Monday, July 28, 2014

Statements on Ruling in Bostic v. Rainey Case Striking Down Virginia Gay Marriage Ban

I'm posting here because the Soapblox network of progressive state blogs has been down most of the day, but great news for human equality today in Virginia! Del. "Sideshow Bob" Marshall,  author of the anti-gay-marriage amendment befouling our constitution, must be crying right now; such a shame, huh?  :)

With that, here's Gov. McAuliffe's statement on the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Bostic v. Rainey striking down Virginia’s ban on gay marriage: 
“I am overjoyed by the news that, as a result of today’s ruling, Virginia will become a state where two people who love each other can get married regardless of their sexual orientation. This is a historic ruling for our Commonwealth, and its effect will affirm once again that Virginia is a state that is open and welcoming to all.  
“I want to thank Attorney General Mark Herring for his leadership in this case, and all of the men and women who fought for years to make this day a reality. Progress does not always come as quickly as we hope it will, but today is yet another example of how justice, equality and the people who fight for those values will always persevere in the end.”
Next, here's Sen. Mark Warner's statement:
 “I am so happy that yet another federal court agrees that Virginia’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional,” Sen. Warner said. “Allowing people to marry who they love is the right thing to do, and it also strengthens our families and our communities. Virginia should be a welcoming place for all, and I am very pleased at the rapid progress toward marriage equality that we’re seeing in Virginia and around the country.”

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Change Your Blue Virginia Links

Just a reminder to change your Blue Virginia links from http://bluevablog.blogspot.com (the "old," Blogger blog) to http://www.bluevirginia.us (the "new," SoapBlox blog). Thanks.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Blue Virginia Now On SoapBlox

This address is now being used as the Blue Virginia archive. To read the active Blue Virginia site, please click here. Thanks.

Monday, March 15, 2010

DPVA Calls On McDonnell To Rein In "Extreme" Cuccinelli

Democratic Party of Virginia Executive Director David Mills writes about Ken Cuccinelli's "apparent comments in support of Virginia pursuing legal challenges to federal laws based on questioning President Obama's birth certificate."
Unlike Republican leaders, Virginians are more concerned with their jobs and their children's schools than with pursuing conspiracy theories and a narrow social agenda. But in the last month, under the leadership of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Governor Bob McDonnell, Virginia is rapidly becoming a national laughingstock.

Attorney General Cuccinelli owes Virginians an explanation for his out-of-whack priorities. While our Commonwealth struggles with a $4.2 billion dollar deficit, the Attorney General has shown that he's willing to use the resources of his taxpayer-funded office to push his own radical agenda. Virginians shouldn't be asked to foot the bill for Ken Cuccinelli's irresponsible behavior and missplaced priorities.

The Attorney General should pledge today not to spend a dime of our tax dollars pursuing ridiculous conspiracy theories about President Obama. We hope Governor McDonnell is making plans to rein in his 2009 ticketmate and protect Virginians' money from being spent on Ken Cuccinelli's extreme political agenda.

UPDATE: Politico reports that Cooch has issued a statement.
I absolutely believe that President Obama was born in the United States. I don't buy into the claims that he wasn't. On the recording, I was asked a hypothetical legal question, and I gave a hypothetical legal answer in response. As I said previously, this issue was not a part of my campaign, and it is not part of what I am doing now as attorney general.
What a bunch of bull, "hypothetical legal answer" my a**.

Emergency! Scott Robinson Needs A Waaaaambulance!

As I wrote on Saturday, Krystal Ball swept 1st CD caucuses this weekend in Stafford County and Fredericksburg, demolishing Scott Robinson and making his candidacy for the Democratic nomination a longshot at best. Now, Scott Robinson is reacting with class, restraint, and poise. Whoops, wrong Scott Robinson! Ha. Actually, this is how the real 1st CD candidate Scott Robinson is reacting.
This email is being sent with the intent of informing you of troubling events that have developed over the last few weeks involving a fellow Democratic Committee (Stafford County) and what actions the Robinson campaign intends to use to remedy the situation.

It is the opinion of the Robinson campaign that the caucus process in Stafford County was "hijacked" by a small group of Krystal Ball supporters and the democratic process was circumvented with the intention of ensuring that the Krystal Ball campaign not only won a majority of delegates but left the caucus with a "slate" of supporters for Krystal Ball.

As I write this I am quite certain that while you read this you will feel this email is bourne of frustration and written with my campaigns best interests in mind. No doubt that is true.

However, there are facts that are too egregious to ignore that point in the direction of an organized attempt by members of the Stafford County Democratic Committee (SCDC) to make the proverbial "smoky backroom deal" scenario seem all too real.

[...]

The Robinson campaign feels at the very least that the rules of the Caucus have been violated and election law could have been as well. Because of these facts and actions of individuals who are associated with BOTH the Krystal Ball for Congress campaign and the SCDC; the Robinson campaign intends to file a formal complaint with the Chair of the Virginia 1st Congressional District Committee.

My intention is to follow this email up with all of the county chairs of the 1st Congressional District individually. I appreciate your patience as we work our way through this process.

Best,


Gregory Richardson
Scott Robinson for Congress
804.xxx.xxxx
Those are some serious charges right there, up to and including possible illegality. The only problem, as 1st CD Democratic Party Chair Suzette Matthews points out, is that none of this is accurate. In fact, as Matthews points out, "Contrary to the second bullet of this message, local committees do not have to pay for expensive newspaper postings of caucuses." In addition, Matthews writes, "Please note the last sentence of the following provision of the DPVA Party Plan, which permits posting of the caucus notice on web sites and press release to newspapers (we understand [1st CD City and County chairs] have no control whether the newspaper prints the notice or not)."

In short, Robinson's complaints are completely and wholly without merit, not to mention hysterical and pathetic. The only question is how badly his super-sore loser routine will hurt him in upcoming caucuses, starting with Gloucester tonight, followed by James City this Thursday, Newport News on March 25, etc.

Meanwhile, can somebody please call a waaaaaaaaaaambulance for Scott Robinson? It looks like he badly needs one.

Cooch: Climate Change Denier, Gay Basher...Birther!


Once again, Ken Cuccinelli demonstrates why: a) many of us think he's batshit crazy; b) why Democratic activists worked so hard to prevent him from becoming Attorney General of Virginia; c) why he's a complete and utter embarrassment to our Commonwealth; and d) politically speaking, why he's the "gift that keeps on giving" for Democrats. This time, thanks to a great scoop by NLS, Cooch reveals himself as someone who seriously questions whether Barack Obama was born in the United States.
Q: Because we are talking about the possibility that he was not born in America.

Cooch: Right. But at the same time under Rule 11, Federal Rule 11, we gotta have proof of it.

Q: How can we get proof?

Cooch: Well… that’s a good question. Not one I’ve thought a lot about because it hasn’t been part of my campaign. Someone is going to have to come forward with nailed down testimony that he was born in place B, wherever that is. You know, the speculation is Kenya. And that doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility.
Sad to say, it's not even the least bit shocking that a guy who denies climate change, tries to make it easier for people to discriminate against gay people, claims that Virginia can disobey federal laws it disagrees with, believes the government is tracking his kids via Social Security numbers, and talks to a toy elephant named "Ron" would also buy into Orly Taitz-level crazy conspiracy theories like "birtherism." What next, is Cooch going to reveal himself as a 9/11 "truther" as well, like Debra Medina? Whoops, better not give him any ideas; he's got more than enough of those already. My god, four years of this lunatic as AG? We're so screwed.

Quote of the Day: "You didn't have pestilence and fire."

The quote of the day goes to Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax). Check this out.
"We've had four snowstorms and $4 billion in budget cuts," McDonnell told a small group of legislators who had been dispatched to his ceremonial quarters on the third floor of the state Capitol to inform him that the assembly was ready to adjourn. Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax, replied, "You didn't have pestilence and fire."
Maybe not, but with this horrible budget, we may feel like we've been through "pestilence and fire" here in Virginia before long. Ugh.

Charlottesville, VA Coffee Party Interview with Eric Byler


Eric Byler is interviewed by a Charlottesville TV station on Saturday, March 13, in Charlottesville on Coffee Party National Kick-off Day. According to the Coffee Party USA website, there were more than 350 coffee party meetings in 44 states on Saturday. In addition, there are now 159,000 fans on the Coffee Party Facebook page, compared to 111,991 fans for the largest Tea Party Facebook page. Not bad for a 100% grassroots movement that's just a few weeks old!

UPDATE: See the FiveThirtyEight interview with Annabel. Among other things, she talks about how Organizing for America doesn't "inspire" her. I agree, maybe it has something to do with the fact that OFA is 100% establishment, part of the - yaaaaaaawwwwwn - DNC?

Whipple Clip Dozen: Monday Morning

Thanks to Tom Whipple for the Monday "Clips."

1. MCDONNELL SHOWS SOME SUCCESSES IN FIRST LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS
2. LAWMAKERS APPROVE TWO-YEAR, $70 BILLION BUDGET
3. ASSEMBLY APPROVES TWO-YEAR, $70 BILLION VA BUDGET
4. STATE KEEPS CCCA OPEN
5. HOUSE, SENATE PASS VIRGINIA'S TWO-YEAR SPENDING PLAN
9. STATE WILL DIP INTO PENSION FUND, REPAY WITH 7.5% INTEREST
11. LEGISLATORS LEAVE TOWN, MCDONNELL BIDS THEM ADIEU
13. GOVERNOR'S STEPS TOWARD OFFSHORE ROYALTIES
14. THE AG PENS AN OP-ED ON SEX BIAS PROTECTION
16. POWER BILLS HEATING UP 9TH DISTRICT ELECTION CAMPAIGN
18. NOT SPECIAL
20. ASSEMBLY ETHICS BILL NEEDS STRENGTHENING

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Time For Some Changes At Blue Virginia

Well, it's been over a year since I started Blue Virginia, and I'm still blogging. Overall, I've enjoyed it, except for one thing: I'm really tired of the Blogger platform. Problems with Blogger include: people tell me it's difficult to leave comments; there's no "more" button, which means the front-page posts take up too much space; there are no community features at all; the default coding is not compatible for cross-posting at blogs like Daily Kos, and it's really annoying; etc. On the other hand, it's free!. Despite that important fact, I've decided to make a change, which you will see in the next few days. I hope you like it, and just as importantly, I hope I like it! :) Anyway, stay tuned for Blue Virginia 2.0.

Gibbs: Health Care Reform Will Be "Law of the Land" Next Week


It is about time. Even though progressive sacrificed a tremendous amount in this health care reform legislation, and even though it most closely resembles the 1993 Republican alternative to "Hillarycare," on balance I still believe this represents progress for America. I also believe this will give Democrats a boost heading into November. Up until now, Democrats have gotten all the "negatives" of debating health care reform, including a constant stream of Big Lies by the Republicans, while simultaneously looking weak for not seeing this become law. Once this thing actually is signed by President Obama, the entire dynamic should change, and hopefully "the base" will start getting excited again and close the "enthusiasm gap" with Republicans for this fall. At least, that's the theory! :)

Thank You David Englin! [UPDATE: And Scott Surovell Too!]

What a concept, a Democrat from the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party!" Thank you David Englin, for speaking the truth about this piece-o'-crap budget.
Budgets are moral documents that express our values as a Commonwealth and determine whom we lift up and whom we leave out. While the final version of the budget is less bad than the initial House version, I still cannot justify supporting a budget that balances the books on the backs of children and the poor and that includes a fiscally irresponsible shell game with the state pension trust fund.

Thanks to strong, unified, vocal opposition from House Democrats, the final budget is less bad than the budget House Republicans passed Feb. 25. For example, the final budget rejected the Republican plan to take money away from poor students and give it to students who are not poor, and it rejected the Republican plan to redirect federal Medicaid enhancement money from health care for the neediest Virginians to non-health care programs.

However, these concessions do not make up for the fact that the final budget cuts billions of dollars from public education, health care for the poor, public safety, and aid to localities, with no serious attempt to mitigate these cuts with revenue and no serious attempt to give localities the power to mitigate these cuts in their own. Even worse, the final budget still includes a risky, $800-million scheme to divert state contributions from the state pension trust fund, which will put Virginia's triple-A bond rating at risk and threaten our ability to meet our pension obligations to teachers, fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and state and local employees.
And how about bringing back the estate tax, repeal of which Tim Kaine foolishly signed into law? Why should we slash services for the neediest Virginians while the top few hundred families (out of millions of residents) get a huge tax break? It's wrong on every level - economic, political, moral - for Democrats to go along with this, so why are they going along with it? I call bull****.

UPDATE: And thank you Scott Surovell!
My grandfather always taught me that you either pay less for things now or you pay more for them later. I do not believe these budget "cuts" are cuts. They are simply reductions in funding on going responsibilities that are now being pushed onto the poor, the uneducated, to middle class families and local government who now have to make the tough decisions.

Educating our children, caring for the poor, and keeping our public safe are a core responsibilities of state government. This Budget does not do that. It balances our budgets on the backs of the poor, the sick, the disabled, college students and their families, and the criminal justice system.

And we haven't done a single thing to resolve this state's transportation crisis.

Exactly!

UPDATE #2: See the Washington Post and WTVR for more on the state budget passage. The vote in the Senate was 34-6, and in the House 73-23. According to Anita Kumar and Rosalind Helderman, "The breakthrough on the budget came when Senate negotiators agreed to eliminate 60 percent of fees that they had proposed to preserve some programs." The result of which, of course, was to harm more vulnerable Virginians. Heckuva job.

Diane Ravitch on Why Charter Schools Are A Really Bad Idea

This past Thursday, former Assistant Secretary of Education, Diane Ravitch, laid into "charter schools" and "No Child Left Behind" on the Diane Rehm Show. This is a timely and topical subject here in Virginia, as Bob McDonnell's education agenda relies heavily on the "charter school" concept. In contrast to McDonnell and his ideological approach to education (and everything else, for that matter), Ravitch is essentially nonpartisan - a Ph.D. historian of education and research professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Education who served under both President George HW Bush and President Bill Clinton.

Earlier this month, Ravitch came out with a new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, which is being described in glowing terms by reviewers. For instance, Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post writes, "Her credibility with conservatives is exactly why it would be particularly instructive for everyone--whether you have kids in school or not--to read [Ravitch's book]." I'm looking forward to reading the book, but in the meantime, I listened to Ravitch on the Diane Rehm Show. I also read this article by Ravitch, "The Big Idea -- it's bad education policy." A few key points regarding charter schools and why they're a really bad idea.

*"Charter schools are no panacea. The nation now has about 5,000 of them, and they vary in quality. Some are excellent, some terrible; most are in between. Most studies have found that charters, on average, are no better than public schools."

*"On the federal tests, known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress, from 2003 to 2009, charters have never outperformed public schools. Nor have black and Latino students in charter schools performed better than their counterparts in public schools."

*"[C]harter schools have many advantages over public schools...Studies of charters in Boston, New York City and Washington have found that charters, as compared to public schools, have smaller percentages of the students who are generally hardest to educate -- those with disabilities and English-language learners. Because the public schools must educate everyone, they end up with disproportionate numbers of the students the charters don't want."

*"So we're left with the knowledge that a dramatic expansion in the number of privately managed schools is not likely to raise student achievement. Meanwhile, public schools will become schools of last resort for the unmotivated, the hardest to teach and those who didn't win a seat in a charter school. If our goal is to destroy public education in America, this is precisely the right path."

*"We don't want schools to compete and try to put the other schools out of business...that's wrong."

*"What is, I think, going to be the undoing of the charter sector is the outrageous salaries that some of the charter operators are paying themselves...the rainmakers, the people who make the deals with the politicians...some of them are paying themselves $400,000 a year, $500,000 a year out of public funds...we had one charter school in New York City, where the woman who was running it got a golden parachute of a gift of $700,000... I mean, this is something that in the public sector people would find shocking."

*"We're in the process of not only privatizing our schools but deprofessionalizing what should be an honored and esteemed profession."

*"What's sad about this...the charter schools started in 1988 with the idea that they would become R&D laboratories to help public schools. Instead, they have been taken over by private entrepreneurs with the idea that this is a great money stream, you can go to the bank with this commitment of the government funds, and then in many places they're trying to put public schools out of business."

In sum, reading and listening to Diane Ravitch, it's obvious why Republicans like Bob McDonnell would be gung-ho on charter schools. The question is, why would anyone else?

UPDATE: Arlington County School Board member Libby Garvey weighs in.
I heard part of the Diane Rehm show and will definitely get the book. Having been a school board member for the past 14 years while NCLB has gone into effect, this is a breath of fresh air. Yes, she may be late, but I think that gives her more credibility to the many people who simply think professional educators don't know education and aren't qualified to criticize the privatization movement. It's been terribly frustrating that the people who are on the front lines of this battle are assumed to be unqualified to comment or assumed to not want the best for our children. And the stakes could not be higher. Our nation's future depends on the quality of its public education.

Senate and House Democrats Sum Up Session

I received emails yesterday from both the House and Senate Democratic caucuses, summarizing what they believe to be their successes during the (about-to-conclude) General Assembly session. Here are the highlights, with my comments in italics.

Senate
*"Senate negotiators are fighting for their version of the budget which protects jobs and services in K-12 education, higher education, public safety, and the healthcare safety net."
That's great, but from what I've seen so far this morning, there's not a heckuva lot to celebrate on this front. Unless, of course, you believe that "unprecedented cuts to state spending and core services once thought sacrosanct" and "governmental austerity born of the hardest times since the Great Depression" to be a good thing. I don't. Nor do I consider the General Assembly's unwillingness to raise revenues from the wealthiest Virginians, first and foremost by reinstating the Estate Tax, while slashing funding for programs to the most vulnerable Virginians, to be a badge of honor.

*"The Senate Democrats introduced many bills that passed both chambers of the legislature and await Governor McDonnell’s signature, though many worthy bills were defeated by an uncooperative House of Delegates"
If you're a "glass half full" kind of person, you focus on the first clause in this sentence. If you're a "glass half empty" type, you focus on the last clause. Personally, I'm somewhere in the middle, but probably leaning towards the "many worthy bills were defeated" view of things. On the other hand, the Senate killed many bad bills from the House, such as the infamous "Mark of the Beast" bill and a repeal of Virginia's one-gun-a-month law. So, overall, it could have been better but it certainly could have been worse.

*"The Senate defeated numerous bad bills from the House of Delegates including efforts to repeal Virginia’s crime-reducing 'one hand gun per month' law, a frivolous bill to prevent forced implantation of microchips, a bill that would have allowed unregulated 'super guns', and one that authorized deadly force, instead of proportional force, against any person who sets foot on your property."
On all these fronts, thank goodness that Democrats control the State Senate to offer a "check and balance" against the right-wing Republican controlled House and governor's mansion.

*"The Senate Democrats also fought for the best interest of Virginians in several debates. At the beginning of the session, the Senate Democrats told Governor McDonnell they would not approve his Secretary of Commerce and Trade appointee because he served as a paid board member of private corporations, presenting a conflict of interest. Senate Democrats also convinced Governor McDonnell to present his budget recommendations as all other Governors do. The Governor decided that $4.2 billion in budget cuts had to be made and after weeks of pressure he eventually presented his plan to make those cuts. Finally, Senate Democrats raised serious concerns over Governor McDonnell’s proposed charter school arrangement which would have taken power from local school boards and put it in the hands of a group of political appointees. This arrangement would have violated the Virginia Constitution and Senate Democrats worked constructively with the McDonnell administration and education stakeholders to negotiate a constitutional arrangement that satisfied all parties."
Good work, particularly on the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, although Robert Sledd still ended up with a powerful position advising Bob McDonnell on commerce and trade issues. And on the charter schools, I'm not sure if all the "serious concerns" I heard raised were really addressed. Still, at least they raised them I guess...

House of Delegates
*"Democrats successfully fought for and passed measures dealing with ethics reform (HB 655, Armstrong, D-Henry; HB 330, Plum, D-Fairfax; HB 814 and HB 816, Abbott, D-Newport News), employment opportunities for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (HB 1099, Sickles, D-Fairfax), expansion of eligibility for certain health care plans (HB 315 and HB 317, McClellan, D-Richmond), education (HB 1172, Phillips, D-Dickenson), and health care coverage for members of the Virginia National Guard (HB 1233, P. Miller, D-Norfolk)."
What amazes me more than anything is that Democrats were able to accomplish anything at all, given the fact that they are badly outnumbered in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.

*"Democrats in the House of Delegates successfully defeated measures that would have restricted citizens' right to vote, including HB 498 (Lingamfelter, R-Prince William) and SB 302 (Martin, R-Chesterfield). These bills would have placed strict limitations on the types of information needed in order to register and vote. Democrats' convincing floor speeches led to the defeat of these regressive bills."
Ditto.

*"Additionally, House Democrats' united opposition brought attention to and weakened the Crown, Cork and Seal bill, which would have exempted a single company from liability for asbestos-related diseases. While the measure passed with a slim margin in the House of Delegates, it was killed in the Senate. This bill, carried by Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Scott), was an initiative of the Speaker of the House, Delegate Bill Howell (R-Stafford). Speaker Howell pushed this initiative due to his involvement in the conservative group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, for which the Speaker served as chair last year. ALEC is interested in this legislation because Crown Cork is also a member of the organization and a significant contributor to its members' political action committees."
This bill was a disgrace, and Bill Howell should pay the political price if there's any justice in the world. Thank you to House Democrats for fighting this, and thanks to Senate Democrats for driving a stake through its rotten heart.

*"Several measures were introduced by members of the House Democratic Caucus to create a Bipartisan or Nonpartisan Redistricting Commission including: HB 179 (Morrissey - D, Henrico), HB 323 (Plum - D, Fairfax), HB 638 (Armstrong D - Henry), HB 835 (Carr - D, Richmond), and HJ 113 (Barlow - D, Isle of Wight). These measures were defeated in a pre-dawn subcommittee with a vote split along party lines."
Voters should remember this one next November, that's all I have to say right now.

*"Additionally, Democrats in the House of Delegates fought to protect Virginians from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation through several procedures including introduction of bills and amendments, and motions on the floor. Every attempt to protect Virginia's citizens was defeated by Republican members of the House of Delegates."
This pretty much sums it up: Democrats fighting against discrimination, Republicans fighting to keep it going. How can anyone be FOR discrimination? Ask House Republicans.

Summary
All in all, this was a rough session, but Democrats can point to a few victories, mostly small. Still, the bottom line is that it's tough when you're outnumbered 61-39 in the House of Delegates, when you don't control the governor's mansion, when your tiny edge in the State Senate is made even more difficult by the presence of several conservative Democrats, and when the economy's a mess. Better luck next year? Or, more likely, after the 2011 elections if and when Democrats (hopefully) make major gains in the House of Delegates? As for 2010, as the saying goes, it was real and it was fun, but it wasn't real fun.

Whipple Clip Dozen: Sunday Morning

Thanks to Tom Whipple for the Sunday "Clips."

1. BIAS DISPUTE KNOCKS MCDONNELL OFF STRIDE
2. HOUSE, SENATE REACH BUDGET DEAL AFTER MIDNIGHT
4. VIRGINIA LAWMAKERS REACH AGREEMENT ON BUDGET
8. GENERAL ASSEMBLY WRAP-UP: WHAT PASSED, WHAT FAILED
17. VIRGINIA HOUSE AGREES TO FORFEIT OVERTIME PAY; SENATE TO ACCEPT PAY
18. A ONE-MAN WINDOW INTO LAWMAKING
19. MCCLELLAN’S PREGNANCY BELIEVED TO BE A FIRST FOR HOUSE
20. BOUCHER WON’T SUPPORT HEALTH REFORM WITH MEDICARE CUTS
23. NUCLEAR STANDOFF
34. SOME VICTORIES, MUCH PAIN IN VA. GENERAL ASSEMBLY SESSION
36. FOR METRO'S STRAPPED BUDGET, A WEALTH OF IDEAS BUT NOT CASH
42. COUNTIES BRACE FOR BRUTAL CUTS TO SCHOOLS, POLICE, PARKS

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Krystal Ball Sweeps Fredericksburg, Stafford Caucuses: Is This Race Over?

Krystal Ball tweets:



Now that's impressive: Every. Single. Delegate. So, with that -- Krystal picking up 1/3 of the committed delegates she needs to win, with Robinson picking up zero - is the race for the 1st CD Democratic nomination between Krystal Ball and Scott Robinson already over? After today's rout of Robinson, it certainly could be. Here's Marc Broklawski's take.
While there are plenty of contests left before the 1st Congressional District Convention in May, the math for Scott just got a whole lot harder to secure the nomination – if not impossible. The fact is that Krystal’s base of support is strong throughout the district, especially in the southern part of it. I’m also confident that Krystal understands that she cannot take anything for granted and will continue working hard throughout the entire district.

Scott’s field operation seemed non-existent today, if he even has one. Back in February, Scott believed that because of his background, the fact that he was raised within the district and the fact that he was a waterman as a kid that would translate into victory. His overly simplistic and na├»ve view of things, was clearly on display today; and should provide a moment of pause for democrats who were thinking of supporting him. His formula for victory is a losing one and his message, or lack thereof, is not resonating with the electorate. This election is too important and the stakes too high. Krystal is clearly our best chance of winning this year.

The wheels are clearly coming off of his campaign and his lack of a clear message and strategy is evident. It may be time for him to reassess the viability of his campaign and whether or not he drag out what appears to be an inevitable outcome.
I strongly agree with Marc's analysis and look forward to Krystal Ball taking on Rob Wittman (R) and/or Catherine "Bullet Box" Crabill (T as in "Tea Party") in the general election.

McDonnell/Cooch, Good Cop/Bad Cop?

Do Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli differ in any substantive way on the issues? Or, are they actually two peas in a pod, playing a "good cop/bad cop" game, in which McDonnell pretends to be the "reasonable" one while Cooch plays himself as "the right-wing crazy?" That's certainly what Lee Hockstader of the Washington Post think, and I'm inclined to agree.
What McDonnell needed during the election last fall, and continues to need, is to establish that he is not a rigid right-winger whose ideological fervor trumps pragmatism. And that’s where Cuccinelli comes in so handy. In contrast to Cuccinelli, practically anyone looks like a moderate.

So when Cuccinelli staked out the hard-right turf by telling public colleges that they have no business banning discrimination against gays, it was like manna from heaven for McDonnell...

Look for McDonnell and Cuccinelli to maintain this good-cop-bad-cop routine for the foreseeable future, as McDonnell tries to cement the moderate cred that will make him a vice presidential contender in 2012 or 2016, and as Cuccinelli continues to sing sweet music to his base of gay-hating conservatives.
In sum, Bob McDonnell is probably ecstatic that Ken Cuccinelli is in the AG's office, pandering to "the base," and freeing up "Pat Robertson's Manchurian Governor" to appear "moderate" in public while actually being a Closet Cooch Clone. A Clever Closet Cooch Clone at that!

P.S. For an illustration of what Cooch's rigid homophobia and intolerance can lead to, read this superb diary by "The Nephew". I'd recommend the diary to McDonnell and Cooch as well, but they probably believe their private parts will spontaneously combust if they so much as click on such a thing (either that, or they're doing like "Sideshow Bob" Marshall and voraciously reading the "homosexual literature" - heh).

Whipple Clips Dozen: Saturday Morning

Thanks to Tom Whipple for the Saturday "Clips."

1. MCDONNELL SAYS HE’S DONE ENOUGH TO PROTECT GAYS
2. REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR AS GAY RIGHTS DEFENDER: A SIGN OF THE TIMES?
3. MCDONNELL VISITS LEGISLATORS ON THEIR TURF, ENCOURAGES BUDGET DEAL
4. MCDONNELL ANNOUNCES NEW CLEMENCY POLICY
5. BOLLING: SUBCOMMITTEES CAN’T TAKE FINAL ACTION
7. CUCCINELLI NOT GIVING IN ON COLLEGES' GAY BIAS POLICIES
8. FORMER GOV. BALILES CHALLENGES CUCCINELLI ON COLLEGE GAY POLICIES
10. BUDGET BREAKTHROUGHS SEEN, BUT OVERTIME LIKELY
16. VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY GOES SLOW ON TOUGH ETHICS REFORM
18. VA. LAWMAKERS PASS CAR TITLE LENDING REFORM
20. APPALACHIAN EFFORT DEFEATED
31. IN VIRGINIA, A WATERED-DOWN BILL ON CHARTER SCHOOLS

President Obama: "Education for a More Competitive America & Better Future"


The full transcript is here.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Catherine Crabill on Muslim Prayer to House of Delegates: "Just say NO to this blasphemy!"

I may just make this a regular feature of Blue Virginia: "It's not just crazy, it's 1st CD (Republican? Tea Party?) candidate (well, maybe) Catherine Crabill Crazy!!!" Here's the latest from her Facebook page, in reaction to this article in today's Washington Post ("Boycott urged for Muslim imam's prayer in Virginia House"). Take it away - far, far away! - Catherine "Bullet Box" Crabill!
Again, this is a Christian Nation that extends grace to people of other faith's that are not reciprocated to Christians. Just say NO to this blasphemy! Islam is the enemy of liberty, period.

I reject Muslim's offering prayers sanctified by any branch or office of our government. The Koran is the antithesis of liberty. And because of the Christianity of our nation you Muslims have been offered a refuge here that we would NEVER be offered in your world. Please respect OUR faith and OUR heritage just as you would NEVER allow a Christian or Jew to pray in your mosque or place of government which does not offend me.


Negative Closings and Wall Street

Now you can profit from positive or negative price movement. Cfds, or spread trading, is based on price differential from start to close, enabling one to profit even in an erratic market