Dan Catalano



The year in electoral absurdity

The year in electoral absurdity

Yes, as shocking as it seems, Virginia has completed another circuit around the sun, and one more crazy political year has finally drawn to a close. And, as ever, we here at the Odd Dominion want to celebrate this historic moment by challenging you, dear readers, to a test of wits. (Or half-wits, as the […]

Rules to run by

As we reach the height of campaign season, perhaps it behooves us all to pause for a moment and review the rules of the game. We’re not claiming that politics is a piece of cake, or that following a a set of simple steps will guarantee your election. But folks, come on! If you’re going […]

Law and disorder

Law and disorder

Here’s something you may not know: As a percentage of its total population, Virginia’s incarcerated class now ranks 12th in the nation, with one out of every 89 adults currently living in prison.

T-Mac bounces back

T-Mac bounces back

As any longtime reader of this column well knows, we have an inordinate amount of affection for Terry “the Macker” McAuliffe, the Democratic party operative legendary for his fundraising prowess and appetite for political theater. You may abhor his politics, but McAuliffe is one of those outsized personalities who manages to make the process fun, […]

Blown away

Hey, we just got back from our annual two week working vacation in Rome. (We’re finishing up a series of watercolors featuring semi-nude members of the Italian parliament.) Anything exciting happen while we were gone? Appetite for self-destruction? RedState.com cofounder Erick Erickson suggested that a recent speech by Tea Party favorite Jamie Radtke (pictured) meant […]

Follow the money

Follow the money

Ah, politicians and their quasi-legal payola—it’s a love story as old as time. In the good ol’ days, the transfer of cash from businessman to elected official was a relatively straightforward affair, usually involving a fat envelope and a fine Cuban cigar. But as the glory days of William “Boss” Tweed’s Tammany Hall slowly gave […]

No charm offensive

No charm offensive

As our increasingly dysfunctional federal government limps toward a deal to raise the U.S. debt limit, I think we all can agree that no one is going to leave this messy process covered in glory. But if there is one grating personality that rises head and shoulders (and teeth and hair) above the rest, it’s […]

Political capital

Though anecdotal evidence might suggest otherwise, Virginia’s economy is actually doing quite well—especially when compared to the nation as a whole. Our unemployment rate is currently 6 percent, compared to a dismal national average of over 9 percent, and, according to a recent study released by USA Today, Virginia’s economy is now the 10th largest in the country.

Movin' on up

In politics, there are basically three kinds of travel: business, pleasure, and of necessity. And there’s nothing that lawmakers love more than combining the first two types (as a group of General Assembly members did on a recent, all-expenses-paid “fact-finding” trip to Paris—sponsored by a company that, coincidentally, wants to extract vast quantities of uranium from Pittsylvania County).

Donkeys on defense

We’ve made no secret of our utter befuddlement when it comes to Virginia’s completely complacent state Democratic party. Although the commonwealth has become increasingly competitive at the presidential and (last year notwithstanding) congressional level, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Democratic member of the General Assembly who seemed passionate (or even mildly optimistic) about the […]

A redistricting brawl?

A redistricting brawl?

Say what you will about Virginia’s political class (after all, we certainly have), but it simply can’t be denied that they are, by and large, a pretty genial bunch.

Lives of the parties

Lives of the parties

After a seemingly interminable period of playing coy, former Governor Tim Kaine took to the Interwebs on April 5 to announce (in both English and impressively enunciated Spanish) that he is indeed running for Jim Webb’s soon-to-be-vacant Senate seat.

Musical chairs

Musical chairs

If the ghost of Thomas Jefferson were to appear at our bedside and grant us one election-altering wish, it would be this: That all redistricting decisions be taken out of human hands and assigned to a robot.

Cheek to cheek

In 2008, Mark Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate, and Cantor suddenly discovered that he wasn’t the only pair of chiseled cheekbones and Chiclets-perfect choppers on the Hill.

Games pols play

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?

Tangled Webb

Unwilling (or unable) to temper his prickly nature, Webb became notorious for brusquely brushing off reporters and refusing to hold his tongue, even when it was in his political interest.

Gun crazy

Gun crazy

In the wake of the recent, horrific attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 20 others in Tucson, Arizona—and with the fourth anniversary of the mass shootings at Virginia Tech fast approaching—the last thing you might expect to see is some dude with a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle slung over his shoulder strolling through the halls of […]

Right makes might

With an electorate that willingly combined the words “Ken Cuccinelli” and “Attorney General,” is there any conservative candidate they wouldn’t vote for?