Articles from November 2009



Caroline County Board of Supervisors: Fredericksburg’s public safety is a legislative priority, but not our own.

What passes for a (proposed) legislative platform for this county is laughable (PDF).

If you read through the thing, where at the specific issues facing Caroline County (and, yes, I know it is a regional platform. *snort*)? On the last page, it mentions funding for the HB 599 Program. The HB 599 Program is funding appropriated through the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) for local police departments. While some of the incorporated towns in the local counties receive some money, the main recipient of HB 599 locally is the Fredericksburg Police Department. Bowling Green, for instance, received a misery $26,310 of funding in FY06 through HB 599 (PDF).

Where in the legislative platform is the request that Compensation Board funding — which funds the offices of the sheriff, commonwealth’s attorney, clerk of the court, treasurer, and commissioner of revenue — not be cut? Where is the request for full-funding of offices that the Compensation Board states are understaffed according to their own standards?

According to the state’s own guidelines, the Caroline County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office should be getting additional funding for a full-time position for FY10 (while simultaneously being ranked as most in need) (PDF). The Clerk of the Court’s Office should getting an additional position (PDF). The Treasurer’s Office? Two positions (PDF). Commissioner of Revenue? Two positions (PDF).

The most egregious of these are the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and the Clerk of the Court’s Office. Last year, the Board of Supervisors in its infinite wisdom decide that money should be given to Big Brothers, Big Sisters because a child might be saved (“Won’t someone please think of the children?!”). Seriously, someone (Floyd Thomas) said that. They did all this while refusing to funding an additional position in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. You know, that office that actually prosecutes the people who harm the county’s children and who may in the future harm the county’s children?

And meanwhile in the Clerk of the Court’s Office, the clerk (Ray Campbell) decided, starting July 1, 2009, that they would no longer prepare sentencing reports for the judge. In doing so, the clerk’s office became only the second office in the state to not prepare sentencing reports alongside the city of Richmond.

Because the presiding judge went to the Board of Supervisors stating that they could be sued if they didn’t give him money to hire a clerk (separate of the clerk’s office) to prepare the sentencing reports and because he absolutely had to have the money right then (!!!), the BOS decided to add a full-time clerk’s position (costing $22,000+) on top of a budget that had absolutely zero money to spare.

All this while the county believes that Fredericksburg’s police force is a pressing issue on the county’s legislative platform.

And then we turn to the composite index issues. The composite index is a complicated formula that the Virginia Department of Education uses to determine how much money each jurisdiction should get using several figures, including assessed real-estate values.  The higher the determined value for each county, the more able those counties are supposed to be to fund their school system. In addition, the higher the composite index value, the more money that the jurisdiction has to provide to the system if they want the state’s money.

For years, Caroline County’s composite index has been higher (therefore, we are supposed to be able to fund our schools) than our neighboring counties Spotsylvania and Stafford. That’s right, Caroline is be able to pay for schools than Spotsy and Stafford. While in this biennium (2010–2012) Spotsylvania’s composite index is no long lower than Caroline’s, Stafford’s still is. Caroline’s composite index is .3580, Stafford’s is .3362 (Spotsylvania is at .3594) (PDF).

So, where is this address in the proposed legislative platform? Well, of course, it isn’t. After all, neither Spotsy nor Stafford would be too supportive of a platform that resulted in less money going to themselves.

But the Caroline County Board of Supervisors isn’t Spotsy nor Stafford. Why don’t they tell the Virginia Association of Counties Region 7 to take a hike? Why don’t they worked with places like Lancaster County (composite index of .8000 [Ibid] while half of their school kids are on free or reduced price lunch) to put pressure on the folks in the General Assembly to actually get something done?

Caroline County has three Delegates (one of whom lives in the county) and a State Senator representing their interests (allegedly) in the General Assembly. And Caroline County can not come up with a list of pressing issues without the help of the folks in Spotsy and Stafford? The board nor county staff can’t spend thirty minutes sitting down to identify these issues that are affecting the county and propose a solution to fix them?

Heck, if I can do in less that 30 minutes, they should be able to.

Quadruple cop killer in Seattle had previously targeted an Arkansas State Trooper. And Mike Huckabee still commuted his sentence.

The blogopshere is abuzz with news that the suspect in an quadruple cop killing had been granted clemency by then-Governor Mike Huckabee. If you hadn’t heard about this already, check out Michelle Malkin’s continuing coverage.

But this isn’t the first time that this scum-sucking POS has targeted a police officer. From an article in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette dated February 25, 1990 (via LexisNexis):

While waiting for his trial to begin, Clemmons, of 2808 Welch St., grabbed a padlock off his holding cell and hurled it at a court bailiff, Clark Thorne. His aim misfired and the lock struck his mother, who had come to bring him street clothes.

Clemmons already was serving 48 years on five felony convictions and is facing up to 95 more on charges of robbery, theft of property and possessing a handgun on school property.

The jury took just 16 minutes to find him guilty of burglarizing the Little Rock home of an state Trooper Keith Eremea of merchandise valued at $6,771, including his gun.

Clemmons broke into the home on April 4 by forcing open the garage.

And Mike Huckabee decided to commute this guy’s sentence knowing that the guy was a serial criminal that had previously targeted a police officer. Or maybe he didn’t know, it is Huckabee after all.

Holy cow, R. Allen Webb is making up new Congressional districts too.

Fresh off the news that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (i.e. the stimulus act) has created over a dozen new Congressional districts (I’m running in the new 00 district myself), it looks like Chairman R. Allen Webb of the 99th House of Delegates Republican Committee has created a new Congressional district himself. From an official call for a meeting of the committee on December 14th:

OFFICIAL CALL FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA’S 99TH HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE

Oi, some typo.

Any chance we get a motion of no confidence against this dolt?

Is Catherine Crabill a Provisional IRA member?

The folks at “I’m Surrounded By Idiots” (that would be me) have been wondering for a long time where exactly Catherine Crabill got her infamous ‘ballot box or bullet box’ quote (since Patrick Henry never said anything remotely similar — ever).

While spending too much time on Wikipedia, I came across this quote from Provisional Irish Republican Army leader Danny Morrison:

Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here object if, with a ballot paper in this hand and an Armalite in the other, we take power in Ireland?

Thoughts?

Rudy Giuliani leading Kirsten Gillibrand in New York Senate special election.

Krystal Ball hardest hit.

Did Lu Ann McNabb (Democratic candidate in the 37th Senate District) fail History 101?

Or perhaps United States Government 101? A letter sent out by the Loudoun County Democratic Committee before the November 2nd election:

Greetings!

The following was written by Lu Ann McNabb who is on the Sully Democratic Committee in Fairfax. I think it brings Sen. Cuccinelli and his tea bagger friends into historic prespective. Read and then click here to forward to all of your VA friends

On Tuesday, vote for Steve Shannon over this extremist.

Sincerely,

Tim Buchholz
Chairman
Loudoun County Democratic Committee

____________________________________________

Yesterday, my husband and I drove to Charlottesville to watch UVA succumb to Duke but that’s another story. On Route 29, we passed a flagpole with the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag flying with the Confederate flag.  As many of you know, State Senator Ken Cuccinelli has adopted “Don’t Tread On Me” as his motto. But those two flags together symbolize Virginia’s shameful past- one of bigotry and intolerance.  I can appreciate Mr. Cuccinelli’s defiance against the federal government by stating he will fight for state’s rights, but let us remember that it was the federal National Guard who protected the black students walking in to schools and universities from angry, screaming crowds.  It was the federal Supreme Court who declared segregated schools as unconstitutional and the federal Justice Department that denied tax exemptions to churches who only allowed white children to attend their classes.  It was also the federal Supreme Court that overturned Virginia’s law disallowing mixed couples to marry. And it was the Congress that gave African-American citizens the right to sit anywhere and have full voting rights.

Let us not forget what the Confederate flag stood for – and I say this as a great-great-great granddaughter of a Confederate who fought in the Alabama regiment and whose cousin owns his musket and sword.  And let us be wary of these two flags that predominate at gun shows, along with the Nazi flag, representing a belief that we should not enact commonsense gun laws because for some reason background checks interferes with one’s freedom to own a gun.  At the same time, these flags reflect a belief that supports governmental interference in the most personal decisions one can make.

More importantly, the pairings of those two flags symbolizes to me what is at stake in this election-whether we remain a moderate state with elected
officials who will solve problems or return to a state with a worldview that we abandoned a long time ago.

Lu Ann

Do I really need to mock the comments comparing Cuccinelli’s beliefs to Nazism?

But there is one comment needs a little special attention: “[…] but let us remember that it was the federal National Guard who protected the black students walking in to schools and universities from angry, screaming crowds.”

Uh, since when was the National Guard a federal agency? Sure, they might be federally funded, but the ability for the President to deploy them within the United States is severely restricted.

Even more important, if she’s referring to the Little Rock Nine, it was the Arkansas National Guard, which has been deployed by Governor Faubus, which prevented black students from entering Little Rock Central High School. It was the deployment of the 101st Airborne Division by President Eisenhower which protected the black students.

Hell, you can even learn all about this by reading a couple paragraphs on Wikipedia:

The Little Rock Nine were a group of African-American students who were enrolled in Little Rock Central High School in September 1957, as a result of The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the historic Brown v. Board of Education case. Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus, in direct opposition to the Court’s ruling, activated and deployed the Arkansas National Guard to support the segregationists on 4 September 1957. The sight of a line of soldiers blocking nine black students from attending high school immediately polarized the city.

Attorneys from the U.S. Justice Department requested an injunction against the governor’s deployment of the National Guard from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas in Little Rock. Judge Ronald Davies granted the injunction and ordered the governor to withdraw the National Guard on 20 September.[11]

As a result, elements of the division’s 1st Airborne Battle Group, 327th Infantry (bearing the lineage of the old Company A, 327th Glider Infantry Regiment) were ordered to Little Rock by President Eisenhower to enforce the court injunction during the crisis. The division was deployed from September through November 1957, when they were relieved by the U.S. Marshals.

So, did McNabb play a bit of attention during history class, or has she even read anything about the civil rights movement?

Interesting article at GamePolitics.

PS3s Replace Costly PCs to Crack Pedo Passwords

Reminds me of the fear expressed by some pre-Iraq War that PlayStation 2 computer chips could be used by the Iraqis for programming and guiding SCUD missiles.

Wow, Catherine Crabill is certainly a constitutional scholar.

Yeah, I know, the election is over. But apparently Crabill’s here to stay since she is redesigning her website and has a comment telling readers to “stay tuned” (possible run against Rob Wittman this coming year? God, I hope not).

First, I have got to comment on her comments made during her infamous ‘ballot box or bullet box’ speech.

If you watch the whole thing (get your link, I am not linking to the Daily Kos), you will see a portion where says that if elected politicians violate their oaths of office (by disagreeing with her politically), they should be tried for treason.

Yes, that is right, if you do something that she disagrees with politically, you should be charged with treason and face the death penalty. She, however, does not say if she supports hanging, guillotines, or firing squads to purge all the traitors.

What exactly is treason? Consult Article III of the United States Constitution:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Why did the founding fathers go to the trouble of defining the crime of treason and requiring the presentation of two witnesses or a confession in open court?

So political disagreements didn’t result in treason charges with people getting their heads chopped off left and right.

As James Madison noted in Federalist No. 43 while discussing the power of Congress to set the penalty of treason:

As treason may be committed against the United States, the authority of the United States ought to be enabled to punish it. But as new-fangled and artificial treasons have been the great engines by which violent factions, the natural offspring of free government, have usually wreaked their alternate malignity on each other, the convention have, with great judgment, opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger, by inserting a constitutional definition of the crime, fixing the proof necessary for conviction of it, and restraining the Congress, even in punishing it, from extending the consequences of guilt beyond the person of its author.

If you read what James Madison has written, you will see that the United States Constitution was created and written in such a way to protect the people and the government from people like Catherine Crabill. That is, people who think they have the right to execute people that don’t agree with them politically.

And here is a just funny one from her “Great Quotes” page (get your own link, I will not link to her “blog”):

An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.

John Marshall, McCullough v. Maryland, 1819

It’s absolutely amazing that a candidate that rants and raves about how the federal government oversteps the authority given to them in the United States, would actually quote the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision in McCullough v. Maryland.

In McCullough v. Maryland, the federal government created a bank for their banking services located inside Maryland. Maryland thought it would be a great idea to levy a tax against this bank and reap the rewards since the federal government would be footing the tax bill.

The United States government essentially said, “screw you”.

The court ruled against Maryland saying that they had no authority to override Congress and that Congress was acting under the “necessary and proper” clause of Article I of the Constitution by setting up the bank, even though setting up a bank was not specifically mentioned anywhere in the Constitution.

In effect, the court decision expanded the power of Congress and permitted them to do things that were not expressly permitted in the United States Constitution.

And while the SCOTUS has used the interstate commerce clause to “justify” acts of Congress more and more, McCullough was cited as permitting Congress to enforce elements of a New Deal agriculture bill which prohibited wheat growers from producing ‘too much’ wheat (Wickard v. Filburn):

It is said, however, that this Act, forcing some farmers into the market to buy what they could provide for themselves, is an unfair promotion of the markets and prices of specializing wheat growers. It is of the essence of regulation that it lays a restraining hand on the selfinterest of the regulated and that advantages from the regulation commonly fall to others. The conflicts of economic interest between the regulated and those who advantage by it are wisely left under our system to resolution by the Congress under its more flexible and responsible legislative process.29 Such conflicts rarely lend themselves to judicial determination. And with the wisdom, workability, or fairness, of the plan of regulation we have nothing to do.

[…]

[ Footnote 29 ] Cf. McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 413-415, 435, 436; Gibbons v. Ogden, supra, 9 Wheat. at page 197; Stafford v. Wallace, 258 U.S. 495, 521 , 42 S.Ct. 397, 403, 23 A.L.R. 229; Board of Trade of Chicago v. Olsen, 262 U.S. 1, 37 , 43 S.Ct. 470, 477; Helvering v. Gerhardt, 304 U.S. 405, 412 , 58 S.Ct. 969, 971.

This is the constitutional scholar that almost became Delegate…

My ballot picks.

These should be pretty obvious but anyway:

Governor: Bob McDonnell

Lieutenant Governor: Bill Bolling

Attorney General: Ken Cuccinelli

99th District: Hamilton “Ham” Sandwich, Esq. (write-in candidate)

97th District: Chris Peace

And for the voters in the Lee Hill District of Spotsylvania County: D.J. McGuire

Lee Hill District (Spotsylvania County): Vote D.J. McGuire for Supervisor.

Time for some carpetbagging commentary:

Everyone in the Lee Hill District, regardless of whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, should be voting for D.J. McGuire for Supervisor.

Why? While this race has been characterized as a referendum on VRE in the media, VRE is just a small part of the issues facing citizens in the Lee Hill District.

While everyone else is cutting back in their personal and business budgets (because of the way the economy is going) with pay cuts, less hours, and less jobs, Gary Skinner believes that you should do with less while the government does with more.

There have been nine property tax increases in Spotsylvania in the last thirteen years.

Skinner has supported five tax increases (including increases on property, personal property [car], and business furniture, but excluding VRE) during his two years on the Board and has helped to enact three. In one case, Skinner voted against a personal property (car) tax increase because the rates was too low.

All these increases were passed on 4-3 margins, so it shows how important a single seat is.

Last year, when the revenue were coming up short in the Spotsylvania, what did Skinner propose instead of cutting the county’s budget? A midyear tax increase. Thankfully, the other supervisors realized how bad this would be for the county.

At which point does the government have to do with less? With Skinner in office, it looks like never.

While Republicans and even a lot of Democrats (including former Governor Doug Wilder and Delegate Albert Pollard) all have realized how bad it is to increase taxes during a recession.

It kills economic growth and makes your county last on a list of perspective locations to locate a business. If your county has had nine property tax increases in thirteen years, it’s a pretty good chance that you’re going to get a tax increase at least every two years.

Would you build or start a business in a location like that?

D.J. realizes that if you want to attract businesses to your locale, you need make your county favorable to businesses, and you do that by keeping taxes low.

You also don’t enact draconian regulations regarding how a commercial property is supposed to look, something that Gary Skinner was a proponent of.

And there’s the outright logical flaws by supporters of Skinner and VRE. “Well, the gas price is the same in Fredericksburg (which has VRE already) and Spotsy!” Really, then where the heck is the money coming from?

Money doesn’t grow on trees and gas stations don’t print their own money (they’re not the federal government), so if they’re keeping the gas prices the same, that means they’re losing money (they don’t make money on gas to begin with), cutting personnel, or declining to upgrade equipment or infrastructure.

No matter what, it’s a bad net result for the county.

And why would you want VRE? To help a few thousands people to get a subsidy to ride on a train? And do you realize how bad VRE is and how hard it is to get to your place of work after you get to Springfield or Union Station? If you work in Manassas or Herndon, you’re SOL unless you want to be sitting on a dozen buses to get to work.

D.J. wants to bring jobs to Spotsy by keeping taxes low instead of subsidizing someone’s train ride. For every person that uses VRE, over 2.5 people use vanpooling. D.J. also wants to make it easier for vanpoolers by making it easier to create parking lots and keeping the personal property (car) tax low.

D.J. also wants to bring a fire and rescue station to the district (the largest one in the county), which currently lacks a single station. This is something that D.J. first proposed and to which Skinner immediately jumped on yelling “me too!”

It’s for all these reasons that people like Bill Bolling, Ken Cuccinelli, and local Congressman Rob Wittman have all endorsed D.J. McGuire for Supervisor and I’m happy to join with them in endorsing him.


Warning: Unknown: open(/home/content/36/5675336/tmp/sess_79pf4km7mktaoao22mkv5je6l2, O_RDWR) failed: No such file or directory (2) in Unknown on line 0

Warning: Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct () in Unknown on line 0