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Recent Comments

Moving to Wordpress

by: Aimee Fausser

Fri Jul 23, 2010 at 11:58:08 AM EDT

After Kenton Ngo's killing of this blog, and after much consideration, we are moving over to Wordpress. For the time being, it will be mostly me taking things over, as Kenton has very little time to post and generally seems to want a hiatus from blogging (darn college students!). I'd imagine he'll be back, though. I was, for a while, running a personal blog, but that wasn't working the way I'd like it to and I'd prefer to just keep NDP going in whatever form I can then to try to reinvent the wheel.

In the meantime, with how little we tend to update, none of us at NDP could justify the expense of keeping the site up through soapblox. We'll see where things go--for now, the URL is and will be up shortly.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

All Good Things...

by: Kenton Ngo

Mon Feb 15, 2010 at 03:54:23 PM EST

This will be my last post on New Dominion Project. Our annual hosting bill is due, and I can't justify the expense to host a blog that I no longer have the time to maintain frequently. We'll be pulling out an archive soon and I will probably host it somewhere.

I've been at this for a few years now, which makes me a veteran in the ever-changing world of new media. I've seen the Virginia political blog world grow from its infancy in 2005 to the chaotic juggernaut it is now. But as time has gone on, my daily updates slowly became weekly, and now fortnightly. I find myself with less time to write, and since this is a labor of love, when it stops being fun it's not worth doing anymore.

I started as a defiant kid who really, really wanted to run his own show and didn't like playing second fiddle anywhere--but I think I've outgrown that, mostly. I'd like to thank everyone who followed me through the years, from jeremiads at 750 Volts to photoblogging here. Truly, it's been great. Thanks to your loyalty and readership I've been able to go places I never would have gone. But like all good things, it must end.

I do not find myself with any less passion, though. I still believe as fervently in a progressive Virginia as much as I did when I started.

This is not my retirement from blogging, however, merely the end of running my own show. I'll be back at periodic and random intervals around the blogosphere, coming down from the mountain to cast a diary upon the world.

Trust me, you'll see me soon.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

State Senate Dems to Ban Individual Mandate, Poke Congress With Sticks

by: Kenton Ngo

Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 06:37:43 PM EST

Virginia Democrats in the State Senate are about to pass as early as tomorrow on a bill banning an individual mandate from taking effect in Virginia. This move is little more than symbolic, as a federal mandate would override state petulance, but State Senators Chuck Colgan and Phil Pickett, at left, gave SB417 the two Democratic votes it needed to pass out of the committee, and therefore the two Democratic votes it needs to pass the 22-18 Senate.

With health care reform barely alive as it is, this rather premature bill exists solely to score political points. Naturally, the bill completely sidesteps the public option question, and only tackles the individual mandate. Here's where it gets complicated.

An individual mandate is a key component of health care reform, for numerous reasons (it spreads risk and lowers overall health care costs). However, with President Obama and useless Democrats in the federal Senate abandoning the public option, an individual mandate becomes a mandate to buy private insurance. For conservatives, who were against both the individual mandate and public option to begin with, they can force Democrats to support a private mandate or kill the bill entirely.

I don't expect any members of the State Senate to vote for a symbolic rebuke of the individual mandate as a cry to bring the public option back. Score one for the Republicans.

State Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel, sponsor of the Virginia bill, smelled blood in the water, and crafted a bill to force Senate Democrats into voting on the private mandate question. It would be unconscionable for liberals to support a mandate to buy private insurance, but it would be ineffective to pass any sort of reform without a mandate at all.

It will be interesting to see which State Senate Democrats buckle and vote for a symbolic ban on an individual mandate. Spinelessness begets spinelessness. Stand and deliver, Senators, both federal and state. We'll be waiting.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Laurence Verga on Uranium Mining: Ready, Fire, Aim!

by: Kenton Ngo

Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:43:30 PM EST

5th District Republican candidate Laurence Verga is elbowing with other Republican candidates to become the conservative alternative to State Sen. Robert Hurt. Mind you, Hurt has perfectly adequate conservative bona fides, but if you're trying to distinguish yourself in a field full of wingnuts you have to do your best. Verga wrote a guest post on Bearing Drift this morning where Verga applauded Hurt for voting to authorize a study on repealing the ban on uranimum mining, then chided Hurt for not fighting to repeal the ban on uranium mining. Heaven forfend we wait for the study to conclude!

The best part from Verga's post?

The National Research Council is finally set to begin an environmental impact study, which is expected to take 18 months. In the meantime the General Assembly should repeal its irrational, unconditional ban on uranium mining and replace it with code that awards immediate approval upon projects that successfully complete an environmental impact study.

Let's get this straight. Verga insists on the immediate and automatic approval of projects that simply complete an EIS, without regard to what the local government happens to think, or even what the rest of the state happens to think. It's quite unfortunate we insist on knowing the consequences of our actions before granting automatic permits!

Uranium mining is one of the most toxic types of mining known to man. From the Piedmont Environmental Council:

Enormous quantities of radioactive waste are generated by uranium mining and milling, with only 2 to 4 pounds of concentrated uranium oxide yellow cake obtained from each ton of ore taken out of the ground. The resulting waste, or tailings contain 85% of the original radioactivity and remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Tailings can contain several hazardous substances, including radium (which decays to produce radon) selenium, molybdenum, uranium, and thorium. The mill tailings and the mill tailings effluent are highly radioactive and acutely hazardous.

Directly downstream from Pittsylvania County are major drinking water sources, including Lake Gaston, water source for the City of Norfolk.

It would seem that no matter how loopy 5th District Republicans can get, they'll always fight to outdo each other. If I were Tom Perriello I wouldn't mind a Verga nomination.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)
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