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Virginia: North enough to be hated by the South and South enough to be hated by the North

MillMill Registered User regular
So I'm finally, getting off my ass and putting up the VA politics thread. I decided to do one, not because VA may or may not be a swing state, but since there seem to be a number of D&D posters (and probably a fair number of lurkers) that live in the state.

So let's start out with a story that most out of state people, including some foreign ones, are probably familiar with. As we all know Former Governor McDonnell was convicted of corruption. So that was awesome that a shitty politician finally got held accountable. So one might be asking how much time did he get for being found guilty of 11 felony convictions. Apparently, he only got to years, seriously fuck the judge for giving him any sort of leniency. Dude was a fucking scum bag that should have known better and was an elected official. Link.

The story of about McDonnell being a shithead segues nicely into a major debate that has been going on in VA ever since he was indicted. The debate has been that VA has incredibly lax ethics rules and that it has serious corruption issues. There has been efforts to greatly limit how much in the way of money Virginia's elected officials can receive in the way of gifts (which is effectively unlimited with proper gaming of the system; especially, if the bribergfter is a close "friend"). Unsurprisingly, the Republican led GA has done everything they can to prevent any sort of progress being made here. The most that has been seen is Governor McAuiffe issuing an executive order preventing those work for the state's Executive from taking gifts that exceed 100 dollars. It's possible that ethics reform could become a major campaign issue in the state's election this fall and may be one of the few things that could greatly disrupt the advantage that the state's GOP has gained by shitty gerrymandering.

This brings us to the next interesting thing that has been simmering for probably decades. Most that follow politics, that aren't elected officials or assholes that benefit from the current setup, are not happy with how the state does districting for elected offices. Frankly, it's a fucking crime and an embarrassment to democracy, since the people with the biggest level of conflict interest here are drawing the lines to as noncompetitive as possible. We've already had the 4th Circuit strike the current Congressional district map, stating that the map did disenfranchise voters and giving the GA until the end of April to redraw it. Not surprisingly, the leadership of the GA intents to appeal the decision. This has led to a greater push to move the state from it's current shitty setup, to having an independent commission draw up the lines (a committee put together by the governor suggested that the best course of action would be to have 5 people on such a board, with two picked by republicans and another two picked by Democrats. The first four than vote for the 5th member. IIRC they would also not be allowed to see any data voting habits and had to try to keep localities as intact as possible, barring situation imposed by VRA). Incidentally, we also have this lawsuit now, charging that a number of delegate districts have been racially gerrymandered to disenfranchise minorities. We'll see how this pan out, I'm hoping this finally leads to a better setup. Now anyone that has been paying attention, will not be surprised at all that the Republicans are opposing reform here every step of the way. Like ethics, this has potential to become a major campaign point. It's also worth noting that the GOP dragged things out until 2011 on redistricting, aka they held out until they had control of everything.

I decided to cover those two points first because they are the underlying root to much of the insanity that dominates current state politics. Also both are more or less derived from the shitty motto called "The Virginia Way," which I have determined to really mean "Shut up peasant, stop thinking and let your betters do as they please!" (much like how "Right to work," is really "right to fire people for petty reasons" and "State's Rights," is really "the feds need to stop telling us to not shit on our minorities.")

So then, let's take a look at the next big possible scandal to hit the state. It's looking like it will involve a major utility called Dominion Power, which many have argued, has effectively bought the GA. So it comes as no surprise shitheads on the Tobacco Commission were willing to give a Dominion Power partner money. Where people are irate, is that staffers originally recommended 6.5 million dollars, but ultimately 30 million dollars was handed out. Staffers have said they were pressured by McDonnell's people to increase the amount, an allegation that McDonnell's lawyers are denying and Dominion Power is also claiming to have had no hand in this affair. Granted this wouldn't be the first time that the Tobacco Commission has been involved in questionable, like corrupt, dealings under Terry Kilgore (it's interesting to not how many family and friends of his have gotten money from the commission).

Dominion Power is has also been involved in other forms of fuckery. Mainly, they've been the biggest hindrance to State's green energy industry, seeming to everything they can discourage it. Another form of fuckery they are involved in is trying to muscle through a pipeline they have no legal authority to muscle through. This is all ultimately going to be why VA isn't going to do anything to make sure the new EPA standards are to their advantage anytime soon. Also expect to see quite a bit of noise about Climate change in the 2015 election, it is a serious issues; especially, for the Hampton Roads are (Norfolk is already seeing flooding in places that have never flooded before) and Dominion Power seems to be squarely in team fossil fuel aka team of scummy asshole shitbags.

Other things of note:

We also have a circus of House of Delegates election coming up. Long story short Del. Joe Morrissey (D) 74th District, plead guilty to contributing to the delinquency of a minor (he had sexual relations with her). Then he half-assed things. First he resigned, which was the right thing to do, but so he could get a special election going, which is he running in. Not surprising the democrats want nothing to do with the asshole. The race will be 13th of January.

The tea party is trying to primary out Del. Howell. For those not in the know, he is the current House Speaker, so this is already hilarious. He also has connections with the shitty group known as ALEC. The tea party wants him gone because he backed the transportation bill a few years ago, one of the few non-shitty things that McDonnell did, which raised gas taxes, but only because the Marketplace Fairness Act failed to pass, which is on National Republicans.

McAuiffe is going to give a speech on the 14th, the usual state address. Probably worth watching or reading the transcript for, since that will give us an idea of what he wants to do and will try to accomplish, he might not get much done this year because this state's republican officials are awful.

Del. (Sideshow) Bob Marshall is still a fucking awful human being, having submitted this garbage. (props to Lanz for giving me this link). I'd like to avoid making this a shit on the Republicans thread, but Marshall is such a fucking awful person and I'm trying to figure out why he keeps getting re-elected. I mean either most of his constituents suck because they are too damn lazy to vote his ass out or they suck because they are as awful as him. Like most of the garbage he submits, it probably won't go anywhere, but the VA GOP is really shitty (they do have some really shitty homophobia problems). You'll might remember he was the dumbass that submitted a bill to have VA create it's own currency.

We have elections this fall where all GA seats are up. Right now it's a shitty off-off year election and there is gerrymandering, so it heavily favors the GOP. Though we're months out from the election, which is an eternity in politics. It's possible that by the time fall rolls around, the public's mood towards the GOP will have soured greatly. They also will have a harder time misdirecting things as being the fault of the Democrats and they can't seem to stop themselves from doing stupid shit. Finally, there is always the chance that the state Democratic Party gets better at the campaigning thing, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that happening this time around.

Rules:
1. This is a thread about VA politics. If it's about the state's GA, Executive, Courts or even something from the local governments. It should be fine here. Heaven knows, there are a shit ton of interesting things that the OP did not cover because I didn't want to make a super huge one.
2. This is not a shit on Republicans thread, I know the VA GOP is fucking awful and that's going to make this hard, but it can be done. AKA try not to post ever fucking stupid thing that one of VA GOP politicians says, there is depressing amount of such comment BTW.
3. Try to keep national politics stuff out, passing mention if it has some relevance, is fine.
4. If something starts to dominate the thread, probably spin it off into it's own goddamn separate thread.

I'm open to adding stuff to the OP; especially, resources.

ChanusEvigilantKid PresentableMazzyxKaboodles_The_AssassinExtreaminatusDisruptedCapitalistPanda4You
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  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    Speaking of corruption, back in June, Piece of Shit Phillip P. Puckett (D-Russell) resigned his seat in exchange for a cushy private sector job and a commonwealth judicial appointment for his daughter.

    This had the added effect of tipping the balance of the Virginia Senate to Republican control, and thus basically making it impossible for Gov. McAuliffe to accomplish anything legislatively.

    He did end up turning down the job, at least, so he can go fuck himself all by his lonesome.

    Our commonwealth is basically a state-sized Chicago.

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  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    Let's be honest, even if Puckett had stayed, the Assembly wasn't going to pass anything the Senate approved 21-20 anyway. Also, excluding his daughter from government service isn't really much less shitty than her getting patronage. She should have been allowed to go through the nomination process like anyone else.

    Phillishere
  • EvigilantEvigilant VARegistered User regular
    Two buddies and I are building a website to provide information to voters. We did a small scale test of it during the last election, but basically the jist is, you pick your county in VA, and it gives you what your ballot will look like, including the amendments or whatever that also need votes. Not just for the state, but for your locality, your county, then the state, then national election.

    That was phase 1. We have a bunch of other phases planned, that all expand on this functionality, and we figure we have 2 years to get it out. The 3 of us are all vets, we're sick and tired of the state of information about elections and politics in the state and we want to do something about it. The aim is not to give a slant or favorable view, but just to make information available and accessible to would-be voters.

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  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    Evigilant wrote: »
    Two buddies and I are building a website to provide information to voters. We did a small scale test of it during the last election, but basically the jist is, you pick your county in VA, and it gives you what your ballot will look like, including the amendments or whatever that also need votes. Not just for the state, but for your locality, your county, then the state, then national election.

    That was phase 1. We have a bunch of other phases planned, that all expand on this functionality, and we figure we have 2 years to get it out. The 3 of us are all vets, we're sick and tired of the state of information about elections and politics in the state and we want to do something about it. The aim is not to give a slant or favorable view, but just to make information available and accessible to would-be voters.

    I really hope this catches on for you. I used to live in VA, and I remember how that information used to be more difficult to find. Since moving to CA, I've gotten completely spoiled. We get something mailed like this before every election, followed by a sample ballot for all the down-ticket stuff.

  • EvigilantEvigilant VARegistered User regular
    Jragghen wrote: »
    Evigilant wrote: »
    Two buddies and I are building a website to provide information to voters. We did a small scale test of it during the last election, but basically the jist is, you pick your county in VA, and it gives you what your ballot will look like, including the amendments or whatever that also need votes. Not just for the state, but for your locality, your county, then the state, then national election.

    That was phase 1. We have a bunch of other phases planned, that all expand on this functionality, and we figure we have 2 years to get it out. The 3 of us are all vets, we're sick and tired of the state of information about elections and politics in the state and we want to do something about it. The aim is not to give a slant or favorable view, but just to make information available and accessible to would-be voters.

    I really hope this catches on for you. I used to live in VA, and I remember how that information used to be more difficult to find. Since moving to CA, I've gotten completely spoiled. We get something mailed like this before every election, followed by a sample ballot for all the down-ticket stuff.

    See that's amazing. My goal would be to tie that all into the web application; that way as they were picking out their prospective ballot choices, they could see information like that.

    I like to believe VA is turning more blue, but with the way the rest of the State is outside of Richmond, the Beach and NoVa, I just don't see that happening.

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  • MillMill Registered User regular
    Yeah, many areas in Va are still fucking awful and back-ass-wards.

    Evigilant I hope things go well for you and buddies on developing that app and I'm quite willing to put a link to it in the OP if you have something ready for public use.

    EvigilantDiannaoChong
  • RozRoz Boss of InternetRegistered User regular
    But we all still agree that NoVa is the best place to live in Virginia right?

    ExtreaminatusDiannaoChongjdarksun
  • EvigilantEvigilant VARegistered User regular
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/virginia-didnt-wait-to-have-a-relationship-with-cuba/2015/01/08/4ae9d7a0-96a4-11e4-927a-4fa2638cd1b0_story.html

    If you don't want to click on the link:
    Top Cuban diplomat visits Richmond and the Governor. VA is trying to increase trade with the nation.

    I think the neat thing about the article is, I had no idea VA trades so much with Cuba, to the point that we're the 3rd largest trade state with them.

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    Chanus
  • EvigilantEvigilant VARegistered User regular
    http://www.wjla.com/articles/2015/01/jailed-va-lawmaker-who-resigned-seat-after-sex-scandal-returned-to-office-by-voters-110542.html
    RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A state lawmaker who resigned his seat following a sex scandal involving a teenage employee won it back during a special election Tuesday.

    Apparently plenty of voters in Joseph D. Morrissey's Richmond-area House of Delegates conviction were OK with his conviction in the scandal involving his 17-year-old secretary, whose nude photo was found on his cellphone and allegedly shared with a friend. Morrissey has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying his phone was hacked. The young woman, who denies they had sex, is now pregnant.

    In unofficial returns, Morrissey defeated Democrat Kevin J. Sullivan and Republican Matt D. Walton by a comfortable margin. Morrissey won 42 percent of the vote, compared to 33 percent for Sullivan and 24 percent for Walton.
    Morrissey's victory was not unprecedented: Through four previous elections, most voters overlooked or even embraced the lawmaker's flamboyant history of fistfights, contempt-of-court citations and disbarment. The 57-year-old bachelor, who fathered three children out of wedlock with three different women, repeatedly won at least 70 percent of the vote as a Democrat.

    Morrissey said in a telephone interview that the results show people aren't interested in the drama that landed him in jail.
    "They're interested in my body of work in the General Assembly," Morrissey said. "Nobody works harder for their constituents than I do."

    He also said Sullivan's ads focusing on his latest scrape with the law backfired.
    "People hate negative campaigns," Morrissey said.

    The lawmaker has made a career of never backing down. He hung boxing gloves in his office and promised "Joe will fight for you" in campaign ads on city buses. At one point, he waved an assault rifle inside the House chamber while arguing for gun control.

    He resigned his seat - effective Tuesday, the day of this special election - after he was convicted last month of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His agreement to serve six months in jail for the misdemeanor avoided a felony trial that could have barred him from office and put him in prison for years.

    But Morrissey wouldn't give up - he promptly quit his party to run as an independent for his seat, sleeping in jail and wearing an electronic monitoring device as he campaigned during the day.

    Legislators from both parties denounced him as unfit to serve and began studying how to expel him if he won.
    "Mr. Morrissey's election tonight does not change the fact that his actions fall grievously short of the standards of a public servant in the House of Delegates," House Speaker William J. Howell, a Republican, said in a statement.

    House Democratic Minority Leader David J. Toscano and party caucus chairman Scott Surovell said in a joint statement that Morrissey's "conviction and actions over the past two months were reprehensible, and we will be exploring every avenue in regard to his status as a member of the House of Delegates."

    According to House Clerk G. Paul Nardo said it takes two-thirds of the 100-member House to expel a member, which hasn't happened since 1876. The Virginia Constitution says a legislator can be kicked out for disorderly behavior, but does not define it.

    But Morrissey says the people, not politicians, should decide who represents them - and vowed a voting rights battle if they try to remove him.

    His latest troubles began when Coleman Pride told authorities that the lawmaker was preying on his daughter when she worked at his law office in 2013 - allegations he repeated in campaign ads last week for Morrissey's Democratic opponent.

    But Morrissey's staunchest defender is Myrna Pride, now 18, who went public this month with her side of the story.

    The Associated Press does not usually identify victims of sex crimes, but Myrna Pride's name has become well known in the district since she was named in Morrissey's criminal case. She denies they had sex - while declining to identify the father of her unborn baby - and she publicly defended Morrissey on Monday in a radio interview.

    Richmond radio host Jack Gravely was interviewing Coleman Pride on WLEE about his daughter's relationship with Morrissey when the lawmaker called in to defend himself. Myrna Pride then showed up in person, accusing her father and others of manufacturing the entire scandal to get back at Morrissey for his help in a dispute over her father's child support.

    It was Morrissey's role in the family's dispute that reportedly prompted police to serve a search warrant of his office Monday afternoon, with only hours to go before the voting started. Morrissey called that a political dirty trick.
    "The only person that has shown any respect or kindness, or been there for me, is Mr. Morrissey," Myrna Pride told a WTVR reporter on Monday. "Right now it's a friendship. I don't speak with him often. I call here and there to check on him. I want to see how his spirits are going."

    Morrissey supported her in turn.
    "She is a very smart young lady," he told the radio host. "She is kind, she is considerate. She will go on to do very well."

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  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    I've always been impressed by the ability of the American voter to forgive the sins of those they vote for.

    Panda4You
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    Sometime soon I'm going to write my delegate and senator and tell them to vote for his expulsion. Shit like that qualifies as disorderly conduct.

    ElvenshaeEvigilant
  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    We have our own Diamond Joe

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  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    I've seen Joe Morrissey at the High on the Hog festival in Church Hill a few times. He seems like a guy who likes to party.

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  • MillMill Registered User regular
    Yeah, that election result makes me sad for a number of reasons.

    Elvenshae
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    I am just laughing at the guy being re-elected. Don't get me wrong I am pretty new to VA politics but that just makes me laugh with its straight up machine silliness.

    03x29di.png
  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    I am just laughing at the guy being re-elected. Don't get me wrong I am pretty new to VA politics but that just makes me laugh with its straight up machine silliness.

    He's also fairly popular in his district. He's been around a really long time.

    This also isn't his first brush with the law. He had a bit of an alleged thing for cocaine.

    Been disbarred (and reinstated, but can't practice at the federal level).

    Held in contempt of court like a dozen times due to his "temper", which I'm pretty sure is what fueled the cocaine rumors.

    He's a Richmond area institution.

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  • MillMill Registered User regular
    Been over a week, so some stuff going on in the commonwealth.

    McDonald's is getting sued for racial discrimination. Hopefully, they win and the NLRB's new rule holding companies accountable for their franchises actions, will knock a few whole in the shitty "right to work" law this state has, which is more a "employers right to fire people, for whatever they damn well please."

    Del. Morrissey gets 4 more indictments. The biggest embarrassment for the state, this guy isn't the scummiest politician in the GA.

    Dick Saslaw (Minority Leader in the state senate) continues to be a huge disappointment for Democrats. First, there is the fact that he lad 600K pilfered from campaign accounts. Apparently, he wasn't keep a very good eye on those accounts. He also has proven the ethics issues in this state cut across party lines, with his opposition to strengthening ethics laws.

    Dominion Power "accidentally" sues 14 people, whose land is no longer in the way of their proposed pipeline route. I'm hoping one of those 14 people has a really good lawyer that is able to argue, it wasn't an accident, it was done to harass those people because they didn't bow down to Dominion Power's shitty whims. You'll also note that one couple they are still suing, is dealing with cancer. Dominion Power is a really shitty company that gets away with quite a bit because of this states shitty checks on corruption (the state is still missing out on the solar and wind energy boom because Dominion is more interested in sticking with fossil fuels).

    VA's House republicans block attempts to prohibit fundraising during special GA sessions.

    Luckily, it's still illegal for fundraising during the normal GA session, though it would seem that Del. Marshall failed to realize that.

    Panda4You
  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Dominion Power: At Least We're Not pepco

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  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    As an employee of Dominion Virginia Power, I think I might be helpful in providing a counterpoint to all the hatred towards the company that's being spewed in this thread. I can't account for everything they've done, but certainly they're no worse than most other companies. I'm not a PR guy or anything, I'm just a regular employee.

    I'd like to start by addressing DVA fighting green energy initiatives. A lot of people don't fully understand the system by which electrical distribution occurs in Virginia. The price of electricity is fixed by the government, which in return allows Dominion an effective monopoly over electricity production (this also saves Dominion some money in terms of infrastructure because they don't have to monitor local electrical production for non-Dominion additions to the grid, plus economies of scale). This also means that Dominion is required by law to provide electricity at the existing rate (10.5 cents per kiloWatt hour). If you turn on a light in your house, Dominion is obligated by law to provide electrical power to that light at that rate. For the most part, that's no big deal; 1/3 of Dominion's power is from the two nuclear plants which generate electricity at the cost of about 3-5 c/KWh, and coal plants can supplement that for about the same price. Large natural gas plants make electricity for slightly less. In order to match the demand from the grid exactly, however, Dominion operates dozens of smaller, much more expensive plants that it will ramp up or down, which are significantly more expensive than the others, in the range of 10-15 c/kWh. Dominion loses money on these, but it's okay because it makes the money back from the others.

    Now consider green energy. Virginia's topography makes wind power abominably inefficient. There's no endless miles of flat plains for wind to build significant momentum to drive hundreds of wind turbines. It's not ideal for solar energy either, not like the Southwest US.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source

    I'll be referencing the OpenEL Database since it's the most comprehensive. Using the median cost of production for thermal solar, it's costing Dominion at least 20 c/kWh to produce power that it's selling at 10.5 c/kWh. And consider the abysmal capacity factors for solar and wind (capacity factor is essentially the amount of electricity they produce divided by the total amount of electricity they could produce running at capacity). Electrical power is absurdly expensive to store, hence the ramping of power plants to supply the grid rather than storage in some sort of massive battery banks. Even if those solar thermal plants could produce power to help during the hot summer months, they'll be useless on the cold winter nights where electricity demand peaks. That means that Dominion would effectively need enough power production to meet peak demand without solar that it would then turn off in the summer days to run the solar panels instead, which is pants-on-head stupid. It's also worth mentioning that those numbers for wind and solar are including the government subsidies that are the only reason they're competitive. Those subsidies could go away any time the federal government wants, making them a poor choice for long-term investment.

    Trying to power VA by solar or wind will bankrupt Dominion, so of course they're going to fight it. That said, they're still trying. They've invested in solar projects outside VA where they're more viable. Meanwhile, they're still working on North Anna Unit 3 (currently awaiting NRC approval), another nuclear reactor that would increase nuclear energy production in the state to about 50%.

    As for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, I'm surprised that people aren't more in favor of it. I'm sure most Virginians are enjoying the drop in gas prices; I know I am. That drop is the direct result of the natural gas that's entering the state thanks to fracking, helped by somewhat decreased demand thanks to fuel efficiency standards in new cars percolating through the total car population. The AC Pipeline will help keep those prices low. Yes, it's unfortunate that it runs through private property. But it'll provide a benefit to everyone, particularly the poor, who suffer the most under high gas prices. And it's not as though these people won't be paid for the use of their land. The surrounding property value may suffer (FERC, last I checked, hasn't been able to find a link between introduction of gas pipelines and decreased property value, but I don't think it's an unreasonable assumption). Nevertheless, the same thing could be said of the government building a new interstate. The benefits to society as a whole outweigh the penalty to the few.

    Terrendos on
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  • MillMill Registered User regular
    Dominion Power deserves plenty of vitriol because they are a shitty company.

    -I don't give a fuck what service or good a company provides or sells. I do not want them pulling the BS that Dominion is currently getting way with, when it comes to government. I want the money out of politics. There is something seriously, wrong when a company can just dump gobs of money into the political process and subvert the very institution that's suppose to keep in check. Dominion certainly isn't the only shitty company in Virginia doing this, but right now they are the most noticeable and likely most damaging, given the implications of their bullshit actions.

    -It's not the state of Virginia's job to make Dominion Power a profitable company. The state's first obligation is to look out for what's best for its residents. Evidence pretty clearly points towards the best thing being to minimize our reliance on fossil fuels. That means investing more in alternative energy sources. It also means not using the fossil fuel's bullshit evaluation of "costs" because the health and environmental costs are real and someone ultimately foots the bill (last I check it hasn't been anyone in the fossil fuel industry, in fact those kinds of costs usually get socialized). I find it particularly galling, that "free market" values are conveniently ignored when government intervention benefits an entrenched business.

    -Sooner or later Dominion Power and other utilities are going to have to deal with a changing market. So it would be nice if they would knock it off with the standby charges and other bullshit, that seems designed to fight market changes and keep the status quo in their favor. This is a fun little article that details the problem and why utilities need to stop being little shits that don't think they have to adapt. Generally, I have a great disdain for companies that insist that the status quo be maintained because they are entitled to make money, despite technological changes that render their current business model moot; especially, when the old business models has plenty of negative aspects.

    -Jesus Christ, that last paragraph is appalling. "Hey, it sucks for the people, being unfairly, sued by Dominion Power for exercising their property rights. Though it's okay for Dominion Power to trample on people's rights, if it means cheaper energy." Also incredibly dishonest, a single pipeline will do very little to keep prices low. Given the negative impacts of fossil fuels and how likely this is to do much for gas prices, I'm pretty sure their is very little public interest here to justify overriding property rights for it. It certainly won't come even close to the public interest that government buildings and roads have. You know what would be a great way to keep gas prices low, it would to be to take steps to reducing our fucking reliance on them.

    ChanusMuddypawsPanda4You
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    Mill wrote: »
    Dominion Power deserves plenty of vitriol because they are a shitty company.

    -I don't give a fuck what service or good a company provides or sells. I do not want them pulling the BS that Dominion is currently getting way with, when it comes to government. I want the money out of politics. There is something seriously, wrong when a company can just dump gobs of money into the political process and subvert the very institution that's suppose to keep in check. Dominion certainly isn't the only shitty company in Virginia doing this, but right now they are the most noticeable and likely most damaging, given the implications of their bullshit actions.

    -It's not the state of Virginia's job to make Dominion Power a profitable company. The state's first obligation is to look out for what's best for its residents. Evidence pretty clearly points towards the best thing being to minimize our reliance on fossil fuels. That means investing more in alternative energy sources. It also means not using the fossil fuel's bullshit evaluation of "costs" because the health and environmental costs are real and someone ultimately foots the bill (last I check it hasn't been anyone in the fossil fuel industry, in fact those kinds of costs usually get socialized). I find it particularly galling, that "free market" values are conveniently ignored when government intervention benefits an entrenched business.

    -Sooner or later Dominion Power and other utilities are going to have to deal with a changing market. So it would be nice if they would knock it off with the standby charges and other bullshit, that seems designed to fight market changes and keep the status quo in their favor. This is a fun little article that details the problem and why utilities need to stop being little shits that don't think they have to adapt. Generally, I have a great disdain for companies that insist that the status quo be maintained because they are entitled to make money, despite technological changes that render their current business model moot; especially, when the old business models has plenty of negative aspects.

    -Jesus Christ, that last paragraph is appalling. "Hey, it sucks for the people, being unfairly, sued by Dominion Power for exercising their property rights. Though it's okay for Dominion Power to trample on people's rights, if it means cheaper energy." Also incredibly dishonest, a single pipeline will do very little to keep prices low. Given the negative impacts of fossil fuels and how likely this is to do much for gas prices, I'm pretty sure their is very little public interest here to justify overriding property rights for it. It certainly won't come even close to the public interest that government buildings and roads have. You know what would be a great way to keep gas prices low, it would to be to take steps to reducing our fucking reliance on them.

    -I never disagreed that getting the money out of politics was a good idea. I disagree that what Dominion's done has been particularly damaging, however.

    -Of course it isn't the government's job to make Dominion profitable. I never said it was. And in fact, I think Dominion could be doing a better job by investing further in nuclear power over fossil fuels, as they've proven they can run nuclear plants safely and profitably with minimal environmental impact. But unless some other aspect of the system changes, then Dominion (and any other electric utility in VA should Dominion collapse) would be selling electricity at a loss. No company is going to do that. That's why Dominion's investing alternative energy projects outside VA. If you want Dominion to invest in local alternative energy, then the system by which we pay for electricity needs to change before you have any case at all.

    -I read that article. I'll care a lot more when people forget that the cost of PV solar outweighs the costs of buying power directly by a factor of 5 and start buying those things.

    -From what I've read, it sounds like the opposition is just a vocal minority. I'd wager the thousands of people that would be employed in the pipeline's construction and maintenance would provide some public interest. As to whether gas prices are affected by gas pipelines:

    http://money.cnn.com/news/storysupplement/economy/gas_prices_by_state/

    compressorMap.gif

    I don't have the capacity to overlay these two maps, but it's still pretty easy to see that a higher density of gas pipelines coincides with a drop in the price of gasoline.

    It sounds like the argument you want to have here is that fossil fuels are bad and anyone who wants to keep using them is the devil. But that's an entirely different topic and not in the scope of "VA Politics." I don't know how else to phrase this, so I'm just going to do my best here: Virginia, by virtue of its geography, is a poor candidate for solar and wind power development. That is fact. Blaming Dominion for not wanting to invest in Virginia alternative energy is goosery.

    Geth
  • Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Gas prices are dropping because Saudi Arabia is flooding the market. A new local pipeline is peanuts compared to that.

    Panda4You
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    If that were true, then the price of premium gas would be dropping commensurate with the price of regular, but it's not. That's because the hydrocarbons produced via fracking are easier to turn into regular gasoline than the premium stuff.

    EDIT: Rather, Saudi's flooding the market is helping, too, but the fracking is very relevant.

    Terrendos on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    Not to mention the fact that as soon as there is a pipeline "incident" and it spills petroleum products everywhere all your cost savings count for shit.

    But clean-up costs are subsidized by the government and the environmental costs are directly injected in consumer anal orifices so that's pretty much all good.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited January 2015
    Is there a reason we can't use the wind power of the coast?

    Fencingsax on
    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Is there a reason we can't use the wind power of the coast?

    Several:

    1. First and foremost, that land costs $TEXAS.
    2. There's lots of endangered bird species that live directly on the coast, like bald eagles, that would be hurt by colliding with the blades.
    3. The coastal wind is bidirectional, which is less than ideal for wind turbines. You want a unidirectional, high momentum breeze for maximum power.

  • MillMill Registered User regular
    People seriously need to stop attributing pipelines as huge job creators. They are not. Any temporary construction jobs they create, are construction jobs that any other infrastructure project and create. There are plenty of more precessing infrastructure needs than another pipeline that will leak.

    Funny thing is Dominion Power did win the auction for federal land off the coast, that they have done fuck all with. It's very shady how they've handle this. If it's not viable, then why enter the auction and buy up the land? By buying up the land and doing nothing with it, Dominion has essentially prevented other competitors from developing that land.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Terrendos wrote: »
    If that were true, then the price of premium gas would be dropping commensurate with the price of regular, but it's not. That's because the hydrocarbons produced via fracking are easier to turn into regular gasoline than the premium stuff.

    EDIT: Rather, Saudi's flooding the market is helping, too, but the fracking is very relevant.

    wait are we talking natural gas or gasoline here

    saudi arabia has nothing to do with the former (in the USA) and fracking has not much to do with the latter

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Mill wrote: »
    People seriously need to stop attributing pipelines as huge job creators. They are not. Any temporary construction jobs they create, are construction jobs that any other infrastructure project and create. There are plenty of more precessing infrastructure needs than another pipeline that will leak.

    Funny thing is Dominion Power did win the auction for federal land off the coast, that they have done fuck all with. It's very shady how they've handle this. If it's not viable, then why enter the auction and buy up the land? By buying up the land and doing nothing with it, Dominion has essentially prevented other competitors from developing that land.

    Also note that the Dems tried to at least throw an amendment to require that any construction work be done by Americans, and materials be bought from American producers, which the Republicans made sure didn't make it in.

    What is this I don't even.
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Mill wrote: »
    People seriously need to stop attributing pipelines as huge job creators. They are not. Any temporary construction jobs they create, are construction jobs that any other infrastructure project and create. There are plenty of more precessing infrastructure needs than another pipeline that will leak.

    Funny thing is Dominion Power did win the auction for federal land off the coast, that they have done fuck all with. It's very shady how they've handle this. If it's not viable, then why enter the auction and buy up the land? By buying up the land and doing nothing with it, Dominion has essentially prevented other competitors from developing that land.

    Also note that the Dems tried to at least throw an amendment to require that any construction work be done by Americans, and materials be bought from American producers, which the Republicans made sure didn't make it in.

    As someone who works in industry where these US-only previsions aren't unknown, thank god. There are a good number of materials that we cannot buy in the US at any price. Various stainless, titanium, and copper-nickle alloys. Lots of times there's only a handful of mills in the world that produce them.

    DaedalusElvenshae
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    Terrendos wrote: »
    If that were true, then the price of premium gas would be dropping commensurate with the price of regular, but it's not. That's because the hydrocarbons produced via fracking are easier to turn into regular gasoline than the premium stuff.

    EDIT: Rather, Saudi's flooding the market is helping, too, but the fracking is very relevant.

    wait are we talking natural gas or gasoline here

    saudi arabia has nothing to do with the former (in the USA) and fracking has not much to do with the latter

    Natural gas (mostly methane and propane) can be processed into gasoline (a cocktail of hydrocarbons based around octane) through relatively simple chemical reactions. It costs money, but if gasoline is what people want and natural gas is what you have, you do what you do.

    Example article: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Natural-gas-to-1-gasoline-5701521.php

  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    NG isn't fungible like oil is since it's hard to ship so local supplies actually do matter. assuming you have the refining capability local as well.


    the Keystone has zilch to do with gas prices

    override367
  • MillMill Registered User regular
    Yeah, I think people got confused somewhere. Though to be fair, I can see how that can happen when you get the words pipeline and gas. To be clear, the pipeline in question has nothing to do with shitty tar sands and is for natural gas. That said, I'm skeptical that it will do much for natural gas prices being a single pipeline (don't even feel like touching the geographic concerns regarding it's route, since the foremost issue is that I'm not convinced it meet the criteria for public interest and thus there is little point in trampling over property rights for it).

    I know there's been talk about looking into ways to export natural gas. I'd rather not go down that route because fossil fuel based economies seem to undergo too many booms and busts. I also feel long term, that we're better served being less reliant on fossil fuels. Ideally using zero, but I don't know if that's feasible when factoring in transportation needs, though I would like to cut down on the usage of fossil fuels, so that we have more for needs that can't be divorced from fossil fuel any time soon. We're probably waiting a significant amount of time for fusion to be a viable commercial source. I do feel nuclear is a good stopgap, but plenty of ignorance hamstrings that alternative.

  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    well, looks like we're keeping the forced ultrasounds but the jim crow for gays bill died in committee

    can't turn blue fast enough

    **Winner Softest and Most Comfy Hugs Award Summer 2018**

    Blueberrywerewlf on the Sony Anime Games Box | BluberryWerewlf on the BroBone
    EvigilantDiannaoChong
  • MillMill Registered User regular
    Thanks Dominion Power for reminding me once again how much I fucking despise your company and reminding us how much SCOTUS fail this nation with shit like CU. Also how shitty the 'Virginia way" is, since it makes our GA so easy to bribe.

    I give you a bill that Dominion Power pushed for that would pretty much remove any oversight on them. Thankfully, I'm not one of this company's customers but it's a pretty shitty thing for their customers. Hopefully, our Governor won't have to veto this piece of shit bill because it looks like there are too many bribed individuals in the GA for a veto to stick. Barring that, AG Herring has come out against it, so maybe this is a way to demolish this shitty thing in court, if needed.

  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    Terrendos wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    If that were true, then the price of premium gas would be dropping commensurate with the price of regular, but it's not. That's because the hydrocarbons produced via fracking are easier to turn into regular gasoline than the premium stuff.

    EDIT: Rather, Saudi's flooding the market is helping, too, but the fracking is very relevant.

    wait are we talking natural gas or gasoline here

    saudi arabia has nothing to do with the former (in the USA) and fracking has not much to do with the latter

    Natural gas (mostly methane and propane) can be processed into gasoline (a cocktail of hydrocarbons based around octane) through relatively simple chemical reactions. It costs money, but if gasoline is what people want and natural gas is what you have, you do what you do.

    Example article: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Natural-gas-to-1-gasoline-5701521.php

    well, of course, but you have to have the refinery capacity on attached pipelines because shipping NG is a pain

    you can build LNG facilities but that's a loooooooot of money

    iirc Saudi Arabia is building LNG facilities to compete with Russia's NG monopoly in Europe

  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    Terrendos wrote: »
    Terrendos wrote: »
    If that were true, then the price of premium gas would be dropping commensurate with the price of regular, but it's not. That's because the hydrocarbons produced via fracking are easier to turn into regular gasoline than the premium stuff.

    EDIT: Rather, Saudi's flooding the market is helping, too, but the fracking is very relevant.

    wait are we talking natural gas or gasoline here

    saudi arabia has nothing to do with the former (in the USA) and fracking has not much to do with the latter

    Natural gas (mostly methane and propane) can be processed into gasoline (a cocktail of hydrocarbons based around octane) through relatively simple chemical reactions. It costs money, but if gasoline is what people want and natural gas is what you have, you do what you do.

    Example article: http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Natural-gas-to-1-gasoline-5701521.php

    well, of course, but you have to have the refinery capacity on attached pipelines because shipping NG is a pain

    you can build LNG facilities but that's a loooooooot of money

    iirc Saudi Arabia is building LNG facilities to compete with Russia's NG monopoly in Europe

    So is the US.

    We have a huge facility being built in Louisiana so we can ship to Europe and Asia. One of the big fus to Russia.

    On the dominion power bill, I heard it this morning driving to work.

    And I was like "What?" Well that is special.

    03x29di.png
  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Mill wrote: »
    People seriously need to stop attributing pipelines as huge job creators. They are not. Any temporary construction jobs they create, are construction jobs that any other infrastructure project and create. There are plenty of more precessing infrastructure needs than another pipeline that will leak.

    Funny thing is Dominion Power did win the auction for federal land off the coast, that they have done fuck all with. It's very shady how they've handle this. If it's not viable, then why enter the auction and buy up the land? By buying up the land and doing nothing with it, Dominion has essentially prevented other competitors from developing that land.

    Also note that the Dems tried to at least throw an amendment to require that any construction work be done by Americans, and materials be bought from American producers, which the Republicans made sure didn't make it in.

    As someone who works in industry where these US-only previsions aren't unknown, thank god. There are a good number of materials that we cannot buy in the US at any price. Various stainless, titanium, and copper-nickle alloys. Lots of times there's only a handful of mills in the world that produce them.

    I'm an engineering manager for a valve company, and I can tell you that you can source any grade of stainless, titanium, or superalloy you want from the U.S. The absolute worst case is that I have to buy an ingot of the material and use forged barstock rather than rolled barstock.

    Tell sourcing to step up their game.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    Today in Joe Morrissey:

    Jailed lawmaker votes against a measure banning porn in jail.

    I think this is why he gets reelected

    He's too fun to lose

    **Winner Softest and Most Comfy Hugs Award Summer 2018**

    Blueberrywerewlf on the Sony Anime Games Box | BluberryWerewlf on the BroBone
  • LanzLanz Registered User regular
    There's a couple LGBT work protection bills apparently going through the legislature right now, but I lost my link about them for the moment.


    In the meantime, apparently Saslaw (Fairfax's senator) is proposing a bill that would reduce regulation on the pharmacies that make lethal injection drugs, but also put the execution system further out of public eye and scrutiny. And the Governor is apparently for it :\
    Still, in the jubilant spirit of “if you can’t fix it, hide it,” Virginia is considering the proposed legislation, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, D-Fairfax, and called Senate Bill 1393. At one level, by loosening the rules on pharmacies that compound drugs, it will make it easier for the commonwealth to obtain the lethal-injection drugs that have been ever-more difficult to procure after U.S. suppliers stopped making them and European companies refused to allow them to be used in executions. But the bill goes far beyond that, by protecting from public view “all information relating to the execution process” and elsewhere ensuring that “information relating to the identity of ... compounding drugs for use in executions and all documents related to the execution process are confidential, exempt from the Freedom of Information Act, and not subject to discovery or introduction as evidence in a civil proceeding except for good cause shown.”

    What makes the bill extraordinary isn’t just the exceptionally broad language that hides from public scrutiny “all information relating to the execution process” but also the notion that it cannot be used in any civil litigation. Amazingly, the Democratic administration of Gov. Terry McAuliffe supports the new secrecy measure, citing “security” concerns. While members of the subcommittee that debated the legislation last week claimed they would amend it to require that the state disclose what drug or drug combination were being used to kill people, the broad secrecy language hiding “all information” is pretty clear on its face. At the hearing last week, Saslaw argued that the object of the proposed bill was to protect the safety of those who administer capital punishment, saying: “There ain’t a state in America that gives you the name of the guy who sticks the needle in any more than you got the names of the folks who pulled the switch when we had the electric chair.”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2015/02/capital_punishment_cover_up_virginia_hides_all_information_relating_to_the.html?wpsrc=fol_tw

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    Kakodaimonos
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