Sunday, August 22, 2010

Something Every Taxpayer Can't Afford to Miss.

In just six months, on January 1, 2011, the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They will hit families and small businesses in three great waves. On January 1, 2011, here's what happens... (read it to the end, so you see all three waves)...

First Wave:
1 - Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief
- In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for investors,
small business owners, and families.
These will all expire on January 1, 2011.

2 - Personal income tax rates will rise.

- The top income tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also
the rate at which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed).
- The lowest rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between
will also rise.
- Itemized deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which
has the same mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates.
- The full list of marginal rate hikes is below:

· The 10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%

· The 25% bracket rises to 28%

· The 28% bracket rises to 31%

· The 33% bracket rises to 36%

· The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

3- Higher taxes on marriage and family.
- The "marriage penalty" (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will
return from the first dollar of income.
- The child tax credit will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child.
- The standard deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples
relative to the single level.
- The dependent care and adoption tax credits will be cut.
- The return of the Death Tax.
(This year only, there is no death tax. It's a quirk! For those dying on
or after January 1, 2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on
estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two homes, a business, a
retirement account, could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved
ones. Think of the farmers who don't make much money, but their land, which
they purchased years ago with after-tax dollars, is now worth a lot of
money. Their children will have to sell the farm, which may be their
livelihood, just to pay the estate tax if they don't have the cash sitting
around to pay the tax. Think about your own family's assets. Maybe your
family owns real estate, or a business that doesn't make much money, but the
building and equipment are worth $1 million. Upon their death, you can
inherit the $1 million business tax free, but if they own a home, stock,
cash worth $500K on top of the $1 million business, then you will owe the
government $275,000 cash! That's 55% of the value of the assets over $1
million! Do you have that kind of cash sitting around waiting to pay the
estate tax?

4 -Higher tax rates on savers and investors.
- The capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20 percent in
- The dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 39.6 percent in
- These rates will rise another 3.8 percent in 2013.

Second Wave:

1- Obamacare
- There are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will first
go into effect on January 1, 2011. They include:

2- The "Medicine Cabinet Tax"
Thanks to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use health savings
account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or health reimbursement
(HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase non-prescription, over-the-counter
medicines (except insulin).

3- The "Special Needs Kids Tax"
This provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts
(FSAs) of $2500 (Currently, there is no federal government limit). There is
one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be particularly cruel and
onerous: parents of special needs children. There are thousands of families
with special needs children in the United States, and many of them use FSAs
to pay for special needs education.

Tuition rates at one leading school that teaches special needs children in
Washington , D.C. ( National Child Research Center ) can easily exceed
$14,000 per year. Under tax rules, FSA dollars can not be used to pay for
this type of special needs education.

4 - The HSA (Health Savings Account) Withdrawal Tax Hike.
This provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical
early withdrawals from an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them
relative to IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10

Third Wave:

1 - The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2011, they'll
be in for a nasty surprise-the AMT won't be held harmless, and many tax
relief provisions will have expired.

The major items include:
- The AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last
- According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress' failure to
index the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families-rising
from 4 million last year to 28.5 million. These families will have to
calculate their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The
AMT was created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.
- Small business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will disappear.
- Small businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct, or
"depreciate") equipment purchases up to $250,000. This will be cut all the
way down to $25,000. Larger businesses can currently expense half of their
purchases of equipment.

In January of 2011, all of it will have to be "depreciated."

- Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses.
There are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will take place.
The biggest is the loss of the "research and experimentation tax credit,"
but there are many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the
loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

- Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced.
- The deduction for tuition and fees will not be available.
- Tax credits for education will be limited.
- Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses.
- Coverdell Education Savings Accounts will be cut.
- Employer-provided educational assistance is curtailed.
- The student loan interest deduction will be disallowed for hundreds of
thousands of families.
Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. Under current law, a
retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly
to a charity from their IRA. This contribution also counts toward an
annual "required minimum distribution." This ability will no longer be

And worse yet?
- Now, your insurance will be INCOME on your W2's!
- One of the surprises we'll find come next year, is what follows - - a
little "surprise" that 99% of us had no idea was included in the "new and
improved" healthcare legislation . . . the dupes, er, dopes, who backed this
administration will be astonished!
- Starting in 2011, (next year folks), your W-2 tax form sent by your
employer will be increased to show the value of whatever health insurance
you are given by the company. - - It does not matter if that's a private
concern or governmental body of some sort.
- If you're retired? So what... your gross will go up by the amount of
insurance you get.

You will be required to pay taxes on a large sum of money that you have
never seen. Take your tax form you just finished and see what $15,000 or
$20,000 additional gross does to your tax debt. That's what you'll pay next

For many, it also puts you into a new higher bracket so it's even worse.

This is how the government is going to buy insurance for the15% that don't
have insurance and it's only part of the tax increases.

Not believing this??? Here is a research of the summaries.....

PROVISIONS-(sec. 9001,
as modified by sec. 10901) Sec.9002 "requires employers to include in the
W-2 form of each employee the aggregate cost of applicable employer
sponsored group health coverage that is excludable from the employees gross

Sunday, July 18, 2010


(2001 space odyssey)

And the notorious spot that is bringing about its downfall.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Today my family and I are in Richmond celebrating the 4th of July with my wife's family. This morning at mass we sang "America the Beautiful." The church had a special treat for the occasion, a brass band that calls itself, James River Brass. They were an absolute delight to listen to and made the familiar patriotic song all the more exciting to sing.

America The Beautiful.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Happy Independence Day Everyone!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010


This morning my wife and I woke to a 'no service' signal on our respective iPhones that use the AT&T cellular network. I used our internet phone and called AT&T customer service to find out what is going on, here is what he said. The AT&T network went down at 5:48am in Richmond, Charlottesville, Staunton, Waynesboro, Harrisonburg, Roanoke, and trucks off of Richmond up and down i95.

AT&T has called this a "Priority 1" problem and is being actively DIAGNOSED by AT&T repair teams. That means they don't even know what is causing the problem. The agent stated that the towers were not physically damaged by any storms because they all still have power, however for some reason the towers are just not working. It is curious that the iPhone 4 was released yesterday, and today AT&T, at least in the major parts of Virginia, has crashed. As of 9:40am they have no estimated time when the network will be back up. AT&T strikes again.

Apple Admits Flaw with iPhone 4 Design.

CNet News reports that Apple has released a statement acknowledging antenna problem with iPhone 4. Apparently, customers have complained that when you hold the phone in your hand the cellular signal is lost, like it wasn't already bad enough with the AT&T network. There is a YouTube video up demonstrating the flaw with the new phone. Apple insists that all cell phones lose signal when held, however as the video demonstrates the new iPhone 4 completely loses signal!

The problem appears to be in the newly designed antenna array. The metal band that actually wraps the phone houses the antennas, the idea is that the human hand is grounding out or disrupting the signals. Apple insists that this is easily fixed by purchasing a case for the phone.

Personally, I don't use a permanent case for my iPhone. One of the attractions for me and the iPhone was its style without a case. The case completely ruins the iPhone 4's sleek look, making it more bulky.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My iPhone 4 experience, a failure for AT&T.

This morning I got up early and set out for the AT&T store to purchase the new iPhone 4. Here is the horror story of my experience.

Rewind in time to June 15th, I arrived at the store that morning to try and Pre-Order an iPhone 4. I was told by the salesman that the Pre-Order system had crashed and it wasn’t possible to order at that time. He took my name and number and said he would Pre-Order it for me as soon as the system came back up.

Fast forward to about June 21st when the salesman called my cell and told me the system was back up, however halfway through the conversation the Pre-Order system crashed again! The salesman told me to come to the store bright and early on June 24th, launch day, and buy one.

So flash forward to this morning, I am waiting outside the AT&T store, the man opens the door, all of those waiting come in to find…The same sales guy who I had been dealing with tell us that the store DIDN’T HAVE ANY iPHONE 4 IN STOCK!!!

“Are you kidding!” We all said. I was upset, because this whole thing has been an AT&T blunder from the beginning. The sales guy could have been good enough to call me the day before and tell me not to waste my time, however it seems that courtesy would have been a waste of his.

Those of us who didn’t leave in frustration went inside to check out the two demo phones on display. They worked great on their own, the speed, function, and display are amazing. Being that there were two phones, we tried to make a Facetime call, but it didn’t work. We asked the sales guy who had given us enough bad news already that day and he said that their WiFi network that AT&T setup doesn’t allow for the Facetime calling…WHAT! This doesn’t bode well for AT&T, one of the best new features about the iPhone 4 can’t even be demonstrated at the STORE THAT SELLS IT?

So, in the end I walked back to my car without an iPhone 4, disappointed that the store didn’t even have the decency to put out an email, notice on its website, or even have someone at the store early to inform those of us who waited so long, then didn’t even have things set up properly to demo the phone. What a waste.

Apple needs to get away from AT&T as its sole provider of the phone, bring on Verizon, I would switch in a heart beat.

Staggered Terms shot down in Augusta.

WHSV TV 3 had a spot about it last night. See it Here. The News Leader and the News Virginian, also have coverage about it in today's paper. Also see SWACgirl for more on how the News Virginian is in favor of the Staggered Terms change.

WHSV TV did a great fact check which found Augusta to be the only local governing body that DOES NOT have Staggered Terms.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Obama hands Gen. McChrystal his hat.

President Obama made his decision today, and that was to show Gen. McChrystal the door. Gen. McChrystal was sent packing in response to an article that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine. The article depicts a very frustrated commander on the ground in Afghanistan. McChrystal and his staff held nothing back as they criticized the Obama Administration, members of Congress, and other civilian officials in hindering their ability to get the job done in Afghanistan.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Newspapers weigh in on Staggered Terms issue in Augusta County.

The Staunton News Leader and the Waynesboro News Virginian both ran stories today about the Augusta County Board of Supervisor's issue of staggering their elections. Both papers believe the issue is dead going into tomorrow's meeting at the Government Center in Verona. However, the board will be holding a public hearing on the issue during the Wednesday meeting.

You can hear from the supervisors themselves by watching their work session discussion,

The supervisors would be held more accountable for their actions if their elections were more frequent. The simple fact that the majority of the board is against the change shows their desire to be less accountable to the citizens of Augusta. Bring your voice to the Government Center tomorrow, Wednesday at 7:00pm for the public input session.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Staggered Terms in Augusta County Moves to Public Input.

The issue of staggered terms was first proposed by Supervisor Tracy Pyles from the Pastures District of Augusta County. Currently, the supervisors serve a 4 year term, this wouldn't change. The only thing that would change is instead of the whole board being elected every four years, only half would be elected every two years. This is a great idea because it would make the supervisors more accountable to the public every 2 years instead of every 4.

Today, during the Augusta County Board of Supervisors Work Session Meeting, the board placed the issue of staggered terms on the Agenda for its public meeting scheduled for Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00pm at the Government Center in Verona. Please plan to come and take part in the public input on this issue.

The general consensus is if the public doesn't come out to support this measure than the issue will die and the whole board will be elected at once every four years, locking out the citizens of Augusta from influencing its board in 4 year intervals. Below is rundown of their remarks or watch the Video Part One, Part Two.

Supervisor Tracy Pyles, Pastures District. Mr. Pyles was the supervisor to bring up this issue and ask that the change be made to the election process for the Board of Supervisors in Augusta County. His reasoning from the start has been to allow the citizens of Augusta a more frequent influence on the board, meaning an election of half the board every 2 years rather than the whole board every 4 years. Mr. Pyles is in favor of the change.

Supervisor Larry Howdyshell, North River District. Mr. Howdyshell stated that at first he was in favor of allowing the citizens a more frequent influence on the board, then changed his mind. His quote was, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." To that I would ask, just because it isn't broke, doesn't mean that you can't make it better. There are some that would say that the Representation on the Board of Supervisors here in Augusta is broken. Mr. Howdyshell is against the change.

Supervisor Jeremy Shifflett, Beverley Manor District. Mr. Shifflett took a pass on this issue stating that there are good things and bad things about it. He said there should be public input. I was hoping for something more from my representative on the board. This issue has been discussed and considered by the board for more than two months, now he wants public input. I certainly haven't heard of any public meetings in the past couple months to discuss this, I would have gone. Mr. Shifflett took a pass.

Supervisor Nancy Sorrells, Riverheads District. Mrs. Sorrells stated the change would be good because institutional memory of the board would be better maintained. However, she backtracked saying that half the board would be up for election during the Real Estate Assessment Process. I think this is a good thing. She also stated that the board would become more political if the elections were more frequent. Mrs. Sorrells went on to say that she would be in favor if the Real Estate Assessment process was done on a different year and that it not happen in 2011 because redistricting of the county takes place in 2011. I hope she remembered that the whole board is up for election in 2011 anyway, making her statement about the redistricting a mute point. Mrs. Sorrells is against the change, at least right now.

Supervisor David Beyeler, South River District. Mr. Beyeler echoed the sentiments of Mr. Howdyshell. He stated if it isn't broke don't fix it. He stated, in his 22.5 years on the board, nothing is broke. To which I say, its broke. He also went on to say that if a supervisor isn't getting input from their district except for during an election year, than something is wrong. I agree with Mr. Beyeler, but I believe he misses the point. The citizens are giving input, the board members are just not listening, an election solves that problem. Mr. Beyeler is against the change.

Supervisor Wendell Coleman, Wayne District. Mr. Coleman echoed the sentiments of Mr. Howdyshell and Mr. Beyeler. He stated this current process isn't broke so don't fix it. He then went on to slam the Staunton and Waynesboro City Councils for their staggered term processes, basically saying that nothing gets done. He ended his remarks by saying, "just leave it alone." Mr. Coleman is against the change.

Chairman Gerald Garber, Middle River District. Mr. Garber stated he didn't want the issue brought up during the public meeting. However, Mr. Pyles asked it be put on the Wednesday Public Meeting agenda. Though Mr. Garber stated he didn't want it brought up at the Public Meeting he didn't give any clear opinion one way or the other.

It looks like if a vote was taken now there would be 1 in favor, 4 against, 1 who would rather not say, and 1 who has no idea.

Oil Companies push back against Moratorium.

Oil Companies are asking U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman to block the Federal Government from enforcing a six-month moratorium on new deep water drilling projects and the suspension of drilling at 33 existing sites. The companies say the moratorium could cost Louisiana thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in lost wages, without any proof that the operations pose a threat.

Obama Holds Border Hostage in Private Meeting!

President Obama apparently is holding the border between the United States and Mexico hostage from Congressional Republicans. Watch the Video from RedState for all the details... I am just disgusted by this, we have Americans being killed and drugs being smuggled into our country on this border and Obama wants to use protecting it as a political hostage.

Staggered Terms in Augusta Co, Meeting Today.

The Augusta County Board of Supervisors are set to discuss staggered terms today at their monthly work session meeting in the Verona Government Center. It is open to the public and begins at 1:30pm.

The issue of staggered terms was first proposed by Supervisor Tracy Pyles from the Pastures District of Augusta. Currently, the supervisors serve a 4 year term, this wouldn't change. The only thing that would change is instead of the whole board being elected every four years, half would be elected every two years. This is a great idea because it would make the supervisors accountable to the public every 2 years instead of every 4.

I have heard a number of arguments against the staggered terms from the board members at their last work session meeting. The first argument is cost, the supervisor in question said that it would add cost to the county having more frequent elections. Obviously, the supervisor is unaware that all of the Commonwealth of Virginia, including Augusta County, go to the polls every November for elections. Adding a board of supervisor ballot would not add any significant cost.

The second argument was impact on business, the supervisor who made this comment must not have been aware that Staunton and Waynesboro already have staggered terms in place, along with many of the other counties in Virginia, and businesses haven't made a fuss about it in those counties or cities. Actually, Waynesboro's business is flourishing quite well, look at the Target shopping area.

The third argument was that half the board would have to run during the county assessment process, just for that I fully support staggered terms. The board has to realize they are responsible to the people they represent and what better way to remind them of that than to make them campaign on it. I can't help but think that if we had staggered terms during our last real estate assessment process perhaps things would have gone differently and more scrutiny would have been applied to the process to assure greater accuracy.

The Board of Supervisors have already tabled this issue once making it harder for the people of Augusta to influence their government, and they most likely will try again today. Please, if you are able, make an effort to be at the Government Center at 1:30pm and show the supervisors that you want your representation back.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Robert Gibbs is no Dana Perino or C.J. Cregg.

Robert Gibbs is an embarrassment to the Obama Administration. I was watching the Press Briefing and I just couldn't take it any longer. Where did they find this guy, why does he still have a job, who thought it was a good idea to bring this guy on board? I think my 6 year old could do a better job. Sometimes I wonder if he is even allowed to speak with the President about anything that is of consequence. He must have an interpretor for the Pres. so there isn't time wasted on "um" and "uh." I hope he isn't allowed to speak and operate heavy machinery at the same time.

Taking from his speaking style, uh, Mr. Gibbs, uh, let me just, um, ask a simple question. Do you, uh, have any, um, idea how, um, unintelligent (big word) you, uh, sound?

I mean really, this man is the Press Secretary for the most powerful man on the PLANET. His job is to articulate the message of the White House. Mr. Obama could do worlds for his administration and poll numbers by showing this man the door. Just take a look.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wild Eyes...

I have been following the Abby Sunderland story for the last few days as contact was lost with her somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Abby Sunderland, 16, was on a quest to solo circumnavigate the world, quite an undertaking. She was spotted yesterday by search and rescue plans that launched from Australia. She was spoken too by rescue workers and reports say she is fine and in no serious danger. A rescue vessel is due at her location within the next 24hours.

There has been a flood of activity and media pointed at her parents and whether or not they should have allowed the teen to make the voyage. The parents held firm that she had the necessary training, supplies, and experience for the voyage and the fact that she is dealing with her situation as well as she is a testament to her abilities. One thing, you have to give her credit for bravery.

One other thought, I have read over and over again about astronauts who see the Earth from space for the first time, they see the Whole World and start to gain a clearer perspective about the planet in which they live. I am sure Abby Sunderland has gained some of that perspective as she has traveled so far around the globe. I expect great things will come from her in life. God Speed Abby.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Two Americans Shot Dead on Arizona Border!

According to Fox News, two Americans have been found shot dead on the Arizona Border after calling 911 and reporting that they had been fired upon. The area of the Arizona border where the bodies were found is well known to the local authorities as an illegal immigrant and drug smuggling highway. The investigation is continuing in order to determine the attackers, no word on whether or not they were illegal immigrants.

With the Arizona immigration law in the backdrop this story will be interesting to follow as it unravels. These type of events continue to shine light on the serious issue of border security. We need to have secure borders and punish those who would break our laws.

Virginia Republicans Go to the Polls!

The first strides of the 2010 elections are here, the Republican Primary is tomorrow, June 8th, in the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th congressional districts of Virginia.

Top to watch is the Republican Primary in the 5th District. State Senator Robert Hurt is the definite front runner in the race, however should he win the primary, Tea Party candidate Jeff Clark will enter the race as a Conservative Tea Party Independent. This could cause a split conservative vote in November and hand a second term to Congressman Perriello, a Democrat. Clark has said that if Hurt loses, he too will sit out the race.

This primary will test the steel of the Tea Party and should speak volumes to the Republican establishment about the need to get back to the Conservative Principles this country was founded on.

iPhone 4 will change everything. Again.

Apple Inc. introduced its newest iPhone, iPhone 4. It looks amazing and includes HD Video recording with editing, bigger battery, and most of all a Video Phone Application which they call Facetime. Check it all out at I can hear people calling their brokers right now, they are all saying buy Apple. One thing to also watch out for is iPhone on the Verizon network, when that happens look for Apple stock to soar.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stop Offshore Drilling, Kill the Economy.

This article was on Reuters, it really does make you think about the consequences of halting offshore drilling in the Gulf and the devastating economic impact on the states effected by the Gulf spill. Perhaps President Obama shouldn't jump the gun on halting offshore drilling. I know Gov. McDonnell in Virginia is also pushing for offshore drilling in Virginia and is still hopeful the leases for exploration will be renewed.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another Perspective on Arizona Illegal Immigration.

With all the noise coming out of the state of Arizona about their new immigration law, it is important that we look at both sides of this issue. Clearly those against the new law have made their position clear, they feel the law promotes racial profiling and will cause illegal immigrants to not pass important information on to authorities for fear of deportation.

Those in favor of the law argue that the more than 460,000 illegal immigrants currently living in the state are dramatically exhausting the state's funds and are a key element to crime in the state.

However, I have been given another perspective, the environmental perspective. The above photo comes from a 1/4 mile stretch of the Arizona border; this was found by the Arizona Minute Men, who voluntarily patrol that border. While the Media News Stations are all a buzz about the Gulf Coast Oil disaster, this environmental disaster has gone mostly unheard.

Something to think about, is the illegal immigration into the state of Arizona damaging the natural environment of Arizona? If so, where are all those environmentalists who protest, demonstrate, and scream on its behalf?

The above photo was sent to me from a gentleman who runs his own political and informational website, it is, feel free to check it out. You can also reference the authenticity of these pictures by going to,2933,354398,00.html.

Monday, April 19, 2010

An Excellent Point by Attorney General Cuccinelli.

In The Wall Street Journal, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia defends the law suit against the Federal Government and Obamacare.
In your April 2 editorial “ObamaCare and the Constitution,” you seem to assume that Virginia's lawsuit against ObamaCare is an attempt to "nullify" federal law.

This is not the case. Virginia concedes that the Constitution's Supremacy Clause ensures that federal law trumps state law when there is a direct conflict between laws. However, a federal law will only trump when it is constitutionally grounded. In our lawsuit, Virginia is asking the federal courts to declare the federal health-care act unconstitutional based on Congress's use of the Constitution's Commerce Clause to impose an individual health insurance mandate on citizens.

Certainly the Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce among the states, but for more than 220 years it has been applied to affirmative acts of commerce voluntarily entered into by individuals. If someone is not buying insurance, then—by definition—he is not participating in commerce. How, then, can the government use the Commerce Clause to regulate noncommerce? Virginia contends that it cannot.

If Congress has the power to force Americans to buy health insurance and thereby subsidize those people without it, then there is no limit to its power to force people to engage in other forms of commerce for the benefit of others. For example, Congress could force Americans to buy General Motors cars to save jobs in the face of lagging auto sales.

This lawsuit is an argument over how much the federal government can twist the wording of the Constitution so as to transfer even more power from the people to itself. It is about drawing a line on the bounds of the federal authority. Ultimately, it is about liberty itself.

Providing health care for all citizens is a laudable and worthy goal, but conceding our very freedom and the freedom of future generations to achieve that goal is a dangerous and inequitable exchange.

Ken Cuccinelli

Attorney General of Virginia

Richmond, Va.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Constitutional Lawyer challenges Health Care Law.

Michael Connelly, a retired attorney and Constitutional Law Instructor from Texas, has read the entire proposed healthcare bill. Read his conclusions and pass this on as you wish. This is stunning!

Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law. I was frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being discussed might be unconstitutional. What I found was far worse than what I had heard or expected.

To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession.

The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of business, and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats, and most of them will not be health care professionals. Hospital admissions, payments to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly controlled by the government.

However, as scary as all of that is, it just scratches the surface. In fact, I have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices. Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been contemplated If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed.

The first thing to go will be the masterfully crafted balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the U.S. Government. The Congress will be transferring to the Obama Administration authority in a number of different areas over the lives of the American people, and the businesses they own.

The irony is that the Congress doesn't have any authority to legislate in most of those areas to begin with! I defy anyone to read the text of the U.S. Constitution and find any authority granted to the members of Congress to regulate health care.

This legislation also provides for access, by the appointees of the Obama administration, of all of your personal healthcare information, your personal financial information, and the information of your employer, physician, and hospital, all of which are direct violations of the specific provisions of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution. All of this is a protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. You can also forget about the right to privacy. That will have been legislated into oblivion regardless of what the 3rd and 4th Amendments may provide...

If you decide not to have healthcare insurance, or if you have private insurance that is not deemed acceptable to the Health Choices Administrator appointed by Obama, there will be a tax imposed on you. It is called a tax instead of a fine because of the intent to avoid application of the due process clause of the 5th Amendment. However, that doesn't work because since there is nothing in the law that allows you to contest or appeal the imposition of the tax, it is definitely depriving someone of property without the due process of law.

So, there are three of those pesky amendments that the far left hate so much, out of the original ten in the Bill of Rights, that are effectively nullified by this law It doesn't stop there though.

The 9th Amendment provides: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people;

The 10th Amendment states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are preserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Under the provisions of this piece of Congressional handiwork neither the people nor the states are going to have any rights or powers at all in many areas that once were theirs to control.

I could write many more pages about this legislation, but I think you get the idea.

This is not about health care; it is about seizing power and limiting rights... Article 6 of the Constitution requires the members of both houses of Congress to "be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution." If I was a member of Congress I would not be able to vote for this legislation or anything like it, without feeling I was violating that sacred oath or affirmation. If I voted for it anyway, I would hope the American people would hold me accountable.

For those who might doubt the nature of this threat, I suggest they consult the source, the US Constitution, and Bill of Rights. There you can see exactly what we are about to have taken from us.

Doctors Sue to Overturn the Health Care Bill

March 29th, 2010

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) became the first medical society to sue to overturn the newly enacted health care bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). AAPS sued Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (AAPS v. Sebelius et al.).

“If the PPACA goes unchallenged, then it spells the end of freedom in medicine as we know it,” observed Jane Orient, M.D., the Executive Director of AAPS. “Courts should not allow this massive intrusion into the practice of medicine and the rights of patients.”

“There will be a dire shortage of physicians if the PPACA becomes effective and is not overturned by the courts.”

The PPACA requires most Americans to buy government-approved insurance starting in 2014, or face stiff penalties. Insurance company executives will be enriched by this requirement, but it violates the Fifth Amendment protection against the government forcing one person to pay cash to another. AAPS is the first to assert this important constitutional claim.

The PPACA also violates the Tenth Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the provisions authorizing taxation. The Taxing and Spending power cannot be invoked, as the premiums go to private insurance companies. The traditional sovereignty of the States over the practice of medicine is destroyed by the PPACA.

AAPS notes that in scoring the proposal the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) was bound by assumptions imposed by Congress, including the ability to “save” $500 billion in Medicare, and to redirect $50 billion from Social Security. HHS Secretary Sebelius stated that PPACA would reduce the federal deficit, knowing the opposite to be true if these assumptions are unrealistic.

AAPS asks the Court to enjoin the government from promulgating or enforcing insurance mandates and require HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue to provide the Court with an accounting of Medicare and Social Security solvency.

Congress recognized that PPACA cannot be funded without the insurance mandates, and will become unenforceable without them.

Court action is necessary “to preserve individual liberty” and “to prevent PPACA from bankrupting the United States generally and Medicare and Social Security specifically,” AAPS stated.

AAPS is a voice for patient and physician independence since 1943. The complaint and more information about the suit are posted on their site.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dangerous Precedent.

The Health Care Reform bill signed into law by President Obama sets a dangerous precedent for our country and the federal government’s ability to impact our personal lives. The laws of this country will soon require those who don’t have health insurance, or what Congress doesn’t approve as adequate health insurance, to obtain it or pay a ridiculous fine. This bill opens a Pandora’s Box on our freedom for personal decision. The very idea of paying a fine for not purchasing a product or service is ludicrous.

Next, Congressional Democrats plan to pass a Cap and Trade bill that will impact our ability to heat our homes, in the name of saving our planet. What’s next? Identity Theft is becoming an epidemic in this country, is it then the duty of our Congress to mandate us to purchase Identity Theft Protection? How about Life Insurance, the cost of a funeral is sky rocketing and more people are dying with unpaid debt than ever before. How about Short Term Disability Insurance, Long Term Disability Insurance, we could go on and on. The fact of the matter is these decisions should be our own to make.

The Constitution of the United States was written to safe guard the Natural Rights of the People and guarantee our free will, whether to our detriment or not. Congress has, over time, eroded our ability to make our own decisions. Are we, as a citizenry, ready for what liberties are eroded by the precedent set by this mandate? Are we going to really allow Congress and the federal government to continue to erode our liberties so quickly? Senator Paul Laxalt once said, “Every time Congress meets, we lose a little more of our liberty.”

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Del. Matt Lohr to Leave Office in May!

The Daily News Record is reporting that Del. Matt Lohr (R-Harrisonburg) will be leaving office to take up the post of Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on May 1st. Harrisonburg has a special election on their hands now. Congratulations, Mr. Lohr. Here is to Harrisonburg electing a Conservative.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tea Party Movement, Keep Options Open

Today in the Wall Street Journal, Karl Rove has advice for the Tea Party Movement and its members. He advises them not to become a part of a political party. He states that the Tea Party Movement has more power as an individual entity pushing for Fiscal Responsibility, Conservation of Constitutional Principles, and Limited Government. He states that the Tea Party Movement fractioned group is good because it doesn't unite the movement under one leader and their agenda, but rather focuses on the People and their local and national issues.

Karl Rove goes on to warn the Tea Party Movement that the secular media is now taking them seriously and to guard against extremism. He warns against those who wish to take up arms against the government, he warns against those that pursue the agenda of the "Birthers", and against those who believe that 9/11 was organized by the American Government. These entities will only serve to harm the Tea Party Movement, Rove warns.

I believe this is all sound advice. The Tea Party Movement, comprising mostly of the groups Tea Party Patriots, Freedom Works, and American's for Prosperity, is a great thing, they put out the call when we see a good candidate for public office and help to shine the light on that person and gain them support. On the other hand when we see a representative or politician being dishonest, wasteful, wavering away from our founding principles, or corrupt, they can shine the light on them and push for a replacement. This pressure needs to be maintained on both parties and the Tea Party Movement is a perfect vehicle for it.

Lastly, Rove advices Tea Party members to keep their focus on policy and principle and not on political squabbles, explaining that their base would be more broad and welcoming to the American People. Great Article.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Virginia Sen. Emmett Hanger wants new Virginia Business Tax.

Virginia Senator Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta, wants a new internet sales tax in the Commonwealth. Currently, internet purchases are not subject to a state sales tax, part of the attraction for online buying. Now, Senator Hanger wants to change that, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch. His bill passed the Virginia Senate on Wednesday and now heads to the House of Delegates where it faces a tough battle.

It should be noted that there are many small business here in Virginia that operate inside of a residential place and sell goods online, this new tax would cause an increase in price for their product and cause sales to go drop. These "online" businesses don't drain public resources.

This doesn't seem like the best time to be imposing a new tax that hurts Virginia business. I will be looking to the Governor to veto this if it passes the General Assembly. I am surprised at Senator Hanger for this putting forward this bill. I hope it doesn't pass, we need the business.

Augusta's Inflated Real Estate Assessments are Hurting School Budget.

In the NewsLeader today schools here in Augusta could see additional budget cuts. Augusta County Schools Superintendent, Gary McQuain, says the ailing Augusta County School budget could see an additional $699,000 cut. How does this happen? Well, the Commonwealth of Virginia doles out money to the 134 school districts based on need.

The need is calculated using a number of different values including; Daily average attendance, REAL ESTATE VALUES, student enrollment, and retail sales tax. Two of these values have seen a dramatic change recently. Retail sales have dropped, but they have dropped across most of the commonwealth causing only small differences when compared to other areas.

The real deal here is that Real Estate Values have soared, at least on paper. If you remember back, last year, there was a huge public outcry about the High Real Estate Assessments here in Augusta. Over 10,500 people signed petitions saying the assessments were wrong. More than 1,000 people showed up at the Augusta County Government Center at a Board of Supervisors meeting to tell the Board that the assessments were mistaken as to the true value of their home and land. The Board of Supervisors paid no attention to the public outcry and allowed the assessments to remain. The Board of Supervisors did lower the tax rate on the assessments, thinking that would solve the problem, but their shortsightedness about this issue and the ripple effect that the assessments would have may now mean costly cuts for Augusta County Schools in terms of layoffs and possible furloughs.

All the sudden, at least on paper, Augusta county looks like a rich school district in the eyes of Richmond, no longer in need of as much state money to help with the local school budget. Therefore, seeing that the commonwealth's budget has a $4 Billion gap, the money, that the Augusta County Schools had anticipated it would get from Richmond, may not materialize.

I-81 and the Rail Road.

In todays News Virginian is an interesting story, something other than about snow. It covers a $75,000 Virginia government funded study and report about the feasibility of rail being the answer to truck congestion on interstate 81, a main artery between the lower and upper halves of the eastern seaboard. The report centers around and endorses the Crescent Corridor project, which is a rail line that was started in 2008 and scheduled to be completed in 2012 and creates a connection between New Orleans and Memphis, Tennessee with New Jersey. Currently, Virginia sees a lot of traffic on I-81 as freight is carried between these destinations. The report suggests that the Corridor project could cut about 13%-14% of the trucks off of I-81.

The trucks and congestion on I-81 have been an issue for many years, and this problem continues to grow. The amount of trucks and individual motorists on the popular highway is increasing beyond the rates previously predicted.

This rail project would individually impact us here in Augusta, Waynesboro, and Staunton because our area is a favorite stop for these trucks, and when they stop, they spend their money. Therefore, this issue has two sides. One, the safety of decreased traffic on I-81 and the loss of outside revenue from the trucks. Something to think about.

Gibbs pulls a funny!

For the first time ever, White House Communications Director Robert Gibbs does something funny. This made me laugh see the video here. He is mocking former Gov. Sarah Palin for having some notes written on her hand. I don't really think this is a big deal for Palin, but of course the Democrats never let a good gaff alone. Anyway, this was funny. I would recommend the president replace his teleprompter with this idea. His poll numbers might go up. Of course, if the president tried to do this he would run out of hand space for all of his talk.

Former VA. Gov. Doug Wilder has Ax in Hand.

In the Richmond Times Dispatch, Former Virginia Democrat Governor Doug Wilder has strong warnings and recommendations for President Barack Obama. Wilder tells Obama to get tough and start leading or else face a one term presidency. He says that starts with replacing a lot of his White House and Executive Staff. Wilder explains that it takes certain people with certain skills to help get you elected and quite another to govern.

Wilder goes on to slap the Democrat Party with the reality of recent elections and current poll numbers. He tells the president that former Virginia Governor, Tim Kaine, has to go as the Democrat National Committee Chairman. He goes on to tell Obama that he " has enough to worry about and defend without this detracting sideshow..." Wilder writes in Politico.

Wilder goes on and even seems to be ready to sign on to the Tea Party Movement by slamming Gov. Tim Kaine on his proposals in Virginia, notably to raise the state income tax rate and for the proposed extradition of a murdering criminal back to Germany where he could have been paroled in as little as two years. Wilder has grave concerns for the Presidents ability to lead, warnings for the Democrat Party, and questions whether the current administration really knows how to "listen to the people."

I don't think Governor Wilder is going to get a White House Christmas Card this year.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snow, Snow, and More Snow!

Okay, here are the pictures of the snow around my house. Sure is great to have a new friend with a plow!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Virginia has All Hands on Deck for Snow.

In this mornings News Virginian is a run down and review of the preparation for the largest snow storm in decades. One very interesting detail, mail is planned to be delivered even if the snow is two feet deep! Reminds me of the United States Postal Service un-official Creed inscribed on the Post Office in New York City, "Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat nor Gloom of Night stays these Couriers from the Swift completion of their Appointed Rounds" A great story for a Snow Day.

Obama puts Health Care in the Backseat.

Today in the Richmond Times Dispatch, President Obama is reported to be putting Health Care on the back burner and focusing on the economy and jobs, he stated at a Democrat event. The president says he would like to see the Republicans, Democrats, and other experts sit down to work on the bills. Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, has stated that is exactly what he has been after and awaits the White House invitation. No invitation has yet been offered to Republicans. Most likely, that invitation will never materialize.

We must be vigilant that Health Care doesn't sneak in under the radar.

Pro-Choice/Pro-Abortion license plate in Virginia!

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch this morning, Planned Parenthood has been successful in having a Pro-Choice Specialty Licence Plate which reads, "Trust Women/Respect Choice," introduced to the General Assembly. Sen. Janet D. Howell, D. Fairfax has proposed the legislation for the specialty plate out of, what she calls it, fairness. Last year, Pro-Life advocates were successful in obtaining the "Choice Life" licence plate. Sen Howell explains that this specialty plate is just voicing the other perspective.

I just don't understand this. Why would we as a Commonwealth want Pro-Abortion advertised on our licence plates, might as well say, "Virginia is For Lovers, Just not Babies." Sen. Howell has crossed the line with this legislation, especially since part of the proceeds of the plate go to Planned Parenthood. The spokes person for Planned Parenthood states that the funds wouldn't go directly to pay for abortions. Like that is supposed to make it all feel better? It is well known that Planned Parenthood fully supports abortion.

I will be keeping especially sharp watch on my representatives in the General Assembly on this one. God willing Sen. Hanger doesn't vote for this horrible license plate. I also want to put out a call to all those Conservatives in Fairfax, Virginia. Now is your time, Dig Deep and replace Sen. Howell in the Virginia Senate. I will be more than happy to send you money and volunteer my time.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fiscal Conservative Democrats Conflicted.

Congressional Democrats, like Senator Conrad of North Dakota, are conflicted about the rising deficit, rising unemployment, rising food costs, and party loyalty. According to the the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Conrad is feeling the heat of the $3.8 Trillion dollar Obama Budget. The most informing part of the WSJ article was this;

"Most economists agree that the country's public-debt burden-now at $7.75 trillion and growing- poses a threat to economic security. Interest payments devour nearly one-tenth of federal revenues and are projected to more than triple over the next 10 years. Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid consumes an additional 57%. The administration projects that those entitlement programs, as they are know, plus interest on the debt, will absorb 80% of all federal revenues by 2020."

So, does Sen. Conrad and other Congressional Democrats abandon Mr. Obama and his deficit spending and help save the country from economic disaster, or do they go down with the sinking ship called the Democrat Party?

Virginia Senate Smacks down ObamaCare Mandate!

According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, the Virginia Senate has passed a bill that declares it illegal to mandate someone to purchase health insurance and rejects the federal government or any other institution from imposing a fine for not having health insurance.

This a tremendous victory for Constitutional Freedoms. Republican Senators have said this is less about health care and more about individual freedom of choice.

Another reason legislators don't need to impose a fine is, if the poor can't afford a health insurance plan, what makes you think they can afford a fine? And, how exactly does that help them when they get sick?