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Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Mar 02, 2015 at 06:16:05 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, March 2. It's still icy out there -- be careful!

*Weather Alert: Federal agencies on delay; many schools closed or delayed
*GOP discord undercuts efforts to fund DHS
*The party of 'no' ("The GOP still can't get to 'yes.'")
*A snowball's chance ("Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee - and he seems determined to make that fact a national embarrassment." How can lunatics like this ever get elected to anything in our country?)
*Retired Israeli veterans warn against speech ("...a group of 180 retired Israeli generals and former top security officials warned that his upcoming address to a joint meeting of Congress on Iran's nuclear program will cause more harm than good....Rather than slowing down Iran's nuclear project, the former security officials said, Netanyahu's speech Tuesday will bring the Islamic republic closer to developing a nuclear bomb.")
*Kerry Pushes for Agreement in Nuclear Talks With Iran
*CPAC: Hackneyed and Hollow ("There remains in the Republican Party, as evidenced by the speakers at this event, a breathtaking narrowness of vision and deficit of creative thought.")
*GOP infighting in Va. may harm the party's White House bid in 2016 (Who are these "centrist conservatives" exactly? As far as I can tell, it's a party of right-wing conservatives and far-right-wing extremists.)
*With GOP in control of Virginia's legislature, McAuliffe agenda sunk ("They canned his name for a health-care initiative, changed the name of his economic development fund, whacked his effort to expand pre-school - all in all, the governor had a tough time in the General Assembly this year." Right, TMac can spin it however he wants with happy talk, but this session was not good.)
*McAuliffe praises bipartisan model as session ends (What I was just talking about - mindless happy talk about this being a "great session," which it most definitely wasn't. Also, this is wildly off message for the 2015 elections, as the argument is de facto "things are going great with Republicans in control of the General Assembly, so no need to change anything." Bad politics, bad policy.)
*Virginia Port Authority faces a bottleneck of problems
*Private police carry guns, badges, can make arrests ("The number of "special conservators of the peace" - or SCOPs, as they are known - has doubled in Virginia over the past decade to roughly 750, according to state records." Hmmmm.)
*Portsmouth's latest political embarrassment
*Plans underway to expand Prince William's compost facility
*In Arlington, growth threatens a building some view as historic ("The Wilson School is targeted for demolition, and officials intend to build a much larger facility there.")
*Council to decide fate of Stone Brewing deal in property vote
*Fairfax law enforcement resorts again to stonewalling
*Lots of ice early before area temperatures begin to warm

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

How Many Seats Could Virginia Dems Gain in the House of Delegates in 2015?

by: lowkell

Sat Feb 28, 2015 at 16:16:41 PM EST

I made a graph (broken into two parts because it's so wide; click on each to "embiggen") of the 100 Virginia House of Delegates seats, with their performance in 2013 measured by the percentage that Mark Herring received. Out of these districts, which could be possible pickup opportunities for Democrats this year? By far and away, that would be district 86, held by retiring incumbent Tom Rust and a great pickup opportunty for Democrat Jennifer Boysko, who lost by just 32 votes in 2013. Other than that one, in descending order of Mark Herring 2013 percentages down to 50%, Democratic pickup opportunties would be: David Ramadan (87th), Jim LeMunyon (67th), Tag Greason (32nd), Dave Albo (42nd), Scott Lingamfelter (31st), Bob Marshall (13th), Randy Minchew (10th), Joseph Yost (12th), Ron Villanueva (21st), Jackson Miller (50th) and Rich Anderson (51st). Of course, Democrats would need strong candidates in those districts, with enough resources to compete.

A few other districts that COULD potentially be competitive include 49% Herring 2013 performance districts in the 94th (David Yancey) and 100th (Rob Bloxom), and 48% Herring districts in the 28th (Bill Howell) and 68th (Manoli Loupassi). Beyond that, it's really getting to be a longshot in an odd-year, low-turnout election, but the next two would be Tim Hugo (40th) and Glenn Davis (84th), both in 47% Herring 2013 districts.

As for Democratic incumbents' most vulnerable seats, those would be the 34th (a 55% Mark Herring 2013 district held by Kathleen Murphy), the 93rd (a 56% Mark Herring district held by Monty Mason), and possibly the 2nd (a 56% Mark Herring district being vacated by Michael Futrell). Hopefully, we'll be fine in all of those, though. Anything else I missed?

Bottom line: Democrats should certainly pick up one seat in 2015 (Jennifer Boysko in the 86th), with the potential for several more, depending on how strong our recruiting is, how well funded Democratic House candidates are this year, what the national mood is looking like this fall, etc.

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

VA Sierra Club: "No. 1 threat to our democracy and to our environment in Virginia is Dominion"

by: lowkell

Sun Mar 01, 2015 at 09:06:09 AM EST

Dear Lowell,

It's time to take back our democracy and protect our environment in Virginia from the corporate cronyism that dominates politics in our state. We needn't look any further than to our convicted and disgraced last Governor to know that politics in Virginia are broken. 

Join Sierra Club's Dominion Accountability Efforts TODAY!

The No. 1 threat to our democracy and to our environment in Virginia is Dominion Resources (and its subsidiary, Dominion Virginia Power), which is the state's biggest polluter and the largest campaign contributor to both Democrats and Republicans in our General Assembly.

We must limit Dominion's power and influence over Virginia politics.


There's More... :: (1 Comments, 377 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Mar 01, 2015 at 07:07:06 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, March 1. Oh, and check out who won the CPAC straw poll in 2006 -- our old pal George Allen, who was a frontrunner for the Republicans presidential nomination until we stopped him with the "ragtag army" in 2006. :)

*Israeli leader will take Obama to task on Iran (So, so stupid of Netanyahu, and I say this as a strong supporter of a secure Israel my entire life.)
*Thousands to March in Moscow to Mourn Slain Boris Nemtsov
*John Boehner allies fret coup attempt ("Conservatives warn the speaker's fate could be determined by how he handles the next seven days." The nuts like Steve King and others trying to overthrow Boehner are not "conservatives," they're right-wing extremists.)
*Rand Paul wins CPAC straw poll, with Scott Walker right behind (Speaking of right-wing extremists...that's CPAC. Can anyone think of what the Democratic equivalent is to this lunacy? Nope, because there isn't one.)
*What we learned from CPAC 2015 ("Jeb survived, Christie stumbled and a conservative heartthrob finished strongly")
*It's worse than Scott Walker and Ted Cruz: Secrets of conservatives' decades-long war on truth ("The right knows that facts and reason have a liberal bent. That's why their decades-long strategy is to lie")
*Editorial: Rein in payday loans ("The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering doing what many states, including Virginia, seem unwilling to do: Rein in payday loans and car-title loans.")
*20 other reasons the session mattered ("The General Assembly took action on a wide array of matters aside from signature issues such as the budget, ethics, campus sexual assaults and oversight of Dominion Virginia Power's rates.")
*Virginia Senate Republicans were set to sink ethics bill (And remember, that was a super-weak, mostly-a-complete-joke bill that makes a parody of "ethics reform." Apparently, even that was too much to handle for Senate Republicans.)
*Assembly season ends with another nod toward ethics (That's about all it was, a "nod.")
*The more things change in Richmond... ("This year's bipartisan ethics reform bill focused strictly on one component of ethics in government - restricting gifts to elected officials - while ignoring two others that are critically important: redistricting and campaign finance." And even on the gifts part, it's wildly inadequate.)
*Schapiro: Agencies set up to counter bossism get bossed around ("Almost painlessly, the corporation commission and liquor board were remade by the 2015 legislature.")
*McAuliffe says Dems will target Hampton Roads seats ("...the 7th Senate District seat held by Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, is a target...McAuliffe also mentioned the 8th District Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jeff McWaters, R-Virginia Beach, as an opportunity for Democrats.")
*Weiner and Coombs: Virginia gun bill shootdowns shows little learned from Virginia Tech ("Little learned" by Republicans and Democrats in the gun lobby's pocket.)
*Time to return to smart planning ("A year ago, Chesapeake updated its plan to guide the city's future growth and land use through 2035. One of the primary goals was to ensure that designs for new development emphasized quality of life and economic vitality.")
*D.C. area forecast: Wintry mix makes for a slick and messy Sunday

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Video: Satirical "One Percent News" Reports from CPAC Conference

by: lowkell

Sat Feb 28, 2015 at 16:42:18 PM EST

Gotta love these "One Percent News" guys (Will Rice and Eric Byler), great satire. Of course, the people at CPAC they're interviewing don't understand it's satire, which makes it even funnier. I love the old guy talking about Ted Cruz being the "next Ronald Reagan," and also about how "we won't stand for" "the bastards" shoving Jeb Bush "down our throats."

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Video: Arlington County Board Member Walter Tejada Rips "Disingenous" "Choir of Negativity"

by: lowkell

Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 13:50:29 PM EST

A few key quotes from outgoing Arlington County Board member Walter Tejada's appearance on the Kojo Nnamdi Show early this afternoon. I can't really disagree with anything he has to say.

*The demise of the streetcar project "will go down as one of my major disappointments," but "it's not about me," it's about "the countless numbers of people that went into a very legitimate public process, totally vetted, with best practices and having a package that would have required the Columbia Pike area ZERO single-family-home taxpayer dollars to make it happen."

*The streetcar also would have "spurr[ed] economic development" and preserved "not some but all of the affordable housing."

*"Part of the it takes too darned long for the federal government to process applications for these types of infrastructure projects that will help revitalize an need to find ways to shorten the time that it takes for these types of things," in part so costs don't escalate. These are "strategic investments" that need to be prioritized and moved quickly through the approval process.

*The rejection of the streetcar "was a really bad step backwards" for Arlington County.

*Regarding Bus Rapid Transit, Tejada reiterated that Arlington County couldn't have had the "rapid" part, since Arlington isn't allowed by the state to dedicate a lane specifically for buses on Columbia Pike. So, "it was VERY disingenuous for those who were suggesting" that BRT could happen. That was part of the "choir of negativity that attacked our project with misinformation...How many times have you heard those who opposed the streetcar says BRT  since the [streetcar] project was cancelled?"

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 176 words in story)

The Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines: Chap Petersen BlueDogSplains the GOP Frame

by: KathyinBlacksburg

Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 21:27:11 PM EST

The Interview
In an wide-ranging interview with conservative John Frederick, Virginia State Senator Chap Petersen illustrates how little Democrats have learned about building upon their own values to frame and argue their commentary. Democrats almost endlessly embrace the other side's deceptive frames.

At the outset, let me say clearly that at the moment, we are not in a position to abandon natural gas in this county. But wantonly expanding the use of natural gas with reckless and widespread fracking is not the answer. In doing so, politicians and supporters of a runaway industry deny the very real negative impact on local aquifers and other bodies of water. They also ignore a host of other impacts of gas extraction, transportation,environmental degradation, and disruption. Apparent support for gas extraction has been built on the shoulders of expert industry propagandists. And most Americans, including most of our "leaders" have bought it hook, line and sinker.

Regarding the Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, right-wing host John Fredericks said: "Obviously, the extreme left-wing environmental wackos going bananas over it; they go bananas over anything except wind, I would imagine." Fredericks claims the pipelines would bring jobs. Ignoring the false claim of meaningful numbers of permanent new jobs, Chap first responds that perhaps he is one of those "wackos." Note Chap's embrace of this negative frame for environmentalists. Chap tries to briefly align himself with those who are pro-environment and then quickly abandons them.  He tries to have it both ways. But this is not before Chap had attempted, earlier in the interview, to carefully align himself with conservatives on several other positions. But that's a separate diary.

To assuage Democrats and those who care about controlling their own property, Chap says "you still have to respect people's rights." "You gotta pay people fair compensation." That should go without saying, but it doesn't in eminent domain cases, particularly in the fracking era. Initially, landowners are enticed to believe they can get rich. A few landowners might make a considerable sum. The rest reduced housing values and even, in numerous cases, suffer ruin. It gets worse. (Please follow below the fold...)

There's More... :: (8 Comments, 1212 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Feb 28, 2015 at 06:51:21 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, February 28. Also, see President Obama's weekly address, in which he reiterates "his commitment to middle-class economics, and to ensuring that all hard-working Americans get the secure and dignified retirement they deserve."

*Congress passes 1-week extension for DHS funding ("President Obama signed the measure just before the midnight deadline. It marked the end of a whirlwind day of negotiations and a stinging defeat for the House GOP")
*The Fix: Congressional Republicans are their own worst enemies, by a lot ("The Boehner renegades -- Steve King of Iowa, Louie Gohmert of Texas, Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, Dave Brat of Virginia among many others -- identify closely with the tea party wing of the GOP which finds its congressional champion in the form of Sen. Ted Cruz.")
*Putin critic, Russian opposition leader gunned down in the streets of Moscow (Dark, dark days as Russia descends into corruption and tyranny.)
*Emotionless, yet beloved: Nimoy and the lasting dignity of being Spock (Spock actually wasn't "emotionless," in part because he was half human, in part because being Vulcan was about containing/controlling emotion and relying on logic instead. You know, kinda like the Tea Party. Hahahahahahaha.)
*Rand Paul wows CPAC crowd as Jeb Bush faces mix of cheers, boos (What a freak show.)
*Jeb Bush, CPAC piƱata ("Conservatives show him no mercy.")
*A Partial Accounting of the Damage Netanyahu Is Doing to Israel ("The Israeli prime minister seems willing to undermine his country's relations with the U.S. in order to save his career.")
*Marco Rubio Tries To Lecture Obama On ISIS, Commits Epic Error (Iran? Iraq? Shia? Sunnis? Whatever! LOL)
*Democrats to the Rescue: Congress Averts Shutdown for One More Week (It's pretty much always "Democrats to the Rescue," while Republicans are busy being wildly irresponsible, extremist ideologues, etc.)
*Fourth suspect in ISIS probe is being held in Hampton Roads
*Commentary: Warner's vote wasn't pro-jobs for Virginians ("Why would an ostensibly pro-jobs senator from Virginia damage his political future by supporting mega-pollution legislation that is directly harming large numbers of his own constituents? Warner should change his vote on the Keystone XL pipeline to no.")
*Deals on ethics rules, reporting of sexual assaults wrap up Va. session (The "ethics" bill is weak, will NOT clean up the culture of corruption in Virginia or reverse the "capture" of Virginia government by corporations.)
*Week's End Wrap up: Another week passes into the twilight
*House, Senate back rules on reporting campus sexual assaults
*Our view: Blowing in the wind
*Fairfax schools push for more money in tough budget year for the county
*Geer case has Fairfax supervisors taking another look at attorney
*Dominion, citing lower fuel costs, asks regulators to reduce customer bills (If Dominion would push hard for energy efficiency, the cheapest form of energy by far, customer bills would fall a lot further!)
*Another storm possible tomorrow bringing a mix of rain and sleet

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy

by: lowkell

Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 14:46:17 PM EST

I've been a Star Trek fan my whole life, and there have been so many great characters and actors over the years. Still, if I had to pick just one Star Trek character it would have to be Mr. Spock, and the actor who played him, Leonard Nimoy. He lived long and prospered, I just wish the "continuing (orginally 5-year) mission" never had to end for this amazing man. Rest in peace. This loss really makes me sad.

P.S. The following is Leonard Nimoy's last tweet, followed by tributes from his fellow Star Trek actors.

P.P.S. I forgot to mention the important point that Nimoy was a strong progressive, a champion for things like civil rights, LGBT equality, environmental protection and animal welfare.

William Shatner: "I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love"

George Takei: "Today, the world lost a great man, and I lost a great friend. We return you now to the stars, Leonard. You taught us to 'Live Long And Prosper,' and you indeed did, friend. I shall miss you in so many, many ways." Yep.

Brent Spiner: "Farewell Leonard. Glad I knew you. Thinking of Susan, Adam, and his entire family. And his vast extended family of Star Trek."

Levar Burton: "God Bless You, Leonard Nimoy... May Angels guide thee to thy rest!"

Jonathan Frakes: "#LLAP RIP to the best First Officer. @TheRealNimoy"

Wil Wheaton: "We stood on your shoulders, and wouldn't have had a galaxy to explore if you hadn't been there, first. Thank you, Leonard, Rest in peace."

Zachary Quinto (current Spock) - My heart is broken. i love you profoundly my dear friend. and i will miss you everyday."

Patrick Stewart: "It is with sadness that I heard of Leonard Nimoy's death. I was lucky to spend many happy, inspiring hours with him. He won't be forgotten."

Nichelle Nichols: "I am deeply saddened by the death of my dear friend Leonard Nimoy.  But, I also want to celebrate his extraordinary life.  He was a true force of strength and his character was that of a champion.  Leonard's integrity and passion as an actor and devotion to his craft helped transport STAR TREK into television history.  His vision and heart are bigger than the universe.  I will miss him very much and send heartfelt wishes to his family."

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Video: Falls Church, Virginia Second Grader Far, Far Smarter than Scott Walker

by: lowkell

Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 13:00:00 PM EST

Right-wingnut Gov. Scott Walker is not the brightest bulb on a wide range of issues, including of course energy and the environment. Here, he's asked by Haycock Elementary School (Falls Church, Virginia) second grader Aaron Stark what he'd do about climate change. Walker starts out ok, with the Boy Scout/campfire metaphor, but then Aaron follows up, much more skillfully than the Chuck Todds of the world ever do, by asking Walker point blank, "Do you CARE about climate change?" That's when Walker goes off the rails, as he starts talking to a second grader in Republican talking points about "ultimately" having "all the natural possible to move forward" blah blah blah. I mean, this really isn't complicated: if you're asked this question, certainly by a second grader, the answer is going to be pretty simple, that I care a lot, that this is a huge threat, and that we have to do something about it now! Of course, Walker couldn't do that because: a) he probably doesn't believe it; b) he's bought and paid for by the Koch brothers and other fossil fuel interests; and c) he's busy pandering for support from the crazy, science-denying, environment-trashing Republican base. Anyway, great job by Aaron, who I'd recommend as a replacement for any number of Sunday talk show hosts. :)

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Jim Webb Continues to Be Wrong, Horrible on the Environment

by: lowkell

Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 20:13:08 PM EST

This is wrong on almost every level. "Creation of 40,000 jobs?" That's wildly untrue, been debunked over and over again (e.g., see here). In fact, according to a report by Cornell University researchers, ""The construction of KXL will create far fewer jobs in the US than its proponents have claimed and may actually destroy more jobs than it generates." As for having "no serious impact on the environment," to the extent Keystone XL encourages tar sands development (which is kind of the entire point, you know?), it will be very bad environmentally. Want to see what it looks like? Click here and check out what's been called "the most destructive project on earth." And don't forget the health impacts, which are nasty as well. For more, see Bird deaths reported on Alberta oil sands tailing ponds and Federal study says oil sands toxins are leaching into groundwater, Athabasca River. Also see Keystone XL pipeline may threaten aquifer that irrigates much of the central U.S.. We could go on all day, but the bottom line is that Jim Webb is wildly wrong about this, just as he's wildly wrong in ignoring/minimizing the #1 threat to humanity (and to many other species) - anthropogenic global warming. That alone should eliminate him from consideration by anyone who cares about the environment, or really any progressive.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Feb 27, 2015 at 06:34:08 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, February 27. Also, check out the loop of John Boehner making kissy sounds at a reporter. Yep, that's the Republican Party's leader in the US House of Representatives.

*GOP stopgap bill may calm DHS shutdown fears (Wow, three whole weeks - what a competent party the GOP is! Not.)
*Out of line ("Scott Walker's questioning of Obama's faith." This one's by conservative columnist Michael Gerson.)
*'Jihadi John' is a Kuwaiti-born Londoner named Mohammed Emwazi
*Scott Walker's Awful Answer on ISIS (I'm linking to the National Review specifically because it's a right-wing publication. Even they know that Scott Walker comparing peaceful protests by Wisconsin working people to a vicious, sadistic, murderous terrorist group is beyond outrageous.)
*The new GOP split on net neutrality (Bizarre; when did the Republicans become so vehemently anti-net-neutrality? When President Obama announced he supported it? This routine got tedious a loooong time ago.)
*Rush Limbaugh Conspiracy Theory: NYC ISIS Arrests A Ploy To Push Net Neutrality, Ban Gun Ammunition (Tedious AND insane, what a combo!)
*Scalise to EPA chief: 'snow blizzards' contradict climate science (This is the same Republican who spoke at a white supremacist rally and apparently was friendly with neo-Nazi leader David Duke.)
*Jim Inhofe's snowball has disproven climate change once and for all (Yet another insane Republican for a Friday morning. My god, where do they find these freaks?)
*USDA Whistleblowers Tell All-and You May Never Eat Bacon Again ("Diseased carcasses, fecal matter in food, untrained employees, and other delights from a new report on pork processing plants.")
*House in limbo: Beyer says 'dangerous time' to shut down Homeland Security
*Jim Webb: We need a voice for economic fairness, new doctrine on U.S. security (I agree on the voice for economic fairness, it just won't be Jim Webb as president.)
*Gov. McAuliffe defends signing bill to change Dominion oversight ("The governor said he tried to negotiate a compromise with the utility." Hmmmm...I've heard REALLY different stories on this one!)
*General Assembly almost done (" The end is well in sight for this session of the Virginia General Assembly, and though a number of high profile issues remain to be done, all indications are the body will wrap its work up Friday.")
*Virginia to compensate victims of forced sterilizations
*Gov. McAuliffe signs bill on marijuana oil for epilepsy treatment
*Taking aim at PETA's work ("PETA can certainly be its own worst enemy. But the organization does a job no one else wants.")
*Va. Republican Party spokesman to announce departure ("Garren Shipley says he's taken another job that will allow him to spend more time with his family." Ha, gotta love the ol' "spend more time with my family" line when someone in politics has been fired.)
*Governor proposes part-time ABC board ("Under McAuliffe's proposal, the state liquor authority would be led by a part-time board and a chief executive officer")
*Va. delegates dole out mock 'sensitivity caucus' awards
*Terry McAuliffe, Republican (I wouldn't say that, but he's definitely from the pro-corporate wing of the party.)
*Patient transported from Clarendon apartment does not have Ebola (More idiotic Ebola coverage, when thousands of Americans die from the flu every year.)
*Fairfax prosecutor asked state police to investigate Fairfax police shooting
*Another chilly day ahead with a 40 percent chance of snow

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Chris Christie's in Virginia Tonight For 2016 $$$. Will He Mention Terrible NJ Economic Record?

by: lowkell

Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 16:40:07 PM EST

From the Democratic Party of Virginia:

RICHMOND -- Kissing the ring of the nation's most notorious loser Eric Cantor has become a rite of passage for 2016 GOP hopefuls, and Chris Christie wants in on the action too. Fresh off a day of riling up right-wing extremists at CPAC, where he reminded participants that he voted to defund Planned Parenthood five times, Christie is once again not in New Jersey. While Christie is in town convincing Virginia Republicans that he's a viable presidential candidate, take a look at how his time in New Jersey stacks up with the Commonwealth.

"If Virginia Republicans want to seriously compete in 2016, they should stay far away from Chris Christie's horrible economic ideas," said Morgan Finkelstein, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Virginia. "Christie's record reads like a step-by-step guide of how not to run a state. Virginia Republicans couldn't have picked a more polar opposite to the progress made by Governor McAuliffe here in the Commonwealth."

Some key comparisons:
There's More... :: (1 Comments, 699 words in story)

Video: 2013 Virginia LG Nominee Says SPLC "No Different" Than "Slave Masters Or Segregationists"

by: lowkell

Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 13:19:12 PM EST

For more, see Right Wing Watch, but in short, the 2013 Virginia nominee for Lt. Governor, EW Jackson, yesterday attacked the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for briefly listing 2016 Republican Presidential candidate (and an extremist by any definition of the word) Ben Carson in its "extremist files," claiming that SPLC's criticism of Carson was "no different than what maybe slave masters or segregationists would have said." Yes, you could brush it off as, "well, it's typical insanity by EW Jackson," but the problem is that Jackson't not an aberration in today's Republican Party. Remember, this is a party where top leaders, like Rudy Giulani and Scott Walker, routinely question Barack Obama's religion, patriotism, birth status, you name it. They also deny climate science and evolution, whlie routinely making outrageous comments about a whole host of other topics.  The question is, how can an extreme, John Birch Society-style freak show like this be a major political party in this country?

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Endorsements Start for 2017 Virginia Governor?!? Talk About WAYYYY Too Early!

by: lowkell

Thu Feb 26, 2015 at 11:30:52 AM EST

On Tuesday, after reading that Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam was essentially announcing his run for Governor of Virginia in 2017, I wrote that it's waaaaaay too early for us to be starting that now. First, let's focus on the 2015 state legislative races. Then, let's focus on making sure the Democratic presidential nominee carries Virginia in 2016 (and hopefully picking up a House of Representatives seat or seats). Then, it seems to me, it will be time to turn our attention to 2017.

But certainly not now. Which is why I was happy to read that Northam had "walked that back somewhat Tuesday evening, telling The Richmond Times-Dispatch that he is in the preliminary stages of assessing whether a run is feasible and could be successful before deciding whether to seek the office." OK, cool, I've got absolutely no problem with any of that, particularly since it's 100% expected that, as Larry Sabato notes in the article, "I don't think I've ever met anyone who ran for lieutenant governor because his or her life ambition was to preside over the state Senate." And it's also fully expected that Attorney General Mark Herring will run for governor as well. But again, why on earth do we want to be starting this in February 2015?

Yet, whether we want it or not, here it comes apparently, with the first major endorsement of the election -- 2013 Democratic primary candidate for Attorney General, Justin Fairfax, endorsing Ralph Northam. What makes this one particularly interesting is that Fairfax is clearly running for Attorney General again, which means he hopes to be on the ticket of whoever the Democratic nominee for governor is -- Northam, Herring, or someone else for that matter. Given that we don't know who that nominee will be, I don't think that's a move I would ever have recommended, since it risks alienating any other potential gubernatorial nominees, but to each his own I suppose...

P.S. Just a side note, but I really wish politicians would stop referring to actual or potential political allies as their "dear friend," "great friend," or whatever, when obviously they're not.

Discuss :: (6 Comments)
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