Friday, September 25, 2020
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DPVA: “Dems Call on McDonnell to Rescind New Barrier to Voting and Gun Rights”

According to the Democratic Party of Virginia, "It's shocking that the Governor would unnecessarily stumble on Virginia's history yet again." Actually, some of us aren't "shocked" at all, but that's another story. :)

P.S. How did the 2nd Amendment get in here, I must have missed something? Also, as far as I'm concerned, there can't be too many barriers for felons to get a hold of guns. No thanks!

Virginia Democrats called on Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday to remove an unnecessary additional barrier to restoration of rights for non-violent felons who have served their sentences.

The McDonnell Administration will require non-violent felons to write a detailed essay in order to have their voting and 2nd Amendment rights restored, according to news reports this weekend.

Democratic Party of Virginia Executive Director David Mills released the following statement Monday:

New Study: 38,000 New Jobs, $6.3 Billion in Consumer Savings if Virginia Pushes Energy...

A bit earlier today, an important new study by Duke University and the Georgia Institute of Technology was released. The report is entitled, Southeast Energy Efficiency Study: Energy Efficiency in the South, and it confirms what I've been saying for years now: energy efficiency is by far and away the "lowest hanging fruit" of any energy source.  To put it another way, energy efficiency gives us the biggest energy bang for the buck, far more than nuclear power (one of the worst in terms of "bang for the buck") or "clean coal" (highly speculative and extremely expensive), for example. How much "bang for the buck" we can get from energy efficiency is made clear in this report, including the section specifically on Virginia.

*"The policies analyzed in the report offer the potential to reduce Virginia's total energy consumption in all three sectors by approximately 7% in 2020 and 12% in 2030."

*"This avoided consumption is equivalent to about 5 power plants in 2020."

*"Efficiency policies in Virginia will create jobs, spur significant economic growth and save consumers and businesses billions of dollars" ("38,000 jobs in Virginia in 2030", "Save more than $3.5 billion in 2020 and $6.3 billion in 2030").

*"These savings amount to the equivalent of the energy required by about 4,600 Wal-Mart stores and roughly $80,000 in annual energy savings per business in 2020."

*"These savings amount to the equivalent of the energy required by about 320,000 Virginian households and about $325 in annual energy savings per household in 2020."

To put it another way, as David Roberts of Grist points out, "for every dollar the South invests in energy efficiency, it will receive an average of $2.25 in benefits over the next 20 years in jobs, economic growth, and lower bills."  

Exclusive Blue Virginia Interview: Sen. Donald McEachin

This morning, I had the opportunity to speak with Sen. Donald McEachin (D-9th) for about 35-40 minutes. We covered a number of subjects, here are the highlights, paraphrasing or quoting what Sen. McEachin had to say.

*With regard to Massey Energy, Sen. McEachin believes that Attorney General Cuccinelli certainly has the power to look at Virginia-based companies' safety records within Virginia. Depending on where the safety violations take place, that will determine what course of action the Attorney General takes.

*In addition, there's no doubt that the AG has the power of the "bully pulpit" to speak out about companies like Massey. That's precisely what the AG should be doing.

*In general, Cuccinelli clearly is trying to pander to (and deliver for) his "base." He is definitely a "true believer," as is Bob McDonnell.  

*McDonnell and Cuccinelli are forgetting the "first rule of politics," which is "don't make yourself into a punch line."

*McDonnell and Cuccinelli are embarrassing Virginia, and this can't help matters when it comes to economic development.

*"I am truly surprised at how badly they're handling themselves on so many things."

Much more after the "flip"

Open Thread on Creigh Deeds

I have very little to add to the Washington Post front-page story on Creigh Deeds this morning, except that I'm sorry to hear about his divorce and wish him well. Other than that, I pretty much agree with Miles Grant's tweet:
Today's WaPo article on Creigh Deeds is really depressing. Has plenty of time to reinvent himself, but is he interested?
Thoughts? Feel free to use this as an open thread to discuss Creigh Deeds, the 2009 gubernatorial race (in retrospect, now that some time has gone by), the future of the Democratic Party of Virginia, etc. Rankings of Virginia Political Blogs

For several years now, I've relied on Sitemeter as a reliable, "apples to apples" metric for blog traffic statistics. Aside from its reliability (it's worth noting that Sitemeter stats are highly comparable to Google Analytics stats) another advantage to Sitemeter is that it's commonly used by major political blogs like Daily Kos, Open Left, MyDD, etc.

If every blog used Sitemeter and made their statistics available, we'd be in great shape on this front. Unfortunately, not all blogs - for whatever reason - make their Sitemeter stats publicly available. This leads people to use seriously flawed, proxy-type metrics like Alexa's "incoming links"-based rankings. The problem with "incoming links" is that they often have little (if any) correlation to actual traffic.  Comparing Sitemeter and Google Analytics to Alexa, for instance, leads to all kinds of weird, counterintuitive, or completely nonsensical results. For that reason, I don't use Alexa at all.

Anyway, in my continual search for "apples-to-apples", reliable traffic statistics across blogs, the other day, I stumbled across, "a web traffic analysis service operating in the United States that publishes the approximate number of global visitors to the top 1,000,000 web sites in the world." purports to compute its traffic stats "by sending the URLs that users visit to then sends back the trust scores and internet ranks from its database to the users." I found this intriguing, so I decided to see what results it produced for Virginia political blogs and compare, where available, to public Sitemeter stats.  See after the "flip" for a listing of key results (note: all the statistics are from February 2010).

UPDATE: Too Conservative provided with me with their traffic statistics for February 2010 -- 20,954 visits according to Google Analytics, which  would rank that blog slightly ahead of Bearing Drift (using Sitemeter, which tends to be fairly comparable to Google Analytics).

Campus Coffee Week April 17-25


Great stuff as always by Annabel Park, Eric Byler, et al. BTW, Coffee Party membership is now up to 199,033 fans on Facebook.  

Perriello Campaign Announces Its Most Successful Fundraising Quarter Ever

The following announcement represents great news from Rep. Tom Perriello's campaign, which had its most successful fundraising quarter ever. Perriello, who is in his first term in Congress and facing the possibility of multiple opponents this November, entered April with nearly $1.4 million cash on hand, as well as 7,600 donors, nearly 90% of whom are "small donors." Nice job, and go Tom!
The Perriello campaign announced today that it raised over $600,000 in the first fundraising quarter of 2010--the vast majority of it from small donors--marking their most successful fundraising quarter ever. The campaign enters April with nearly $1.4 million cash on hand, a testament to the strong support for Congressman Perriello's record of fighting for middle-class families and a demonstration of his ability to win re-election.

With donors from all 22 localities of the 5th district, the campaign is conducting an aggressive, grassroots donor program focused on small (under $200) donations and rejecting funds from federal lobbyists and corporate PACs. The campaign attracted a record 4,694 new donors this quarter. That brings its total number of donors for the cycle to over 7,600 individuals, 88% of whom are small donors.  

"We are both humbled and thrilled to see such an outpouring of support from so many small donors who are going head-to-head with powerful Washington special interests," said Anna Scholl, finance director for the Perriello campaign. "With not a dollar of federal lobbyist money in our campaign coffer and over 7,600 donors, we are proving that a people-powered campaign can win over the big insurance companies and big energy companies that have dominated our political system for so long."

"Working and middle-class families of Virginia know that Congressman Perriello represents them, not the special interests," she added.

Congressman Perriello will face the winner of one of the most divisive Republican primaries in the nation and a conservative independent candidate.

Yeah, those votes for clean energy and health care really hurt Perriello. Ha. :)

Nye Gets Good News From Golden

From Virginia Beach Republican Kenny Golden's Facebook page.
Kenny Golden announces his intentions to run as an independent candidate for Virginia's 2nd Congressional District. Recent polling suggests a mood of frustration across the nation, highlighted by a disenchantment with and lack of faith in Congress. Yet, the two major parties offer only business as usual as their response to the people. The voters of the second district deserve a better choice, and that is why Kenny Golden has decided to seek the congressional seat as an independent. Leadership and vision are what he offers, not going along to get along.
It's hard to see how this move by Golden - former chairman of the Virginia Beach Republican Party - isn't good news for Rep. Glenn Nye (D-2nd) and bad news for likely Republican nominee Scott Rigell. Nye's hope, obviously, is that Golden's candidacy will split the conservative vote this November, giving him an easier path to reelection. Now, if we can just get Kenny Goldens to run as third-party candidates in every district in America, we'd be in superb shape!

Ron Paul: Obama’s “Corporatist” Not “Socialist”


I love the reaction of the Republican audience - dead silence, utter confusion - to Ron Paul's assertion that Barack Obama is not, repeat NOT,  a "socialist." After being told for months by their "leaders," including famed political science theorist Sarah Palin (heh), that Obama is a "socialist," ( defition: "in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles."), now Ron Paul is telling them that Obama's actually a "corporatist" (Free Dictionary definition: "Theory and practice of organizing the whole of society into corporate entities subordinate to the state."). Got that?

Yes, it's confusing.  I mean, how can Obama simultaneously be attempting to push the United States from "the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism" while working hard to entrench corporate power and influence in our country? In the case of health care reform, of course the private health insurance companies are not eliminated, but in fact they get more customers in exchange for more regulation (on denials of coverage for pre-existing conditions, etc.).  How that is either "socialism" or "corporatism" is hard to see, but Republicans are busy making both arguments. This, despite the fact that the non-partisan Kaiser Health News finds the 2009 Senate bill to be eerily similar to a major 1993 GOP health care proposal, the "Health Equity and Access Reform Today Act of 1993." It seems self contradictory, unless of course you realize that the rationale doesn't matter so much as the conclusion: that, no matter what he does, Barack Obama simply must be wrong, by definition.  If you buy that, all else follows. If not, you get a really, really bad headache trying to make sense of it all.

P.S. The correct answer? If he has secret "socialist" or "corporatist" plans, Barack Obama has hidden them well. In reality, Obama to date has been about as centrist/moderate a president as you can get, on pretty much every issue (foreign policy, domestic policy, etc.).  Of course, that's not nearly as fun as throwing hysterical accusations around, so carry on...

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