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.
While Meteor Blades at Daily Kos commented Three cheers for the Obama administration's new mercury and acid emissions rules, do we have good reason to belt out loudly with a fourth cheer?
Based on an initial look, the answer seems to be yes.
This house, the University of Tennessee's Living Light, is part of one of the nation's most important (and sadly too little discussed) intercollegiate competitions is about to open in Washington, DC: the biennial Solar Decathlon. Opening to the public 23 September, the Decathlon brings together 19 university teams from around the globe to compete across ten categories (thus, "decathlon"). After having reviewed all the Solar Decathlon entries, this post will look more closely at Living Light.
Living Light is a very high-quality efficiency house whose form is inspired by the cantilever barns of southern Appalachia. In terms of actual living space, this is one of the smallest (if not smallest homes) because of the team's intent: they will take Living Light on a tour throughout Tennessee, showing the reality of the promise of solar technology. Thus, this is designed to be easily transported (with the direct living space transported on one truck and additional transport for elements like decks and spare solar tubes. Along with more solar electricity capacity than required to meet the house's actual needs (and thus power production that will help boost competitive positioning re electricity production), this design element helped push up the unit's price.
We have the coolest house on the street.Wow.
We're cool -- according to the kids.
Certainly isn't the non-existent slide for the pool that isn't there.
Our lack of a huge media room and the glaring absence of a gym didn't contribute.
And, while I've always thought it cool that we live on the white house of the street, that isn't it either.
My fourth-grader son explained to me why it's cool:
As of today, 15 June 2011, the White House still doesn't have solar panels on it.
The clock is ticking as even with climate disruption messing up our seasons, spring still ends 20 June ...
"We think what we can be is the canary in the coal mine," Republican Representative Darryl Issa told reporters.
Congressman Issa's words are prophetic -- evidently he and his colleagues consider themselves to be the 'canaries in the coal mine' since they are taking steps with the newly introduced Continuing Resolution to kill off as many canaries in the coal mine to protect Americans from environmental, safety, and other risks. For example, the proposal includes a 22 percent reduction in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, massive cuts in basic science research, budgets slashing seeking to essentially eliminate U.S. government research on climate change, ... a true anti-science syndrome agenda.
The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation. None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be or where the new jobs will come from. Thirty years ago, we couldn't know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution. What we can do -- what America does better than anyone else -- is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We're the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn't just change our lives. It is how we make our living.
You'd think that every member of the Administration would be doing everything -- EVERYTHING -- possible to enable this critical innovation.