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:
- Spouted language that could have come from denialist propaganda
I am not convinced the Clean Air Act was ever intended to regulate or classify as a dangerous pollutant something as basic and ubiquitous in our atmosphere as carbon dioxide.
- Undermined President Obama's leverage in Copenhagen climate negotiations
- fought to stop (okay, delay ... indefinitely) EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions
- Refused to back climate legislation
- Spoke on the National Mall at an industry-funded astroturf coal rally, enthusiastically discussing America as the "Saudi Arabia of coal," declared that "we are not going to let EPA regulate coal out of business," said that "we need to get our support behind the Rockefeller amendment" (to gut EPA enforcement powers)...
McAuliffe's Inaugural Committee has 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.
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.
This legislation represents one of the rare occasions where House of Delegates Democrats might actually have serious leverage. In looking at this bill, here are three major problems that House Democrats can use their leverage to address:
- Wholesale gas tax is lower than general sales tax rate.
- Hybrid tax is punitive and the (il)logic doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
- There are horrid transportation boondoggles embedded in this that will syphon off $billions (potentially $10s of billions) of limited resources that could be better spent on other transportation projects to improve Virginians' lives, improve Virginia's economy, and better serve Virginia's future.
Two recent items suggest that something fishy is going on ...
1. It appears that candidate for Governor Ken Cuccinelli's driver is a paid Virginia employee? Is it an appropriate (excuse me, legal ...) use of taxpayer funds to pay for campaign staff?
2. Ken Cuccinelli's forthcoming book has a co-author (secondary author?) listed on the cover. That 'co-author' is a Commonwealth employee (Brian Gottstein) who works for the Attorney General. Ken Cuccinelli reportedly received a $30,000 advance for this book. Is it appropriate (legal ...) for a government official to have a subordinate, who is paid by the taxpayer, work on something for which he receives outside compensation?
These are questions ...
These questions might have reasonable (potentially even very reasonable ...) answers and explanations.
These flashpoint issues have masked other serious issues. While the threat to the Electoral College and the legislation to redistrict the Commonwealth's Senate seats are capturing the majority of attention, Governor Bob McDonnell's very troubling and damaging transportation proposal is receiving minimal (if any) national attention.
And, this matters.
The Post's article about Dick Armey's armed coup at FreedomWorks ("Big donor steps in as tea party reels," front page, Dec. 26) provided a new angle on the term "office politics."
After reading about how Armey walked into the group's D.C. offices with "an aide holstering a handgun at his waist," I expected to see a discussion of how this was (or was not) a criminal action. This expectation went unfulfilled.
The Armey coup certainly suggests the possibility of a direct violation of D.C. law, which prohibits the public carrying of weapons. Simply put, one can have a licensed weapon in the home but very few (such as police or the FBI) have the right to carry a weapon.
Beyond a firearms violation, what about assault? Here's one common-law definition: "an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact." Illegally displaying a firearm while you force people out of their offices certainly would seem to fit the bill.
Less than two weeks after the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., the absence of discussion of the legal implications of carrying a weapon into the workplace is strikingly bizarre.
As one can't cover every subject in a LTE, there are many additional angles and issues to the "Armey Coup" (some raised after the fold) but there is one that should be a serious item for this community:
Why is the 'progressive community', including members of Congress, not pushing hard for investigation of and, if warranted, legal action about the Armey Coup in downtown Washington?
The Armey Coup
1. involves (and potentially puts at risk) one of the main players in fostering the Tea-Hadist threat to American Democracy (and democracy);
2. provides a potential path for learning more about and shining light on 'hidden' (whether billionaire, Corporate, or otherwise) fiscal support for Tea-Hadists;
3. involves a(t least one) significant Republican operative who might be liable for criminal charges; and
4. is highly relevant to helping foster a more sensible national discussion about guns and the appropriate role(s) for weapons in society.
With this in mind, why the 'crickets'?
While George Allen's grammar might grate, his policy concepts and ideological are the real issues of concern.
When it comes to energy, George Allen's rhetorical flourishes during the debate might have captured the attention of the poorly informed and ingratiated him with his fossil fuel financial backers, but his truthiness-laden misdirections, misrepresentations and half-truths were in support of policies that -- if enacted -- would impoverish the Commonwealth of Virginia and endanger the Union's future.
To provide a path for understanding the shallowness and danger of George Allen's energy concepts, let's take the time to go through Allen's deceivingly named "Unleashing America's Plentiful Energy Resources and Creativity (American Energy Freedom Act)".
As a native of the Washington area, the Cherry Blossoms are perhaps the quintessential universal symbol of nature's beauty. While those around the Tidal Basin are "the" trees for the Cherry Blossom festival, there are numerous communities with large numbers of these trees and it is hard to be a resident without having some connection -- year in and year out -- with this blossoming sign of spring, even if one doesn't deal battle the tourist hordes to see the Washington Monument framed by blossoms. (Note, the photo above from GHBrett wonderfully captures the framing using a tree that I am almost certain that I have known for decades and have likely taken 20 photos over the years of various visitors/tourists/family members.)
Following guidance from The Debunking Handbook, following the fold are a few truths with examples of how Lane misleads Washington Post readers.
Compare Apples to Apples
Any auto buyer knows that a BMW delivers a different vehicle -- with a different price tag -- than the typical KIA, a Lamborghini isn't a Fiat, a ... When shopping for cars, amid the myriad of different options, a buyer will try to compare same to same.
EV-opponents all too often slip in a comparison that violates this rule when they are seeking paths to dismiss the value of hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and all-electric vehicles (EVs). Thus, in today's OPED, Charles Lane compares the Chevy Volt to the Chevy Cruze. Simply put, these two are not in the same league.