Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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lowkell

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Live Video: BP’s “Top Kill” Attempt Underway

Live Videos by Ustream

UPDATE: Also, see the ABC News live feed of what's going on.

UPDATE #2: CCAN (Chesapeake Climate Action Network) has issued a statement on President Obama's cancellation of Lease Sale 220.

The Chesapeake Climate Action Network applauds President Obama for taking the much-needed and prudent step of canceling Lease Sale 220, proposed for 50 miles off Virginia's coast. Canceling the lease sale is an important first step towards what Virginia ultimately needs:  a permanent ban on offshore oil drilling along Virginia's coasts and a sharpened focus on promoting offshore wind and other forms of clean, safe energy.

Now is the time to develop Virginia's clean offshore energy resource: Wind power. The commonwealth could easily get 10 percent of its electricity from offshore windmills, creating up to 10,000 jobs and enough power to run 3.6 million electric cars, with no threat of environmental or economic devastation.

Oil drilling can never be made entirely safe, and the consequences - as we now vividly see - can be catastrophic. The Hampton Roads area is home to the world's largest Naval Station and relies heavily on tourism. An oil spill off of Virginia's coast would be devastating not only to the environment but also to the economy. Industry and government estimates say there is untapped oil off the Virginia coast equal to just 6 to 24 days' worth of national demand. The risks of drilling are far too great for a potential reward that is far too small.

Governor Bob McDonnell wants to make Virginia the energy capital of the East Coast. We agree. Instead of recklessly drilling for oil, Virginia should lead the nation in offshore wind power. Virginians want windmills, not oil spills.


UPDATE #3: The Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club has issued a statement. I've posted it after the "flip."

UPDATE #4: Environment Virginia has a statement as well, after the "flip."

DPVA “Shocked” McDonnell is “so cavalier about Malek’s past”

From the Democratic Party of Virginia:
Cranwell: "Bob McDonnell should do his homework"

Yesterday in an interview on WTOP's "Ask the Governor," Bob McDonnell indicated that he didn't know much about the man who he tapped to chair his newly formed Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring.  

When asked by Mark Plotkin about Malek's controversial past, Governor McDonnell claimed "I didn't know about his background," which includes a $100,000 personal fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission for efforts by his company, Thayer Capital Partners, to defraud the State of Connecticut's Pension Fund. McDonnell went on to defend Malek, claiming he is the "kind of people I want."

"I'm shocked about two things," said C. Richard Cranwell, Chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia.  "One, the governor has no vetting process for critical appointments and two, the Governor is so cavalier about Malek's past"

Governor McDonnell's statement that business leaders "often" have regulatory violations like this is perhaps the most troubling.  "The fact that our Governor is unconcerned by Fred Malek's involvement in a scandal that jeopardized state employees' retirement funds is alarming," said Cranwell.  "To have someone with this type of history undertake a massive restructuring and reforming initiative of state government borders on insulting to the people of Virginia."

Cranwell continued, "I don't know which is worse, knowing about Malek's past and appointing him to this position anyway, or not taking the time to investigate someone you are appointing to such an important position.  If it were me, I'd have done my homework."

By the way, there is no good reason for a Democrat to be on Malek's commission. Frankly, right now, Democrats on that commission are simply being used as cover for McDonnell and Malek.  That needs to stop.

PPP: “Tea-Party Candidacy” Could Guarantee Perriello Reelection

Let's hope that Public Policy Polling is right about this.
Politico reports that in Virginia's 5th Congressional District Tea Party activist Jeffrey Clark will run as an independent if moderate Republican Robert Hurt wins his party's nomination to take on Tom Perriello.

How serious would a Clark candidacy be? When we polled the district in early February we found that a generic Tea Party candidate would pull 19%. Perriello received 44% and Hurt 27% in such a scenario.

[...]

...even if 48% is the best [Perriello] can get to in an off year election that would still put him over the top if Clark got just 5% from Hurt's disaffected supporters...

In other words, go Jeffrey Clark! :)

Moran Slams Brakes on Approaching Traffic Nightmare

Press release from Rep. Moran's office, this truly is a "nightmare."
Moran Slams Brakes on Approaching Traffic Nightmare
Caps parking at 1,000 spaces at BRAC facility to mitigate gridlock

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Jim Moran, Virginia Democrat and senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, included language in the FY '11 Defense Authorization bill which would cap the amount of available parking at the Washington Headquarters Service facility currently being constructed at the Mark Center in Alexandria (map) at 1,000 spaces. VDOT has projected that even with the current transportation management plan, I-395 and local roadways and intersections will experience failing levels of service that will heavily increase traffic during morning and evening rush hour.

"If nothing is done and the relocation continues as scheduled, VDOT has stated there will be 'complete gridlock' on Seminary Road and Beauregard Street and 'severe' congestion between the King Street and Duke Street exits on I-395," said Moran.

Upcoming Event: “How Clean Energy Will Benefit My Business”

This looks like a good event by Repower America, check it out!
Arlington Small Business Roundtable: How Clean Energy Will Benefit My Business

You are cordially invited to attend a gathering of local business leaders in Arlington to discuss the benefits of clean energy. This will be a chance to interact with other businesses in the area, exchange ideas and learn what you can do right now as a business leader. No matter if you own a used bookstore or install solar panels, this breakfast is for you.

A clean energy economy will help Virginia businesses save money and create jobs. This breakfast gathering will highlight how your business can benefit from clean energy and learn how to get more involved regarding clean energy in your community.

When: 7:30 to 8:30 AM, Friday, June 4

Where: Café Assorti (1800 Wilson Boulevard, near the Rosslyn and Court House Metro Stations)

Please let me know if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing from you about this exciting event!

Please RSVP to

chris.janszky@climateprotect.org or 203.253.7213

Thank you,

Chris Jánszky

Message to Sen. Webb: No More Study, It’s Time to End DADT

First, here's Jim Webb's statement on "Don't Ask Don't Tell."
Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen have laid out a specific and responsible plan to examine the current 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy in a manner that includes a comprehensive survey of those wearing the uniform. The White House and Secretary Gates both said today that, ideally, the Defense Department should complete this review before legislative action is taken. There is no question that a review of the policy is necessary and important. I see no reason for the political process to pre-empt it.
Now, here's my response to Sen. Webb.  

First, this policy has been an abject failure almost any way you want to look at it. In a military that's overstretched as it is, the concept that we would discharge highly-trained (at high cost to taxpayers), highly-qualified people, such as experts in the Arabic language, makes absolutely no sense.

Second, most other countries in the western world already allow gays to serve openly in the military, and they seem to be doing just fine. That includes the Israeli armed forces, not exactly known as a pushover as a military force.

Third, we don't need any more "study" about whether to end DADT; we already know it makes no sense and serves no useful purpose. The only question is exactly how to end it, which the military should figure out in the next few months. Other than that, there's zero reason to keep DADT on the books for another minute.

Fourth, not that we should base public policy on opinion polls, but according to a new CNN poll, the American people overwhelmingly (nearly 8 in 10) support ending DADT.

Finally, DADT should be repealed because it is deeply unjust and fundamentally unfair.  Just as you opened more operational billets to women than any other Navy Secretary, today it's time for you to support opening the military to gays and lesbians who want to serve their country.

Thank you.

Internal Fimian Poll Claims 13-Point Lead Over Herrity


I'm not sure what to make of this poll, but as the Virginia Politics blog points out, "Herrity did not offer any recent polling data to contradict Fimian's survey." Hmmmm.

Sen. McEachin Responds to Gov. McDonnell’s Acceptance and Tolerance of Illegal, Unethical Behavior

Earlier today, Bob McDonnell was on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" program. The interview in general was pretty rough, but the last few minutes were a true meltdown by McDonnell. Just pathetic. Among other things, McDonnell managed to claim he had no idea about Fred Malek's history as a "Jew counter" in the Nixon White House, or as being forced to pay a huge fine for ripping off Connecticut pension funds. Instead, he actually claimed that Malek is a "reform" and a "change agent" with a "distinguished track record of getting things done." Yeah, like carrying out Richard Nixon's demented orders and ripping off the pension funds of another state!  As WTOP's Marc Plotkin said, "This in itself...is enough to disqualify [Malek]." But not, apparently, in Bob McDonnell's ethical world view.

With that, here's what Sen. Donald McEachin thinks of McDonnell's comments this morning on "Ask the Governor." McEachin, by the way, has been doing superb work in holding McDonnell's and Cooch's feet to the fire over the past few months. Thank you, Senator!

Richmond- Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) today responded to Governor McDonnell's remarks this morning on WTOP's "Ask the Governor" show, where the Governor said he did not know the details of Fred Malek's, chair of the Governor's newly appointed commission on governmental reform, $100,000 SEC fine. The governor then further said that these things happen in business, that "people in business 20, 30, 40, 50 years often have regulatory violations," without ever acknowledging that Mr. Malek and his firm actually paid a quarter of a million dollar fine.

Senator McEachin expressed his very serious concerns with the Governor's seeming acceptance and indifference to unethical and illegal behavior that resulted in a substantial fine. Senator McEachin stated, "For Governor McDonnell to imply that this kind of behavior is acceptable and allowable, even normal, is exactly the very reason that Virginians and Americans are frustrated and fed up with government. This did not happen thirty or forty years ago, but happened in 2004, a few short years ago! To ever tolerate corruption and illegal activity is totally unacceptable. Virginians deserve better. We deserve to know that our governor will seek out the very best, most highly qualified and above ethical reproach individuals to serve in our government. This government belongs to Virginians and we need that the individuals participating in it be ethical and above board. For us to have any confidence in the workings of this commission and this administration, we need to know that the Governor will insist on the highest ethical standards and will not tolerate illegal behavior of any kind.

"For Governor McDonnell to first say he was unaware of these details, and ignorant of a six figure fine, is absolutely stunning and, frankly, beyond belief. When any Virginian applies for a job, he is expected to fill out an application that asks about past activities. Is Governor McDonnell not even asking his appointees for the same minimal information? Instead, it seems we have yet another example of insider cronyism where the governor simply appoints his highly placed friends, perhaps in exchange for future endorsements or monetary support.

"This is simply unacceptable. I would ask the governor again to replace Fred Malek. In no way, shape or form should an individual who was fined for his illegal behavior with another state's pension funds be involved, let alone in charge of, "reforming" Virginia state government. The governor needs to find someone to lead this commission who is above ethical reproach, who has not been fined by the SEC and who the governor has ensured is the best qualified person for the job."

P.S. So much for this silliness.

UPDATE: Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Yeah, right Tucker, that's what this is all about!  Hahahaha.

"A small handful of liberal Democrats don't want the governor to reduce state spending and make government smaller and more efficient. That's what this transparent partisan attack is really about.

UPDATE #2: David Englin, the evil liberal (heh), responds:
Ha - My favorite thing about Tucker Martin's attack is how transparently partisan it is!  That's cute.

Felix Macacawitz: Liar

Desperate to resurrect his political career, George Allen has now resorted to telling an outright lie.
In August 2006, Allen pointed out a videographer paid by Webb's campaign to track Allen at campaign stops. At a rally before a mostly white crowd in far southwestern Virginia, Allen pointed out S.R. Sidarth, the American-born son of Indian immigrants.

"In the process I gave the young cameraman the unfortunate, made-up nickname of Macaca (or Makaka)," Allen writes in the book's final chapter. "I thought of it as a nonsense word. If I had known the nickname could be considered a racial slur, I would not have said it. But that is how it was characterized. The poor judgment was mine. I should never have dragged this young man into the debate when my real target was my opponent. I apologized to him, and take full responsibility for the remark and its aftermath, which should have been handled much better."

That, in a word, is bull****.  As was well documented at the time, the fact is that the word "macaca" is a common racial slur in French North Africa, where George Allen's mother was "born and raised".  For more, see Salon's "Stepping in Macaca".
Though he doesn't like to use it, the senator's full name is George F. Allen. He gets the middle initial from his grandfather, Felix Lumbrosso, a French-Italian who was incarcerated by the Nazis during World War II. Felix raised Allen's mother, Etty, in Tunisia, a French protectorate in North Africa. As a child, Allen's grandparents lived near the family home, and Etty spoke five languages around the house. Allen makes no secret of his heritage on the campaign trail. "I have my grandfather's bloodlines," he said at a recent swing through a suburb of Richmond. "My grandfather is French-Italian. I have about one-sixteenth Spanish in me."

In North Africa, the word "macaca," often spelled "macaco" or "macaque," is far more than a string of random syllables. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word dates back to the mid-1600s, as a Flemish approximation of the Bantu word for monkey in the Congo and southern Gabon. The word migrated north, taking on all the racist connotations that followed African colonization. By the early 1800s, Jacko Maccacco, a famous fighting monkey, could be found on display in Westminster Pit, a notorious London arena for dog fights. The word had entered the common vernacular, and it eventually became a racist shorthand for blacks.

Today, the word is used mainly by two groups of people: scientists studying African and Asian primates, and bullies looking to insult others for the color of their skin. An online dictionary of ethnic slurs lists "macaque" as a French and Belgian word for black North Africans.

Maybe George "Felix Macacawitz" Allen thinks we've all forgotten this over the past 4 years, or maybe he just thinks we're idiots.  Fortunately, through the wonders of "Google," we can quickly debunk revisionist history and outright lies, such as the one Allen just spewed forth in the Washington Post. The question is, will the corporate media let him get away with this attempt at resurrecting his image, via an outright lie, or what?
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