(This nutjob also said it wasn't the "Civil War," it was the "War of Northern Aggression." He'll fit in perfectly at the NRA, no doubt about that! - promoted by lowkell)
Gun fanatics are a key voting block in the Republican party. Without them, Republicans lose almost every election. They are just as important to Exxon, Koch Industries and Monsanto as they are to Colt, Ruger and Smith & Wesson. This well funded, passionate minority has been winning the battles in Congress and they are today launching a war against gun control at the NRA convention in Houston, Texas. We have tip toed around them for too long, trying not to activate them too much. Well guess what? They are all in and we have nothing left to lose but the lives of our children and families if we do nothing. We have been far too polite for too long and the time has come for a full court press to call them out at every opportunity. Gun fanatics are idiots and they are being used to protect the wealthiest few in this country. I hope that all of us are ready to take them on.
New NRA President Fantasizes About "Whipping" Anti-Gun Opponents
The White House statement is on the "flip." The bottom line: "While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression...The household survey showed that the unemployment rate edged down from 7.6 percent in March to 7.5 percent in April, the lowest rate since December 2008." Not too bad for that wild-eyed "socialist" in the White House, eh? :) I'd also point out that the stock market is now at record highs. Can you imagine how the economy and the stock market would have been with John McCain and Sarah Palin (or Romney/Ryan, god forbid) in the White House? Shudddder.
By the way, given that the White House is apparently too polite to point it out, the economic progress we've made since George W. Bush (aka, "worst president since Hoover") left office has been an overwhelmingly Democratic effort. To the extent Republicans have had anything to do with it since 2009, it's been to vote against crucial economic recovery measures, to hold the economy hostage (and seriously jeopardize our country's credit ratings) to their insane demands on what's supposed to be (and has been for decades) a routine increase in the debt ceiling, played a huge role in imposing the FUBAR sequester on our country, blocking needed investments in our country's infrastructure (and, hence, our economic future), slashing the public work force (e.g., teachers, cops, firefighters) at the state levels, and generally pushing for austerity programs when the exact opposite is needed.
Yet despite all the Republican efforts to deny President Obama a second term (yet another Republican #FAIL), the economy continues to recover, thanks to Democratic policies. And, again, no thanks to Republicans, who should all be "rewarded" for their disgraceful behavior by being show to the exits in November 2014.
P.S. Thanks largely to Republicans, since January 2009, "we've lost three-quarters of a million public sector jobs" as "austerity is dragging down the economy as a whole."
The following statement is from the Terry McAuliffe for Governor campaign, regarding this breaking news ("Judge rules Cuccinelli can withdraw from chef's case"). Meanwhile, Cuccinelli himself remains in hiding somewhere, terrified of showing his face or opening his (big) mouth. Of course, given the insane stuff Cuccinelli routinely spews, it might not be a bad idea to keep him in hiding for the entire campaign.
Just a few minutes ago, a judge ruled that Ken Cuccinelli's conflict of interest prevents him from doing his job. Unfortunately, the Attorney General was apparently too busy to attend his own hearing. Other than a Friday night news dump where video and audio were banned, Cuccinelli has consistently avoided making himself available to the press and the public.
Meanwhile, Terry McAuliffe conducted six open-press events across the Commonwealth just this week. He's been hearing about ideas for workforce development from community college officials and answering questions from reporters.
Ken Cuccinelli has created a consistent pattern during this campaign: hiding from the press and refusing to answer basic questions about his growing ethics scandal and his extremist effort to shut down women's health centers in Virginia. In fact, the only public statements Cuccinelli has made are attacking a ban on gifts to elected officials and attacking an independent Virginia ethics commission.
P.S. Gotta love this part of the Post story: "instead of appointing Prince William Commonwealth's Attorney Paul Ebert - as Cuccinelli's office had recommended - she asked Norfolk prosecutor Greg Underwood (D) to pick up the case." LOL
Here are a few Virginia (and national) news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, May 2. Also check out the video of LG candidate Aneesh Chopra's speech last night at the Arlington County Democratic Committee monthly meeting.
Arlington County School Board incumbent James Lander and challenger Barbara Kanninen shake hands after delivering their closing statements before a packed room at the Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting earlier this evening. Also see the "flip" for videos of their closing statements. I'll upload more videos when they're available. Bottom line: they both did fine, nothing particularly heated as far as I could observe, basically a civil discussion about the future of public schools in Arlington. What a concept! :) Oh, and don't forget to vote next Thursday (7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Drew Model School) or Saturday (11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School) in the Arlington Democrats' endorsement caucus.
Richmond, VA – Aside from his “no cameras or recorders” Friday afternoon media availability last week, at which the candidate admitted to thousands of dollars in unreported Star Scientific gifts, the Cuccinelli campaign has gone to great lengths to keep their candidate from explaining his ethical lapses to Virginians.
That hide and seek approach raises the question of whether Cuccinelli will step into public tomorrow at 2:00pm to argue his motion to recuse himself from the embezzlement trial of former Governor’s mansion chef Todd Schneider in Richmond Circuit Court.
Ken Cuccinelli won’t resign because he says he made a promise to be Attorney General for 4 years. Will he be bothered to be the Attorney General tomorrow in court when the time comes to explain why he can’t be the Attorney General in Todd Schneider’s embezzlement case?
Faith communities, colleges, schools, local governments and non-profits will find it easier to "go solar" under a law that takes effect in Virginia on July 1. Eligible customers will be able to install solar panels or wind turbines with little or no upfront cost, paying only for the electricity the systems provide. This arrangement, known as a third-party power purchase agreement (PPA), has been the driver for most of the solar projects in the U.S. in recent years, but prior to this year utilities had blocked its use in most of Virginia.
The new law creates a two-year pilot program allowing customers of Dominion Virginia Power to install projects as large as 1 megawatt (1,000 kilowatts) using PPAs financed by private companies. Projects must have a minimum size of 50 kilowatts, so the program can be used by many commercial customers but excludes homeowners, whose solar PV systems more typically fall in the 4-to-8 kilowatt size.
Importantly, however, the 50-kilowatt minimum does not apply to tax-exempt entities. PPAs are one of the only ways available for tax-exempt entities to benefit from the federal 30% tax credit for renewable energy systems; a tax-paying investor actually owns the system and uses the credits, passing along the savings to the customer. Thus the program could open up a new solar market in Virginia focused on what might be considered a natural vanguard for renewable energy: houses of worship, colleges, schools and nonprofits.
PPAs also offer an advantage over buying solar panels outright: even though the solar system is on the customer's roof, someone else actually installs, owns and maintains it. That means less hassle for the customer and no upfront capital cost. The customer only has to pay for the solar power that's produced. With prices for solar systems having fallen dramatically in recent years, customers will generally be able to buy solar energy under a PPA for no more than they now pay for power from non-renewable sources.
State Senator Mark Herring comes in at around 5:40 of the video. Here's an excerpt:
...So, part of the issue is that the facts that the Governor was giving were not very forthcoming, and that the Attorney General who might have otherwise been a position to investigate couldn't do it because he's knee-deep in this too. [Attorney General Cuccinelli] didn't disclose his ownership interest in this company when he should have. So he had to recuse himself from the tax case that he had been handling with the same company for a year or two. And he had an ownership interest in the company that was itself undisclosed. And now, just recently, we learned that the Attorney General had accepted lavish gifts as well - vacations at a lake house - and didn't disclose it, and we just now learn about it, so that's why this investigation has to be done.
Man, what a mess. Which is exactly why we need to put someone with the integrity, seriousness, knowledge, and courage or Mark Herring in the Attorney General's office to clean it up, starting in January 2014.
(A helpful endorsement for Aneesh Chopra (who I'm supporting), especially since he's from Northern Virginia and his Democratic opponent, Ralph Northam, is from the Hampton Roads area. - promoted by lowkell)
HAMPTON, VA - Today, Molly Ward, Mayor of the City of Hampton, endorsed Aneesh Chopra for Virginia Lt. Governor. Ward, who is currently serving in her second term as Mayor, praised Chopra's vision for Virginia's future.
"Aneesh's positive vision for Virginia is exactly what we need," said Ward. "He knows we must turn the page on the politics of the past and work to respect and empower all Virginians. He represents the future of politics in the Commonwealth, where we dedicate ourselves to finding innovative new ways to address our greatest challenges."
"As a Mayor in the Hampton Roads area, I am confident that Aneesh Chopra will be a Lt. Governor who represents all corners of the Commonwealth," Ward continued. "His experience working for Governor Kaine and President Obama have prepared him to be an effective leader on day one."
Upon receiving the endorsement, Chopra said, "I am honored and excited to have the support of Mayor Ward. She has been an incredible leader for Hampton and I am thrilled to work with her to move Virginia forward."
Ward joins a growing list of Virginia mayors in endorsing Chopra, including most recently Mayor Dwight Jones of Richmond.
Nixon going to China has become one of the biggest cliches in politics. But like many cliches, it reveals a fundamental truth: the power of a politician playing against his own stereotype -- and changing history in the process.
Terry McAuliffe presently faces a problem and an opportunity that both can be solved by his own "trip to China." The problem is that his reputation is that of a big-money inside-the-Beltway fundraiser. By sheer coincidence, the opportunity also involves campaign cash -- the Star-gate scandal that is presently eating both Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli alive. This whole scandal has exposed how weak and ineffective Virginia's campaign finance laws really are -- and how unlikely it is that Republicans will be the ones to change them.
The solution is one that Terry's campaign has just begun to hit on -- make him the leader who finally brings real campaign finance reform to the Commonwealth. What better person to lead that charge than one of the great fundraisers in recent political history? By making this a major campaign issue, Terry can leave his past behind him and embrace a future as the reformist governor that Virginia so desperately needs.
And this is one of those happy instances where good policy also represents good politics, since every mention of the legal and ethical woes of the current Republican governor and the AG who seeks to replace him only helps make the Democrats' case.
Here are a few Virginia (and national) news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, May 1. Also check out Terry McAuliffe's first television advertisement of the campaign, "Youngest of Four," a positive ad which will air statewide starting tomorrow. Go Terry!
...the federal government-which means taxpayers-spent $136 billion total from fiscal year 2011 to fiscal year 2013 on disaster relief. This adds up to an average of nearly $400 per household per year.
Nearly all of this disaster spending was for relief and recovery from these and other smaller natural disasters. Most of these disasters are symptomatic of the man-made climate change resulting from massive amounts of carbon emissions and other pollutants in the atmosphere, which warm the oceans and the Earth. As climate change accelerates, so will federal spending on disaster relief and recovery, which will ultimately be paid for by taxpayers.
The nearly $400 per household spent annually over the past three years could be the beginning of a very costly future as climate-related extreme weather multiplies. This issue brief explores federal spending on disaster relief and offers up recommendations for how we can respond to the potential growth in these expenditures.
So, let's get this story straight. The fossil fuel companies make enormous profits and receive huge taxpayer subsidies. At the same time, they spew enormous amounts of pollution that fuels climate change and intensifies storm severity and damage. Then, we the taxpayers get to shell out of our wallets to clean up the disasters the fossil fuel companies helped create. Great deal, huh? No, didn't think so. Instead, how about the fossil fuel companies reimburse taxpayers some or all of the $136 billion spent between 2011 and 2013 on disaster relief? And, going forward, how about the fossil fuel companies pay for the damages their pollution contributes to, especially as long as they continue to wallow at the taxpayer-funded government trough. Deal?
True, in some ways (corruption, bribery) Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is becoming a lot like disgraced (and convicted) former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But in terms of accomplishments while in office, McDonnell is actually much worse than Blagojevich. Here are a dozen examples of how Blagojevich kicks McDonnell's butt. Seriously, can you think of anything McDonnell's accomplished in any of the following areas that even comes close to what Gov. Blagojevich accomplished? I mean, heck, they are/were both totally corrupt, but at least Blagojevich improved things for a lot of people in his state. McDonnell? Well he did...uh...then he...and...uh....
1. "All Kids" Health Care (11/15/05): "Surrounded by elementary students and parents, lawmakers, health care providers and children's advocates at Nathan Hale School in Chicago, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today signed the landmark All Kids plan into law, making Illinois the only state in the nation to provide affordable, comprehensive health insurance for every child in the state."
2. Minimum Wage Increased (11/18/06): "Governor Blagojevich signs groundbreaking legislation to increase minimum wage in Illinois - Nearly 650,000 Illinois workers to benefit as minimum hourly wage increases to $7.50; Wage to reach $8.25 by 2010"
3. Preschool for All (7/25/06): "Gov. Blagojevich signs groundbreaking Preschool for All legislation - Illinois becomes the first state in nation to give all three- and four-year-olds the opportunity to attend preschool"
4. Illinois Warriors Assistance Program (1/29/08): "Governor Rod R. Blagojevich was joined today by Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) Tammy Duckworth, Director of the Illinois Healthcare and Family Services Barry Maram, representatives from the Illinois Psychiatric Society, the Brain Injury Association of Illinois, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, and local veterans to launch the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program. The Illinois Warrior Assistance Program is a first in the nation program that will screen returning Illinois National Guard members for a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while offering TBI screening to all Illinois veterans, and a 24-hour toll-free psychological helpline for veterans suffering from symptoms associated with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)."
5. Global Warming (11/15/07): "Governor Rod R. Blagojevich and the governors of Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin today signed the Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, strengthening his commitment to fight global warming in Illinois and throughout the Midwest. This historic agreement aims to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) in Illinois and across the region. The Accord will help achieve the goal Gov. Blagojevich announced in February to reduce GHGs in Illinois to 1990 levels by 2020 and to 60 percent below 1990 levels by 2050."
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