Photo of the day

From the Telegraph’s Animal Photos of the week.  Such a good gallery this week I couldn’t pick just one.

Animal photos of the week: 1 November 2013

A crow lands on the head of a young deer in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.Picture: Niall Carson/PA


Pictures of the day: 29 October 2013

This rebellious kingfisher darted from its ‘no fishing’ perched to catch a bite to eat in Norfolk Broads.Picture: Jamie Macarthur/Solent News

The rules matter. A lot.

Interesting pre-mortem of the Ken Cuccinelli for VA Governor campaign in the Post yesterday.  This bit caught my attention:

But the decision to push for a convention, and the resulting ticket of three outspoken social conservatives — Cuccinelli, lieutenant governor candidate E.W. Jackson and attorney general hopeful Mark D. Obenshain — may have been shortsighted [emphasis mine], said Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William), who sought the lieutenant governor nomination.

“Independents are a big piece of the picture in Virginia, and you don’t win without them,” he said. “At a convention, you don’t talk to independents; in a primary, you have to reach out to them.”

Shortsighted?!   You think?!  Hmm, let’s put in a place a nomination system that only the most committed, hard right Republicans will use to choose the nominee and see how that works out in the general election.

A big part of the story is how hobbled Cuccinelli has been in raising money.  Of course, that’s no accident.  It’s because business-oriented Republicans are not particularly interested in electing a governor obsessed with criminalizing sodomy and other such matters.

Four years ago, [incumbent Republican Governor Bob] McDonnell’s largest single donor other than Republican Party organizations was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent $973,000 on his campaign. This year, the chamber gave Cuccinelli nothing.

Asked to explain that decision, a spokesman for the business association, Blair Latoff Holmes, said only that “the chamber is not involved in the Virginia governor’s race.”

Of the 43 donors who contributed $50,000 or more to McDonnell four years ago, 27 made no major gifts to Cuccinelli this year, The Post found.

“He didn’t get the money,” said Bob Holsworth, a longtime Richmond political analyst and a principal at DecideSmart, a public policy strategy firm. “The traditional funders of the Republicans, the McDonnell funders, they sat on their hands.”

The 27 missing donors gave a total of $2.3 million in 2009.

Anyway, this was a very winnable– if not a likely win– race for the Republicans if they had nominated a non-crazy for the job.  But in allowing their nominee to be chosen in a convention, they got a ticket of crazies.  And fortunately, even many Republicans in Virginia recognize this.

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