Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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Roger Ebert’s “Two Thumbs Up” Review of “9500 Liberty” Now Available

Roger Ebert has now posted his glowing, 3.5-star, two-thumbs-up review of Annabel Park's and Eric Byler's movie, 9500 Liberty. Check out the review here, and definitely check out the movie if you can. This issue is certainly not going away anytime soon.

Top 5 Reasons Why The Homestead Story Matters

Over at Not Larry Sabato, Ben Tribbett is doing some serious, investigative reporting/muckraking on the "movers and shakers," the "rich and powerful." You know, the kind or reporting that newspapers used to do, when they actually cared about digging up real news, and not just about figuring a way to stay in business by reporting "soft news" and "infotainment?" Anyway, I'm glad to see that somebody is finally shining a bit of sunlight on one of these cozy, politician-lobbyist shmoozapaloozas.  And yes, there are a number of reasons why we all should be concerned about this situation.

First and foremost, anyone who cares about good government should be at least a bit uneasy by the thought of their representatives spending several days schmoozing, and being schmoozed by, the top corporate lobbyists in Virginia. Unless, that is, you believe in fairy dust, pixies, and that gifts don't come with strings attached. Take this factoid from NLS, for instance: "In recent years, the 22 members of the Democratic Caucus in the Virginia Senate have taken over $250,000 in personal gifts from these same lobbyists." And, as Ben points out, "that's only what has been disclosed." What's all that money for? Put it this way, if you or I threw a party like this at The Homestead, do you think any of these folks would show up?  (hint: the answer starts with"N" and ends with "O"). I don't know about you, but this entire situation makes me extremely queasy.

Second, as if that's not bad enough, this entire lovefest, whether it has an "R" or "D" after its name, occurs in the complete absence of sunshine. That's right, your lawmakers spend several days hobnobbing and hanging out with lobbyists from powerful corporations - construction, natural resources, power generation, you name it - without anybody keeping an eye on them. Apparently, that quaint institution known as the "fifth estate" (aka, "the press") is not invited. And, apparently, that quaint institution doesn't demand to be let in. Oh, and the "new media" isn't invited either; in fact, they're actively discouraged from attending (in this case, Ben figured out a way in, legally, without getting his butt arrested). I'm not sure which is more disturbing, but both should make anyone who cares about good and open government very uneasy.

“Sea of Students” to Urge Warner and Webb to Act on Climate and Clean...

This looks like a great event by Repower America and the Alliance for Climate Protection. If you're in Richmond, check it out!
Sea of Students to Urge Senators Warner and Webb to Act on Climate and Clean Energy
Virginia students ask senators to side with the American people instead of Big Oil interests

RICHMOND, Va.  - On Thursday, July 8, Virginia students and local leaders will hold a news conference urging Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb to work quickly to pass a comprehensive climate and clean energy policy this year.  As Congress goes into recess this week, these local representatives will remind Senators Warner and Webb that they have a clear and stark choice to make:  they can stand with Big Oil and delay action on our energy and climate challenges or stand with the American people and work to pass the real reforms our country wants and needs.   They need to make the best choice for Virginia.

In the wake of the Gulf Coast oil disaster, it is clear Americans want a clean energy and climate plan that will reduce pollution, invest in clean energy, create millions of jobs and enhance our national security. More than a year ago, the House took bold leadership in passing comprehensive legislation to put our country back in control of its energy future. Now is the time for our senators to get to work.

WHAT: News conference with students dressed in blue, representing their sea of support for clean energy

WHO: Local students, environment leaders, community leaders
WHEN: Thursday, July 8.  3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Outside of Senator Mark Warner's office
                    919 E. Main St.
                    Richmond  23219

Play the BP Offshore Oil Strike Game! Fun For the Whole Family!

Ah, the good ol', carefree days.
Up to four would-be tycoons can compete at exploring for oil, building platforms and laying pipelines to their home countries.

But BP Offshore Oil Strike players must also avoid the dreaded 'hazard cards', which state: 'Blow-out! Rig damaged. Oil slick clean-up costs. Pay $1 million.'

Unhappily for BP, that is just one per cent of the amount it has spent each day tackling the very real Deepwater Horizon leak, which has seen millions of barrels of oil gush into the Gulf of Mexico and hit the southern US coast.

Uh Guys? I Don’t Think This Is The Way To Win In the 8th

Not that Republicans ever had much of a chance to defeat Jim Moran in the 8th CD (Arlington and Alexandria), but stuff like this takes their chances closer to absolute impossibility.
Speaking at a recent Arlington County Republican Committee meeting, Berry - whose narrow loss to retired Army colonel Patrick Murray surprised some local political watchers - said it's "very important" for the party to unite with the goal of retaking control of congress. But while he said that Murray "deserves our respect," Berry stopped short of endorsing Murray or pledging to help his campaign.
So, we've got lack of unity. We've also got a candidate with almost no money:
He had $14,816 in the bank as of May 19. His campaign has raised another $10,975 online since the election, a fraction of Moran's war chest.
And, best of all, Murray plans to campaign in Arlington and Alexandria with the ever-popular figures (locally) of George Allen (30% of the vote in 2006), Ken Cuccinelli (32% in Arlington, 35% in Alexandria in 2009), Bill Bolling (33% in Arlington, 35% in Alexandria) and Bob McDonnell (34% of the vote in Arlington, 37% in Alexandria).

In short, when Patrick Murray says that "all bets are off" this year in the 8th CD, what he really means is that "the odds are half decent" that he can reach the upper 30s or 40% of the vote -- and lose by 20-25 points to Jim Moran. As Jim Webb once said, in a very different context - but one involving Murray's friend, George Allen - "I'll take those odds!" :)

“Prince William County was a field experiment”

As Prince William County Board Chairman Corey Stewart revs up his anti-immigrant frothing at the mouth, it is important to remember what this is all about. Here's "Moonhowlings", who knows a thing or two about these matters:
Pay close attention to the very end.  How much more of an admission is needed before people will see that the Immigration Resolution in PWC was all about an election.  Hethmon admits it.  He brags about it.  FAIR is also involved in AZ.  Leopards do not change their spots! Note the arrow coming from FAIR to AZ. It had started then.

Prince William County was a field experiment.  The end of the video is critical. Around 2:30 Michael Hethmon says it is a political issue. They were scared that Republicans were going to lose in elections because of the Iraq War.

Just keep this in mind - that Prince William County was a "field experiment" in 2007 - as Corey Stewart gears up for a) his reelection campaign in 2011; and b) whatever he plans to run for, statewide, in 2013.  And do not be surprised when immigrant bashing goes Virginia-wide.

P.S. As always, see 9500 Liberty for more on this.

Kaine: Steele is “Fair Representative” of Republican Party

According to Tim Kaine, the only thing the "party of Abraham Lincoln" stands for these days is "how do we make President Obama fail." In Kaine's words, President Lincoln would be turning over in his grave if he saw what his party had become. My guess is that Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and a long list of internationalist, pro-environment, reasonable, sane, moderate Republicans in U.S. history would be doing the same thing.  

Imus Calls Cantor a (Metaphorical) “Bastard” for Dodging Steele Issue

Can you imagine if a Democrat - let's just say Michael Steele's counterpart across the aisle, Tim Kaine - had said the things Steele said about Afghanistan being a "war of choice." What do you think Eric Cantor would have said to Don Imus in that case?  Yeah, duh.

Anyway, here's Don Imus' response to Cantor's refusal to say "yes" or "no" to a simple question:

You know, that's the problem with these interviews, well, with me, because I get obsessed with, like I'll ask somebody a question,...and then you won't answer then I'm sitting here, so then you keep talking, Charles can be a witness to this, you keep talking and I stop listening because all I'm thinking is the bastard won't answer my question. I didn't mean to call you a bastard, because you're not...Yeah, in a generic, metaphorical sense. I didn't mean you, specifically...or some rotten, lyin'...
Gotta love it when Don Imus speaks "metaphorically." Heh.
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