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Video: Barbara Comstock Took Her Client's Money, Hid It "Behind Closed Doors"

by: lowkell

Fri Oct 31, 2014 at 16:21:01 PM EDT

One more ad prior to election day on Tuesday. If you live in the 10th CD, make sure you vote -- for John Foust!

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

The Right's Urge to Kick Down: Doing Unto Others as Has Been Done Unto You

by: Andy Schmookler

Thu Oct 30, 2014 at 13:11:41 PM EDT

In "More on the O'Reilly/Stewart Brouhaha: The Right-Wing Urge to Kick Down," I offered one explanation of how non-rich white people can get motivated to kick down on those below them (especially blacks, but also any of those "takers" they like to contrast with the virtuous, hard-working people they like to see themselves as being).  It is an old con job, where the dominant class sells a phony picture to induce one group of people they are exploiting to take their anger and frustration out on those below them.

Kick downward at the suppopsdly lazy, good-for-nothing poor, rather than protest upward at the source of the real injustice.

But that explanation doesn't explain the impulse to kick down shown by the likes of Bill "What White Privilege?" O'Reilly, nor by the rich men with whom Mitt Romney sought to ingratiate himself with his "47%" comment.

Surely, part of the motivation for the distortion of reality is that the warped picture provides justification for the elite's lack of compassion for those who suffer under their domination.  

But something deeper is going on.

It is not only the poor who experience being the recipient of a downward kick. That template of the downward kick is so ingrained in the culture - at multiple levels, and especially in some parts of the culture - that even many who, in socio-economic terms, are in dominant positions have had profound experiences of that kick-down pain.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 1341 words in story)

Video, Photos: Tim Kaine Campaigns for Alan Howze in Arlington

by: lowkell

Thu Oct 30, 2014 at 16:34:04 PM EDT

Here are some photos (on the "flip") and video (here and in the comments section) of Sen. Tim Kaine campaigning for Arlington County Board candidate Alan Howze at the farmer's market next to Ballston Metro around 4 pm today. Go Alan!


There's More... :: (2 Comments, 14 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Oct 31, 2014 at 06:24:18 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, October 31. Happy Halloween!

*Why a GOP Senate could be short-lived (Yep, even IF they win the Senate on Tuesday, it's likely not going to last very long. Of course, they'll do as much damage as possible in those two years, but fortunately President Obama has his veto pen.)
*Do Republicans have a plan for the country? The answer is 'no'.
*The GOP's Other Takeover ("Republicans are about to take control of state legislatures across the land." This is a huge problem.)
*Apple's Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay' (Cue the insanity from the Pat Robertsons and EW Jacksons of the world...)
*Rush Limbaugh Defends Street Harassment: 'It Was Men Being Polite' (I can never figure out if Limbaugh actually believes all the crazy, disgusting things he says. But what about his listeners?  Now that's a frightening thought for Halloween!)
*Capture of Accused Cop Killer Eric Frein Saves Halloween
*Hard-Nosed Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: 'Win Ugly or Lose Pretty' (This guy is by any measure one of the most evil people in America, for instance fighting to make it easier to abuse, mistreat, torture animals. Why does he do it? Simple: $$$$$$$.)*
*Virginia Senate race narrows to seven-point gap
*McDonnell defense moved for mistrial over juror's ouster
*Suzanne Patrick pledges efforts to protect against storm damage during Hampton visit
*Cuts in public safety prompt legislators to eye ABC for more revenue
*Western Marcellus Pipeline is 3rd seeking passage through Va. (Bad, bad idea.)
*McAuliffe sees 'no contamination issues' at Wallops Island
*New regulations likely for small day cares in Virginia
*China-based company buys Petersburg chemical plant, plans 376 jobs
*Rep. Robert Hurt takes no stance on Atlantic Coast Pipeline (Profile in courage, eh?)
*For Arlington County Board and school board (Just keep in mind, the guy who writes these endorsements, Lee Hockstader, never comes to debates or other events, doesn't interview the candidates, basically has no clue what he's talking aobut, and frequently does boneheaded things like falsely calling the hard-right Frank Wolf a "moderate" and endorsing him repeatedly.)
*Feds subpoena records from deals made by jailed developer
*Halloween weather not too spooky, but the weekend won't be a treat

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Video: 10th CD Dems Chair Charlie Jackson Slams Empty Chair, as Comstock Campaign Ducks Yet Again

by: lowkell

Thu Oct 30, 2014 at 11:26:54 AM EDT

The anti-Semitic "joke" dude, 10th CD Republican Party chair John Whitbeck, was supposed to be in that empty chair this morning, but not surprisingly backed out at the last minute, lamely claiming a "client emergency." Actually, come to think of it, maybe that "client" he's referring to is Barbara Comstock, who has avoided answering questions from the media like the plague, and the "emergency" is her extreme anxiety at the prospect that she might be forced to explain and defend her extreme views on issue after issue. As 10th CD Democratic chair Charlie Jackson put it
I'm not surprised...that Delegate Comstock's campaign pulled John Whitbeck back this morning and did not send another surrogate...this is not a new thing...It certainly fits a pattern for Delegate Comstock's campaign...[her] ethics scandal keeps dripping, dripping, dripping...there's a reason why Delegate Comstock and her campaign do not want to send surrogates on this program, or frankly talk to [Virginia 10th CD voters]...They'll talk to Fox and Friends, they'll go on conservative talk shows, they'll talk to the John Fredericks Show...but they won't answer real questions about real issues. And the real issue that's really dragging her campaign down right now...is her ethics scandal, and it's a slow bleed for her campaign...

...Delegate Comstock's campaign doesn't have anything to run on. They're running a campaign on what she learned as a Washington insider. She's a career Washington politician -- she's worked for the Koch brothers, she's worked for Scooter Libby, she's worked for Karl Rove. This is where she learned how to play politics, and she doesn't want to address real issues. So her campaign has been based on gotcha politics and she doesn't want to address real concerns. If she came on this program, talked to other members of Virginia [10th CD] press, she'd have to talk about her record in Richmond...voting against bipartisan transportation legislation...voting for things like transvaginal ultrasound...Her campaign doesn't want to...talk to reporters like you, doesn't want to have to answer follow-up questions...

...This is the first time this seat has been open in 30+ years, basically my lifetime...and Delegate Comstock wants to represent this region in Congress. And to not be willing to come on programs like this, not be willing to talk to mainstream reporters, that's not somebody who wants to represent this district, that's somebody who wants to avoid talking to the press, avoid the public...

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Thanks to Dems, U.S. Economic Growth Strongest Since 2003; Voters Prepare to Punish Them For It?

by: lowkell

Thu Oct 30, 2014 at 11:07:26 AM EDT

A few weeks ago, I wrote, Democratic Policies Save the Economy. Will Voters Reward Them for It on November 4? Now, with a just a few days until that election, and prospects for Democrats looking so-so at best, it looks like the answer to that question may very well be "no." Of course, that would be a huge mistake, rewarding the very people whose policies were disastrous for the economy, and punishing the very people whose policies helped get us out of the ditch Republicans drove us into. Not to mention the fact that rewarding the very people who a) shut down the government and b) threatened the creditworthiness of the United States of America is like rewarding a child for really bad behavior (note: last I checked, all that does is encourage more really bad behavior) is the 180-degrees, polar opposite of what SHOULD happen. But "voters in their infinite wisdom" and all that, right? Anyway, see the comment below, currently the most recommended on the Washington Post article linked above, as it pretty much sums the situation up. Sad.
I see all these economic indicators rising as we crawl out of the 2008 recession, and all I can think of is voters are going to vote back in the very people who got us into this mess. Gas prices are hovering around $3 a gallon. Unemployment is below 6% (Romney promised it would be 6% in 2016). With a Congress that actually works with our President, we could have done far better. Do voters think the President can wave a magic wand and make all the messes go away? Even the Pope said God is not a magician. For a view of where Republican rule gets us (if you can't remember the crash of 2008) Google "Kansas economy."
Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Oct 30, 2014 at 06:33:45 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, October 30. The photo is courtesy of Rep. Connolly's communications director George Burke.

*5 Ways Life in America Would Be Better If Everyone Voted ("Low election turnout perpetuates income inequality and social injustice")
*"The Great Invisible": The BP oil disaster and our fossil-fuel addiction
*Weather Channel Rebukes Its Co-Founder On Climate Change (Good for the Weather Channel. Its co-founder is an imbecile.)
*EJ Dionne: Moderate thunder out of Kansas
*An exaggerated claim concerning savings on Metro's Silver Line construction ("Comstock's campaign could offer no evidence to defend the repeated use of the $400 million figure")
*Boucher: Why Warner deserves re-election
*Pipeline protestors visit lawmakers' local offices ("About a dozen Nelson County residents protested a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline Wednesday, stopping at the local offices of Democratic and Republican lawmakers to urge them to oppose the project.")
*What Is Ed Gillespie's Backup Plan? (Governor in 2017? "It's not clear whether Gillespie would be willing to run against Obenshain, as they have a close relationship.")
*Goodlatte looks poised for bump-free ride to 12th term (Really unfortunate, the guy's truly BADlatte not Goodlatte.)
*E.W. Jackson says Democrats attack Christian values with anti-discrimination laws about gays and lesbians (Yep, that's E.W. Jackson for ya.)
*Democratic congressman pressured VA to help politically connected contractor (Hmmmm.)
*Budget backtrack: Transportation concerns lead to $50m back pedal
*Wittman tells Kiwanis Washington should be 'reined in' (Standard, mindless Republican rhetoric...)
*Brutal cost of children who are homeless ("The State of the Region report released this month by Old Dominion University offers a sobering estimate of public costs for one often-overlooked group: children without a place to call home.")
*NASA reports broken windows, imploded doors after explosion
*Economic action plan ("The sequestration cuts set to resume in 2016 must be stopped - which will protect the Hampton Roads economy to say nothing of assuring the continued strength and readiness of our nation's armed forces.")
*Newport News could pay up to $42.6M to accommodate Tech Center research park
*Bumgarner, Giants edge K.C. to claim third World Series crown in 5 years
*A weather treat today, but look for tricky and icky on Halloween

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Ideas that Can Make Liberal America Stronger: Value is at the Heart of Our Humanity

by: Andy Schmookler

Wed Oct 29, 2014 at 14:24:59 PM EDT

[10th entry in the "Press the Battle" series.]

Summary: From the perspective of the evolution of life, it can be seen how value is an emergent -- but none the less real -- dimension of the reality of creatures like us humans. Evolution operates on the principle that life is better than death. Operating on that basis, evolution brings into existence creatures who experience that fulfillment is better than misery. That is the foundation of value. and it makes value fully real in every way it could be.

Previously, I asserted that:

    1) the imbalance in intensity in the political battle raging in America is largely due to the deficiency of moral and spiritual passion in Liberal America,

    2) this deficiency is the by-product of the worldview that is strong in Liberal America, according to which "value" is considered a matter of subjective opinion, and thus not really real, and there can be no such thing in the human world as "the battle between good and evil," and

    3) it is a mistake to believe that intellectually responsible thinking about the evidence of our world requires that we reach those conclusions.

In order to regain its moral and spiritual passions, Liberal America does not have to to embrace the forms traditional religion has used to represent the issues of good and evil. That reconnection can be achieved, by moving further forward along the path of rational, empirically-based scientific knowledge.

In other words, the path of evidence and reason can provide us good answers to those vital questions of value -- answers that can connect us to those deep parts of our human core from which comes the passionate intensity required for this urgent battle.

There's More... :: (16 Comments, 507 words in story)

Ed Gillespie Continues to Embarrass Himself, Flounder in Campaign's Closing Days

by: lowkell

Wed Oct 29, 2014 at 13:05:51 PM EDT

I mean, seriously, THIS is what Ed Gillespie chooses to focus his energies on during the closing days of the 2014 campaign for U.S. Senate? Just to put this in perspective: according to the latest polling, the top priorities for Virginians are: 1) the economy (22%); 2) jobs/unemployment (13%); 3 - tie) budget/taxes (9%); 3 - tie) health care (9%); 5) leadership/gridlock (6%); and 6) education (5%).

Note what's NOT on that list of concerns? That's right, the name of the Washington NFL franchise. My guess is that it's probably a top priority for about, oh I dunno, 0.001% of Virginians? Yet THIS is what lobbyist "Enron Ed" Gillespie has chosen to focus his energies on during the final 6 days of this campaign? Can we say "utterly out of touch" or what? Pathetic.

Making matters worse, Gillespie seems to think that citing right-wing extremist, demagogue, and all-around buffoon Sean Hannity is something positive, in support of his staunch defense of the Washington NFL franchise's name, which many (albeit not a majority) believe is racist and/or derogatory and/or simply idiotic (I'd fall into pretty much all three categories, particularly the latter two).

By the way, note that by far the top-rated comments on Gillespie's own Facebook thread basically make the points noted above.

*"This country has much bigger issues than worrying about the name of a football team...The name of a football team should be the last thing on the minds of those in Washington." (35 "likes")

*"With all of the problems our country is experiencing I fail to see why a football team should be any of their concern?" (17 "likes")

And those are Gillespie's supporters saying that! Total #FAIL, get this guy off the stage (anybody have a hook handy?).

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Video: Trammell-Brat Debate (UPDATE: Analysis added)

by: lowkell

Tue Oct 28, 2014 at 19:36:51 PM EDT

(Update: See my analysis in the comments section. - promoted by lowkell)

Discuss :: (14 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Oct 29, 2014 at 06:29:49 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, October 29. Also, check out the video of President Obama explaining, with regard to Ebola, that "America is not defined by fear."

*Pope Francis says evolution is real and God is no wizard (In general, science is fact-based, empirical, etc. Religion is in a completely different realm of human thought.)
*Obama rejects idea of state-level quarantines (Agreed, it's not helpful.)
*Unrealized Promise ("House Republicans have been incredibly unproductive. There is no reason to think that's about to change.")
*Fifty Protocols, Fifty States, One Gigantic Mess ("Chris Christie, Andrew Cuomo, and other American governors are the last people who should be making rules about Ebola.")
*BREAKING: Court Refuses To Intervene In Case of 40,000 Missing Voters In Georgia (That's crazy!)
*Schapiro: GOP divisions aren't helping Democrats - yet ("Long term, however, Democrats could thrive. That's because the issues debate among Republicans seems to only drag their party further to the right - further from where fast-changing, suburban-dominated Virginia usually stands.")
*John Foust cuts television ad buy in Virginia House race
*Poll: Warner maintains lead over Gillespie heading into election (It's a crappy Roanoke College poll, but for the record it's Warner by 13 points over "Enron Ed." What happened to the "race is tightening" narrative the media's been pushing? Hmmm.)
*Brat, Trammell square off over Ebola, Obamacare (I'm not sure Brat said anything truthful or accurate during that debate. Lots of Big Lies though. Also, the LAST thing we need is to send such a bizarre, extreme "economist" to Washington!)
*A look at the undecided in the Warner-Gillespie Senate race
*They're baaack -- General Assembly meets Nov 10 to vote on judges
*Pipeline company moves to initiate federal review of proposal
*Former U.S. president fires up local GOP supporters (None other than Dubya, aka one of the worst presidents in U.S. history.)
*Summit aims to tackle port congestion
*Ebola seminar seeks to tamp down public fear in Southwest Va.
*Wrapping up Asia trade mission, McAuliffe appeals for money to lure businesses to Va.
*Virginia may remove highway guardrails over safety concerns
*Unmanned rocket explodes seconds after launch from NASA facility in Va.
*Prelude to the big chill: Cool and rainy today, downright cold by the weekend

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Video: Ed Gillespie Mangles Attempt at Spanish-Language Ad

by: lowkell

Tue Oct 28, 2014 at 15:52:30 PM EDT

Forget Ed Gillespie's atrocious Spanish pronunciation, how about the #FAIL in the title of his Spanish-language video? Gillespie writes, "Podemos hacerlo major," which means "We can do...major?" Try: "Podemos hacerlo MEJOR," which means "We can do...better." One thing's for sure, Gillespie's not the brightest bulb -- in any language.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Barbara Comstock Adds "Birther" and All-Around Nut Donald Trump to Her List of Crazy Endorsers

by: lowkell

Tue Oct 28, 2014 at 14:26:57 PM EDT

It's a tough contest who's the most extreme and/or bigoted and/or crazy Barbara Comstock endorser, given that she's already been endorsed by the likes of: 1) right-wing hate radio host Mark "Full Mussolini" Levin; 2) Sean "Cliven Bundy's most strident champion" Hannity; 3) Penny "Age of Enlightenment and Reason lead down a slippery slope (don't ask) to the Holocaust" Nance of the Concerned Women for America (publishers of "Harry Potter: Seduction of the Occult"); 4) John "Jesse Helms protege" Bolton; 5) Brent "President Obama a 'skinny, ghetto crackhead" Bozell; and 6) the anti-Semitic "joke" dude. Now, though, someone who gives these folks a run for their craaaazy money - "The Donald" Trump himself - has weighed in on her behalf. In addition to being a "birther" (questioning whether President Obama was born in the U.S., whether his birth certificate is real, etc.), Trump has said all kinds of bizarre stuff over the years. Just recently, for instance, Dr. Trump claimed that the Centers for Disease Control "should be ashamed of themselves" for opposing strict Ebola quarantines as counterproductive (which the vast majority of actual doctors say they would be). Trump's also a climate science denier (of course!) and anti-vaccination nut. Given all this, you'd think Barbara Comstock would be running as fast as she could to disown and disavow Trump's endorsement. Instead, she just retweeted it. That really says it all. Next Tuesday, vote for John Foust!
Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Video: Just Remember, 1 Year Ago Today, This Nutjob Was the Virginia GOP Nominee for Lt. Gov.

by: lowkell

Tue Oct 28, 2014 at 10:45:35 AM EDT

See Right Wing Watch for more about how good ol' E.W. Jackson "calls upon black and Hispanic Christian voters to leave the Democratic Party, telling them that if they were to dare to talk about their faith, 'you will quickly find out how much they really hate you.'" And just remember, 1 year ago today, this theocratic extremist and all-around nutjob was the Virginia Republican Party's nominee for Lt. Governor of our state. Amazing.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Senator Warner on Reducing the Burden of Student Loans

by: Dan Sullivan

Mon Oct 27, 2014 at 20:39:58 PM EDT

Student debt is currently about $1.2 trillion. Even more staggering is that, according to Brookings Institution figures, the amount increased by 20% in just the past 2 years. And though Brookings' research plays down the consequences, the analysis is flawed. Warner has recognized what could become a significant crisis.

There were stories about student debt on the Wall Street Journal This Morning today and in the Journal's newspaper yesterday mentioning initiatives by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and others. Unfortunately and maybe intentionally, our Senator's initiatives went unheralded.

During a swing through Virginia last month, Senator Warner stopped at a number of campuses to discuss his concerns. The commercial media has not given Warner's ideas the attention they deserve and his opponent hasn't been challenged on the issues.

Studies like the one done at Brookings that downplay the impact of student loan debt rely on data from 2010 and before; not recent enough to capture the changes to the economic landscape precipitating from the financial crisis. They also fail to account for the debt generated from loans that paid for "educations" from predatory for-profit colleges and universities and the waste of veterans benefits squandered at those same institutions.

Plus there is an intangible factor bearing on the psyche of graduates that the Senator lays out after explaining that his own first two ventures in entrepreneurship and capitalism ended in failure and financial loss:

"The point of the story is: if I had come out with, the way many students are now, with forty, fifty, sixty, seventy thousand dollars' worth of debt, I'm not sure I would have had the courage or ability to try to take those multiple chances."

College debt may be an obstacle to the kind of freedom necessary for the creativity and invention that made America the leader in innovation. Warner offers a number of ideas to mitigate the challenge that student loan debt presents.  

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 958 words in story)
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