Home Virginia Politics National and Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

National and Virginia News Headlines: Thursday Morning

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

*The Voting Rights Act at 50 (“…in 2013, five Supreme Court justices elbowed in and concluded, on scant evidence, that there was no longer a need for the law’s most powerful tool; the Voting Rights Act, they claimed, had done its job.” Worst Supreme Court ever?)

*It’s Either Iran Deal or ‘Some Sort of War,’ Obama Warns

*My Question for the Republican Presidential Debate (“The center-left wouldn’t agree with all of his trade-offs, but if that were the G.O.P. position – climate change is real and here’s our market solution – I guarantee you we’d have had a serious compromise national climate policy by now. We’re paying a huge price for the way the Tea Party has marginalized the center-right.”)

*Will the Republican presidential race get serious with the first debate? (Of course not.)

*Cecil the lion’s death highlights the work to be done to protect wildlife (Exactly. And for everyone saying we shouldn’t cry for Cecil because there are other bad things going on in the world, or that we should be outraged instead about whatever they think we should be outraged about, with all due respect, you are 100% missing the point here.)

*Bernie Sanders to Visit Liberty University, a Rare Venue for a Democratic Campaign (Well that’s…uh, different.)

*You Can Thank Fox News for the Rise of Donald Trump (You can thank Fox for a lot of other bad things in America right now as well…)

*How Jeb Bush Accidentally Expressed The GOP Position On Planned Parenthood

*How Jeb and the GOP Got Trumped (Trump very much represents the Republican “base” – extreme, bigoted, truculent, crazy, etc.)

*Federal Appeals Court Tosses Out Texas Voter ID Law

*Hot air in defense of big coal (The same scare tactics the polluters, etc. have always used, whether against the Clean Air Act or whatever. Ignore them; they are full of crap.)

*The Voting Rights Act after 50 years (“Dr. William F. Reid, who in 1967 was elected as the first black member of the Virginia House of Delegates in 82 years, said it is sad to witness history repeating itself.”)

*Mountain Valley Pipeline opponents win a round in West Virginia (“…a Circuit Court judge ruled that surveyors seeking a route for the pipeline could not enter the property of county landowners who had prohibited such access.”)

*At Latino summit, McAuliffe’s message is direct: Don’t forget to vote (“The Democratic governor comes to Arlington to urge the Latino community to vote and become politically active.”)

*U.S. court denies Va. GOP request for congressional redistricting extension

*Va. company sues over state uranium mining ban (You mean the same company which corruptly, albeit “legally,” bribed the Virginia General Assembly by sending them on all-expense trips to France? Uh huh.)

*James City County Planning Commission votes against Dominion proposal to build Skiffes Creek switching station

*Pr. William backs a route that would bury most of high-voltage power line

*EDITORIAL: Our decision to not endorse candidates in 2015-and likely the years ahead (I mean, these people endorsed Barbara Freakin’ Comstock, so maybe they’re better off not endorsing, but still…lame.)

*Anxiety, frustration and incredulity follow suggestion of school sports cuts

*In Algonkian District, Loudoun Republicans’ infighting continues

*More Norfolk schools likely to make the grade

*Nats suffer 11-4 loss as Diamondbacks tee off on bullpen (This team is reeling.)

*D.C. area forecast: Rain develops late today, heavy tonight; Weekend still looks good

  • True Blue

    Local tea partier Dmitri Kesari was indicted yesterday for buying an Iowa senator’s vote for Ron Paul in 2012.  Who is he “helping” in Loudoun?

  • unstablefan

    It’s called “progress.”

    Why does no one ever talk about the brutal war on water power that the coal industry so successfully waged a century and a half ago?

  • Beyer Commemorates 50th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

    August 6, 2015 (Washington, DC) – Congressman Don Beyer issued the following statement, expressing his concern about the continuing erosion of the Voting Rights Act (VRA):

    “Our fundamental belief in the right to vote is part of what defines us as Americans. Legislative accomplishments brought about some of the best moments in our history. One of those moments came a half century ago today, when President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act to prevent state and local governments from denying black men and women suffrage.

    “For 48 years, bipartisan efforts in Congress consistently reaffirmed and upheld the VRA’s principles of one man, one vote; until 2013, when Shelby v. Alabama stripped the VRA of its critical preclearance tool.  In the two years since, without federal preclearance, partisan state governments are manipulating state code to make voting more challenging. Even in the Commonwealth of Virginia, our strict new ID laws and redistricting quagmire should serve as an example of the need for greater, not less, federal involvement.

    “We took an important step in the march to expand civil rights fifty years ago today. It is our responsibility to fight to uphold those rights for all men and women and resist the recent attempts to roll back that progress as we continue marching forward.”

  • Quizzical

    So Friedman writes “If I got to ask one question of the presidential aspirants at Thursday’s Fox Republican debate, it would be this: . . . ” and his one question is about the gas tax. That’s the key question, in Friedman’s opinion?  That should be a no-brainer.  

    The real reason the Republicans have been holding up and complicating funding for bills to build or repair infrastructure is because they have consistently opposed anything that could make President Obama look good, and that’s even more true now as the next election is coming up on the horizon.  It’s that simple. There’s not much to ask about.

    Friedman dances around with the gas tax question but somehow by the end of the column he is talking about climate change.  Why isn’t climate change the key question then?  

  • Congressman Connolly Issues Statement Supporting Iran Nuclear Deal

    Calls critics ‘false hope’ to negotiate better deal ‘specious if not delusional’

    WASHINGTON – Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) today announced his support for the Iran nuclear agreement, calling it “a viable alternative to war that takes the Iranian nuclear issue off of the table and secures permanent commitments from Iran regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”

    In a statement released Thursday, Connolly, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the highest ranking member of the committee to announce support for the agreement, said the Iran deal “adheres to the high standards for verification, transparency, and compliance.”

    He said the agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), mandates “unprecedented and intrusive inspections” that provide the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with access to declared nuclear facilities, suspected covert nuclear development sites, and the ability to monitor Iran’s entire nuclear program supply chain.

    Noting that opponents of the deal have offered no alternative, Connolly took issue with “the false hope offered by critics of the agreement for a return to the negotiating table to seek a better deal,” calling it “a specious if not delusional argument.”

    A rejection of the agreement by Congress “would divest ourselves of the goodwill of our allies that undergirded the American-led negotiations.  Among our adversaries, we would confirm their suspicion that we are not to be trusted. The international sanctions regime that drove Iran to the table would collapse and our diplomatic leverage would be severely diminished in all future negotiations.”

    Without an agreement, “we would return once again to a situation of deep anxiety and uncertainty regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions,” Connolly said. “We could be left with a scenario that could demand immediate and decisive military action – an option General Michael Hayden has stated would ‘guarantee that which we are trying to prevent, an Iran that will stop at nothing, in secret, to develop a nuclear weapon.'”

    Connolly said Congressional approval of the deal will preclude “an unconstrained Iranian nuclear program hanging like the sword of Damocles over the security of the U.S. and our allies, including Israel.”

    Full Connolly Statement on Iran Nuclear Deal

    My decision to support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated between the P5+1 and Iran is grounded in the hard reality that the alternative to this nuclear agreement is an opaque and unconstrained Iranian nuclear program hanging like the sword of Damocles over the security of the U.S. and our allies, including Israel.

    The false hope offered by critics of the agreement is a return to the negotiating table to seek a better deal. The proposition that we would renounce our own agreement wrought by more than a year of tough negotiations and expect our negotiating partners – including Russia, China, and, of course, Iran itself – to sit back down at the table is a specious if not delusional argument.

    We should not be naïve about the scenario in which Congress rejects this agreement brokered by the United States. Among our allies, we would divest ourselves of the goodwill that undergirded the American-led negotiations. Among our adversaries, we would confirm their suspicion that we are not to be trusted. The international sanctions regime that drove Iran to the table would collapse and our diplomatic leverage would be severely diminished in all future negotiations.

    Most concerning of all, we would return once again to a situation of deep anxiety and uncertainty regarding Iran’s nuclear ambitions. The countries of the world that have a strict policy of preventing a nuclear Iran, including the U.S. and a number of our allies, would be left with a scenario that could demand immediate and decisive military action – an option General Michael Hayden has stated would “guarantee that which we are trying to prevent, an Iran that will stop at nothing, in secret, to develop a nuclear weapon.” Repeated military engagements incrementally beating back a secret Iranian nuclear program seem a fateful and ominous alternative to the diplomatic path laid before us.

    Critics of the JCPOA have offered no alternative, and have tried to define this agreement by what it is not. It is not the perfect deal that dismantles every nut and bolt of the Iranian nuclear program, and it is not a comprehensive resolution of the myriad issues the U.S. and our allies have with the repressive regime in Tehran and its reprehensible support for terrorist insurgencies in the region. No one ever said it would be.

    It is, however, a viable alternative to war that takes the Iranian nuclear issue off of the table and secures permanent commitments from Iran regarding the peaceful nature of its nuclear program. In other words, it is the diplomatic alternative we sought to attain when we entered into negotiations.

    As a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC), I have participated in classified and unclassified briefings with military officials, the intelligence community, and international nuclear inspection experts regarding the P5+1 negotiations with Iran. HFAC has conducted nearly two dozen hearings on the subject, and I have carefully reviewed the JCPOA, its annexes, and the accompanying Verification Assessment Report.

    This deal adheres to the high standards for verification, transparency, and compliance on which any acceptable agreement with Iran must be founded.  The JCPOA erects an unprecedented and intrusive inspections regime that provides the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with access to declared nuclear facilities and suspected covert nuclear development sites. Additionally, the IAEA will be able to monitor Iran’s entire nuclear program supply chain – including uranium mines and mills, centrifuge rotors and bellows production and storage facilities, and a dedicated procurement channel for nuclear-related or dual use materials and technology.

    The JCPOA also rolls back major components and existing capabilities of the Iranian nuclear program. For at least 15 years, there will be no new enrichment facilities in Iran, uranium enrichment will be capped at 3.67% (well below weapons grade enrichment levels), there will be no enrichment research or fissile material at the underground facility at Fordow, and, after the heavy water research reactor in Arak is redesigned and rebuilt to not produce weapons grade plutonium, no new heavy water reactors will be constructed in Iran.  Under the agreement, Iran must reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 percent and its number of installed centrifuges by two-thirds. These measures will extend Iran’s nuclear breakout time from 2 months to at least 1 year. If these restrictions are not adhered to, the U.S. can at any time unilaterally revive the international sanctions regime currently in place.

    Congress should immediately begin to conduct close oversight to ensure that the terms of the JCPOA are implemented and that Iran is living up to its obligations. More broadly, the U.S. must signal to Iran that its condemnable record on human rights, terrorism, and regional subversion will not be tolerated, and that the JCPOA does not restrict in any way our national security prerogative or the security commitments we have made to our allies, especially Israel.

    Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11 of the Constitution vests Congress with the duty to authorize war. Implicit in that text is Congress’ additional responsibility to exhaust all reasonable alternatives before committing the American people and our men and women in uniform to such a fateful path. The JCPOA represents our endeavor to provide that alternative. It is the product of earnest diplomacy, and Congress should support it.

  • On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker released the following statement:

    “President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the most monumental civil rights legislation of the 20th century 50 years ago today, but his historic action did not mean that systemic challenges to our election systems were solved. Our struggle for voting rights is far from over today — we haven’t forgotten 4-hour long lines at Virginia polls during the 2012 election, voter purges in Florida and unconstitutional photo ID laws in Texas.

    Serious barriers remain to the free exercise of the right to vote, and it’s our responsibility as Americans to continue the fight until every citizen has equal access to democracy. I’m proud that here in the Commonwealth, the Democratic Party of Virginia has challenged Virginia’s restrictive photo ID laws in court. I look forward to success on that front.

    Today is an important anniversary as it inspires us to continue to reach higher, until every vote counts and every citizen can freely and easily participate in our democracy.”

  • According to this article, “All five announced candidates in the Democratic field will take part in the debates, which will come on a monthly basis.”

    Oct. 13 in Nevada – CNN

    Nov. 14 in Des Moines, Iowa – CBS

    Dec. 19 in Manchester, N.H. – ABC/WMUR

    Jan. 17, 2016 in Charleston, S.C. – NBC

    Feb. or March 2016 in Miami – Univision/Washington Post

    Feb. or March 2016 in Wisconsin – PBS

  • My god…