Tag Archives: Congress

Do you know what (not whom) you’re voting for?

13 Oct

Election Day is less than three weeks away. By now, most people know how they’ll vote with regard to Congress. Even so, candidates will be working furiously and spending millions right up until the last minute in hopes of winning just one more vote.

But, if you’re in Virginia, did you know that there are three Virginia Constitutional Amendments on the ballot?

Thanks to Senator Mark Obenshain for this head’s up and synopsis:

All three amendments address taxation and revenue issues, and all three have passed the General Assembly two consecutive years (with nearly unanimous votes), as is required by the Constitution of Virginia, and they now go before the voters for final approval.

The first ballot question reads as follows: “Shall Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize legislation that will permit localities to establish their own income or financial worth limitations for purposes of granting property tax relief for homeowners not less than 65 years of age or permanently disabled?”

Currently, localities are only authorized to make exemptions for those who bear an “extraordinary tax burden,” or with the express approval of the General Assembly, which occasionally passes legislation authorizing specific localities to afford local property tax relief to senior citizens or the disabled. This amendment, if approved, would allow local governments to make the decision on their own, without going to the General Assembly for approval.

The second ballot question asks: “Shall the Constitution be amended to require the General Assembly to provide real property tax exemption for the principal residence of a veteran, or his or her surviving spouse, if the veteran has a 100 percent service-connected, permanent, and total disability?”

If approved, this amendment would require a statewide exemption from local property taxes for the primary residence of any 100% disabled veteran, provided that the veteran’s disability is service-related. A surviving spouse could continue to claim the exemption so long as the same home remains his or her primary residence, and s/he does not remarry.

Finally, the third ballot question says: “Shall Section 8 of Article X of the constitution of Virginia be amended to increase the permissible size of the Revenue Stabilization Fund (also known as the “rainy day fund” from 10 percent to 15 percent of the Commonwealth’s average tax revenues derived from income and retail sales taxes for the preceding three fiscal years?”

In other words, should we expand the allowable size of Virginia’s “rainy day fund,” to which state government contributes in good years to provide resources for lean years? Currently, the maximum size of the Fund – which is almost empty at present – is 10% of the Commonwealth’s average annual tax revenues from income and sales taxes for the preceding three fiscal years; this amendment would up the maximum allowable amount to 15%.

Don’t be caught offguard when you enter the voting booth.

In four weeks, we change it back…

6 Oct

I Don’t Want to Die in Office

13 Apr

But if I depend on Social Security, looks like I’ll never be able to afford to retire.

H/T Below the Beltway

The Doctor Won’t See You Now

13 Apr
Will there be enough white coats to go around?

Medical Schools Can’t Keep Up
As Ranks of Insured Expand, Nation Faces Shortage of 150,000 Doctors in 15 Years
The Wall Street Journal

Experts warn there won’t be enough doctors to treat the millions of people newly insured under the law. At current graduation and training rates, the nation could face a shortage of as many as 150,000 doctors in the next 15 years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Can you say it? I know you can.

Health. Care. Rationing.

Video of the Day; See You In November

6 Apr

Off the Hook Hypocrisy: Maxine Waters

6 Apr

*Language Warning*

The Tea Party Next Door

5 Apr
Click to order Michael Graham’s new book.

Is your neighbor involved in the Tea Parties?

In spite of what you’ve heard from Barack Obama, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow and a host of other “unbiased” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) sources, the Tea Party members don’t appear to be a bunch of right-wing, violence-prone fanatics after all.

Gee. I could’ve told you that. But don’t take my word for it.

Tea Partiers Are Fairly Mainstream in Their Demographics
Gallup.com

PRINCETON, NJ — Tea Party supporters skew right politically; but demographically, they are generally representative of the public at large. That’s the finding of a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted March 26-28, in which 28% of U.S. adults call themselves supporters of the Tea Party movement.

and…

Survey: Four in 10 Tea Party members are Democrats or independents
The Hill

The national breakdown of the Tea Party composition is 57 percent Republican, 28 percent Independent and 13 percent Democratic, according to three national polls by the Winston Group, a Republican-leaning firm that conducted the surveys on behalf of an education advocacy group.

We’ve tried to tell you all along that Tea Party members are just as disatisfied with the Republicans as with the Democrats. Most of all they’re just tired of Washington politicians altogether.

Maybe that’s why The Wall Street Journal is reporting A drastic shift in the media stereotype of the tea-party movement.

WSJ’s James Taranto writes, “The headline we’ve given this column is a phrase coined by the conservative writer Tom Bethell to refer to the media’s attitude toward conservatives who veer leftward. What we’re about to describe is a bit different: more an epiphany on the media’s part than a change in the object of coverage. It seems unlikely that the tea-partiers have suddenly become mainstream.”

Still, The White House has reason to be concerned about the Tea Parties. That’s party of their strategy to discredit the movement.

But according to Rasmussen, the American public isn’t buying what the President has to sell.

Tea Party 48% Obama 44%
Rasmussen Reports

On major issues, 48% of voters say that the average Tea Party member is closer to their views than President Barack Obama.

What I believe the President, Senator Reid, Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic majority don’t get is that the American people are unhappy with where they are taking the country. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sure most of the Republicans are getting it either.

That’s why we all have to stay active. If your own personal congresscritters isn’t representing your views, get active and get him (or her) out.

Term limits are a beautiful thing. But if Congress won’t do it themselves, we’ll have to do it for them.

Pay attention. Get involved.

Video of the Day: Like a Hawk

5 Apr

November is coming…

Rainbows and Unicorns

1 Apr

The NRCS proves that there ARE Republicans in DC who know what they’re about.

H/T Bearing Drift

Dear Republicans, You’re Stepping on My Last Nerve

1 Apr

Let’s be clear that you’re the reason we’re where we are in the first place. If the Republican Congress hadn’t squandered their leadership and spent money like a drunken sailor, we might not have a Democratic controlled Congress OR a President Obama.

Still, we’ve realized that you’re the best we’ve got.

For now.

We do not, repeat, do not want to read headlines like this:

Shocking…GOP Already Starting To Go Wobbly On Repealing Health Care Reform Monstrosity
Ace of Spades

Repeal is going to be hard and it’s going to be a long process. Look how long it took to get the damn thing in place. We have 3-4 years, not 100 so we need focus and determination because if we don’t succeed, nothing else matters…Man up GOP.

The American people overwhelmingly do not want Obamacare. We tried to make the Democrats in Congress hear that.

They ignored that.

If YOU ignore that, rest assured we will ignore you.

And while we’re on the subject of Republicans, it’s time to tear the Republican National Committee down and start all over.

It was enough that we had this story.

But then you add insult to injury with this:

RNC’s Nasty Talk: Mailer Directs Donors to Sex Line
ABC News

The Republican National Committee inadvertently distributed fundraising mail earlier this month with a return number that leads to a phone-sex line offering to connect callers with “hot horny girls … students, housewives, and working girls from all over the country.”

Yes, I know it was a “typo.” I know it was a “mistake.” I’ve made more than my fair share over the years.

But you, RNC, can’t afford to make mistakes.

Generic polling has Republicans leading Democrats in the race for Congress. Approval ratings for the President and the Congress are at near record lows.

But don’t think that automatically means we’re going to hand the control over to you come November.

You have to earn it.

If I saw anything with last year’s Tea Party rallies it was that people are just as angry with Republicans as they are with Democrats.

Sure, you held it together on the health care vote, even though it passed.

Don’t blow it.