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Virginia

Death Panel: Virginia's Republican General Assembly

by: Dan Sullivan

Tue Feb 24, 2015 at 11:36:58 AM EST

Virginia Capitol photo StateCapitol_zpsed333520.jpgTurns out they were right. There is a self-anointed death panel and it meets in this building. Recall they said that healthcare would be rationed? Now that they've managed it, they are quite proud of their accomplishment. What Republicans really relish is the surreptitious method: don't decide, just deny.

Millions and millions and millions of your federal tax dollars have been flushed down the Potomac only to be harvested by wiser state legislatures. What could have been a catalyst for not only broad medical service sector growth but also the survival of rural medical clinics and hospitals was set aside for base political posturing. This should have been a simple financial decision. Instead it was a cynical sacrifice of their voiceless, powerless constituents for the protection of their own political hides.

Let's consider the costs because they are not limited to those dollars passed on to other states. Some number amounting to just under 5% of Virginians are without healthcare coverage because Medicaid expansion has been denied. That doesn't mean they go without healthcare. In many cases it means they go without healthcare until there is a crisis and then an emergency room visit and expensive procedure are required. Who pays for that? You can make up all kinds of voodoo financial and economic formulas but the costs get passed to those who are covered in increased insurance premiums and/or copays and/or deductibles. And maybe more importantly, in scarcer medical service resources. Visit an emergency room for the Republican version of healthcare delivery in the unregulated free market. They simply don't understand that the risk pool is the risk pool. No one in America is denied care in an emergency and those emergencies are exponentially more costly than preventive care. Republican denial of coverage poisons the well that feeds the pool. Welcome to the Teapublican Utopia.

On the other hand, some number amounting to just under 5% of Virginians now have healthcare insurance through the Federal Marketplace established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That hasn't solved every problem but it goes a long way in that direction. While some are subsidized, these policies are not some government giveaway. They are a way Americans can take responsibility for their financial exposure. Republicans talk about individual responsibility in a vacuum. They like to preach about it but don't want to facilitate it. The fact is that 60% of bankruptcies in the United States involve medical indebtedness. Healthcare insurance builds a firewall between personal financial survival and insolvency leading to financial disaster.  

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 529 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Jan 18, 2015 at 07:21:04 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, January 18. Also, check out those poll numbers, which shows you what Republicans will be up against in 2016. Yes, it's still very early, but I'd argue that Bush and Romney have equally high name ID to Hillary Clinton, so I don't think this polling is meaningless at all.

*Obama to seek billions in new taxes on wealthy ("He plans to propose raising $320 billion over the next 10 years in new taxes on wealthy individuals and big financial institutions to pay for programs aimed at aiding lower- and middle-income people." Just what the doctor - Dr. Piketty, that is - ordered!)
*Mitt Romney's 2016 pitch: I'm a foreign policy prophet ("But is he right about that?" Uh, no. But he DOES continue to be utterly delusional! LOL)
*New rules on methane emissions take aim at a major pollutant
*Cantor addresses invite-only Va. GOP gathering ("He shares shares message with establishment wing of Va. GOP, leaves out his successor, Brat." Hilarious that Eric Cantor of all people is lecturing Republicans on how to win again. Also George Allen? Seriously? As I said, hilarious.)
*Schapiro: Virginia legislature - same as it ever was ("McAuliffe is giving Democrats something to run on and Republicans something to run against.")
*Boucher and Bolling: There's more to be done on ethics reform (How about making it illegal for state-regulated companies, like Dominion, to lobby or donate to the very people tasked with regulating them?!? That's called "regulatory capture," and it should most certainly not be allowed.)
*Surovell to announce run for state Senate
*Peninsula officials give more detail on 2015 disclosure forms
*Wait times at Hampton VA have worsened in recent years
*Jailed Va. Del. Joseph Morrissey has his struggles. Voters can relate. ("Morrissey's stint behind bars has endeared him to some voters, who can see themselves in him.")
*Our view: Who should you blame for pipelines? (Another super-silly editorial by the Roanoke Times. Actions of Jimmy Carter more than three decades ago? Geological forces? Whatever.)
*Convicted ex-Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell gets consultant's job
*Despite $5 billion effort, big problems persist for Metro ("Experts say Monday's fatal incident wasn't as severe as the 2009 crash, but in some ways, it's more troubling.")
*History made: Wilder opened doors, inspired generations
*Wilder's style is one of a kind ("Charming loner. Vengeful rogue. Machiavellian free agent. Defiant one-man-band. Political thespian.")
*Diradour won't run for Watkins' seat in state Senate
*McClellan: Ethics, workforce issue top the to-do list
*Dominion pipeline threatens historical sites, landowners say
*Roanoke County supervisors work toward unity, vision
*Sunday showers for some; nice weather in store for MLK Day

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Video: Governor McAuliffe Kicks Off 2015

by: Dan Sullivan

Sun Jan 11, 2015 at 09:33:24 AM EST

It was Creigh Deeds' event, but guest Terry McAuliffe ran with it, ringing out the first and in the second year as Virginia's 72nd Governor. McAuliffe made his first campaign stop of 2015 supporting his former gubernatorial rival and using the opportunity to tune up on this year's legislative agenda.

A year after taking office, the Governor took the opportunity to climb on the soapbox to emphasize the issues he ran on and report progress. He enumerated a number of issues, but jobs and healthcare were the bookends claiming substantial progress on one and frustration with the other. On jobs, he pointed out that the state faced strong headwinds, losing nine billion dollars in defense contacts the last three years; more than any other state in the country. So, he has set out re-purposing Virginia's economy to make it less reliant on the federal government. That is what he thinks about every single day.

Additional issues addressed:
  • Women's rights
  • Marriage equality
  • Responsible gun ownership
  • Mental/behavioral health
  • Reformed Standards of learning
  • Daycare centers
  • Restoration of rights
  • Building broadband

McAuliffe announced that there would be a booklet published today, the first anniversary of his inauguration, outlining accomplishments during his first year in office. Highlighting successes on jobs, he said his whole emphasis is on how to build that new economy. And in that effort he has become the most travelled governor in our nation's history. The results so far include 265 economic deals and $5.4 billion in direct investment; double what any governor has ever done on job creation.  

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 196 words in story)

Mayor Jones's New Church Mouse Losing Its House

by: Dan Sullivan

Wed Dec 31, 2014 at 07:01:35 AM EST

Mayor Dwight Jones photo 140311MayorJones_zps3245b2ae.jpgTis the season for miraculous financial initiatives. The man who didn't clearly outline Richmond's obligations for his NFL football summer training facility or find backing for burying hallowed historical ground under a minor league stadium is now preparing to make the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) homeless.

All the get rich land development schemes that characterize Richmond City high finance remind one of the common flights of fancy on The Honeymooners. One difference, though: Mayor Jones is banking with other people's money and trust. After making an effort to gain clarity on the DPVA's financial health, there is nothing to show but despair. Appropriate since Jones and his recent predecessors as Chair have all left the political party borrowing against time while concealing the bottom line. Requests for financial statements have been ignored, so the depth of the hole remains closely held. Miraculously, during six years with a Democrat in the White House and in a state with two Democratic United States Senators plus the election of Democrats to all three statewide executive offices in the past year, time has run out on the Party's mortgage.

A big portion of the DPVA party leadership's responsibility is to provide the hired staff with sufficient resources to run a statewide political party. But Jones, who fought through charges that he doesn't represent the party's principles of equality and equal rights to gain the position of Chair, has been an absentee landlord. The infrastructure, physical and fiscal, has continued to decay since his ascension to the post. He has consistently missed meetings and party conference calls. E-mails go unanswered. The excuse is always that his responsibilities as a pastor and Mayor consume his time. Those responsibilities did not preclude him from interfering in an intra-party state Senate primary race (his influence proved ineffective). Now he's on the verge of missing the payment on the DPVA's "digs" on Franklin Street in Richmond.

There's More... :: (10 Comments, 289 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Dec 28, 2014 at 07:12:36 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, December 28.

*Search underway for AirAsia flight with 162 aboard ("The Malaysia-based airline's Airbus A320-200 left the Surabaya airport in Indonesia bound for Singapore and lost contact with air traffic controllers 42 minutes later while over the Java Sea." Ugh. Horrible.)
*De Blasio Gives Officer's Eulogy Before Unfriendly Faces ("As Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the funeral of Rafael Ramos, scores of mourning police officers turned their backs to him, a sign of the discontent he faces." Real classy, guys.)
*2014 Was the Year We Finally Started to Do Something About Climate Change ("A year of extreme weather, climate denial, and some hope." We need to do a lot more, and fast!)
*Tax credits merit look from Virginia lawmakers ("...some lawmakers are indignant that McAuliffe would dare touch the coal tax credits, given that the coal industry has thoroughly slumped and coal jobs are being lost in Southwest Virginia." Yep, it's Republicans for taxpayer-funded corporate welfare!)
*McDonnell daughter says former governor's downfall is mom's fault (Wait, these were the daughters who took $15,000 and $10,000 checks from Jonnie Williams? Their mother forced them to do that? What. Ever.)
*Letters from two of Robert F. McDonnell's daughters (If they really feel this way about their mother, why didn't they testify as such in court?)
*Shine the spotlight on district boundaries (Agree on redistricting reform, disagree strongly that money isn't a "real problem" in politics.)
*Virginia's Top Stories in 2014 (Peter Galuszka is always worth reading; this is an excellent list.)
*Anne Holton on SOL reform, other educational issues
*Truett: Virginia's war on the impoverished: A plea for a ceasefire (Sure, but it's not "Virginia" that's blocking Medicaid expansion, it's "Virginia Republicans," period.)
*Along Hampton Roads Transit bus routes, riders say patience is key
*Thousands plan march to support police in Va. Beach (It's not black and white, the issue is that we should support GOOD policing - and police officers - and demand changes in BAD police practices. Why is it so hard for some people to understand that these are not mutually exclusive in any way?)
*Still on the mild side, but clouds moving in, showers likely by midday

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Dec 20, 2014 at 07:05:05 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, December 20. Also check out the video of President Obama's press conference yesterday.

*Obama chastises Sony, vows to retaliate against N. Korea
*In Case You Missed It, Obama Made History Today: Calls Only on Female Reporters
*Rand Paul Slams Marco Rubio Over Cuba As Feud Escalates (How can Republicans support having diplomatic relations and trade with Communist China, Venezuela, and many other unsavory regimes, but not with Cuba? It's completely illogical.)
*Operation Revenge ("President Obama is back in his campaign comfort zone: Smiting his political enemies." Silly, overblown headline, but I'm glad to see Obama off the mat and back in the ring, fighting to make our country a better place!)
*WTOP source: McDonnell's 'house of heartache' ("According to the source, the former governor has been living with the priest in Richmond who he stayed with during the trial, while also spending a significant amount of time with family or friends in Virginia Beach.")
*McAuliffe panel recommends redistricting reforms
*Few Democrats to pick nominee for Morrissey's seat ("The nominating process is not open to the general public, said Morgan Finkelstein, spokeswoman for the Democratic Party of Virginia. She said about 100 Democrats in the district fit the criteria.")
*Debate over pipeline continues
*McAuliffe calls for background checks on nurses
*Is McAuliffe Crying Wolf on the Economy?
*Del. Joseph Morrissey doesn't deserve reelection
*Judge to rule on whether Fairfax must release information in John Geer killing ("Judge Randy Bellows will handle the civil suit, where Fairfax is resisting making any disclosures about the shooting.")
*Arlington board approves plan for new middle school
*U-Va. board leader denounces 'drive-by journalism'
*U-Va.-Rolling Stone e-mails highlight university's attempt to correct magazine
*A chilly and mostly dry weekend before heavy rain takes hold

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Staying Gone Is the Hardest

by: Dan Sullivan

Fri Dec 19, 2014 at 07:28:50 AM EST

 photo ShelterPoster_4_Small_zpsd53ac9ac.jpgThe cloak of silence surrounding intimate partner fatalities is nearly impenetrable. Details are buried with the victims. Family members deny evidence of abuse before their very eyes. But partners who have survived and healed provide a window on the methods and complexity of power wielded by their abusers.

What follows are stories told by women who could be your sister, mother, neighbor, or boss. These women came together in October at Charlottesville's Shelter for Help in Emergency to share their lives; to try to explain and describe how they were bound to their abusers, how they left, and how they continue to suffer though the healing process. Looking at them you would never know what is inside or be able to distinguish them from the staff at the Shelter. These are striking women who you know but who live secret parallel existences; hidden even from themselves.

The stories that follow are at once different and the same. One striking aspect of these is that the methods the abusers employ are from the same kit familiar to anyone who has studied child or elder abuse or, for that matter, financial exploitation of the wealthy in Ponzi schemes. They are just applied in different variations depending upon the situation and prey. If we recognize the tools in the toolkit, then maybe observing them being applied is the red flag to defend ourselves and others. This, as suggested in A Journey Into Intimate Power and Abuse, provides a perspective that hints a "healthy cynicism" is the necessary defense against any form of nefarious advantage.

All of these women were and are like any of us, reaching to achieve their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. What makes us vulnerable is how and when we assign trust. That vulnerability is an aspect of human commerce as is trust. Sociopaths leverage an intuition crafted from their own experiences to recognize prey and know how to "close the sale."

Note: The posters featured here line the walls of the conference room at the Charlottesville Shelter office. Like the stories that follow, there are no names displayed out of respect for the privacy and security of these survivors. (click to embiggen)

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 6544 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Dec 17, 2014 at 06:34:11 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, December 17. Also, check out the video of President Obama announcing his "action to protect one of America's greatest natural treasures by signing a Presidential Memorandum to protect Bristol Bay." Good news!

*Ruble remains volatile as fear grips Russia
*Dick Cheney's tortured logic (The face of evil.)
*America should set torture out of bounds ("...the application of basic humanity and restraint should not depend exclusively on who's in the White House, or even on the letter of the law, which has more protections now but which creative lawyers could still try to manipulate. It must be a moral and political expectation, built into the country's mores.")
*Clinton denounces torture, says black lives matter (She's absolutely right on both counts.)
*Rand Paul is Already Running an Ad Against Jeb Bush (The one who should be running ads is Chris Christie, who is probably the most harmed by Jeb Bush's entry into the race.)
*We Finally Have A Surgeon General Again. Here's What He'll Do Now.
*Is Obama destroying the Russian economy? (So, all the right wingers cheering Vladimir Putin and mocking our president got it totally backwards? Shocker!)
*Cuccinelli Has A 'Funny Feeling' GOPers Might Face Primary Challengers In 2016 (Cooch has a lot of "funny" feelings. Heh.)
*Thousands of miles of Va. rivers are polluted, report shows ("Chris Moore, a senior scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation...called on Gov. Terry McAuliffe and the General Assembly to fund efforts to reduce pollution from farms, lawns and streets.")
*Virginia GOP labels Gov. McAuliffe's plan as 'unconstitutional gun grab' (Riiiight, because background checks are...oh forget it, let's not even try to pretend right wingers are being rational here.)
*Expulsion of convicted Virginia lawmaker would be first since 1876 ("Del. Joseph Morrissey, convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, has resisted calls to resign.")
*Editorial: Morrissey tries gator defense
*Schapiro: Running out of friends, Morrissey finds a new one ("It's not that lawmakers want to do this; it's that they have to, lest they hand their opponents ammunition for the primary and general elections.")
*Grassley now seeks answers from Fairfax prosecutor on John Geer police slaying ("After getting little new information from Fairfax police or the Justice Department, Grassley asks why the case moved to the feds.")

There's More... :: (6 Comments, 105 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 06:38:07 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, December 15. That video, by the way, is included for comic relief more than anything. :)

*Negotiators Strike Last-Minute Deal To Reduce Carbon Emissions
*With nominations, Harry Reid lands a late punch before bowing out as majority leader (Nice.)
*Krugman: Wall Street's Revenge ("Dodd-Frank Damaged in the Budget Bill")
*Hostage standoff in heart of Sydney
*Democrats divided on their path to 2016 (Yep, let's have this debate.)
*Cheney: 'I'd do it again in a minute'  (Sociopath.)
*Fact-checking Dick Cheney on the torture report (Also a liar.)
*Teen's Death, Ruled Suicide By Local Officials, Now Being Investigated By FBI As Possible Lynching (That's sure what it sounds like.)
*McAuliffe to unveil gun control measures, including expanded background checks (Excellent, let Republicans try to explain why they're against this.)
*Today's Top Opinion: Zero?  (For once I agree with the Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board: "When you don't accept any gifts, there's nothing to report.")
*Increasing oversight on road projects  ("The failed limited-access, tolled U.S. 460 route that former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his transportation secretary, Sean Connaughton, relentlessly pushed forward represents, perhaps, the most wasteful application of Virginia's public-private transportation law.")
*For many in Va., Medicaid coverage gap is unaffordable
*Tim Kaine, bridge builder? (Perhaps he is, but the problem with this op-ed is that the person writing it, Fred Hiatt, has zero credibility on anything.)
*Convicted Va. delegate says he needs more time to decide whether to resign
*Our view: How to stop a pipeline (As soon as I got done snorting cheerios out my nows at the idea that there's any kind of "free market" in energy in this country, I stopped reading this.)
*Susan Stimpson says Bill Howell has been the force behind major Va. tax hikes ("Mostly true" - interesting.)
*Mild to start the week, but winter could make stormy weekend return

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Virginia in 2020: A Look Ahead

by: FreeDem

Sun Dec 14, 2014 at 15:16:23 PM EST

( - promoted by lowkell)

A little over a year ago, I started a series of diaries looking at the past, present, and future of Virginia politics. You can check out the entries here: Day One, Competitive Districts. Day Two, Turnout Problems. Day Three, Past Mistakes. Day Four, Downstate Democrats. Day Five, Unchallenged Incumbents. Day Six, Present Opportunities. Day Seven, Democratic Trends. Day Eight, Swing Voters. Day Nine, 2021 Redistricting. Day Ten, Independent Redistricting. Day Eleven, A Diverse Future. And finally Day Twelve, Messaging This year, I wondered if there was enough new information to justify a complete update to the series. But Mark Warner's near defeat in 2014, and the analysis about the race that followed, showed the trendlines of a year ago are stronger than ever. Instead, I spent this weekend looking at various population trends and projections in Virginia, with an eye to the next round of redistricting.

In the fall of 2012, UVA's Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service issued its population projections for 2020 and beyond. They forecast a slowdown in population growth overall for the Commonwealth, with Southside and Southwest Virginia barely growing at all.

But their projections came with a grain of salt.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 2388 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Oct 30, 2014 at 06:33:45 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, October 30. The photo is courtesy of Rep. Connolly's communications director George Burke.

*5 Ways Life in America Would Be Better If Everyone Voted ("Low election turnout perpetuates income inequality and social injustice")
*"The Great Invisible": The BP oil disaster and our fossil-fuel addiction
*Weather Channel Rebukes Its Co-Founder On Climate Change (Good for the Weather Channel. Its co-founder is an imbecile.)
*EJ Dionne: Moderate thunder out of Kansas
*An exaggerated claim concerning savings on Metro's Silver Line construction ("Comstock's campaign could offer no evidence to defend the repeated use of the $400 million figure")
*Boucher: Why Warner deserves re-election
*Pipeline protestors visit lawmakers' local offices ("About a dozen Nelson County residents protested a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline Wednesday, stopping at the local offices of Democratic and Republican lawmakers to urge them to oppose the project.")
*What Is Ed Gillespie's Backup Plan? (Governor in 2017? "It's not clear whether Gillespie would be willing to run against Obenshain, as they have a close relationship.")
*Goodlatte looks poised for bump-free ride to 12th term (Really unfortunate, the guy's truly BADlatte not Goodlatte.)
*E.W. Jackson says Democrats attack Christian values with anti-discrimination laws about gays and lesbians (Yep, that's E.W. Jackson for ya.)
*Democratic congressman pressured VA to help politically connected contractor (Hmmmm.)
*Budget backtrack: Transportation concerns lead to $50m back pedal
*Wittman tells Kiwanis Washington should be 'reined in' (Standard, mindless Republican rhetoric...)
*Brutal cost of children who are homeless ("The State of the Region report released this month by Old Dominion University offers a sobering estimate of public costs for one often-overlooked group: children without a place to call home.")
*NASA reports broken windows, imploded doors after explosion
*Economic action plan ("The sequestration cuts set to resume in 2016 must be stopped - which will protect the Hampton Roads economy to say nothing of assuring the continued strength and readiness of our nation's armed forces.")
*Newport News could pay up to $42.6M to accommodate Tech Center research park
*Bumgarner, Giants edge K.C. to claim third World Series crown in 5 years
*A weather treat today, but look for tricky and icky on Halloween

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Oct 28, 2014 at 06:37:53 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, October 28.

*Minimum wage gives Democrats a rare edge over GOP
*Scott Walker to Chris Christie: Thanks for nothing
*Ebola fears should not lead to overreaction (So far, much of the media -- PBS and NPR certainly being expections -- have been an utter disgrace on this. Right-wing media, in particular, has been a cesspool of misinformation, fearmongering, politicizing, etc. The usual, in other words...)
*The Dangers of Quarantines ("Ebola Policies Made in Panic Cause More Damage")
*Right-Wing Media Praise Failed Theory Of Trickle-Down Economics Myth To Condemn Hillary Clinton ("Conservative media praised the failed theory of trickle-down economics in response to Hillary Clinton's remark that the middle class, not tax cuts for corporations, spurs economic growth, a position backed by economists.")
*Ed Gillespie uses Redskins name issue in political ad against Sen. Mark Warner (Seriously?!? I believe that's what's known as a "Hail Mary" pass! LOL)
*Decision Virginia: Dave Brat / Jack Trammell debate preview
*Lobby firm snaps up Cantor aide with Wall Street ties (Lovely, eh?)
*Legislators gave localities an out on proposed constitutional amendment
*McAuliffe's new Va. ethics panel meets for the first time
*Governor's panel endorses tougher Virginia ethics laws ("In addition to tighter policing of public officials' behavior, the panel also agreed today that the state's congressional and state legislative districts should be drawn without regard to political party.")
*Virginia prepared to invoke involuntary quarantine power for Ebola (Monitoring is a good idea, although I'm not sure why we're singling out Ebola per se and not other dangerous, infectious diseases.)
*Of groundhogs and pull-string dolls: Rep. Rigell talks Hampton Roads energy
*Morgan Griffith, independent candidate face off in 9th District
*Sportsplex audit: wins and losses
*Quality warm sunshine today before Wednesday rain and weekend chill

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Oct 27, 2014 at 06:29:24 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, October 27. Also, check out the photo of Sen. Mark Warner and Fairfax County Dems Chair Sue Langley, from a "meet-and-greet" yesterday.

*ACA OK ("The verdict: It's going well. A big expansion in coverage, which is affordable for a large majority; the main exceptions seem to be people who went for the minimum coverage allowed, keeping premiums down but leaving large co-payments. None of the predictions of disaster has come even slightly true.")
*Is the Affordable Care Act Working? ("The Number of Americans Without Health Insurance Is Down by About 25 Percent...Wall Street Analysts See Financial Boon Across the Health Care Spectrum")
*Under Pressure, Cuomo Says Ebola Quarantines Can Be Spent at Home
*The Bushes, Led by W., Rally to Make Jeb '45' (Just what we need, huh?)
*The secrets behind the midterms ("Republicans could have been running away with this thing. They're not, because they look more extreme and out of touch than they did four years ago.")
*Obama's Hug With An Ebola Victim Puts Reagan's AIDS Response to Shame ("In embracing an Ebola victim, Barack Obama succeeded where Ronald Reagan failed.")
*Tens Of Thousands Of Voter Registrations Have Mysteriously Vanished In Georgia
*How To Enjoy Halloween Candy Without Worrying About Ruining The Planet ("The sure-fire winners either skip palm oil altogether or deliberately source it from sustainable producers.")
*Virginia Holds Back on Quarantine of Ebola-Exposed Travelers
*Gerrymandering deters competition in House races
*After Foust goes on offense, final debate in N. Va. race turns raucous ("Foust's closing statement was interrupted by shouts so many times that he was offered an opportunity to start over." Charming.)
*Warner: Making college better ("Upcoming, bipartisan legislative reforms will improve students' prospects after college")
*Ethics panel to consider redistricting ("Gov. Terry McAuliffe's new ethics advisory panel holds its first meeting today, with that topic given fresh urgency by a recent court decision.")
*Va. abortion laws still too strict
*Future of Bob McDonnell's gifts still cloudy
*Our view: How purple is Virginia?
*Choices for rail expansion in Norfolk
*Virginia State Crime Commission reconsiders penalties for sexting
*Gorgeous day streak isn't over yet, but much cooler air is on the way

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Oct 23, 2014 at 06:33:51 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, October 23. Also check out the NewsHour story, which explains that it's by far and away non-Ebola diseases (e.g., the flu, measles, whooping cough, antibiotic-resistant bacteria) which pose the real health threat to the American public when it comes to infectious diseases.

*Economists See Limited Gains in Republican Proposals (Ya think?)
*EJ Dionne: The politics of Ebola ("...it's something else again to stoke alarm and to set up an unrealistic policy demand as a test of 'toughness.'")
*Alison Lundergan Grimes finally goes off-script (Maybe Chuck Todd will say she's "qualified" now? LOL)
*Attack on Ottawa: PM Harper cites terrorist motive
*Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame
*Piketty's prophecy comes true: The planet's middle class is rapidly going extinct ("New research reveals the superrich have grabbed half the world's resources -- and their wealth is only growing")
*Exclusive: DSCC going back up with ads for Alison Lundergan Grimes in Ky.
*Comstock, Foust in Close Race for 10th Congressional District Seat
*Brat's Strange Immigrant-Bashing (Brat, as always, is an extremist.)

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 189 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Oct 22, 2014 at 06:37:18 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, October 22. Also see the video of Sen. Tim Kaine at the Richmond Times-Dispatch's "Public Square" on war powers.

*Mark Levin Urges Viewers To Vote Republican Because Obama Will Go "Full Mussolini" After Midterm Elections (Jut remember, this maniac endorsed Barbara Comstock.)
*BREAKING: Federal Judge Rules Against Marriage Equality, Mocks Other Judges In Angry Diatribe ("Given the makeup of the First Circuit, the overwhelming consensus among federal judges in favor of marriage equality, and the belligerent tone of Pérez-Giménez's opinion, it is unlikely that his decision will be upheld on appeal.")
*Ben Bradlee, legendary Washington Post editor, dies at 93
*The GOP's Attack on Mark Warner Is One of the Most Hypocritical of This Election Season ("So, in short, Virginia's top Democrats, panicking about the potential loss of Senate control and the fate of the governor's legislative priority-not to mention the fate of 400,000 poor Virginians' health and financial well-being-tried to fight fire with fire, and favor with favor, and lost...even if the overtures crossed some line, there is no disputing which overture came first, what the original sin of this saga was.")
*Mark Warner attacks Ed Gillespie in new ad tying his former firm to 'dictator'
*Today's Top Opinion: Sen. Kaine calls for war-powers clarity
*Virginia jobless rate unchanged at 5.5 percent for Sept.
*Schapiro: A governor's chief of staff is his chief operative ("Reagan's error was not that he did his job. It was that he left fingerprints - lots of them. Did he do something illegal? Probably not, according to lawyers in both parties. Did he do something stupid? You don't have to consult a lawyer to answer that question.")
*Kaine says midterm election keeps Congress from debating war (Actually, it's the fact that Congress has for decades been close to impotent when it comes to debating war.)

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 238 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 06:50:36 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, October 20.

*Twitter Mocks Media Bias, White-on-White Violence after Pumpkin Riot ("Don't these people have jobs? Where are the white fathers? What will end this corrosive culture of violence?!" Spot on critique of the media's double standard.)
*George Will Spreads Misinformation About Ebola on Fox News (That's about all George Will's been doing for years now -- spreading misinformation. Why is he allowed in newspapers and on TV shows?!?)
*Rand Paul: The Most Interesting Conspiracy Theorist in Washington (It's really fascinating how similar this guy is to his conspiracy-theory nutball father. The main difference is Rand hides it better than Ron.)
*Pentagon makes plans for U.S. Ebola response
*Both parties face a blue-collar imperative ("Over the weekend, Bill Clinton was in Arkansas, and he will campaign Monday in Louisiana. He's trying to bring home voters who once saw his party as the working man's best friend.")
*POLITICO poll: Alarm, anxiety as election looms (The alarm and anxiety are wildly overblown. Thanks a LOT corporate media and Republicans for stoking it!)
*American meat's disgusting secret: Why factory farms are even worse than you thought (There's really no excuse for anyone to eat factory-farmed meat. Ever. It's horrific.)
*Foust, Comstock locked in contentious and expensive House race in Virginia
*In N. Va. House race, seasoned politico Comstock blazes a new path ("'She will stop at nothing to tear apart her opponent,' Murphy says now. 'She will stop at nothing, because she is an expert in the politics of personal destruction.'")
*Rasoul: No Medicaid? Blame gerrymandering (Agreed, that's a big part of the problem.)
*Talk of pipeline surveyance creeps into Franklin County
*Clear choices in Portsmouth
*HRT reduces Naval Station light rail route possibilities to six
*A dose of sunshine today before clouds and possible showers move in

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Oct 19, 2014 at 07:03:04 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, October 19. By the way, just click on that image if you want to tell the fossil fuel industry and corporate shills at the Virginia State Corporation Commission what you think about their wildly false, dishonest, disgraceful "report" on the impacts of EPA's Clean Power Plan on Virginia.

*The Dangerous Legal Rule Behind The Supreme Court's Latest Voter Suppression Decision
*Vatican meeting walks back language on gays, divorce (As usual, right wingers and bigots stand in the way of human progress. What else is new?)
*D.C. mayoral choice: Muriel Bowser's caution or David Catania's combativeness?
*Scott Brown: If Romney Was Prez 'We Would Not Be Worrying About Ebola' (Scott Brown, disgusting as always.)
*Schapiro: Va.'s 'Kafka-esque' obstacles to a second chance ("The auditor suggested creating a central debt collection agency, rather than relying on an array of entities and officials. Couple with it, Kalantari says, an easy, one-stop payment system for debtors. The backing of the legislature - political and financial - might make such a move easier. Perhaps the idea should be run by another guest at the Drive-to-Work luncheon: Bill Howell, the speaker of the House.")
*Kaine has found his niche in the Senate, will talk war powers at Public Square
*Rigell fends off attacks in 2nd District congressional debate ("Democratic challenger Suzanne Patrick accused U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell of failing to adequately support the region's military economy, veterans and issues important to women.")
*Editorial: Will Virginia meet the challenge ("One redistricting predicament is that Democrats in Virginia tend to be concentrated in urban areas while Republicans are spread among exurbs and rural regions. The W&M students managed to surmount the challenge. If 'amateurs' can come up with a fair design, then surely the state's professionals can, too.")
*Still distracted while driving? Hands off, legislator says
*Remains found in search for U-Va. student
*The choices in Virginia Beach
*McAuliffe to take Virginia sales pitch to Asia during trade mission
*Virginia budget cuts won't hamper Arlington streetcar funding, state says (Good news!)
*A sunny but brisk day with possible frost tonight to north and west

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Oct 18, 2014 at 07:41:56 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, October 18.

*President Obama: Americans cant give in to fear on Ebola (As Republicans and the wildly irresponsible corporate media stoke it...ugh.)
*The nasty politicization of Ebola ("Conservatives pillory NIH director for stating the truth about budget cuts.")
*Assuring Public on Ebola, but Obama Is Said to Be Seething ("President Obama has projected calm but privately has a different assessment of his administration's handling of cases in the United States.")
*Why An Ebola Flight Ban Wouldn't Work (For starters: "There are no regularly scheduled direct flights to the U.S. from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone - and very few from other countries in West Africa.")
*Conservatives fear Roberts going soft (Translation: they fear Roberts might actually follow precedent, fact, the Constitution, etc.)
*Supreme Court Upholds Texas Voter ID Law (So much for the previous item?)
*Russell Brand slams Fox News outside of Fox News headquarters, is threatened with arrest
*Gillespie reissues ad on Puckett scandal ("The original ad had featured an erroneous news report about Sen. Mark Warner that had been pulled." It also doesn't mention the fact that it was REPUBLICANS who bribed Puckett - successfully, I might add - to resign, throwing the State Senate to Republican control.)
*Warner and Gillespie spell out major differences ("The candidates made separate appearances onstage at Christopher Newport University to answer questions on topics including immigration, health care and fixing Washington's dysfunction")
*Woman who fell ill on bus at Pentagon doesn't have Ebola (Another example of hysteria.)
*The wrong ACA prescription ("By repealing ACA revenue-raising measures, Mr. Gillespie's alternative would leave nearly $300 billion less in the treasury over 10 years, even after all its spending cuts.")
*More Coal Industry Propaganda (There's so much of it out there, even including denial of climate science. Appalling.)
*Sentencing delayed for Maureen McDonnell in Virginia
*McAuliffe mobilizes command group to prepare for Ebola
*Retirement funding improves for first time since 2008 ("The funding of Virginia's pension plans for state employees and teachers improved in the last fiscal year for the first time since 2008, before the recession cut deeply into the retirement system's investments.")
*Sentencing delayed for Maureen McDonnell in Virginia ("One of her attorneys had requested the change because of a scheduling conflict.")
*Virginia Tech celebrates installation of new president Timothy Sands
*A blustery, cool autumn day that
turns much colder overnight

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Oct 17, 2014 at 06:06:50 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, October 17. The photo is from last night's 8th CD Democratic Kennedy-King Dinner, saluting Rep. Jim Moran for his many years of service.

*Nothing to fear but panic itself ("Ebola panic carries serious risks." Agreed, and guess who's spreading it? Yep, the media and the Republicans - shocker, eh?)
*Why a travel ban wouldn't work ("The political momentum for a travel ban on West African nations continued to swell Thursday, but health and transportation experts were uniform in saying it wouldn't stem the spread of Ebola - and could do more harm than good.")
*Don't Look Now, a Democrat Is Leading in Georgia ("Even if she doesn't win, it might spell disaster for the GOP")
*Democrat Foust seeks to regain ground on women's issues (It's absolutely crazy that there should even be a question here of who's the better candidate for women. And no, it's NOT Barbara "Mandatory Transvaginal Ultrasounds" Comstock.)
*Ed Gillespie Will Run Plenty of Ads in the Next Two and a Half Weeks
*Gov. Terry McAuliffe Urges Energy Savings by State Government
*Gillespie reports raising $1.8 million, temporarily ditches ads
*Leonsis, Minor among donors to pro-Warner Super PAC ("Investors and technology moguls are fueling a pro-Sen. Mark R. Warner super PAC that has put up $1.8 m...")
*McDonnell's legal defense fund donations dwindle
*Md., Va. officials hoping to avoid repeat of 2012 election lines
*Booze price hike upsets Va. consumers, restaurants
*4th District needs better choices ("Randy Forbes has not been a consequential member of Congress. By almost every measure of effectiveness, he trails his peers in the House of Representatives, not just among the 435 members of Congress, but among the 11-member Virginia delegation." Ouch, the truth hurts.)
*GOP lawmakers seek curbs on travel due to Ebola threat ("Three Virginia legislators say Gov. McAuliffe should consider suing Dulles airport." Uh....no.)
*Students at Virginia Wesleyan protest over sexual assault case
*Virginia Marine Police crack down on oyster violations, poaching
*Stricter Ebola screening begins at Dulles Airport
*Our view: Get on with real business in Roanoke County
*Vihstadt outraises Howze in Arlington County board race
*Gorgeous Friday to kick off a cooler and breezier weekend

Discuss :: (9 Comments)

Climate Change Activists to Greet McAuliffe

by: Dan Sullivan

Mon Oct 13, 2014 at 20:50:54 PM EDT

Safe natural gas photo 141013RichmondResistance_R_zpscf1911be.jpg Like his discredited predecessor and kowtowing to the fossil fuel sector, Governor McAuliffe has embraced an "all of the above" energy plan that begrudgingly mentions renewable energy. Tomorrow he'll foist it at the Science Museum of Virginia. Some of the people he avoided in Charlottesville will be inside to greet him.

Climate change activists, including Richmond Resistance have organized an assembly that is drawing participants from across Virginia. While access to the event inside the museum is at capacity, some activists who oppose the Dominion natural gas pipeline did obtain entry and will be there. They do not intend to disrupt the event, but will wear shirts that show solidarity with those picketing outside.  

The Sierra Club commended the McAuliffe plan for promoting renewables "to jump start our lagging clean energy business sector."

On the other hand, the club's Virginia director, Glen Besa, said in a statement that McAuliffe's support "for offshore drilling, and expanding gas pipelines and coal technology exports seriously undercuts his intentions to address climate change."  --Associated Press via Seattlepi.com

Talk about faint praise.

And the Sierra Club understates the main objection. This plan egregiously ignores the impact of the "strategy" on climate change. Between the lines is a pragmatic acceptance of fracking and the resulting threat to aquifers and the atmosphere; just to mention a couple of things vital to the environment.

There appears no serious investment in wind and solar energy contained in the 461 page plan. The Governor's continued pragmatism on climate change and other issues may do more to suppress Virginia's Democratic vote in 2016 than any Republican scheme, much to the chagrin of a close and personal friend.

Discuss :: (12 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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