|Yeah, I know it's fun to focus on the long series of gaffes, idiocies, and racist statements (and actions) of George Allen -- "macaca," a severed deer head in a black family's mailbox, the photo with the racist Council of Conservative Citizens, habitual use of the "n" word, a noose in his office, apparent shame and rage over the "aspersion" over being questioned about his Jewish heritage on his mother's side, insistence that he'd still eat a "ham sandwich for lunch"despite being a "Member of the Tribe," etc, etc. But beyond that, there are actually more serious, substantive problems with George Allen and his candidacy for U.S. Senate. Over at Bacon's Rebellion, the ever-excellent Peter Galuszka lays them out. The main problems:1. Allen "was right there from 2001 to 2006 cheerleading George W. Bush through his budget-busting tax cuts for the well-to-do, minimizing banking rules that helped spur the financial meltdown, and voting for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that still haven't been paid for."|
2. Allen is "plunging into some different and hard times," bearing little resemblance to the situation he faced when he was governor, and for which Allen has absolutely no answers or clue about.
3. Since getting his butt booted out of office by Jim Webb and the "ragtag army" in 2006, Allen's been "working in a sinecure-type job as a highly paid energy lobbyist" - not exactly "great preparation for a new run for the Senate."
I'd add that Allen hated being in the Senate, was so bored there he called it a "wounded sea slug." And no wonder he was bored; can anyone think of a single, significant accomplishment - just one will do - by George Allen in his 6 years as a U.S. Senator? Uhhhh.
In sum, moving beyond "macaca," Allen was a complete waste of space as Senator, has no clue how to relate to a wildly changed Virginia (economically, demographically, you name it), and has been doing nothing since 2006 to indicate any growth or learning or self-awareness. Other than that, he's a superb candidate for Senate, I truly hope Republicans nominate him! LOL
P.S. Allen can go on every conservative talk radio show in existence, but if he has nothing to say and nothing new to offer (other than cliches, platitudes, and exhortations to "stand strong for freedom" - whatever that means) then who cares? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Posted by Lowell at 8:13 AM
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
|Other than "writing" (in quotes because it's highly doubtful he really could write a whole book) brain-dead, cliche-ridden books about sports and their supposed greater meaning, what's George Allen been up to the past few years? The short answer, according to an article I wrote for Scaling Green, is "nothing good!"|
Former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator George "Macaca" Allen is now Chair of something called theAmerican Energy Freedom Center. It seems like starting a front group is the default choice of every politician to leave politics (Dick Armey's FreedomWorks, Newt Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future, and former Representative Bill Paxon's Americans for Affordable Electricity).True to form, George Allen's front group is a PR firm masquerading as a non-profit policy center. It advocates "a future of abundant, affordable and reliable sources of American energy," as opposed to "expensive, imported and highly regulated energy."What does this organization do? Basically, it shills for the dirty energy industry, opposing what it claims are "expensive, job-killing climate regulations," spreading lies about clean energy, and taking lots of money from ExxonMobil and other unsavory actors. But the craziest thing about George Allen's work at this supposedly "freedom"-loving outfit is this: "the dirty energy industry - oil and coal in particular - got an estimated $72 billion of our tax money in the United States alone between 2002 and 2008." That's right, the industry George Allen represents is a huge recipient of government, taxpayer-funded, corporate welfare, basically the polar opposite of everything George Allen claims to stand for. Utter hypocrisy, as usual, from George Allen and his ideological ilk.
Posted by Lowell at 8:12 AM
Sunday, January 23, 2011
|Today's Washington Post Ombudsman column, Andrew Alexander's last in that position, raises several important problems besetting the Post, but it ignores numerous, gigantic gorillas in the room. First, here are a few that Alexander (correctly) identified (although even here, I'd argue he was wayyyy too kind).|
...[the Post] has become riddled with typos, grammatical mistakes and intolerable "small" factual errors that erode credibility. Local news coverage, once robust, has withered. The Post often trails the competition on stories. The excessive use of anonymous sources has expanded into blogs. The once-broken system for publishing corrections has been repaired, but corrections often still take too long to appear. The list goes on.All true, no doubt about it. The Washington Post today is a pale shadow of what it once was, in just about every way. But this list - plus the loss of hemorrhaging of newsroom talent, plus the "ethical dilemmas" arising from "building a new digital" paper, plus various "journalistic shortcomings" such as "link[ing] to breaking news reports that it can't independently verify."Those are all important issues, and it's great that Andrew Alexander raised them. However, I believe that Alexander - and the Post more broadly, and the newspaper industry even more broadly - is blind, or perhaps semi-aware but incapable of doing anything about - numerous structural problems that beset their industry, and their product.
|lowkell :: Washington Post Ombudsman Ignores Numerous Gorillas in the Room|
|In the case of the Post, let's start with a big one: it's not so much the Washington Post anymore as the Corporate Post, specifically the Kaplan Post. Given that"Kaplan higher education revenues eclipse not only the test-prep operations, but all the rest of the Washington Post Company's operations," it's pretty clear that Kaplan is the dog wagging the (withering, diseased) tail of the newspaper commonly known as the "Washington Post." For starters, that means extremely little coverage of the for-profit "education" industry by the Post. It also means a paper that must constantly put its financial survival in front of whatever journalistic excellent it once might have strived for. That's a major problem, pretty much a death spiral, for this once-proud newspaper, and it's not clear how they get out of it.Another issue not raised by Alexander is the increasing move towards "infotainment," sensationalism, fluff, tabloid-style "reporting," and generally the dumbing down of the newspaper in just about every way. For instance, in the desperate attempt to draw eyeballs to its online product - and, to a lesser extent, the physical one - the Post increasingly goes with the Freak Show version of "news" instead of what we'll call The Economist or The News Hour version of news. The latter is what I'd call "real news" - solid reporting on what's actually happening around the country and around thew world, intelligently written, with analysis that helps put it in context and explain it to readers. That doesn't mean constant "what did Sarah Palin say" or "who's up/who's down in the polls," which is what we see to a growing extent at the Post these days. It means doing the job a newspaper is supposed to do. Of course, that takes money, and that's where the newspaper industry's failing business model kills it, and turns all this into a vicious cycle.|
Then there's the issue of mixing fact - empirically verifiable, solidly reported with multiple sources (preferably not anonymous) - with opinion, "he said/she said," gossip, and unsupported/anonymous reporting of all kinds. As far as I can see, this is rampant throughout the "news" business these days.
Then you've got my favorite, the "false equivalency," in which the newspaper's supposed "objective" model gets taken to utterly absurd extremes. For instance, we get laughable garbage and blatant lies "reported" seriously, like climate change denial (you can't "deny" scientific findings, that's not the way it works), "death panels" (100% false) or "government takeover of health care" (I wish we could go to single payer, but actually the recent health care reform legislation just entrenches the private insurance companies' role and the for-profit healthcare model), etc, etc. None of this should be "reported," except as a blatant lie, which is where the news media might actually provide some added value. PolitiFact is doing that, but what about the Post? And no, their "5 Myths About..." series doesn't do it, as those are usually just one person's opinions, not really myth-busting in any way.
Finally, there's the decimation of both coverage, from international (WHAT international coverage?) to local (WHAT local coverage?). Pick up a copy of The Economist sometime, look through it, and you'll realize that you haven't seen 90% or more of the stories in there in the Washington Post. Then, consider all the stuff going on in Virginia politics - and local politics - and see if you can find any of it in the print edition of the Post. Good luck.
Anyway, those are just a few of the many problems endemic to the Post, and which are getting worse every day that goes by. How will any of this be turned around? Got me. But the Washington Post Ombudsman's final column certainly doesn't get at these core issues, which indicates to me that they don't evensee the biggest problems - the "gorillas," so to speak - they face. And if they don't see the gorillas, how can they have any hope of not getting mauled by them?
Posted by Lowell at 8:11 AM
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
|Unless Tim Kaine is wrong, which I doubt he is on this, it looks like Jim Webb's going to run.|
In a Tuesday afternoon interview with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, former Virginia Governor, and current Democratic National Committee Chairman, Tim Kaine said he has "no reason to believe" that Virginia Senator Jim Webb, a fellow Democrat, will not run for re-election in 2012."I just believe for a variety of reasons ... That he's going to run," Kaine told Mitchell, adding that he had no specific knowledge of Sen. Webb's plans.Good news, if true. Although I've had my differences with Webb, particularly on energy/enviro issues, I think overall he's done an excellent job and also is infinitely superior to any of the Republicans running (Allen, "Sideshow Bob" Marshall, Corey Stewart, Jamie Radtke).Meanwhile, I was quoted in the Washington Examiner about 2012. A few of my main points didn't make the article for whatever reason: 1) Webb would start this time as the incumbent, with all the advantages that entails, as opposed to Allen as the entrenched incumbent with a warchest in 2006; 2) Webb won't be at the top of the ticket this time, as it will be a presidential year, so his fortunes will depend to a significant extent on how Obama fares in Virginia this time around; 3) Allen may very well not be the Republican nominee, but if he is, he starts off with "macaca" and continues on with "macaca," because he's never fully explained or really come to terms with not just the word, but with his longstanding attitudes towards African Americans (deer head in a black family's mailbox, habitual use of the "n word," etc.); 4) 2012 will be a very different year than 2006 in terms of activist energy levels, so it will be interesting to see if Webb can recreate the "ragtag army" this time around. Finally, with regard to Tom Perriello, my point was most definitely NOT to say that he couldn't win statewide, because I believe Tom would be a very strong statewide candidate, but simply a factual statement that he's never run statewide, while Webb and Kaine both have.
Posted by Lowell at 8:10 AM
Sunday, January 16, 2011
by Elaine in Roanoke
|We all now have been subjected to yet another "transportation plan" from Bob McDonnell. I've lost count on whether it's the third or fourth. This time there is no reliance on mythical oil rigs off Virginia Beach, no imaginary tolls on roads leading into Virginia from North Carolina, no giving away the state's wholesale alcohol system to private FOB (friends of Bob). This time we have a simpler "plan": billions of dollars in debt for our children and grandchildren to pay, a tripling of the retail outlets that sell liquor, and tapping the General Fund for $140 million.I agree with Sen. Dick Saslaw (D-Fairfax). "What are they thinking?"|
Expert after expert has looked at the debacle that is Virginia's transportation system and concluded the same thing. In order to correct the delays and deficiencies in transportation, the state needs at least $1 billion annually for the foreseeable future. The state budget is in such a mess that the General Assembly "balanced" the current budget and created the imaginary "surplus" that McDonnell also wants the spend by borrowing 2/3 of a billion dollars from the state retirement fund, replacing it with an IOU due after McDonnell leaves office. How can anyone then justify taking another $140 million out of the already depleted General Fund that is used for schools, police protection, necessary social services, etc.?
Republicans have reached the inevitable end of their adamant assertion that they will never raise revenue to pay for vital services. Infrastructure ages, Virginia's population grows. It is obvious to most people, if not to GOPers, that transportation must have a dedicated source of additional revenue. We cannot borrow ourselves out of this mess, nor can we get out of it by shortchanging other state services. Indeed, we might not be in this big of a mess if another Republican governor, Jim Gilmore, hadn't pushed through his idiotic "no car tax" plan that presently costs the state $950 million every year.
Even the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, normally a group that would be friendly to Republican notions of taxation, is pushing for new revenue sources for transportation.
|The Chamber rightly states, "To remain globally competitive, Virginia's lawmakers must consider a range of innovative, long-term and sustainable solutions to meet Virginia's transportation challenges. With an estimated transportation shortfall conservatively estimated to be $1 billion a year and growing, all funding mechanisms must be carefully evaluated free of preconceived, partisan excuses for failing to act."The chamber supports raising the gasoline tax to adjust for inflation since 1986, a feasibility study to look at transitioning from a fuels tax to a vehicle miles traveled tax, and permanent funding for passenger rail capital improvement and operation, among other positions.|
I personally can think of another place state government might look to get more revenue to meet the serious underfunding of transportation, K-12 and higher education, and social services - tax expenditures, or tax breaks given to various groups that lower state revenue.
The reimbursement to localities for the local personal property (i.e., car) tax costs almost $1 billion every year. Eliminating the inheritance tax on large estates meant that Virginia now receives $140 million less each year. Also, Virginia is legally able, if it wishes, to "decouple" itself from the federal ban on sales taxes on Internet sales, an action that would gain $157 million annually, plus provide more local revenue. (These figures come from a report by the Commonwealth Institute, a non-partisan research group.)
No, we don't need to borrow our way out of our transportation crisis. We can't continue to raid the General Fund. We certainly cannot further raid the Virginia Retirement System, which has seen the state underfund its share for 16 of the past 20 years.
We do need for the Republicans to think outside of that absurd "no tax" box they have put themselves - and us - in. Either that, or they need to admit that they aren't capable of properly governing the state, or of making hard decisions.
Posted by Lowell at 8:08 AM
Saturday, January 15, 2011
|I've been watching the events in Tunisia with great fascination for a number of reasons: 1) because I studied the Middle East in graduate school; 2) because I'm always happy to see corrupt, oppressive, slimy regimes like this one - and many others in the world - fall, especially to "people power"; and 3) I'm fascinated with what role, if any, social/new media played in this case, and in other cases around the world, in undermining authoritarian regimes.On the latter question, there's been a good amount of academic work done, in particular by the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Back in 2009, Nate Wilcox and I had a chance to speak at Stanford, in the context of publication of our book, "Netroots Rising: How a Citizen Army of Bloggers and Online Activists is Changing American Politics," and to speak with some of the leaders in the "liberation technology" program. The question that came up then, as well as now, is whether that "citizen army" - and, more broadly, the citizens "armed" with a variety of social media tools -- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, WikiLeaks, ubiquitous video recording and photographic technology, etc. -- is not just changing American politics, but politics in Tunisia and elsewhere around the world as well?|
According to the Stanford Liberation Technology program:
The last few years have seen explosive growth in the use of information technology to defend human rights, improve governance, fight corruption, deter electoral fraud, expose government wrongdoing, empower the poor, promote economic development, protect the environment, educate consumers, improve public health, and pursue a variety of other social goods. Lying at the intersection of social science, computer science, and engineering, the Program on Liberation Technology seeks to understand how (and to what extent) various information technologies and their applications -- including mobile phones, text messaging (SMS), the Internet, blogging, GPS, and other forms of digital technology -- are enabling citizens to advance freedom, development, social justice, and the rule of law.Specifically, what I'm wondering is whether we just saw an example of "liberation technology" -- or one could say "Netroots Rising" -- at work in Tunisia? Here's what the New York Times had to say:
Posted by Lowell at 8:09 AM
Friday, January 14, 2011
by Dan Sullivan
|Somebody is getting paid by the Democratic Party of Virginia to communicate. Communication was the theme of the new state party chairman when he was selected. The Executive Director announced a weekly update six weeks ago and hasn't delivered. The website, using a standard template, is Poe dark and dreary.From the Loch Ness donkey in the state party logo at the top left to the bright red "$ Contribute" button on the right, a visitor's attention is suspended, drawn into the deep blue background. There is content, but it requires effort to mine it. Below the fold are captures of the DPVA home page and the Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM) homepage that link to each. Explore; compare and contrast. While the DPVA features the weekly update that isn't, the DPNM has used the same template space to deliver a running blog, a list of events, a poll, and Tweets. Though there is a "CONTRIBUTE" button, it shares standing with "VOLUNTEER," "MAKE PHONE CALLS," and "GET LOCAL."|
At this moment, possibly the most immediately important Virginia issue, the budget, is mentioned only at the lowest right panel of the page, and then only in a tweet link. Connections to social networking, near the top of DPNM's homepage, are dead last at DPVA. Videos and photos are conveniently consolidated where if they are late to the date, that isn't so obvious. And DPNM acknowledges other sources of information...even blogs.
|Dan Sullivan :: Communicating the DPVA Way|
So while Democrats in New Mexico have a staff and a chairman who are on top of the issues and the technology to communicate, the Democrats in Virginia are left flat-footed. Somebody ought to be fired.
Posted by Lowell at 8:07 AM
Monday, January 10, 2011
by Elaine in Roanoke
|Let me state clearly that I am not opposed to the private ownership of guns. I respect the right of hunters to practice their sport. I also have no quibble with responsible concealed carry laws if they insure that the persons licensed to carry those weapons have proven that they are law-abiding and have demonstrated that they know how to handle the weapons they want to carry. That said, I also should have the right to know that every attempt has been made to keep firearms out of the hands of mentally unstable people and that any person carrying a concealed weapon has proven worthy of that privilege.Unfortunately, extremists in the gun lobby have bullied U.S. politicians until gun laws in far too many places are absurd and downright dangerous. In Arizona anyone can carry a concealed weapon without any sort of permitting process. In fact, Jared Loughner kept his Glock 17 concealed until he opened fire on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the rest of his victims, including a nine-year-old child. Loughner was able to fire 31 shots without loading his pistol only because the Bush administration let the ban on such ammunition clips lapse.|
Virginia's not much better. Here, a person can get a concealed weapon permit simply by completing an online gun "safety class." There is no requirement that you actually know how to handle a weapon safely, Roanoke Times columnist Dan Casey found that out when he went through an online process and got a permit, even though he has never fired a handgun.
"For $39.95 billed to a credit card, I took the course, which is an hour of streaming video and includes about 11 minutes of instruction on how to actually shoot a handgun. Then I took a simple, 20-question online test, answered 15 of the questions correctly and earned my certificate," Casey said. He took the certificate he printed out to the Roanoke circuit court and picked up his permit a bit later.
By the way, the bill that allows such an absurd method of getting a concealed weapons permit came about because of a bill introduced by Ken Cuccinelli when he was in the General Assembly. According to what Cuccinelli told Casey, "Proficiency with a handgun was never intended to be part of the 1995 [concealed carry] law." What?
|As Casey noted in another column, the 2011 General Assembly session will have bills introduced to allow people carrying concealed weapons in bars to be able to drink alcohol, to make it legal to have guns in locked cars on your employers' property, to let concealed weapons be carried by school and college staff, and to repeal the one-handgun-a-month purchase limit, which already doesn't apply to concealed carry permit holders.Virginia is also one of 33 states where private sales at gun shows have no requirement for a background check, allowing mentally unstable people or criminals easy access to whatever weapons they want to have, including assault weapons.|
At some point those of us who don't live our lives driven by fear and trembling and haven't lost our minds to the worship of guns need to make it clear that we also have some legal rights. One is that we shouldn't be forced to live in a nation that is becoming an armed camp awash in weapons only meant to kill fellow human beings. It's time to stop worshiping the 2nd Amendment as if it was written on the tablets Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. It's time for reasonable, responsible gun regulations.
Posted by Lowell at 8:06 AM
Saturday, January 8, 2011
|Absolutely horrible, there is no place for this in America.|
Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot on Saturday morning while hosting an event outside a Tucson grocery store.Giffords spokesperson C.J. Karamargin told The Washington Post Saturday afternoon that Giffords was in surgery at Tucson's University Medical Center.Until we have more information about who the shooter was and what his motives were, I'm not jumping to any conclusions about this (UPDATE: I completely agree with Ken Rudin of NPR on this). For now, I'm just hoping that Rep. Giffords and the other shooting victims pull through. I'm also thinking about the terrible history of political violence we've had in this country, and what this latest incident might mean moving forward. Ugh...UPDATE 3:26 pm: President Obama has issued a statement.
This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded.We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society. I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.
UPDATE 3:28 pm: John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi also have issued statements. See the "flip" for what they have to say.UPDATE 3:53 pm: Eric Cantor also has weighed in, his statement is on the "flip."
UPDATE 3:57 pm: The shooter reportedly is "Jared Laughner of Arizona, born September 1988." (UPDATE: It's actually spelled "Loughner"; apparently,this is his YouTube channel)
UPDATE 4:29 pm: Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) said, "This is a tragic situation. We're praying for Gabby to pull through and our thoughts and prayers go out to her staff, their families and the victims of this outrageous violence."
UPDATE 4:51 pm: Rep. Giffords reportedly is out of surgery and "expected to recover." Earlier today, Reuters and several other media outlets irresponsibly reported that she was dead. Major "Mainstream" Media FAIL!
Posted by Lowell at 11:05 AM
Friday, January 7, 2011
Here's more video from this morning's Business Leaders Breakfast with Chap Petersen and Jim Webb. In this installment, Sen. Webb has some comments on health care reform and the GOP effort to repeal it. According to Webb, he voted with Republicans "17 times" on healthcare reform, so he agrees that the legislation isn't perfect. But, Webb adds, much of the repeal effort is "political payback" to the people who voted for Republicans this time around. The fact is, according to Webb, "Nobody believes, really, that health care reform writ large is going to be repealed," although there are parts that "do need to be fixed." Instead, according to Webb, this is mainly a matter of Republicans getting it "out of [their] system." Hopefully, after that's over with, we can get down to working together and governing. UPDATE: See the "flip" for video of Sen. Webb speaking on one of his favorite topics, criminal justice reform. According to Webb, this is a totally bipartisan issue - even Newt Gingrich and Bob McDonnell support prison reform, plus "100 different organizations" from across the political spectrum, according to Webb - that should be passed, but is being held up by the Senate's paralysis. Thanks to Webb for his hard work on this important issue; hopefully, this will actually happen in 2011!
Posted by Lowell at 11:14 AM
It's interesting, just when you think that politicians like Jim Webb don't read the blogs or care, you get an event like Chap Petersen's Business Leaders Breakfast this morning, where you get called out by name by the guy you "drafted" for Senate (and helped raise $4 million online for), because of criticism on your blog. In this case, I had questioned how Webb could reconcile his commitment to "Jacksonian Democracy," as well as his repeated (and passionate) talk in 2006 about how America was breaking into "three pieces" economically, with his vote to extend the Bush tax cuts for people who earn far more than any reasonable definition of "working class." The response? Mostly defensiveness, and as far as I can tell, incoherence. Anyway, I guess I'm happy that Webb at least cares what I think! LOL UPDATE: On the "flip," Sen. Webb speaks about foreign policy matters.
Posted by Lowell at 9:43 AM
Thursday, January 6, 2011
At last night's Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting, Del. Bob Brink (D-Arlington) provided a preview of the upcoming, 2011 General Assembly session. Highlights: *The budget. We're still feeling the effects of the "great recession." Two main revenue sources in Virginia - personal income tax and sales tax - are "lagging indicators," which means we face the 8th round of budget cuts over the past 5 years. *Virginia has already cut "down to the bone" in "many, many essential services." That's made worse by the fact that the "rainy day fund" has been pretty much "tapped out." Also, stimulus money "aided us tremendously" but is now ending. So, we're reaching the "Medicaid cliff" and will have to "backfill it." Budget will dominate session. *Transportation - been "kicked down the road" for many years. McDonnell's program relied on offshore oil drilling revenues ("that didn't turn out too well"), profits from selling ABC stores (turns out the amount of revenues McDonnell estimated was wildly overestimated, also not "revenue neutral" at all, in fact would lose us nearly $50 million a year). *McDonnell also wants to fund transportation through increased borrowing, we don't think that's the proper way to go. In fact, it's just a way to avoid the hard fact that we have to come up with the revenues we need to fund transportation investments. *Redistricting - will affect all of what we do this coming session. Two Arlington districts (48th, 49th) have grown slightly faster than average, two others (45th, 47th) have grown slightly slower. Republican majority is in control in House. *Bills aimed at "stoking fear and hatred" against LGBT, new Virginians, etc. We will "fight efforts to divide us, fight efforts to instill fear and hatred in us...stand up for the Arlington values that all of us share."
Posted by Lowell at 9:11 PM
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
|I very much enjoyed reading this and thought I'd pass it along.|
This might make a top ten list of the biggest hypocritical moments of Ken's time in office- but it wouldn't be #1. The top one has to be filing a lawsuit against the federal health care bill that is designed to cover more people- when Ken took a state subsidy for his entire family for government health care while he was a State Senator- a subsidy that was not available to any other part time state employees other than members of the General Assembly.So taxpayers need to pay for more staffers for Ken, and even for health care for Ken's entire family while he was in the Senate- but not for any of the real needs we have in the state? Apparently that's the position out in right wing Virginia land.Good stuff, yet another story the corporate media isn't covering, and yet another reason why it's important that we have independent, progressive new media to call out corruption, incompetence, lunacy, extremism and hypocrisy by powerful government officials. That includes, by the way, both Republicans and Democrats, although obviously, as progressives and as Democrats, we believe that the "Red Team" is far more egregious - by many orders of magnitude - than the "Blue Team."UPDATE: In other news, did you know that Ken Cuccinelli recommends "The Communist Manifesto," published in 1848 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, as this work supposedly "is embraced by 'large swaths of academia and the legal profession and the people who know how to run our lives better than we do - just ask them.'" Here at Blue Virginia, of course, we all personally lull ourselves to sleep each night by reading the Commie Manifesto. That, and the latest socialist/communist/fascist (yes, we know those are mutually cont
Posted by Lowell at 9:10 AM