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Video: Extremist Theocrat Marion "Pat" Robertson *Hearts* Gillespie's, Comstock's BFF Bobby Jindal

by: lowkell

Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 12:56:42 PM EDT

Why am I not surprised that extremist theocrat Marion "Pat" Robertson - the guy who said that non-Christians are "termites;" that Episcopalians, Presbyterians and Methodists are in the "spirit of the Antichrist;" that Islam is "violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world, and world domination;" that Hinduism is "demonic;" that feminism is "a "socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians;" that a man complaining that his wife didn't "respect" him should "'move to Saudi Arabia,' where beating his wife would be permissible by law;" etc. - would be enamored of the same far-right politician, Bobby Jindal, who Barbara Comstock and Ed Gillespie would also be BFFs with? Shocker, huh?

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Goodlatte, Griffith, Hurt: Do Something!

by: Elaine in Roanoke

Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 20:02:20 PM EDT

Several days ago, the three Republican congressman who "represent" the western half of the state made news when they appealed to the Postal Service not to close Roanoke's regional mail sorting station. It makes good sense not to close that station. The closure would cause 400 postal workers to lose their jobs. Mail destined for southwest Virginia would have to be shipped to Greensboro NC to be sorted and then trucked back to Virginia. However, perhaps those same Republicans should tell citizens exactly why the Postal Service is in such dire fiscal straits that it has to consider draconian measures that would otherwise make no sense.

Bob Goodlatte (R-6th) was a member of Congress in 2006 when both houses, which were under Republican control, passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA). Under that bill, the Postal Service is the only agency of the government that is required to pre-pay future health benefits to retirees and all future pension costs for the next 75 years, and they have to do that in 10 years! That bill totals $103.7 billion. That means they're not just paying for present employees who will retire in the future, but they are also being required to pay for possible future employees before they actually hire them. Plus, none of this money can be used for benefits for employees who are now retired. Oh, no. That additional money also has to be paid by the Postal Service now.

Not only is no government agency or entity required to meet such draconian requirements. No private company is, either. So, the questions I have are these: Who thought up this idea that is guaranteed to bankrupt the Postal Service? Why and how was this law passed? The answers are pretty bad.

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Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 06:25:42 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, August 4. Also, make sure you click on the image and check out the Politico article on the sketchy/slimy group Ed Gillespie played a huge role in.

*Israeli strike kills militant leader before cease-fire
*EPA's plan on climate change fills a void as Congress does nothing (Right, that was always the choice: a) Congressional action, either a carbon tax or cap-and-dividend, cap-and-trade, etc; b) EPA action.)
*Changing the GOP ("Solving U.S. problems means fixing the party." Agreed, which is why I find the current situation so discouraging, as I don't see any signs of the Republicans getting sane again anytime soon.)
*A Historically Unproductive Congress Inches Toward Finish Line (What happens when you put Tea Partiers in charge.)
*Exclusive: Powerhouse GOP group snared in money scheme (Whoops! "The September 2011 report, prepared by the prominent Washington law firm BakerHostetler, was presented to an RSLC board then helmed by former Republican Party Chairman Ed Gillespie - RSLC's chief financial rainmaker starting in 2010 and now a candidate for the U.S. Senate.")
*Issues in Virginia legislative race include abortion, Medicaid, streetcar ("A conservative Republican says he would give Arlington residents a seat at the majority table in Richmond." Bottom line, Dave Foster is a right winger on economics, "social issues," pretty much everything.)
*Virginia VA problems on mend
*Virginia earns the political spotlight for all the wrong reasons
*Person County: N.C.'s coal ash capital (Coal is a filthy fuel, through and through, nothing in any way/shape/form "clean" about it.)
*Ending discrimination ("Same-sex marriage ruling moves Virginia toward the right side of history")
*Casey: UVa gets expert advice on stifling dissent
*Industrial sludge could be headed for farmland in seven counties
*Stephen Strasburg asserts his dominance in Nationals' 4-0 win over the Phillies (Great, now keep doing that please. :))
*A steamy, stagnant start to week; finer and fresher later on

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Cry for Maureen, Virginia

by: Dan Sullivan

Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 09:38:08 AM EDT

All in the Family photo firstFamily_zps5fb5cc0c.jpgEventually there'll be a lesson from the McDonnell trial. For now, though, the revelation is how easily polished politicians can embrace and superimpose parallax and conflicting images without challenge. What we see depends upon where we stand. We too often choose the view that eliminates the discomfort of cognitive dissonance.

You might recall that Bob fashioned himself as a friend of business; the "Jobs Governor." Now that it is convenient, he feigns disinterest in the details of business and investment. Even Jonnie Williams recalls an investment proposal putting the Governor to sleep during a plane ride. Many remark that it is a shame that such a fine man finds himself in this situation and look for someone to blame. Maureen is a convenient straw-woman; for them and for Bob's attorneys. Some say that he is so bright that it is surprising that he was taken in by a snake oil salesman. Others believe that he was simply too trusting. This reflects a public persona that he cultivated along a path of retrofitted accomplishments and, as it turns out, malleable, maybe even bankrupt, fundamental values.

Bob was born with the gift of physical charisma; aka good looks. Many people rely on that gift to advance themselves. If you've got it, flaunt it, so they say. But when there is not sufficient desire to develop internally yet personally ambitious, the alternative to interpersonal and intellectual development is building socio-pathological, manipulative skills. Bob McDonnell's accomplishments were singularly adequate and hardly distinguished but sufficient to pass as achievement among a close knit group of Virginia Beach, then statewide sycophants.  

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Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 06:58:56 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, August 3. Also, check out the photo of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring and the 10th CD's next Congressman John Foust, at Herring's "Ears and Cheers for Volunteers" event yesterday in Leesburg.

*Netanyahu warns Hamas it will pay 'intolerable price' ("The prime minister vows to 'exert as much force as needed' in Gaza, while Israel's military said that a soldier thought captured by Hamas was killed Friday.")
*Nuclear Deal With Russia Is Derailed as Tensions Rise (Not good.)
*How This War Ends ("Unless Hamas or Israel totally defeats the other - unlikely - it is hard for me to see how either side will get out of this war the lasting gains they want without conceding something politically. Israel will have to negotiate in earnest about a withdrawal from the West Bank, and Hamas will have to serve in a Palestinian unity government and forgo violence. I can tell you 17 reasons that this won't happen. I just can't think of one other stable way out.")
*Why Eric Cantor is stepping down early (" early exit from Congress also gives Cantor a head start on the one-year 'cooling-off period' that limits how early former member of Congress can lobby former colleagues in Congress.")
*Ed Gillespie says White House is cutting Navy to pay for Obamacare (We know Gillespie's a pathological liar, but this one's so bad it's rated a "PANTS ON FIRE" lie by PolitiFact Virginia. I'm not surprised.)
*Schapiro: The problematic witness for the prosecution ("Call it The Three Faces of Jonnie.")
*Truth is in the eye of the beholder at the McDonnell trial
*In McDonnell trial, sales pitch from star witness could put off jurors ("Defense attorneys gave Jonnie Williams the chance to paint himself as unreliable, legal experts said.")
*The trial of Bob McDonnell should spur a serious reform of Virginia's ethics laws (Ya think? The question is, can the Dick "We don't need no stinkin ethics laws" Saslaws, Bill "ALEC" Howells of the world bring themselves to do anything meaningful on this subject? I'm highly doubtful.)
*An uneasy mix of family and politics in former Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration
*Ending discrimination ("Same-sex marriage ruling moves Virginia toward the right side of history")
*Sen. Warner, challenger Gillespie both campaign in Lynchburg area
*Today's top opinion: Rainbows (I just wanted to post this as one of the most cringe-inducingly, fawning pieces of drivel I've ever seen in a Virginia newspaper about a politician: according to the Republican Times-Disgrace, the abysmal Eric Can'tor just wrote an "extraordinary column by an extraordinary human being." Yeah, extraordinarily ineffective, incompetent, and injurious to our country.)
*UVa to change a proposal to stifle dissent among Board of Visitors
*4 Democrats seek Marsh's Senate seat (The candidates are Rosalyn R. Dance, Rudy McCollum, Delores L. McQuinn and Gerry Rawlinson. The nominating caucus is this coming Saturday.)
*Silver Line should bring all travelers along for the ride ("New Metro line promises much for commuters and shoppers, but isn't delivering for everyone.")
*D.C. area forecast: Showers should be limited today with higher chances tonight; trending warmer but not hot

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Video: Conservative David Brooks on the "Palinization" of the Republican Party

by: lowkell

Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 06:40:38 AM EDT

From last night's PBS NewsHour. Conservative David Brooks and liberal Mark Shields also pondered the question of who will step up in the Republican Party to take on far-far-far-right-wing Ted Cruz. So far, the answer is "noone."
This is about the Palinization of parts of the GOP. This is not about passing legislation, not about...we should craft some compromise...with the other side. This is about making a statement that will sound good on Fox. And so, they want to make a statement that will sound good on TV or will sound good at a town meeting, but it's not actually about governing...

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I Was Puzzled Why We Can't Have Dedicated Transit Lanes on Columbia Pike, So I Looked Into It...

by: lowkell

Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 15:13:14 PM EDT

In the debate over the proposed Columbia Pike streetcar system, one of the only things that both sides (pro-streetcar and anti-streetcar) appear to have agreed upon to date is that we can't have "dedicated lanes" on Columbia Pike. For pro-"Bus Rapid Transit" (BRT) people, that's a fatal problem of course (even if they won't admit it for whatever strange reason), since true (let alone high-quality) BRT by definition requires a dedicated/exclusive, BRT-only lane. Ergo: no dedicated lane on Columbia Pike (or wherever)=no possibility of BRT on Columbia Pike (or wherever). Just wanted to get that red herring out of the way at the outset...

Meanwhile, for streetcar proponents, the lack of a dedicated lane is perhaps not optimal, all else being equal - although Matthew Yglesias appears to overstate the case by a wide margin, I do agree that we shouldn't kowtow to cars at the expense of either streetcar or BRT or any other form of transit. And yes, I've always assumed that if we could have dedicated lanes on Columbia Pike, it would be superior to putting the streetcar in mixed-use traffic lanes with buses, cars, etc. A no brainer, right? Well, now that I've looked into it, including emails with current and former Arlington County Board members, I'm in fact leaning towards the conclusion that it doesn't really matter much, one way or the other. I'll explain my reasoning, and lay out my research, below.

Again, per Matt Yglesias' article, my main question was why can't we have a dedicated lane on Columbia Pike anyway? Is there some technical issue here? Legal? What? I asked around, and got some answers, and got some contradictory information. Here's what I initially was told by an excellent source who has been closely involved with planning for Columbia Pike over many years.

1. "Short answer: Commonwealth of Virginia won't permit [a dedicated lane on Columbia Pike]. {That was] part of the conditions when Arlington took control of the road."

2. "Incidentally, modeling done during the transit planning analysis indicated little benefit from addition of lanes for transit, mostly because east-west flow is really pretty good on the Pike."

OK, well that sounds innocuous enough. It's also fascinating that an analysis showed little benefit to running the streetcar in dedicated lanes over mixed-use lanes.

Suitably curious, I then proceeded to look up the Memorandum of Agreement between Arlington County and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), signed and approved in late September 2010. The key language appears to be as follows (also see screen shot above right):

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Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 06:30:52 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, August 2. Also see President Obama's weekly address, in which he discusses "the new monthly jobs report and the fact that our economy created over 200,000 new jobs in July for the sixth straight month-the longest streak since 1997."

*Obama readies executive action on immigration (Good: "He's preparing to announce measures that may potentially let millions of illegal immigrants stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation, people who have been in touch with the White House said.")
*GOP upends reason ("This was not a momentary lapse but a wholesale upending of reason.")
*How a 72-hour truce in Gaza fell apart in less than 2 hours ("The U.S. and the U.N., left trying to salvage peace talks scheduled in Cairo, condemned the abduction of an Israeli soldier shortly after the cease-fire began.")
*House GOP Votes To Spurn Obama, Deport Dreamers Before Leaving Town (Republicans demonstrate yet again that they are the crazy, extreme, nasty, mean, xenophobic party. Just utterly disgusting.)
*Obama has called it 'torture' before - why this time was different (What I don't understand is why people haven't been prosecuted for this.)
*Dozens Of Democrats Line Up On House Floor To Stand Up For Children At The Border
*Kaine, other lawmakers, praise passage of VA reform bill
*Cantor's early departure poses elections dilemma ("Larry Sabato, director for the Center of Politics at the University of Virginia, said he sees Cantor's premature exit from public office as a sign that he wants to 'pursue the big money prize awaiting him in the private sector.' 'The bonus is there won't be much public disclosure of his finances once he leaves Congress," Sabato said.'")
*Va GOP leaders issue new calls for treasurer FitzSimmonds to resign
*Back on the stand, star witness says he didn't tell McDonnell of wife's actions
*Williams' memory fades in Day 5 of McDonnell trial
*Gillespie slams Warner over air travel on taxpayer's dime ("The Warner campaign defended the senator's busy schedule." Cheap shot by Gillespie.)
*Former Va. senator James Webb to headline Democratic event in Iowa (Hmmmmm...)
*McAuliffe says Virginia needs to wean itself from military spending
*U-Va. board urged to drop plan to limit dissent
*Contention over Confederate flag drapes Va. community in controversy
*Is Virginia America's Most Corrupt State?
*Virginia county revives debate about domestic drones
*Gov. McAuliffe's opinion about nickname hinges on economics (Charming.)
*Papelbon, Phillies turn back Nationals, 2-1
*Lots of clouds this weekend will keep temperatures in comfortable zone

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PW County Clerk, Employer of Bigoted Extremist RPV Treasurer, Asks for Stay of Gay Marriage Ruling

by: lowkell

Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 17:05:01 PM EDT

First, the breaking news from Markus Schmidt of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Following Monday's landmark appellate court decision to uphold a ruling to strike down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban, one of the defendants in the case has asked the court for a motion to stay the ruling, pending an eventual U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Michele B. McQuigg, circuit court clerk in Prince William County, filed the motion today with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. She also waived her right for a rehearing before the full Court of Appeals, paving the way for a likely Supreme Court review this fall.

Now, why am I not surprised that McQuigg employs extremist bigot - and Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) Treasurer - Bob FitzSimmonds in her office? That's right, FitzSimmonds is Chief Deputy Clerk of Prince William County, just under Michelle McQuigg on the organizational chart. After I broke the initial story of FitzSimmond's anti-Muslim (and anti-Sikh, anti-Animist, and anti-Jain) remarks on Wednesday, I emailed McQuigg to ask her if she had any comment, possibly a condemnation, and unsurprisingly received no response. Of course, if McQuigg didn't take any action - such as firing FitzSimmonds - after his infamous "sexist tw**" remarks, or after this insane interview (in which he talked about "when Obama is 90 years old and he dies and goes to Hell," how he's "not a big fan of contraception," and how pretty soon we'll be handing out morning-after pills "to babies"), then we can only presume that McQuigg - a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1998 to 2008 - agrees with FitzSimmonds. Of course, based on McQuigg's Project Vote Smart ratings (e.g., ZERO from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, ZERO from Planned Parenthood, 100% from the Family Foundation of Virginia), that wouldn't be surprising in the least.

P.S. h/t to Anna Scholl of ProgressVA for catching that one immediately.

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On a Scale of 1-10, How Much Do I Care About the McDonnells' Trial?

by: lowkell

Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 11:20:41 AM EDT

I know, I know, I'm supposed to be utterly enthralled by the trial of Bob and Maureen McDonnell. Scandal! Intrigue! He said! She said! Affair(s)! Or not! Corruption! New York shopping trips! Ferraris! Rolexes! $10,000 wedding gifts!


Sorry, but on a scale of 1-10, where 10 is absolutely rapt attention and 1 is a snoozefest, I'm probably at a 3 or 4 max right now with this pathetic trial of grifters, trashy/shallow/vapid losers, liars and tawdry slimeballs.

Why don't I care? First off, I have never liked soap operas. Or TV. Or gossip about who's dating who in Hollywood. Or tons of stuff that most Americans apparently find fascinating. Sure, there's some "schadenfreude" (great German word) for yet another right-wing "family values" politician (once dubbed "Taliban Bob", by journalist Jim Spencer of the Daily Press, for T-Bob's persecution of a lesbian judge under Virginia's bizarre "crimes against nature" laws) proven to be a massive hypocrite, but other than that...meh.

Second, other than their friends and families (and the high-priced attorneys involved in this case), who cares what happens to the McDonnells at this point? They have no power, nor are they ever likely to have power or a political future again, regardless of the outcome in this case. Why do I say that? Because, even prior to the case itself, the McDonnells' once squeaky-clean image -- one that I never bought but a lot of Virginians did for some strange reason -- was down the toilet bowl and long gone into the sewage treatment plant. The point is, the McDonnells' trial is not like the case of Rod Blagojevich, who was still Governor of Illinois when he "was arrested at his home by federal agents and charged with corruption," followed by the Illinois House voting 114-1 (with three abstentions) to impeach the guy. Now THAT was both dramatic AND had real political implications. In the case of the McDonnells, at this point, I'm not seeing any political implications to them, no matter what happens in this trial.

Third, I actually find the attention being given to the McDonnells' trial to be harmful, in the sense that it's sucking up media oxygen on idiocy and frivolity (the "crush" defense? Maureen staring "raptly" at Jonnie Williams? seriously?!? I know the media loves the "freak show" and frivolity, but just...barf!), while truly important issues are ignored. Most relevant to this case, the issue that we SHOULD be focused on is why Virginia's ethics laws are so pathetically weak (our state received an F grade from the Center for Public Integrity and others), and why it's so hard to get our General Assembly to strengthen them? How about a total ban on all gifts - tangible, in kind; travel, meals, entertainment; whatever - to elected officials? Also note that, as a ProgressVA investigation found, "the law would not have prevented any of the 756 gifts received by lawmakers in 2012." So what are we doing about this situation? More broadly, what are we doing to rein in all the money from corporations, lobbyists, and wealthy individuals that's sloshing around our state government? So far, basically nothing, and this soap opera of Jonnie Williams and the McDonnells isn't moving us any closer in that direction, as far as I can determine.

Finally, while the press is expending significant resources covering this trial's blow-by-blow, he-said-she-said idiocy, there are important elections coming up in Virginia for the House of Delegates and State Senate, which will have serious implications for the balance of power in the latter legislative body. It also would be interesting if some of the journalistic "juice" now focused on the McDonnells' pathetic soap opera could, for instance, take a look at the extreme positions of Dave Brat, or why the Republican Party of Virginia can't seem to (or doesn't want to) get rid of the raving bigot who serves as the party's Treasurer, or a serious review of the damage Eric Can'tor has done to our country during his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, or a million other topics more important than the has-been, will-never-be-again McDonnells.

So yeah, as a Virginia political blogger, I guess I'm supposed to be watching this trial with rapt attention. Yet for the reasons listed above, and more, I just can't bring myself to care that much.

P.S. If you DO care about this trial, Del. Scott Surovell has some thoughts on week #1 (gack, only week #1?!?). Enjoy (?).

Discuss :: (11 Comments)

Why Is the World "a Mess"?

by: Andy Schmookler

Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 12:56:57 PM EDT

"To put it mildly," former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the other day, "the world is a mess." With crises in the Ukraine and Gaza and Syria and Iraq, among other places, it is hard to quarrel with Ms. Albright's assessment.

Which raises the question: Why? What is it that accounts for a marked rise in the level of disorder in the world?

Let us consider first those possible explanations that emphasize the American role in this growing disorder. The premise here -- and it is one I think is substantially valid -- is that the United States has played such a pivotal role in the creation and management of the order of the world since World War II that anything that damages the American performance in that role can readily ramify into problems in the international order.

One theory is that this disorder is the result of the inept conduct of foreign policy by the man who has been president of the United States for the past five and a half years, Barack Obama.

This is the theory pushed by the Republicans, of course. But as I argued in a recent piece, "You Can't Tell Time by a Stopped Clock, we can discount whatever the Republicans say against this president, because they attack him over everything.

However, it is not only Republicans who have expressed criticisms of Obama's handling of foreign policy. Other more honest critics have faulted his handling of the Israeli-Arab problems-- and if one ends up distrusted by both sides, that does seem a sign of less than brilliant diplomacy. Criticism from serious people has also been directed at Obama's handling of the Syrian civil war.

My own assessment -- as one who worked in the international relations field in an earlier era, but who does not have in depth knowledge of world affairs currently -- is that Obama's performance has been adequate overall, if not masterful. (I'd guess he deserves something like a B-.) It has rarely been obvious to me that, whatever the difficulties with the course the president has taken, there were any better options available to him.

In any case, Obama's performance in navigating the United States in world affairs has plainly been far superior to that of his predecessor, George W. Bush (and his for-a-while de facto foreign-policy-president Dick Cheney).  

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 629 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 06:41:30 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, August 1. Also check out the photo (click to "embiggen") following yesterday's press conference with 48th HoD district Democratic nominee Rip Sullivan and others explaining why a vote for Republican Dave Foster is a vote against women's health and right to control their own bodies in Virginia.

*Bush-Era EPA Administrator Baffles Fox Business Hosts: "We Need To Regulate" Carbon
*House GOP pulls border bill rather than face defeat (Utterly dysfuntional party, why would anyone vote for these folks?)
*Another self-inflicted wound for GOP
*How Ted Cruz helped kill Boehner's immigration bill (The fact that an extremist like Ted Cruz has such influence in the Republican Party is truly disturbing.)
*Cease-fire faltering between Israel, Hamas
*On eve of recess, Congress approves billions in funding for VA, highways (The highway funding bill is simply kicking the can down the road a few months. #FAIL)
*Warner, Kaine introduce bill to reauthorize Ex-Im Bank (Good luck passing it through the crazy Teapublican House!)
*House GOP in disarray: Border fight delays recess (A fight between the extremists and the right wingnuts. Ugh.)
*Boehner Encourages Obama To Take Executive Action, One Day After Voting To Sue Obama Over Executive Action
*GOP leaders stumble on Day One
*Departing majority leader to leave House altogether ("Eric Cantor said he'll vacate his seat early." Don't let the revolving door hit you!)
*85 endorse McQuinn for Marsh's Senate seat
*Witness: McDonnells received gifts 'because they're helping me' (Obviously. Does anyone seriously believe otherwise?)
*Dvorak: Cue the rapt gaze from Va.'s first lady (Utterly bizarre.)
*GOP official who questioned Muslims' contributions denies he offered to quit ("Two Va. party officials say Treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds offered to resign, but he told a blog he didn't." Hahahahaha.)
*Jonnie Williams: McDonnells requested cars, discussed stock
*McDonnell Trial notes - July 31, 2014 ("Williams is the star witness for the prosecution; he must not only be believed, but his testimony must be remembered. It has to make an impression on the jury that will last for another month.")
*Bob FitzSimmonds: WaPo wrong, no resignation offered
*Portsmouth taxed bridge, then state lawmakers quietly untaxed it
*Night turns ugly for Nats in blowout loss to Phillies (Hopefully this will help: "Nationals acquire Indians' infielder Cabrera for prospect Walters")
*Cloudier and muggier; showers and storms a risk through the weekend

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

RPV Treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds Keeps On Digging...

by: lowkell

Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 13:30:41 PM EDT

(UPDATE: He's reportedly offering his resignation. On second he's not! ("I have no plans to resign now or in the future") - promoted by lowkell)

When it comes to RPV Treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds, apparently, he doesn't believe in following the eternally helpful advice that if you're in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. As we pointed out yesterday in breaking the story of FitzSimmonds' bigotry towards Muslims, Sikhs, Animists, Jainists, etc., this is the same guy who made the infamous "sexist tw**" comment, as well as many other crazy comments in this interview. Yet the guy doesn't seem to learn that when he opens his mouth, insertion of his foot is almost certain to follow, as night follows day and summer follows spring. Now, he's chiming in yet again on his Facebook page (see screen shot), this time defending his bigoted remarks by claiming that "Muslims were not around in the 1700s" to help "build the very fabric of our nation," as President Obama said. Of course, President Obama didn't specify the 1700s, and of course it's beyond moronic to claim that the fabric of our nation was only built in the 1700s. So, my Jewish immigrant ancestors, who arrive here in the early 1900s, didn't help build the fabric of our nation?  And all the Irish immigrants who arrived here in the late 1800s? And all the immigrants from all over the world, of all different races and religions, who've arrived here for hundreds of years? Gotcha, Bob. Ugh.

As for his specific point about there not being any Muslims in American in the 1700s, in fact "an estimated 10% of the slaves brought to colonial America from Africa arrived as Muslims," although "Islam was stringently suppressed on plantations." So yeah, Muslims (and also many animists, which a lot of Africans were at that time) helped build the very fabric of our nation, through their blood, sweat and tears, even if Republicans like Bob FitzSimmonds won't acknowledge their contribution.

Meanwhile, why has the Republican Party of Virginia booted this guy out yet? Because: a) they agree with him; b) they're afraid of offending the bigots who DO agree with him; c) they're utterly incompetent; or d)) all of the above?

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Rip Sullivan: "We don't need any more anti-women's-health Republicans in Richmond"

by: lowkell

Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 15:16:21 PM EDT

I just got back from a press conference in Arlington, in which 48th House of Delegates district Democratic nominee Rip Sullivan was joined by several other speakers focused on the crucial importance of electing a delegate who will defend - not attack - a woman's right to choose in Virginia. Rip Sullivan and the other speakers (State Senator Barbara Favola, Delegate Kay Kory, Charlie Jackson of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, and Shelly Livingston of Planned Parenthood) all affirmed: a) their strong support for pro-choice Democrat Rip Sullivan; and b) their strong opposition to anti-choice Republican Dave Foster in the special election on August 19. Here's a transcript of Rip Sullivan's remarks. I'll post the other videos in the comments section. Oh, and make sure you vote absentee if you're going to be away on August 19!

UPDATE: I checked with both NARAL and Planned Parenthood, and both confirmed that Republican Dave Foster did not respond to requests to fill out and return their questionnaires. How disrespectful of Virginia women can you be?!? Wow.

We're here because there is a lot at stake in this election. Dave Foster and I disagree on the issue of women's reproductive health. I believe that a woman's personal health decisions should be between her and her doctor. Dave Foster does not. I don't believe government should tell a woman what she can and can't do with her body. Dave Foster does not.

In his 2009 race for the Republican nomination for Attorney General, Dave Foster sent out mail saying he was "pro-life," while I have always supported a woman's right to choose. He called Roe v Wade a "case of judges imposing their will."

Over the past few years, we've seen outrageous bill after outrageous bill in the Republican-dominated House of Delegates. If elected, Dave Foster would be an addition to the Republican caucus that seems obsessed with restricting a woman's reproductive freedom. We don't need any more anti-women's-health Republicans in Richmond...

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Video: Tim Kaine Celebrates Improved Health of Medicare Due to....Yes, Obamacare

by: lowkell

Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 11:55:24 AM EDT

No, this is not consistent with the right-wing narrative that "Obamacare" (aka, the "Affordable Care Act") is a failure in every way (in fact, it's been overwhelmingly successful), but it also happens to be the reality-based fact. Not that THAT will get in the way of the right-wingers' phony narrative or anything, but still...thanks to Sen. Kaine for getting the facts out there. Oh, and happy birthday Medicare (another Democratic accomplishment)! :)

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