Virginia News Headlines: Monday Morning

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    Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, June 30. Also, click on the image to “embiggen” and find out how the Supreme Court might rule today on women’s reproductive freedom, and whether or not we live in a corporatocracy (and possibly a theocracy?).

    *Paul Krugman: Charlatans, Cranks and Kansas (“Yes, the Kansas debacle shows that tax cuts don’t have magical powers, but we already knew that. The real lesson from Kansas is the enduring power of bad ideas, as long as those ideas serve the interests of the right people.”)

    *Big unions could take big SCOTUS hit

    *Obama to name former P&G chief to lead VA (His name is Bob McDonald, as opposed to former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. Heh.)

    *The vital incoherent center (“Among registered voters, the Democratic-leaning groups have an edge of about 3-to-2 over the Republicans.”)

    *ISIS declares ‘caliphate’ stretching across Iraq and Syria

    *Hobby Lobby Is Only The Second Most Important Decision The Supreme Court Will Hand Down On Monday (” On Monday, the Supreme Court is expected to hand down two cases, Hobby Lobby and a lesser-known case called Harris v. Quinn. Of the two, more is actually at stake in Harris than in Hobby Lobby.”)

    *Our Inability To Deal With Climate Change Is Going to Kill the Penguins

    *Most Americans think Hillary Clinton can relate to average people

    *Virginia Organizing Stages Protest In House Speaker’s District

    *Virginia man in child endangerment case agrees to have a vasectomy

    *Longtime Loudoun superintendent reflects on past, worries about future

    *Council members to be sworn in, get to work Tuesday

    *Virginia spaceport eyes human spaceflight

    *Frog monitors find numbers dwindling (More evidence we are totally f’ing up the environment. Bees, bats, frogs, elephants, you name it. Ugh, our species…)

    *Why are there so many black bears this year? (“they woke up hungrier than usual because there simply weren’t any acorns to find last fall.”)

    *Dan Snyder can learn from when the Bullets became the Wizards

    *Heat, storm chances build into midweek, fade by July 4

    • From the Rip Sullivan for Delegate campaign:

      Today, Richard “Rip” Sullivan announced his candidacy to replace retiring Delegate Bob Brink (D-48) in the Virginia House of Delegates. Sullivan released the following statement.

      “Last week Northern Virginia lost one of our most respected voices in the General Assembly. Bob Brink has served the 48th House of Delegates district with honor and distinction since 1998, and I’ve been proud to call him my Delegate. I’m confident he’ll continue to do great things for the Commonwealth in the McAuliffe administration.”

      “Our next Delegate must be an effective voice for our shared progressive values of equality and opportunity. I was honored to serve as President of Legal Services in Northern Virginia, which promotes social justice by providing free legal services to low-income residents. I fought to hold businesses accountable on the Fairfax Consumer Protection Commission and to ensure affordable housing on the Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Now I’m running for Delegate to fight the Tea Party Republicans trying to roll back social and economic progress in Virginia.”

      “Northern Virginia is where Beth and I chose to raise our family. We both grew up and attended public schools here, and I received my law degree from the University of Virginia. As a Delegate, I would apply my extensive experience in Northern Virginia housing, transportation, education and legal policy to help even the playing field and fight for our Democratic values.”

      Rip and his wife, Beth, have four children, all of whom attend or graduated from public schools in Northern Virginia. Now that his children are older, Rip has graduated from the role of chauffeur, but still enjoys watching them play sports. On Saturday mornings you can find him volunteering as the announcer for his son’s swim team.

      You can visit Sullivan’s campaign website here.

      ###

      Background Information:

      Rip Sullivan has served on numerous local and statewide boards and commissions. Sullivan earned his law degree from the University of Virginia, and is currently a partner at the law firm of Reed Smith.

      – United States Institute of Peace International Advisory Council Member

      – Fairfax County Park Authority Board

      – Adjunct Professor at the George Mason University School of Law

      – Virginia Bar Association, former Member of the Board of Governors

      – Legal Services of Northern Virginia, former Board Member and President

      – McLean Community Foundation, President

      – Potomac Legal Aid Society, former Board Member

      – Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at UVA, Board Member

      – Virginia State Bar Emergency Legal Services Task Force, Chairman

      – Dranesville Budget Task Force, Chair

      – Fairfax County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, former Vice-Chair

      – Fairfax Transportation Advisory Commission, former member

      – Virginia Commission on Civics Education, former member

      – Fairfax Consumer Protection Commission, former member

      For more background on Rip, you can visit his law profile at Reed Smith by clicking here.

    • TODAY: KAINE TO HOST SEA LEVEL RISE FORUM & VETERANS ROUNDTABLE IN NORFOLK

      WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine will host a regional conference on sea level rise at Old Dominion University (ODU) in Norfolk, along with U.S. Congressmen Scott Rigell, Bobby Scott, and Rob Wittman, as well as Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim and Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms.

      Following the conference, Kaine will hold a roundtable discussion with veterans on improving care for servicemembers and ensuring the job market understands and values their skills. Last week, Kaine introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize Veterans Day, November 11, 2014, as a special “Welcome Home” commemoration for all who have served in the military since September 11, 2001.

      In the evening, Kaine will speak at the Annual Session of the Baptist General Convention of Virginia in Richmond.

      Rising to the Challenge: Conference on Sea Level Rise

      9:00 AM

      Ted Constant Center

      Old Dominion University

      4320 Hampton Blvd

      Norfolk, VA

      If you cannot attend the conference, you can live stream video here: http://dl.odu.edu/bin/regional

      Veterans Roundtable Discussion

      1:00 PM

      Board of Visitors Conference Room

      Webb Center

      Old Dominion University

      Norfolk, VA

    • ProgressVA sharply criticized the Supreme Court’s decision this morning to side with Hobby Lobby and allow bosses’ personal beliefs to trump women’s ability to make their own health care decisions.

      “Ninety-nine percent of women will use contraception in their lifetime,” said ProgressVA executive director Anna Scholl. “Every woman deserves the ability to make her own health care decisions without interference from her boss. Religious liberty means not having your boss’s beliefs forced on you. This decision singles out women’s health care decisions as less valid and deserving of protection from a boss’s interference.”

    • June 30, 2014 (Alexandria, VA) — Former Lt. Governor and Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 8th Congressional seat Don Beyer announced his upset and concern this morning after the Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. decision was announced a little after 10 am.

      The Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. assertion that, due to their religious beliefs, their companies should be able to deny their employees access to federally mandated coverage of contraceptives entitled to them by the Affordable Care Act, based on the First Amendment and the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

      “This decision is wrong and a grave disservice to women and families,” said Beyer. “After today’s decision, following quickly in the wake of last weeks’  McCullen v. Coakley decision, I worry that the Supreme Court is putting the rights of corporations before the rights of women.”

      This decision places the basic rights of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods’ female employees in danger, leaving them vulnerable to further economic disparity and potential unplanned pregnancies. This decision will also define the scope of the rights afforded to all corporations in their implementation all federal law, and allow for the possibility that any corporation could cite religious objection to any federal law, including, for example, a federally mandated minimum wage.

      “No employee should have to wait for their employers to decided whether or not they feel comfortable implementing federal laws, and no woman should have to involve her employer in her health care decisions,” Beyer said.

    • SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision is a Pandora’s Box ushering in chaos. Every private company can impose its owners’ whim on what is covered by health care. Another dark day at the court

    • As expected from this anti-women’s-reproductive-freedom fanatic.

      Big win for religious freedom in the Hobby Lobby case today!

      The SCOTUS ruled that closely-held for-profit businesses can cite religious objections to be exempted from an ObamaCare requirement to provide their workers with free contraceptive coverage.

    • Hobby Lobby Won! The SCOTUS upheld by a 5-4 vote the right of a private business to exercise religious freedom and to govern their business on Christian principles.

    • Alexandria, VA – NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia strongly condemned this morning’s Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, which allows bosses to interfere with their employees access to affordable birth control.

      “It is appalling that in 2014, five Supreme Court justices have ruled that bosses should be able to restrict women’s access to what is a basic and essential health benefit,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Ninety-nine percent of women will use birth control in their lifetimes, and over 750,000 women in Virginia are currently benefiting from increased contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act.”

      “With its decision today, the Supreme Court has continued a statewide and national trend of singling out and restricting women’s health and rights. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia remains committed to ensuring that women across the Commonwealth can access the critical medical services they need and deserve.

    • Delegate Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church) is disappointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in favor of Hobby Lobby.

      “This is a serious blow to equal protection and women’s reproductive rights,” said Del. Kory. “Medical decisions should stay between a woman and her doctor. Allowing employers to discriminate against women under the guise of religious freedom undermines that private relationship.”

      Employees at a company should not be held hostage to the religious beliefs of their employers. This ruling not only contradicts that practice, but also singles out women as subject to the purported religious views of their employer, while men remain unaffected.

      Nearly 60% of women who use birth control pills do so for reasons other than just family planning including treatment for ovarian cysts, endometriosis, migraines, and hormone replacement after chemotherapy.

      The Supreme Court ruled that corporations closely owned by religious individuals can freely deny women access to even basic contraceptives. Before the Affordable Care Act’s mandate, Hobby Lobby’s health insurance did cover contraceptives.

    • “Here in Virginia, women need better access to birth control – not more obstacles.”

      RICHMOND, Va. – Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia Executive Director Cianti Stewart-Reid denounced today’s U.S. Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

      “We’re disheartened and concerned that some bosses will be able to interfere with their employees’ access to birth control,” said Stewart-Reid. “Here in Virginia, women need better access to birth control – not more obstacles.”

      According to the Guttmacher Institute, more than half of all pregnancies in Virginia are unintended. In 2008, there were 375,500 women in need of affordable contraceptive services and supplies in the state.

      “It’s hard to believe that, in this day and age, we’re still fighting for access to birth control – with some politicians intent upon passing further restrictions,” Stewart-Reid said. “Planned Parenthood patients can count on us to ensure their health and well-being are protected today and every day.”

    • STATEMENT OF U.S. SEN. MARK WARNER

      ~ On U.S. Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Decision ~

      WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) released this statement today following the United States Supreme Court decision in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell:

      “While the Court’s Hobby Lobby decision is narrow, I believe these conversations should be between women and their doctors, not a woman and her boss. I trust the women of Virginia to make their own healthcare decisions.”

    • Apparently, Ed Gillespie believes in government of the corporations, by the corporations, and for the corporations. He also believes women’s reproductive rights – or lack thereof – should be controlled by said corporations. Why would anyone in their right minds vote for this crap?

      Today’s Supreme Court decision affirmed our freedom of religion and found yet another Obamacare mandate to be in violation of the Constitution. #HobbyLobby

    • From Sen. Kaine’s office. One thing that jumps out at me here is that I see no mention of “climate change” or “global warming” anywhere, even though THAT is why sea levels are rising. Hello?!?

      KAINE, RIGELL, SCOTT, WITTMAN HOST SEA LEVEL RISE CONFERENCE IN NORFOLK



      WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, U.S. Congressmen Scott Rigell, Bobby Scott, and Rob Wittman, as well as Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim and Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms hosted a regional conference on sea level rise at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. The forum focused on meeting the challenges Hampton Roads faces due to sea level rise and land subsidence and how to promote action at the federal, state and local level to address the region’s needs. The two panels of policy experts and regional stakeholders focused on the urgency of combating sea level rise, which is already having visible impacts on the Hampton Roads region and can no longer be treated solely as a long-term challenge.

      “We’re here to learn together so that we can act together,” Kaine said. “We’re here today because of the long-term vitality of the Hampton Roads region. We can’t just sleep walk and pretend there are no challenges. This is about bringing everybody together, state, local and federal, and having a dialogue about solutions. I think we can feel good about walking away today with some good insights and good ideas.”

      “As home to some of the largest military installations in the world, we must remain prepared and vigilant to deal with the risks associated with living on a coast,” said Rigell. “I am convinced that with cooperation with our state, local, private sector and military partners, we can ensure that Hampton Roads remains the best place to open or grow a command or business.  I appreciate the bipartisan attention this matter is receiving and was glad to hear from the experts present at this morning’s discussion.”

      “I am committed to addressing the issue of sea level rise in Hampton Roads, and this conference provided good insight as to what my colleagues in Congress and I can do to help the region deal with its increasing effects,” Scott said. “This is just the beginning of this conversation and these efforts, and I look forward to working with those in Hampton Roads and across the Commonwealth to ensure that our communities are able to face this challenge.”

      “The issues discussed today are already impacting coastal localities, area federal facilities, businesses and private citizens,” Wittman said. “I’m pleased at the strong commitment from the military, academia, and officials at all levels of government to address recurrent coastal flooding, land subsidence and rising sea levels. Our nation’s military readiness depends on a strong, sustainable Hampton Roads, and ensuring that our forces can effectively train and defend this nation is my top priority.”

      The members of Virginia’s Congressional delegation came away from the event with a better understanding of how they can better advocate for the region’s needs at the federal level, as well as better coordinate the efforts of those seeking to find concrete solutions to sea level rise in Hampton Roads.

    • “I cannot understand how a majority of the Supreme Court can say that an employer, for religious reasons, may deprive employees of health care coverage for contraception but for no other standard medical service or treatment. It makes the case less about religious freedom and more about denial of access to contraception. I am mystified that the Court chose to join an ideological battle against contraception.”