NFL to Add 15yd Penalty for Epithets

In a move too endearing to this bleeding-heart lefty’s love for all things politically correct to be ignored, the National Football League is moving towards adoption of a rule that will impose penalties for the use of racial slurs and epithets by players on the field during games. Specifically, over-the-line trash-talk will, if the rule is adopted, cost your team fifteen yards.

What’s the northern Virginia angle to this?

Well…

Continue reading “NFL to Add 15yd Penalty for Epithets”

And Then There Were Two…

Sam Kubba has dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination to succeed Frank Wolf. That leaves Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust and Fairfax attorney Richard Bolger still contending. The smart money’s on Foust, but the Democratic 10th Congressional District Committee has chosen a byzantine nominating process (involving a two-week election period during which you get to vote for some number of Delegates, some other number of Alternates, which you can do by slate or on an individual basis, who then go on to a convention during which the committed Delegates are bound to vote for their candidate on the first round only, unless that candidate has dropped out, and then, well… you can read all five single-spaced pages of rules for this process on your own time).

Seems like a lot of trouble to go to, but there are only just so many ways to choose a nominee and you do want the process to be fair. On the other hand, if you are a political party, you also want the process to choose the candidate most likely to win in the general election. However, parties and candidates are not one-in-the-same. Parties want their candidates to win, but candidates want themselves to win. Messrs. Kubba and Bolger were, as far as anyone seems to know, politically unknown before announcing they would run for Frank Wolf’s seat. Now, at the time, Wolf was widely expected to run again, and the practice of running political unknowns for seats you can’t win is fairly well established, so no one really cared who they were. Supervisor Foust’s entry into the race, combined with Wolf’s retirement, changes all that, because of one simple fact: Foust could win in November. So why is Bolger running? Could he win? Theoretically, anyone can win. But, realistically, his chances seem very slight compared to Foust’s. Then again, both men are from Fairfax, while the single most populous jurisdiction in the district is Loudoun county. This could be an issue if the Republicans choose a candidate with any Loudoun ties name-recognition. At the moment, it’s hard to say who that Republican will be, as the list of contenders is pretty long:

  • Barbara Comstock
  • Bob Marshall
  • Richard Shickle
  • Stephen Hollingshead
  • Marc Savitt
  • Rob Wasinger
  • Brent Anderson
  • Donald Duck

Okay, one of those hasn’t yet declared, but the top two are the most likely to include the actual nominee, and both have established support in Loudoun county. Both will appeal to voters outside of Loudoun and not in Fairfax. Either Foust or Bolger (and it is going to be Foust) will take Fairfax (readily, if Marshall wins, but with a bit of a fight if Comstock wins). The hinterlands of the district will go to the Republican. Which brings the battle home to Loudoun, where almost all of the interesting political battles in Virginia seem to be happening these days.

Both parties will choose their nominees on April 26. On April 27, if you live in Loudoun county, draw the shades and lock your doors, because it’s going to be heck outside.

Tis the Season

Financial reports came out yesterday for members of the General Assembly. Considering the grief experienced by Bob McDonnell arising from gifts, the reports are a bit surprising. Compared to 2010, when Bob took office, the gifts reported for his last year (the one with all the trouble) did not consistently trend one way or the other. For a few of our NoVa legislators, here are the totals:

2013 2010
Greason 2872 9858
Comstock 2149 3057
Ramadan 1155 0
Minchew 863 0
Favola 5434 8207
LeMunyon 1963 521
Plum 2479 6497
Rust 6232 3283
Surovell 1373 103
Vogel 576 298

Some took more, some took less. Maybe the 2014 reports will be more telling, as the governor’s real troubles came to light roughly mid-year. The details of what’s in those 2013 totals are below the fold. Continue reading “Tis the Season”

NoVa Delegate Bob Marshall Comments on Gay Marriage Decision

Bob Marshall (R-13) has issued a statement about Judge Wright-Allen’s decision, striking down his eponymous Marshall Amendment to the Virginia constitution, that bans gay marriage. One can hardly be surprised that he disagrees, and at least one of his enumerated points of complaint has a bit of merit to it (that the judge read the Equal Protection clause of the constitution as though it were more closely worded like the Declaration’s guarantee of universal equality, instead of merely delivering on that guarantee’s promise). But he just can’t seem to help himself, sputtering almost apoplectically (maybe not almost, come to think of it) about the fact that, since things have always been a certain way, that God therefore meant they would stay that way forever. And who are we to argue with God? (If you need to know what God has to say on all this, by the way, the statement makes it clear that you can, when in any doubt about His Word, just ask Delegate Marshall. He’ll tell you What It Is.)

It must be particularly frustrating for a man who has devoted so much of his life to oppressing others that, on the eve of his efforts to become a federal legislator, his signature achievement in government is declared to be an unconstitutional form of discrimination. The rest of us could see that coming, of course, and polls even show that his amendment would not pass today. But Bob Marshall has never cared about today. As his statement shows, Bob Marshall is all about the past.

Perhaps the time has finally come, to leave him there.

 

UPDATE: The preliminary draft of Judge Wright-Allen’s decision referred to the constitution as the source of the promise that “all men” are created equal. The updated version released today identifies the Declaration of Independence as the source. Guess anyone can make a mistake, eh Bob?

Manassas City Council’s Stealth Attack on Women

Ten days ago, the City Council of Manassas (an unlikely war-zone for Virginia’s creeping siege on freedom of choice, at a whopping 40,000 residents) tried to continue its stealthy plans to close an abortion clinic. Following the road-map laid out by the City of Fairfax, and unable to attack the clinic directly, they are using the one form of law that any local elected official can tell you trumps the Code of Virginia, the constitution of the Commonwealth, and the United States Bill of Rights: the city zoning ordinance. Continue reading “Manassas City Council’s Stealth Attack on Women”

NV Drops Defense of Constitutional Gay Marriage Ban

The governor and attorney general of Nevada have today announced that they will no longer defend their state’s constitutional prohibition on gay marriage. The AP story buries the reason, but it is found in an oblique reference to another case in the same (Ninth) federal circuit that only recently decided gays could not be excluded from jury service on the basis of their sexual orientation. Nevada’s top lawyer thinks this kills their defense because, until now, only race and gender were wholly barred as reasons why a person could be excluded from jury duty. Apparently, the new ruling means that gays, minorities, and women all share the same status as protected classes under the Equal Protection clause of the federal constitution. This is the argument Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring made when he previously said he would not defend Virginia’s constitutional ban on gay marriage.

Herring’s opponents say he is derelict in his duty. No doubt, some in Nevada will say the same thing about their own AG. Regardless, it appears the end is near for bans on gay marriage, and that Mark Herring isn’t the only state attorney general who can read the writing on the wall (or on the constitution).

A Light in the Darkness

Unsurprisingly, Eugene Delgaudio and Janet Clarke voted against expanding a Muslim center in Leesburg, after some Very Concerned Citizens suggested that the most pressing social issue of our time (parking) would be a problem. Scott York and Suzanne Volpe were out of the room for the vote, so that left Supervisors Reid, Higgins, Buona, and Williams to do the right thing and vote “yes” on the merits. They could have done only that and moved on, but one paused to remark, on the record, “I don’t remember seeing anybody who came here tonight concerned about traffic on Sycolin Road with this Muslim Community Center come before the Leesburg Town Council complaining about the Cornerstone Chapel. I don’t think it ever would have been this controversy if it had been a church or synagogue, but it is a Muslim community center so we have some folks raising concerns.”

Those remarks came from Ken Reid, who is Jewish. He is also the only supervisor who has to answer to the voters in Leesburg, since he is the Leesburg district supervisor. It might be a stretch to make this connection, but maybe the Leesburg speakers opposed to the application were mostly Republican-leaning voters, too. In other words, Reid stuck his neck out when he didn’t have to, and was the only board member who risked anything by doing so. With not much to cheer about on this board from a leftie’s point of view, let’s not ignore it when one of them not only gets it right, but shows a little backbone in the process.

“Getting Weird in Here”

Delegate Todd Gilbert says it in the fewest words possible, as former Fairfax County Democratic Committee chair, and now Fairfax Delegate Scott Surovell does it with (some kind of) style on the floor of the General Assembly:

SurovellHat

In case you are wondering, Scott is arguing against tax-breaks for film-makers who want to shoot their movies in Virginia. No word yet on whether the hat has sent Scott to Gryffindor or Slytherin.