Virginia! It’s probably a 20 minute bike ride from you, yet when did you last think about D.C.’s western neighbor? Was it when you saw a group of young men exit a car on 18th Street NW wearing shorts in sub-freezing weather? Was it when you wanted some decent pho? Was it when Bob McDonnell served up a warning that 2010 might not go so smoothly for the party in power?

Outgoing Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine gave a speech yesterday about his outgoingness, citing the usual blah blah blah and receiving the usual blah blah blah. Transportation is still a mess in Northern Virginia, with the usual dynamic being a proposal that would cost everyone in the state 50 cents and everyone in the state freaking the hell out over this massive intrusion into their pocketbooks. (That money coulda gone to Ukrop’s! OH WAIT.) Kaine leaves McDonnell with a budget framework for the next two years, buttressing my argument that the governorship of Virginia is one of the more useless positions in this land.

McDonnell has other problems! There is this fellow, Robert Sledd, whom McDonnell would like to be his secretary of commerce. But this fellow, Sledd, a Richmond businessman, is on the boards of several inconvenient corporations! For example, Universal Corp., “the world’s leading leaf tobacco merchant and processor.” McDonnell says that once members of the General Assembly, who hold perhaps the only more useless positions in Virginia politics than the governor of said commonwealth, “get to know the heart of this man,” they will love him as much as tobacco companies do. So! The commonwealth is in the hands of a man who not only believes in magic and has close ties with the moron Pat Robertson (recent triumph: blaming the Haitian’s deal with the devil for the earthquake) but also feels like he, too, can navigate politics by peering into men’s souls.

Also there is a movement to get rid of the commonwealth’s taxes on corporations. Hey, good luck with that!

Speaking of Haiti, the United States Department of State has a link on its front page today—text HAITI to 90999, and $10 will go to the Red Cross.