Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fuzzy Math

This from a Dick Black Facebook post:

"If you put $10,000 in the bank last November, it's worth just $9,000 today. Isn't Ben Bernanke the greatest? It's called Zimbabwe-nomics. Just print all the cash you need. Liberals are so smart."

Huh?  The inflation rate is nominal (but, of course, so are the interest rates), so I just don't get what the heck he's trying to say especially since the term "Zimbabwe-nomics" is not used, well, anywhere.  Guess I'm not as smart as the liberals he references.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Loudoun Dodgers?

As troubled as the Los Angeles Dodgers are with MLB having taken over the team, things aren’t looking much better for our local team.

The Loudoun Hounds, who originally promised to throw out the first pitch in May 2011, now say it won’t happen until the 2012 season.  However, since construction apparently has not yet even begun on the stadium, much less the surrounding Kincora development, even that date is in question.  There’s this photograph of a pretty little backhoe on the Hounds’ website, but there are none of the promised construction cameras nor any reference to the stadium’s ground breaking.  Add to all that the issues about the club’s financing, and it’s highly questionable whether they’ll be ready next year. If ever.

Don’t get me wrong – I very much hope they can pull it off.  It’ll be a great addition to Loudoun, and, in my excitement, I’ve even bought some Hounds gear.

I just hope I’ll have a game to wear it to someday.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bob Wertz v. The Zombie

Boy, do the Dems have a poor lineup this year. Across the board.

McGimsey. Bellanca. Roeder. But no one is worse, in my opinion, than zombie used car salesman Josh Actor running for Loudoun County Commissioner of the Revenue  To begin with, let me just point to the observations previously offered by NVTH a few weeks back. What's more, though, is that even the Dems won't touch him.  He's apparently been disowned by the LCDC (not even listed as a candidate), and Loudoun Progress has tried to do him a favor by NOT linking to his "website."

Contrast that with incumbent commissioner Bob Wertz.  In short, an all around great guy.  Calm and unassuming, Bob has delivered meaningful results in his eight years in office that have made Loudoun a better place for all of us. http://www.bobwertz.org/  His campaign officially kicks off this Thursday, April 27. 

Be there or risk being eaten by zombies.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What Happens If They Can't Agree on a Redistricting Plan?

Not to get too far ahead of the game, but I wanted to know just what would happen if the General Assembly and the governor didn't agree on a redistricting plan.  Or, even if they do, what if the Justice Department refuses to preclear it? Or what if there’s a successful court challenge? What happens then?

The short answer is that someone will file suit in a Virginia federal court and a three-judge panel will hear the case.  If the court follows Cosner v. Dalton, a similar redistricting case from 1981, the November elections would proceed under whatever plan is then in place, whether it’s a new plan or no plan at all, pending a trial on the merits. If the plaintiffs win, the court, as a remedial measure, would enter an order requiring new elections with the amended, court-approved redistricting plan, which likely would be drafted by the legislature.

Let's just hope it doesn't come to that.

Sound Legal Basis for Veto of Redistricting Plan

I’ve taken a closer look at the governor’s veto message which cited several legal issues with redistricting bill passed by the General Assembly. In short, all of them are well grounded given Supreme Court precedent and the Virginia constitution.

  • The Plan violates the Virginia Constitution because the proposed districts are not compact. The governor clearly is right on this one. Though “compact” may be a subjective term, anyone who’s seen the crayon scribble from the Senate plan knows well that it could never pass a “compactness” test. As such, it fails to meet the requirements of Art. II, sec. 6 of the Virginia Constitution which requires, “Every electoral district shall be composed of contiguous and compact territory and shall be so constituted as to give, as nearly as is practicable, representation in proportion to the population of the district.”

  • The Plan violates the one-person, one-vote ideal of both the United States and Virginia constitutions. The Supreme Court has not required mathematical precision in the equal population of voting districts provided there’s a good reason for it. With the Senate plan, though, there’s a significant disparity and no good reason for it. As such, it’s unlikely to withstand constitution muster under Karcher v. Daggett.

  • The Plan is raw political gerrymandering. Going back to the crayon map again, no one could deny that. One may argue that such is the case with every redistricting, including the House bill. The Senate bill, however, is so egregious that it could well be invalidated under the Supreme Court’s precedent in David v. Bandemere in which the Court held that disenfranchisement of minority political parties, not just minority races, could be the basis for invalidating a reapportionment plan

In other words, far from being a political move, which the governor is entirely entitled to make, the veto of the redistricting plan was proper in light of the successful court challenge that inevitably would have resulting had the bill become law. That’s not to say court challenges won’t come (and I think they will), but that’s the topic of my next post.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What Does McDonnell's Veto of the Redistricting Bill Mean for Loudoun?

In case you haven't seen it already, here is Governor McDonnell's statement in veto of the redistricting bill.  In relevant part, it provides:

1.  Senate plan does not meet the requirements of the Constitution of Virginia because the districts are not compact.

2.  Senate plan violates the one-man one-vote principle of the United States Constitution.

3.  Senate plan is simple partisan gerrymandering.

Right on all counts, Governor.

So what does this mean for Loudoun?  As I noted earlier, I thought Dick Black packed his bags for Ashburn too soon.  The Senate districts likely will change, and I'd be shocked if  Gov. McDonnell ever signed off on any plan that put Sterling in with Arlington. Of course, Black's so shameless about chasing some remote chance of election that he'll probably announce later today that he's moving back to Sterling.

On the House side, too, things could get shaken up.  Even though the governor's veto was directed at the Senate plan, he also effectively vetoed the House plan because the plans were part of  the same bill.  As a result, there could be some House-Senate compromise whereby some House districts are traded for Senate ones.  That, of course, could throw a wrench into the two seats (the 10th and 87th) for Loudoun in the latest House plan.

Finally, the veto shortens even more the campaign season.  Likely that fact alone will be used to justify some insular party nominating process instead of a state-run primary.

One thing's for sure.  There are plenty of candidates in a frenzy this afternoon.

Open Thread on LCRC Meeting

Of all the LCRC meetings I've ever wanted to go to (and, honestly, there haven't been many), I wish I could be at tonight's. I'm dying to see the "protest" by the Virginia Anti-Intelligence Task Force and the Blue Ridge F-ups. I've opened this thread, and, despite all the talk about blogging etiquiette, the identities of the so-called protesters need not be preserved. (feel free to send pictures, too - lloydtheidiot@gmail.com)

To lead things off, here's a comment offered by a reader earlier today:

"A group of Fauquier wanna-be tea-partiers are making the calls to rally folks for tonight against David. These are JoAnn and Clay Chases friends Rick Buchannan and Linda Miller. JoAnn worked tirelessly to try to get Rick elected as Fauquier County Republican Chair last year, even working the voting place for him all day, making nasty remarks as supporters of his victorious opponents. Her fingerprints are all over this rally tonight. And now she is trying to use Dick Black as a life preserver, but instead she’s becoming an anchor for him. What a ditz."

Also, as reported earlier by the esteemed Joe B, independent BOS Chairman Scott York is rumored to be rejoining the LCRC tonight. Bad move by York in my opinion, but what the heck do I know. We'll have to see if it actually comes through.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Read It for the Articles. Really

Barney Frank gives an interview in this month's Playboy.

In it, he bashes Republicans who he says now "take a far angrier tone.'  Hmm. Wonder what ever could have caused that? Certainly, it couldn't have been the reckless partisanship that was the hallmark of the 2008-2010 session.  Nahh.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Demise of the Eastern Loudoun GOP

See full size image
Pop Quiz:

The disgusting 2011 redistricting of Senate and House of Delegates districts has had this effect on the Republican base in eastern Loudoun County: (a) orphaned it; (b) castrated it; or (c) killed it altogether.

Answer: any one or all is correct.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ken Burns' "The Civil War" - One of the Finest Achievements in American Television

On the eve of the sesquicentennial of the bombardment of Ft. Sumter, PBS airs again Ken Burns' classic The Civil War. The series is absolutely remarkable in its depth and coverage of the personalities and battles of the war, but even more remarkable is how very understandable and personal Burns makes those events. Truly, it is an American treasure.