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Friday, January 21, 2011

Nutter To The Rescue

Delegate David Nutter (R-7) is attempting the impossible.  He's going to try and straighten out Montgomery County.  Good luck with that.

Seriously, good luck with that:
Nutter seeks electoral reform
Roanoke Times editorial

Sloppy mistakes and poor official decision-making have plagued recent Montgomery County elections. Del. David Nutter, whose district includes half of the county, took notice and introduced two bills to increase electoral accountability. One is a no-brainer; the other at least should spark an overdue discussion about the power of the State Electoral Board.

We will spare you the full litany of troubles in Montgomery County. They have ranged from late ballots to improperly approved petitions to poll book failures. Things have gotten so bad that the county League of Women Voters went public with concerns about Registrar Randy Wertz's and the local electoral board's ability to successfully run an election in the fall.

Nutter's bills tackle the troubles head-on. The first, HB 2251, would make it clear that when an electronic poll book fails and voters cannot be verified, they must cast provisional ballots. In November, Montgomery County allowed voters to cast ordinary ballots when poll books failed in some precincts. If any of them had been illegal, there would have been no way to recall the votes.

This sort of provision should be simple common sense, but common sense sometimes fails, as it did with Wertz and the electoral board. They later conceded they had erred. The General Assembly should pass this bill without much debate.

Nutter's other election bill is thornier. HB 2249 would allow the state electoral board to fine registrars up to $1,000 when they make mistakes that affect elections. [link]
I wholeheartedly support both efforts.

"Sloppy" is the first word read in this editorial. Sloppy is what we don't need any more of from our government(s). Let's hold our employees accountable. And demand that they perform up to the tasks assigned.  Or face the consequences.

You go, Dave.

Bad Hair Day

Did you ever wonder how cutting your hair with a chainsaw would turn out?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could tell you.

For the love of God, man, don't go out in public until it grows back.  Please, I'm beggin ya.

'Solve the Problem'

We can get distracted and have a discussion about gun shows.  Again.  Or, as seems more likely, we can rocket off into the universe of meaninglessness and talk about high-capacity handgun magazines.  Again.  Or how about a trip down memory lane?  We can do battle over gun trigger locks.  Again.

Or, we can do something about the real problem plaguing America: Insanity.
Ariz. rampage revives concerns about Va. mental health system
By Brigid Schulte, Washington Post Staff Writer

In 2007, Seung Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, slipped through the cracks of the state's mental health system. At just about every step, a system designed to catch bizarre behavior and get help to people such as Cho failed.

Now, as eerily familiar details emerge about the suspect in the recent Tucson shootings - whose behavior on an Arizona campus was widely noticed but never addressed by mental health professionals - the question on many minds in Virginia is: Has the system been fixed?

The answer, despite a massive overhaul of the state's mental health system in 2008 and an influx of $41 million, is no, according to state officials and mental health experts.

"Could someone like Seung Hui Cho fall through the cracks again? I definitely think so," said Aradhana A. "Bela" Sood, a child psychiatrist at Virginia Commonwealth University who sat on the panel established by then-Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) to investigate the Virginia Tech massacre.

[I]s the system fixed? "We've improved it, but the short answer is no. No way. Not even close," said Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R), who as a lawyer represented clients in the mental health system and as a state senator pushed for reform. "It was really hard to get some very basic things changed until Virginia Tech. . . and frankly, there's a lot more we could do." [link]
So lunatics continue to walk the streets.  Time bombs a'tickin'.  Six people in Tucson are dead.  And Gabrielle Giffords is fighting to recover from her horrendous wounds.

Cho Seung-hui is a faded memory.

With debate raging these days over civility.  And Sarah Palin.

Nothing has changed.  NOTHING.

Solve the problem.

Solve the problem.

* Title from the movie, "Disclosure."
** Thanks go out to the Washington Post for not making this another of its signature "guns are evil" stories.

An Odd Argument

But then it's Paul Krugman making it, so ...

See his latest, "China Goes to Nixon" (I hope the New York Times isn't paying someone to write headers for its op/ed pieces; I have no idea what that means.).

In it he argues that China's economy is doing great.
In part because of its monetary policy. 
A policy that does damage to the economies of other countries around the planet. 
Because the Chinese are acting in their own self-interest, they should stop doing that.


I'm thinking Hu Jintao should be more like Obama.
And consider the well-being of the planet first.
Ignoring the worsening problems of those who are in his charge.
The planet will certainly appreciate it.
As will Paul Krugman.


Who do you go to for expert analysis and advice when you are worried about how fossil fuels are affecting the biosphere (and you are seeking the answers you've already planned for your report)?

Why, you go to a scientist linguist, of course!

And, in doing so, you get ... reasoned scientific calculation?

Uh, no.

You get moronic delirium (that is expressed, linguistically, perfectly).

The Nation sits down with linguist Noam Chomsky.

The result?

The latest election, a couple of days ago, you could almost interpret it as a kind of death knell for the species. We're essentially saying, 'Let's kiss each other goodbye."

Christ Almighty.

Headline of the Day

I hope you've been paying attention.

"The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner hosted a dinner for the guy holding the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner in prison..."

I think I'd blame the Nobel committee before I blamed the 2009 winner.

The First Rule In Picking a GOP Candidate

Figure out which presidential contender is considered by the Republican establishment to be the least "electable" and latch onto ... her ... candidacy.

The least electable right now?


Here's Stella Paul on the subject:
Sarah Palin, Combat Veteran

You want leadership; you want steel spine; you want results? Helllooooo...What happened in Congress Wednesday? The House voted to repeal ObamaCare, 245 - 189, with the Republicans voting unanimously for repeal.

To whom do we owe this victory, more than anyone else, clearly and unequivocally? Sarah Palin. She showed us courage in real time, leading in every possible way: philosophically, strategically, tactically, and financially. Next to combat-hardened Sarah, every single Republican man is a trembling dwarf.

The Republican establishment loathes Sarah Palin; the conservative commentariat needs smelling salts at the very mention of her name; and the ruling class took a blood oath to destroy not just her, but her family, too.

But none of that matters, because a ragtag army of freedom-loving Americans knows who's got the guts of a real Commander-in-Chief. President Palin, we'll see you on January 20, 2013.
Sarah Palin is about as "unelectable" as a candidate can be. That's why she has a good chance of taking it all in 2012.

They only wish it were so.  We the People know better.  And We have the votes.

Because They're Such Easy Targets

Well, It Worked For Clinton

It's always good to remember that Peggy Noonan, who writes (well) for the Wall Street Journal, is one of ... them.  That will help you get past this:

One idea [Obama] should embrace: a ban on extended ammo clips.

Remember how Bill Clinton saved his presidency by dropping all efforts to actually affect change and focus on silly shit like gun trigger locks? (Actually, I'm not sure I do either, it was so unimportant; did it become law?; is it still the law?)

Peggy Noonan thinks Obama should become similarly irrelevant to the real issues of the day (thank God unemployment is non-existent, eh, Peg?).

Here's her rationale. It starts with the usual Washington mindset - It's up to them to decide what We the People really need.
Normal people are afraid of nuts with guns. That keeps them up nights. They know our society has grown more broken, families more sundered, our culture more degraded, and they fear it is producing more lost and disturbed young people. They fear those young people walking into a school or a mall with a semiautomatic pistol with an extended clip.

What civilian needs a pistol with a magazine that loads 33 bullets and allows you to kill that many people without even stopping to reload? No one but people with bad intent. Those clips were banned once; the president should call for reimposing the ban. 
In other words, the country is on the brink of disaster, and the president has failed to set it right, and we're too stupid and irresponsible to know what we need, so he should change the subject.

Yeah, that'll work, toots.

Maybe She's Just Ahead of the Curve

I'll not be forced to use chopsticks.

I'll not be forced to use chopsticks.

I'll not be forced ...