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National and Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Jun 27, 2015 at 06:26:38 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, June 27.

*The Grand Old Party's future shock ("Friday's Supreme Court ruling shows Republicans fumbling for answers in an America changing faster than they are.")
*One Thing the Conservative Dissents Have in Common: Self-Loathing ("Where was all this "five unelected judges" chatter when they handed down Citizens United?")
*Justices affirm gays' right to marry ("The court's 5-to-4 decision marks the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation's jurisprudence.")
*Obama's extraordinary day covers triumph, grief, grace ("He celebrated the morning's court decision on gay marriage. Hours later, he mourned Charleston's shooting victims.")
*The Supreme Court officially catches up with America on gay marriage
*Islamic State says it killed dozens in Kuwait, Tunisia ("The militant group claimed responsibility for attacks that killed more than 60 people, raising fears that a global surge of terror strikes could be imminent.")
*Look away from the Confederate flag to what Mr. Roof held in his other hand
*Andrew Sullivan: It Is Accomplished
*Hillary Clinton attacks Republicans as 'party of the past' ("In a sharp speech to a Virginia crowd, the Democrat jabbed at her rivals repeatedly.")
*Clinton brings her 2016 presidential campaign to Northern Virginia
*In Virginia, Clinton tells GOP to "move on"
*Virginia advocates for gay marriage hail Supreme Court ruling
*Va. GOP to decide: Convention or primary to choose a 2016 candidate? (Go convention! Also poll tax! LOL)
*Va. GOP makes key 2016 decision Saturday - convention or primary? ("Former Rep. Tom Davis, a Republican who represented Fairfax and Prince William counties in Congress from 1995 to 2008, said that choosing to pick a presidential candidate in a convention 'would be stupid in several ways.'")
*Scalia tried to make the court a conservative stronghold. He failed. ("With Obamacare, the Justice's legislative vision has been dealt a death blow." I'd argue he's done a huge amount of damage nonetheless, with cases like Citizens United and Bush v. Gore...)
*Antonin Scalia Dissent In Marriage Equality Case Is Even More Unhinged Than You'd Think ("Unhinged" is definitely the right word for this guy.)
*Barack Obama is officially one of the most consequential presidents in American history (Especially given the vitriol and "massive resistance" aimed his way by the right wing in this country!)
*President Obama preaches - and sings - in protest of racism
*Virginia Attorney General Herring Hails SCOTUS Marriage Ruling
*Ken Cuccinelli: Same-Sex Marriage Decision 'Ripped From The States' (I'm still amazed and horrified that this guy was ever elected to higher office in Virginia.)
*George Allen evolves - in a big way - on gay marriage ("To say former Virginia governor and U.S. senator George Allen has evolved on gay rights is an understatement. His shift is more revolution than evolution.")
*Gay marriage ruling draws mixed responses in Hampton Roads, Virginia
*Fairfax School Board approves adding transgender topic to teens' class
*Scherzer flirts with perfection again as Nationals win seventh straight (This guy is amazing.)
*Periods of heavy rain and storms Saturday, pretty pleasant Sunday

Discuss :: (11 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Jun 16, 2015 at 06:06:02 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, June 16.

*Pope Francis blasts global warming deniers in leaked draft of encyclical ("He backed the science behind climate change, citing 'a very considerable consensus.'")
*Want to fix the world? Start by making clean energy a default setting (Also make energy efficiency, such as LEED Platinum buildings, net-zero-energy homes and smart growth default settings.)
*Pope Francis' Climate Change Encyclical Just Leaked. Here's What It Says. ("Humans are causing climate change, and there will be 'grave consequences' if we don't act fast, warns the pope." Bingo.)
*Al-Qaeda says No. 2 leader died in U.S. strike (Good riddance.)
*Islamic State routed from stronghold ("A Kurdish-Syrian rebel force backed by U.S. airstrikes took the town of Tal Abyad with little resistance, raising new questions about the extremist group's vaunted military capabilities." Nice!)
*Jeb Bush runs away from his family name (Pathetic.)
*Jeb inspires the nation: In America, any son and brother of presidents can grow up to be president! ("Jeb Bush announced his 2016 candidacy with the improbable story of how he's been privileged since birth")
*Jeb's logo can't hide the troublesome family name
*Rachel Dolezal Leaves N.A.A.C.P. Post as Past Discrimination Suit Is Revealed (Bizarre.)
*Republicans in House Seek Way to Revive Trade Bill
*Democrats face gut-check moment on spending ("They aim to force Republicans to increase domestic spending by killing GOP funding bills.")
*Editorial: Transgender issue demands attention
*Webb says he'll decide on 2016 race by end of June ("Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., said in a radio interview in Iowa Monday that he is nearing a decision on a presidential run.")
*Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine omits disclosure of Spain stay
*Va. GOP reflects on Bush announcement ("Some wary of family 'dynasty' but others say he could win")
*Democrats name Bagby as candidate in July 21 special election to fill Morrissey's seat
*Our view: Herring should back fiduciary for Sweet Briar
*Casey: The Roanoke Tea Party's losing streak grows longer
*Opinion/Editorial: Clarity on executions is essential ("Among those wondering whether Virginia was at risk of repeating Oklahoma's debacle was Del. Scott A. Surovell, D-Fairfax.")
*Montgomery County supervisors opt for unity in regional fight against Mountain Valley Pipeline
*Rays hammer Gonzalez, Nats, 6-1 (Well, at least they have one consistently great starting pitcher...Max Scherzer.)
*D.C. area forecast: Heat, humidity and storms repeat today; Nicer Wednesday

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Jun 10, 2015 at 06:31:33 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, June 10. Also check out the photo of my favorite Revenue Commissioner, Ingrid Morroy, with Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey, both of whom are on their way to the Arlington County Board after victories yesterday.

*BREAKING: Court Throws Out Challenge To Obama's Climate Change Rule
*How the next few weeks could determine the fate of Obama's legacy
*The Fifth Circuit Just Stuck A Knife In Roe v. Wade
*A resilient democracy ("The global importance of Turkey's election")
*Dems set budget trap for GOP
*Watch Jeb Bush Defend a Campaign Ad That Exploited the Murder of a 10-Year-Old Girl
*Obama hits Republicans with a healthcare truth bomb: Obamacare is the new normal ("President Obama lays out the reality the GOP refuses to recognize: The ACA has changed our healthcare expectations")
*Behind the Jeb Bush campaign shake-up
*Former GOP Senator Trashes Party's Presidential Field: 'Scares Me To Death,' 'Not Ready For Primetime' (LOL)
*GOP aiming for Friday trade vote, but snag remains
*Our view: A supreme victory for Sweet Briar supporters
*Virginia Supreme Court opens door to stopping Sweet Briar College closure
*Siobhan Dunnavant wins GOP primary, could become 4th Stolle elected ("With 95 percent of the vote counted, Dunnavant had 38 percent. She defeated former Del. Bill Janis, the closest competitor with 30 percent, and Vincent Haley and Edward Whitlock.")
*Don Caldwell enters race against John Edwards, Nancy Dye for Senate (Democrats' chances of taking back the Virginia State Senate took a major hit with this announcement, as incumbent Sen. John Edwards is now officially in SERIOUS jeopardy of being unseated this November.)
*VAGA primary wrap: Howell wins, Martin loses (I'll miss making fun of bigoted nutjob Steve Martin, but still...good riddance!)
*Heretick upsets incumbent Joannou in 79th House District (I can't tell you how happy I am over this one!)
*Virginia's top Republican holds off tea-party challenger in primary ("House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell said the win signals a new era of unity for a fractured state GOP.")
*Longtime Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille ousted in primary race ("In a strong rebuke, Euille lost to Vice Mayor Silberberg, one of several contests in Northern Virginia.")
*Cristol and Dorsey win Democratic primary for 2 seats on Arlington Board
*Fairfax County Supervisor Gross fights off challenger in Democratic primary
*DeSteph wins GOP nomination in 8th District Senate race (This guy's a raging anti-Muslim bigot, among other problems. Blech.)
*Independent candidate files to run in Senate race to replace Raph Smith (Probably won't make a difference in this race.)
*Mark Levine Wins 45th District House of Delegates Democratic Primary (Impressive, mazel tov to Mark!)
*Hanger fends off 2 in 24th (Apparently, supporting Medicaid expansion wasn't the kiss of death after all.)
*Gecker wins Democratic primary (Terry McAuliffe gets his man; now we'll see if he can help push Gecker to victory this November.)
*Incumbent Del. Chris Head defeats Harry Griego in Republican primary
*Dan Storck Wins Mount Vernon District Supervisor Democratic Primary ("Storck will face Republican Jane Gandee in fall election.")
*Roanoke County supervisors hear about potential threats of Mountain Valley Pipeline from advisory committee
*Nationals lose to Yankees after Desmond's key error in seventh
*D.C. area forecast: Warm today before mini heat wave

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Winners and Losers: Virginia Primaries 2015 Edition

by: lowkell

Wed Jun 10, 2015 at 06:11:55 AM EDT

Here are a few winners and losers from the primaries held in Virgina last night that I believe are worth highlighting. As always, this list isn't meant to be comprehensive, just some stuff that jumped out at me, so please add winners and losers of your own in the comments section. Thanks.

Winners
1. "Working Families" Coalition; Charlie Jackson: These guys -  - Mid-Atlantic Laborers Union/LIUNA, CASA in Action, NAKASEC Action Fund, SEIU Virginia 512, SEIU 32BJ, UFCW Local 400 - waded into four contested Democratic primary contests, endorsing Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey for Arlington County Board; Penelope Gross for Fairfax County Board; Rosalyn "Roz" Dance for State Senate from the 16th district; and Steve Heretick for House of Delegates from the 79th district. They won them all, with a combination of money, door knocking, phone banking, etc. Hopefully, the Virginia Democratic leadership will take notice! Also, Charlie Jackson, the Democratic political strategist and 10th CD Democratic chair who helped mastermind all this, must have a big smile on his face this morning. :)
2. Del. Scott Surovell: Can we say "kingmaker?" He rolled the dice, endorsed Dan Storck over Tim Sargeant for Mt. Vernon District Supervisor, and came out on top last night. Surovell also saw his friend and political ally Paul Krizek sweep to victory. Not too shabby for one evening. Throw in Ben Tribbett as a "winner" here, since he played a role in all this behind the scenes.
3. Team Katie Cristol: Wow, just wow. Cristol came out of nowhere and performed impressively at debates, but she also won the Democratic nomination for Arlington County Board last night because of the strong campaign team behind her (and she also ran a heckuva campaign, let's face it!). That includes the "Working Families" coalition, of course, but also everyone involved (e.g., her husband, Steve; political strategist Ian Redman, volunteers like Brian Devine) in that effort. Nice job!
4. Team Christian Dorsey: He went into this as a strong favorite to pick up one of the two Arlington County Board Democratic nomination slots, and he did. Mission accomplished by Lauren Hall, Virginia Robinson, Stephanie Clifford, Ingrid Morroy, and the many others involved in this effort. I didn't endorse Christian, but he's a really good, sharp guy who should make a fine addition to the Board. Mazel tov!
5. The Stolle Family: The Virginian Pilot headline ("Siobhan Dunnavant wins GOP primary, could become 4th Stolle elected") says it all on this one.
6. Arlington County Board Member Libby Garvey: I hate putting her on this list, as i view her as a negative, damaging, corrosive force in Arlington politics. Still, she's got to be happy that the folks most hostile to her lost last night, while someone widely viewed as an ally, Christian Dorsey (for his part, he insists he will be fiercely independent of anyone/everyone, and I hope that's the case!), won. Not a bad night, all in all.
7. Mike Signer: He was determined to get elected to something (e.g., Lt. Governor in 2009), and he finally did...to the Charlottesville City Council. Signer also recently came out with a book, Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father, and became a father (if not a Founding Father - lol) for the first time. Mazel tov to Mike, who's definitely in the "winners" category right now.
8. Bill Howell: He could have been the next Eric Cantor, but instead he won resoundingly by working hard, raising tons of money, not taking anything for granted, and did I mention working hard? :)
9. Hal Parrish: The Republican nominee in the 29th State Senate District probably has a big smile on his face this morning, after watching the anemic turnout in the Democratic primary yesterday (and also the results).
10. Team Steve Heretick: A superb victory over the seemingly invincible Del. Johnny Joannou (calls himself a "D," but more of a Republican or even Tea Partier). Nice job!
11. Team Mark Levine: Very impressive, not sure how they did it exactly, but the multi-page mailer they sent out, telling the story of Mark's heroic efforts to find justice for his murdered sister (and for all women who are victims of domestic violence), has gotten rave reviews. Anyway, great job by Levine's entire team (particularly campaign manager Jacob Weinberg) in putting together a winning campaign here, despite basically zero establishment support, endorsements, etc.! Also, I've got to say, I'm very much looking forward to watching Mark go after far-right-wing lunacy, idiocy, etc. in Richmond. Something tells me I'll be posting a LOT of Mark Levine video in the coming years. :)

There's More... :: (35 Comments, 1434 words in story)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Primary Day 2015

by: lowkell

Tue Jun 09, 2015 at 06:25:08 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, Primary Day 2015.

*G7: End of fossil fuel era? (Let's hope!)
*Obama: Supreme Court shouldn't have heard Obamacare challenge (Absolutely right, this is ridiculous!)
*Scott Walker's Revolt Back Home ("The governor's presidential maneuvering is wearing thin in Wisconsin.")
*"The Girl Was No Saint Either": Fox Jumps To Defend McKinney Police Officer's Brutal Manhandling Of Teen Girl At Pool Party (Breaking: Fox continues to be despicable. OK, not "breaking" after all; they've always been like this.)
*Republicans might as well pound sand ("The GOP can't stop Clinton's momentum.")
*Republican pledges $175 million to push party on climate ("A North Carolina executive is pouring his own money into trying to sway people in the GOP to take global warming seriously.")
*Jeb Bush shakes up team ahead of campaign launch ("While Bush has raised more than $100 million since December, the staff moves are an acknowledgment that his "exploratory phase" has not gone well.")
*The romance with Rand Paul is gone ("Rand Paul's rhetorical recklessness." Not just rhetorical, also substantive.)
*Why the fate of Virginia's congressional map matters
*Goodlatte expects appeal of congressional redistricting lawsuit
*Opinion: We encourage Virginians to get involved in this year's election
*Gov. Terry McAuliffe heading to Europe
*What's at stake in Tuesday's Virginia primary ("GOP House Speaker William J. Howell is in perhaps the most closely watched primary of the season." This one's on my list, but far from the "most closely watched.")
*Atif Qarni is the Leader the 29th Deserves (Bingo!)
*Eight percent turnout expected for today's primary in Prince William (The 92% who don't vote should be ashamed of themselves.)
*State faces urgent decisions on managing information technology
*When is packing packing
*Editorial: Republican primary day is here ("Today's Republican primaries primaries in Stafford County and Fredericksburg are expected to bring out tens of thousands of voters.")
*Editorial: Virginia, localities look to get a handle on fracking
*Large turnout anticipated for Charlottesville primary
*Central VA Primary Elections See Record Funds Raised and More Competition
*United, District reach final terms on stadium deal ("'We go after every deal. Some work out, some don't,' said McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy.")
*Victim in Jesse Matthew case describes brutal attack
*Arlington/Alexandria are 2nd best places to retire
*D.C. area forecast: Morning showers then afternoon clearing; Hot late week

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Jun 08, 2015 at 06:21:10 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, June 8. Remember, you can vote tomorrow in your regular polling place from 6 am to 7 pm; make a plan now to exercise this fundamental right! Also see President Obama delivering remarks in Kr√ľn, Germany.

*Over Beer, Obama and Merkel Mend Ties and Double Down on Russia
*Turkish ruling party loses hold on majority (Excellent news!)
*Krugman: Fighting the Derp ("It's an article of faith on the right that any attempt by the government to fight unemployment must lead to disaster, so the faithful must keep predicting disaster no matter how often it fails to materialize.")
*Texas Cop Suspended After He's Caught On Video Grabbing Black Girl By Her Hair And Sitting On Her (This is outrageous on so many levels, starting with the blatant racism.)
*Fast-track vote still up in the air ("Pro-trade lawmakers say they have the votes to pass the bill, but the final outcome is going to be tight.")
*Barack Obama poised to hike wages for millions ("The Labor Department could propose a rule that would raise the current overtime threshold.")
*G.O.P. Assault on Environmental Laws ("...how far these Republicans have strayed from what was once a bipartsian commitment to environmental stewardship")
*Scandals Only Make the Clintons Stronger ("The Republican plan to defeat Hillary Clinton is doomed. It's time to go easy on her.")
*Editorial: Major work remains on state ethics laws
*Taxpayers could be on hook for Va. house speaker's legal bill
*Elections: Virginia's incumbency racket
*Climate change is latest threat for struggling bird species
*Virginia Tech, UVa presidents earn more than national median
*Solarize Roanoke illuminates desire for renewable energy
*Nationals must ride out latest rough patch in up-and-down season
*D.C. area forecast: Storms late today kickoff week of steamy weather

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Jun 07, 2015 at 06:42:03 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, June 7. Also, check out the hilarious "No Soliciting" sign Scott Surovell ran into while canvassing yesterday. As Scott wrote on Facebook, "I figure I oughta skip this one." LOL

*Turkey's voters head to polls in hotly contested election (An extremely important election the U.S. media is barely covering for whatever stupid reason.)
*Obama: 'Beau Biden was an original' ("The president delivers eulogy as friends, family gather to honor the vice president's son")
*Jeb Bush struggling to make 2016 about Jeb, not Bush (The problem is, if people look at "Jeb"'s record and ideas, they won't vote for those either.)
*Hastert Rushed to Make Money in 2010 as Payouts Grew
*They really are the party of stupid: The real story behind Scott Walker's war on higher education ("The new GOP war on universities is just the next step in an anti-intellectual struggle against critical thinking")
*Anti-war activist confronts Sen. Tom Cotton
*'The World Noticed': Beau Biden's Death Unites a Nation in Mourning
*Establishment Republicans feel momentum on their side
*Our view: Soviet-style elections ("Virginia, the cradle of democracy, is not always the most avid practitioner of the same...In 66 of the 100 districts in the House of Delegates, candidates will run unopposed. In the Senate, 23 of 40 districts will have just a single candidate.")
*Schapiro: Howell-Stimpson primary pits ins against outs ("Though he lords over the House GOP Caucus, mandating four- and five-figure contributions from delegates to his political action committee, Howell is a rarity among Republican legislators because he is largely estranged from his local party apparatus. It has been overrun by tea partyers and libertarians, such as Stimpson.")
*Supreme Court about to rule on Obamacare subsidies -- is Virginia ready? (Nope, thanks to Republicans we are NOT ready.)
*The evidence on Va.'s abortion clinics ("50,000 abortions in two years and not one instance of physical harm befalling a patient." Shocking, huh? That's right, Ken Kookinelli et al are totally wrong yet again.)
*Gun rights group targets Virginia's House speaker with graphic mailer ("The National Association for Gun Rights has been targeting Republicans endorsed by the NRA." The NRA isn't extremist enough for this other gun group? Ee gads.)
*McAuliffe heads overseas for whirlwind European trade mission
*Local volunteers join statewide Clean the Bay Day
*Casey: A boondoggle of epic proportions ("The highway project, pushed recklessly by the administration of former Gov. Bob Mcdonnell, inked a contract with some builders even though the route had been not approved and their was ample reason to believe it would not be. Not a square foot of pavement or a shovelful of dirt was turned.")
*Our rural hospitals aren't healthy (Excellent op-ed by Del. Patrick Hope)
*Portsmouth Tea Party organizing for Democrat Johnny Joannou (That says it all about the despicable Joannou. On Tuesday, vote Steve Heretick!)
*Chris Head to face challenger Harry Griego in 17th District primary
*Primary race in Preston's House district is area's most crowded ("The real race here is in the Democratic primary and, with five candidates, it really will come down to a contest over turnout.")
*Editorial: Key choices ahead in Tuesday's GOP primary
*Three are seeking Democratic nomination for Morrissey's former seat
*D.C. area forecast: A superb Sunday, then a muggy Monday with storm risk late

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Jun 06, 2015 at 06:43:49 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, June 6. Regarding that image -- hey Terry McAuliffe, how about pushing to divest Virginia from Dominion and other fossil fuels as well?!?

*Jobs boom triggers rebound in housing (Thank you Democrats; no thank you Republicans!)
*Fox News' freak show heroes: The Duggars, Cliven Bundy & a crackpot network that doesn't recognize America (Or maybe a horror show?)
*Bill McKibben: How mankind blew the fight against climate change ("If historians someday need to explain how mankind managed to blow the fight against climate change, they need only point to last month's shareholder meeting at Exxon Mobil headquarters in Dallas.")
*Sister of alleged Hastert victim suggests wider abuse
*Republican Governor Has Super Lame Response To Hillary Clinton's Call For Expanded Voting ("In an interview on Fox News, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) slammed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's proposal to expand early voting to 20 days in every state as 'demagoguery.'" Wow, that really is super lame.)
*China's goal said to be database on Americans
*Hillary Clinton's Grand Strategy to Beat the GOP: Take Bold Positions Early and Often
*McAuliffe embarking on trade mission to Europe
*Dunnavant yanks ad hitting Janis on immigration (This woman seems incapable of telling the truth. Perfect for the Republican Party, eh?)
*The 179,000 Virginians without insurance ("The lost opportunity in Virginia Republicans' opposition to expanding Medicaid eligibility grows every day. Those losses, sadly, are staggering. Especially when compared with the benefits accrued by the 30 states that chose to recoup their residents' federal tax dollars to improve health care, create jobs and redirect existing state taxes to shore up critical departments and programs.")
*Hospital executives to General Assembly: 'Stop demonizing Medicaid'
*3rd Congressional District again deemed unconstitutional
*Federal judges rule Virginia must redraw its election map by Sept. 1 ("Judges found African Americans were illegally concentrated into one district, but Republicans may appeal.")
*Control of Va. Senate could be decided by seat in Prince William (Obviously.)
*Alexandria's pace of growth fuels mayoral race, donations ("Euille, who has worked most of his life in construction and contracting, said he's not bothered by taking money from developers who may do business with the city." Uhhhh...)
*Tide biggest money loser per passenger in U.S., Brookings says
*Counties battle to host new FBI headquarters ("A new traffic study released by Fairfax County suggests that a Springfield location being considered for the new FBI headquarters will be the most convenient location for commuters if selected.")
*Loudoun Republicans Gather For Unity Event (Freak show, Eugene Delgaudio included!)
*Danny Espinosa hits three- run homer to lift Nats over Cubs
*D.C. area forecast: Warmer weekend with increasing sun

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Jun 04, 2015 at 06:10:30 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, June 4. Also see Virginia Sierra Club head Glen Besa talking about climate change and clean energy.

*Climate Change Could Cause Changes In The Ocean That Haven't Been Seen In 3 Million Years
*A case study in Republicans' rapid radicalization ("All this was true, as well, in 2012, when a large bipartisan majority blessed the Ex-Im Bank. The only thing that has changed is the ideological center of gravity within the GOP.")
*Broadcast Evening News Fail To Cover Jeb Bush's Super PAC Problem ("NBC, ABC, And CBS Evening News Ignore Bush's PAC Dealings Amid Increasing Scrutiny Of Their Questionable Legality")
*The media's most destructive meme: Why we need to admit that the GOP's extremism is virtually unprecedented ("For years, the political press has covered for Republicans, insisting (without evidence) that Dems were just as bad")
*Rand Paul's dark vision ("Is Paul actually listening to his own words, as he regularly implies that the U.S. government is a greater threat to its people than al-Qaeda and the Islamic State combined?" The guy's completely bonkers, just like his father.)
*Launching 2016 bid, Chafee refuses to rule out talks with ISIS
*Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb to Give Foreign Policy Speech at GMU
*Lincoln Chafee Talks Peace with ISIS, Forgiveness for Edward Snowden, and the Metric System for All (No. No. Sure.)
*Ted Cruz Mocks Joe Biden The Day Before He's Burying His Son (Ted Cruz continues to be a heinous human being.)
*Fox News Discusses Caitlyn Jenner At 3AM, Goes Completely Off The Rails
*Mark Warner talks economy, millennials at Young Professionals Summit in Loudoun
*Updated plans unveiled for high-speed rail project ("Preliminary alternative designs of a proposed high-speed rail line between Richmond and Washington, D.C. were laid out for Fredericksburg-area residents Tuesday night in the city.")
*Allen wants to see more before making presidential endorsement (Ee gads, people actually WANT George Allen's endorsement?!?)
*Panel members: Va. Lawmakers need a raise, maybe fundraising rules ("The $18,000 annual salary plus per diem for legislators isn't enough to recruit good people and doesn't begin to cover all the time lawmakers put in, members of the governor's Commission on Integrity and Public Confidence in State Government said." Ya think?)

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 220 words in story)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Jun 02, 2015 at 06:32:55 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, June 2. Also see the video of yesterday's press conference near Memorial Bridge "to urge Congress to pass a bipartisan, long-term federal transportation bill that makes critical investments in America's aging infrastructure."

*Another tortured effort by the GOP to help itself with minorities ("In place of a Republican salute to black music, a limp handshake.")
*U.S. Supreme Court rules for Muslim woman denied job at clothing store
*Supreme Court throws out conviction for violent Facebook postings (I'm not sure I understand this ruling at all.)
*Lindsey Graham has a plan to win the GOP nomination. If it works, it'd be a first.
*Rick Santorum joins GOP's anti-Constitution crusade: Why the right's homophobic freakout could have major consequences
*Politifact: Gov. McAuliffe hardly making progress on land conservation pledge
*Our view: What the regulators want to hear ("FERC is holding what are called 'scoping meetings' to solicit public input on the two proposed pipelines - to basically scope out the lay of the land, so to speak.")
*Panel raises questions about role of ABC enforcement
*Howell raises half a million ("Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell has a dominant cash advantage over his tea party rival in the run-up to the June 9 primary election, though his opponent is getting help from big names in national politics.")
*In topsy turvy Loudoun, outgoing chairman may run again after all
*Local officials call for increased infrastructure funding for Memorial Bridge
*Fairfax attorney who faced firing over Geer case will stay employed after all
*Virginia Beach police say dog bound, burned alive (Whoever did this needs to go to jail for a loooong time, as they are dangerous psychopaths.)
*Land sales, apartment deals could be boost for Portsmouth
*D.C. area forecast: Cool and wet dominate until a weekend warm-up

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun May 31, 2015 at 06:52:35 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, May 31. Also, rest in peace Beau Biden, deepest condolences to Joe Biden and the rest of his family.

*At least 385 killed by police so far this year (That number really should be as close to zero as possible, just like it is in Canada, the UK, etc.)
*Vice president's son dies (Very sad: "Joseph Robinette 'Beau' Biden III battled brain cancer before his death at age 46, Vice President Biden said Saturday night"
*Exclusive: Rand Paul: 'I will force the expiration' of the PATRIOT Act (What a guy. Not.)
*The FIFA corruption sideshow: Takedown of 1 percent crooks or strategic move against Putin? (Either way it's good!)
*Martin O'Malley's Embarrassing Announcement
*Here's what Martin O'Malley said when he launched his campaign
*Democrats Seek Roster of Rich Donors to Match G.O.P.
*Casey: Cuccinelli lawsuit sheds light on political hypocrisy ("The former Virginia attorney general complained his gubernatorial campaign suffered at the hands of a 'malicious scam PAC operation.' But he was a lot more circumspect when a sham charity run by a con man helped him win statewide office in 2009, and when the grifter conned the Virginia General Assembly in 2010.")
Tim Kaine still gets inspired by people. Just don't ask him to run for president. (More likely Vice President.)
*Editorial: It's Howell for the House (Howell is an absolutely horrible ALEC puppet and Stimpson is a Tea Party crazy. The answer: vote Democratic in November!)
*Taxpayers on the hook for private U.S. 460 investments (Oh greeeaaaat...)
*Just 5 percent of reported rapes lead to criminal conviction in Newport News and Williamsburg-James City (Not good at all!)
*Preservation foundation lists pipeline route
*How Va. paid more than $250 million for a road that was never built
*Former Navy SEAL Brandon Webb under fire from critics
*Endorsements: For a strong Senate ("The 16th District includes all of Petersburg and Hopewell and parts of Richmond and the counties of Chesterfield, Prince George and Dinwiddie. This is Democratic turf, and The Times-Dispatch endorses Rosalyn Dance, the Democratic incumbent." Agreed, this is a no brainer!)
*Mall-centric no more: Aging suburb targeted for a sweeping makeover ("In the Seven Corners area of Fairfax, officials want walkable bustle to replace traffic-clogged blight." Yeah, Seven Corners is a mess right now, needs help.)
*Shorthanded Washington Nationals fall apart late in loss to Cincinnati Reds
*D.C. area forecast: Still warm and humid today, widespread heavy rains hold off until Monday

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat May 30, 2015 at 05:54:53 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, May 30.

*Krugman: Cutting Back on Carbon ("Next week the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new rules designed to limit global warming. Although we don't know the details yet, anti-environmental groups are already predicting vast costs and economic doom. Don't believe them. Everything we know suggests that we can achieve large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at little cost to the economy.")
*Putin's bizarre FIFA comments reveal his greatest fear ("To Putin, the FIFA prosecution is a new instance of the US aggression he fears")
*Hastert accused of paying victim of molestation ("The former House speaker allegedly paid a male ex-student to keep quiet about acts that took place decades ago, a federal law enforcement official said.")
*Creepy C-SPAN Caller To Hastert: Do You 'Remember Me From Yorkville?'
*BuzzFeed: 'Potentially Several Alleged Victims' In Hastert's Past (There are numerous disturbing aspects to this story, including the fact that Hastert received zero ratings on LGBT issues during his career and led a rabidly homophobic/gay-bashing party. Utter hypocrisy, on top of being evil.)
*Hastert and the Foley Scandal ("Hastert, through the entire drama, was awkward and slow to react or be clear or particularly convincing about what was known.")
*Why did Republicans embrace the Duggars in the first place? (Ken Cuccinelli for instance. Because that's who they are, frighteningly.)
*O'Malley to launch improbable bid for Democratic presidential nomination (Yep, highly improbable.)
*Walker: Media Twisted My Words, But I Still Think Ultrasounds Are 'Pretty Cool' (Another right-wing nutjob taken seriously by the corporate media.)
*Two Arlington Memorial Bridge Lanes Closed for Emergency Work (We need to invest heavily in our country's infrastructure, and now is a perfect time given super-low interest rates!)
*Lighten Up: Garrett, Kaine crack jokes at fundraising event
*Medicaid yanks funding from geriatric unit at Eastern State Hospital
*Virginia owes its neighbor answers ("Kentucky is now rightly outraged that Virginia didn't bother to inform the Bluegrass State about the millions of gallons of Virginia sewage spilling into the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River")
*Virginia Beach's family-owned Belvedere closing this summer
*Another early exit for Strasburg as Nationals fall to Reds, 5-2 (Time for a trip to the disabled list...or even AAA for Strasburg?)
*D.C. area forecast: Sunny and very warm today; storms likely Sunday

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri May 29, 2015 at 06:20:34 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, May 29. Also, congratulations to Del. Patrick Hope, who last night received the Aggie Wolf Defender of Choice Award from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia (photo by Catherine S. Read).

*National Review's Rich Lowry Advocates For Increased Incarceration In "Dangerous" Black Neighborhoods (Disgusting.)
*Hastert indicted over alleged secret payments ("The longest-serving Republican speaker in the history of the U.S. House faces charges that he violated banking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million to an unnamed individual to cover up 'past misconduct.'")
*The national security threat that Republicans are ignoring (" You can't credibly claim to be tough on national security and terrorism while simultaneously boasting how unconcerned you are about global warming.")
*Whoops! A creationist museum supporter stumbled upon a major fossil find. (Hahahaha, so awesome!)
*Scott Walker to Sign Ban on Abortions for Rape, Incest
*Rand Paul's money problem ("Behind the Kentucky senator's NSA 'filibuster' lies a desperate quest for cash.")
*Why Bill Nye really pissed off the Ted Cruz right: It's no longer possible avoid talking about climate change
*Virginia campus sexual assault task force releases recommendations ("A new report from the governor's task force on college campus sexual assault recommends longer and more uniform storage for evidence, more cooperation between colleges and police, and more frequent notifications to students when an assault occurs on or near campus.")
*State leaders pitch Virginia investment and trade to foreign dignitaries
*Pipeline contractors face trespassing charges in Craig County
*Prosecutors: Maureen McDonnell verdict 'unquestionably sound'
*Fairfax Co. hopes to squeeze more cash out of Richmond for schools
*Sen. Warner sends 'SWAT team' to fix Hampton VA wait times
*Virginia lawmakers cut tax holidays, so there will be fewer days to save
*As Portsmouth cuts services, city still subsidizes golf courses
*D.C. area forecast: Muggy warmth and scattered storms through weekend; cooler next week

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Staunton Memorial Day Service Keynote

by: Dan Sullivan

Mon May 25, 2015 at 19:04:22 PM EDT

A crowd of over 300 gathered at Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park today to honor our fallen, captured, or missing servicemen and servicewomen. The keynote address was delivered by the Commandant of Cadets, Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership, Brigadier General Terry Djuric who also paid tribute the families of the fallen.

"There are lots of reminders that memorial Day is about more than a day of barbeque. Congress officially set Memorial Day as the last day in May to mark the start of our summer season of fun with the day devoted to the memory of those who perished in the fight for our principles of freedom. On this day of remembrance, the members of VFWs across our nation lead the way in honoring those who gave the last full measure of service." - Brigadier General Djuric

General Djuric paid homage to the present families of the fallen, telling the crowd that to the spouses, sons, daughters, mothers, and fathers, every day is Memorial Day.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Memorial Day 2015

by: lowkell

Mon May 25, 2015 at 06:40:30 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Memorial Day 2015. Also, later this morning, President Obama will deliver remarks at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2015.

*Juan Williams: GOP dishonesty on ISIS and Iraq
*The right's political correctness ("Accommodating right-wing primary voters poses real risks to the party in next year's elections. Its candidates' messages on immigration and gay marriage could hurt the GOP with, respectively, Latinos and the young.")
*Las Vegas tycoon Sheldon Adelson to face graft accusations in US court (One of the GOP's big funders is a corrupt scumbag. Shocker, eh?)
*Defense chief: Iraqis lack 'will to fight' Islamic State
*Krugman: The Big Meh ("In other words, at this point, the whole digital era, spanning more than four decades, is looking like a disappointment. New technologies have yielded great headlines, but modest economic results. Why?")
*Pope's pronouncements making trouble for GOP Catholics ("Francis may be popular with the general public, but key Republican primary constituencies are wary." Yeah, because actually caring a lot more about the poor than the rich; feeding the hungry; welcoming the "stranger" - aka, immigrants - into our land; being good stewards over the earth; favoring peace over war; turning the other cheek rather than resorting to violence; all those things that Jesus taught are the opposite of what the Republican Party believes.)
*'Beautiful Mind' Nobel winner Nash dies in crash
*GOP contest to succeed Stosch in Senate heats up ("The four-way race for the Republican nomination for the open 12th District Virginia Senate seat is heating up in the final weeks leading up to the June 9 primary.")
*Va. House speaker and GOP challenger battle in first forum before primary ("Armed with charts and intent on capitalizing on the voter disaffection that helped Dave Brat oust former U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last year, Stimpson tried to paint Howell as out of touch with conservative principles of low taxes and small government.")
*Two Sweet Briar board members make the case: The school had to close
*Nationals haven't won anything, but fans prove D.C. is a good sports town
*Marvelous holiday weather, but steamy and stormy by midweek

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Charlottesville Benefit for Remote Area Medical Today

by: Dan Sullivan

Sun Mar 22, 2015 at 08:15:01 AM EDT

Here's an opportunity to support Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinics in Virginia and preview the Republican plan for healthcare delivery in America. Look for elected Republicans today at Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) when the movie about Stan Brock's organization is screened to benefit the new Virginia affiliate.

The trailer for the movie quickly frames what should be our national shame and how opponents to providing access to medical care use pride to rally those who would benefit most to rail against their individual interests. RAM was established to bring free aid to the developing world. But that international delivery has been cut back in places like Africa because the organization has been overwhelmed by the need right here. 60% of the RAM clinics are now held in the United States. Four are scheduled in Virginia during 2015.

The showing will be at the Dickinson Fine and Performing Arts Center at PVCC Main Stage in Charlottesville, Virginia today at 3pm. After the screening there will be a question and answer session with Dr. Victoria Weiss, Virginia RAM, and Stan Brock, RAM Founder and President as well as a reception with light refreshments. Ticket sales will benefit the new RAM Virginia affiliate. $10 Adults and $5 Students.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Traitorous Republicans (Redundant) Ensure a Nuclear Iran

by: Dan Sullivan

Tue Mar 10, 2015 at 08:44:20 AM EDT

Tom Cotton photo Tom_Cotton_zpspfh2grtp.jpgThere was a time when we could be confident that politics ends at the water's edge. There was a time Republicans would pretend to honor the founding fathers, emulate conservative icons like Goldwater and Reagan, and respect the Constitution. Instead they throw tantrums and stomp their feet hiding behind "patriotism."

Treasonous interference of the Executive might be the cherry on top of what is now a six year campaign to discredit each and every thing that President Obama accomplishes. There is even a whiff of that stench all the way down through the Virginia General Assembly. However, with two more years left to deny Obama a legacy, their desperation promises a continued effort to dismantle the Republic that may yet yield even greater absurdity.

Imagine in the run up to that great Bush Iraqi strategery debacle if Democrats had penned a letter to Saddam telling him "Hey, this guy is nuts and if he invades your country we have the option to tighten the purse strings on the military. Hang in there, he won't always be President." Or if upon election as Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi had invited the President of France to appear before a joint session of Congress to "advise" our President on how to proceed with our foreign entanglements.

Tom Cotton is the new poster child for patronizing veterans. Being a veteran doesn't confer competence in foreign affairs or the Constitution. And now we are reminded that not all veterans are patriots. The damage to America's stature is difficult to measure. What he has done is quite simple: he has put the world on notice that our foreign policy is at the mercy of waves of "populist" fervor and political expediency.

Both Goldwater and Reagan called for enforcement of the Logan Act. It was a founding father's administration that initiated enactment. But it would be inconvenient for Republicans to remember those facts.

The end result is this: if Iran needed a rationale for building a nuclear arsenal, it now has it.

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

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)
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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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