Weekend roundup 1/21

A quick look at some of the stories and other stuff from the past week.

VA Republican primary: still Romney v Paul
This was my lead last Saturday but it appears it is now final. Rick Perry appealed the judge’s ruling but the appeal was denied. Absentee ballots have been printed and voting has begun. Oh, and that stupid loyalty oath is gone.

Republican primary field narrows further
Perry was the originator of the lawsuit but Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman, and Michelle Bachmann joined in. Bachmann was gone after Iowa. This week, two more Republican candidates dropped out: Huntsman on Monday and Perry on Friday. Santorum, despite his official Iowa win, will be the next to go. I expect he’ll finish a distant fourth in today’s primary in South Carolina. Gingrich, whose race-baiting is fueling this latest surge, is in it for a while, although I still expect Romney to the be nominee. Gingrich garnered Perry’s endorsement (for what it’s worth) while Huntsman endorsed Romney, as did our governor, Bob McDonnell. As for Ron Paul – well, he’s not going anywhere. I expect him to take it all the way to the convention.

Speaking of Iowa – having watched some of the coverage on caucus night, and then seeing that they lost some of the precincts’ ballots, I think it’s time for them to give up the “first in the nation” position.

Congressional redistricting headed to the governor’s desk
Both the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate have passed the incumbent-protection congressional redistricting bill. A couple of tweets from yesterday:

https://twitter.com/#!/Redistrict/status/160411434763816960

https://twitter.com/#!/Redistrict/status/160412219308392448

Yep. But at least I live in VA-02. Democratic candidate Paul Hirschbiel, already on the DCC’s Red to Blue list, will officially kick off his campaign Monday.

Uranium ban to stay in place
At least until regulations can be written. This might take a while.

Passenger rail coming to Norfolk
By the end of the year, passenger rail service from Norfolk will restart. I am really looking forward to this. I think it would be kinda cool to take the train to Richmond (although I haven’t figured out how I’d get from Staples Mill into downtown Richmond).

Taxes
No, not Newt Gingrich’s (pdf – the one I’d like to see is Gingrich Holdings, Inc.,  by the way) or Mitt Romney’s (no link because he hasn’t released them yet) but your taxes. It’s time to think about them. The IRS announced a new Free File option that is open to everyone, regardless of income: fillable forms. And the Virginia Department of Taxation has followed suit. Electronic filing of tax returns began this week. The federal tax filing deadline is April 17.

Goodbyes
Once a fixture in my childhood neighborhood, I distinctly recall an item my godmother purchased for me from Mugler’s: a plaid shirt-shaped jacket that was popular with the kids back then. It was one of the few times that I ventured into the store, although I walked past it daily, mostly prior to its move up the street. I really didn’t know that it wasn’t located in Phoebus anymore until I read that the store is closing. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

R&B singer Etta James died yesterday. Another beautiful voice gone. Here is a live version of her singing perhaps her best-known song, At Last.

Playoffs
After going 1-for-4 last weekend, I hope no one puts much stock in my football picks anymore 😦 Nevertheless, I’m picking the Patriots over the Ravens and the 49ers over the Giants. (Have I mentioned how much I dislike Eli Manning? 😀 )

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