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Last updateThu, 19 Nov 2015 8pm

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Is democracy a thing of the past in the General Assembly?

Most of us think we live in a representative democracy, but in Virginia, when it comes to the General Assembly, that’s not necessarily so. Thanks to legislative districts drawn with the sole aim of achieving a desired result, most voters don’t have much of a choice. Democracy has been sacrificed to preserve the party in power. And lest you think I am just picking on Republicans, I’m not. In days gone by the Democrats abused the system just as readily as the Republicans do now. But that doesn’t make it right.

Read more: Is democracy a thing of the past in the General Assembly?

Does Gillespie have a chance against Warner

Is Mark Warner vulnerable this year? Most political observers assume that he’s not, but that doesn’t mean that this fall’s contest between Warner and his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, isn’t going to be lively. Warner clearly, at this point, has a massive advantage going into the election. According to a Washington Post poll, he leads Gillespie by 56% to 37%. That’s an almost insurmountable edge. However, off-year elections, when voter turnout is low and often anti-administration feeling at its highest, have had their share of surprise results.

Read more: Does Gillespie have a chance against Warner

Gone Fishing

There are sorts of bumper stickers, quotes and little sayings that capture the spirit of fishing. One of my favorites is “a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work.” And of course, one I can relate to, “this vehicle stops at all fishing holes.” People all over the world fish. Some fish to survive, others for profit, and many like myself, fish because we love it. But, trying to identify the reason why we like it so much can be a bit challenging.

Read more: Gone Fishing

Squirrel Nutkin hangs on

Almost everyone has read or heard of Beatrix Potter’s famous character Peter Rabbit. The tales of his adventures, first published in 1903, are delightful to read and the illustrations are timeless. But in addition to Peter, the occasionally hapless lead character in these tales, there were a long list of other animal characters. One of my favorites, because I am so fond of squirrels, was Squirrel Nutkin.

Read more: Squirrel Nutkin hangs on

The Impeachment game

It’s a dangerous political dance, one most responsible congressmen and senators readily shy away from, but unfortunately Congress, at least in the House, isn’t run by responsible adults anymore. The issue is impeachment and the House majority in particular, and even a few Republicans in the Senate, are talking about the notion of impeaching President Obama. The rationale behind impeaching the President isn’t particularly sound, but that’s not stopping some of the impeachment stalwarts.

Read more: The Impeachment game

The underreported story of the state’s budget cuts

It was a strange year when it came to news coverage of the debate and eventual enactment of a budget for the Commonwealth. To read the news reports, whether in the newspaper or the internet you would think the only issue was the expansion of Medicaid and Obamacare. Almost every other topic, save some relatively short lived coverage concerning mental health care funding, got pushed aside. No one was interested in talking about anything except Medicaid expansion.

Read more: The underreported story of the state’s budget cuts

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