Archives for News

Using music and images to make a political statement

Political protest and statement can come in many forms and activists have long used music to spread a message, be it “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon, “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie, “Draft Dodger Rag” by Phil Ochs or “We Shall Overcome,” the anthem of civil rights. Here at Capitol Hill Blue, we constantly look for new ways to spread news and information. Publisher Doug Thompson and his wife added documentary film making to their arsenal of communication tools several years ago and have produced a number of award-winning short films on topics ranging from bluegrass
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Mixing bluegrass music and politics

When politicians come to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia they had better know how to shake a leg on the dance floor as well as pick and grin. A mandatory stop for all candidates seeking office is the Friday Night Jamboree, a weekly bluegrass music gathering in the small, one-stoplight town of Floyd. Mark Warner visited the Jamboree frequently and also held town meetings at the Floyd Country Store while serving as governor of Virginia.  His first statewide tour when he ran for the U.S. Senate included a stop at the Friday night Jamboree and he brought former
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Frustrated voter: ‘I’ll bust your nose’

Meet Elmer Underwood. He’s a farmer in Indian Valley, a rural mountain community in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia. Speaking at a public hearing on proposed wind turbines in Floyd County, Virginia, Underwood let the board of supervisors know just how he felt about the government coming onto his land to impose its will. It’s not the first time Underwood has told off county officials.  At a hearing on a proposed tax increase two years ago Underwood told supervisors that “I have truck outside with five rails, tar and feathers and I think I know how to put
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Saving America: Here’s a solution, with strings attached

Wanna save America? Forget about abolishing the Fed. Forget about dismantling the Department of Education and all those other pesky government agencies that want to control our hearts and minds. That’s not the solution. Capitol Hill Blue found the solution on a recent Saturday night in the tiny Blue Ridge Mountain hamlet of Floyd, Virginia.  The truth was out there, just waiting to be issued from the stage of a country store that hosts a weekly music event called The Friday Night Jamboree and a once-a-month Internet radio show that is sort of the Prairie Home Companion meets Hee Haw.
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Government spying on Americans increased under Obama’s watch

During his campaign for President in 2008, President Barack Obama promised to put an end to government spying on Americans and other abuses of freedom that grew into a national epidemic after the terrorist attacks on September 2011. Instead, government surveillance of Americans has increased dramatically under Obama’s watch while freedom and individual rights have been stripped away under a barrage of increased scrutiny. An investigation by Capitol Hill Blue into erosion of freedom and individual rights in America has found: –The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s use of “National Security Letters” to peek into the private lives of Americans has increased dramatically
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Obama’s gay marriage endorsement could help Romney

President Barack Obama’s sweeping endorsement of gay marriage is already sending shockwaves through America with both sides lining up to take advantage of an issue that will redefine the Presidential campaign. Obama’s backing of  legal marriages between adults of the same sex moves social issues to the forefront and creates a clear difference between the incumbent President and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney. “This campaign may well become a referendum on where Americans stand on the issue of gay marriage,” campaign strategist Pat Rawlings told Capitol Hill Blue Wednesday.  “It’s a gutsy move by a President who normally tries to
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Romney sweeps Tuesday primaries, closes in on nomination

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney cruised to easy victories in primaries in Indiana, North Carolinia and West Virginia Tuesday, padding his delegate count and bringing him closer than ever to the magic number needed to clinch the nomination by no later than the first week of June. Romney won all three states by more than 60 percent — capturing almost 70 percent in West Virginia — handily defeating Ron Paul, the only remaining candidate in the race. Tuesday’s victories gives Romney an estimated 919 delegates, according to figures compiled by the Republican National Committee, and puts Romney just 132
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Long-time Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar ousted in Indiana primary

Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, the longest serving Republican in the Senate, lost his seat in the state primary Tuesday, giving tea party conservatives a major victory. State Treasurer Richard Mourdock trounced Lugar by more than 20 percentage points, ending Lugar’s long career.  The primary vote was a bitter rebuke for Lugar, who came under fire for being out of touch with voters and for not even maintaining a residence in Indiana. “Tonight, you did the impossible,” Mourdock told his supporters in an emotional acceptance speech. Mourdock faces Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly in November. Lugar’s loss was a blow to Gov.
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North Carolina voters reject same sex marriages

North Carolina voters Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected same sex unions by approving a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. At least 61 percent of the voters approved the amendment which says only marriage between a man and a woman is legal in the state.  North Carolina already has a law on the books blocking gay marriage but approval amendment adds the state to a growing list of those who have added the prohibition to their constitution. Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling, based in Raleigh, told Capitol Hill Blue that the ban enjoyed widespread support from both blacks and whites in
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Santorum issues late-night email endorsment of Romney

Rick Santorum ended speculation over whether or not he would endorse Mitt Romney for the GOP Presidential nomination with a long, rambling email sent out to supporters late Monday night. Saying he and the former Massachusetts governor agreed on many issues, Santorum urged his supporters to “unite behind” Romney and work to defeat incumbent President Barack Obama in November.  But supporters had to get to the 13th paragraph of the 16-paragraph email before their candidate finally issued his long-anticipated endorsement. Santorum told supporters that he and Romney agreed on abortion, same-sex marriage and cutting spending by the federal government.  The
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