|A few tweets and quotes sum up how i feel about now.*@NancyPelosi tweets, "That's the 45th vote to derail #ACA & proof that Rs are bent on shutting down the govt. Time to #ShutdownTheGOP, keep govt open for America."|
*Conservative Michael Gerson writes an article headlined, "The tea party's revolt against reality": "We are no longer seeing a revolt against the Republican leadership, or even against the Republican "establishment"; this revolt is against anyone who accepts the constraints of political reality. Conservatives are excommunicated not for holding the wrong convictions but for rational calculations in service of those convictions."
*Right winger Jennifer Rubin writes an article headlined, "All working according to plan, just not the GOP's": "At some point, the Republicans in the House, with or without the Vitter Amendment and with or without the Dems, will pass a clean CR. Anyone who imagined they'd obtain something monumental by threatening to blow themselves up must have been, well, working for Heritage Action or one of its comrades."
*Ezra Klein boils it all down to one sentence: "The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics - it is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition." Klein also urges, Don't forget what the shutdown is really about.
My thoughts: let's start shutting down the Teahadists, once and for all, at the ballot booths. It starts right here in Virginia on November 5, then continues in November 2014 when we have a chance to toss out all the Tea Party nuts who rode into town on the 2010 teabagger tsunami.
Any other thoughts, other than outrage and revulsion at these extremist wackos - the Ted Cruzes, Rand Pauls, and all the Republican nuts in the House of Representatives?
P.S. I just checked Ken Kookinelli's Facebook page, and all I saw about the government shutdown was Cuccinelli's ludicrous Big Lie, somehow attempting to tie Terry McAuliffe to it. I know, what universe does this guy live in? Definitely not the universe known by most of us as "reality."
Monday, September 30, 2013
Sunday, September 29, 2013
The following video is from earlier this afternoon at Gravelly Point in Arlington, next to National Airport (you can hear the planes taking off). In the press conference, Rep. Gerry Connolly and Rep. Jim Moran, plus Virginia's next Governor Terry McAuliffe, denounced the Tea Party-led government shutdown, and demanded that Ken Cuccinelli condemn his Tea Party allies in Congress for using the threat of a government shutdown as a bargaining chip in budget negotiations and against "Obamacare" (which they are obsessed with, despite the fact that it was passed through Congress, signed into law, deemed constitutional, an issue in the 2012 elections - which Democrats won resoundingly, etc.). The potential consequences if Congress fails to act are that the government will shut down at midnight Monday, which could seriously hurt Virginia's and the country's economies. For what?!? Because Republicans can't accept a duly-passed/signed/approved-by-the-Supreme-Court law?!? A few key points from the press conference: *Rep. Connolly said Republicans have "recklessly decided to hold the entire country hostage until they get what they want" on the duly-enacted LAW colloquially known as "Obamacare." *Connolly added that the economic consequences of a Tea Party-caused government shutdown "would be catastrophic," particularly here in Virginia. *Connolly: "We have a clear choice in this election on November 5. We have somebody who works well with everybody, somebody who's willing to reach across the aisle and work with anybody willing to work, and that's Terry McAuliffe. On the other hand we have somebody who is a member of the same club that thinks shutting down the government or defaulting on the sovereign credit of the United States is a tactic and the consequences be damned; someone who has put ideology ahead of the economy consistently as the Attorney General...somebody who has spent his time trying to ferret out researchers because he doesn't like the product; somebody who would turn this Commonwealth back...who would hand it over to a small band of ideologues...that's Ken Cuccinelli." *Connolly concluded that the Republican ticket is the most extreme in the history of Virginia, and he hopes "they get what they deserve at the ballot box on November 5." He strongly endorsed Democrats Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam and Mark Herring. *Rep. Moran said Terry McAuliffe wants to move things forward, he's a "pragmatist" who will do what "executive leadership needs to do." In contrast, Moran said that McAuliffe is running against somebody "who epitomizes what's wrong with Washington." *Moran said "if you like Ted Cruz, you're going to love Ken Cuccinelli." Amazingly, Cuccinelli has asked Cruz to campaign for him next week. *Moran: "So, Ted Cruz is going to have to take a little time off from trying to shut down the government, putting hundreds of thousands of federal workers out of business...that's what he's about." *Moran noted that Cuccinelli wouldn't use the Affordable Care Act to enable 400,000 Virginians to be able to get health care coverage by expanding the Medicaid program (with 100% federal funding). *Moran: "We don't need Cruz and Cuccinelli steering this state into the far-right corners of American policy...unwilling to compromise...while they serve themselves, their own ambitions, they dis-serve the public that they were elected to serve." *Terry McAuliffe said "Virginia's economic health can not be collateral damage from the Tea Party's ideological war...Everyone agrees that a government shouldn't be risked in negotiations, everyone EXCEPT Ken Cuccinelli and the Tea Party."
Posted by Lowell at 4:36 PM
|The following video is from earlier this afternoon at Gravelly Point in Arlington, next to National Airport (you can hear the planes taking off). In the press conference, Rep. Gerry Connolly and Rep. Jim Moran, plus Virginia's next Governor Terry McAuliffe, denounced the Tea Party-led government shutdown, and demanded that Ken Cuccinelli condemn his Tea Party allies in Congress for using the threat of a government shutdown as a bargaining chip in budget negotiations and against "Obamacare" (which they are obsessed with, despite the fact that it was passed through Congress, signed into law, deemed constitutional, an issue in the 2012 elections - which Democrats won resoundingly, etc.). The potential consequences if Congress fails to act are that the government will shut down at midnight Monday, which could seriously hurt Virginia's and the country's economies. For what?!? Because Republicans can't accept a duly-passed/signed/approved-by-the-Supreme-Court law?!?A few key points from the press conference:|
*Rep. Connolly said Republicans have "recklessly decided to hold the entire country hostage until they get what they want" on the duly-enacted LAW colloquially known as "Obamacare."
*Connolly added that the economic consequences of a Tea Party-caused government shutdown "would be catastrophic," particularly here in Virginia.
*Connolly: "We have a clear choice in this election on November 5. We have somebody who works well with everybody, somebody who's willing to reach across the aisle and work with anybody willing to work, and that's Terry McAuliffe. On the other hand we have somebody who is a member of the same club that thinks shutting down the government or defaulting on the sovereign credit of the United States is a tactic and the consequences be damned; someone who has put ideology ahead of the economy consistently as the Attorney General...somebody who has spent his time trying to ferret out researchers because he doesn't like the product; somebody who would turn this Commonwealth back...who would hand it over to a small band of ideologues...that's Ken Cuccinelli."
*Connolly concluded that the Republican ticket is the most extreme in the history of Virginia, and he hopes "they get what they deserve at the ballot box on November 5." He strongly endorsed Democrats Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam and Mark Herring.
*Rep. Moran said Terry McAuliffe wants to move things forward, he's a "pragmatist" who will do what "executive leadership needs to do." In contrast, Moran said that McAuliffe is running against somebody "who epitomizes what's wrong with Washington."
*Moran said "if you like Ted Cruz, you're going to love Ken Cuccinelli." Amazingly, Cuccinelli has asked Cruz to campaign for him next week.
*Moran: "So, Ted Cruz is going to have to take a little time off from trying to shut down the government, putting hundreds of thousands of federal workers out of business...that's what he's about."
*Moran noted that Cuccinelli wouldn't use the Affordable Care Act to enable 400,000 Virginians to be able to get health care coverage by expanding the Medicaid program (with 100% federal funding).
*Moran: "We don't need Cruz and Cuccinelli steering this state into the far-right corners of American policy...unwilling to compromise...while they serve themselves, their own ambitions, they dis-serve the public that they were elected to serve."
*Terry McAuliffe said "Virginia's economic health can not be collateral damage from the Tea Party's ideological war...Everyone agrees that a government shouldn't be risked in negotiations, everyone EXCEPT Ken Cuccinelli and the Tea Party."
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
|You can watch tonight's Virginia gubernatorial debate, which begins at 7 pm (see below for my live blog), on either NBC 4 or on C-SPAN3. Also, if you're following the debate on Twitter, or if you're tweeting yourself, you can use the hash tag #VAGovDebate. A few Twitter handles you might want to check out include: @TerryMcAuliffe @KenCuccinelli @ChuckTodd (host of the @FairfaxChamber debate) @JoshSchwerin @vademocrats @briancoy @gwenrocco and @brbilberry Also @MoElleithee @PilotOnPolitics @omeola @RTDNolan @JulieCareyNBC @RTDSchapiro and @chelyendavisUPDATE 8:07 pm: @MoElleithee tweets, "SCREEEEEECHHHH!!!!!!! That was sound of @KenCuccinelli throwing @BobMcDonnell completely under the bus." So true. Also, @brbilberry tweets, "What a great night for terry. Sitting next to cuccinelli folks in audience they know this was not what they wanted to see." Very true; Cooch was really "off"/"rattled" tonight, while Terry was on his "A game." Huge advantage on style and substance for Terry over Kookinelli.|
UPDATE 7:55 pm: Closing statements (thank goodness). Terry: "Virginia women have had just about enough of Ken Cuccinelli." "Mainstream solutions." Cooch finally brings up Greentech Automotive, says "Terry will fight for Terry," while he will supposedly fight for us. Does ANYONE in their right mind believe that?!? If so, what controlled substance are you taking? Also, as I just tweeted, major #FAIL by Chuck Todd et al. tonight in not asking Cooch about his witch hunt against climate scientist Michael Mann, and of course his climate science denial. Those alone should be automatic disqualifiers for higher office in America at this point.
UPDATE 7:53 pm: Question about pre-Labor Day start to school? Should "Redskins" change name. Terry says governor shouldn't tell private business what to do. Cooch says it's up to the team entirely. Stupid questions by Chuck Todd. Wasting our time.
UPDATE 7:50 pm: Question to Terry on tax returns. Stupid question, this is not a real issue, as Terry has done as much or more than previous governor candidates. Star Scientific and CONSOL Energy really ARE issues, because they are real scandals - "that was [Cuccinelli's] legal responsibility." Has proposed strong ethics reform, will issue executive order on a $100 gift ban. Cooch says he reported the Star Scientific materials, shows how great he is (I think he may have just dislocated his shoulder patting himself on the back). Cooch also keeps saying "Democrat" when it should be "Democratic." Puerile punk. Throws out a bunch of ridiculous attacks, what a joke.
UPDATE 7:48 pm: Question to Ken Cuccinelli on Jonnie Williams gifts, why he would give them to Cooch? Cooch throws McDonnell under the bus, says it didn't "seem like a big deal," had no idea Williams had business before Virginia. WTF? Says it was the "right thing to do" to give $18,000 to charity, even though he previously said there was absolutely nothing unethical about taking the money in the first place. Confused yet? Head spinning? Yeah...
|UPDATE 7:44 pm: Question to Terry about gay marriage. Says he's for marriage equality, this is quite a difference from Cooch, who has referred to LGBT Virginians as "soulless and self destructive." Cooch says it will never come to the desk of a Virginia governor, says he thinks marriage should be one man/one woman. Cooch immediately starts attacking Terry again. This is really tiresome. Does anyone have one of those giant hooks to pull Cooch off the stage? Terry reiterates that he supports equal rights for LGBT Virginians. Brings up Cuccinelli's CONSOL Energy scandal, the Attorney General's office secretly advising CONSOL how to beat Virginia landowners owed money by this out-of-state energy company.UPDATE 7:39 pm: Question to Cooch on health care affordability for poor Virginians. Cooch says expanding Medicaid is not the way to make it work better. Huh? He makes no sense whatsoever on health care, utterly irrational, just like the rest of the Tea Party. Terry says Medicaid expansion is bipartisan, mainstream, and very important. He adds that this will allow 400,000 Virginians to get crucial health care, that this is the law of the land, and that it's our money we're bringing back into Virginia's economy. Virginia's rural hospitals could be jeopardized if we don't take Medicaid money. @ssurovell tweets, "Hey @Juliecarey - Cuccinellis answer to Virginians that would be eligible under Medicaid expansion - MOVE TO MARYLAND." Cooch says he doesn't trust the federal government to cough up the money, essentially. He is simply not serious.|
UPDATE 7:38 pm: Terry says no budget will be shut down over Medicaid expansion, will work in bipartisan way to make sure it gets done. Notes that he was endorsed by Republican VA Beach Mayor Will Sessoms and many other Republicans. Says (correctly) that Cooch almost derailed Virginia's budget. Says sequestration or shutting down government are unacceptable. "Shame on everybody" until this gets resolved.
UPDATE 7:35 pm: Question on Ted Cruz, shutting down government over "Obamacare." Cuccinelli says he doesn't want to see government shut down, wouldn't be good for Northern Virginia. Riiiight, so have you told your lunatic Tea Party allies?!? Attacks Terry for saying he wouldn't sign budget without Medicaid expansion. Of course, Cooch has no revenue sources whatsoever, and opposes Medicaid expansion which would bring in a LOT of money to Virginia. Cooch claims he's the anti-Washington candidate. Dodges on Ted Cruz. Says he'd like to see Obamacare repealed.
UPDATE 7:31 pm: Terry says without Medicaid expansion money, there's not a penny for any investment in mental health. As governor, his goal will be to make sure that all Virginians are safe. the Navy Yard incident the other day is part of a continued pattern. Need to eliminate guns from people who shouldn't have them. @LarrySabato tweets, "TM not shying away from gun control. Will hurt him in rural areas, help him in central cities, urbanized suburbs." @briandevine tweets, "I wouldn't bring up NRA ratings in a question about what I am doing about preventing gun violence."
UPDATE 7:30 pm: Cooch points finger at mental illness, desperately tries to avoid talking about guns or answering the question (about implementing Virginia Tech commission recommendations). Claims gun control doesn't work...the usual, in other words. "Attacks" Terry for being "F rated" by the NRA. In reality, that is a badge of honor.
UPDATE 7:28 pm: Question by Julie Carey to Terry on guns. Terry says when we drop our children off at school, we need to know they'll be safe, that's why I'm for responsible gun ownership, including universal background checks. Notes that he owns gun, is a hunter, has gone through background checks himself and that it's very simple and quick, but there are certain individuals who shouldn't own a gun. Says 91% of Americans support universal background checks, and the Senate refused to bring it up for a vote.
UPDATE 7:26 pm: Chuck Todd follows up on Cooch's lame "loopholes" comment. "What are they?" Cooch says there are "scores of them," but won't allow himself to be pinned down to specifics, of course.
UPDATE 7:25 pm: Terry says, correctly, that if we had Cooch's plan, Virginia would be "in financial ruin." Also notes that Cooch opposed the Governor's transportation plan, opposes the Silver Line, won't take Medicaid money, would devastate education and prevent Virginia from growing a 21st century economy. Would also devastate Fairfax and other localities, would force Virginia to lay off thousands of teachers.
UPDATE 7:23 pm: Question from Aaron Gilchrist about Cuccinelli not providing specifics on how he'd pay for his huge tax cuts. Cooch actually cites North Carolina, which is being destroyed as we speak by the Tea Party, as a model for Virginian. Hmmmm. Claims he'd eliminated "15% of corporate tax loopholes," but of course doesn't say which ones. Basically, Cooch doesn't answer the question. #FAIL
UPDATE 7:19 pm: Cooch claims Terry doesn't understand how Virginia government works. Refers to Northern VA Technology PAC endorsement, of course fails to mention that group is OVERWHELMINGLY Republican! Cooch says "Governor is not a good entry level job." You mean, like for Mark Warner, one of our greatest governors? Duhhhhh. The chutzpah of Cuccinelli is amazing, claiming "No one up here has done more to protect women." Is that supposed to be a joke? @jeisrael tweets, "And @KenCuccinelli wants to improve Medicaid -- which he thinks unconstitutional."
UPDATE 7:18 pm: Question from Ben Pershing on paying for education. Terry says we'll look at efficiencies, work to get Medicaid expansion. Prudent budgeting. Cooch has proposed $1.4 billion tax cut, no idea how he'd pay for it, would be devastating for education (thousands of teachers laid off), would put "gigantic hole" in budget.
UPDATE 7:16 pm: Chuck Todd quotes Bill Bolling about how far right the Republican ticket is. Cuccinelli basically disses Bolling. Cooch claims what Terry said is "false," when of course it's all true. Is Cooch's nose growing longer? It should be.
UPDATE 7:15 pm: Terry points out, correctly, that Cooch runs on jobs, then when he gets into office pushes his far-right-wing agenda. Opposed Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. Has attacked gay Virginians. Says there are consequences to this "mean spirited attack" on women's health, gay Virginians, etc. Says we have to bring people together to move Virginia forward.
UPDATE 7:12 pm: Question to Cuccinelli about pushing his right-wing agenda, be divisive. Cooch points to "broad array of support" he's been getting, including Democrats (huh?!?).@ProgressVA tweets, "@KenCuccinelli sez has positive record He's positively been attacking access to health care, LGBT Virginians, public schools." Cooch says he has basic beliefs that are "fundamental to me," but absurdly claims he's spent most of his time trying to move Virginia forward economically. Seriously? He really believes that? Cooch "jokes" that if Terry is elected, we'll have to change state motto from "Sic Semper Tyrannus" to "Quid Pro Quo." Hahahahaha. Not. @ssurovell tweets, "Cuccinelli brags about fighting with Fairfax County to avoid cleaning up our local streams - not something to brag about."
UPDATE 7:11 pm: Question about ethics, political connections. Terry says he's spent much of his life volunteering in politics, running businesses, he stands by everything he's done in his life and is proud of his accomplishments. Points out Ken Cuccinelli's Star Scientific scandal, $1,500 turkey dinner ("that's a lot of turkey"), etc.
UPDATE 7:07 pm: Question #1 is on "negative TV ads" and "stereotypes" the other guy is trying to create. Terry gives his bio, emphasizes the importance of his business experience and approach. There are definitely differences between us. Cooch has pushed ideological agenda, bullying Board of Health, shutting down women's health clinics, etc. Cooch claims he's run positive ads, which is hilarious, given the reams of negative ads his SuperPAC allies are running. Basically, neither candidate really answers the question.
UPDATE 7:04 pm: Cooch opening statement. Says he's the only candidate "who won't need on-the-job training." The problem, of course, isn't "training," but Cooch's extremist, bigoted ideas.
UPDATE 7:03 pm: Chuck Todd now welcoming the candidates. Terry McAuliffe opening statement begins. Terry says the choice is simple: which candidate will focus on mainstream issues Virginians care about, on the economy, on commonsense solutions. Has assembled a "bipartisan coalition." Notes that Cuccinelli shook up his campaign, resulting a sharp increase in personal attacks, which he expects more of tonight. But what Virginians want to hear is how we'll deal with "serious economic headwinds" with sequestration, etc. No Tea Party "gridlock." We need mainstream solutions now "more than ever."
UPDATE 7:00 pm: The moderator is Chuck Todd, who hopefully will "commit an act of journalism" tonight. The rules are...NO RULES! Just kidding. :)
UPDATE 6:57 pm: @DannyKanner tweets, "@KenCuccinelli will be swinging for fences to erase deficit, but got a feeling the radical agenda can't be hidden at this pt." @BrianCoy tweets, "Waiting for @KenCuccinelli to turn #VAGovDebate into #FlailFest2013 in 3..."
Posted by Lowell at 8:03 AM
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
|This photo, posted on Ken Cuccinelli's Facebook page, sums up SO much that's wrong with "the Cooch" that it's hard to know where to begin. But just for fun, here are a few that leap out at me.1. The Governor of Virginia has ZERO - nada, nil - ability to even mildly influence foreign policy. Yet Ken Cuccinelli, trailing by 6-7 points in the polls in his race for GOVERNOR, has repeatedly commented on foreign policy (Syria, specifically), in recent weeks. Utterly bizarre. Doesn't this guy have other things to focus on, like his flailing, failing campaign (which just experienced a shakeup, in part due to near-panic among Virginia Republicans that Cuccinelli is going to lose, and possibly lose badly, in 1 1/2 months.|
2. The fact that Cuccinelli thinks foreign policy - Syria, specifically - might be a campaign issue in the Virginia Governor's race indicates how he will govern: focusing on his own agenda (and not on ours!), plus fighting constantly with the federal government (one of Virginia's biggest employers, as well as the basis of a good chunk of Virginia's economy) regardless of whether it benefits Virginians, and even where he has ZERO influence or "say" in the matter.
3. The news this morning is that the U.S. and Russia have agreed on a plan to seize Syria's chemical weapons, "backed by a U.N. Security Council resolution that could allow for sanctions or other consequences if Syria fails to comply." In other words: the Syria crisis is most certainly not over yet, but right now this agreement - and the policy of negotiating from a position of strength, including the credible threat of military force - looks like a MAJOR SUCCESS for the Obama administration. Yet Ken Cuccinelli will NEVER say anything positive about Barack Obama, or any "Democrat" (he refuses to say the word properly, just to prove that he can be a puerile putz, basically) politician. With regard to Obama, the fact is that Cuccinelli suffers from a SEVERE case of Obama Derangement Syndrome. Either that, or he's just pandering to his Teahadist base, which is driven to a frothing-at-the-mouth frenzy by a mixed-race guy named "Barack Hussein Obama" in the White House.
4. Cuccinelli's standing next to Rand Paul in that photo. Rand Paul? Seriously? You mean the guy who gets ZERO ratings from: a) NARAL Pro-Choice America (for supporting "personhood" legislation that would ban abortion and many forms of contraception, etc.); b) the League of Conservation Voters (for being an anti-environment, climate science-denyingnutjob); and c) the National Education Association (for his radical, anti-public-education agenda). Paul also gets abysmal ratings from groups like NETWORK ("A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby"), of course organized labor (that goes without saying for politicians like Rand Paul and Ken Cuccinelli), the Humane Society of the United States (for being anti-animal welfare), and the Alliance for Retired Americans (perhaps for saying Social Security is socialism and Medicare is a Ponzi scheme, etc, etc. On the other hand, Paul gets superb ratings from groups like the NRA, the "National Right to Life Committee," anti-Latino nativist groups like NumbersUSA, theChristian Coalition of America (founded by raving madman Pat Robertson, and advocating for a theocratic America), the Family Research Council (labeled an anti-gay "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, etc, etc. How is this relevant to the Virginia Governor's election? Because Ken Cuccinelli holds the same views as Rand Paul on all these things.
As I said, this photo sums up just about everything wrong with Ken Cuccinelli, and certainly why he's wrong for Virginia!
P.S. I'm not aware that Rand Paul is outright corrupt, so that might be one area where Cuccinelli has him beat (although both take huge sums of cash from the Koch brothers and other fossil fuel interests, then eagerly do their bidding).
Posted by Lowell at 11:46 AM
"McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli in Virginia governor's race! That is the type of story I want to wake up to on a brisk autumn morning. But look beneath the headline-worthy results and there are some big concerns ahead for Virginia Democrats. There is just over a month remaining to avoid another 2005-style outcome, where the joy of sending Tim Kaine to follow in Mark Warner's footsteps was mixed with the agony of defeat for the rest of our statewide ticket and disappointment at the lack of coattails in the General Assembly. Like any good remake, the cast of characters in 2013 is different from the 2005 original, but the ending may be the same.In 2005, Jerry Kilgore ran an offensive, dirty campaign against Tim Kaine. The tax increases passed by the Republican General Assembly divided Kilgore's party; his campaign was a bumbling effort to avoid attacking the turncoats that helped Mark Warner while also promising to roll back the historic revenue increase that provided for a significant investment in public education. Usually if you can't say anything nice, you're not supposed to say anything at all, but Kilgore instead found that his only message was to go negative against Tim Kaine. We all remember the October ad referencing Hitler and Tim Kaine's religious and moral objection to the death penalty.
Kilgore's fate was sealed, but only narrowly. Russ Potts, a moderate Republican exiled by his party's primitive proto-Tea Party wing, provided a vehicle of protest for moderate Republicans fed up with Kilgore. Polling as high as 4 to 5 percent in the month before the election, Potts received just over 2% of the vote. It might not sound like much, but it's the highest showing for a third party candidate for Governor of Virginia since William Story's 13.38% in 1965 as a Virginia Conservative (ignoring Henry Howell's 49.28% in 1973 when the Democrats did not run a candidate). A minor shift of other swing voters to Tim Kaine, based primarily in the suburban counties across the Commonwealth, made up the rest of the margin of victory over Kilgore.
In 2013, the Republican Party of Virginia has replaced the country bumpkin Kilgore with the Tea Party zealot Ken Cuccinelli. Faced with a signature legislative accomplishment, Cuccinelli turned hard right against Governor Bob McDonnell's transportation plan. This split could have provided an opening for Bill Bolling to run as an independent, a choice that Big Bill is probably regretting right now as he watches the no-name Sarvis polling in the double digits. Like Kilgore, Cuccinelli cannot run on any legislative accomplishments from Richmond, and now finds himself without a popular Governor to latch his campaign to. When you don't have anything positive to say about yourself, the only campaign tactic left is to attack your opponent and drag them through the mud.
|FreeDem :: Just Over a Month to Avoid Another 2005 Outcome Downballot|
|The big splash for Potts came from Kilgore overstepping the rules of common decency. For Sarvis, the obscure Libertarian from Northern Virginia, it's a different story of being at the right place at the right time. Some will try to argue that Sarvis represents a protest vote against both parties, but McAullife barely moves from 47% to 49% when Sarvis is not listed. Cuccinelli surges from 39% to 44%, demonstrating that Sarvis is pulling away Republican support. And don't be fooled, there's little evidence that these are moderate Republicans. The Washington Post poll locates the base of support for Sarvis:|
In the largely rural region that includes the Shenandoah Valley, Southwest and part of Southside Virginia, Sarvis is getting 19 percent of likely voters - clearly hurting Cuccinelli where the Republican should be performing strongest. Sarvis also does well among younger voters, taking 15 percent of those between 18 and 49.The recently released Bearing Drift poll, which I won't link to, found a similar trend of Sarvis doing the best in the 4th and 5th Districts, the rural parts of southern Virginia that voted heavily for George Wallace in 1968.
There's no profile for these voters that combines both a moderate, independent streak opposed to Cuccinelli's war on women, gays, and all Americans outside of the Tea Party circus, with a geographic concentration in the most rural, conservative parts of the state. Cuccinelli has woken up in his own worst nightmare, a campaign where the Tea Party anger that he has spent a lifetime building is now being turned on him because he's seen as just another establishment Republican at a time in which Tea Partiers are angry at their own leadership, including Eric Cantor, for not shutting down the government over defunding Obamacare. Don't let reporters spin you on Sarvis representing independent and moderate Republicans fleeing the GOP, those are just cute stories and quotes thrown in by lazy reporting. Someone who wavers on voting for Cuccinelli, but returns to the Republican Party downticket for E. W. Jackson, is not a moderate.
And it's downticket where the concerns about 2005 are biggest.
In 2005, Kilgore's October meltdown barely trickled down to the rest of his party. Bolling and McDonnell both won narrow victories, while all but one Republican incumbent in the House of Delegates was able to hold on against Tim Kaine's suburban tsunami. Kilgore managed to alienated voters so successfully with his dirty tactics, it was almost too easy for the key demographic of moderates backing Tim Kaine and Russ Potts to swing back to the GOP downticket.
Virginia Democrats are experiencing deja vu, Northam and Herring are neck and neck with their extremist opponents according to the Washington Post. There's no reason that E. W. Jackson should even be in the running for Lt. Governor, but with voters not yet turned on to the fact that he is a total laughingstock it's concerningly easy to imagine an October in which the emphasis continues to be on Cuccinelli alone, with not enough done to inform low information voters about the extremism of the entire GOP Ticket.
The classic Warner playbook is to talk about how this specific Republican candidate is too extreme and out of touch with Virginia values, and to then trot out the same tired cast of former Republican officials long since forgotten within the GOP to provide quotes. The recent ad by Warner in support of McAuliffe is great, but it continues the same old Virginia Democratic strategy of always focusing on the individual Republican at hand, not attacking the entire party for being rotten. The ad is of little help to Northam or Herring, let alone the struggling candidates for the House of Delegates.
In the month ahead, if history is any guide, Sarvis will collapse and his supporters will start the journey home to Cuccinelli. This natural tightening in the race may alarm some McAuliffe supporters, but it's natural. My advice over the next month, in addition to keeping up with your canvassing activities, is to respond to the tightening in the Governor's race by giving more assistance to the local races for House of Delegates. The big groups will make sure that McAuliffe has all the firepower he needs to win this. But the last thing we need is for McAuliffe to have to face Lt. Governor E. W. Jackson, Attorney General Mark Obenshain, and a House of Delegates that is largely unchanged from now.
Posted by Lowell at 8:00 AM
|Another day, yet another example of how far out of the mainstream Republican Attorney General nominee Mark "Criminalize Miscarriages" Obenshain is, even by the standards of hard-core conservatives. First, check this out:|
On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Todd Hughes' nomination to be a judge on the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals on a 98-0 vote, making him the first out gay federal appellate judge in the nation's history.Among those 98 Senators voting "yea" on the nomination of an openly gay judge were: Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, James Inhofe, Mitch McConnell, and assorted other ultra conservatives.Now, contrast that with what happened when an openly gay judge was up for a confirmation vote in the Virginia State Senate. That's right, Mark Obenshain walked out of the Virginia Senate, rather than sully himself by voting on the nomination of a gay judge. In other words, when it comes to LGBT equality, Mark Obenshain is so far out of the mainstream that he wouldn't even do what Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, James Inhofe, and Mitch McConnell were capable of doing earlier today - voting on an openly gay judge's nomination, and even (gasp!) voting "yea!" It says a great deal, none of it good, about Mark Obenshain.
P.S. I almost forgot to mention that Obenshain voted in 2011 to allow discrimination against gay and lesbian employees in the Virginia state workforce. Also in 2011, Obenshain voted against letting state Virginia government workers share health benefits with their same-sex partners. It goes on and on like this, anti-LGBT vote after anti-LGBT vote by Mark Obenshain. Of course, he's on a ticket with two other raging homophobes, so what else would we expect?
|A few minutes ago, we noticed this new page on Ken Cuccinelli's website, purporting to correct "lies" against him. I'm sure it was completely inadvertent, but somehow Cuccinelli managed to completely reverse "facts" and "lies." He also appears to be completely confused in other ways. So, since we of course wouldn't want to see Cuccinelli embarrass himself or anything, we decided we'd be nice and correct the mistakes on his "Climate Lawsuit" page (see corrected version on the "flip" of this post, or click on the image on this page to "embiggen")). The Cuccinelli campaign is of course welcome to replace their current, erroneous page with the following. I'd also be happy to help them fix their other pages if they'd like. Heck, I'll even do it for free! :)|
|lowkell :: Ken Cuccinelli Mixes Up Facts and Lies on Climate, Michael Mann. We Help Him Out.|
Monday, September 23, 2013
|According to E.W. Jackson, astoundingly the Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia:|
At a morning sermon Sunday in Northern Virginia, Republican lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson, a Chesapeake pastor, said people who don't follow Jesus Christ "are engaged in some sort of false religion."Jackson offered that view while describing a list of the "controversial" things he believes, and that must be said, as a Christian.In other words, so much for: Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Atheists, etc, etc. Lovely, huh? So...if you don't adhere to exactly the religious beliefs EW Jackson says you must adhere to, you are engaging in "some sort of false religion." Now here's the thing: I strongly defend EW Jackson's right to hold whatever intolerant views he wants to hold, and to express those intolerant views in whatever house of worship he cares to share them in (not sure why anyone would have him in their house of worship, but that's their right too...). What I utterly reject is the concept of someone like this being elected to high office in my state (or any state, frankly). That's what is unacceptable in a multi-religious (and increasingly non-religious) country founded by a bunch of deists and theists who stressed strict separation of church and state.P.S. If you want, you can listen to this bigot's ravings here (not just about religion, also about homosexuality, with which he is absolutely obsessed, and again how liberals destroyed the black family far worse than slavery ever did...). Absolutely. In. Sane.
Posted by Lowell at 8:01 AM
Friday, September 20, 2013
by Paul Goldman
|by Paul GoldmanWill the GOP obsession with defunding "Obamacare" deflate a puzzling boomlet for Ken Cuccinelli, who should be DCA - Dead Candidate Walking - about now? At 200-Proof Politics, we play like it lies; we don't judge, we just report. Right now, the evidence is clear: despite a massive anti-Cuccinelli TV barrage from Terry's campaign, and months of constant negative Cuccinelli stores from the mainstream media (caused in large measure by an incompetent campaign strategy), the beleaguered GOP GUV guy isn't DCA yet. In fact, the latest poll from a credible organization (Quinnipiac, not Roanoke) actually shows Cuccinelli LEADING if you posit a normative GOP turnout in a non-presidential statewide election year. Say what?|
None of this changes my Democratic "sweep" prediction, although the limb is lonely right now. But the stats are the stats: despite the Q-poll internals favoring Terry, the Democratic GUV guy has not "sealed the deal," as they say. I thought this thing could be over by September 15th if Cuccinelli didn't have a good push back issue. But he has gotten lucky on other fronts: the trial of the ex-chef at the Mansion now off the table; the mess over the otherwise meaningless NOVA Tech PAC endorsement being made into some major PR thing by Democratic overreaction; the fact the independents seem to be souring on everyone; and the Q-poll suggesting GOP loyalists are willing to vote for Cuccinelli, even though they have a negative view of him.
Still, my middle-of-September rule only applies in blowout type situations, and Democrats have only had that one time (1985) in the modern Virginia gubernatorial race era. SO: While a comfortable Terry win is still there in the Q-poll numbers if his campaign does it right, perhaps the lucky breaks going Cuccinelli's way will not just be a few weeks reprieve, but rather omens that he could make a real horse race of it going into election day.
Mitt Romney came back from DCA to rally, only to lose close in Virginia. In the end, a win is a win, but at this stage of the game, margin matters in the narrative. So does luck. And while Cuccinelli got a few breaks in recent days, it is also clear that the looming fight over Obamacare, and an increasingly likely government shutdown (pushed by some of Cuccinelli's top Tea Party allies and ideological compatriots), threaten to shut down Ken Cuccinelli's brief uptick.
|Goldmanusa :: Will Government Shutdown Shut Down Cuccinelli's Gubernatorial Hopes?|
I still hold to my view, lonely as it may be: Obamacare, which is tied to Medicaid expansion, should be a net-net PLUS issue for Cuccinelli in the Governor's race. That he can't seem to make it work for him is mind-boggling to me. The voters he needs to win are not big fans of Obamacare. In politics, when you are explaining, you are losing: and like it or not, Cuccinelli can make some plausible - for political purposes - charges that force McAuliffe into the "explaining" mode.BUT: A government shutdown will be huge news in NOVA. It is difficult to see how any "spin" can turn this into a plus for the GOP in NOVA. Meaning: talk about a Tea Party-led government shutdown is already eating away at Ken Cuccinelli's apparent boomlet. In fact, it might already have killed it. Logically, the President's slumping numbers on Syria played a role in any Cuccinelli uptick and in rallying Republicans to a protest vote. The public isn't giving the President credit for anything in Syria yet.
Bottom line: Obama is going to win a government shutdown fight. This takes the focus from Syria and puts it back on a playing field far weaker for the GOP. This has to hurt Cuccinelli, at the margins at least. A full-fledged government shutdown, caused by the Tea Party's hard line on Obamacare and other issues, will cost Cuccinelli. Since the polls show his chances are iffy at best right now, this could make him DCA. Whatever extra energy it might give to GOP loyalists will be matched with equal (or greater) energy from Dems.
Given how this campaign has gone, it must be assumed that Cuccinelli held back on his biggest selling point - the first AG to sue over Obamacare - to align with the October 1 start for signing up with the health care exchanges. What else makes sense? But come October 1, the big news very well could be the Tea Party-led shutdown of the government, forcing federal employees in NOVA to stay home (possibly without pay?). That will ripple through the whole NOVA economy and social media. It is all downside for Cuccinelli as I see it, especially given that he brags that he was "Tea Party before the Tea Party."
Truth is, all other things being equal, Cuccinelli would have been better off with a nasty trial of the ex-chef than with a nasty "your momma" finger-pointing shutdown of Uncle Sam. But since a shutdown is bad national politics for Republicans, I will be amazed if they go that route after seeing the outcome of the 1995 shutdown that sealed re-election for a then very weak Bill Clinton.
The House has to play its games to satisfy the base. But in the end, do they dare defy common sense? To the extent the public believes they will, Cuccinelli's uptick may have already evaporated and bigger downside awaits.
|This morning came encouraging news for anyone who cares about: a) human health; b) human well being; c) the future of our planet's habitability (or lack thereof, if we continue on the current path); and d) the transition to a sustainable energy economy (which will still happen, but much more slowly, if the fossil fuel companies and their Republican lackeys get their way). What sane person could oppose human health and well being, having a habitable planet for future generations, and building a prosperous and sustainable economy for the 21st century and beyond? Take one guess.You got it: Virginia Republicans - who receive huge sums up campaign ca$$ from coal (and other fossil fuel) companies - are ratcheting up the hysteria this morning about the "war on coal." Mark Obenshain, for instance, hyperventilates that "[a]s Attorney General, I'm going to stand up for coal jobs, and for all Virginians, in opposing these overreaching federal regulations that kill jobs and economic opportunity in Virginia." And Ken Cuccinelli goes for his usual wildly-over-the-top, super-hyperbolic approach, Big Lie approach, claiming (falsely) that the modest - and long, long overdue - new rules onfuture power plants will " crush Virginia jobs and hike energy prices for businesses, families and workers." |
Here's what you need to know about these statements: a) they're complete bull****, essentially not an ounce of truth to them; b) they're aimed at continuing the coal company gravy train - boatloads of campaign cash
from the coal companies, that is - to their own campaigns; and c) did I mention that they're totally full of it?
How about, instead of Republican blather and hysteria, we look at a few actual FACTS? I know, what a concept! Anyway, here goes (fully aware that Republicans do NOT care about facts).
|lowkell :: As VA Republicans Cue Coal Hysteria, Here Are a Few Actual Facts|
|1. "Did the EPA just kill new coal plants?", Mark Obenshain asks? Uh, no. Not even close. For starters, these long overdue (given that the Supreme Court back in 2007 essentially orderedthe EPA to issue regulations on CO2 emissions) rules only cover NEW coal-fired power plants, not on EXISTING ones. But, you say, that's a big deal, right? Well...see #2 below.2. In fact, as the Washington Post's Wonkblog explains: "It's entirely possible that no coal power plants of any type will get built for years, regardless of what the EPA does Friday. That's because natural gas is so cheap right now it's not really economical to build coal plants." That's right, let's emphasize that point: cheap natural gas has ALREADY made new coal-fired power plants uncompetitive. And that's HIGHLY likely to continue, given the boom in natural gas production in this country. Here's Wonkblog:|
Roughly speaking, natural gas prices needs to rise above $7 per million BTU for new coal plants to be competitive. But the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that natural gas prices will stay under $6 per million BTU for the next two decades. As a result, the agency doesn't think any coal plants will be built between 2018 and 2035.That's one reason why an earlier draft of the EPA power-plant rule predicted that the regulations for new power plants would have virtually no costs in the near term. After all, no new coal plants were likely to get built in the United States anyway. So the EPA rule won't make much difference one way or the other. Unless, of course, natural gas prices rise unexpectedly - something that's happened in the past.Did you hear that, Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain? That's right: natural gas is out-competing coal (it's called "capitalism," ever hear of it, Ken and Mark?); and because of that, "no new coal plants were likely to get built in the United States anyway." None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. So what the hell are you hyperventilating about again?3. Coal-fired power plants are also increasingly not competitive with clean energy. As Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz explains, we are undergoing a "clean energy revolution - now." Did you know, for instance, that in 2012, "wind was America's largest source of new electrical capacity, accounting for 43 percent of all new installations?" Did you know that since 2008, "the price of solar panels has fallen by 75 percent, and solar installations have multiplied tenfold?" Did you know that "[r]enewable energy is becoming more and more competitive, to the point now that new generation from wind costs less than conventional coal-fired generation -- and can even give natural gas a run for its money?" (see above graph from Greentech Media on the steeply falling cost and rapidly increased deployment of wind power)
4. If you're a dumb enough investor to put money into new coal-fired power plants, even as they are being out-competed by natural gas and, increasingly, wind and solar (not to mention energy efficiency, which demolishes new coal-fired power plants purely on economic grounds), the fact is that coal plants can still be built under the EPA regulations. But again, you'd be really, really dumb to build one, given that they are not the lowest-cost option to generate power, and given that the trend lines are all moving in the wrong direction - for coal, that is.
5. Research shows that far from being an economic positive for coal-producing regions, "[c]oal mining areas fared significantly worse on all indicators compared with non-mining areas of Appalachia and/or the nation." That's in terms of median household income, poverty rates, unemployment, disease and mortality rates, you name it. The question is, why would anyone in their right mind want to invest in something that kills jobs, humans, and the environment, especially when it's not even economically competitive with other options (natural gas, energy efficiency, wind, and increasingly solar power)? You'd have to be an ignoramus, right? Speaking of which...hello Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Obenshain? Any response to these facts? Or are you just going to keep on hyperventilating and making s*** up?
Posted by Lowell at 7:56 AM
Thursday, September 19, 2013
|Since Roanoke College is out with a new "poll" (using the word EXTREMELY loosely) this morning, I thought it would be a good opportunity to review how pathetically, laughably bad these "polls" really are (note: today's "poll" has the Dems up, but it doesn't matter - these "polls" are garbage no matter what they show). Here are a few lowlights:*The most hilariously, outrageously awful pollster of Virginia during the 2012 cycle was, by far, Roanoke College. Starting off in March 2011, with a poll that can't even really be called "crap," because that's an insult to good fecal material everywhere, is this, this...thing, showing George Allen leading Tim Kaine by - wait for it - 13 points (!!!). Uh guys? Bwahahahahahahaha.|
*Another truly abysmal Roanoke College poll came on October 31, 2012, just days before the election. In this debacle, Roanoke College had Kaine and Obama both DOWN five points in Virginia, meaning that they missed the final results a few days later by 9 and 11 points, respectively. Wow.
*Even more hilariously, that Roanoke College "poll" (using the word VERY loosely) came just a few weeks afteranother one of their "polls" showed Obama up 8 points and Kaine up 10 points. That's right, according to Roanoke College, there was a 15-point swing towards Romney and Allen in Virginia during October 2012. Seriously, just shut this "pollster" down and spare us all the misery. (Note: I thought about looking at Roanoke College "polls"' internals, but then I thought, why even bother, these polls are so awful it doesn't even matter what the internals are, might as well have just pulled them out of their butts for all they're worth...)
*Nate Silver ranked all the pollsters from the 2012 presidential race, and Roanoke College finished 6th worst in the entire country (out of about 90 polls), with an "average error" and pro-GOP "bias" of 8.1 points each.
So, again, I urge all media organizations to ignore Roanoke College polls, whether they show Democrats up, down, tied, upside-down, whatever. Not that they ever listen to anyone's advice, so screw it, just carry on fine media organizations...just like you do with the mass shooting stories and everything else you get wildly wrong all the time.
Posted by Lowell at 7:58 AM
|You know how the Virginia "Extreme Ticket" - and the Virginia Teapublican Party in general - when it's not talking about how they'll make the poor poorer and rich richer, is absolutely obsessed (in a warped, negative way) with sex and reproduction - banning contraception, abortion, "sodomy," etc? Well, now the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, begs to differ - strongly.|
...During the return flight from Rio de Janeiro I said that if a homosexual person is of good will and is in search of God, I am no one to judge. By saying this, I said what the catechism says. Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person...We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible.I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that. But when we speak about these issues, we have to talk about them in a context. The teaching of the church, for that matter, is clear and I am a son of the church, but it is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.I wonder what Ken Cuccinelli and Company have to say about this? While they're at it, I'd also love to hear their thoughts on the Pope's teachings that "the world's rich must do much more to wipe out vast inequalities between the haves and the have-nots," and that everybody "should be able tomake a personal contribution to putting an end to so many social injustices."In other words, Pope Francis' teachings, whether on economic fairness, social justice, or human sexuality, are the POLAR OPPOSITE of what Ken Cuccinelli, EW Jackson, Mark Obenshain, and the rest of the unhealthfully-sex-obsessed, LGBT-persecuting, women's-rights-depriving, soak-the-poor-and-enrich-the-wealthy Virginia Republican Party believe in. Not that they care, of course. But in the end, all I can say is that I'm REALLY liking this Pope (and I'll admit, I'm surprised that I am, based on what I had read about aspects of his background), as he is returning the Roman Catholic church to the highly progressive teachings of Gospels, which again are the polar opposite of any Republican Party platform. Yet those people go around claiming to be the true Christians? He's also doing it in a style of humility, compassion, and humanity so rarely seen in the Republican Party these days. Is Ken Cuccinelli more Catholic than the Pope? I don't think so!
P.S. Oh, and last I checked, Pope Francis doesn't go around telling Jewish "jokes."
P.P.S. Another great quote by Pope Francis that is also the polar opposite of the attitude of people like Ken Cuccinelli (who thinks he has all the answers to everything, and everyone else is wrong): "If one has the answers to all the questions-that is the proof that God is not with him." And also, "Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal 'security,' those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists-they have a static and inward-directed view of things." Bingo!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
|I sat down for lunch earlier today with 34th House of Delegates district (McLean, Great Falls) candidate Kathleen Murphy and her campaign manager, Raymond Rieling. Here are some highlights from our conversation.*According to Murphy, Barbara Comstock claims she's "an elected official, I uphold the law, but [Comstock] never finishes by saying 'it is my goal to overturn Roe v. Wade.'"|
*"The [hard-core Tea Partiers] want somebody to overturn the government; they don't see that our government does anything good -- and that's sad."
*"I have run into people at the doors who will say 'I'm a Republican,' and I've looked at them and I say 'are you a Reagan Republican, or are you a Comstock/Cuccinelli Republican, because they're very different."
*"Comstock and Cuccinelli really have attacked the rights of women in a way that's a new low, with mandatory trans-vaginal ultrasounds...closing these clinics where women get basic health care, cancer screening, Pap smears...and they say 'not our problem.'"
*Comstock "wants to run for Congress, maybe Governor...Karl Rove contributes to her, he has advised her...she learned from him."
*Comstock's campaign is accusing Murphy's of being "negative," but if Comstock thinks that pointing out her own votes is "negative," then Murphy says "don't vote that way!"
*"Our campaign is very straightforward: the Barbara Comstock in McLean and Great Falls and Loudoun is not the Barbara Comstock that you get voting down in Richmond."
|lowkell :: Kathleen Murphy on Barbara Comstock, Gun Violence, Women's Rights, and the Jewish "joke"|
|*"A lot of people are very discouraged on the Republican side by the Cuccinelli/Comstock/Obenshain [ticket], especially with the attack on women's rights. Even Republican women are coming around and saying, 'You know, I really like Barbara, but man alive, I don't like the way she has voted on these issues...Some of [those voters] are coming my way."*"This is going to be a very tough race, but I don't back away from it, and I'm not afraid of her. I think she's going to have a really hard time defending her voting record." (note: there will be four "forums" - not debates, god forbid - in this race)|
*"I am not running against Barbara Comstock because I don't like her, I am running against her because of her voting record - she votes against us...in a way that is totally unacceptable for women...education...transportation...she votes with the gun lobby."
*"I lost my brother to gun violence, and I can tell you that's a big issue for me. Preventing gun violence should be huge for us...Barbara's people have said to me, 'if your brother had been armed, he wouldn't be dead.' I told the guy, thank you very much, but he was a licensed gun owner, he knew how to use a gun, and it didn't save his life."
*Murphy related a scary story on guns: "When my son was a 5th grader, he went and stayed with a friend. When they came back to our house, they went into his room and closed the door...I went in and they had brought a gun home from the other kid's house...a loaded gun...so I took the gun, and he was saying 'oh gosh mom, this is going to make so-and-so really mad at us, and I said, 'well you've already got this so-and-so really mad at you.'"
*We talked for a while about the importance of solid-blue areas like Arlington and Alexandria helping candidates like Kathleen Murphy in swing districts. That one should be a no-brainer, IMHO.
*According to Murphy, when people find out what Comstock's voting record is, some "gasp," while others stand there and "just shake their head and say, 'this can't be true.'"
*This is a race where "one candidate is totally pro-gun, doesn't want to talk about gun safety or gun violence prevention, running against a woman who's experienced two tragedies from gun violence...It's an important part of who I am. I had a brother, his name was Steven. And he was murdered, for no reason at all..."
*What happened Monday in the Navy Yard should not be politicized, in Murphy's view. "This is a...tragedy that our country and this area has experience...and we are human beings and our hearts are broken along with those families, and what we need to do is turn around and say we care enough to continue to fight so that we get some sensible ways to reduce gun violence. You can't let them talk you out of that."
*I asked Murphy about the Jewish "joke" by Republican 10th CD Chair John Whitbeck. She asked, "I just want to know how it's possible for the Republican Party to allow someone with those kind of really hateful attitudes and values and beliefs to represent their party?" In Murphy's view, Barbara Comstock "should absolutely condemn [those remarks], but you'll never see her do it." Murphy added, "You can quote me on this: Barbara Comstock agrees with Cuccinelli about 90%-95% of the time. I can only assume that she completely supports his association with this man, who I think is disgraceful."
*Murphy provided a synopsis of her personal and political narrative. At the doors, she emphasizes "real...workable solutions to congestion, getting more people onto transit...making our schools even better...paying our teaches a livable wage in this area...It is important that we stand up for the rights of women, because I am running against a crew that wants to legislate discrimination, ignorance and intolerance...and we should say no. And then I say, I lost my brother, and I know what tragedy feels like...and I will work very hard to come together to have a conversation about how we can address gun violence...and make our families and our communities safer."
*Murphy added that she grew up a "military brat," the 3rd of 7 kids. She said her family was not wealthy, so she worked to put herself through school...it took years and years, but she finally got her degree, graduated magna cum laude, and she was proud that all her children were there to see that.
*What can Democrats and progressive activists in deep "blue" areas in places like Arlington and Alexandria do to help Murphy? She says, "knock on doors and donate...so we can continue to pay for grip cards and the [salaries of staffers]...and so that I can stop trying to raise money and go out and knock on more doors...every door I knock is a vote I can get, and I promise you I'm picking up votes..."
The bottom line is that Kathleen Murphy is an impressive Democratic candidate, running in a winnable district (IF she has the resources to get her message out) against a truly deplorable Republican (for more on Comstock, see here and here). If you want to volunteer for Kathleen Murphy in these closing weeks,please click here. If you want to donate, Please click here. Thanks, and go Kathleen Murphy!
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
|Does anyone out there seriously think that Virginia GOP Attorney General candidate is any less radical than Ken Cuccinelli? If so, here are two photos to disprove that falsehood.First, see photo #1 below (see photo #2, of Obenshain with right-wing hate radio host Mark Levin, on the "flip") has "Tea Party Mark" Obenshain with NRA Chief Executive Officer Wayne LaPierre. For some serious Wayne LaPierre lunacy, see here. Also see Two Decades of Paranoid Pronouncements by the NRA's Wayne LaPierre (e.g., "one of [Bill Clinton's] first moves as president could be to turn his administration into a gun-grabbing goon squad;" "Forget Stalin's Russia. Forget Hitler's Germany. The mightiest propaganda machine the world has ever known is right here in 1994 America;" "Not too long ago, it was unthinkable for federal agents wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms to attack law-abiding citizens... In Clinton's administration, if you have a badge, you have the government's go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens;" "[Bill Clinton is] willing to accept a certain level of killing to further his political agenda. And the vice president, too."). Yep, that's who Mark Obenshain hangs out with.|
|Photo #2: Obenshain (with the "Guns Save Lives" sticker - classy!) and right-wing hate radio host Mark Levin (rallying today with Obenshain's ticketmate Ken Kookinelli). That's right, this guy ("Women In Combat Pose A Danger To 'A Real Man' Who Will React Differently If They're In Danger;" "Sotomayor is 'Ruth Bader Ginsburg plus about 50 pounds;'" "Oh, we want clean air and clean water. And what does that mean? Poverty!"; "BP hearings are a 'Soviet-style spectacle' and are part of a 'huge cover-up'"; "'the Klan's agenda' and "the radical left's agenda...are pretty similar.'"; etc. etc.). Again, that's Tea Party Mark Obenshain's - and Ken Cuccinelli's - buddy. Any further questions?|
Posted by Lowell at 7:54 AM
|Utterly appalled that a major party candidate in this country can actually hold a rally with a hate radio "shock jock" and extremist (UPDATE: and a GOP chair who apparently likes telling anti-Semitic "jokes"), and not automatically lose the election by 30 points or so, I asked several smart Virginia and national Democratic politicos what they thought about this situation. I mean, can you imagine if Terry McAuliffe rallied with a Marxist who said white people were evil, said derogatory things about men, Christians, heterosexuals, etc, maybe threw in some 9/11 "Trutherism" for good measure, just to complete the equivalence with crazies like Mark Levin? Wouldn't that be the end of Terry McAuliffe or any other Democratic candidate for, well...forever? (and rightfully so, I might add)Specifically, I asked the Democratic politicos what - if it's even possible to imagine - would be the "left" equivalent of Cuccinelli and Obenshain hobnobbing with the Mark Levins, Wayne LaPierres, Koch brothers, Rand Pauls, John Whitbecks, and other assorted bigots, extremists, and tinfoil-hat lunatics of the world? Not to mention the Family Research Council, labeled a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center? The best answer I got went roughly like this (edited from chat format for clarity and coherence).|
|lowkell :: Is There a "Left" Equivalent to Cuccinelli's, Obenshain's Far-Right-Wing Extremism and Lunacy?|
This really is the Republicans' base. The characteristics you described - extremist, tinfoil hat, bigots, etc. - are not our base. If you look at the polls, on issue after issue, our base is in the majority on almost everything, often in huge numbers. Yet somehow that doesn't translate on election day.Part of it is people have become inured to the right wing being the raving lunatics that they are. The whole political conversation has moved so far right in recent years, that this kind of craziness is somehow considered acceptable, within the norm. The media doesn't call it out, probably doesn't even see it, like they have all been simultaneously brainwashed.Another Democratic politico friend pointed out that there simply is no "Tea Party" equivalent on the left side of the political spectrum, broadly speaking. In fact, there really isn't a functional "left" in this country at all (or even a progressive movement worth speaking about). In addition, the right wing has done a far better job over the years of marginalizing the "left," "liberals," "progressives," even moderates in the Republican Party ("RINOs!") than Democrats and progressives have done to the right wing in this country, even after the disastrous Bush/Cheney era should have put the nail in their coffin for a long time to come.For instance, this progressive politico pointed out, almost nobody takes Dennis Kucinich seriously, and he's objectively speaking far less of a "left-wing extremist" than Frank Wolf (or Ken Cuccinelli, Mark Obenshain, EW Jackson) is a "right-wing extremist." Yet going back to Dukakis - and earlier, to Nixon - the Republicans have somehow managed to make "liberal" a dirty word. That's in part because the corporate media skews to the right, and in part because the right has a much better-financed, and ultimately more effective messaging machine than the (non-existent, pretty much) "left" does.
No doubt, the two of us agreed, the media is a huge part of the problem. They simply will NOT - out of cowardice, greed, stupidity, whatever - call out the right-wing extremists for what they are (case in point: the Washington Post article on the Cooch/Levin rally today doesn't explain who Mark Levin is and what he's all about, so how would readers know?!?). Instead, they treat them as normal, sane, reasonable, "the other side" of "two sides" (equivalent of course). That is totally not true, yet they repeat it so many times (and even some members of the Democratic Party, like Mark Warner, constantly use right-wing "framing"), that the Big Lie becomes the Truth.
So that's apparently where we are right now, and that's why the Ken Cuccinellis and Mark Obenshains of the world can mug for photographs, hold rallies, and ally themselves with bigots, extremists, and tinfoil-hat nutjobs like Mark Levin, Wayne LaPierre, Foster Friess, the Koch brothers, the Family Research Council, EW Jackson, John Whitbeck, you name it, without automatically losing the election by like 30, 40 points. Because in a sane country, filled with people who really pay attention, who really understand the issues (in part because the media actually does its job, which it most certainly isn't doing now), and who vote for people who HELP them not HURT them, that's what would happen to people like Cuccinelli and Obenshain. Sadly, though, that isn't currently the case, and this is the FUBAR situation we're in right now. And no, to answer the question at the start of this diary, there is most definitively NOT a "left" equivalent of Cuccinelli's, Jackson's, and Obenshain's far-right-wing extremism and lunacy.
Monday, September 16, 2013
|In all the hoo-ha over the Northern Virginia Technology Council PAC's bizarro endorsement of Ken Cuccinelli (although note that the parent organization, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, has decided NOT to endorse anyone in this race), I've seen numerous references in the corporate media to this group as "nonpartisan" or "bipartisan." But is it really? Let's look at its members and see for ourselves.*The chair, Dendy Young, has donated nearly $20,000 to Republican federal candidates, including Robert Hurt and Keith Fimian. He's also donated an enormous $109,150 to Republican candidates in Virginia, including Jim Gilmore, Mark Earley, Jerry Kilgore, Bob McDonnell, Dave Albo, Jim LeMunyon...and on and on. Over the years, 87% of his state-level political contributions have gone to Republicans, while just 10% have gone to Democrats (over half of which went to one candidate, Steve Shannon).|
*The Vice Chair, S. Bradford Antle, has given heavily to Republican federal candidates like Keith Fimian and Scott Rigell, plus the National Republican Congressional Committee. At the state level, he's donated to ZERO Democrats, while giving to Republicans Barbara Comstock, Tag Greason, and Pat Herrity.
*Board member Rob Quartel has given to the Fairfax County Republican Committee, to Republican Rob Wittman, as well as to Republicans Ken Cuccinelli, Barbara Comstock, Bob McDonnell, Jim LeMunyon, and many others. He has given to ZERO Democrats over the years, according to VPAP. In addition,Quartel has "served in the Ford White House, as Issue Director for the Ford Campaign, as Domestic Policy Director for George Bush (1979), and as an issue advisor to numerous other Presidential campaigns since."
*Board member Todd House has given to Republicans and to lots more Republicans (e.g., Jim Gilmore, Jerry Kilgore, Mark Earley, Caren Merrick). He has given to ZERO Democrats.
*Board member Bobbie Kilberg is "a Republican operative who has worked for Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush." She also "sought elected political office twice in Virginia, in 1987 as the Republican candidate for the State Senate and in 1993 as a candidate for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor."
*Board member Anne Gavin's professional background "includes a political appointment at the U.S. Department of Transportation under President George H.W. Bush, a stint as Press Secretary for the Republican National Committee in 1994 and Communications Director for the 1996 Republican National Convention."
|lowkell :: Northern Virginia Technology Council PAC is Slanted Heavily Republican|
|*Board member Joel Hinzman has only given to Republicans, as far as I can determine.*Board member Anthony Bedell "has worked on more than a dozen Republican campaigns including George Allen's 1993 gubernatorial campaign, Allen's 2006 senatorial campaign, and Bush-Cheney 2000 and 2004." He also "was elected Chairman of the Fairfax County Republican Committee in 2006 and served two terms."|
*Board member Matthew Calkins has given only to Republicans as far as I can tell, including $2,500 to Mitt Romney last year.
*Board member Joel Partridge is a lobbyist for the NRA. 'Nuff said.
*Board member Don Rainey is a diehard Republican, having donated to ZERO Democrats and a bunch of Republicans over the years.
*Board member Peter Sirh is a diehard Republican, having "served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), a member of the House Majority Leadership." Also worth noting, "As Chief of Staff, Mr. Sirh operated as a top House Leadership aide, part of a select team charged with the task of increasing the GOP majority in the House."
*Board member Sandeep Somaiya gave $5,000 to Romney/Ryan last year. He also gave $5,000 to Aneesh Chopra. So...let's call him an independent.
*Board member Matthew McQueen has given to both Democrats and Republicans. So has Robert Omberg.
*I'm not sure about six members - C. Michael Ferraro, Rick Montfort, Duffy Mazan, J.L. Novak, Marie Payne and Michelle Frank; and four - Tim Cook, Kathryn Falk, Chris Long, and Suhakar Kesavan - appear to donate mostly to Democrats. Others, like Steve Cooker and Will Castleberry, appear to have given to both parties.
That, my friends, is certainly not an evenly balanced "bipartisan" or "nonpartisan" group. Instead, out of 27 members, there appear to be 12 Republicans, 5 independents, 4 Democrats, and 6 undetermined/nonpartisan. That is also in stark contrast to the Washington Post's wildly misleading description of the board as "bipartisan." Sure, if you consider having just 4 Democrats on a 27-member board to be "bipartisan," then sure. But obviously, it's not "bipartisan" in any serious sense.
In addition to its heavily Republican membership, it's important to point out the Northern Virginia Technology Council PAC's past endorsements. In 2005, they endorsed Jerry Kilgore over Tim Kaine and Bob McDonnell over Creigh Deeds for AG. In 2009, they again endorsed Bob McDonnell over Creigh Deeds, this time for Governor. They did endorse Steve Shannon over Ken Cuccinell for AG in 2009, making the current endorsement of "the Cooch" even more bizarre.
Finally, I'd just point out that this endorsement goes totally against the Northern Virginia Technology Council's members' own self interest. What do they care about? Well, they strongly supported the transportation package earlier this year, which Ken Cuccinelli opposed and Terry McAuliffe supported. They presumably support science, which Ken Cuccinelli consistently has demonstrated he doesn't respect or even "believe" in. They are generally from companies with forward-thinking policies on LGBT employees, yet Ken Cuccinelli is a rabid, raging homophobe. Presumably, they also support a strong public education system for their employees and executives' families, yet Ken Cuccinelli's policies would devastate that system. We could go on and on, but this is just so brain dead it's not even possible to wrap one's brain around. Unless you're a heavily Republican group, like the Northern Virginia Technology Council PAC, perhaps then it might make sense?
Posted by Lowell at 7:55 AM
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Posted by Lowell at 7:52 AM