Valentine Michael Smith.

It’s strange being back in Charlottesville, it now being nearly two weeks since I moved back from Blacksburg, completing my 16 months there. I’m so used to not being in Charlottesville that moving back not to downtown, but just outside of town, has resulted in my spending all of my time at home: chopping wood, playing with the dogs, meshing my possessions with Amber’s, and signing up for next semester’s classes. I haven’t been to town in two days. On Wednesday, I spent some time downtown, but as a student (until May), I don’t have the spending money to sit at Mudhouse or return to my habit of regular lunches at Bizou and Bashir’s. I haven’t fully reconnected with friends, as I think it would be a bit presumptuous to e-mail 200 people and announce that I’d moved back (provided they’d noticed).

I think if I’d moved right back downtown, it would be different. Charlottesville has retained its 16-month-old status as a place to which I go, not a place where I am.

Here is now Albemarle, rather than Blacksburg, and for that, at least, I am grateful.

Paging Dr. Bob Marshall.

If there’s one thing that batshit-crazy Delegate Bob Marshall can always be counted on for, it’s to make shit up. From the AP:

Marshall will also push legislation that would hold colleges that distribute the morning after pill liable for any health complications the woman taking it might encounter.

“You give a woman a month’s worth of the birth control pill in 12 hours, what the hell are you doing for your system?” Marshall asked. “If they’re gonna pass this out like gumballs, they’re gonna be liable for it.”

A month’s worth of birth control pills in 12 hours? Christ almighty, that would be bad. Marshall knows full-well that’s not how emergency contraceptives work. Though it varies, depending on the EC treatment, it’s more like four days worth of pills in 12 hours (such as with the Yuzpe regimen). Nausea for a day or so is the result for many women, but that’s about it.

I’m tempted to draw any number of analogies to explain why Marshall’s proposal is stupid, but there’s just no point. Bob Marshall, Dick Black, and all of those mullahs of Virginia’s radical right go well beyond mere infliction of their religious beliefs on the whole of the populace. They’re recklessly ignorant, and genuinely believe that all birth control should be illegal, women should be forced to bear children as frequently as they have sex and, for that matter, most forms of sex should be (and are) outlawed, anyhow. Hateful, small-minded men like these cannot comprehend explanation, analogies, or attempts to barter. They desire nothing less than the complete subjection of women, and their crocodile tears for the college student made ill aren’t even vaguely convincing.

(Via The Virginia Progressive.)

This is how it ends.

I’ve seen a lot of grumbling among my fellow progressives about the complete loss of ethics among Republicans in the U.S. House. First the slap on the wrist that DeLay got for vote-buying a few months ago, and then this week’s news that Hastert is yanking the Republican head of the Ethics Committee and replacing him with one of DeLay’s guys in Texas. Pride goeth before the fall, and seldom has there been quite as much pride as there is right now.

House Democrats were in the same boat before the ’94 Gingrinch revolution. They got overconfident, started to feel invincible, and then got nailed for ethical violations. Today’s news that House Republicans are effectively eliminating ethics rules is the clearest sign yet that Republicans have become so over-cocky as to have lost all caution.

I think it’s great. Really, I’m excited. I feel a bit like all of Disney’s PAs probably felt before they hurled all of those lemmings over that cliff so many years ago. Republicans, though, are eliminating themselves — no assistance necessary.

Divided VA Republicans begin civil war.

The first blows have been struck in what may be a years-long civil war between the sane and insane factions of the Virginia Republican Party:

A leader of Republican lawmakers who broke with the party to support tax increases this year has been yanked off a prestigious legislative committee.

Del. L. Preston Bryant Jr., R-Lynchburg, said Wednesday that he was notified two weeks ago of his removal from the House Appropriations Committee, which oversees the state budget. He said House Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, did not give a reason for his decision.

The action has sparked rumors that Howell is preparing to oust others, including Del. S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk, who broke ranks on the tax issue.

Jones and Bryant co- sponsored a compromise tax plan in the spring, ending an impasse over the state budget which had kept the legislature in session 53 days past its deadline.

  1. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” -Napoleon Bonaparte
  2. “When your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil.” -James Carville

The latter is my preferred approach.