Monthly Archives: September 2009

What Bob McDonnell’s Supporters Have to Ignore

The more I learn about Bob McDonnell, the GOP candidate for Governor of Virginia, the more I see what a cynical politician he really is.

His latest ads defending any criticism of his 18 year legislative record with feigned outrage are a good example. McDonnell claims any question about his record is “insulting” or an “attack on his character”.  Then he trots out his wife and daughters to say he has a strong record on issues important to women — ignoring his sponsorship of 35 bills to take away women’s rights to an abortion or his belief that working women are a “detriment” to the family. He also has written that gays should be “punished” by government, so I supposed soon we will see an ad with a Log Cabin Republican saying McDonnell would have remembered that blow job if had been done right.

But if you don’t think “Fairfax’s own” is being cynical on social issues, take a look at this morning’s Washington Post editorial about McDonnell’s transportation plan. The Post points out that all the sources of revenue McDonnell proposes to pay for the roads, rail and subways Virginia needs to solve our traffic problems aren’t realistic.

Much of the plan relies on wildly optimistic assumptions, brazen exaggerations, gauzy projections and far-off scenarios: budget surpluses and revenue growth that may not materialize; interstate tolls that the federal government may not approve; royalties from offshore oil and gas wells that may not be drilled; borrowing that the state may not be able to afford anytime soon. Lump all that in a file called “Don’t Hold Your Breath.” Insert some of his other proposals — such as diverting some sales tax revenue from schools, public safety and human services statewide to pay for Northern Virginia road improvements — into a file called “Politically Dead on Arrival.” Quite simply, much of what Mr. McDonnell has in mind would almost certainly not come to pass during his four-year term as governor, if ever.

Yet my Republican friends in Northern Virginia have convinced themselves that this is workable. It’s the same tortured exercise that women voters must go through to justify voting for someone who called them a “detriment” or gay voters must do to vote for someone who calls for the government to “punish” them.

Doesn’t anyone remember the disastrous governorship of Republican Jim “Repeal the car tax” Gilmore? Gilmore’s gimmick managed to get him elected but it wrecked Virginia’s finances. Thankfully Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have done a great job in fixing the mess Gilmore left behind.

But can we really afford to risk trusting another cynical Republican who’s selling gimmicks and platitudes?


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Filed under abortion rights, gay rights, Right wing nut jobs, transportation, Virginia Governor's Campaign

President Obama Calls Kanye West a Jackass

In an off the record interview today, President Obama was asked about Kanye West’s rude behavior at this weekend’s MTV Music Video Awards show where he grabbed the microphone from Taylor Swift as she was accepting her award.

The President called West, a “jackass”.

We know this because ABC News’ Terry Moran tweeted about it, breaking the “off the record” terms of the interview. Already, the President’s critics are claiming he was unpresidential.

You know what? They’re right.

But it’s helpful to have some perspective.

President Obama isn’t the first president to use crude language when he thought no one would find out or when he was speaking to media off the record. We know that then candidate George W. Bush called a New York Times reporter a “major league asshole” and Dick Cheney, once he became Vice President told a Senator to “Go fuck yourself.”

Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon were recorded on tape speaking in vulgar language. I’m sure the same could be said for President Clinton and Reagan. (I’m not as certain about Presidents Ford and Carter.) Bush, Sr. as Vice President said he tried to “kick a little ass” in his Vice Presidential debate opponent, then-Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro.

But what kills me is that those on the right wing are criticizing President Obama’s remarks as if no other previous President ever uttered a vulgarity. They ignore Kanye West’s behavior and the fact that President Obama’s remarks were made off the record. They, in a bizarre attempt to defend Congressman Joe “You Lie” Wilson, say that the President’s remarks were worse.

I’m not so sure.

In fact, I’d say most of them are jackasses, too.

My line of thinking was expressed this morning by Austin Goolsbee this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. He said that the GOP was playing the role of the East German judge in the Winter Olympics. Obama could complete a triple lutz and the Republicans would give him a 2.0 out of 10.

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Welcome to Washington, Glenn Beck

Protester at Glenn Beck's 9-12 March on Washington, D.C. Photo credit:

Protester at Glenn Beck's 9-12 March on Washington, D.C. Photo credit:

Welcome to Washington, Glenn Beck! Thank you for bringing your 9-12 nut jobs to our capital. Personally I hope you all relocate to the District on a permanent basis. That way you would no longer be represented in Congress since D.C. has no Senators and the D.C. Delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton, has no vote in the U.S. House.

Then, my dear Glenn, your cries about not being represented in Congress would actually be true. Plus, as an added bonus, your vote would no longer be there to elect the birthers, racists and jackasses that are in Congress now.

Just be sure that, when you use our communist-funded subway system, you stand to the right on the escalators.


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Joe “You Lie” Wilson Says He’s a Victim

It’s been a little over 24 hours since South Carolina GOP Congressman Joe Wilson shouted “You Lie” at President Obama and the Democratic netroots have jumped into action.

Besides creating this creative website and editing Rep. Wilson’s Wikipedia page, people like you and me have given some money to help Rob Miller, the Democrat running against Wilson in 2010. 

How much money? A whole hell of a lot. I just checked Miller’s Act Blue page. As of 10:40 ET, 17,569 people have given $640,478. That’s an average contribution of $36.45. These totals don’t include the money his campaign has received directly.

Congressman Wilson for his part spoke to reporters this morning and admitted he was told by the GOP he had to call the White House to apologize. He still is sticking by his lie that the bill wouldn’t prohibit healthcare going to illegal aliens.

He’s also claiming that he’s a victim and is raising money off of his unprecedented rudeness to the President. Watch it and go to Rob Miller’s page to give money to help defeat Joe “You Lie” Wilson in 2010.


Filed under Right wing nut jobs

Ted Kennedy’s Letter to President Obama

In my anger over GOP Congressman Joe “You Lie” Wilson of South Carolina  and the heckling Republicans, I didn’t get to spend as much time focusing tonight on the highlight of President Obama’s speech tonight.

For me the most newsworthy event wasn’t these fools, but rather the brief mention by President Obama of a letter he received from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. Sen. Kennedy wrote the letter shortly before he died and asked that it be shared with the President after his death.

Here’s the letter in its entirety:

Dear Mr. President,

I wanted to write a few final words to you to express my gratitude for your repeated personal kindnesses to me – and one last time, to salute your leadership in giving our country back its future and its truth.

On a personal level, you and Michelle reached out to Vicki, to our family and me in so many different ways. You helped to make these difficult months a happy time in my life.

You also made it a time of hope for me and for our country.

When I thought of all the years, all the battles, and all the memories of my long public life, I felt confident in these closing days that while I will not be there when it happens, you will be the President who at long last signs into law the health care reform that is the great unfinished business of our society. For me, this cause stretched across decades; it has been disappointed, but never finally defeated. It was the cause of my life. And in the past year, the prospect of victory sustained me-and the work of achieving it summoned my energy and determination.

There will be struggles – there always have been – and they are already underway again. But as we moved forward in these months, I learned that you will not yield to calls to retreat – that you will stay with the cause until it is won. I saw your conviction that the time is now and witnessed your unwavering commitment and understanding that health care is a decisive issue for our future prosperity. But you have also reminded all of us that it concerns more than material things; that what we face is above all a moral issue; that at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.

And so because of your vision and resolve, I came to believe that soon, very soon, affordable health coverage will be available to all, in an America where the state of a family’s health will never again depend on the amount of a family’s wealth. And while I will not see the victory, I was able to look forward and know that we will – yes, we will – fulfill the promise of health care in America as a right and not a privilege.

In closing, let me say again how proud I was to be part of your campaign- and proud as well to play a part in the early months of a new era of high purpose and achievement. I entered public life with a young President who inspired a generation and the world. It gives me great hope that as I leave, another young President inspires another generation and once more on America’s behalf inspires the entire world.

So, I wrote this to thank you one last time as a friend- and to stand with you one last time for change and the America we can become.

At the Denver Convention where you were nominated, I said the dream lives on.

And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

With deep respect and abiding affection,


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Give to Rob Miller for Congress, Defeat Rep. Joe “You Lie” Wilson

Tonight I just made my first campaign contribution of the 2010 cycle. I gave a few dollars to Rob Miller, a Democrat who is running for Congress in South Carolina. You should, too.

Miller is running against GOP Republican Congressman Joe Wilson, who earlier tonight shouted, “You Lie!” to President Obama, after the president pointed out that there will be no health care benefits for illegal immigrants.

Visit Rob’s campaign website to learn more about his candidacy or visit his Act Blue page to make a secure contribution to his campaign.


Filed under health care

Meet the Heckling Republican Congressmen

It appears that Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert was the Member of Congress who had the sign reading, “What Bill?” and S.C. GOP Rep. Joe Wilson was the member who yelled “You Lie” in during this evening’s Joint Session of Congress with President Obama.

In my view, President Obama gave a moving address appealing for reform of our health insurance system.

But GOP House Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia missed it. He was on his BlackBerry.

Then we wrapped up with GOP Rep. Charles Boustany, a birther and a fool who sought to buy a British title of “Lord” in a scam only the most stupid among us would fall for.

Why are Democrats negotiating with these demagogues?


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GOP Picks Birther to Deliver Republican Rebuttal

Don’t over look this fact as you watch President Barack Obama’s speech calling for health insurance reform: the official GOP response will be delivered by a “birther”, Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana.

Of the President’s citizenship, Rep. Boustany has said, “it’s certainly being looked at…I think there are questions. We’ll have to see.”

Boustany said this 26 seconds into this video. Clearly, he’s someone of credibility.

I think we know why Rep. Boustany was picked to speak tonight: he has a history of distorting facts around health insurance reform. He might have been the second choice. Maybe the lead GOP Senate negotiator on health care, Sen. Chuck Grassley, was booked. (Grassley of course, believes that the Democrats want to “pull the plug on grandma”. Or at least he believes that because President Obama and Sarah Palin said so.)

Would someone please tell me why the Democrats are negotiating with these demagogues?


Filed under health care

Why We Need Government-Run, Universal, Socialized Health Insurance

This cartoon crystalized to me why we must reform our health insurance system.

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Who Would Jesus Insure?

You can buy this wristband from

You can buy this wristband from

My Congressman, Jim Moran, recently held a town hall to answer the questions my neighbors and I have about health insurance reform. Like so many other town halls during this Congressional recess, it was was packed with people on all sides of the issue. My favorite blog, Wonkette, had the best coverage of the event.

As I watched the event on C-Span, I was struck by one sign captured by the television cameras. It asked a simple question: “Who Would Jesus Insure?”

When I pose this question to my friends on the far right wing of the Republican Party, they get very uncomfortable, particular those who are Christian Evangelicals. (Let me clear, they aren’t squirming over the fact that the question fails to use the pronoun “whom” which would make it grammatically correct.)

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Filed under faith, health care

Sen. Al Franken: Teabag Whisperer

The folks at Talking Points Memo got this video from What I like about it is no one is screaming. Folks gathered with Sen. Franken may not agree with him, but they have to agree that he is respectful to them. As I think about all the elected officials, Republican and Democrat, who have represented me over the years, few have been as courteous to opponents as Sen. Franken was here.

Perhaps how courteous a candidate is to those with whom they disagree should be a factor in our voting decisions.

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Should I be Worried about Reps. Nye and Perriello?

I was very proud to support the election of Virginia Democratic Congressmen Tom Perriello and Glenn Nye. They share my values and I think both are doing a great job as freshmen congressmen.

But I am worried about their future political views.

Both men are 34 years old and as Bob McDonnell will tell you, political views “evolve” over time starting at age 34. (What one believes as a 34 year old will be repudiated over the next 20 years if McDonnell’s life is the norm.)

So Congressmen Nye and Perriello, please don’t evolve on me. I like you just the way you are.


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