Eugene Delgaudio on "Thousands of men in bright neon bikinis"

Friday, July 16, 2010

For anyone who ever had any doubts, Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R) is not only a rabid and obsessed homophobe, he's also unintentionally hilarious.
Dear Joe,It was truly a sight to sicken the soul.
Thousands of men in bright neon bikinis hanging all over each other.
Groups of men and women -- it was hard to tell the difference sometimes -- acting out their homosexual lusts in defiance of all standards of decency and morality.
There were tens of thousands of them flooding the streets.
Throngs of "gay rights" radicals rallied all over our Nation's Capitol. Tourists had to rush to shield their children from the depraved displays of near nudity.
On and on it goes about the "radical homosexuals" (aka, people who want the same rights as everyone else in America), the "dangerous" "Homosexual Agenda" (see previous paranthetical), "Thought Control" (who knows), "homosexual re-education classes" and the dreaded "Homosexual Classrooms Act" (everyone, altogether now - WTF?!?!?!).P.S. Don't forget, Delgaudio is practically "Best Friends Forever" with Del. Tom Rust. Oh, and don't forget, Rep. Frank Wolf said this about Delgaudio, "No one works harder than Eugene. He is not afraid to make the tough decisions and speak out for what he thinks is right."  Also, in 2005, Delgaudio complained that "Frank Wolf's ringing endorsement will see little ink in area newspapers."  Gotta love these "moderate" Republicans, hangin' with a homophobic head case like Delgaudio.  The question is, how long are people going to let them get away with this charade?
h/t: "Radical Homosexual" - heh - blog Joe. My. God.

Another Investigation Clears Mann

Thursday, July 8, 2010

by Elaine in Roanoke

I fully realize that facts don't stop AG Ken Cuccinelli when he is on one of his politically motivated attacks, but there have now been at least five investigations so far of what the corporate media termed "climategate" and global warming deniers, including Cooch, jumped all over as proving that climate scientists manipulated their data. All of them have found that the scientists who had their emails hacked into and published did not use methods that were not scientifically sound and did not manipulate data.Do I think that these investigations will cause Cooch to withdraw his over-reaching subpoena to the University of Virginia for everything produced by Dr. Michael Mann when he was employed there? Of course not. That would be a rational act.
The latest investigation is one commissioned by the University of East Anglia. The outside panel of scientists looked at more than two decades of research produced by researchers at East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. It followed an earlier investigation at East Anglia that also cleared the unit. That panel, which issued its report in April, was headed by Ron Oxburgh, the former chair of the House of Lords science and technology committee.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the latest investigative panel said that the university researchers "didn't skew science to inflate evidence of man-made global warming, but it criticized them for not sharing data and, in one instance, for presenting information in a 'misleading' way."
Both of these reports follow an investigation by a House of Commons committee which reaffirmed the consensus that has emerged within the scientific community that human activity is a major cause of climate change.
Penn State University has also conducted two investigations.

Penn State, the present employer of Dr. Mann, both times concluded that Dr. Mann did nothing wrong or scientifically improper in his research.A Penn State inquiry in February dismissed three allegations that had been made and recommended further investigation on a fourth one. A five-member panel of professors dismissed that last allegation last week, saying, Professor Michael Mann "did not seriously deviate from accepted academic practices for proposing, conducting or reporting research," according to the Wall Street Journal.
Climate crisis deniers used stolen emails exchanged by climate scientists, including Dr. Mann, to attack the conclusion that links global warming to human activity, specifically carbon releases into the atmosphere. Those emails were hacked from computers at the University of East Anglia and their contents selectively used to charge that scientists had hidden evidence and overstated the case for man-made global warming.
Since Dr. Mann is the person who came up wih the so-called "hockey stick" graph of the effect of human activity on climate change, he has been the target of attacks, including the subpoena issued by Ken Cuccinelli.
Any rational person would accept these multiple sources of evidence, all stating that there was no manipulation of data to reach a pre-determined result, as proof that there WAS no such manipulation. Then, there is Cuccinelli, who has his own pre-determined idea and who is manipulating the power of his office to harrass a legitimate scientist and "Mr. Jefferson's University." Enough is enough, Cooch.

Top 5 Reasons Why The Homestead Story Matters

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Over at Not Larry Sabato, Ben Tribbett is doing some serious, investigative reporting/muckraking on the "movers and shakers," the "rich and powerful." You know, the kind or reporting that newspapers used to do, when they actually cared about digging up real news, and not just about figuring a way to stay in business by reporting "soft news" and "infotainment?" Anyway, I'm glad to see that somebody is finally shining a bit of sunlight on one of these cozy, politician-lobbyist shmoozapaloozas.  And yes, there are a number of reasons why we all should be concerned about this situation.First and foremost, anyone who cares about good government should be at least a bit uneasy by the thought of their representatives spending several days schmoozing, and being schmoozed by, the top corporate lobbyists in Virginia. Unless, that is, you believe in fairy dust, pixies, and that gifts don't come with strings attached. Take this factoid from NLS, for instance: "In recent years, the 22 members of the Democratic Caucus in the Virginia Senate have taken over $250,000 in personal gifts from these same lobbyists." And, as Ben points out, "that's only what has been disclosed." What's all that money for? Put it this way, if you or I threw a party like this at The Homestead, do you think any of these folks would show up?  (hint: the answer starts with"N" and ends with "O"). I don't know about you, but this entire situation makes me extremely queasy.
Second, as if that's not bad enough, this entire lovefest, whether it has an "R" or "D" after its name, occurs in the complete absence of sunshine. That's right, your lawmakers spend several days hobnobbing and hanging out with lobbyists from powerful corporations - construction, natural resources, power generation, you name it - without anybody keeping an eye on them. Apparently, that quaint institution known as the "fifth estate" (aka, "the press") is not invited. And, apparently, that quaint institution doesn't demand to be let in. Oh, and the "new media" isn't invited either; in fact, they're actively discouraged from attending (in this case, Ben figured out a way in, legally, without getting his butt arrested). I'm not sure which is more disturbing, but both should make anyone who cares about good and open government very uneasy.

Third, it's bad enough when Republicans do it - we expect the party of corporate welfare to be hobnobbing with corporate muckety-mucks, of course. But what about Democrats, the party of (supposedly) "the people not the powerful?"  Are Democrats no better than Republicans on this? Was Ralph Nader correct when he said that "The only difference between the Republican and Democratic parties is the velocities with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock on their door?" Events like this one really make me start to think ol' Ralph was onto something there.Fourth, unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Remember the Democratic National Convention in 2008? Remember that Dominion Power salute to Tim Kaine at Red Rocks? Remember all the other corporations sponsoring events, soirees, etc, etc?  Remember the fact that the convention was "brought to you by a Who's Who of corporate lobbying interests" - Qwest, Xcel Energy, Comcast, Target, Pepsi, Lilly, Medtronic, Anheuser-Busch, Lehman Brothers, Google, Anthem, ADM, Wells Fargo, Visa, Merck, you name it.  Does it make you at all uncomfortable that "most of them have business with the federal government or long lists of issues they are trying to influence on Capitol Hill?" If not, why not?
Fifth, as Ben points out"Virginia is the only state where it is legal to present legislators with unlimited personal and corporate campaign contributions, and even unlimited 'personal gifts' - which can include meals, trips, jewelery and anything else a legislator desires that a lobbyist is willing to purchase for them." That's right, Virginia's campaign finance laws are a joke. In fact, the only hope is "sunshine," which is exactly what isn't present at events like this. Which means that whatever goes on there - good, bad, indifferent - is not known by the general public, aka "the taxpayers," aka "the voters," aka "citizens of Virginia," aka "you and me."
And that sucks.

Republicans: The Anti-Free-Market People?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Their rhetoric to the contrary, are Republicans actually the anti-free-market people?  In his article, Newt Gingrich isn't pro-market, he's pro-business, Dave Roberts essentially argues that they are, at least on energy.
recent report from the International Energy Agency revealed a stunning fact: Worldwide, fossil-fuel energy corporations receive $550 billion a year in subsidiesAnother report found that between 2002 and 2008, American taxpayers alone lavished $72.5 billion on fossil-fuel subsidies, and that's not counting implicit subsidies like military deployments to defend energy supplies, health costs from respiratory and circulatory ailments caused by fuel combustion, ecological damage like in the Gulf of Mexico, and damage from climate change. This massive interference in global energy markets by heavy-handed government bureaucrats ought to offend proponents of free-market capitalism or small-government conservatism. It's tantamount to corporate socialism.Yet Gingrich and his acolyte defend these subsidies. Why? Says Gingrich, "a low-cost energy regime is essential to our country." That is one doozy of a non-sequitur. Surely a conservative ought to know that money government spends on energy subsidies is taken from elsewhere in the economy. The externalized health and ecological costs of fossil fuels are paid by the public, with money taken from elsewhere in the economy. Fossil-fuel subsidies don't reduce costs, they shift costs. The burden is moved from energy companies to the public. The result is what we have today: energy that looks cheap because most of its costs are hidden from view.
Obviously, none of this is even remotely a "free market", in the sense of "a market without economic intervention and regulation by government except to enforce ownership ("property rights") and contracts." In fact, as Dave Roberts correctly points out, there's a major difference between favoring a "free" market and being "pro business."  Thus, Newt Gingrich and his cohorts are certainly pro-(big)-business, in the sense of transferring massive amounts of money from we, the people, to them, the (large) corporations. What Newt Gingrich et al. most certainly are not is pro-free-market.  The latter is a philosophical position I can respect, even if I don't completely agree with it (mainly because of what I believe to be common and widespread examples of "market failure"). The former is simply an object for scorn and mockery, especially when it is peddled by blatant hypocrites like Newt Gingrich.

Unfortunately, Republican politicians have been getting away with this two-faced disingenousness (aka, "lying") for years, and not just on energy. Thus, Republicans have also favored massive subsidies for Big Agriculture, first and foremost with their wildly wasteful, corn-based ethanol mandates and handouts to mega-agribusiness. We see this in just about every sector of the economy.  For instance, as we all know, Republicans favor massive corporate welfare when it comes to what Dwight Eisenhower referred to as the "military-industrial complex."  Apparently, from a Republican point of view, that's "good" corporate welfare, as are subsidies to Exxon Mobil and Archer Daniels Midland. Logic? Don't ask, because there isn't any, certainly not if you believe in free-market economics.Here in Virginia, we have yet another example of Republican hypocrisy, as Bob McDonnell claims to be pro-free-market while doling out subsidies and favors to his preferred industries (wine, film, tourism, oil, etc.). But don't take my word on this one, let me refer you to libertarian-leaning Republican Norm Leahy, who writes that "Virginia's political class has stars in its eyes rather than sense in its head when it comes to handing out your cash to Hollywood."  It's not just movies, of course. McDonnell also wants to spend our tax money to promote specifically promote Virginia wine and tourism.  Now, those industries may be absolutely the most wonderful industries ever, but how does Bob McDonnell square his supposed conservative, "free-market" principles with doling out money - aka, "corporate welfare" - to them?  Of course, he can't.
In fact, having the government provide subsidies and tax credits is about as anti-free-market as you can get. Just to be absolutely clear, I'm a progressive who believes strongly in government intervention to correct clear market failures (e.g., "tragedy of the commons") and "externalities" (e.g., pollution). I'm also  a firm believer in government action to promote the "common good"/"general welfare." I believe I'm being logically, internally consistent. In contrast, I present to you hypocrites like Newt Gingrich and Bob McDonnell, who, while claiming to be conservative, libertarian and/or Republican supporters of the "free market," in actuality are its worst enemy.
UPDATE: Conservative pundit Timothy Carney agrees, writing in disgust how "self-described free-market conservatives often rally for energy subsidies and claim it's not a deviation from their principles."