Virginia News Stand: May 10, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations And They Say Nothing Happens On Monday

Virginia news is pretty slack today, but we are mentioned yet again in the media, this time by Washington Jewish Week, about the state police chaplain prayer policy. People can't seem to stop writing about us. It's because we are making an impact and — to the shock of a startled elite — social conservatism is not out of favor with Americans.

Except for those here watching over the impending European implosion, the major news nationally deals with a Supreme Court nominee and one who will vote to confirm her. President Barack Obama selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan to fill the spot of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. Meanwhile, one who will vote to confirm her, U.S. Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah), didn't even qualify for his party's primary ballot, the first Tea Party scalp this year. Infiltrating a Republican nomination process may sound predictable, and cheered by liberals who think GOP divisions may stave their pending November doom, but you may be surprised at the next incumbent Tea Party scalp in the queue: Democrat Representative Allan Mollohan (D-W.Va.), a senior appropriator, who has a primary challenge from a state senator gaining traction because of Rep. Mollohan's pork barrelling ear marks and questionable ethics. 

Finally, the health care law has come up short. Already. Again! According to the AP, that guaranteed "kid" coverage (up to age 26!) has run into a snag. Government efficiency and liberal utopia at its best.


*Virginia prayer reversal blasted (Washington Jewish Week)

Police chaplains wary of Va. program (Washington Post)

Effort to shrink Virginia government isn't new (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

McDonnell reform commission chairman pick sparks protest (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)

1st District GOP candidate: Lawmakers guilty of treason (Woodbridge/Manassas News & Messenger)

McDonnell backs O'Brien in Northern Virginia Senate primary (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Saxman now a lobbyist (Staunton News Leader)

National News

Obama Nominates Kagan to Seat on Supreme Court (Wall Street Journal)

Conservatives Note Kagan’s Anti-Military Views, Lack of Judicial Experience (CNSNews.com)

Federal Reserve opens credit line to Europe (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Premiums may undermine coverage guarantee for kids (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Anti-incumbent mood challenge to veteran Democrat (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Conservatives focus on KY following Bennett defeat in Utah (AP/GOPUSA.com)


Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan (Ed Whelan/National Review's The Corner Blog)

The Great Disentangling Has Begun: What Bob Bennett’s Defeat Means and Does Not (Erick Erickson/RedState.com)


Will America Follow Greece? (Star Parker/GOPUSA.com)

Arizona Law Also Happens To Be Good Politics (Debra Saunders/GOPUSA.com)

Quote Of The Day, Question Of The Day

Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-15, Woodstock) is getting a rep as one of the wittiest guys around the capitol. Tonight, in the House Education Subcommittee on Teachers and Administration, he had a classic. This evening the sub-committee heard Delegate Scott Lingamfelter's (R-31, Prince William) bill (HB 1844) to make it easier for localities to create charter schools by allowing to sunset some of the restrictive language in the statute that created charter schools in Virginia (which critics say was passed not to create charter schools, given the difficulty in creating them and the paucity of them).

Typically, Pat Lacey, a veteran and effective lobbyist for the educrat establishment, which uses its political muscle to block any and every education reform — and even bills that sometimes only remotely affect education — was sitting in the GAB's 4 West conference room's front row waiting to punce on the bill, even after Delegate Lingamfelter amended some of the its language.

After Lingamfelter finished his presentation, Delegate Gilbert opened it up for public comment by asking:

"Would Delegate Lacey like to speak in opposition now?"

The room, knowing Lacey's power may be as great or greater than many lawmakers, errupted in laughter.

However, things are only funny if there's a bit of truth in them, and Delegate Gilbert's keen sense of humor makes a huge point. Powerful special interests funded by huge war chests don't make for a pretty legislative process. But Gilbert wasn't done.

Also speaking in opposition was a man who identified himself as from an organization representing teachers. When he finished his statement, Gilbert pointedly asked, to gain some transparency:

"Do you represent any teachers other than those who work for public schools?"

The man meekly admitted, "No." There. "Teachers unions" don't speak for all teachers and, often enough, not even the ones in their own union. Delegate Gilbert's question should be rote for any education committee member to anyone who claims to represent "teachers," especially those whose mission isn't to educate, but to block reform.

By the way, the bill passed 7-0. Good news for its immediate future. We'll see how it fares down its legislative path. No doubt, the educrats are waiting somewhere along the way, waiting for "Delegate" Lacey and allies to kill it off.