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Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Sep 26, 2014 at 06:31:57 AM EDT

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)!

*Attorney general confirmation process is fractious even before it's begun (Here we go again with mindless, knee-jerk Republican obstructionism for no good reason whatsoever.)
*Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General
*Stalin, The Nazis And A Serial Killer: The Villains Right-Wing Media Compared To Eric Holder (Typical right-wing rhetoric, sad to say...)
*Bookend speeches of Obama's presidency (Fascinating: "The speech Obama gave in Cairo in 2009 and the address he gave at the United Nations on Wednesday can be seen as bookends.")
*Gabby Giffords And How The D.C. Press Portrays "Mean" Women (Let me just take a moment to say that MediaMatters is truly invaluable. Thank you for the great work you do!)
*Crunch time for Jeb Bush ("It's now or never for Jeb Bush.")
*450,000 in Virginia may lack proper identification needed to vote (THIS is the result of voter suppression efforts by Virginia Republicans like Barbara Comstock, Bill "ALEC" Howell, etc.)
*McAuliffe names bipartisan panel on ethics reform (I hope it accomplishes something, but the two co-chairs are hardly paragons of ethics.)
*Roanoke College poll asks whether McDonnell should serve time in prison ("56% said he should go to prison.")
*Ken Cuccinelli: Holder 'Debased' Attorney General Office (You want someone who debased the office of AG, look in the mirror Cooch!)
*Comstock, Wolf campaign together in Winchester
*Gov. McAuliffe touts economic development before Asian Chamber
*Gillespie within single digits of Warner in new poll (The question is whether this poll's the outlier or the other polls are the outliers. Regardless, Democrats need to not be complacent here; just because Mark Warner's on the ballot doesn't guarantee anything.)
*Poll measures Virginia small business attitudes toward green energy ("He said North Carolina and Maryland have dramatically outpaced Virginia's support for solar energy. He attributed Virginia's laggardly pace to the political sway of power companies and railroads umbilically connected to coal." Bingo.)
*Nationals split doubleheader, leaving meaning in Friday's twinbill
*NFL woes highlight misguided tax status ("It's an absurdity, and a needless giveaway to an entity that has no more right to preferential tax treatment than a professional baseball league or professional basketball league.")
*Seriously splendid weekend ahead

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Video: Cuccinelli Claims 100% of Republican Nominees Who Ran for President as Conservatives Won

by: lowkell

Thu Sep 25, 2014 at 21:10:44 PM EDT

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)  

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 293 words in story)

This Is What You Should Be Making This Election About, Mr. President

by: Andy Schmookler

Thu Sep 25, 2014 at 14:55:20 PM EDT


This piece is a timely expansion on entry # 3 in this Press the Battle series: Calling Out the Republicans: Obama Hasn't So We Must..

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.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 676 words in story)

New Poll: Majority of Virginia Small Business Owners Support CO2 Pollution Limits

by: wharwood

Thu Sep 25, 2014 at 11:30:31 AM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

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.

The survey is available here.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 423 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Sep 25, 2014 at 06:15:26 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, September 25. Also check out the video of President Obama opening the U.N. Security Council summit.

*US strikes Isil's lucrative oil facilities in Syria
*Airstrikes in Syria kill a leader of al-Qaeda cell
*Obama's Iraq Is Not Bush's Iraq
*President Obama calls for more allies in fight against ISIL
*ESPN Suspends Bill Simmons For Calling Roger Goodell A Liar, After ESPN Reported Roger Goodell Is A Liar (ESPN suspsends one of its employees for telling the truth? Cowards.)
*Does Team Hillary Want a Democratic Challenge?
*Comstock, Foust go on the attack in second debate ("Comstock's line of assault was best encapsulated by a quote from Margaret Thatcher that she paraphrased: 'If you want something said, ask my male colleague. If you want something done, ask me.'" Why isn't that sexist, btw?)
*Virginia Candidate Who Backed Forced Ultrasound Law Tries To Win Back Women Voters
*In wake of McDonnell conviction, McAuliffe to announce ethics commission (Bill Bolling and ethics, eh? Alrighty.)
*Redskins owner Dan Snyder gives $25K to Virginia Gov. McAuliffe's PAC (Speaking of ethics, or lack thereof, how do contributions like this - from someone with major business before the state - fit into the overall "ethics reform" category?)
*Today's Top Opinion: Kaine is right on war powers (In theory, yes, but the Teapublican Congress doesn't have its act together on foreign policy or anything else.)
*Pro-Warner Super Pac has spent $1.4 million on anti-Gillespie ads
*Warner still leading Gillespie in polls of likely voters (Except it's a Roanoke College "poll," so ignore.)
*Vice President Biden in Norfolk to boost port
*Suspect in U-Va. student case taken into custody in Texas
*Showers exit this morning, but clouds linger; superb weekend lies ahead

Discuss :: (13 Comments)

Video: Barbara Comstock Runs Away from Reporter After Debate

by: lowkell

Wed Sep 24, 2014 at 17:42:51 PM EDT

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.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

VIDEO: At Debate, Barbara Comstock Compares Immigrants to FedEx Packages

by: lowkell

Wed Sep 24, 2014 at 15:15:04 PM EDT

From the DCCC:

 

VIDEO: At Debate, Barbara Comstock Compares Immigrants to FedEx Packages

 

At today’s debate, Barbara Comstock once again showed why her right-wing agenda is so out-of-touch with Virginia’s values –  and today Comstock even went so far as to compare immigrants to FedEx packagesClick here to watch the video.

 

Trevor.JPG

 

“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.”  

 

BACKGROUND:

 

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] 

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Dominion's Atlantic Coast Pipeline's "Sacrifice Zones"

by: pontoon

Wed Sep 24, 2014 at 08:20:07 AM EDT

( - promoted by Dan Sullivan)

MVP and ACP photo MountainValleyampACPPipelineRoanokeTimes_350_zps7d007351.jpgAt an E-Coalition event last weekend one discussion centered on Environmental Injustice and addressed what are sometimes referred to as "sacrifice zones." In 1994, then President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order No.12898 aimed at environmental justice in low-income and minority populations. Do the proposed natural gas pipelines violate that order?

From a Daily Kos article last February entitled, Racist Sacrifice Zones With XL Pipeline Are Grounds Alone for Rejecting Permit:

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:  
There's More... :: (5 Comments, 1079 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Sep 24, 2014 at 06:34:43 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia political headlines for Wednesday, September 24.

*Airstrikes bring together Arab nations often at odds
*Bill O'Reilly's Plan To Defeat Islamic State: A 25,000-Person Mercenary Force ("U.S. Naval War College Professor Tells O'Reilly: 'This Is A Terrible Idea, Not Just As A Practical Matter But As A Moral Matter'" -- Bill O'Reilly, extreme and insane as always.)
*Fox Economist Proposes Energy Plan That Would Increase Terrorism (Bass-ackwards as always...)
*The Benefits of Easing Climate Change
*Gabby Giffords' 'Nasty' Ad Causes GOP Candidate To Embrace Gun Safety Law
*Facebook to cut ties with conservative policy group ("The social media giant in Menlo Park would be the second Silicon Valley giant in recent days to sever ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC. On Monday, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told a radio show that the company would end its membership with the group.")
*Obama taking case for strikes against Islamic State to U.N.
*"Nasty, petty and ill-informed": Tea Party hero Ben Carson's looniest beliefs ("Neurosurgeon-turned-pundit says he's likely to run for president. Here are the views America will see on display")
*Schapiro: Flying high above the McDonnell aftershocks
*Can Jim Webb Run for President as the Anti-Hillary?
*Tim Kaine finds justification for airstrikes in Syria troubling
*Jim Webb says he's seriously considering presidential bid
*McAuliffe: Va. is 'going to have marriage equality'
*Momentum undone by troubling mistakes ("Gov. Terry McAuliffe's administration have spent much of their first year sorting through their predecessors' reckless dealmaking. And drivers in Hampton Roads have done what they've long been accustomed to doing: losing time and money waiting for the mess to be cleared.")
*Simonds to challenge Yancey for House seat
*Roanoke civic leader to challenge Edwards in 2015 Senate race
*Portsmouth speakers blast City Council over auditor decision
*Arlington awards $26 million contract for streetcar work (Good, let's get moving on this thing after decades of talking about it!)
*Suspect in missing U-Va. student case charged with abduction
*Nats get past Mets, but Span hurts knee after spectacular diving catch
*Rain likely late today lasting into tomorrow; nice weekend ahead

Discuss :: (10 Comments)

Hint to Law Enforcement: Rapists Do Strike Repeatedly

by: Dan Sullivan

Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 16:30:05 PM EDT

Jesse Mathew photo JesseMatthewJr_zps2ab87b58.jpg
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.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Video: Jim Webb speaks at the National Press Club

by: lowkell

Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 13:23:33 PM EDT

Here's video of Jim Webb's speech at the National Press Club. I've got a few thoughts in the comments section.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Virginia House Democrats Ask Republicans: Where's Your Plan?

by: VAHouseDems

Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 13:25:21 PM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

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.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Video: President Obama Speaks at the Climate Summit 2014

by: lowkell

Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 13:02:31 PM EDT

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.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Thoughts on Republicans and morality

by: ir003436

Mon Sep 22, 2014 at 23:18:55 PM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

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.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Sep 23, 2014 at 06:52:13 AM EDT

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?

*U.S. hits militants in Syria ("Arab 'partner nations' were said to be involved in an aggressive operation that marks a new phase in the conflict against the group. Residents of Raqqah reported news of large explosions.")
*Climate change takes front and center at United Nations summit
*Climate Change Protesters Tangle With Police at Wall St.
*GOP's stunning condescension: New ad shows why they'll lose women again ("A spot showing a female voter whining about her 'boyfriend' Barack Obama is revealing and just plain awful")
*Polarization in America is here to stay. What now? (Two key points for not-too-bright corporate media: a) David Roberts is much, much smarter than you guys; b) cut the false equivlance bull****, as in reality "the right has moved farther to the right than the left has to the left...the U.S. right has pretty much gone crazy...'asymmetrical polarization'")
*Virginia drops fraud suit against JPMorgan Chase ("...after learning that his predecessor, Ken Cuccinelli II (R), had struck a confidential settlement with the bank.")
*Tim Kaine: 'My intuition tells me' Hillary Clinton will run
*Our view: Reform the judge selection process
*Bill Hazel laments death of Medicaid expansion in Virginia (Wasn't Hazel appointed to this job to get Medicaid expansion through? So much for that.)
*Missed opportunity ("House Republicans squandered the chance to have a serious debate about Medicaid expansion in Virginia" And of course they didn't!)
*A look at the Congressional campaign funding in Hampton Roads
*Va. House speaker makes a point on Puckett investigation ("William J. Howell plans to block three job confirmations")
*Ads Could Ramp Up in Va. Senate Race
*Warner woos female executives at Norfolk gathering
*Very quietly, some big changes at state Senate committees ("Bottom line: Gov. Terry McAuliffe could have an even tougher time than last year. And advocates for abortion lost control of one of their key bastions.")
*Comstock, Foust take 10th District debate stage Wednesday
*Study ramps up cost of stalled highway in Virginia (Do. Not. Build.)
*Groups say Virginia needs to get tougher on concentrated animal farms (How about ban them altogether? They are an abomination.)
*Streetcar contracts likely to reignite Arlington debate ("Board to vote Tuesday on contract for engineering work on Columbia Pike, Crystal City streetcars." Interesting that they didn't wait until after the election.)
*Veterans Affairs office in Roanoke reduces wait times for benefits
*'Wanted' poster issued for man seen with missing U-Va. student
*Portsmouth City Council decides to stick with embattled auditor
*High-performance weather with sunshine and comfortably cool nights

Discuss :: (7 Comments)
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The purpose of Blue Virginia is to cover Virginia politics from a progressive and Democratic perspective. This is a group blog and a community blog. We invite everyone to comment here, but please be aware that profanity, personal attacks, bigotry, insults, rudeness, frequent unsupported or off-point statements, "trolling" (NOTE: that includes outright lies, whether about climate science, or what other people said, or whatever), and "troll ratings abuse" (e.g., "troll" rating someone simply because you disagree with their argument) are not permitted and, if continued, will lead to banning. For more on trolling, see the Daily Kos FAQs. Also note that diaries may be deleted if they do not contain at least 2 solid paragraphs of original text; if not, please use the comments section of a relevant diary. For more on writing diaries, click here. Thanks, and enjoy!

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