This is a carefully drafted, one-shot amendment, directed only to a small group of firms that received more than five billion dollars of bailout money. Its purpose is to give American taxpayers an upside in the recovery of our economic system, which became possible only because their tax dollars saved it. Scholars from across the philosophical spectrum agree: as a matter of equity, the rewards should be shared with the taxpayers who made it possible.
It's ironic that the very people who caused this economic meltdown now believe they should receive billions in bonus payments that were made possible only because our taxpayers were required to save the economy from their errors in judgment. Some of these taxpayers don't even own stocks.
Nor is this an attack on New York City. In fact, two of the largest firms that would be affected -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are located in Washington, DC and Virginia.
When regions of Virginia are experiencing more than 21% unemployment and the struggling economy is hurting so many working Americans, it is only just that America's working people feel that they also are being looked after by our leaders.
Richmond - In a reversal of its recent announcement on offshore drilling off the coast of Virginia, the Obama administration today announced its decision to suspend Lease Sale 220 off the coast of Virginia citing the ongoing review of OCS safety issues. The announcement comes in light of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in the past two weeks.
"The Obama administration has taken an important first step today by delaying lease sale 220," said Environment Virginia Policy Advocate J.R. Tolbert. "We are optimistic that the Department of Interior's review of this tragedy will convince them of what we know to be true, offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous business."
So, who's at the center of all this? That's right, none other than our old pal, Harris Miller, last seen in 2006 calling Jim Webb a racist, misogynist, and anti-Semite. Here's a transcript from Part 3 of the FRONTLINE story with Miller:
We talked to the chief Washington lobbyist for the for-profit schools, Harris Miller.Yeah, right, I'm sure that's what Wall Street cares about regarding the for-profit education industry; not profit, but "education quality for their students." Uh huh.
Frontline: "The industry has a black eye, has been struggling for credibility, why?
Harris Miller: "I don't think the industry has a black eye, I think [they] are doing very well, growing by 25% a year, 2.8 million students attending our schools. We have some challenges because there have been some allegations that everything is not perfect, I wish it were.
Frontline: "But what about the pressure of Wall Street to have them grow."
Harris Miller: "The pressure is to deliver a high education quality for their students. Our schools know that any time they step out of line, there's a huge risk and there's a large focus on compliance at all times, including on enrollment issues."
Anyway, Frontline then goes on to discuss the tremendous pressure put on recruiters to meet quotas, and how this "challenges anyone's integrity." The message in the industry is to create a "sense of urgency" among potential students, "Dig deep, get to their pain, get to what's bothering them, so that that way you can convince them that a college degree is going to solve all their problems."
It gets worse, though.
[more after the "flip"]
Stephen Colbert takes on right-wing, anti-gay activist George Rekers (aka, "stereotype come to life"), who apparently looks for people to help him schlep his luggage around on Rentboy.com. Of course, where else would anyone think to look for a good bellhop? Heh.
Watch this video by NBC 12 and judge for yourself. Key quotes:
1. "I'd have to let you defer to the attorney general on that on that one, on what he is doing and why he is doing it. He is seperatley elected."
2. "What the Attorney General's theroies are, I only know what I read in the paper about it. I have not spoken to him about it."
So, in the end, the ACDC only heard from former Arlington County Manager Ron Carlee, former, who spoke strongly against changing Arlington County's form of government from the County Manager Plan form to the County Board form. In the end, Ron Carlee's side prevailed, with ACDC voting unanimously, 74-0, on a resolution opposing the referendum, and instructing the ACDC to work to persuade Arlington voters not to support it.
P.S. The discussion tonight, particularly Ron Carlee's powerful opening remarks, convinced me to strongly oppose the change of government resolution. I am now convinced that this is very bad public policy, and would be a major mistake if Arlington were to move in this direction.
OK, so it's not just that Americans are good people, even great people, but that we are "better than any[one] else because of the exceptional nature of who we are." What is it, something genetic? Something in the water? And here I could have sworn that Americans were also members of the species, homo sapiens. I also could have sworn that this was a nation of immigrants, with people from all over the world - Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, the Americas. Yet according to Eric Cantor, those same people, by the very act of coming here, turned from foreigners (bad) into people who are "better than any[one] else."
In general, does Eric Cantor really believe that this kind of hyper-nationalistic, bloviating b.s. is going to win us any friends anywhere in the world? Does he even care? What an imbecile.
P.S. See Media Matters for a deconstruction/demolition of Eric Cantor's speech at the Heritage Foundation yesterday. As Media Matters says, "Rather than offering any clear policy positions, Cantor relied on Republican talking points and false attacks to argue that President Obama is jeopardizing our national security." Also, "despite his tough talk (both in his prepared remarks and the Q&A that followed), Cantor's own record shows that he has no idea how to keep America safe." Of course, for those of us who follow Cantor closely, all we can say is, "what else is new?"
For all of those reasons, we need to tell Bob McDonnell that offshore wind power, not offshore oil drilling, is "the right direction for Virginia and the nation." Thanks.
Since taking office, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has continually abused his office to meddle in the affairs of Virginia's public colleges and universities in pursuit of his own personal, political agenda. Last week's civil subpoena of the University of Virginia for research by climate change science professor Dr. Michael Mann is the latest misuse of power by Attorney General Cuccinelli.UPDATE: NLS has more on the mentality of Ken Cuccinelli. It's not pretty.
As Attorney General, Cuccinelli has issued a letter to university presidents stating that university policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation were illegal under Virginia law. Ken Cuccinelli also issued a statement of full support for the questionably legal raid on JMU's student newspaper "The Breeze" by the Rockingham County Commonwealth's Attorney.
"Virginia is home to some of the finest universities in the country. Parents send their children to our schools because they will receive a high quality education, not to be subject to Ken Cuccinelli's ideological influence," said C. Richard Cranwell, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia. "This is just the latest 'big government' abuse by a self-proclaimed conservative. In Cuccinelli's world, government overreach is something other people do."
Yesterday, University of Virginia alumnus Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudoun and Fairfax) raised serious concerns about the actions of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
"On its face this seems to be a serious abuse of the power of the Attorney General," Herring said. "This is Virginia, since when do we investigate professors when we disagree with them?"
Herring continued, "This action will jeopardize Virginia's ability to attract scientists and researchers to our prestigious universities for fear that they will be investigated when the Attorney General disagrees with their findings, not to mention our ability to promote advanced technology industry locating in the Commonwealth."
UPDATE #2: Is Bob McDonnell starting to distance himself from the Cooch? Interesting.
UPDATE #3: The UVA Faculty weighs in, saying that Kookinelli's actions "directly threaten academic freedom."
Family Research Council co-founder (along with James Dobson) George Rekers hired a 20-year-old male prostitute for a ten-day trip to Europe. Rekers, a prominent leader of the anti-gay movement...Sure seems like it. At the minimum, I think it's safe to assume that right-wing homophobes have "issues."
The prominent anti-gay guy who turns out to be a closet case has become a cliché at this point. Can we just start assuming that the most stridently anti-gay people are gay? Is that a safe bet now?