Another artificial and engineered crisis debunked.

WUSA9: Virginia Nursing Shortage May Be Less Than Expected

And as for all engineered crises (or should that be crisi?), it’s just another attempt to grow the size of government:

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said the state has increased access to nurse training programs and made salaries more competitive, resulting in 900 additional nursing graduates since 2006.

“In the last few years, Virginia has made smart, strategic investments to develop our healthcare workforce and we are seeing tremendous results,” Kaine said. “These efforts will not only help to meet the healthcare needs of millions of Virginians, but give people the opportunity to secure a good job in a growing field.”

“Investments” in government lingo means “I just redistributed your money to someone else.”

Tim Kaine to call for special session of the General Assembly in light of the SCOTUS decision in Melendez-Diaz v. Massacheusetts.

Check it out at Bloggers for Ken Cuccinelli: Tim Kaine Agrees With Ken Cuccinelli, Decides to Call Special Session.

Does the state of Virginia think you’re a terrorist?

Below you’ll find some pages of a PDF document that was prepared by Trooper John R. Wright of the Virginia State Police and distributed by the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management on their website for “Safety Day” in 2004 (you can view the full report/presentation here [PDF]). UPDATE: The state of Virginia has removed the PDF from their web server; thankfully I downloaded the whole thing to my computer. You can view the original here [PDF]).

I’ll admit up front that my brother (shameless plug: check out his two hate-blogs, On The Right and Orange, VA Independence Day Tea Party) found the information on some nut conspiracy theorist website after a link to the nut’s post was mentioned on Twitter. Now, I’m not one to provide any type of support for nut conspiracy theorists — and I’ve been know to ridicule them on this very blog — but the stuff that the Virginia State Police considers to be a threat is a joke (click for the full-size version):

Note that in the first image (page 22 in the original PDF) that civil disobedience is now considered “low key terrorism”. So, what does that make Martin Luther King Jr.? What about Rosa Parks? What about all those antiwar protesters during the ’60s, ’70s, and even today? I don’t agree with those antiwar protesters nowadays but I don’t consider them having a die-in to be “low key terrorism”.

Note that on the second image (p. 41 in the original PDF) that single issue groups are considered “extremist groups” by the author. Does that apply to someone in the National Rifle Association, or conversely, in the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence? Or maybe the American Life League versus NARAL? Are they both “single issue” “extremist groups”?

And then you get to the “anti-government groups issues” page (p. 49 in original PDF) where they note such things as gun rights, constitutional issues, and tax protesters as points of concern. While this particular report was written in 2004, does the Virginia State Police still consider these issues that warrant their attention? Do they have any concerns about the current tea party tax protesters? I recall that the state of Maryland got caught surveilling antiwar groups for no reason, is the Virginia State Police doing the same thing to tea party tax protesters? And even more insulting is that they include an image of the First Navy Jack — which the United States Navy still uses to this day — on a page regarding “anti-government groups”. Are they keeping an eye out for United States Navy veterans that might have one of those flags in their possession?

And then on the next image (p. 52 in PDF), they characterize “single issue extremists” and “anti-abortion activists” as “hate groups”. Are they keeping a track of what the folks at American Life League are doing or what? They consider them “hate groups” because anti-abortion groups have a desire to bring an end to abortion legally through the legislative and judicial system?

And then on the next image you have the State Police telling government employees to be on the lookout for “unusual requests for information”. Am I going to have a visit by a State Trooper if I send in a FOIA request to the state government asking how much government money goes to Planned Parenthood (remember those anti-abortion activists are “hate groups”!)?

This just goes to show the geniuses that were in control of the Virginia State Police back when Mark Warner was Governor. The same folks that consider this report to be accurate and helpful to employees of the state government are the same people responsible for negotiating that STARS contract for example. Is the Trooper that was responsible for this oh-so-helpful report still employed by the state? If he is, what does that tell you about Tim Kaine and his management and leadership of the state?

How bad is the Virginia Statewide Agencies Radio System (STARS) project?

It’s so unreliable that troopers are relying on their personal cell phones to communicate according to Richmond Times-Dispatch:

The head of a Virginia State Police advocacy group says the new statewide communications system being developed for the state police and 20 other state agencies is so unreliable that many troopers use their personal cell phones to communicate.

Ken Bumgarner, president of the Virginia State Police Association, said yesterday that the association, consisting of about 2,100 troopers and retired troopers, has been made aware of numerous problems with the system. ((Tyler Whitley. “Communications system for troopers, others is criticized.” Richmond Times-Dispatch. 19 Jun. 2009: <>.))

I’m sure it’s a great boon to Trooper morale when they don’t know if anyone will hear them when they key their radio to call for backup or to request other assistance.

Here’s another thing to think about: What happens when the cellular phone system goes down or becomes overloaded because of a natural disaster or terrorist attack? How does the state planning on dispatching units and coordinating activities if the main users of the system (the Virginia State Police) rely on their personal cell phones for communications?

And for almost $340,000,000 the state of Virginia has been hoodwinked into purchasing a system that’s over budget — by over $10,000,000 already — and almost a year behind schedule and the main users of the system (State Troopers) don’t even think the system is reliable. They’re the ones whose lives count on the system working or not and they don’t trust it!

This is just one example of the failures in management and leadership by Warner–Kaine. They’re leaving their employees, which have the most dangerous jobs in the state government,  with inadequate equipment and nothing has been done to fix these problems even after the Auditor of Public Accounts has had to do two different audits on this project.

When will these problems be fixed and how much will it cost?

Will Creigh Deeds continue to follow the failed Warner-Kaine lead on the Virginia STARS project?

The Virginia STARS (Statewide Agencies Radio System) is an ongoing project that’s supposed to provide a digital, interoperable radio system for the Virginia State Police and other state agencies. The system is also supposed to provide for instance interoperability with local agencies. The contract for this project was awarded back in June 2004 and was supposed to be completely operational by September 2009 according to the original timetable. ((“Frequently Asked Questions About STARS.” <>.))

But, as everything the government does (regardless of whether it’s the federal, state, or local government doing it), the project is behind schedule and over budget. And the General Assembly is starting to get fed up with the whole thing according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Virginia’s new Statewide Agencies Radio System is over budget and behind schedule, in part because of poor planning, the House Appropriations Committee was told today.

The system is to bring new computers and radios to State Police cars and allow them to communicate easily with other public safety agencies.

Exasperated members of the budget committee sharply questioned Col. W. Steven Flaherty, the superintendent of State Police, about the report by a state auditor.

“What the heck are you all doing and how can we trust you?“ asked Del. R. Steven Landes, R-Augusta.

The project is expected to cost about $350 million. It was originally scheduled to be finished at the end of this year, but will need another year of work beyond that deadline, officials said.

Among the problems found by the auditor was that the project management team could not determine whether the work was on budget. It also found insufficient review of a consultant’s invoices before payment.

Flaherty said the deficiencies have been corrected and that some were exaggerated. ((Tyler Whitley. “Auditor critical of work on state public safety radio system.” Richmond Times-Dispatch. 16 June 2009: <>.))

Of course: ‘They’re just lying. Everything is a-okay here and we’re completely on budget! In fact, we’re under budget!’ *Snort*.

This is a project that’s currently over $10,000,000 over budget. ((Department of the State Police. “Notice of Award.” 14 July 2004: <>.)) ((“Modification #25 to Contract Number 2001-035 Between the Commonwealth of Virginia and Motorola, Inc.” 25 Nov. 2008: <>.)) This is a program that should have been completely operational by September 2009. ((“Frequently Asked Questions About STARS.” <>.)) Now, it’s almost a whole year behind in implementation. ((Department of State Police. “Re: Extended Implementation Justification.” 20 Oct. 2008: <>.)) According to the original project time table, all but one of the seven Virginia State Police divisions should be using the system currently, but as it stands now, only two are. ((“Frequently Asked Questions About STARS.” <>.)) ((Department of State Police. “Re: Extended Implementation Justification.” 20 Oct. 2008: <>.))

This is a colossal failure of management and leadership by both Mark Warner and Tim Kaine. And Creigh Deeds says he wants to follow in footsteps of the Warner-Kaine style of governance? If so, this whole state is in for more of a Charlie-Foxtrot if he gets elected.

The pointy-haired boss of Virginia [Tim Kaine] redraws state boundaries.

Our esteemed Governor seems to think that the Commonwealth of Virginia borders Delaware:

Did we take over the People’s Republic of Maryland when I wasn’t looking?

H/t: Black Velvet Bruce Li, Virginia Virtucon, Hot Air

A double secret suicide watch for the Virginia Democratic net nut roots?

MSNBC is saying that the pointy-haired boss of Virginia (Tim Kaine) has been told he will not be Obama’s veep choice.

Of course, depending on which blog you read on the Democratic side, (e.g., Not Larry Sabato) they might be cheering this announcement.

Maybe one of Tim Kaine’s grandparents is Jewish and we all know how the Democrats feel about that.

H/t: Matt “threat to democracy” Drudge

How considerate: Moron politicians cause eight mile backups on the Inner Loop.

Everyone needs a good photo op: WTOP:

The Woodrow Wilson Bridge — the expansion of which has been touted as a major improvement along Interstate 95 — was to blame for huge delays on the day the bridge’s second span was dedicated.

Preparation for the event began early Thursday, and caused drivers to slow down to see what was happening. The ceremony started at 11 a.m. and ended around noon.


At one point, the Inner Loop backups on the Maryland side of the bridge extended for more than 8 miles.

“There is definitely some rubber-necking going on, and some additional traffic. The message we would like to get out to motorists is, ‘Please keep driving,'” Wilson Bridge Project spokesperson Michelle Holland said of the backups.

For 5 1/2 hours, the backups were consistently 7 to 8 miles long.

WTOP Traffic Reporter Lisa Baden said it took drivers as much as 1 hour, 30 minutes to go those 7 or 8 miles.

“The port-a-potties are starting to look very tempting to the people sitting the backups for an hour and a half,” Baden said.


Local leaders including Govs. Tim Kaine and Martin O’Malley, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters were on hand for the dedication.

Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) tightened the last bolt on the bridge into place.

Everyone (e.g., Tim Kaine, Bill Bolling, Bill Howell, et al.) wants to raise your taxes.

First, Tim Kaine’s master plan (via WTOP):

Kaine proposed increasing the titling tax from 3 percent to 4 percent and boosting the registration fee by $10. The governor released details of his plan at a state Capitol news conference Monday.

The governor also proposed increasing the state sales tax by a penny in traffic-clogged northern Virginia and Hampton Roads, with the revenue to be spent only in those regions. He also wants to increase the grantors tax, which is paid by people selling their homes.

Oh, great, the housing market sucks, so let’s increase the tax for selling a house. In one word: brilliant!

Bill Bolling’s and Bill Howell’s (just as scary) master plan (via Virginia Virtucon):

“If we are serious about finding a solution to Virginia’s transportation needs, rather than simply in engaging in another round of political grandstanding, we must keep our focus firmly fixed on solving the main challenge before us – developing a realistic and constitutional framework for providing additional transportation funding in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. To try and expand these discussions to a so called statewide solution is unwise and will jeopardize our ability to find workable regional solutions for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads.

“I look forward to working with the members of the General Assembly to find workable regional transportation solutions for Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads. However, I will not support any effort to increase taxes on a statewide basis and I am confident this is a sentiment shared by a majority of Virginia taxpayers.”

I wonder if people in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia have a similar sentiment that they shouldn’t be taxed (exclusively) as well?

Because, you know, those are the only areas that need transportation funding.

What Bill Bolling is calling for, by the way, is the revival of HB3202 (minus abusive driver fees). From the bill’s fiscal impact statement:

Northern Virginia Transportation Authority

The proposed legislation proposes a number of fees and taxes that may be adopted by local governments in the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (the Authority) and paid to the Authority for specified uses. The proposed legislation, if all revenues were enacted on January 1, 2008, would generate $196.5 million in FY 2008 and $409.9 million in FY 2009.

The taxes and fees that localities are authorized to impose are:

Commercial Real Estate tax – 25 percent fair market value
Grantor’s Tax – 40 cents per $100
Motor Vehicle Rental Tax – 2 percent
Original Driver’s License Fee– $100
Transient Occupancy Tax – 2 percent

Hey, great, he wants to increase the tax on selling homes too. Also, isn’t the transient occupancy tax supposed to go to tourism related stuff (§ 58.1-3819)?

Hampton Roads Transportation Authority

The proposed legislation creates the Hampton Roads Transportation Authority, which is to be comprised of local and state elected officials as well as other state representatives. The Authority would be given authority to issue debt, impose and collect tolls, administer contracts, and hire staff. The Authority must be in place by December 31, 2007, and the legislation requires affirmative action by seven localities representing half the population to create. The localities must take action by December 31, 2007, to impose the taxes and fees. The legislation also includes provisions to incorporate the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Commission into the Authority in the future, once current debt obligations on the tunnel have been fully satisfied. The proposed legislation, if all revenues were enacted on January 1, 2008, would generate $84.6 million in FY 2008 and $188.8 million in FY 2009. The taxes and fees that localities are authorized to impose are:

Annual license fee – $10
Initial license fee – 1 percent retail value of vehicle
Vehicle inspection fee – $10
Sales and use tax on motor vehicle repairs – 5 percent
Grantor’s tax – $0.40 per $100 value
Rental car fee – 2 percent rental charge
Commercial real property tax – 0.10 percent fair market value of property
Sales tax on motor vehicle fuel – 2 percent

Hey, a two percent gas tax increase, not a two cent increase: $0.06 more per gallon of gas, with the tax increasing every time the base price of gas increase.

It won’t just be Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia, just in this last session of the General Assembly, someone wanted to create another “regional government” that would get to tax the counties in the Richmond area.

Ah, I forgot to thank someone…

You, Governor Kaine!

You decided to stick your nose in local politics and send out letters supporting Harvey Latney to Democrats.

I’m sure that sat well with people in Caroline County! Nothing like someone fifty miles away with no idea of what’s going on in a locale endorsing someone!

If anyone has a copy of the letter they’re willing to supply to me, send me an email at or use my contact me page.