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Virginia Politics

National and Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Apr 27, 2015 at 06:19:01 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, April 27. Also, that photo is from Ayn Rand-worshipping, right-wing extremist Rep. Dave Brat's Facebook page. According to what he calls the "Brat pack," Trump was "in Richmond Friday to offer his support of Dave's great work in Congress," such as "standing up to Obama's destructive policies on illegal immigration, corporate cronyism, and the endless war on the American middle class worker." WTF are they ranting and raving about? Who the heck knows, but it gets super weird and super wacky when you get Dave Brat and Donald Trump together!

*Earthquake Aftershocks Jolt Nepal as Toll Surpasses 3,400
*The GOP's demonic alliance: How the religious right & big business are dumbing down America
*Clinton Foundation acknowledges 'mistakes,' emphasizes transparency
*The GOP estate-tax folly ("Maybe congressional Republicans really are nuts, suicidal or both. The latest evidence is House approval of legislation abolishing the estate tax, sometimes called the 'death tax.'")
*Krugman: Nobody Said That ("Several months into 2014 many leading Republicans - including John Boehner, the speaker of the House - were predicting that more people would lose coverage than gain it. And everyone on the right was predicting that the law would cost far more than projected, adding hundreds of billions if not trillions to budget deficits." WRONG!)
*Poll shows Bush-Clinton toss-up in Va.
*The Biggest Winners and Losers in Sully District ("The biggest losers in the Sully race were former Congressman Tom Davis, Supervisor Pat Herrity, and Congressman Barbara Comstock.")
*Cruz warns of 'liberal fascism' targeting Christians ("Fascism?" Look in the mirror, Sen. Cruz!)
*Virginia's equal rights history may sway court's gay marriage ruling
*Putting brakes on big brother ("State lawmakers ignored Gov. Terry McAuliffe's revisions to legislation to prevent authorities from collecting and retaining surveillance information from license-plate readers for as long as they want.")
*2nd Navy SEAL dies after accident in Little Creek pool
*Week will begin on the chilly side, but coming weekend could be fantastic

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Apr 26, 2015 at 06:41:26 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines for Sunday, April 26.

*Death toll in Nepal quake exceeds 1,900
*President Obama's Top 10 jokes
*President Obama Reveals Surprise Guest at White House Correspondents' Dinner
*Barack Obama lands the zingers at White House correspondents' dinner ("The president tells diners at the fundraiser he's bringing a new attitude to the final quarter of his presidency, and it rhymes with bucket")
*Contracting allegations expose a hole in protocol, gray areas, at Virginia's SCC ("Allegations of contracting irregularities at the State Corporation Commission are sitting before the Virginia Supreme Court, and the state legislature has ordered changes in the SCC's post-award review process.")
*Gov. Terry McAuliffe to drive pace car at tonight's NASCAR race at Richmond International Raceway (And knowing T-Mac, I'm sure he'll be the GREATEST pace car driver in the HISTORY of Virginia! LOL)
*Schapiro: In different ways, McAuliffe, Webb make it all about Clinton
*More review for power line
*A few Va. Senate races expected to have wide-ranging impact
*The stonewalling sheriff ("Rather than delay that day of reckoning, the authorities in Fairfax would be wise to be proactive, transparent and accountable. So far those qualities are lacking.")
*John Guevara takes Republican nomination in Fairfax supervisor race
*Incumbents sweep Prince William GOP firehouse primary (Corey Stewart "won about 73 percent of the vote against challenger Chris Crawford, a defense contractor from Gainesville." Now that THAT is out of the way, hopefully he's off to anger management counseling. LOL)
*Can a tolling and transit deal fix I-66 after decades of failure?
*Despite trafficking, Va. cigarette tax appears unlikely to rise
*Showers and clouds are on the wane, but a bit of a chill will linger in region

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Much of the "Virginia Christian Alliance" Candidate Questionnaire Has Nothing to Do w/Christianity

by: lowkell

Sat Apr 25, 2015 at 08:44:53 AM EDT

Can someone please explain how much, if not most, of this stuff has to do with Christianity? Photo ID? Proof of citizenship to vote? "Illegal aliens?" Eliminating the state income tax? Guns? Offshore oil drilling? Tort reform? Dominion Power? WTF? Of course, this group is a bunch of extremist nuts, but frighteningly, a sizeable number of Virginians agree with them...shuddderrrrr.

(lots more on the "flip")

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 22 words in story)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Apr 25, 2015 at 06:49:50 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, April 25. Also, see this week's White House address, in which President Obama makes the case for "why new, high-standards trade agreements are important for our economy, our businesses, our workers, and our values." I'm skeptical, but open to being shown exactly how the TPP protects workers, human rights, the environment, etc.

*Bill Nye: Climate change is "not something you should be debating or denying"
*Republicans are engaging in smog and mirrors on climate ("A revenue-neutral carbon tax is a reform Republicans should love. It could end irrational federal subsidies, lower the GOP's most-hated taxes and harness market efficiency to provide some insurance for the planet at a minimal cost. Instead, the party's would-be leaders appear to be looking for any way to avoid engaging seriously.")
*Drone Strikes on Al Qaeda Are Said to Take Toll on Leadership in Pakistan
*Quake in Nepal Kills Hundreds and Destroys Buildings
*The trade-off Obama missed on trade ("Clinton, and Obama, should champion the trade bill - but only after congressional Republicans do what's needed to protect low-wage American workers from the dislocation that will occur")
*Obama's Piecemeal Climate Policy Is Gradually Paying Off ("The next step will be attempting a bi-partisan economy-wide carbon cap-a feat that will probably fall to the next president.")
*North America's Oil And Gas Industry Has Taken Over 7 Million Acres Of Land Since 2000 (Another massive government subsidy for the utterly NON-"free market" oil and gas industry in this country.)
*Gov. McAuliffe Announces Members of ABC Review Panel
*Survey for Atlantic Coast Pipeline approved in part of national forest in West Virginia (Ugh.)
*Teresa Sullivan contract before UVa board
*Feds looked hard, found nothing on Virginia lawmaker Norment (Nothing illegal that is. They weren't looking to see if Norment is unethical and/or "legally corrupt" in many other ways...)
*Norment sponsored bills pushed by Beach lobby firm (Speaking of which...)
*Va. delegates bash effort to aid transgender kids (Digusting.)
*Joe Morrissey says Rosalyn Dance opposed medicaid expansion ("Mostly false")
*Donald Trump receives warm welcome in Chesterfield ("Donald Trump derided President Barack Obama as incompetent while playing up his own political prowess at a gathering of Chesterfield County Republicans on Friday" That says it all!)
*Costs rising on state campuses
*Slain Mary Washington student recalled as a 'force of nature' at vigil
*In the Geer case, Fairfax takes steps toward justice ("Let's hope this is the case that disproves the axiom that justice delayed is justice denied.")
*Marco Rubio wins Chesapeake GOP straw poll
*Our view: Meals tax is clarifying moment for Roanoke
*Looking for warm weather?
This may not be your weekend.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Apr 24, 2015 at 06:29:58 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, April 24. The photo, by the way, is in "honor" of Domininion continuing to fuel climate change, this time by proving that they were never serious about offshore wind power, but would rather move ahead with a super-expensive nuclear power boondoggle and super-expensive natural gas pipelines to nowhere. Brilliant.

*Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch as Attorney General After Long Delay (Congratulations, Republicans did less than the bare minimum.)
*Krugman: Zombies of 2016 ("A deep attachment to long-refuted ideas seems to be required of all prominent Republicans. Whoever finally gets the nomination for 2016 will have multiple zombies as his running mates.")
*Media Admit Schweizer Reporting Contains "No Smoking Gun
*ABC News Finds More Errors In Schweizer's Clinton Cash
*U.S. Is Often Unsure About Who Will Die in Drone Strikes
*Comcast Plans to Drop Time Warner Cable Deal
*Marco Rubio is for sale: The GOP's epic money-groveling campaign has officially begun ("And it's not just him. The entire 2016 field is cozying up to billionaires for a chance at winning the White House")
*What hostage deaths mean for the future of U.S. drone strikes
*Dave Brat's Bizarre Statements
*McAuliffe touts gas and nuclear, says it's not his job to worry about risks (McAuliffe said a lot of stuff that was either false, misguided, or absurd in that forum. I'll have more on this later, but first read Ivy Main's excellent article.)
*Again: Missing target on Medicaid ("Economists from Moody's Analytics prepared a report to evaluate pressure on public funding for higher education, also measured Medicaid expenditures as a percentage of state spending. The report hardly offers justification for denying health care coverage to lower-income Virginians")
*Sen. Kaine: The problem isn't the drones. It's the U.S. mission
*Mark Warner, Lincoln Chafee to address SC Democrats
*Virginia's clout in D.C. is shrinking (I mean, Eric Cantor was awful, but believe it or not, Dave Brat's crazier and less effective -- plus FAR less powerful.)
*Federal investigators reviewed Va. lawmaker's relationship with lobbyist
*Dominion Resources says off-shore wind project could cost far more than expected (In other words, Dominion bought up the offshore wind lease areas so they could sit on them. Shocker, eh?)
*Virginia's cicada-eating, Kegerator-using head salesman, Terry McAuliffe
*Alexandria mayoral candidates agree: Don't sell off City Hall, Market Square
*Sunny and chilly again. Spring's warmth on hiatus until next week.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 06:35:53 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, April 23.

*Republicans again appeal to theocracy
*It's Not the 1% Controlling Politics. It's the 0.01 Percent. ("The more they spend, the more they make.")
*Clintons' wealth intertwined with charitable work (Does that matter in terms of Hillary Clinton's public policy positions is the question.)
*Fox-Generated Benghazi Committee Will Release New Report Just In Time For 2016 Elections (Zero credibility.)
*Conservative Broadcaster Gives Serial Misinformer A National News Show (Sharyl Attkisson...ugh.)
*Marco Rubio takes lead in Sheldon Adelson primary (Sheldon Adelson is a total slimeball. So what does that say about anyone who is a favorite of his?)
*Secret Koch memo outlines plans for 2016 ("The plan comes with a $125 million 2015 budget for Americans for Prosperity, the most robust arm in the network of small-government advocacy groups helmed by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch." Fossil fuel and anti-clean-energy propaganda run amok. We all need to boycott the Koch brothers' companies -- Georgia Pacific, Teflon, Lycra, Stainmaster, American Greetings, Brawny, Dixie cups, Quilted Northern, etc.)
*Governor signs solar energy, 'green jobs' measures on Earth Day
*Times have changed for Virginia's car tax relief ("...growth in the number and value of cars and changing tax rates have dropped the amount of relief that each vehicle owner receives.")
*Is Virginia Becoming a Liberal State? Some Democrats Are Betting on It. ("Democratic leaders in Virginia are embracing liberal stances on social issues in a way that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.")
*McAuliffe announces plan to protect 'Virginia Treasures' ("The program will focus on smaller-scale conservation efforts and land preservation.")
*Editorial: Virginia is taking steps to improve ABC law enforcement
*U-Va. dean says retracted Rolling Stone story attacked her life's work
*In Fairfax, its time for the Justice Department to step in ("Does it take the threat of civic strife to force governments to do what they should do anyway? If Fairfax County is an example, the answer seems to be yes.")
*Republicans vie to replace retiring supervisor in Fairfax's Sully District ("The first step comes Saturday at Westfield High School in Chantilly. Three Republican candidates will compete for the nomination in a firehouse canvass that is expected to draw about 2,000 voters from a population of 130,000 residents.")
*Solarize Montgomery aims to increase solar usage in county
*Amended report: Chesapeake delegate got casino trip ("Del. Lionell Spruill Sr., D-Chesapeake, amended his filing with the House clerk to report that Parx Casino in Bensalem, Pa., spent $1,665 on his airfare and lodging.")
*Wind gusts up to 30 mph in some
areas as temperatures cling to 50s

Discuss :: (12 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Apr 22, 2015 at 06:22:15 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, April 22. As for things that scare conservatives, I'd add "reality," "science," "an informed and engaged electorate," "taking away fossil fuel companies' massive taxpayer-funded corporate welfare," and many other things. Finally, please click here to "Urge Governor McAuliffe To Continue Supporting A Strong Clean Power Plan For Virginia!"

*Newsweek adds disclosure about Koch ties of professor who wrote anti-wind power piece (Good, although why on earth didn't they have that disclaimer in the first place?!?)
*Earth Day: scientists say 75% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in ground (Note to Terry McAuliffe and other "all-of-the-above" fans: natural gas is a fossil fuel.)
*EPA's Clean Power Plan Will Create Quarter-Million Jobs ("New study shows that job gains, not the losses the industry predicted, would follow if new carbon rules are implemented.")
*Mary Robinson, UN Envoy: Climate Agenda Makes 2015 the 'Most Important Year Since 1945'
*Five Years After The BP Oil Spill, Gulf Coast Residents Say "BP Hasn't Made Things Right" (Not even close.)
*Trade war heating up among Democrats ("Referring to Warren by name, Obama said she and other critics are 'wrong on this' and added that although 'some of the information that has been getting thrown out there plays into legitimate fears that Democratic voters have, and progressives have, it's simply not true. It's simply not the facts.'")
*U.S. Chamber, AFL-CIO clash at Senate hearing over Obama's free trade push ("Seeking to win support from more Democrats, Obama taped a midday interview pushing his trade agenda with MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Tuesday at the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce in Northern Virginia.")
*Deal on Trade Pact Gives Obama Authority but Builds In a Delay
*The Senate's brief bipartisan love-fest ("The bipartisan bonhomie had lasted all of four hours." (It was also on the bare minimum - moving closer to confirming a superbly-qualified nominee as Attorney General and passing a who-could-not-support-this human trafficking bill. Mazel tov.)
*Cruz Campaign Accuses Paul and Rubio of Wimping Out on Gun Rights After Newtown (What the hell? "Gun rights" are stronger than ever in this country.)
*Why The Koch Brothers Want Scott Walker To Be President (The Koch brothers are John Birch Society extremists; whoever they support should be strongly opposed by voters.)

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 277 words in story)

Virginia and National News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Apr 21, 2015 at 06:17:35 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, April 21.

*Confirm Lynch now ("Politics have kept the nominee in limbo.")
*Editorial: Earth Day serves as reminder of the goals we must pursue together
*New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News strike deals for anti-Clinton research (Yep, that's your so-called "liberal media" at work!)
*Inside the right's new "Clinton Cash" obsession: The sketchy new Hillary "exposé" that hooked the New York Times ("The right's propaganda machine duped the media on the Clintons once before. Now they could be doing it again")
*Rising Death Toll Leaves Europe With New Refugee Crisis
*Egyptian Court Sentences Morsi to 20 Years in Prison
*Candidates kicking in to their own campaigns in key Senate races ("Candidates are kicking in to their own campaigns to build early fundraising stakes in key contests for control of the state Senate.")
*Ex-Virginia first lady McDonnell tries to get corruption convictions tossed
*Bob McDonnell's wife: Corruption trial was unfair
*ABC shakes up leadership of enforcement division
*Our view: Our sleep-walking senator ("Is John Edwards awake?Judging from the latest campaign finance reports, it doesn't appear so."
*Problems with Virginia's voting systems undermine confidence in our election results
*Beware Stalling Growth in Northern Virginia
*Lawmakers want assistant Norfolk prosecutor as judge
*Fairfax posts record low crime rate in 2014 ("Arlington and Alexandria are also at historic lows, and Prince George's recorded a 9 percent decrease." It continually amazes me that people erroneously think crime is high, when in fact the crime rate is the lowest in many decades.)
*McAuliffe on Redskins stadium in Virginia: 'It's where they belong' (Nope, McAuliffe is wildly wrong. First off, we shouldn't give Dan Snyder and Compan a dime of taxpayer-funded corporate welfare. Second, the team actually "belongs" in Washington, DC, at the RFK site, right at a Metro stop, not in exurban Virginia.)
*Casey: The Roanoke Tea Party tries again for control of county board
*Prince William GOP candidates prep for firehouse primary
*Do Fairfax Democrats Have A Mount Vernon Problem? (Fortunately, Republicans appear to have picked a teahadist nut as their candidate, which should help the "blue team." Let's hope they do the same in Sully as well!)
*2 Montgomery County supervisors won't seek re-election
*Suspect due in court in fellow UMW student's slaying as loved ones, friends prepare to attend her funeral (So awful.)
*Mostly sunny and breezy today;
rain and cooler weather ahead

Discuss :: (10 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Apr 20, 2015 at 06:23:35 AM EDT

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

*"He's filling the government with Muslims": Inside New Hampshire's wacky GOP 2016 cattle call (These John Bircher Society types are disturbing, probably disturbed as well.)
*Karl Rove Misrepresents Abortion Language In Human Trafficking Legislation To Blame Democrats For Lynch's Stalled Confirmation ("Karl Rove misrepresents" is pretty much the story of his entire career.)
*Can the GOP learn from California? (Doesn't look like it.)
*Republicans look to lift spending caps ("Republicans are already talking about another big spending deal to ease sequestration and budget caps." Watch the Teahadists go ape!)
*ISIS Video Appears to Show Executions of Ethiopian Christians in Libya (Utterly evil.)
*Dr. Oz to use show to attack critics who want him booted from faculty position for 'quack medicine' (This guy is the worst.)
*Potential 2016 Dem candidate O'Malley: GOP's prescription for what ails the US economy is 'bullsh*t'
*Marco Rubio's latest global warming denial: 'There has never been a moment climate is not changing' (And there has never been a moment where Marco Rubio isn't a knee-jerk, doctrinaire, right-wingnut Teapublican. He also lives in the 1950s or something, the guy's definitely not mentally living in 2015.)
*McAuliffe says Hillary Clinton's message will play in Virginia
*Half-measures on ethics in Virginia (I wish they were "half-measures." As it is, they're not even 0.0001% measures!)
*GOP ahead in cash race for Va. campaign season ("The combined committees of Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment, Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Sen. Ryan McDougle and the Senate Republican Caucus have nearly $2 million on hand. By contrast, the committees of Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw, Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Sen. A. Donald McEachin and the Senate Democratic Caucus have about more than $700,000 combined. ")
*Roper: Is Marcellus play too near its peak to justify three huge new pipelines?
*McAuliffe finds himself back in campaign mode for Hillary Clinton ("But this time Virginia's governor is taking a lower-profile approach than he did for Clinton in previous races.")
*The D.C. boom is slowing - and people are moving on (Strange article, conflicts with every population projection I've seen.)
*Response to Brian's Schoeneman Hit Piece, by Sully Candidate John Guevara (For anyone who says Democratic primaries are nasty, check this one out by our friendly Republicans!)
*Former Gloucester supervisor Teresa Altemus challenges incumbent Chris Hutson for GOP nomination
*Loudoun sheriff's race gets ugly ("The apparent embezzlement of seized drug money by a deputy has become an campaign issue.")
*Late day storms likely in region following a pleasant middle of the day

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Apr 19, 2015 at 07:06:51 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, April 19. As for the NewsHour story on teens suing Oregon to force action on climate change, perhaps it's time to do the same thing in Virginia?

*GOP contenders tangle in New Hampshire ("Republicans get a glimpse of what could be a long slog of a primary.")
*Hundreds Believed Dead in Shipwreck Off Libya, Says UNHCR
*Neil deGrasse Tyson: Politicians Denying Science Is 'Beginning Of The End Of An Informed Democracy'
*Jon Stewart: why I quit The Daily Show
*Schapiro: The different meanings of 'special interests' ("When it comes to ethics, there's a constant not even the law can compel: It's better to be too cautious. But in Virginia, that rests on a perilous assumption: that members of the elective class believe they're ladies and gentlemen.")
*Lawmakers should have listened to the governor on voting machines ("In late December, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the state should shell out $28 million to buy new voting machines for every locality in the commonwealth. The Republican-controlled General Assembly said no.")
*VRE kicks off major expansion plan with new Spotsylvania station
*It's not the pay or the perks ("Last week, when Republican Del. David Ramadan shocked his colleagues by announcing his resignation after two terms representing the 87th District, he indirectly highlighted the importance of competition, campaign finance reform and the preservation of modest pay for Virginia's part-time legislators.")
*Local registrars scramble to replace banned voting machines by June
*Beach: Spend more on cops
*Quantico Creek Area Coal Ash Remediation to Move Forward
*Arlington won't call 105-year-old Wilson School historic
*Cooler and cloudier with evening showers; heavy rain likely tonight

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Apr 18, 2015 at 06:49:34 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, April 18. Also check out President Obama's weekly address, in which he "spoke about his commitment to combatting the threat of climate change and to keeping ourselves and future generations safe."

*Solar power will soon be as cheap as coa ("Ten years from now we could easily see the cost of solar modules dropping to 25 cents per watt, or roughly half their current cost...While solar power is just starting to reach grid parity, wind energy is already there.")
*Race creeps into debate over stalled nomination for attorney general
*U.S. Republican Huckabee to announce 2016 presidential decision May 5 (Total nutjob.)
*Obama calls Senate inaction on attorney general 'embarrassing' (Yep.)
*Republicans in Quandary Over Vote on Loretta Lynch
*So how do you fix a problem like Dulles?
*Virginia State Bar Israel trip cancellation FOIA news
*Energy commission schedules scoping meetings for Mountain Valley Pipeline
*Dominion to close coal ash ponds in Virginia
*Va. legislature agrees to gift limit, rejects other changes to ethics bill (Still incredibly weak, almost a total #FAIL on this one.)
*Democrats lose challenger in state Senate race ("Traci Dippert has dropped out of the race against Republican state Sen. Bryce Reeves.")
*Fight brewing over proposal to add rush-hour tolls on I-66 inside Beltway
*Fairfax budget would leave schools, county workers a little short
*Following two firings, two more top Portsmouth officials to depart
*Housemate charged with first-degree murder in killing of UMW student ("Mann is the daughter of Thomas Mann, a juvenile and domestic relations court judge in Fairfax County, and Melissa Mann. She was active on campus - UMW President Rick Hurley recently appointed her to a sexual assault task force."
*Norfolk councilman Riddick threatens heckler
*Capitals rally to beat Islanders, tie playoff series at 1 game each
*Sunny skies, low humidity and temperatures in the 80s today

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Apr 17, 2015 at 06:23:24 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, April 17.

*Obama would get key trade powers under legislation
*The world according to Jeb Bush (War and economic disaster, just like in the last Bush administration. Sounds great, huh?)
*Federal Judge On Stopping EPA Rule: 'Why Would We Do That?'
*Expert demolishes the right's "war on coal" myth: The real reason the industry is dying
*Paul Krugman: That Old-Time Economics ("In recent years, however, innovative economic ideas, far from helping to provide a solution, have been part of the problem. We would have been far better off if we had stuck to that old-time macroeconomics, which is looking better than ever.")
*As Cities Raise Their Minimum Wage, Where's the Economic Collapse the Right Predicted? (The right is wrong yet again. Shocker.)
*Editorial: Discussion, not arrests, needed at the University of Mary Washington
*After arrests, Divest UMW group vows to demonstrate
*Scott Rigell, Bobby Scott oppose death tax repeal (Wow, a supposedly journalistic newspaper used the outrageous, loaded, right-wing-nut term "death tax" in their headline? WTF?!? The actual term, of course, is "estate tax.")
*Virginia Supreme Court: Dominion can't bypass local zoning for new power line project
*When the Virginia General Assembly wraps up, let the fundraising begin
*Fixing an error in Virginia lawmakers' ethics bill proves to be not so simple ("The governor's amendment mistakenly imposed a $100 lifetime gift cap rather than an annual one.")
*‚ÄčEnd racial gerrymandering in Virginia ("The General Assembly's redistricting plans violate the Fourteenth Amendment")
*Virginia's economy needs Dulles Airport to soar again, boosters say

There's More... :: (8 Comments, 179 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Apr 16, 2015 at 06:20:35 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, April 16. Also, here's a fun bit of video from last night's Arlington Young Democrats County Board debate...more later.

*Congress Has Made Undermining Energy And Environmental Laws The Focus Of Its First 100 Days
*Vatican Announces Major Summit On Climate Change
*Iran bill unlikely to scuttle deal
*Obama's pivot on trade could mean war with his base
*Indisputable proof that Republicans are warriors for the aristocracy ("GOP contenders are pretending to care about inequality. But it's all for show - and Congress is about to prove it")
*Chris Christie's dangerous Social Security demagoguery: Cloaking the plutocrats' agenda in populist rhetoric
*Jeb Bush to speak at Liberty University's May 9 commencement (So much for "JEB" being a "moderate," not that that was ever true.)
*Governor perfect on vetoes, but splits with assembly on drones and electronic surveillance
*Watchdog group's report critical of General Assembly on transparency
*Governor McAuliffe: Climate change, rising sea levels also endanger economy
*Lawmakers reject many of McAuliffe's amendments, but his vetoes survive ("Privacy rights vs. public safety issues prompt debate, and an ethics measure hits a snag.")
*Reconvene update: House in recess, ethics pending, day care and surveillance votes
*Ethics reform delays Virginia General Assembly again
*State kills 460 contract, wants money back from contractor
*E-mails: Long tried to block Fairfax activist from police commission ("E-mails obtained by community group show resistance to a citizen review board and anxiety over Geer case.")
*Portsmouth dysfunction on display once again
*State ready to commit more money to Virginia Beach for light rail
*Area Senate candidates off to brisk start in fundraising ("Former Del. Bill Janis, who hopes to succeed retiring Sen. Walter A. Stosch, R-Henrico, reported $123,000 in contributions in the year's first quarter, and an ending balance of $107,584.")
*Fairfax County police spokesman charged with possessing child porn (Ugh.)
*Why are Portsmouth officials out? It depends on who's talking
*Capitals start playoffs badly with a 4-1 defeat in Game 1 vs. Islanders
*Breezy and mild today, but showers are possible tonight

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Gun Violence Prevention "the political high ground"

by: Lori Haas

Wed Apr 15, 2015 at 14:32:24 PM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

Eight years ago, I got the phone call that no parent in America imagines ever getting. "I've been shot," my daughter told me. Emily was in French class that spring day at Virginia Tech, and had just been shot in the head by a young man who legally bought firearms and ammunition in Virginia despite the fact that seemingly everyone who knew him knew he was dangerously mentally ill.

I was one of the lucky ones that day. My daughter survived. Thirty-two other families had to bury their loved ones, denied even the chance to say goodbye.

Many in the commonwealth wondered if April 16, 2007, would be a turning point. Would this be the moment that our legislators finally rejected the National Rifle Association's fatal prescription and supported common-sense gun reforms?

Sadly, the immediate change we were hoping for did not come. But today, as the legislature weighs in on Gov. Terry McAuliffe's vetoes of three noxious pieces of legislation, it is clear that gun violence prevention has become a winning issue in Virginia.

McAuliffe was one of three statewide candidates who swept to victory in the November 2013 elections while publicly and proudly embracing a platform calling for tougher gun laws (along with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring). A few years ago, it would have been unfathomable for a Virginia gubernatorial candidate to announce at a televised debate, "I don't care what grade I got from the NRA," but that's exactly what McAuliffe did. And he won.

Now he's backing up the promises he made during his campaign. The bills the governor formally vetoed would have allowed loaded shotguns and rifles to be transported in vehicles, regardless of local laws; prevented Virginia law enforcement from sharing information about our state's concealed handgun permit holders with certain other states; and forced local law enforcement to provide a certification or denial for the transfer of a machine gun within 60 days. These bills were all designed to be handouts to the gun lobby, and none of them had anything to do with improving public safety. In fact, they would have done just the opposite.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 309 words in story)

The "Best" of Del. David Ramadan as He (Thankfully) Departs the Virginia House of Delegates

by: lowkell

Wed Apr 15, 2015 at 13:37:39 PM EDT

In "honor" of his departure from the Virginia House of Delegates, here are some "highlights" and links to the illustrious career of Del. David Ramadan (Far-right "R"; pictured with the possibly even MORE far-right-wing Sen. Dick Black). Enjoy? ;)

*Loudoun Republicans Double-Down on Divisive, Anti-Gay Agenda ("Delegates David Ramadan and Tag Greason voted against an openly gay candidate for a General District Court Judgeship. Mr. Tracy Thorne-Begland, the Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney in the City of Richmond and a decorated Navy veteran, had been nominated by a Republican Delegate...Ramadan and Greason made no public comments to explain their decisions; they simply voted with a majority of their Republican colleagues against his nomination.")
*Loudoun Republicans Revealed Themselves in the 2012 General Assembly Session (Noted that Ramadan voted for an extreme "personhood" bill, the infamous "transvaginal ultrasound" bill,  repeal of Virginia's "One Handgun A Month" law, an onerous and utterly unnecessary voter ID law, etc.
*DPVA: Ramadan's Record: Speaks for Itself (Ramadan's "record speaks for itself, but it says that he is focused on an extreme ideological agenda mush like Ken Cuccinelli and his right-wing counterparts-not practical solutions to problems facing our Commonwealth.")
*DPVA: Byron and Ramadan Should Come Clean on Gifts ("Following the pattern of Ken Cuccinelli and Bob McDonnell, The News & Advance reported this morning that fifteen-year Delegate Kathy Byron and two-year Delegate David Ramadan failed to disclose their travel to Taiwan in 2012")
*Video: Corrupt Del. David Ramadan Doubles Down on His Lame Excuses
*Video: John Bell for Delegate Hits David Ramadan's Extreme Agenda
*Del. David Ramadan: Extreme, Egregious, Yet Somehow Holding Down an Obama District (Ramadan "has been eviscerated by the Too Conservative crew for being a 'shameless self promoter' and 'egomaniac extraordinaire,' for employing 'disgusting, disturbing tactics,' and for being 'unfit for public office.')
*Video: Del. David Ramadan Speaks to VCDL Membership, Vows Absolutely No Gun Laws
*Del. David Ramadan (Far-Right "R") Files Bill to Cancel In-State Tuition for DACA Students

All this extremism and nuttiness is particularly sad, because Ramadan's district (the 87th) is an Obama/Kaine/McAuliffe/Northam/Herring district that should either be represented by a Democrat, or at WORST a moderate Republican (if there are any of those left). Yet instead, the 87th got a far-right loon like David Ramadan. Frankly, that's what happens when "federal election" Democrats stay home in "odd-year" elections. If and when that stops, so will the phenomenon of right-wing Republicans holding otherwise "blue" districts in this state. Until then, expect more David Ramadans...ugh.

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Apr 15, 2015 at 06:13:34 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, April 15. Also, check out Marco Rubio demonstrating yet again that he's a candidate of the past, NOT the future.

*Fossil Fuels Just Lost the Race Against Renewables (Time for Virginia to go all-out in the race for the multi-trillion-dollar clean energy economy of the 21st century. If we don't, we lose.)
*Obama Yields, Allowing Congress Say on Iran Nuclear Deal
*Catholic Bishops, Nuns Voice Support For Obama's Iran Deal, Ask Congress To Back Off
*Obama removes Cuba from list of terror sponsors
*Republicans push for a permanent aristocracy ("A bill to end the estate tax is the ultimate perversion of the tea party movement.")
*The True Cost of Gun Violence: A Mother Jones Investigation
*Schapiro: Taking back the legislature one vote at a time ("But to Democrats such as [Ferguson] Reid, its successor in Virginia is the Republican-authored voter ID law. It requires that a voter produce a photo identity card before going into the polling booth. Democrats say it's designed to discourage their voters: minorities, seniors and the young.")
*State Board of Elections decertifies voting machines
*Judge denies Morrissey's injunction to stop ballot production
*Morrissey to seek Va. Senate seat as an independent
*Virginia General Assembly veto session begins Wednesday ("Issues of ethics regulation and privacy measures will be debated Wednesday as Virginia's General Assembly gathers in Richmond for a scheduled one-day session to consider vetoes and amendments.")
*Police surveillance data high on agenda for Va. legislators' veto session
*McAuliffe amendment glitch appears to put a $100 lifetime limit on gifts (That's fine, make it zero!)
*Governor, energy companies say they want more lenient clean power plan (To the contrary, we should be pushing ahead FASTER than the very mild, easily achievable Clean Power Plan goals. Dominion et al are just whining...)
*Breaking News-Delegate Ramadan Not Running for Re-election (Good riddance to this far right winger. Now, we need to elect Democrat Jack Tiwari in his place!)
*Del. David Ramadan, vocal critic of Dulles Greenway tolls, to call it quits
*Edmunds: Virginia shouldn't be "a little bit gruesome," either
*Report criticizes lack of transparency in Richmond ("Among the problems found by Transparency Virginia: House of Delegates committees and subcommittees didn't have recorded votes on 76 percent of the bills they killed.")
*The outrageous death of a Fairfax County jail inmate (Agreed, and I can't even imagine anyone defending this.)
*Portsmouth's city attorney, manager fired by council
*After 27 years in office, Newport News' Circuit Court Clerk stepping down
*Warming up to the 70s today, but on track for more rain tomorow

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Here's Where The Virginia GOP Stands On Equal Pay

by: lowkell

Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 12:34:46 PM EDT

From DPVA:

On Equal Pay Day, Virginia Democrats have been clear that equal pay is a top priority. When women earn less than men for equal work, it’s harmful to our economy. From bills introduced in the General Assembly to the larger movement nationwide, Democrats have consistently been the party of inclusion, empowerment, and equal opportunity.

During the 2015 legislative session, Republicans in the General Assembly had the opportunity to pass several bills that would help level the playing field for Virginian women. Sadly, rather than support these economic boosters, Republicans stuck to partisan politics and killed several important bills. Here's some of the economic opportunities that Republicans blocked this year:

  • Equal Pay for Equal Work — Virginia women earn just eighty-three cents for every dollar their male colleagues receive. Democrats supported a bill that would have raised the penalty for pay discrimination and required full equality in benefits and privileges. It died in a House committee thanks to 14 Republican votes, including Bob Marshall and Jackson Miller.
  • Equal Rights Amendment — Senate Democrats fought to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. constitution, which provides that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied […] on account of sex.” Upon reaching the House floor, Republicans chose to put ideology ahead of women’s needs, opposing this common-sense protection despite abundant evidence that women still face discrimination every day.
  • Employee Protections  — Senate Democrats supported a bill prohibiting employers from retaliation against employees for sharing salary information, because women deserve to know if they're being paid equally for equal work. Ten Republicans, including Frank Wagner and Tommy Norment, killed that key safeguard in committee.
When women are treated unfairly, Virginia's economy suffers. On this Equal Pay Day, remember who voted to hold equality back.
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More Craziness from Virginia Republicans' 2013 Gubernatorial Nominee

by: lowkell

Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 11:12:12 AM EDT

That's right, according to Ken Cuccinelli, who Virginia Republicans nominated at the top of the 2013 "Extreme Team" of Cooch/E.W. Jackson/Mark Obenshain for the top three statewide elective offices in Virginia, John McCain - a conservative by any sane person's measure - is actually someone who...
"...takes a baseball bat to conservatives and conservative principles all the time. And then he turns around and kisses and hugs with the Democrats," said Cuccinelli, the former attorney general of Virginia.

"He is vicious, vicious, anti-conservative Republican, and you can see what he's done in Arizona.

"He has been purging the Republican Party in Arizona for a long time as best he can of conservatives, of people who actually have principles and expect their elected officials to stick to them."

As Cooch himself always likes to say, "you can't make this stuff up!"
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Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Apr 14, 2015 at 06:23:25 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, April 14.

*4 Ex-Employees of Blackwater Get Long Terms in Iraq Killings
*Republicans' and Netanyahu's wildly inconsistent opposition to an Iran deal
*Marco Rubio Is a Polished Performer, but He's Out of Position ("At a certain point, one wonders whether he is like the first-round draft pick who doesn't make the All-Star team after four years.")
*Marco Rubio Is the Most Disingenuous Republican Running for President ("He's not a reformer. He's a fraud.")
*Nate Silver to Vox: Stop stealing our charts! (I already wasn't a big fan of Vox. Hmmmm....)
*McAuliffe, Warner, mark 10,000 DNA "hit" at state forensics lab
*In Richmond McAuliffe, Warner tout Clinton's bid
*Editorial: General Assembly gives its final answers ("Chief among them: ethics legislation. The governor made a number of commendable changes to the General Assembly's latest effort.")
*Virginia GOP excited about Florida Sen. Marco Rubio running for president (He's a climate science denier, end of story - disqualified.)
*Marco Rubio Used to Believe in Climate Science. Now He's Running for President. (As I said, climate science denial or "skepticism" should be an automatic disqualifier for president, for two reasons: 1) it shows a fatal flaw in the candidate's "thinking;" 2) climate change is by far the biggest threat to America in coming years, and we require a president who understands that and will act aggressively.)
*Virginia revenues higher than projected
*Sweet Briar faculty members back call for injunction to halt college's closing
*Wittman, Brat hold town hall meeting at defense contractor's Spotsylvania headquarters
*Editorial: Lowly oyster says a lot about health of Chesapeake Bay
*Newport News civil rights activist pulled over, claims retaliation
*Plenty wrong with tuition hikes
*Fairfax Sheriff defends actions in apparent fatal Tasing (Seems indefensible to me...)
*Tax hike draws first opposition on Portsmouth council
*Metro's new rail cars are ready for riders on Tuesday
*Norfolk changing construction oversight after ordeal with builder
*A move to Virginia might be best for both Daniel Snyder and the city (As long as we don't give him a single penny in taxpayer-funded corporate welfare!)
*April showers and not much sun today; mostly a wet week ahead

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 06:19:13 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, April 13.

*Hillary Clinton Announces 2016 Presidential Bid
*Why Hillary Clinton Is Probably Going to Win the 2016 Election (What we need to work for is a huge victory by the Democratic presidential nominee, presumably Hillary Clinton, and "coattails" for the House, Senate, state legislatures, etc.)
*In video, Clinton gives a preview of her strategy ("The deliberately low-key announcement of Hillary Clinton's White House run tries to avoid the pitfalls of her 2008 attempt and suggests her campaign will focus on economic opportunity.")
*Right-Wing Media Lash Out In Response To Hillary Clinton's Campaign For Presidency (Yep, lashing out hysterically is what the right-wing media do.)
*Wealthy donors on left work to weaken GOP at state level (Finally! Now let's see if it can be sustained and effective.)
*Hillary Clinton's role model? Bush 41. ("Bush ran as Reagan-Plus. He promised that he would be both an "education president" and an "environmental president," neatly stamping himself with the new and improved label.")
*Turkey anger at Pope Francis Armenian 'genocide' claim (Good for Pope Francis, speaking the glaringly obvious truth on one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.)
*5 things to know about Congress' return from a 2-week break
*Seeking a Voice in Iran Deal, Lawmakers Are Set to Act (The problem is that we can't trust the Teapublican Congress as far as we can throw it.)
*Paul Krugman: It Takes a Party ("Mr. Bush is saying crazy things about health care and climate change, but he doesn't really mean it, and he'd be reasonable once in office. Just like his brother.")
*Clinton's Virginia backers taking nothing for granted
*General Assembly to debate McAuliffe's proposed changes to ethics bill
*For Warner, long-term care issue hits close to home (It can happen to any of us.)
*Va. prosecutors start 'best practices' effort for better justice, fewer errors
*Editorial: State college tuition increases put squeeze on middle class Virginians
*Commentary: UMW professors back student sit-in for divestment in fossil fuels
*Forecast: Fantastic start and close to week, but a bit of gloom in middle

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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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