Sunday, January 24, 2021
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Roanoke Times: McDonnell’s Phony “Surplus” Result of Federal Stimulus Money

I've made this point before, and Eric Cantor of all people has admitted it, but the Roanoke Times makes the point even better in its Friday morning editorial.
That's a lot of fuss over a surplus that really isn't. As we've mentioned before, if you take away accounting tricks and a couple of hundred million dollars in deferred payments to Virginia's retirement system, the surplus goes up in a puff of smoke.

That didn't stop McDonnell from bragging -- though to his credit he usually acknowledges that the spending cuts that brought the budget into balance were the result of bipartisan effort. What he and his conservative adulators don't mention, unless they absolutely have to, is that the cuts would have been far more massive and painful if not for the $2.5 billion or so Virginia got from the federal stimulus.

So, how long is the corporate media - other than the Roanoke Times and a few others - going to keep giving McDonnell credit for something he didn't do (supposedly creating a "budget surplus"), "cashing billions of dollars in checks from the federal government" he claimed he was philosophically opposed to, not to mention raiding the Virginia Retirement System? Oh, and when is the corporate media going to ask him about his campaign promises to provide a gusher of revenues from oil drilling and the sale of ABC stores, neither one of which is likely to produce a penny for Virginia's coffers during McDonnell's 4 years in office?  Oh yeah, and when are they going to finally figure out that McDonnell isn't "moderate" in any way, but basically Ken Cuccinelli's reasonable-sounding doppelganger? In sum, when is the corporate media  - the Roanoke Times and a few others excluded - going to point out to their (diminishing number of) readers that the emperor has no clothes?

Horrible Day for Washington Nationals

If you're a Washington Nationals fan, or a baseball fan in general, it doesn't get much worse than this.
Rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg will "probably" miss at least one year and perhaps the entire 2011 baseball season after undergoing Tommy John surgery to replace the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, General Manager Mike Rizzo said. After one of the most electrifying beginnings to a baseball career in memory and after validating the massive hype that trumpeted his arrival, Strasburg ends his season with an uncertain future. The Washington Nationals will hold their breath, optimistic Strasburg will conform with the odds and return to full health by 2012.

Strasburg will receive a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum, the surgeon who performed Tommy John surgery on Jordan Zimmermann. But the Nationals are operating under the assumption Strasburg will need Tommy John surgery to repair a "significant" tear in his UCL, Rizzo said.

That truly sucks. On the bright side - grasping at straws here, but what the heck - by the time Strasburg is ready to return in 2012, #1 overall pick Bryce Harper should be just about ready for the major leagues. So, wait 'til next NEXT year!

McDonnell: “We’re not going create a private monopoly to replace a government monopoly”


Nice scoop by Rick Sincere on this one. I thought it was funny how McDonnell smiled when asked, "So the Washington Post was wrong?" Wait, the Washington Post wrong about something?  Perish the thought! :)

Paul Goldman: Put McDonnell’s ABC Privatization Plan to a Referendum

Thanks to Paul Goldman for the following guest column. I agree with him; let's put the idea of privatizing ABC stores to the voters. {UPDATE: Paul suggests a subtitle for this article -- "How Dems Win in 2013."}

If you would like to see a Democrat get back in the Governor's Mansion in 2013, read further. If not, then read further but keep your blood pressure pills -- better yet a 911 medical alert button -- handy.

Truth is, the ABC's of getting back the Governor's Mansion in 2013 were laid out for Democrats by Delegate Bob McDonnell in 1996 as part of House Joint Resolution 170. Some 14 years later, Governor Bob McDonnell has spent all of 2010 trying his best, in the name of the state's ABC system, reminding Democrats about what he said in 1996. But being good Virginia gentlemen, House Democratic Minority Leader Ward Armstrong and Senate Democratic Majority Leader Dick Saslaw have been politely refusing, their members going along in that Virginia way.

How quaint. Yet like the energizer bunny, His Excellency refuses to allow Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

lots more after the "flip"

Scott Rigell Signs Tea Party Pledge

That's right, Scott Rigell is no longer a mainstream Republican (if there is such a thing anymore), he's an outright tea partier who believes that:

*Congress should "set America on the right fiscal track by supporting a Balanced Budget Amendment or similar Constitutional amendment."

*"Internet neutrality," "campaign finance reform" and the "fairness" doctrine somehow "abridge free speech."

*Congress should pass legislation that "defunds, repeals, and replaces the Affordable Health and Patient Recovery Act and actively promotes free market solutions to address the nation's healthcare concerns."

*It's essential to "fight any measure that subverts U.S. sovereignty, whether through trade, currency, environmental causes, the United Nations, immigration amnesty, or under the guise of human rights."

What's really interesting is that, despite his supposed concern for the budget deficit, Rigell's campaign says it opposes cutting government "entitlement" programs like Social Security, Medicare, and "federal welfare and education programs."  The problem is, if you pledge not to raise taxes and if you take "entitlements" off the table, about the only possible way of balancing the budget would be to zero out all "discretionary" spending, including military spending. Is that what Scott Rigell's advocating Or, would he prefer to raise taxes sharply? Which is it, Mr. Rigell?

P.S. It's lunatic crap like this that pushes me to support "Democrat" Glenn Nye, even though I don't like the guy one bit. Ugh, what a choice!

P.P.S. By the way, Rigell also has signed onto the Koch-funded, Americans for Prosperity "No Climate Tax Pledge."

Donald McEachin: “Anita, I am not running for Governor.”

So much for this story, by the Washington Post's Anita Kumar, claiming that State Senator Donald McEachin "is considering running for statewide office in 2013." Here's McEachin's response:
Anita, I am not running for Governor. As Vice Chair for Outreach for the Democratic Party, I AM campaigning for and energizing Virginans about our Congressional candidates. As a member of State Senate I AM preparing for the upcoming session and next year's elections by trying to be the best State Senator I can be. There are a myriad of issues to think about and discuss with the people of Virginia. When you see me do these things, please know that I do them with a deep and abiding love for Virginia and her people. Please know that I do these things because the "fierce urgency of now" demands action. Tomorrow, including 2013, will take care of itself.


Anyways...other names mentioned in Kumar's article include Terry McAuliffe, who's widely assumed to be running for governor; Chap Petersen, also a possibility for governor, LG or AG; Del. Shannon Valentine, ditto (?); Sen. Mark Herring, for some statewide office (AG?); Del. Steve Shannon, maybe for AG again?; and Brian "For Profit" Moran. I'd also throw Jennifer McClellan in the mix, maybe Mike Signer, Jon Bowerbank, and probably a bunch more.

P.S. Also, on a somewhat related note, check this out - Alabama Democratic gubernatorial candidate (and U.S. Representative) Artur Davis is moving to Virginia...very interesting.

P.P.S. Of course, Donald would make a superb, progressive candidate for statewide office in 2013 or whenever. As he says, that will "take care of itself." In the meantime, no matter what he decides to do with his career, we all owe Donald a debt of gratitude for the tremendous work he's done since January 2010, standing up to the Cucc-insanity, as well as to Bob McDonnell's phony "moderate" version of Cucc-insanity. Thank you Donald, keep up the great work, and best of luck whatever your future holds!

Did Dominion Brainwash Ticer and Morrissey?

This is one of the most bizarre articles I've read in a while. WTF?
State Sen. Patsy Ticer, D-Alexandria, might be a leading opponent of coal in Virginia, but even she spoke highly Wednesday of the 585-megawatt coal-fired power plant under construction here.

"It's very impressive," Ticer said after touring Dominion's Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center with a group of legislators Wednesday. "This is not your regular plant. It's unique."

She stopped short of saying she'd vote in favor of another such plant, but the influential Democrat who chairs the senate's Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources Committee said the visit changed her perspective.

"I don't like the idea of coal as a primary source of energy ... because it has downsides," she said. "But I think that here, I've always said there's no such thing as clean coal, and I think here at the plant they want to make it as clean as they possibly can, and provide a needed resource to our population."

She said she still wants more alternative fuels. But of the power company's need to provide electricity, she said: "I think this is a very good, very responsible way for them to fulfill that responsibility."

Also see Del. Joe Morrissey's positive comments in the same article, about how "this is something that's good that they are doing."

Uh, guys?  Now that you're back home, can you tell us what they did to you at that coal plant? Either they: a) brainwashed you; or b) gave you some seriously powerful hallucinogens. Either way, I'm very curious to hear the story.  Thanks!

P.S. In all seriousness, this is big-time bizarre. No evidence whatsoever is presented in that article as to what makes this plant so (supposedly) "impressive" or how it is a "very good, very responsible" way to produce power. Sen. Ticer, Del. Morrissey: we're all ears!

AUSCS: “If Cuccinelli wants to see a Nativity scene, why doesn’t he put one...

I know it's shocking, but Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has stirred up controversy yet again. This time, it's over the separation of church and state, and specifically Cooch's opinion "that a locality can erect holiday Christmas displays on public property, as long as the displays are balanced to represent other faiths and secular beliefs."

Now, Americans United for Separation of Church and State - an alien concept to Cooch and his pals like "Sideshow Bob" Marshall - has weighed in, commenting that Cooch's opinion "reads more like an op-ed than a legal advisory," and predicting that it "is almost certain to lead to bitter community divisiveness." There are lots of quotable quotes in press release by AUSCS, including my favorite, "If Cuccinelli wants to see a Nativity scene, why doesn't he put one in his front yard at home?"

Well, at least crazy Eugene Delgaudio - yes, that guy! - is happy.

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