Chapter 56: COVID Chronicles

May 23, 2020

By Karen

Day 73

ABCs & Mail-In Ballot Retraction

I woke up at 9:30 and it threw the whole day off. Doing chores, I went outside to sweep tree crap off the deck and my new sliding glass door went wonky and refused to close all the way — by about 2 inches. Now there’s a gap at the top you can see daylight through. I had to physically lift the door above the track to close it and then slide a wad of cardboard under one end (best done by two people, BTW) to balance it enough to lock it until one of my handymen texts me back about a fix. I have every reason to believe they will ghost me on this.

The stress of finding this new home repair project (with its security implications in the meantime) propelled my masked self out the front door on a vodka run. But first, some context: Virginia controls all hard liquor sales through state-owned ABC stores (but you can buy beer and wine anywhere). This is solely due to a mix of latter-day prudishness and greed.

When I travel, it always amazes me when I see someone nonchalantly picking up tampons and Jack Daniels at Walgreens.

Anyway, I live equidistant between two ABCs, and my father told me yesterday that COVID had closed one of those. So I drove to the other one.

Well, guess what? Also closed. The sign directed me to the “nearest” store, in a dicey part of town I avoid. At this point, anyone with a functioning sliding glass door who didn’t need a stiff martini would have just gone to Food Lion for beer and been done with it.

But I knew of a fourth store, so I took the scenic route there to give my Saturn a highway workout because it hasn’t been driven in two weeks. It was open and everybody was wearing masks.

Yesterday, Governor Northam said he’ll probably make wearing masks in public mandatory on Tuesday. I don’t know what’s magical about Tuesday, but will love watching all the Trumpers who paraded around the state capitol in their cute little camo outfits with assault weapons stick that mask decree right up their Second Amendments.

RETRACTION: If you live in Virginia’s 7th District, forget what I said about getting a mail-in ballot. Upon returning from the ABC, I had a letter from the county registrar’s office saying my application was denied because the only Democratic primary is in the 4th District. Is my face red!

I blame the pathetic Richmond Times-Dispatch, the only newspaper available in this region, which I read front to back EVERY DAY. I pay attention to this stuff and had no idea what’s going on with the primaries. The RTD is so intent on keeping Trump’s crimes buried, local political news must also be getting lost — or going unreported. In their newsroom, who has time for CURRENT events when you’ve got pages to fill with Civil War developments and sports that aren’t being played?

For dinner tonight I had some leftover baked chicken thigh, so threw it together with rice, onions, green beans and BBQ sauce. Here’s what I mean about having no patience for caramelizing onions…

That’s as brown as they got before I ate them. They were good. Now I need a drink.

BONUS: The amazing Sarah Cooper telling us “How to Obamagate”…


Cantor’s Pride Leads to His Fall

June 11, 2014

By Karen

It’s a joyous day in Virginia. After 14 years in office, our 7th District Republican congressman and House majority leader Eric Cantor LOST the primary to a tea party elected-office newbie named David Brat — by 11 points.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch headline screamed: CANTOR OUT.

In my county, Cantor lost by about 22 points (5,924 to 7,226). My vote was one of them.

OK, I confess. I pulled a cross-over. Yesterday I boldly walked through the valley of the gun-loving bigots (who were all jovial and friendly, I might add) to vote for Brat in the hope our Democratic contender could easily defeat him.

In Virginia you don’t have to claim a party affiliation. Democrats have no primary this year because our candidate was sort of drafted because nobody wanted to run against Cantor, so why not mess with the Republicans?

Contrary to the simplistic rationales TV talking heads are spouting for this “shocking” and “historic” upset, there were probably 3 main factors in play…

1. Cantor’s constituents shared his conceit that he was invincible, and didn’t bother to vote.

2. Democrats like me got strategic and voted for a Republican we may beat.

3. The 7th District just made a sharp right turn toward BatShitCrazyville.

Cantor has only himself to blame for his downfall. For years he’s presided over a sprawling, spotty district with an almost hand-picked conservative majority. He’s played gerrymandering to the hilt.

But this made Cantor cocky. Too cocky.

Leading up to the primary, Cantor refused to lower himself to debate Brat. His campaign spent a bundle on TV and print to spew the lie that Brat’s a liberal.

It became an unseemly display of a lavishly-funded Washington fat-cat squashing the underdog like a bug, with utter disregard for the truth. Possibly, it disgusted even diehard Cantor supporters. That, coupled with Cantor’s inability to do anything in DC except waste taxpayer dollars on umpteen futile votes to repeal Obamacare and find creative ways to feather his own nest and nurture his political ambitions, spelled defeat.

Cantor himself was so blinded by hubris, I don’t think he saw it coming until the numbers rolled in last night.

Brat will run against Jack Trammell. They’re both new to elected office, both professors at Randolph-Macon College, Brat in economics, Trammell in sociology.

Brat’s running on an anti-immigration reform and anti-Obamacare platform. Bottom line: he staunchly stands on the wrong side of history, which plays well in BatShitCrazyville.

But I think Trammell has a fair shot at winning and joining Virginia’s two Democratic senators in DC.

So, Virginia is losing a high-profile position in Congress, but Eric Cantor was a disgrace in it and it’s good riddance. We’re better off starting over.


Wayne Powell vs. Eric Cantor: The Debate

October 2, 2012

By Cole

Eric Cantor has finally met his match in Wayne Powell, a 61-year-old retired Army-Colonel-turned-lawyer with a son in Afghanistan who is making his first run for public office.

Last night Cantor agreed, for the first time in 10 of his 12 years in Congress, to deign to debate a challenger.

Here’s the full 1-hour debate on CSPAN2 (scroll in 10 minutes to bypass the introductory blah-blah).

If Eric Cantor lives to be 100, he’ll always seem like the 90-lb. nerd who minced through high school with his shiny white loose leaf binder under his arm, smugly thinking he had all the answers.

If this politics thing fizzles out for him, Cantor would be perfect for the cast of the Big Bang Theory.

Powell showed up with a rumpled legal pad and a lot of determination. He was direct, and by turns passionate, emotional, and indignant.

He displayed any normal person’s responses to Cantor’s infuriatingly empty, canned, often-hypocritical Republican bullshit.

Powell never stopped throwing punches (i.e., facts), while Cantor just smirked and danced around them. Cantor did everything but taunt, “Nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah!”

The most telling moment came at 38:10 (watch this, if nothing else), when Powell was asked to pose a direct question to Cantor. Powell choked up a little asking Cantor why he voted for Congress to continue being paid during a possible government shut-down, while he voted AGAINST funding to pay the troops.

As expected, Cantor’s response was smarmy enough to get some audience boos, and he didn’t answer the question.

Cantor’s opening statement included faux concern for some fictitious “single mother in Goochland” that came off as smarmy and insincere as Romney’s current TV ads, where he claims to care about everybody.

Takeaway from the whole event: Wayne Powell is from Mars, Eric Cantor is from whatever planet Romney calls home.

Cantor has been elected to represent Virginia 7th District 6 freaking times. Let’s hope Wayne Powell tears the blinkers off voters so they can finally see that their interests are the LAST thing on Cantor’s mind.

In 2006, Virginia elected another non-politician, Senator Jim Webb (D), to stop another self-serving Republican, former-governor-turned-Senator George Allen.

Now we need Wayne Powell to rid Washington of Eric Cantor.

BONUS…

Compare the debate write-up by the conservative Richmond Times-Dispatch…

…To the Daily Kos, which didn’t feel compelled to pussy-foot around Cantor.


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