Home Virginia Politics National and Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

National and Virginia News Headlines: Saturday Morning

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Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, May 30.

*Krugman: Cutting Back on Carbon (“Next week the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to announce new rules designed to limit global warming. Although we don’t know the details yet, anti-environmental groups are already predicting vast costs and economic doom. Don’t believe them. Everything we know suggests that we can achieve large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions at little cost to the economy.”)

*Putin’s bizarre FIFA comments reveal his greatest fear (“To Putin, the FIFA prosecution is a new instance of the US aggression he fears”)

*Hastert accused of paying victim of molestation (“The former House speaker allegedly paid a male ex-student to keep quiet about acts that took place decades ago, a federal law enforcement official said.”)

*Creepy C-SPAN Caller To Hastert: Do You ‘Remember Me From Yorkville?’

*BuzzFeed: ‘Potentially Several Alleged Victims’ In Hastert’s Past (There are numerous disturbing aspects to this story, including the fact that Hastert received zero ratings on LGBT issues during his career and led a rabidly homophobic/gay-bashing party. Utter hypocrisy, on top of being evil.)

*Hastert and the Foley Scandal (“Hastert, through the entire drama, was awkward and slow to react or be clear or particularly convincing about what was known.”)

*Why did Republicans embrace the Duggars in the first place? (Ken Cuccinelli for instance. Because that’s who they are, frighteningly.)

*O’Malley to launch improbable bid for Democratic presidential nomination (Yep, highly improbable.)

*Walker: Media Twisted My Words, But I Still Think Ultrasounds Are ‘Pretty Cool’ (Another right-wing nutjob taken seriously by the corporate media.)

*Two Arlington Memorial Bridge Lanes Closed for Emergency Work (We need to invest heavily in our country’s infrastructure, and now is a perfect time given super-low interest rates!)

*Lighten Up: Garrett, Kaine crack jokes at fundraising event

*Medicaid yanks funding from geriatric unit at Eastern State Hospital

*Virginia owes its neighbor answers (“Kentucky is now rightly outraged that Virginia didn’t bother to inform the Bluegrass State about the millions of gallons of Virginia sewage spilling into the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River”)

*Virginia Beach’s family-owned Belvedere closing this summer

*Another early exit for Strasburg as Nationals fall to Reds, 5-2 (Time for a trip to the disabled list…or even AAA for Strasburg?)

*D.C. area forecast: Sunny and very warm today; storms likely Sunday

  • Washington, D.C. – Senator Mark Warner (VA), Senator Tim Kaine (VA), Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton (DC) and Congressman Don Beyer (VA-8) called for stronger federal infrastructure investment, citing the closure of a second lane on the iconic and congested Arlington Memorial Bridge as the latest evidence of federal neglect.

    “How can Congress fail to act while the Memorial Bridge – which is not only a vital artery for local commuters, but also the entrance to our nation’s capital ­- is literally falling apart? This is not just embarrassing – it’s outrageous,” said Sen. Warner. “We have to get serious about fixing and upgrading our roads, bridges, ports and other infrastructure. Until that happens, Virginia commuters will be stuck sitting in even more traffic – and crumbling and inefficient infrastructure will remain a serious drag on our economic growth.”

    “There is nothing more emblematic of Congress’ failure to invest in our nation’s infrastructure than the bridge that brings people into our nation’s capital, a national memorial, falling apart.  Memorial Bridge has already been labeled ‘structurally deficient’ and one lane was closed just last week due to safety and infrastructure concerns. Today, we have news that another lane will be shut down.  It’s time for Congress to stop kicking the can down the road and pass a federal transportation bill to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, starting right here in DC,” said Rep. Beyer.

    The National Park Service (NPS) announced today that it will close a second lane of traffic on the bridge, which stretches from Arlington National Cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial and is a major artery across the Potomac.  The rush hour effects of the six-month closures will be dramatic.

    “Unlike other infrastructure, NPS roads and bridges like the Arlington Memorial Bridge are 100 percent funded by the federal government, and there are almost no alternative sources of funds for maintenance and improvements other than federal funds.  With a cost of up to $250 million to replace the Memorial Bridge, it is no wonder that NPS is unable to do this work when it only receives $15 to $20 million for its transportation projects in the National Capital Region and only $240 for the entire nation.  Our region must offer leadership and work with Members of Congress as far away as the western states that are also deeply affected.  Beginning with our region, we must create a coalition of Members of the House and Senate determined to begin the uphill climb of rescuing priceless and essential federal assets like the Memorial Bridge that bring millions to the states by providing everything from workplace corridors to tourist sites,” said Del. Norton.

    Nearly 68,000 vehicles cross the 83-year-old bridge on a typical work day. The cost to fully repair the bridge is estimated at more than $250 million over several months. Memorial Bridge is just one of more than 70,000 US bridges deemed “structurally deficient.”

    “Today’s announcement that we have to close yet another lane of the Memorial Bridge highlights the decrepit state of our infrastructure,” said Senator Kaine. “This additional lane closure will cause unbearable congestion and delays for the approximately 68,000 drivers who use the Memorial Bridge to travel between Virginia and Washington every day. Today’s frustrating news represents a nationwide issue. It’s estimated that there are 4,800 structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges in Virginia alone. It’s time to stop kicking the can down the road and address our nation’s crumbling infrastructure by passing a bipartisan, long-term transportation bill.”

  • From his Washington Post Magazine interview:

    My philosophy is sort of that humans are weak, frail, imperfect and generally kind of bad, but every day I meet somebody who’s good, and that inspires me. I have a sort of Catholic-slash-Calvinist view of human nature, but every day I meet somebody who is doing cool things. So people get you out of your solitude and do things that exceed your expectations every day.