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Virginia Politics

Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Jul 27, 2014 at 07:12:44 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, July 27. Also see the video of State Senator George Barker welcoming Mayor Adam O'Neal, the "walking mayor," from North Carolina to Woodbridge, Virginia. Sen. Barker thanks Mayor O'Neal for his walk and for "inspiring us," says "we're with you" and that Virginia shares many of the same issues and problems (e.g., with rural hospitals under tremendous financial pressure, being forced to close in Lee County, etc.) as North Carolina. Sen. Barker notes that only 2 legislators in the entire General Assembly out of 140 who represent largely rural areas and who supported closing the coverage gap, and only 1 is a Republican. "They are hurting their own constituents." Sen. Barker notes that his isn't just happening in rural areas, but that people are dying because of lack of health care in urban/suburban areas as well. Bottom line: we need to expand Medicaid ASAP.

*Israel Resumes Gaza Offensive After Hamas Rocket Attacks (Note: AFTER Hamas rocket attacks.)
*Federal judge overturns D.C. ban on carrying handguns (Another conservative activist judge...)
*Charlie Crist: "I'm not a scientist either but I can use my brain and I can talk to one" (Great line. Apparently, many Republicans can't use their brain or talk to a scientist.)
*Repeal Prohibition, Again ("It is past time to end the ban on marijuana. The case for legalization: the first part in a series.")
*Rand Paul Is Also A Minority And Will Lead His Libertarian People Out of Bondage (Hahahahaha. Also, just a handful of people came to hear his ridiculous speech. #FAIL all around, as usual with this loser/wacko.)
*Getting Back Virginia's Good Name, Reputation ("What Virginians deserve is the absolute assurance their elected officials are as clean as Caesar's wife. That means, in our view, strict bans on all gifts - tangible or not. Period. No free or subsidized trips to seminars. No free meals on lobbyists' tabs. No little trips to that swanky golf course, paid for by corporations with business before the state. Nothing.")
*Schapiro: McDonnell legacy damaged before Giftgate ("Whether it was transportation, privatization, education or ethics - an issue he addressed literally days before his indictment - McDonnell took steps that, he believed, would change the course of government. Instead, McDonnell's program has been stepped on. Make that: trampled - and by supposed friends.")
*Expect drama at the McDonnells' corruption trial: 'It's going to be ugly' ("Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton could even get a mention in the trial of the ex-governor and his wife.")
*McDonnell trial tells Va. politicians that the feds are watching
*Trial comes down to Bob McDonnell's conduct ("Former Gov. Bob McDonnell will have to answer for his own conduct, not his wife's, when their trial on corruption charges begins Monday in federal court in Richmond.")
*Mark Warner on offense in Virginia Senate debate  

There's More... :: (14 Comments, 127 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Jul 26, 2014 at 06:32:34 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, July 26. Also see President Obama's weekly address, in which he "continued his call for our nation to rally around an economic patriotism that says rather than protecting wasteful tax loopholes for a few at the top, we should be investing in things like education and job training that grow the economy for everybody."

*Pause in Gaza fighting begins as promised
*Russia and Ukraine trade charges of border shelling
*Putin Isolated as EU Prepares Tougher Sanctions on Russia
*Why the Border Crisis Is a Myth ("...the myth of a 'crisis' is being used by politicians to justify ever-tighter restrictions on immigration, play to anti-immigrant voters in the fall elections and ignore the reasons so many children are coming here in the first place.")
*Paul Ryan's Anti-Poverty Plan Would Cost Billions to Implement. Will GOPers Go for That?
*Benny Johnson and Buzzfeed's Achilles heel ("In the eyes of many journalists, BuzzFeed is constantly walking a fine line between aggregation, or 'curation,' and theft.")
*Meet The Congressman Who Assumed Two Senior U.S. Officials Were Foreigners (Of course he's a Republican...what else?)
*Book review: "I Heard My Country Calling," by James Webb (Interesting, definitely not a positive review...)
*Sen. Kaine, Loudoun-based firms advocate for Ex-Im Bank (Funding the Ex-Im Bank is a no brainer. Which is probably why Teapublicans oppose it.)
*Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Wife Set for Corruption Trial ("Couple Is Accused of Accepting Gifts in Exchange for Promoting a Friend's Company")
*Saslaw says 40 percent of rural hospitals will close in states that don't expand Medicaid (Still: "40 percent of rural hospitals are running in the red and those located in states that don't broaden Medicaid eligibility may see their problems exacerbated.")
*Warner and Gillespie to face off in first debate ("The Democratic senator and his GOP rival will square off for 90 minutes at the Greenbrier resort on Saturday.")
*Virginia keeping drug used in botched executions
*McAuliffe says it's a blessing more didn't die in tornado
*McDonnell defense subpoenas
*Rigell seeks funds to promote girls' science education
*Loudoun will pay Delgaudio's legal fees in recall case
*'It's a great piece of American history' ("While restoring U-Va.'s iconic Rotunda, workers discovered remnants of its Jeffersonian past.")
*Roark earns 10th win, Span collects 4 hits as Nats rough up Reds, 4-1
*Isolated storm risk today; increased threat of severe weather Sunday

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Friday Morning

by: lowkell

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 06:46:43 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, July 25. Also see the video of Sen. Tim Kaine making the case to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank ("let's create American jobs, let's help American businesses find customers abroad, and let's do it at no cost to the American taxpayer")

*John McCain: Arizona execution 'torture' (For once I agree with McCain.)
*Central American leaders want Washington's help with immigration crisis (And they absolutely should get it, given that we're largely responsible for the problem due to our illegal drug consumption in this country that's fueling the Central American drug wars.)
*A no-show in Ukraine ("Where is the European Union's Russia strategy?" As with America, unfortunately there are very few good options when it comes to dealing with Russia...)
*The Progressive Proposal Buried In Paul Ryan's Poverty Plan ("On criminal justice, Ryan quietly shifted his position to endorse bipartisan, progressive reform including moves to reform draconian drug sentences, and policies that ease re-entry from prison.")
*Will an Ethics Scandal-and Jimmy Carter's Grandson-Bring Georgia's GOP Governor Down? (Don't look now, Teapublicans, but Georgia's turning blue!)
*Sadly, politics as usual ("Is McDonnell guilty? Twelve of our fellow citizens will hear the evidence and tell us. But we know this much already: This will not be pretty.")
*Senate Race: Warner, Gillespie Set for First Debate This Weekend
*An Instant Classic War on Women Whiff ("There's no sexism whatsoever in attributing 'stalker-like' behavior to Comstock.")
*U.S. wants judge to compel Williams' former assistant to testify
*
*Regulators seek funds from four Justice coal mines ("Virginia regulators are moving against the Roanoke-based coal mining enterprises of Jim Justice to restore mined land at company expense because, they say, Justice isn't doing it.")
*Silver Line opening will be a boon for Northern Virginia ("Expected to bring in 100,000 new jobs")
*Metro's Silver Line 'is ready for its close-up'
*Va. 'sexting' case reignites debate over whether law is too harsh on teens ("Some push for a misdemeanor alternative to treating the practice under child pornography laws.")
*Fairfax County low-income housing plan likely to be tabled
*2 killed in campground after tornado strikes Virginia's Eastern Shore
*Survivors recount tornado that killed two on Eastern Shore
*Sunny and pleasant today; heat, humidity return this weekend

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Saturday: Prince William County Rally In Support Of Medicaid Expansion With "Walking Mayor"

by: lowkell

Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 11:31:59 AM EDT

From ProgressVA:

Woodbridge, VA – Prince William County residents and elected officials will join Adam O’Neal, the Republican mayor of Bellhaven, NC, to discuss the importance of expanding Medicaid and closing the coverage gap to families and health care providers. Mayor O’Neal is walking 273 miles from Bellhaven to Washington, DC to highlight the impact of closing the coverage gap on local communities. As in Virginia, conservatives in the North Carolina General Assembly are blocking Medicaid expansion. O'Neal became an outspoken critic of the obstruction when his local hospital closed as a direct result of the lack of expansion.

In Virginia, a hospital in Lee County has already closed and without expansion, hospitals and clinics like the Woodbridge Community Health Center are facing financial pressures that could impact their ability to continue to serve our community. According to The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, over 13,000 Prince William residents could access affordable care if Virginia closes the coverage gap.

WHO: Mayor Adam O’Neal, Delegate Michael Futrell, State Senator George Barker, Virginia New Majority, Planned Parenthood of Metro Washington, ProgressVA, and local community leaders

WHAT: Rally in support of closing the coverage gap and extending quality, affordable health care coverage to up to 400,000 Virginians

WHEN: Saturday, July 26th at 6pm

WHERE: Outside the Greater Prince William Community Health Center, 4379 Ridgewood Center Dr, Woodbridge, VA 22192

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Jul 24, 2014 at 06:42:28 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, July 24. Also, courtesy of Eric Byler and Annabel Park, see the statement of GOP Mayor Adam O'Neal after meeting with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday. Mayor O'Neal is currently making his way across Virginia, en route to Washington, DC, as part of his "14-day, 273-mile march to Washington, DC in support of quality health care."

*A conservative judiciary run amok ("By effectively gutting the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday, two members of a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals showed how far right-leaning jurists have strayed from such impartiality. We are confronted with a conservative judiciary that will use any argument it can muster to win ideological victories that elude their side in the elected branches of our government")
*Arizona execution lasts nearly two hours, witness says Joseph Wood was 'gasping and struggling to breathe' (Barbaric. The death penalty is a disgrace to our nation and needs to be abolished.)
*U.S. ramps up pressure on Israel over Gaza campaign
*Intense battles continue to rage in eastern Ukraine
*The U.S. should push for the disarming of Hamas in Gaza-Israel cease-fire
*Blow: Paul Ryan and His Poverty Prophet
*Latest front in Clinton wars: Virginia suburbs ("Comstock's bid against Democratic Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust has reopened the old wounds of Travelgate, Filegate, Monicagate and more. But the stakes go way beyond settling old scores. Clinton allies worry that if Comstock wins and Hillary Clinton returns to the White House as president, she'll reprise her role as Clinton investigator-in-chief." Don't let that happen!)
*A heartfelt call to action on child refugees from Kaine ("Today seems to be the day for Virginia politicians to get personal - on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Tim Kaine spoke  from the heart on the issue of child refugees on the nation's southern border, reminding his colleagues 'that we're dealing with little kids.'")
*Warner says W&M vet's clinic, other Virginians could help VA
*An unwavering focus ("Flaws in Virginia's mental health system demand our commitment to reform")
*McAuliffe heads west for PAC fundraisers (Good, we're going to need a LOT of money for the 2015 elections if we want to hold the Senate and pick up a bunch of seats in the House of Delegates!)
*Fighting Va. flooding linked to rising seas will be complicated, costly
*Confederate group plans rally over Washington and Lee flags (WTF? Seriously?!?)

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 119 words in story)

Video: Arlington Young Dems Forum on "How to Elect More Women"

by: lowkell

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 21:50:08 PM EDT

Interesting forum tonight at Cafe Asia in Arlington on "How to Elect More Women," organized by the Arlington Young Democrats Women's Caucus. Participants included Jennifer Boysko, who ran in 2013 and lost to Del. Tom Rust (R-86th) by just 32 votes out of 21,000 cast; Kathleen Murphy, who ran in 2013 and lost to Del. Barbara Comstock (R-34th) by just 422 votes out of 29,544 cast; State Senator Barbara Favola (D-31st); Yasmine Taeb, who was recently a candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 48th district; and State Senator Jennifer Wexton, who won a special election to fill the seat of Mark Herring, who had been elected as Attorney General of Virginia in 2013. Here's some video from the event. Note that the acoustics in the room were not the greatest, nor was the microphone used by the speakers, and that (unfortunately) reflected in the quality of the recording.

My bottom line takeaways were: 1) many of the lessons for electing women are applicable to electing ANYONE, male or female; 2) there are both advantages (e.g., more women vote; women are perceived as more likely to be running for the "right reasons" and not just power hungry, etc.) and disadvantages (e.g., weak recruitment and developmemnt of female candidates) for women running for elective office; 3) while the number of women holding elective office in this country is increasing, it's still far lower than women's share of the population, let alone the electorate; and 4) the Democratic Party most definitely needs to up its game when it comes to recruiting, training, and helping elect strong, qualified female candidates.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 117 words in story)

Virginia School Board Members Weigh Tax Authority

by: Dan Sullivan

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 08:11:29 AM EDT

Waynesboro High School photo 130203WaynesboroHighSchool_zpsb2f61365.gifIt isn't a formal proposal just yet, but it could move that direction at the September Legislative Advocacy Conference of the Virginia School Board Association (VBSA). Under the radar, school board members are questioning whether the Virginia Constitution allows the legislature to grant tax authority to school districts.

In a number of conversations that began during the McDonnell administration's efforts to strangle the budget in order to boast fiscal austerity and have intensified as the effects have manifest, school board members across the Virginia have floated concepts of revenue generation to meet shortfalls that are starving maintenance and operational funding. Because there is no standard for engineering studies and no requirement to maintain a maintenance reserve, there is no practical measure of unfunded liabilities. In the short run, that masks the accumulating real deficit.  

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 358 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Jul 23, 2014 at 06:37:45 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, July 23.

*Kerry lands in Israel in pursuit of cease-fire
*U.S. releases intelligence on Flight 17
*Appeals courts split on health-law subsidies
*No, the Halbig case isn't going to destroy Obamacare
*The Supreme Court's Coming Paralysis
*Why Democrats Now Have a Shot in Georgia
*Schapiro: Political debate flares anew over Va. pension fund ("...if VRS had stuck with U.S. equities based on the S&P 500, and bonds selected from a broad index, the fund would have piled up another $6.6 billion over three years. The total value of its holdings would exceed $72 billion.")
*Medicaid session change: House coming in Sept. 18
*Walking mayor passes through Capitol Square ("Adam O'Neal, the eastern North Carolina mayor walking to Washington D.C. to draw attention to a local hospital closure, and to argue in favor of Medicaid expansion, was in Richmond today.")
*McAuliffe headed to Aspen, L.A. for PAC fundraisers (Virginia Dems are going to need a ton of money for 2015.)
*Virginia psychiatric-bed registry does not work as intended, lawmakers told
*Chance for change with Deeds pick
*RC Poll: Warner lead Gillespie in Senate race; Clinton keeps edge over possible 2016 Republican rivals; Obama approval down (I wish the Warner-Gillespie numbers were true. The problem is, Roanoke College is notorious for its horrendously bad polling.)
*EDITORIAL: Debate more
*For health and safety ("Women's clinic regulations in Virginia should reflect these straightforward goals")
*McAuliffe decides against appeal of school takeover ruling
*Clinging to a pipe dream for Virginia ("Despite last week's renewed push toward offshore drilling and its attendant riches, there remains precious little movement in Washington toward repairing a royalty scheme that makes no provision for Atlantic drilling")
*Coal Ash: Law group says 94 percent of deposit still in river
*Ron Jaworski ranks Robert Griffin III last among NFC East quarterbacks
*Nats battle back to best Rockies; Zimmerman leaves with injury
*Heat, humidity dominate today, but relief is right around the corner

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Don Shaw to Run for 13th HOD Seat Against Bob Marshall

by: donshaw

Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 08:42:07 AM EDT

I just talked to Don, he seems like he'll be a strong candidate against "Sideshow Bob." As for Atif Qarni, who ran against "Sideshow" the last time, stay tuned for some interesting news... :) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact: 571-248-1322, info@shawfordelegate.com

July 22, 2014

Don Shaw Announces Campaign for Virginia House of Delegates

Gainesville, VA - Today, Don Shaw announced his candidacy for the 13th House of Delegates District seat. The district covers portions of the Brentsville, Coles, Gainesville, and Occoquan Magisterial Districts in Prince William County as well as all of Manassas Park City.  The race will take place in November 2015.

"After having given the situation a lot of thought," Shaw said, "I have decided I can make a greater impact in Richmond by working to advance responsible economic legislation and mainstream social policies in the General Assembly.  I look forward to serving the constituents of the 13th House District."

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

Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Jul 22, 2014 at 06:45:20 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, July 22. Also see Jack Trammell, "professor and Democratic candidate vying for Eric Cantor's seat, [as he] joins Luke Russert to discuss his campaign as well as being coworkers and rivals with Dave Brat."

*Ukraine rebels turn over bodies, data recorders ("The developments offered some hope that an international investigation might clarify how Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down in eastern Ukraine.")
*Gaza conflict offers little hope of truce
*June 2014 was Earth's warmest on record (Any more questions by the science-denying freaks and tools out there?)
*The West needs a strategy to contain the world's newest rogue state - Russia ("It's time to treat Mr. Putin's Russia as what it has become - a dangerous outlaw regime that needs to be contained.")
*New England Journal Of Medicine: 20 Million Covered Under Obamacare
*If the Left Wants Scapegoats, Just Look in the Mirror ("So fine. Blame Obama if it makes you feel better. That's what we elect presidents for: to take the blame. But he only deserves his share. The rest of us, who were unable to take advantage of an epic financial collapse to get the public firmly in favor of pitchforks and universal health care, deserve most of it. The mirror doesn't lie.")
*Warner dodges question about how much he'll campaign with Obama
*McDonnell wants subpoena for public official to stay private
*Mental health panel discusses 'streeting' of psychiatric patients
*First bills for 2015 Assembly session emerge
*Tighten Chesapeake coal waste regulations
*One option for port authority: $10M treasury loan
*Delgaudio regains control of Sterling district budget ("Some fellow Loudoun supervisors protest, urging board to wait until a new county ordinance takes effect.")
*Metro says 'all systems go' for scheduled opening of Silver Line Saturday
*Casey: Photo IDs may hamper senior voting (Republicans don't care.)
*Arlington pub crawls to pay security and cleanup costs (As well they should!)
*Virginia oyster harvest surges to half a million bushels ("2013 records highest year since 1987")
*Former Richmond mayor to seek state Senate seat ("Rudolph 'Rudy' C. McCollum, an attorney in private practice, announced Monday that he is seeking to fill the vacancy in the 16th Senate District in a special election on Nov. 4.")
*Arch Coal to idle Wise County complex, cut 213 full-time jobs (Why don't they switch to installing solar power and improving homes/businesses' energy efficiency? There are tons of potential jobs there.)
*Tapping solar power just got easier in Roanoke
*Desmond's slugging powers Nats past Rockies in road trip opener, 7-2
*Brief burst of summer heat and humidity before late week retreat

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

by: lowkell

Mon Jul 21, 2014 at 06:39:40 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, July 21. The photo is of Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring volunteering the other day at the Remote Area Medical clinic in Wise County. Now, if only people from that area would stop voting for Republicans who are blocking Medicaid expansion, the Remote Area Medical clinic might not even be necessary.

*U.S. builds case against rebels, Russia in jet strike (Then what?)
*How Hamas uses its 'terror' tunnels
*Will Flight 17 focus us? ("Obama's foes make every policy issue about him.")
*Israel Claims Destruction of Two More Gaza Tunnels
*Kerry Returns to Middle East to Push for Israel-Hamas Cease-Fire
*The Fiscal Fizzle ("The budget office predicts that this year's federal deficit will be just 2.8 percent of G.D.P., down from 9.8 percent in 2009.")
*Legislative panel studying mental health reforms convenes Monday
*In Virginia's 10th, GOP struggles to woo minority voters (Smart of them to try, but why would any minority vote for the party of exclusion and intolerance?)
*Warner makes his case for second Senate term
*Va. suburbs brace for parking battles
as Silver Line debut draws near

*More money for Lynchburg road projects, but local leaders still miffed
*Virginia Tech researchers search for ways to better trace effects of coal ash spills (How about not have these spills in the first place?)
*Humid through midweek as storm chances slowly rise

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Sunday Morning

by: lowkell

Sun Jul 20, 2014 at 07:08:46 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, July 20. The photo is of Del. Mark Keam (D-Vienna), who wrote yesterday: "I had the pleasure of joining federal, state and local officials to cut the ribbon to open the Wiehle-Reston East Station on the new Silver Line Metro. The trains will start test runs this week and accept passengers beginning next Saturday."

*U.S. official: Missile from Russia ("Sophisticated launchers were in the hands of separatists")
*Moran blasts Kremlin for enabling 'mass murder'
*Southern Black voters to the rescue in the Senate?
*Russia says it will bar entry to 13 Americans, including Virginia's Moran (Yeah, that will be really effective...not.)
*What we learned from liberals at Netroots Nation ("Even though grassroots activists acknowledge that Clinton is the most electable Democrat on the radar right now, they don't want a Clinton coronation.")
*At McDonnell corruption trial, former Va. governor's character will be key ("Once known as an effective public servant, he will try to convince jurors that his reputation was not a farce.")
*McDonnell's fall reads like a Greek tragedy of Virginia politics (A really bad Greek tragedy, perhaps.)
*Schapiro: Perhaps it's time for McAuliffe to change the subject ("One increasingly hears in General Assembly circles - Democratic and Republican - that McAuliffe should start talking about something other than a Medicaid-financed expansion of Obamacare; that he should more sharply focus on the economy and jobs.")
*Former general counsel to RNC aids McDonnell's fund
*Rand Paul coming to Arlington to meet Republicans in swing state of Virginia (This says it all: "[Pete] Snyder, who last year sought the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor, planned the events at Paul's request along with Ken Cuccinelli...")
*Virginia's GOP hurts the poor and the budget by refusing Medicaid expansion (All true, but Republicans don't care, and sadly they control the Virginia General Assembly for now.)
*Virginia's racist legacy at the polls
*1/3 of Va. Beach, Chesapeake students qualify for lunch program
*State funds to pay for contentious Columbia Pike streetcar ("The once-united Arlington County Board splits as the streetcar fight rages on.")
*Fairfax transportation director takes travelers' questions about Metro Silver Line
*As Silver Line simulations begin, so will the waits for Blue Line riders
*Nationals come out swinging to batter Brewers starter Matt Garza
*Summer humidity starts to return

Discuss :: (4 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:01:37 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, July 19. Also see President Obama's weekly address, in which he discussed "the importance of ensuring that the economic progress we've made is shared by all hardworking Americans."

*Rebels limit access to crash site ("The fate of the data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was unclear, and separatists argued over whether to allow a brief cease-fire so bodies could be taken to morgues elsewhere.")
*Separatists said to have received antiaircraft training in Russia
*Obama builds circumstantial case against Russia ("The president said the rebels "have received a steady flow of support from Russia," including antiaircraft weapons.")
*Israeli clashes with Hamas intensify in Gaza
*The Malaysia Airlines crash is the end of Russia's fairy tale
*Ukraine rebels 'destroy MH17 clues' (The more they do this kind of thing, the more it appears that they did it and that most likely Russia was involved, which is why the rebels are covering tracks...)
*Obama to Issue Order Barring Anti-Gay Bias by Contractors
*For Republicans, Fine Line Seen on Immigration ("The recent wave of young migrants has complicated the Republican Party's effort to win back the support of Latinos while gaining immigration reform.")
*Virginia jobless rate inches up to 5.3 percent
*Oil and gas exploration off Va. coast a step closer (Huge mistake, not at all the direction we should be going!)
*Gov. McAuliffe says Wise clinic shows need for health care (No question about it. Hello Republicans?!?)
*McAuliffe finds fertile ground for Medicaid pitch in coal country ("In southwest Virginia, thousands line up for free health care at a clinic at the county fairgrounds.")
*At a huge free medical clinic in Southwest Virginia, misery that shouldn't exist (The ONLY reason for this is Republican opposition to providing universal healthcare coverage to all Americans.)
*Goodlatte, other congressmen ask McAuliffe to hold off on sale
*Foust opens Winchester office for congressional race
*Democrats trumpet fundraising totals in Northern Virginia race ("After collecting $705,000 since April 1, Foust's campaign has twice as much cash available as his Republican opponent, Del. Barbara J. Comstock...")
*Corey Stewart continues his immigration demagoguery (Yep, that's what this guy does, sad to say...)
*Arlington House Gets $12.35 Million Donation
*County Breaks Ground on Crystal City BRT
*Washington and Lee makes a wise decision to take down the Confederate flag
*Va. taxi companies file suit to stop Uber, other ride services
*Nationals open second half with a thud ("The Brewers light up Stephen Strasburg, whose starts are a mix of dominance and vulnerability.")
*Weekend looks mostly nice before heat and humidity begin to creep higher

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

by: lowkell

Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 07:01:37 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, July 19. Also see President Obama's weekly address, in which he discussed "the importance of ensuring that the economic progress we've made is shared by all hardworking Americans."

*Rebels limit access to crash site ("The fate of the data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was unclear, and separatists argued over whether to allow a brief cease-fire so bodies could be taken to morgues elsewhere.")
*Separatists said to have received antiaircraft training in Russia
*Obama builds circumstantial case against Russia ("The president said the rebels "have received a steady flow of support from Russia," including antiaircraft weapons.")
*Israeli clashes with Hamas intensify in Gaza
*The Malaysia Airlines crash is the end of Russia's fairy tale
*Ukraine rebels 'destroy MH17 clues' (The more they do this kind of thing, the more it appears that they did it and that most likely Russia was involved, which is why the rebels are covering tracks...)
*Obama to Issue Order Barring Anti-Gay Bias by Contractors
*For Republicans, Fine Line Seen on Immigration ("The recent wave of young migrants has complicated the Republican Party's effort to win back the support of Latinos while gaining immigration reform.")
*Virginia jobless rate inches up to 5.3 percent
*Oil and gas exploration off Va. coast a step closer (Huge mistake, not at all the direction we should be going!)
*Gov. McAuliffe says Wise clinic shows need for health care (No question about it. Hello Republicans?!?)
*McAuliffe finds fertile ground for Medicaid pitch in coal country ("In southwest Virginia, thousands line up for free health care at a clinic at the county fairgrounds.")
*At a huge free medical clinic in Southwest Virginia, misery that shouldn't exist (The ONLY reason for this is Republican opposition to providing universal healthcare coverage to all Americans.)
*Goodlatte, other congressmen ask McAuliffe to hold off on sale
*Foust opens Winchester office for congressional race
*Democrats trumpet fundraising totals in Northern Virginia race ("After collecting $705,000 since April 1, Foust's campaign has twice as much cash available as his Republican opponent, Del. Barbara J. Comstock...")
*Corey Stewart continues his immigration demagoguery (Yep, that's what this guy does, sad to say...)
*Arlington House Gets $12.35 Million Donation
*County Breaks Ground on Crystal City BRT
*Washington and Lee makes a wise decision to take down the Confederate flag
*Va. taxi companies file suit to stop Uber, other ride services
*Nationals open second half with a thud ("The Brewers light up Stephen Strasburg, whose starts are a mix of dominance and vulnerability.")
*Weekend looks mostly nice before heat and humidity begin to creep higher

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Spoons and Small Brushes Not Bulldozers and Backhoes

by: Dan Sullivan

Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 09:40:24 AM EDT

First African Baptist Church photo 140718FirstAfricanBaptistChurch_1_zps887db9c9.jpgUnfortunately for the preservation of Virginia's African American history, Richmond's Mayor, a man of color and the book, is either morally corrupt or benignly ignorant. Doesn't matter which, the result may be the same. It is not surprising that a typical American does not value the history of a place.

But failure to grasp his own heritage is a mortal flaw. There are a few stories here. The ground under Shockoe Bottom is one. The legacy of what went on there and in Jackson Ward and throughout Richmond is another. That legacy screams for every effort to remedy the high unemployment among blacks in Richmond and the accompanying fratricide. A properly funded and directed school system and full-time employment opportunities should be job one. Instead, places for games that feather already well-healed nests and half million dollar studies of half-cocked ideas consume Richmond City revenues. Great photo ops, though.

"...we are totally opposed to a stadium in Shockoe Bottom. Agreeing to this demand by Mayor Jones and the developers he represents would clearly state the following position: Yes, the history is important, but not so much that we can't play games on top of it. And that would be a continuation of the same disrespect that formed the basis for the acceptance of slavery and the slave trade in the first place." - statement by Phil Wilayto and Anna Edwards of the Sacred Ground Project

Compound this with the arrogant, aloof stance that Richmond is immune from federal Section 106 regulations which is even more insulting than any tea party nullification rant. If Jones were Mayor of Jerusalem, he'd solve that whole Temple Mount thing by razing both al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock then build condos and concessions surrounding a miniaturized, motorized laser show of popular myths: Abraham and alternating sons; Moses (I know, I know, but authenticity is not important) delivering an Ark of the Covenant emanating lightning bolts; Jesus in a fit turning over tables; Mohammad gliding in on his horse; you get it, something for everyone.

Maybe the race to succeed Virginia state Senator Henry Marsh (D-16th) whose former district includes much of Richmond's East End will provide a vehicle for Delegates McQuinn (D-70th), whose current district encompasses less and Dance (D-63rd) whose current district covers none to help crystalize the debate. McQuinn seems to be able to straddle both sides of the issue, which hasn't been helpful and could make it quite a tango for Dance. Both probably believe Jones' endorsement would be to their advantage in the contest. In reality, electoral influence is likely the only reason any politician patronizes Jones. Developers seem to believe there are other purposes.

There's More... :: (1 Comments, 738 words in story)

Here's The Big Deal With Phil Puckett's Resignation and the Federal Investigation

by: AnonymousIsAWoman

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 15:33:59 PM EDT

( - promoted by lowkell)

The saga of former state Senator Phil Puckett's resignation continues. Not everybody is happy that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey are investigating it. According to the Richmond-Times Dispatch, a former Virginia attorney general and Democrat, Andrew P. Miller, penned a letter to both Holder and Comey.  Here's a quote from the RT-Dispatch:

Nothing that has been reported in the media "suggests that any criminal activity has occurred," writes Miller, who served as attorney general from 1970 to 1977.

In the letter, Miller notes Puckett's daughter's quest for the judgeship and asserts that Puckett would be an asset to the commission because his district grows burley tobacco.

"If you will pardon my English," Miller writes, "big damn deal!"

Miller writes that such transitions from the legislature to executive roles are frequent occurrences in Democratic and Republican administrations.

"Thus, this FBI intrusion into Virginia's self-government can only be characterized as designed to serve partisan ends."

I am not a lawyer, so I won't comment on the legality of the resignation. But I suspect that the federal government has a higher standard for what constitutes ethics than the famed "Virginia Way" politicos do. First remember that five former Virginia AGs - three of whom are Democrats - also filed a brief requesting that charges be dropped against Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.  In that brief, they stated that federal attorneys overreached and stretched the law.  They saw no illegal activity.  One of those signees was AGs Miller, who also finds no legal or ethical problems here.  All I can say is that the federal government obviously has a higher standards for ethics and legality than these hacks.

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 639 words in story)

Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

by: lowkell

Thu Jul 17, 2014 at 06:11:39 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, July 17.

*Dick Cheney's Awfulness Is Here to Stay ("Why does the former veep keep saying unhinged things-as he did Monday about Iraq? Because he believes them. And Rand Paul notwithstanding, most GOP insiders believe them, too.")
*A lawsuit with little merit ("A hearing on GOP plans to sue Obama was a circus")
*Hobby Lobby: A new tool for crushing workplace unionization? ("All you need is one employer saying, 'My religious beliefs tell me I shouldn't collectively bargain'")
*Report: Hamas spells out terms for cease-fire, including prayer access to Al-Aksa
*Israel Invasion of Gaza Is Likely, Military Official Says
*Democrats fail in attempt to reverse Hobby Lobby contraceptive ruling
*'Straight Talking' Chris Christie Now Won't Answer Questions: 'You'll Have This Tape And You'll Use It'
*Ten Scientists Want A Meeting With Florida's Governor To Explain Climate Change
*How Cantor's campaign spent $6 million (Via utter incompetence, it would appear.)
*Warner extends fundraising advantage over Gillespie
*McAuliffe to visit free clinic in bid to expand Medicaid (That's fine, but I have no idea how that will convince any Republicans. They're not budging, apparently, regardless of economics, morality, rationality, etc.)
*Defense cuts continue to plague Virginia
*Warner, Rubio announce bipartisan student loan repayment bill
*McDonnell defense takes aim at "desperation theory" ("Attorneys hope to poke holes in the notion that the former governor and his wife solicited extravagant gifts and loans because they were in dire financial straits")
*Judge rules Goodwin trip, other McDonnell evidence admissible
*Foust Out-raises Comstock In Second Quarter
*State Senate candidate behind Medicaid expansion ("Martinsville Mayor Kim Adkins doesn't intend to run for a second term on the city's council; instead, she is running for the 20th District state Senate seat in 2015 - the seat currently held by Bill Stanley, R-Glade Hill.")
*Virginia roads rate higher than last year, VDOT says
*Meetings along U.S. 460 to discuss possible environmental tolls of tollway
*What if ... a storm-surge wall for the Chesapeake Bay?
*County pushes to pray again ("Pittsylvania County is asking a federal appeals court to allow members of the board of supervisors to lead public, Christian prayers before their meetings because of a similar Supreme Court public prayer case ruling this year.")
*Delightfully sunny with humidity holding low until Saturday

Discuss :: (3 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning

by: lowkell

Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 06:32:32 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, July 16. By the way, for more on that "pasty and white" photo of Frank Wolf, Barbara Comstock, and Clarke County GOP Chair Andrew Nicholson (photo at the far right, appropriately), see Loudoun Progress.

*When Darrell Issa goes fishing ("Though it has long bestowed unilateral subpoena power on the chairman, the committee didn't issue a single unilateral subpoena from the 1950s until the mid-1990s...")
*The distorting reality of 'false balance' in the media ("Earlier this month, the BBC's governing body issued a report assessing the BBC's impartiality in covering scientific topics. When it comes to an issue like climate change, the report concluded, not all viewpoints share the same amount of scientific substance.")
*CNBC invites climate denier on-air to explain why the "demonization" of CO2 is just like Hitler's treatment of Jews (Classic case of that "false balance," not to mention wildly offensive, disgusting, deplorable, etc. Sadly, CNBC is pretty much a typical corporate media outlet these days; utter trash.)
*The Iraq That Dick Cheney Actually Left Behind (This torture-crazy war criminal should be in The Hague, not on TV.)
*Things in Politico that Make Me Want to Mainline Antifreeze, Part The Infinity ("Tiger Beat On The Potomac should rediscover shame as something to be valued. Or it should close. This afternoon. Journalism-and the democracy that it is supposed to serve-should demand no less.")
*After Hamas Rejects Deal, Ceasefire In Gaza Lasts About Six Hours (Any questions about Hamas at this point?)
*Sen. Mark Warner to headline 'Ready for Hillary' fundraiser
*Dave Brat campaign says it raised $400,000 for congressional campaign
*Cantor raised and spent $6 million - and lost (Money isn't everything!)
*Sen. Warner widens financial lead over Gillespie in Va. ("Democrat, who is seeking reelection, brought in $2.7 million compared with GOP rival's $1.9 million.")
*McDonnells' finances take center stage at hearing ("Defense attorney says prosecutors questioned witnesses on couple's alleged "desperate" money situation.")
*Judge to rule by Wednesday on McDonnell's expert witnesses
*McDonnell defense fund took in $92,894 in second quarter, a drop from first quarter
*Our view: Make it count ("When the General Assembly reconvenes this fall to take up directly, at last, the question of Medicaid expansion in Virginia, the onus must be on Republican leaders to offer a way forward on health care coverage for the working poor.")
*Pasty and white (Andrew Nicholson, chairman of the Clarke County Republican Party, calls Gerry Connolly "pasty" and John Foust an "old white guy." It's funny, given that the Republican Party electorate draws heavily from those "old white guys" Nicholson seems to be disparaging. Weird.)
*Former state attorney general questions Puckett inquiry
*End of the road: State officials to consider Western Bypass termination (Good riddance.)
*Goodlatte, Griffith, Hurt outline concerns over EPA's Bay regulation (The three right-wing stooges.)
*Garza recommends later start time for Fairfax high schools
*Man probed in Alexandria murders to stand trial in gun case
*Much drier, cooler air to infiltrate D.C. region ("The polar front finally arrives tonight, putting a long-awaited end to the horrific humidity of recent days. Wednesday's weather is absolutely breathtaking.")

Discuss :: (1 Comments)

Virginia News Headlines: Tuesday Morning

by: lowkell

Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 06:27:58 AM EDT

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, July 15. Also, see the video (by the superb citizen journalists, Eric Byler and Annabel Park) of "Day 1 of 273-mile Walk to Washington DC for Rural Healthcare." My understanding is that Bellhaven, NC Mayor Adam O'Neal will be stopping in Richmond to talk with lawmakers about Medicaid expansion, and that most of his walk will be going through Virginia. Maybe time for Virginia legislators and supporters of Medicaid expansion to join him in this walk for justice?

*Israel accepts truce plan; Hamas balks ("The Hamas rejection came just minutes after Israel's security cabinet decided to embrace the cease-fire terms set forward late Monday night by Egypt's military-backed government.")
*Republicans rant but offer no solutions (Yep, that's what they do.)
*Conservatives will buy anything if it's about the Clintons and Obamas (Obama AND Clinton Derangement Syndrome?)
*The Farce of Dick Cheney Giving Foreign-Policy Advice
*How Climate Change Changed Me (Tom Steyer: "I left my job at Farallon 18 months ago and have since divested my fossil-fuel holdings.")
*The False Statement Of Fact That Forms The Backbone Of John Boehner's Anti-Obama Lawsuit
*A shocking development in Virginia: Politicians are acting like politicians! ("There are two major differences with Puckett's resignation: It changed the balance of power in the Senate. And some observers say there's an appearance a quid pro quo might have taken place. It's also worth pointing out that no Democrats are among the elected officials on the Tobacco Commission board. It has nine elected Republicans among its 31 members.")
*JLARC to study DMV and state contracting
*Our view: Pitchfork mob leads to new law
*Virginia Retirement System posts record assets ("The Virginia Retirement System has reached a record high in assets, now valued at $66.1 billion after gaining a 15.7 percent return on its investments in the fiscal year that ended two weeks ago." Good, now join the rapidly-growing, divestment-from-fossil-fuels movement!)
*Have tougher DUI laws in Virginia prevented scenes like this? ("For years, legislators rejected efforts to lower the legal limit for driving from 0.15 to 0.10 percent blood alcohol content. The limit is now 0.08, and crashes and deaths have dropped.")
*As activists reemerge, council declines to take up stadium issue ("The Boulevard stadium proposal and a move to have the city buy key parcels of land in Shockoe Bottom were not discussed Monday night.")
*Rosalyn Dance to seek Senate seat once held by Henry Marsh
*Marsh Senate seat will be vacant when Assembly debates Medicaid in September
*Tea party-backed David Brat laments loss of Cantor cash
*Sickles says 70 percent of Virginia's Medicaid cost is for seniors in nursing homes (False.)
*Norfolk Southern train derails in Virginia, no injuries
*Arlington may crack down on pub crawls
*Federal judge forbids use of 'Redskins' in court documents (It's just a matter of time on this one...)
*Rain and lightning cause outages across Northern Va. ("As many as 20,000 Northern Virginians lost power, but it has already been restored to most.")
*One more steamy day before relief

Discuss :: (15 Comments)

Burned Once, Chesapeake Shouldn't Trust Dominion Virginia Power

by: Dan Sullivan

Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 17:33:42 PM EDT

Kingston Fossil Plant retention overflow photo 140714CUAandSMagazine_zpsbe6e7335.jpgChesapeake is concerned. The City Manager indicates that this issue rises from the Dan River spill last February and the city's action to protect the Elizabeth River is not directed at Dominion. But there's history there and Dominion has provided no reason to trust its motives.

This isn't just Chesapeake's concern. The Elizabeth is really only a tidal estuary that runs to the mouth of the James River on the way to the Chesapeake Bay through Portsmouth and Norfolk. It is about six miles long. The Dan River spill created a 70 mile coating of toxic sludge. So this should have the attention of Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore too. But Chesapeake is center stage because it already knows how difficult it is to force Dominion Power to take responsibility for its mess.

Battlefield Golf Club was built using fly ash. Something the coal power industry has been advertising as a "good thing" in an attempt to rid itself of this pesky poisonous residue of energy production. Maybe if they can just spread all of it thin enough over hill and dale, insert it into concrete, and sweep it into wastewater systems no one will notice the damage. The proper cost of disposal has never been calculated into the cost of energy produced from coal. War on coal? How about coal's war on the planet?

Now almost five years into litigation over the damage caused during the Battlefield Golf Club construction, only one thing is clear: once any area is contaminated, you have to wait for a proper class to fall victim to the damage before anything can be recovered. That is essentially what is going on with the lawsuits over the golf course. For now the damage has been "limited" to the ground water under the golf course. And since the local residents have been connected to city water on Dominion's dime, the judge has basically said that they have not been damaged. The Environmental Protection Agency's findings of that limited damage have actually helped the defendants' case(s). Residents will have to wait for cancer, birth defects, or however this eventually manifests to demonstrate they have been harmed.  

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 341 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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