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Tim Kaine at National Press Club: PA-12 Was a “Major Blow to Republicans”

On the Democratic victory last night in the PA-12 special election, Tim Kaine said that this "demonstrates Democrats can compete and win in conservative districts."

With regard to Kentucky, Kaine commented that "tea party" candidate Rand Paul's "stunning" victory over the Republican establishment's choice was a "crushing blow to national Republicans and Senator [Mitch] McConnell."  

In general, Kaine argued that the "tea party" is evidence of a "corrosive and divisive civil war occurring on the Republican side."  Kaine explained that Republicans have been "riding high" for the last 1 1/2 years, but now they are "feeling the tea party's bite."

Later, Kaine responded to a question about conservative claims that the Obama administration is "socialist." Kaine responded:

People love to throw that label around and I think for most thinking Americans, throwing that label around actually doesn't hurt us. It suggests an extremism and an ideological rigidity that isn't where most Americans are. We are problem solvers...A party that just relies on throwing labels around and refusing to cooperate, they might get a headline but they won't get support of people

On Republican demonization of Nancy Pelosi, Kaine basically charged them with being misogynists: "I have my own theories about why Republicans often like to make the speaker a 'boogeywoman.' And you might divine my theories from the way I phrased that." To the contrary, according to Kaine -- and I agree with him 100% on this -- Nancy Pelosi has "done a very effective job especially in a Democratic caucus that is extremely broad" and also "gets a lot of credit" for winning special elections.

In the end, Kaine pointed out, we are "in a time of economic anxiety," which means "there's going to be electoral volatility." Still, Kaine is optimistic that the economy will improve by election time, that this will help Democrats, and that the "tea party" movement will "peter out."  I sure hope he's right!

VA Drops “Navy Veterans” Group From Website After Webb Letter

Well, that didn't take long!  Soon after Jim Webb called "foul" on the "U.S. Navy Veterans Association" - an organization which the DPVA points out has engaged in "questionable and potentially corrupt dealings" (while also donating $55,000 to Ken Kook-inelli, who refuses to donate the money) - the Veterans Administration has pulled the group's page from its website. In addition, Senator Webb's office reports that the VA "will conduct a review of the group as well as a review of procedures used to screen organizations before they are listed on the VA website."

Just for fun, check out the "before" and "after" screenshots after the "flip."  Oh, and great work by Jim Webb!

Mo Elleithee Rides to Richard Blumenthal’s Rescue?

I hear that famed (Warner, Kaine, Miller, Wagner, McAuliffe, Deeds) Virginia communications strategist Mo Elleithee is now in Connecticut, having ridden to Richard Blumenthal's rescue in the last day or so. Check out these tweets by Elleithee.

*"Is the New York Times giving Blumenthal a RAW deal? "

*"Correct link. AP BREAKING NEWS: (SAME) Video shows Blumenthal correctly stating service "

*"Hartford Courant: Blumenthal and Vietnam, the director's cut "

Mo also tells me that "the CT press are rallying behind him for the most part."  In addition, it looks like the leading CT pro-Democratic blog is supporting Blumenthal and criticizing the "journalism" in this situation.

My view is that Blumenthal has been a superb Attorney General and should be a no-brainer for U.S. Senate, but also that embellishing his Vietnam War record - or, lack thereof - is not good at all.  If it's just one instance, taken out of context, then it's probably not a huge problem politically. On the other hand, if it's part of a pattern of "misstatements," then it could (and probably should) end his candidacy. We'll see, but for now, it seems like the NY Times is the one with egg on its face a lot more than Blumenthal.

P.S. Whatever Blumenthal said, it's still a gazillion times less insane than the crap Ken Kook-inelli has been spewing almost every day since he's been in office.

UPDATE: Fox's Neil Cavuto argues that everyone should "cut Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal a break." According to Cavuto, Republicans should "[g]et him on issues that matter, for God's sake; not nonsense like this that does not."

Scott Rigell On Why He Donated To Barack Obama

Vivian Paige has the full story.

In brief, presumptive 2nd CD Republican nominee Scott Rigell said he "was moved by [Obama's] rhetoric and by the prospect of seeing a minority rise to the highest office in our land." Does that sound like a conservative Republican to you? What will the Tea Partiers think?  We'll find out on June 8th.

By the way, I also find it amusing that Rigell says he "supported Governor Romney's bid for the nomination because his values match mine."  Must be Romney's "values" like "socialized medicine" in Massachusetts.  Heh.

Tim Kaine: Rand Paul Victory a “Stunning Loss” for Mitch McConnell

Tim Kaine comments on Rand Paul's victory in the Kentucky Republican primary for U.S. Senate last night.
Today, Kentucky Republicans selected Rand Paul as their Senate nominee, handing Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a stunning loss. In a show of weakness for the Minority Leader, and in a race that symbolized the fight over the heart and soul of the Republican Party, Rand Paul overcame McConnell's handpicked candidate by a large margin. Unfortunately for Republicans, ordinary Americans are unlikely to be receptive to extreme candidates like Rand Paul in the general election this November.

Rand Paul's positions fail to resonate beyond the far-right Republican segment of the electorate that supported him tonight. Middle-class Kentucky voters want to elect a Senator with clear ideas about how to create jobs and opportunities for Kentucky families. But Rand Paul is more interested in talking about abolishing the Department of Education and disbanding the Federal Reserve than about supporting economic recovery.

As a result, Democrats are now in a better position to win Kentucky's open Senate seat.

Let's hope Tim Kaine is right about this. For now, I'm just enjoying watching Mitch McConnell get his butt kicked. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

P.S. This should play really well among Kentucky voters this fall.

UPDATE: After the "flip," check out the analysis I received from a politically astute friend via email.

Navy to McDonnell on Offshore Oil Drilling: No Go

The U.S. Navy has a different view of oil drilling off Virginia's coast than our esteemed governor.
A newly released U.S. Defense Department report shows that exploratory drilling for oil and natural gas off almost three-quarters of the Virginia shoreline where the government has proposed those activities is incompatible with military operations and training.

The report is the latest potential setback to a plan strongly endorsed by Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) to conclude sales of leases to companies interested in drilling 50 miles off Virginia's coast by 2012.

The Defense Department report, concluded in March but released in part Tuesday by Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), a drilling opponent, indicates that drilling would interfere with military activities, including ordnance training and carrier operations, in 72 percent of the 3 million acres covered by the lease sale and that it could be allowed only with restrictions in 6 percent of the area. Norfolk is home to the world's largest naval base.

So...we already know that Bob McDonnell doesn't give a rat's hindquarter's about the environment. Now, let's see if he cares what the U.S. Navy thinks.

P.S. Maybe McDonnell can ask Ken Kook-inelli to sue the Navy on this?  After all, Crazy Cooch says it only costs $350.  Ha.

UPDATE: Mark Warner says:

This is the reason why we have a multi-year, multi-agency review process, to allow local, state and federal stakeholders to weigh-in and recommend ways to mitigate any concerns. Senator Warner believes we should gather all of the relevant information as we continue to evaluate Virginia's offshore wind, natural gas and oil potential.

Election Results Open Thread

Please use this as an open thread to discuss tonight's elections.  Daily Kos recommends the following sources for results, and I see no reason to argue.

Arkansas: here.
Kentucky: here.
Pennsylvania: here.
House special in PA-12: here.

So far, in Kentucky, it looks like wingnut/tea partier Rand Paul has crushed Mitch McConnell's favored Republican candidate, Trey Grayson. All I have to say to that is, "hahahahahahaha." :)

In the Kentucky Democratic primary, it looks like the better Democrat, Jack Conway, is defeating Daniel Mongiardo.  Also good news.

In Pennsylvania right now (9:01 pm), Arlen Specter is leading Joe Sestak 58.5%-41.5% with just 6.2% of precincts reporting. Way too early to say much about this one. By the way, go Joe! :)

UPDATE 9:18 pm: With 17.5% of the vote counted in Pennsylvania, Specter's lead is down to 53.1%-46.9%. In Kentucky, with 85.8% of the precincts reporting, it's Conway 45.2%-Mongiardo 42.4% on the Democratic side, and Paul 59.2%-Grayson 35.3% on the Republican side.

UPDATE 9:45 pm: With 94.5% reporting, Conway leads Mongiardo 44.6%-43.0% in Kentucky.

With 35.9% in, Sestak leads Specter 50.1%-49.9%.

UPDATE 9:52 pm: Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report tweets, "#PASEN running down the list county-by-county, it's becoming clearer and clearer Specter has no hope of pulling this out."  Also, in other good news, "#PA12 So far Critz winning 52-43% in Burns's home base of Washington Co. Not encouraging for @nrcc so far."

UPDATE 10:03 pm: Kos tweets, "Knock on wood, but it's looking like a great night for Dems. The intensity gap may be history." Let's hope! Also, Dave Wasserman tweets, "#PA12 @dccc does it again? Critz could end up winning by a substantial margin."

UPDATE 10:06 pm: Excellent news from KY, the AP calls it for Jack Conway! Even better, Conway received 20,000 more votes than Rand Paul, and Democratic turnout was nearly 200,000 higher than Republican turnout.  Exxxxxcellent!

UPDATE 10:08 pm: It looks like Sestak is going to be the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania. Right now, he's leading 53.3%-46.7% and his lead is growing, with 61% of precincts reporting. Also, Democratic turnout in PA is far higher - about 200,000 votes - than Republican turnout. This is turning into a great night for the "blue team!"

UPDATE 10:17 pm: Critz won easily, Sestak beat Specter, Conway beat Mongiardo, not sure about Blanche Lincoln vs. Bill Halter yet. All in all, a superb night for the Democrats.  I'm going to bed with a smile on my face!

UPDATE Wednesday morning: Halter-Lincoln headed for a recount. A major victory for Dem's in PA-12, and a major defeat for the worthless NRCC and its vile, gay-bashing spokesman, Andy Sere.

UPDATE #2 Wednesday morning:  This will make you laugh!

UPDATE: The ad that destroyed Arlen Specter, showing him to be completely fake, inauthentic, self-serving, snide, slimy, pretty much everything people don't like in politicians. Utterly devastating.

Jim Webb Questions “legitimacy and credibility” of U.S. Navy Veterans Association

Jim Webb weighs in on the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, which is in the news these days for campaign contributions to Ken Cuccinelli and other Virginia politicians. Yesterday, the DPVA called on Cooch to return $55,000 he received the former director of the U.S. Navy Veterans Association. So far, Cooch has not done so, even though others - Bob McDonnell, Patsy Ticer - have announced that they will. As usual, Cooch marches to the (crazy) beat of his own (crazy) drummer!
May 18, 2010

The Honorable Eric Shinseki
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC  20420

Dear Secretary Shinseki:

I recently became aware that the U.S. Navy Veterans Association, otherwise known as "U.S. Navy Vets", a 501 (c)(19) "war membership" organization, is under investigation in at least three states for its legitimacy, fundraising activities and expenditures on behalf of veterans.  It is disconcerting to learn that this organization is listed on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) online Directory of Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs).

I understand that the online Directory of VSOs is published as an informational service, and that inclusion of an organization in the directory does not constitute approval or endorsement by VA of the organization or its activities.  At the same time, it stands to reason that veterans have a reasonable expectation of legitimacy and credibility if such an organization is listed on your official website, regardless of official endorsement.

I recommend strongly that you clarify the procedures and vetting processes that the VA uses prior to authorizing a VSO listing on its website.  I would also like to have clarified what policies exist to review the directory, once a VSO is included, to ensure that listed organizations continue to provide a valuable service to our veterans.  

I further request that you inform me as soon as possible of the results of your review.  I know you share my concern that we should minimize the opportunity for unscrupulous organizations to mislead or exploit our nation's veterans.


Jim Webb
United States Senator

Newt Gingrich Defends Comparing Democrats to Nazis, Stalin

Based on these comments, Newt Gingrich has placed himself clearly, beyond any doubt, into the "completely insane" category. By all rights, he should be politically radioactive to his fellow Republican politicians. Which raises the question, why is Bob McDonnell sitting down with him for an interview and, recently, joining him for a health care forum?  Will McDonnell denounce his pal, Newt Gingrich, for comparing Democrats to the Nazis and Stalin? Don't hold your breath.

UPDATE: See after the "flip" for thoughts by former Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari. In short, she thinks Gingrich's comments are "crazy" and "outrageous."

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