• EstherF

    I came in a little late, just after the opening statements, but watched every minute after that. Trammell is really impressive. Alas, in a district built for Eric Cantor, I don’t know if it has much payoff, but I thought he was on-topic, smart, specific, relatable, good at responding to Brat’s jabs, and polished. A pleasure to have our standard-bearer in that district do such a good job.  

  • Just a few examples of Any Randian, “the virtue of selfishness,” “greed is good” Dave Brat’s lies, Big Lies, distortions, etc. from last night’s debate.

    1. Constant lies about “Obamacare,” aka, the “Affordable Care Act.” No, far from failing, the Affordable Care Act has largely been succeeding, as the New York Times detailed yesterday (e.g., # of uninsured down sharply, as intended; health insurance industry very happy with it; insurance affordable for most). It would be succeeding even BETTER if Republicans weren’t obstructing it at every turn, particularly their refusal at the state level to expand Medicaid coverage — Medicaid expansion being an integral part of the ACA.

    2. As for Brat’s charge that 250,000 Virginians supposedly losing their health insurance policies due to “Obamacare,” there are several problems with this. Other than the fact that nobody I’ve talked to seems to know where Republicans are coming up with this 250,000 number, the fact is that this is purely a state issue at this point, so if Virginia Republicans are SO concerned about those 250,000 Virginians (as opposed to the 400,000 Virginians they are happy to deny coverage to under Medicaid expansion), they could pass legislation tomorrow (actually, they could have passed it months ago) to allow Virginians to keep their policies. Why haven’t they? Clearly, since they control both the House of Delegates and the State Senate, they could have, so the fact that they haven’t done so obviously means they’d prefer to use this as a political talking point rather than to just SOLVE THE FREAKIN’ PROBLEM. Typical Republican behavior, sad to say.

    3. “$1.7 trillion in excessive regulation is crushing our economy.” Just totally false.

    4. “Illegal immigration…has not only caused a humanitarian crisis, but the border has now become a national security threat because of ISIS.” Not just totally, wildly false, but also outrageous demagoguery.

    5. “We need to send an economist to Washington…” Uh, sure, except we don’t want to send an Ayn Randian-style, “virtue of selfishness,” “greed is good” quack to Washington.

    6. On Ebola, Brat mostly just bashes the Obama administration, which actually has been doing an excellent job on this (especially compared to Reagan and AIDS). Brat also thinks “we should have quarantined the Western African nations and the flights coming in.” That would have been a huge mistake, according to almost every medical expert, or really anyone who knows anything. This is just fearmonger and demagoguery by Brat.

    6a. Also on Ebola, Brat claims it’s a “black swan” event with catastrophic consequences. Except that’s not at all the case in the U.S., where just one (1) person has died so far, compared to the thousands who die in an average flu season, the thousands per year who die from gun violence, etc, etc. Why aren’t those considered “catastrophic” by Brat?

    7. Brat claims he would “repeal and replace Obamacare,” which is a Big Lie — in fact, he has no serious plan to replace it, and of course ignores the fact that “Obamacare” is basically the Republican alternative to “Hillarycare,” pretty much identical to “Romneycare” (don’t you love these idiotic shorthand names?). And no, Obamacare didn’t “disrupt” healthcare for 250 million Americans, it made healthcare MUCH better for 250 million Americans — unless of course you like being denied for preexisting conditions, etc. Just Big Lie after Big Lie.

    8. Brat lies and lies about comprehensive immigration reform, which passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support in the Senate, but is bottled up by Teahadists like him in the House. Brat claims nobody’s against immigration, but he oposes the DREAM Act and claims the Senate bill is the “Democrat” (sic) bill. He also contradicts his own supposed “libertarian” philosophy, which should favor free flow of labor. Brat also calls undocumented immigrants “illegal folks.” Charming.

    9. As for the minimum wage, Brat opposes raising it “because I’m an economist.” Yes, and apparently he’s a REALLY bad one. In fact, according to this, “States That Raised Their Minimum Wages Are Experiencing Faster Job Growth.” It also pulls people out of poverty. Brat has no clue.

    10. As for Social Security and Medicare, the fact is that the Ryan budget, which presumably Brat supports, would devastate those programs. And no, the debt is NOT the “most pressing problem that our country faces by far.” Not even close. Brat also has no real, honest answers to achieve the long-term solvency of Social Security and Medicare.

    11. Brat claims there’s a war on energy by the Obama administration, even as U.S. natural gas and oil production are soaring through the roof (as are wind and solar power). Of course, notice that Brat doesn’t mention climate change. Shocker, huh? He also claims there shouldn’t be “crony capitalists” deciding on “winners and losers,” yet fails to mention that we’ve subsidized fossil fuels to the tune of HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS since 1950 alone! That’s just counting DIRECT subsidies, by the way, not indirect subsidies or “negative externalities” (e.g., health and environmental impacts) of fossil fuels. Any decent economist, or anyone who’s ever studied natural resources economics (as I have) would know that. Brat clearly does not, or chooses to ignore it. Huge #FAIL by this utterly incompetent economist.

    12. Brat cites Ronald Reagan on immigration, even though Reagan signed what right wingers at the time criticized as “mass amnesty.” Weird. Brat the supposed “libertarian” also says it’s bad that “crony capitalists” want “cheap labor.” Uhhhh.  As for immigration costing America, that’s simply not true — almost every study shows it’s a net positive.

    13. Brat blames “Obamacare” for low labor-force participation. OK, this is now into parody territory. What next, is Brat going to go all Rush Limbaugh/Fox “News” on us and blame “Obamacare” for the Ebola, ISIS, the common cold, etc?  Unbelievable.

    14. Brat takes a cheap shot at Hillary Clinton, who was simply saying (albeit inelegantly) what Elizabeth Warren and many others have said, that business alone doesn’t create jobs, but that it does in the context of: a trained workforce, government investment in infrastructure, a stable financial and monetary system (government again), security (government again), etc. The fact that he ignores (or doesn’t understand all those things makes him unqualified to serve in public office, period.

    15. Brat talks about the “moral foundations of capitalism” (actually, capitalism is fundamentally amoral, just like other economic systems) which brings us back to Ayn Rand. ‘Nuff said on that one. Also, what’s this simplistic “business is the good guy” crap? Obviously, some businesses and business activities are great, others are so-so, others are bad (e.g., BP polluting the Gulf of Mexico, oil and coal companies destroying the planet, Blackwater murdering people and largely getting away with it, Enron, etc, etc.). In Brat’s simplistic, Randian worldview though, business is ALWAYS – no qualification – the “good guy.”  Crazy s***.

    16. “If you want the American dream, vote for me next Tuesday.” Actually, it’s the exact opposite: if you want to DESTROY the American dream for the middle class, vote for Republican trickle-down, supply-side, corporate-welfare policies and right-wing extremists (not to mention horrible/incompetent economists) like Dave Brat.

  • CADeminVA

    Having a slick, Wall-Street-bootlicking fixer for a Congressman would be a good idea unitl this guy Brat came along. He is a religious fanatic masquerading as an economist. He will be an embarrassment to the people of VA-07 as he mounts the barricades to throw his ideological firebombs. He makes the quietly ineffectual Rob Wittman look like a true statesman.

  • pvogel

    I am   really really mad,  and Im going to      redouble  my efforts  to get em     voting

  • runbmc

    Do we really have a shot in this R+10 seat? Seems like the only elections worth talking about this year in the Commonwealth are VA-2 and VA-10. Mark Warner will obviously win reelection easily and while there might some other interesting elections out there like VA-7 and VA-4, those really aren’t in play.

  • Jim B

    Anyone thinking Brat is just putting on an act because the people in the 7th  pretty much agree with that BS?

  • CADeminVA

    Here’s from Salon 06/13/2014 find it online this is an excerpt:

    Back in 2008 during America’s financial collapse, BB&T Bank was one of the many big banks that crashed. In order to stay afloat, that bank took a $3.1 billion bailout from the Bush administration.

    At the helm of the bank at that time was John Allison, an Ayn Rand-loving CEO.

    According to The Street, during his time as CEO of BB&T, Allison regularly used the BB&T Charitable Foundation, “to provide grants to schools that agree to create courses on capitalism that feature the study of ‘Atlas Shrugged.'”

    Meanwhile, according to New York Magazine, Allison gave $500,000 to Randolph-Macon College to hire Dave Brat, so that he too could teach the Ayn Rand libertarian philosophy as an economics professor.

    Shortly after BB&T accepted $3.1 billion government bailout from the Bush Administration, Allison resigned as CEO, and was picked up by Charles Koch, to become the new president of the Cato Institute, formerly known as the Charles Koch Foundation, and to keep spreading the work of Rand.

  • frisbee

    In a shameless plug for the BlueLouisa blog ….. here are just a few links which sum up what he’s all about ….

    http://bluelouisaorg.fatcow.co…   &  http://bluelouisaorg.fatcow.co…  & http://bluelouisaorg.fatcow.co