Dan Catalano



Mike Webb explains the porn tabs on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Pols gone wild: Watch what you share, people!

Well, here we are in the thick of the congressional election season, with strivers from both parties jostling and jockeying to grab one of the limited number of golden tickets to the halls of political power. This is, it goes without saying, one of our favorite times of the electoral cycle, as the probability of […]

The man with a local winery bearing his name likely will be the Republican candidate for president. Photo by Amanda Maglione

Trumped: Whoops! There goes the election

Greetings, dear readers. Before we dive mirthfully into the fact that Donald John Trump is now the de facto Republican presidential nominee, we’d like to hop into the wayback machine and take a quick trip to the evening of Saturday, April 30, when Republican Party of Virginia state convention attendees gathered to approve a slate […]

Gavin Grimm 

ACLU

Drop the mic: The legislative season comes to a welcome end

We would like to dedicate this edition of our humble column to a brave and tenacious young man: the awesomely named Gavin Grimm, who has (thus far) triumphed in the face of unrelenting adversity and intolerance to champion a basic human right: to pee in peace and comfort. A junior at Gloucester High School, Gavin […]

Governor Terry McAuliffe likely would veto a bathroom bill should one pass in Virginia. Photo by John Robinson

A sorry state: Things could always be worse

Imagine, if you will, an alternate reality version of our beautiful commonwealth. A bizarro Virginia where Ken Cuccinelli won the governorship in 2013, and E.W. “Yoga is a tool of Satan” Jackson was elected lieutenant governor. Now imagine that this dynamic duo were in charge when Senate Bill 41, which would exempt religious organizations from […]

OD_©Ron Sachs CNP via ZUMA Wire

President Clinton: Get used to it, folks

Okay, we’re calling it. As of this moment, it is virtually guaranteed that Hillary Clinton will be the 45th president of the United States. She has an almost insurmountable delegate lead over her Democratic opponent Bernie Sanders, and even if she should lose every remaining primary and caucus, the Dems’ lack of winner-take-all states makes […]

For a few moments, former attorney general was a contender for the Supreme Court of Virginia. File photo

Power play: General Assembly Republicans do that thing they do

So here’s the thing: For many who don’t pay close attention, Virginia’s legislature still tends to be viewed through a prism of bipartisan compromise. It is still considered, by some, as an exemplar of the fabled Virginia way, in which all arguments are settled through convivial relations and principled debate, and all members of the […]

Feb 25, 2016 - Houston, Texas, U.S. - MARCO RUBIO and DONALD TRUMP argue as they answer a question during the Republican Presidential Primary Debate at the University of Houston Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. (Credit Image: © Gary Coronado/Houston Chronicle/Pool via ZUMA Wire)

Crunch time: Things just got real

Well, here we are again: facing a blank page, days away from hugely important elections, fully realizing that you, dear reader, know exactly what happened. But we do not! And yet file we must, and so we jump once more into the abyss, gleefully predicting things that will be proven or disproven in real time. […]

Penney ante: The General Assembly session gets weird

Penney ante: The General Assembly session gets weird

First off, here’s a newsflash for you: Neither Jim Gilmore nor Jim Webb is going to be president of the United States. With Gilmore finally dropping his embarrassing (and largely invisible) quest for the Republican nomination, and Webb recently announcing that he will not mount an independent presidential bid, our dreams of an all-Virginian Jim/Jim […]

Photo by Joan Marcus.

Beginning of the end: Let the voting begin!

We’re going to kick off this week’s column with an unusual bit of product placement. Although we rarely endorse anything outside of C-SPAN call-in shows, we would like to take this moment to declare the Broadway musical Hamilton the best piece of politically inspired stagecraft since Frost/Nixon, and the best musical about the Founding Fathers ever […]

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And away we go… Everybody back in the pool!

Ah, January in the capitol, when Virginia’s legislators swarm in from all corners of the commonwealth for the annual General Assembly session, bringing along the petty grudges and crackpot bills they’ve managed to generate over the previous year. And every year we sit in anticipation, just waiting for the next intemperate floor speech or ill-considered […]

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The year in rear view: Our annual political quiz, odder than ever

Last year began, per usual, with politicians swarming the capitol for the kickoff of the General Assembly legislative session. Match each of the following attending personalities with a sordid detail from their past: 1) Former Governor Bob McDonnell 2) Current Governor Terry McAuliffe 3) Delegate Joe Morrissey 4) Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw 5) Senate […]

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Gun crazy: The columns that we hate to write

There’s no doubt that we have hobby horses we love to ride. Redistricting is a huge one, along with voter suppression, income inequality and the improbable perfection of Mark Warner’s teeth. But, believe it or not, we do not relish yet another opportunity to write about gun violence. Especially in a week when our patron […]

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Unsettled: Syrian refugees and the politics of fear

You know, it takes a special kind of politician to unite elected officials from all points of the political spectrum. When was the last time you can remember a lone figure whose bold actions drew the same response from his own party and his opponents, from liberals and conservatives, and, indeed, from all right-thinking Americans? […]

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It’s a wash: Nothing has changed, yet everything’s different

Well, as we predicted right before the voting commenced, Virginia’s latest round of elections ended up almost exactly where it began, with the Republicans holding a one-seat majority in the state Senate and a two-thirds majority in the House of Delegates. Despite a flood of advertising (much of it funded by outside interest groups), Democrats […]

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Keys to the kingdom: As election day looms, we have issues

Hard to believe, but yet another election is upon us, bringing with it the annual deluge of attack ads, yard signs, candidate forums and billowing clouds of special interest money. Per usual, a vast majority of the General Assembly races that will be decided next Tuesday are a foregone conclusion. Thanks to gerrymandering and a […]

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Frenemies: No matter who wins, we lose

So here are a few things you should know about Virginia’s Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment and Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw. They have a combined senate tenure of nearly 60 years, and have spent much of the recent past switching leadership positions as the Republicans gained, then briefly lost, then gained the majority again. […]

The Masked Debater: Jim Gilmore tweets into the void

The Masked Debater: Jim Gilmore tweets into the void

Int. living room—evening A large-screen television flickers, the pale light providing the sole illumination as a thin arm reaches out and flicks ash from a dying cigarette into an empty highball glass. Camera pans back, revealing the worn back of a La-Z-Boy recliner, along with its inhabitant’s other hand, thumb working furiously at the cracked […]

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Gun play: What else can we say?

Usually, when we sit to pen our modest column, we are all giggles and light. But every once in a while we squat, quill in hand, and despair at the bleak landscape that looms before us. This is one of those times. Following the on-camera slaughter of WDBJ journalist Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward […]

Courting disaster: Republicans pick a losing judicial fight

Courting disaster: Republicans pick a losing judicial fight

In our experience, the current Republican majority in the General Assembly excels at exactly one thing: grandstanding. Not great at legislating, consensus-building or acknowledging basic reality, but boy do they know how to make a ruckus. If the definition of a conservative is, as National Review founder William F. Buckley put it, someone who “stands […]

Hillary Clinton has impressive support in the commonwealth by other political leaders like Governor Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and the U.S. Supreme Court. Courtesy of the Department of Defense

Swing state blues: Will Virginia be Hillary country in 2016?

So here’s the current conventional political wisdom about Virginia: a once-reliable Republican bastion that has, in recent years, drifted toward the Democrats in presidential election years due to a certain charismatic candidate (hint: his name rhymes with Shmarock Mobana), and has therefore become one of the most highly-sought prizes in the 2016 election. In reality, […]

Former governor Jim Gilmore, best known for slicing the car tax, is running for president.
Photo: The Washington Times/ZUMAPRESS.com

Jim jumps in: Can you feel the Gilmentum?

If you’re like us, you spend at least a few minutes every day thinking “What’s good ol’ Jim up to these days?” Jim being, of course, former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore, the visionary leader who won the commonwealth’s highest office by promising to eliminate Virginia’s much-hated car tax. While governor, as everyone knows, he not […]

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Joy and pain: A political week like no other

In politics, as in life, there are weeks that simply take your breath away. Weeks where things move so quickly, and with such unexpected force, that it feels like the laws of physics have been suspended, and that time is suddenly moving at twice its normal speed. So it was last week, when the political […]

Off to the races: The elections are over — long live the elections!

Off to the races: The elections are over — long live the elections!

Well, there you go. The feverish excitement of Virginia’s primary season is over, with literally dozens of voters flooding the polls, and now almost every general election candidate is busy preparing for the big show in November. We say “almost” every candidate, because there are still a number of too-close-to-call contests mired in recounts across […]

Joe Morrissey and his teen girlfriend and former staffer Myrna Pride shared this old-
timey photo of themselves and their infant son Chase with media.
Courtesy Joe Morrissey

Immortal Joe Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner

There have been, in the history of this column, a grand total of three all-timers. The first was U.S. Representative Virgil Goode—a genial doofus with a white-cloud coiffure and career-long propensity for grandly offensive pronouncements. The second was good ol’ George “Macaca” Allen, former governor, one-term U.S. senator and presidential aspirant, whose awesome display of […]

Tim Bostic and Tony London led the legal effort to end Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban.  Photo courtesy American Foundation for Equal Rights

Culture clash: The times, they are a-changin’

As we have noted in the past, the Republican party’s traditional focus on the three G’s (God, guns and gays) has long served it well, electorally speaking. By embracing Christian piety and a maximalist interpretation of the Second Amendment while simultaneously courting social conservatives by fulminating against homosexuality and abortion, the GOP has made itself […]