Monthly Archives: July 2009

Among Virginia’s Candidates, Who Has the Best Record on Environmental Issues?

Today the Virginia Chapter of the non-partisan League of Conservation Voters issued its 2009 rankings of legislators. As members of the legislature, the Democratic nominees for Governor and Attorney General are included, as is the GOP nominee for AG. Where did they end up?

Here’s the scoop:

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sen. Creigh Deeds had the second highest ranking of the members of the Virginia Senate. LCV reported that Deeds voted with the League 91 percent of the time in 2009. His average rating since 2000 is 86 percent. Continue reading

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Filed under environment, Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Governor's Campaign, Virginia Lt. Governor's Campaign

Eric Cantor: Fighting for Insurance Companies

Thanks to AFSCME for taking on Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Panderville) in this new ad.

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Filed under health care

GOP Elected Officials Break Ranks, Back Deeds for Governor

One thing that keeps Virginia’s politics interesting is that party affiliation doesn’t always get in the way of what’s doing right for Virginia. Today, a group of former GOP lawmakers endorsed State Senator Creigh Deeds, the Democratic nominee for Governor.

As the Deeds campaign pointed out in their news release, “all these legislators have served with both Creigh and Bob McDonnell. But when it came time to select a candidate that they thought could lead Virginia and bring people together — they chose Creigh.” Continue reading


Filed under Right wing nut jobs, Virginia Democrats, Virginia General Assembly, Virginia GOP, Virginia Governor's Campaign

What are you sorry for Gov. Sanford?

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is apologizing again. This time with a Sunday op-ed column in the largest paper in S.C. — The State.

In response, the chairwoman of the S.C. Democratic Party, Carol Fowler, issued the following statement, which I just love:

Mark Sanford’s vague apology in Sunday’s papers is fine as far as it goes, but he doesn’t say what he’s apologizing for. Turning his back on the people of South Carolina? Abandoning his family? Dumping his responsibilities for weeks? Or 6 1/2 years of ignoring our public schools and the children in them? When my children were small and had to say they were sorry I always made them specify what the apology was for, to be sure they knew. Does Governor Sanford know?

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Filed under corruption, Democratic Party, Republican Party, Right wing nut jobs

With Walter Cronkite’s Death, Jon Stewart is Most Trusted Man in America

jonstewartI tweeted the title of this blog earlier tonight and it’s been retweeted by dozens of people. That’s because Jon Stewart — even as he mocks the news — is actually holding journalists accountable. And journalists at their very best, hold politicians and society’s institution accountable.

That’s what America lost with the death of Walter Cronkite tonight. Accountability. By any measure, Cronkite was a journalist with integrity. We knew we could trust him to tell us the unbiased truth.

He wasn’t about entertainment. (He resented Charles Kuralt’s features which ran at the end of his broadcasts.) He was a newsman in the tradition of Murrow.

That’s why in the 1970s — 1974 some said tonight — Cronkite was named by his fellow citizens in a survey as the most trusted man in America.

With his death, I think perhaps Jon Stewart has taken on that role.

I think Stewart cemented my trust in him when he took on CNBC’s Jim Cramer. But actually he began earning it when he took on President Bush during the rush to the Gulf War after 9-11. (Remember,  Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) said we were sleepwalking through history.)

Jon Stewart didn’t sleepwalk, but I have to say I think Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings did. Their successors — Katie Couric, Brian Williams and Charles Gibson — are even worse. I think a more critical, more watchful press would have asked the tougher questions about George W. Bush. (In fact, I don’t think we ever would have elected Bush had the media been more thorough. And further, I don’t think Stewart’s The Daily Show would have ever taken off had traditional media not failed us.)

Walter Cronkite was of a different breed. He didn’t let us sleep walk through history. He brought us history.

I’ll close with another thought I tweeted which was retweeted quite a bit tonight.

When Cronkite got to heaven tonight, I think God said to him: “And that’s the way it is.” (Congrats on life well lived, Mr. Cronkite.)

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Filed under pop culture

Rep. Forbes: Re-writing History in the Name of God

In world of Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), Christians are under attack. (I just don’t what world he lives in.) What he basically is saying is that the U.S. is a country for Christians and Jews. If you don’t believe in the Old and/or New Testament, you’re out of luck in Rep. Forbes’s Constitution. (He also seems to tacitly be saying that President Obama isn’t one of us because he doesn’t accept the Congressman’s view of history.)

Check out this video of Forbes ranting about President Obama’s trip to Turkey earlier this year. Continue reading

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Filed under Civil Rights, Right wing nut jobs, Separation of Church and State

Sen. Ted Kennedy’s Statement on Health Care Reform

ted_kennedy2Yesterday the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee voted to pass Affordable Health Choices Act. It’s an historic moment in the history of the U.S. Senate and in the career of the chairman of the committee, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass).  Following the committee’s vote on the legislation, which included 160 of the 200 amendments offered by the GOP members of the committee, Chairman Kennedy issued the following statement from his home in Massachusetts where he is undergoing treatment for a brain tumor:

“This room is a special place. In this room, my two brothers declared their candidacy for the presidency. Today, the nation takes another major step toward reaching the goals to which they dedicated their careers, and for which they gave their lives. They strived, as I have tried to do, for a fairer and more just America – a nation where every American could share fully in the promise of quality health care.

As you vote today, know that I am with you in heart and mind and soul, and I wish very much that I could be with you in person.

I could not be prouder of our committee. We have done the hard work that the American people sent us here to do. We have considered hundreds of proposals. Where we have been able to reach principled compromise, we have done so. Where we have not been able to resolve our differences, we have treated those with whom we disagree with respect and patience. I thank all the members of our committee – Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike – for their dedication and devotion to the great cause of quality, affordable health care for all our people.

Extraordinary thanks go to Chris Dodd. No man has ever had a truer or more generous friend than he has been to me, and no cause has ever had a more able leader than he has been in the great effort to enact health reform.

It is a cause that knows no boundary of party, region, or philosophy. It is a cause that can and should unite us all as Americans. We know, however, that our work is not over – far from it. As we move from our committee room to the Senate floor, we must continue the search for solutions that unite us, so that the great promise of quality affordable health care for all can be fulfilled.

As I said, this room is a special place – and I believe our committee’s actions have added a glorious chapter to the honor roll of history that has been made here.

Americans are an extraordinary people. We have created a nation of liberty and justice. We have defeated forces of oppression, and we have spread prosperity and progress across the globe. When the American people are on the march, there is no barrier that can resist them, no obstacle that can block their path.

The American people are on the march once more, and they will not stop until quality, affordable health care is the birthright of every American. And we are with them every step of the way.”

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Virginia’s GOP Congressmen Love Government-Run Health Care, Except When They Don’t

Virginia’s GOP members of Congress kill me. Take their double standards on health care.

Rep. Randy Forbes of Chesapeake tells the Daily Press of Newport News that he doesn’t want a government-run health care system. “We’re going to end up destroying a very good health-care system,” Forbes said. Rep. Rob Wittman of Montross in Westmoreland County tells the same paper that he’s hearing an “overwhelming hesitancy” to a government-run system.

Rep. Eric Cantor of Richmond agrees. He recently wrote in a Richmond Times-Dispatch that, “the root of the problem is [the Democrats’] House bill’s imposition of the so-called “government option.” Continue reading


Filed under health care, House Republicans, Right wing nut jobs, Virginia GOP

Deeds Banks Cash, Dems Resurrect Obama Field Team in Va.

State Sen. Creigh Deeds today announced his June raising totals today while the Democratic National Committee’s Virginia chapter of Organizing for America kicked off its Virginia Listening Tour in Reston tonight. Continue reading

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Filed under Virginia Democrats, Virginia Governor's Campaign

Auto-Tune the News

Who knew that the climate change debate, the death of Michael Jackson and abuse of prescription drugs could be this entertaining with Auto-Tuning? (To understand how this technology works, check out this NPR story from last year.)

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Filed under environment, health care, House Democrats, House Republicans, pop culture

McDonnell on Palin: “a Successful Governor”

According to an exclusive interview with the Washington Times, one of the things soon-to-be-former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin said she wants to do after she leaves office later this month is campaign for candidates who agree with her, regardless of their party affiliation. Despite The Times’ report that Palin will campaign for the occasional Democrat, I think it’s safe to assume her candidate in Virginia’s governor’s race would be right wing Republican nominee Bob McDonnell.

After all, McDonnell said he believes Palin, “was a successful governor in Alaska. She was a popular governor in Alaska, got a lot of things done on taxes, and government regulation and ethics, and you know, those are some of the things that I’m interested in getting done here in Virginia.” Continue reading

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Filed under Right wing nut jobs, Virginia Governor's Campaign

Senators Webb and Warner Working Hard for Creigh Deeds

One of the reasons why Virginians are going to elect State Senator Creigh Deeds their Governor this fall is that they trust their centrist U.S. Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner. Both men have committed to help make Sen. Deeds Virginia’s next governor. Sen Warner is organizing the business community for Deeds, while Sen. Webb is organizing veterans for Deeds.

I expect that both Senators, along with Governor Tim Kaine, will cut endorsement ads for Deeds that should run in September and October when voters really begin to focus on the election.

Meanwhile, if you want an idea of what Sen. Deeds needs to do this summer and this fall in order to win, check out Sen. Warner’s political analysis of the Virginia electorate from last summer when he was running for his Senate seat. Warner’s advice for then-candidate Barack Obama was spot on then and makes perfect sense for Sen. Deeds, too.


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Filed under Virginia Governor's Campaign