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Can You Imagine if This Nut Had Been Elected Governor of Virginia?

by: lowkell

Sat May 30, 2015 at 11:24:12 AM EDT

In our last installment of Ken Cuccinelli's crazy Facebook page and the bigoted extremists who comment on said page, we featured a status update in which the top-rated comment (by far) said that "illegal immigrant families...deserve a bullet." Today, there's another good one, with Cooch ranting and raving (does he ever do anything else?) about same-sex "marriage" (air quotes are his). According to Cooch: "The future is now in Canada thanks to their 2005 adoption of same-sex 'marriage.' Ten years later, the tyranny against Christians is well under way. What is this "tyranny" of which he speaks? In short, a strongly anti-LGBT, fundamentalist Christian law school was rejected for certification by British Columbia's Minister of Advanced Education. Whether or not you think that's right or wrong, it's a wee bit of overstatement to claim that it's evidence of "tyranny"/wholesale "persecution" of Christians in Canada, as Cooch breathlessly claims. It's also certainly not evidence of what the top-rated comment on Cooch's Facebook post claims it to be: evidence of the "last days" in which "you will not [be] allowed to buy or sell unless you accept the mark of the beast." But yeah, just another day in the bizarre, warped, paranoid, constantly-under-siege-from-gays-and-liberals-etc. world of Ken Cuccinelli's. Again, can you imagine if the nut had been elected Governor of Virginia?!? In the end, he lost, but it was horrifyingly too close for comfort...

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National and Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat May 30, 2015 at 05:54:53 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, May 30.

*Krugman: Cutting Back on Carbon ("Next week the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new rules designed to limit global warming. Although we don't know the details yet, anti-environmental groups are already predicting vast costs and economic doom. Don't believe them. Everything we know suggests that we can achieve large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at little cost to the economy.")
*Putin's bizarre FIFA comments reveal his greatest fear ("To Putin, the FIFA prosecution is a new instance of the US aggression he fears")
*Hastert accused of paying victim of molestation ("The former House speaker allegedly paid a male ex-student to keep quiet about acts that took place decades ago, a federal law enforcement official said.")
*Creepy C-SPAN Caller To Hastert: Do You 'Remember Me From Yorkville?'
*BuzzFeed: 'Potentially Several Alleged Victims' In Hastert's Past (There are numerous disturbing aspects to this story, including the fact that Hastert received zero ratings on LGBT issues during his career and led a rabidly homophobic/gay-bashing party. Utter hypocrisy, on top of being evil.)
*Hastert and the Foley Scandal ("Hastert, through the entire drama, was awkward and slow to react or be clear or particularly convincing about what was known.")
*Why did Republicans embrace the Duggars in the first place? (Ken Cuccinelli for instance. Because that's who they are, frighteningly.)
*O'Malley to launch improbable bid for Democratic presidential nomination (Yep, highly improbable.)
*Walker: Media Twisted My Words, But I Still Think Ultrasounds Are 'Pretty Cool' (Another right-wing nutjob taken seriously by the corporate media.)
*Two Arlington Memorial Bridge Lanes Closed for Emergency Work (We need to invest heavily in our country's infrastructure, and now is a perfect time given super-low interest rates!)
*Lighten Up: Garrett, Kaine crack jokes at fundraising event
*Medicaid yanks funding from geriatric unit at Eastern State Hospital
*Virginia owes its neighbor answers ("Kentucky is now rightly outraged that Virginia didn't bother to inform the Bluegrass State about the millions of gallons of Virginia sewage spilling into the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River")
*Virginia Beach's family-owned Belvedere closing this summer
*Another early exit for Strasburg as Nationals fall to Reds, 5-2 (Time for a trip to the disabled list...or even AAA for Strasburg?)
*D.C. area forecast: Sunny and very warm today; storms likely Sunday

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

On June 9, Time to Vote Worst "Democrat" in the Virginia General Assembly Out of Office

by: lowkell

Fri May 29, 2015 at 20:20:51 PM EDT

Del. Johnny Joannou is arguably the worst "Democrat" in the Virginia General Assembly, horrendous on just about everything, might as well be a Tea Party Republican. For more, see this website, and if you live in the 79th House of Delegates district (Portsmouth, Norfolk), make sure you vote for a real Democrat, Steve Heretick, on June 9!

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Video: Jon Stewart Blasts Media's Coverage of Bernie Sanders

by: lowkell

Fri May 29, 2015 at 14:37:12 PM EDT

This is something that's been bugging me for weeks now, and Jon Stewart really nailed it last night: the media's coverage of Bernie Sanders has been an utter disgrace. Note that I don't say this as a Bernie Sanders supporter per se, simply as someone who finds the corporate media coverage of politics in this country - and of Sanders specifically - to be horrendously lame, irresponsible, brain dead, you name it.

Thus, according to the corporate media political hacks, Bernie Sanders is not going to be "taken too credibly" because he's "a loon" who is a "socialist for god's sake, is "73 years old, he looks 91;" and, worst of all, "has a thick Brooklyn accent." My god, a THICK BROOKLYN ACCENT! We certainly can't have THAT in the White House! (snark)

On the other hand, according to the same corporate media hackdom, the following people ARE apparently to be taken credibly.

Ted Cruz: An extremist who has said so many crazy things, so many outrageously false things, it's hard to keep track. He also worked hard to shut down the government, is a raging anti-gay bigot, anti-Muslim bigot, etc, etc., denies climate science (an automatic disqualifier in and of itself), and is generally speaking a far-right, theocratic nutjob. Yet he's treated much more seriously by the corporate media than Bernie Sanders is. Perhaps because he's a Teapublican, and the corporate media is terrified of those people?

Rand Paul: Same deal as Ted Cruz, pretty much. This guy is an anti-vaxxer who defended BP during the Gulf of Mexico disaster (saying that anyone who criticized the oil company was "really un-American"), compared Benghazi to 9/11, compared healthcare to slavery, frequently "shushes" female rpeorters, is also a climate science denier and apparently a creationist as well, etc, etc. Total nutjob and far-right-wing extremist, in other words, yet he's a more serious candidate for president than Bernie Sanders, who by world standards would be slightly left of center (my god, he supports expanding Social Security - gasp - he must be a commie!). Again, the corporate media is utterly brain dead.

Jeb Bush: A climate science denier (automatic disqualifier) who's apparently still for the Iraq War (even knowing now what we didn't know then), also ran for Florida Governor on "a sweeping set of conservative proposals that, if enacted, would have made Florida a virtual laboratory for far-right policy." Yet Jeb Bush is treated more seriously by the corporate media as a candidate for president in 2016 than Bernie Sanders, who believes such wild-eyed thing like: we "must transform our energy system away from polluting fossil fuels and towards energy efficiency and sustainability;" "as the rich become much richer, the level of income and wealth inequality has reached obscene and astronomical levels;" and that "Congress must pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and move toward public funding of elections." Yep, crazy talk...except that it's not at all crazy, and also happens to be supported by the majority of Americans in each case. But whatever, Sanders isn't serious, so sayeth the corporate media, and Jeb Bush is. Gotcha.

Scott Walker: Yes, this is the Koch Brothers' Favorite Extremist (see that post for a million examples as to why), yet the corporate media treats HIM as a serious candidate, but not Bernie Sanders, who favors getting big money out of politics (something supported by a strong majority of Americans).

Rick Santorum: One of the most extreme of the extreme 2016 Republican candidates, yet Media Help Santorum Rebrand As "Champion Of The Working Class," Ignoring Economic Policies That Favor Wealthy. Great, huh?

Mike Huckabee: The corporate media seems to love this guy, even though he's...yes, totally bonkers. Why do I say that? Well, see 5 Quotes Show Why Mike Huckabee Is 2016's Most Dangerous Candidate and 11 Bizarre Mike Huckabee Quotes On Gay Marriage, Obama, And... Amy Winehouse? and Mike Huckabee's Craziest Comments and...we could go on all day. Yet Huckabee is treated seriously by the corporate media, far more so than Bernie Sanders, who advocates for...environmental protection (my god!) and a strong social safety net (can't have THAT!).

I could go on and on, but I don't have all day to cover all the dozen+ far-right Republican candidates (Donald Trump anyone? Ben Carson? Rick Perry?) spewing out their extreme beliefs and la-la-land craziness 24/7. Also, the corporate media seems to have that beat covered, except not in the sense of calling out these folks for their lunacy and extremism, but in treating it all as normal, "both sides," etc. Only in such a brain-dead world could Bernie Sanders - who Jon Stewart correctly described as a "rational, slightly left-of-center, mainstream politician" - while true extremists like the Republicans mentioned above are juuuuust fine with the corporate media. Sorry corporate media guys, but this judgement reflects a lot more on YOUR inadequacies (intellectual, moral, etc.) than on Bernie Sanders or anyone else you choose to trivialize, marginalize, mock, or ignore for no good reason whatsoever (other than your own cowardice and smug stupidity).

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Blue Virginia 44th HoD Democratic Candidate Interviews: Paul Krizek

by: lowkell

Fri May 29, 2015 at 07:25:17 AM EDT

A few weeks ago, I sent identical questionnaires to both Democratic candidates in the 44th House of Delegates district. Below are the answers from Paul Krizek, who I am strongly endorsing this morning (joining other Krizek endorsers -- Congressman Gerry Connolly; Former Congressman Jim Moran; Senators Toddy Puller, Adam Ebbin and George Barker; Delegates Scott Surovell, Alfonso Lopez, Mark Sickles, Patrick Hope, Kaye Kory, Marcus Simon, David Bulova, and Eileen Filler-Corn; Supervisor Gerry Hyland and Supervisor Jeff McKay). If I receive responses from the other candidate, Justin Brown, I will print them, but I have repeatedly followed up with his campaign and, despite being told on May 12 that they would have responses back to me "asap," I haven't heard back since then. Whatever. Anyway, with that, here are Paul Krizek's answers, which I'd give an "A+" grade to -- thorough, thoughtful, strongly progressive, excellent no matter how you look at them!

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, and specifically, what in your background and/or temperament makes you the best qualified of the Democratic candidates to represent the 44th House of Delegates district in Richmond.
I love Mount Vernon, and I am deeply committed to my community.  I grew up in the 44th House District in Mount Vernon, went to the local public schools, and have a daughter at Carl Sandburg Middle School.  

I want to go to Richmond to help those that are struggling in our community just as I have done as a charity executive and before that, as a legislative staffer for Congressman Jim Moran, where I worked for eight years on legislation and constituent service for the people of the 8th Congressional District. I find helping people immensely gratifying and rewarding.  

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 3295 words in story)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:20:34 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, May 29. Also, congratulations to Del. Patrick Hope, who last night received the Aggie Wolf Defender of Choice Award from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia (photo by Catherine S. Read).

*National Review's Rich Lowry Advocates For Increased Incarceration In "Dangerous" Black Neighborhoods (Disgusting.)
*Hastert indicted over alleged secret payments ("The longest-serving Republican speaker in the history of the U.S. House faces charges that he violated banking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed individual to cover up 'past misconduct.'")
*The national security threat that Republicans are ignoring (" You can't credibly claim to be tough on national security and terrorism while simultaneously boasting how unconcerned you are about global warming.")
*Whoops! A creationist museum supporter stumbled upon a major fossil find. (Hahahaha, so awesome!)
*Scott Walker to Sign Ban on Abortions for Rape, Incest
*Rand Paul's money problem ("Behind the Kentucky senator's NSA 'filibuster' lies a desperate quest for cash.")
*Why Bill Nye really pissed off the Ted Cruz right: It's no longer possible avoid talking about climate change
*Virginia campus sexual assault task force releases recommendations ("A new report from the governor's task force on college campus sexual assault recommends longer and more uniform storage for evidence, more cooperation between colleges and police, and more frequent notifications to students when an assault occurs on or near campus.")
*State leaders pitch Virginia investment and trade to foreign dignitaries
*Pipeline contractors face trespassing charges in Craig County
*Prosecutors: Maureen McDonnell verdict 'unquestionably sound'
*Fairfax Co. hopes to squeeze more cash out of Richmond for schools
*Sen. Warner sends 'SWAT team' to fix Hampton VA wait times
*Virginia lawmakers cut tax holidays, so there will be fewer days to save
*As Portsmouth cuts services, city still subsidizes golf courses
*D.C. area forecast: Muggy warmth and scattered storms through weekend; cooler next week

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Highlights and Lowlights from the 2015 Virginia Sierra Club General Assembly Scorecard

by: lowkell

Thu May 28, 2015 at 20:34:48 PM EDT

The Virginia Sierra Club scorecard for 2015 is now available, and sadly, an issue that should equally concern all of us - protecting the environment we all inhabit - continues to show a lamentable, absurd, frustrating partisan divide. For instance, courtesy of Ivy Main's Power for the People VA blog, note that every single Senator and Delegate receiving a perfect Sierra Club environmental score is a...yep, Democrat.
Thirteen Senators scored a perfect 100%, including Sen. Barker (D-39), Sen. Colgan (D-29), Sen. Dance (D-16), Sen. Ebbin (D-30), Sen. Favola (D-31), Sen. Howell (D-32), Sen. Lewis (D-6), Sen. Lucas (D-18), Sen. Marsden (D-37), Sen. McEachin (D-9), Sen. Miller (D-1), Sen. Petersen (D-34) and Sen. Wexton (D-33).

Twenty-five Delegates scored a perfect 100%, including Del. Bulova (D-37), Del. Carr (D-69), Del. Filler-Corn (D-41), Del. Futrell (D-2), Del. Herring (D-46), Del. Hester (D-89), Del. Hope (D-47), Del. Keam (D-35), Del. Krupicka (D-45), Del. Lopez (D-49), Del. Mason (D-93), Del. McClellan (D-71), Del. McQuinn (D-70), Del. Morrissey (I-74), Del. Murphy (D-34), Del. Plum (D-36), Del. Preston (D-63), Del. Sickles (D-43), Del. Simon (D-53), Del. Spruill (D-77), Del. Sullivan (D-48), Del. Surovell (D-44), Del. Toscano (D-57), Del. Ward (D-92) and Del. Watts (D-39).

Again, I take no real pleasure in that list (although THANK YOU to everyone who voted for the environment, not for the polluters, in 2015!). The fact is, Republicans and Democrats breath the air and drink the water equally, so there really should be no partisan divide at all when it comes to the environment. Also, even if you're utterly cynical about it, the fact is that BOTH parties receive a lot of money from Dominion Power and other fossil fuel interests (although no doubt Republicans receive even more dirty fuel dollars than Democrats do), so again that should cut against such a stark partisan divide as we see in Virginia. Yet here we are, even as the science is screaming at us about the enormous environmental challenges we ALL face, with this stark partisan divide on what SHOULD be an utterly non-partisan issue.

In that context, you'll understand why I find it sad and outrageous to see the Republican Party -- formerly the party of conservationist Teddy Roosevelt and even Richard Nixon, who did some excellent things for the environment -- become an earth-pillaging, Koch-sucking disaster. With that, here are the worst of the worst in the Virginia General Assembly, the Republicans who received "D" or "F" grades from the Sierra Club.

Senators Black, Carrico, Chafin, Cosgrove, Garrett, Hanger, Martin, McDougle, McWaters, Newman, Obenshain, Reeves, Ruff, Smith, Stanley, Stuart, Wagner.

Delegates Adams, Albo, Anderson, Austin, Bell D., Bell R., Berg, Bloxom, Byron, Campbell, Cline, Cole, Cox, Davis, DeSteph, Edmunds, Faris, Farrell, Fowler, Garrett, Gilbert, Greason, Habeeb, Head, Helsel, Hodges, Howell, Hugo, Ingram, Jones, Kilgore, Knight, Landes, LaRock, Leftwich, LeMunyon, Lingamfelter, Loupassi, Marshall D., Marshall R., Massie, Miller, Minchew, Morefeld, Morris, O'Bannon, O'Quinn, Orrock, Peace, Pillion, Pogge, Poindexter, Ramadan, Ransone, Robinson, Rush, Rust, Scott, Stolle, Taylor, Villanueva, Ware, Webert, Wilt, Wright, Yancey, Yost.

Oh yeah, and let's not forget two "Democrats": the godawful Johnny Joannou ("F" grade) and also Matthew James ("D" grade). No excuses there, but at least in Joannou's case, he has an opponent (Steve Heretick), who hopefully will beat him on June 9! As for the rest of the "D" and "F" Senators and Delegates, polling clearly shows that they are wildly out of step with their constituents, large percentages of whom (of both parties) support   switching to clean energy and reducing carbon pollution.  The question is, why aren't their supposed "representatives" listening to their constituents?!?

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Audio: "The lady (Siobhan Dunnavant) doth protest too much, methinks"

by: lowkell

Thu May 28, 2015 at 15:36:41 PM EDT

This is fascinating: Siobhan Dunnavant, running for the Republican nomination for Virginia State Senate in the 12th district, completely contradicts the accounts of three Democrats -- Senator Dick Saslaw, Senator Donald McEachin and another unnamed Democrat - she met with. According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Dunnavant met with the Democrats "toward the end of the 2015 legislative session," and "what was shared...is that she was for Medicaid expansion." In addition, as John Fredericks reports in this interview:

1. Dick Saslaw said Dunnavant's brother called him (Saslaw) "to set a meeting up with the Democratic caucus because, he said, you were exploring running for State Senate and were exploring the potential for being the Democratic nominee, and he said that was the genesis, that was the catalyst of the meeting." (Dunnavant's response: "I don't know what happened between Ken [Stolle] and Dick...")

2. All three Democrats who met with Dunnavant said that Dunnavant didn't follow up with them, but Dunnavant said she DID follow up with them and told them she was running as a Republican. According to Dunnavant, "I have no explanation for why they said that, I spoke directly with Sen. Saslaw, and I called Sen. McEachin and within a few minutes he returned my call and we spoke...thanked them...I don't know why they don't remember that, I'm sure it was a busy time for them.")

Dunnavant goes on to spin a convoluted conspiracy theory, about how "now when my campaign is surging, all of a sudden this is coming up and being presented as an issue." She continues, asking "why is a powerful Democratic Senator getting involved in a Republican primary, except that I'm the best candidate and he doesn't want me to get the nomination?"

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 585 words in story)

Video: Democratic Debate for the 45th House of Delegates District

by: lowkell

Thu May 28, 2015 at 06:51:45 AM EDT

Here's video from last night's Democratic debate for the 45th House of Delegates district, held at the Alexandria Country Day Schoool. The candidates are Julie Jakopic, Mark Levine, Larry Altenburg, Clarence Tong and Craig Fifer. The first video is a question about the ethics issues raised by the resignation of (former) Del. David Englin and the egregious behavior of (former) Del. Joe Morrissey. More video - opening and closing statements, questions on taxes, Medicaid expansion, voting reform, police misconduct, local government, education, transportation, the environment, etc. in the comments section. Also, I may or may not end up grading this (depends how much time I've got today), but my initial impression was that the top three in this debate were (in no particular order) Mark Levine, Craig Fifer and Julie Jakopic, all of whom deserve "A" grades. I like Larry Altenburg and agree with much of what he has to say, but we are definitely not in sync on tax policy or on the importance of a delegate from this district helping to elect Democrats across Virginia (he thinks the latter is NOT the job of the delegate from the 45th; I strongly disagree). As for Clarence Tong, he's a good guy, very smart, and we agree on the vast majority of issues, but he's clearly not particularly comfortable with debating (or public speaking generally, for that matter)...

P.S. In the question on ethics, Jakopic ripped Joe Morrissey as a "pedophile" who "harassed that employee," and said there's "no excuse" for having him as an elected official. Tong said it's right to have a "high expectation" for our elected officials. Fifer said incarceration should be incompatible with service in the General Assembly, also finds it "a lot more offensive that the voters keep electing Joe Morrissey and some lawfully serving Republicans with terrible ideas." Altenburg said "criminals should not be serving...in legislative office," legislators should be "role models," it's reprehensible that people keep electing criminals. Levine says non-criminal behavior should not force someone against their will to leave office, that ex-felons should have a chance to serve, that non-violent drug crimes don't "bother me."

Discuss :: (17 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu May 28, 2015 at 06:17:43 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, May 28. The photo is of last night's Democratic debate for the 45th Virginia House of Delegates district in Alexandria (candidates: Julie Jakopic, Mark Levine, Larry Altenburg, Clarence Tong, Craig Fifer). I'll have video of that a bit later...

*Fox News Eats Its Own ("The GOP's worst enemy is turning out to be the friendliest network.")
*Nebraska Bans Death Penalty, Defying a Veto
*Ted Cruz, charlatan ("Now, isolationism is fading within the conservative movement, and Cruz is opportunistically becoming more of an interventionist.")
*Carly Fiorina, in an Ambush of Hillary Clinton, Gets Defensive
*Your Toothpaste May Be Loaded With Tiny Plastic Beads That Never Go Away (Virginia needs to ban these things as other states have done.)
*Jim Webb's Iowa director resigns (Why am I not surprised?)
*Kaine says talks under way for war-powers vote in Congress
*For Loretta Lynch, a stunning debut on the world stage ("After long wait for confirmation, she makes a name for herself with sweeping soccer probe.")
*Ten Outrageous Ideas Rick Santorum Actually Believes (e.g., "He believes consensual sex between gay people should be illegal.")
*Scott Walker Fearmongers About Terrorists Coming Through The Border (Disgusting demagoguery.)
*Editorial: Sen. Kaine calling out his peers in Congress over ISIS
*McAuliffe says propsals to combat campus sexual assault will 'strike a balance'
*McAuliffe will give dozens of diplomats a taste of America's diversity
*Challenger to Va. House speaker sues state over absentee ballot issue
*Mr. Howell's voting flip-flop in Virginia ("...no one should miss the irony that Mr. Howell, who has supported the GOP crusade to tighten voting restrictions, is willing to make an exception when it comes to his campaign.")
*Independent challenges Pogge in 96th House District
*Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper again dominant in Nationals' 3-0 win over Cubs
*D.C. area forecast: Muggy summer warmth and storm chances through Sunday

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Muslim Woman Not Allowed to Drive Metro Train Carrying Rep. Comstock for Photo Op?!?

by: lowkell

Wed May 27, 2015 at 13:20:26 PM EDT

WTF?
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, has called on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) to explain why a Muslim woman driver who wears an Islamic head covering (hijab) was prevented from operating her train with a group of political VIPs as passengers.

According to the Muslim woman operator, the first car of her Silver Line train was commandeered for a media event [on Friday, May 8] featuring VIPs such as Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.)...

Before leaving on her normal schedule, the Muslim operator was reportedly informed by a supervisor that she would not be driving the train and was told to sit in the commandeered compartment while being watched by security personnel. The Muslim driver ultimately burst into tears because of the stress and humiliation she felt.

What on earth caused THIS to take place? Rep. Comstock, any comment?
Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Video: Bob Schieffer On the Importance of Having Strong Beat Reporters as Antidote to Corruption

by: lowkell

Wed May 27, 2015 at 13:10:38 PM EDT

What Bob Schieffer's talking about here (see partial transcript below) is so, so true, certainly in Virginia state (and local) government. I mean, just think about the decline of the Virginia state capitol press corps(e) the past few years, the exodus of reporters with decades of experience from keeping an eye on the crooks shenanigans going on in the Virginia General Assembly. Quick multiple-choice question: without that sunshine, do you think things will get a) better; b) worse? Hmmmm. And yes, political blogs have filled the gap to a small extent, but they're not even close to having the resources necessary to cover the Virginia General Assembly on a day-to-day basis during session, let alone the rest of the year. So...next time you hear someone complain about how corrupt things are in government, remind them that there are fewer and fewer experienced eyes (or any eyes for that matter) shining any light on what's going on there.

P.S. h/t to Chris Cillizza on this interview. As Cillizza writes: "Not only are there fewer eyes watching politicians, legislation and the like but also the pols are all-too-well well aware of that fact.  More things are tried -- in a bad way -- by politicians because they know there is a far smaller chance of them getting caught or even called on it." Not good at all.

...one of the things that worries me about current journalism practices is the deemphasis on beat reporters. You know, so many newspapers around the country now - and I'm really worried about the state of newspaper journalism right now - because unless some entity comes along and does what local newspapers have been doing all these years, we're going to have corruption at a level we've never experienced...So many papers now can't afford to have a beat reporter...many papers don't have a city hall reporter anymore...to cover city hall you have to be there every day, and you have to know the overall story...
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Top-Rated Comment on Ken Cuccinelli's FB Page: "illegal immigrant families...deserve a bullet"

by: lowkell

Wed May 27, 2015 at 09:19:39 AM EDT

See below for the top-rated comment on Ken Cuccinelli's Facebook post regarding the three-judge panel's ruling on President Obama's immigration executive actions. I've crossed out the commenter's name, as that's not really relevant; the point is that this comment, claiming that any "illegal immigrant families" who "come back" to the U.S. "deserve a bullet" has received 126 "likes" as of 9 am Wednesday morning, and has not been removed or rebutted in any way by Ken Cuccinelli. What's horrifying is that Cuccinelli is not an outlier in today's Republican Party; to the contrary, he was elected Atttorney General of Virginia and almost elected Governor of Virginia as the Republican nominee in 2013. How can someone so extreme, so crazy, so godawful even be taken seriously in the United States of America? And how many others in his party agree with the sentiments expressed by the "bullet" commenter? Clearly, a large number, based on the 126 "likes." It's extremely disturbing, even more so that the media won't call out this party for what it has become, but continues its dangerous and cowardly "false equivalency," false "balance" "reporting" instead of simply reporting the TRUTH.

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National and Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed May 27, 2015 at 06:19:46 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, May 27. Also, courtesy of Catherine Read, check out the photo of the Fairfax County Democratic Committee's "endorsed Democratic school board candidates from each of Fairfax County's magisterial districts." That includes: School Board At-Large candidates (not included in this photo) Ryan McElveen, Ted Velkoff and Ilryong Moon; Megan McLaughlin (Braddock District), Patricia Hynes (Hunter Mill District), Janie Strauss (Dranesville District), Tamara Derenak Kaufax (Lee District), Sandy Evans (Mason District), Karen Corbett Sanders (Mt. Vernon District), Dalia Palchik (Providence District), Karen Keys-Gamarra (Sully District). Good luck to all of them!

*John Kerry: Unchecked Climate Change Will Be Catastrophic For The Arctic (Right, so certainly don't drill there!)
*Jeb Bush's Favorite Author Rejects Democracy, Says The Hyper-Rich Should Seize Power
*Appeals court rules against Obama on immigration (Ugh.)
*U.S. indicts soccer officials in alleged $150M scandal (Soccer's a great game, but FIFA is utterly corrupt. Kinda like the Olympics...)
*The decline of Rand Paul (I'd say good riddance to an extremist wacko, except that most or all of the other Republican 2016 canidates fit that description as well.)
*Supreme Court Agrees to Settle Meaning of 'One Person One Vote'
*Marco Rubio: Gay Rights 'A Real And Present Danger' To Freedom (Uhhhhh....)
*Gov. McAuliffe signs childcare safety bill
*Layne: Evaluating options for I-66 construction (Just remember: the answer is transit-oriented development, not more sprawl and carbon-pollution-spewing cars.)
*Schapiro: Virginia Supreme Court takes special interest in Sweet Briar College case
*Former Delegate Franklin P. Hall dies at 76 ("Democrat represented most of South Richmond and northern Chesterfield County in the House of Delegates from 1976 to 2009 and was House Minority Leader from 2002-2007.")
*Conservative group paying Ken Cuccinelli's campaign $85,000 ("The 2013 Virginia gubernatorial candidate settles with a PAC that he says misled his supporters.")
*Waiting for federal approval, Metro's planned purchase of rail cars at risk
*Stosch endorses Dunnavant as his successor
*Norfolk board seeks new schools chief; is search open or closed?
*Former Portsmouth councilman taking on Joannou for General Assembly
*Let's be friends: Fairfax's Bulova and Garza try to get past budget acrimony ("Two leaders issue unusual joint statement promising cooperation, after public feud over spending.")
*Cubs snatches a win as Desmond's error dooms Nats in ninth, 3-2
*D.C. area forecast: Mainly warm, humid and sometimes stormy today through the weekend

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Breaking: Corrupt Slimeball Gives Lame Endorsement to Fellow Corrupt Slimeball

by: lowkell

Tue May 26, 2015 at 18:02:27 PM EDT

This endorsement would be hilarious if it weren't so pathetic. Actually, come to think of it, it IS hilarious.
Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has said he wants to unseat powerful Republican state Sen. Frank Wagner of Virginia Beach as the Democrats seek to retake control of the chamber this year.

Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, also a Democrat, isn't on board with the plan.

Fraim will emcee a fundraising luncheon for Wagner on Wednesday at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott catering to the maritime community.

"He is supporting Frank," said Wagner campaign manager Scott Weldon. "Mayor Fraim and Sen. Wagner go back years."

Fraim, Norfolk's mayor for 21 years, said Wagner asked for his support long before he knew there would be a Democratic challenger "and I committed to it."

How inspiring, huh? More like super lame. Why? First off, you've gotta love the Wagner campaign manager's pathetic "they go back years" reason for why Fraim is supporting his buddy Frank. Second, does Fraim really think we're all that stupid to believe he did this simply because Wagner asked for Fraim's support "before [Fraim] knew there would be a Democratic challenger 'and I committed to it.'" Uh huh...

As to the "corrupt slimeball" part of the title, I refer you to Exhibit A ("Norfolk, Suffolk mayors resign from TowneBank boards") on Fraim and Exhibit B on Frank "Fully Owned and Operated by Dominion Power" Wagner ("During the 2015 legislation session, Senator Wagner carried SB 1349, controversial legislation on behalf of Dominion Virginia Power that restricted the oversight authority of the State Corporation Commission to order refunds when the utility overcharges its customers.  When it became public knowledge that Senator Wagner also owned stock in Dominion, he sold his shares during the legislative session.").  

Bottom line: Wagner and Fraim are two slimy peas in a rotting pod, truly made for each other, and no surprise whatsoever that one would endorse the other. Politics at its "why so many people hate politicians" worst...

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