Saturday, February 23, 2019
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Catholics United Launches Southside Ad Campaign Challenging Abortion Funding Claims

From Catholics United.
Beginning today, Catholics United will run a television ad that will set the record straight about false allegations of federal abortion funding in the Senate health care bill.  The purpose of the 30-second spot is remind legislators, like Rep. Tom Perriello, and his constituents that taxpayer funding of abortion is expressly prohibited in pending health care legislation, and that the bill has earned the support of a broad swath of the Catholic community.  The ad will run in saturation in the Richmond, Roanoke and Lynchburg media markets.

Cooch’s Office Defends Sodomy Laws, Tells Caller “Y’all don’t even live here…”

The following comment was left on the Bilerico Project blog, in response to a post by Michael Hamar on efforts by Equality Virginia "to keep the pressure on Virginia GOP Governor Bob McDonnell and the gay haters in the Virginia General Assembly."  The commenter is from Lawrenceville, Georgia. I find the comment, which Michael Hamar pointed out to me, interesting on two counts: 1) Cooch's office actually defending Virginia's antiquated, bizarre, unconstitutional, normally unenforced anti-"sodomy" laws; and 2) the rude manner in which the caller is treated by Cooch's office. The embarrassment to Virginia continues embarrassing.
I telephoned both the Office of the Governor of Virginia and the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia concerning the very public stance they've taken concerning non-heterosexually oriented persons in their state.

I also took this chance to complain to the Attorney General concerning a practice of some of Virginia's local law-enforcement jurisdictions, where they continue to make arrests for violations of Virginia's sodomy laws, imprisoning men for violations of those laws, then having the judges dismiss those charges when the men are brought to trial - not at arraignment, but at actual trial. I reminded the Virginia AG's Office of Lawrence v. Texas, and how the Supreme Court had issued a decision which negated all sodomy laws, nationwide.

The AG's Office informed me Virginia has not repealed their sodomy laws, so that arrest under those laws was still justified, and the process in place was correct: local jurisdictions follow the laws on the books, a trial court dismisses those charges to conform with federal court decisions; that was "how the system works."

Then the kicker:

"Y'all don't even live here, so it really doesn't affect you. Goodbye."


I just hope that Cooch's job doesn't include promoting Virginia tourism, certainly not with the slogan, "Virginia is for lovers!" Ha.

Summary, Highlights of GMU Health Care Reform Rally

Mary Lee Cerillo writes the following about the health care reform rally with President Obama this morning at George Mason University.

Have just returned from the Health Care Reform event at George Mason University.  It was unbelievable to see the thousands upon thousands of like-minded Americans of all ages and walks of life supporting our President and Health Care reform.  The Patriot Center was packed with very few open seats and the crowd stood for the President during his entire speech.  

The supporters for Health Care Reform far outnumbered the one hundred or so people who were outside the Patriot Center protesting.  Many of their signs were the usual misconceptions and lies about Health Care and what America needs to do for its citizens.  It was business as usual with protestors sure that Health Care Reform will kill granny, will be given to illegal immigrants and will involve a government take over.  What the signs didn't say was that Health Care Reform and the bill to be voted on this weekend involves a commonsense bill that takes into account both the ideas from Democrats AND from Republicans.  Rather than insurance companies or the government controlling our health care, control will be given back to the American people.

President Obama laid out three goals of Health Care Reform.  They include:

1. Ending the worst practices of insurance companies.  This will be a "Patient Bill of Rights on Steroids."  Thousands will have the right to buy health are.  Denying coverage to kids with preexisting conditions will be no more.  Insurance companies dropping coverage when a patient gets ill, will cease.  Young students will have the right to stay under their parent's health care until the age of 26 which will provide them with some security.

2.  Small business owners will get the same choices as members of Congress do, in choosing health care.  They will receive tax credits.  This will be paid for by the elimination of fraud.  It will be paid for up front unlike the past administration who passed a prescription bill that was never paid for ad resulted in a huge addition to the federal deficit.  President Obama promised young people that a credit card wouldn't be taken out in their name to pay for Health Care Reform.

3.  The cost of health care will go down.  Individuals cost will decrease from 14-20%.  Employees costs would go down $3,000 per employee.  Who knows?  Maybe that might result in a raise which would be a totally new concept for so many employees who have forgotten what it's like to get a raise in their paycheck.  Health Care Reform will also reduce the federal deficit whereas the so called fiscal conservatives raised the deficit by 1 trillion dollars.  Now their mantra is we can't afford this.  This was said about both Social Security
AND Medicare.

President Obama has the courage of his convictions to not care what the polls say.  They don't matter.  We need do this for Americans because it's the right thing to do!!!!!!!

The Time for Change and Reform is NOW.

Thanks to all of you who came out today and showed your support for our President!!!!  The crowd and support are still very much for President Obama.. God Bless America and let's hope this weekend our legislators do what's right for our citizens.

Photos: Faces of Health Care Reform Supporters

Thanks to Mary Lee Cerillo for these excellent photos of health reform supporters from this morning's rally at George Mason University.

Breaking: Tom Perriello Will Vote FOR Health Care Reform

I just heard the great news, will provide more information as I receive it. Thank you Congressman Perriello!!

UPDATE: If you want, you can thank Tom by contributing to his reelection campaign.

UPDATE #2: The News & Advance confirms that Perriello will vote "yes," noting that "he's convinced that the bill will not use tax dollars for abortion, and also has provisions that could reduce the number of abortions."

UPDATE #3: Tom Perriello's statement.

After all of the valid ideological debates, health care reform for me comes down to whether this bill will save money for working families and small business and whether it will keep our hospitals and clinics from closing their doors. It will. At this moment, we either move towards solutions or point fingers while our health care system, our federal treasury, and our middle-class families go bankrupt. I will not sit by while that happens to our nation and our families. I came to Washington to do what is necessary, not what is easy, and reforming our health care system ranks near the top of that list.

This legislation will reduce our federal deficit by $1.2 trillion, and for a family of four making $60,000 a year, they can expect to see their costs lowered by $1,000-$2,000 every year under this legislation, and probably more over time. That is real money back in the pockets of working families at a critical time.

I believe this health care reform legislation is a critical step forward for America. But I cannot support the backroom deals and kickbacks infamously inserted into Senate side, like the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase. Nor can I support the crushing 40% tax that would fall on many middle-class families under their bill. So I am prepared to vote yes on health care reform as soon as 51 Senators commit to seeing this reconciliation bill through to completion.

President Obama at GMU: Pregame Activity

Prior to President Obama's speech on health care reform today at George Mason University, there was the standard "pregame activity" by protestors and supporters of various sorts. Here are a few photos, I'm hoping to get better ones later from people with real cameras instead of Flip videos...

P.S. Speaking of video, I'm uploading President Obama's excellent speech to YouTube now, hopefully it will be available later this afternoon or this evening at latest.

UPDATED: Excellent new photos thanks to Mary Lee Cerillo!

“Congress, and its Catholics, should say yes to health care reform”

The National Catholic Reporter weighs in on health care reform.
Congress, and its Catholics, should say yes to health care reform.

We do not reach this conclusion as easily as one might think, given the fact that we have supported universal health care for decades, as have the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Health Association and other official and non-official organs of the Catholic church. There are, to be sure, grave problems with the bill the House will consider in the next few days. It maintains the squirrelly system of employer-based health care coverage that impedes cost reduction. Its treatment of undocumented workers is shameful. It is unnecessarily complicated, even Byzantine, in some of its provisions. It falls short of providing true universal coverage.

Nonetheless, the choice Congress faces is between the status quo and change -- and the current bill is a profoundly preferable step in the direction of positive change. The legislation will lower costs, not only for individuals and small businesses currently burdened by rising premiums, but for the Medicare and Medicaid programs, which threaten to strangle the federal budget. It will extend health care coverage to 30 million Americans who currently lack it. Finally, a society that covers most of its citizens will be a society more likely to eventually cover everyone -- our immigrant brothers and sisters included.


The current health care bill, for all of its problems and all of its controversies, will further turn our society in the direction of solidarity and away from the Social Darwinism its opponents prefer.

Congress, and its Catholic members who seek to promote the common good, should vote yes.

Speaking of "common good" Catholics, I certainly hope that my friend Tom Perriello ends up voting "yes" on this bill, imperfect as it is, for the reasons laid out by the National Catholic Reporter, the Catholic nuns, and many others.  Thanks, Tom.

Programming Note: “Old” Blue Virginia URLs

Just a quick programming note. You may have noticed that your links to diaries at the "old" Blue Virginia - the Blogger version - are no longer working. You may have also noticed that when you click on Google search results of "old" Blue Virginia articles, you get a broken link.  The reason is not that the articles are gone, it's just that they've moved and Google hasn't picked up on that yet. If you want to find any of those articles, simply change the portion of the URL that says "" to "" and you'll find what you're looking for. Sorry for any inconvenience, and hopefully we'll have a simpler and easier fix soon.

Intrade: 80% Chance “Obamacare” Will Pass

"Will 'Obamacare' health care reform become law in the United States?" According to the "prediction market" Intrade, the chances are now up to 80%. Let's hope Intrade is accurate, and let's also hope that these four Virginia Democrats all vote "yes" this weekend. As far as I'm concerned, there's no good reason for them to vote "no," and I'm really not interested in any excuses at this point. Just. Do. It.
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