Thursday, June 20, 2019
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Bob McDonnell: You Go Cooch!

"[Cuccinelli] is a very good lawyer, I think he's doing a good job as Attorney General."
"It's not unusual for an Attorney General to file suit."

In other words, Bob McDonnell and Ken Kookinelli are BFF - best friends forever.  Sweet, ain't it?
"We're working together very well."
"The Attorney General's a strong conservative, as am I."
"...people that would say things to the contrary about there being some strife between our offices simply isn't true."
"...if you agree with people most of the time, then you've got a good relationship, and that's what we have with the Attorney General's office."

UPDATE: Also, see George Allen's letter about his "friend" Ken Cuccinelli. I suppose we shouldn't be surprised to see a guy who voted 96% with George W. Bush now embracing the most extreme wing of his party and the craziest views thereof. Sadly, it's not surprising that any of this is coming from "Felix Macacawitz." Still, it's going to be fun letting everyone know how little Allen's changed if he decides to take on Jim Webb for Senate in 2012.

Threats of Violence Against Eric Cantor, Or Anyone Else, Are Not Acceptable

This should go without saying, but I strongly condemn threats of violence, let alone actual violence, against Eric Cantor, Tom Perriello, Tom Perriello's brother, or anyone else.  It simply has no legitimate place in American politics and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Period.

In this case, it appears the guy threatening Eric Cantor and his family is a madman who also has threatened many other political figures, including Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. In other cases, like with Tom Perriello and his brother, the threats were made by right-wing activists and bloggers (ostensibly) angered by the passage of health care reform legislation.  And, I'd note, the threats against Tom and his family came after 1 1/2 years of vicious invective, dehumanization, and demagoguery by leading Republicans - including the GOP's 2008 presidential and vice presidential nominees, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, etc. - against Democrats, against Barack Obama, etc. Do Republicans and right-wingers really believe that using the kind of language and imagery they've been using will have no impact at all?  If not, they clearly haven't studied the history of the 20th century.  

Speaking of the type of language that should never be used in our Democracy, I was very troubled to read this. I've known Bearing Drift's Jim Hoeft for several years now, and although  he's a staunch conservative and we disagree on most issues, I've never thought of him as advocating or condoning political violence in the least bit. Which is why I was surprised to see him using phrases like "before we start taking any sort of violent action against anyone else" and "let's let the judicial process play itself out before we do anything violent." Excuse me? "Before?"  How about "never?"

I emailed Jim Hoeft to ask him if he wanted to clarify his remarks, as I found them highly troubling. We went back and forth a few times, but in the end Hoeft agreed that violence or threats thereof are "unacceptable," although Hoeft added the phrase "in our current political climate." I'm not sure if we differ here nor not, but just to be clear, the correct answer is: in our Democracy, violence or threats of violence are never acceptable, in the current political climate or any other climate. Sure, if some day our Democracy is overthrown by a tyranny, that could be a different story. But that's totally hypothetical, pretty much science fiction, so why even talk about it?  Not only do I see no need to do so, I also see the potential danger to more...uh, "excitable" individuals in discussing such things as even within the realm of possibility.

By the way, I strongly approve of the comments by conservative activist and blogger Brian W. Schoeneman, who writes, "The angry rhetoric needs to stop, as does the idea or belief that a violent overthrow of our government is even a possible course of action in response to these issues."  Schoeneman adds, "it would be helpful if Republican elected officials would stop letting our activists get away with that kind of talk."  I couldn't agree more, but I'm not holding my breath on this one.

UPDATE: Jim Hoeft comments further at Bearing Drift.

So - do I advocate violence if health care is upheld as the law of the land by the judiciary?

No. No. Hell, no.

My point is that violence is never appropriate in our current Republic to make political points.


The public has no appetite for violence. It is unacceptable and worthy of condemnation. It shouldn't even be considered as a course of action given our political climate.

Scott Robinson Concedes, Krystal Ball the 1st CD Democratic Nominee!

Congratulations to Krystal Ball!  With the withdrawal today of Scott Robinson from the 1st CD Democratic nomination race, Krystal is the de facto nominee. If you want to support Krystal's campaign, you can contribute to "Bloggers for Ball" on ActBlue. Thanks, and go Krystal!

P.S. To learn more about our Congressional nominee in Virginia's 1st district, see my extensive interview with Krystal.

UPDATE: Scott Robinson's statements is here.

When we started this campaign seven months ago, I had just retired from a 25-year career in the United States Army and was attempting to catch up to my would be opponents by building a political operation from scratch.  The factors surrounding that short amount of time proved to be a daunting task. That is why I will be changing directions and am putting aside my aspirations to serve in Congress for now...

The “Family Values” and “Fiscal Conservative” People Strike Again!

It's nice to see at least somebody living it up in the middle of this nasty recession we're in right now. I'm sure the Republican National Committee's donors will be overjoyed to see where their money's going. ;)

The Washington Post article goes on to talk about the RNC spending "more than $17,000 on private jet travel in February as well as nearly $13,000 for limousines and car services, and also ran up tabs at luxe hotels including the Beverly Hills Hotel ($9,000); the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons ($6,600) and the W Hotel in Washington ($15,000)." Again, somebody remind me, why would we listen to these hypocrites on anything?  

Mike Signer: “How to Beat the Demagogues”

Virginia Tech Adjunct Professor and former Virginia Lieutenant Governor candidate Mike Signer takes on "demagogues," brick-throwing "Tea Party" activists, and "melodramatic opportunists like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck."  Signer's key points:

1. "Ad hominem attacks can hominem attacks against opportunists like Beck and Palin can often backfire, making them both more popular and even more sympathetic."

2. "Help educate people about our constitutional traditions...the chattering class must translate its concern about stability into forceful, thoughtful, sustained attempts to educate the citizenry about the systemic dangers of demagogues."

3. "Extreme opportunists usually self-destruct...Palin, Beck, Limbaugh, even the nativist Lou Dobbs (rumored last year to be looking at a presidential run) may look longingly at actual national power. But they will most likely collapse if they actually seek it and refuse to let go their demagogic ways."

4. "Side with the people and show them results...[Democrats] should focus on direct job creation people can see, rather than economic theories they have to believe."

I particularly agree with Signer's last point, that Democrats need to ramp up efforts aimed at helping "Main Street," perhaps along the lines of a modern-day "Civilian Conservation Corps," "Works Progress Administration" and "National Youth Administration."  Let Republicans fight for rich people and Wall Street, while Democrats fight for working people and the middle class. That's not just the right thing to do economically and morally, it's also the smart move politically. Can we say "no brainer?"

NY Times: Cooch’s Lawsuit “sure to be ineffective”

As we know, Ken Cuccinelli continues to waste Virginia taxpayer's money, as well as the time of the Attorney General's office, pursuing his wild goose chase against health care reform. What makes this even more of a waste is that, as this morning's New York Times points out, there's almost no chance of Cooch's lawsuit succeeding. To the contrary, the Times writes, the attempt is "sure to be ineffective." Why not? Two reasons.

First, as I pointed out the other day, the "mandate" to purchase health insurance isn't much of a "mandate," if it's a "mandate" at all. Instead, as the Times notes, "[t]he penalties for not buying insurance have been structured as a tax, to be collected by the Internal Revenue Service."  There are also huge subisidies in this legislation to help people get health insurance. Combined, it's not so much a "mandate" as a combination of incentives (subsidies) and disincentives (taxes); nothing new, certainly nothing unconstitutional. Combined with the fact that "most policies are sold and claims paid through interstate commerce," this makes the new law "bullet-proof," or at least "a long shot that the Supreme Court would invalidate the mandate, if the cases ever reach that level."

Second, regarding the "states sovereignty" argument, the bottom line is that "[n]o state is required to set up an exchange...[n]or is any state required to participate in Medicaid, a joint federal-state program in which Washington pays half or more of the costs."  

If no state - including Virginia - is required to participate in  setting up health insurance exchanges, then how can it be an infringement on "state sovereignty" (to the extent there is such a thing)?  Short answer: it can't. To the contrary, all Ken Cuccinelli is accomplishing here is to waste our taxpayer money and to distract his office from its main job -- cracking down on crime! So much for "tough on crime" Republicans, I guess.  In the end, it's 99% certain that Cooch's lawsuit will end in failure. In the meantime, however, as the New York Times concludes, he and his fellow right-wing warriors are "doing a disservice to their constituents." Not that this will stop him, of course...

UPDATE 9:25 am: David Frum tweets, "Repeal is literally impossible. GOP cannot over-ride Obama veto even if they win evry single Senate seat in 2010...Promising repeal stokes rage in GOP base but promises results that cannot be delivered."  In other words, this is politically dangerous for the GOP, but go for it guys! :)

Head of Coffee Party Comments on Tea Party

Interesting comments by Coffee Party founder Annabel Park on the Tea Party. Also see Frank Rich's column in this morning's New York Times, entitled, "The Rage Is Not About Health Care," about what Rich believes is really driving the Tea Party movement.

Tim Kaine On RNC Rejection Of Civility Pledge

It's truly mindboggling that the Republican National Committee actually sees extreme nastiness as morally acceptable and politically advantageous, but that does appear to be the case. As always, a heckuva job Michael Steele and Company!
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