I've known Paul Reagan for fifteen years, as an official for Mark Warner, Jim Webb and now Terry McAuliffe. (Back in the 90′s, he also served on the Consumer Protection Commission, where I used to appear as an attorney). I regard him as one of the most honest and reputable people I've met in Virginia. Nothing he said or suggested with Senator Puckett has changed my opinion. I'll leave it at that.
Because, as we all know, people with long and distinguished careers in public service never wreck those careers and self-destruct by breaking the law. No, that never happens.
The next "thought" Senator Petersen rolled out was this:
The Puckett investigation is a road to nowhere and we're slowly getting there. While Phil's actions in resigning just before a key vote were wrong (in my humble opinion), that is a matter between him and his friends. It does not involve the U.S. Attorney. This is not "McDonnell Part Deux." There is nothing illegal about resigning from a public office to take a better-paid position, either with the private sector or with state government. If it was, then you could lock up a lot of people in River City right now.
It's true enough that people often leave good jobs for better jobs. Indeed, that used to be the American dream, to build a career by taking a series of increasingly challenging jobs, succeeding in them, and moving on to better compensated opportunities. That's not what Phil Puckett did. Phil Puckett tried to trade control of the Virginia State Senate for not one, but two six figure jobs with the state judiciary and the state tobacco commission--the first for his daughter and the second for himself. There is a strong possibility that this attempted exchange of influence might be a violation of federal public corruption laws. It stretches credulity to suggest that Petersen--by all accounts a talented attorney--does not understand that.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, October 4. Also, check out President Obama's weekly address, "We Do Better When the Middle Class Does Better."
Good news from the Foust for Congress campaign (apparently, as much as many of us find the fundraising emails to be annoying, the work!). :)
Real Clear Politics Changes Campaign Ranking to “Toss Up”
FAIRFAX, Va. – Following a recent poll showing VA-10 as statistically tied and Real Clear Politics changing the race’s ranking from “Leans GOP” to “Toss Up,” John Foust’s campaign today announced that it raised over $1 million in the most recent reporting period.
Foust’s record-setting quarter makes him one of only a handful of congressional races this cycle nationwide to raise more than $1 million in a single quarter.
“I’m so grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received – this is another strong signal that our message of bringing the commonsense, bipartisan leadership that we practiced in Fairfax back to Washington is resonating,” said John Foust. “We balanced seven budgets, cut millions in wasteful spending and used the savings to invest in our community and create an environment that attracts jobs – and that’s exactly what Congress should be doing. But the more Northern Virginians learn about Barbara Comstock’s right-wing agenda, the more clear it becomes that she can’t be trusted to speak for us.”
This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly Employment Situation Summary, and it was truly superb. The headline numbers were a "non-farm payroll employment" increase of 248,000 in September, and a decline in the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent. On the White House blog, Jason Furman of the Council of Economic Advisors put these numbers in perspective: a) "private sector has added 10.3 million jobs over 55 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record"; b) the unemployment rate is now "the lowest since July 2008, and is down 1.3 percentage point over the last year"; and c) "more than 700,000 jobs added" in the manufacturing sector over the course of the economic recovery, with "an increase in the average workweek to levels not seen since World War II."
So, while it's not time to be breaking into the song "Happy Days are Here Again," I'd say it's most certainly time to start recognizing that something real - and really good - has been happening. And, of course, it's long past time start allotting credit (and blame) where credit (and blame) is due. The fact is, when President Obama assumed office in late January 2009, the economy he inherited from 8 years of Republican misrule was in freefall, no matter how you want to look at it. Look at that private sector payroll employment graph and you can see it starkly depicted: we've gone from job losses of more than 800,000 per month (!!!) when President Obama was sworn in, to job gains every single month for the past 4 years, 7 months.
Why did that happen? Very clearly, it was the result of the various emergency actions and longer-term economic policies that the Obama Administration and the Democratic-led Congress took during 2009. That includes the much-maligned (by Republicans) economic recovery act, which despite the critics' constant carping, has worked as well or even better than intended. Meanwhile, it's now apparent that other policies - like expanding health care access to millions of Americans through the Affordable Care Act -- far from having trashed the economy, as Republicans promised they would, have if anything helped it. In fairness, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, which was proposed by Bush Administration Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, certainly was important as well. The fact that Republicans were dragged kicking and screaming into doing it speaks volumes, though.
Speaking of Republicans, if it weren't for them, the recovery would have happened a lot faster and stronger than it did. First off, the initial economic "stimulus" package could have, and should have, been a lot bigger, with more of the money targeted at infrastructure investments, a lot more help to the states, far more aid to the unemployed, etc.
The reason it wasn't bigger/better? Mostly, because Republicans had decided that their #1 goal wasn't to help the country's economy recover, but to try to make President Obama (and along with him, of course, the country) fail. There were also a few "conservadems" to blame, of course, but overwhelmingly it was Republican recklessness, irresponsibility and belief in Herbert Hoover-style "austerity" policies (e.g., "let Detroit go bankrupt"). Crazy.
The Warner campaign responds to Ed Gillespie's latest b.s./nonsense:
Senator Warner has always worked across the aisle to find commonsense solutions to the problems facing Virginians. His bipartisan approach is why more Republicans are endorsing him than when he first ran. Ed Gillespie's flailing attempts to misportray Senator Warner's record are the surest sign of a desperate campaign. His claims have been called 'misleading' and 'bogus' by independent political analysts. But that's what you would expect from someone who has spent their whole career as a partisan operative and D.C. lobbyist.
They also point to their ad, "Truth", which responds to Gillespie's claims as well.
Years of interacting on the web with right-wingers have taught me: to engage with right-wing trolls is to play into their hands.
The first conclusion I drew was that there must be something amiss in their way of thinking, at least about political matters, that made them ineducable. Their arguments so often had no substance, but seemingly relied on slogans and bald assertions creating reality by magic. Paul Krugman talks about "zombie ideas" - ideas that have been killed, but somehow keep on coming - and that fits the way the right-wing trolls keep pushing their repertoire of arguments, no matter the logic or the evidence.
But I've learned that there's more to it than just bad thinking.
Many of us in Liberal America learned to regard ideas as a way to capture the truth. But ideas in the world of the right-wing troll don't seem to be about truth. Instead, they are tools to use in political combat. Any crazy statements will do, if they help gain advantage over the enemy, the "librels.''
These trolls do not argue in good faith because, in their code, good faith in dealing with the enemy is not required.
Why do right-wingers come to a liberal site? It's not an attempt to persuade, much less to learn. These men - almost all of them are men - only pretend to be involved in a discussion. They're really on a guerrilla mission behind enemy lines to disrupt communications.
Cross posted from Scaling Green. For Blue Virginia, I'd just add that it's long past time for Virginia to stop wasting its time looking backwards towards energy sources of the 19th and 20th centuries (e.g., coal, oil), and instead to look forward to the energy sources of the 21st century (mostly wind, solar, hydro and other renewables). In short, there is absolutely no need anymore for an "all-of-the-above" strategy. In fact, according to the science, the "all-of-the-above" strategy will mean continued global warming and environmental devastation. Crazy, in other words.
The following three graphics (click on the images to enlarge) are from a recent "Levelized Cost of Energy" (LCOE) study by Lazard - one of the world's leading financial advisory and asset management firms. I'm posting the graphics here because they demonstrate how competitive clean energy's become (even with massive implicit and explicit subsidies to fossil fuels), and also how much cheaper renewable power is going to get over the next few years. No wonder why the International Energy Agency just explained how solar "could be the world's largest source of electricity by 2050," with coal just about extinct (see the slide "Solar's share varies significantly by region"). Great stuff; now let's get on with the transition from dirty, dangerous, fossil-fuel-based energy to clean, renewable power.
First, check out the excellent speech by our next Congressman, Don Beyer, preceded by an enthusiastic (as always) intro by ACDC Chair Kip Malinosky. I'll post the remaining videos in the comments section of this post.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, October 2. Also check out the video of 8th CD Democratic nominee Don Beyer, speaking at last night's Arlington Dems meeting (and introduced by ACDC Chair Kip Malinosky).
At tonight's Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC) meeting, Clerk of the Courts Paul Ferguson and ACDC Chair Kip Malinosky strongly called out Republican John Vihstadt for his numerous inaccuracies, distortions, misrepesentations, etc. Here's Kip Malinosky noting that Vihstadt "recused himself" on affordable housing; voted AGAINST the capital improvement plan that would have put more money towards schools and road maintenance (including things like fixing potholes). As Malinosky put it, "I want somebody representing me on the County Board who is FOR something...and [Democrat] Alan Howze is that candidate," NOT Republican John Vihstadt.
Next (on the "flip"), Arlington County Clerk of the Courts Paul Ferguson also takes on Vihstadt's "distorting what the facts actually are."
So sayeth 2013 Virginia Republican Lt. Governor nominee E.W. Jackson:
*"What we're responding with [to ISIL] is so milquetoast and weak and limp wrist..."
*He calls a no-fly zone a "flyover zone."
*He advocates for putting U.S. "boots on the ground" and not fighting it "through surrogates."
*He says "I know it doesn't look good right now" for Ed Gillespie.
*Says if Republicans win back the Senate, he expects them to block appointments to the judiciary and the cabinet...
*He likens Eric Holder to Nixon's Attorney General John Mitchell and says Holder's been "extremely racially divisive."
*He mentioned his conference call with retired General "Jerry" Boykin (now a VP at the Family Research Council "extremist" group). For a few of Boykin's controversial comments, see here. Examples include:
*"In an October 15, 2003 speech to a community church in Oregon, Boykin was recorded stating that Islamic extremists hate the United States 'because we're a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christians. ... And the enemy is a guy named Satan.'"
*"The following day the Los Angeles Times ran a piece on Boykin. Among several quotes, the article revealed Boykin giving a speech about hunting down Osman Atto in Mogadishu: 'He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, 'They'll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.' Well, you know what? I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol."
*"On September 26, 2009, Boykin gave an address at a How to Take Back America Conference in St. Louis, Missouri, hosted by the Eagle Forum. According to the Canada Free Press, General Boykin asked the audience. 'What are you prepared to give up for America? Are you willing to pay the ultimate price?" He followed up with warning, 'there is no greater threat to America than Islam'."
*He was part of a team that produced a book which said, "most mosques in the United States already have been radicalized, that most Muslim social organizations are fronts for violent jihadists and that Muslims who practice sharia law seek to impose it in this country."
Kathleen Parker is a right wing op-ed writer, but usually one of the better, saner ones out there (not saying much, I know). Not today. In her screed, The silly, selective 'war on women', she manages to: a) rant about "extremists on the pro-choice left"; b) falsely claims that the entire Republican "war on women" (and no, it's not made up by Dems; sadly it's real) is about abortion, when in fact it's about equal pay for equal work, access to contraception and family planning, health care, etc. as well; c) claims that John Foust is "a man whose disrespect toward women and the single job only women can do - mothering - is at least as offensive as Limbaugh's name-calling."
Wow. Just wow. That's some seriously insane s*** right there, on every level. And the Post printed this gar-bage? More "wow" and "just wow" and...
Meanwhile, on her Facebook page, that poor, beleaguered Barbara Comstock, the "pit-bull staffer" -- who somehow isn't tough enough to defend her honor against whatever slings and arrows, real or imagined, come her way -- is busy quoting her hero (or should it be "heroine"?) du jour, Kathleen Parker. And the first comment on Comstock's Facebook status update, by a male (of course!) supporter? Check this out.
The Democrats are the Party at War will ALL American CITIZENS, female or male, to sell their rights to buy the votes of Illegal Invaders for a soviet style one party America ruled by the Democrats. Any woman who believes the Democrat "War on Women" lie should ride in the back seat of Kennedy's car like Mary Jo & see how it feels.
Also note that Comstock hasn't deleted that abominable, despicable (any other synonym for "heinous" you can come up with) comment, or denounced it. And I bet she won't, as she's never denounced other extremists who have endorsed her, people like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin, who have said more vile, bigoted, insane things in the past few months than you'd think it's humanly possible to say (or even THINK!) in a lifetime. That's Barbara Comstock and her core supporters right there. These are, in short, the LAST people who should be criticizing John Foust for what was, admittedly, a stupid gaffe, but certainly not proof (or even evidence) that he's disrespectful to women in any way. Except, perhaps, for not respecting Barbara Comstock's abysmal record in her numerous "real jobs" (e.g., waging a jihad against the Clintons, defending Scooter Libby, consulting to the Koch brothers, voting for trans-vaginal ultrasound legislation) over the years.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, October 1. Yes, it's October already, which can only mean one thing - Nat's-O's in the World Series, hopefully. :) In watching that video of President Obama and Prime Minister Modi, I kept waiting for an intruder, knife-wielding or whatever, to come crashing into the room. Ugh.
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