Author Archives: Dave Nemetz

No Marshall Plan

With the 2011 General Assembly session opening today, I thought it would be important to highlight a bill that Del. Bob Marshall (R-13) plans to introduce.

No, I’m not talking about his proposed legislation which would ban openly gay servicemembers from serving in the Virginia National Guard.

No, instead, Mr. Marshall is going to introduce legislation seeking to allow Virginia to print its own money, specifically the minting of gold and silver coins.

Yep. You read that correctly.Mr. Marshall seems to think that the Federal Government has a monopoly on printing money. Well, they do, as a matter of fact, because it really makes it convenient to every citizen of this country, while traveling the land, to be able to use the same legal tender. We don’t need to be bothered with going to an exchange office in say, Florida, when we want to go to Disney World, for example.

This is quirky legislation, which actually does nothing to help the citizens of this fine commonwealth. Does it help fix our traffic woes? No. Does it help improve our schools? No. Does it do anything of consequence other than to get Mr. Marshall’s name in the paper? No.

It’s high time that the residents of Virginia’s 13th district see through Mr. Marshall’s charade, see that nothing Mr. Marshall proposes helps his district or the Commonwealth in any way, and see that they need new, effective leadership in the General Assembly. A person who will represent THEM, not a delegate’s own personal agenda.

The 13th district can do that this November.

The PPACA is Working

Not Loudoun-related, but I wanted to share an article I just saw; it’s from the website (not exactly a publication that would be very sympathetic to progressive causes) that states that the tax breaks offered to small businesses in the health care reform law to provide their employees with health care coverage have actually spurred a number of those small businesses to do just that.

The major health insurance companies around the country are reporting a significant increase in small businesses offering health care benefits to their employees.

I don’t know who Rick Ungar (the blog author) is, since I don’t normally read Forbes, but he makes a compelling argument that opponents of the healthcare reform law should divert their attention elsewhere, because the law is actually doing something that it was intended to do – provide health coverage to those who had none previously, and making it affordable for businesses to do so.

If you’re all about beating up on President Obama, you can conveniently forget this bit of data as if it never really happened. However, if your interest is to make health care available to more Americans, this should be a happy day for you – no matter what your ideological beliefs.

So, Republicans in Congress, if you want to try to repeal, go right ahead & try – it’s a political stunt that, according to this bit of new data coming in, may just come back to bite you in the butt.

Oh, and unemployment dropped last month, from 9.8% to 9.4% – not overwhelming, but a step in the right direction, along with the 103,000 new jobs created.

It’s About Accountability

So I decided this week to make a few New Year’s blogging resolutions.

The first one I made was to ditch my “handle” (“daverunner”) and write under my given name. Personally, I figure that if I’m going to write about issues that inspire passion in me, then I should be proud enough to put it under my own name, rather than under a pseudonym. It’s very simple for someone to hide behind a moniker and attack people. That way, you can live the life of an internet tough guy without having to face repercussions in real life, except from the few people who know who you are.

I have first-hand knowledge in this; I blogged anonymously on an old, ill-conceived blog a few years ago. I called people out for their actions, but was too cowardly to reveal myself. An internet tough guy.

So I’m going to be accountable. I write something scathing, I’ll take the heat.

In that same vein, I’m going to make a resolution this coming year to not engage in personal attacks on anyone. And I mean everyone. It’s too easy to do this with political figures, and it cheapens the debate. But that doesn’t mean I will not criticize. Politicians (and candidates, for that matter) say and engage in things that are well-worthy of criticism. So, rather than attack personally, I will attack words and actions.

Hopefully, raising the bar and having some accountability will also raise the level of debate in Loudoun County, blog-wise. If nothing else, it will show readers that progressives are willing to be accountable for their words and to engage in civility, rather than attacking people for, say, their appearance, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Be accountable.

Sen. Herring Town Hall Meetings

As per the Loudoun Times Mirror:

Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun and Fairfax) will participate in several town hall meetings across the 33rd district in advance of the 2011 General Assembly session.  The town hall meetings will provide constituents with the opportunity to engage directly with Herring about the issues facing the district and the Commonwealth. The senator also will outline his legislative agenda for the upcoming session.

The schedule is as follows:

•  Jan. 6, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.,  Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg. Herring and members of the Loudoun County delegation will participate.

•  Jan. 8, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.,   Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Potomac Falls. Herring and Del. Thomas “Tag” Greason (R-northeastern Loudoun) will participate.

•  Jan. 15th, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., Sterling Community Center, 120 Enterprise St.,  Sterling. Herring and Del. Tom Rust (R-Sterling) will participate.

Also, the good Senator will be holding a public meeting at 7 PM on Monday, January 3, 2011 at Potomac Falls High School regarding SB 745, a bill he has patroned in the upcoming General Assembly session regarding “synthetic marijuana”. This bill would classify synthetic marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, and possession would carry the same penalties as regular marijuana.Synthetic marijuana is sold under the guise of incense, although it is sprayed with THC, the main psychoactive substance in cannabis. Senator Herring’s public meeting will focus on the side effects of the drug and what Loudoun County is doing to combat the problem.

Senator Herring will also be sponsoring legislation creating a Research and Development Tax Credit for science and technology. According to his Facebook page,

Continuing my work in the area of Science & Technology-based Economic Development, I’ll be sponsoring legislation creating a Research & Development Tax Credit in Virginia. Currently, Virginia is one of only 12 states that do not offer and R&D Tax Credit. This legislation will be the top priority of the Virginia Biotechnology Association, and will help make Virginia more competitive to attract and grow the jobs of the commonwealth

Lastly, Senator Herring will also be re-introducing legislation to “criminalize financial scams against elderly and disabled people”. This legislation was passed over in last year’s General Assembly session.

We should be proud to have such a fine public servant such as Mark Herring representing us in Richmond. Rest assured, we will work hard to ensure his re-election in November so that he may continue doing good deeds for not only Loudoun County, but for the entire Commonwealth.

Hail? Fail.

(I guess since the Washington football team is headquartered in Ashburn, Loudoun County, this is relevant)

I feel sorry today for all of the fans of the Washington NFL team. Many of you are die-hards, living and dying by their performance on Sundays. You watch the games, buy the merchandise, put up with unbearable traffic to go to FedEx Field, and support the team through thick and thin. But you are being used.

And Daniel Snyder, team owner, is the one using you. He’s been the owner now for over 10 years, and has produced 2, yes, 2 playoff appearances (with only 1 win) in that time. A once-proud franchise that won 3 Super Bowl titles over 10 seasons (1982-91) has been reduced to the laughingstock of the NFL because of his ineptitude as an owner.

A story in Sunday’s Washington Post about the stability of the New York Giants franchise showed the disparity between the 2 franchises. In the 10 years since Snyder has been the owner, he has employed 6 coaches (and 1 interim coach after Norv Turner was fired). The Giants? 2 coaches in those 10 years, 2 Super Bowl appearances, and 1 championship. My team, the Philadelphia Eagles? The same coach since 1999, 5 NFC Championship appearances, and 1 Super Bowl appearance. It’s no wonder both of those teams are among the league leaders every year. Consistency, and sound personnel management.But I will give Snyder credit where it is due – he knows how to market the franchise. Every year, his team falters, and in the off-season, he makes a big splash, makes big news, and rejuvenates the fan base once again. Fans who were down at the end of the season are excited again, they buy new merchandise, flock to training camp in Ashburn, and fill the stadium in September, before reality sets in.

Dana Stubblefield. Deion Sanders. Jeff George. Jeremiah Trotter. Marty Schottenheimer. Steve Spurrier. Adam Archuleta. Albert Haynesworth.

Do all of those names have a certain theme? Yes, those were all big-name, splashy, off-season signings that never panned out for the team. In fact, one could say that those names have contributed to keeping Washington’s football team in a ten-year slump.

But it’s not as if the draft has been any better for them. Heath Shuler. Desmond Howard. Taylor Jacobs. Michael Westbrook. Andre Thomas. Rod Gardner. Jason Campbell. Devin Thomas. All high draft picks (1st or 2nd round) that did relatively nothing for the team. And they traded draft picks to get Donovan McNabb, who isn’t lighting up the scoreboard so far.

But Snyder plays all of the fans for their loyalty. He will continue to make flashy off-season moves to excite you, so that you will buy the gear, watch the games on TV and listen to the radio shows (and patronize their sponsors), go to the games, spend $8 for a beer, pay $30 to park in the parking lot after a 2-hour commute in and out, and go to Ashburn every summer.

And every fall, the story will repeat itself.

But you can’t fire an owner, so what’s a fan left to do? Easy. Stop buying the gear. Stop watching the games. Stop buying tickets and going to Landover. Stop going to Ashburn in the summer. Hit Dan Snyder where it hurts, and where he will get the message – in his wallet.

As long as you keep buying into the same old story year after year, the result won’t change. As an Eagles fan, I’m absolutely delighted to see Washington’s team struggle. But as someone with friends who are fans, I feel for you.

Don’t be a patsy. Don’t let Snyder use you like this.  

You Voted For Them

I hope everyone is happy with putting more Republicans in the Senate. Yesterday gave an example of what we can expect from a more closely divided Senate.

Senate Republicans have succeeded in blocking a measure designed to reduce wage disparities between men and women.

The 58-41 vote to take up the Paycheck Fairness Act fell short of the 60 needed to overcome GOP opposition.

In essence, the Republicans backed big business over the rights of women to seek fair pay, saying that removing limits on compensatory damages would hurt business.

Here’s a hint – if employers would simply pay equally qualified women the same rate of pay as their male colleagues in a similar position, there would be no threat of lawsuits. By extension, then there would be no worry about damages negatively hurting business. It’s simple, if you think about it.

Get ready folks; this is the Republican mantra for the next two years – block everything and blame it on the President, even if it means treating other members of society differently than others.

Sen. Macaca Strikes Again

How did we ever end up with this Einstein as both a Governor and a Senator?

Under a set of legislative priorities posted on his website, [George] Allen says: “The new Congress must repeal and cutoff any additional money borrowed and set aside for Obama, Reid and Pelosi’s $1.2 trillion stimulus spending bill.”

Wait, $1.2 trillion? Did I miss something? I distinctly remember the ARRA (the “stimulus”) at around $787 billion. gives us the truth:

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, for example, which represents $168 billion of the $1.2 trillion total was passed under President George W. Bush. So was the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program.

Now, if we are to assume that Allen is referring in his claim to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also called the Stimulus, the total provided was $787.2 billion including tax relief and stimulus funds.

That’s a long way from $1.2 trillion. [/snip]

Allen is not only exaggerating the spending total by President Obama and the Democratic leaders of Congress, he is doing it by including billions of dollars passed under a Republican president. That’s just not false, it’s ridiculous. So we have to set the meter ablaze. Pants on Fire.

So, to be clear, Allen is clearly exaggerating the cost of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act…check that, he’s LYING about ARRA, which has only kept this country from falling into a second Great Depression. His good buddy Dubya was responsible for a third of the spending he purports to be abhorring, yet ex-Senator Macaca is throwing red meat out there in an attempt to curry favor with the low-information voters with short attention spans.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s the “Macaca Moment”:

The bigoted dimwit seems to be looking to run again against Senator Jim Webb in 2012. Thank you to PolitiFact for pointing out that he will indeed stoop to any level to get elected.

As his buddy Dubya put it:

We won’t get fooled again.

Ronis For Loudoun


As the Broad Run District Chair for the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, I am proud to announce that we now have a candidate for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors seat being vacated by current Supervisor Lori Waters (R) at the end of her term in 2011.

Valdis Ronis, Lansdowne on the Potomac resident and current representative for Potomac District on the Loudoun County Planning Commission, will be making his official announcement this coming Sunday, November 14th.

Valdis is a Principal with MulvannyG2 Architecture out of McLean, and he’s also a neighbor of mine.

Why is Valdis running? Here are his main campaign points:

1) To bring responsible leadership to the Board of Supervisors.

2) To create a good business climate that encourages companies to locate in Loudoun County.

3) To support sustainable economic development so we can create jobs and hold the line on taxes.

4) To invest in transportation solutions that will reduce traffic c and improve our quality of life.

5) And to ensure quality schools by eliminating wasteful bureaucracy, and by focusing resources on classroom instruction.

Currently, Valdis only has a Facebook page, as his candidacy is in its virtual infancy. I will continue to post updates here when they warrant regarding websites, etc.

But now we can say that we now have a candidate ready, willing, and able to work with the rest of the Democratic majority to continue the fine work of the past 3 years.

Leadership, not Politics!

Dear Tea Party…

And in yet another awesome commentary, Mark Morford of The San Francisco Chronicle has some news for the gullible who vote against their own self-interest:

To all of you who either flip-flopped your wishy-washy ideals and switched your vote from bluish to reddish this past election because Obama and the lukewarm Dems failed to solve all world problems in 700 days, or because you got yourself so emotionally riled up/mentally watered down by the sexy caveman grunts of the Tea Party that you actually bought the BS line about being “mad as hell” about nothing even remotely coherent.

Here is your grand message: You are hereby wonderfully, thoroughly screwed.

Oh, it gets better:

You don’t have to believe me. Just wait until nothing at all is done to service the Tea Party non-agenda, because it’s ridiculous and impossible to service. Just wait until you note how there is no actual shrinking of government, no restoring some bogus sepia-toned idealism that never existed, no saving of your job. There is, of course, but one GOP agenda: furthering their personal stranglehold on all things powermad and avaricious.

That’s not to say they won’t try to tackle some issues. Boehner & Co care very much about nailing down enormous tax cuts for wealthy people, preventing education reform, gridlocking Congress at every turn, denying the fact that seven billion rapacious humans have an effect on climate change, and blocking as much newly available health care for 30 million Americans as possible. And so on.

But truly, the issues themselves don’t matter. For what Boehner & Co value most is not so much making any sort of significant change in American culture, but rather, in keeping the anger, the dread, the paranoia alive.

I really want to just copy & paste the whole commentary, but just one more for you:

Let’s be perfectly clear: The modern Republican party has one masterful, godlike skill unmatched by any other org in this century: Its leaders are geniuses at deceit, at leading throngs of blind believers into rabbit holes of war and fear and factual inaccuracy, often using an aggressively dumbed-down form of Christianity as a trump card. Sexual dread, mistrust of youth, of women, of gays, foreigners, of the ever-changing cultural landscape? It’s in the DNA. And the Tea Party chugged it like Coors-flavored heroin.

It’s gonna be fun watching these fools spontaneously combust when their “saviors” kick their tea-flavored agenda to the curb in, oh, about 2 months. Heh heh.

Fight!! (Please…)

As usual, Eugene Robinson’s Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post is right on the mark:

Making the tax cuts permanent for the wealthy would increase the deficit by $700 billion over the next decade. Which party claims to be urgently, desperately concerned about the deficit? The Republicans, of course. So which party is prepared to bust the budget, if that’s what it takes, to serve the interests of the rich? The GOP. And which party, to get its way, refuses to approve desperately needed tax relief for the bruised and battered middle class? Once again, the Republicans.

And yet, the gullible public voted, en masse, against their own self interest, last week.More Robinson wisdom:

But I’ve been meeting an awful lot of progressives around the country who share that delusion, if that’s what it is. They despair that their neighbors don’t know that it was George W. Bush who proposed the TARP bailout, not Obama – or that it worked, or that taxpayers are getting their money back. They wonder how health-care reform came to be defined not as a moral issue or a way to slow rising costs, which it is, but as a “big government takeover,” complete with “death panels.” Which it isn’t.

What I’m hearing is frustration, and it’s getting louder. I’m hearing the view that the Obama administration, which has done much good, can do better – by speaking clearly, standing its ground – and, when pushed by bullies, shoving back.

There’s really nothing more to add.