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Friday News: RIP Earl Hamner of “The Waltons;” T-Mac Bizarrely Pleased with Godawful 2016 General Assembly Session


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, March 25. Also check out the NewsHour’s interview last night with former Rep. Barney Frank (co-author of Dodd-Frank), who disagrees (to put it mildly) with Bernie Sanders on “too big to fail,” Glass-Steagall, etc. Finally, RIP to Earl Hamner, creator of “The Waltons,” who died at age 92. We need more shows like that one, particularly in this nasty time of Trump.

  • Toscano appoints Rip Sullivan Campaign Chair

    Completes House Democratic Caucus Leadership Team

    Richmond, VA – Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), Leader of the House Democratic Caucus, has appointed Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax) to serve as Campaign Chair for the 2017 cycle, completing the House Democratic leadership team. Toscano said, “Delegate Sullivan has proven himself a leader since the day he was elected to the House of Delegates and I’m excited to have him join our leadership team as we continue to elect more Democrats.”

    Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandra), the House Democratic Caucus Chair, said, “I am proud of the accomplishments of our caucus and it is an honor to Chair such a diverse group of inspiring individuals. Building our numbers in the House has been a team effort and it has been gratifying to see so many step forward to take leadership roles to nurture our success. I am pleased that Rip has joined our team as we continue to work toward the 2017 elections.” Sullivan, who was elected in a special election in 2014, joins Del. Kathleen Murphy, another “sophomore” member of the caucus on the leadership team.

    Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington), who served as Campaign Chair for 2015 and was recently promoted to Democratic Whip, added the following, “In 2015, we picked up 3 Republican held seats despite being vastly outspent by the other side. I look forward to working with David, Charniele, Rip and the rest of our House Democratic team to make sure we continue growing a diverse Caucus that truly represents the future of Virginia.”

    Del. Rip Sullivan (D-Fairfax), said regarding his appointment, “It’s an honor to be asked to serve and I look forward to working with our partners throughout the Commonwealth to elect more Democrats to the House of Delegates in 2017.”

  • Nate Silver’s latest on what the 2016 presidential election map could look like


    • Elaine Owens

      Hmmm. I wonder if Trump actually could carry Utah.

  • Elaine Owens

    Excellent explanation by Barney Frank of why the call by Sanders and others to “break up” the large banks is no solution to any future financial crisis. Banks “too big to fail” was not the cause of the recent crisis. Over-rindebtedness, especially in derivatives that were destined to fail because of being sold as high-quality assets, which they certainly were not, and a housing bubble that made people believe that real estate values would simply always go up, caused the crisis, among other reasons. TARP, or the “bank bailout,” did not cost the taxpayers a penny. Instead, the U.S. taxpayers made a $15.3 billion profit. How? The government took stakes in those institutions bailed out and as the economy recovered, it sold those assets at a profit. As Barney Frank pointed out, the savings and loan debacle of the 1980’s and 1990’s, where many hundreds of rather small (by today’s standards) thrifts failed, cost the taxpayers as much as $130 billion. The government had no choice but to do something like TARP in the most recent financial crisis. The result of letting those financial institutions just fail would have been a repeat of the 1930’s.

  • True Blue

    While the Morning Jerk and Mika complain about Obama being diplomatic in Cuba and Argentina (and not paying enough attention to ISIS attack in Brussels?). . .

    While the I, I, I will win, win, win with hands, hands, hands and torture, torture, torture or nukes, nukes, nukes GOP frontrunner says. . .

    “…presidential because it is winning. And winning is a pretty good thing for this country because we don’t win any more. And I say it all the time. We do not win any more. This country doesn’t win. We don’t win with trade. We don’t win with…We can’t even beat ISIS. And by the way, just to answer the rest of that question, I would knock the hell out of ISIS in some form.” from interview by Washington Post

    BREAKING NEWS – The world wins as the ISIS second in command is taken out in a US special ops raid in Syria, a second high-profile ISIS casualty this month by US led coalition and I have to ask – who’s knocking the hell out of ISIS?

  • GBrandon

    Plant/fiber-based sources of protein are good in at least three ways: 1) the fiber is good for G-I system and helps satiate the diner; 2) decreases demand for meat; and, 3) fat can be controlled by the cook.

  • Video: Hey, Donald Trump, you were saying we never win anymore? Uh huh.


  • Video: Jimmy Kimmel “mansplains” to Hillary Clinton


  • Progress Virginia Applauds Governor’s Veto of Wage Suppression Bill

    Progress Virginia today applauded Governor Terry McAuliffe’s veto of House Bill 1371, which would have prevented localities from ensuring their contractors receive a living wage. Executive director Anna Scholl released the following statement:

    “No one who works full-time should live in poverty. It is especially shameful that workers on projects paid for by our local governments should struggle to make ends meet. We’re grateful to Governor McAuliffe for vetoing HB1371 and ensuring local communities retain the flexibility to ensure their contractors are able to afford to live and raise a family in the community in which they work. Conservative legislators’ attempt to force localities into paying poverty wages is a sad move designed to pit taxpayers and workers against each other when in truth we know well-trained and compensated workers are more productive on the job and benefit the community.”

  • Andy Schmookler

    I am a big fan of Barney Frank’s, but I was less than impressed by this particular interview.

    First, Frank made a big thing about someone saying that there is a problem with a few banks being so dominant WITHOUT also specifying exactly how big is too big. I don’t see the sense of that: once it is conceded that having four banking institutions controlling a majority of banking assets in the nation is a problem, then the question can turn to the question of how big is too big.

    I know that one can have a financial crisis even if there are only a great many small banks (see, for example, the runs on the banks around the time that FDR took office in 1932-33). But are we to believe that the present domination by a handful of giant banks is NO PROBLEM?

    Second, Frank makes a big deal of the fact that Sanders mentioned the idea of “too big to fail” in the same breath as the idea of re-instituting an updated version of Glass-Steagall. Frank’s point is that Glass-Steagall is NOT about breaking up giant banks. (As Frank said, it is about restricting commercial banks from engaging in the riskier side of investing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass%E2%80%93Steagall_Legislation).

    Does he really think that Bernie Sanders doesn’t know that? Does he really not understand that this was an effort to say, in short-hand, that there remain some kinds of desirable — and perhaps necessary — financial reform that Dodd-Frank did not accomplish?

    Frank’s best contribution in this interview is his explication of some of the ways that Dodd Frank does work to prevent a repeat of the financial collapse of 2008-9. But from this interview, you would think that Barney Frank regards Dodd-Frank as having accomplished EVERYTHING that the U.S. needed for financial reform.

    That is not the way people in the know, and people who supported Dodd-Frank, have customarily talked about that bill– not at the time it was passed, and not since. The generally accepted view has been that Dodd-Frank was an important step in the right direction, that it was all that could be accomplished with the Congress we then had, but that ideally it would have gone further.

    Does anyone now dispute that?

    And if ideally financial reform would go further, are the two issues on which Frank spoke so dismissively — the dominance of finance by four huge banks, plus the issue of re-instituting the Glass-Steagall prohibitions — not areas on which progress should be made?