Home Virginia Politics Tuesday News: Virginia GOP #FAIL on Roush, Redistricting; Thank You Senate Dems,...

Tuesday News: Virginia GOP #FAIL on Roush, Redistricting; Thank You Senate Dems, John Watkins


Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, August 18. Also, excellent job by Del. Charniele Herring, Del. Vivian Watts and other Democratic women in the House of Delegates!

*Post-debate, Trump pulls clear of competition (The fact that Republican voters LIKE what they’re hearing from this Berlusconi-style far-right-wing, nativist, bigoted populist is disturbing but not surprising.)

*Four New Studies Show That Fox News’ Apocalyptic ACA Predictions Aren’t Coming True (Shocker, eh?)

*Greens decry Obama’s Shell game (“‘The president cannot have it both ways,’ Greenpeace says after the company wins an Arctic drilling permit.”)

*The dark side of Trump: How gridlock begets dangerous populism & authoritarian zeal (“We assume Trump is benefiting from voters’ xenophobia. But what if the real motivation was even more dangerous?” Time to reread “The Totalitarian Temptation?”)

*Donald Trump’s immigration plan would wreak havoc on U.S. society

*Trump driving migrant debate among GOP field

*Meat-Eaters Are The Number One Cause Of Worldwide Species Extinction, New Study Warns (A huge reason not to eat meat, or to eat a LOT less of it.)

*Paul Krugman: Republicans Against Retirement

*Hillary Clinton Is Rooting for Jeb Bush (“The Clintons want Bush to win the nomination-because he’s easy to beat.”)

*Here’s Audio And Video Of Carly Fiorina’s Forceful Praise Of Hillary Clinton In 2008

*Warner, Kaine talk bipartisanship, Iran nuclear proposal (They can talk bipartisanship all they want, but it’s meaningless unless the Republicans are willing to play – and they’re not.)

*Va. Democrats revive Roush judgeship (Great job by the “blue team” yesterday!)

*McAuliffe Plans to Reappoint High Court Pick (Excellent.)

*Va. redistricting will go to U.S. court (Cool.)

*In decorous Richmond, a bitter partisan battle over a judicial post (“Decorous?” Really? Try “corrupt” Richmond.)

*GOP fails on vote for state Supreme Court appointment (A well-deserved #FAIL…couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of guys! LOL)

*Israel O’Quinn says S.W. Virginia coal counties are nearing 20 percent unemployment (As well as the reasons for those woes. O’Quinn is utterly clueless, a “useful idiot” for the coal industry.)

*Sen. Kaine: Hampton VA progress ‘impressive’

*Virginia keeping options open on I-66 HOT lanes

*Medicaid Expansion: Kentucky governor explains his state’s success

*Former Fairfax police officer charged with murder of unarmed Springfield man (It’s about time!)

*What has happened to the Nationals? From title favorite to possible also-ran

*D.C. area forecast: Gradual cooling and showers, storms through the week

  • Quizzical

    Rebuild the military, take the fight to ISIS, balance the budget by reforming entitlements, and limit the size of government. He wants austerity and Simpson Bowles at home while simultaneously having a Ronald Reagan style military buildup and fighting an endless war against radical Islam by putting more troops into Iraq and going into Syria. He wants to pay for it not by raising taxes, but by eliminating tax deductions (unspecified).  Also he is determined to raise the retirement age for baby boomers. (That’s been done before, by the way.) That’s Lindsey Graham’s pitch in Iowa. Said nothing about climate change in that speech, which tells you something about his priorities.  But apparently he is not a climate change denier.

    Here’s a reality check: the U.S. population is over 320 million.  The country had 194 million when Medicare was enacted.  It was 125 million when social security was enacted. We are never going back to a small federal government, because the population is exploding.


    Second, if you keep raising the retirement age of baby boomers, guess what?  The baby boomers are going to delay retiring, and the generations behind them are going to be blocked from advancement. Ever consider the economic benefits of encouraging retirement?  Most corporations do.

    Third, wars are very expensive. The Iraq war has cost trillions of dollars so far.


    Which leads to the logical question, if the US is essentially broke, how can we afford to fight Lindsey Graham’s war?

    Fourth, the reason why the bombing campaign against ISIS hasn’t defeated them so far is because (1) ISIS is recruiting faster than we can kill them, because they are selling it to the faithful as a religious war; and (2) the Iraqis want to sit back and let us fight their war for them.  Having all these Republican politicians calling us to a religious war against ISIS is exactly the wrong thing to do.

    Fifth, major tax reform in the U.S. is probably going to take probably 2-4 years.  Reagan was elected in 1981, and there wasn’t major tax reform until 1986. That’s a couple of election cycles for the super rich to spend their campaign funds.  This is going to be a major, major struggle, not unlike the Affordable Care Act.

  • I’m disappointed in what happened yesterday for several reasons. I am–first and foremost–disappointed to see Justice Roush used by the Republicans to score political points against Governor McAuliffe. Virginia reveres its traditions, and as I noted in my speech yesterday, the General Assembly has not rejected an interim Supreme Court appointee in over 100 years. It’s a shame that the Republicans would disregard over 100 years of tradition and precedent simply to pick a fight with the Governor.

    I am also disappointed to see that the Republicans clearly had no interest in drawing a congressional map that could be signed by Governor McAuliffe. The Republican-led Joint Apportionment Committee made it clear during its meeting yesterday morning that it would limit its work to just redrawing the 3rd congressional district, even though that is impossible to do and goes against the spirit of the federal court order requiring the General Assembly to draw a new map by September 1. The Republicans also failed to release a redistricting plan to the public, unlike the House and Senate Democrats.

    I fear that what happened yesterday will have consequences for next session. We have a lot of important work to take care of next session–we need to promote and develop our clean energy industry, pass Medicaid expansion, and work toward nonpartisan redistricting–and I am afraid that we will not be able to agree on the time of day next year, let alone agree on vital policy issues, if yesterday was any indication.


    Letter from Senate Democratic Caucus Warns of Manufactured Crisis in the Fall

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to schedule the first round of bipartisan budget negotiations immediately to prevent a predictable fiscal crisis as the federal budget year draws to a close on Sept. 30. The call was formally made in a letter to McConnell signed by all 46 members of the Senate Democratic Caucus.

    In the letter, the Senators emphasized concern that, with less than two months left in the fiscal year, Sen. McConnell has yet to schedule bipartisan negotiations to ensure a budget agreement is reached that rolls back sequester-level cuts in FY16 appropriations bills and the government is kept open.

    Full text of the letter is below, and a PDF is attached.

    The Honorable Mitch McConnell                              

    Majority Leader                                                        

    U.S. Senate                                                                

    S-230 The Capitol                                                      

    Washington, DC 20150                                            

    Dear Leader McConnell:

    There are less than two months left in the fiscal year, and we are deeply concerned by the fact that negotiations to craft a bipartisan budget agreement have not yet begun. With the end of the fiscal year looming, we urge you to immediately schedule bipartisan budget negotiations so that we can work together over the coming weeks to avoid another manufactured crisis.

    Inaction and failure to responsibly restore sequester-level cuts in FY16 appropriations bills will have real consequences for our country. That is why we are eager to start working as soon as possible to negotiate a compromise that will keep our nation and economy strong, and keep the government open.

    With the existence of a clear and urgent deadline for action, we believe it would be unwise to wait until after the Congress returns from the August state work period – just 23 days before the end of the federal fiscal year – to begin talks on a path forward. We cannot afford to wait, only to let delay and inaction bring us to the brink of another totally predictable and completely preventable crisis.

    We are ready and willing to work with you to produce a fair and balanced Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.  Therefore, we respectfully request you schedule the first round of these important negotiations as soon as possible.


    Mark R. Warner

    Tim Kaine

    Harry Reid

    Richard J. Durbin

    Charles E. Schumer

    Patty Murray

    Barbara Mikulski

    Patrick J. Leahy

    Dianne Feinstein

    Barbara Boxer

    Ron Wyden

    Jack Reed

    Bill Nelson

    Tom Carper

    Debbie Stabenow

    Maria Cantwell

    Robert Menendez

    Ben Cardin

    Bernie Sanders

    Sherrod Brown

    Robert P. Casey, Jr.

    Claire McCaskill

    Amy Klobuchar

    Sheldon Whitehouse

    Jon Tester

    Tom Udall

    Jeanne Shaheen

    Jeff Merkley

    Michael Bennet

    Kirsten Gillibrand

    Al Franken

    Joe Manchin

    Christopher Coons

    Richard Blumenthal

    Brian Schatz

    Tammy Baldwin

    Joe Donnelly

    Chris Murphy

    Mazie K. Hirono

    Martin Heinrich

    Angus King

    Elizabeth Warren

    Heidi Heitkamp

    Edward J. Markey

    Cory Booker

    Gary Peters


  • From Fairfax County Board Chair Sharon Bulova:

    Fairfax County is the safest jurisdiction of our size in the country, in large part due to the men and women of our public safety family who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. Theirs is a difficult and dangerous job. To have a police officer indicted for murder is a tragedy for all involved. This case has caused Fairfax County to take a hard look at communications, use of force and response policies within the Police Department, and important changes are already underway to make sure a situation like this never happens again. The Ad Hoc Police Practices Review Commission has also been working very hard over the past few months to consider new policy recommendations that will be presented to the Board of Supervisors in October. Some improvements to current policies are already being implemented as best practices in other states and jurisdictions are identified.