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Virginia
  • Rick Santorum Nightmare Dog Wedding Comes True

    It featured a black-tie gala, couture gowns, celebrity chefs and officiating by Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

    In short, it was everything Rick Santorum warned us about

    Two dogs got married Thursday night at an extravaganza to benefit the Humane Society of New York…

    After they got hitched, the cuddly couple were presented with a Guinness World Record in the category of most expensive pet wedding at $158,187.26. The luxury goods and services that went into the wedding were all donated. Guests bought tickets for the Manhattan fundraiser.

    As it happens, while the bride hailed from New York, the groom was from Richmond, Virginia, a state that bans marriage equality via a constitutional amendment. Which raises the obvious slippery-slope argument. If dogs can have a fake wedding, what's next? Two consenting adults who love each other being allowed to marry for real?

    Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Animals, LGBT, New York, Rick Santorum, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, Virginia
  • Mitt Romney Losing Ground in Swing States

    With the general election just a few short months away, it's critical for Mitt Romney to reach out to the important swing states, focus on talking to the people who live there and allow the voters there to get to know him.

    Unfortunately, that carries with it certain dangers. Such as the danger that the voters there might get to know him

    Among the voters in our poll living in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, Obama's lead over Romney increases to 50%-42%.

    Also in these swing states, Romney's favorability numbers have dropped: A month ago, Romney's fav/unfav score stood at 34%/38% nationally and 36%-36% in these 12 swing states. But in this latest survey, his national fav/unfav score is 33%-39% (that 39% unfav is tied with his all-time high) and 30%-41% in the swing states.

    It's probably for the best to keep him away from swing staters for a little while longer. Like maybe just four or five months. After that, definitely get him out there.

    Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Mitt Romney, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Polls, Virginia, Wisconsin
  • Obama Ad Calls Mitt Romney "Outsourcer-in-Chief" [VIDEO]

    Barack Obama just started running attack ads in Virginia, in which a thoughtful avuncular voice asks state voters if they really want "an outsourcer-in-chief in the White House"…

    First off, let me just say that I have very little to say about this ad. I suppose it fits in with the whole "Bain Capital is evil" meme that Bill Clinton hates so much. And that should resonate with Virginia voters. Unless it doesn't. (I know; quite profound.)

    Mostly, I just wanted to comment on how, when I first saw this, I thought Obama was calling Romney an "out-sorcerer-in-chief," which, whatever it is, sounds awesome! And I think I might have actually been a seventh-level half-elf one back in college.

    Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that this ad might actually work in Romney's favor, especially for voters who never talked to girls when they were in college.


    Tags: Bain Capital, Barack Obama, Corporations, Mitt Romney, Nerdiness, Unemployment, Virginia
  • Virginia Excises Marxist Words, Like "Sea Level"

    According to government measurements, sea levels have risen 14.5 inches in the past 100 years in some regions of coastal Virginia, and an additional 2 to 3 foot rise is projected to occur over the next hundred years.

    But while rising waters are a problem for residents of Norfolk, the chief problem for Virginia lawmakers is the rising level of idiocy among their Tea Party-affiliated constituents, who view studies of sea levels as liberal conspiracies to "separate us from our money and control all land and water use." In essence, they're worried big government regulators will use science to steal the sand into which they've burrowed their heads.

    Stuck between a Tea Party rock and a rising ocean, some lawmakers have come upon an ingenuous solution. Rather than follow North Carolina in suggesting a law that would make sea level rise illegal, they will simply not speak its name. Climate change is truly the Republican Voldemort…

    Now it appears that "climate change" and "sea level rise" are being phased out, in Virginia at least, amid political pressure from the far right. Emerging labels include "increased flooding risk," "coastal resiliency" and, of course, "recurrent flooding."

    State Del. Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, who insisted on changing the "sea level rise" study in the General Assembly to one on "recurrent flooding," said he wants to get political speech out of the mix altogether.

    He said "sea level rise" is a "left-wing term" that conjures up animosities on the right. So why bring it into the equation?

    Indeed, many seemingly neutral terms are actually straight of a Marxist grad school seminar. At least someone's read the haunting opening lines of the Communist Manifesto, "A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of climate change," and recognized the left-wing refrain, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his sea level rise."

    However, while Virginia Republicans are to be applauded for ridding the language of "liberal code words" from "sea level rise" to "science," it's not clear how much further we can take this. The issue of "adrenal gland" health is an important one, but I'm not sure legislatures should be limited to writing laws that are anagrams of Ronald Reagan's name.

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    Related: Science Shows Conservatives Don't Believe in Science Anymore

    Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Climate Change, Republicans, Science & Technology, Virginia
  • Virginia Lawmaker Explains Why Outspoken Gays Can't Be Judges

    Tracy Thorne-Begland is a respected Richmond prosecutor, a former Navy fighter pilot and according to a bipartisan group of Virginia delegates, an eminently qualified candidate for service on the judicial bench. He's also gay, which was why his nomination  fell 18 votes short of the 51 needed in the Virginia House of Delegates. As Bob Marshall, a Republican delegate in Virginia, noted, "I don't even think it's proper to put his name forward because of his behavior."

    But wait! Opponents of the Thorne-Begland nomination claim their intransigence stems from something other than homophobia. This morning, Marshall went on CNN to provide context for his position…

    Marshall says, "Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks never took an oath of office that they broke. Sodomy is not a civil right. It's not the same as the Civil Rights movement… In late 2011, [Thorne-Begland] was critical of the Don't Ask Don't Tell, he criticized our Attorney General simply for explaining what the law of Virginia is with respect to certain protected classes. So he's gone beyond that. He can be a prosecutor if he wants to, but we don't want advocates as judges."

    Damnit, Del. Marshall, that's not providing context. That's providing the very same prejudiced context you evoked before, while making the sentence slightly longer.

    Marshall argues that Thorne-Begland violated his oath by coming out against Don't Ask Don't Tell, resulting in a waste of $1 million that was dedicated to training him as a fighter pilot. But it's social conservatives like Marshall who insisted that DADT be maintained! You can't, for example, implement a policy of segregated lunch counters and then claim the high moral ground over those "lawbreakers" who protest the stricture.

    Really, Marshall is just saying that Virginia Is for (hypocritical, probably bad) Lovers.

    Photo by Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post/Getty Images


    Tags: Homophobia, Judiciary, LGBT, Military, Virginia