Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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Polls Looking Up For the Democrats

I'm taking this cautiously and skeptically; still, I like the looks of these polls!

1. According to Political Wire, "A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows Democrats now leading the generic congressional ballot, 45% to 40%, a reversal from last month when Republicans led by three points."

2. Gallup now has President Obama's approval rating at the highest in three months, at 52%-41% (+11 points). We'll see if it can hold at that level of increase further in coming weeks and months. I'm hoping Obama can reach 60% or so by the fall. If he does, Democrats will be in much better shape come November than they appear to be now.

3. Research 2000 now has President Obama's favorable/unfavorable rating at 55%-40% (+15 points), with the "right track/wrong track" reading now at the highest level since July 9, 2009. Also, the voter intensity gap between Republicans and Democrats "narrowed noticeably this week," to just 7 points (71%-64%). Finally, 52% of Americans now say they'd be more likely to vote for a candidate "who supports and will work to improve the new health care reform law", while just 41% say they prefer "a candidate who will work to repeal it completely."

The bottom line is this: if the economy keeps improving, and specifically if it keeps adding jobs at the rate we saw last month, then people will feel better about the country's direction and more likely to keep incumbents in office. On the other hand, if the economy heads in the wrong direction between now and this fall, then I'd say we're looking at a bad November for Democrats.  Other than that, Democrats need to be out there telling voters what historians already know: "President Obama's legislative record during a crisis-ridden presidency already puts him in a league with such consequential presidents as Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Roosevelt." That seems like the type of news you'd want to share with everybody! :)

UVA Fights Back?

Let's hope so.
The University of Virginia has hired the big law firm Hogan Lovells to help the school evaluate its options in responding to a civil subpoena from the state attorney general seeking documents related to the work of a former professor. It's the strongest indication yet that the school is seriously considering fighting the subpoena in court, as various academic groups have urged.

"The University and its Board of Visitors believe it is important to respond to this [civil information demand]," said John O. Wynne, the Rector of the university, in his first statement on the issue. "Research universities must defend the privilege of academic freedom in the creation of new knowledge. Hogan Lovells will help us to explore the appropriate options for a response."

In short, it's crucial - for academic freedom at UVA, throughout Virginia and America - that UVA fight back against Ken Kookinelli's ideologically-driven witch hunt against Galileo Galilei climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann.  Message to UVA: if you need any financial help to do so, just let us know and we in the Virginia progressive blogosphere will do what we can to raise the money.  Thank you, and to paraphrase Jim Webb's favorite song, "don't back down!"

Repower America Gulf Coast Oil Spill Ad

The takeaway message from this excellent ad? "The only way to end catastrophic oil spills is to end our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels."

Obama: GOP “drove the car into the ditch…now they want the keys back!”


Nailed it.
After they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. No! You can't drive! We don't want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out.

UPDATE: National Journal reports that the economy under Barack Obama and the Democrats is on track to create "more jobs in 2010 alone than it did over the entire eight years of George W. Bush's presidency." And that's in spite of relentless Republican opposition to everything ("the party of no") and talking down of the U.S. economy.  G'Obama!

UPDATE #2: According to Gallup's latest, Barack Obama is now at +11 approval (52%-41%), his highest net approval in 3 months, according to Gallup. Combined with today's RK2000 poll (55%-41% approval), could things finally be starting to turn around for Dem's?

Great Article in RichmondBizSense on Northrop Grumman Move

This article is one of the first intelligent things I've read on Northrop Grumman's decision to move its corporate headquarters to northern Virginia. As usual, the "mainstream media" (aka, the "corporate media") has completely failed to explain what really happened here. Fortunately, Tom Bowden gets it.
... is the move to Virginia as monumental as the headlines lead us to believe?

Three hundred highly paid executives will move from California to northern Virginia. Some empty space will be rented, homes will be bought and the ripple effect of the spending by these new Virginia citizens will certainly be welcome. We win! Go team!

But just as the announcement of the move started to fade as the news cycle moved on, I read this: "Northrop Grumman to lay off 330 people" at Fort Eustis.

So what just happened? Did we gain 300 jobs only to lose 330? Is this Northrop's way of saying "thank you very much for the $14 million in tax breaks" that were, no doubt, a factor in their decision? Does this mean that 330 people, who yesterday were happily employed by the state's newest Fortune 100 citizen, are now or soon to be on the street?

Answer: none of the above. This is a "teachable moment" on the danger of reading too much into sound bites and headlines about job losses and gains. And it seems to me that the entire process by which economic development agencies lured the headquarters to Virginia was political theater playing out in newspapers eager for headlines.

Bowden then proceeds to explain the economic impact of Northrop Grumman's move(s) on the country (nil) and on Virginia specifically (minimal at best), as well as "the net effect of the tax giveaway" and the opportunity cost entailed by Virginia doling out this corporate welfare (key line: "If Northrop Grumman and other heavily recruited corporations paid the same taxes that our homegrown companies pay, Virginians - both corporate and individual - could enjoy lower tax rates or more services or both.").  

Essentially, to the extent this is a big deal at all (and Bowden argues strongly that it isn't), this entire should make the following people less than happy: libertarians; anyone who cares about good government; conservatives, and anyone else who believes in the free market; anyone who opposes corporate welfare and/or states getting into bidding wars over large corporations; small businesses, which generally aren't the object of these bidding wars; medium-sized businesses, which also aren't normally the object of these bidding wars; taxpayers; and people who rely on services provided by Virginia state government. Other than all those people, who probably constitute 99.99% of Virginia's population, the rest of us should be celebrating Virginia spending $14 million to gain 300 jobs lose a net of 30 jobs. Or, on second thought, not.

Just When You Thought the Virginia GOP Couldn’t Get Any Crazier…

Dick Black is back!  For more on Black, click here. For instance:
In an extraordinary recent interview (click to listen to MP3) with the radical right-wing group Concerned Women for America regarding HB2921, Delegate Dick "Baby Pesticides" Black insults his colleagues in the Virginia Senate, claiming that they are "aligned with various elements of vice and so forth."


Delegate Black also spends time in the interview repeating the discredited claims of one of his star witnesses, pseudo-sociologist Paul Cameron. Black said, "The fact [sic] is, in children that have a homosexual parent, approximately 29% of children are molested by that parent. That contrasts with .6 percent of normal parents....a 50 to 1 increase in risk for molestation."  No reputable scientific study backs up these claims.  Black continues by saying, "No structure is more unstable than a homosexual relationship."


One of the most stunningly twisted quotes from the interview was Black saying that the main issue is "whether we should favor the best interest of the child, or whether the children should be used as rewards for certain sex activists".

And let's not forget this classic: "Mr. Black said, aside from the morality of the issue, he is concerned that birth control is contributing to a low birth rate in the United States and called contraceptives 'baby pesticides.'"

Now, it looks like this guy could be the Republican candidate for State Senate against Mark Herring. As I said in the headline, "just when you thought the Virginia GOP couldn't get any crazier..."

P.S. The Crazy Cooch endorsement should be coming any day now!  Heh.

Moran to Cooch: Stop Intimidating and Harassing Scientists

The following letter is from Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th) to Attorney General Ken Kook-inelli. Bolding is added by me for emphasis.
Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II
Attorney General
Commonwealth of Virginia
900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia  23219

Dear Mr. Cuccinelli:

I am troubled by your order to the University of Virginia to provide you with documents related to Professor Michael Mann, an Earth scientist involved in climate change research. Based on the editorial in the Washington Post on May 7, 2010, I am not alone in my concerns over your inappropriate use of government resources to intimidate and harass scientists whose findings conflict with your view of the world.

McDonnell Endorses “Cash for Clunkers” Guy, Disses Hurt

Hotline reports:
VA Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has waded in to one competitive primary, but he's staying out of the race against Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA), shying away from a recruit top GOP strategists have pushed as a top candidate.

McDonnell yesterday endorsed car dealer Scott Rigell (R), one of 6 candidates running in a crowded field against Rep. Glenn Nye (R). But while chatting with reporters yesterday, McDonnell said he had no plans to get involved in the race against Perriello.

In that contest, state Sen. Robert Hurt (R) is the party establishment's favored candidate. But some of the 6 other GOP candidates have been tagging Hurt as the party of DC, making top GOPers reluctant to wade into the race. McDonnell is among that group.

This story is amusing for two main reasons.

First, USA Today reports that Rigell, who has criticized "reckless bailouts" yet "sold 138 cars under Cash for Clunkers last year, is being attacked by fellow Republican 2nd CD candidate Ben Loyola for "hypocrisy." Now, Bob McDonnell has endorsed the "Cash for Clunkers" guy, apparently putting him in the "reckless bailouts" hypocrisy camp as well.

Second, we have McDonnell specifically dissing Robert Hurt, despite the fact that they "worked very closely together in the General Assembly." I particularly love McDonnell's lame excuse that Rigell is a "special case" because of a "20-year relationship" and that this race "is the only one that I'm involved with."  We'll see if McDonnell holds to that over in coming months and years, or if he finds other "relationships" that merit his involvement. We'll be watching...

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