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Saturday, March 9, 2013
National Lampoon's election
Virginia Democrats should be careful what they ask for.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported this week that the state party put up a cuccinelliforpresident.com website, skipping past Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's presumed run this year for Virginia governor to his presumed ambition to seek the country's top job in 2016.
Any of the AG's hopeful tea party supporters who stumble across the site won't have to notice the "Paid for by the Democratic Party of Virginia" label to see it's bogus. Its checklist of tasks successfully completed: Use office of AG as your extreme soapbox; release a tea party manifesto; campaign in Iowa; make media appearances in Iowa and New Hampshire; headline the Conservative Political Action Conference; consultant registers presidential website; cozy up with the Koch brothers; announce candidacy for governor; receive endorsement from Rick Santorum.
Still to go: Win Virginia governorship; announce 2016 presidential campaign.
Just satire. For now.
A tempest in an Iowan teapot
We're not sure how many traffic jams there are in Iowa, but we do know that the state's gasoline tax is 21 cents per gallon, higher than Virginia's 17.5-cent rate.
Nevertheless, a tea party political action committee feels sure Iowans will be outraged to know that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is supporting a state transportation deal that includes tax increases.
Don't mistake this for a homegrown uprising. The Patriot Super PAC funding an attack ad in the Hawkeye state is based in Northern Virginia. A big clue is the ad's rather condescending portrayal of McDonnell popping out from a bale of hay.
McDonnell, considered by some to be a contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, need not fear. The group spent all of $4,300 on the ad, which we can only assume covered one slot on "Storage Wars."
The ad leaves unanswered the question most likely to be on Iowans' minds: Is McDonnell good on ethanol? We suspect they are more than happy to wait three years for an answer.
The president can just sit home all by himself
President Obama withdrew the White House welcome mat to visitors wanting to drop in for a tour. The administration on Tuesday told Congress that, starting today, it could no longer afford to host the tours.
The tours have become a casualty of the sequester and a way for the administration to get the most publicity bang for its bucks. The cancellation will allow the U.S. Secret Service to pull 37 uniformed officers off the daily tours and assign them to other tasks. In doing so, the Secret Service estimates it can reduce overtime costs by $74,000 a week and possibly avoid furloughs.
Members of Congress already peeved by the president's public relations blitz on the sequester will take the heat for this one, since tourists must petition their local congress member for White House tour tickets. Undoubtedly, they'll get an earful from the folks back home pushing for their representatives to take care of the people's business so visitors can check off all the highlights during their sight-seeing tours of the nation's capital.
At least one Republican House member stood ready to retaliate. If the president wants to ruin his constituents' vacations, why he'll ruin the president's leisure time as well. After all, if you can't afford to entertain visitors at home, you certainly can't afford greens fees. Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert prepared an amendment to tack onto this week's budget bill that would have prohibited Obama from using tax dollars to go on golf outings until he reopens the White House to tourists. The amendment received as warm a welcome as visitors today to the White House.
Meanwhile, members of Congress remind that their chambers are open for visitors. Those desiring to witness the current playground squabbles can still do so free of charge.
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