Thursday, May 28, 2020
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Senate Seat Swap Soft Shoe

The Stolle clan boasts a crew of adequately accomplished attorneys who don't lawyer, a physician who doesn't much doctor, and private sector cheerleaders all nursing at the public teat. They may be planning to pull a hat trick in Virginia Beach that will distinguish that city for its low public service expectations.

It probably won't be at tomorrow morning's Virginia Beach Republican Breakfast that Chris will discuss Julian Walker's Virginian Pilot stories that he was considering a run for state Senate and that his brother the Sheriff, who will soon have his high three for a handsome publicly funded retirement, may want to join him there. Possibly Ken has decided to relocate ala Frank Wagner's now nixed idea to move to a Senate district currently represented by Senator John Miller (D). That could leave littler brother (also a Commonwealth employee, last I saw) a delegate seat somewhere. Maybe he can use Chris's house and run from the district he currently represents and where Chris probably lives most of the time.  

Coming to Virginia’s Waters, Environmental Collapse

On the Gulf's surface, all is well. Nothing to see here, move along. That will be the story for Virginia's Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic too. But beneath, hidden damage accumulates. The Virginia pro-drilling faction has never lived with the industry. For them it is nature's ATM; no deposit required.

"Now that the oil on the surface appears to be dissipating, the notion of a recovery from the spill, repeated by politicians, strikes some here as short-sighted. The gulf had been suffering for decades before the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20." - New York Times

A story out of Houma, Louisiana in the New York Times sheds light on the long term damage to the seas resulting from human activity. A little not so secret is that the oil industry is dirty. Toxic filth and waste are byproducts of every activity. Drilling and refining on land results in seepage into the groundwater and aquifer, eventually making its way to the seas. Drilling in the ocean allows the damage to be direct and immediate. For Virginia, add this to commercially overfishing menhaden and you have the formula for an economic and ecological catastrophe.  

Pied Piper of Petroleum Punts

Republican Senator Frank Wagner (VA-7th) announced the obvious last evening: we have an environmental disaster. Virginia offshore drilling's strongest advocate averred that for now "...quite frankly I do not want to come in front of you here and promote it." At least until the ink on investigation is dry.
"I will tell you that when this investigation is complete you are going to find out that equipment wasn't maintained properly, warning signs were ignored...and it was a corporate attitude of profits over safety...and you're also going to find lax government oversight over the inspections..."
Wagner called for three things that must happen: 1) they have to get it plugged, 2) capture as much oil as they can, and 3) clean up. He called for a thorough investigation and speculated that as with most JAG investigations he has been involved with (and he elicited Ben Loyola's concurrence), inevitably there is not one mistake, but a series of mistakes that reflects an attitude within the command that allowed the accident to happen.
"People are saying, can't you just plug this?...I don't think you have any idea what it is like working 500 feet under the water, much less 5000...I can assure you that BP, and not just BP but every other major oil company who has equipment...has offered it to bring every resource to bear because all of them have as much to lose as BP..."

Gulf Spill Solution: Low Yield Nuclear Device

Negotiations are nearing completion for a British Petroleum and North Korean partnership to seal the spewing crude flow in the Gulf of Mexico. "This is the kind of public-private partnership we've advocated" said someone familiar with the "Good Government for America Committee" currently sponsoring an unofficial "give George Allen money" website.

This is seen as an immensely important development particularly at this time of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula. A North Korean envoy intimated that this arrangement serves many purposes but is humanitarian in nature. It will help his proud nation feed its starving population. "But it should not be lost on the people to the south that we possess this capability." He went on to suggest that the Gulf of Mexico be saturated with rice prior to the blast and that the resulting gumbo be harvested and shipped to his nation. "There is no reason to waste that bounty of nature as it may be the last for some time to come."

A source close to Delegate Chris Stolle (R-Virginia Beach) who claimed during his campaign against former Delegate Bouchard that his "contacts" in the Navy assured him that there would be no objection to drilling off the coast of Virginia, noted that the absence of any public objection from the Governor Jindal of Louisiana was proof of Jindal's support for the use of nukes. "It also shows you that the eco-nuts' objections to drilling off of Virginia are unfounded. With this solution in our quiver, spills off of Virginia Beach only promise more dramatic fireworks for the tourists. Remember that the Delegate was a naval nuclear engineer."