to be that consistent, as demonstrated by the fact they are right there in my inbox on a regular basis. As Erick wrote:
For the past year, I have churned out the Morning Briefing every single week day except Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and now this week, New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Over the past year I’ve had the flu, taken a vacation, had a nasty stomach bug, and still before bed each night I’ve put the Morning Briefing together and then gotten up at four o’clock each morning to put the final touches on it, update it as needed, and get it off to be of use to conservatives across the country. Through rain, shine, sleet, snow, the occasional technical outage, stomach bugs, summer, fall, winter, and spring the Morning Briefing gets out the door every morning before 5:00 a.m.

It has been a real joy to get up each morning knowing I am having a measurable impact and offering real help to conservatives. I’d like to give a special thanks to the sponsors who now help cover the costs of a growing email. I couldn’t do it without them.

And I would not do it without all of you who read it. God bless you all. Have a happy and safe new year. The Morning Briefing will be in your inbox bright and early Monday morning, January 4th. I promise.
I believe it. Thanks, Erick.

Monticello in the snow

Two feet of snow hit Mr. Jefferson's Monticello home during the Blizzard of 2009. Looking at the photos made me wonder how many big snows that place had seen over the years and reminded me of the stories of Mr. Jefferson riding horseback in snow up to his horse's chest.

We have snow blowers and special removal equipment to open roadways as soon as possible these days ... but imagine during Mr. Jefferson's time when such a snow would cause isolation until warmer weather. The world truly slowed down....

Fighting back

"The point which strikes me most strongly is SusanAnne's emphasis on the courage to fight, which requires the willingness to become a target. Americans love a fighter." --Robert Stacey McCain (The Other McCain)
Mr. McCain takes a look at a post on RedState by SusanAnne who researches and fills in the blanks that are overlooked or ignored by others, and she specifically slaps Michael Barone on the wrist for not following through. For example, she takes Mr. Barone to task for not fully explaining the Al Franken win in Minnesota:
In analyzing the Franken-Coleman senatorial race, it doesn’t simply come down to ‘if only 157 Franken voters would have voted for Coleman, then Coleman would have won’ mentality. When, in fact, on election night:
Mr. Franken trailed Mr. Coleman by 725 votes after the initial count on election night, and 215 after the first canvass.
York does not mention this fact as well as the main factor in overturning the election results was the strategy to challenge the rules to secure a victory with a proven technique.
The Democrat’s strategy from the start was to manipulate the recount in a way that would discover votes that could add to his total. The Franken legal team swarmed the recount, aggressively demanding that votes that had been disqualified be added to his count, while others be denied for Mr. Coleman.
So to simply say that ‘if only voters voted for Coleman, then’….one cannot do.
Mr. Barone does a good job in his analysis and I agree with him ... but SusanAnne makes an extremely important point. Too often Republicans let the press define their issues and frame the story without rebutting. An example is Hurricane Katrina, which she also addresses:
Katrina, although a state and local issue, in addition to a personal responsibility issue as the residents did have mandatory evacuation orders, the GOP and Bush administration took the fall, rather than the irresponsible residents who violated the mandatory evacuation order and mismanagement by Democrat mayor and Democrat governor of Lousiana.
It continues to this day as the MSM give Barack Obama a pass on issues they would have excoriated President Bush about. Currently the Obamas are in Hawaii on Christmas vacation even though a terrorist attack took place in Detroit on Christmas Day. There have been no howls of protest from the MSM about Obama being away from Washington, and nothing about his silence for two days after the foiled attack.

After Katrina, the MSM took the opportunity to turn on President Bush:
... it was at this time that the MSM started its ground assault of the Bush administration and mauling of the GOP. And the GOP never fought back. Bush never fought back.

With this defeatist attitude, the MSM reshaped conservative thought to hate Bush, creating apathy and division in the Republican party, and ultimately causing Republicans to vote Democrat or stay home on election day in 2008.
I do not believe it was a "defeatist" attitude that kept the Bush administration silent but, instead, it may have been their desire not to get into a mud battle with the media. In retrospect that may have been a miscalculation but we all would like to have 20/20 hindsight especially in politics.

SusanAnne go on to add:
In reality, the American people crave a party to take on the media, Democrats, and corruption. Just look at Joe Wilson, Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin, Andrew Breitbart, Rush, Hannity, Beck, Tea Partiers, and our own Erick Erickson. Look at Fox’s sky-high ratings. All signs of the American people’s thirst for knowledge and someone–anyone–to stand up against Obama, Congress, the media, and the left. And those who do get major support from the GOP base.
Mr. McCain noted that Americans love a fighter, and that definitely applies to Virginians. We are, after all, the home state of Patrick "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" Henry.

False gunman report results in Capitol lockdown

The comments are perhaps more revealing in this post than the false alarm over a gunman at the Capitol.

H/T to Dave

Chris Saxman advocates charter school choices for Virginia students

He has been a school teacher, is an elected public official and a local business owner, a husband, dad of four children, and avid Pittsburg Steelers fan ... and he is currently finishing out his fourth term in the Virginia General Assembly's House of Delegates representing the people of Staunton, western Augusta County, Highland County, and parts of Rockingham County.

One of his interests has been the possibility of school choice for Virginia students, something he has successfully advanced in the House the past five years but then running into the roadblock known as the Senate.

He is Del. Chris Saxman (R-Staunton) who recently talked with the Waynesboro News Virginian's Bob Stuart about his interest in education, his desire to see more charter schools in the Commonwealth, and his current work as co-chairman of Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell's education transition team.

One of those interests is charter schools, something Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell wants to prioritize in his new administration along with an increase in funds available for public school classrooms.

The ability to increase the number of charter schools may face a hurdle under the current Virginia charter school law that has been labeled the second weakest in the nation, something public education proponents do not want to see change. According to the News Virginian:
Kitty Boitnott, president of the Virginia Education Association, has said the state charter school law is constitutional and appropriate.

And she has questioned in interviews and opinion pieces whether charter schools really work.

“We owe it to our students to provide the highest quality climate as opposed to opening up the front door and calling it a charter school,’’ Boitnott told The News Virginian earlier this month.

Still, McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said, the incoming administration is committed to changing both public school funding formulas and the lowly status of charter schools in Virginia.
Another hurdle is school boards:
School boards currently determine whether to allow charter schools. Critics say that’s a problem because public school boards have a vested interest in blocking charters.
Del. Saxman is not deterred, remaining optimistic in his desire to better Virginia's educational choices:
A longtime proponent of charter schools and a former schoolteacher, Saxman is sanguine about McDonnell’s chances to alter public school spending and charter school law. He cites as helpful the state’s education hierarchy, made up of a state-appointed superintendent of public instruction and an appointed board of education.

“We have a system to collaborate,’’ he said. “It is less political than it could be.”

While other states elect public instruction leaders, Virginia’s is nominated by the governor and must be approved by both the state House and Senate.

“That person becomes independent and nonpartisan,’’ Saxman said of the state superintendent. “That person has to exercise independent judgement.”
School choice. It's time to open educational opportunities for all students.

Update: Also covered at Augusta Conservative.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top biased quotes of 2009 in New York Times

"Documenting and exposing the liberal political agenda of the New York Times," Times Watch has picked the top Times biased quotes of 2009:
New York Times bias often came with a smile in the early part of 2009, with the paper falling hard for Obama's "historic" presidency and limitless intellect. But by late summer that smile had curdled into a snarl, as Times reporters seethed at“angry,” “bitter,” and, above all, “white” tea party protesters who challenged the president on his attempted takeover of health care and his massive spending proposals. Below is a collection of the worst bias the Times has to offer in 2009.
With quotes from Helen Thomas to Maureen Dowd to Paul Krugman and more ... from expressing undying love for Barack Obama while dissing Sarah Palin's supporters and tea party patriots ... all the quotes and authors are listed making it easy to understand why the mainstream media is in serious decline.


Erick Erickson wonders if Republicans did all they could to slow down or stop health care legislation in the U.S. Senate. While the GOP fought a good fight against overwhelming odds, Erick raises some interesting points....

"Restoring Virginia's Promise" ... Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's vision for the Commonwealth

"We face a number of very serious challenges in our state today. The responsibility of our administration will be to find solutions to these challenges and help restore Virginia's promise. It just seems like a perfect theme for what we need to do right now." -- Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling
With the historic inauguration coming up on January 16, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who won reelection to a second term in November, will host his own events. One of particular interest to many will be the reenactment of Patrick Henry's famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech at historic St. John's Church in Richmond on January 15, 2010. Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell will also attend the event.

For more information about the Lt. Governor's inaugural events, check out his website or contact Carli Mugford, Bolling's
Inaugural Director, at 804-612-9122 or

Our congratulations to Lt. Gov. and Mrs. Bill Bolling as they prepare to continue their work with the citizens of Virginia.

Around the SWAC blogosphere

There's still lots of snow on the ground at my house, Christmas decorations are twinkling on these cold winter nights, the forecast calls for a possibility of more of the white stuff on New Year's, and the SWAC bloggers are still turning out the news with some interesting reads.

David writes over at Augusta Conservative that Augusta County is searching for a new director of community development to replace the retiring Dale Cobb ...

... Second Amendment protector Jason at Augusta Water Cooler posts a video about guns ... Fishersville Mike reminds us of The Pina Colada Song ...

... owner Bob at The Journey is celebrating his 25th anniversary as a design artist at his Kirchman Studio in Staunton ... and Yankee Phil has a variety of posts including his Christmas trip to visit familiar stomping grounds.

We're ready for 2010....


"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, brave, hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." -- Mark Twain

H/T to The Journey

The Kirchman Studio 2010

© 2005-2010 The Kirchman Studio inc. All rights reserved.

McDonnell calls for offshore drilling

“... it is time to develop our offshore energy resources to create new jobs and provide necessary new revenue for schools, roads, public safety and alternative energy research and development in Virginia.” -- Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell
This is following through on a way to make Virginia energy independent.
Virginia Governor-elect Bob McDonnell expressed his continued strong support of offshore energy exploration and development off the coast of Virginia in a letter sent to United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar this past Wednesday. In the letter, McDonnell cautioned against any further delay in the Virginia offshore lease sale scheduled for 2011, and presented the Secretary with the position of his incoming Administration on the issue. The text of the Governor-elect’s full letter is below.

December 23, 2009

The Honorable Ken Salazar
Secretary of the Interior
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington DC 20240

Dear Secretary Salazar,

Last month I had the honor of being elected Governor of Virginia commencing January 16, 2010. A key priority for us here in Virginia is the development of the full range of energy resources, both traditional and renewable, to foster energy independence, national security and economic development.

More than fifteen months have passed since the United States Congress allowed the federal moratorium on exploration and development of oil and natural gas resources off the Atlantic Coast to expire, and President Bush repealed a similar executive order banning such action. This cleared the way for Virginia to be the first state on the Atlantic seaboard to explore and drill beginning in 2011. Virginia is eager to get started. Nearly a year ago the public comment period for the potential lease sale offshore Virginia (Lease Sale 220) ended. Unfortunately it appears that virtually no progress has been made at the federal level to get this process rolling.

I am requesting that Virginia remain in the current five-year plan and that the federal administrative process move forward with Lease Sale 220 immediately. Any effort to remove or delay Virginia’s participation in the lease sale would significantly hamper our efforts to create jobs, eliminate much-needed new revenue, and undermine support for President Obama’s stated commitment to make the United States more energy secure.

The opportunity to explore and develop oil and natural gas resources off the coast of Virginia, miles out of sight from our beaches in an environmentally sound manner, is timely for both our nation and our Commonwealth. Like every other state, Virginia is struggling with the high unemployment that accompanies the current tough economic environment. Some parts of our state have an unemployment rate as high as 19 percent. Additionally, America needs secure and diverse energy sources that do not leave us dependent on foreign governments adverse to our national interests.

A 2005 study by a former president at Old Dominion University forecast that offshore natural gas production alone off of the Atlantic coast near Virginia would, over a 10-year period, likely create at least 2,578 new jobs, induce capital investment of $7.84 billion, yield $644 million in direct and indirect payroll, and result in $271 million in state and local taxes. The study also estimated that there could be up to 500 million barrels of oil in this lease area – enough to fuel all four million cars in Virginia for more than four years.

These economic projections, combined with tremendous technological advancements that have transformed the offshore oil and natural gas industry and make exploration and development environmentally sound, make it clear that there is no reasonable basis for further delays in beginning the leasing process. The Gulf States have been safely exploring and drilling for oil and natural gas for years, and have done so safely despite hurricanes passing over the platforms in the Gulf.

Additionally, it is critically important as a matter of equity that the Commonwealth receive the same royalties, rentals, and bonus bid payments as do all the other states which currently allow energy exploration and production off of their coasts. I implore you to work with Congressional leaders, as I will, for passage of legislation to ensure that Virginia participates in a fair and equitable distribution of future offshore revenues.

Offshore energy exploration and production will be a priority in my administration. I would like to work with you and the President to make Virginia an international leader in offshore energy exploration and production on the Atlantic coast. It is important for both our Commonwealth and our country. We also intend to aggressively pursue offshore renewable energy sources such as wind farms, and will be asking for your assistance at that appropriate time.

I ask you today to do everything in your power to ensure Lease Sale 220 stays on schedule, including the prompt completion of an environmental impact statement and the processing of all other administrative steps necessary for holding the lease sale in 2011. I am aware of several major energy companies that are ready to bid for the leasehold rights, generating hundreds of millions of dollars for the state and federal governments. Virginia stands ready to help address America’s energy needs while creating badly needed good-paying jobs for our citizens.

Mr. Secretary, it is time to develop our offshore energy resources to create new jobs and provide necessary new revenue for schools, roads, public safety and alternative energy research and development in Virginia. I respectfully request that you direct the U.S. Minerals Management Service to expedite its preparatory work in support of the lease sale in 2011. The leasing process should not be further delayed.

Thank you for your attention to this critical matter. I am committed to working with you as we move forward with this tremendous opportunity for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States of America.

With warm personal regards, I remain


Robert F. McDonnell

Gov.-elect McDonnell calls for reform in budget process

Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell has called for a change in Virginia's budget development process and, from what I read, it sounds like an idea whose time has come.

From the governor-elect's office:
Virginia Governor-elect Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today regarding the need to reform the budget development process in the Commonwealth.

“On Friday, December 18th, Governor Tim Kaine proposed his biennial budget for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012. The Governor made his proposal with only 28 days left in his single four-year term, carrying out his obligation as determined by our current budgetary calendar. Unfortunately, the current budget development process leads to a situation, repeated every four years, in which the consideration, debate and adoption of one governor’s proposed budget takes place during the Administration of his successor. Thus, one out of every two budgets submitted requires no subsequent accountability or management from the governor who proposed it. The current system also requires a new governor to potentially submit sweeping changes to a budget just days after taking office with limited preparation and input. A sitting governor usually takes many months to analyze and develop a comprehensive state budget. It is likewise burdensome on the General Assembly to have to review and consider the potentially divergent budget recommendations of two governors in such a short period of time.

Regardless of who is governor, or the political parties they represent, such an arrangement does not serve the public’s best interest nor does it create a fiscally prudent planning process. It needs to be reformed.

As Governor, I will propose action be taken to move the budget development process to odd-numbered years, from the current even-numbered year arrangement. Thus an incoming Governor would only make necessary changes to the second year of his predecessor’s budget, and would then be in office for the drafting of two full budgets of his or her own, and would be held fully responsible for the implementation and oversight of those budgets. There is broad support for reform. Governor Kaine and I, as well as key General Assembly leaders, support this change. Governor L. Douglas Wilder’s Commission on Government Efficiency and Effectiveness made this same proposal during the Warner Administration. I have spoken with many business leaders and citizens who support this policy change. It is a non-partisan recommendation that will ensure a much more orderly budget process. As a candidate for Governor I recommended this change as part of the government reform package Lieutenant Governor Bolling and I jointly announced in September.

It is important, especially in tough fiscal times, to continue to look for positive reforms in all areas of government, to make it simpler and more efficient and to get results. This is one which will lead to a smoother budget process for the benefit of all involved. I look forward to working with the members of the General Assembly to adopt this reform in the near future to begin with submission of a full two-year budget in 2011.”

Happy New Media New Year from Family Foundation

Victoria Cobb, who is director of the Family Foundation, reminds that the conservative news we look for is available through the New Media, not the mainstream media, and that is where we can all continue to follow the news in 2010. She writes:
Now that Christmas festivities are over, we typically look to the New Year with great hope and expectation for better things in our lives. It’s a natural: New Year, New Beginnings. It’s a launching pad for self-improvement and new opportunities.

People look to the public square for fresh starts, too. We hope our elected leaders learn from the mistakes of the past and listen to the peoples’ voice. In Richmond, a new administration and House of Delegates begins work in January. In Washington, however, there are those who continue to force upon us government expansion and intrusions that limit our freedoms in spite of the public’s vehement “No!” So, we have two interesting dynamics: We must watch state government to ensure it keeps its promises and we must engage the federal government to prevent entire takeovers of industries that limit our freedom.

You won’t get the information you need to do that from the Mainstream Media. But you will get it from the New Media. At the Family Foundation Blog, we continue to keep a daily eye on policy, politics and culture, making it an easy, one-stop-shop for you to get all the news, insights and commentary on current events. We hope you make the New Media part of your New Year: Get involved, inform yourself and engage the Commonwealth in the most important issues of the day by reading our blog. Leave comments, see others react and help shape public opinion so we can restore our Commonwealth and country to the days when lawmakers weren’t force feeding us unread and unwanted liberty-restricting legislation. In the New Year, make the New Media revolution your resolution. [emphasis added]

Here are a few recent blog posts I think you will find interesting:
- Important 37th Senate District Special Election and Governor Tim Kaine’s tax increase proposal
- News videos and comment about our Internet safety initiative with the Attorney General’s office
- No Choice At Planned Parenthood: An “Abortion First Mentality” (video)
- Art In The Age Of Obama
- Picture Of The Day
- Colonel Allen West: The American Daniel Hannan? (video)
- Obama At His Best (video)
- A Sad Day For CBS
- Dave Marsden Now Is A Low Tax Guy
- Kaine Was There Before He Wasn’t There
- Is Same-Sex Marriage An Eventuality?
- Charlie Brown, Linus And The Meaning Of Christmas (video)
- CBS Once Wished Its Viewers Merry Christmas (video)
- 40,000 On Charter School Waiting List In New York

Read Our Latest Blog Posts @
Sign Up for Our Twitter Updates @
Join Fans of The Family Foundation On Facebook @
Visit Our YouTube Channel @
Conservative bloggers have made tremendous gains the past few years. Working together, we can continue to fight the liberal mindset and disseminate information to conservatives throughout Virginia and beyond.

Monday, December 28, 2009


From Barticles....


From Barticles....

New job for Jim Gilmore

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore is taking on a new leadership role:
An important message to members of the Patriots Committee and Friends

I hope you are enjoying the holidays with friends and family. Roxane, the boys, and I spent Christmas and the holidays at our home in Richmond. We were able to gather four generations of our family on Christmas Eve to celebrate our blessings and reflect on this special time of year.

I wanted to send you a message today to announce that the Board of Directors of the Free Congress Foundation has elected me to lead the organization as its new president and CEO. As you may know, the Free Congress Foundation is a well-established conservative policy organization in our nation's capital. The late Paul Weyrich, a good friend and historic figure in the conservative movement, founded the organization more than three decades ago to counter the liberal lurch of Congress during that time period. No one can fill Paul's shoes, but I do hope to continue along the same conservative path he followed.

You may be wondering why at this moment I would take on this new role. Importantly, I've been honored to serve on the Free Congress Foundation's board for several years and have great respect for the organization, its leadership and its historic contribution to the advancement of the conservative movement. I also believe that there is a real need and demand in the country right now for an organization that advances conservative solutions to the problems facing everyday Americans in a bipartisan fashion.

Why do I believe this? It's clear that the American people are rejecting the liberal policies that are currently coming out of Washington and some state capitals, whether it's government-run health care, cap-and-trade policies, or higher taxes and deficits that threaten our short-term recovery and long-term prosperity. But that doesn't mean that people don't want health care or energy and the environment or the economy addressed. They do. They just want responsible and effective solutions that empower them and their communities, not irresponsible and ineffective policies that expand the federal bureaucracy in Washington.

How can we do this? There's no doubt that we need to aggressively respond to the liberal agenda currently dominating the political debate in our country. The Free Congress Foundation will do that. But it's not enough to focus solely on what we are against. It's not enough to say that government-run health care, cap-and-trade policies and higher taxes and deficits are the wrong approaches. We need to advocate a positive, conservative agenda that will expand freedom, protect our culture, and defend our country from terrorism and other threats.

At the Free Congress Foundation, our goal will also go beyond solely moving the debate in the right direction. We need to move the country in the right direction. We need to put in place concrete steps that strengthen the capacity of everyday people to improve their own lives and the prospects for their communities and our country. In order to do that, we need an approach that appeals not just to Republicans, but also to Independents and even like-minded Democrats. This is in the tradition of the Free Congress Foundation. It is also something that I firmly believe the American people want. They want political leaders who can have a civil discussion and work together where they agree, regardless of whether they have a "R" or "D" next to their names. I believe we can do this while holding tight to our conservative principles.

Now you might find such an approach surprising coming from someone who so proudly served as chairman of the Republican National Committee and worked so hard to build historic Republican majorities in the Virginia General Assembly in the late 1990s. But I've also seen the benefit of working across party lines, having won bipartisan support for the historic car tax cut in Virginia and having led two bipartisan federal commissions to propose solutions to the problems of Internet taxation and defending our homeland against terrorist attack. I want to bring this experience to bear at the Free Congress Foundation.

I know you may have contributed to the Patriots' Committee in the past. I want to thank you for that. The work we've done together is a credit to your enthusiasm and support. The Patriots' Committee should and will continue to support good conservative candidates across the Commonwealth and the country.

Today, however, I am asking you to support through a financial contribution the Free Congress Foundation. I need your help to help reinvigorate the Foundation's efforts to develop conservative solutions to the problems we face. We must, as conservatives, propose solutions and positive alternatives to the problems of health care, energy and the environment, and the economy. We must continue the Free Congress Foundation's traditional efforts to protect and advance our American values and culture. And we should seek support from all parts of our communities without regard to partisan political affiliation.

The Free Congress Foundation has an established headquarters in our nation's capital and a good and loyal staff. More policy experts, however, will need to be engaged. I am asking you to contribute today by going to our web site: and find the "donate" button. You can also support us by writing a check and sending it to our headquarters at 1423 Powhatan Street #2, Alexandria, VA 22314. Our goals are significant, so our budget needs are likewise significant. Many of you will make charitable contributions before the end of this calendar year. Your contribution to the Free Congress Foundation is tax deductable. I am asking you to do all that you can.

Thank you for all the support you have given me in the past. I'm very excited about this new opportunity and what we can do together for the good of the conservative movement and, ultimately, for the country. As we look to the New Year and beyond, I assure you that better days are indeed ahead.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

"The world still doesn't love us"

The world still doesn't love us ...
If you thought America would quickly regain the world's love, admiration and -- most important -- it's willingness to follow the U.S. lead once Barack Obama came to power, the news is disappointing. A useful guide to what has transpired comes from Venezuela's president and his most peculiar sulfurometer. Hugo Chávez, it seems, can smell the Devil, especially when the Prince of Darkness takes up residence in the body of an American president.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Annual Christmas dinner in Wasilla, AK, with the Palins and local families

Home school mom Tracey in Alaska fills us in with commentary and photos on the 18th anniversary of the annual Wasilla, AK, Christmas dinner that was held Christmas Eve. Yes, Sarah and Todd Palin were there as they are each year helping to serve those going through the line for food. Tracey writes:
I sit here in amazement at what a wonderful event it was that just took place. The Christmas Friendship Dinner held in Wasilla, Alaska is truly unique. I've never seen an event of this size headed up by a group of caring citizens, and not a major organization. They all know what needs to happen, and they get it done. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with members of this group that have been doing this for years. I want to say this to them, and to anyone reading this so you all will know, that this is what makes our community so wonderfully special.
Read the entire post including an article from the local newspaper. Merry Christmas to Tracey and all the good folks in Wasilla!

Nominations for the Demmy Awards

Bob over at The Journey has been inspired by recent Democrat strong-arming of the American public ... and has come up with a new ... ahem ... award.

As Bob so eloquently presented it:
It is time to remember those spineless public servants in the US Senate. The 2009 Demmys are open for nominations. There are some so obvious that I've already created the... er... award.

Others may come to mind so please nominate as many as you wish [limit 60]. ... Write a brief reason why the Senator is deserving... example: "Joe Leiberman, predictably unpredictable... look at his voting record and forget what he says."

I'll have some more from the 'official' Joe Leiberman criticizer, Binyamin Jolkovski, but please go for the creative gold here.
This should be fun and will provide some chuckles and entertainment for New Year's.

Virginians see chance for change in education

Retiring Del. Chris Saxman leading the charge

Retiring Del. Chris Saxman (R-Staunton), co-chairing the education transition team for Republican Gov-elect Bob McDonnell, recently talked with Ben DeGrow for the Heartland Institute about the direction of education in Virginia under new administration:
The impending arrival of a new administration in the Commonwealth of Virginia has raised school choice advocates’ hopes, but they don’t expect change to come quickly.

Republican Governor-elect Bob McDonnell handily defeated Democrat Creigh Deeds in the November 3 general election—shifting not only the party in power, but also Virginia’s education agenda.

“It’s going to be a change of direction, clearly,” said state Del. Chris Saxman (R-Staunton), who serves as co-chair of McDonnell’s K-12 education transition team.

Christian Braunlich, vice president of the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, a think tank in Springfield, agrees.

“I think choice supporters are guardedly optimistic that there will be a better environment in which to advocate for school choice,” he said.

Saxman cautioned, however, that any changes to Virginia’s K-12 schooling policy will take time because of the considerable power of the nine-member State Board of Education. McDonnell will have the power to replace board members as their terms expire. Two complete their service in 2010, and three more in 2011.

“Changes in Virginia don’t come quickly,” Saxman said.
Del. Saxman has worked with school choice since his 2001 election to the General Assembly and has introducted successful legislation year after year in the House only to see it die once it got to the Senate. His team is currently looking at the possibility of online education, dropout prevention, merit pay, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) initiatives, public school accountability, tax credits, and more. It's an interesting article on a subject that may be of concern to the majority of Virginians.

Richmond Times-Dispatch calls health care a "lump of coal"

The Saturday editorial says it all: "Health Care: Lump of Coal." I could not agree more:
The Senate celebrated Christmas Eve by passing its version of health care reform. Although we readily confess that, like several hundred million of our fellow citizens and like just about every bloviating commentator on the left and the right, we have not read the legislation in its entirety, we know the bill is a monstrosity. And how is that? The shenanigans leading to passage make the point. If this bill embodied worthy reform, then senators would not have had to engage in pork-barreling or log-rolling or ear-marking or whatever one wants to call the process to secure passage.
They absolutely hit the nail on the head when nailing Virginia Sens. Webb and Warner with this:
There remains a slight change that public opinion could compel a reassessment, however. Virginians, for instance might want to ask Democrats Mark Warner and Jim Webb why they will be expected to bail out Nebraska's Ben Nelson, Louisiana's Mary Landrieu, and other trenchermen and women.
What say you, Senators?

Monticello will now offer season passes

In what may be a local indication of tough financial times nationwide, Monticello is now offering season passes ... and will rent out areas of the 2,500 estate to groups and organizations.

Live nearby and able to visit Mr. Jefferson's mountaintop home on a fairly regular basis? Purchase a $50 year-long pass and pop in as often as you wish. Want to host a large corporate gathering? There are a number of rental choices, excluding the home itself, available for that purpose.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on changes to the way business has been run at Monticello:
So far, several companies have held executive meetings at Monticello. In June, more than 100 attendees will visit Monticello for a presidential sites and libraries conference.
Monticello is not currently booking weddings or wedding receptions, but it might do so down the road, Taylor said.

Taylor added that many historic homes and museums rent out their spaces.

"It's a mainstream activity of cultural institutions like ours," she said. "It's a way of getting people engaged with our mission."
And a way to get people to part with their money to go into the pockets of the Foundation to help in running an historic home with extensive grounds.

Check out more details and new operating hours in the RT-D article.

Hey, White House: It's called t-e-r-r-o-r-i-s-m

We are not safe ... terrorists have not given up.
A Nigerian man who said he was an agent for al-Qaida tried to blow up the Northwest Airlines plane Friday as it was preparing to land in Detroit, but travelers who smelled smoke and heard what sounded like firecrackers rushed to subdue him, the passengers and federal officials said.

Flight 253 with 278 passengers and 11 crew members aboard was about 20 minutes from the airport when passengers heard popping noises, witnesses said. At least one person climbed over others and jumped on the man. Shortly afterward, the suspect was taken to the front of the plane with his pants cut off and his legs burned, a passenger said.
Not much information yet but it looks as if the herorism of everyday citizens may have saved this flight from possible disaster and tragedy. The politically correct Democrat White House may try to sweep it under the rug but any way you put it, it's called terrorism.

Good point

Brian Kirwin at Bearing Drift makes a good point ... If Obama was George W. Bush.

After 2006 & 2008 wins, Democrats quickly losing ground

The announcement by Alabama Rep. Parker Griffith that he is switching to the Republican Party is just the latest warning sign that the Democratic Party -- my lifelong political home -- has a critical decision to make: Either we plot a more moderate, centrist course or risk electoral disaster not just in the upcoming midterms but in many elections to come.
William Daley wrote that in the Washington Post on Dec. 24 ... and then proceeded to further explain why Democrats are in trouble with the voters:
Witness the losses in New Jersey and Virginia in this year's off-year elections. In those gubernatorial contests, the margin of victory was provided to Republicans by independents -- many of whom had voted for Obama. Just one year later, they had crossed back to the Republicans by 2-to-1 margins.

Witness the drumbeat of ominous poll results. Obama's approval rating has fallen below 49 percent overall and is even lower -- 41 percent -- among independents. On the question of which party is best suited to manage the economy, there has been a 30-point swing toward Republicans since November 2008, according to Ipsos. Gallup's generic congressional ballot shows Republicans leading Democrats. There is not a hint of silver lining in these numbers. They are the quantitative expression of the swing bloc of American politics slipping away.
Read entire op-ed.

Friday, December 25, 2009

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"

[Encore post from 2007]

My dad, who passed away in 1975, was a Navy veteran from World War II. He was 19 years old when he joined the Navy and went to war.

When I was growing up he was a Sunday School teacher for 12-year-olds in our Baptist church. Dad's favorite Christmas hymn was "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day" ... the words had touched him because of his service during war. I've missed him the past 32 years and think of him every Christmas when I hear this song.

Our military men and women are working this Christmas, many far from home and away from their families. Let us remember those currently deployed or who have served to protect our freedoms and to keep us safe.

This is for Dad ... it's for Nate who is home this Christmas after two deployments to Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps ... and for another home school graduate, David from Augusta County, who is currently serving in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army ... and for all our military members, past and present.

I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

"For unto you is born this day ..."

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

{And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

Luke 2:8-14 KJV

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve walk in the snowy winter woods

SWAC Husband and SWAC Son check out the snowy back yard. SWAC Son and I grabbed our cameras and took a late Christmas Eve afternoon walk into the snowy woods behind the house. The snow was too deep to make our way up to the ridge.

The pond with the mountain ridge behind....

In the woods looking at mountain ridge behind the house.

The twinkly white lights were on as dusk settled in on the back yard. The woods beyond was where we had trekked earlier.

The pond has a thin layer of ice.

The woods are silent when covered by snow. As SWAC Son and I plowed our way through the deep snow (which made it difficult to walk), we saw bird, rabbit, and deer tracks.

The little white lights illuminated the back yard as dusk fell. We are having a White Christmas.

Photos by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
24 December 2009

Christmas with the SWAC bloggers in a Winter Wonderland

I've taken a longer-than-I-should break from the kitchen but got caught up in the Democrat porkulus and health care bills. So ... decided while at the computer to check out the SWAC bloggers, those fellow conservatives who hold the line against liberal erosion of our freedoms, and see what they are up to on this Christmas Eve.

Jason has come out of his long winter's nap to follow Santa's trek around the world leading up to his Christmas Eve deliveries tonight. Good to hear from you, Jason! And a Merry Christmas to you!

Mike has noticed my "Health Care Bribe" posts that have been going up hourly since 5:00 this morning listing the bribes offered by Harry Reid to Democrat senators to vote for his socialized health care bill. But other than that, it looks as if sports will play a large part of his holiday weekend.

Phil has left us with a little "Silent Night" from Olivia Newton John. David and Bob are on a Christmas break from blogging.

I wish them all a blessed Christmas and a joyous New Year when, God willing, we will all continue to work together, blogging and watching out for the best interests of the country we love.
"And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
--Luke 2

No health care bribe: "I was too stupid to get money for my state"

Even the Democrats themselves are starting to complain about the obvious "Cash for Cloture" bribing going on.

When Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) couldn't get past the reporters swarming Ben Nelson on her way to the cloture vote, she quipped, "I know I'm not as important as Senator Nelson. I didn't get the money for my state. I was too stupid."

Apparently the same can be said of Virginia's Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner.

Information from

Porkulus Democrats: "Do as we say, not as we do"

The pork is flowing into Democrat coffers at the expense of hard-working Americans. And who is profiting? Michelle Malkin reports:
According to a new study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Democratic districts have raked in nearly twice as much porkulus money as GOP districts -- without regard to the actual economic suffering and job loss in those districts. In fact, the researchers found that far more stimulus money went to higher-income areas than to lower-income areas.

That includes Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's backyard -- where a $54 million no-bid contract was awarded to a firm with little experience to relocate a luxury Bay Area wine train due to flood concerns.

And it includes Barack Obama's home state of Illinois, which reaped the single biggest earmark in the porkulus bill -- $1 billion for the dubious FutureGen near-zero emissions "clean coal" plant earmark championed by disgraced Democrat and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.

And it includes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's backyard -- where he secured billions in high-speed rail stimulus earmarks from which he plans to fund a pie-in-the-sky public transportation line from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
Thankfully, many Americans are waking up to what is going on in Washington. Thanks to Ms. Malkin and others who are keeping an eye on these shananigans even as the nation pauses to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Grayson is a joke and his local newspaper thinks so, too

Politico reports that Rep. Alan Grayson's hometown newspaper is tired of him acting like a jerk:
The Orlando Sentinel has had it with Disney World-area Rep. Alan Grayson's Mickey Mouse antics.

The last straw for the paper's editheads was a four-page letter the Bronx-bred liberal sent to Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to investigate a website — — that makes fun of all the crazy stuff he says all the time.

In a Chavez-esque request, Grayson suggests the Florida Republican activist who runs the site, Angie Langley, be prosecuted for fraudulent fundraising, a charge that could put her behind bars for five years.

Enough is enough, the Sentinel says. The title — "End the Escapades ... Grayson Is Making a Mockery of His Office."
Apparently Grayson thinks the First Amendment rights belong only to him.

Augusta Water Cooler is following Santa's path

I see where Jason over at the Augusta Water Cooler has posted about the USAF tracking Santa's path as he begins his worldwide deliveries. Ho, ho, ho ... it's Christmas Eve!

The price of duping the American people

The Washington Examiner's Mark Tapscott writes today about the fall from grace of Barack Obama as his approval numbers continue to plummet:
[Obmaa] and his advisers believed their own hubristic press releases about solving the nation's problems by doing what Washington Democrats have been doing since FDR -- throwing tax dollars and bureaucrats at them -- only doing it more spectacularly than ever before.

So they've done pretty much what I predicted they would do in a Feb. 11 column: Obama has spent 2009 "making himself the symbol of what's wrong with Washington rather than being the agent of change in Washington."

The title of that column was "Obama headed to a one-term strategy." He still is.
"Hope and change"? As his approval numbers fall to record lows, Barack Obama may go down as the most disliked president in American history.

Health Care Bribe #9: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Health Care Bribe #9: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Sen. Tom Harkin, chairman of the Senate health committee, got a provision inserted to increase Medicare payments to certain "low-volume hospitals" in Grinnell, Keokuk and Spirit Lake, treating limited numbers of Medicare patients.

Information from

Health Care Bribe #8: Dem senators of MO, ND, SD, UT, WY

Health Care Bribe #8: Dem senators of MO, ND, SD, UT, WY

The Senators from Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming will get the "Frontier Freebie" -- they'll see an increase in Medicare payments to hospitals and doctors, because "at least 50 percent of their counties are ‘frontier counties,' defined as those having a population density less than six people per square mile."

Information from

Health Care Bribe #7: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Health Care Bribe #7: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Sen. Ron Wyden won a promise from Reid to support his plan to expand eligibility for health insurance.

Information provided by

Health Care Bribe #6: PA, NY, FL

Health Care Bribe #6: PA, NY, FL

Three states -- Pennsylvania, New York and Florida -- all won protections for their Medicare Advantage beneficiaries at a time when the program is facing cuts nationwide.

Information from

AMC Christmas Eve marathon: "White Christmas"

Starting at 9:00 Christmas Eve morning, American Movie Classics (AMC) cable channel will show the classic 1953 film "White Christmas" continuouly until midnight.

Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, it is one of my favorite Christmas movies combining song and dance, snow, a ski lodge in Vermont, and the classic line about finding a novelty in Vermont like maybe digging up a Democrat.

Love this movie and it's always on my must-see list every Christmas.

Christmas Eve: A.M frozen fog, P.M. ice

Christmas Eve sunrise in western Augusta County, Virginia.
Sun rises behind our house as a foot of snow remains on ground and frozen fog can be seen on tree branches.

Frozen fog has added a magical white layer to tree branches, shrubs, and even the Christmas greenery on the deck this morning as overnight lows bottomed out at 14 degrees west of Staunton. The forecast is calling for a winter storm reaching our area tonight bringing ice and freezing rain to the foot of snow still on the ground.

According to WHSV TV3:
A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the entire viewing area from late Thursday night through Friday afternoon. Freezing rain is expected across the area with ice accumulations of at least a quarter inch possible.
This will be the third round of winter weather in three weeks in the Shenandoah Valley. Global warming, indeed.

Photo by SWAC Girl
Lynn Mitchell
24 December 2009

Health Care Bribe #5: Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

Health Care Bribe #5: Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

Sen. Bernie Sanders was "persuaded" to drop his concerns after Senator Reid offered his state a $10 billion grant for "community health centers"-money that could easily be funneled to facilities that perform abortions.

Information from

The selling out of America just took place in the Senate ... Webb & Warner sell out Virginians

For the first time in 114 years, the U.S. Senate held session on Christmas Eve, just long enough to sell out America by passing the socialized health care bill, 60-39 along Party lines. It's a sad day in American history.

As the lead at jamming this unwanted legislation down Americans' throats, Harry Reid just assured his defeat in November 2010.

Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner sold out Virginians. We will remember in 2012 and 2015.

Health Care Bribe #4: Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)

Health Care Bribe #4: Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)

Sen. Chris Dodd got his kickback -- a $100 million bonus for the University of Connecticut… to do with whatever they want.

Information from

Health Care Bribe #3: Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)

Health Care Bribe #3: Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI)

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) made sure that certain insurance companies in his state are off the hook from a new $7 billion dollar tax.

Information from

Health Care Bribe #2: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana)

Health Care Bribe #2: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

Before a close vote last month, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) won an even larger break for her state -- an estimated $300 million in extra federal spending, in a move now derisively called the "Louisiana Purchase."

Information from

Al Franken is a big fat idiot

And before the liberals jump on me for the title of this post, let me remind them of Franken's book, Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot.

Franken, as liberal and as partisan as anyone, has publicly kept a lid on his temper and mouthiness since arriving in Congress ... but behind the scenes has been a different matter. The Hill reported that Franken has gone after GOP staffers:
Franken has surprised some of his colleagues behind the scenes by getting into heated tangles with GOP staffers.

One such exchange took place in Franken’s office during a recent meeting with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and his aides.

Franken invited Corker to his office to discuss an op-ed that Corker penned in a Tennessee newspaper opposing an amendment Franken offered to a defense bill. The measure gave the employees of defense contractors who suffer rape or sexual assault at the workplace the right to sue in court.

The meeting quickly deteriorated when Franken began berating one of Corker’s aides, according to GOP aides familiar with the incident. Franken’s sally was so harsh that Corker told Franken to lay off his aide and direct the comments at him instead.

Franken’s tough approach came as a surprise because Corker scheduled the meeting to mend fences after Franken confronted him about the op-ed during an angry exchange on the Senate floor.

Another GOP staffer, an aide to a Senate Republican leader, found herself at the sharp end of Franken’s wit at a recent reception in the Senate’s Mansfield Room. The tongue-lashing took place at an event to celebrate the swearing-in of GOP Sen. George LeMieux (Fla.).

After the conversation began ordinarily, Franken started to grill the aide about what he sees as the failings of the GOP. Franken demanded to know why it had become the "Party of No" and had exaggerated facts in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, according to another GOP leadership aide.
As I posted before, this is what happens when a partisan leftist liberal activist gets into Congress.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Health Care Bribe #1 ... Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)

Health Care Bribe #1: Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE)

With the Democrat version of the health care bill hanging in the balance, Sen. Ben Nelson won a provision exempting his state from paying the usual share of costs for new Medicaid patients. The deal, which critics have dubbed the "Cornhusker Kickback," is expected to cost the federal government $100 million over 10 years.

Information from

Sen. Ben Nelson in hot water with constituents over health care sell-out

Angry citizens in Nebraska are letting Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson know how they feel about his sell-out vote to Democrats over the nationalized health care bill.

Phone lines to Nelson's offices in Washington and Nebraska were jammed, and a rally in downtown Omaha on Sunday saw 2,000 turnout to express their frustration and anger at his part in the probable Democrat passage of a highly unpopular health care bill that is opposed by 61% of Americans. reported:
Nelson spokesman Jake Thompson said it's not clear how many calls were coming in because the volume exceeds the office's ability to take the calls. He declined to say what that capacity is or how many of the calls have been supportive of the bill and how many opposed.
Not everything was negative. Nelson was supported by fellow Democrat elected officials.

Communist Mao ornament on White House Christmas tree

Is this man to be believed? A president of the United States stooping to honoring a communist just adds more fuel to the fire as American backbones are strengthened for the battles ahead with Congress.

Jerry clues us in:
Beyond words. Obama has the likeness of a communist who killed 70 million human beings adorning the people's Christmas tree.

Transvestites, Mao And Obama Ornaments Decorate White House Christmas Tree

For the love of God. When will this nightmare end?
I didn't hear about this on Good Morning America. Disgraceful. The American people should demand Barack Obama remove that ornament from the people's Christmas tree in the people's house.

We will remember in 2010, 2011, 2012, and beyond.

Yankee Phil also picked up on this.

Holiday greetings from Gov. Jim Gilmore

Friends and follow members of the Patriots' Committee:

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! We live in a time of great challenges, and great trials. But we also live in a moment of great happiness and opportunity. We can make things better, and together we will. This is the time to remember our Savior, to remember our friends and family, and to enjoy the season together. No matter what our faith in this holiday season, we should draw strength from it, and celebrate our blessings.

Jim Gilmore, President
The Patriots' Committee

Christmas Eve Eve

Today is Christmas Eve Eve, a time at our house to prepare for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We are busy with last-minute cooking and tidying and preparing. The gifts are wrapped and under the tree ... the ham is in the oven cooking ... there's even a moment to catch up on the computer before heading back to the kitchen for the next phase of cooking.

And then Christmas Eve will be here ... we still have more than a foot of snow on the ground ... there's the family buffet and church and the magical affect of twinkly white lights on the snow and candles burning. Everything seems to come to a halt as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

And there's the excitement of little children as they anticipate the arrival of Santa ... the quiet before the flurry of flying wrapping paper and boxes and ribbon on Christmas morning.

With possible inclement weather in the forecast for Christmas Eve and Day, we'll be ready once again if the predicted ice and freezing rain knock out the electricity.

Christmas Eve Eve ... Christmas 2009 is almost here.