Thursday, October 18, 2018
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A Siegel

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When Even Glenn Beck Says the Right Wing Is Going Too Far …

When even Glenn Beck is screaming, at the top of his (very large capacity (e.g., loud) lungs that the right has gone to far,...

The Donald Trump-Barbara Comstock relationship: How will Barbara spend Sunday evening in #VA10? Inquiring...

This evening, the GOP nominee for president, Donald Trump,  will visit Virginia's 10th district as part of the last minute 'surge' effort of his...

Barbara Comstock (R-VA10): Following Letter, Violating Spirit, of the Law?

A story to begin ... My father was a civil servant.  A college friend of his sent our family a selection of cheese every...

Did Barbara Comstock Violate House Franking Rules? Was Recent Mass Mailing Illegal? Perhaps …

Amid the swirling accusations and counter-accusations across America in the waning days of Election 2016, here are a series of questions to ask about...

Barbara Comstock: Right for Alabama, Wrong for Virginia

Imagine: a suburban/exurban northern Virginia Congressional district. Wealthy, highly educated. Significant share of voters working directly or indirectly for the Federal government. About as purple as districts get, with...

GOP Deceit Certainly Not Limited to Trump; NRCC Example in Virginia 10th CD

by A Siegel, cross posted from Daily Kos Virginia’s 10th Congressional District is a potential Red-to-Blue opportunity that is attracting serious external money for a...
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New Yorker @RealDonaldTrump ignores @NewYorker (#tunnel edition)

When it comes to "The Donald", those trump-newyorker working to keep track of his misstatements, falsehoods, anti-science (non)reality simply might not have enough terrabytes of computer memory to maintain a full record or hours in the day to keep up with the speed of inanity spewing from his mouth.

Last night, watching a brief account of the political centerpiece of the world (the Iowa State Fair), I saw an item -- without, of course, any reporter challenge -- to add to that list.  The @RealDonaldTrump was going on about his signature concept of a border fence with Mexico.  And, he then went on to say just how easy it would be to enforce and that tunneling wouldn't work to get around it as ...

all we'd need to do is fly an aircraft overhead with radars and we'd see them all

Okay, truth in advertising, this is a paraphrasing -- didn't catch it word for word and don't plan on searching for a transcript of a randomly seen news report.  But, it is an accurate paraphrasing of 'meaning' and substance.

Now, this is a pretty small item out of the inanities that "The Donald" puts out but it is a very clear item related to 'fact': can we 'easily' detect tunnels from overhead?

  • The U.S. military, concerned about North Korean tunnels, has spent tremendous amounts of money to develop effective (remote) tunnel detection systems.  As far as 'we' (public) know, this has had limited success -- at best.
  • The Israelis, concerned about smuggling tunnels into/out of Gaza, have worked hard to develop systems to detect tunneling and active tunnels.  As far as 'we' (public) know, this has had limited success -- at best.
  • The various U.S. and State government agencies concerned about drug smuggling tunnels into the United States are searching, hard, for effective systems to detect tunneling and active tunnels.  As far as 'we' (public) know, this has had limited success -- at best.

No, Donald, it ain't so easy to find a tunnel.

And, well, who in the media will bracket showing the @RealDonaldTrump's 'ease of finding tunnels' comments with quotations from actual experts showing that his comments are simply wrong, demonstrating ignorance and a flagrant lack of concern for actual truthful engagement?

Grist’s Ben Adler: Jim Webb “sucks on climate change”

Former Marine, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA)Former Secretary of the Navy, Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb is the first out of the box for the 2016 Democratic Party Presidential nomination hunt.  This announcement has garnered its attention and analysis. (For example, over at DailyKos, Markos has a biting (and to me, generally accurate) review of Webb's announcement video in the context of Democratic Party primary politics and TeacherKen put up a sympathetic reflection on Jim Webb.)  And, some attention is turning to Webb's positions on policy arenas.

While Webb is far from the stage of having formal policy issue statements, he does have a record of action and statements to examine.  Over at Grist, Ben Adler put up a searing review of Jim Webb and climate/environmental issues:

...in the Senate, Webb was a "climate curmudgeon," [who worked to undermine Presidential authority to negotiate climate treaties, fought against the Environmental Protection Agency, etc.]...And on climate change, by far the most monumental environmental issue, Webb may be little better than the Republican Party to which he once belonged.
During his Senate term, Webb:

Terry McAuliffe: Use Dirty Money for Good Deeds

The fundraising for Virginia Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe's inaugural party is seeing a serious lift due to donations from fossil-fuel dependent Corporations.  Most notably,
McAuliffe's Inaugural Committee Dominion: Global Warming Starts Herehas received $25,000 from Alpha Natural Resources, an $8 billion coal company that gave $92,500 to Cuccinelli's campaign. Dominion Resources, a Virginia-based coal, gas, and nuclear conglomerate that gave Cuccinelli $75,000, has given McAuliffe's committee $50,000.
Yes, of the $325,000 from large contributors through 2 December, just under 25 percent comes from two firms closely associated with seeking to undermine climate science, hamper Virginia's moves to greater energy efficiency and a cleaner electricity system, and who strongly supported the campaign of fossil-foolish climate-science denier Ken Cuccinelli.

Differences on climate science and clean energy were stark during the election campaign.  And, those differences played a significant role in McAuliffe's election, as Virginians want to move forward to a clean-energy 21st century rather than double-down on polluting 19th century energy concepts.

As a Virginian concerned about creating a prosperous clean-energy future for my children and my fellow Virginians, that these fossil-foolish interests can (seemingly) buy a seat at the table for such relatively paltry -- for them -- amounts is disconcerting and raises concerns of that 'business as usual' processes of buying access and influence in Richmond will continue on their merry way.

Hit it out of the park, Terry…

When listening to political debates, rarely does the moderator ask a question that makes me sit back and think: "nicely phrased ... wouldn't have thought to ask this ... interested to hear the answer ..."  Chuck Todd's opening question at the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce debate about advertising fostered that reaction.

As posed to our next governor, Terry McAuliffe

Nearly $20 million's been spent on TV ads in this race. 75% of 'em, we did the calculation, have been negative. This is both of you. I want each of you to respond to the stereotype you've been tryin' to create-- about the other. Mr. McAuliffe, the stereotype of you is that you're an operator, cheerleader more than a legislator or governor. That you don't have the relevant experience to be governor. And that you're a man in a hurry, who's willing to use political connections, sometimes in very high places, to take shortcuts. Your response?
This question provided Terry a chance to hit a homer out of the park, make news, undercut Cuccinelli, and add -- in my opinion, with just this one question response and the reporting that might have followed from it -- points to the lead.  

See after the fold for a concept for a(n overly long) truthful response to the question that might have achieved this result.

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