Home Virginia Politics Friday News: “GOP debate’s terrifying alternate reality;” VA Pulls Absurd Health Clinic...

Friday News: “GOP debate’s terrifying alternate reality;” VA Pulls Absurd Health Clinic Regs


Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, September 18.

*The Planet Set Three Major Heat Records In August (Can we finally stop talking about stupid s*** like offshore oil drilling and an “all-of-the-above” strategy?!?)

*Republicans go from embracing junk science to junk policy on climate change (This party is a national disgrace.)

*The wreckage of the summer of Trump (“Trump’s defeat is now a matter of Republican survival…The summer of Trump has been a season of toxicity, ugliness and racially charged resentment.”

*Sorry, Republicans: It’s still Donald Trump’s world (“And sorry, Donald, but now you have to share it with Ben Carson.”)

*GOP candidates spout irresponsible rhetoric on Planned Parenthood

*Man Asks Trump: ‘When Can We Get Rid’ Of All The Muslims In America? His Answer Was Horrifying.

*No Jeb, Your Brother Did Not Keep Us ‘Safe’

*Scott Walker gasps for air: His Iowa Hail Mary shows a campaign in disarray (“With his number crashing and his donors grumbling, Scott Walker is focusing all his efforts on Iowa” What about his pal Mark Obenshain in Virginia, can’t he help? LOL)

*The GOP’s debate’s terrifying alternate reality: Inside the political delusions of a party on the edge (“One of the 15 people on stage Wednesday will represent one of the two major parties next year. That’s terrifying.” So true, yet the brain-dead corporate media mostly reports it as a “who’s up, who’s down” soap opera. #JOURNALISMFAIL)

*McAuliffe allocates $6 million to school security funding (“New systems include monitoring systems, classroom locks, metal detectors”)

*Maureen McDonnell Makes Written Arguments for Appeal

*Another Eye on Predatory lenders (“Attorney General Mark Herring is reorganizing his office’s Consumer Protection division to bolster its focus on predatory lending. The move, long overdue and desperately needed, is part of a broader effort to protect Virginians from usurious businesses flourishing across the commonwealth with state lawmakers’ support.”)

*Execution details shielded in Virginia (“A state Supreme Court ruling keeps manuals out of the public eye.” Bizarre.)

*Virginia Board of Health rolls back strict abortion clinic regulations (“The move is a victory for the governor and abortion rights activists who said the rules were politically motivated.”)

*Virginia’s GOP male lawmakers are gifted at antagonizing women. And they’re at it again. (“According to Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax), the Republicans going after Roush are being complete jerks.”)

*UVa to ask the state for $140M more in funding

*Fairfax leaders grapple with shutdown, sequestration uncertainty and economic impacts (Video)

*Sen. John Edwards surges in campaign fundraising in 21st District

*2nd Democrat announces bid to challenge Rep. Robert Hurt (“Jane Dittmar, the chairwoman of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, joins Ericke Cage of Halifax County in seeking the Democratic nomination. Cage served as an adviser to former 5th District Rep. Tom Perriello.”)

*Va. school board chairwoman under fire for anti-Muslim post (Based not just on this but also on other stuff she’s posted on her Facebook page, Christie New Craig definitely shouldn’t be on the school board.)

*TV ads hit 21st District Senate race

*Mountain Valley Pipeline files lawsuits to gain access to land in Franklin County

*D.C. area forecast: Moving from warm to warmer into Saturday, then cooler on Sunday


    ~ On the vote by the Virginia Board of Health to adopt amended regulations on healthcare facilities that provide abortion services ~

    RICHMOND (September 17, 2015) – Attorney General Mark R. Herring released the following statement after the Board of Health voted to adopt revised regulations for licensure of healthcare facilities that provide abortion services:

    “Today was a good day for Virginia women whose reproductive rights have been attacked too often in recent years. This vote is a critical step in ensuring that Virginia women can make their own healthcare decisions and safely access the full range of services they need in the communities where they live. This regulatory process is being driven by medical professionals working with solid, correct legal advice, and the Board’s decisions reflect a commitment to the law, patient safety, and the highest ethical standards. I appreciate the Board’s hard work and commitment to getting this right, and Governor McAuliffe’s prudent decision to initiate the periodic review that led to these revised regulations.”

    In May 2015, Attorney General Herring issued an official advisory opinion requested by Health Commissioner Doctor Marissa J. Levine in which he answered certain questions about the regulatory process and the authority of the Board of Health, including whether the Board of Health could apply certain design-and-construction standards to preexisting facilities. After exhaustive and careful review, Attorney General Herring concluded that “…in 2011 and 2013 the Board did not have the authority to apply the design-and-construction section of the regulations to facilities built before the regulations took effect, nor does it have the authority to do so now.” Today’s vote is consistent with that advice.


    Virginia Board of Health vote a win for women’s health

    Richmond, Va. – Today, in a packed meeting of the Virginia Board of Health, members of the Board voted to scale back burdensome, medically unnecessary regulations on abortion clinics. The vote will enable Virginia’s remaining women’s health centers to stay open, and  to continue providing care. It comes more than a year after Governor Terry McAuliffe ordered the Board to revisit these regulations approved under Governor Bob McDonnell.

    “Today is a great day for women and families across the Commonwealth,” said Senator Donald McEachin (D-Henrico), Chair of the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus. “The politically motivated regulations enacted under the previous administration were medically unnecessary and inappropriate. Numerous medical professionals testified during the process that led to today’s vote, and they have agreed that existing women’s health centers should not be required to undergo extensive and costly expansions and renovations that could prevent Virginia women from receiving high quality, compassionate, and affordable care.”

    “The Virginia Board of Health sent a loud and clear message today: we need to stop playing politics with women’s health,” said Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education and Health Committee. “Regulations of women’s health centers should be based on what is best for patients – not what is best for politicians and anti-women’s health extremists.”

  • House Democrats applaud the Board of Health decision regarding women’s health clinics

    Richmond, VA – This afternoon the Board of Health voted to reverse the onerous regulations pushed by Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli that would have forced the closure of several women’s health facilities.

    “This is a great example of the leadership displayed by Governor McAuliffe in choosing his Board of Health members,” said Leader David J. Toscano.  “Virginians know that they can trust Terry McAuliffe to protect women’s health.”

    “Virginians voted in 2013 to make sure that we focused on jobs and the economy and stopped the partisan crusades against women’s health and today they saw another example of Governor McAuliffe working to end that chapter in our Commonwealth,” said Caucus Chair Charniele Herring.  “Medical decisions should not be decided by politicians and today’s vote ensures that women will have safe access to affordable health care.”

  • True Blue

    Just Say No to TRAPs aimed strictly at real women’s health clinics (yet not for other outpatient surgical operations).

    Cooch’s coercion of officials is finally cut off by common-sense discussion and decision-making.  

  • clark

    “Yesterday was a long day at the hospital for me seeing patients, but not as long as it was for the advocates and board members who sat through this 10 hour+ hearing. I’m grateful that the members of the Board of Health were deliberative and listened to the expert testimony of health professionals and doctors. As a practicing physician, we must make sure that we keep government out of decisions that women make with their doctors, and I will continue to work to ensure that when a woman has chosen to exercise her constitutional right to an abortion, she can go through that process without unnecessary and obstructive hurdles.”

  • From Gov. McAuliffe’s office:

    August was 17th consecutive month of year over year employment growth

    Governor McAuliffe announced today that Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased 0.3 percentage point in August to 4.5 percent, the second consecutive monthly decline. At 4.5 percent, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is at its lowest level since September 2008 when it was 4.3 percent. Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains below the national rate, which was down 0.2 percentage point in August to 5.1 percent.

    The average weekly wage for private employers was $940.55 in August, 7.6 percent above a year ago.

    “We are seeing tangible results from our work to build a new Virginia economy by fostering growth at Virginia businesses around the Commonwealth and attracting new, high-growth industries,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The new jobs numbers demonstrate continued progress creating good-paying jobs all across Virginia. This is great news, but with federal shutdowns, sequestration and budget battles looming, we still have much work to do to diversify our economy and chart a course for sustainable growth well into the future.”

    “The private sector continues to lead the rebound of Virginia’s economy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Maurice Jones.  “This is especially good news as the Commonwealth needs robust private sector job growth in order to diversify our sources of prosperity.”

    From August of 2014 to August of 2015, Virginia’s seasonally adjusted total nonfarm employment was up 41,100 jobs. Over the year, employment grew 1.1 percent. For the past three months, over-the-year employment growth has exceeded 1.0 percent. Over-the-year August job gains were recorded by both the private sector, which grew by 37,200 jobs, and the public sector, which grew by 3,900 jobs. Compared to a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis, 9 of the 11 major industry divisions experienced employment gains.

  • Studies show fracked natural gas is as bad as coal for the climate

    RICHMOND-Dominion Resources today filed its federal application to build the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the first of four proposed gas pipeline projects in Virginia. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network is calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to fully assess the cumulative harm this project would inflict on the climate as part of its environmental review.

    FERC is now charged with preparing an Environmental Impact Statement for Dominion’s proposed $5 billion, 564-mile pipeline from West Virginia, across Virginia, to North Carolina. This review must account for the many dangers the pipeline poses to public health and safety, the environment and the climate-as well as readily available alternatives to a pipeline, such as solar, wind and energy efficiency.

    Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, had the following statement:

    “Dominion’s pipeline threatens to unleash a huge new pulse of greenhouse gas pollution. To do its job, FERC must assess the pipeline’s cumulative impact on the climate, including leaks of heat-trapping methane and other greenhouse gases from fracking wells, compressor stations, and all 564 miles of pipeline.

    “Numerous studies show fracked gas disrupts the climate on par with coal. That’s because methane is 86 times more potent of a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. It’s frankly sad that Dominion and Governor Terry McAuliffe continue to trumpet this project as ‘clean’ when it’s for a volatile, planet-heating fossil fuel.

    “Thankfully, Virginia has plenty of clean energy alternatives to building a 564-mile pipeline, and FERC is legally obliged to consider them. For instance, if Dominion invested its $5 billion in solar power instead of a dangerous pipeline, we could install enough solar panels to power over 400,000 Virginia homes. Installing and maintaining this industry would create 2,500 temporary construction jobs and support 216 permanent jobs annually, plus additional jobs due to lower energy prices over time, and improved health outcomes of workers across the state. [1]

    “FERC, Dominion, and Governor McAuliffe must wake up to the reality that we can and must meet our energy needs without jeopardizing Virginians’ homes, health and climate.”

    The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is one of four interstate gas pipeline projects currently proposed for the central Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountain region of Virginia and West Virginia-along with the Mountain Valley Pipeline, the Appalachian Connector Pipeline, and the WB Xpress Project.

    CCAN is also joining landowner and environmental groups in calling on FERC to prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for all four pipelines in order to fully evaluate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of pipeline development in this region.

    1. Solar power and jobs data is based on U.S. Energy Information Administration data and National Renewable Energy Laboratory modeling.