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Some Reading for Gov. McAuliffe BEFORE Dan Snyder Comes Calling for Corporate Welfare

by: lowkell

Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 11:41:19 AM EDT

It's now crystal clear that billionaire R**skins owner Dan Snyder has kicked off the bidding war von which jurisdiction (Maryland? DC? Virginia?) will offer the most taxpayer-funded corporate welfare to build his super-rich franchise a new stadium. It's also becoming more apparent why Gov. McAuliffe has been so reluctant to weigh in on the racist (or not, if you buy the R**skins' so-called "arguments" that it really isn't racist) team name issue. Anyway, as the process begins to figure out which suckers will cough up the most hard-earned, and much-needed-for-other-uses tax money so that mega-rich Republican Dan Snyder can get even mega-RICHER than he already is, here's some reading material for Gov. McAuliffe to check out -- BEFORE Dannyboy comes a callin'.

1. First, some history from the last time (1992) a rich R**skins owner (Jack Kent Cooke in that case) came looking for taxpayer handouts from a Virginia governor (L. Douglas Wilder in that case). In particular, note: "Both Wilder and Cooke have said in recent days that they were surprised by the vehemence of the opposition to Potomac Yard and that they had assumed most Virginians would be excited about the prospect of the Redskins playing in the state. It was a pivotal miscalculation, especially during a time when the state government had gone through two years of budget cuts. Cooke would have built the $160 million stadium himself, but many thought the $130 million state subsidy for site improvements was unjustified." Is history about to repeat itself? Stay tuned!

2. Now, some economics. How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers ("Taxpayers fund the stadiums, antitrust law doesn't apply to broadcast deals, the league enjoys nonprofit status, and Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $30 million a year. It's time to stop the public giveaways to America's richest sports league-and to the feudal lords who own its teams.")

3. More economics. Football: A Waste of Taxpayers' Money: Why are we subsidizing such a hugely profitable sport?  ("...forget about GM and Chrysler, Solyndra, or even cowboy poetry readings. Fact is, nothing is more profitable, more popular, and more on the public teat than good old American football. That's right. You, dear taxpayer, are footing the bill for football through an outrageous series of giveaways to billionaire team owners and public universities that put pigskin before sheepskin."

4. Here's How The NFL Makes A Killing Off Of Taxpayers (see infographic above)

5. If You Build It, They Might Not Come: The Risky Economics of Sports Stadiums ("Time after time, politicians wary of letting a local franchise relocate -- as the NBA's Seattle Supersonics did, to Oklahoma City before the 2008-2009 season -- approve public funds, selling the stadiums as public works projects that will boost the local economy and provide a windfall of growth. However, according to leading sports economists, stadiums and arenas rarely bring about the promised prosperity, and instead leave cities and states mired in debt that they can't pay back before the franchise comes calling for more.")

6. Finally, just to demonstrate that it's not only progressives who oppose taxpayer-funded corporate welfare to wealthy sports owners, it's also the freakin' Koch brothers! ("So we have to ask - is giving handouts to professional sports teams a responsible use of tax dollars or is this money better spent somewhere else?  The answer seems clear. Our elected officials need to stand up for the taxpayers and stop giving out taxpayer-funded corporate welfare to professional sports teams."). Of course, the Koch brothers are wild hypocrites, as they LOVE corporate welfare for themselves, but the point is that this is NOT a left-right issue. To the contrary, this is an issue that everyone who pays taxes or lives in the state should agree on: it's a terrible idea to use our scarce tax dollars (which should be used for education, transportation, cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, retrofitting our buildings for energy efficiency and solar panels, etc.) to subsidize a wealthy, coddled, monopolistic bunch of billionaires, especially when it's almost certain that we won't get any return on our investment and ESPECIALLY at a time when we're running major budget deficits. So, Gov. McAuliffe, when Danny Boy Snyder comes a callin', all you have to do is very simply just say "no." You can slam the door in his face for dramatic effect (and bonus points) if you're so inclined. :)

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 06:46:28 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, August 28.

*A strong answer to climate change
*Exclusive: GOP poll of women: Party 'stuck in past' (Of course, women are right about this. Given that, the question is, why would any woman vote Republican these days?)
*Ukraine fears Russian invasion is now underway ("Fighting between Russian troops and the Ukrainian military worsened Thursday on a new, southern front as NATO promises to deploy forces to eastern Europe.")
*U.S. Budget Gap Narrows to Smallest Since 2007, CBO Says (And it would be a LOT lower if we had gotten rid of the Bush tax cuts.)
*Immigration plan could shake up 2014 election
*Iowa politician says 2012 Ron Paul campaign paid him for endorsement
*An anti-immigration group's imaginary scapegoats
*2014 and the limits of rage ("The question to ask: Do voters begin to push back against the tea party tide that swept governorships and legislatures into Republican hands four years ago and produced the most radical changes in policy at the state level in at least a generation?")
*The cold calculus of global warming ("Peddling doubt has helped protect lucrative, if unsustainable, livelihoods.")
*Virginia Senate candidates to talk tech
*Foust Defends Comments Against Comstock's Work Experience
*Ask the Governor: McAuliffe talks budget, ethics and Clinton '16 in radio interview
*Separate arrivals and exits drive home a point at former Va. governor's trial
*McDonnell defense rests with details of a sad and troubled marriage
*A different former Governor's thoughts on ethics: Sen. Kaine says Va laws too lax
*They're baaaack ... big outsider ad buys in Gillespie-Warner race
*Fighter jet pilot missing after Virginia crash
*Va. reading scores remain stagnant on harder state tests
*In coal country, the jobs are vanishing. Even so, workers find it hard to leave.
*Fister's vulnerabilities appear as Phillies show Nats the broom
*Humidity drops as storms hold off

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Video: Blast-From-The-Past as "TEA Party merges with anti-immigrant lobby in PW County, Virginia"

by: lowkell

Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 17:34:45 PM EDT

Eric Byler, director of the superb film 9500 Liberty (a must see!) -- about the anti-immigrant movement in Prince William County, Virginia, and the courageous people who stood up to it -- just posted this video (from July 4, 2009) on his Facebook page. Here's Eric's description:
A hate watch organization had asked me to film it. I had no intention of going, but I did at their request. I posted the video for their edification only, and never shared the link with anyone else until now. Prince William County, of course, had been the scene of an ugly but effective politicization of anti-immigrant sentiment for the 2007 election, and the battle had continued into 2008 as the film 9500 Liberty shows.

I haven't re-watched the video. But my recollection 5 years later is that several anti-immigrant activists recognized me early on and some of them tried to stop me from filming by standing in front of the camera. I think you will see this in the video. I had to go hand-held so that I could get out of their way. And when I did so, I stood right next to the largest of the men. He didn't touch me. He just said, "Well isn't that nice," or something to that effect.

The reason why the hate watch org. was interested was that a representative from FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) was scheduled to speak, and on conservative entertainment channels and websites, this was being touted as the long-awaited merger of the anti-tax TEA Party with the anti-immigrant FAIR (and likeminded organizations).

The event was held at the Prince William County government center in Woodbridge, VA where many of the most memorable scenes from 9500 Liberty take place.

Chilling. Disturbing. Totally f'ed up. Any other descriptions you'd care to add to this video? Oh, and thanks to Eric Byler for his tireless, courageous work exposing extremism and bigotry like this.
Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Gov. McAuliffe Signs Bill Addressing Notary Fraud Aimed At Members of the Latino Community

by: lowkell

Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 16:11:38 PM EDT

Photo and description of the event earlier today, courtesy of Virginia State Senator Jennifer Wexton:
I was proud to stand with Senator Adam Ebbin, Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Delegate-elect Rip Sullivan, and other important members of the Northern Virginia community as Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe signed SB 503, which I co-patroned, and HB 492 into law. They address the growing problem of notary fraud perpetrated towards members of the Latino community, as well as other minority communities. There are many cases of notaries fraudulently charging thousands of dollars for misleading advice. This legislation prohibits non-attorney notaries from offering legal or immigration advice, as well as imposes civil penalties and possible revocation of notary license for repeat offenders.
Also present in the photo are Del. Alfonso Lopez, Del.-elect Rip Sullivan, Arlington County Board Members Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada, State Senator Adam Ebbin, and of course Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Great job by everyone involved in this, including co-patrons Adam Ebbin and Jennifer Wexton, and House Chief Co-patron Alfonso Lopez.

P.S. I don't recognize the other two people in the photo. Also note that the other House Chief Co-patron, Del. Dave Albo (R), is not in the photo. Hmmmm.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Alan Howze Proposes 100% Renewable Energy for Columbia Pike Streetcar

by: lowkell

Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 13:57:51 PM EDT

Good suggestions from the Alan Howze (D) for Arlington County Board campaign. I particularly like the 100% clean energy component. As for Repoublican-masquerading-as-an-"independent" John Vihstadt, I agree with Alan Howze that all he's interested in is "using the streetcar to drive his political agenda." What Vihstadt's been doing has been divisive, harmful to Arlington, and certainly not constructive in any way. I look forward to Alan Howze defeating Vihstadt soundly in November! 

Howze Issues Proposals to Improve Streetcar

Alan Howze introduced new proposals to address community concerns and reiterated his support for creating a modern streetcar system to link Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria. 


In introducing new proposals to make the streetcar work even better, Howze said, "the streetcar has been used as a wedge issue by those who seek political gain by dividing our community.  Rather than use the streetcar to score political points, let's focus on responding to community questions and using innovation to make the planned streetcar even better.” 


Howze continued, “This once-in-a-generation investment will have a positive effect on our community for decades to come. Today, after talking to thousands of Arlington residents at their doors, I am making five proposals that come directly from suggestions I have heard."


  1. Speed and accountability in government matters. Timely construction should be a key contract requirement. This will minimize disruption, protect taxpayers, and accelerate the benefits from the streetcar.

  2. Create a small business contingency plan to support small businesses affected by streetcar construction.

  3. Create a business and residents advisory council to ensure community issues that arise during construction are dealt with in a timely manner.

  4. Examine the feasibility of using streetcars that can run without wires for sections of the streetcar line to reduce the use of overhead wires.

  5. Secure 100% renewable energy power supply for the streetcar.  This would ensure that the streetcar is a zero emissions system.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 458 words in story)

Video: This is the Guy Ed Gillespie Would Vote to Make Senate Majority Leader

by: lowkell

Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 11:34:28 AM EDT

That's right, Ed Gillespie would vote for this guy as U.S. Senate Majority Leader.
So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. So what does that mean? That means that we can pass the spending bill. And I assure you that in the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what's called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We're going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board (inaudible). All across the federal government, we're going to go after it...

...And we're not going to be debating all these gosh darn proposals. That's all we do in the Senate is vote on things like raising the minimum wage (inaudible)-cost the country 500,000 new jobs; extending unemployment-that's a great message for retirees; uh, the student loan package the other day, that's just going to make things worse, uh. These people believe in all the wrong things.

Even better: according to The Nation, McConnell made his promises "to a secret strategy conference of conservative millionaire and billionaire donors hosted by the Koch brothers." What next, Dr. Evil and his "laser?" This is almost beyond parody, but frighteningly, it's real. Yet it's Dr., the Koch brothers and their evil ilk, that McConnell, Gillespie, and all the other Republicans running for U.S. Senate this year want to turn the country over to, by the way -- the Koch brothers and other secretive, far-right-wing billionaires -- while trashing our democracy in the process. Sound good to you? Then most definitely you're a Republican voter! Wait, you mean you're sane and this does NOT sound good to you? Right, thought so -- then vote Democratic up and down the ballot this November. As the saying goes, Democrats might not be perfect, but at least we're not nuts.
Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Aug 27, 2014 at 06:47:44 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, August 27. Also see Jon Stewart take on Fox "News" coverage of Ferguson.

*U.N. Draft Report Lists Unchecked Emissions' Risks (That's right, no matter how much you try to deny or minimize this problem, it's a 12-alarm emergency right now. WTF are we doing about it?!?)
*Obama rules out help from Assad on Syria strikes ("Airstrikes against Islamic State militants, even if officially opposed by Syria as a violation of sovereignty, would put the U.S. and Syrian presidents on the same side of a war Obama has been loath to join.")
*Cease-fire holding between Israel, Hamas amid rejoicing (Now, the people of Gaza should rise up and overthrow Hamas.)
*A climate for change: The EPA's limits on emissions are important but not enough ("The EPA is starting the country down a carbon-reduction path, an important signal to Americans and foreigners seeking confidence that the United States will cut its carbon use. But the regulations' greatest contribution will come if they prod Congress to enact a plan that's both more comprehensive and more efficient")
*Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty ("The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress." Thanks a lot, pathetic, climate-science-denying Republicans.)
*When youthful mistakes turn deadly ("For young, black men, errors can be deadly.")
*Why Conservative Christian Homeschoolers Are Fighting Standards That Don't Apply To Them
*U.S. Mobilizes Allies to Widen Assault on ISIS
*Senate Dems frustrated by colleague's push for ISIS vote ("'Asking anybody to take that vote within two months of an election is just stupid. Why would you put people in that position?' said a Senate Democratic aide.")
*Former Va. governor insists he never promised favors in return for gifts (The question is whether or not the jury believes that one.)
*Homophobic Ex-VA Gov. Bob McDonnell Now Living With Priest Who Pled Guilty To Having Sex With Another Man In Public
*McDonnell Living With Priest Who Pleaded Guilty To Sex Crime
*Despite 'real job' comment, Foust and Democrats to push 'women's issues' (Why is the Loudoun Times accepting the b.s. Republican narrative on this?)
*A year after McDonnells' gifts scandal was revealed, lobbyists' assembly spending dips (Now we need serious ethics reform, with sharp teeth, to slash this a lot further.)
*Schapiro: Lawmaker-judge who found joy in public life
*Our view: A reset, perhaps, on safe abortion ("Supporters' insistence that the law's purpose is women's health and safety offers such thin cover as to be transparent. They mean to stop abortions. That debate can be held on honest grounds, but TRAPers should know this: They cannot end abortions, and abortions are safe because they are legal.")
*Attorney general investigating alleged voter fraud
*As ex-governor's trial continues, the current Guv's thoughts on gifts to public officials ("'Nobody should be giving you gifts, why is anybody giving you gifts,' McAuliffe said." Right, so let's make it illegal.)
*Early stirrings of life in 2nd Congressional District race (Yeah, it's been super quiet there.)
*Electric vehicles to get more support in Hampton Roads
*Nats come up short against Phillies
*D.C. area forecast: No scorchers in sight, but summer simmers a bit today and again this weekend

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Video -- Barbara Comstock: The Newest Voice in The War on Women

by: lowkell

Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 11:11:32 AM EDT

By the way, on a related note, since the Barbara Comstock folks have been trying to stir up controversy, let's just be clear that Barbara Comstock has held numerous "real jobs" in her life. And yes, that includes being a mother - a tough job, and certainly a real one - and a job that John Foust would never denigrate in any way (yes, Comstock and her supporters are making s*** up again, psychologically projecting, cynically  working to gin up "outrage" to fire up their supporters, etc.). The problem is, other than being a mother, she's overwhelmingly had jobs that while "real," were nothing to be proud of. For instance, how about:

*Lobbyist for the Koch Brothers on "crime and environmental issues" (one can just imagine)
*Political attack dog against the Clintons.
*House Gov. Reform Committee - Investigated the Clintons, played key role in heavily editing Webb Hubbell prison tapes
*Political attack dog against Al Gore.
*Political attack dog defending the Bush administration profiling Muslims and detaining US citizens.
*Lobbied for private prison builder Geo Group and the Entertainment Software Association, which opposes regulation of violent video games.
*Represented Chiquita Brands on asbestos liability and later voted to limit asbestos company liability.
*Political attack dog defending Tom Delay.
*Political attack dog defending pathological liar Willard "Mitt" Romney.
*Lobbyist for Blackwater.
*Scooter Libby defender
*Bush Administration DOJ - ran an "intensely political operation" under John Ashcroft
*Workforce Fairness Institute - employed Swift Boat consultants, refused to disclose companies they worked for, gave $150k to Newt Gingrich's PAC
*Susan B. Anthony List - Comstock helped raise money for this extreme anti-women's-choice group
*Virginia Delegate; voted for trans-vaginal ultrasounds and many other bad things (e.g., to cut $1.5 million from early childhood foundation funding, against the 2013 transportation compromise that's so important to the 10th CD, to allow guns in bars...).

Is this the type of person 10th CD voters want representing them in Congress, especially when she's all but promised to continue doing what she's done for decades now? We can only hope not.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

MIT Study Finds Health Benefits of CO2 Reductions Can Save 10x the Cost of Policy Implementation

by: lowkell

Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 14:16:29 PM EDT

Cross posted from Scaling Green. For Blue Virginia readers, I'd just add that Gov. McAuliffe's office should read this study as they consider how to move Virginia forward in terms of energy efficiency, renewable power, and of course meeting the EPA's new rules for cutting CO2 emissions.

Clearly, we believe it makes sense to slash the air and water pollution that is inextricably linked to fossil fuel extraction, processing, and consumption.  We also strongly believe that moving from a dirty to a clean energy economy makes sense on a whole host of levels -- economic, environmental, national security, health, etc. Yet opponents of a clean energy transition invariably raise claims that it will cost too much to do so, even though research has shown that fossil fuels are actually FAR more expensive than they appear to be, in large part because they are allowed to pollute without having to pay for doing so. Thus, the full "lifecycle cost" of coal to the U.S. public is actually upwards of $500 billion a year, but you won't find that $500 billion a year incorporated into the price of coal, making it artificially cheap, and strongly skewing U.S. energy markets in favor of fossil fuels. Incorporate all the health and environmental "externalities" associated with fossil fuels, while taking away the enormous subsidies they receive from taxpayers, and it's a totally different story -- one in which clean energy would win by a wide margin.

Just in case you wanted even more evidence along these lines, a new study is out from researchers at MIT which finds that policies aimed at cutting fossil-fuel pollution can more than pay for themselves.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 304 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Aug 26, 2014 at 06:46:12 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, August 26.

*A climate for change: America should not wait while the world warms
*Ukraine detains Russian paratroopers; U.S. ambassador warns of 'counteroffensive' (Scary situation, but you know what's even scarier? See story #1, above.)
*Obama Allows Surveillance Flights of ISIS Over Syria
*Progressive Congresswoman Welcomes Jim Webb Into Dem Presidential Primary (Interesting.)
*Restoring a sense of security on campus ("The systemic failure of colleges and universities across the U.S. to accurately report sexual assaults on campus - and hold offenders accountable - demands a comprehensive approach to changing a culture of complacency.")
*McAuliffe prepares for budget cuts ("Agency heads plan for cuts of 5 percent this year, 7 percent next year")
*Tim Kaine: Congress must vote on Iraq
*Kaine pledges to protect VIMS ("He want to limit effect of federal budget cuts; state reductions loom as well")
*Say cheese! McDonnell's photo with Anatabloc
*Prosecutor to McDonnell: How could anyone know about loan?
*Ex-Va. governor comes under sharp questioning from prosecutors ("The corruption trial of the former governor was expected to turn on his cross-examination.")
*Ann Romney lauds Va. House hopeful Comstock (Another good reason to vote against Comstock.)
*The only way forward ("Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission must recover from early stumbles")
*Ed Gillespie introduces tax reform plan (Same ol' same ol' supply-side, trickle-down stuff. Shocker.)
*McAuliffe pleased with improved Chesapeake Bay health (But a looooong way to go!)
*PolitiFact: Beyer 'Mostly true' on paid family leave comment
*Nationals vs. Phillies: Nats open road trip with 3-2 loss in Philadelphia
*Mild weather before humid weekend

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

If You Can't Defend McDonnell, Attack the Messenger

by: Dan Sullivan

Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 15:05:31 PM EDT

090601 Bob McDonnell photo 090601BobMcDonnell.jpgWhat we have here, is the failure of circumspection so common among neo-conservatives. The "here" are the personal attacks resulting from yesterday's post about former Governor McDonnell's accumulating and compounding hypocrisy. Somehow facts and evidence are irrelevant in the neo-conservative world unless they support your position.

It must be painful to have fallen for the original McDonnell shtick hook, line and sinker. Accepting this new fiction of a defense with all its twists, turns, and subplots as relief for the cognitive dissonance caused by recent revelations provides relief. Then someone points out the concurrent serial hypocrisy of McDonnell embracing a priest who casually violated his vow of celibacy with another man; behaviors McDonnell has blatantly condemned as antithetical to his core conservatism. This resonates and echoes hypocrisy. There is no argument that can refute the blatant self-serving behavior of their fallen hero, so resort to personal attacks.

Suddenly the raw truth of the McDonnell formula for defense being revealed is turned on its head and becomes an attack by the left on homosexuals. That is some desperation. This is just another brick in the wall McDonnell is building to defend himself. And we are cautioned that if we want to sway public opinion we need to make nice. Part of one rant is not only unintelligible but also contains utter nonsense:

"But it does show you an insight into the liberal extremist mind. Democrat (sic) bloggers, especially Lowly (sic), must not really like gay people. They need their votes, and the fact that they don't like religion makes gay people social "brothers in arms" with hatemongers like Lowly (sic), but in reality they only use gay people to shore up their own power."
Where to start?  
There's More... :: (3 Comments, 332 words in story)

Reps. Connolly, Scott, Moran Urge Obama Admin. to Reject Whale-Killing Seismic Blasting

by: lowkell

Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 13:41:53 PM EDT

The tragic, heartbreaking death of female sei whale the other day in the Elizabeth River both saddened and enraged me. Why enraged? Because the whale died mostly from humans trashing our oceans with plastic (which the whale accidentally ingested, blocking its stomach and causing it to slowly starve to death). For "good measure," the poor creature "might have been hit by a ship shortly before dying the previous day." So, chalk that one up to humans on both counts. Ugh. Sadly, this case demonstrates the hazards marine life is exposed to due to human activities on an ongoing basis. That includes the aforementioned plastic pollution and ships bashing into whales (and other animals), but also the oil-industry practice of seismic airgun testing - loud as explosives, can cause hearing loss and other injuries, even death, to whales and other sea creatures.  

See to the right (click to "embiggen") and on the "flip" for a letter from several Members of Congress, including Representatives Gerry Connolly, Bobby Scott and Jim Moran of Virginia, urging the Obama administration to forbid seismic testing off the east coast. In addition to the danger of oil spills, the process of FINDING the oil should never involve practices which can lead to mass injury and death in the oceans. Why is this even a question, other than unbridled greed, callousness and stupidity?

P.S. To sign the Center for Biological Diversity's petition against this outrageous practice, click here. Thanks.

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McAuliffe Doesn't Need a Review for a JMU Leadership Shake-up

by: Dan Sullivan

Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 07:41:55 AM EDT

President Alger photo JMUPresident_zps26332b66.jpgThis morning the Governor will visit a farm just south of the James Madison University (JMU) campus. While farming best practices are admirable, the safety of students on campus, neglected by the JMU administration in Sarah Butters' sexual assault case, screams for immediate attention. President Alger deserves a wakeup call.

On Alger's campus a student may participate in a gang sexual assault of a fellow student, videotape it, publish it on the internet, be accused by the victim then escape any substantive punishment. Following the revelations about JMU's bumbling enforcement of its own sexual assault policies, the University President, Jonathan R. Alger, withdrew to his comfort zone: acting as his own lawyer rather than campus leader. What was his reaction to McAuliffe's formation of a task force to combat sexual violence at Virginia colleges?

"For all of us, this is a time to come together, to share best practices, to make clear that we all take this issue very seriously," said Jonathan R. Alger, president of James Madison University. He said the freshmen now gathering at the school in Harrisonburg are getting the message that they must not be bystanders to sexual assault. - Washington Post
Best practices? Seriously? The message?
There's More... :: (23 Comments, 317 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Aug 25, 2014 at 06:24:22 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines,  political and otherwise, for Monday, August 25. Also, check out that video, because it provides a crystal clear indication regarding one of the top 2 or 3 themes Jim Webb would run for president on -- "economic fairness and social justice," a phrase he repeats several times.

*The certainty of climate change ("Action, too, is inevitable. It should be smart - and prompt." Immediately -- at federal, state and local levels.)
*Obamacare has growing support, even if its name does not ("As one Democratic pollster told me, his focus groups showed that when voters outside the Republican base are given details about what the law does and how it works, 'people come around and say, 'That's not so bad, what's everybody excited about?''")
*In latest bloody victory, ISIS seizes key air base in Syria
*US Journalist Held in Syria Freed (Finally, a bit of good news for a change.)
*More Audio Surfaces From Dan Page, the St. Louis County Police Officer Suspended After Racist Remarks (Clearly, people like this should not be cops.)
*Beyond Ferguson: 5 glaring signs that we're not living in a post-racial society ("Privileged pundits love to insist that race is no longer a factor in American life. The numbers say they're wrong")
*Krugman: Wrong Way Nation ("So Rick Perry doesn't know the secrets of job creation, or even of regional growth. It would be great to see the real key - affordable housing - become a national issue.")
*Anti-Clinton past echoes
for Virginia Republican
("GOP congressional hopeful Barbara Comstock touts her bulldog aggression in a state where Clinton-bashing is no longer a surefire way to rally voters.")
*Bob McDonnell courts jurors with narrative of a micromanager blindsided by his wife
*Judge in McDonnell case presides with humor and impatience
*With gay marriage on hold, same-sex couples remain hopeful
*VDOT hopes photographic study will reduce interstate wildlife collisions ("People and animals are getting killed and maimed in highway collisions, and Virginia is looking for ways to reduce the carnage.")
*McDonnell's broken covenant worse than loans (Not sure about that, but he's an extreme hypocrite, that's for sure.)
*McAuliffe to visit area to tout conservation program
*Nationals flex muscle, beat Giants
*A stellar start to the work week ("Mostly sunny skies, comfortable temperatures and low humidity will last a few days.")

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Meet the (Gay) Priest that Homophobic Hypocrite Bob McDonnell is Now Living With

by: lowkell

Sun Aug 24, 2014 at 06:41:28 AM EDT

The following story most definitely falls into the "you can't make this s*** up" category. So, you know how Bob McDonnell, now on trial for corruption as governor (and busy throwing his wife under the bus while rolling back and forth over her a few times, proving he's a complete cad as well as a sleazeball), has moved out of his home with Maureen and moved in with a priest (Rev. Wayne Ball of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Richmond)? Well, how about we meet the good Reverend (note: thanks to Ben "Not Larry Sabato" Tribbett for the tip on this one, since he really broke the story).

Yeah, it's this same guy.

The Rev. Wayne L. Ball, a Norfolk priest who pleaded guilty late last year to a misdemeanor sex offense, has been reassigned to St. John's Catholic Church in Highland Springs, according to The Catholic Virginian, a biweekly diocesan newspaper. The move is effective June 2.

Ball, 42, has served as pastor of Norfolk's Holy Trinity Catholic Church since 2000. The current pastor at St. John's, the Rev. David V. McGuire, will replace Ball at Holy Trinity.

In December, Ball pleaded guilty in Norfolk General District Court to the misdemeanor charge of frequenting a bawdy place. Norfolk police arrested Ball and a 41-year-old Richmond man on the night before Thanksgiving in a parked car in a Norfolk park. The judge continued Ball's case until July 8 and will dismiss the charge if the priest has no further criminal problems and completes 80 hours of community service by June 3. The man in the car with Ball received a similar deal.


Ball will be the second Catholic priest who recently pleaded guilty to a sex crime to serve at St. John's in Highland Springs.

In February, the Rev. John P. Blankenship, who served at St. John's from 1973 to 1977, pleaded guilty in Prince George County to four counts of sodomy. The charges stemmed from incidents that occurred after Blankenship's time at St. John's.

Look, it should go without saying that I have no problem with priests -- or any other religious officials, or anyone else -- being gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, etc. What I DO have a problem with is massive hypocrisy among politicians, such as a guy who richly earned the nickname "Taliban Bob" for his viciously anti-gay rhetoric and actions hounding/harassing LGBT people (not to mention his right-wingnut, theocratic, holier-than-thou, Pat Robertson-trained moralizing about what we all should or should not be doing in the privacy of our own bedrooms; not to mention the fact that when McDonnell himself was asked by reporters if HE had ever violated Virginia's "crimes against nature" laws, he said "not that I can recall").  

Anyway, this is the priest - Wayne Ball - who "Homophobe Bob" McDonnell is now living with in a rectory in Richmond. Just when you thought this trial couldn't any more soap opera-ish or bizarre...

P.S. Again, let me just emphasize that I don't have any problem whatsoever with Rev. Ball being gay. I DO have a problem with Bob McDonnell spending his career telling everybody what's right and wrong sexually as well as who they can and can't marry; voting for anti-gay legislation; and generally being a homophobic jerk; and then moving in with a gay priest after moving out with his wife Maureen. Holy hypocrisy alert, Batman!

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