OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Games Pols Play
Procedural hijinks in the General Assembly

Well, will you look at that! Yet another Virginia General Assembly session has come and gone, which must mean that it’s time to break out our spring finery. (Although, while the lawmakers have all left town, the Assembly is technically still in a special session, a peculiar set of circumstances that some say presages three more weeks of winter).

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

So what happened? Well, a bunch of boring budgetary stuff, which we would recount at length if not for the fact that phrases like “accelerated sales tax” and “hold harmless payments” cause us to immediately drop into a narcoleptic slumber. Suffice it to say that the Assembly approved a budget that actually increased spending on schools and health care for the first time in years, while also approving Governor McDonnell’s plan to issue $2.9 billion worth of bonds for road-building, and yet somehow the deficit-obsessed tea party barely seemed to notice. Could it possibly be that they only care about government spending when it’s done by Democrats? Or perhaps they were just too distracted by the striped-bass-verses-menhaden “state saltwater fish” debate to notice. (Striped bass won, just in case you were wondering.)

But you can read about our commonwealth’s arcane financial gimmickry anywhere. More importantly, what about all of the completely idiotic and outrageous legislation proposed (and occasionally adopted) by our august elected representatives? They didn’t let us down by only introducing practical, common-sense regulations this time around, did they?

No sir, they did not. In fact, the Winter 2011 session in some ways set a high-water mark for excessively loony laws. Not only did a flurry of offbeat bills actually became law — allowing golf carts on state roads, for instance, or criminalizing both “synthetic marijuana” and mind-altering “bath salts” — but the Assembly also managed to generate a truly impressive array of crackpot ideas that never made it to a vote. Leading the charge (as he often does) was Del. Bob Marshall, who cemented his place at the far right of his very conservative caucus by attempting to ban gays and lesbians from serving in the Virginia National Guard. Then he topped himself by proposing that Virginia start minting its own gold currency in order to prepare for the imminent collapse of the U.S. dollar.

But the true shocker of the session came not from Marshall, but from previously obscure Sen. Ryan McDougle, who completely outmaneuvered Democratic Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw to pass an anti-abortion measure Republicans have been pushing unsuccessfully for years.

How’d he do it? Well, first he got the Senate to unanimously approve an uncontroversial bill dealing with infection control in hospitals. Then, after that bill went to the House for a vote, Republicans sneakily attached the controversial amendment, which would regulate abortion clinics as hospitals (and thus force those that couldn’t afford to comply out of business). Since the Senate had already voted on the legislation once, they couldn’t kill it in committee, and so onto the floor it went, where two conservative Dems voted with the elephants to push it over the finish line.

So congratulations, Sen. McDougle! In a session filled with extreme legislation and outright duplicity, you went above and beyond the call of duty to punish your most disenfranchised and vulnerable constituents and shutter women’s health clinics across the commonwealth. If you’re lucky, maybe Bob Marshall will put your face on his shiny new state coins!

  Cross-posted from C-VILLE Weekly.
Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Hard Left on Tue Mar 08, 2011 at 06:53 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.