This is great; observe as a master of logic and fact - Bobby Scott - utterly demolishes smug ideologue and extremist Ken Kookinelli. It's great to see someone reveal Cooch's lawsuit as being an utter waste of time and taxpayer money. Thank you Bobby Scott!!
I mostly agree with Mark Warner on this. The fact is, there is absolutely no way we can tackle the deficit by focusing only, or mostly, on "non-defense discretionary spending." Nor would we want to cut things like Head Start, Pell Grants, veterans and women's health programs, funding for cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, funding for Metro and other public transit systems, investment in clean energy and high-speed rail, etc, etc. It's pretty much completely counterproductive to do that, and that's not where the big money is anyway. Which is why I agree with Mark Warner that we need to tackle entitlements, defense spending, and other major items in the federal budget pie.
Having said all that, I would continue to point out that extension of the Bush tax cuts for a decade cost $4 trillion. That's a major chunk, right there, of the projected budget deficits over that period. To me, as a progressive, it's absolutely unconscionable - even immoral - to be slashing programs for veterans, children, the environment, clean energy, etc., while we're continuing the foolish Bush tax cuts. Now, I understand the "art of the possible" politically, and that there's basically no chance that Republican'ts will agree to cut the Bush tax cuts. But that's where the "grand bargain" comes in: you want spending cuts, you've also got to roll back the Bush tax cuts. Then, we can talk about Medicare, Medicaid, and even Social Security (although that program's really not a part of the problem) - plus military spending, of course. If the Bush tax cuts aren't part of the "grand bargain?" Then it's not much of a "bargain," certainly not "grand," and almost certainly not worth doing.
Connolly Asks Gov. McDonnell to Join Fight for Metro FundingMore on the "flip;" Photo by Wayan Vota
GOP Bill in U.S. House Cuts $150 Million for Metro Safety & Infrastructure
WASHINGTON - Congressman Gerry Connolly is urging Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to join in the fight to restore $150 million in federal funding for Metro safety and infrastructure improvements.
In a letter sent today, Connolly urged McDonnell "to join me in opposing legislation that would eliminate the federal government's $150 million commitment for Metro, which would threaten the economic prosperity of the Commonwealth and undermine critical transportation investments on which we have partnered."
Connolly also asked McDonnell to reach out to the Republican leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives. "I also would encourage you to reach out to Speaker Boehner and House leadership to educate them on the irreparable damage this action could have on the Commonwealth's economy and transportation needs," he said.
Republican Proposal for Government Funding is Off-base and Out of Touch
Statement of Virginia Sierra Club
Richmond - As Congress prepares to debate plans for funding the federal government through a Continuing Resolution, the Virginia Sierra Club has released the following statement in response to attacks on the environment by Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte. The following is a statement from Virginia Chapter Assistant Director J.R. Tolbert.
"We're not surprised to see funding for the EPA come under attack from the Republican caucus in this Continuing Resolution. Many of the people making these decisions campaigned on that very promise. What is surprising is to see one of Virginia's own Congressman Bob Goodlatte introduce an amendment to the Continuing Resolution which would withhold funding from EPA for implementing restoration policies across the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Richmond- Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) expressed his profound disappointment and dismay with the defeat of his non-discrimination legislation yesterday by a House of Delegates subcommittee. "As witnesses were lined up out the door prepared to testify, as individuals stood in support of the bill, with little discussion, the legislation was defeated on a Party line vote.
"This legislation is very simple. It simply says that state workers will be judged on merit and on job performance, not on other irrelevant characteristics. For Virginia to be competitive, for the Commonwealth to attract and keep the best employees, we owe our workers basic protections and grievance procedures.
"Not that many years ago, in this very Commonwealth, African-Americans were subject o these same prejudices, same insecurities about heir jobs, same subtle and insidious harassment. We codified those protections and that has made a significant difference. If a state employee feels he or she is being judged because of his or her skin color they have avenues to take, procedures to follow and the Commonwealth will respond. Now, is the time to offer these same basic civil rights to others who have been judged not on merit but on characteristics that have absolutely nothing to do with their work performance.
"I commit that I will continue this fight until ALL Virginians have equal justice, opportunity and fairness. Let me also thank all of those who have aided me in this fight. Together, will make the difference," the Senator concluded./blockquote>Thank you to Sen. McEachin and to everyone else who fought for this. And shame on the Republicans who stood up for discrimination and intolerance. It's not surprising in a party where 51% of primary voters believe Barack Obama isn't a citizen, but it's still despicable.
1. MCDONNELL MEETS WITH BUDGET NEGOTIATORS
2. VIRGINIA POSTS 12.6 PERCENT REVENUE GROWTH IN JANUARY
6. TAX CREDITS FOR PRIVATE-SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS SHOT DOWN BY VIRGINIA SENATE COMMITTEE
10. CAR-TITLE LEGISLATION HEADED TO FULL HOUSE
12. TELECOMM BILL CLEARS SENATE PANEL
13. VA. HOUSE PANEL KILLS NONPARTISAN REDISTRICTING PLAN
14. HOUSE PANEL KILLS BILL TO ADD LEGAL PROTECTIONS FOR GAY STATE EMPLOYEES
18. MARSHALL BILL TO SUPERSEDE CAP AND TRADE LEGISLATION DIES IN SENATE
21. SENATE COMMITTEE DEFEATS BILL TO EASE UDA REQUIREMENTS
26. VIRGINIA CHOOSES 2012 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY DATE, ENDING 'POTOMAC PRIMARY' SCHEDULE
29. KAINE, OBAMA TO DISCUSS POSSIBLE SENATE RUN
48. SCHAPIRO COLUMN: BUDGET INCLUDES MOTHER LODE OF FINE PRINT
UPDATE: Also, 51% of Republican primary voters are officially nuts ("In the poll, 51% of all likely Republican primary voters erroneously believed that President Obama was born outside of the U.S."). And guess what? That's right, these people loooooove Sarah Palin. Go figure. (of course, these are probably the same people who don't "believe" the science - let me emphasize, SCIENCE, not opinion or Glenn Beck's rantings - of climate change)
...Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is taking a few pointed shots at [Arlington] county for its lawsuit against High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395.Hmmmm. "Dirty" like being a rabid homophobe and all-around intolerant jerk? "Legal thuggery" like pursuing an anti-science witchhunt like in the days of Galileo? And "wildly unfounded" like claiming that the individual mandate is unconstitutional? As the saying goes, "pot, meet kettle."
...In a statement, Cuccinelli piled on and called the lawsuit "dirty," "legal thuggery" and "wildly unfounded."
Watch this entire speech by Del. Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) and decide for yourself. Is he exploiting a horrible tragedy - a triple slaying in Manassas by a Salvadoran national and undocumented immigrant to this country - to push his political agenda (he wants to crack down on "illegal criminal aliens", as he calls them, in various ways that others agree or disagree with) or not? Also keep in mind that whenever Democrats have raised political issues in the aftermath of tragedies - gun restrictions, for instance, after the Virginia Tech or Arizona shootings - they have been utterly lambasted by the right wing. Also keep in mind what the Benedictine Sisters had to say, in aftermath of a horrible drunk driving accident by an illegal immigrant that took the life of one Sister and severely injured two others.
1. CUCCINELLI ACCUSES ARLINGTON OF PLAYING 'DIRTY' WITH HOT LANES LAWSUIT
3. BUDGET CONFERENCE TO MEET WITH MCDONNELL AS WORK OF COMPROMISE BEGINS
5. HOUSE REPUBLICANS REJECT BIPARTISAN REDISTRICTING PANEL
6. HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS PANEL SPURNS GAS-TAX INCREASE
9. DEMOCRATIC LEADER CALLS UNION LETTER THREATENING TO WITHHOLD SUPPORT 'INAPPROPRIATE'
11. EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT, BIPARTISAN REDISTRICTING DIE IN SUBCOMMITTEE
14. BILL ALLOWING USE OF DEADLY FORCE DIES IN VA. SENATE PANEL
16. MANASSAS TRIPLE-SLAYING SPARKS EMOTIONAL FLOOR SPEECH ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
20. WHO SAYS THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS HEARTLESS
21. WARNER: MCDONNELL'S TRANSPORTATION PLAN IS NOT 'FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE'
22. KAINE TO APPEAR AT DEMOCRATS' JEFFERSON-JACKSON DINNER
24. PRESSURE RISES ON KAINE FOR SENATE RUN
This photo is actually from my Flip video camera, taken from a high-rise in Rosslyn, looking across the Potomac River and Key Bridge towards Georgetown, on a beautiful, warm (60s), but windy February day. Feel free to use this as an open thread to talk abou the weather, or whatever else you want.