Saturday, December 5, 2020
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McEachin Not Impressed With McDonnell’s “Surplus”


State Senator Donald McEachin isn't particularly impressed with Bob McDonnell's "surplus."
"When I hear the word surplus, I assume that we've met all of our unmet needs, and clearly we haven't done that in Virginia," said Sen. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico)...."I think the overarching problem is we do not have the political will to raise revenue," McEachin said, referencing the idea of raising the gasoline tax, or freezing car tax relief.
Another "overarching problem" is what Doug Mataconis calls "creative accounting... used to make people think that the financial picture of the state is better than it actually is."  "Creative," as in "skipping payments to the Virginia Retirement System to the tune of $620 million."  Nice.

“Operation FREE” Event in Norfolk on 8/24


This looks like a good event, thanks to the Alliance for Climate Protection and Repower America for the "heads up."

Parent of Fox, NY Post Donates $1 Million to Republican Governors’ Association

If you had any doubt whether Fox "News," the New York Post, and Rupert Murdoch's "News Corp." was anything but a right-wing propaganda outfit, completely "unfair and unbalanced," it's beyond debate now. That's right, "Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) this year," thus making completely obvious what most of us have known all along -- Fox is just another arm of the Republican Party and of the right-wing noise machine in this country. Needless to say, Murdoch's faux "news" outfits also makes a mockery of journalistic objectivity and do serious damage to real journalism. Pathetic.

With that, here's a statement from Nathan Daschle of the Democratic Governors Association.

Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association, issued the following statement today regarding a $1 million dollar contribution from News Corp., parent company of Fox News, to the Republican Governors Association.

"By contributing $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, Fox has crossed a bright line. Fox can no longer pretend that it is a 'fair and balanced' news organization when Rupert Murdoch greenlights a million dollar contribution to defeat Democratic governors.

"Time and time again, Fox News has defended itself against accusations that it is nothing more than a tool of the Republican Party. We know now that the reality is so much worse: they're bankrolling the GOP. FOX's news division is ignoring the fact that its own parent company made a direct and unprecedented partisan contribution to defeat Democrats. This is hypocrisy at its worst, and is a sad day for all of us who believe that an independent and impartial media is vital to our democracy.

"Not only does this contribution severely compromise Fox's news reporting, but it even breaks Fox's own promise to its shareholders that it won't give money to benefit office holders.

"While it might be naive to think this will ever happen, we can only hope that Fox will own up to the activities and that its stable of opinion hosts like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly will do the right thing and call on their company to return the contribution."

Poll by Conservative Group: Hurt 49%-Perriello 43%

Waldo Jaquith points us to a new poll of the 5th Congressional District by the conservative American Action Forum.  The results, for what they're worth given the group's obvious pro-Republican bias, are that Robert Hurt leads Rep. Tom Perriello by 6 points, 49%-43%.  These results are wildly different than the SurveyUSA poll conducted a few weeks ago, and which had Hurt leading Perriello by a whopping (and most likely, implausible) 23-point margin. Have things changed that much in a few weeks, are all these polls garbage, or was one of these accurate and other one totally off base? Got me, except that I never believed Tom Perriello was really down by that wide a margin to Robert Hurt.

By the way, also worth noting is that Hurt's "name recognition" is 75%, while Perriello's is 95%. As Waldo writes, "I think it's good news that Hurt's name recognition is comparatively low, because that gives Perriello a chance to define him." Good point, and that's where Tom's money advantage - not to mention his far superior public speaking and debating skills, intellect, integrity, work ethic, raw courage, etc. - comes in handy. This should be interesting.

P.S. Welcome back Waldo to the world of blogging. As he points out, it's been a rough month for him. Ugh.

The Root of the Anti-Mosque Movement

To quote libertarian blogger Doug Mataconis' tweet, "See, this is why it is about more than just a 'mosque' at 'Ground Zero.'" From the Connecticut Post:
About a dozen right-wing Christians, carrying placards and yelling "Islam is a lie," angrily confronted worshippers outside a Fairfield Avenue mosque Friday.

"Jesus hates Muslims," they screamed at worshippers arriving at the Masjid An-Noor mosque to prepare for the holy month of Ramadan. One protester shoved a placard at a group of young children leaving the mosque. "Murderers," he shouted.

But wait, this mosque isn't anywhere near "Ground Zero," so what are these fine Americans upset about? Boy, this is a tough one, let me put on my thinking cap and consider words starting with "b" and ending with "i-g-o-t-r-y." Hmmmm.

P.S. Also, see Eugene Robinson, who writes, "it's hard to think of a better way to give extremist ideology a major boost than to demonstrate what far too many of the world's 1 billion Muslims already believe is true: that the West rejects not just extremism but Islam itself." Heckuva job, Newt, Sarah, et al!

Also, see Richard Cohen, who notes that "The inclination to go from the particular to the general -- to blame a people for the acts of a few -- is what has always fueled pogroms and race riots." In this case, a few demented, warped, evil individuals murdered thousands of Americans, while 99.9999% of Muslims did NOT murder anyone.  And no, that's not a difficult concept.

Marco, Bob, Bill and…Did They Forget Somebody?


Did Marco Rubio forget to invite somebody to this or what? Hint: the person not on the invitation is a media-appointed "rising star in the Republican Party" like Rubio; he's an attorney who served in the state legislature, like Rubio; he has views as right wingnutty as Rubio's; and, like Rubio, he has issues with campaign contributions. Now who could that be?

UPDATE: In the comments section, Ben Tribbett says that Cooch did an event for Rubio previously, and that "I bet McDonnell/Bolling didn't want him there taking the credit for backing Rubio 'early'." Interesting.

“Sideshow Bob” Strikes Again, Pre-Files Bill to Save Us from Evil “Cap and Trade”

Just in case you already didn't realize why we gave Del. Bob Marshall the nickname "Sideshow Bob," you really need to check out his latest lunacy.  Despite the (extremely unfortunate) fact that clean energy and climate legislation appears dead, deceased, going nowhere, etc. at the federal level anytime soon, "Sideshow Bob" is here to save us anyway!  That's right, thanks to Del. Marshall, "Virginia stands poised to stop [Democrats in Congress] at the borders with HB1397 which has already been introduced for the 2011 session of the Virginia General Assembly."

So...just in case Democrats attempt to jam "cap and trade" legislation through a "lamb duck session" (seriously, that's what this person wrote - "lamb duck!" - LOL) after the November elections, "Sideshow" Bob Marshall's House Bill No. 1397 will ensure that "No state agency shall assist any federal agency in the implementation of a federal global warming or climate change building code."  In addition, as if Ken Kook-inelli needs any further encouragement, "The Attorney General is authorized to initiate legal action against the federal government if there is any federal law, regulation, or policy that seeks to apply federal 'cap and trade' legislation to Virginia."

So, there you have it: even as we watch global warming ravage the planet right before our eyes, and even as monolithic Republican opposition (along with a few "coal-state" Democrats) in the U.S. Senate blocks any action to deal with it, "Sideshow" Bob Marshall is gearing up to save us from the scourge of this Reagan Administration, consrvative Republican, free market idea known as "cap and trade."  

(begin snark) By the way, this is only the latest example of "Sideshow Bob"'s heroic fight against liberalism> Whether it's saving us from the evils of equality for GLBT citizens, of having affordable and high-quality health care, or of saving our planet from climate disaster, Bob Marshall is always there for us. And for that, we should all be thankful. (/end snark)

Will Appealing Prop 8 to Supreme Court Kill Virginia’s “Marriage Amendment?”

Should all of us who oppose the Marshall-Newman amendment, which outlaws gay marriage in Virginia, be rooting for opponents of California's Prop 8 to appeal to the Supreme Court?  According to evangelical opponents of gay marriage, yes we should!
Last week, the case for signing over California to the Prince of Darkness was made on American Family Radio by David Barton, a Christian activist who served as vice-chairman of the Texas Republican Party from 1998 to 2006. "Right now, the damage is limited to California only," Barton noted. But he feared that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote in an appeal, "will go for California, which means that all 31 states [that have banned gay marriage] will go down in flames."
Ah, flames...warm, toasty flames! Ha.  Seriously, though, if Barton's right that "the odds are 999 out of 1000 that [the Supreme Court will] uphold the California decision [striking down Proposition 8]," then I'm all for it going to the Supreme Court. The question is, are those really the odds?  That's what I'm not so sure about, but ultimately, it might be a risk worth taking to get rid of Marshall-Newman and its fellow "hate amendments" in states across America.

Gerson Absolutely Right, Douthat Dead Wrong on Islamic Center

This morning, we have two editorials on the proposed "Ground Zero" (actually, it's several blocks away from the World Trade Center site) Islamic center by conservative newspaper columnists. The first, "Obama's mosque duty" by Michael Gerson, gets it exactly right. The second, "Islam in Two Americas", couldn't be more misguided. First, former George W. Bush Administration speechwriter ("smoking gun/mushroom cloud," "Axis of Evil") Gerson.

First off, I agree with Gerson that President Obama has, in this case, exhibited "a peculiar talent for enraging his critics while deflating the enthusiasm of his friends." Thus, Obama's Ramadan speech was "an unqualified defense of both religious liberty and religious tolerance," but then Obama appeared to back off somewhat, at least in tone. Exasperating.

Other than being awkward and frustrating, however, I agree with Gerson that "Obama had no choice but the general path he took." As Gerson explains, if Obama had come out in opposition to the right of Muslims - or any other religious group - to build a house of worship anywhere in America, it would have constituted "an unprecedented act of sectarianism, alienating an entire faith tradition from the American experiment."  

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