Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2009-2010 Virginia Tech Men's Basketball Preview

Thanks to aznew for letting me guest post the 2009-2010 Virginia Tech Men's Basketball Preview. The Hokie Guru is an editor for VT Fan Focus's Men's Basketball section, and was one of the founding members of Fire Bryan Stinespring. He's a season ticket holder, and definitely has his finger on the pulse of the program right now. Here it goes:

This is my 2nd year as a season ticket holder (and I’ve watched Hokie Men’s hoops since the mid 1980’s...I remember the big upset of Memphis in 1985). We’re looking to build on a 2008-2009 season that had our Hokies finish in a three-way tie for seventh in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Jason King from Yahoo Sports has it right when he says talent wise, we were an NCAA tournament team last year, but inconsistency kept us out of the Big Dance. Subsequently, we had to settle for a second round appearance (and quick exit) in the National Invitational Tournament. This year, the ACC media picked the Hokies to finish in 8th place considering that our big time scorer, A.D. Vassallo graduated. The Hokies will definitely miss Vassallo for his offense, but definitely not his defense.

Reports from Practice

Reports from 2009-2010 practices are limited, but tweets from Malcolm Delaney on Twitter (@foe23) show that Virginia Tech beat Charlotte and GEORGETOWN in official scrimmages. While it’s hard to take much from those results, this is a good sign. Further, there's quite a bit of buzz that our D is stronger this year. There has been an increased emphasis on overall team defense with Greenberg's squad, not unlike the mentality of our football team.

New Facilities

Arguably the biggest news of the offseason was the completion of a brand new $21 million basketball practice facility in Blacksburg. Seth Greenberg expects the facility to provide a “wow” factor that will help level the playing field in terms of recruiting against the traditional ACC powerhouses. The building is impressive, and certainly improves the perception of the program with respect to recruits as well as rivals. Hokie fans will also enjoy the fact that we pay homage to Greg “Teabag” Paulus in the form of a two-story poster in the entrance of the facility. From what I’ve heard, the players LOVE the facility and the current players have had more opportunity for practice shots this year than in the last three years combined.

A New Assistant Coach

Seth Greenberg made what many in the media say was a great off-season hire in assistant coach, Bill Courtney. Courtney is considered an excellent recruiter, especially on the East Coast, which is particularly important in the ACC. When he was an assistant at Virginia, he recruited Sylven Landesburg, the Cavaliers' best player. While at George Mason, he recruited every player on the Patriots' Final Four squad. You can see more about Courtney here. I'd say we’re lucky to have him. Welcome to Virginia Tech, Bill.

The Schedule

The knock on our Hokies in previous seasons is that we did not have enough quality wins (non-conference and ACC) to make the Tournament. This year, we have an opportunity to pick up some strong wins before the ACC season begins. The highlights include Temple in the Philly Hoop Group Classic, Iowa in the Big 10/ACC Challenge, Georgia at home, Penn State on the road (when I first heard that game announced, I thought it was for football and I was massively excited). Hokie fans should still be excited about the basketball matchup, and I will be travelling to Happy Valley to witness it in person. The Hokies will also take on Seton Hall south of the border in Mexico. In ACC play, we have a pair of home and road games with North Carolina, Boston College, North Carolina State, Miami, and Virginia. The Hokies have single home games against Clemson, Wake Forest, and Maryland. The Hokies go on the road for games against Florida State, Duke, and Georgia Tech. I wish we could play Maryland and Duke twice (so I could boo both teams off the court and yell “Teabag Paulus” and “General Greivis Vasquez” for the hell of it), but this is the way ACC scheduling works out this season. In short, we have some good opportunities for quality non-conference and conference wins. If we come out of the blocks hard, we should have a good chance to be undefeated by the time the ACC season begins.

The Roster


  • Malcolm Delaney (Junior, G, 6’3”, 190 lbs) – The best player we’ve had at Virginia Tech since Dell Curry (some would argue that Ace Custis should be rated higher than Malcolm… I disagree). He is the undisputed team leader and we need him to be more vocal this year. Delaney is preseason First Team All-ACC and is the leading scorer among all returning players in the conference. Malcolm is listed in Rivals.com Top 25 Point Guards as well. Delaney is a combo guard (e.g. he can play point and shooting guard) but his natural position is shooting guard. To improve his game, Delaney participated as a player and counselor at LeBron James’ Nike Summer Basketball camp in Cleveland. Delaney has the best jump shot (think rainbow) I’ve seen at Virginia Tech. Towards the end of the season last year, fatigue might have been a factor with Delaney...let’s hope that’s not the case this year. Look for him to have A GREAT YEAR that might bounce him into the NBA draft.

  • Dorenzo Hudson (Junior, G, 6’5”, 220 lbs) – A possible candidate for third scorer on this team. Towards the end of the season last year, Hudson starting scoring a bit more, averaging 6.8 points per game in the final two months of the season. We need him to step up and be a defensive stopper.

  • Terrell Bell (Junior, G/F, 6’6, 205 lbs) – A player who is “challenged” offensively...but on this team, he won’t have to score points. We'll need him to be our defensive shutdown guy this year, which could include a major role off the bench.

  • Erick Green (Junior, G/F, 6’4, 185 lbs) – One of the new recruits...a pure point guard and someone I have high hopes for. We need him to eat up 15-20 minutes per game by the middle of the season so that Delaney can move to the shooting guard (and get some rest on the bench). Erick can run the offense and can play solid defense (he’s also a taller point guard). He won't play Deron Washington defense (ha), but pretty good defense nonetheless. Green can score when he’s asked to, but he’s not a Delaney-type in that area of his game. I’ve heard reports from practice that he is very athletic, but needs to be more aggressive. Green’s development could be the key to our season. If he progrresses, he could take over a starting role by January. He is the first true "pass-first" point guard that the Hokies have recruited in the Seth Greenberg era.

  • Ben Boggs (Freshman, G, 6’4”, 200lbs) – A guy who will be asked to spell Delaney and Green...if he plays good defense, he will see some time on the court.
  • Paul Debnam (Senior, G, 6’3”, 195lbs) – A fan favorite who will never see the court, except in mop-up duty.


  • Jeff Allen (Junior, F, 6’7”, 250lbs) – Perhaps the best front court player we’ve had a Virginia Tech since Ace Custis. The Hokies will count on Allen for major scoring and rebounding this year. Allen has worked hard in the offseason and we need him to be a force this year. Allen is listed as one of Rivals.com Top 25 Power Forwards. He was also a counselor at LeBron James’ Nike Basketball Camp with Delaney.

  • Lewis Witcher (Senior, F, 6’9”, 218lbs) – Lew is only senior on the team. He's a guy who we are going to need strong leadership from this season, along with scoring points and being aggressive on the boards. He's a borderline starter, but if he is not aggressive on the boards, he will be coming off the bench for his final season.

  • J.T. Thompson (Junior, F, 6’6”, 210lbs) – J.T. is always that player who can provide a spark off the bench...the problem is that he isn’t big enough to handle most strong forwards and isn’t quick enough to hang with most speedy forwards, but he's got the work ethic. He is a fan favorite because he plays hard to the whistle every time he is on the floor, and he is a leader. He may or may not start this year considering his size, but he’s beast on the boards. It would be nice if he could be third scorer, but he does many of the little things well (like working for loose balls) so I’ll take that for now.

  • Victor Davila (Sophomore, F, 6’8”, 245lbs) – A guy that was originally on Rivals' list of top 125 players that was also recruited by Wake Forest. When Davila gets the ball down low on the block, he’s pretty hard to stop from scoring (he could be a great one). He needs to be more aggressive in defensive transition and active on the boards, which are two things that might keep him out of the starting lineup. He’s a young, talented player that I hope we see some aggression from this year. He has a very good chance to be a starter, especially against teams in the ACC where we'll face off against bigger, more physical power forwards.

  • Cadarian Raines (Freshman, F, 6’9”, 238lbs) – A big guy who is going to take up some space down low, but it will take him a while to get back in the swing of things because he fractured his foot in the offseason. We’ll need his big body for the ACC season.

  • Manny Atkins (Freshman, G/F, 6’7”, 200lbs) – One of the new guys…reports are that he’s a lights-out shooter. We need one of those in Blacksburg.
  • Gene Swindle (Freshman, C, 6’11’, 260lbs) – A center project who will never see the court, except in mop-up duty.

  • Allan Chaney (Sophomore, F, 6’9”, 235lbs) – A transfer from the University of Florida who figures to fit well in Seth Greenberg’s scheme of one post man, two wings, and two guards. Chaney will be eligible in the 2010-2011 season and will likely play the “three spot.” Unfortunately, he is undergoing shoulder surgery and cannot practice with the team as a result.

Projected Starting Lineups

The Hokies will likely have two different starting lineups: one against small teams (that will require our quicker players on the floor) and one against bigger ACC teams (to provide a little more physicality). Here are my projected lineups:

Projected Starting Lineup – vs. Small Teams

  • Malcolm Delaney
  • Dorenzo Hudson
  • Lewis Witcher
  • Jeff Allen
  • J.T. Thompson

Projected Starting Lineup – vs. ACC Teams

  • Malcolm Delaney
  • Dorenzo Hudson
  • Lewis Witcher
  • Jeff Allen
  • Victor Davila

Closing Rebounds

  • Offensive and defensive rebounding must improve this year. We must get better on defense.
  • Virginia Tech needs a third scorer in every game, even if it’s by committee.

  • Our front court guys Witcher and Davila, really need to be more aggressive this season.
  • This might be the last year we see Malcolm Delaney (and maybe Jeff Allen) at Virginia Tech. I’m selfish though, and would love to see Allen and Delaney stick around for another year.

  • Hokies still have season tickets available, so grab them here.

Season Outlook

I believe that we’re going to do better than the ACC media predicted. That’s generally the way things work with Virginia Tech football and men’s basketball…when expectations are high, we have some issues, and when they are low, we do well. This is an experienced team who has fought in the ACC trenches and knows what to expect in key ACC road games. If the team plays with consistency on defense night-in and night-out, we should finish in the top half of the ACC and grab a bid to the NCAA Tournament.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Of course the polls are right - Just ask President Dewey...or Joe Abbey

Just back from the campaign rally in C'ville. Lots of energy, and a steadfast belief that this election is still in the hands of the voters, not the pundits or pollsters.

According to Joe Abbey, the polls are severely undercounting potential Democratic, and if we "get to the polls, we can yet do a Dewey beats Truman in this race."

We'll see what happens tomorrow, but I continue to believe that Virginians do not want to go backwards, and do not want Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli, and the cultural, social and economic regression that they represent, running the Commonwealth. As a result, I continue to believe that there is potential for a last-minute voter surge that the polls are not seeing.

I spoke with a local political observer/blogger at the rally, and asked what he thought about the polls. He was fairly confident that Creigh would do better than the polls were predicting, and he made the point that given the registration surge in 2008, there are enough Democratic voters who may be under the radar to stage an upset.

Every vote will count.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How to prevent McDonnell, Cooch bait & switch on Virginia? Vote. Just vote.

Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli are pulling a bait and switch on Virginia.

These two guys have been cultural warriors their entire public lives. How can anyone believe that once they find themselves in power that they are going to change their stripes?

Indeed, no sooner did they feel assured of victory than they began to show their true colors. As this article clearly demonstrates. Bob McDonnell contradicted a promise he made at a debate within 48 hours concerning both protecting a woman’s constitutional right to choose and non-discrimination against homosexuals. And in the last week, McDonnell has simply reaffirmed these positions.

Bob McDonnell is spitting in all of our faces. In the faces of all Virginians.

The only question is whether we will let them get away with it.

Democrats and moderates in the Commonwealth have the power to stop them.

All we need to do is vote.

That’s it. Just vote.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sleeping Giants

As Democrats fret over polls showing Creigh getting clobbered, my eye caught something Joe Abbey recently told C’ville Weekly, Charlottesville’s weekly alternative periodical.

Here is what the paper wrote:
Deeds’ campaign is optimistic that polls are wrong because the pollsters don’t consider those who voted for the first time in 2008 as likely voters.

“We’ve been calling them our sleeping giants,” said Deeds campaign manager Joe Abbey. “They’re not showing up in the polls, but if they show up at the polls on Election Day, then it will be game over.”

Jus' sayin'.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

McDonnell promises to defund planned parenthood

So much for Bob McDonnell's promises that he will not impose his exreme, Conservative, Pat Robertson social values on the entire Commonwealth.

From Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia:
On Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell revealed plans to single out and de-fund Planned Parenthood upon entering office as Governor of Virginia.

Speaking to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, McDonnell was asked, "Can you promise that as Governor you'll use the veto pen to ensure that Virginians' tax dollars are not used to fund Planned Parenthood or abortion?" McDonnell responded by saying, "Yeah, I've said that I would do that...that'll be part of what we'll get done." (Watch here)

"McDonnell has tried to hide his ideological background throughout this campaign. However, with the polls favoring him to win the Governor's race, he reveals his true colors on conservative talk radio," said Jessica Honke, Director of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV). "The fact is Bob McDonnell is out of step and out of touch with voters and the wrong choice for Virginia. As Governor, he will continue the anti-choice and anti-women's health policies he's pushed since his first day in public office."

McDonnell's plan to defund Planned Parenthood is an attack on basic, preventative health care. If Planned Parenthood were defunded, tens of thousands of women and families would lose access to prevention services, including pap smears, cancer screenings, gynecological exams, family planning counseling and services, HIV and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment and a host of community education programs emphasizing healthy relationships and lifestyles. Furthermore, McDonnell's statement is factually inaccurate; no state funding goes to the provision of abortion-related services. In 2008 and 2009, an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood was defeated.

As a legislator, McDonnell sponsored over 35 pieces of legislation designed to chip away at a woman's right to choose. He is opposed to reproductive choice, even in cases of rape or incest, voted to allow pharmacist to refuse Emergency Contraception and supports Bush-era abstinence-only policies that are medically inaccurate and dangerous to teens.

Additionally, he voted against common-sense legislation that would help ensure women could access contraception at their local pharmacy, voted against a bill declaring that contraception was not a form of abortion, voted against allowing public universities to distribute Emergency Contraception, and voted against requiring discussion in schools of the importance of post-rape medical help.

"McDonnell has repeatedly jeopardized women's health through divisive attacks on Planned Parenthood," said Honke, "At a time when more and more families in Virginia are uninsured and under financial strain, we can't afford to elect a Governor who will create more barriers to affordable health care. Virginians are looking for solutions, not politics as usual."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

McDonnell Position on Opt Out Now Poses Real Danger to Virginia

Now that it looks as though the U.S. Congress is going to pass health care reform with a public option that will include an opt out provision for individual states, the stakes are higher in Virginia’s gubernatorial race, and it is worthwhile to examine the respective positions of each candidate on this critical issue.

While it is true that Creigh’s position on this – when asked about it hypothetically, he said he would look at what was passed and make a decision on whether to opt out based on whether it was good for Virginia – is less that I would like, Bob McDonnell’s position – a blanket promise that under his leadership Virginia would opt out of any public option – was irrational.

In the absract, I suppose, this was merely yet another case of ideology trumping facts and common sense when it comes to Bob McDonnell’s worldview. Take a look at McDonnell’s views on the environment, where he has politically declared off shore drilling environmentally safe despite much conflicting evidence, or on transportation, where he has put any new revenue source off limits despite abundant evidence that it will be necessary, or on climate change, where he has simply refused to recognize the irrefutable science.

Bob McDonnell might not be a member of the Flat Earth Society, but he is damn close.

Still, on each of these issues, the consequences to average citizens of McDonnell’s ideological positions seems speculative or remote. It’s tough for folks in, say, Charlottesville to appreciate how they will be hurt by off-shore drilling, and even the consequences of climate change seem like science fiction to most people. Furthermore, the negative effects of all of these will likely be gradual, so people will have the opportunity to adapt and time goes on.

Perhaps a few weeks ago, given the uncertainty of health care reform in Congress, the hypothetical opt out issue debate between Creigh and McDonnell was similar -- fodder for debate among policy wonks and political nerds, but no immediate practical consequence for Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public.

Given Sen. Reid’s comments yesterday, however, that is no longer the case. A public option with an opt out for states looks more probable today than two weeks ago, and so the candidates’ positions on this critical issue is more significant than it was.

And in light of that, Bob McDonnell’s position has gone from merely irrational to irresponsible, if not disqualifying him from the office he seeks.

Here’s why.

As far as Bob McDonnell is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether the public option would ultimately be good or bad for Virginians. He will just opt out.

But in this issue, lives are at stake, literally, and there is nothing abstract about that. At the very least, Virginia deserves a Governor who will honestly and intelligently evaluate the facts in front of him and come to a reasonable and considered decision, not simply be driven by an ideology, no matter how sincerely believed, that government is bad.

Evaluating the facts, the benefits versus the liabilities, is exactly what Creigh says he will do. It is exactly what Virginia needs.

It is, also, the exactly what Bob McDonnell says he will not do. He has made his decision, facts be damned.

Look, I don’t think McDonnell is callous or doesn’t care about people. I do think, however, he is a prisoner of an ideology from which he cannot break loose, and that it leads to ill-considered decisions that have serious consequences, intended or not.

I am amazed how, in light of this, any reasonably informed Virginian can cast a vote for Bob McDonnell.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Showing Up

Judging by the backbiting and recriminations that have spilled over to the pages of the Washington Post, Democrats are stoically steeling themselves for a tough defeat on Nov. 3 by building the foundation to blame someone else.

Indeed, this argument has been going on in the blogs since June, when Creigh won the primary. Of course, memes move faster and more intensely in cyberspace.

In my view, there is still an election to be had, however, and as long as that is the case, anyone who cares about what will happen in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the next four years, at least, should focus on the question of what they can do to help Creigh win this election, because if recent elections have shown anything, they have shown that Republicans can no longer beat Democrats in Virginia; Democrats can only beat themselves.

The other day, conservative blog Bearing Drift carried a very interesting post about Bob McDonnell’s lead in the polls. Pregressives should listen. Here is what they had to say:
Polls are not strictly predictors. They do not foretell exactly what people are going to do. Rather, they are snapshots. They tell us what the results are likely to be should people show up on Election Day in the same numbers as the particular poll presumes they will.

In other words, the reliability of a poll is dependent upon the actual electorate closely resembling the pollsters’ sample. That is why it is important to look beyond the top-line results of these polls to understand what these polls are telling us about the potential electorate. That is also why the accuracy of a particular poll does not necessarily carry over from election to election. Quite simply, human beings are rather unpredictable.


If Republicans are to win this election, however, it is going to take more than simply hoping the other side decides not to show up.

But, you know, the fact is that all Bob McDonnell does have for him in this election is hoping Democrats do not show up. Look at every poll – they go Bob’s way because the composition of likely voters is disproportionately heavy with Republicans and Conservatives compared to recent statewide Virginia elections.

Indeed, it seems sometimes that is how Republicans and Conservatives see the path to victory in every race: deter the other side from showing up to vote. Sometimes, they use sleazy tactics, like caging, and sometimes they use blatantly illegal ones, likie giving voters false information. GOP opposition to motor voter laws, or their insitance on picture IDs to register to vote, are all aimed at depressing turnout and voting rights.

So, leaving aside all the crap in the papers and the blogs about campaign strategy, and leaving aside all the parsing of policy, in the end we will be left with a choice between two people with very different worldviews and outlooks on the role of government in our lives.

if we show up, Creigh will win and Bob will lose – simple as that.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Hey, Virginia: WAKE UP!

A while back, I wrote a post about how Bob McDonnell’s gubernatorial campaign resembled that of George W. Bush’s for president in 2000, in the sense that in each case the candidate’s success in the media and polls seemed to be based more on the perception that he was a good guy rather than a meaningful assessment of what kind of chief executive he would make, based on an analysis of their lifelong records and the substance of their political positions.

In retrospect, of course, it was all too clear by the Fall of 2000, or should have been all to clear to any reasonable person, that if elected that George W. Bush would fubar the country as badly as he did.

I’ll leave it to historians and the many millions of people smarter and more astute than I to analyze exactly what happened and why during the Bush presidency, but long before he became president, George W. Bush had a clear record of incompetence and failure in virtually everything he had attempted as an adult.

Why on Earth was anyone surprised when he turned out to be a failure as President also, leaving the rest of us to grapple with the insecurity, fear and difficulty of living through the worst economy since the Great Depression

So, what do we learn about Bob McDonnell from this?

More than anything else, Bob McDonnell’s past tells us that the most lasting historical legacy of his administration, should he be elected, will probably be the implementation of extremist social policies. Bob McDonnell has always been, and still is, first and foremost a culture warrior.

Need proof? A day after suggesting at a debate that he would not focus on pursuing his conservative social agenda were he elected governor, but would focus on jobs and the economy, Mr. McDonnell gave a speech at Liberty University where, perhaps feeling confident of victory on Nov. 3, he let his guard down and, to loud cheering, defiantly asserted that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that as governor he will tirelessly protect the unborn.

(BTW, lets none of us get into an argument over semantics and pretend that we don’t know what Mr. McDonnell means, i.e., that gay people will burn for all eternity in Hell on account of their deviant sexual practices and that official government discrimination against such people is not only acceptable, it is encouraged. Indeed, Bob McDonnell pursued this exact policy, to the extent he could, as Attorney General. As for abortion, I suspect we will see some of the strictest limitations in the U.S., especially if Ken Cuccinelli is Attorney General. Why would anyone think that two politicians who have spent their entire public lives espousing extreme pro-life positions would finally get into office and not act in a manner consistent with the tenets that have guided them their entire lives? Does that make sense to anyone?)

Mr. McDonnell has praised the economic record and policies of George W. Bush and suggested he would follow a similar policy, were he elected Governor – presumably, tax cuts for the wealthy, reducing government regulation of the financial sector and generally favoring big business at the expense of workers. In the conservative ideology, it does not matter if these policies produce poor results. Lower taxes and smaller government are the goals themselves, and as an ideological matter, low taxes and less involved government are always virtuous, without regard the actual effect such policies may have on the lives of actual people.

Lowell at Blue Virginia has a great post up about looking to California as a predictor of what Virginia might look like as a result of a McDonnell administration following such economic policies:
If Virginia elects [McDonnell], they can look to California as an example of what happens when conservative "starve the beast" economics meets a transitioning 21st century economy: start with gross, across the board underinvestment in public education, from pre-K to city colleges & public universities. Pile on deficits because the government needs to spend on is going to be debt-financed. Watch wages stagnate and unemployment climb even in up business cycles, and then shoot up when the business cycle goes flat, because all the tax cuts and resulting mountains of debt prevent counter-cyclical public sector spending. Don't forge the massive, always-growing inequality (and the resulting increases in political polarization) because the tax cuts are always somehow tilted towards either rich individuals or corporations, or both.

So, when I hear people say they are not excited about voting for Creigh, or that there is an enthusiasm gap, or that they just won’t vote, I just want to tell them to think about it this way:

When you vote, it is not for the sake of the politicians running for office, it is for your own sake.

Get out and vote for Creigh. Not for Creigh’s benefit, but for your own sake.

If Creigh is going to win this race, it will not be because of some magical canvassing or phone-banking operation that we haven’t yet seen;

If Creigh is going to win this race, it won’t be because he is suddenly going to become a smooth orator;

If Creigh is going to win this race, it won’t be because he will suddenly adopt the kinds of Progressive positions that many on the left would like to see;

And if Creigh is going to win this race, it won’t be because the mass of low-information voters out there who are getting their news from the MSM and who are tilting this race McDonnell’s way are suddenly going to get a new flood of information to change their minds.

Creigh will win this race because each of us on our own will have taken it upon ourselves to get out and vote, to get our friends and family out to vote.

It will be because each of is taking personal responsibility for the future of the Commonwealth.

The votes are out there.

Here’s a simple idea. Send an e-mails to five friends today who are not politically involved, and remind them how important it is to vote for Creigh.

Or the Virginia we have begun to take for granted, one that is moving in a inexorably positive and progressive direction, may be no more.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Creigh's Depressing Comment On The Public Option

This exchange during tonight’s debate left me deflated:
Question: "Mr. Deeds, and would you go against some of your fellow Democrats and against the public plan?"

Creigh Deeds:
"I'm not afraid of going against my fellow Democrats when I think they're wrong...Public option isn't required in my view, I think we have to do two things with health care, we have to reduce costs so more people can afford insurance and we have to increase coverage. I share those broad goals. I don't think the public option is necessary in any plan and I think Virginia...I would certainly consider opting out if that were available to Virginia. We have to find ways to increase competition in order to reduce costs..."

First, not only is Creigh clearly wrong on this – no health care reform can possibly succeed without some form of government-provided health insurance that provides meaningful competition to drive the cost of health care down – I don’t get the political calculation.

Democrats should be championing the public option, not running away from it, for two reasons. First, it is clearly the right policy that will lead to providing affordable health care to the people who are most hurting now – middle class families. If, as Democrats, we are not all about supporting the middle class, then we are in the wrong party.

Now, far right-wingers have demonized the public option as government-run health care. Creigh’s answer seems to buy into this bogus criticism. No Democrat should buy into this. We are the party of using government to make the lives of people better.

Finally, this was a chance for Creigh to really draw a distinction with Bob McDonnell on a critical issue. By unequivocally stating he would opt Virginia out of the public option were it passed by Congress, Bob McDonnell is saying that he would damage the health of every man, woman and child in Virginia for the sake of his extreme right wing ideology. Further, McDonnell’s critique of the public option was merely a recitation of talking points that are in some cases dishonest and in others simply wrong, but that have been in both cases fully debunked. The bottom line is that the “private sector, market-based solution” is what got us in the mess we’re in.

What an opportunity to lead and teach folks on a key issue that would not only be right and moral, but would also tap into to modern populist history of the Democratic Party beginning with Franklin Roosevelt.

Instead, Creigh tried to hedge on this critical issue, in the hopes of picking up votes from people who are not going to support him anyway.

This was just a blown opportunity to redefine this race around a winning issue.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Does Bob McDonnell Believe in Evolution?

Well, now that we know Bob McDonnell is uncertain about whether human activity is causing climate change on our planet, I wonder what Mr. McDonnell's views are on Evolution and the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools?

I would be very curious to know, for example, whether Mr. McDonnell accepts the Theory of Evolution, in the sense that humans evolved into our present form, or whether is he a Biblical literalist like his mentor Pat Robertson, who completely rejects Evolution as an explanation for human existence and contends G-d created the universe in seven days as set forth in Genesis.

But even if Mr. McDonnell chooses not to share his personal belief on that score with the voters, he should specifically answer whether as Governor, would Bob McDonnell permit, or even advocate, the teaching of Intelligent Design in science classes along with Evolution, or any place else in Virginia's public schools? Would he limit the teaching of Evolution in any way in our public schools?

These are legitimate questions to ask for several reasons.

First, it involves the education of our children, and so these questions are not really about Mr. McDonnell's personal beliefs, but the extent to which those personal beliefs would manifest themselves into public policy.

Second, given his aforementioned comments about climate change, Mr. McDonnell has demonstrated that he views science through a lends of ideology. That is his right, but voters have an even more powerful right to know what he believes.

Finally, and not to beat a dead horse, there is Mr. McDonnell's background at Regent University. His alma mater is steeped in advocating the teaching of Creationism in public schools.

1. At a 2007 "Faith, Facts and Evolution Conference" held at the school, for example, seminars included the following, all of which are designed to train participants to create the impression that Intelligent Design is science that is on equal footing with Evolution, and should be taught in schools::
- Tools for Resolution: A Scientific Model of Creation – Dr. Hugh Ross
- Origin of Life: Comparing Models – Dr. Fazale Rana
- Scientific Challenges to the Evolution Model – Dr. Fazale Rana
- Scientific Support for the Creation Model – Dr. Fazale Rana
- Cosmic Design: Fine Tuning the Universe – Dr. Hugh Ross
- Cosmic Design (cont’d) – Dr. Hugh Ross

2. As for the school's founder, Rev. Robertson's belief in Creationism has gone much further than mere personal belief on his part, and into the realm of advocacy of teaching Creationism in public schools. In 2005, the Rev. Robertson condemned the town of Dover, PA, for example, suggesting G-d might smite it down, for ousting a school board that had advocated the teaching of Creationism as science.

3. Finally, consider this 2005 LTE from Dr. William Cox, Professor and Director of the Christian School Program at Regent, to the Virginia Pilot, stating:
If intelligent design is banned as theory from discussion on the basis of a “faith” orientation, so should evolution be banned. If evolution is allowed in the classroom, then so must be intelligent design. To do otherwise is to hold a double standard in both science and religion.

Of course, not all of the beliefs prevalent at Regent should automatically be attributed to Mr. McDonnell, but given his official positions with the school, and the school's mission to train graduates to implement Regent's fundamentalist tenets as public policy, it is fair to ask which ideas he adheres to and which ones he does not.

I don't really care what Mr. McDonnell thinks about Evolution privately, or what he chooses to teach his children about it.

But I profoundly care what he proposes to teach mine.

Bob McDonnell: Invisible With No Secrets to Conceal

The Washington Post’s endorsement of Creigh this morning (see Hokie Guru's post here) hits the nail right on the head when it comes to articulating why Creigh is the clearly superior choice to Bob McDonnell to be our next governor.

While I don’t typically subscribe to the notion that newspaper editorials make a huge difference in voters’ decisions – voters have a nasty habit for reaching their own decisions for their own reasons – I think this one will resonate for the remainder of the campaign and make a huge difference.

Not because the WaPo chose to endorse Creigh over McDonnell – that was expected – but because while the right-of-center Post editorial board tried to argue that its differences with Bob McDonnell “are on questions of policy,” they are barely able to hide the clear disdain they feel for the GOP candidate and the campaign he has run.

Consider the following characterizations of McDonnell from the editorial:

-- “Mr. McDonnell has staked out the intolerant terrain on his party's right wing[.]

-- “Mr. McDonnell lacks … political spine[.]”

-- “Mr. McDonnell … remains in denial.”

-- “Virginians should not confuse Mr. McDonnell's adept oratory for wisdom[.]”

And, of course, the worst cut of all:

-- “He is a dexterous politician.”

As this race has wound down to its final weeks, the question hanging heavy in the air for Democrats is whether Creigh can win it, in light of the numerous polls showing McDonnell beating him. The state’s Republicans are already filling Cabinet posts.

They should wait.

I’m not interested in arguing about the methodologies or results of these polls, and I don’t quibble that their internals are consistent with the overall results, although I would argue that this consistency is derived from the potential flaw all these polls share.

The question surrounding these polls is the extent to which their likely voter screens are accurately predicting who will show up on Election Day. In that regard, these polls do not so much show a persuadable electorate that is choosing McDonnell over Creigh as much as they suggest an electorate that has been stacked against Creigh from the start.

On the one hand, these polls may be accurate gauging an electorate ready to turn on Democrats as a result of various political and social forces largely beyond the control of either candidate in the race, and capturing the vicissitudes of the national discussion and political scene.

But given Virginia’s recent electoral history demonstrating a clear trend towards Democrats (even discounting 2008 as an once-in-a-lifetime election), and the circumstances of this specific race, the evidence suggests that that these polls are wrong because they are flying in the face of common sense.

It is not that I am unaware that many of my fellow Virginians simply see the issues and candidates from a different, more conservative perspective, than I do. There are loyal Republicans and Conservative ideologues that would vote for McDonnell even if it were proved he regularly engaged in bestiality.

I don’t even argue with Republicans comprising a larger share of likely voters than Democrats, even though this is not consistent with the trend either in Virginia or nationally, to the extent that this denotes some sort of enthusiasm gap.

Rather, it is the dominance McDonnell is showing in these polls among self-described Independents – even Conservative-leaning ones – that simply doesn’t track with the facts of the race, or the reality of each candidate so adeptly captured today by the Washington Post.

According to the Post, McDonnell has run “a disciplined, focused, policy-oriented campaign.” Perhaps. But as the Post makes clear, he has also run a dishonest and cowardly campaign.

I think it is hard for voters, confronted with this, to admit that it is really happening. Can any even slightly informed person actually believe Bob McDonnell is a moderate on the issue of choice or gay rights, as he pretends to be?

I have faith that when presented with the facts, independent-minded voters will make the right decisions. On issue after issue – transportation, education, the environment, the right to choose, anti-gay discrimination – analysis of the candidates’ positions and records demonstrate that Bob McDonnell will be a disaster for Virginia.

That is the fundamental issue in this race. And it is because the Post editorial so clearly explains this truth that it will resonate across the Commonwealth.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Washington Post Endorsed Creigh Deeds for Governor of Virginia

Great news... the Washington Post endorsed Creigh Deeds for Governor of Virginia.

And here's what they say about batshit crazy Taliban Bob McDonnell (who hides behind his wife and children in television commercials):

Mr. McDonnell has staked out the intolerant terrain on his party's right wing, fighting a culture war that seized his imagination as a law student in the Reagan era.

Yet Mr. McDonnell, champion of a revenue-starved status quo, remains in denial. He professes to feel the pain of Virginians struggling with financial hard times. In fact his transportation policy, a blueprint for stagnation and continuing deterioration, would subvert the state's prospects for economic recovery and long-term growth. And it would only deepen the misery of Northern Virginia commuters who already pay a terrible price -- economic, personal and psychological -- because of the state's long neglect of its roads.

As for Mr. McDonnell, he deserves credit for having run a disciplined, focused, policy-oriented campaign. As a candidate, a statewide official and a lawmaker, he has maintained a civil, personable manner. His intellectual agility, even temper and facility with the grit of policy have inspired the respect of colleagues, staffers and rivals. He is a dexterous politician.

Our differences with him are on questions of policy. The clamor surrounding his graduate dissertation from 1989, in which he disparaged working women, homosexuals, "fornicators" and others of whom he disapproved, has tended to obscure rather than illuminate fair questions about the sort of governor he would make. Based on his 14-year record as a lawmaker -- a record dominated by his focus on incendiary wedge issues -- we worry that Mr. McDonnell's Virginia would be one where abortion rights would be curtailed; where homosexuals would be treated as second-class citizens; where information about birth control would be hidden; and where the line between church and state could get awfully porous. That is a prescription for yesterday's Virginia, not tomorrow's.

Mr. McDonnell has inspired a worthwhile debate over privatizing liquor sales in Virginia, one of 18 states that control the wholesale and retail trade in spirits. But by suggesting the state could use the proceeds of privatization as an ongoing funding source for road improvements, he has played fast and loose with the facts -- first by plucking projected revenue figures from thin air and second by glossing over the question of what state services he would cut if the $100 million currently gleaned from annual liquor sales could be diverted for transportation.

Mr. McDonnell has sought to corner Mr. Deeds by focusing on debates in Washington over energy policy, labor union membership and other contentious federal issues. But a governor of Virginia can do little to influence the ideologically charged debates raging on Capitol Hill. Mr. McDonnell also has claimed he would be more effective at creating jobs. Yet while Mr. McDonnell has been an activist public servant, he has no significant record, either as a lawmaker or as attorney general, of promoting policies to encourage job growth.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Organizing for Virginia 2009 and President Barack Obama's Visit in Support of Creigh Deeds

First, Democrats are making a big weekend push in Virginia to campaign for Creigh Deeds. President Barack Obama's campaign arm, Organizing for America, sent e-mails to thousands of members in DC and Maryland asking for 5000 volunteer hours. If you can get out, please do because this race is about more than Virginia. Deeds will appear at six events with DNC Chairman and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine and Jody Wagner, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, in Northern Virginia. Anita Kumar from the Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog has more here.

Second, Rosalind Hilderman (from the Washington Post's Virginia Politics Blog), tells us that President Barack Obama is coming to Virginia on October 27, 2009 to campaign in support Creigh Deeds and the rest of the Virginia Democratic ticket. We'll bring you more details when we have them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ask not what your President can do for you

Interesting item, from the Adam Nagourney article in today’s New York Times:
A White House that has shown no hesitation to delve into state race [sic] across the country … has been struggling to figure out how to deal with Virginia. Mr. Deeds’ aides have pleaded with the White House to send Mr. Obama into the state; they have yet to agree.

“The most precious commodity we have is the president’s time, and we have to appropriate it on a rational basis between now and Election Day,” said David Axelrod, a senior advisor to Mr. Obama.

Now, that comment is simply hilarious, especially in light of the convincing defenses offered by Mr. alelrod in defending Obama's trip to Copenhagen.

Mr. Axelrod, however, apparently believes he can say just about anything and by infusing that quality in Mr. Obama, it will be taken seriously. Here, try this on to see what I mean: “The most precious commodity we have is the president’s sense of fashion when it comes to mixing and matching colors and textures, and we have to appropriate it on a rational basis between now and Election Day,” said David Axelrod, a senior advisor to Mr. Obama.)

To anyone who has been paying to attention to Obama’s nine months in office, one thing has become clear to me. This presidency is not about the economy, or energy, or any particular policy. The Obama presidency is about Obama, nothing more, nothing less. Everything else is a means to an end.

Thus, Obama does not ask himself how he can help Democrats win in Virginia. Rather, Axlerod’s comments make clear that Obama is concerned with how Virginia will help him.

The calculation at this point seems to be that Creigh will lose this race, and if Obama gets too involved, then the Virginia gubernatorial results can be spun as a referendum on Obama. But if the president does not get too involved, then Obama gets to spin the race as a local contest in which Obama was not front and center.

Right off the bat, I draw two conclusions from this:

Creigh was absolutely correct not to rely on Obama’s Virginia coalition in trying to win this race. He correctly read that Obama would be a follower, not a leader, in the election. Had Creigh relied on Obama, this election would be lost. As it is, Creigh is behind, but the election remains winnable.

For all the talk of change and a transformational presidency, Obama is just another typical politician, clinging onto power for power’s sake. I still support him and am in line with his overall goals and governing philosophy, but he is not a Democratic Party leader.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hat Tip - Blue Virginia - Taliban Bob McDonnell Scares off Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman apparently thinks that Taliban Bob is too right-wing for reality.

Lowell has more!!

Bob McDonnell's Macaca Moment - Sheila Johnson

It made Hardball :)

George Allen, Bob McDonnell, and Sheila Johnson = Macaca

Hat Tip - Not Larry Sabato - Sheila Johnson Does the Dirty for Bob McDonnell

It is absolute bullsh*t that Sheila Johnson would make fun of a political candidate with a slight speech impairment. That's what she did to Creigh Deeds, an honest, nice, hard-working, intelligent man. Not Larry Sabato has more. Now, to her credit, she did apologize later... but...

No apology from the Taliban Bob McDonnell campaign. Stay classy, Batshit Crazy Bob!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Taliban Bob McDonnell is not taking anything back from his batshit crazy Christan Broadcasting Network (CBN) thesis, which depicts his Pat Robertson-esque right-wing views on the role of women on society.


Blue Virginia (Hat Tip): McDonnell "All Porn Makes You Gay" Thesis Story Makes Rachael Maddow

Apparently, Taliban Bob McDonnell thinks that pornography makes young boys gay.

Lowell has more on Batshit Crazy, Bob McDonnell and the story of his thesis that made Rachel Maddow's television show on MSNBC.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Creigh Deeds Showing Leadership on Virginia Transportation Issues

Well, it takes a lot of courage to come out and say that you'll take a politically difficult position of signing legislation that is the product of bipartisan compromise that provides a comprehensive transportation solution for the State of Virginia... even if it might raise taxes during a recession. And that's what Creigh Deeds did today.

Let me be clear regarding taxes. I will sign a bill that is the product of bipartisan compromise that provides a comprehensive transportation solution. As a legislator, I have voted for a number of mechanisms to fund transportation, including a gas tax. And I'll sign a bipartisan bill with a dedicated funding mechanism for transportation -- even if it includes new taxes.

To build a bipartisan consensus to find that new revenue, and to ensure the best chance of passage, all options for funding will be on the table. We will need every legislator committed to finding a solution. In my 18 years in the legislature, I've learned that the best way to reach compromise is to be open to all ideas and get everyone involved.

Bob McDonnell has pledged not to sign a transportation bill with new revenue. His approach is to pay for transportation with money from the general fund. As The Post's Frederick Kunkle has reported, "general funds are raised from a variety of sources, such as individual and corporate income taxes. These funds can be spent . . . at the discretion of the General Assembly and the governor. The majority of the money in the general fund goes to education (45.9 percent), with the rest to health and human resources (24.2 percent) and public safety (11.1 percent)."

I do not support taking funds from these critical priorities to pay for roads. More important, neither will the General Assembly. Republicans and Democrats are on record opposing McDonnell's funding proposals.

McDonnell's idea of using general funds for transportation is not new. In 2007, an editorial in the Daily Press of Hampton Roads said that McDonnell urged "the General Assembly to exploit the gap in state road funding as a rationale for reducing state spending on education, public safety, health care and conservation. That such an ideological purpose lies behind the Republican transportation proposal has been implied all along. McDonnell made it explicit."

We can't solve this problem without new revenue. My opponent is playing political shell games, being dishonest about his revenue projections. And his idea to take funds from education, health care and public safety to pay for transportation is dead on arrival.

My approach is honest, straightforward -- and the only one that can succeed. Working together, we'll get Virginia moving again.

Creigh Deeds just served Bob McDonnell some leadership.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Women Ain't Happy With Bob McDonnell

Tsk Tsk... Taliban Bob!!

And yet Taliban Bob uses the family as a shield.

Sad state of affairs for the batshit crazy McDonnell campaign.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bob McDonnell: Rewriting His Record - Sponsored 35 Bills Restricting Abortion Rights

It's getting a bit closer to Election Day and people need to know that Taliban Bob McDonnell is to the right of Attila the Hun. This hasn't received enough play... so back by popular demand... here is Bob McDonnell's "record"... I think he hates women...

VOTE FOR CREIGH DEEDS... Creigh is the only candidate you can trust to protect female rights.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Just a Couple a More Photos

Bob McDonnell introduces himself to David Gregory before the debate. McDonnell was pretty funny. "I'm looking forward to your questions," he said, then adding after a pause, "Well, I'm not sure yet. I'll let you know."

Creigh waiting to go on stage

Some Backstatge Photos From Debate

Apologize for lousy quality:

David Gregory heading off to do last minute prep

Bob McDonnell pacing around waiting to be introduced, while his staff stresses out:

Two shots of Creigh as he blew past me toward the auditorium:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Righty Blog Roundup: Conservatives reduced to laughable attacks on the WaPo

Over at Conservative blogs, bloggers have apparently abandoned any attempt to defend Bob McDonnell in connection with his thesis. Sure, the campaign and its defenders in the Righty Blogosphere have argued that the thesis is twenty years old, or that it is dirty pool to even discuss it, ot that it is irrelevant, but nowhere, as far as I can tell, have Conservatives even attempted to defend the views McDonnell expresses in the thesis, as opposed to trying to explain why they don't matter or have evolved into more Progressive attitudes.

Indeed, Righty blogs have ceased discussing McDonnell at all.

Consider, for example, the last six days of posts at Too Conservative, one of the better right-leaning blogs in the Commonwealth:

Sept 16:
* Rich Anderson Video

Sept. 15:
* 9/15 Reports: House of Delegates Round-Up
* 9/15 Statewide Fundraising Numbers

Sept. 14:
* NRA Endorses Bob (the sole post about McDonnell, the entire commentary of which reads, “Great news for the campaign.”
* You Report: Sign Wars

Sept. 10:
* HD-42: Dave Albo Up On Television
* HD-41: Bwana Goes After “Dug Out” Dave Marsden
* Lt. Governor Bolling’s First Ad
* HD-86: The Stevens Miller Mess He Hopes to Leave Behind

Other blogs with less class than Too Conservative have turned instead to simply attacking both Creigh and the Washington Post, the latter apparently for breaking the thesis story.

Of course, the argument that the Post broke the story in order to damage McDonnell's candidacy doesn't hold up because it was McDonnell himself who tipped WaPo reporter Amy Gardner off to the existence of the thesis in the first place.

Well, it had to happen, I guess. Somehow, some way, that inconvenient fact had to be dealt with.

A post this evening at Conservative blog Bearing Drift that tries to do that by attacking Gardner caught my attention for two reasons: first, for its sheer idiocy; and second, for showing the depths to which McDonnell's acolytes have to sink in order to plead on his behalf.

You can link to the post here:

Oppo-research on Bolling papers indicates McDonnell thesis was not an innocent find

Let me see if I can explain the logic of this post.

Bill Bolling, it seems, told a radio interviewer that shortly after the McDonnell thesis story broke, he learned that Democrats were doing some oppo research on his college writings.

Well, that seems to have made perfect sense to Bolling. Makes sense to me, too. Heck, based on the onging fallout in Thesis-acaca, there's obviously gold in them thar theses! I mean, of course they are being researched, by Democratic oppo-research teams, as well as Republican ones. Sheesh.

But here is what Bearing Drift then concludes from this set of facts:
Bolling said the call came shortly after the story broke, so it’s possible the Democrats were clued into doing this type of oppo-research on the rest of the field after reading the story. However, it’s awfully coincidental.

Got that? The obvious order of event, that Democrats were clued into the oppo-research of old college writings of other candidates by the thesis story, is not likely and logical, merely "possible ... [but] awfully coincidental."

And from that, Bearing Drift asserts about Gardner:
She [Gardner] went onto write “McDonnell brought up the paper in reference to a pair of Republican congressmen whom he interviewed as part of his research. McDonnell then offered: ‘I wrote my thesis on welfare policy.’”

Yet she was very quick to look into the thesis after the interview.

Was this passing comment in the interview that interesting to her? Was it vitally important to her investigative research to learn more about it?

Not likely…especially given this new piece of information:

Now, let me get this straight. Research undertaken by Democrats following the publication of Garner’s article on McDonnell’s thesis is evidence that Gardner was not telling the truth about learning of the thesis from McDonnell himself?

Pathetically, this is what Republicans have been reduced to in trying to defend Bob McDonnell and his indefensible thesis. This reasoning makes less sense than the logic I used to convince myself last Sunday that, yes, the Redskins could conceivable beat the Giants in the opener, and that is saying a lot.

In all seriousness, if Bob McDonnell would only come clean and admit that this thesis reflects his true feelings on these issues, then he can get on with his campaign. He can defend his views, and voters can decide for themselves whether his positions matter to them or not. He won't do that, of course, because as he knows, voters would overwhelmingly reject his extremist views.

But denying the obvious truth, and instead falsely and maliciously attacking the credibility and motivations of reporters who are doing a pretty good job, is unfair, unwarranted and uncalled for.

Not to mention amusing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Choices Are Pretty Clear in Virginia's 7th Congressional District

Who would you rather have as your represenatative?

Choice 1 - Charlie Diradour


Choice 2 - Eric Cantor

Geez... I know what you're thinking... why is this even an issue? Cantor is a douchebag.

Keith Olbermann Picks up on Bob "F-Bomb" McDonnell


Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

McDonnell Campaign Running Scared

Internal e-mails from Bob McDonnell's campaign reveal that they are worried about the impact of his Chistian Broadcasting Network master's degree thesis (Hat Tip: NLS).

Aznew and the Hokie Guru have written extensively about Taliban Bob's extreme views on gays, lesbians, women, and several other topics from his thesis here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here. and here.

McDonnell campaign spokersperson, Taylor Thornley, actually gives 30 talking points to supporters to use when writing letters to the editor on behalf of McDonnell. Apparently, Taliban Bob is worried that the thesis he wrote (when he was 34 effin' years old) might have an impact on women, independent, and moderate voters. Duh?!?!?


I was really disappointed that the major media outlets did not pick up this story (Hat-Tip NLS) about Bob's swearing up an storm on WTOP News. Makes me wonder if Bobby broke any Federal Communications Commission laws regarding profanity in public airwaves. Maybe the "F-Bomb" is okay?

Tsk tsk... once again, bloggers have to clean up after the mainstream media.

1:07 PM, September 13, 2009 Update - Congratulations to NLS!!! NBC Washington picked up his great story (you can see it here)!!!

Washington Post Roundup - What the Voter Needs to Know about Bob McDonnell

College football season started recently so if you're like me, you're glued to the television or you are watching this great game in person (like me at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, VA... GO HOKIES!!) on Saturdays (or Sundays if you are an NFL fan). That means you might not get the time to read the Washington Post newspaper or catch up on political news as often as you would like. So, the purpose of this post is just to give you, the reader, a quick summary of the news about Taliban Bob McDonnell, the Republican Party candidate for Governor in Virginia (and his ads on television do not say that he is a Republican... he's lying... if you omit this fact, you are a liar). Here we go:

  • On Monday, August 17, 2009, a Washington Post editorial suggested that it is completely legitimate to question Bob McDonnell's record on social issues. After all, "determining access and limits on abortion remains to a large extent within a state's, and a governor's, purview." And Bob McDonnell "sponsored 35 bill to restrict access to the procedure." Bob McDonnell is trying to remake is image as a centrist, but anyone who sponsors 35 bills to restrict access to abortion is basically part of the Taliban wing of the Republican Party.

  • On Sunday, August 30, 2009, Amy Gardner broke the story about Bob McDonnell's thesis that he wrote for his master's graduate degree from Christian Broadcasting Network University (the school was founded by Pat Robertson and is now named Regent University). In the thesis, Bob McDonnell stated that working women are detrimental to the family and feminisim is among the "real enimies of traditional family." In Bob McDonnell's world, IF A WOMAN IS RAPED, she should be denied the right to have an abortion. And if you are single or gay or a woman, good luck in Bob McDonnell's world.

  • On Tuesday, September 1, 2009, the Washington Post stressed in its editorial that Bob McDonnell pursued a socially conservative agenda (largely in line with his thesis) over his 14 years in the Commonwealth's General Assembly. Bob McDonnell is trying to remake himself into a centrist politician... but people deserve to know where the man's views are different today. We think he is a "Culture Warrier."

  • On Tuesday, September 1, 2009, popular Virginia governor, Tim Kaine, suggested that the thesis would serve is a blueprint for how Bob McDonnell would govern the Commonwealth. We couldn't agree.

  • On Wednesday, September 2, 2009, Washington Post Columnist, Ruth Marcus, really gives us the cold hard truth on Bob McDonnell's thesis that we've referred to several times in this post. Bob McDonnell wrote this anti-women, anti-gay, and anti-single people manifesto when he was 34 effin' years old. Bob McDonnell was not a "young college student" at the time. According to Marcus, "McDonnell, actually, was 34 in 1989. He had already earned a bachelor's and master's degree in business and served in the Army. He was getting a combined law and second master's degree -- while interning at the U.S. House Republican Policy Committee and preparing to run for the Virginia House of Delegates." So, Virginia Voters, this was Bob McDonnell's political philosophy... it was not just an academic requirement... it was how he planned to govern. And Bob doesn't want to talk about these issues in the general election, but it's okay for him to rev up his base with these Tailban social conservative stances? Yeah, right.

  • On Thursday, September 3, 2009, Robert McCartney from the Washington Post questions Bob McDonnell's theory that the Christian Broadcating Network thesis is "old news." McCartney questioned the mild response from the McDonnell campaign that the thesis was just a 20-year old term paper. "It was a thesis for a combined master's and law degree. When he wrote it, McDonnell was a 34-year-old business executive and former Army officer, married with two children (he now has five), intent on launching a political career to offer what his school, Regent University, proclaims in its motto as "Christian leadership to change the world." READ: THIS PAPER IS NOT A YOUTHFUL INDISCRETION. Virginia voters do not want someone who is intolerant of women, gays, and single people as their governor.

  • And you know what? in 2003, Bob McDonnell stated that certain homosexual conduct is a disqualification for judicial appointment in Virginia. You can find more about this in Amy Gardner's Washington Post (published on Sunday, September 13, 2009) column right here. And I agree with NLS; Amy Gardner is on track for a Pulitzer Prize.

As voters, you need to read these Washington Post news columns and stories in order to see the real Bob McDonnell. Bob McDonnell stances on social issues, gays, women, and single people should scare you to death. You need to be informed when you go to the voting booth.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

All You Need To Know About Bob McDonnell

Dan Snyder supports him.

And we all know what a great eye he has for personnel.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Bob McDonnell's Amazing Record of Lying

Bob McDonnell’s disastrous interview this morning with Mark Plotkin demonstrated the extent to which his candidacy so far has been built on a foundation of lies.

Lowell at Blue Virginia does a nice job of detailing this morning’s bullshit here. If only that were extent of it.

The fact is that Bob McDonnell has been pulling this nonsense on Virginians since the beginning of this campaign. Bob McDonnell knows that if Virginians knew who he really was, he would lose this election in a landslide. That is why he has been refusing to talk about his thesis, and refusing to talk about his record. And when he does speak about them, you just can’t get a straight answer out of him.

But Bob McDonnell is proving to be the Lillian Hellman of this campaign, the play writer of whom a critic once said, “Every word she wrote is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’”

It is really quite an amazing record.

I’ll say this as well. Bob McDonnell is not only a frequent liar when it comes to his record and presenting himself to voters, he is unusually good at it.

We have been documenting Bob McDonnell’s now voluminous record of dishonesty, dissembling and distortion for a while. Here are some posts dealing with the issue of McDonnell’s lack of honesty:

* The Sublime Deceptions of Bob McDonnell (September 6, 2009)

* Silent Bob Is Speaking Loud and Clear (September 4, 2009)

* McDonnell’s Stunning Lack of Honesty (August 31, 2009)

*Meet Bob “Dubya” McDonnell: Will We Get Fooled Again? (August 23, 2009)

*McDonnell Wants It Both Ways In Flag Flap (August 13, 2009)

* Bob McDonnell on Off-Shore Drilling: More Distortion (August 3, 2009)

* Will Bob McDonnell Be Able To Fool Enough of the People Enough of the Time To Get Elected? (July 29, 2009)

Question For Bob McDonnell: Would You Invoke States' Rights To Keep Health Care Reform Out Of Virginia?

TO: Bob McDonnell:
FROM: The Virginia Democrat
SUBJECT: Your Ideolgy

Minnesota Public Radio reported yesterday that:
In a Thursday night conference call hosted by the Republican Governor's Association, a caller asked whether governors would invoke state's rights if the health care bill is passed. Tim Pawlenty said it's a possibility.

"Depending on what the federal government comes out with here, asserting the 10th Amendment may be a viable option but we don't know the details. As one of the other callers said, we can't get the other callers, we said we can't get the President to outline what he does or doesn't support in any detail. So we'll have to see, I would have to say that it's a possibility."

Pawlenty also said he hoped Republican governors across the country will get "more assertive" about addressing state's rights and possibly start suing the federal government.

Well, Gov. Pawlenty was just here campaigning for you. You have spoken about states' rights being an important part of your ideology. You have cited states' rights in arguing against Virginia's citizens gaining the benefit of extended Federal unemployment benefits.

Did you discuss this with Gov. Pawlenty?

You oppose the President's reform efforts.

If you are elected governor, would you invoke states' rights to unilaterally keep Virginia from participating in National health care reform?

Obama and Deeds - The Ties That Bind

As I have watched polls over the summer in the gubernatorial contest, I have been mildly concerned given how bad Creigh seemed to be doing. Unlike some others, I didn’t dismiss the polls or their methodology, although at the same time given how early they were, I didn’t think they were at all predictive of what would happen in the election.

The real question I had was what were these polls measuring? Their lopsided and counter intuitive results, IMHO, were attributable not to the specific candidates, but rather to three environmental aspects of the political landscape this past summer that were all lined up against Creigh.

Two of those factors, however, now appear to be moving in Creigh’s direction, and the third may as well. All else being equal, I wouldn’t be surprised to soon see polls showing McDonnell losing support and Creigh gaining it, leaving both candidates pulling in the mid- to high 40s, solidly within the MoE.

The first factor was that over the summer mainstream Conservatives, teabaggers, and your garden-variety birthers, deathers and racists, not to mention Republican Party regulars, were able to coalesce around opposition to health care reform, pulling in many people who are usually on the periphery or outside of political battles into the fray. The result was a temporary and intense spike in enthusiasm among these groups, who were united in their opposition to both the President and the Democratic Party, and their need for Prozac.

These groups, given their pack dog mentality, were further egged on by the President’s insistence on turning the other cheek in the name of bipartisanship, which they saw as a sign of his weakness and their strength. At the same time, the perception among Progressives began to grow that the President would sell out important principles in pursuit of a deal with Republicans, causing many to ask what was the point of elections if, once in office, the people we elect are subservient to the ones we defeated?

Finally, the loud, thuggish tactics of these groups at town halls over the summer drew plenty of media coverage, giving the impression of a tiny, but intense grassroots movement being much larger and more significant than it really was.

As a result of all this, from mid-July into August, Republicans were becoming hyper-energized while Democrats were becoming dispirited. This was clearly reflected in Virginia’s Gubernatorial polling numbers

Consider, in five polls following the primary from mid-June through the end of July, the margin in the gubernatorial race was: +6 Deeds; +4 Deeds; +1 McD; +6 McD; and +3 McD.

Beginning with a SUSA poll from July 27 and 28, however, the margin in the polls shot up to +15 McD, and has since pretty much stayed there, although a couple of polls showed more modest margins of +7 McD and +b McD, better but still outside the MoE.

According to Gallup, meanwhile, over the same time period President Obama’s weekly approval average took a dive. It stood at 62/31 in early June, a spread of 31 points. By the end of July, when Creigh’s numbers began to deteriorate, those figures were at 54/39, with a spread of 15.

Obama kicked ass Wednesday night, although the extent to which he has remade the debate remains to be seen. That will be determined by his actions over the next several weeks.

IF Obama follows through on his tough words –

IF Obama truly calls Republicans out by name for their lies –

IF Obama lays down the law for the Blue Dogs –

IF Obama is one the way to leading Democrats in Congress to genuine health care reform with or without Republicans –

If he does all these things, then Democrats will be fired up. We will believe that elections make a difference, and this will most certainly be reflected in greater and sustained support for Creigh.

If, on the other hand, Obama reverts to previous form, and simply pursues bipartisanship as a goal in and of itself, regardless of the boorish and dishonest behavior of Republicans, Democrats will again become dispirited. At least this one will.

Early indications are mixed. Joe Wilson gave the President, Democrats and proponents of health care reform a gift the other night, but the President tried to give it back. As a result, he again wound up playing Charlie Brown trying to kick the football as some no-name BSC congressman took on the role of Lucy pulling it away. Just has the President was graciously saying how he forgave Joe Wilson after the Congressman’s sincere apology last night, the boorish Wilson was telling reporters that his apology was not sincere at all, but that the leadership forced him to make it. And now he has put out a fundraising video in which he says, “I will not be muzzled.”

The second factor was Creigh’s month-long absence from the campaign trail in July and the manner in which it was handled. This was a tactical error that left Bob McDonnell alone to define himself as a moderate.

Indeed, Creigh’s drop in the polls, while coinciding with the dynamics of the larger health care debate going on nationally, also coincided with his absence from the public eye. Arguably, he could have mitigated his erosion in the polls had he been a more aggressive campaigner during that time.

The result of McDonnell’s efforts, however, can be seen in the most recent SUSA poll, where McDonnell is pulling 42% of the self-described moderate voter, 15% of the self-described liberals, and 31% of self-described pro-choice voters. At the same time, McDonnell is getting 89% of self-described Conservatives. Similarly, McDonnell is attracting 19% of Democrats and 88% of Republicans, not to mention 13% of Obama voters, at the same time he is garnering 90% of McCain voters.

In short, these numbers show McDonnell is attracting considerable support from people diametrically opposed to his positions, without sacrificing any of his base. (I realize that the small samples of these sub-groups call the accuracy of them into question, but the consistency among each group, even accounting for the overlap, suggests it is not simply a case of skewed numbers).

Several weeks ago, Creigh had already begun to address this, using the choice issue to expose McDonnell as the extreme social Conservative that he is when McDonnell’s thesis came along. So far, it has been a game of catch-up for him – between the Democratic primary and Creigh’s lost month, McDonnell has had Virginia’s Independent voters to himself for seven months.

That will change, however, as voters focus more on the race. While the thesis fallout has yet to show up in polls, McDonnell simply has too much of a public record to avoid the issue forever. McDonnell’s ability to conceal the huge gulf between what he really believes and how he has presented himself, will prove increasingly difficult, if not impossible.

The third factor that has been affecting the polls is the exhaustion of Virginia’s Democrats. Beginning in January 2008, the Obama-Clinton primary pitted Democrats against one-another. Following Obama’s nomination, we came together for a few months, but with Virginia being a swing state, the campaign was intense. No sooner did that intense election end that a hard fought, again intense, and a sometimes personally bitter primary campaign took its place. This lasted through June.

To an extent, the joint effect of renewed support for the President and the exposing of Bob McDonnell will counteract this, but it won’t fully address it.

Further, the fact is that Creigh was a compromise winner in the primary who benefited from the three-way dynamic of that race. While he got 50% of the vote, the intensity of his support was behind that of both Moran and McAuliffe; Creigh’s core support was only in the low 20s throughout the entire primary season. Consequently, even leaving aside his folksy, self-effacing campaign style, Creigh is unlikely to be able to rouse Virginia’s Democrats from their malaise alone.

The key here, I believe, is getting the Commonwealth’s party leaders in to stump for Creigh as much as possible. We need Mark Warner. We need Jim Webb. We need the President (and not just for fundraising). And I say let’s get the Big Dog in here, for goodness sakes.

Even with that, however, in the final analysis, it is Creigh and Creigh alone who has to close the sale.

But at least now he is competing on a more hospitable playing field.