UPDATE: Here's a description of the event Bob McDonnell's attending tonight.
...The meeting opens with cocktails in Evans Court followed by dinner in the Marble Hall...At the seated dinner, immediately following the cocktail hour, Governor McDonnell will address the health care challenges the Commonwealth faces as it adapts to federal health care changes... The September 23 meeting is open to RAM members. Member reservations are required. Please email your RSVP to Vicki Foster . Guest fee is $40. Cancellation fee is $75.
At 9:30 this morning, I was able to stand near all of the (maybe 17?) supporters who had also come, many holding flags and one fellow clacking away with the cap on a tea kettle he held as anyone drove by. Most apparently thought he was funny, but a couple sped up to get past him. He, Eugene Delgaudio, and maybe fifteen of, I guess, Eugene's closest friends waved hand-made signs and chanted things like, "New congress now!" With their district represented by a thirty-year Republican incumbent seeking re-election, that seemed an odd thing to chant.Wonderful, because nothing goes together like orange John BONEr, clueless Eric Can'tor, loony Eugene Delgaudio and barbed wire! Heh.
The handful of chanters and I had to stand outside the event because it, unlike the 1994 signing on the Capitol steps, was private, indoors, and by-invitation-only-thank-you. On this beautiful, sunny day, we stood outside and looked at a building surrounded by a large empty parking lot (empty but for a half-dozen television cameras), which, in turn was surrounded by a barbed-wire-topped fence (wire leaning our way, of course). Plenty of room to reveal their latest contract, but Boehner, Pence, Wolf, Cantor, and the rest of the "make Congress more open" members of the GOP who were present decided that behind closed doors was the right place to have a dialog with the people...
As usual, Jeff Schapiro nails it. This time, the question is, how's Bob McDonnell going to wriggle out of policy and political disaster thanks to his poorly-conceived, half-baked ABC privatization "plan?" Right now, he might just be better off drowning his sorrows -- with a bottle of state-regulated wine or liquor, perhaps?
I don't agree 100% with the Coffee Party, but I admire Eric Byler and Annabel Park tremendously for pulling it together. And, of course, their work on the Prince William County immigration fight, including the film "9500 Liberty," was extraordinary. If you haven't seen it, you can watch it on MTV this Sunday evening. It's times like this I wish I had cable TV!
P.S. The Coffee Party's first convention is being held this weekend in Louisville, KY. I'm very curious to see how this will go.
1. VCU REPORT ON PRIVATIZATION: INCREASE TAXES ON ALCOHOL
2. MARIN INSTITUTE SAYS BIG ALCOHOL PUSHING ABC PLAN - WOULD CAUSE MORE DEATHS, LESS REVENUE
3. SENATOR ASKS STATE AUDITORS TO DOUBLECHECK MCDONNELL'S ABC PLAN
9. WINERIES JOIN LIST OF ABC PRIVATIZATION SUPPORTERS
14. NARAL PRO-CHOICE VIRGINIA ASKS MCDONNELL NOT TO FURTHER REGULATE ABORTION CLINICS
16. CUCCINELLI OPEN TO VYING WITH BOLLING FOR GOVERNORSHIP
18. CUCCINELLI PUSHES HIGHER FILING FEES AT STATE REPUBLICAN CONVENTIONS
20. VA. RESIDENTS SHARE CONCERNS ON REDISTRICTING
22. AUDIT FINDS WEALTH OF UNSPENT FUNDS AT VA. TRANSPORTATION DEPT.
24. BOUCHER ASKS STATIONS TO PULL AD AGAINST HIM
26. WOMAN SET TO BE EXECUTED TONIGHT FOR HIRED KILLINGS
31. MCAULIFFE ANNOUNCES $1 BILLION ELECTRIC CAR INVESTMENT
I have one message for John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and the House GOP Leadership: If they do not want to use the GOP to lead, I would like to borrow it for a time.No problem, forgetting this gar-bage won't be difficult at all. In fact, I plan to do so the minute I complete this Blue Virginia diary.
Yes, yes, it is full of mom tested, kid approved pablum that will make certain hearts on the right sing in solidarity. But like a diet full of sugar, it will actually do nothing but keep making Washington fatter before we crash from the sugar high.
It is dreck - dreck with some stuff I like, but like Brussels sprouts in butter. I like the butter, not the Brussels sprouts. Overall, this grand illusion of an agenda that will never happen is best spoken of today and then never again as if it did not happen. It is best forgotten.
Next, Doug Ross:
Dear Senator Hurt:The Rutherford Institute adds that Hurt is demonstrating either "a dismal understanding of the First Amendment's values of 'uninhibited, robust' debate and the free marketplace of ideas, or a lack of commitment to upholding the document that Abraham Lincoln referred to as the 'only safeguard of our liberties."
It is unacceptable for a candidate seeking public office to not only refuse to facilitate informed decision-making by Virginia's voters but to actually impede the democratic process. Such are the consequences of your continued refusal to participate in any candidate debates in which independent candidate Jeffrey Clark is a participant, which stands in sharp contrast to Mr. Perriello, who has repeatedly expressed his willingness to engage both you and Mr. Clark in debates.
Your repeated dismissal of Mr. Clark's campaign as lacking viability is presumptuous and short-sighted. Virginia's voters do not need your campaign to determine the viability of other candidates. Rather, what they need is an opportunity to decide for themselves...
By consistently undermining a critical component of the political process - the opportunity for voters to educate themselves on the various candidates seeking election - you are doing a great disservice to the Commonwealth...
Whatever the cost to your own individual candidacy, we urge you to bear the cost in furtherance of transcendent First Amendment values and in faith that where all ideas are allowed to compete, the best ones will be adopted on the strength of their own merits.
By the way, this is from the same group that wrote letters to Tom Perriello, protesting his office location as a (supposed) violation of their 1st Amendment rights, since they had to protest on the sidewalk not in the parking lot (after months of blocking all the parking spaces). Now, they're after Robert Hurt for his "dismal understanding" of the 1st Amendment and his contempt for Democracy in general. Fun times in the 5th CD.
"On the six-month anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama leads a backyard discussion on the Patient's Bill of Rights and hears from real Americans who are already benefitting from health reform."
Among other things, when the Patients Bill of Rights kicks in tomorrow, young adults can remain on their parents' health insurance plan until they're 26; insurance companies are prohibited from cutting off your coverage just because you made a mistake on your application; no more lifetime limits and restrictions on annual limits kick in; discrimination against kids with pre-existing conditions is banned; and much more. Obviously, this is all really good stuff, and we have the Democrats to thank for it. And remember, if Republicans get back in power, they'll try to repeal all of this. Let's make sure that doesn't happen!
The fact that Robert Hurt refuses to answer this question (earlier today in Washington, DC), or any question, on "free trade" agreements is very telling. Perhaps it's because Hurt supports "free trade," yet people in Southside hate it because they believe it's responsible for their factories moving overseas, their jobs going to China, etc? Yet Robert Hurt apparently cares more about appeasing big business, the Chamber of Commerce, and right-wing political interests with his free trade/limited government talk. For instance, Hurt opposed legislation "to close the tax loophole for multinational corporations that encourages sending jobs overseas." And Hurt won't give a clear answer on whether or not he supports the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. Given how many debates he's skipping, Hurt's refusal to answer basic questions about where he stands on the issues is not surprising. However, it's got to be infuriating to the people of the 5th CD, who most certainly have a right to know.