Krystal Ball: How the Virginia GOP Could Tank Bob McDonnell’s Political Fortunes

State mandated-transvaginal probes!

Well Virginia, you certainly know how to get a gal’s attention. This weekend I went home to Virginia, partly to give my parents their granddaughter fix but partly to survey the political landscape. My home state has suddenly become the focus of national attention due to extreme anti-woman legislation that looks ready to be passed by the Republican legislature and could yet be signed into law by Republican Governor and vice presidential hopeful Bob McDonnell. The truth is that Virginia’s lady problems go way beyond what I like to call PAP (Probes and Personhood).

For years, a slim Democratic margin in the Virginia Senate and a hold on the governorship kept extreme legislation from becoming law. But since Republicans took over both chambers and the governor’s mansion, each bill has been more hard-edged than the last. With PAP, the Virginia GOP seem to finally have crossed a line — and it may well doom McDonnell’s national ambitions.

In 2009, the Democratic nominee for governor, Creigh Deeds, was swept away by a rising tide of anti-Obama Tea Party fervor and Bob McDonnell became governor, pledging to focus like a laser on jobs. In fact, his campaign slogan was “Bob’s for Jobs.” Poor Creigh didn’t stand a chance against someone whose name actually rhymed with jobs! Democrats, however, held onto the State Senate by a slim two-seat margin. The divided government was good for McDonnell, who clearly harbors national ambitions for 2012 and beyond. The Democratic Senate acted as a levee holding back the steady flow of extreme legislation coming out of the Republican House of Delegates. In addition to keeping the worst laws off the books, the Democratic Senate unknowingly did a favor for Bob McDonnell by saving him from becoming the critical deciding factor between Republican red-meat radicalism and mainstream sentiment in an increasingly purple state.

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Krystal Ball: How the Virginia GOP Could Tank Bob McDonnell’s Political Fortunes

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Laughter

The Politics of Laughter

Why didn’t I get one? [comic]

Revenge of the Garbage Men [pictures]

The pictures that capture the 90s. Enjoy. [BuzzFeed]

A comic involving snails. [Click for snails]

That’s gotta be a bad sign, right? [picture]

Shia Labeouf and Megan Fox. I’m sorry. [picture]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Wellness

Well, this is terrifying. The FDA is getting ready to review AeroShot, a shot of inhalable caffeine. [Time]

We all know exercising is necessary for a healthy body, but how exactly does it impact the brain? [NY Times]

Read about the science behind why dancing gives you such a high. [Psychology Today]

A new study shows that children who watch movies with drinking scenes are twice as likely to start drinking alcohol themselves. [NPR]

574,000 one-ounce bottles of grape-flavored liquid infant Tylenol have been recalled after complaints that the dosing system was too hard to use. [Wall Street Journal]

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Bible Studies

Great moments in Biblical interpretation.

When my daughter was young–around age 5–I read to her a children’s Bible.

It was great. The stories were condensed and easy to understand and discuss after reading.

Our first reading (and discussion) was a memorable one.

Adam and Eve. Maggie was intrigued by the story and got the “big picture” lesson….but she got hung up on something that really bothered her.

The nakedness part.

“Dad, do you mean they wore no clothes? As in no clothes at all? Weren’t they embarrassed?”

I explained that wasn’t quite the case. There were fig leaves, albeit not terribly fashionable by themselves, but they did do the trick of covering up important parts.

I said, “Well, remember, this is right at the beginning of things so maybe clothes hadn’t been invented yet.” I was trying to get Maggie to think for herself and asked, “What to you think may explain it?”

A light bulb went off with Maggie and she offered up her own explanation for why it was OK to run around naked back in the day.

“Maybe, Dad, they just hadn’t invented looking down yet.”

We decided to go with that explanation. It was simple, clear and made perfect sense to both of us.

So, if you–like Maggie and me–have ever wondered about this question, now you have a possible explanation.

And as a rule, I prefer the clear perception of a 5 year old on issues like these.

The RP Discusses “No Budget, No Pay” on Detroit Public Radio

Yesterday, the RP appeared on “The Craig Fahle Show” on WDET in Detroit, to discuss “No Budget, No Pay,” the important new legislation supported by No Labels that would withdraw the pay of Congress if they fail to pass a budget on time.

It appears as though they should consult with someone who has an online accounting degree because it looks as though they can’t do it on their own! 

Click here to listen to the broadcast.

Click here to learn more about “No Budget, No Pay.”

Click here to take action — with easy links to your Congressmen

Artur Davis: Covering the JFK Affair

JFK revisionism is always jarring, but no longer surprises. The disdain toward John Kennedy in conservative intellectual circles seems borne out of contempt that he was what the right suspects about Barack Obama – unaccomplished, stylistic rather than substantive, a media darling who rose on the wings of a star-struck press.

In my college years, it was the left-wing that was just as fierce – to them, Kennedy was a cold warrior who dug our grave in Vietnam and almost postured and bluffed into a nuclear war. To younger African American intellectuals, he was too passive on civil rights, too much of a follower to deserve the spot on the wall next to Dr. King in the grandparent’s living room.

There is something that is meaner, though, in this week’s round of coverage of Mimi Alford’s tell-all regarding an affair between herself and Kennedy during her stint as a White House intern. Timothy Noah, at the New Republic, tops it off with a headline, “JFK: Monster”. But he only goes where others have gone this week: a condemnation of Kennedy as a psychological torturer, a crude user of a 19-year-old, and a voyeur.

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Artur Davis: Covering the JFK Affair

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of the Media

Prepare to be terrified. The New York Times investigates how companies like Target can know everything about you, even things you want to hide, from your social media account. [NY Times]

The Women’s Media Center released its annual report on the state of women and the media, and the results are worse than you’d expect. [Good]

AMI’s new magazine about reality shows, Reality Weekly, isn’t doing as well as expected. Are Americans finally developing some taste? [Adweek]

Despite the controversy surrounding The Sun after this summer’s hacking scandal, Rupert Murdoch says the tabloid will continue to thrive… and even launch a new Sunday edition. [Time]

The Boss’ Latest: “Shackled and Drawn”

As the world awaits the March 6 release of Bruce Springsteen’s latest album, “Wrecking Ball,” another sing has hit the Internet: “Shackled and Drawn.”  Listen below, and understand why this appears to be one of the Boss’ most politically charged albums:

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Airplane Travel

Arrived at airport this morning shortly after 5am and about everything that could have gone wrong with parking, ticketing, security, etc, did go wrong.

As I arrived at my gate to board my plane I was told the doors had been locked “one minute ago” and it would be “impossible” to re-open the door.

The thought ran through my mind, “What would Alec Baldwin do in a situation like this?”

I remembered Alec likes playing “Words with Friends” on his cell phone when faced with airline issues but I didn’t have the app on my phone and wasn’t sure that would be helpful anyway.

I then asked myself, “What would Kayne West do?” I looked around but didn’t see Taylor Swift anywhere.

Stumped….and exasperated I resignedly asked myself “What Would Delta Have Me Do?” They were nice enough to get me on the next flight and now I have time to download the app for Words with Friends as well as Taylor Swif’ts latest single.

I think it kinda all worked out.

Thanks Alec. Thanks Kayne. And thanks Delta. Especially Delta.

The RP on Detroit Radio at 10:45 AM ET

The beat goes on…

At 10:45 AM on “The Craig Fahle Show” on WDET in Detroit, The RP will be discussing “No Budget, No Pay,” the important new legislation supported by No Labels that would withdraw the pay of Congress if they fail to pass a budget on time.


Click here to listen to the RP LIVE on WDET.

Click here to learn more about “No Budget, No Pay.”

Click here to take action — with easy links to your Congressmen


The Recovering Politician Bookstore


The RP on The Daily Show