Monthly Archives: May 2011

Right on schedule, Virginia advances

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun.

Today’s Washington Post:

Virginians are closely divided over whether gay marriage should be legal, according to a new Washington Post poll, a striking result in a state that overwhelmingly agreed to amend its constitution to ban gay marriage just five years ago.

Forty-seven percent of Virginians say gay couples should be allowed to legally wed, and 43 percent are opposed, according to the poll. Fifty-five percent of Virginians say gay couples should be able to legally adopt children.

The results mirror a dramatic and rapid shift in national public opinion about gay rights in recent years.

Dramatic indeed. Here are the national trendlines, via Nate Silver:

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Fighting For What’s Right (Reprised)

In December 2010, I was involved in a wonderful, though provoking debate about the future of progressive politics in the wake of the November loss of the House of Representatives. In the midst of dealing with the realities that election brought upon the nation, (potential government shutdowns, legislative badgering of the poor and female) it seemed to me appropriate, and uplifting, to return to the lessons I took out of that election.

Of COURSE we need to continue fighting for progressives and progressive policy outcomes at the national level. We will all be better off with better policies from Congress and the President. That being said, the wall off 40 (or more) incorrigibles in the Senate represents a very difficult to breach dam holding back hundreds (no baloney there, the House passed hundreds more bills than the Senate in this past Congress) of pieces of progress on the American experiment.

This of course, begs the question of what we, today, here in Loudoun can do to effect better and more Change at the national level. As I see it there are six specific pressure points on which we can act to yield better outcomes in the medium and long-term.

1. President Obama – We can, and should, exert the pressure of popular Democratic opinion on President Obama. This means letters and resolutions. Sure, some will say that such things “have no effect” but that’s not true. These things have no effect in isolation or limitation. One letter, sent once, is a howl at the moon. A dozen letters, sent monthly, is a demonstration of unity and commitment. One LCDC Resolution, issued alone is a symbolic gesture. A dozen County and City committee resolutions, with similar wording, issued simultaneously is a shot across the bow.

(I, of course, assume that everyone venting their bile at our President has had the decency to let the President himself know how they feel in a letter or at least an email.)

There’s more…

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LUNAFEST Arlington 2011
Hosted by the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation
Thursday, May 12, 2011, 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
near Pentagon City Metro station, Arlington, VA 22202
(location available upon ticket purchase or reservation)
Join us on May 12 to enjoy great short films while supporting two important causes! Proceeds support the research, education and outreach work of the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation, as well as the national LUNAFEST beneficiary, the Breast Cancer Fund.  Featuring:
  • Screening of LUNAFEST’s compelling, diverse short films by female filmmakers
  • Reception with wine and other refreshments to enjoy during the films
  • Silent Auction with great prizes to bid on, including: a one-week stay at an international vacation condo; original artwork; handmade jewelry; a one-night stay at the W Washington DC Hotel; a basket of great wines; spa treatments from Calvert Rejuvenations; gift certificates to local restaurants and businesses such as Pizzeria Paradiso, Georgetown Cupcake, and Thrive Pilates; Potomac Nationals baseball tickets… and more!
Watch the teaser trailer for this year’s films below!
Choice Guardian Host Committee
Barbara Burgess • Matthew Boyer • Jennifer Brown • Liz Miller • Jennifer Brooks Miller • Gary Spoden • Lori Swain
Silent Auction donors
Lisa Baker • Calvert Rejuvenations • Georgetown Cupcake • Ben Greenberg Photography • Misty Jones • Pizzeria Paradiso • Potomac Nationals • Thrive Pilates & Yoga • W Washington DC Hotel

LUNAFEST®, sponsored by LUNA, is a national traveling festival of short films by, for, and about women. It was established in 2000 to promote women filmmakers, raise awareness for women’s issues, and support the Breast Cancer Fund and other worthy nonprofit organizations working on women’s issues throughout the country.


General Admission Tickets: $35
($25 discounted rate for GEM for Choice monthly donors and Students/Young Professionals)
VIP Admission: $75 Individuals / $125 Choice Power Couples
 ($50 discounted VIP rate for GEM for Choice members)
Includes tickets with reserved seating & admission to VIP pre-show reception.

Choice Guardian Host Committee: $250
Includes your name on website & event publications, 4 tickets with reserved seating & admission to VIP pre-show reception.

Please contact or 202-973-3085 with any questions about purchasing or reserving your tickets.

 If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or donating an item to be placed up for bid at our Silent Auction, please contact


Thank you to everyone who made last year’s LUNAFEST 2010 a great success! Check out some additional photos from the night right here!

Thank you President Obama – Osama is no more

(Great guest post by our friend, and veteran, Tony, I have edited it a bit for clarity – P13)

I was working in the Pentagon as a Department of the Army Civilian on 9/11 and lost two friends and know a retired army officer who is now a legislator in Texas who was severely burned that day.  I also know:

1.  that Osama bin laden (from Saudi Arabia) was behind these attacks.  In fact as I was evacuating the Pentagon I heard two Army officers say that “Osama did this”.

2. that President G.W. Bush said that we wanted Osama “Dead or Alive” as they used to say in the Wild West. (but never could catch him)

3. that somehow  Osama got away from us in the Tora-Bora region of Afghanistan.

5. that Osama had no connection with Sadaam of Iraq but for whatever reason we attacked Iraq and lost thousands of troops dead or wounded/mentally and physically.

6. that we have  spent trillions of dollars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

7. that I am proud to have been a member of the military and that the SEALS were outstanding!

8. that President Obama  made the right call NOT to release pictures of a dead Osama.  It serves no useful purpose and could incite those misguided folks who support Osama to riot in the streets or attack us or our allies.  It is enough to know that Justice has been done and fulfilled President Bush’s promise to bring Justice to the Terrorists (As President Bush said after 9/11 “We will bring the Terrorists to Justice or Justice to the Terrorists”).

9. that our current  president, Barack Obama, has what it takes to be a leader and our Commander-in-Chief.

10. that we need to THANK our Department of Defense  and our commander-In-Chief for keeping our promises.

Now if we could only get Congress to sing God Bless America on the steps of the Capitol as they did after 9/11!

75 Feet of CBPO

PhotobucketLoudoun Streams has a post up summarizing the end result of the comprehensive review of the Chesapeake Bay Protection Ordinance (CBPO) that the Board of Supervisors has just completed. Some notable details include the fact that the Board compromised on a 75 foot buffer, and added a slew of exemptions for existing development plans, farm buildings, playsets, sheds and gazebos.

The process of public input, stakeholder discussions and detailed review by our elected officials is actually working, as each of the major and valid criticisms (e.g., buffer size, playset exemptions, owner notification, stream mapping) has been addressed in turn by the Board..

After revisions to the draft ordinance language are complete, the Board of Supervisors has directed that landowners affected by the RPA will get notice letters. According to the schedule proposed by staff, public notice of the proposed draft regulation will be advertised in the newspaper twice before the Board votes to adopt the draft. Final action is tentatively planned for the second Board meeting in July.

Developing this ordinance is only one of many steps that the Board has taken to protect our streams. The County also has plans to work with residents on a pilot watershed program which among other things could highlight voluntary measures homeowners could take to improve our streams. – Loudoun Streams

Clean streams. Now.

Assembly Maps for Loudoun

Since I couldn’t get the Virginia Redistricting site’s interactive map to work, I spent some time this morning playing with shapefiles and viewing software, along with my computer’s screenshot capabilities. As a result, I present to you the maps, as I understand them, of Assembly Districts (Delegate and Senate) in and around Loudoun County, Virginia.

(Incidentally, Hampton Roads online has a fantastic zoomable map, but I think the data on which it is based is the vetoed plans, rather than the passed, compromise plans from April 28th.)

First, Delegate Districts, as determined by the compromise plans passed on April 28th.

Next, Senate Districts.

Finally, Senate Districts with a bit more regional context.

Hopefully, this will help inform all of the, “wait, does that candidate live in this district?” discussions going on. There are two more images below the jump that dig down into a bit more detail in the Ashburn Area, for people interested in where those lines really fall.
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Went out walking with Jennifer Wexton again!

She is so much fun to walk with! We did doors for about 3 hours on Saturday, and then she ran out of lit, so we stopped for the day. I emailed her more walk sheets for Sunday.

Speaking of Sunday, did anyone get an odd message from two of the LCDems lists that day? If you did, please let me know. liz (at) millerhousehold (dot) com.

A Quick Note

In short, about the news that came out overnight regarding the demise of the world’s #1 Most Wanted terrorist, I suppose the tired meme ”President Obama is soft on terrorism” can be put to rest now, huh?

Kudos to our American military, the CIA, and all who worked diligently to see this day through.