Saturday, January 19, 2019
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Paul Goldman, George Allen to Discuss the “Future of Public Education in Virginia”

This should be interesting, check it out if you're in Richmond tomorrow evening. I hope the topics of "charter schools" and for-profit "education" come up, among other things.

George Allen Planning to “Pour Money” Into Corey Stewart Primary Opponent?

Oh, pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease let this story be true!
[George] Allen is widely expected to make another run for his former seat two years from now, but he might face some GOP opposition in the primary.  

[Corey] Stewart, who is the Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, is up for reelection in 2011, a race he said those close to Allen have already warned him about.  

"They've already started making the threats," said Stewart, who told The Hill that "someone senior in the Allen camp" relayed a message to his office that they intend to solicit interests to pour money into the campaign of Stewart's challenger next year.  

"I never back down to a threat," said Stewart. "All that does is make me dig my heels in more."

A senior advisor close to the former senator said simply, "It's not true."

Let's hope it actually is true. A fight like this would be both great theater (rev up the popcorn maker!) and would hopefully damage both "Felix Macacawitz" and Mr. "Rule of Law" politically. That seems like a 100% win-win situation to me!

Amazing Christmas Display in Arlington, VA

I hate to think of how much energy this is using, but other than that, it's an amazing Christmas display at a house about 1 mile from where I live in Arlington. I took the video a bit earlier this evening -- enjoy!

John Kerry Rips Republicans, Wikileaks

Well, John Kerry certainly wasn't pulling any punches on Meet the Press this morning. First, here's Sen. Kerry on the Republicans:
...The Republicans are fighting to keep in place a tax policy that has failed over the last eight years.  It has failed.  We have had a net loss of jobs, and what we've seen is a Republican Party that's absolutely prepared to deny unemployment insurance to people who have been laid off, who can't pay their bills, who want to, you know, put food on the table for their families.  They've said, "No, we're willing to hold that hostage so that we can give the wealthiest people in the country a bonus tax cut." ...What they're fighting for is to give those people who earned more than a million dollars a year a bonus tax cut above that, even though it's the least effective way of creating jobs and, and putting impact into the economy.
Great stuff, John Kerry was on fire this morning, maybe because he was sick and tired of listening to the guy who preceded him on the show, lying weasel Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Anyway, that was just a warmup.  If you enjoyed that, join me on the "flip" for more.

“The Dark Lord of Coal Country” to Retire; the Damage He Did Will Endure...

Cross posted from Scaling Green, a project of the people at Tigercomm. Note: I am now consulting for Tigercomm, located in Rosslyn, VA, and helping "cleantech companies, advocacy organizations and government leaders" to "tackle the big, high-stakes challenges they face in promoting clean energy and sustainability." I'm excited to be working with Tigercomm, which has also done work for Virginia Democratic political campaigns like Steve Shannon's in 2009. Check them out!

Late last week came word that Don Blankenship CEO of Massey Energy, the largest coal producer in central Appalachia - will retire at the end of this year. You may recall that Massey owns the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, where 29 miners were killed back in April, the worst coal mining accident in the United States since 1970.  The Upper Big Branch disaster was far from an isolated incident.  In fact, Massey has a long history of environmental and worker safety violations going back many years. In the aftermath of the Upper Big Branch disaster, one of Massey Energy's largest shareholders called on Blankenship to resign immediately, citing the company's "cavalier attitude toward risk and callous disregard for the safety of its employees has exacted a horrible cost on dozens of hard-working miners and their loved ones."

That would all be bad enough, but unfortunately there's much, much more.  In this video, for instance, listen as Blankenship declares, "I don't believe climate change is real."  Then there's the current Rolling Stone magazine's brutal expose on Blankenship, which calls Blankenship "The Dark Lord of Coal Country" for having "destroyed the region's mountains, polluted its waters and overseen the worst mining disaster in 40 years." According to Rolling Stone, Blankenship "is a rich hillbilly who believes that God put coal in the ground so that he could mine it, and anyone - or any law - that stands in his way needs to be beaten down, bought off or tied up in court."

The Young Turks Skewer Eugene Delgaudio and His “Gay TSA Conspiracy” Theory

Other than misidentifying Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (Radical Rightwing Republican - R Cubed!) as from "Washington State," this conversation is spot-on. The only question is, how on earth could the fine people of Loudoun County's Sterling District (also home to Dulles Airport, nerve center of the "gay TSA conspiracy" no doubt - lol) have ever elected this repressed, self-loathing, cuckoo-for-cocoa-puffs closet case to the Board of Supervisors?  Am I being too harsh on poor old Eugene?  Read the following and judge for yourself:

*Loudoun County Republicans Play Dress Up
*Fun Times In Loudoun County With Eugene Delgaudio
*Delgaudio Rants About "The Homosexual Classrooms Act"
*More Eugene Delgaudio Insanity, Homophobic Bigotry
*Eugene Delgaudio on "Thousands of men in bright neon bikinis"
*Eugene Delgaudio: "The Homosexual Onslaught is relentless"
*Eugene Delgaudio asks: Do you Support the Homosexual Agenda?
*Not That There's Anything Wrong With That, Eugene Delgaudio

P.S. I wonder if Delgaudio hangs out - at the airport, no doubt - with his fellow raging Republican homophobes Dick Black (yes, that's his real name!), "Sideshow Bob" Marshall, and of course Ken Kookinelli. Or, perhaps they all prefer hanging out in gymnasiums and watching gladiator movies together? Heh.

Candlelight – The Maccabeats

I forgot to post this video on the first night, but even though it's now night #4, Happy Hanukkah anyway!

Intriguing Move by Dominion Virginia Power?

I'm not completely sure exactly what to make of this, and obviously I'm deeply skeptical of Dominion Virginia Power, but I find it potentially intriguing nonetheless.
Dominion Virginia Power said Thursday it is offering to close a small West Virginia coal-fired power station when it opens its larger natural-gas fired power station in northwestern Virginia, saying the move would mean cleaner air and help serve the region's growing energy needs.

Richmond-based Dominion Resources Inc. said under an agreement with the National Park Service and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, it would close its 74-megawatt North Branch Power Station in Bayard, W.Va., when the proposed Warren County Power Station near Front Royal begins operations by early 2015. Employees at the North Branch facility would be transferred to nearby Mt. Storm Power Station.

Emissions credits from the West Virginia station would help mitigate emissions from the new power station.

The question is, why's Dominion proposing this, and why now? I'm not sure, but it's worth looking into further. Also, should I read Dominion's statement, which refers to "cleaner-burning natural gas," as an (indirect) admission by Dominion that yes, indeed, coal-fired power is dirty, nasty stuff? Let's hope so. The fact is, power companies like Dominion do not have to be the enemy of those of us who care about the environment. In fact, here's a deal: if Dominion wants to start shutting down coal-fired power plants, going all-out on energy efficiency, investing in "smart meters" and "smart grid" technologies, moving into solar/wind/other renewables, etc., then I'll be one of their biggest fans. :) Until then, however, the jury is very much out on this company, but I'm all ears.

P.S. Also recall that in 2009, Dominion's President/Chairman/CEO Thomas Farrell testified to Congress about the importance of "ensur[ing] that U.S. climate policy is successful in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while also addressing the cost implications to consumers." At the time, Farrell assumed that there would be "a federal GHG cap-and-trade program," and seemed to be trying to figure out the best way to work with it. Was that for real? And what about now, given the demise of cap and trade? It will be interesting to keep an eye on Dominion to see where it intends to go regarding clean energy, energy efficiency, and environmental issues in coming months and years. I'll be watching.

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