Thursday, June 22, 2017
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Remind Me Again Why We Should Change Arlington’s Form of Government

This sounds truly awful, doesn't it?
About Arlington: Fabulous schools, great home values, and an attractive unemployment rate (only 4.8 percent, as compared to the national average of 9.9 percent) can all be found in this dynamic setting just a stone's throw from the nation's capital. Arlington's public schools offer a low pupil/teacher ratio, and the city ranks second highest among the 100 we surveyed in high school graduation rates. Other factors that helped Arlington top the list: the lowest crime rate and very few registered sex offenders.
As I said, it's awful. Horrible. Atrocious. You name it. Who would want to live in a place like this, now ranked by that notoriously radical, socialistic (heh) Parenting Magazine as "the best place in the country to raise families in its annual survey." Yeah, let's definitely change our entire system of government, what a brilliant idea!  Not.

Tea Party Candidate “disappointed” in Hurt’s “refusal to engage in debate with us”

I think it's fair to say that 5th CD Republican Party congressional nominee Robert Hurt is not exactly getting rave reviews for his decision to flip flop on debating the tea party candidate in the race, Jeffrey Clark. To read what Clark has to say, click here. For now, an excerpt will do:
I was disappointed to hear of Senator Hurt's change of position or the mix up that occurred concerning his opinion on the issue of the upcoming debates. I understand he believes that unless you have the money and backing you have no legitimate claim to be included in the political process because you risk being nothing more than a distraction in the important debate of how the two political parties intend to best govern us in the future.

On this matter, I respectfully must disagree with Mr. Hurt. Although it is true I am not independently wealthy and am nothing more than a common citizen that does not have the backing of the political parties...

Anyway, you get the idea -- Jeffrey Clark is not happy with Robert Hurt. Not that this is surprising, given Clark's need to appear in debates to have any chance at all of winning this election.  Still, the fact is that Hurt did seem to flip flop on this one, apparently once his boss Chris LaCivita knocked some sense into him, and Clark's not pleased.

Meanwhile, the Roanoke Times weighs in, writing that "Hurt, state senator who spent six years in the House of Delegates, should have nothing to fear."  Except that Hurt clearly does have something to fear, namely that Clark might take votes away from him and tip the election to Tom Perriello. It makes sense from a purely political point of view. The problem for Hurt is that this is about as anti-political a year as you'll ever see.  Does Hurt really want to be acting like a typical,  calculating, conniving politician in the year of the Tea Partiers?  Something tells me, in the end, that Jeffrey Clark will end up in these debates -- whether Hurt's puppet master, Chris LaCivita, likes it or not!

Keith Fimian’s Answer to BP Oil Disaster: Deregulate, “Drill Baby Drill!”

This is beyond stupid. This is Sarah Palin/Joe Barton stupid! In all seriousness, if Keith Fimian had his way, BP would regulate itself, government would let Big Oil do whatever it wants, and Gulf of Mexico oil disasters would be commonplace.  Why would anyone vote for someone with Keith Fimian's toxic political philosophy?  I suppose if they hate pelicans, dolphins, turtles, clean water, white sandy beaches, and people who live on the Gulf coast, it makes perfect sense.  

Eric and Annabel Take the PW Immigration Story Around the Country

Annabel Park and Eric Byler seem to be hitting it big with their superb film on the Prince William County battle over immigration, 9500 Liberty. In coming weeks, the film will be opening in El Paso, Houston, Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Wilmington, Chicago, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and several other cities. Extremely impressive. Meanwhile, here in Virginia, Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart hopes to take his so-called "rule of law" resolution statewide, prompting at least one person to challenge him for his job.  Frighteningly, Stewart has ambitions for statewide office, possibly LG in 2013.  Just imagine a ticket of Kook-inelli for Governor, Corey Stewart for LG, and...I'm afraid to ask who the Republicans will come up with for AG.  You thought it was bad now?  Just give it 3 more years, it's a near certainty the Republicans will work on making it worse.

Great Reporting From The Gulf By The Green Miles

Great job by Miles Grant on this. I also strongly recommend The Oil Drum for superb, albeit technical, discussion of the Deepwater oil disaster. Often, over the past couple months, I've learned about things at The Oil Drum that didn't appear in the "mainstream" press until weeks later, if ever. Check it out.

Rahm-bo: Goal is “comprehensive energy bill” that tackles “carbon pollution”

Earlier today on ABC's "This Week," after blasting BP and its apologists in the Republican Party ("That is a philosophy. That is an approach to what they see. They see the aggrieved party here as BP, not the fishermen."), White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel (alias, "Rahm-bo") had this to say about a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill:
"[Senators meeting at the White House this Wednesday] know the president's perspective...[Obama's] goal now, now that the House passed a bill, is to get the Senate to pass a comprehensive energy bill that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, makes key investments in the areas of alternative energy so America leads in that space, and deals fundamentally with the environmental degradation that happens from carbon pollution."
Sounds good to me, just make it happen Rahm-bo!  

In related news, Joe Lieberman weighs in as well, claiming "there are 50 senators that want to put a price on emitting carbon, 30 against it and 20 members who are undecided." Assuming Lieberman is right, and I must say I'm skeptical, it's time to call those 20 swing Senators and tell them we need climate action now!

Arlington Democrats Fight Change of Government Resolution at Blues Festival

My wife and I headed down to the Columbia Pike Blues Festival yesterday afternoon, expecting to hear some good music and check out the food. We were not disappointed in either of those objectives, with excellent blues bands and spicy Pad Thai. In addition, as I wandered around the festival, I ran into Arlington Democrats hard at work, recruiting volunteers and also urging people to "decline to sign" the "change of government" petition being circulated around these days. For more on that issue, see here. In short, this is extremely bad public policy, like trying to kill a flea with a sledgehammer, but it has a chance of getting on the ballot and possibly being enacted this November, which is why Democrats are trying to nip it in the bud now.  

Anyway, great work by Kip Malinosky (photo at upper left, credit to the excellent ARLnow online newspaper), Maureen Markham, and others (I also saw Arlington County Board members Chris Zimmerman and Walter Tejada, but I'm not sure if they were campaigning or just enjoying the festival), out in the blistering heat yesterday working to keep Arlington one of the best places to live in the country. Looking at it another way, if this thing passes, we'll all have the "blues."

P.S. For photos of the Blues Festival, check out the excellent ARLnow website. I'm really glad to see this local, online newspaper up and running.  Keep up the great work, guys!

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