Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, September 26. Also, check out the PBS report on a "region of the Pacific Ocean that is home to thriving colonies of rare and endangered species" and that "will be protected as the world's largest marine preserve, under an executive order by President Obama." Thank you President Obama (and also to President Bush for setting up the first preserve in this area)!
There's so much idiocy from former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in this interview, where does one even begin?
1. He claims that hard-right Republicans like Mitch McConnell aren't conservative enough, is "vehement about not believing anything." Riiiight.
2. He claims that the Democratic Party's "establishment...is the liberals." Uh, what? That's certainly news to most of us who consider ourselves progressives, liberals, etc.
3. He claims you can only win as a Republican if you're a hard-right true believer. Yeah, like Ken Cuccinelli, for instance, who ran as a hard-right true believer and...LOST to Terry McAuliffe. Uhhhh.
4. He states, "at the presidential level, 100% of Republican nominees who ran as conservatives won, and 100% of Republican nominees for president who ran NOT as conservative...have all lost." OK, so let's unpack that whopper with a few facts - yeah, those pesky, liberal things, I know! LOL
OK, so I'm not sure how far back Cooch wants to go with this, but it's hard to argue that Herbert Hoover didn't run as a true conservative. As we will recall, Hoover lost the 1932 election in one of the greatest landslides in U.S. history to FDR. In stark contrast, moderate Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected easily for two terms. Richard Nixon - other than Watergate and Vietnam, of course - governed in many ways as a liberal (negotiated "detente" with the Soviets, announced the formation of the EPA in June 1970, supported the Clean Air Act of 1970, supported the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, proposed a private health insurance employer mandate, imposed wage and price controls, enforced desegregation of Southern schools, etc.). And yes, Nixon the moderate/progressive Republican was reelected in a landslide in 1972.
As for Cooch's hero Ronald Reagan, he "raised taxes in seven of his eight years in office," "nearly tripled the federal budget deficit," "grew the size of the federal government tremendously," "did little to fight a woman's right to choose," "signed into law a bill that made any immigrant who had entered the country before 1982 eligible for amnesty," etc, etc. And Reagan won reelection in a landslide in 1984.
As for George HW Bush, he ran as a more liberal, "kinder gentler" version of Reagan in 1988, and...yes, won! (note: Bush lost in 1992 more because of the economy and possibly the Ross Perot independent candidacy than because he didn't run as a hard-core conservative)
Summary: It is clear the Republicans, with their obstructionism, have deliberately hurt the nation. That betrayal explains why the American political system is now more dysfunctional than in generations, maybe ever. The American people are quite dissatisfied with the performance of their government, but they need help understanding where the problem lies. I ask President Obama: Why are you not using this last opportunity to tell the voters what's gone wrong, so they can use their votes to get back a government that does the people's business?
Hey, Mr. President. Why aren't you out there on the hustings talking to the American people? There's an election coming up, and the American political system is more dysfunctional than it's been in generations, maybe ever. What does it mean that you, as president, are not using this last opportunity of your presidency to talk to voters about what's gone wrong with the system and what voters can do now to get back a government that does the people's business?
The people know that something's gone terribly wrong, as we can see from the record-setting low esteem in which the people hold the Congress. The people's displeasure presumably that has something to do with another record the Congress has been setting in the past four years: its off-the-charts, unprecedented failure to accomplish much of anything to meet the considerable challenges our nation faces.
I assume you know what the problem is -- that it's the result of the Republicans' having made it their top priority, even before you became president, to make you fail by blocking everything. That, even though the nation faced major challenges.
Business owners give state leaders, Gov. McAuliffe low ratings for making Va. competitive in growing clean energy economy, protecting environment
WASHINGTON-September 25, 2014-As world leaders meet this week to address climate change and 400,000 people march in the streets in New York City, a new survey shows that Virginia's small business owners support state action to cut carbon pollution and believe that doing so will help Virginia's economy.
At the same time, Virginia's small business community is not entirely pleased with the job Gov. Terry McAuliffe has done protecting the state's water, air, and overall environment.
According to a survey conducted by Public Policy Polling (PPP) for the nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2):
• 63 percent of small business owners in Virginia think state leaders should do more to compete with other states to attract and develop more clean, renewable energy companies and jobs to Virginia. A similarly high number - 65 percent - voiced support for advancing energy efficiency.
• 52 percent of small business owners in Virginia think Gov. McAuliffe and the state legislature should support the federal standards to reduce carbon pollution produced by power plants.
• 60 percent of Virginia's small business owners give Gov. McAuliffe a fair or poor rating or are not sure about the job he has done protecting the state's water, air, and overall environment. Meanwhile, 84 percent of small business owners in Virginia believe protecting Virginia's good environment and quality of life is important to their state's economic growth.
Utterly pathetic, what is Barbara Comstock so afraid of? On second thought, given her long record of voting for things like mandatory/government-enforced "transvaginal ultrasounds;" of voting AGAINST things like healthcare coverage for hundreds of thousands of Virginia and crucial transportation funding for her districdt; of participating in McCarthyite witchhunts; of being endorsed by extremists like Sean Hannity and Mark Levin; of defending the indefensible (e.g., Scooter Libby); of making outrageous comments like comparing immigrants to FedEx packages; it's no wonder she terrified of talking to reporters and instead has her campaign staff run interference for her.
“Whether she’s supporting mandatory transvaginal ultra-sounds or comparing immigrants to FedEx packages, Barbara Comstock keeps proving that her right-wing agenda is totally out of touch with Northern Virginia’s values,” said David Bergstein of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “This kind of insulting and hyper-partisan rhetoric from Comstock represents exactly what Northern Virginians hate about this dysfunctional Republican Congress.”
Comstock Opposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform. In April 2014, appearing on “The John Fredericks Show” radio show, Comstock was asked about immigration reform: “Because I do not like omnibus bills, whether it’s Obamacare, or huge transportation bills that people don’t read. When you do that you always end up with, the conservative end often gets the short end of the stick in these huge omnibus bills. So I think we’re better off doing step by step, kind of going for the base hits, things like making sure we secure the borders first.” [John Fredericks Show, 4/11/14]
For years, low-income and minority areas have been targeted to benefit corporations. Many corporations have a history and pattern of locating energy and other projects in or near minority, Indian or low-income communities.
They force the burdens of projects designed (they say) to benefit society primarily on these targeted communities, which can thus create "sacrifice zones."
The projects devastate the lives of the people in these zones by harming their culture, health, lives, lands, natural resources, wildlife, homes and/or quality of life. These people are marginalized by commodifying them. They are harmed in the name of the "greater good" of the dominant culture for the provision of energy and disposal of waste.
Beneficiaries of these zones are the corporations operating the projects for huge profits and the dominant culture society, who are provided energy to run their air conditioners or cars without suffering the extreme harms forced on the targeted community in the sacrifice zone.
The US Census Bureau's color-coded Percent in Poverty map helps illustrate that both the proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines have been placed in rural areas, many of which are stricken with high poverty rates, populated by low income families, and/or consist of minority communities. The contrast along the path of the proposed pipelines is telling:
As mentioned in a previous post, rapists are very often serial offenders. The current "person of interest" is 32 years old, so if he perpetrated a crime against Hannah Graham, it is very unlikely this is the first time he has struck. This is not an acquired taste.
What that means is that if indeed Jesse Matthew was involved in any misdeed leading to or resulting in the disappearance of Ms. Graham, this will not have been the first time. And that leads to one of the reasons rapists are able to be serial offenders: their victims don't report the crime(s) for personal reasons. This underlines the urgency for encouraging reporting and for pursuing any investigation into sexual assault and/or rape to a conclusion.
Therefore the investigators should be aggressively calling for any information from acquaintances of Matthew, including prior assaults, rapes and/or drugging, that has not been reported. Silence is an enemy to the liberty of everyone who comes in contact with persons who are able to commit these acts without regard to or fear of the consequences.
The courage to report such a demeaning victimization is essential to protecting literally the lives and liberty of many others. Anyone who has hidden any information about an interaction with this "person of interest" or any assailant should learn from this sad situation. Report, report, report. And not just about this case; and no matter how long ago.
Last Thursday, Democrats came to Richmond with expectations that Republicans had called us back to Richmond for a 'full and fair debate' with a Republican plan that we could work on together in a bipartisan fashion. We were sadly mistaken. For those of you that couldn't watch the session live we decided to put together this short video to show you what happened.
Phrases we really don't need to hear during this speech, or any speech by President Obama or any other Democrat: "all-of-the-above strategy," "offshore drilling," "fracking," "natural gas as a bridge fuel," etc. Just stick to the science, which has told us over and over again what the situation is and what we need to do, and then do it!
UPDATE 1:16 pm: The speech, which I thought was very strong, just ended. Unfortunately, given that the Republican Party has gone completely insane (and sold out to the big carbon polluters), it looks like those of us who actually respect science will have to do it ourselves. Unless, of course, a miracle happens and Republicans move back towards the strong environmental legacy that's certainly part of their party's historical DNA.
The recent conviction of former Republican governor Bob McDonnell on corruption and influence-peddling charges illustrates just how empty are Republican claims to be the party of morality.
In the Republican mind, "morality" refers only to individual sexual behavior. Republicans believe homosexuality is immoral; so is sex outside of marriage, unmarried women having children, divorce, abortion, and - in the minds of some Republicans - contraception is immoral.
Meanwhile, Republicans have no problems with rampant public immorality found in fraudulent accounting, stock manipulation, insider trading, financial conflicts of interest, bribery of public officials, and exorbitant pay to top executives.
Read Bob McDonnell's 1989 "master's thesis" written while he was a graduate student at Pat Robertson's evangelical university. McDonnell laid out a 15-point plan by which Republicans could "correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state." McDonnell used his thesis to rail against working women and "feminists" as "detrimental" to the family. He said government policy should favor married couples over "cohabitators, homosexuals or fornicators." He attacked a 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing the use of contraception by unmarried couples as being "illogical."
Republicans and McDonnell are right about one thing: There really is moral rot in America. But the rot is not in private behavior that is no one else's business. The rot is in the public behavior of people at or near the top.
We are treated to Republican legislators pushing laws to restrict private behavior in the name of morality while the same Republicans oppose laws to regulate transgressions against public morality such as fraudulent accounting, stock manipulation, insider trading, financial conflicts of interest, bribery of public officials, and exorbitant pay to top executives. Bob McDonnell is a prime example of this empty and meaningless Republican definition of morality.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, September 23. Also check out the audio of Google chairman Eric Schmidt, announcing that Google is leaving the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and stating point blank that ALEC is "literally lying." But then, we knew that right?
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