We’re averaging more than one mass shooting per day

From the Washington Post:

Aug. 26 is the 238th day of the year. And with the fatal shooting in Virginia today — in which a gunman shot himself after killing two reporters and wounding one more person — plus the shooting of four during a Minneapolis home invasion, the number of mass shooting incidents has risen to 247 for the year.

Today is topped of by the above-mentioned Virginia shooting of two television reporters, live, on air, filmed from two perspectives: by the victims who were being shot and by the shooter. I refuse to embed the video. Besides, dozens of people have downloaded them to YouTube.

It gets worse. The psychopath promoted the murder on his Facebook page:


But the NRA will tell you that now is not the time to even think about gun control.


Blocs of votes blocked

After the fiasco of 2000, you’d think Florida would have gotten its act together by now:

Don’t expect election results from Miami-Dade County anytime soon.

The county’s beleaguered elections supervisor told reporters Wednesday night that her employees, still processing thousands of absentee ballots, won’t finish until Thursday.

Supervisor Penelope Townsley acknowledged that mistakes had been made in the elections process, according to Miami Herald news partner WFOR-CBS4. She spoke after another day during which elections workers fed thousands of pages of ballots into scanning machines.

With the presidential race settled — but Florida still too close to call — Miami-Dade’s lack of final results have left a much-mocked blank spot on the long-decided electoral map.

There’s a troubling trend here. Virginia, Ohio and Florida all have Republican governors. In Tuesday’s election, northern Virginia, northern Ohio and South Florida, Obama strongholds, all reported screw ups in the voting process where machines didn’t work and people stood in line for hours to get their votes cast. And Republican legislatures have gone out of their way to introduce legislation to make it harder for people, particularly in minority areas to cast votes.

At a certain point, these consistencies across state lines become too blatant to ignore.

And that’s my conspiracy theory for the day.

Just close the open door: the Virginia primary

The Virginia GOP seems to be in a panic.

First, only two GOP presidential candidates collected enough signatures to qualify for the Virginia primary on Super Tuesday: Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Among those who fell short of the required 10,000 signatures to make the ballot, the Serial Adulterer has gone into a snit, saying it’s the moral equivalent of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Texas Gov. Yosemite Sam, that paragon of state’s rights, is suing the state GOP for not allowing him on the ballot because he doesn’t like Virginia’s law.

And now, keeping up with the party’s McCarthy-era fetish for loyalty oaths, this is floating around:

The state Republican Party will require voters to sign a loyalty oath in order to participate in the March 6 presidential primary.

Anyone who wants to vote must sign a form at the polling place pledging to support the eventual Republican nominee for president. Anyone who refuses to sign will be barred from voting in the primary.

During a brief meeting Wednesday at the state Capitol, the State Board of Elections voted 3-0 to approve three forms developed by the election board’s staff to implement the loyalty pledge requested by the state GOP.

Virginia has sort of an open-door primary system, where registered voters can come in and decide which primary they want to vote in. Now that the primary is down to two people, the state GOP thinks that Democrats will come in and vote for the crazy candidate (that’s up to you to decide, but my money’s on the guy with the racist newsletters), thereby strengthening Obama’s chances in the November election.

Honestly, instead of loyalty oaths, why doesn’t the state just require primary participation by party registration? Democrats vote in their primaries, Republicans vote in theirs.

I suspect the Republicans are against that because it won’t allow them to sabotage Democratic primaries when that opportunity arises.


The deadline for the inclusion on the ballot for the Virginia GOP presidential primary has passed, and, amazingly, the only two candidates to qualify were Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Now this is a major primary, and any candidates serious about competing for its votes on Super Tuesday would have had a sophisticated enough campaign organization to make sure the required number of signatures were collected and verified.

But of the seven candidates who are seeking the GOP nomination, only four filled out the necessary paperwork. Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry came up short.

Which should tell you something.

1) Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann don’t have any organization in Virginia, which should be an indication that their national organizations are weak, so they really shouldn’t be taken seriously anymore. Any future debates should dump them.

2) Rick Perry, who was the perceive GOP darling at one time, couldn’t get the required number of signatures. He’s pretty much out of it.

3) The serial adulterer really wasn’t serious about getting the nomination to begin with, and when he found out he actually reached frontrunner status, he scrambled and tried to get the required votes. And now, like a sore loser, he’s complaining about a process that was long ago established:

Gingrich’s campaign blamed the Virginia rules for his failure to qualify and said he would mount a write-in campaign instead.

“Only a failed system excludes four out of the six major candidates seeking access to the ballot. Voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender, especially leading candidates,” Gingrich campaign manager Michael Krull said in a statement. “We will work with the Republican Party of Virginia to pursue an aggressive write-in campaign to make sure that all the voters of Virginia are able to vote for the candidate of their choice.”

Dude! Rules are rules. Mitt and Ron figured it out. You’ve got no excuse.

Here’s the topper. On the Gingrich campaign page on Facebook, Krull said this:

Newt and I agreed that the analogy is December 1941: We have experienced an unexpected set-back, but we will re-group and re-focus with increased determination, commitment and positive action. Throughout the next months there will be ups and downs; there will be successes and failures; there will be easy victories and difficult days – but in the end we will stand victorious.

This is what happened in December 1941:

The similarities are striking, aren’t they?

Assorted disasters, naturally

There was an earthquake in Virginia earlier this week. And this weekend, Hurricane Irene is headed up the Atlantic Coast. (See its path as of Friday, below.)

Both natural disasters have Washington, D.C., in their path of destruction. A lot of America will look at that as justice. I’m sure the folks on the right will say it’s Obama’s fault.

I see it as a reminder that I have to buy homeowner’s insurance one of these days.