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Finish the Phrase: Virginia Republicans Don't Shave In Order to...

by: lowkell

Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 17:12:48 PM EDT

...deny poor people health care coverage? protest that their OWN PARTY is blocking a budget because they are suffering from severe Obama Derangement Syndrome? look super creepy for no good reason? other? Add your phrase finisher to the comments section if you are so inspired! :)

P.S. For more on Tag Greason, click here. LOL

Discuss :: (10 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Mar 19, 2014 at 06:38:10 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, March 19. By the way, that endorsement of Barbara Comstock by far-right-wing hate radio host Mark Levin says it all about her. And none of it is good.

*If Not a Cold War, Then a Return to a Chilly Rivalry
*A Startlingly Simple Theory About the Missing Malaysia Airlines Jet (That does make a lot of sense, actually!)
*GOP health plan could be road to nowhere (Replace "could" with "would definitely be")
*Warner says he'll support bipartisan Marketplace Virginia
*Schapiro: Virginia's very profitable road to nowhere (This thing is environmentally destructive AND unnecessary AND a boondoggle AND....just kill it.)
*2001 fraud judgment overshadows Chatman's 'Friend of Oprah' campaign for House seat ("But her announcement that Winfrey would host a fundraiser for her in Arlington County this spring was overshadowed Tuesday by revelations that Chatman was found liable in 2001 for her role in a scheme to defraud hundreds of District nursing home employees of at least $1.4 million in owed wages.")
*Va. senator likens health care law to 'tar baby'
*Gov. McAuliffe uses first veto against "guns in cars" bill ("The bill intended to clarify that people without concealed-weapon permits can keep guns in their vehicles if secured in an internal compartment that isn't locked.")
*'Peas in a Pod' Attempts to Link Comstock to Marshall in District 10 Race (They're both far-right-wing nuts.)
*Medicaid battle comes home ("'Us vs. Them' was the name of the game Tuesday in Southside as Republicans and Democrats once again clashed over Medicaid expansion in Virginia.")
*State's FOIA law to get two-year review ("The last time the state's Freedom of Information Act was rewritten, the use of email was still relatively new.")
*New PAC offers 'private' access to Va. Gov. McAuliffe for as little as $50K (I hate our campaign finance system and support public financing, but isn't this kind of thing done routinely by both Republicans and Democrats?)
*Same-sex military couples won't benefit from new Virginia law
*Barker: Fracking in the GW forest would be harmful
*Judge denies another of McDonnell's motions
*Virginia Beach may be attracted to maglev after all
*McAuliffe expects Duke Energy to pay for coal ash spill ("Gov. Terry McAuliffe said Tuesday he expects Duke Energy to fully compensate Virginia for a massive coal ash spill into the Dan River that turned collection basins at Danville's water treatment plant gray.")
*After drizzle moves on, thaw moves in ("There's finally some warmer, sunny - and breezy - days ahead.")

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Speaking of Polls and Trolls

by: Dan Sullivan

Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 15:45:02 PM EDT

 photo 140318GoodlatteObamacarepoll_2_zps3ed5de36.jpgMy Congressperson, term limit posterchild, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va 6th) has a poll on his website asking "Do you support Obamacare?" It is smack in the middle of the page, just to the left of "The Gross National Debt" counter. Great to see he has his thumb on "constituency" hot buttons.

I hope you will visit his site to provide a more balanced survey for his staff of researchers. As you probably know, Bob panders to the Tea Party at every turn. These kinds of "scientific" ploys provide the cover that allow him and others like him to fabricate the fa├žade of representation.

By the way, a Roanoke Zip code is 24017; one for Staunton is 24401.

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Chatman for Congress Campaign Issues Statement on "Fraudulent Conveyance" Appeal She Lost in 2003

by: lowkell

Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 14:53:58 PM EDT

Earlier today, I reached out to the Lavern Chatman for Congress campaign for comment on something troubling that's been floating around. "Floating around out there" includes chatter among multiple 8th CD political operatives, as well as forwarded emails about a court case and at least one Facebook posting on the subject. Personally, I hadn't known anything about this until very recently. What is "this" exactly? See below for excerpts from the court ruling, in which "Appellant, Lavern Chatman, seeks reversal of the trial court's decision to hold her jointly and severally liable for $1.4 million in punitive damages because of her involvement in a fraudulent conveyance." In the end, the judge affirmed a previous "finding of liability, based on sufficient evidence of malice, and...sustain{ed} the court's decision to award punitive damages in some amount" against Chatman.

In sum, the court found that Chatman helped Roy Littlejohn, "a longtime friend and associate" with "a friendship and business relationship spanning fifteen years," to avoid paying his 297 employees (of J.B. Johnson Nursing Home) $1,447,651.99 in wages. In addition, Chatman was found by the court to have allowed Littlejohn to "transfer" his assets to her in a manner the court found to be illegal and malicious, the aim of which was to help Littlejohn evade the court judgment that he pay the back wages.

Here's an excerpt from the D.C. Court of Appeals' ruling on September 4, 2003:

After a three-day non-jury trial, the court found appellant and Roy Littlejohn liable on all three counts of the complaint, but also found that "the evidence was not sufficient to show that Mrs. Littlejohn was involved in the fraudulent transfer ...." The court explicitly rejected appellant's testimony, finding it to be "patently incredible." It further found that "the papers drawn up by the parties were entirely bogus, and that anyone with Ms. Chatman's background and sophistication knew it." The court was therefore satisfied that "the plaintiffs have demonstrated by the preponderance of the evidence that the two were engaged in a civil conspiracy to defraud."

The court also found appellant and Littlejohn jointly and severally liable for $1.4 million in punitive damages, ruling that there was "clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Littlejohn and Ms. Chatman acted with evil motive, actual malice and with willful disregard for the rights of the plaintiffs." The court characterized their behavior as "outrageous and grossly fraudulent," especially considering the disparity in wealth between appellant and Littlejohn and the "people whom they scammed." The court also described the transaction as a "deliberate scheme to get around a lawful judgment," and stated that in its opinion "each defendant needs to be punished for their conduct [and] each defendant needs to serve as an example to prevent others from acting in a similar way."

There's More... :: (7 Comments, 687 words in story)

Poll Results: Who Will Be the Next 8th CD Candidate to Drop Out?

by: lowkell

Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 13:58:42 PM EDT

I posted a poll on this subject a few days ago, and as you can see, it got just 50 votes. Apparently, people aren't particularly excited about who the next 8th CD candidate to drop out (after Mark Sickles) will be. ;)  Also, note that someone (who could it possibly be? LOL) had a bit of fun with the poll, encouraging 12 people to vote for Don Beyer. Now, I may not be a political genius or anything, but one thing I can absolutely guarantee is that Don Beyer will not - repeat, NOT! - be the next candidate to drop out of this race. In fact, I can't imagine him ever dropping out of this race, given the fact that he's the frontrunner by pretty much everyone's estimation.

Other than the anti-Beyer poll "trolling," people seem to feel that Derek Hyra and Bill Euille might be the next to drop out. I actually don't think either is likely, and am increasingly inclined towards the choice of 5 voters, that nobody else will drop out. On the other hand, I got an email the other day from a smart, elected Democratic official, who predicted that "March 31-April 15 will be the Great Sorting Out," as "that's when financial reality will sink in." I tend to agree that if one of the 12 candidates is going to drop out, that certainly would be a good time to do it if they're gaining no traction on the fundraising front (and especially if their lack of fundraising is matched by lack of any other tangible signs of momentum). Stay tuned, as April 15 isn't very far away.

By the way, if you're keeping track of straw polls, so far the results have been:

*Mt. Vernon Democrats Mardi Gras Party (3/1): Don Beyer (105), Lavern Chatman (83), Patrick Hope (81), Mark Sickles (51), Adam Ebbin (42), Charniele Herring (15), Alfonso Lopez (11), Bill Euille (11), Mark Levine (7), Derek Hyra (7), Bruce Shuttleworth (3).

*Frank O'Leary's St. Patrick's Day Party (3/16): Hope (67), Beyer (37), Ebbin (31), Lopez (14), Chatman (3), Hyra (1), Levine (1), Euille (0), Shuttleworth (0), Najarian (0), Herring (0).

*Gerry Connolly's St. Patrick's Day Fete (3/17): Beyer 127 (34%), Herring 46 (13%), Chatman 44 (12%), Ebbin 41 (11%), Euille/Lopez/Hope 25 each (7% each), Levine 22 (6%), Shuttleworth 4 (1%) Satish Korpe 4 (1%), Najarian 1 (0%), Hyra zero (0%).

Do these straw polls mean anything? That debate could go on endlessly, but I definitely don't see a definitive case one way or the other. What do you think?

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Virginia Fails to Make "March Madness" Solar Power, That Is

by: lowkell

Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 13:10:59 PM EDT

Courtesy of Greentech Media, notice which state is NOT in this "March Madness" bracket? That's right, Virginia. And notice which states ARE in this bracket? That's right, our neighbors North Carolina, Tennessee, and Maryland, as well as more northern states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York. Why is Virginia most definitively NOT the "Energy Capital of the East Coast" when it comes to solar power? Very simple: our state's policies are godawful: no serious or mandatory Renewable Portfolio Standard; no effective net metering; no serious tax incentives for homeowners and businesses to install (or lease) solar PV on their roofs; and basically a bought-and-paid-for General Assembly that does whatever Dominion Power tells them to do. The result? Virginia's losing out to other states within our country, not to mention other countries, in the race to take advantage what is fast becoming of one of the leading energy sources of the 21st century. #FAIL

P.S. Minnesota shows how its done: coming up with a "formula for calculating the value of customer-generated solar power," putting  place "a PV and thermal incentive program," possibly adopting a "third party financing law." Where's Virginia on any of this stuff? AWOL. :(

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:54:30 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, March 18. Also check out the video of Rep. Gerry Connolly mocking Rep. Darrel Issa for being the "gift that keeps on giving," and also for violating both the 1st and 5th amendment in one fell swoop the other day.

*Russia's Putin to lay out his plans for Crimea
*A big-bang theory gets a big boost (Uh oh, what are the biblical literalists/religious fundamentalists going to do? Oh yeah, of course...deny science as they always do!)
*Democrats should play offense on Obamacare ("Here is what Democrats should learn from their party's loss in a special House election in Florida last week: Wishy-washy won't work.")
*Putin Recognizes Crimea Secession, Defying the West
*Science Deniers Are Freaking Out About "Cosmos" ("They're ticked off about its treatment of evolution, climate change, and the Big Bang. (As usual, they're wrong.")
*Marketplace Enrollment Hits 5 Million Milestone (Not counting the millions added via Medicaid expansion, which we need in Virginia by the way!)
*AG Herring announces two-week public safety tour (Herring spoke last night at Gerry Connolly's St. Patrick's Day "fete".)
*Democrats back Foust to run for Wolf's seat
*Our view: Inching along on online sales ("Easy and equitable sales tax rules are essential for the digital age. It's time to stop spitballing ideas and put legislation on the table for a vote")
*The morass on U.S. 460 ("Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his secretary of transportation, Aubrey Layne, have spent their first two months on a task they shouldn't have had: mopping up messes left by their predecessors.")
*McAuliffe forms 'Common Good VA' PAC
*Va. benefits law won't help same-sex military couples
*Suspended Va. road project attracts scrutiny ("Despite $250 million already spent on the highway, there is no pavement in place and permits aren't secured.")
*Loudoun County hosts real estate firms, architects in its $2 million R**skins suite
*Attorneys for former Virginia governor, prosecutors take bitter haggling to court
*'He didn't seem like a threatening person, just a little disturbed' ("Alexandria eccentric is held in W.Va. without bond as authorities probe whether he is tied to killings.")
*Whatever Happened To ... Glenn Nye ("These days, Nye, 39, lives in Manhattan with his wife, Stephanie Lundberg Nye, a public relations executive...He spends much of his time traveling the United States and overseas as a business development specialist for Palantir Technologies.")
*Plow clears snow on the wrong side of the road
*Over 7 inches officially in D.C.: Third biggest late-March snow on record (I have SO had it with this winter!)

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Video: Don Beyer Wins Gerry Connolly's St. Patrick's Day Straw Poll

by: lowkell

Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 21:37:59 PM EDT

Here's video of Rep. Gerry Connolly announcing the results from tonight's St. Patrick's Day "fete" and straw poll. With about 400 ballots cast, Don Beyer won with 35%, Charniele Herring finished 2nd with 13%, Lavern Chatman was 3rd with 12%, Adam Ebbin was 4th with 11%, Bill Euille and Alfonso Lopez tied for 5th at 7%, Mark Levine was 7th at 6%, and Bruce Shuttleworth and Satish Korpe were tied for 8th at 1%. Since they weren't mentioned in the vote total, Patrick Hope, Nancy Najarian and Derek Hyra presumably didn't get any votes. More video to follow in the comments section of this post...

P.S. I just realized that if you add up the percentages, you only get 93%, leaving 7% unaccounted for. Hmmmmm...mystery!

UPDATE Tuesday morning: I got the full results of the straw poll. With 364 ballots cast, it was Beyer 127 (34%), Herring 46 (13%), Chatman 44 (12%), Ebbin 41 (11%), Euille/Lopez/Hope with 25 each (7% each), Levine 22 (6%), Shuttleworth 4 (1%) and Korpe 4 (1%). Nancy Najarian got 1 vote (0%) and Derek Hyra got zero votes (0%).

Discuss :: (14 Comments)

10th District Democrats Cancel Convention, Coalesce Around John Foust

by: lowkell

Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 15:03:39 PM EDT

The following press release is from the Virginia 10th CD Democratic Committee.

ASHBURN, Va. (March 17, 2014) - The Tenth Congressional District Democratic Committee (10th CDDC) announced today it has cancelled its April 26th convention after Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust became the only candidate to file to seek the Democratic nomination for Congress. Committee Chairman Charlie Jackson said the move will give Democrats an edge in building widespread district support for Foust before a Republican nominee is named.

"To win this race in November we needed to avoid a costly primary and coalesce around a nominee as soon as possible," Jackson said. "We've done that and we couldn't be happier that John Foust will become our nominee and have the ability to hit the ground running right away as our standard bearer. Foust will have more than a month head start on the eventual Republican nominee, and we expect he will take advantage."  

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 262 words in story)

Please Listen to Me

by: Andy Schmookler

Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 14:44:11 PM EDT

[This piece is the first of a series with which, along with the series of talks described below, I am launching my new campaign to change the national conversation.]

Please listen to me if you want to turn back the force that's taken over the Republican Party.

Please listen to me if you've been frustrated by the failure of the Democrats to call out the Republican Party for what it has become:

A force that's insatiable in its lust for power and wealth.

Even though we have the greatest income inequality that we've had in living memory, this force works continually to widen that gap still further.  All their budgetary proposals take from average Americans to give more to those who already have the most. As they protect those who have tripled their share of our national income, they cut food stamps to the most vulnerable Americans at a time when jobs are scarce and even the middle class is struggling.

In the realm of political power, this force has given us a Supreme Court that's handed down that disgraceful decision in Citizens United, making it still easier for the nation's widening inequalities of wealth to be translated into inequalities of political power.  With our government put up for auction, "All men are created equal" gets swamped by the Almighty Dollar. The Republicans have been working to turn our government from one "by the people" one by those giant so-called "persons" that make up the corporate world.

A force that makes a fight over everything.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 887 words in story)

Virginia GOP Backs Firearms Background Check Bill? Say What?

by: AndyG

Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 11:23:18 AM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

As hard as it may seem to believe, there was a firearms background check bill that sailed through the Virginia General Assembly this year, with unanimous/bipartisan support. So, how did that amazing thing come about? Let me explain, but let's start with a little background.

Since the Brady background check system came into being in the late 1990's, just over 2.1 million people - who had lost their right to own firearms due to felony convictions, severe mental illness etc. - were prevented from buying guns from licensed dealers. In all these cases, the buyers had to fill out forms and voluntarily subject themselves to a background check, which they failed and were then denied the gun purchase. However, during the same time period, an unknown number of ineligible buyers were able to purchase guns from "private" or unlicensed sellers without having to divulge even the most basic identifying data, such as name, age or state of residency. Estimates vary slightly, but the volume of sales transacted by unlicensed sellers is thought to be about 40% of all gun sales. The pro-gun lobby would have us believe that, despite the fact that millions of licensed dealer sales have been blocked, due to the buyer not being eligible, felons, mentally ill people and other prohibited individuals do not take advantage of this huge, unregulated marketplace to obtain guns that they have no legal right to own.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 722 words in story)

Video: Alan Howze Speaks at Frank O'Leary's St. Patrick's Day Party (3/16/14)

by: lowkell

Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 21:36:48 PM EDT

Alan Howze is the Democratic nominee in the Arlington County Board special election scheduled for April 8. His main opponent is John Vihstadt, who over the years has donated thousands of dollars to Republican candidates like George W. Bush, McCain/Palin, and Romney/Ryan. Vihstadt has been endorsed by the Arlington Republican Party for County Board. In stark contrast, Alan Howze is a strong progressive and dedicated Democrat who will do a great job on the board. Go Alan!

P.S. I've heard from multiple sources about a poll showing Howze ahead, but under 50% (ergo, vulnerable to losing if Democrats don't show up on April 8). I also see Vihstadt signs all over Arlington in people's yards, which to me indicates that his supporters (those angry at the board, pretty much) have the intensity. And remember, "intensity" is key to turnout, particularly in low-turnout special elections. So...yes, we really could lose to a freakin' Republican in Arlington! Time for the 8th CD Democratic candidates, plus the Democrats on the Arlington County Board, to really kick it into high gear for Alan Howze.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning (St. Patrick's Day Snowstorm Edition)

by: lowkell

Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 06:42:23 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise (e.g., meteorological), for Monday, March 17. Happy snowy St. Patrick's Day!

*Crimeans vote to leave Ukraine, join Russia (Well, that's a shocker huh?)
*Crimea parliament declares independence (Another non-shocker.)
*Malaysia asks for satellite data from 22 nations ("U.S. officials express frustration that Malaysia had not asked for more help from the FBI in investigating the jet's disappearance.")
*The politics of hopelessness ("Obama and his party are in danger of allowing the Republicans to set the terms of the 2014 elections, just as they did four years ago...The hope-and-change guy needs to have one more act in him.")
*Krugman: That Old-Time Whistle ("Just to be clear, there's no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist, and his dog-whistle may not even have been deliberate. But it doesn't matter. He said what he said because that's the kind of thing conservatives say to each other all the time. And why do they say such things? Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.")
*Pelosi Will Not Apologize To Cantor For Calling Republicans Mean (Why should she, it's 100% true. Also add "crazy" and "extremist.")
*Obama-bashing, government-shrinking the themes at 10th District GOP debate (Bunch of Obama Derangement Syndrome, right-wing wackos.)
*Science, data and weather trends ("Nobody has time to argue - and argue again - over settled questions about whether warming is occurring at all." Nope, it's long past time for big-time ACTION on this, not delay and denial.)
*Once a rarity, heroin overdoses soar in South Hampton Roads
*Can a Republican win in Arlington? ("None of the candidates or political organizations have conducted polling on the race." Patricia Sullivan's dead wrong about this; I was told by several good sources that there WAS a poll done, which showed a pretty nice lead for Howze but under 50% - so he most definitely could lose to big-time Republican donor Vihstadt.)
*Virginia wins ACC tournament: Cavs are conference champs for first time since 1976
*D.C. area forecast: Snow gradually diminishes today, after overnight blitz (UPDATES); temps moderate late week

Discuss :: (14 Comments)

Video: Patrick Hope Wins Frank O'Leary's St. Patrick's Day Straw Poll; Don Beyer 2nd

by: lowkell

Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 19:12:51 PM EDT

The 8th CD straw poll concluded a few minutes ago at Arlington County Treasurer Frank O'Leary's St. Patrick's Day party. The results, with 154 ballots cast, were (as announced by ACDC Chair Kip Malinosky):

Patrick Hope (67), Don Beyer (37), Adam Ebbin (31), Alfonso Lopez (14), Lavern Chatman (3), Derek Hyra (1), Mark Levine (1), Bill Euille (0), Bruce Shuttleworth (0), Nancy Najarian (0). I'm not sure how many votes Charniele Herring got, because Kip Malinosky didn't announce anything for her. I'll check...UPDATE - I've confirmed with Kip Malinosky that Charniele Herring received zero votes in the straw poll. Also, there were about 200 people in attendance at the event, but not everyone voted in the straw poll.

P.S. Video of the speeches coming later.

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

NASA-Backed Study: Polluter Tyranny May Destroy Civilization

by: TheGreenMiles

Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 07:03:20 AM EDT

A new study backed by NASA warns that, much like the Romans and Mayans before us, our elite power brokers may be driving us towards a cliff as the 1% vacuums up wealth and natural resources:
The NASA-funded HANDY model offers a highly credible wake-up call to governments, corporations and business - and consumers - to recognise that 'business as usual' cannot be sustained, and that policy and structural changes are required immediately.

Although the study is largely theoretical, a number of other more empirically-focused studies - by KPMG and the UK Government Office of Science for instance - have warned that the convergence of food, water and energy crises could create a 'perfect storm' within about fifteen years. But these 'business as usual' forecasts could be very conservative.

Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed details how past empires kept driving towards the cliff, even when the edge was in sight. It happens in part because the people at the top & in charge are wealthy enough to insulate themselves from the crisis until collapse is almost complete.
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 196 words in story)
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