Ex-Republican Gov, Bob McDonnell Charged For Fraud in Federal Court

Looks like Gov Chris Christie may have a Republican roommate waiting for him in the Federal Prison. Headed for the next “Orange Jumpsuit Award for Politicians” is the former (3 days) Governor of Virginia…And is wife.

And since the  former Republican Virginia Attorney General and losing Gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli also accepted “gifts” from the same folks…He may well be next.

The only thing that is missing from this one is Mrs. Mcdonnell stuffing cash in her bra ala Orange Jumpsuited former Prince Georges executive Jack Johnson’s wife… So far. Republicans are just so much more classy with their ill gotten money!

Bob McDonnell, Wife Charged In Gifts Case

Days after he left office, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were charged Tuesday in federal court with illegally accepting gifts, trips, and loans from a Virginia businessman and political donor.

The indictment was filed in the U.S. District Court in Richmond, Va., charging them each with 13 federal crimes.

Prosecutors had spent months investigating the relationship between the McDonnell family and Jonnie Williams, the now-former CEO of an embattled dietary supplements company called Star Scientific. Williams gave McDonnell and his family more than $150,000 in gifts and payments in recent years, at the same time that McDonnell and his wife took steps to support the company.

When their ties to the businessman became a public scandal in 2013, the McDonnells returned the gifts and repaid the money given to them by Williams.

 

You can read the gory details of the Charging Document here.

Action Jackson and that Romney Disease

Looks like another case of “Romney disease” in Va for republicans…

E.W. Jackson: ‘Marginalized’ Voters Will Help Lead To ‘Stunning Victory’ In Virginia Lieutenant Governor Race

Virginia lieutenant governor candidate Bishop E.W. Jackson (R), who will face off against Democrat state Sen. Ralph Northam at the polls tomorrow, predicted a “stunning victory” in an interview Monday.

In an interview with WMAL, Jackson said he thought “marginalized” voters would be the key to a big win.

“I think there’s a lot of people out there who feel disenfranchised, they feel that they’ve been marginalized, some of them are Christians, some of them frankly are libertarians, some of them are small business people, a lot of them are veterans, and they have really galvanized around my campaign because even though I have been slandered and my words often twisted and taken out of context, they’ve appreciated the fact that I’ve been willing to stand up for the things that I believe in,” Jackson said, according to Raw Story.

“I think we’re going to have a stunning victory tomorrow,” Jackson continued.

Jackson also insisted he would fight for all voters’ rights, “whether they’re Buddhist or Muslim or Hindu or Atheists,” if elected lieutenant governor.

“Becoming lieutenant governor is not about me imposing my beliefs on others,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s beliefs have caused a stir in the past. Jackson has said evolution is falsebecause chimps can’t talk; God cannot bless the military because of gay marriage; government programs have done more harm to the African-American community than slavery; and Obama would make schools start “teaching all children homosexuality.”

 

Jackson lost 55-45…

Black Republican Lt Governor Candidate Lies About Childhood

“Pulling oneself up by your bootstraps” is de rigeur for black conservatives. Apparently growing up in a normal black family just doesn’t impress the white conservative folks. It is part and parcel of the black conservative victim rap…

“Action Jackson”, the Republican Party’s newest back conservative “standard” didn’t feel his growing up was quite tragic enough…

So he invented privation.

EW “Action” Jackson buckdances for the white conservative folks…

Jackson’s stump stories of childhood deprivation challenged by acquaintances

E.W. Jackson, the Chesapeake preacher known for controversial rhetoric, is facing new challenges as his campaign for lieutenant governor of Virginia enters its final weeks.

According to interviews and campaign finance reports, Jackson’s campaign has struggled with basic management issues, including financial accounting. And more recently, vivid details of his escape from deprivation in a Chester, Pa., foster home — the emotional core of his stump speech — have been challenged by two women who were there.

A campaign spokesman said Thursday that everything Jackson says on the trail about his upbringing is true.

Jackson says life was so tough with his impoverished foster family that they sometimes had to eat mayonnaise sandwiches for dinner. Other nights, there was no supper at all.

There was also no indoor bathroom, Jackson said, and as the youngest of the foster children, “I brought the pot down.” He was last in line for the once-a-week bath in a galvanized tub.

“I’m like, ‘What house was he in?’ ” said Nadine Molet, the adopted daughter of foster parents Willie and Rebecca Molet.

Nadine Molet shared the same roof with Jackson and said the bathroom was on the first floor, beyond the well-stocked kitchen. “I never remember missing a meal. We always had fatback, cornbread, pancakes. We always took a lot of food to church.”

Leola Brown, who lived in the unit next door and would come over to babysit Molet and Jackson, said, “They didn’t want for anything.” She remembers the banana pudding and fruited Jell-O she’d find there, and the bathroom, just as in her unit, was past the kitchen and “off to the right.”

Jackson declined requests for interviews. His campaign spokesman, Brian Marriott, said: “Nothing he’s saying about his childhood is untrue. Those were the conditions he experienced.”

After leading a struggling gospel-radio venture and facing bankruptcy in Massachusetts, then moving to Virginia and pursuing his vision of building a worldwide church, Jackson has spent much of the past three years trying his hand at a new career as a political candidate.

Jackson has faced repeated eruptions over his past and present rhetoric, including comments on gays and non-Christians. Democratic opponent Ralph Northam, a child neurologist and state senator from Norfolk, assailed Jackson for those comments and others, including Jackson’s contention that gay people’s “minds are perverted.”

According to interviews and records, Jackson has blurred the lines between his political and religious lives. Starting with his long-shot bid for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2011 and 2012, his political efforts have faced financial questions.

In his run for lieutenant governor and his Senate bid, members of his tiny Chesapeake church were hired for campaign work.

Chris D’Ambra, a former campaign aide, said fundraising and money problems were constant.

“The problem was, he just wasn’t 100 percent committed to all the intricate details to actually get to that next step — to actually being in public office,” D’Ambra said.

D’Ambra had been brought on as campaign manager just out of college, following his previous job as a Papa John’s pizza delivery driver. Jackson’s campaign still owes him back pay, but he’s now entering Navy officer school and said he harbors no ill will.

Jackson was a hardworking boss and compelling speaker. “He was pretty calculated in every word he spoke, and he wanted us to be the same,” D’Ambra said.

Delmon Quesinberry, the former chairman of the Chesapeake Republican Party Committee and the man who brought Jackson into the local GOP, served as Jackson’s campaign treasurer in that race. As the bills stacked up, Quesinberry’s decades of accounting experience kicked in. But Jackson had other ideas.

“I have a certain way of doing this. If you had four bills that need to be paid, I would pay the oldest one. . . . We had a difference of opinion in that area,” Quesinberry said. “He felt like it was his campaign, and he would have the right to say who would get paid.”

Quesinberry would not say whom Jackson insisted on compensating. But he resigned, leaving the job of treasurer to Jackson’s wife. A Jackson spokesman declined to comment.

The Federal Election Commission has queried Theodora Jackson about the decision on her watch to essentially erase $25,000 from the campaign books. The campaign said it had mistakenly provided too high a figure for earlier donations. But the FEC has asked for more information.

In the lieutenant governor campaign, Theodora Jackson signed off on $13,000 in American Express bills listed as expenditures without detailing the actual spending as required by law. The campaign blamed her inexperience and last month promised corrections. But state officials said they have not received them.

Some of Jackson’s supporters have bristled at the attention. On a recent Sunday, nearly two dozen parishioners joined Jackson in the Springhill Suites meeting room where his church, the Exodus Faith Ministries, holds services. Congregant and campaign consultant JoAnn Barnes would not let a reporter attend….

Why would a Black “Lifelong Democrat” Do an Ad for Va Republican Candidate Cuccinelli?

Lot of folks in Virginia have seen this ad for Ken Cuccinelli, Republican State Attorney General who is running for governor…

And were lef wondering why an obviously educated black woman could do this. Well…It may have something to do with - Tichi Pinkney Eppes, the woman in the ad,  filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection during the week the Cuccinelli campaign began airing an ad featuring the lifelong Democrat’s support for Cuccinelli’s education policy.

Hmmmm….Got paid? I certainly hope so.

Home foreclosure won’t impact school board seat

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -  Richmond School Board Member Tichi Pinkney-Eppes’ home is in foreclosure and 9th district representative has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

“As a result of being elected to the school board I was let go from full-time employment with Communities in Schools of Richmond citing conflict of interest,” Pinkney-Eppes explained in a statement. “This substantial decrease in income has made it increasingly difficult to honor my financial obligations.  I decided the most appropriate way to manage my debt was to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy allowing me to reorganize my debt and still pay my creditors.”

That bankruptcy filing has allowed Eppes to stay in her home, thus not impacting her seat on Richmond School Board. Eppes’ home was scheduled to be auctioned off this week.

Orange Jumpsuit Politicians? Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

Seems that Republican Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife have been playing fancy-free with “gifts” from corporate interests in Va. There was the matter of a $6500 Rolex, A $15,000 “donation” to pay McDonnell’s daughter’s wedding expenses at the Governor’s Mansion. $10,000 gift to McDonnells other daughter before her wedding.  Trips on private planes. A family “vacation”. A $1500 catered Thanksgiving Dinner and $3,000 “vacation”…

And that is just the “$125,000″ or so McDonnell has admitted taking from one wealthy businessman.

Then there is the issue of McDonnell’s wife using campaign funds as a personal piggy bank to buy clothes, furnish the mansion, and finance a lavish lifestyle. While not exactly illegal under Virginia law – it does raise some questions as to propriety.

Prosecutors are investigating what exactly these many gifts paid for.

McDonnell has been on a lot of the Republican Party potential Presidential candidates “short list” of VP picks. There also is some currency that McDonnell would make a run for a Senate seat or the big Kahuna – the Presidency.

Perhaps even more explosive is the fact that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli also benefitted from the largesse of the same group of business interests. Cuccinelli says Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams didn’t give him the kind of presents that can be returned. Gifts from Williams listed in Cuccinelli’s financial disclosure forms include a $1,500 catered Thanksgiving dinner, private jet trips and vacation lodging. When asked about the list of gifts—totaling $18,000—the attorney general responded by saying that “there are some bells you can’t un-ring.” The “Cuch” just happens to be running for Governor this term.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when the State’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer is taking gifts under the table… The Attorney General of all people in a Government is supposed to conduct themselves within the law to be above reproach.

There is the consideration that the uncovered monies may just be the tip of the iceberg…

Donor Jonnie Williams, Star Scientific are cooperating in probe of Gov. Robert McDonnell

A prominent political donor and his dietary supplement company have been cooperating for several months with federal prosecutors in a fast-moving public corruption investigation of Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell, according to three people familiar with the probe.

Jonnie R. Williams Sr., chief executive of Star Scientific, has turned over personal financial records and sat for interviews in which he provided firsthand accounts of luxury gifts andmore than $120,000 given to McDonnell (R) and his family members since 2011, the people said.

Star has given prosecutors access to corporate records and offered information from other company officials. The three spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is in a sensitive stage.

The cooperation is an ominous sign for McDonnell, suggesting that federal prosecutors are focused on trying to build a potential criminal case against him.

McDonnell has not been charged, and prosecutors ultimately must determine whether they have the evidence to proceed against him.

But Williams is a critical witness who can offer investigators insight into the key issue for such a case: whether the governor and first lady agreed to take official actions that could help Williams’s company in exchange for his gifts.

McDonnell has repeatedly said he has broken no laws, insisting that he did nothing to help Williams’s company that he would not have done for any state-based enterprise. He has said he was not required by state law to disclose gifts given to his family members or a corporate loan that he said Williams provided. He has said he properly disclosed $50,000 given by Williams to his wife as a loan.

Still, McDonnell recently apologized for breaching the public’s trust and said he had repaid money he received from Williams, along with interest. Last week, he said he was working to return all of Williams’s gifts to his family.

But the federal probe is ongoing, as is an investigation by a state prosecutor in Richmond into whether the governor followed Virginia’s gift disclosure laws. Star Scientific has also told investors that it faces a securities probe.

Rich Galen, a spokesman for McDonnell, declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office and an attorney for Williams.

A “Liberal Edumencation”…Indeed

You know if I was George Zimmerman’s lawyers, I’d be looking for 12 of these EW Jackson freakshows!

“Innocent! That Kneegrow was armed and dangerous with that candy bar, suh!”

The question though becomes – in an American Constellation, containing the stars of accomplished black Republicans of greater and lesser lights and brilliant stars like Condoleeza Rice, and General Colin Powell, and to a somewhat lesser extent ex-Congressman J.C. Watts…

Which now includes the shiny-new minted Senator-ex Congressman from South Carolina Tim Scott (and no – I don’t agree with Mr Scott politically, but I respect the way the guys is actually trying to do his job representing the people of his state unlike former Congressman, former felon, Alan West’s constant posturing for the recruiting poster for Lawn Jockeys)…

WTF would anyone be running a Jockey Suited Buckdancer like mis-Action Jackson?

I mean – it sure as hell isn’t to attract Minority voters.

And,if this is for the benefit of “de Republican white folks in the Old Dominion” – isn’t there a whole generation of kids who paid for that little mistake in “Intelligent Design” when those same folks shut down all the schools in one of the counties for 5 years so they couldn’t integrate?

And besides the fact that the guy (supposedly a Harvard Law School Graduate) is too stupid to hire and editor (I’m a blogger – can’t afford no editor!) for his book to get rid of the misspellings…

There is this video with the Space Fairy…Miss Cleo where are you?

MHP one Ewwwwwwwe Jackson, Republican LT Governor Candidate in Va

Ouch!

Move Over Bumper…The Growler is Here!

A “Beer Bucket”

Before Prohibition in this country, it was common that urban dwellers would buy beer by the bucket, and take it home.

With the explosion of micro-brewerys in many areas, the ability to buy beer straight from the brewery has once again become a fairly common fixture, leading to the development of the beer “growler”. A growler is a bottle or jug which can be filled at the local brew pub for consumption at home. They come in various sizes including 32 oz, 64 oz, and 128 oz.And they can be as basic as a “brown jug”, or fancy with carrying handles or made out of ceramic.

 

Seems that this system sort of works everywhere but Florida…

Fla. Brewers Push to Legalize 64-Ounce Beer Jugs

David Wescott has two 32-ounce growlers he brings into Proof Brewing Company to fill up and take home.

Why two? Because Florida is one of only three states where it’s illegal to fill one 64-ounce beer container, known as a growler. He can get as many of the 32-ounce containers filled as he wants, and Florida breweries can also fill unlimited 128-ounce growlers for customers to take home. But the size preferred by most beer enthusiasts is banned.

“If you’re bringing some beer home for you and the wife, that’s two beers,” Wescott, whose wife calls him a beer snob, said of the quart-sized growlers. “It makes no sense to me. It’s just not logical — 128s are probably too much, 32 is too small. I’d love to get a 64.”

Two lawmakers have filed bills to legalize the half-gallon jugs, but a group of beer distributors is fighting both measures and appears to have helped effectively kill both for the year.

Never been much of a beer drinker – but the patchwork of the country’s liquor laws are amazing. I live in a state where there are still “dry” counties, and where the sale of “hard” liquor is confined to State owned stores. What I mean is anybody can buy a hundred guns at a time in my state, and the Republican Governor recently overturned legislation limiting gun purchases to one a month. But… Despite vociferous campaign promises we still haven’t privatized the sale of liquor in the state… Or normalized the law in all of the State’s counties.

How come you can regulate beer in this country… But you can’t regulate guns?

More Zombies!

MORE Zombies! What is going on here? Another incident of cannibalism, this one at Morgan State University in Baltimore.

zombie_attack_20120601070405_JPG

Miami “Zombie” Rudy Eugene (l), and his victim Ronald Poppo (r)

Baltimore Student: I Ate Housemate’s Heart, Brain

Alexander Kinyua Mug Shot

America’s gruesome zombie apocalypsemarches on. This time, a suburban Baltimore man lost his heart and part of his brain to his cannibal college-student roomie, according to police. Kenyan Alexander Kinyua, 21, told cops he stabbed 37-year-old Kujor Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie of Ghana, dismembered him, ate his body parts, then hid the rest of the head and hands in the basement laundry room. Investigators discovered the remains when Kinyua’s dad reported finding them in the home they all shared, reports AP. The rest of Kodie’s body was found in a trash bin outside a nearby church, said police. “I’ve been with the agency 40 years, and I would say this is the first time I can remember someone consumed the victim,” said sheriff Jesse Bane. “I’ve not encountered that in this county, and I hope we never encounter it again.”

Kinyua has been charged with first-degree murder. He was out on bail during the attack after he was charged earlier last month with savagely beating a fellow student, who survived. Kinyua was studying electrical engineering at Morgan State University in Baltimore, and was a one-time member of ROTC at the school. Fellow students told theBaltimore Sun that Kinyua appeared increasing agitated, and was odd to begin with. Police have not revealed a motive for the murder, and are consulting with behavioral experts from the FBI.

I mean – even politicians are getting in on the act! OK – he hasn’t eaten anyone (yet)… But he is showing all the signs of being brain dead!

Artur Davis, Once a Key Obama Backer, Switches to Republican Party

Artur Davis Mug Shot

A Southern Democrat defecting to the GOP is not news. A black Southern Democrat defecting to the GOP is pretty big news. A black Southern Democrat who is a member of Congress and a vocal supporter of President Barack Obama warrants a screaming headline.

Don’t look for the screaming headlines, but former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis has announced he is leaving the Democratic Party, joining the Republican Party, and says he will likely vote for Mitt Romney in November.

Davis is black, but even in Congress he didn’t toe the Black Caucus line. He was an opponent of what has become known as Obamacare, and left his U.S. seat to run for governor of Alabama…

Davis is considering changing his voting registration to Virginia, a fact not lost on Virginia’s Republican governor, Robert McDonnell, who pointed out how powerful a Black Republican running for Congress could be in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Getting on the ballot to run against Jim Moran (D-VA) of Alexandria, or the seat in wealthy exurbs of the 11th Congressional District (now held by Democrat Rep. Gerry Connolly) in 2014 or 2016 would not be a heavy lift.

Hey.. Wait a minute! THAT’S my District! Time to head down to Dick’s Sporting Goods and see if they got any “Zombie Repellent”!

Yeah, I know Artur isn’t technically a Zombie – he hasn’t eaten anyone (yet)…

But the term Bamafied Lawn Jockey…

Just seems so dated.

Go on back home Artur – we don’t want you Uncle Tom ass in Virginia.

Of Melungeons and Other Historical Mysteries

Arch Goins and family, Melungeons from Graysville, Tennessee, c. 1920s

Arch Goins and family, Melungeons from Graysville, Tennessee, c. 1920s

When Dr. Thomas Walker and Daniel Boone first explored what they would name the Cumberland Gap, the pass which allowed western expansion by the colonists in the Mid-Atlantic region in 1750 – they found a group of folks living in the area who were not Native Americans. They spoke English, and by appearances were neither white, black, or Native American. They became known as Melungeons, partially based on an early statement by one of the group that they were “Portugee”.

Theories have abounded as to how thee folks got there, and from where they came from. The most romantic of which claimed that they were descendants of survivors of the “Lost Colony” and Virginia Dare on Roanoke Island near the border of Virginia and North Carolina who mysteriously disappeared in 1586/7. Others have it they were the descendants of Portugese sailors and Turkish slaves who had been shipwrecked along the Barrier Islands protecting the Carolina and Virginia coasts during the 15th or 16th Century. Still another had them as descendents of slaves originating from the first Spanish Colony located on the Virginia/North Carolina Coast founded by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526, which was destroyed by a slave revolt.

None of these historical theories was true.

Another long standing mystery is what happened to the initial African slaves brought to Virginia in 1619. Because there were no slave laws in Virgina at that time – they were purchased as Indentured Servants. Serving of a period of years to pay back the cost of their voyage – or “purchase” cost…

After which they became free, along with the hundreds of thousands of white Europeans who had been brought to the Colonies as Indentured Servants typically to pay off their debts. Permanent black slavery wasnt legally institutionalized in Virginia until about 1670, when a number of “Slave Codes” were ratified in response to several slave revolts, and complaints of slave owners about the economic cost of having to free their slaves.  So what happened in the intervening period to these black folks who were brought to America – served as Indentured labor and paid off their debt to be free? The commonly accepted story is that they intermarried with Native Americas – which is only partially true.

Laws against miscegenation between black and white were codified about 1660 in Virginia. The issue was in large part that by treaty (with Native Americans) and law – the status of a couple’s children, slave or free – was based on the status of the Mother. Thus if an African male slave married and had children with a white female Indentured Servant – any resulting children were freedmen. This posed an economic conundrum for Virginia slave holders, and a loss of valuable property in the form of new slaves. Thus we start to see laws being put into place to prevent this.

Unions between black and white was far more common than many historians would have you believe – and not just the result of the slave Master raping their slave women. By some calculations, supported by DNA tests – about 30% of what is now considered the white population of the US, whose families lived in slave states before the Civil War have black Sub-Saharan ancestry. The result of these marriages was the establishment of large bi- and tri- racial communities in Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Louisiana. The groundbreaking work of Professor Paul Heinegg, of the University of Virginia “Free  African American Families of Virginia and North Carolina” and which has been expanded to now include Maryland, Delaware, and other states  - found that the genesis of most Free African American families before the Civil War in Virginia and North Carolina was the result of these unions between black males and white women. If you will recall, Thomas Jefferson kept his offspring from Sally Hemmings in slavery.

Unions between black slaves and white indentured servants were not rare – a situation creating the need (at least from the slave owners viewpoint) for laws prohibiting such unions. Which leaves the question – where did these families, established before the permanent slave laws,  go after finishing their indenture?

Part of my own family were what is called”Atlantic Creoles” (descendants of a white Sea Captain and an “Indian” woman who moved to Montgomery County  from what is now the Norfolk/Newport News area in 1719) whose children migrated from Montgomery County, Virginia on the lower Rappahannock River to an area near the Cumberland Gap on what is now the Virginia – West Virginia border to escape re-enslavement. They would fight a nearly 50 year legal battle in the Courts to retain their freedom. There was already a thriving black (or tri-racial) community there. What they did was to follow the path after the American Revolution of many European-American settlers and move west to the “frontier”, forming stable communities along the Virginia -West Virginia border.

Indeed there is evidence through letters that Confederate troops stayed out of certain counties in Virginia and North Carolina because the majority of the residents were freedmen who took a dim view of Confederates and would shoot any Confederate who wandered into the wrong territory. I have more then anecdotal evidence that being a slave catcher wandering onto some of those counties was a terminal profession. You can track some of that looking at General Sheridan’s campaign in the Shenandoah - looking at where they DIDN’T fight the Rebs.

My Dad, who was a Historian always claimed that the Melungeons of the region were actually the descendants of the first Africans brought to America who had intermarried with white Indentured Servants and had served out their indenture and moved to the remote area to escape persecution.

Turns out he was right. He referred to these folks as “cousins” – although I never figured out why, or have proven any direct family relationship with any of the 40 or so Melungeon families. He was also good friends with one of the Goins family descendants.

Melungeon history researchers at various times have claimed that several famous people were descendants of Melungeons, including Elvis Presley, Ava Gardner, and Abraham Lincoln. That is in all likleyhood wishful thinking – as I have never heard on any evidence to back such claims. The truth of which would be explosive.

Melungeon DNA Study Reveals Ancestry, Upsets ‘A Whole Lot Of People’

For years, varied and sometimes wild claims have been made about the origins of a group of dark-skinned Appalachian residents once known derisively as the Melungeons. Some speculated they were descended from Portuguese explorers, or perhaps from Turkish slaves or Gypsies.

Now a new DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy attempts to separate truth from oral tradition and wishful thinking. The study found the truth to be somewhat less exotic: Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin. Continue reading

Church Discovers History in Forgotten Graveyard

Growing up in the area – this community was always referred to as “Hall’s Hill” even though it’s official name was High View Park. It is one of several hills overlooking the city of Washington DC from the Virginia side of the river. It was the first free-black community in Northern Virginia, and today maintains some of that flavor despite folks moving in of different ethnicity.

This is still an area which has black churches, black barbershops, and black beauty parlours. I don’t believe any of the local stores or shops survive, but several turn of the century buildings are still standing. Some of the families still living in this community have roots here which go back to slavery. Those “old” families purchased their land after the Civil War from the Plantation Owner, and set off to build a new community. I’m old enough to remember the “Ice Store” on the main street before it was torn down, which by my time had been converted into a local Mom and Pop grocery store, although locals still referred to it as the “Ice Store”.

Some years ago I met a guy who was uncovering graveyards in rural areas on the Eastern Shore. Seems once the families moved away, often the presence of the graveyard was forgotten. He used some high tech equipment to identify the graves, and sometimes could uncover markers with information on them. It was impossible to determine who was in the graves, sometimes which predated the Civil War.

Calloway Methodist Cemetery

Calloway Cemetery preservation unearths Arlington churchgoers’ roots

When Saundra Green looks over the compact cemetery adjacent to Calloway United Methodist Church in Arlington, she sees a history of her community. The oldest grave contains Margaret Hyson, who died in 1891 and was a slave on the Hall’s Hill plantation before emancipation.

Under another marker is Hesakiah Dorsey, a slave who joined the Union Army during the Civil War and who had 17 children. Green’s great-grandfather, T.W. Hyson, is buried here, too; in 1927, he was a principal at then-segregated Chesterbrook High School in Fairfax County.

And there’s Louise Bolden, who died, according to Green’s family history, on the way to tell relatives about another death in the family. “I also have two uncles buried here who we can’t find: my mother’s brothers Leon and Ernest,” Green said. Burials at Calloway Cemetery ended in 1959, and over time, gravestones fell or slumped. People forgot who rested in unmarked plots; the lawn became bumpy and uneven.

Congregants who gather on the church’s driveway after services have done their best to keep the grass cut and the weeds trimmed.

Now Arlington County is about to designate the tiny plot at 5000 Lee Hwy. as a local historic district, ensuring that it will be protected and that the county will have to review proposed changes. County preservation planner Cynthia Liccese-Torres said members of the church approached officials two years ago about preserving and restoring the cemetery. Liccese-Torres, who has worked for the county for 11 years, began looking at census and historical data. She unearthed a 1985 survey of cemeteries by the Arlington Genealogical Club. She circulated a questionnaire at the church to tease out oral reports of who might be buried there. She found an archaeologist who could gently probe the property and identify between 40 and 50 “lost” graves and uncover markers buried by time and soil. Her best estimate is that about 100 people are buried in the 7,100-square-foot lawn.

She found the project fascinating. One of the most eye-opening moments was when she discovered small crosses on a Virginia Department of Transportation map of Lee Highway. It turned out that when the highway was widened in 1960, 10 bodies were exhumed. The state could not identify the deceased, but there was a record of where they were taken: Coleman Cemetery, in the Alexandria section of southern Fairfax County. Last year, some church members went there to look for the graves but did not find them. “As far as we know, the people who were removed were in unmarked graves, and it’s possible” they are buried together in an unmarked grave at Coleman, ­Liccese-Torres said.

The information, especially the details from old census records, was welcomed by the 156 members of the 145-year-old church. “It gave us so much more family history,” Green said. “It’s a lot . . . that this new generation of us didn’t know. We didn’t know how to find it. For the community, it’s important to know the African American history of Arlington, because it’s very prominent and it goes back more than 140 years.” Calloway United was established in 1866 by freed slaves, some of whom bought land from plantation owners William Marcey and Bazil Hall, for whom they had worked.

Its members formed the stable, close-knit community called Highview Park/Hall’s Hill. The community was self-contained in many ways, including by a notorious eight-foot-tall fence along 17th Road North that separated it from its white neighbors until the 1950s. Black residents built their own businesses — a barber shop, two ice stores, a fire station, a newspaper and a bus company.

Health needs were cared for by a midwife and a physician. A folklorist wrote a book about the neighborhood, drawing on its oral history. In 1959, Calloway’s members were among the four youngsters who integrated all-white Stratford Junior High, the first Arlington County public school to challenge Virginia’s “massive resistance” opposition to desegregation. In the 1960s, the church housed civil rights demonstrators headed to the big marches and protests in the District, while its members worked to desegregate local lunch counters, hospitals and theaters.

In advance of the county’s designation of Calloway Cemetery as historic, church members are making plans. They’d like to put in a fence, clean and raise some of the markers, and level the ground. It’s not yet clear how they will pay for the improvements, but that hasn’t diminished support. “We are thrilled because some members of our church didn’t realize their own grandparents were here,” said Rev. Sonja Oliver, the church pastor, who arrived in June to find research well underway. “This cemetery is extremely significant in the lives of people because it fills a void. It’s a missing piece in so many people’s lives — that sense of heritage and pride.” On a sunny, breezy day, as clouds blew south and several old tree stumps adorned with cheery artificial flowers stood sentinel, Green and Oliver looked pleased. “This is not just about the past,” Oliver said. “It’s the future. A legacy is only as good as its life span.”

No Nookie for the Bedroom Gestapo

Dayam! This should have the effect of clearing a lot of right wing minds. This Republican even relates his experience in proverbially “sleeping on the couch” as a result of the recent Virginia anti-abortion bill which would require women to undergo vaginal ultrasound before getting an abortion.

Virginia Lawmaker: Ultrasound Flap Cost Me Nookie

We’ll hope this is the last word on Virginia’stransvaginal ultrasound controversy for a long time. GOP delegate Dave Albo took to the floor of the state House to describe how it caused him to miss out on a romantic night with his wife, reports the Huffington Post. (See the video.) Albo described how he was trying to put the moves on his wife—he even played the cheesy “mood music” for his fellow legislators—when a news show came on with a segment about the controversy.

Albo’s own name was mentioned, and they watched the entire thing. “The show’s over, and [my wife] looks at me, and she goes, ‘I gotta go to bed.’” Referring to a Democratic lawmaker who appeared on the show, Albo joked, “So if the gentleman’s plan was to make sure there is one less Republican in this world, he did.” Albo eventually wrote the compromise language that gives women the option of refusing the procedure, notes ABC NewsLess »

Lighting a Fire – Personhood Bills

The newest group legislation pushed by Republicans across the state legislatures is called Personhood. It is a direct attack on Abortion, by declaring a fetus a person at the moment of conception.

The pushback against this legislation nationwide is just beginning to gain steam… But in Virginia it seems to have gone from zero to 900 MPH in just a few days…

Think maybe Gov McDonnell may be looking at the end of those future political ambitions.

Opposition mounts to Va. personhood bill

A petition opposing two abortion-related bills winding through the Virginia legislature is spreading like “wildfire.” In just over 24 hours, 17,000 people have signed the measure that says the Virginia government is conducting a “war on women.”

The petition is organized by ProgressVA. Most of the signatories say they are Virginia residents and most are women, and the message they give is clear: The government is overstepping its bounds.

“This war on women has got to stop,” the petition reads. “Virginia may be the butt of jokes for late night comedians, but the bills coming out of the General Assembly this year are no laughing matter.”

Catherine from Richmond wrote next to her name: “I say to you men in the Virginia legislature – Leave our bodies alone. This is not your place; this is not your right. What you’re doing is immoral.”

The online petition through signon.org has been spreading quickly, largely through social media. (In the thirty minutes it took me to write this story, 300 additional people added their name.)

“We’re absolutely pleased and frankly a little overwhelmed,” with petition response, Anna Scholl, Executive Director of ProgressVA, said. “It’s been spreading like wildfire.”

The petition is addressed to The Virginia State Senate, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and Governor Bob McDonnell as they are instrumental in the future of these bills. (McDonnell is considered a rising star in the Republican Party. He has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate.)

The Virginia House of Delegates passed HB 1, also known as the “personhood” bill, this week. It defines a fertilized egg as a person, and according to the legislation, “provides that unborn children at every stage of development enjoy all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth.”

Virginia would be the first state in the nation to define a fetus – and a fertilized egg – as a person. It passed the General Assembly and the Senate could take it up as early as this week, if it chooses.

The second bill petitioners object to is HB 462, which requires a woman receive a transvaginal ultrasound before an abortion. Both bodies of the legislature have passed this measure and only needs Republican Gov. McDonnell’s signature before it becomes law.

Scholl says they will continue to spread the word and hope to deliver the petitions as early as this week.

“These recent policies turn my stomach. I believe in fiscal conservatism. Stop mixing it with my personal rights,” Lisa Schroeer of Charlottesville, Virginia wrote.

Republican Halloween Mailer Shows President Obama Gun Shot

The Obama Derangement Syndrome is getting serious as the Group of 8 Republican Dwarves continue to fall apart. Yet another Republican mailer advocating killing our President…

Obama Mailer Zombie

Zombie Obama Email: Virginia GOP Condemns Image Of President With Bullet Through Head

 Republican Party officials in Virginia have swiftly come out against a Halloween-oriented email message from the Loudoun County GOP committee that depicts President Obama as a zombie with a bullet through his head.

As The Washington Post reports, the message was condemned by the state party and Gov. Robert McDonnell (R), who called the message “shameful and offensive.” State GOP chairman Pat Mullins, according to the Post, said the party is in the process of finding those who are responsible for the image.

The Northern Virginia blog Too Conservative, which first posted the county GOP’s Halloween email message on Monday, said the image of Obama crossed the line:

Like him or not he is the legitimately elected the President of the United States and Commander in Chief of our armed services in a time of war. THIS IS DISGUSTING AND SHAMEFUL. Someone should send this to the US Secret Service.The image also includes an image of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) with an eye bulging out of its socket.

What’s With the Criminal Republican Candidates?

You gotta know if you run for office, if you have isht in your past it is going to come out.

And while a DUI or a Speeding Ticket or two probably isn’t going to impact voters very much…

Having sex with a child is a surefire ticket to voter (and hopefully incarceration) hell. Sounds to me that this Republican Independent, Linda Wall belongs on the Sexual Predator registry – instead of being registered as a candidate for the Virginia House.

What is amusing about this is that it appears Ms. Wall, the “Independent” candidate is in the race because of Republican candidate, Mr. Fariss’s legal and ethical problems…

Democrat Connie Brennan (l), and "Independent" Linda Wall (r)

Linda Wall, Virginia House Of Delegates Candidate, Admits Lesbian Affair With Minor

Linda Wall, a conservative independent Virginia candidate for the House of Delegates, admitted on Wednesday that she had an affair with a female student as a junior high gym teacher in the early 1970s, but said she has changed.

“I’ve never tried to hide that I was in homosexuality,” she said in an interview with the AP. “If anybody Googles me, they would find that out there,” she said. “Forty years ago I was a different person. I was a heavy pot smoker with … impaired judgment and made some bad choices,” she added. The student was a minor at the time, meaning Wall could still be prosecuted if she comes forward.

In a 2006 deposition as part of a defamation lawsuit former Republican candidate Paul Jost filed against her and state Sen. Thomas K. Norment Jr., Wall confirmed that she had sexual relations with a minor. She said resigned her position after the superintendent of the unspecified Prince George County, Va. school confronted her about the allegation.

Wall said that she converted to Christianity, changed her sexual orientation and stopped using drugs. She has lobbied the Virginia legislature on social issues and describes herself as “ex-gay.”

Wall isn’t the only candidate with ethical issues in the November election centered in Appomattox County, Virginia, following the retirement of independent Del. Watkins Abbitt. Republican candidate Matt Fariss was named in a 2002 emergency protective order against a local woman, and was convicted in separate incidents for holding a concealed weapon and drunk driving. Supporters of Democratic candidate Connie Brennan have publicized repots on Fariss, whose record includes several misdemeanor convictions related to hunting violations and a DUI.

Apparently the guys are getting heavy financial support from the Republican Party, as reported here. And Mr. Fariss’ criminal record seems to be a bit more extensive than mentioned.

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