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Republicans “Apologize” to Foreign Oil Company That’s Trashing Our Country

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This really says it all about today's Republican Party, or at least the Big Oil wing of said party.  Defending the foreign oil company that is, at this moment, ruining the Gulf of Mexico? Maybe GOP stands for "Greedy Oil People?"

P.S. Oh, and for any trolls who come on here and try to claim that the comments by Barton, Bachmann, Barbour et al. were aberrations or whatever, read this: "everybody knows the only reason Republicans want him to apologize is to put out a political fire. In fact, many if not most of them actually agree with Barton."

UPDATE: Also, see this from the "Republican Study Commission."

Sen. Brownback and Weird Laws

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Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), now a candidate for governor of Kansas, has been spending too much time with his iPod Weird Laws app.  And now he has a brain fart.  He wants to have an official state Office of the Repealer.  Seriously.

It is not that there aren't some inane laws on the books. There are (as I will illustrate in a moment). In nearly every state, at every level of government, from sea to shining sea, our body of laws need serious revision. For one thing, Virginia has yet to remove its anti-sodomy law from the books, even though the US Supreme Court struck down such laws. And you know the Cooch is just itching for a fight on that one. But that law is only the tip of the iceberg. A sample includes:

What Radical Conservatives Have Wrought

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There is considerable intemperate talk on the teabagger wrong-wing.  But the cons keep pushing the envelope.  Now Rick Barber (R-AL), candidate for Congress has gone way, way over the line. CBS News reports that:


Rick Barber, a Tea Party-affiliated candidate for Congress in Alabama's second district, released an ad Sunday in which he angrily tells men dressed as America's founding fathers that Americans are being taxed without representation, prompting the George Washington character to soberly intone that the time had come to "gather your armies.

"Gather your armies?" This is encouraging civil war, and, therefore, sedition.  We are still waiting for national Republicans with a conscience to begin to dial this stuff back. BTW, the goofball has representation and he is not being taxed without such.  Of course, if astro-turf teabaggers win, then we wouldn't have representation, but the the corporations would.

An Event You Won’t Want To Miss!

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Courtesy of the Republican Party of Virginia, here's an event you won't want to miss! :)
Last Chance! Register for the RPV Reception featuring Karl Rove TODAY! This upcoming Tuesday, June 15th, RPV cordially invites you to attend a reception featuring Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in McLean, Virginia.  Event sponsors will have a special opportunity to sit down with Karl Rove prior to the reception for a private strategy session to discuss the 2010 elections followed by a photo op.   Following the Strategy Session we will hold a General Reception where attendees will get a chance to meet our special guests.  To RSVP or to learn more information about the Strategy Session and Reception, you can visit www.RPV.org/Rove.  Those in attendance will receive a complimentary signed copy of Karl Rove's new book "Courage and Consequence: My Life as a Conservative in the Fight."

You only have 48 hours until left to register, so please RSVP TODAY! We look forward to seeing you there!  Visit www.RPV.org/Rove now! Pat Mullins
RPV Chairman Republican Party of Virginia
115 East Grace Street
Richmond, VA 23219
www.rpv.org
804-780-0111
Paid for and authorized by the Republican Party of Virginia

Virginia Republicans on Robert Hurt

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With friends like this, Robert Hurt doesn't need enemies.

Gerry Connolly: Bush Administration, GOP Policies Led to Oil Disaster

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Yesterday, four Congressmen - Rush Holt of New Jersey, Jared Polis of Colorado, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, and Gerry Connolly of Virginia - spoke for  60 minutes in the House of Representatives on the "oil spill disaster" in the Gulf of Mexico.  Here are a few key points by Rep. Connolly. I strongly recommend that everyone read this, because it absolutely nails both the diagnosis of what caused this disaster and the potential risks to more, mindless "drill, baby, drill" here in Virginia and nationally.  Good work on this one by Rep. Connolly!

*The "thick oil spill" - let alone the overall surface oil spill - is so large, it would spread from "Dale City near Manassas in Prince William County and [go] as far as Wilmington, Delaware."

*"This oil spill could have been prevented."

*"The 2009 Government Accountability Office report said that during the previous administration categorical exclusions were issued far too frequently and it could lead to serious problems. Well, indeed, it did."

*The Dulles rail project "had to go through a 2-year environmental review that cost millions of dollars of taxpayer-funded money for a public project. But ironically, a private oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico was excluded from that process. It didn't have to do it."

*"...we consciously decide[d] during the Bush administration and by previous Congresses, frankly controlled by our friends on the other side, consciously to exclude such oil drilling from the regular environmental review that could have detected problems..."

More after the "flip"

Herrity Supporter Laments: Tea Partiers “are against everything”

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As a Democrat, I've got to say I'm very much enjoying the aftermath of tea party favorite Keith Fimian's victory Tuesday evening over establishment Republican (formerly "moderate" Republican) Pat Herrity. For instance, check this out in today's Washington Post.
Meanwhile, Northern Virginia's moderate Republicans, once defined by an unusual brand of fiscal conservatism and an independent streak on social issues, such as immigration, are scratching their heads and wondering about their futures.

"It certainly is concerning," said Supervisor Michael R. Frey (R-Sully), a five-term moderate who might face his own intra-party challenger in 2011. "The frustrating thing is if you do anything, you are no longer considered a conservative. It seems like tea partiers are against everything. What are they for?"

Herrity was roundly endorsed by all of Fairfax County's Republican leadership, prompting questions Wednesday about the party's political relevancy.

In short, it appears that moderate Republicans are an endangered species in Northern Virginia, and around the country for that matter. These days, anything to the left of Attila the Hun earns Republican politicians the dreaded "RINO" ("Republican in Name Only") label and a one-way ticket to Pat Herrity-style defeat.  Thus, Michael R. Frey's angst over the loss by his pal Pat Herrity to right-wingnut Keith Fimian.

The problem for Frey is the problem for all Republicans these days is simple: they have to move (far) right -- and be "against everything", as Frey laments -- in order to win the party's nomination, but doing that makes them far less electable in moderate, suburban, "swing" districts like the 11th CD. Again, as a Democrat, I've got to say I enjoy this very much. However, as a former Teddy Roosevelt-style Republican and also as an American first and foremost, I find it sad to see this once-great party continue its descent into extremism, intolerance, know-nothingism, and a rigid "party of no" attitude.  As far as Virginia's 11th CD is concerned, the bottom line is this: Keith Fimian has morphed into a Tea Party Republican, he is unelectable in this district, and congratulations will soon be in order to Gerry Connolly on his re-election to a second term in Congress!

P.S. With regard to his comment that the tea partiers "are against everything," I've just gotta ask Michael Frey, "when did you figure THAT out?!?"

Thank You…Corey Stewart and Martin Nohe?!?

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I can't believe I'm saying this, but...thanks to Republican Prince William County supervisors Corey Stewart and Martin Nohe. Why, you ask?  Check this out.
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors agreed to join a regional compact Tuesday that calls for jurisdictions in the Washington area to work collectively to solve problems and better the region by 2050.

[...]

The document the board endorsed, the Region Forward report of the Greater Washington 2050 Coalition, outlines nine goals for the region to achieve within 40 years. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments approved the report in January, and Prince William is the 17th of the 21 jurisdictions in the council to endorse it.

Among other things, the Greater Washington 2050 Compact calls for "preservation and enhancement of our Region's open space, green space, and wildlife preserves;" "a transportation system that maximizes community connectivity and walkability, and minimizes ecological harm;" "a significant decrease in greenhouse gas emissions;" and "healthy communities with greater access to quality health care and a focus on wellness and prevention."  

Good stuff, my only problems with this are: 1) it's not legally binding; and 2) as the compact itself acknowledges, "Many of the goals...are only realizable because of state legislative actions that are already accomplished or may be enacted in the future." Good luck getting "state legislative actions" in support of this otherwise excellent document from the Flat Earth House of Delegates (Bill Howell et al.) or from Pat Robertson's Manchurian Candidate (Bob McDonnell). Other than that, I'm very happy to see this compact, and even happier to see Republican-led Prince William County signing on (along with Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax City, Fairfax County. Falls Church, Loudoun, and Manassas Park)!

My (Snarky) Virginia Endorsements for June 8th

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The following endorsements are made in good, snarky, blogger fun. Having said that, there is a grain of seriousness in here, as of course I wish the Republicans will nominate the craziest, most far-right-wing, unelectable people for the general election. Either that, or - paradoxically - let's hope they nominate someone who is completely unacceptable to the far right wing, prompting them to bolt and support a  third-party candidate, as Laurence Verga campaign manager Bill Hay worries in today's Washington Post.

Virginia CD #1
Go Catherine "Bullet Box" Crabill!  The deal here is that if Crazy Crabill defeats Rep. Rob Wittman for the Republican nomination on Tuesday, then Democratic nominee Krystal Ball has a shot at winning in November. If not, then Ball - as strong a candidate as she might be - almost certainly won't win. So, again, go Catherine Crabill, the "blue team" is rooting for you! :)

Virginia CD #2
I've got to disagree with Bearing Drift on this one. Bert Mizusawa has far, far too impressive a resume -- "a Brigadier General in the Army Reserve, and one of the Army's most highly decorated officers... a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College and is a graduate of National Defense University's CAPSTONE program" -- to be the Republican nominee in this district. Instead, I strongly endorse Regent University grad, Obama donor (and also Louise Lucas donor), used-car dealer, and "Cash for Clunkers" beneficiary Scott Rigell for the Republican nomination in the 2nd CD. It should be hilarious watching Glenn Nye tear Rigell apart for hypocrisy, among other things.  Go Scott Rigell! Heh.

UPDATE: Also, see Dan Sullivan's excellent diary on this subject.

Virginia CD #5
On this one, I've got to go with the Bearing Drift guys: Feda Morton for Congress!  As far right wing as you can get, Morton also -- according to The Hook - is the "traditional family values candidate who once lost custody of her children" and is now "in the news again for alleged plagiarism." As one commenter wrote at The Hook, "Man. This woman is a disaster." Exactly, which is why I strongly endorse her for the Republican nomination against the superb Rep. Tom Perriello. I also strongly encourage any and all tea partiers to run as third, fourth, or fifth party candidates this November. The more the merrier, I say!

Virginia CD #8
Who cares, Jim Moran's going to romp in this rock-solid "blue" district over either Matthew Berry or Patrick Murray. Yawn. Also, as Loudoun Insider at Too Conservative points out, the two Republican candidates are apparently in a "we may lose, but at least we'll be pure" contest.  The only question is, will that "purity" allow them to break 40% of the vote in Arlington and Alexandria this November? I doubt it, but stay tuned!

Virginia CD #11
I had always assumed that Keith Fimian was the more right wing candidate in this race, but after listening to this past Friday's WTOP debate between Fimian and Pat Herrity, I'm not so sure anymore. Given this, I guess I'd have to go with Fimian for the Republican nomination, given that he's already a proven loser (by 12 points in 2008) against Rep. Gerry Connolly.  Plus, there's the "Real Keith Fimian Story", and quite a story it is! Heh. With that, I say, go Keith Fimian!

J.R. Hoeft: “Where are the environmental Republicans?”

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I don't agree with Bearing Drift's J.R. Hoeft on much, but I certainly have asked myself this question for years now" "Where are the environmental Republicans?"
... politically, what's perhaps the most disturbing issue is the lack of comment from Republican leaders. Whether it be John Boehner, Eric Cantor or Bob McDonnell, the lack of seizing initiative on this issue from conservatives has been appalling.

Certainly now is not the time to be talking about drilling off the coast of Virginia - although the president is wrong to ditch the plan altogether. However, now is a great time to be talking about tax breaks and incentives for alternative energy production.

Whether it be biofuels, solar, wave energy, wind power, nuclear, or other - why has no Republican seized the opportunity to talk about the "all of the above" solution? Why have they not spoken about how dreadful this spill is and how it is yet another example, in a long string of examples, of how oil is a commodity that we eventually have to ween ourselves off of? Why have they not promoted and presented alternatives?

A few possible answers to J.R. Hoeft's questions?

1. As a commenter on Bearing Drift points out, " the age old adage of 'follow the money' usually reveals plausible answers to the queries."  For instance, according to Sourcewatch, BP donated $198,500 to federal candidates in 2008, of which 59% went to Republicans. In 2006, BP donated $219,500 to federal candidates, of which 65% went to Republicans. According to Open Secrets, Exxon Mobil in 2008 donated $1.4 million to federal candidates, of which 76% went to Republicans. In 2006, 90% of Exxon Mobil's contributions to federal candidates went to Republicans. On and on it goes, where it stops, we all know - weakened environmental laws, gutted federal oversight of the oil industry, billions of dollars in corporate welfare to Big Oil, thousands of dead and dying animals (not to mention an entire way of life) on the Gulf Coast.

2. Ideologically, today's "conservative" movement is a far cry from what "conservative" used to mean, back when the Teddy Roosevelts of the world - or even the Dwight Eisenhowers, Richard Nixons and Gerald Fords of the world - were in charge.  It seems to me that, just as the root of "progressive" is "progress," the root of "conservative" should be "conserve," and that included "conserving" natural resources. In addition, you'd think that a movement with so many religious people would believe in "creation care."  Unfortunately, today's conservative movement seems to have ditched the "conserve" part from its vocabulary, and instead chosen to worship on Grover Norquist's altar of the "free market." Of course, it's not even really a "free market," as there are distortions - tax breaks, subsidies, lax regulations, failure to price in "externalities" - which wildly tip the playing field away from energy efficiency/clean energy and towards dirty fossil fuels.

3. Today's conservative movement actually has people in it who aren't just pro-business, but are actively anti-environment (bizarre, I know; how can anyone actually be ANTI-environment? WTF?). These people are the ones claiming that those of us who want to protect our planet - the only one we've got, last I checked! - from devastation and degradation are "radicals" and "extremists." The fact is, the people who want to trash our planet - or at the minimum, who don't care if we damage our environment, all in the pursuit of profits, cheap energy (however dirty or dangerous), and their (bizarre) version of the "American Way" - are the "extremists." Because, I put it to you, it's "extreme" (and completely crazy) to believe in destroying our only home.

The question is, do the J.R. Hoefts of the world have any influence in the Republican Party of John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, Don "This is not an environmental disaste" Young, and their ilk?  Unfortunately,  as far as I can tell, the answer to that question is a resounding "NO!" Which is one of the many reasons - along with the Jerry Falwell fundamentalist influx - why I decided to leave the Republican Party back in the early 1980s. What I don't understand is how anyone who is pro-environment can remain in a party which, by the very nature of its ideology and by the very makeup of its main contributors, is inherently, even extremely, anti-environment. I'm not saying these people will or should become Democrats, but how about a new, Teddy Roosevelt-style Republican Party that ditches the pro-"robber baron" mentality and puts the "conserve" back in "conservatism?"  Along those lines, the big question is, who - if anyone - is going to be today's Teddy Roosevelt?

UPDATE: Also see this column by another pro-environment Republican, "Loudoun Insider" at Too Conservative.  He writes, "I am no fan of over-bearing regulation, but this incident should shut up the no-regulation crowd for good.  Stringent, competent regulation (not this kind of BS) is absolutely necessary to protect our finest natural resources."  I agree, it should "shut up the no-regulation crowd for good," but sadly, I doubt it will. These people are greedy, and they are shameless.

P.S. Just to emphasize, protecting the environment should never be a "liberal" or "conservative" issue. Whether you are a hunter, angler, or other outdoorsperson who wants to protect the habitat you enjoy; a religious person who believes that protecting "god's creation" is a sacred duty; an enlightened businessperson who knows that environmental responsibility and energy efficiency are completely consistent with making good profits; someone who simply loves nature and wants to protect it; a national security "hawk" who wants to keep money out of the hands of Ahmedinejad and Al Qaeda; and/or a pragmatist who knows that an unhealthy environment means unhealthy humans as well; you should want to slash our dependence on oil and other dirty, fossil fuels, while preserving the environment for generations to come. Again, how is any of that "liberal" or "conservative?"  Answer: it isn't.