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Virginia Politics

Terry McAuliffe to Phil Puckett: "Rot in hell;" "I hope you sleep easy tonight, buddy"

by: lowkell

Sun Nov 23, 2014 at 08:55:33 AM EST

Superb job by Washington Post reporter Laura Vozzella in pulling together her story in today's paper, "Puckett's Senate exit undid McAuliffe's secret plan for Medicaid expansion." Basically, it's a blow-by-blow account, with fascinating quotes and details, of how then-Sen. Phil Puckett's resignation from the Virginia State Senate contributed (or did it?> to killing Gov. McAuliffe's attempt to expand Medicaid unilaterally. I definitely recommend you read the entire thing, but here are a few highlights that jumped out at me.

*Gov. McAuliffe's voice mail message to former Sen. Puckett after it became clear that Medicaid expansion was dead: "Hey Phil? Terry McAuliffe. I want you to know we just lost the vote, 20 to 19, in the Senate. Medicaid is done. I hope you sleep easy tonight, buddy."

*"McAuliffe desperately needed Puckett in the Senate to take the daring step of expanding Medicaid on his own, using budget language the Democratic governor hoped to sneak past Republicans."

*This incident, and the anger/bitterness it engendered, "are likely to make it more difficult for McAuliffe to work with a GOP-controlled legislature to get anything done during the remainder of his term."

*New information: "Even as McAuliffe's aides were spinning Puckett's resignation as a sign of nasty Republican dealĀ­making, they were working desperately to strike a deal of their own to keep Puckett in the Senate - to protect a secret plan to pass Medicaid expansion without direct legislative approval."

*Gov. McAuliffe "has given a colorful account of their conversation in recent social settings, according to two people he separately regaled. The tale begins with McAuliffe begging the senator to stay and ends with him wishing aloud that Puckett 'rot in hell.'"

*Whether this whole scheme to expand Medicaid unilaterally would have worked is highly dubious, regardless, as the Republican-controlled House of Delegates still would have vehemently opposed it. Regardless, after "Bull Elephant blogger Steve Albertson, spott[ed] the language and warn[ed] that it was a loophole McAuliffe might try to exploit," the last nail was definitely hammered into the coffin.

In the end, of course, the substantive - and tragic - thing about all this is simple: 400,000 Virginians will NOT receive health care coverage due to Republicans' don't-bother-us-with-facts, ideological and political opposition. And billions of dollars of our own tax dollars will NOT flow to Virginia's economy thanks to the right wing. So, yes, Gov. McAuliffe has every right to be angry at "Benedict Puckett" and the Republicans, as do the rest of us. Not sure about "rotting in hell" for anyone, but how about we vote as many of these folks out of office next November? (actually, we can start by electing Kathleen Murphy in a few weeks to fill Barbara Comstock's vacated House of Delegates seat)

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Nov 23, 2014 at 07:19:12 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, November 23. Also, the photo of an anti-rape protest at UVA yesterday is by Bob Mical.

*Thomas Frank: Phony spin even Fox News won't buy ("For decades, the idiot pundit class has pushed Democrats to the right after every loss. It's not working this time")
*Ferguson Prepares for Fallout From Michael Brown Grand Jury Decision
*Marion Barry dies at 78; 4-term D.C. mayor was the most powerful local politician of his generation ("Marion Barry Jr., who died early Sunday, was the most powerful local politician of his generation and a symbol of self-governance for urban blacks, even as his life was fraught with the drama of a drug arrest and a jail sentence.")
*Newspaper 'Erred' In Publishing Cartoon Of Immigrants Crashing Thanksgiving (Because racism and xenophobia are SOOOO funny! Ha. Ha. Ha.)
*When The GOP Commissioned A Special Investigation Into Benghazi, This Wasn't Supposed To Happen ("The latest report, released Friday, does little to back up Republicans' suspicion of negligence, and it finds no intelligence failure on the part of the CIA.")
*Most White Evangelicals Attribute Intense National Disasters To The Apocalypse, Not Climate Change
*Jeb Bush's Reverse Midas Touch ("Bush's Four Mysterious Companies Share The Same Address And Have Never Done Any Known Business")
*5th annual 'Turkeys of the Year' for foolishness, ineptitude in the D.C. area (In Virginia, of course Bob McDonnell makes the list, as does the pathetic "Washington NFL team.")
*Opinion/Column: Warner's moderate approach falling out of favor (It's not "moderate," it's just "both sides"/false equivalence idiocy.)
*Puckett's exit from Va. Senate undid McAuliffe's secret plan for Medicaid ("The governor needed him to stay in order to take the daring step of expanding Medicaid on his own.")
*Schapiro: Warner, Kaine love on the 'new' Democrats ("That smooching sound you hear is Mark Warner and Tim Kaine loving on new Virginians - Hispanics and Asians who are rapidly remaking the state.")
*Senators say time has come to roll back state car tax relief ("Watkins is one of the few legislators openly discussing the possibility of rolling back a portion of the car tax subsidy, which tops a list of almost 80 tax preferences and credits adopted since 1990 that take $2.5 billion out of the general fund budget.")
*U-Va. fraternities suspended in light of sexual-assault allegations ("The suspension came days after a Rolling Stone account of a 2012 gang rape and will last until Jan. 9.")
*Protest outside Phi Kappa Psi house leads to four arrests ("Protesters call for change to University sexual assault policies")
*The Virginia Way, Part 8: Disclosure rules are lax, and reports are hard to find

There's More... :: (5 Comments, 72 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Nov 22, 2014 at 07:28:10 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, November 22. Also see President Obama's weekly address, on immigration reform. Key point: if the House had allowed a vote on the bipartisan Senate immigration bill at any time over the past 1 1/2 years, it would have passed and been signed into law. Meanwhile, President Obama is taking action under his lawful executive authority to fix the broken system we have now.

*Republicans challenge Obama's executive actions, file lawsuit over Obamacare (What a joke.)
*Mr. Obama's Wise Immigration Plan ("The initiative is a good start, bringing reasons for encouragement, tempered with caution.")
*President Obama Acted Unilaterally on Immigration and the Right Is Predictably Outraged
*Lack of immigration plan flusters GOP ("Party dithers while Obama pounds message defending action.")
*Peggy Noonan's "wisdom": Build Keystone XL so American boys will become men ("America's worst pundit wants to build Keystone XL so we can impress the world and build character in wayward youths." Wow. She gets PAID to write this dreck?)
*Amid Attacks, Obama Urges Action on Immigration
*How much would Jim Webb's military background help in a White House run?
*Jim Webb sucks on climate change (Worst of all, he basically is silent about the #1 issue facing humanity)
*Virginia's Ken Cuccinelli on immigration lawsuit: 'Take it slow' (Laughable Cooch comment du jour: "This shouldn't be done as a political undertaking" - yeah right!)
*Our view: Tone deaf to "rape school" allegations ("So when the university does hire outside counsel, who does it hire? Someone connected to the same fraternity where it's alleged an initiation rite is to rape somebody! What did the university know about Filip's resume and when did it know it?")
*Controversy swells at UVa as Filip taken off the job and Sullivan heads back to the U.S.
*UVa independent counsel on sexual assaults dropped (This attorney, Mark Filip, should never have taken the job, given his enormous conflict of interest.)
*U-Va. campus addresses sexual-assault allegations in Rolling Stone article
*Hampton U: Discarded poll showed Warner with double-digit lead (Why are these Virginia college polls - Roanoke College, CNU, Hampton U - so awful, when other states have excellent polls done by colleges and universities? Weird.)
*Virginia Politics: Ethics issues likely to be General Assembly focus
*The Virginia Way, Part 7: Networking and career-building in the Capitol ("Sometimes, spending time in the lush green of Capitol Square - or even leaving it - isn't such a bad deal for Virginia's part-time legislators.")
*Gov. McAuliffe, Virginia first lady kick off child hunger effort in state
*Brat: 'Not one thin dime' for Obama's immigration plan (But will he vote to pass the bipartisan Senate immigration bill? Of course not. Just "no" "no" "no" "no"...)
*Hits and misses: Reasons to cheer the Elizabeth ("The contamination of the Elizabeth River through decades of industrial pollution was so terrible, so suffocating, 20 years ago that the waterway and its branches were all but given up for dead.")
*Double duty: Portsmouth politics sees influx of clergy members
*In Richmond area, immigrants view Obama plans with cautious optimism
*Warm-up begins, but don't put away heavy sweaters and coats just yet

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Nov 21, 2014 at 06:35:09 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, November 21.

*Obama acts on immigration ("Overhaul shields 4 million from deportation")
*Republicans confront own worst enemy on immigration (Popcorn time as they tear each other apart.)
*Everything You Need To Know About Obama's Executive Action
*Republicans Plotting Extreme Measures To Sabotage Obama's Immigration Action (Bunch of nihilists.)
*Immigration plan's winners and losers
*Kobach Wonders If Hispanic Majority Would Conduct 'Ethnic Cleansing' In U.S. (These are the type of right-wing extremist nuts Boehner and McConnell have to deal with. Good luck!)
*When Fox Hosts Had No Problem Calling Voters Stupid
*On immigration, the GOP should make the next move ("Republicans, obstinate and inert for so long on immigration, cannot dodge responsibility.")
*Law and precedent are on Obama's side, legal experts say (Right, and the bottom line is all House Republicans have to do is allow the bipartisan Senate immigration bill to come to a vote. It will become law, and Obama's executive orders will become moot to a large extent.)
*Is Jim Webb 2016's Barack Obama? (Uhhhhh....no.)
*Jim Webb Wanted to Punch George W. Bush. Now He Wants His Old Job.
*Jim Webb's potential 2016 candidacy won't keep Hillary up at night
*Virginia economist says state economy still lagging
*Gay marriage helps Virginia's economy, McAuliffe says
*Our view: Gang rapes at UVa fraternities? ("Governor McAuliffe, stop whatever you're doing right now. Pick up the phone and call the State Police.")
*Tim Kaine "Horrified" by UVA Rape Story, Not Sure Frat Should Be Kicked Out
*Counsel tasked with investigating sexual assault policy was Phi Kappa Psi brother (Ever hear of "recusal?")
*Anger, defiance mark Mountain Valley Pipeline meeting in Giles County
*Virginia Politics: Budget pressures still intense, Senate hears
*The Virginia Way, Part 6: Giving gifts, and gaining influence? ("Gifts have taken Virginia legislators far afield in recent years - to the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, to Paris and even to Rabbit Lake, Saskatchewan.")

There's More... :: (13 Comments, 84 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Nov 20, 2014 at 06:43:50 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, November 20. That great photo (courtesy of the VA Sierra Club) is in connection with yesterday's story, Hundreds Rally at Virginia State Capitol to Support EPA's Clean Power Plan.

*Energy groups face 'existential' climate threat, says ex-BP chief
*Amazon Vows to Run on 100 Percent Renewable Energy (In addition to being non-polluting, it increasingly makes business/economic sense at this point.)
*President Obama to announce executive action on immigration Thursday (Meanwhile, the House could STILL allow the bipartisan Senate immigration bill to come to a vote. But nooooooo.)
*At Long Last, Immigration Action (Congress should have passed comprehensive immigration reform many years ago.)
*Republicans Were Fine With Bush Acting On Immigration Reform Without Congress (Of course they didn't care when Republican presidents did it, just as they didn't get all "outraged" by the huge deficits under Reagan and Bush, or the many, deadly attacks on U.S. embassies during Republican administrations. Clearly, for Republicans, it's only wrong if it happens during a Democratic administration.)
*Whitbeck Enters Race For Virginia's Top GOP Seat (Anti-Semitic "joke" dude.)
*Eric Cantor's Former Crew Hangs a Shingle in Washington ("Washington's revolving door spins again, with members of the former House Majority Leader's staff opening a new lobbying firm.")
*Jim Webb Launches 2016 Presidential Exploratory Committee ("The presidential race gets its first contender.")
*The Virginia Way, Part 5: From making law to influencing it
*Controversial tobacco commission project doubles down on new approach
*New Roanoke County administrator tapped from Alexandria
*Our view: The "F" word ("Fracking" that is.)
*Giles County residents can ask questions, hear more about gas pipeline tonight
*Fracking amid a natural wonder ("The George Washington National Forest is federal land. It belongs to all Americans. The risk to a national treasure is simply too high.")
*Virginia Beach mayor retains defense attorneys amid inquiry
*Streetcar's demise will deepen divide between 2 Arlingtons("Streetcar's defeat sends message to less-affluent: Just keep riding the bus"
*Dashed streetcar plans spread uncertainty along Columbia Pike, Crystal City corridors ("Those who've wanted to update the aging Columbia Pike and Crystal City areas say the risks have increased.")
*Public school enrollment jumps in Northern Virginia ("By 2018, a study finds, the area's four counties will account for 40 percent of all enrollment in the state.")
*Not as chilly today, but it won't last. Cold returns tomorrow.

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Nov 19, 2014 at 06:38:45 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, November 19.

*Senate narrowly rejects Keystone energy pipeline
*The moral issue of climate change ("Is this a moral issue? After reading Mitchell's stark novel, and imagining the world of 2043, I am beginning to think the answer is yes. If the future quality of life around the world is at stake, people who resist action are not just misguided, they're wrong." Worse than "wrong," actually.)
*Why Democrats need rich people, too (Dana Milbank goes from probably his stupidest column ever back to his usual high standards.)
*Obama order could protect 525,000 illegal immigrants in Maryland, Virginia, Pew report says
*The New Republican Plan To Rig The 2016 Presidential Election
*Virginia's Republican House speaker stands accused of insufficient conservatism ("... in pushing the GOP further to the right, ideological purists like Ms. Stimpson may do their party no favors")
*The Virginia Way, Part 4: Working for voters - and for clients
*Schapiro: Va's salesman-in-chief ("Flashing a toothy, knowing grin, McAuliffe appreciates the political perils for Republicans in attempting to foil him on the economy.")
*Kaine, Warner praise George Washington forest fracking decision ("Officials are pleased that most of the George Washington National Forest is off-limits.")
*Belleville: Trail guardians worried about pipelines
*Five steps to doom for Arlington streetcars (Those were actually not the "five steps," but whatever.)
*Arlington officials pull the plug on Columbia Pike, Crystal City streetcars (Huge mistake for the future of Arlington.)
*McAuliffe wants risks shared for future rocket launches at Wallops Island
*Sessoms takes heat, and praise, at crowded, lively council meeting
*In pursuit of progress, Beach harms its identity
*Less punishing winds today, but temperatures almost as cold

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Nov 18, 2014 at 06:47:16 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, November 18. As for the video, gotta love the stark contrast between Ronald Reagan, who granted mass "amnesty" to "illegal immigrants," and today's "illegals"-bashing Republicans.

*Boehner's immigration inertia forces Obama to act ("The only reason President Obama has to act on immigration reform is that House Speaker John Boehner won't. I repeat: That's the only reason. The issue could have been settled a year ago. It could be settled in an afternoon. The problem is that Boehner refuses to do his job, preferring instead to spend his time huffing and puffing in simulated indignation")
*D.C.'s mayor rejected plea deal in federal probe (First Virginia, now DC, next...???)
*Japan recession, Europe stagnation cast pall over global economic outlook
*GOP seeks creative ways to avert a shutdown ("Republican leaders are trying to redirect their members' immigration rage." How about allow a vote in the House right now on the bipartisan Senate immigration bill?!?)
*The greening of Barack Obama ("He didn't set out to be an environmental president. He is now." There's no serious choice but to confront global warming.)
*Here's What's Happening With the Big Keystone Pipeline Vote
*Backstabbing in Hillaryland: Here We Go Again (It's time for "no drama Clinton" in 2016; we can't afford this kind of crap.)
*The worst two paragraphs about American politics you'll read today (Ron Fournier is a right-wing hack, nothing more.)
*Virginia's senators differ over Keystone pipeline
*The Virginia Way, Part 3: The big money in running - even unopposed ("'Campaign contributions certainly buy access,' said ODU's Richman. 'Sometimes they seem to buy more, though it is often very difficult to tell just how much more.'")
*Our view: Ethics are coming! (We'll see if they crack down on stuff like in the previous item.)
*State agriculture chief says Virginia farmers need wider market
*Kerr: National Republicans neglect Virginia at their own peril
*Va. woman accused of attempting to support Islamic State militants
*New U.S. Forest Service plan retreats from ban on fracking in national forest in Virginia (Crazy if that's the case.)
*Judge: Life in prison is too good for child porn maker (100% agree, this guy is evil.)
*Virginia day cares anxious over local zoning laws
*Prelude to winter? Biting winds. Bitter cold. Wind chill in the teens. ("Today will be 20 degrees colder than normal, with temperatures around freezing.")

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Nov 17, 2014 at 06:49:54 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, November 17.

*Why the Democrats are stupid to allow a Senate vote on Keystone
*Obama pursues a can-do approach ("In truth, he is paying close attention to the feelings of a very important group of voters - the tens of millions who supported him two years ago but were so dispirited that they stayed away from the polls on Nov. 4. They are hoping Obama will show them that political engagement is worth the effort.")
*More climate evidence doesn't move the GOP (Republicans: Destroying the planet for profit and greed since...well, a long time now.)
*Peter Kassig's family call for restraint after beheading video
*Obama turns to McConnell to secure his legacy ("A lame-duck president looks to deal with the very man who vowed to make him a one-termer.")
*Still reeling, Democrats debate big-money strategy (Start by helping Virginia Democrats win a bunch of state legislative seats in 2015!)
*Thomas Frank on Ronald Reagan's secret tragedy: How '70s and '80s cynicism poisoned Democrats and America (I'm reading The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan right now, and I'm reminded how godawful Reagan really was.)
*U.Va. professors push McAuliffe on climate change action ("Six university professors sign onto state-wide letter calling for change")
*ABC remains state's cash cow as board considers markup of liquor prices
*Part-time career, full-time retirement ("In part two, the Daily Press continues its eight-part special investigation into a system awash in money, with lax oversight and rife with the potential for abuse.")
*State health plan a full time benefit for part time legislators
*Lawmaker, father benefit from film tax credit (More legalized corruption in Virginia, and utterly not surprisingly, Dominion is involved.)

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 144 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Nov 16, 2014 at 07:20:27 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, November 16.

*G20 commits to higher growth, fight climate change; Russia isolated over Ukraine
*Obama: We didn't mislead on health care ("The fact that an adviser who was never on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is not a reflection on the actual process that was run.")
*Bill Clinton Says He's Surprised by Midterm Losses
*McConnell's 'no shutdown' pledge faces first big test
*ISIS Claims to Have Beheaded American Aid Worker Peter Kassig in New Video
*Our view: Republican riptide ("...the most powerful part of the Republican wave (from a Democratic point of view) may have been the riptide in state governments across the country." It's LONG past time for Dems - including activists, big donors, etc. - to focus on the state/local levels.)
*The Fable of Rand Paul ("At this point Paul is as much a political fable as a political reality, and his supposed strengths...pale beside his weaknesses. They're many. And they're potentially ruinous.")
*Bill Cosby refuses to address sexual assault allegations on NPR interview, will no longer appear on David Letterman's show (Ugh.)
*Virginia results pose puzzle for parties
*Presidential jockeying already underway in Virginia
*Schapiro: Va. lawmakers work hard doing nothing ("This past Tuesday, they came, they schmoozed, they went home. It has been a recurring exercise since March, when the Republican-dominated General Assembly should have concluded its work for the year.")
*Gibson: Should Virginians get to vote on gerrymandering?
*LGBT Ally to Face Off for Comstock's Seat ("Kathleen Murphy seeks a second shot at McLean-area House of Delegates seat")
*Letter: Energy CEOs are blind to the economic gains EPA rules will generate
*McLean businessman Craig Parisot wins GOP primary for Comstock's Va. House seat (As one commenter points out, "There are two wings of the VA GOP: right and hard right. Let's see where he lands." Yep.)
*Riding light rail and streetcars into better communities ("Opposing streetcars and light rail today would be like opposing the building of freeways, the Beltway and Metrorail in the 20th century. Along with maintaining our roads and Metrorail, the most important transportation investment for our region in the early 21st century is streetcar and light rail.")
*Taxpayer backlash creates major doubts for Columbia Pike Streetcar and Purple Line ("I think supporters should keep pushing for the two projects. For the sake of the environment and our quality of life, we need more dense, urban-style neighborhoods where people are less dependent on cars.")
*Poquoson takes action to outpace rising sea levels
*Decent Sunday, damp and rainy Monday, then downright cold

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Nov 15, 2014 at 07:01:26 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, November 15.

*Undisclosed spending in elections threaten American democracy (Thank you right-wing Supreme Court justices!)
*GOP oil titan: Keystone's irrelevant
*Independent Bill Walker wins Alaska governor's race (Nice.)
*GOP may use spending bills to pressure Obama (Will Republicans shut down the government yet again? Stay tuned!)
*House approves Keystone bill; Obama likely to veto
*Earth has warmest October on record as ocean temperatures top charts (Any further questions, global warming deniers?)
*Terry McAuliffe: 60 Days Until Hillary Decision
*After Losses, Liberal and Centrist Democrats Square Off on Strategy
*Cantor slayer will back Boehner
*Veteran Va. politicians to join MWAA board
*New Va. ethics panel makes initial recommendations to McAuliffe ("The watchdog group Common Cause praised the creation of a commission with broad authority but noted several loopholes, including an exception to the $250 cap for attendance at events with 20 or more people.")
*GOP adviser apologizes for 'rented mule' comment in Virginia primary challenge (That comment's appalling on every level, but why am I not surprised that this is coming from one of Eric Cantor's former top advisors?)
*Our view: Did Sarvis cost Gillespie the election? ("Without Sarvis on the ballot, maybe some of those 53,098 Libertarian voters simply wouldn't have voted at all.")
*Baum: Keep Virginia beautiful: Recycle
*Peninsula to feel pinch of state budget cuts
*McAuliffe applauds EPA's carbon intent, questions details (Virginia doesn't need "leniency," we need to embrace these rules and push even more aggressively on energy efficiency, wind and solar power - "the greatest market opportunity world has seen.")
*Virginia Beach mayor resigns from TowneBank boards (How on earth could this type of thing ever be considered ethical?!? Perhaps Sessoms should resign as Mayor as well?)
*Less wind, but below-normal temps
as an arctic front heads to the area

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Nov 14, 2014 at 06:31:56 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, November 14.

*Solar - the greatest market opportunity world has seen (Yep, and if Dominion Power has its way, Virginia will miss out on this!)
*U.S.-China pact is an accord the planet needed (Yes, now we need even MORE action - both by other countries as well as this one. A revenue-neutral carbon tax would really do the trick about now!)
*In Myanmar, Obama Affirms Support for Democracy
*GOP split over how to respond on immigration
*Obama vows to move forward with plans for U.S. immigration system (Finally!)
*Obama, Down but Not Out, Presses Ahead
*Jim Webb and the Lost History of the Pre-Obama Left (Strange article, can't really figure out what it's saying exactly. Jim Webb is really on the "left?" Uh, no.)
*Jim Webb: The Democrat Who Could Beat Hillary From The Right (Extremely doubtful he could beat Hillary Clinton, but funny how one article says Webb's more to the "left" and another says he's more to the "right." LOL)
*Former Massey Coal Chief Indicted (Peter Galuszka's take on "a poster man for the view, popular among this country's business elite, that cost cutting and productivity are sacrosanct, human lives are cheap and environmental concerns such as climate change are mere diversions from the country's true goals.")
*Warner, Kaine vote against Reid to lead Senate Democrats
*Our view: This might be Virginia's chance to reform the way it picks its judges
*In Va., another test for a feuding GOP ("The state's fractured GOP will be drawn into yet another skirmish between the conservative grass roots and party establishment next year, when Republican House Speaker William J. Howell will face a primary challenge from the right.")
*Stimpson weighs run for Howell's seat (Couldn't happen to a nicer guy than Bill "ALEC" Howell! LOL)
*It's An Ed Gillespie World, Apparently The Rest of Us Are Just Living In it (Interesting take by Mason Conservative, who often provides interesting, thought-provoking takes on what's going on in Virginia from a conservative perspective.)
*Virginia bill would limit pension growth for lawmakers joining bureaucracy (Makes sense.)
*Va. revenues up 4.4 percent in October over October 2013
*McAuliffe kicks off open enrollment for Affordable Care Act marketplace
*Universities extend state benefits to same-sex spouses for the first time
*Grassley demands answers from Fairfax police, U.S. attorney in John Geer case (Yep, it's long past time for this.)
*Duke Energy makes plans to move coal ash (What's that again about "clean coal?" Right, it's a joke, and anyone who uses that phrase is either clueless or a fossil fuel tool.)
*Norfolk, Suffolk mayors resign from TowneBank boards
*Bundle up and brace yourselves. This could be the coldest day since March.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Nov 13, 2014 at 06:54:23 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, November 13.

*China's pledge to cut greenhouse gases eliminates excuse for other nations
*Fox News Melts Down Over The U.S.-China Climate Deal (These people are bonkers, but it's still enjoyable to watch them melt down!)
*European space probe safely anchored on comet's surface
*House, Senate to hold votes on Keystone project (THIS stupid project is the priority? What a joke.)
*The right economic message can get the Democrats back on track
*Will Obamacare separate Scalia from his principles? (He has principles?)
*Hearings floated as Hill Republicans seize on Gruber Obamacare comments (This Gruber guy sounds like the one who's stupid.)
*Democrats fault leaders for brushing off 2014 midterm losses (We certainly saw that here in Virginia, with DPVA Chair Dwight Jones basically talking about what a GOOD day it was! I know, crazy.)
*Progressives push Obama to shield more immigrants
*Democratic Senator Tim Kaine calls the war against ISIS "illegal" (If that's the case, then hundreds of military actions of various sorts this country has taken since its founding were also illegal.)
*Kaine: Intraparty Divisions Make War Authorization Easier - But President Should Help
*Two terms in a row ("The halls of the Virginia Capitol are littered with bills introduced year after year only to be tabled or killed. But then, under just the right leadership, they find their way to passage. The next one of those should be the bill to give Virginia a two-term governor.")
*Faith not at issue ("Churches may object, but Isle of Wight stormwater fee isn't a tax")
*Montgomery County board opposes route of Mountain Valley Pipeline ("Consensus suffered a slow, pecked-to-death-by-ducks demise even though everyone agreed on one fundamental point - that the proposed route of the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline in Montgomery County is for the birds.")
*Online sales-tax bill stalls, so cost of gas in Va. will likely increase
*Moving slowly on tax breaks ("Virginia's tax code is riddled with credits euphemistically described as 'preferences,' worth more than an estimated $12 billion annually."
*Norment, no stranger to judicial hardball, says maybe it's time for change ("Norment says it may be time to change the way Virginia selects judges.")
*Va. Beach prosecutor calls for outside investigation on Sessoms
*Arlington property taxes may bump next year ("Arlington's home values may cost homeowners more in taxes next year.")
*Will area finally see season's first snow? Slight chance tonight.

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Nov 12, 2014 at 06:39:11 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, November 12.

*Tribute fills Mall with rock, respect
*China, U.S. strike deal to limit greenhouse gases (Finally, some good news -- thank you President Obama, Secretary Kerry, etc.)
*China, America and Our Warming Planet (John Kerry: "The U.S. will reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. China will try to reach peak emissions before 2030.")
*The coming climate onslaught ("President Obama readies a sweeping list of executive actions." This is absolutely necessary, urgent actually. Do it!)
*The Worst Voter Turnout in 72 Years ("Apathy, anger and frustration at the negative tone of the campaigns resulted in the lowest percentage of voter participation since 1942.")
*Hillary's Going to Have a Primary After All, and She Should Be Grateful (I tend to agree -- primaries are generally good things for a number of reasons.)
*Kaine expects Senate debate on troops fighting ISIS
*Ed Gillespie's 'nearly flawless' campaign was enough to take Loudoun. Just not quite the state. (Combined with a totally lame campaign by Mark Warner -- even if one of his top aides, David Hallock, still doesn't get it.)
*Virginia legislators deal on Obamacare and transport money, judges a hang up
*Spoiled by politics ("A measure that saves insurance for thousands of Virginians should enjoy universal support. But lawmakers refused to work together, choosing to score cheap political points than do what's right.")
*Schapiro: Warner could learn a lesson from his old boss ("Warner's voter-mobilization effort was anemic, undercut by a campaign narrative that did little to do what McAuliffe emphasized above all else in his 2013 victory for governor: Invigorate the Democratic base of women, students, suburbanites, environmentalists, labor and minorities." Bingo.)
*Mark Warner's campaign knew race would be a nail-biter (If they really did, they certainly didn't let people know about it so they could feel a heightened sense of urgency.)
*Dave Brat ready to start work after swearing-in Wednesday (The nightmare/freak show begins...)
*Hanrahan: Coal is a dead end for Appalachia ("Jaculyn Hanrahan Hanrahan is a Catholic Sister who is Director of the Appalachian Faith and Ecology Center located in Wise County Virginia.")

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 107 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning (Veterans Day 2014)

by: lowkell

Tue Nov 11, 2014 at 06:43:40 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, November 11. Thanks to everyone who serves, or has served, our country.

*Mitch McConnell's mission: Degrade and destroy the Obama presidency (Yep, that's always been the case.)
*Waiting for Republicans to Act on Immigration Is Pointless (Again, the bottom line is that the Senate passed a bill with nearly 70 votes, there were enough votes  in the House to pass it, but Boehner/Cantor et al. wouldn't even allow a vote. So...long past time for executive action on this important issue!)
*Catherine Rampell: Voter suppression laws are already deciding elections
*America's Historically Shameful Election Day Turnout (So pathetic.)
*The Supreme Court Might Gut Obamacare. Your State Could Save It. ("So if a state wants to save its residents' health insurance, all it would need to do is set up its own exchange.")
*Mike Bloomberg takes his money local ("'You can keep hitting your head against a wall, or you can go elsewhere,' Bloomberg said in a statement to POLITICO. 'Change is really possible at the state and local level.'")
*Falling oil prices provide lift for hulking SUVs (Falling oil prices are not, despite what the media and politicians always tell you, an unmitigated positive.)
*Virginia Continues to Lag Behind Neighbors in Clean Energy Jobs (Thanks Dominion...and Dominion-bought-and-paid-for state legislators!)
*3 Ways Ed Gillespie Used Digital to Give Mark Warner a Run For His Money ("Having Twitter surrogates tweet out the campaign's message.")
*Gillespie says he's not interested in running for governor
*Legislature approves 13 judges but delays higher-court picks
*Divided JLARC panel delays decision on Medicaid study
*General Assembly approves budget fix despite conservative revolt
*Casey: Photo ID law is 'voter fraud at its worst' ("Virginia Whittaker, 93, has been voting in Virginia elections for 72 years. But last Tuesday, she couldn't because she lacked a valid photo ID." Outrageous.)
*Virginia Beach mayor must explain
*Group begins campaign to better protect the James River
*Va. legislature nixes plan to dip into road funds ("A plan to borrow $50 million from the highway fund put 2013 transportation overhaul at risk, critics said.")
*Former Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at Liberty University's convocation
*Democrat and two Republicans lining up to replace Comstock in Va. House of Delegates
*Web site ranks Arlington public schools 38th in the country
*UPDATE: Loudoun supervisors decide against raising their pay (What, crazed bigot Eugene Delgaudio doesn't deserve more money for his fine work? LOL)
*Don't forget the sunscreen. This Veterans Day will be sunny and mild.

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Nov 10, 2014 at 06:41:18 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, November 10.

*Joaquin Castro, Joe Kennedy considered to run Democratic comeback campaign
*Here Comes the Sun: America's Solar Boom, in Charts (Solar power is booming!)
*Officials rush for backup plans to HealthCare.gov
*Post-Election, Obama Says The Blame Is on Him (Partly, but a lot of the blame also goes to Democratic political strategists at the DNC/DSCC/DCCC, on campaigns, etc.)
*Breitbart's Attack On Obama Attorney General Nominee Goes After The Wrong Loretta Lynch (Of course, "Breitbart" is an utter farce, but its readers probably have no clue.)
*Gillespie cut Democratic margins in population centers
*Special session convenes today at General Assembly to work on transportation funding (Watch out for monkey business from Bill "ALEC" Howell and Company!)
*Chuck Todd to Eric Cantor: How Does Repealing Obamacare Count as Common Ground? (Any assault on the Affordable Care Act, as opposed to strengthening it, would be highly confrontational, not to mention irresponsible.)
*Cantor: Obama 'incendiary' on immigration (Amazing. Remember, the Senate has passed a bill with nearly 70 votes, but Republican "leadership" in the House has not allowed it to come to a floor vote, even though there's almost certainly a majority for passage. Now who's being "incendiary" again?!?)
*Cantor: Democrats have no bench for 2016 (Cantor should talk about his own party's 2016 field, which is an utter freak show.)
*John Whitbeck of Loudoun seeks to chair Republican Party of Virginia (Yep, it's the far-right-wing, anti-Semitic "joke" dude.)
*Today's Top Opinion: Warning letter (This is one of the most f'ed-up editorials, even by the Republican Times-Disgrace editorial boards's extremely low standards for truth. Just lie after lie about the Clean Power Plan. Which is weird, because even the RTD admits that global warming is happening and calls for a carbon tax, which they know Republicans - and fossil fool Democrats - in Congress won't allow.)
*They Like Me, They Really Like Me ("Ed Gillespie, Facebook and the near-upset of the year.")
*Pleasant start to the week, but brace for a sudden - and chilly - turn

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Nov 09, 2014 at 07:02:07 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, November 9.

*U.S. airstrike targets leaders of Islamic State
*GOP 2016 hopefuls jockey for position after midterms
*What Happens After the Red Wave? Predictions for the Next 18 Months in Washington ("Mitch McConnell has spent six years obstructing everything in sight, and there's no special reason to think that's going to change. John Boehner has spent the past four years in a wholly futile attempt to make his tea party crazies see reason, and there's no reason to think he's suddenly figured out how to do it.")
*Here Is What Will Happen If The Supreme Court Strikes Down Obamacare's Subsidies (Nothing good, that's for sure.)
*The GOP's poisonous double-speak: Thomas Frank on how Republicans hijacked the midterms ("Once again, Republicans used their patented brand of fake populism to make Democrats look like chumps")
*How Environmental Groups Are Reacting to Tuesday's "Miserable Fucking Failure" ("Climate deniers won big in the midterms. So where do green groups go from here?")
*Health insurance exchange opens for 2015 enrollment
*Push bubbling up to block gas tax increase ("There's a potential opening on the issue Monday because the legislature is going to tinker with the state budget during a reconvened session largely focused on electing various judges.")
*The election that might have been ("Why does Hampton Roads vote 54% for Sen. Mark Warner, and return three Rs and one D to the House?")
*With new Congress, region is losing clout ("With the new Congress, Virginia will gain 3 new members but lose 71 years of seniority.")
*Gillespie's strong showing in Senate race boost's Virginia GOP's confidence
*Close Senate race could have aftershocks in Virginia politics ("It also has sent a warning shot to Democrats about the importance of motivating their base voters such as minorities and college students to turn out in nonpresidential elections.")
*Schapiro: Republicans' not-so-odd couple ("Gillespie and Obenshain have a future in Republican politics - if they can change the way Republicans practice politics. That may lend itself to a Gillespie-Obenshain alliance. It has promise for both men. It also is fraught with peril.")
*Our view: Kasich ("Here's a modest proposal: Virginia's Republican legislators don't have take the word of our Democratic governor on Medicaid expansion. They don't even have to take the word of prominent business lobbies. Instead, they should invite in the Republican governor of Ohio to explain why it makes good business sense.")
*Landowner rights vs. public need in battle over pipeline route
*Pipeline opponents seek to influence FERC decision
*Va. Beach councilman wants inquiry into mayor's actions
*A warming trend in store before temperatures take the plunge

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Nov 08, 2014 at 07:00:53 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, November 8.

*Mitch McConnell Says His Top Priority Is To 'Get The EPA Reined In' (And everyone else's priority should be to make sure McConnell fails the next two years, then to replace him as Majority Leader in 2016.)
*BREAKING: Supreme Court To Hear Case Seeking To Gut Obamacare (Not good, I hope the Obama adminstration has a workaround for when the right-wing hack Supreme Court justices try to gut this law on an utterly absurd reading of the fine print.)
*Obama firmly rejects GOP warning that he hold off on immigration action (It's hilarious to hear John Boehner, who has singlehandedly blocked the bipartisan Senate immigration bill in the House from even getting a vote, say ANYTHING about this. President Obama should have done this months ago!)
*Obama's choice for U.S. attorney general breaks new ground
*Obama's big mistake with Latinos ("The president should have done what he thought was right on immigration." Absolutely, why the heck didn't he?!?)
*The falling jobless rate and spineless Democrats ("Yes, I know. The map was bad for Democrats defending seats or running for open seats in deep red states that hate Obama. But there was a great story to tell and 'fraidy-cat Democrats locally and nationally refused to tell it." Pathetic.)
*What happened to Mark Warner? ("'This is a base turnout state now,' said one strategist who wondered why Warner was spending time on the trail with a white, 87-year old Republican ex-Senator instead of bringing in African-American surrogates for the final push." Yep.)
*Ed Gillespie: No plan to run for Virginia governor (It would be better for Democrats if Mark "Criminalize Miscarriages" Obenshain were the nominee, so that's good news.)
*Our view: Virginia made history 25 years ago today
*Forcible sex offense reports increase at flagship universities in Virginia, Maryland
*Sessoms' Council Votes Helped Bank Borrowers ("Virginia Beach mayor's actions may have violated state law" -- Lucky for Mark Warner this news didn't break a week or two ago, as Sessoms endorsed him for reelection.)
*Gillespie concedes 'hard-fought race' for U.S. Senate in Virginia
*Efforts to clean up Lafayette River taking hold
*Report: Va. guardsman punished for abuse allegation
*Va. attorney general: No referendum on streetcar unless it's a bond issue
*Gordon Peterson, fixture of D.C. area news to leave WJLA at end of year (Can't blame him for wanting to leave this increasingly right-wing station.)
*McAuliffe: Virginia, partners to save 277 acres of 10 Civil War battlefields
*Coat-and-glove weekend weather to turn milder as Veterans Day nears

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Nov 07, 2014 at 06:31:55 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, November 7. Good riddance to THIS week! Also note that graphic from Daily Kos - in short, when people vote in large numbers, Democrats win and America wins; when people do NOT vote, Republicans win and America loses, big time.

*http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/11/06/3590096/breaking-marriage-equality-just-got-a-first-class-ticket-to-the-supreme-court/
*Court upholds gay marriage bans in 4 states (Crazy ruling by appointees of George W. Bush, surprise surprise, but I'm hopeful for a 5-4 or even 6-3 Supreme Court ruling making marriage equality the law of the land across the country.)
*Where the Democrats went wrong ("...there was nothing hopeful or aspirational about the party's message. Democrats gave their voters plenty to worry about but nothing to believe in.")
*Senate Democrats rush to pass bills before losing their grip on power ("GOP leaders are also inclined to clear legislative decks of must-pass bills so they can start fresh.")
*Polls Misdirected Midterm Narratives ("Polling often missed the mark, skewing coverage and expectations in the 2014 midterms.")
*Pollsters Missed Their Mark in Many States ("If the magnitude of the Republican wave in Tuesday's election was a surprise to many people, it was in part because it was a surprise to the people paid to predict it-the pollsters.")
*Why Mark Warner's race turned into a nail-biter (Simple: Dems weren't motivated by Warner and his "radical centrism," "both sides" nonsense. And when I say "nonsense," I mean that literally: can anyone tell me what "radical centrism" even MEANS? Uhhhhhh.)
*Pipeline opponents meet with federal officials (Senators Kaine and Warner should come out strongly against this pipeline.)
*Our view: Should Warner have run to the left? (Not "the left" per se -- how about just run/act like a Democrat?)
*State panel created to get rid of tax loopholes has scrapped zero ("The panel, led by state Sen. Jeff McWaters, shown, has voted to retain five big tax breaks that together reduce state revenue by some $1.7 billion a year." Typical Virginia corruption; keep subsidizing the same industries that give large amounts of $$$ to McWaters et al.)
*Mark Warner promises to be more of a 'disrupter' ("He says his narrow victory is not a sign that moderation doesn't play well anymore." No, sorry, but the reason we haven't had results since 2010 is because of the Tea Party/Republican Party. Period.)

There's More... :: (9 Comments, 176 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Nov 06, 2014 at 06:59:47 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, November 6.

*Obama: 'I hear you' ("President vows to work with Republicans")
*Democrats Have Their Schlitz Beer Reckoning
*Dear Democratic Party Are You Ready To Fight Yet?
*The Democrats Have Two Choices Now: Gridlock or Annihilation
*Democrats learn tough tech lesson ("emocratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Deputy Executive Director Matt Canter conceded that this year's GOP wave overwhelmed anything the Democrats could muster on the digital and data front.")
*Democrats' 2014 defeat is worse than it was in 2010 ("Yet Democrats and Obama can't simply blame defeat on an inevitable falloff in their midterm vote. They failed to give the faithful enough reason to cast a ballot.")
*A Republican-controlled Congress
won't be good for federal workers

*Here Is What The GOP Promises To Do With Its New Senate Majority
*The Fight for Abortion Rights Just Got a Whole Lot Harder ("Activists thought they had a chance to expand reproductive rights. The Red Wave put an end to that.")
*2014: The Year of Koch ("And six other key takeaways on big money in the 2014 elections.")
*On his way to a slim victory in a changing Va., Warner may have wooed wrong voters ("All of it has left some to wonder whether Warner would have won bigger if he had eschewed the middle and embraced the left, and whether the winning path for moderates that Warner forged during his own bid for governor 13 years ago is becoming extinct.")
*How Ed Gillespie nearly slayed Mark Warner ("Larry Sabato, the University of Virginia political scientist and elections analyst, said the 97 percent hit 'nearly killed' Warner: The senator didn't realize the extent to which voters now see him as a partisan Democrat.")
*Why the Virginia Senate Race Was So Close ("By hitting Mark Warner for voting with President Obama, Ed Gillespie nearly knocked off the popular Democratic senator.")
*Mark Warner and the (Almost) Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

There's More... :: (15 Comments, 203 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 06:50:56 AM EST

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, November 5. Oh, and great quote by my friend Eric Byler on last night's results: "I guess this means you don't win elections by accepting false narratives constructed by the other party's news channel. Next strategy."

*A REPUBLICAN WAVE ("GOP dominates midterms, takes control of Senate")
*How Bad Was It For Democrats? ("With few exceptions, 2014 turned out to be the worst possible scenario for Democrats.")
*Negativity Wins the Senate ("Campaigning on pure negativity isn't surprising for a party that has governed that way since Mr. Obama was first sworn in. By creating an environment where every initiative is opposed and nothing gets done, Republicans helped engineer the president's image as weak and ineffectual." Bingo.)
*Democrats Have Their Schlitz Beer Reckoning ("I have often wondered these past few years - when will the message and role of the Democratic Party become so watered down, so diluted, so unpalatable and unrecognizable from its former self that the public, even the most loyal customers, simply stops buying it? I think we're there.")
*President Obama Left Fighting for Relevance
*Axelrod: White House changes would be 'wise'
*Democrats sift through the debris
*Big win for conservative big money
*Battle for the Senate: How the Republicans did it ("From the outset, Republicans had a simple plan: Don't make mistakes, and make it all about Obama." And Democrats apparently had no plan, while the media failed to call out Republican extremists like Ernst, Gardner, etc, etc.)
*New day dawns in Washington ("Those results provided a stark contrast to 2008, when Warner crushed his Republican opponent, former Gov. Jim Gilmore, by a whopping two-to-one margin.")
*After drubbing, all eyes on Hillary Clinton ("Clinton will face enormous pressure to declare - and fast")
*Blue state shocker: Hogan wins Md. governor's race (Anthony Brown's campaign was weak, lame, pathetic, whatever you want to say. Plus, he really DID botch the Maryland health care exchange rollout.)
*For Democrats, a night far worse than any had feared (Yep, most of us were "cautiously optimistic," or some variant thereof, that it might not be too bad. It was.)
*Potential GOP chaos ("The consequence of an agenda-free campaign.")
*Analysis: Nail-biter shows Virginia remains a battleground ("Warner's margin - dramatically closer than his debut for Senate in 2008 because of a much lower turnout and a sour electorate - shows that Virginia remains a battleground state prized by both parties, increasingly at the presidential level.")
*Virginia gets three new members of Congress (One good one - Don Beyer - and two godawful ones -- Barbara Comstock and Dave Brat.)
*Our view: What happened Tuesday night ("In hindsight, Warner's invincibility was somewhat overrated...Virginia is very much a swing state, and in a good Republican year, even a no-name candidate like Gillespie came oh-so-close to knocking off a Democratic giant. And conceivably still could in a recount.")
*Constitutional amendment on property tax break passes
*Dave Brat defeats Jack Trammell to win 7th District seat (Not surprising. I mean, it's a solidly "red" district, but still, I can't tell you all the bad stuff I've heard - and observed myself - about the Trammell campaign the past few months. Total #FAIL)

There's More... :: (35 Comments, 244 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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