Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Lights.

The Karaffa family is a very big Italian Catholic family and we never let a good holiday go to waste, especially Christmas. Most every year, my father has decorated the house with Christmas lights, every year its a little different, but they never fail to impress. I spent most of the day today with my father helping to get the lights up for the season. Many people normally frequent past my parents house as they take in the holiday decorations, and it is always a great time for me and my family putting them up for all to enjoy. Merry Christmas.

Albemarle Schools face Major Cuts, will Augusta?

In the Daily Progress is a story about Albemarle schools facing everything from reducing the number of hours that the students are in school, increasing classroom size, furlough days for school employees, to actually laying off teachers. The Albemarle school system is expecting to face a $6 million dollar cut from state funds the next fiscal year and is also expecting to have $2 million cut from their local funding. All told it there may be $8 million dollars less to educate with in Albemarle county schools.

With this fiscal reality setting in across the Commonwealth of Virginia, its time to ask what is projected for Augusta County and what is the Board of Supervisors doing to prepare for funding problems. We will watch and see if the BOS spending gets any more fiscally responsible.

The Young Invincible.

The News Virginian has an article about Health Care and young people, age 19-29, who make up 13.7 million uninsured people in the nation. The article suggests that young people who are starting out after college are unable to obtain Health Insurance at an affordable price. The article really doesn't touch on the fact that some youth just want to save the money. The Health Care Plan will "fix" that by requiring all youth to either pay for health insurance or face a fine. Is that Constitutional?

Another proposal in the bill is that young people can stay under their parents health insurance plans until they are age 26, however, the article doesn't get any feedback from parents who would be forced to continuing to cover their children. This could cause some unforeseen problems. For example, lets say a woman at age 25 under her parents health insurance plan gets pregnant. Is the insurance company going to cover the pregnancy and the birth? Remember, insurance companies count these two aspects, pregnancy and birth, differently.

Crashers Meet President Obama!

According to the News Leader, the couple that crashed the first state dinner of President Obama's Administration, actually meet President Obama!

Wow, this is really concerning for the Secret Service. Think, someone just waltzed into the White House and was face to face with the President of the United States.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pres. Obama's State Dinner CRASHED!

According to CBS News and the New York Times, President Obama's first state dinner was crashed by Michaele and Tareq Salahi. Michaele is a former Redskins cheerleader and Tareq is wrapped up in a legal battle in Virginia. It was a stunt, but was it illegal? How did the Secret Service miss this! In a time when everything is about security this is very scary. This is embarrassing for the Obama Administration because the story is supposed to be about the dinner and foreign policy, now however, it is about this couple that crashed it.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte in the Augusta Free Press.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte, of the 6th District of Virginia, has a column in the Augusta Free Press. The congressman writes about the fall of the Berlin Wall, sacrifices of our nation, the loss of our soldiers in combat, and while we give thanks for all that we have this Thanksgiving that we don't take it for granted and we remember those that have given so much so that we all may be free.

Thankful to have a Job.

The News Leader Editorial Board had a good article in the paper today about giving thanks that we have a Job, almost 1 in every 10 Virginians are without a job this holiday season. Here is an excerpt, "So we give thanks for all our blessings and for living in a community that cares for its neighbors. And yes, for the work we have."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the Blog World. For all of those that will be venturing out on the road today, I pray that you have a safe journey.

This morning, while looking through my enormous stack of newspapers, I found this in the Richmond Times Dispatch. The title of the small story was, "The 'Apple' of his eye."

"An early production Apple Macintosh 128 computer presented by Apple to "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry brought $8,260 in recent Profiles in History auction. The circa 1986 computer with 9-inch display was later upgraded by Apple for Roddenberry into a Macintosh Plus."

What a great gift! I am a computer lover, I have about 5 working computers and about 10 stone age computers in various working order under my house. Every now and then I will go to a yard sale and pick up one of these $20 prehistoric beauties just for fun.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Should Pres. Obama send a Condolence Letter?

Today in the Wall Street Journal there is a story of a military family that is lobbying to have a long standing rule over turned. Traditionally the sitting President sends a Condolence Letter to the families of fallen soldiers. However, this 25 year old military man committed suicide. The long standing tradition is that those who commit suicide don't get condolence letters sent to their families. What do you think? Should President Obama send a letter? Read the story for more insight into the growing military suicide problem.

Wow, this person is Ticked!

Wow, the Daily Progress in Charlottesville, has one ticked off citizen. He has been to the Tea Party events, the 9/12 protest, and is now calling on people to vote in 2010. Read his letter and meet who he thinks would be a good representative.

LTE compares LBJ to President Obama.

The Roanoke Times has a LTE that compares Pres. LBJ to Pres. Obama. An interesting read.

An excerpt; "In addition, he [LBJ] wanted to get conservatives to back his Great Society. He told one writer "I knew from the start that ... if I left the woman that I really loved -- The Great Society -- for that b.... of a war on the other side of the world then I would lose everything at home."

Chris Graham at the AFP has a Health Care Reform Plan!

Chris Graham, who operates the Augusta Free Press, has an article that details his idea for Health Care Reform. Surprisingly enough it includes a tax break for all Americans. Chris, "A" for effort, however I still don't think a Government Option is either Constitutional or viable. I already have posted a Health Care Reform proposal, now others are as well, let freedom ring. I wonder if Mr. Graham would like to sit down with me and think up a proposal together? That could be a lot of fun.

Virginia Higher Education Budget gets the Axe.

According to the News Virginian, the state higher education budget will be cut to the tune of 8% for UVa, Virginia Tech, William&Mary, and VMI and a 7% cut for Community Colleges. The budget cut will also bring 593 layoffs of state employees.

Augusta County BOS commit to more spending.

Today in the News Virginian, the Augusta County Board of Supervisors are reported to be considering a decision to apply for a U.S. Homeland Security grant that would allow the county to hire 7 more firefighters. The only catch is that the funding is only available for 2 years. After that period of time the salary for these firefighters will have to come out of our local funds. County Administrator Pat Coffield estimates the position will cost the county between $325,000-$420,000 annually. The decision by the BOS has been put off until the December 9th BOS meeting.

While I can understand the county has a need for more firefighters, my question is, will we be able to afford the positions after the grant has run out. If not, than we will have done a great disservice to these 7 brave new fire fighters who will have been brought on. If we are going to do this we need to plan for their continued financial support now and cut off frivolous spending at our local level.

New Lights on Afton Mountain.

According to the News Virginian, Afton Mountain has been upgraded with a new lighting system during foggy conditions.

A response to Rep. Bob Goodlatte Letter to the Editor.

The News Leader ran a Letter to the Editor in response to Congressman's Bob Goodlatte's. This person counters that while Congressman Goodlatte makes good points on Health Care Reform, where were these ideas when the Republicans had control of the Congress in 1993. An interesting letter. Quick fact, Congressman Bob Goodlatte entered office on January 3, 1993 and is currently serving his 8th term in office.

Washington D.C. and Catholic Archdiocese of Washington Disagree.

According to the News Leader, The Catholic Church and Washington D.C. are at odds over a new law that would legally recognize gay marriage in the District. The Archdiocese, which operates and serves through charity about 68,000 people, say they would have to pull out of the District unless a provision is made in the law for religious exemption.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a Catholic and Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, says he doesn't agree with the church's decision. The church counters that it can't in good faith place a child in foster care with a same sex couple. This is only one example of the conflict.

I would like to know why Gov. Kaine felt it necessary to interject himself in District business. I congratulate the Catholic Church on offering an Olive branch in the form of accepting a provision for religious exemption, now the only question is will the District meet them at this halfway point. If not it could spell disaster for many thousands of poor and homeless residents in the District.

Saxman Recognized.

Former Delegate Chris Saxman was recognized for work done during his time in the General Assembly, SWAC Girl has all the details.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Surfing the Blogs.

I was looking at Fishersville Mike blog and read something that I think Democrats and Republicans should think about. Great job Mike.

President Obama welcomes P.M. of India.

The Wall Street Journal has a piece about India's Prime Minister coming to visit. This will be President Obama's administration first state visitor. The big focus will be on the economy.

TOTUS; funniest blog ever. This is Genius!

The Blog TOTUS or Barack Obama's Teleprompter Blog is hilarious and definitely one I will visit on a daily basis. Sometimes you just have to laugh, either that or cry.

Here is an excerpt from the most recent post, "First up, this ridiculous idea that the Department of Justice floated to put some Gitmo terrorists on trial in New York City. Big Guy felt bad about just getting to the memo since it had been sitting on his desk for a few weeks, but what with getting Fox News in line, date nights with Lady M, the World Series, Halloween, it's been a pretty busy fall. In the end it didn't take much time. O looked at the proposal and almost hit the roof of Air Force One. "Like hell we'll do something that dangerous and short sighted," Big Guy told Rahm. Rahm just smiled that reassuring smile of his and moved down the list; it was obvious Big Guy wouldn't have to think about this one ever again."

Tea Party director, Richard Armstrong running for Staunton City Council.

According to the News Virginian, Tea Party Director Richard Armstrong has thrown in his hat for the Staunton City Council seat vacated by now State Delegate Dickie Bell. The Tea Party has gotten much more active as the political atmosphere has become more charged. Armstrong, 63, is a former Detroit police officer and Navy veteran. He stated that Staunton is not friendly to business and he wants to work toward fixing that. The Staunton City Council is interviewing people to fill the seat until a special election in May 2010.

There is also a letter to the editor in The News Leader about the Tea Party Movement.

What Money!

The Richmond Times Dispatch had this story about the upcoming budget process. Gov. Kaine was quoted saying, "Everything is on the table." when he was asked about raising taxes and fees on Virginians. Governor Elect Bob McDonnell was on hand and said, "I'm very much opposed to raising taxes." he went on to say, "In this economic situation, I certainly think we do not want to impose any new taxes on Virginia businesses or families."

The budget is forecast to be $300 million short for the 2010 budget year. Gov. Kaine said no part of state government will be saved from cuts.

Senators Webb and Warner get Ear full!

Senators Webb and Warner were featured in the Richmond Times Dispatch this morning. The story covered how they were getting a lot of feedback from Virginians on Health Care Reform. The spokesperson said that the office normally fields about 1,000 calls a week, but on Saturday when they voted to debate the Health Care Bill, Senator Webb's office got 1,200 calls from Virginians! They also received 3,900 emails on the weekend of the vote. Its great to hear that Virginians are getting their views across to their representatives.

9/11 Families Outraged.

Several families of victims in the 9/11 terrorists attacks are outraged that Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General under President Obama, has handed the trial over to the New York criminal courts instead of the military courts. These five terrorists that will be prosecuted will have full use of the American judicial system with all the rights and privileges of United States citizens. These families believe that the trial will be little more than a propaganda circus that bashes both the United States Government and the policies of former President George W. Bush. These families have started their own website and have a petition letter to President Obama for the reversal of Attorney General Holder's decision. So far they have over 110,000 signatures. They are also organizing a rally on December 5th in New York City, more here.

The five terrorists have a defense attorney that was named to be Scott Fenstermaker. He was on the O'Reilly Factor last night and said they have a right to a fair trial if they are to be prosecuted in the criminal court system. He did concede that his purpose was to guarantee these terrorists a fair trial and by that meaning that he is tasked with having these men cleared of the charges in relation to the 9/11 terror attacks.

Interestingly enough, Mr. Fenstermaker commented that even if they did get cleared of all charges, the United States would never let them go, see Video here. So, my question is, "What's the point?"

Monday, November 23, 2009

Updated: George Allen makes surprise visit to FOX NEWS. See Video!

Former Gov. George Allen was just on Fox News commenting on the Economy. He wasted no time in making policy points and showing that he has been keeping his finger on the pulse of current events.

Stuart Hall gets assistance through Tough Times.

The Augusta Free Press has a good story about the tough situation that Stuart Hall has been in lately. Also, check their website here.

Augusta County Legislative Dinner.

The Augusta County Government Center will host a Legislative Dinner on September 9th at 5pm. State representatives and local representatives are said to be on hand for the event. Come out and see what is discussed. Also, take an opportunity to give some feedback to our newly elected representatives. I suggest that you write your comments and feedback down in letter form along with contact information. That way when you speak with them about an issue, they have the letter as a reminder and resource. See you there.

Sarah Palin in Roanoke Virginia.

Sarah Palin has been traveling around the country promoting her new book, "Going Rogue," and commenting on the current events in Washington. She stopped in Roanoke Virginia for a book signing. According to the Roanoke Times, 500 people slept there overnight, and 1,750 were in attendance for her arrival. The big question that is swimming around, "Will she run for President in 2012?"

Climate Change DeBunked!!

Serious doubt has been cast on the Climate Change Debate, according to the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The EL, private emails were hacked from prominent Climate Change proponents computers. The emails and over 1,000 pages of documents illustrate that the data concerning climate change may be biased.

Considering that the next big debate in Washington is over a huge Climate Change Bill that will begin heavily regulating the U.S. business sector and have a significant impact on every American, the truth to Climate Change must be made clear. With this information now brought to light, that the data may be inaccurate concerning Global Warming, the Cap and Trade Bill needs to be set aside. We should not make law and policy on false information.

Where is Al Gore now? What does he have to say about this? With President Obama traveling to Copenhagen, Denmark, next month, how does this impact the debate and subsequent agreements that the United States will make with other countries? When will we here from our representatives in Washington?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reid Bill in trouble with Dems.

The Reid Health Care Bill, currently in the U.S. Senate, trips over illegal aliens who are here in the United States. What to do with them and how this one issue could unravel the bill, read more at Keith Hennessey.

A Warning from President Jefferson to the Augusta County Board of Supervisors.

President Thomas Jefferson wrote warning against confiscatory taxation and deficit spending. He said it was immoral for one generation to pass on the results of its extravagance in the form of debts to the next generation.

He wrote: "...we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life expectancy of the majority." -This text was taken from the book, 5000 Year Leap page 29.

Augusta Health Makes Headlines.

Augusta Health and UVa. Hospitals got some face time today in the News Virginian.

Eric Holder, "I Had A Bad Day."

Today's Wall Street Journal had an Opinion piece from David Beamer, "Eric Holder's Baffling KSM Decision," he writes for the WSJ and lost his son, Tod on 9/11 on United Airlines Flight 93. He was present at the Senate hearing with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and he shares his thoughts and impressions.

Mr. Beamer brings up some thoughtful discussion on the subject of how Terrorists should be treated and prosecuted. He was disappointed that the Democrats on the panel didn't have thoughtful questions and was satisfied that the Republicans did.

Mr. Beamer also describes how unprepared the Attorney General appeared and how disturbed he was that the Attorney General hadn't thought of some of the consequences of his decision to try Terrorists as common criminals in our domestic court system.

"The Coming Deficit Disaster!"

An Opinion piece was in the Wall Street Journal today. "The Coming Deficit Disaster," covers some particulars about our current nation's current deficit problem and the growing problems to come.

The article relays that the White House if aware of the growing problem and plans to tackle it next year! Of course, they want to get the big spending bills through this year, like the $900 Billion Health Care Reform Bill.

One startling quote from the article was, "Our national debt is projected to stand at $17.1 trillion 10 years from now, or over $50,000 per American." This should startle every American. According to the U.S. Debt Clock website our current national debt is just over $12 trillion and about $39,124 per American, as of this blog post, check the website to see how much it has changed since then.

Iran Conducts War Games! See the Video!

From the BBC, "Iran has begun five days of large-scale war games to simulate attacks on its nuclear sites, officials said, warning it will retaliate if provoked." Read more and watch video here.

This should be worrisome for the United States and our President. The Nations of the world need to bring the pressure for this type of buildup to stop. Its like a pressure cooker, eventually something has to give way.

Bob Goodlatte Speaks out in NL.

Congressman Bob Goodlatte, of Virginia's 6th Congressional District, had a piece in the NewsLeader today explaining his vote against the Health Care Reform Bill. He admits that our current health care system needs reform, however, he points out that the current legislation doesn't implement the correct reforms.

He also gives some suggestions he believes would work. I hope the Congressman puts forth an amendment or bill with his suggestions.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Health Care Bill Moves Forward in the U.S. Senate!

The United States Senate voted 60-39 to move forward in debating the Health Care Bill submitted by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Now the real task of gaining support or opposition to the bill begins as they work toward a final vote! Virginia Senator Jim Webb and Mark Warner both voted to move this 2,074 page, $849 Billion piece of legislation forward. While all Americans can agree that our current form of health care needs reform, is this the kind of reform we want? Now is the time that we need to hear from our U.S. Senators here in Virginia and they should be seeking our input.

A Moment Away from Politics

As much as we discuss politics and debate the points, its important to take some time away for rest. I recently purchased the new Star Trek movie. I had seen it in theaters months ago and was unsure whether I liked how Star Trek had changed, at the end of the showing my wife and I got up to leave the theater and my wife asked, "Well, did you like it?" Before I could respond a small boy, about 7 years old, told his father next to him, "Dad, that was so cool! Can I go into space!" I looked back at my wife and told her, "Yea, I liked the movie." I watched it again today and remembered what it was like when I was a child and dreamed like that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giuliani not to run for NY Governor.

Today, according to the New York Times, Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani has decided not to run for New York Governor. Former Congressman Rick Lazio is the only Republican so far to throw his hat in the ring.

Palin Donates to Fort Hood families.

According to New York Daily some royalties from Gov. Palin's new book, "Going Rogue," will go towards supporting those families affected by the Fort Hood massacre. Gov. Palin has been exceptionally well received by people at all of her book tour stops, in some cases thousands have been standing in line waiting to have her sign their copy.

Is Sen. Chuch Schumer a Flip Flop or just one of the Herd?

Sen. Schumer felt one way about prosecuting terrorists here in the United States, now he has changed his mind. Below the Beltway has the details.

More Unemployment News.

More bad unemployment news for the SWAC area, SWACgirl has the details.

Lost Wisdom.

"I am apprehensive, therefore-perhaps too apprehensive-that the Government of these States may in future times end in a monarchy. But this catastrophe, I think, may be long delayed, if in our proposed system we do not sow the seeds of contention, faction, and tumult, by making our posts of honor (government) places of profit." -Ben Franklin from The 5000 Year Leap

Required Reading!

Required reading for those who wish to understand the conservative movement.

A short review of each will be posted in the weeks to come. Please feel free to comment on these books and spread the knowledge and perspective in each.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

She's Just Reloading!!

My wife and I just finished watching Governor Palin's interview on Hannity. I loved the line that Sarah Palin's father said to the media when he was asked about her future in politics. He said, "she hasn't backed away from politics she is just reloading." I was very impressed with the interview and look forward to reading her new book. It is available on Amazon for less than $15. Apparently, it has already sold enough that a second printing is already underway. Not bad for its first day on sale!

Who can write the longest Health Care Reform Bill!

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has finally released his version of Health Care reform. His bill is 2,074 pages long and costs $849 Billion dollars!! Read it here. Sen. Reid plans to hold the vote for floor debate on Saturday. They will then take up the measure once again after the Thanksgiving break, with far fetched hopes of getting the bill to the Presidents desk by the end of the year. I have contacted my Senators, Webb and Warner and encouraged them not to support this form of Health Care Reform.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pres. Obama 0-7 with campaign promises.

During his campaign and early presidency, Obama said that if the stimulus package passed then the unemployment rate wouldn't go over 10%; well, it is now 10.2%.

President Obama promised to listen to his commanders on the ground in Afghanistan because that was where the real terrorists were. Well, the commanders are calling for more troops and President Obama is dragging his feet, while our troops are left without necessary backup.

President Obama said we know where Osama Bin Laden is and if he, Obama, was elected he would go after Bin Laden. Obama has been elected and we haven't even heard about Bin Laden.

President Obama made promises on Health Care Reform and he never even submitted a bill to Congress. And now we are learning that President Obama's version of Health Care Reform is just an new complicated Tax Bill.

President Obama promised passage of Climate Change legislation and to bring foreign nations on board, now we are seeing that APEC and other nations are in no way open to Climate Change legislation.

President Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay and he hasn't been able to do it, some wonder if he had a plan on how to really get that done. We recently learned that his solution is to prosecute terrorists in our courts instead of military courts, Rudy Giuliani criticizes that decision. Has anyone thought that military soldiers don't read captured enemies and terrorists their Miranda rights, that's because they don't have those rights!

President Obama is feeling heat from all political fronts. It seems, even with Democratic control of Congress, President Obama hasn't kept one campaign promise. Ask yourself, what has President Obama accomplished while in office other than an honorary degree from Notre Dame and a Nobel Peace Prize?

President Bush secretly visits Ft. Hood.

Former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush went to Ft. Hood and visited with soldiers and families. They requested no media attention, they just wanted to be with our service men. During President Bush's term in office he and his wife secretly visited with hundreds of soldiers and their families without any media coverage. Thanks to SWACGirl for the post.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear Veteran

Dear Veteran,

Today we take a moment to remember and honor those of you who defend our nation. We reflect on the deep conviction and sacrifice of our soldiers who stand in the face of evil and death in defense of our freedom and liberty. I can never repay the sacrifice that so many paid over the history of our country, whom I have never met, for my freedom, for my liberty, for my right to pursue happiness. May God bless all veterans who are with us and those who are not. I pray that God blesses the families of the soldiers who stand on the fronts and protect our people, because they sacrifice as well. They directly support our troops with daily prayer and encouragement while they are without their loved ones and to those we must thank as well. Happy Veteran's Day, I am so very humbled and proud to be an American living among true heroes. Thank you.