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Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 09:08 AM PDT

I got bullied by Charles Koch!

by Turn VABlue

I work in an office building where the Charles Koch Institute has its office. On Friday, April 6, a nearby sandwich shop had a food giveaway in the lobby of our building to promote its catering business. While I was in the lobby, I noticed several Koch Institute staffers hanging around waiting for a free lunch. As a political activist, this struck me as being both funny and ironic, so I snapped a photo of the guys and tweeted it with the caption "Bunch of guys from Charles Koch institute waiting for free food in my office bldg lobby. Oh the irony. #tcot #p2"

I didn't think about it after that. So far as I know, no one retweeted it. This morning, Monday April 9, I found the following below email in my work in box. Keep in mind that I never gave my name to the guys in the lobby. I chatted with them briefly about the mission of the Koch Institute, and asked if it wasn't rather socialist of them to be lining up for free food. They may have read my employer ID badge, which I usually wear around my neck, but I can't recall which way it was facing or even if I was wearing it around my neck at the moment. Also keep in mind that I tweet under the name "SatirclAlx," which is short for "Satirical Alexandria." (I am Democratic activist from Alexandria, VA.) Read my email exchange with the Koch Institute's general counsel to see the lengths these guys will go to in order to squelch dissent and ridicule.

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Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 03:26 PM PDT

Confronting Bob McDonnell

by Turn VABlue

Late last night, I got a tweet from the twitter account of Vicki Vasques, who is the Republican opponent to my state delegate here in Virginia's 45th in Alexandria. It was inviting people to meet Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for Governor, and his wife Maureen, at a coffee today about one mile from my house. I smelled an opportunity. There is no way in hell I am ever going to vote for Bob McDonnell, and I wasn't going to pretend that I would. However, I was willing to listen to his answer on one question that I really wanted to ask, just to see what he had to say. I make no pretense about my intentions. I expected stonewalling and obfuscation, and that's what I got, but I pushed. And pushed. And pushed some more. I was right up in his face. I was obnoxious. I was irritating. But I got my answer.

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Tue May 05, 2009 at 12:27 PM PDT

ALEXANDRIA, VA & GOP Plunking

by Turn VABlue

Sorry to interrupt national news for a down home post. Please forgive me. However, some of you might find the description of the Republican voting tactic of "plunking" (after the fold) interesting.

Kossacks in Alexandria, VA, PLEASE vote today for City Council. Turnout this morning was very light. This hurts our Democratic candidates. Polls close at 7 PM.

Other Kossacks - If you know ANY voters in Alexandria, VA, please call, email, IM, Text, Facebook, Myspace, etc. to tell them to vote today.

Poll

Someone should

18%2 votes
81%9 votes

| 11 votes | Vote | Results

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I received this email from a poker playing buddy about 45 minutes ago. It's about our mutual poker buddy, Jim.

Jim is 67. He's had AIDS for over 20 years. Not just HIV, but full blown AIDS from what he told me. We went to Atlantic City a few times together and played cards all night and slept in the next morning. My husband never minded me sharing a room with a gay guy over 20 years older than me.

On those trips, Jim would bring a cooler with all his meds. It was a small one, but nonetheless, it held more prescription bottles than I had ever seen at one time.

Jim is a hold 'em player, but he's about to draw his last card. We had some good times at the card tables, and he spent Christmas Eve 2007 with me and my family and other friends. He loved the duck I made I made for dinner that night. I gave him a Redskins sweatshirt. He put it on right over his flannel shirt. Jim was the only gay Virginia redneck I have ever known, but I'm sure there are lots of others.

Poll

Poker players are

7%3 votes
5%2 votes
33%13 votes
5%2 votes
33%13 votes
15%6 votes

| 39 votes | Vote | Results

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I've read some funny stuff here on DailyKos. We need a good laugh now more than ever. I've seen funny comments, snarky comments, satirical diaries, etc. All of it has been pretty good.

I've been doing a satirical blog lately, mostly about my town's petty politics, but also going a little nationwide lately. I encourage others to do the same. Using humor instead of anger helps me get through tough times, and I know a lot of us are having tough times right now.

I hope you find this diary funny, or at least mildly amusing. It's a spoof on the day's events re: Senator Ted Stevens' case but also a poke at what happened to the DOJ under Bush. What those idealogues did was a disgrace, and I can only hope they pay for it in the afterlife...

Poll

When arrested, you should:

55%21 votes
5%2 votes
13%5 votes
0%0 votes
26%10 votes

| 38 votes | Vote | Results

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I subscribe to Corporate Compliance Insights diary, so they really get the credit for this Diary. I just made up the "how it effects my life" part.

http://www.corporatecomplianceinsigh...

I'm sure many of you have read about soldiers in Iraq being electrocuted because of substandard wiring by KBR. The family of one soldier has filed suit against KBR and KBR denies responsibility. KBR also recently pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when it paid a "consutling fee" to "agents" who then swung deals for them with the Nigerian government. KBR was spun off from Halliburton, formerly headed by the eponymously named "Dick" Cheney.

As the article linked to above points out, KBR is now arguing that continued compliance with U.S. law, which it agreed to as part of the Nigerian scam settlement, puts KBR at a competitive disadvantage. Some lawyer wrote in an SEC filing (I'm not making this up): "...limitations on our use of agents as part of our efforts to comply with applicable laws, including the FCPA, could put us at a competitive disadvantage in pursuing large-scale international projects."

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I live in the supposedly liberal, Democratic town of Alexandria, Virginia.

Some of you may have read my previous diary about the craziness with the lacrosse coaches at my daughter's high school who, along their wives, planned to stuff the ballot box at the lacrosse boosters annual meeting and gain control of the treasury. They accidentally forwarded to me an email outlining their plot, and I sent it on to the athletic director, principal, superintendent, all the parents in the booster club, the school board, etc. My previous diary, the "YOU PEOPLE"  diary, was about how the wife of the freshman boys' coach implied that I was racist because I used the phrase "you people" when addressing an all-white group of morons.

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I made a comment about this yesterday and a few people suggested I diary my findings, so here goes.

Speaking as a lawyer, I wish to point out that the term "enemy belligerent" as used in the June 27, 2002 memo by John Yoo is not precisely defined, and throughout the memo, he is referring to "enemy combatants," which is a very different thing from "enemy belligerent." I  printed out the memo,  and I'm going to read it again,  highlight the scary parts, and type this diary as I go due to time constraints, but suffice it to say, it dances around the issue and uses double-speak to authorize the detention of US citizens for basically doing nothing but looking, acting or sounding dangerous, as the President might define "dangerous."

In pertinent part: "...evidence of criminal liability is legally unnecessary in order for the U.S. Armed Forces to detain an enemy combatant." The memo goes on to state that anyone, regardless of citizenship, who "associates" themselves with the "military arm of the enemy" is an "enemy belligerent" and "NOTHING FURTHER NEED BE DEMONSTRATED TO TO JUSTIFY THEIR DETENTION AS ENEMY COMBATANTS."

Be careful. Watch who you "associate" with. Guilt by association can get you locked up at Gitmo according to John Yoo.

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Sun Feb 08, 2009 at 10:00 AM PST

Is "You People" racist?

by Turn VABlue

I would like your honest opinions. I'm really upset about something. In fact, I spent hours crying about it last night. It all started over something so petty and stupid that I can't even believe adults would act like this, but in the end, I was accused of being a racist. I honestly don't know if what I did was wrong or not, and I'd like to know, from people who have nothing at stake and can tell me flat out whether I'm an insensitive, racist asshole or just getting all upset over something that isn't really that big of deal. I know it's easier to give and take criticism to and from anonymous people over a computer screen, so here goes...

Poll

Is using "you people" ever okay?

19%56 votes
19%55 votes
1%5 votes
5%15 votes
5%16 votes
48%137 votes

| 284 votes | Vote | Results

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Tue Dec 02, 2008 at 09:14 AM PST

Stressed Out? You can't fly!

by Turn VABlue

I just read the this article on CNN.com and it scared the shit out of me.

http://www.cnn.com/...

"Brain fingerprinting" technology now exists, and voice analysis technology is in place in the Moscow airport and one other unnamed airport. We're getting to a place where government authorities are intruding on our thoughts. Frankly, I'm scared. More below the fold.

Poll

Does this article totally freak you out?

13%4 votes
26%8 votes
60%18 votes

| 30 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Nov 05, 2008 at 04:11 PM PST

Dispatch - Franklin, VA

by Turn VABlue

I was one of those lawyers sent out yesterday to protect the vote. I was way down in "real" Virginia, close the the North Carolina border, in an area hit hard by the decline in the textile industry. I had never been to Franklin before, but it was a day I'll never forget. Below the jump is the email I sent out to my friends today.

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Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 11:38 AM PDT

McCain's Doorknob Literature

by Turn VABlue

I just got back from canvassing in Alexandria, VA this morning. You know, the area that Joe McCain, John's little brother, recently called "communist" and what John McCain's senior adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer said was not "real Virginia." I was knocking on doors, talking to people and leaving the Obama/Warner/Moran doorknob piece at homes on a street around the corner from my home, when what did I see but two McCain canvassers across the street. They were young men, white, maybe early 20's - college republican types. I waved and said good morning. They did not wave back. I encountered them again on the next street. I waved again and said "every vote counts." Again, no response. Finally, I got to a house where they had left McCain's doorknob literature. Let me tell you, it is very different from ours.

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