Tags: virginia

Huey Freeman

Confederate History Month

Oh, how I wish I could simply say there's just eleven more days of this nonsense and be done with it, but it's never that simple. Several weeks ago, new Virginia governor Bob McDonnell, at the behest of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, issued a proclamation declaring this month Confederate History Month. The original proclamation romanticized the cause of the South by calling the conflict a war for independence and omitting that the root cause was that the South wanted to maintain the institution of slavery. After a public firestorm, during which he made the unfortunate statement that slavery wasn't a significant issue for Virginia (despite it being the reason Virginia itself broke in two during the Civil War), he backed down and added an apology for slavery to the declaration itself.

Really, there's a lot one can say about this, but one understated irony here is how the party of Lincoln and abolition -- a fact which is brought up frequently when the discussion in politics comes to race -- will today honor the people who launched a war against their country, against Lincoln and those abolitionists. Which brings up the irony of the following, spotted by Gawker.

While condemning an entire religious group because a number of its followers executed an attack on America nine years ago, he is celebrating a group who also executed an attack on America one hundred and forty-nine years ago.

Fifteen years ago today, Timothy McVeigh attacked a federal building in Oklahoma City. Many people died. Today, there will be protests more in support of the militias to which McVeigh swore allegiance to, against this nation. Today, many actual members of the government by election pander to the people who see the United States Federal Government as illegitimate. This is playing with matches around a open powder keg.

Happy 1400th post to me.

A $3500 Speeding Ticket?!

I shall dub thee, "Albo Fees!"

Quite frankly, there's nothing funnier/scarier than Republicans looking to raise money but without "raising taxes". Of course, the problem most anti-tax Republicans discover when trying to "starve the beast", or shrinking the government to be small enough to drown in a bathtub, is that people like to feast from the beast. Government is far more popular than the people we elect to run it.

So we have the tax-masquerading-as-a-fee, which Virginia has decided to take to its absurd logical conclusion. Usurious traffic penalties on bad driving. Three, and four digit penalties for offenses like failing to signal, or speeding. Sure, I'd love to drive on roads without feeling like I'm taking life into my own hands, but this is insane.

Of course, it shouldn't be a a surprise that the man who created this law (which takes effect Sunday) and is most proud of it, David Albo, runs a law firm whose specialty is fighting tickets.

Since Albo is so proud of his work, I think we should all honor him. We should name these new fine "Albo Fees". Someone will go to court to challenge the constitutionality of this ("Equal protection under the law"). When you do, make sure to give credit where it is do. Let Dave know how you feel about those Albo fees.

Also: WUSA 9 News report on the Petition to Repeal the Civil Remedial Fees for Traffic Offenses

It was worth the vote...

This will be an entertaining two years at least. . .
President Bush has pledged to work with the new Democratic majorities in Congress, but he has already gotten off on the wrong foot with Jim Webb, whose surprise victory over Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) tipped the Senate to the Democrats.

Webb, a decorated former Marine officer, hammered Allen and Bush over the unpopular war in Iraq while wearing his son’s old combat boots on the campaign trail. It seems the president may have some lingering resentment.

At a private reception held at the White House with newly elected lawmakers shortly after the election, Bush asked Webb how his son, a Marine lance corporal serving in Iraq, was doing.

Webb responded that he really wanted to see his son brought back home, said a person who heard about the exchange from Webb.

“I didn’t ask you that, I asked how he’s doing,” Bush retorted, according to the source.

Webb confessed that he was so angered by this that he was tempted to slug the commander-in-chief, reported the source, but of course didn’t. It’s safe to say, however, that Bush and Webb won’t be taking any overseas trips together anytime soon.

More from the Washington Post

Virginia, for the sake of our sanity, end off year elections!

At two o'clock this morning, I watched the Virginia gubernatorial debate. Why I stayed up to watch it at two this morning rather than earlier at midnight is my dumbass fault. Why I forgot to check it out live as it happened online at seven o'clock last night is also my dumbass fault. Why I didn't use my not-quite TiVo device from my cable company to record this debate at watch it at a sane time is also my dumbass fault. And right now, I'm watching ABC News tell me that we're probably not prepared for a nuclear attack. The fact that I will not be going to sleep for a while is now my dumbass fault. But that's a post for another day on this weblargh.

Virginia is one of only two states to hold statewide elections on odd-numbered off years. For those of you who don't live here or in New Jersey don't know what type of torture this year. The easist way I can put it is like this: There is never a time in this state where a political campaign is not in progress. There is never a time where there is no one calling you for their support or demonizing the other candidate. There is never a time where operatives aren't speculating about who's running, and what they're running for. There's never a time where fundraising letters don't arrive in my mailbox. (And due to some quirk in the universe, I get them from both parties, and all interest groups. The Brady Campaign and the NRA want my money. I think I should play them both against each other for diamonds and fancy dinners.) There's never a time campaign canvassers, and interest group canvassers aren't trying to scalp my head...um, get my phone number as their prize.

Everybody to the west of Cumberland Gap gets a break every year. We don't! Every fall, as inevitable as the changing of the leaves, the start of school, the return of Congress and their reign of terror on everyone, we get two and a half months of campign ads.

Quite honestly, it has seeped into the natural environment of Virginia. If all of humanity in the state of Virginia were destroyed, squirrels will be placing advertisements on television accusing each other of being too dishonest, too liberal, or too backwards to govern. They'll be touting endorsements from the Winter Nut Society, or the Campaign for Smarter Reforestation.

(Next -- An actual post about the debate. I was disappointed by both candidates. However, Kilgore was more obvious in trying to dance around questions. But he get the biggest boo from me from his mischaractization of death penalty opposition. Unfortunately, Kaine doesn't redeem himself here either. Someone is going to have to defend Illinois' moratorium on the death penalty. It may as well be me.)