Sunday, November 29, 2020
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ArlNow: “Serial Stabbing Suspect Was Arrested, Released in Arlington”

See ArlNow for more about how "[t]he man suspected in the stabbing deaths of at five people was arrested and later released in Arlington last week." The Washington Post, which originally broke the story, adds that the suspect, Elias Abuelazam, "has long ties to Leesburg and Northern Virginia."
Online property and court records indicate Abuelazam was in the Washington area at least between 1998 and 2007. He owned a house in Leesburg between 2002 and 2007 and has several motor vehicle violations in that time, the records show. Relatives said he was born in Israel and emigrated to the U.S. in the 1990s. He was in the country legally and had a green card, officials said.
In addition, the Post reports, Abuelazam - an Israeli Arab from Ramle - reportedly "worked at the Piedmont Behavioral Health Center, now called Northridge Behaviorial Healthcare, in Leesburg in the mid-2000s."

P.S. Any predictions on how long it will take for the right wingnutosphere to go...well, wingnutty over the fact that this guy's an A-R-A-B? Of course, he's a Christian Arab so their heads are likely to explode from cognitive dissonance, but whatever.

Jon Stewart on GOP Economic Plan: “the most profoundly retarded statement I’ve ever heard”


That about sums it up. Oh, and why is that a freakin' comedian has more insight into politics and economics than just about all the lamestream media talking heads - Broder, Will, O'LIElly, etc. - put together?

Joe Bouchard: Offshore Oil Drilling Poses “unacceptable risk to naval forces in Hampton Roads”

I just got off a conference call on the dangers of offshore oil drilling in Virginia and lessons learned from the Gulf of Mexico disaster. Speakers included Chesapeake Climate Action Network Executive Director Mike Tidwell, Virginia Sierra Club Assistant Director J.R. Tolbert, and retired Navy captain/former Delegate Joe Bouchard. I'll get to Tolbert's and Tidwell's comments in a minute, but first I want to highlight what Joe Bouchard had to say, because it was very strong.

First, according to Bouchard, there's a long record of offshore oil and gas activities interfering with Defense Department training ranges.  The industry likes to claim that they have a "great working relationship with the military," but "you can't believe that for a minute." In fact, Bouchard says, "interference with training ranges is well documented," and claims to the contrary by the oil industry are "disingenuous if not outright untrue."

Second, Bouchard points out that two Navy bases on the Gulf coast were closed in the 2005 BRAC round, one of the reasons being the inadequacy of the training ranges there because of interference from offshore oil and gas drilling activities. According to Bouchard, "that should stand as a very clear warning to those of us here in Virginia." Bouchard adds that "DoD and the Navy have made it clear for years that they're opposed to drilling in the Virginia Capes operating area." The bottom line is that the Navy can't live with oil drilling.

More Proof: Republican Claims to be “Fiscally Conservative” Are Laughable

Republicans, the same people who ran up enormous deficits and national debt under Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, and George W. Bush, now are claiming to be born-again "fiscally conservative."  Except, as the saying goes, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." Here's the latest.
A Republican plan to extend tax cuts for the rich would add more than $36 billion to the federal deficit next year -- and transfer the bulk of that cash into the pockets of the nation's millionaires, according to a congressional analysis released Wednesday.

New data from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation show that households earning more than $1 million a year would reap nearly $31 billion in tax breaks under the GOP plan in 2011, for an average tax cut per household of about $100,000.

That's right, Republicans are proposing to shower $100,000 per household onto the richest of rich Americans, while cranking up the deficit by $36 billion, all while running around claiming (as in this unintentionally hilarious video) they are "fiscal conservatives."  The question is, why does anyone - particularly the "Tea Party" people - listen to these flaming hypocrites on anything? The fact is, Democrats historically have been far more fiscally "conservative" than Republicans, with the last U.S. budget surplus having been achieved under Bill Clinton.  

All of which means, of course, that if you are truly a fiscal conservative, you should either vote Democratic this November, vote for a third-party candidate, or not vote at all. Your absolute last choice, only if there's nobody else on the ballot and they force you at gunpoint to vote, should be the "tax cuts for the wealthy, nothing for the middle class, crank up the deficit" party. Other than that, don't even think about it. Unless you're a megamillionaire who doesn't care about our country's fiscal future, of course.

UPDATE: If you're tired of listening to the hypocritical "fiscal conservatives," how about the bigoted "family values" conservatives instead? Hey, nobody ever said the modern Republican Party wasn't diverse - many varieties and flavors of insanity, all under one umbrella, just for you!  LOL

Tom Perriello Debates at 1:30 PM, Robert Hurt is AWOL

Check out Rep. Tom Perriello (D-5th) at 1:30 today in his debate against...well, one of his opponents, anyway. Where's Republican nominee Robert Hurt? Ducking, dodging, evading, obfuscating, taking a nap? Meanwhile, as Hurt cowers, Perriello fearlessly faces the voters' questions. What else is new?
The first debate of the 5th district race is getting underway in a few minutes.

Click here to see the debate streaming live on our website starting at 1:30 p.m.

Unbelievably, Senator Robert Hurt is refusing to show up to make his case to the voters. I'll be making the case that if he wants the job of representative, he needs to show up for the interview. I'm looking forward to debating the independent candidate, Jeff Clark. We may not agree on many things, but we at least agree that any man who wants to represent this district should have the courage to show up to debates.

Tune in starting at 1:30 pm on our website.



UPDATE 1:33 PM: Senior Statesmen of Virginia intro to the debate: "The Republican candidate chose not to accept." Ha. Also, according to Coy Barefoot, the moderator of the forum, Robert Hurt is the first candidate to decline an invitation from the Senior Statesmen since 1996. Wow, that's pitiful!

UPDATE 1:40 PM: Perriello says that, unlike Robert Hurt, at least Virgil Goode showed up and said where he stood. Also, Perriello says it's a "shame" that Hurt won't let Clark in the debates. Tom Perriello challenges Hurt to four televised debates, says "voters deserve that."  

Winners and Losers: 8/10/10 Primary Edition

There were some definite winners and losers coming out of yesterday's primaries in Connecticut, Colorado, and Georgia. Here are a few.

1. Barack Obama: The President endorsed Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado over former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff. If Bennet had lost, you can bet that Fox and the rest of the conservative, corporate media would be playing it up as a sign of Obama's "weakness." With Bennet's win, I'm sure we'll see all the Obama bashers eating their hats? No? Gee, that's shocking! Heh.

2. The Colorado Tea Party: A huge winner last night, as their favorites Ken Buck and Don Maes (who believes "a popular Denver bike-share program is a 'very well-disguised' part of a plan by Denver mayor...John Hickenlooper for 'converting Denver into a United Nations community.'"), defeated party-picked pros, former lieutenant governor Jane Norton and former Congressman Scott McInnis.

3. Colorado Democrats: Sen. Bennet should now have a fairly clear, {albeit not} easy path to reelection, having gotten the opponent he was dreaming of facing. Among other things, Buck believes that rape and incest do not justify abortion, that the "greatest threat to the United States" is Barack Obama (e.g., not Al Qaeda), who believes in eliminating the Departments of Energy and Education, and that people should vote for him because he "doesn't wear high heels". Congratulations on your {hopeful} reelection, Sen. Bennet! Ha. :)

4. Connecticut Democrats: With the victory of wacky World Wrestling Entertainment owner Linda McMahon over more moderate, more sane Republican Rob Simmons, Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Richard Blumenthal should cruise to victory in November. Also, Connecticut Democrats are now in excellent position to take back the governor's mansion.

5. Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes (D): While Republicans slug it out in a bitter nomination contest for Georgia governor (between Palin-endorsed Karen Handel and Newt Gingrich-endorsed Nathan Deal) that remains too close to call this morning, former Gov. Roy Barnes (D) emerges strong and with a unified party behind him for the fall election. All that translates into a good chance for Democratic victory this November.

6. Nathan Daschle: Read here for more about why the Democratic Governor's Association executive director is in a great mood this morning!

7. The Red and the Blue: Former University of Pennsylvania school mascot ("The Penn Quaker") Brian Becker, a close friend of mine since we were 6 years old, won his first race for elective office last night. Brian won 57%-43% and is now the Democratic nominee for Connecticut State House of Representatives from the 19th District (West Hartford, Avon, Farmington). As the Penn victory song goes, "Hurrah for the red and the blue!"

Keith Olbermann: White House Anger Should be Directed at “Professional RIGHT”


I'm with Keith Olbermann on this one: I can understand the White House's frustration with the "professional left," but the ones they really should be angry at are the "professional right" - Beck, O'LIElly, Rush, Palin, etc. Also, I agree with Olbermann that this White House's negotiation tactics - start just barely, if at all, left of center - leave much to be desired.  And please, White House, stop with the absurd, false equivalency between people like Keith Olbermann - people based in reality, people who overwhelmingly want you to succeed! - with people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh - people based in their own paranoia, fear, hatred, anger, bigotry, etc. and who want you to fail!  

True, it's always more hurtful to be criticized by your friends than by your enemies, but still, you White House guys really need to think about this and get some perspective - the "professional left" overwhelmingly (and yes, there are exceptions) wants you to succeed at making this a better country; the "professional right" wants to "break you." Period. When you fully internalize that, you'll be better off and so will the rest of us. Thank you.

Excellent Post by Nate Silver on Liberals and the White House

Nate Silver nails it.
One problem that Obama is having -- and not just on the left, although it might be most acute there -- is the dissonance between the grand, poetic narratives of the campaign trail and the prosaic and transactional day-to-day grind of governance...


Nevertheless, I suspect that for most liberals, any real sense of progress has now been lost. Yes, the left got a good-but-not-great health care bill, a good-but-not-great stimulus package, a good-but-not-great financial reform plan: these are a formidable bounty, and Obama and the Democratic Congress worked hard for them. But they now read as a basically par-for-the-course result from a time when all the stars were aligned for the Democrats -- rather than anything predictive of a new direction, or of a more progressive future. In contrast, as should become emphatically clear on November 2nd, the reversion to the mean has been incredibly swift.

What liberals haven't had, in other words, is very many opportunities to feel good about themselves, or to feel good about the future.

Of course, it's also that the nasty economic recession that began under Bush drags on under Obama. Although I certainly believe that economic conditions are better today than they would have been without aggressive action by the federal government, most people still aren't feeling it, and that makes them grumpy and/or angry towards the people in power.  

Beyond (bad) economics, though, this really is the classic situation where expectations get way out of line with achievements.  Basically, we were promised in 2006 and 2008 that if we took back Congress and the White House, particularly with a "filibuster-proof majority" in the Senate, we'd get everything we ever dreamed of: national health care, possibly even "single payer;" a strong, comprehensive, clean energy and climate bill; immigration reform; closure of Gitmo; the rapid end of "Don't Ask Don't Tell;" the winding down of the wars begun during the Bush Administration; a reversal of the Bush tax cuts for the rich, and more broadly a return to progressive economics; investment in infrastructure, including both human (education) and physical (advanced power grids, high-speed rail, etc.) capital; more power to labor vis-a-vis business; etc., etc.  On top of all that, we were promised a fundamental change in the way Washington does business.  

How much of any of this stuff have we really gotten so far?  As Nate Silver puts it, we've gotten a bunch of "good-but-not-great" on a lot of it, not much at all on other parts (e.g., the way Washington does business). Well, sorry, but after how hard we worked the past few years, it's frustrating, dispiriting, etc. to see it wither on the vine. What about that don't Robert Gibbs and the White House understand?  And what do they really think they're going to accomplish by lashing out at their own base, while trying desperately to reason with the unreasonable on the far right (aka, today's Republican Party, who continue to call Obama a "socialist" even as he tries to be a "centrist")?  Got me.

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