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Gallup: Obama’s Approval Ratings Almost Exactly Tracking Reagan’s

Click on the image to "embiggen."  In short, according to Gallup, Barack Obama's approval ratings are almost exactly tracking Ronald Reagan's approval ratings at the same points in their presidencies. Note that Reagan was faced with a nasty recession, as is Obama. Also note that Republicans lost a net of 27 seats to the Democrats in the 1982 midterm elections. I'd be very happy if Democrats only lost 27 seats this time around. Finally, I'd point out that Ronald Reagan's approval ratings rebounded, along with the economy, and he was reelected in a landslide in 1984. Past as prologue?

Can Mo Elleithee et al. beat Fenty’s “spectacularly dysfunctional…press shop?”

As you may know, long-time Virginia political strategist Mo Elleithee is now a senior advisor to D.C. mayoral candidate Vincent Gray, running against Mayor Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary on September 14.  The question is, can Mo et al. defeat what Washington City Paper's "Loose Lips" calls the "spectacularly dysfunctional" Fenty press operation?
LL wouldn't normally bore his readers with tales of spokesperson shenanigans. But Fenty is facing the very real possibility that in two months he'll lose the Democratic primary to D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray. And many of his troubles involve what political operatives call "atmospherics"-the very stuff a PR professional is supposed to manage.

In the Fenty administration, though, the paid PR professionals are AWOL. Instead, the mayor has let his very own Samwise Gamgee, D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles, become the de facto spokesman. "I cringe every time he opens his fucking mouth," said one Fenty pal, who spoke on condition of anonymity for, well, obvious reasons.

Look, I know that Mo - who I named the second most significant Democratic campaign person of the past decade - has been on a bit of a rough streak recently, with losses by his clients Hillary Clinton in 2008, Terry McAuliffe, Creigh Deeds and Jody Wagner in 2009. On the other hand, Mo won some big ones - Mark Warner '01, Tim Kaine '05 - a few years back, and is due for a win at this point [UPDATE: apparently, Mo also helped  elect Tom Udall to the Senate in 2008 as well].  Of course, it's never easy unseating an incumbent, but Adrian Fenty has alienated an awful lot of people with his arrogant, aloof leadership style. And now, he's running what Loose Lips describes as an utterly incompetent campaign for reelection.  I don't know about you, but I'm putting my money on a big "W" for Mo in this one!

Steve Shannon: “This is not the time to shake a fist at Washington and...

In this morning's Washington Post, former Delegate and Democratic Attorney General nominee, Steve Shannon, has a powerfully argued op-ed on an important topic: "How to provide more help for unemployed Virginians". Here's an excerpt:
This is not the time to shake a fist at Washington and just say no. Gov. McDonnell has exhibited a penchant for studies and commissions. One is an Economic Development and Job Creation Commission. Currently, the commission does not have on its public agenda consideration for how to obtain the $125.5 million to assist unemployed Virginians and, as a corollary, distressed areas of Virginia where those Virginians reside.


In the meantime, Gov. McDonnell should immediately make it clear to Virginia's congressional delegation and to the leaders of his party that he favors extending long-term unemployment benefits. As this newspaper pointed out in its July 13 editorial, "Unemployment benefits, which are most apt to be immediately plowed back into the economy, are about the most stimulative form of spending. Extending them is both fiscally sensible and morally decent."

This is an opportunity for the governor to step forward and find a way to say yes to helping citizens who so need our help.

The question is, is Bob McDonnell really "Bob's for Jobs," as he said in the 2009 gubernatorial campaign that he would be if elected?  So far, except for lavishing corporate welfare on his preferred industries - wine, oil, film, military-industrial complex - in return for a handful of jobs (at best), he sure hasn't shown it. How about, as Steve Shannon argues, first "find[ing] a way to say yes to helping citizens who so need our help?"

Mark Warner and Other Freshmen Call for Energy Efficiency, Price on Greenhouse Gases, RES,...

Having spoken to Mark Warner extensively about clean energy and climate issues, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that he "gets it," whether we're talking about the environmental, national security, business opportunity, or economic aspects of the issue.  Also, there's very little question in my mind that, in the end, Warner will vote the right way on clean energy and environmental issues. What I don't necessarily expect is for Warner to be outspoken publicly on these topics. That's why I'm so pleasantly surprised to see Sen. Warner's signature on this superb letter from the "Freshmen Democratic Class" - to Sen. Reid. The key points of the letter:

*The "transition to a clean energy an economic, national security and environmental priority." Exactly.

*We need a "comprehensive solution that includes making polluters pay through a price on greenhouse gas emissions." Yes!

*Legislation should provide "targeted incentives for investments in energy efficiency throughout the American economy."  As I've said a gazillion times, energy efficiency is, by far and away, the lowest of low-hanging fruits - also the "biggest bang for the buck" - when it comes to energy. For more on this subject, see David Goldstein's book, "Invisible Energy", which explainsthat "efficiency could produce 30 percent of the energy America would otherwise need by 2030," with an "economic stimulus [of]...several trillions of dollars per year." This one is the no-brainer of all no-brainers, frankly.

*We need a "federal renewable electricity standard (RES) that results in a meaningful increase in renewable energy production."  This is good, although the "devil's in the details."  For instance, the RES shouldn't include things that aren't really "renewable energy," and it shouldn't include any form of energy that does more harm than good. That should be obvious, but sometimes it isn't.

*We should invest in "expanded use of rail transportation" as well as "electric vehicles." Combined with a strong RES, this should result in a sharp decrease in oil consumption, carbon emissions, the U.S. trade deficit, and the billions of dollars that currently flow to countries (and non-state actors) that aren't our friends.

Again, thanks to Sen. Warner and the other freshmen Senators for signing this letter. Now, let's get it done!

P.S. It would be great to see Jim Webb signing letters like this one!

Weekly Address: Filibustering Recovery & Obstructing Progress

"The President blasts Republicans in the Senate who are blocking unemployment insurance and small business tax breaks to create jobs, even as they push for permanent, massive tax cuts for the richest Americans."

So true.  They're also blocking progress on just about everything else, and the sad thing is, in many cases it's not even based on principle, just on politics.  It's wildly irresponsible, and it certainly doesn't deserve to be rewarded with your vote this November.

Eugene Delgaudio on “Thousands of men in bright neon bikinis”

For anyone who ever had any doubts, Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R) is not only a rabid and obsessed homophobe, he's also unintentionally hilarious.
Dear Joe,

It was truly a sight to sicken the soul.

Thousands of men in bright neon bikinis hanging all over each other.

Groups of men and women -- it was hard to tell the difference sometimes -- acting out their homosexual lusts in defiance of all standards of decency and morality.

There were tens of thousands of them flooding the streets.

Throngs of "gay rights" radicals rallied all over our Nation's Capitol. Tourists had to rush to shield their children from the depraved displays of near nudity.

On and on it goes about the "radical homosexuals" (aka, people who want the same rights as everyone else in America), the "dangerous" "Homosexual Agenda" (see previous paranthetical), "Thought Control" (who knows), "homosexual re-education classes" and the dreaded "Homosexual Classrooms Act" (everyone, altogether now - WTF?!?!?!).

P.S. Don't forget, Delgaudio is practically "Best Friends Forever" with Del. Tom Rust. Oh, and don't forget, Rep. Frank Wolf said this about Delgaudio, "No one works harder than Eugene. He is not afraid to make the tough decisions and speak out for what he thinks is right."  Also, in 2005, Delgaudio complained that "Frank Wolf's ringing endorsement will see little ink in area newspapers."  Gotta love these "moderate" Republicans, hangin' with a homophobic head case like Delgaudio.  The question is, how long are people going to let them get away with this charade?

h/t: "Radical Homosexual" - heh - blog Joe. My. God.

Gulf Residents Speak Out in VA, Urge Warner and Webb to Take Action on...

Photos and press release from the Alliance for Climate Protection and Repower America.
Gulf Residents Speak Out in Virginia on Need for a Clean Energy Policy,  Urge Senator Warner and Webb to Take Action This Year

RICHMOND, Va. (July 15, 2010) - Today, residents from the Gulf Coast traveled to local Richmond restaurant Louisiana Flair to describe the influence the recent oil spill has on their lives, and their desire for passage of a comprehensive clean energy and climate policy this year. This comes on the heels of a recent fly-in where Gulf residents met with leaders in Congress to discuss their firsthand experiences of the Gulf oil spill and why they want the Senate to pass clean energy policies to end our country's oil addiction.

This event featured a broad group of Gulf residents who spoke about the damage this catastrophe has had on their way of life and local communities. Those affected by the oil spill are asking Virginia's senators to make a choice: move forward with a comprehensive climate and energy bill in 2010 or stand on the side of Big Oil.

"I traveled to Virginia to share my story," said Aimee Dominique, a clinical social worker from Lafayette, La. "Together with other Gulf residents, we told them the best way to respond to this devastating 'gusher' is by writing a letter to our senators urging an end to our nation's dangerous dependence on oil."

The participants represent workers and business owners from a variety of industries hit hardest by the oil spill, putting a human face to the tragedy that continues to unfold in the Gulf.

Chris Sehman, Helen Back Café owner in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. said, "I told Virginia residents and leaders that we must have a real comprehensive and long-term plan to give American businesses the tools necessary to develop clean energy technologies and move us past dirty fuels. At this important moment in time, senators should heed
President Obama's call and pass a comprehensive climate and energy bill to put America in control of its energy needs."

- Blue Virginia Sponsor -

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