So where are we?

At this moment, the Senate is apparently in caucus. No vote yet. No clear indication of some critical details, such as how the money from the earmarked ¼% sales tax increase gets distributed. That’s a big issue in places like Fairfax, where county supervisors have said no state budget, no property tax cut.

Sen. Russ Potts (R-Winchester) predicts “there will be more than 17 Republicans who vote for it.” But already this morning there’s word that one of the two hopeful pick ups – Del. Allen Louderback (R-Luray) — has said no. The other possible pick up is Del. Bobby Orrock (R-Thornburg).

Sen. Walter A. Stosch (R-Glen Allen) has the best analysis of the car tax issue I’ve read yet.

“[The car tax] is one of those paradoxes. It’s a good thing because it provides for tax relief but on the other hand it requires us to use state income tax and sales tax to do it, so we find ourselves in the awkward position of having to raise a tax to reduce a tax.”

And give Del. Bill Janis (R-Short Pump) credit for admitting that the car tax cut is just a ploy to rein in government spending.

“Every year going forward [from 2006], the portion that the state pays will get smaller and the portion that I pay will get larger. The reason to eliminate the car tax really is to take that money off the table for spending [by government] whether it’s in bad years or in good years.”

And Sen. Emmett Hanger (R-Mt Salon) sings the Richmond version of the Carpenters’s every-other-wedding song, “We’ve Only Just Begun.” “It doesn’t quite complete the job of tax reform,” he says, “but this gives us a good place to start as far as that goes.”

While JMU announces tuition hike.

A Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial today states: The problem is that Virginia Democrats suffer from a deficiency of imagination and ideas….Alas, parties without serious platforms lack the legitimacy to discuss policy planks.

RTD editors are sniffing glue again. That’s the only explanation for them writing something like this with a straight pen. When the last GOP governor put us in this mess by running on a campaign platform that consisted of three words and when the GOP nationally, statewide and locally have only one plank, No New Taxes, how can you accuse the Dems of a lack of imagination.

Black Pot Speaks: Attorney Joel D. Bieber, who is representing Gary Thomson, the former head of the GOP party in Virginia in the civil suit against him for eavesdropping on a private conference call by Democrat, “said Monday that further litigation in the matter was ‘mean-spirited.’”

Can you imagine anyone representing the GOP calling someone “mean-spirited”? Mean-spirited is the modus operandi of Congressman Tom Delay, VP Dick Cheney and GOP strategist Karl Rove. Hell, it was GOP operative Lee Atwater who invented mean-spirited politics.

The Tidewater Metro Baptist Ministers’ Conference of Virginia, a group of mostly black ministers, doesn’t like gays. No way. No how.

“This kind of societal destruction must be immediately brought to its conclusion before it completely destroys us all,” declared the Rev. Browlee Hailstock Jr….

In its resolution, the Tidewater clergy group warned that churches’ past failures to act had led to the end of prayer in public schools decades ago and the elimination of the “blue law” that required most businesses in Virginia to close on Sundays….

“I vehemently oppose anybody who tries to associate the civil rights we talked about in the ’60s with this filth. Vehemently!” he said. “There is no comparison.”

“The African-American community has historically been very moral, very moralistic, very family-oriented,” [Brenda H.] Andrews[, publisher of the New Journal & Guide,] said. Hailstock said Monday that he tells homosexuals to get psychological counseling and prays for their redemption….

“Most of my ministry is spent in teaching people that God loves them, because organized religion has convinced them that God does not,” said Rev. Marty Luna Wolf , senior pastor at the New Life Metropolitan Community Church in Norfolk, who supports legal same-sex marriage.

What a concept!

Not sure if Tech was hoping that joining the ACC would give them this kind of exposure.

An article and an editorial in the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star together tell an interesting story. The Spotsylvania county budget is slated to be $333 million next year, while neighboring Stafford County is budgeting $410 million. Why, the story asks and answers, the difference? The editorial chides the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors for preparing to pass a tax cut before they know what the state will provide.

Spotsylvania County government’s two main boards, on the surface, couldn’t be further apart on K-12 funding if one of them were speaking Mandarin. While the Board of Supervisors last year fully funded the School Board’s requests, this year, Superintendent Jerry Hill asserts, supervisors are set to bankroll only 43 percent of the system’s needs. Catastrophe looms, says Mr. Hill, because the higher board is set on cutting the real-estate tax rate to make up for surging home assessments–just when the county’s educational bills are spiking.

That alone, philosophically, may describe the difference between the two counties’ budgets, but the article gives some numbers.

Arlington says it’s not going to take advantage of a new state law that allows police to check for legal residency when investigating individuals for crimes. The bill’s sponsor, that always level-headed and thoughtful idiot Del. Bob Marshall, says, “Is this a political statement in defiance of the General Assembly? … Well, we can fight back – turn off their water.”

Here’s water czar Bob Marshall, trying to drink through his microphone.

Then, our presumptive GOP candidate for governor, says through a spokesman, “In light of the growing gang problem, particularly in Northern Virginia, it would be a good idea to do everything you can to fight [illegal immigration].”

Illegal immigrants are all gang members is the message, I guess. Yeah, well I saw the movie Gangs of New York. I know it’s really the Irish who are gang members. Let’s send all the Irish back to their tiny little island. Kilgore? That’s an Irish name isn’t it?

Loudoun County school growth is tops in the state.