A Brat boots Cantor out

Second in command in the House of Representative, Eric Cantor, lost his primary election to an unknown, David Brat.  The defeat was totally unexpected.  Voter turn out is the blame according to most pundits.  Additionally, Cantor was targeted because of his support of  Dream Act legislation.

No cheering here.  I couldn’t stand Eric Cantor but a tea party candidate is worse.   In addition, I am a strong supporter of the Dream Act.  I don’t like bricks that single out students and keep them from reaching their educational goals if they are good students.

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Virginia governor’s race analysis: Beware of unintended consequences

There are some interesting facts in this video. The most dangerous thing to either candidate is that each man’s respective base grow complacent and stay home.

With less than a month until the election, the heat is on for the heart and soul of the Old Dominion. I never like calling an election. I feel it jinxes things up. However, it might be a subtle reminder to those who want to play a little ‘war on women’ that there can be deadly electoral paybacks.

What the women don’t take care of, the shutdown will.  Unfortunately for Cuccinelli, the antics of his party have bled over into his campaign.  That actually seems a little unfair.  The banana republicans should have thought of that before trying to ignore rule of law.  Their attempt to play hardball to get their own way definitely has had unintended consequences.  The Cooch just might be one of those consequences.

Secretary of Defense Hagel sails rather than flails


Just three months ago, Chuck Hagel was flailing under fire on Capitol Hill,  trying to convince his former colleagues in the Senate that he was the right man  to run the Pentagon.

Since then, the newly minted defense secretary has been dealing with massive  budget cuts, tense flare-ups in Syria and North Korea and a widening sexual  assault scandal that threatens to corrode the ranks. In spite of it all, he’s  getting high marks — even from those who opposed him from the start.

“I’m very pleased,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South  Carolina Republican who during his confirmation hearing grilled Hagel on  controversial remarks he made about Israel. Graham voted against Hagel but now  says he’s happy with the way Hagel has tackled a flurry of national security  challenges in his first three months on the job.

“He’s been a good advocate that sequestration is going to be a real death  blow to our military readiness. He’s reached out to Congress. He’s been  forthcoming in his remarks, trying to take the chain of command out of military  justice decisions and various sexual harassment [cases]. I don’t agree with  that, but generally speaking, I think he’s done a good job,” Graham told  POLITICO.

That must have been painful to admit.  Too bad people have to be excoriated, their reputations besmirched  and their character impugned just to get nominated to serve.  What was done to Chuck Hagel was inexcusable.

Is it fair to say that anyone President Obama nominates will face the same uphill battles?



Violence Against Women Act Renewed




The Violence Against Women Act was renewed today.  The original bill was passed in 1994 but had expired in 2011.

Some details from Foxnews.com:

The bill renews a 1994 law that has set the standard for how to protect  women, and some men, from domestic abuse and prosecute abusers. Thursday’s  286-138 vote came after House lawmakers rejected a more limited approach offered  by Republicans.

It was the third time this year that House Speaker John Boehner has allowed  Democrats and moderates in his own party prevail over the GOP’s much larger  conservative wing. As with a Jan. 1 vote to avoid the fiscal cliff and  legislation to extend Superstorm Sandy aid, a majority of House Republicans  voted against the final anti-violence bill.

The law has been renewed twice before without controversy, but it lapsed in  2011 as it was caught up in the partisan battles that now divide Congress. Last  year, the House refused to go along with a Senate-passed bill that would have  made clear that lesbians, gays, immigrants and Native American women should have  equal access to Violence Against Women Act programs.

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State of the Union Address and Ted Nugent

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Rep. Steve Stockman, who recently threatened President Obama with impeachment over his executive orders regarding guns,  is allowed to bring one guest to the State of the Union Address.  He plans on bringing Ted Nugent who sits on the Board of Directors at the NRA.   That would be fine except for the fact that the Secret Service had to pay Mr. Nugent a little visit about a year and a half ago over his mouth flashing at an NRA convention.  Mr. Nugent told a crowd  that  he will “either be dead or in jail by this time next year” if Obama is re-elected.

The Secret Service and probably the Capitol Police  should deny admission to Ted Nugent.  His comments were taken seriously enough that the Secret Service paid him a visit.  He can just sit out the State of the Union Address.  There are too many important people all under one roof to allow someone who has shown as little good judgement as Nugent to have access.

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Lindsay Graham to block Hagel, Brennan confirmation until he gets information

Senator Lindsay Graham says he will stall the votes to confirm Hager or Brennan for their respective posts until he gets the information he wants on Benghazi. Specifically he wants to know what the President was doing the night of September 11, 2012.

He is claiming complete “system failure” that night.

Graham is full of accusations and says he will not back down.

Why is he holding up 2 administrative appointments over some other issue? Graham needs to stop his childish games, quit playing politics, and get on with the senate confirmation. These are critical posts and eat nominee deserves an up or down vote.

VA Republicans attempt to change electoral college

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Republicans in Virginia and a handful of other battleground states are pushing for far-reaching changes to the electoral college in an attempt to counter recent success by Democrats.

In the vast majority of states, the presidential candidate who wins receives all of that state’s electoral votes. The proposed changes would instead apportion electoral votes by congressional district, a setup far more favorable to Republicans. Under such a system in Virginia, for instance, President Obama would have claimed four of the state’s 13 electoral votes in the 2012 election, rather than all of them.

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The Inauguration …Post-Mortum


Several big items came out of the Inauguration that probably aren’t worth mentioning.  Other things are.

One of the issues at the top of the news is the Stars Spangled Scam.  Beyonce lip-sinc’ed the National Anthem. I feel cheated.  In a post Milli Vanilli world, why take the risk?  Supposedly the Marine Band didn’t have time to rehearse either.  Why?  4 years isn’t enough time?

Michelle Obama’s bangs were the weekend sensation.  She just looks cute and sassy.  I saw that eye rolling at the discussion between John Boehner and the Prez during lunch at the Capitol.  They were making comments about smoking.  Michelle did *NOT* approve.

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McDonnell proposes letter grades for schools


Richmond Times Dispatch:

Students receive a letter grade on their report cards and so, too, would their public school under a proposal Gov. Bob McDonnell unveiled Thursday as part of the next phase of his K-12 education legislative agenda.

Each school would be assigned a grade, A-F, which McDonnell’s office contends would help parents and others to fully understand how their child’s school is performing.

Oh dear God, when will the politicians stay out of education!  Surely Gov. Ultra-sound didn’t think this one up all by himself.  Let’s take a careful look at what would happen if the good governor gets his way.

First off, who decides the grade?  Will there be a list of objects the school is to master?  Will it be based on SOL scores?  Hasn’t there been enough stress on SOL scores already?  What will be done to ensure that schools with high populations of minority students, ESL students, economically disadvantaged students, and special ed students aren’t the schools making the D’s and F’s?

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Gov. Chris Christie unleashes fury at Boehner, calls house “toxic”



New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) condemned House Republicans Wednesday afternoon for failing to pass a $60 billion package of funding for Hurricane Sandy relief. In the strongest terms, he accused House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) of letting “toxic internal politics” impede necessary storm relief.

“There’s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these victims: the House majority and their speaker,” Christie said. “It was disappointing and disgusting to watch.”

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Labor, health and education spending bill craters most reproductive freedoms plus title X


Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) released a labor, health and education spending bill on Tuesday that would defund Planned Parenthood and Title X, block the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, allow any employer to deny women birth control coverage under the ACA for “moral reasons” and increase spending for abstinence-only education.

Specifically, the bill prevents federal dollars from flowing to Planned Parenthood clinics until the family planning provider can certify that it no longer offers abortions, even though Planned Parenthood only uses federal money for non-abortion services.

The legislation also states that none of its funds can be used to carry out the Title X family planning program or be used to “implement, administer, enforce, or further the provisions” of the Affordable Care Act.

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An interview with Michael Mann: The New McCarthyism

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From ABC News:

Some of Mann’s main points and charges in include:

– “New McCarthyism” in US legislature directed at US climate scientists; details

– Death threats, dead rats, scientists’ families threatened.

– Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., campaign has aimed to discredit climate scientists…

– Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, misrepresented Mann’s science

– National Science Foundation and other panels have cleared Mann

– Koch Brothers, Scaife Foundation, involved in fossil fuel efforts to discredit the climate science

– Organized email and letter campaigns have intimidated and silenced climate scientists; details

– Believes intimidation campaigns will fail if “exposed to the light of day”

The political war against scientists has been described as the new McCarthyism because scientists have been so bullied and intimidated, many just do their work and keep their mouths shut.  This behavior has been going on for over 10 years.  Our own attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli sued for Mann’s emails.  He was told he didn’t have standing.

The tobacco industry attempted to silence science for years.  The attitudes in Europe are quite different than in the United States, for example. There has been a strong attempt to silence the entire science community who researches changes in climate.  I wonder who could be trying to silence them?  Hmmmmmmm   …the fossil fuel industry?  Perhaps.

I am simply not willing to bet the ranch on industry being right and the preponderance of scientific findings being wrong.  That just makes no sense and there is only one earth.  You screw that up, and there is no place else to go.  The bullying and McCarthyism must stop.  The use of government to thwart distribution of scientific discovery and discussion is a serious violation of trust and use of taxpayer money.

The entire transcript can be seen at ABC News.


Is the Supreme Court too powerful and too political?

Many people have noticed that the Supreme Court, comprised of 9 members, is far too powerful and far too political.  Go back to 2000.  Basically, the Supreme Court decided who was to be  the president of the United States.  9 people chose the President of the United States of America. Today, we are on the brink of perhaps losing health care.  Should 9 people get to make that choice?    Many people are still seething over Eminent Domain and Citizens United.  They feel the High Court has been too far reaching.  There are 100 other examples.

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White will no longer be the majority?

From the Washington Post:

For the first time in U.S. history, most of the nation’s babies are members of minority groups, according to new census figures that signal the dawn of an era in which whites no longer will be in the majority.

The latest estimates, which gauge changes since the last census, are a reflection of an immigration wave that began four decades ago. The transformation of the country’s racial and ethnic makeup has gathered steam as the white population grows collectively older, especially compared with Hispanics.

The census has forecast that non-Hispanic whites will be outnumbered in the United States by 2042, and social scientists consider that current status among infants a harbinger of the change.

“This is a watershed moment,” said Andrew Cherlin, a sociologist at Johns Hopkins University who specializes in family issues. “It shows us how multicultural we’ve become.”

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The Tea Party: Is it a political party or isn’t it?

From the Daily Press:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jaime Radtke and roughly 30 of her Tea Party supporters stood outside the Capitol on Wednesday to protest Radtke’s exclusion from a debate featuring former Govs. Tim Kaine and George Allen.

Democrat Kaine and Republican Allen were the only two candidates for the Senate seat being vacated by Jim Webb to meet the qualifications laid out by event organizers, the Associated Press and the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association. To get an invite candidates must have averaged at least 15 percent in published polls and raised at least 20 percent of the amount of money raised by their party’s front runner.

In addition to Radtke, this left out Tim Donner, E.W. Jackson and David McCormick who are running for the GOP nomination, and Julien Modica and Courtney Lynch on the Democratic side.

Radtke consistently complained that limiting the debate to the two big-name former governors was a circumventing of the primary process and an attempt by the “mainstream media” to pick the Republican and Democratic nominees.

I am still trying to figure out if the Tea Party is a political party or not.  If not, what are they?  Is it just a descriptor? Right now, it seems like the old Republican Party has a push me/pull me relationship with people espousing TP state of mind.  On the one hand, the R’s seem to want to use them in their mix and on the other hand, they seem to feel that undo influence and pressure is coming from that wing of the party. 

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