The Right Question

November 19, 2008

True to form, Norm Leahy takes the right approach to the Virginia GOP’s woes:

But they remain ill-served with a leadership that has no agenda, with members who, generally, tend to wait until January to focus on the road ahead and an overall message that is neither coherent nor energizing (quick…what does the GOP hope to accomplish in the next session? One priority…just one…will do).

Speaker Howell likes to say that Republicans are the only ones who propose new ideas in Virginia. Aside from regional taxing authorities (unconstitutional), $1000 speeding tickets (repealed) and using the budget surplus to fund transportation projects (no such thing at present) can you name one solid new idea for improving the lives of Virginians that has originated within the Republican Party?

I couldn’t either.

Peter Schiff: Economic Soothsayer

November 14, 2008

I hope he sent flowers with a note saying: “I told you so” to every one of these fools who scoffed at his dead on predictions. Note to Fox News: Limit your propaganda to things you understand.

Session 2009: Energy, Environment, Green Jobs

November 14, 2008

Via the RTD, Governor Kaine plans to focus the 2009 session on energy, the environment and combating climate change. I agree with RK, if the Governor is serious about encouraging a renewable energy economy in the Commonwealth, this is a huge opportunity for Virginia.

Even in the face of a budget shortfall and a looming recession, there are opportunities to grow the Virginia economy and create jobs with renewable energy research, development and production.

Areas like the Virginia Highlands and the Atlantic coast offer attractive resources for wind and tidal power, and Southside and Southwest could easily fill manufacturing plants skilled laborers who could use the work.

If Governor Kaine makes a serious effort this year to encourage land and energy consumption and attract renewable energy companies to build production or parts manufacturing plants in places like Southside and Highland County he will do his part open the door for rapid, sustainable economic growth in Virginia.

Unfortunately, any legislative proposal will have to go through the House Republican caucus. As we speak Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, Bill Howell and Morgan Griffith are planning to obstruct any plan introduced by the Governor regardless of its merits.

These guys have stood in the door of sensible solutions for three straight years and unless they have had a conversion in light of yet another crushing defeat for their party in Virginia, they will put politics ahead of good policy once again in 2009. For the sake of the economy and the environment, I hope for once they prove me wrong.

They Just Don’t Get it…

November 13, 2008

From S.W.A.C. Girl, claiming that criticism of Sarah Palin is proof that we Democrats are scared of her as a presidential candidate in 2012:

But the bottom line is … those smears are meant to stop the growing support for a woman who has been embraced by the conservative base of the Republican Party.

The naysayers are running scared. Perhaps they feel if they do not destroy Sarah now, she will emerge to fight them another day.

Sarah Palin inspired enthusiasm within a depressed conservative voting block, and she would do the same as a presidential candidate. But the trade-off in her selection was the votes of thousands of moderate Democrats and Republicans and an open revolt from the “intellectual” conservative moment. Several polls have reported that Palin had a net negative effect on the Republican ticket, and even if she did bring votes to the ticket, they were not nearly enough to get the job done this year.

If the Republican response to this outright rejection of their party for the second cycle in a row is to nominate a candidate who appeals to no one but the rightmost branch of the party, 2012 will be the proverbial nail in the coffin.

As a Democrat I welcome that choice, but I am baffled by the absence of a moderating presence in today’s GOP.  It seems that the John Warners and Bob Doles of the past have all been replaced by today’s Jeff Fredericks and Sarah Palins.

If you compare 2004’s election map to this year’s you’ll see the clear results of that radical right swing. Do Republicans really think they can put more states on the table by nominating Sarah Palin?

Session Watch 2009

November 12, 2008

Now that the dust has nearly settled from an historic and exciting election cycle in Virginia, we turn our focus to the upcoming session.  One of the primary reasons I decided to start this blog was to confront the hyperpartisan Virginia Republicans (most of whom can be found in statewide office or in the House Caucus) who have consistently gone out of their way to thwart good policy for the sake of what they believe to be good politics.

Now that the VA GOP has lost the Governor’s mansion, two Senate seats, a majority in the congressional delegation, a majority in the State Senate and numerous seats in the House of Delegates, will this be the year that they connect the dots between their awful performance and their rapidly decreasing share of elected positions in Virginia?

Will Bob McDonnell, Bill Bolling, Bill Howell, Morgan Griffith and Kirk Cox resort to the same floor gimmicks and cheap stunts they have used in past sessions to thwart Governor Kaine’s agenda and threaten their majority in the process?

At a time of great economic distress and unprecendented demand for solutions from government, I hope the House Republicans bring more to Richmond in 2009 than the empty rhetoric and gridlock of years past.

Remember Max Cleland!

November 11, 2008

I received this email today from BlogPAC, written by Iraq Vet and former Ohio congressional candidate Paul Hackett.


Eighty years ago today, the Great World War came to an end on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. A few years later, we began celebrating Armistice Day, which for the last 55 years has been expanded to be known as Veterans Day. This is the day I celebrate all of the Veterans who came before me.

One such Veteran is my good friend, Max Cleland. Winner of the Silver Star and the Bronze Star, Cleland served with great distinction in Vietnam and in our United States Senate. When running for re-election in 2002, Republican Saxby Chambliss attacked Senator Cleland with ads using the picture of Osama Bin Laden to attack the patriotism of a war hero who left three limbs on the battle field. Now, Saxby Chambliss is facing the voters in a runoff in Georgia.

As we take this day to remember our Veterans, we also need to remember the injustice suffered by Senator Cleland six years ago by Republican Saxby Chambliss who himself received five deferrements during the war when Veteran Max Cleland gave so much for our country.

On December 3, Georgia voters have a choice between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin. On this Veterans Day the choice between the Republican who ran what might be the sleaziest political ad of all time and Democratic Veteran Jim Martin could not be clearer. Jim Martin needs your help.

As you can expect, the Republican Party is pulling out all of the stops to hold on to this Georgia senate seat, which could very well push Democrats to 60 votes in the US Senate. John McCain and Sarah Palin are raising big dollars for Chambliss despite his disgraceful history. That is why your support is so important, together people from all fifty states standing up against sliming Veterans can be a powerful force against DC special interests.

Please join me in supporting Democrat Jim Martin.

Paul Hackett

Iraq, Marine combat veteran

So about that Investigation…

November 7, 2008

p14_workshops3Waldo points out that when Virgil Goode was confronted with evidence that his congressional office phone line was used to promote his friend Jerry Meadors’ movie Eden’s Curve, he promised an investigation into the matter early this week. Unless Virgil’s definition of “early” includes Friday, the results of that promised investigation are several days overdue.

I hope the Virginia media will ask Virgil how his investigation is coming along, the public deserves to know if he has been honest and transparent with their money as their Congressman.