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National and Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Jun 30, 2015 at 06:12:02 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, June 30.

*The Supreme Court Can't Save Coal ("The combination of other environmental regulation, cheap natural gas and growing public concern over climate change is shrinking America's fleet of coal plants. The EPA has only to make sure this ruling doesn't slow that process any more than it must.")
*Markets fall as twin defaults loom in Greece, Puerto Rico
*Supreme Court's ruling on gerrymandering is a victory for voters
*NBC cuts ties with Donald Trump
*His star dimmed, Christie leans on truth-teller persona as he readies bid
*Supreme Court upholds use of drug in lethal injection executions (Appalling.)
*A Divided Court on Three Big Rulings
*President Obama overtime rule could raise wages for 5 million
*Ross Douthat is a clueless scold: How he just exposed the bankruptcy of conservatives' anti-gay marriage arguments (He is truly awful, hard to believe the NY Times gives him a platform.)
*What Hillary Clinton Learned From This 2013 Campaign ("Her campaign manager, a number of staffers and her strategy all come from the successful Virginia gubernatorial race")
*Sons of Confederate Veterans challenge Gov. McAuliffe's authority
*Rep. Morgan Griffith: Fight against Obamacare will continue (Fanatic.)
*Lawsuit against state says livestock manure finding its way into watershed
*Dominion unveils new routes for huge power line through Prince William ("But as opposition grows, landowner tells one supervisor that Amazon will not be allowed another data center.")
*Seven Corners residents seek to change plan to revive aging suburb ("Some homeowners argue that the current redevelopment plan would mean too much density and traffic.")
*Williams: What are we clinging to in defense of Confederate monuments?
*D.C. area forecast: Heat, humidity and chance of storms into holiday weekend

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Jun 29, 2015 at 06:10:59 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, June 29. Also check out the classic, spot-on quote from Stephen Colbert: "History moves fast; it's hard to believe that gay Americans achieved full, Constitutional personhood just five years after corporations did." LOL, exactly!

*Krugman: Greece Over the Brink ("Greece should vote 'no,' and the Greek government should be ready, if necessary, to leave the euro.")
*Greece will close banks for 6 days, impose limits on withdrawals
*Jeb Bush dogged by questions on business deals
*Why Does Jeb Bush Have a Mysterious Shell Company? ("An entity called BHAG is trying to trademark the candidate's logo for use on 'key chains of precious metal' and other campaign merchandise.")
*Man On His Third Wife Has No Good Defense For His Support Of 'Traditional' Marriage
*After Charleston, Black Churches Targeted By Arsonists Across The South (Nope, no racism there...uh huh.)
*After gay marriage ruling, state law requires update
*House of Delegates members paying while climbing the legislative ladder? ("As members of the House of Delegates climb the ladder of power, they often pause to send a few thousand dollars to Speaker Bill Howell's political action committee shortly before ascending to the next rung.")
*Jim Webb emerges as conservative summit's favorite Democratic candidate (Wonnnnnderful.)
*Murder, custody and justice: The making of a political candidate ("How the murder of Mark Levine's sister shaped him and how it might affect his performance as a delegate.")
*With McAuliffe in office, old friends find new opportunities (To the victor goes the spoils...)
*Our view: Herring, reconsidered ("So while Sweet Briar supporters may wish Herring had been there with them on Day One, he was there on the last day when it really mattered. So they should still saddle up a white horse and shower him with roses. Or, better yet, invite him to speak on campus this fall.")
*Waiting for the sheriff to act ("It's been nearly five months since the death of Natasha McKenna, the mentally ill woman who was shot four times with a Taser by a guard at the Fairfax County jail; she was removed from life support several days later. Incredibly, the investigation into her death drags on, ostensibly while the police await data to be extracted from the Taser, a process that would seem more likely to take minutes than months.")
*Nats split doubleheader in Philadelphia
*D.C. area forecast: A beautiful Monday, then a slightly sticky and stormy pattern

Discuss :: (7 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Jun 28, 2015 at 06:39:53 AM EDT

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

*As cultural ground shifts, Republicans face a choice
*Years of battles converged for gay marriage ruling
*Krugman: Europe's Moment of Truth ("If you ask me, it has been an act of monstrous folly on the part of the creditor governments and institutions to push it to this point. But they have, and I can't at all blame Tsipras for turning to the voters, instead of turning on them.")
*Sick Of Waiting, Woman Takes Down South Carolina Confederate Flag Herself
*CNN Mistakes Dildo-Covered Flag at Pride Parade for ISIS Flag (Does anyone at CNN have a brain cell or an iota of journalistic skill/integrity?)
*Webb close to 2016 decision, insiders say Clinton camp helped delay launch
*Schapiro: In Sweet Briar College fight, getting to yes meant giving up sleep
*Warner: Making the on-demand economy work better for more people
*Virginia GOP goes with primary in 2016
*Va. GOP chooses primary for 2016 presidential choice; convention for governor in 2017
*Critics: Dominion Virginia jumping gun on coal ash cleanup
*Cities in Hampton Roads face monumental decisions ("Across the South, including in Virginia, governors called for the removal of Confederate flags. But some have asked: Is that enough? Should all the Confederate monuments also come down?")
*Officials: UVa swimmer's hazing allegations promptly reported to Charlottesville prosecutor
*Mayor Jones on Confederate statues: 'Rather than tearing down, we should be building up' (Silly; we can do both things -- take down statues and "build up" African Americans, our cities, etc.)
*In Fairfax, police and firefighters meet for competition and camaraderie
*D.C. area forecast: Bright and comfortably warm through tomorrow; shower chances return Tuesday

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

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

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

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

Discuss :: (11 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Jun 26, 2015 at 06:29:40 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, June 26.

*Krugman: Hooray for Obamacare (" The Affordable Care Act is now in its second year of full operation; how's it doing? The answer is, better than even many supporters realize.")
*Obamacare's win is even more decisive than you think
*The Obamacare ruling disappoints the conspiracy theorists ("An unambiguously good decision by the Supreme Court.")
*Legacies of Obama presidency and Roberts court are forever intertwined
*Scalia, Thomas & Alito have totally lost it: The complete and utter incoherence of the conservative Supreme Court justices (Three incompetent far-right-wing ideologues.)
*Read the 7 Most Ridiculous Lines from Justice Antonin Scalia's Obamacare Dissent (As I was saying...)
*The Court Keeps the Fair Housing Law Effective (Another case in which Scalia/Thomas/Alito voted the wrong way.)
*These clowns will never give it up: Post-SCOTUS, GOP vows to get super serious about repealing Obamacare ("With no idea what else to do, Republicans and conservatives get ready to fight each other on Obamacare repeal." Duhhhh....drool.)
*The Republican war on vegetables: How new dietary guidelines brought out the GOP's inner petulant child (Speaking of duhhhh...drool!)
*It's time for conservatives to end the denial on climate change (By conservative op-ed writer and former Bush administration official Michael Gerson)
*What's Changing At (Excellent investigative reporting by Josh Israel of ThinkProgress!)
*Trump bump terrifies GOP (Go Trump! LOL)
*150 years later, America is still battling the Confederate mentality ("Black voters showed in 2012 that they can overcome restrictive new voting laws. They can do it again, including in state and local elections, where power over voting rights resides.")
*Supreme Court ruling on health law prompts new McAuliffe Medicaid push (Great, although good luck convincing Republicans, who are terrified of their far right wing above all...)
*Virginia lawmakers react to rulling (Predictably hysterical responses from the right wingnuts...)
*Health care ruling doesn't move political battle lines in Virginia
*Civil rights leaders demand Goodlatte move on Voting Rights Act reform
*Frank Wagner calls Democratic flag attack "cheap shot" ("The state senator says a news release saying he's staying quiet about Confederate flags is a 'cheap shot.'")
*Pipeline partner says natural gas could be exported ("An owner of the proposed pipeline has a deal to export natural gas, contrary to a federal official's promise." Yep, liars.)
*Loudoun Has Seen Confederate Flag Controversy Before
*Williams: It's time for Confederate monuments to come down
*Jefferson Davis statue on Monument Avenue vandalized
*Virginia OKs coal ash spill settlement
*GOP Del. Robert Bell opposes restoring felons' rights before they pay restitution (Huh? If they've served their time, they've paid their debt to society. End of story.)
*Doug Fister zeroes in as the Nationals win their sixth straight game
*D.C. area forecast: Rain risk up late today, peaks Saturday when severe weather and flooding may visit

Discuss :: (5 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Jun 25, 2015 at 06:24:05 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, June 25.

*Here's How The Supreme Court Could Rule Today On Same-Sex Marriage
*Conservative decisions on Obamacare subsidies and gay marriage would cleave the nation in two.
*Ayatollah Khamenei's Fateful Choice (And here's "Plan B" if Khamenei makes the wrong choice.)
A Dutch Court Just Did The Unthinkable On Carbon Emissions ("Environmental advocates lauded the decision, saying that more rulings could be expected in other countries.")
*How America can free itself from guns ("What's needed is a long-term national effort to change popular attitudes toward handgun ownership. And we need to insist on protecting the rights of Americans who do not want to be anywhere near guns.")
*Obama burnishes his legacy with a major trade win ("The foreign policy victory represents a hard-won payoff for a president who bucked his party to land the legislation, which grants the executive branch additional powers for six years.")
*Taking down the Confederate flag musn't obscure the South's vile history ("...once the flag is taken down, it will still be easy to avert our eyes, and moral sensibilities, from the grotesque reality that was the antebellum South and the Confederacy's fight to preserve it.")
*Bobby Jindal hits Jeb Bush, hard, as he announces White House run ("Jindal warned that Bush is putting the whole Republican Party in danger by appeasing the left and masking conservative views." Weird -- Bush still seems super conservative to progressives like me.)
*Legislation Introduced to Restore Voting Rights Act Protections (That should be passed immediately!)
*Tearing Down the Confederate Flag Is Just a Start ("So, sure, good riddance to Confederate flags across the country! And then let's swivel to address the larger national disgrace: In 2015, so many children still don't have an equal shot at life because of the color of their skin.")
*The Righteous Logic of the Neo-Confederate Watershed ("...the ghost of the Confederacy and the almost countless public honors inscribed on the land are close to inoperable. They run so deep. They are so numerous and pervasive. Do we follow the righteous logic of recent days to its logical conclusion?")
*Dem presidential hopeful Jim Webb hammered for defending Confederate flag in bizarre Facebook post
*Former senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) appears to defend Confederate flag
*Editorial: Confederate symbols sow division
*Opinion: Redistricting reform needed in Virginia to ensure a healthier democracy (Big time.)
*GOP wants to take 3rd District case back to SCOTUS (Instead, why not just allow fair, non-partisan districts in Virginia? Gee, I can't imagine why the Republicans would oppose that - heh.)
*McAuliffe: Four months and Confederate plates will be gone (Good riddance.)
*McAuliffe creates commission to study bringing parole back to Virginia ("It was abolished two decades ago by former governor George Allen." Huge mistake by Allen; glad to see McAuliffe looking to correct it!)
*More steps toward online school
*Arlington's choices akin to post-9/11, board chair says (Bizarre. Also, regarding the streetcar's cancellation, a huge amount of blame certainly falls on the folks who launched a campaign of demagoguery and lies, but  County Board supporters failed on multiple levels as well.)
*Virginia Zoo may get rid of its two elephants, replace them with white rhinos
*Virginia wins College World Series
*D.C. area forecast: Mugginess muscles back in today, with late day storm threat

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

Remember When Dick Black Introduced a Bill to Get the Confederate Flag Back On Virginia Plates?

by: lowkell

Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 09:55:53 AM EDT

Good point from DPVA:

That happened:
"In 2003, another state lawmaker from Loudoun penned legislation on the issue, taking a different stance from May. Then-Del. Dick Black (R) introduced legislation removing 'the prohibition on display of the organization's logo on Sons of Confederate Veterans special license plates.'"
Dick Black went above and beyond to make sure that the Sons of Confederate Veterans had extra-special permission to slap their flag on Virginia license plates. A federal court ruling had already made the practice legal, but Black needed a specific allowance for the Confederate flag to be enshrined in the Code of Virginia. Yet, strangely, he's been silent on the matter now that the stars and bars are no longer in vogue.

"Since Dick Black was so eager to go out on a limb for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, how does he feel about their cause now?" said Morgan Finkelstein, press secretary for the Democratic Party of Virginia. "He went above and beyond to ensure the Confederate flag would be on Virginia license plates, so it's curious that he's still not said anything on the current issue." 

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Jun 24, 2015 at 06:16:02 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, June 24. Also check out VPAP, which finds: "Throughout most of Virginia, the General Assembly elections this November will be a mere formality. In 79 of 140 districts, only one name will appear on the ballot. The lack of competition is particularly keen in the House of Delegates, where 62 of 100 seats are uncontested...The percentage of contested seats is down slightly from four years ago, the last year when both House and Senate seats were up for election."

*Tally Counters Perceptions of Top Terror Threat in U.S. ("Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed on American soil by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims, according to a count by a research group in Washington.")
*President Obama Must Use Trade Authority to Reach Better Agreements ("Now it is up to the administration to reach deals that uphold the high standards it has promised on labor rights, the environment and other issues.")
*Catholic And Evangelical Leaders Call On Lawmakers To Fight Climate Change
*A historic shift to banish a divisive Southern symbol
*Medical Examiner Rules Freddie Gray's Death a Homicide by Fatal Blow to the Neck
*The Stupid Party's Candidate ("Running to the right isn't working for Bobby Jindal.")
*The New Conservative Plan To Make A Supreme Court Case Gutting Obamacare Even Worse
*13 Senate Dems vote with GOP to advance trade bill (Virginia's two Senators voted for cloture.)
*Jim Webb Is the Only Presidential Hopeful Who Won't Comment on the Confederate Flag Controversy ("The former Virginia senator has defended the Confederate Army in the past.")
*Tim Kaine: Breaking Up Iraq Into Three Parts May Be "Only Realistic Alternative"
*Dorothy McAuliffe backs program to avoid the "summer slide" in child nutrition
*McAuliffe widens felon voting rights restoration
*Will Virginia Republicans Shoot Themselves In The Foot In 2016?
*McAuliffe moves to ban Confederate flag from state license plates
*Remove the flag, emblem of prejudice
*Va. governor wants Confederate flags off license plates
*McAuliffe's Confederate flag license plate decision wins lawmakers' approval
*Schapiro: Other Rebel symbols - some barely visible - endure
*Hampton Roads eager for progress on Virginia's transportation projects
*Strasburg pitches five shutout innings as Nationals defeat Braves
*D.C. area forecast: Wonderful Wednesday, then turning unsettled through weekend

Discuss :: (12 Comments)

Breaking: Gov. Terry McAuliffe Says Virginia Will Remove Confederate Flags from License Plates

by: lowkell

Tue Jun 23, 2015 at 11:01:09 AM EDT

From Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, speaking earlier this morning "in response to the tragic shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision declaring that states can restrict license plate designs."
Before I address some very positive developments regarding my administration's continuing efforts to restore the voting rights of Virginians who were former offenders, I wanted to say a couple of words about last week's horrific tragedy at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

First and foremost, I want to express, on behalf of all Virginians, our heartfelt sympathies to all members of the Emanuel Church Community, as well as the larger community in the City of Charleston.

In the days since last week's tragic shooting, the people of Charleston have displayed unparalleled unity and courage, and they have made all Americans proud.

I also want to commend my colleague, Governor Nikki Haley, for her leadership yesterday in calling for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag from the state Capitol grounds in Columbia.

As Governor Haley said yesterday, her state can ill afford to let this symbol continue to divide the people of South Carolina.

I believe the same is true here in Virginia.

Although the battle flag is not flown here on Capitol Square, it has been the subject of considerable controversy, and it divides many of our people.

Even its display on state issued license tags is, in my view, unnecessarily divisive and hurtful to too many of our people.

As you all know, I have spent the past 17 months working to build a new Virginia economy that is more open and welcoming to everyone. Removing this symbol from our state-issued license plates will be another step toward realizing that goal.

There's More... :: (23 Comments, 174 words in story)

Democratic Party of Virginia Unveils New Logo

by: lowkell

Tue Jun 23, 2015 at 09:59:45 AM EDT

Nice job DPVA - I like it!
Virginia Democrats unveiled a new modern logo last night, just in time for the party's biggest annual fundraiser this Friday. Democrats from across the Commonwealth will be traveling to George Mason University's Patriot Center for the Jefferson-Jackson event with special guest Hillary Clinton.

"This design better reflects who we are as an organization -- modern, sophisticated and streamlined," said Chairwoman Susan Swecker. "Our supporters are fired up and are working in new, innovative ways to win big in November. We felt our logo should reflect the cutting-edge work Virginia Democrats are doing."

Virginia Democrats across the Commonwealth have already mobilized for the 2015 elections, ramping up volunteer recruitment and turnout operations. The new logo is the latest in a series of long-term investments in party infrastructure that have included new staff hires and significant upgrades to field, data, and targeting programs. It will be rolled out to coordinated campaign offices and Democratic Party of Virginia materials statewide.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Jun 23, 2015 at 06:24:43 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, June 23. Also see the fascinating discussion from last night's PBS NewsHour on "the roots of Dylann Roof's radical violence."

*How "Fox & Friends" became the most repugnant show on Fox News ("In the aftermath of the Charleston tragedy, "Fox & Friends" has descended to new and uncharted levels of idiocy")
*S.C. governor: Confederate flag should be moved (Now for every other former Confederate state.)
*The Confederate battle flag is not worthy of respect
*America will only end racism when it stops being racist
*Top doctors' prescription for feverish planet: Cut out coal
*Hillary Clinton Dominates 2016 Democratic Field, Leads GOP Rivals
*Ted Cruz's dad: Jews, Catholics of northeast put Democratic Party above religion (And what about Rafael Cruz, whose politics go against almost all of what Jesus taught?)
*EPA Report Puts a Staggering Price Tag on Climate Inaction
*Obamacare repeal still vexes GOP (Of course it does, given that the Affordable Care Act was based mostly on Republican plans/ideas, including the individual mandate.)
*Fox News' shocking racism effect: The alarming statistical relationships underneath conservative viewing habits ("Even controlling for other variables, those who watch Fox News are more likely to hold a number of alarming beliefs")
*Whitewashing Terrorism ("Republicans have firm rules for fighting terrorism-unless it's committed by domestic racists.")
*Virginia GOP grapples with how to pick a presidential nominee ("State Republican leaders are split between prioritizing the tighter control of a convention or a primary election that leaves it up to the voters.")
*Health insurance coverage falls slightly in Virginia
*Goodlatte: Voting Rights Act remains strong without amendment (BADlatte, wrong on this as he is on just about everything else.)
*Interim director named leader of VRS ("Patricia S. 'Trish' Bishop will be director of the $68 billion retirement system, replacing Robert P. Schultze, who left earlier this year after a decade as its leader.")
*Cuccinelli: I'll return donation from segregationist leader (Begging the question as to why the white nationalist leader felt simpatico with Cooch and lots of other right-wing Republicans in the first place.)
*Reston Zoo accused of mistreating animals (Disgusting.)
*Virginia Beach treasurer pays for ad against light-rail extension (WTF?)
*Sweet Briar's second chance
*3 resign from Prince William Committee of 100 (Now for the remaining 97.)
*Fairfax County Could Crack Down On Car-Title Loans, Seen As Predatory
*D.C. area forecast: Searing heat today, some respite tomorrow; Cooler weekend awaits

Discuss :: (12 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Jun 22, 2015 at 06:03:03 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, June 22.

*'Meet The Press' Shows Anti-Gun Montage Of All Black Shooters Following South Carolina Rampage (Chuck Todd needs to be fired. ASAP.)
*Confederate flag is an uneasy subject for GOP ("The flag - a symbol of racism to some, of Southern pride to others - is an issue that has tripped up many Republicans, no matter what their view.")
*Our culture of evasion ("We talk about race and guns but say and do little.")
*Pitts: Pope Francis urges consensus on climate change
*Leader of group cited in 'Dylann Roof manifesto' donated to top Republicans ("Earl Holt has given $65,000 to Republican campaign funds in recent years while inflammatory remarks - including that black people were "the laziest, stupidest and most criminally-inclined race in the history of the world" - were posted online in his name.")
*Campaign Donations Linked to White Supremacist ("The campaigns of Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul got donations from the leader of an extremist group tied to Dylann Roof, the suspected gunman in the attack at a church in Charleston.")
*Krugman: Slavery's Long Shadow (" I'm sorry to say this, but the racial divide is still a defining feature of our political economy, the reason America is unique among advanced nations in its harsh treatment of the less fortunate and its willingness to tolerate unnecessary suffering among its citizens.")
*Health care subsidies for 286,000 Virginians in the balance
*War Powers: Tim Kaine gives them hell
*Sweet Briar College students, faculty debate whether to return
*Moss: The stuggle for Appalachia
*Loudoun's politics produce turmoil: 'It's got everybody's head spinning' ("'It's a mess,' said one Loudoun Republican who requested anonymity to speak candidly about the party's problems. 'It's got everybody's head spinning.'")
*Portsmouth: Give up Willett Hall
*Death of inmate at Fairfax jail becomes contentious issue in sheriff's election
*Nats find a winning formula in strong sweep of Pirates
*D.C. area forecast: Simmering start to week but late week relief with rain chances

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

It's Time To Change the Name of the JJ Dinner

by: Virginia Robinson

Sun Jun 21, 2015 at 19:22:49 PM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

With another successful Arlington County Democratic Committee Jefferson-Jackson (“JJ”) Dinner in the books and the Democratic Party of Virginia JJ with Hilary Clinton right around the corner, it’s time to have a hard discussion about why we here in Virginia haven’t done away with this event’s terrible, reproachable name.  For those not in the know, “Jefferson-Jackson Day” is the traditional name for the annual fundraising dinner held by state and local Democratic Party organizations throughout the United States, usually in the springtime.  The name of the JJ Dinner honors Presidents Thomas Jefferson, who established the original Democratic-Republican Party, and Andrew Jackson, who founded the modern day Democratic Party and was the first Democrat elected President.  Neither, however, embodied modern Democratic values. 

Jefferson’s mixed feelings about slavery, which included a failure to liberate his own slaves and a belief that slaves were too primitive to handle full manumission, are well-documented.  Jackson has a far more reprehensible history as an overtly pro-slavery racist.  Jackson’s first major legislative initiative after being elected President was to effectuate the mass removal of Native Americans from their ancestral lands through forced marches that resulted in thousands of deaths—a genocide we now know as the Trail of Tears.  And, Jackson not only owned hundreds of slaves, but he sought to prohibit abolitionists from mailing informative tracts opposing slavery, tabled abolitionist activity in Congress, and was himself a slave trader.  A more detailed rundown of Jackson’s shameful legacy can be found in Steve Inskeep’s new book, Jacksonland, and in this Salon piece from 2013.  Indeed, Jackson’s disgusting legacy has been all over the news lately with the introduction in Congress of the “Put a Woman on the Twenty Act” and the corresponding “Women on $20s” campaign.  Any way you slice it, Jackson is no one we as Democrats should praise. 


There's More... :: (20 Comments, 334 words in story)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Jun 21, 2015 at 06:53:24 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, June 21.

*Mitt Romney's opposition to Confederate flag puts GOP's current presidential candidates on the spot
*Alleged Manifesto Of Dylann Roof Confirms Motivation For South Carolina Murders
*Dylann Roof may have been radicalized by the website of a group associated with southern GOP politicians (The Confederate-loving "Council of Conservative Citizens," which George Allen was a big fan of.)
*Dylann Roof Photos and a Manifesto Are Posted on Website (And it's exactly what most of us, except for right wingnuts and imbeciles like E.W. Jackson, thought: racist, anti-Semitic, violent, etc.)
*Romney: Take down the Confederate flag; 2016 GOP
*A renewed furor over
the Confederate flag

*Hillary Clinton Calls for 'Common Sense' Gun Control After Charleston Shooting
*Jeb Bush And Chris Christie Spout Anti-Women Rhetoric At Conservative Conference
*It's Not Just Climate - Pope Francis Is Also Warning About The Health Of Our Oceans (Right, there are enormous environmental problems aside from climate change.)
*GOP's fear of a black America: The long, racist history which explains Dylann Roof and stains the so-called "party of Lincoln"
*Conservative PAC seeks to take on 3 in GOP (Yep, I posted about this a few days ago.)
*Amy Frederick is senior adviser to Fiorina's bid (Ditto.)
*Schapiro: Hurdles remain for Sweet Briar despite deal
*Our view: The changing face of Virginia
*Agreement reached to keep Sweet Briar College open next year
*Idea of natural gas compressor station worries possible neighbors
*Feds zero in on timeline of Uhrin's Cavalier vote, builder involvement ("The FBI and Virginia State Police are conducting joint interviews in their separate criminal investigations of votes taken by Councilman John Uhrin and Mayor Will Sessoms.")
*Cardinals and dogwoods out, hearts in as Virginia replaces welcome signs
*Nats' Max Scherzer throws no-hitter
*D.C. area forecast: Summer swelter for the solstice

Discuss :: (6 Comments)

The Disgrace of Virginia Republicans' Blocking of Medicaid Expansion

by: Andy Schmookler

Sat Jun 20, 2015 at 11:32:33 AM EDT

[The following is running in newspapers in the heavily Republican VA-06 congressional district.]

As the American public recognizes, our political system has become dysfunctional. A big component of the problem is that disgraceful political conduct has become acceptable, and is often even rewarded.

The rejection of Medicaid expansion by the Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly is a case in point.  

It is hard - perhaps impossible - to find a way that this rejection is good for Virginia or its people.

Many will not be swayed by the most obvious factor-that it leaves a couple of hundred thousand Virginians without the kind of health care security that every citizen gets in other advanced democracies. Some people will not be moved by the human cost of the failure to extend Medicaid, just as some applauded at a 2012 Republican presidential debate when one of the candidates said we should let the uninsured die.

But the rest of us are hurt, too.  

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 550 words in story)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Jun 20, 2015 at 06:48:08 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, June 20. Also see this week's address by President Obama, which pushes for the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a way to "[rewrite] the rules of global trade to benefit American workers and American businesses...with standards that are higher and protections that are tougher than any past trade agreements."

*An NRA board member blamed the pastor killed in Charleston for the deaths of his members (Is anyone surprised? This is the extremist NRA after all.)
*Americans reclaim the liberal label (Long past time!)
*Jeb Bush: 'I Don't Know' If Charleston Shooting Was Racially Motivated (Another diqualifier for elective office for Jeb Bush - that being utter idiocy.)
*Lindsey Graham: The Confederate flag is "part of who we are" in South Carolina - even if "it's a racist symbol" ("He didn't say why only the American and state -- but not the Confederate -- flag were at half-staff today ")
*It's not about mental illness: The big lie that always follows mass shootings by white males ("Blaming 'mental illness' is a cop-out -- and one that lets us avoid talking about race, guns, hatred and terrorism")
*Let that hateful flag fly: From George W. Bush to Lindsey Graham, a history of Republican support for the Confederate flag
*Beyond Mourning for Charleston ("The tragedy of racism and violence will not end without, in the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., 'continuous struggle.'")
*Suspect in Massacre Faces Grief and Anger
*Ivory crushed in Times Square to highlight poaching (So sad to think how many amazing, intelligent elephants were killed for this blood ivory. Ugh, makes me ill.)
*Fox News Refusals to Call Charleston a Racial Attack Makes Wilmore's 'F*cking Head Explode'
*Mike Huckabee: More Guns in Church Could've Stopped Charleston Shooting (Another 2016 Republican nutjob uttelry unfit for any public office.)
*Maher Goes Off on GOP Charleston Reactions: 'Isn't Denying Racism a Form of Racism?' (Yes, very much so.)
*Herring hires outside counsel for Virginia voter ID case
*Good news: state's finances improving
*Marsh returns money from golf outing ("Event held by ABC official, former state Sen. Henry L. Marsh III, D-Richmond, violated governor's limit on gifts.")
*Turtles, shorebirds must live with more tires in sands of Hatteras ("Beach-driving enthusiasts will find four new seaside ramps carved from the sand. The park staff is also building a 4-mile sand road to better avoid sea turtle and shorebird nesting areas")
*A gleaming performance from Joe Ross in Nats win over the Pirates
*Storms and heavy rain to hit D.C. region in late afternoon and evening

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Jun 19, 2015 at 06:17:24 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, June 19.

*A welcome warning on climate from the Vatican ("With concerted action, we could actually push global emissions downward in the next few years. How? Well, an ongoing revolution is taking place in energy technology.")
*The Pope and Climate Change ("A pope in Rome worries about how we can shepherd the planet safely into the future. If only the senator from Kentucky and others in Congress could join him in thinking bigger.")
*Words fail in Charleston, but change must follow ("...the United States, for all its progress, is far from closing the book on the racial divisions that warped much of its history. Equally perverse is how easy this country makes it for guns to fall into the wrong hands.")
*Suspect captured in deadly shooting at black church in South Carolina (Far from being "incomprehensible" or whatever, there were two major factors behind this: guns and racism.)
*E.W. Jackson: Charleston attack shows Christians must be armed (Just to emphasize yet again, Virginia Republicans nominated this raving, far-right-wing lunatic for Lt. Governor in 2013. Any further questions about that party?)
*Shooters of color are called 'terrorists' and 'thugs.' Why are white shooters called 'mentally ill'? ("This racist media narrative around mass violence falls apart with the Charleston church shooting.")
*After Charleston, will America finally do something about guns?
*Right-Wing Media Exploit South Carolina Church Shooting To Push Pro-Gun Myths And Attack Obama (Utterly demented.)
*Fox's Steve Doocy: It's Extraordinary That Charleston Church Shooting Is Being Called A Hate Crime (Again, these guys are demented.)
*Mark Warner: Asking tough questions about the gig economy
*Shooting Suspect 'Big Into Segregation,' Roommate Says
*Krugman: Voodoo, Jeb! Style
*Take Down the Confederate Flag-Now
*House approves fast-track 218-208, sending bill to Senate
*McAuliffe touts benefits of 6-nation European trip
*FOIA group calls for look at 'working papers' exemption
*Arlington GOP endorses independent candidate for county board seatl
*McDonnell and wife seen together at Virginia Beach charity event
*Moore wants Virginia to address climate change ("State Senate Democratic candidate April Moore said Wednesday it's time to step up and confront the challenge of climate change.")
*Roanoke religious leaders call for prayers, unity at vigil for Charleston shooting victims
*Vigil held at Virginia Beach church for Charleston victims
*Rumors swirl around UVa, Liberty and Disney as Sweet Briar buyers
*D.C. area forecast: Drier breezes reduce storm risks today, but tropical rains are headed this way

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

Virginia Dems to Vote 6/27 on Changing Current Term for Chairs from 2 to 3 Years

by: lowkell

Thu Jun 18, 2015 at 20:38:47 PM EDT

I was chatting with Virginia Democratic Party insider earlier this week, and out of the blue the person asked me, "Are you hearing about the pending DPVA fight over local committees?" I hadn't heard a word about it, actually, so I started asking around (as we bloggers are wont to do - lol). Here's what I've found out so far.

*There's a proposal to give local Virginia Democratic Party chairs a third year and not reorganize until after the presidential election in November 2016, instead of the end of this year, which is what the current plan calls for.
*I haven't nailed down where this is coming from exactly, but it sounds like it's probably from the local chairs (one source specifically mentioned "Chair of Chairs" Gene Magruder) In other words, it does NOT appear to be coming from the Clinton campaign, Gov. McAuliffe, DPVA Chair Susan Swecker (who I hear opposes this) or new DPVA Executive Directly Rebecca Slutzky (ditto).
*What is this all about? I'm not sure exactly, but one source told me, "I hear it's about chairs, particularly in Northern Virginia, wanting to keep their positions for another year, expecting 'bennies' from the Hillary Clinton run." I also heard an argument made that it's better to have "experienced leaders in place for the presidential race."
*Apparently, for this rule change to pass, it would need to get an "absolute majority" of the Central Committee [update: someone else tells me that it might only require a simple majority of those present).
*I've heard from several party folks who oppose this idea. One told me they just don't think it makes any sense, that "the harder years for most local chairs are the odd years," not the federal election/even-numbered years.
*One person responded, tartly: "Canceling elections? These chairs were not elected for next year... changing the rules midstream and making it effect old elections is highly questionable."
*Another counterargument I heard was that this change "could create problems for larger committees [Lowell's note: actually all committees have would to amend their bylaws to allow for this change]," such as in Northern Virignia, Richmond and Hampton Roads, since they "would need to change bylaws and their schedules."
*I hear from multiple sources that there are folks in the Fairfax County Democratic Committee who are opposed to this because they don't want current chair Sue Langley to get a third year.
*Another local party official told me, "Any DPVA member who cares about their local committee's finances should vote it down."
*Finally, I received the following statement from a Democratic local committee person who wanted to remain anonymous, but was concerned about the potential loss of income to their committee.

I'm a local Democratic Committee member, but not a voting DPVA member, and I'm not happy about this proposal.  For one thing, our members hardly know that the proposal exists and they haven't been given much of an opportunity to weigh in on something that will greatly affect our local organization.  We elected our Chairs to serve a two-year term in early 2014.  The terms of office will be extended not only for our Chair, but for the rest of the leadership and full membership as well. Some will welcome this change, and there are others who never intended to serve that long and will resign.

Additionally, a large portion of our revenue comes from membership dues. We actually budgeted for the thousands of dollars we expected to take in at the end of this year in the form of two-year memberships. Without that income, we'd have to cut back on our voter outreach programs. You can "assess" members for a year's worth of their membership dues but that would have to be optional, and we might only get half of the membership participating (not to mention a lot of confusion).  So we would recover roughly a quarter of the budgeted income in membership dues, and wait another year for the remainder.

Given all those arguments, my view is that the terms shouldn't be changed unless there's some overriding reason to do so, and I can't think of any (and haven't heard of any). Also, I see no reason for a divisive issue to come up when we have such important elections this year (for control of the State Senate) and next (for President and Congress). If I were a Central Committee member, personally I'd vote "no."

By the way, DPVA will be meeting at 10 am at Woodson High School in Fairfax City the day after the Hillary Clinton event to vote on this. Supposedly it's open to the public; should be interesting.  

Discuss :: (8 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Jun 18, 2015 at 06:11:11 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, June 18.

*The pope, the saint and the climate
*Updates on Pope Francis' Encyclical on Climate Change
*Fox host freaks out over 'Marxist' Pope Francis: He is 'the most dangerous person on the planet' (More evidence Fox is utterly deranged.)
*9 dead in S.C. church shooting: Police search for gunman in Charleston 'hate crime' ("The shooting took place Wednesday night during a prayer service at the historic African American church. The pastor was missing after the shooting and feared to be among the dead.")
*Here are 10 of the worst domestic terror attacks by extreme Christians and right-wing white men
*Thugs and Terrorists Have Plagued Black Churches for Generations ("The Charleston, South Carolina, shooting spree is the latest attack on these symbols of African-American endurance and triumph-over-adversity. And their members need our solidarity today.")
*Bursting Jeb's bubble: The ugly truth behind Bush's economic record
*Donald Trump Campaign Offered Actors $50 to Cheer for Him at Presidential Announcement
*Fox News as we know it may be screwed: Roger Ailes' stunning rebuke could spell the end ("With Rupert Murdoch stepping aside, Roger Ailes will now report to Murdoch's Fox-hating sons")
*One Big Fact Media Are Missing On Jeb Bush, The Pope, And Climate Change ("Coverage Of Bush's Criticism Of Pope's Encyclical Should Include Candidate's Secret Coal Industry Meeting")
*Fox's Sean Hannity Lets Jeb Bush Whitewash The Consequences Of Florida's Permissive Gun Laws ("Bush Signed Nation's First NRA-Backed 'Stand Your Ground' Law")
*GOP 'Fix' To A Supreme Court Decision Gutting Obamacare Would Actually Make Things Much Worse
*CTB approves VDOT budget, funding formulas ("Members upped by 5 percentage points the 'accessibility' category, used to measure how easily people can get to jobs and could boost transit projects. The board did the same for 'land use,' which indicates whether a project will encourage smart growth." Good, but not enough.)
*Why Virginia's Tea Party Wants the GOP to Ditch its Primary in 2016 ("Tea partiers have the clout to switch from a primary to a convention, but some establishment members say it will hurt the party in the general election.")
*Kaine, Warner call for tougher regulation of financial abuse of military members
*Webb blasts trade deal over lack of transparency
*Editorial: Data on executions shouldn't be hidden
*Push to open government meetings shot down in Richmond ("A Daily Press push to open local government discussions about the performance of leaders was rejected Wednesday by a state panel studying Virginia's open meetings laws.")
*Prosecutor outlines why he dropped charges against black U-Va. student
*Another 'wake-up call' for Metro
*Steven Souza Jr. haunts Nationals, Jordan Zimmermann
*D.C. area forecast: Dodging showers today, drier Friday, Sunday may be stormy

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

National and Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 06:06:33 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, June 17. Also see Vice President Joe Biden speaking at the White House Clean Energy Investment Summit, "bringing together major foundations and institutional investors to announce $4 billion to scale up investment in clean energy innovation."

*Cracks appear in the climate change deniers' defenses (Just remember, these people are aided and abetted by the corporate media, which continues with its wildly irresponsible, cowardly false equivalence and also downplaying of denialism to "skepticism," which it most certainly is not.)
*Senate passes torture ban despite Republican opposition (Anyone who voted to allow torture is utterly unfit for public office, not to mention a sociopath.)
*NASA: Aquifers losing water at alarming rates (Yet another example of how humanity is trashing the planet. And Republicans' answer? Keep on doing the same thing, or even accelerate the devastation!)
*Donald Trump's festival of narcissism
*Donald Trump Elbows His Way into the Republican Clown Car ("And Sidney Blumenthal does the whole Benghazi thing.")
*Neil Young to Donald Trump: Don't Rock in My Free World ("The rocker also endorses Bernie Sanders.")
*RNC Official Awkwardly Refuses To Denounce Trump's Anti-Immigrant Screed (Yikes.)
*Jeb Bush Says Obama Has Left "Violence Unopposed." Ask Al Qaeda. ("The day after the GOPer bashed the president's foreign policy, a US drone strike kills Al Qaeda's No. 2.")
*Jeb Bush knocks Pope on climate change push (Wow, what an f-tard. Also, utterly unqualified for higher office, let alone president.)
*Rhetoric rises in Dominion pipeline fight ("As the developer of a pipeline to bring fracked natural gas to North Carolina sues landowners for refusing to cooperate, a politically influential collection of opponents is trying to raise $1 million to torpedo plans to route the project through Virginia farms and properties, saying the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would be a scar on Appalachia.")
*Jim Webb: 'I don't want a Super PAC' (The problem for Webb is that he also hates fundraising.)
*Virginia, Coal Country for Centuries, Now Embraces Carbon Regulations (Not sure I'd go that far...)
*Herring PAC pulls plug on Roanoke fundraiser ("Tommy Jordan, one of the event organizers, said he was told by the PAC director that the group was pulling out because [Sen. John] Edwards' campaign claimed major donors were upset and wouldn't attend an event at [Roanoke Councilman Ray] Ferris' office.")
*Schapiro: Low primary turnout would have thrilled Byrd ("The quirks of Virginia's political calendar help the ins and hurt the outs")
*Northrop Grumman lays off 51 state workers under contract with VITA
*Transportation overhaul: New scoring system for project funding nearly set (Environmental quality and land use should make up large percentages of this formula. If not, it's a major #FAIL. Also, it really depends how they calculate "congestion relief"; if they think adding lanes helps in that regard, they are flat-out wrong.)
*Layne: U.S. 460 negotiations will keep going
*Save Sweet Briar
*Senators from Maryland and Virginia blast Metro (Not sure members of Congress blasting Metro is the answer, when the system is so badly underfunded by...yep, Congress.)
*Nationals pound out 23 hits in 16-4 rout of Tampa Bay Rays
*D.C. area forecast: Not as hot the next few days, but still feeling like summer

Discuss :: (10 Comments)
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