An immediate Cuccinelli political comeback was dispelled on Saturday during a dinner speech at The Homestead Resort. According to one source, Ken Cuccinelli stated "I don't mind not having an elected role in about a month or so. I've been in office 11 years... I look forward to a little bit of a break. ... but I'll be back with you. I'm not talking as a candidate, but just fighting for these principles because I believe in them."
Before anyone except staunch Cuccinelli supporters get too excited, the attorney general's words seem more like those of a man still licking his wounds from a recent election defeat rather than those of someone who's given himself enough time to make a resolute long term decision. And if there is one thing that Virginians should know by now, it's not to trust a good deal of what Ken Cuccinelli says.
I'm not usually a fan of Politico, but credit where credit is due: Politico reporter James Hohmann did a fine job covering the Virginia GOP "Advance" (also known by most people who speak English as a "retreat") this weekend. Among other news, we found out that Ken Cuccinelli's still playing the world's smallest violin; that Ed Gillespie is thinking about getting his butt kicked by running against Mark Warner next year; that E.W. Jackson has formed a PAC called "United Virginia" (the purpose of which is, of course, to do the exact opposite); and that Ken Kookinelli, other than incessantly whining, isn't planning to run against Mark Warner next year.
This is all interesting stuff, of course. But in some ways, James Hohmann's latest article on the VA GOP "Advance"/retreat might be my favorite. The title, "No soul searching for Virginia GOP after losses," pretty much says it all. These people are completely in denial, if not utterly delusional. Check this out.
...to hear GOP leaders in this once reliably red state tell it, this is no time to panic. No hint of discouragement is betrayed. Just as many party activists insisted after Romney's loss, key figures here said that their shortcomings are cosmetic - that the problem is largely about campaign mechanics and how the conservative message is being delivered, not the message itself...
...They argued that more money, not having a third-party candidate in the race and a scandal-free governor would have made the difference. And they pointed to bad timing: the election came shortly after an unpopular shutdown but before the problems with Obamacare fully seeped into the public consciousness.
[RPV Chair Pat] Mullins mocked post-election analysis that said Cuccinelli was too conservative for a changing state.
"This is false narrative by false prophets," he said. "Republicans do not win when we are mini-Democrats or Democrat Lite."
Put it this way: the denial and delusion are strong with these folks. I mean, this is some seriously stupid stuff right here. I mean, does RPV Chair Pat Mullins really believes that the Republicans managing to lose an eminently winnable race had nothing whatsoever to do with their gubernatorial nominee being a right-wing extremist? Do Mullins and the other Republicans at the "Advance" (aka "retreat") really believe that their problems are simply "cosmetic," all about "campaign mechanics and how the conservative message is being delivered, not [about] the message itself?" If so, then all I can say is: please, Virginia Republicans, don't ever change! Because, as much as I'd like to see two serious parties competing for the votes of Virginians, speaking strictly as a partisan Democrat and as a progressive, I couldn't be happier that Virginia Republicans are so delusional and so flawed in their brain-dead "analysis." I mean, it's their party and all, so if they want to keep refusing to admit they have deep problems selling their harsh, intolerant, extreme, even bizarre beliefs and candidates (e.g, Mark Obenshain wanting to criminalize miscarriages, almost every word out of E.W. Jackson's mouth, Ken Cuccinelli's climate science denial) in an increasingly diverse, well-educated Virginia, the more power to 'em I guess. Just one thing I need to do while Republicans self destruct: stock up on popcorn, because this is going to be loads of fun to watch! LOL
Today's story about the firehouse primary held yesterday in Roanoke City should center on the victory of Sam Rasoul, who won a four-way primary race by beating Councilman David Trinkle by 44 votes. That would be the story if Mayor David Bowers hadn't lost his cool when the candidate he endorsed, Trinkle, lost. Instead, the story has become the dismaying comments Bowers made to the Roanoke Times
Bowers insinuated that there were somehow dirty tricks involved in the primary. "The things I've heard that may have happened over the last couple of days are dirty and despicable and cause me to question the legitimacy of this nomination," he said.
All I can figure out is that Bowers somehow thinks Republicans interfered to insure victory for a weaker candidate than Trinkle. Others involved disagreed, including Trinkle himself. Trinkle told the Times that he thought it was "a pretty good Democratic day." Additionally, Onzlee Ware called Bowers' remarks "regrettable," noting that as a long-time office holder he knew better than to make unsubstantiated charges.
The turnout for the primary was about twice what was expected - 2,632. Evidently, that set Bowers off. David Bowers has been notorious in the past for making rather outrageous claims, but I thought he had outgrown that "foot-in-mouth disease." I guess not. The job of Democratic office holders now is to do everything to insure that Del. Ware's seat stays in Democratic hands, not to provide ammunition to Rasoul's Republican opponent.
Here are a few Virginia and national news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, December 8. Also, check out the great Bar Mitzvah speech about marriage equality and what "traditional marriage" actually meant (hint: it wasn't pretty) back in the days of the Torah.
Roanoke-area Democrats nominated Sam Rasoul today in a four-way firehouse primary to run against Republican Octavia Johnson in January's special election to fill Del. Onzlee Ware's seat representing the 11th District...At 2,632, turnout was significantly higher than expected...
The final results:
Sam Rasoul 846
Dave Trinkle 802
Trish White Boyd 522
Court Rosen 462
Congratulations to Democratic nominee Sam Rasoul on his victory. Rasoul will now face Republican nominee Octavia Johnson (here's a photo with her pal Ken Cuccinelli) in the January 7, 2014 special election. FYI, this district is in Roanoke City, and was won overwhelmingly in 2012 by Barack Obama (64%-34%) and Tim Kaine (66%-34%), as well as by Creigh Deeds (56%-44%) in 2009. The seat's been held since 2004 by Del. Onzlee Ware (D), who is retiring. Of course, the fact that this is an overwhelmingly Democratic district doesn't guarantee that we'll win on January 7; that, as always, will depend on who turns out. Still, this is one that Democrats certainly should win.
(Given the report by Politico that ex-RNC Chair Ed Gillespie is thinking about running for U.S. Senate against Mark Warner next year, I thought this article might be appropriate to rerun...enjoy! (in the video, the relevant part begins at around 3 minutes) - promoted by lowkell)
Ed Gillespie, chair of Bob McDonnell's gubernatorial campaign in 2009, has also been described as "an embedded lobbyist" who "opened a conduit for corporate America to strengthen its already formidable influence in the White House and Congress" and who "has demonstrated a disregard for the notion of a conflict of interest" throughout his career. So, it's no surprise to see him lying through his teeth on TV this morning -- lying so egregiously, in fact, that even Faux "News" host Chris Wallace calls him on it. Basically, it's a total load of horse manure, part and parcel of the "if their lips are moving they're lying" Romney campaign.
Gillespie doesn't even attempt to defend the substance of the claim because there is little substance to it.
The 92 percent figure obscures the fact that many more men than women lost jobs in the recession, as Wallaces forces Gillespie to admit. The key is timing. Men tend to be concentrated in industries that were hit first, like construction, so they lost their jobs first, while women tend to be contracted in the public sector, which had layoffs later on when state and local governments slashed their budgets.
In fact, it was Republican lawmakers and governors who led this effort, accounting for over 70 of percent state layoffs, so Romney's claim is effectively blaming Obama for policies that Romney supports (cutting government workforces).
Wait a minute, state governments slashing their budgets led to women losing their jobs (on top of the Bush/Republican Recession that was inherited by Barack Obama when he took office)? And who heads most state governments, including Virginia's, these days? Oh yeah, Republican'ts like Bob McDonnell. Perhaps that's who Ed Gillespie meant to blame for throwing women out of work?
Virginia Republicans are gathering in Hot Springs this weekend to regroup after Democrats swept all three statewide offices for the first time in nearly 25 years. And who are they bringing in to help them set their 2014 agenda?Texas Governor Rick Perry. They’re hoping that Perry has some answers for how they can get back on track, but here’s the problem:
Rick Perry is exactly the type of Republican that Virginia just rejected.
Here are a few Virginia and national news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, December 7 (72 years ago, a date which will live in infamy...). Also see President Obama's weekly address, in which he urges Congress to extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million Americans who are slated to lose them at the end of this year.
It's amazing, it truly is: as far right wing as many elected Republican are these days, it never seems to be far right wing enough for their most rabid, teahadist supporters. For instance, a number of elected Republicans have shown class in their responses to the death of Nelson Mandela. That, in spite of the fact that Mandela was proudly a man of the left, a "democrat and a socialist", who also was a "die-hard supporter of labor unions," a strong critic of the war in Iraq and the "war on terror," and someone who "considered poverty one of the greatest evils in the world, and spoke out against inequality everywhere."
Despite all that, Virginia Republican politicians - including Bob McDonnell, Eric Cantor, and even E.W. Jackson - had nice things to say about Mandela upon the news of his death yesterday. For instance, Jackson wrote that Mandela was "courageous," a "great man," and "exactly the leader South Africa needed - even if he didn't start out that way." For his part, Gov. McDonnell wrote that Mandela was "one of the true giants of history," a man who "lived a life that broke down barriers, tore down walls, and lifted up a nation, a people, and a world." McDonnell added, "This is a better world for the long and uplifting life of Nelson Mandela." Finally, Eric Cantor commented, "The world has lost an exceptional leader who made the world a better place."
Many of the responses to these comments, to put it mildly, didn't match the class of E.W. Jackson, McDonnell and Cantor in this case. For instance, Cantor has now received 400+ responses, the overwhelming majority of which are negative - even viciously so. For instance: "Mandela was a communist and a terrorist!;" "he and his animal of a wife were mass murderers and torturers;" "You've got to be kidding...he was responsible for the murder of over 20,000 people;" and "The world has lost a Marxist/Communist dictator! Mr. Cantor, are you falling in line with Obama's minions??"; and "I'm saddened and disappointed to see such a post." Yikes.
How about responses to E.W. Jackson? Not much better, although there are a lot fewer comments than to Eric Cantor (apparently not many people care what Jackson has to say at this point). A few examples: "This man was a straight up communist;" "And he gave all South Africans the right to abortion on demand;" "Hope he knew Christ as his savior;" and "You, Mr. Jackson, have bought into the communist/Marxist/liberal ideology of rewriting history and eliminating history by making Mandela into a saint." Well, alrighty then.
Finally, Bob McDonnell appears to have deleted the entire thread, as there are now no comments at all. I can just imagine how bad it must have been for them to do that...
Of course, I'd point out that Nelson Mandela was far to the left of Barack Obama, who Republicans routinely call a commie (and many other choice words). I'd also point out that many leading Republicans - Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney, Jack Kemp - opposed sanctions against the white, apartheid regime in South Africa. So yeah, Republicans have some serious "issues" when it comes to consistency here, but still...c'mon, a great man just died, and THIS is what spews out from right wingers on their "leaders'" Facebook pages, just for saying a few appropriate words at the death of a major 20th century historical figure, one admired by billions of people around the world? Scary.
P.S. Ken Cuccinelli hasn't said a word about Mandela's death on his Facebook page. Nor has Mark Obenshain. Rep. Bob Goodlatte wrote "We have lost a great leader." Rep. Frank Wolf said "Nelson Mandela's unyielding fight against apartheid was truly heroic and evidence of an unyielding belief in the basic dignity of every person" (lots of nasty responses on Wolf's page as well). Rep. Scott Rigell said "the world lost a remarkable and truly transformational figure in Nelson Mandela" (several nasty responses to that one). Rep. Robert Hurt wrote "The world has lost a great leader." Etc, etc.
Yes, of the $325,000 from large contributors through 2 December, just under 25 percent comes from two firms closely associated with seeking to undermine climate science, hamper Virginia's moves to greater energy efficiency and a cleaner electricity system, and who strongly supported the campaign of fossil-foolish climate-science denier Ken Cuccinelli.
As a Virginian concerned about creating a prosperous clean-energy future for my children and my fellow Virginians, that these fossil-foolish interests can (seemingly) buy a seat at the table for such relatively paltry -- for them -- amounts is disconcerting and raises concerns of that 'business as usual' processes of buying access and influence in Richmond will continue on their merry way.
From Sen. Kaine's office, this is where he is and what's he's doing right now:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, during a visit to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/U.S. Fifth Fleet (NAVCENT) in Bahrain, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine toured the Norfolk-based USS San Jacinto and met with Virginians serving with the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces.
"I had the chance to board and visit the crew of the USS San Jacinto which deployed out of Norfolk a few months back when the Harry S. Truman deployed. They're in dock here in Bahrain and I had a chance to visit with them and have lunch with a number of Virginians who serve in the Navy and a couple of folks in the Marines as well," said Kaine. "I talked with them about a range of issues, from the bigger picture security challenges facing the region, to how come traffic is still so bad in Hampton Roads. Any time I have a chance to spend time with those who serve and especially those from Virginia who serve, I always walk away with a sense of pride and admiration."
While in Bahrain, Kaine is participating in the 2013 Manama Dialogue, the International Institute for Strategic Studies' 9th annual regional security conference.
"History will record that on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary met to consider the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama." - Dana Milbank, The Washington Post
The House Republicans can't pass a budget. They can't hold an up/down vote on the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill. They won't raise the minimum wage. They won't spare millions of hungry children from cuts to food stamps.
But when it comes to fanning the flames of right-wing animosity toward the president, Reps. Steve King, Louie Gohmert, and Bob Goodlatte are front and center. Bob Goodlatte didn't actually say the word "impeachment." As Milbank writes, "Republican leaders frown on such labeling because it makes the House majority look, well, crazy."But as the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Goodlatte is responsible for holding the hearing. He is responsible for encouraging the provocative and inflammatory behavior of Steve King and, even worse, Louie Gohmert. He is responsible for providing a platform for extreme accusations and bitter partisanship.
Oh wait, actually that headline is completely false, except for the snark tag of course. In reality, President Obama inherited an economy in freefall, having collapsed while George W. Bush was president. Recall that in late 2008 and early 2009, the economy was losing around 800,000 jobs per month, while the housing market and stock markets were collapsing. In sum, the day Barack Obama was sworn in, he was faced with the worst economic crisis this country has faced since the Great Depression.
In response, Democrats took strong actions, including the economic recovery act that essentially zero Republicans supported. And the results? See the graphic below: 8.1 million private sector jobs added in the past 45 months; also a stock market setting record highs and the housing market experiencing a strong recovery. Turns out, first of all there was nothing "socialist" about Obama or the Democrats; second, that Democratic economic policies, along with strong monetary stimulus measures by the Federal Reserve, worked; and third, that we'd all be even BETTER off without the brain-dead austerity policies - including major cuts to state and federal government, threatening to default on our national debt, shutting down the government, and even now threatening to cut off unemployment benefits for people who need them - pushed by Republicans. Just remember all that come November 2014...and November 2016...and every November for a long time to come.
Nelson Mandela was undoubtedly one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century, living one of the most consequential lives anyone can possibly live. He will be remembered forever. Here's a statement by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. I'll post additional statements as I see them.
Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on Passing of Nelson Mandela
RICHMOND - Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement this evening following the news of the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela.
"It is with great sadness that we have all learned of the passing of Nelson Mandela, one of the true giants of history. Affectionately known by his Xhosa clan name of 'Madiba,' Nelson Mandela lived a life that broke down barriers, tore down walls, and lifted up a nation, a people, and a world. All Virginians can learn from his example, and I encourage the citizens of this state, especially our young people, to take this moment to study the life of Nelson Mandela. He has shown us the incredible good one person can do; he has demonstrated the unique, positive power each life contains. I wish his family, and all the people of South Africa, the very best in these trying times. This is a better world for the long and uplifting life of Nelson Mandela."
UDPATE: Sen. Tim Kaine (@timkaine) tweets: "The world has lost a great leader & advocate for equality w/loss of Pres. Mandela & I join millions across the globe in mourning his passing." Sen. Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) tweets: "So sad to hear the news about Nelson Mandela. Few people in history have represented such a positive, lifelong force for change. RIP." Rep. Jim Moran (@Jim_Moran) tweets, "World lost a great man today in Nelson Mandela. What an incredible life filled with courage and hope."
UPDATE #2: Sen. Kaine sends out a formal statement. "The world has lost a great leader and advocate for equality with the loss of President Mandela but his legacy lives on in a democratic and free South Africa. I join millions across the globe in mourning his passing and hope his life will continue to inspire new generations of leaders to fight for more inclusive and just societies."
UPDATE #3: Rep. Bobby Scott (@repbobbyscott) tweets: "#NelsonMandela's life & legacy will always be a source of inspiration for all who seek freedom's embrace." Also see this photo. Rep. Gerry Connolly (@GerryConnolly) tweets, "Nelson Mandela's passing reminds us that one transformative individual can make a profound and positive difference in this troubled world."
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