Midwest apocalypse. As of March 30 satellite data shows that flooding caused at least one million acres of Midwest farmland to be covered in water for at least seven days in March. One million acres is 1,562 square miles. Up to a million calves may have died in Nebraska alone. This is a disaster of unprecedented magnitude. On April 1 a relief bill was put forth in the US Senate that earmarked $13.45 billion of aid for the Midwest and Puerto Rico. Democrats killed the bill claiming that the amount allocated for Puerto Rico was too little. Both of Virginia’s U.S. Senators voted against providing relief to the U.S. Midwest and Puerto Rico.
Disgraceful. Both Tim Kaine and Mark Warner claim to be members of the party dedicated to the little guy, the Democrats. To hear them tell it, the Republicans stay busy tending to corporate interests while ignoring the plight of average Americans. However, it was Kaine and Warner who decided to play petty politics with an aid bill that is desperately needed by our fellow Americans in the Midwest. Virginians should be ashamed to have elected these two senators. Continue reading
Ain’t This A Kick
Look, we conservatives understand that as far as the media is concerned, we are second-class citizens. But for giggles let’s just demonstrate the most recent case. When I write about the new hemp bill on Bacon’s Rebellion last month, it gets good readership for Bacon’s Rebellion but of course there is no reference to it on the widely-circulated daily news summary for the Virginia Public Access Project.
Today Virginia Mercury publishes a very similar story, even using some of the same sources, and of course it makes the VPAP summary. Oh, give me a break. Why didn’t mine get used, again? Continue reading
A force for centrism and pragmatism. While Virginia increasingly emulates the hyper-polarized politics of Washington, D.C., a new group has entered the fray. Unite Virginia, an arm of Unite America, held a “Unity breakfast” yesterday in Richmond to honor four Republican and Democratic legislators for their bipartisanship. Unite America, launched in 2013, says it is building a movement to “elect common-sense, independent candidates” to serve people, not party bosses or special interests, reports The Virginia Mercury. The organization will make endorsements and contribute to Virginia General Assembly campaigns this year.
Giant solar project approved in Charles City County. sPower’s proposed solar mega-project in Spotsylvania County remains mired in controversy, but the solar developer has had better luck in Charles City County. The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve a special-use permit for the $415 million project. The solar farm will be built on 1,400 acres. Utah-based sPower will put an additional 800 acres at the site into conservation. The permit requires that the solar farm install a 100- to 300-foot vegetated barrier around the perimeter, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Continue reading
Washington Post headline today: “D.C. has the highest ‘intensity’ of gentrification of any U.S. city, study says. More than 20,000 African American residents were displaced from low-income neighborhoods from 2000 to 2013, researchers say.”
Forbes magazine, circa June 2018: “Washington DC is being sued for gentrification. The 82-page class action lawsuit, filed by Aristotle Theresa, brought grievances against the city for its alleged discriminatory policies favoring creatives and millennials at the expense of the city’s historically African American, low-income residents.”
Reminder: Washington, D.C., also is one of the most liberal and Democratic jurisdictions in the country. In the 2016 presidential election, 91% of the population voted for Hillary Clinton.
Question: How long can the electoral alliance between creatives/millennials and African-Americans persist?
The road to the Silicon Swamp is paved with gold.
1-The Future. In 2011 Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape, wrote an essay for the Wall Street Journal titled, “Why Software is Eating the World.” The eight years since Andreessen’s essay was published have served to vindicate, validate and verify the accuracy of his thesis. Yet while software eats the world, it doesn’t necessarily dine in the same old restaurants. Car making used to be centered in Detroit. Now Silicon Valley is the new Detroit. Not only are upstarts like Tesla centered in The Valley but traditional car manufacturers are heading west too. As Andreessen noted, traditional non-technology companies all need to become software companies in order to survive. Metropolitan areas with strong software skills will attract not only technology companies but non-technology companies as well. Embrace software or be eaten by it. The future belongs to those who code.
2-Ecosystem. Silicon Valley isn’t Bentonville, Arkansas. No one company dominates Silicon valley and therein lies its enduring strength. The Valley is an economic growth machine fueled by start-ups, spin-outs, mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies and oceans of venture capital. The idea that NoVa’s benefits from the Amazon deal start and stop with Amazon is myopic. Talented employees will come to National Landing, work for Amazon, and then leave to start new ventures. The 25,000 Amazon jobs should be seen as a starting point rather than a final outcome. In fact, startups founded by Amazon veterans like Fugue are already operating in the area. Continue reading
Dear Democrats: Welcome to our world. Signed, Republicans
Now she’s a racist? Really?
I’m sorry, watching Democrats react in horror as the Leftist Outrage Machine seeks to destroy the Northams using the tactics all Republicans know so well, it’s just amusing as hell. I hope Senator Chap Peterson remembers his defense of Mrs. Northam when the world returns to equilibrium and it is Republicans getting abused again. I will give Blue Virginia credit for writing this, given it is part of the Leftist Outrage Machine. Continue reading
Background. The past several weeks have been full of controversy for three of Virginia’s leading Democratic politicians – Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring. The local, state and national media have been focused on allegations of racism against Northam and Herring and sexual assault against Fairfax. However, prior to the media onslaught regarding racism and rape Governor Ralph Northam was embroiled in another controversy regarding comments he made during a radio show. During that radio interview Gov. Northam said some things that some people felt condoned, or even supported, infanticide. What did Ralph Northam say (in context) and did he really condone or support infanticide?
Outsiders. mostly of the leftist persuasion, seem to be taking an intense interest in Virginia these days. Some examples from today’s Richmond Times-Dispatch:
- Michelle Renay Sutherland, a New York activist, was arrested for indecent exposure yesterday after she exposed her breast when recreating the state seal on the capitol grounds. Sutherland, who goes by “Sister Leona,” belongs to a group called Radical Matriarchy. She was demonstrating in support of Virginia’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
- A California man was charged with misdemeanor vandalism and littering Monday after police say he threw red dye into a fountain on the state Capitol grounds. Patrick E. Talamantes, of Sacramento, had joined activists marching to demand the resignation of Governor Ralph Northam.
- Internet inventor and polar-bear advocate Al Gore and the Rev. William J. Barber II, a North Carolina civil rights leader, visited the Union Hill community in Buckingham County to protest Dominion Energy’s proposed compression station. (I’ll have more about them in a follow-up post.)
The rule maker, Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, gets to decide the exceptions to the rule.
by Richard Hall-Sizemore
In 2014, Sen. Philip Puckett, a Democrat from far Southwest Virginia, was in a quandary. His daughter was vying for a juvenile and domestic relations court judgeship, to which she had already been appointed as a substitute judge. However, Republicans in the Senate, led by Sen. Tommy Norment, R-James City, were holding up her election, not based on any objection to her qualifications, but because of a tradition of not supporting family members of sitting Senators for judgeships.
Fast forward to 2019. Until yesterday there was a vacancy pending on the Virginia Supreme Court. A Republican senator from far Southwest Virginia is, according to newspaper reports, lobbied his fellow senators to elect his sister, currently a member of the Virginia Court of Appeals, to the higher post. Norment said that situation was different because the senator’s sister had already been elected to a judgeship before her brother had been elected to the Senate. Continue reading
Two weeks ago Ibraheem Samirah, a second-generation Palestinian running for an open seat in the 86th district of the House of Delegates, joined other Democrats in calling for the resignation of Governor Ralph Northam for appearing in black face in 1984. Now, it turns out, Samirah has to answer for some intemperate remarks he made five years ago about Jews.
Samirah has kinda-sorta apologized for saying on Facebook that sending money to Israel is “worse” than sending money to the Ku Klux Klan, that Israeli teenagers used Tinder to “cover up the murders in their name,” and that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon would burn in hell — assuming that calling the charges against him a “slander campaign” constitutes an apology. Continue reading
Wes Bellamy at Richmond rally
A group calling itself Virginia Black Politicos rallied near the Governor’s Mansion yesterday and called for the resignation of Governor Ralph Northam. Prominent among the speakers was Charlottesville City Council member Wes Bellamy, who, according to WVIR TV, said it was time for the governor to step down so that Virginians can heal.
“What will we tell them that we did in regard to stand up for white supremacy?” Bellamy said. “What will we tell them and their colleagues and their pupils in school that we did in the year 2019 when our governor decided to make fun of our people.”
This is the same Wes Bellamy who was called out in 2016 for making racist comments of his own. As the Washington Post summarized the controversy back then, the then-30-year-old stepped down from a position on the Virginia Board of Education when it was revealed that in 2011 he had tweeted gay slurs, made light of sexual assault, and made anti-white comments. Continue reading
A very bad week. One can only assume that Virginia’s Democratic Party is very happy to see this week draw to a close. The Democratic Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General are facing deep scrutiny over revelations that came to light this week. While the specifics of each scandal remain hazy the sudden evaporation of moral outrage from fellow Democrats is crystal clear.
Northam: the expendable man. Govenor Ralph Northam was the first to fall under a thick cloud of disrepute as pictures from his personal page in his med school yearbook surfaced with people dressed in blackface and Klan outfits. Democrats moved quickly to condemn Northam and call for his resignation. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner were joined by the Virginia Black Caucus, former Governor McAuliffe, national Democrats and (most interestingly) Attorney General Mark Herring in calling for Northam’s resignation. Appearing in blackface is intolerable they all wailed in unison. Blue Virginia touted the calls for Northam’s resignation as proof of the ” … VAST moral difference between Virginia Democrats and Republicans …” Continue reading
Da Bomb. The Virginia Pilot is reporting that Tommy Norment, R-Williamsburg, Republican majority leader of Virginia’s State Senate, was an editor for a VMI yearbook called The Bomb that printed “racist photos and slurs, including blackface”. The yearbook in question was published in 1968. African Americans were allowed to enroll at VMI in the Fall of 1968, presumably just after the “Norment yearbook” was published.
Full disclosure. The VMI 1968 yearbook included a statement authored by Norment in his position as an editor. His missive included the somewhat ironic line, “Work on the Bomb has permitted me to release four years of inhibitions.” Hmmm … Maybe sometimes remaining inhibited isn’t such a bad thing.
Judgement lapses. While it’s fair to debate whether including pictures of white people in blackface in a 1968 yearbook was a lapse in judgement or a sad practice of the day, Mr Norment has been no stranger to continuing controversy. He was charged with DUI, attempted to chase reporters off the senate floor (where they had worked for a century), exposed as a customer of the adultery website Ashley Madison, and had an inappropriate “relationship” with a lobbyist. Norment hasn’t faced a competitive election in three senate campaigns but still receives large campaign contributions from “the usual gang of suspects”.
— Don Rippert
State of affairs / affairs of state. Multiple scandals have rocked Virginia’s state government this week. All three of our state’s top officials stand accused of substantial wrongdoing. Governor Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring have admitted to dressing in blackface during their college / medical school days. Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax is being accused of sexual assault. The stories have become national news – read the New York Post article here. Given this chaos one wonders how the good people at Amazon feel about their decision to put one-half of their new headquarters in The Commonwealth of Virginia. I’m guessing we’ll hear more about that in the near future. In the meantime, Virginians need to ask two key questions – how did we get here and what can we do about it. Continue reading
Posted in Education (K-12), Elections, General Assembly, Politics, Public corruption, Scandals
Tagged DJ Rippert, Don Rippert, Harry F Byrd, Herring, Justin Fairfax, Ralph Northam
by Peter Galuszka
Virginia Democrats were on a roll politically until a story broke Friday that a photograph on Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) 1984 medical school yearbook page showed a man in blackface and a man in Ku Klux Klan garb.
Democrats had seemed to be in a good position to win control of both the state Senate and the House of Delegates in this November’s General Assembly elections.
A strong anti-Trump spirit showed up in last year’s congressional elections in which three moderate Democratic women won. A court recently ruled that the latest Republican-led redistricting disenfranchised African Americans. Demographic changes seem to be making make the state less conservative. Continue reading