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Long Live Blue Virginia!

by: Dave

Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 13:58:46 PM EDT

UPDATE, 4/18: All commenting, posting, and new user registration has been disabled.

As many of you may have noticed in the last few weeks, the editors of Blue Commonwealth have been double-posting between BC and Blue Virginia. That's because... we're moving!

Now that Blue Virginia is back to a community format (in the spirit of the old Raising Kaine), we all figure that both communities are best served by merging. It will mean more opinions, more commentary, more ideas, and in general a more vibrant and active community.

So what does this means practically?
1) Blue Commonwealth will be turning off comments and new posts on April 18th.
2) Everyone reading this, if they haven't already should head over to Blue Virginia, and register for an account.
3) Readers, posters, and commentors at BC should start "transferring" their participation over to Blue Virginia.

Lest you be worried about editorial input, policies, etc, fear not! The entire board of BC is now on the board of BV where their talent can be combined with the likes of Lowell and Miles. Everyone here is happy about the move, and we hope you will be too.

So say goodbye to Blue Commonwealth, and say hello to Blue Virginia. Long live Blue Virginia!

Discuss :: (21 Comments)

Why Didn't They Think of That?

by: KathyinBlacksburg

Sat Apr 03, 2010 at 14:25:37 PM EDT

Cross-posted at Blue Virginia.

It has been nearly three years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers, and the related malfeasance of Lehman and other Wall Street firms.   Hank Paulson has admitted Lehman's balance sheet was bogus.  According to Robert Reich, Goldman Sacks helped Greece hide its public debt and then bet against it with credit default swaps, those risky derivatives, in the news so much in 2007-2009, to avoid risking its own capital.  If you think the scenario is familiar, think AIG.  By any stretch of the imagination, these overpaid and overfed hacks and flacks should have been left to suffer the consequences, stripped of their wealth and in prison.  Why hasn't this happened?  We have waited and waited for economic reform we can believe in, which Wall Streeters are fighting tooth and nail.  We've been told that we can't have the meaningful reform we crave, that we must accept "bipartisan" compromise.  The GOP slings its empty "free market" bull (bull, because they never actually mean a free market, but rather a rigged market, in practice). Then they blame an administration inheriting the effects of their party's utter lack of fiscal stewardship.  Now they fight reform to fix it and assure proposed re-regulation is toothless.  And of course, it's everyone's fault but their own.  The faux-helpless foxes at the SEC guarded the hen house then.  Even our own side has acted fairly helpless in the face of so many misdeeds. Should the administration not use the tools and methods available to it, it will deserve later scrutiny and judgment.  I reserve judgment for the time being. However, as Reich observes, it turns out that we do not need "reform" to do something about it.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 279 words in story)

Interview with Dr. Peter Wilk on Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty

by: SumofChange

Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 13:52:47 PM EDT

( - promoted by Elaine in Roanoke)

cross-posted from Sum of Change

I stopped in at the office of Physicians for Social Responsibility this morning to meet Dr. Peter Wilk, the Executive Director.

Dr. Wilk is a recognized expert on nuclear disarmament and has been active for the past 27 years in public health advocacy organizations and medical organizations concerned with preventing nuclear war and addressing other threats to global survival.
There's More... :: (4 Comments, 534 words in story)

"Kookinelli" - Virginia's Embarrassment

by: Elaine in Roanoke

Fri Apr 02, 2010 at 11:55:42 AM EDT

(Also posted at Blue Virginia)

Here he goes again. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli vows once more to sue the federal government. Now, he is challenging  the Obama administration and Environmental Protection Agency's new fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.

Cuccinelli has already filed suit against the EPA's determination that it can regulate greenhouse gases because they cause global warming and are harmful to human health. A Cuccinelli  spokesman said the EPA's announcement of fuel efficiency standards amounts to a "tacit denial" of Cooch's insistence that the EPA reconsider its greenhouse gases determination.

Well, duh...Of course it does.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 692 words in story)

Bolling: Latest Blip on Hypocrite Radar

by: Elaine in Roanoke

Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 17:41:22 PM EDT

(Also posted at Blue Virginia)

We all have had chuckles - plus a large dose of disgust - watching all the Republicans who railed against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and voted en masse against it, proceed to tout the benefits in their own districts. Now, Bob McDonnell's hand-picked "jobs czar," Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, is joining their ranks.

Bolling spent last year attacking the federal "stimulus bill,"  saying that all the efforts to combat the Wall-Street-greed-driven Great Recession, were "massive federal spending bills that would result in the largest expansion of government in 40 years" and "will balloon the size of the federal government and increase the federal debt dramatically, little to stimulate economic growth."

Now, Bolling has gotten stimulus religion, Last week, according to the Washington Post, the lieutenant governor, speaking on behalf of his boss Bob McDonnell, praised almost 40 energy conservation projects proposed by local governments in Virginia. The cost - funds from the Recovery Act - totals $13.2 million.

"Jobs will be the first dividend from these innovative programs and projects, but they also have the potential to save tax dollars and reduce energy costs for Virginians for years to come,"  Bolling said.

I have just one comment: Welcome to the "GOP Hypocrisy Hall of Shame," Mr. Bolling.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 448 words in story)

. . . for the sake of the institution . . .

by: teacherken

Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:03:28 AM EDT

It takes many forms:

The Blue Wall of Silence

We must protect the church

We clean up our own messes

You will weaken the Presidency/administration in a time of war/crisis/national emergency

An outsider cannot understand

You will take away the motivation to take risks

... and you can offer your own version . . .

It is the excuse not to public identify wrongdoers or to be subject to outside oversight or to allow criminal investigation and prosecution

The claim is that to do so will weaken the Police Force / Church / Military / Business / Organization

The claim is wrong.  And failure to fully investigate and expose weakens the institution, because it inevitably leads to an arrogance and the same or similar behavior continues, or happens again. . . and again . . . and again. . .

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 2034 words in story)

Friedman's Health Care Zingers

by: Teddy Goodson

Tue Mar 30, 2010 at 13:39:25 PM EDT

What would the patriarch of capitalism, economist Milton Friedman himself, have to say about the new Health Care Reform bill?

Milton Friedman, as I am sure you recall, was the chief founder and promoter of the Free Market theory of capitalism, which was, of course, the political-economic theory that has utterly dominated everything from Wall Street to MBA schools to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (not to mention both our political parties), that brought us globalization and eventually defeated Soviet Communism in the world market of ideas, or so say Reagan Republicans.

Almost every speech (and rant) against the Health Care bill is replete with references to Friedman's doctrine, despite the fact that the bill itself is extraordinarily careful to preserve "market-based" solutions---- remember, President Obama himself took off the table any government (i.e., socialist) competition in the form of even a diddly little public option, which makes it all the more puzzling when we hear major blowouts about "socialism" and the end of America, that the government is taking over one-sixth (or more) of our economy.  

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 207 words in story)

Myths about the State Budget

by: Elaine in Roanoke

Tue Mar 30, 2010 at 11:03:03 AM EDT

(Cross-posted at Blue Virginia)

Here we go again. Gov. Bob McDonnell wants to walk in the footsteps of George Allen and shrink the big, bad, state government. When Allen tried that, it was simply a smokescreen for his radical conservative agenda. He was more interested in  vouchers for private schools and privatizing mental health and child support services than in ending unnecessary state spending.

Conservatives in the GOP always throw around this budget figure: "State spending over the past decade has grown 73 percent in the past 10 years." NOT TRUE.

The figure bandied about by those who begrudge any state revenue going to anyone except themselves includes directed funds, such as money that gives tuition help to state colleges. According to the latest JLARC report, the actual increase in state spending for the General Fund  in the last 10 years is 46 percent.

If one is honest and corrects that figure for inflation and state population growth (10 percent), the state budget has grown only 8 percent over 10 years, or less than 1 percent per year. That is hardly profligate state spending.

However, here we go again...  

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 516 words in story)

April 9th, Stand on the Side of Love (Again, and Always)

by: KathyinBlacksburg

Mon Mar 29, 2010 at 12:26:00 PM EDT

(I will cross-post at Blue Virginia.)

April inches ever closer to the dreaded anniversary.  The regional paper for our area began its opine this way: "As if Blacksburg and Virginia Tech have not endured enough in recent years..." Yes, as if... We relive that day every time the emergency alert system is tested.  We relive it nearly every day our loved ones go to work or class.  They relive it every time they walk past Norris Hall, or the Drill Field Memorial.  They relive it when nut-cases send them hate mail, or when, recently, an internet psychopath threatened the campus once again.  (It turned out to be sourced in a distant land, but not without stirring up much anxiety.)

They relived it when right-wing pols tried to use these events for political opportunism to turn their sites on the academy, teachers who work long hours year after year so that their students may learn.  Some (such as Phylis Schlafly and Lynn Cheney's anti-faculty organization) did that following the original April 16th horror.  They blamed the victims.  So did talk show hosts and television "evangelists," whom I will not name here.  Their names get far too much play already.

No, we need no annual reminder because it never goes completely away. For the families of the victims, life is forever changed. In such matters it would be appropriate to extend sympathy and support toward the victims. That's what most people do.  But not the psychopathic fringe minority.  Each year, for all the wealth of positive support and good will, comes a reminder of the kind of hate that brought us to this point, the kind of hate that caused all of this in the first place. Now we have learned that one of the primary national architects of hate will be here this April:  The infamous, so-called Rev. Fred Phelps and his shrieking Westboro "Baptist Church" accomplices.  

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 459 words in story)

Early Saturday morning - just a few not so random thoughts

by: teacherken

Sun Mar 28, 2010 at 19:13:37 PM EDT

apologies - somehow forgot to crosspost this here on time, as you can tell by the title, but it is an appropriate followup to my last diary here

It is 4:30 in the morning. I am packing, dressing, and about to leave for my 2nd and final day of the Mission of Mercy project in Roanoke, where I will spend from 6 to 3 or so in dental triage.  As I was going to sleep last night I came to several realizations which I wish to share.

You may agree.

You may disagree.

Hell, you may chose not to keep reading.

It is what is on my mind.

So here goes

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 340 words in story)
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