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Tuesday, August 14, 2018
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lowkell

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Kaine: Deeds Demonstrates Why Dem’s Shouldn’t Run from Obama

I strongly agree with Tim Kaine on this one.
In an interview with The Hill, Kaine said House Democrats who do not run with Obama's agenda risk alienating their most energetic supporters.

"If you distance yourself from the president, you can pour cold water on the excitement about what he is doing," said Kaine, who alluded to Democrat Creigh Deeds's problems.

Deeds lost a special election in Kaine's home state of Virginia last year after distancing himself from Obama, who had won Virginia's electoral votes in the presidential context just a year earlier.

"I can tell you this. Everywhere I go, every last community I visit, there are energetic supporters of this president who are excited about what he is doing," Kaine said.

Along these lines, I think this story is relevant. The bottom line is that most Democrats who are going to lose this November are moderate-to-conservative "blue dogs" in the 49 districts carried by John McCain. The vast majority of Democrats "from the Democratic wing" of the party are going to be re-elected. So, the question is, does it help the "blue dogs" to avoid appearing with - or not mentioning - President Obama? I'd argue strongly "no," in that the "blue dogs" aren't going to win any Republicans or Tea Partiers to their sides, regardless, yet by dissing Obama they're going to reduce enthusiasm among the Democratic "base."  In other words, it's a "lose-lose" for Democrats in swing districts to stay away from Obama.  Don't believe me? Just ask Creigh Deeds how refusing to say he was an "Obama Democrat" worked out for him.

UPDATE: This is stupid too.

We Need These in NOVA Now!

For anyone who's ever tried to walk around congested, car-friendly-but-pedestrian-unfriendly northern Virginia, you know that it can be a hair-raising, if not life-and-limb-threatening, experience. For instance, here in relatively progressive Arlington, walking to the Metro can be an adventure, given that Metro stops are often located in the middle of busy streets (e.g., Clarendon Metro is in between Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards) or across several busy streets (e.g., Courthouse Metro is across several lanes of traffic; a walk to Virginia Square often forces you to cross several major, east-west roads). Cross-walk signals, of course, are not particularly helpful. Press one, and you still have to wait a minute or however long for it to turn. What's the point of having a crosswalk button if, after you press it, nothing happens for a long time?  The incentive is to jaywalk, especially if you're in a rush to work or whatever, but that can be extremely dangerous, especially given all the lunatic drivers out there.

All of which is why this should be a no-brainer for Northern Virginia jurisdictions to install ASAP!

McDonnell: Virginia Government Can Force People to Buy Health Insurance


So, let's get this straight now. If the Federal government "mandates" (actually, provides incentives and disincentives to) people to purchase health insurance coverage, that's evil incarnate and must be fought to protect "states' rights" under the 10th Amendment. But if the Virginia state government "mandates" individuals to purchases health insurance coverage, that's perfectly fine. In other words, it's not the principle of the government forcing and/or strongly incentivizing people to have health insurance, it's who does it -- the federal government (bad) or the state government (good). What possible theory is behind this, other than the fact that Bob McDonnell happens to be governor of Virginia and not (thank god) president of the United States, is impossible to tell. Perhaps this is something Bob McDonnell was taught at Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) University?

David Boies Destroys Homophobic Bigot’s Prop 8 Arguments


This is definitely worth watching.  As David Boies says, there is "no basis whatsoever" to discriminating against GLBT citizens who want to marry. No basis, that is, except for appealing- as homophobic bigot Tony Perkins does here - to "people's fear and prejudice" and citing studies that "don't exist or don't say what you say they do."

Ted Olson: Gay Marriage is a “conservative value”


First, here's Ted Olson to Chris Wallace, rebutting the assertion that however many millions of voters should be able to deprive U.S. citizens of their constitutional rights.
Well, would you like your right to free speech? Would you like Fox's right to free press put up to a vote and say well, if five states approved it, let's wait till the other 45 states do? These are fundament constitutional rights. The Bill of Rights guarantees Fox News and you, Chris Wallace, the right to speak.
And remember, Ted Olson was U.S. Solicitor General under President George W. Bush, after helping make Bush president in the Bush v Gore Supreme Court case.  The point is, this guy is a rock-ribbed conservative Republican through and through, yet he believes that "a conservative value is stable relationships and stable community and loving individuals coming together and forming a basis that is a building block of our society, which includes marriage."

Case closed.

Andrea McGimsey Fights for Energy Efficiency in Loudoun County

Superb work by Loudoun County Supervisor Andrea McGimsey on making Loudoun County more energy efficient, creating jobs, saving money, and protecting the environment.
The possibility of losing the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, which supports projects and outreach efforts such as the ones outlined in the Loudoun County Energy Strategy, has mobilized local leaders across the country to petition the White House and Congress for support.

, launched the Energy Block Grants Climate Communities, a national coalition led by 15 local government officials, including Loudoun County Supervisor Andrea McGimsey (D-Potomac)Work! campaign on Capitol Hill last week to try to save the program...

[...]

The project that McGimsey found "the most exciting" involves applying integrated energy solutions to the Moorefield Station project -- a 400-acre, mixed-use development in southeastern Loudoun -- where the waste heat from the development's data center cluster will be recovered and used to heat nearby residences and businesses.

Beyond the benefit to the environment, McGimsey said, the projects save money, improve efficiency and create jobs. Calculations based on methodology provided by the Department of Energy show that the combined projects will create an estimated 70 private-sector jobs and save more than $125,000 in annual energy costs, she said.

"I come out of corporate America. I'm a businesswoman, and I look at these energy issues as being pro-business and also pro-environment," McGimsey said. "If you save energy, you put that money toward the bottom line of your company."

This is exactly what we should be doing in this country, and it demonstrates how badly we need leaders like Andrea McGimsey - people who "get it" on energy efficiency, by far the biggest "bang for the buck" when it comes to energy - in this country. Thank you, Ms. McGimsey, for your leadership in turning Loudoun "green!"

The Continuing Chronicle of Ken Cuccinelli’s Corruption

For a minute, let's forget about Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's radical, ultra-right-wing agenda. Instead, let's focus on something that crosses party lines - corruption. The question is whether Cuccinelli is Virginia's Rod Blagojevich, as in: bribery, public corruption, and wire fraud ("any criminally fraudulent activity that has been determined to have involved electronic communications of any kind, at any phase of the event").  Given that a number of states are already investigating the "U.S. Navy Veterans Association" scam, and given that Senator Webb has asked the IRS to investigate this situation, at some point somebody's going to start talking to the feds. At that point, they're going to be looking at a possible plea bargain: reduced sentence for the "small fry" in exchange for evidence against public officials like our most excellent Attorney General. Until that time comes, we will keep you updated on the latest developments in the case, and more broadly into the corruption "stench" that is Ken Cuccinelli.

8/20/13: Dozens of emails surface from Virginia AG office to gas company
8/14/13: Va. Sen. Puckett says landowners impetus for seeking investigation
8/13/13: Inspector general probes Cuccinelli's office
8/11/13: Conflicts emerge as hurdles for Cuccinelli's run
7/29/13: AP's Bob Lewis on Ken Cuccinelli's Star Scientific Problem
7/18/13: Ken Cuccinelli didn't break law by not disclosing Star Scientific stock, prosecutor says
7/15/13: Virginia's Attorney General Faces Scrutiny for Ties to Executive
7/10/13: Despite Ken Cuccinelli's Claims, Records Show Deep Involvement In Bob McDonnell Ethics Controversy
7/4/13: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's involvement with Star Scientific
6/29/13: Cuccinelli fights bid to compel testimony
6/12/13: Cuccinelli, Penguins and Natural Gas
5/26/13: Clipping cronies with Cuccinelli
4/27/13: Cuccinelli discloses more gifts from Star Scientific CEO
4/24/13: Cuccinelli's office to withdraw from Todd Schneider prosecution
4/17/13: Cuccinelli, McDonnell, and the Star Scientific scandal
4/16/13: Dirty Energy Fuels Climate Change Denier Ken Cuccinelli's Campaign
4/9/13: Va. Dems demand Cuccinelli's resignation, again
4/8/13: Cuccinelli denies conflict of interest claims
4/4/13: Cuccinelli will appoint outside counsel for suit involving firm he owns stock in
3/30/13: Va. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's disclosure of stock holdings was delayed
3/12/13: Cuccinelli Sits Silent as Ohio Tries Campaign Donor who Defrauded Virginians
10/15/12: Coincidences abound with Ken Cuccinelli & 'Bobby Thompson'
5/2/12: One-time leader of Navy vets organization arrested
1/17/12: Cuccinelli announces settlement with fundraising firm
8/14/11: As Navy Veterans charity was being exposed as fake, there was a face that was real
8/11/11: Treasurer of fake U.S. Navy Vets charity sentenced in Ohio
8/4/11: Cuccinelli stays away from U.S. Navy Veterans Association probe
6/23/11: Treasurer of phony charity U.S. Navy Vets is convicted
3/3/11: Not just criticizing; credit is given when it's deserved
2/24/11: Another U.S. Navy Veterans Association review means more delay
2/23/11: Virginia suspects fraud by charity purporting to benefit Navy veterans
2/22/11: State agency finds phony Navy veterans charity collected $2 million in Va.
12/28/10: Fla. paper profiles fake Navy veterans' charity that raised millions
12/27/10: Navy Vets leader made an unchecked rise into elite circles
12/7/10: Steve Shannon: "Watchdog would keep politicians honest"
12/5/10: Navy Veterans former lawyer: 'I was duped'
11/11/10: Scam Wrapped in Patriotism
11/11/10: GOP Donor Stole Millions Through Phony Veterans Group, Authorities Say
10/28/10: Ohio officials say solicitors' take could be $100 million in Navy Vets case
10/27/10: $2M Ohio bond for woman accused of Navy vets scam
10/15/10: Ohio indicts leader of Tampa-based Navy Veterans charity
8/31/10: Will Cuccinelli now launch a probe of the Albermarle judge?
8/23/10: Campaign Finance: Slipped Gear
8/9/10: Ohio arrest warrant tip of legal troubles for 'sham charity'
8/6/10: Cincinnati BBB: Arrest Warrant Issued for Director of U.S. Navy Veterans Association
8/6/10: Cooch's Achilles Heel?
8/6/10: TPM Police Start Nationwide Search For Scamtastic Cuccinelli Donor
8/5/10: Roanoke Times: WANTED: The con man who gave Cuccinelli $55,500
8/3/10: PilotOnline: IRS seizes records from U.S. Navy Vets group
8/1/10: IRS seizes records from U.S. Navy Vets
7/29/10: Rachel Maddow: Cuccinelli finally gives away Navy Vets' money
7/28/10: Roanoke Times: Cuccinelli to donate campaign contributions from director of embattled Navy veterans group
6/28/10: Is Ken Cuccinelli Virginia's Rod Blagojevich?
6/27/10: NLS: "The Stench" and the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial by the same name.
6/23/10: Pay-to-Play Scandal in the Making?
6/23/10: Washington Post: "Shannon connects Cuccinelli campaign promise, donation"
6/18/10: TPM: Cuccinelli Still Won't Give Fake Vets Group Donations To Real Veterans
5/28/10: Roanoke Times: Consumer agency looks into Navy Veterans group
5/18/10: TPM: Cuccinelli Won't Give Up Money From Founder Of Alleged Scam Charity -- Also Not Eager To Investigate
5/17/10: DPVA Tells Cuccinelli to Donate Tainted $50,000 Contribution, Investigate US Navy Veterans Association
5/17/10: TPM: Top Cuccinelli Contributor's Mysterious 'Charity' Under Scrutiny
5/6/10: tampabay.com: U.S. Navy Veterans Association being investigated after it claims officer is not fictional

Roanoke Times Columnist: “Budget surplus actually a scam”

In today's Roanoke Times, Metro columnist Dan Casey explains clearly and convincingly why Virginia's supposed budget "surplus" is actually a deficit.  Here's an excerpt, bolding added by me for emphasis.
First, the General Assembly demanded that businesses remit to the state in June tax receipts that ordinarily would have been paid in July, after the new budget year began. (Former Gov. Tim Kaine, in the budget he proposed just before leaving office, came up with this gimmick.)

This allowed the bean counters to treat $227 million that ordinarily would have been booked as 2011 revenue (the current budget year) as money that came in the 2010 budget year.

That wipes out any so-called "surplus" right there. But it's actually worse than that.

Because all those July payments were counted in June, we started the 2011 fiscal year $227 million in the red. The General Assembly has agreed to do the same thing next year to take care of that.

Which means the budget year that starts next July also will begin in the red.

But it's even worse than that.

The other game they played was with the Virginia Retirement System, which handles state employee pensions. In the final three months of the 2009 budget year, the state simply didn't make $135 million in payments it owed to the system.

You don't get more dishonest than that. No wonder why people are cynical about politics and politicians.

P.S. NLS points us to this article, by "Americans for Limited Government" president Bill Wilson of Fairfax County, who says, "Reported surplus in Virginia nothing more than political theater."

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