Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

McDonnell Trial: All In The Family

August 11, 2014

McDonnell Trial: All In The Family

Before he was Virginia’s Governor or Attorney General, Robert Francis McDonnell wrote a Masters Thesis at CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) University, now called Regent University. The thesis: “The Republican Party’s Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade” (1989). It’s in the Regent U Library, but the Washington Post posted it online during the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial campaign.

On page 65 of the thesis (page 71 of the PDF) Mr. McConnell lists the “real enemies of the traditional family” as “materialism, irresponsibility, feminism, lust, and ultimately selfishness….” Well, the McDonnell corruption trial hasn’t involved feminism so far, anyway. On the other hand, the author of that thesis did acknowledge that his wife Maureen provided “expert clerical support” for the 94-page document ….

More:

“Focus on the Family,” Daliah Lithwick, Slate

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Image (“McDonnell Defense, In One Bumper Sticker”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Virginia Snake Oil: Love Potion?

August 7, 2014

Virginia Snake Oil: Love Potion Number 9?

In the soap opera that is the public corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his former NFL Cheerleader wife Maureen, the defense claims the couple’s relationship was bad, so the Gov didn’t know the Mrs. had a crush on “diet supplement” peddler Jonnie Williams and tried to trade government favors in return for his high-priced gifts. Today, however, the focus shifted to the patent nostrum sold by said Mr. Williams, a snake oil named Anatabloc.

The active ingredient in Anatabloc is Anatabine, an alkaloid derived from tobacco. Star Scientific, Mr. William’s company at the time, sold discount cigarettes and smokeless tobacco through a subsidiary, but sales weren’t too good, so … right. Anatabloc was said to “reduce inflammation and support a healthy metabolism” but was marketed as a “dietary supplement” to avoid those pesky clinical trials required of drugs. That didn’t keep the firm from claiming that the crap could mitigate Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, thyroiditis and traumatic brain injuries. You know, like a drug. Finally, the FDA caught them at it and issued a stern letter. Heavens to Betsy.

So that’s what Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell was shilling in the Executive Mansion in 2011 on behalf of love interest Jonnie Williams.  Mr. Williams claims he viewed the gifts of luxury items and loans of his vacation resort home and Ferrari sports car to the Governor and his wife as part of a business relationship, but Mrs. McDonnell’s lawyer claims she was smitten with Mr. Williams.

Wait a minute. Is romantic attraction a result of taking Anatabloc? That’s worth billions.

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McDonnell Trial: The Soap Opera Defense

August 1, 2014

McDonnell Trial: The Soap Opera Defense

The former NFL cheerleader had feelings for the shady millionaire snake-oil salesman, who gave her gifts, favors, and cash in order to influence her husband, the state’s Governor. That’s the Exculpatory Soap Opera Theory introduced by the defense in the corruption trial of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, and they’re sticking to it.

Political tragedy? Please. More like campy, middle-age melodrama.

More:

“Ex-First Couple’s Defense in Virginia: The State of Their Union,” Trip Gabriel, New York Times

“McDonnells pin acquittal hopes on bad marriage in Virginia trial,” Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times

“Testimony seems to back up ‘bimbo defense’ in McDonnell corruption trial,” Mark Holmberg, WTVR-TV News

“Trial of Virginia Ex-Governor and His Wife Is an Amazing Soap Opera,” Erin Gloria Ryan, Jezebel

“Star witness in Bob McDonnell corruption trial refutes ‘crush’ defense,” David Sherfinski, Washington Times

Related:

“10 gifts U.S. wants ex-Va. governor, wife to forfeit,” USA Today

“Virginia’s First Lady-elect Maureen McDonnell was a Former Redskins Cheerleader,” UltimateCheerleaders.com

“Of Course! Disgraced Gov. McDonnell Is Now Teaching At Liberty U,” karoli, Crooks & Liars

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Image (Midday Melancholy, after Constance Charpentier) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Appeals Court Rules for Virginia Marriage Equality

July 29, 2014

Appeals Court Rules for Virginia Marriage Equality

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond upheld a lower court’s decision that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The decision is stayed for at least 21 days, but then may become effective in Virginia and other areas under the court’s jurisdiction, which includes Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Maryland already permits same-sex marriage.

 More:

“Appeals court upholds decision overturning Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban,” Robert Barnes and Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post

“Another Court Rules Virginia’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Is Unconstitutional,” Sarah Ann Hughes, DCist

“Appeals Panel Rejects Virginia Gay-Marriage Ban,” Erik Eckholm, New York Times

“Virginia gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, federal court rules,” By Michael Muskal, Los Angeles Times

“Virginia same-sex marriage ban violates fundamental right, appeals court says,” Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Red-Meat Republicans

June 13, 2014

Red-Meat Republicans

In the 2014 Republican primary, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s campaign and PAC spent nearly $170,000 at DC power steakhouses, chiefly Bobby Van’s and BLT Steak. His victorious opponent Dave Brat’s entire campaign cost $122,000.

“”It’s rare that you would see a fundraiser at a Ruby Tuesday or a Chipotle,’ said Lisa Spies, a veteran GOP fundraiser …. ‘You’ve got to spend money to raise money.’

In the 2014 cycle, all federal candidates have spent just over $9,000 on Chipotle, and $1,229 at Ruby Tuesday, according to numbers compiled by CQ Moneyline. In the same span, they have spent more than $400,000 at Bobby Van’s.”

—  “Why Eric Cantor chose Bobby Van’s,” Eric Tau, Politico

It works. Cantor’s campaign raked in $5.5 million and his PAC took in $3.5 million more while Brat raised $206,663.

But the median annual household income in Virginia’s 7th District is $64,751, the value of the average family home is $188,400, and it’s a pretty long drive to Bobby Van’s.

Related:

“Elites Beware: Eric Cantor’s Defeat May Signal a Populist Revolution,” Ron Fournier, National Journal

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Eric Cantor Ousted

June 11, 2014

Eric Cantor Ousted

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R, VA-7), a 13-year congressional veteran, was defeated by Tea Party loon David Brat in the June 10th Republican Primary. Mr. Cantor is the first sitting House majority leader to lose a primary election since the position was created in 1899.

David Brat is a professor at Randolph-Macon College with degrees in economics and divinity, Director of the BB&T Moral Foundations of Capitalism Program and, as a complete political unknown, was the perfect vehicle for the anti-incumbent vote. He also benefited from the strong xenophobic sentiment of Virginia’s Republican party. Henry Blodget summarizes Mr. Brat’s platform: “No government, no immigration, no tax, no schools, fusion of church/state….”

Dave Brat will face fellow Randolph-Macon professor Jack Trammell in November’s general election.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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McDonnell Snake Oil Scandal

January 23, 2014

McDonnell Snake Oil Scandal

Maw & Paw McDonnell, former First Couple of the Old Dominion, have been indicted by a Federal grand jury of taking cash, luxury gifts and expensive vacations from a snake oil salesman while in office then lying about it, committing wire fraud, and obstructing the investigation into it. 12 of the 14 counts are punishable by up to 20 years and 2 for 30 years in prison, and there are fines of up to $1 million.

Mr. McDonnell has distinguished himself from other Virginia governors — Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Monroe — as the first in history to be indicted for his actions during his term in office. Of course he had help. Whist residing in Richmond’s historic Executive Mansion, Mrs. McDonnell actively endorsed and hawked the useless quack patent nostrums.

Arraignment in U.S. District Court in Richmond is scheduled for Friday. But whatever the legal outcome, the real scandal is that decent, affordable medical care is denied to many Virginians and other Americans but it’s perfectly legal to sell them worthless pseudo “healthcare” crap as long you call it a (wink-wink) “nutritional supplement.”

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The Party’s Over

November 7, 2013

The Party's Over

We’re starting to get the spin — and the finger-pointing — on Tea Party Republican Ken Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial election loss.  Cooch coulda won if it wasn’t for those hostile Hispanics, Asian Americans  and Black folks. And voters with gay friends. And people who understand science. Oh, and all those unmarried voters and womenfolk.

Sounds like the majority 21st century American population, doesn’t it? The very people the GOP has spurned in its courtship of Tea Party extremists.

But wait. The Cooch was robbed. He really must have been beaten by those Northern Virginia suburbanites who work for federal contractors, angry about the government shutdown. Surely the Tea Party can’t be blamed for … never mind.

No, no, it was the GOP, the party stabbed Cooch in the back … the Libertarian candidate …the Big Money … the Military Industrial Complex

More:

“How the tea party lost on Tuesday night,” Sean Sullivan and Aaron Blake, Washington Post blog

“Virginia Isn’t the Place Ken Cuccinelli Thinks It Is,” Jill Lawrence, National Journal

“Why Cuccinelli Lost: Hard-Right Conservatism Became A Liability In Virginia,” Daniel Strauss, Talking Points Memo

“Analysis: Tea party reels with Virginia loss, Christie romp,” David Lightman, Dallas Morning News

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

 Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

King Canute to Visit Virginia Beach?

June 14, 2012

King Canute Visits Virginia Beach

Following the lead of the North Carolina Senate, the Commonwealth of Virginia has decided to legislate against the inevitable rise of the sea level along the coastal Atlantic shore. Sounds like King Canute is moving from Hatteras to Virginia Beach.

More:

“Virginia Lawmaker Says ‘Sea Level Rise’ Is A ‘Left Wing Term,’ Excises It From State Report On Coastal Flooding,” Rebecca Leber, Think Progress

“Sink or Swim,” The Colbert Report

“Sea level rise 101,” John Bruno, SeaMonster

“Understanding Sea Level Rise: Why a linear extrapolation is the least reasonable predictor of future changes,” Southern Fried Science

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Virginia Is For Big Brother

June 1, 2012

Virginia is for Big Brother

Virginia’s champion of personal privacy, Governor Bob “Vaginal Probe” McDonnell, has called for the use of remote-controlled unmanned drone aircraft by police in the Old Dominion. This is intruguing since many Virginians don’t even like ticket-issuing traffic cameras.

More:

“McDonnell: If Drones Are Good Enough for Afghanistan, They’re Good Enough for Virginia,” Benjamin R. Freed, DCist

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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