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Friday News: Trump’s Russia Scandal Shows No Signs of Stopping; Sessions...

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, March 3. The Administration's Russia Scandal Shows No Sign...

Rep. Don Beyer Assails Triumvirate of Anti-Environment Cabinet Nominees

The following statement by Rep. Don Beyer (my Congressman) sums up my feelings exactly. By the way, anyone who thinks that Rick Perry is...

Rick “Missing Village Idiot” Perry Campaign Sues Republican Party of Virginia

Will the whining by these whiny waaaaaambulance-chasing Republican'ts never cease? First, we had megalomaniac Newt Gingrich comparing his failure to get on the Virginia Republican primary ballot as analogous to the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor (Tora! Tora! Tora! Incoming from the pissed-off Newt-ster at 12 o'clock!). Now, we've got the Missing Village Idiot joining the fray:
Texas Gov. Rick Perry filed a lawsuit today in the Eastern District of Virginia challenging the validity of a state statute that keeps him from appearing on the primary ballot, a news release from his campaign said.
Perry's Complaint for Declarative and Injunctive Relief names three members of the Virginia State Board of Elections, plus Republican Party of Virginia Chair Pat Mullins as defendants, claiming that they somehow violated Perry's "freedoms of speech and association protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution."  Of course, Rick Perry is a quasi (or not so "quasi?") secessionist who fancies himself as a fierce defender of another Amendment - the Tenth - and a champion of "states' rights." How does Perry square his fidelity to the Tenth Amendment, which would presumably give Virginia and its Republican Party the right to set its own rules for primary ballot access, with his newfound support for the Fourteenth Amendment, which "protects a person's civil and political rights from being abridged or denied by any state"? Got me, but if asked, Perry would undoubtedly come up with three reasons, at least one of which he wouldn't be able to remember, and the other two of which he wouldn't understand. Gotta love the Republican't field for president this cycle, huh? Definitely NOT the "A Team," let's just put it that way.

P.S. This is also idiotic because Perry's most stupidest candidacy should be long gone by Virginia.

Perry, Gingrich Out; Should Virginia Change Law in Time for 2012...

Perry and Gingrich out as predicted: Should the 2012 General Assembly act on its first day to adopt the suggestion herein, and give GOP primary voters what should be their right, to choose their favorite candidate among those who are clearly credible contenders based on the polls?

by Paul Goldman

The failures of the Perry and Gingrich campaigns again point out the growing problem in our politics, which is that the internet makes it easy for anyone to talk the talk, but walking the walk is the same as when Moses had to get across the Red Sea without GPS on his Iphone: it is sweat equity, and low tide doesn't hurt either. Stuff is hard to do. I am sure they will blame the President for this eventually.

However: Just as states should not be allowed to use ID laws to unfairly restrict voting rights of the people, the Republican loyalists of Virginia should be entitled to vote in their primary for those credible candidates seeking the party's presidential nomination. Admittedly, the thought of President Bachmann, Gingrich, Huntsman, Perry and Santorium, may be incredible, yet the people - in this case GOP voters - should have their right to pick their nominee.

Bottom line: While other candidates have, over the years, managed to get on the ballot, the issue is really not about them, but about the people's right to choose. This is a failing of the national Perry and Gingrich campaigns, I get that. BUT voting rights are about the people, not the process.

Sure, the system has to be protected from fraud and the crazies, but this can't be an excuse to, in effect, restrict the right of citizens to cast a ballot for their favorite candidate.

Breaking: Gingrich, Perry Fail to Make Virginia Primary Ballot

According to the Republican't Party of Virginia:

*"After verification, RPV has determined that Rick Perry did not submit the required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary."
*"After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary."

With Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman not even bothering to submit signatures for validation, this means that only Willard Mitt Romney (formerly known as the guy running to the LEFT of Teddy Kennedy!) and (conspiracy theorist, David Duke admirer, anti-Israel/pro-Ahmedinejad nutjob) Ron Paul have made it onto the Virginia's March 6 "Super Tuesday" primary ballot. What a party! Heh.

True, it's not easy to get on Virginia's ballot, and true, Virginia's primary could very well be meaningless anyway (my guess is that flip-floppin' Willard "Mitt" Romney will have clinched the nomination well before then). Still...c'mon, if a presidential campaign can't even manage to get on Virginia's primary ballot (in Gingrich's case, he wasted a couple precious days of the candidate's precious time, diverting to Virginia in a last-ditch, desperate attempt to qualify), they certainly can't handle the general election, let alone running the country. Just drop out now and stop wasting everyone's time and money!

P.S. This is also yet another major FAIL for our old friend Jerry Kilgore, who headed up Rick Perry's Virginia campaign. It's ironic, as Kilgore's tag line in 2005 was, "I trust the people...always have, always will." Well, sorry Jerry, but "the people" elected Tim Kaine over you in 2005, and now they haven't exactly flocked to your presidential candidate's banner. Still feeling the trust? Heh.

P.P.S. Needless to say, Barack Obama easily made it onto the Virginia primary ballot -- the only Democrat to do so.

UPDATE: In 2008, SIX Republicans (Paul, McCain, Thompson, Huckabee, Giuliani, Romney) made the Virginia presidential primary ballot; and in 2000, FIVE Republicans (Keyes, Bauer, Bush, McCain, Forbes) made it. In other words, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, Steve Forbes, Fred Thompson, and numerous others did what Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Jon Hunstman, and Rick Santorum couldn't do -- get on the Virginia Republican primary ballot!  Also, I'd point out that Jim Webb's volunteers - led by the amazing Mary Detweiler - were able to get him on the primary ballot in 2006, without spending almost any money at all (fortunate, as Webb really didn't have any!).

UPDATE #2: In 2004, the following Dems got on the Virginia primary ballot -- Al Sharpton, John Kerry, Wesley Clark, John Edwards, Howard Dean, Joe Lieberman, Dennis Kucinich, Dick Gephardt, and even not-really-a-Democrat Lyndon Larouche.

UPDATE #3: And Newt, predictably, whines. What a pathetic LOSER!

Rick Perry Campaign Ad: 3,121 likes, 133,311 dislikes, Comments Disabled on...

You can't have much more of a #FAIL (in Twitter-speak) than the Missing Village Idiot's latest ad. The Perry campaign called this rotting pile of dog excrement "Strong," but it's actually about the weakest, lamest, and also most disgusting ad you've just about ever seen from a major party presidential candidate (although Perry's run other pathetic ads, like when he lied about Barack Obama supposedly saying Americans had gotten "lazy" about competing in the global economy -- he absolutely did NOT say that!). No wonder why on YouTube, the ad has garnered 133,311 "dislikes" and just 3,121 "likes" in just over 1 day. Also, no wonder why the Perry campaign has disabled comments for the video. If they hadn't, they might have received comments like the ones on Too Conservative:

*"It's insane to think there's a 'war' on Christianity in America."
*"If he wins the nomination Obama is going to get another 4 years."
*"What happened to the the Republican gene pool?"
*"Sure is a steep hill he's on. I wonder if it's a slippery slope..."
*"Trite, disingenuous, backwards, and desperately untruthful. That's what I say. This guy makes Herman Cain look presidential."
*"Wait, kids can't celebrate Christmas? What? When did that happen? Oh ... he's actually lying."

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) Calls Americans Lazy, Morally Bankrupt

Rep. Paul RyanRick Perry's been leading GOP's false attacks on President Obama with a made-up story that Obama called Americans lazy. So why aren't Perry & friends attacking Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who actually did say Americans are lazy?
Part of it is the culture of people just having no work ethic.... Moral relativism has done so much damage to the bottom end of this country, the bottom fifth has been damaged by the culture of moral relativism more than by anything else, I would argue. If you ask me what the biggest problem in America is, I'm not going to tell you debt, deficits, statistics, economics - I'll tell you it's moral relativism.
As Steve Benen details, it's not just Rep. Ryan - Mitt Romney, Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) have all expressed similar complaints that the economy would pick up if unemployed Americans weren't so lazy. It's no wonder Republicans are trying to shift the conversation to President Obama with false attacks. I mean, do you really think they want to talk about the GOP's record after nearly a year of controlling the House - 319 days and still not a single jobs bill?

UPDATE by Lowell: Mitt Romney says, "We have been accustomed to being the world's leading nation for so long, enjoying the freedom, security, and prosperity that comes with that leadership, that we have tended to avoid the hard work that overcoming challenges requires."

Jerry Kilgore Endorses Whom?

Wow! Rick Perry (shown in this recent bizarre video) has a new BFF (best friend forever) -- in Virginia at least. Remember Jerry Kilgore? To defeat him, we in the progressive blogosphere gave it pretty much all we had. And it worked. We didn't do it alone, of course. Far from it. But it is hard to deny that our efforts to "raise Kaine" were a factor. It is a good thing we trounced Jerry Kilgore too.

His latest announcement shows how far gone he really is. Not only has he endorsed Rick Perry for president, but also Kilgore will be Perry's Virginia campaign chair, according to the Washington Post here.

Poor Jerry lost his candidate when T-Paw withdrew from the race. Now, ordinarily, we could just laugh this off. But in the aftermath of Perry's bizarre speech this week, the nuttiness of this endorsement and campaign chairing is heightened. You gotta wonder at the candidate we could have had for governor had we not worked as hard as we did in 2005. (Remember that next year.)

A Republican Virginia Senate and Voter Suppression

While State Senate Democrats smugly accepted the outcome of Virginia redistricting as victory, they may have set the stage for Obama's defeat by leaving defense of their majority to Dick Saslaw and the DPVA. Republicans are focused on this vulnerability. Two seats and the door to voter suppression opens wide.
The new Texas law, advanced and signed by Gov. Rick Perry, provides a clear giveaway on intent. A voter doesn't even have to show his driver's license or passport -- he can qualify just by producing his license to carry a concealed handgun. Yet note what's not eligible now in Texas: any form of student identification (heaven forbid ballot-casting by young people with all their inexperience!).  - Neal Peirce
In a piece published yesterday in the Richmond Times Dispatch but in reality a product of the Washington Post Writers Group, Neal Peirce discusses what is the clear implication of a Republican majority in the coming Virginia Senate. You see, those of us raised in the old South recognize the tricks. A fresh coat of paint doesn't fool us (not even the one on the rock at that Texas hunting club).  However, voter suppression is a newly honed craft.

“Not One Candidate” at GOP Presidential Debates Stands Up to Hate

From cheering executions to screams for uninsured Americans to die, Republican presidential candidates have let their debate stages be stolen by hateful audience members. New Hampshire's Concord Monitor recently editorialized, "The most disturbing aspect of the WrestleMania behavior at the debates is not that some audience members booed a soldier and many cheered death. It's that not one Republican candidate ... spoke up to admonish the crowd and call for civility. Not one candidate, in situations that cried out for it, exhibited leadership."

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly passes along this new video from the Democratic National Committee highlighting the Republican candidates' cowardly refusal to stand up to their party's insane fringe: