The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Weekly News Round-up

Been too busy to blog recently, but here are some things that I have seen that note mention.

1. AG race recount set for December 20th, so small time legal wrangling over how to handle optical scan ballots. Otherwise, expect an official winner by Christmas.

2. VA Chamber of Commerce endorses raising taxes to fix state's transportation problem. Politically, it is suicide for back to back Democratic administrations to raise taxes. However, how else do we fund the Commonwealth's transportation needs? If Kaine is concerned with governance he'll do it, if he is concerned with politics he won't. If Tim Kaine pushes a tax increase through we will definitely find out how much actual support there is for "good government." Of course expect the Republicans to oppose tax increases without offering any other solution to the problem and all the while happily spending the new revenue.

3. Harrisonburg School Board is changing the penalties for alcohol, tobacco and drug use in school. Pretty sensible to treat marijuana possession differently than heroin and to make tobacco offenses more serious than dress code. I do question why the board would remove discretion from the administration to punish these offenses. Every offense is fact based and should be treated accordingly.

4. The New England Journal of Medicine published a scathing editorial accusing Merck of intentional and knowingly withholding information from the journal regarding that dangers of heart attack to vioxx users. The editor called Merck's explanation "ludicrous." This may give attorney's in New Jersey the right to appeal the defense verdict based on fraud. It is a shame to see such a well respected company and local employer implode. Undoubtedly, there will be some that will continue to blame plaintiff's lawyers for Merck's problems. Ultimately, Merck is responsible for the decisions it made and if it has to pay those it harms, well seems fair to me.

Those are the state and local items that come to mind at the moment. Stay tuned for a profile of James Webb, former Sec. of the Navy under Reagan and considering a bid to unseat George Allen as a (gasp) Democrat.


  • At 12/09/2005 11:04 AM, Blogger Will Vaught said…

    I think the possibility of James Webb is super, but I'd first like to learn a bit more about him before the keys to the mansion are handed over to him...

    Since Phil Kellam is a shoe-in for the democratic nomination in the 1st Congressional distirct (and probably also a shoe-in to win the seat againts that hack thelma drake) I'd for the dems to give a hard look at David Ashe for Senate.

    Sure Ashe is young, and Allen would likely beat him, but Ashe (in my opinion) will not be an easy opponent for Allen to dismiss, or to savagely attack either - Ashe is young, smart, a marine, an iraqi war veteran, and a democrat.

    Allen potentially could be forced to tread lightly on the attacks, and thus be forced to (gasp) speak to the issues, and this could be a problem for cowboy George II.

  • At 12/09/2005 12:31 PM, Blogger zen said…

    I like that there is serious, growing competition brewing to unseat Allen. I read a very interesting take on Webb over at The New Dominion.

  • At 12/09/2005 12:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i think webb might be a pretty good candidate for the democrats. i like to have choices.

    it was totally disgusting how so many virginia delegate seats, mostly occupied by republicans, went unchallenged in the last election. i refuse to vote for an unopposed candidate regardless of party affiliation.

    we need more choices and more intelligent debate on the real issues...not just solgans. this is the only way to keep elected officials reasonably honest.

  • At 12/09/2005 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    who is this james webb guy anyway?


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