Colaw Will Dig In and Find Answers

The forum that I wrote about earlier is over and done with so it should be time for me to leave it alone and move on. But Ryan Kushner’s article about the event in the October 18th edition of the Smithfield Times is slanted to make Rebecca Colaw seem weaker when she is by far the stronger candidate, and I want to set the record straight.

For example, Emily Brewer did not answer the question about background checks. But like Brewer, the article is unclear about her response, saying,

only Colaw suggested the need for an end to purchasing firearms at gun shows without a background check, Brewer stating that there was already a provision in place that allowed sellers to refuse a sale at the shows.

Ms. Brewer also avoided answering the question about women’s reproductive health. In both cases, Mr. Kushner quoted part of her reply and left open the possibility that somewhere in the rest of her response was an answer to the question.

The only editorializing in the article is where Mr. Kushner describes Ms. Colaw’s stance about Confederate monuments as “less firm” than Brewer’s. But Ms. Colaw’s response was amazing. She spoke to African American groups and The Sons of the Confederacy and found common ground. She said that neither side wants to pay for removing the monuments. She also said that each monument has its own circumstances that would have to be addressed because, for example, some are on public grounds and some on private. So indeed, Ms. Colaw’s response might be “less firm” than taking a side on an issue without doing any research, but her response is far more balanced and truthful, and shows the kind of effort Rebecca Colaw will put into addressing the issues that affect Virginians

Rebecca Colaw’s response to free community college was also intelligent and revealing of the amount of effort Ms. Colaw will put into addressing our issues. She said she was against public funding of community college until she looked at how Tennessee implemented it. She said it would add to the tax base by creating more and better paid taxpayers. She also said she would research the details before pushing for it. But her answer was glossed over, and she was made to sound as if she supported free college without any thought of the costs and benefits.

Rebecca Colaw is what our community needs. Emily Brewer stuck to talking points. Rebecca Colaw spoke truth to opposition and provided data to back it up. She proved her willingness to hear different sides of controversial issues and to dig in and find answers to complex problems.

Advertisements

It’s Not Hypocritical To Review the Election

A commenter on an article in the Independent about how the election might have been rigged wrote this

Liberals lost, they should accept the result. They slated Trump when he said he may or may not accept the result. Severely damaging to democracy to challenge the result they said…except when liberals do it eh.
Turn the result around now, legitimately or not, and all hell would break lose.
This is the most hateful election I’ve ever experienced.

Bullshit. The problem with Trump’s accusations of rigging are that he had no evidence. Even before the election, as he was dropping in polls, he was said the only way he could lose was due to rigging.

We’re not even making accusations yet. Looking at evidence before making accusations while condemning someone for making accusations without evidence is not hypocrisy. It’s the opposite of hypocrisy.

Defining Patriots and Tyrants

If it comes down to the blood of patriots and tyrants, remember that the patriots will be the ones defending the civil transfer of power to the democratically elected candidate, and the tyrant would be the one trying to gain power with the help of a foreign dictator and a rogue army of bloodthirsty nationalists.

 

 

 

A normal campaign would disavow an army of twitter nazis

Matthew Yglesias tweeted:

An example of what Mr. Yglesias is talking about:

@ThaRightStuff @Mattyglesias Hopefully we can gas him before too long
—Oliver Who? (@UltraOliver) October 29, 2016

An argument with a Trump Supporter about the Clinton Foundation

I argued with a Trump supporter at Peanut Fest last night. She said that Trump’s foundation got a higher rating that Clinton’s. I told her that it wasn’t true; that Charity Navigator gave the Clinton Foundation the highest rating. There were two kids, about twelve years old, watching. She asked them who they thought was winning. One said she was. The other abstained. We ended up with me saying that she’s wrong, but I promised to go home and check it out.

It wasn’t difficult. The Clinton foundation has a four star rating from Charity Navigator. Their rating was recent, which some right wing sites claim is suspicious, but the reason for the late rating is explained.

In 2013, the Clinton Foundation merged with one of its affiliates, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). This merger made it difficult to compare financial information of the combined entities with financial information from the Clinton Foundation before the merger. In situations like this with any charity, we will reevaluate if the charity provides consolidated financial data that will allow us to perform an accurate year-over-year comparison.

Meanwhile, the Trump foundation is not rated because it is a private foundation, not a charity.

So, in the eyes of a 12 year old, my opponent may have won, but like Pence during the VP debate, she did so by lying. Thankfully, among those of us who were old enough to vote, most of us seem to be more impressed with the truth. I hope that holds for another month.

Comparing Clinton’s and Trump’s Plans for Veterans, Military Members and their Families

At the top of Hilary Clinton’s page for “Veterans, the armed forces, and their families”
is a paragraph about Clinton’s father who was a Chief Petty Officer during World
War II. Trump’s “Veterans affairs Reform” page, of course, describes no connections to the military, since his entire family has avoided service.

Both pages include three or four paragraphs of general vision statements. Even in these general statements, Clinton’s page provides more detail than Trump’s, but Clinton’s also links to a fact-sheet that details how she plans to meet her goals.

Clinton’s page says she will narrow the focus of the VA so that it concentrates on providing health care for service-related conditions and treatments that Veterans need but have difficulty getting outside the VA. For issues that can be dealt with outside the VA, she’ll have the VA coordinate with other existing programs, and “Strategically purchase private-sector care when it makes sense to do so.” She promises to hold regular meetings with the Secretaries of Veterans Affairs and Defense. She will look for ways to streamline the VA by removing redundancies and co-locating operations. She will push to implement the electronic health record system, which has been delayed for years. Her fact sheet is filled with such details.

Trump’s page as no such details. It’s pretty much a short list which he calls a “10 point plan to reform the VA”. There is no link to any fact sheet.

The first of Trump’s ten points is “Appoint a VA Secretary whose sole purpose will be to serve veterans.” We already have a VA Secretary whose sole purpose is to serve veterans. Recently the VA Secretary failed to fulfill that purpose, but the position and the purpose both exist, so Trump’s first point is meaningless.

Points 2,3,4, and 5 are all about punishing poor performers at the VA. They’re one point divided into four because a “10 point plan” sounds better than a “7 point list”. So far, it’s really just a 6 point list because point 1 is nonsense.

Half of Point 6 is a good idea. Yay Trump. He will create a 24 hour, live manned, “private White House hotline”. I like the 24 hour part. We already have a VA hotline but it only runs during East Coast business hours. It can be trouble finding time during the workday to deal with government agencies. So that’s great, but I don’t know what Trump means by “private White House hotline”. It would be stupid to put the hotline in the White House, and what does he mean by “Private”? The hotline would be better off in a VA facility were someone might be able to turn the call over to a health care professional.

Point 7 is about punishing non-performers, so it should get rolled in with points 2,3,4, and 5. Now it’s a 5 point plan.

Point 8 is about visas. Even if a crackdown on visas would help veterans (and I’m not saying it wouldn’t), it’s not a point in a plan to reform the VA. Trump really has a four point plan to reform the VA.

Points 9 and 10 sound good to me. He’ll increase the number of mental health care professionals and allow veteran’s to choose between care at the VA or at a private service provider. But since it’s mainly the cost that keeps vets from getting care outside of the VA (there’s no rule that says we can’t), if Trump wants to make sure that vets can get care outside of the VA, he should provide some clue about how he plans to cover the cost.

That’s it. Four ideas: Set up a 24 hour “private hotline”, increase the number of health care professionals, improve access to private health care,and make the VA a scary place to work where great resources are devoted to punishment and employees are rewarded for turning in their coworkers. There is nothing about the economic challenges faced by active duty military members. There is no mention of their families. There is nothing about education.

Most of all, there is no framework for how Trump plans to meet the four goals he spells out in his so-called “ten point plan”. There is almost no accountability.

640px-secretary_of_state_delivers_message_of_praise_to_andersen_servicemembers_dvids3345061

Photo by: Senior Airman Nichelle Anderson (https://www.dvidshub.net/image/334506) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Clinton’s plan has several specific objectives that later we can review to hold her to her promises.

Trump’s plan reads like a book report done on the morning bus by a student who didn’t read the book. It is an insult that shows no regard for veterans, military members, or their families.

when was the last time Goldberg and I agreed about something?

“when was the last time Goldberg and I agreed about something?”

That’s Keven Drum, and the Goldberg he’s writing about is Jonah Goldberg. What they agree on is this, from Drum:

Trump repeatedly said “I disavow, I disavow, I disavow,” without ever mentioning who he was disavowing. …

… I don’t think this was a mistake. Trump has done it too many times. On Facebook, on Twitter, on Good Morning America, and then again last night. …

… there’s no video of him clearly and unequivocally condemning the Duke or the KKK—and they understand perfectly well what this means. They’re old hands at the wink and the nod.

and from Goldberg:

It is obvious to me that Trump didn’t want to denounce David Duke and the Klan in the Jake Tapper interview. The “bad earpiece” explanation is a transparent lie…

… But even when Trump disavowed Duke in the Friday press, this is how he did it:

“David Duke endorsed me? OK, all right. I disavow, OK?”

It’s clear he’s simply paying lip service, and reluctantly at that.

Trump’s racist supporters expect Trump to disavow them even if wants their vote, but they must be pleased about how he avoided specifically saying anything bad about them.

What was true about voting Republican is twice as true about voting for Trump.  In order to cut support for the poor, to close the borders to people fleeing for their lives, to keep government from interfering with the economic status quo of a nation who’s strength was bolstered by slavery, exploitation, and war, you have to side with White supremacists.  You may he a decent person with reasons that you feel are valid, but your positions are so unpopular that if it wasn’t for the worst people in the nation voting with you, your candidates wouldn’t win any elections.

Hugo Reyes joins SDC at Peanut Fest (and takes a selfie)

Hugo Reyes, Virginia’s candidate for the State Senate’s Third District, and his partner Mary Meyers will be joining the Suffolk Democratic Committee’s tent at the Suffolk Peanut Festival this weekend.

Hugo Reyes Selfie at SDC Tent

SDC volunteers have been manning the tent since Thursday, and turnout should be good this weekend since the usual Peanut Fest storm hit us early this year.

Peanut Fest Tent

Mitigating the Damage Caused by Not Voting

Some say if only we had more exciting candidates who didn’t turn away from the president then more of our voters will get to the polls. I’m hopeful, but not so confident. Republicans, with the help of the “Liberal Media” that spent most of 2014 reporting on the president’s unpopularity and hysterically ranting about fake crises and conspiracy theories, will be able to claim credit for the economy which they broke but was getting better before they regained control. With the help of the media, they can keep blaming everything that goes wrong on welfare, immigration, and regulations, and keep preaching about Jesus, guns, family values, and the subversive plot to take it all away. Then angry, scared, Republicans will get to the voting booths to save Christian America from Mexican Sharia terrorists and their homosexual Jewish lawyers while apathetic Democrats, those who aren’t working triple minimum wage shifts or getting turned away at the polls, will spend Election Day watching TV and posting selfies.

I’ve read some speculation that the clown show we’re about to be subjected to for the next couple of years will ultimately lead to a Democratic victory in 2016. I don’t have much faith in that scenario either. I see little sign of it yet, but I think even a lot of Republicans are feeling some buyer’s remorse as they consider the band of comic book villains that they just put in charge of most of our nation. They didn’t expect to win so big with such a bunch of losers. But I also think the puppet masters who orchestrated the debacle by spending billions of dollars on lies about the economy, the environment, Obamacare, and conspiracy theories will stave off the effects of such remorse. They will whisper into the ears of their newly elected henchmen and tell them that the master plan is almost complete, but now Gunslinger Jesus says we should tone it down a bit while he puts more pieces in place. If the loons can go for two years without ranting about such things as spanking the gay away or going to war with Mexico, Republican voters, who generally aren’t as deranged as the mad fools they just elected, will approach the 2016 elections thinking, “Well that wasn’t so bad” as opposed to, “My God! What have I done?”.

After a complete Republican takeover, the puppet masters won’t have to keep their henchmen in check. There will be bills in Congress against homosexuality, Islam, and Spanish. They will cut unemployment insurance as jobs get outsourced or replaced by machines. They will cut minimum wage. They’ll take credit for job growth even though job growth will mean more people working more shifts and still losing their homes. Public schools will be so ineffective that it would be better for poor and middle class kids to drop out and start working. We’ll see more gerrymandering, more difficulty voting, more suspicious behavior of voting machines and election officials, and more money spent drowning out the messages of political candidates who stand up for the middle class and the poor.

The chance of anyone rising above poverty will be smaller than it had been in a century, but at least the playing field will be fair for people who’s parents spent a million dollars on their success and shouldn’t have to compete with those who’s parents didn’t spend a fraction of that amount.

It’s already bad and it’s going to get worse but it might eventually get better. If you doze off at the wheel as the road curves away from a 6 foot diameter oak tree, the prospects aren’t good but you still might save yourself if you wake up now. At least you might mitigate the damage and survive to make repairs.

Inaction has just allowed voting to become harder, but it’s not impossible yet. 2015 is an election year in many states, and it’s a chance for many of us to show politicians that we’re ready to show up. Then in 2016 we’ll have a chance to mitigate some of the damage done in 2014.

We can recover from the damage we just inflicted on ourselves, but only if we vote.

Randy Forbes Dupes his Supporters

Recently, Randy Forbes sent an email to his wealthiest supporters, AKA his “VIP Campaign Team”, complaining about “The National Democratic Party, special interest groups, labor unions, and unregulated ‘527’ soft-money groups” who are “pulling out all the stops” to defeat conservatives.

First, let’s all have a nice laugh at a Republican complaining about unregulated campaign money. Any American who has been awake lately should know that Republicans have been pulling out all the stops when it comes to deregulating campaign contributions, because unregulated donations usually work to their advantage. According to a CBS news article, “Republicans and conservative-leaning groups are expected to narrowly outpace their counterparts on the left”, and another, reporting on the infamous “Citizens United” decision noted,

Republican candidates have enjoyed a small but statistically significant advantage in winning state legislative races since the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, according a new study

But in addition to hypocrisy, Forbes is engaging in his best trick: misleading. He can decry all of that spending to defeat conservatives as he dupes his loyal supporters into sending him money, but the fact is almost none of that money has gone to his opponent, Elliott Fausz, or has been used by any 527’s to support Fausz. Elliott Fausz has been running a low-budget campaign, traveling the 4th District with his wife, Lindsay, and relying on volunteers to knock on doors, make calls, and hand out flyers. He has received very little, if any money from the National Democratic Party and no 527’s that I know of have been campaigning on his behalf. They are all afraid of being grossly outspent by Randy Forbes, and putting their efforts elsewhere.

Ellott Fausz and Lindsay Fausz with Volunteers

If Randy Forbes is nervous about finally losing an election despite his gerrymandered district and his wealthy supporters, it isn’t because he’s being outspent. It must be because voters are finally noticing that Randy Forbes won’t debate his opponents and does little for his district except promote the interests of a very small but powerful base.

I don’t know why he is misleading his donors into thinking he is a victim of big money being spent against him. My guess is he’s either planning a massive last-minute campaign blitz or he’s trying to motivate his base by making them nervous. Or maybe he just wants the money.