Politics, open government, and safe streets. And the constant incursion of cycling.

Month: February 2010 Page 1 of 3

For the Record

Rangel should get out of the game.   But really?  Republicans have *zero* room for judgment.  So STFU.

This is Funny


(Seriously, you wonder about what kind of brain it takes that squares all these actions into making sense)

It’s Who They Are

Can anyone explain how Glenn Greenwald is wrong, here?

This is what the Democratic Party does; it’s who they are.  They’re willing to feign support for anything their voters want just as long as there’s no chance that they can pass it.  They won control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections by pretending they wanted to compel an end to the Iraq War and Bush surveillance and interrogation abuses because they knew they would not actually do so; and indeed, once they were given the majority, the Democratic-controlled Congress continued to fund the war without conditions, to legalize Bush’s eavesdropping program, and to do nothing to stop Bush’s habeas and interrogation abuses (“Gosh, what can we do?  We just don’t have 60 votes).

The primary tactic in this game is Villain Rotation.  They always have a handful of Democratic Senators announce that they will be the ones to deviate this time from the ostensible party position and impede success, but the designated Villain constantly shifts, so the Party itself can claim it supports these measures while an always-changing handful of their members invariably prevent it


New Arlington Decal Design

You know, when I first saw the winner (in the competition phase), I thought it a very nice capture of a rare bit of Arlington. Now? There is a year of bitter reminders in front of me.


Also, the site I linked to – ARLNow.com? Good stuff. I hope it can stick around.

And a Liar, Too

Del. Bob Marshall – bigot, misogynist, and general all around creepy guy – made national news yesterday by declaring that disabled children were God’s punishment for the mother having had an abortion. Full quote:

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

Now, I’m not going to pretend to be surprised or outraged about it. It’s totally in character for him, in my view.  He’s not going to resign, and his district will return him to office (perhaps further inflicting God’s punishment on Virginia?).  He’s rather proud of his ridiculousness, and he’s rewarded for it.   It’s Virginia, after all.

What I didn’t expect, however, was for him to out and out lie about what he said. WMAL catches him.

Marshall however today told WMAL he never said any such thing. “One of the reporters said to me, ‘I wondered why AP (Associated Press) and the other guys didn’t cover this. I said, ‘Jonathan, because it didn’t happen,’ ” Marshall told WMAL.

Well, there’s audio.  Bob Marshall, Liar.

Virginia, Turning Resolutely Backwards

Looks like Virginia is now suing the EPA, challenging the finding that greenhouse gases “threaten the public health and welfare of the American people.” Ken Cucchinelli, the Republican Attorney General leading the effort, likes to talk about the importance of property rights and responsibility. But that’s just for other people. Ask his supporters – the agricultural conglomerates, the mining operations – to take some responsibility for their impact on others? Goodness, no. They’ve been making too much money externalizing their costs – why should they be asked to dial that back now?

This action is just one of many challenges to progress that we’re going to see from Virginia, which will be demonstrating just how backward it can be.

Admiral Mullen and DADT

I’ll say it again. It’s not the military that stands between now and a repeal of DADT. It’s Congress and bigotry. The military? They’ll sort it out just fine.

3 Feet to Pass Fails in the VA House

Due in no small part, I’m sure, to the urgings of Delegates Cosgrove & Carricco, the Virginia House of Delegates voted down HB 1048, which provided that motorists should give cyclists three feet when passing. This is very disappointing. The Virginia Bike Federation notes that there is still some hope, in the form of SB 566:

Senate Bill 566 containing just Three Foot Passing is still alive, and will be crossing over to the House Transportation Committee and then, hopefully, to the Full House, in the near future.

As soon as the roll call voting is posted I will forward it along and will urge everyone to contact their delegates expressing disappointment if they voted Nay and thanking them if they voted For the bill. Hopefully, we may be able to turn at least 6 or 7 votes around and get SB 566 passed.

I’ll post that list here, when I have it. I’d really – personally – appreciate any action that readers can take on the bill’s behalf.

Bing’s Mapping Projects

I really had no idea that Bing was doing any of this.

I’m in awe. It makes me want to create a million things.

Virginia’s 3 Feet to Pass Cyclists Law Up for Final Vote in House

The always helpful Virginia Bicycling Federation reports that the proposed “3 feet to pass” bill, which provides that cars must give cyclists at least three feet of clearance when passing them, made it out of committee.  Barely:

After being reported out of Sub Committee yesterday by a 5-2 vote, HB1048, 3 foot passing & following too close, was reported out of the full House Transportation Committee this morning by a very tight 11-10 vote. Since the vote was electronically tallied and then taken down rather quickly, I’m not sure exactly who voted each way, but it appeared that all the D’s voted for the bill, joined by two or three R’s (which I think included Oder & Rust).

As in Sub Committee, there was even more discussion of how difficult it would be with the additional foot to legally pass a bicycle without going over the double center line on a two lane road. The strongest anti-cycling sentiment was expressed by Del. Cosgrove of Chesapeake, Del. Knight of Virginia Beach, who clearly voted against the bill, along with Del. Villanueva of Va Beach, even though the representative of that City and Bruce Drees of the Tidewater Bicycling Assn. both spoke in favor of it.

Remember, the Virginia Senate has already passed this bill, and it is an unlikely veto target.  So all that stands between this sensible idea becoming law is the Virginia House of Delegates.  VBF asks:

Now its on to the Full House floor (either on Saturday or Monday), where Chairman Joe May of Loudon (who also appeared to vote against the bill) wished our patron, Kaye Kory, a good-natured “Good luck on the floor” after he announced the result of the voting.

Now, we need EVERYONE to contact their delegate. If you don’t know who it is, you can find out at the VA General Assembly’s Who’s My Legislator page…


Please take a few minutes to do this, even if you think you live in the district of someone who will certainly vote for it.  It would be a shame to get so close to success, yet lose because of a bit of complacency.

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