Friday News: “Worst Stereotype of the GOP Coming to Life,” Including Climate...

Friday News: “Worst Stereotype of the GOP Coming to Life,” Including Climate Science Denial as Disaster Looms

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, April 1. By the way, I love how Virginia Republicans actually think it’s BAD that Terry McAuliffe said he wants to revamp SW Virginia’s energy economy towards clean energy — even though doing so would be an utter no-brainer on any number of levels.

  • http://www.bluevirginia.us/ lowkell

    Governor McAuliffe Statement on the Passing of Virginia State Trooper Chad Dermyer

    RICHMOND — Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement after Virginia State Trooper Chad Dermyer was killed in the line of duty today in Richmond:

    “Dorothy and I are heartbroken by the senseless death of Virginia State Trooper Chad Dermyer, who died serving in the line of duty today in Richmond. Like so many brave Virginia men and women, Trooper Dermyer put on a uniform and risked his life every day to keep us safe, first as a U.S. Marine and then as a police officer. He was a husband, a father and a hero who was taken from us too soon.

    “This is a loss that impacts us all. It should inspire prayers for the family, friends and fellow troopers who are mourning tonight, and gratitude for those who protect and serve. And as we grieve, we should also reflect, yet again, on how we can come together as a Commonwealth to end the senseless violence that costs the lives of too many mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters.”

  • http://www.bluevirginia.us/ lowkell

    THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — MARCH 2016

    Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 215,000 in March, and the unemployment
    rate was little changed at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
    reported today. Employment increased in retail trade, construction, and health
    care. Job losses occurred in manufacturing and mining.

    Household Survey Data

    In March, the unemployment rate (5.0 percent) and the number of unemployed
    persons (8.0 million) were little changed. Both measures have shown little
    movement since August. (See table A-1.)

    Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4.5 percent), adult women (4.6 percent), teenagers (15.9 percent), Whites (4.3 percent), Blacks (9.0 percent), Asians (4.0 percent), and Hispanics (5.6 percent) showed little or no change in March. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

    The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was
    essentially unchanged at 2.2 million in March and has shown little movement since
    June. In March, these individuals accounted for 27.6 percent of the unemployed.
    (See table A-12.)

    In March, the labor force participation rate (63.0 percent) and the employment-
    population ratio (59.9 percent) changed little. Both measures were up by 0.6
    percentage point since September. (See table A-1.)

    The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (also referred to
    as involuntary part-time workers) was about unchanged in March at 6.1 million and
    has shown little movement since November. These individuals, who would have
    preferred full-time employment, were working part-time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.)

    In March, 1.7 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down
    by 335,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These
    individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and
    had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as
    unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the
    survey. (See table A-16.)

    Among the marginally attached, there were 585,000 discouraged workers in March,
    down by 153,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.)
    Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they
    believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.1 million persons
    marginally attached to the labor force in March had not searched for work for
    reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

    Establishment Survey Data

    Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 215,000 in March. Employment gains
    occurred in retail trade, construction, and health care, while job losses
    occurred in manufacturing and mining. (See table B-1.)

    Retail trade added 48,000 jobs in March. Employment gains occurred in general
    merchandise stores (+12,000), health and personal care stores (+10,000), building
    material and garden supply stores (+10,000), and automobile dealers (+5,000). Over the past 12 months, retail trade has added 378,000 jobs.

    Construction employment rose by 37,000 in March. Job gains occurred among
    residential specialty trade contractors (+12,000) and in heavy and civil
    engineering construction (+11,000). Over the year, construction has added
    301,000 jobs.

    Employment in health care increased by 37,000 over the month, about in line with
    the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months. In March, employment rose
    in ambulatory health care services (+27,000) and hospitals (+10,000). Over the
    year, health care employment has increased by 503,000.

    Over the month, employment continued to trend up in food services and drinking
    places (+25,000) and in financial activities (+15,000).

    In March, employment in professional and business services changed little for the
    third month in a row. In 2015, the industry added an average of 52,000 jobs per
    month.

    Employment in manufacturing declined by 29,000 in March. Most of the job losses
    occurred in durable goods industries (-24,000), including machinery (-7,000),
    primary metals (-3,000), and semiconductors and electronic components (-3,000).

    Mining employment continued to decline in March (-12,000) with losses concentrated
    in support activities for mining (-10,000). Since reaching a peak in September 2014,
    employment in mining has decreased by 185,000.

    Employment in other major industries, including wholesale trade, transportation
    and warehousing, information, and government, changed little over the month.

    The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.4 hours in March. The manufacturing workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.6 hours. Factory overtime was 3.3 hours for the fourth month in a row. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

    In March, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
    increased by 7 cents to $25.43, following a 2-cent decline in February. Over the
    year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.3 percent. In March, average hourly
    earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by
    4 cents to $21.37. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

    The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for January was revised from
    +172,000 to +168,000, and the change for February was revised from +242,000 to
    +245,000. With these revisions, employment gains in January and February
    combined were 1,000 less than previously reported. Over the past 3 months, job
    gains have averaged 209,000 per month.

  • http://www.bluevirginia.us/ lowkell

    From New Virginia Majority:

    Immigrants’ Rights Advocates Applaud Veto of HB481 and SB270

    Bills would have prevented local jails and state facilities from releasing immigrants on ICE detainers

    Richmond, VA – Immigrants’ rights advocates today applauded Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s veto of House Bill 481 and Senate Bill 270, sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall and Senator Tom Garrett. If allowed to go into effect, these bills would only allow local jails and state facilities to transfer immigrants against whom the federal government has placed a detainer request to the custody of federal immigration authorities or another facility, and that such immigrant shall be held in custody in excess of their release date if federal or state law required them to be held until transferred to the appropriate authority.

    The bills raised concerns about community relations between immigrant communities and law enforcement and raised questions about constitutional compliance, as they could be broadly interpreted as requiring all individuals for whom Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has placed a detainer request to be held up to 48 hours after the day they would otherwise be released, forcing sheriffs to choose between obeying the provisions in the bills or violating individuals’ civil rights.

    “These bills would have a chilling effect on the trust that law enforcement officials have worked so hard to build within the immigrant community,” stated Tram Nguyen, co-executive director of New Virginia Majority. “At a time when the national rhetoric has made immigrants feel under attack, victims and witnesses of crime may not come forward for fear of creating sweeps for deportation within their communities. Police and sheriffs need to strike a balance between acting as enforcement agents and performing their duties to protect the public.”

    “The bills could open up sheriffs and localities to costly civil lawsuits. People cannot be held for immigration reasons without a judge signing a warrant,” stated Margie Del Castillo, associate director for community mobilization at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. “Based on recent court cases, restricting the release of individuals on bail or bond could violate an individuals’ fourth amendment rights.”

    • True Blue

      Thanks again to our governor; most of his vetoes are for bills passed in the senate on 19-21 votes. I’m still waiting for a veto of HB 389, which will result in degradation of public school funding and potentially violate federal mandates for special student populations.

  • http://www.bluevirginia.us/ lowkell

    Statement From Lori Haas, Virginia State Director, Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

    “I am heartbroken, distraught, and angered by the senseless shooting death of Virginia State Trooper Chad Dermyer at a Richmond Greyhound station yesterday afternoon.

    According to court records obtained by WTVR 6 in Richmond, the shooter had an extensive and horrendous criminal record. Previous charges on his record include murder, intent to kill, and battery of a pregnant women and unborn child, among many others. An individual with this consistent pattern of dangerous behavior should have never been allowed anywhere close to a firearm. But he had access to a firearm and the results were tragic.

    On behalf of our staff and Board of Directors, I want to express our deepest condolences to the family of Officer Dermyer, the Virginia State Police, and the entire law enforcement community across the Commonwealth. We also recommit ourselves in pushing legislators to protect law enforcement by passing laws that keep dangerous people from getting guns in order to prevent tragedies like the one we just saw in Richmond from ever happening again.“

  • http://www.bluevirginia.us/ lowkell

    Good news from Environment Virginia:

    Arlington County Among Dozens Backing Carbon Pollution Limits in Court

    Washington, DC — Today, Arlington County was among more than 50 city and county governments from 28 states, together with The U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, filing an amicus brief today in support of the Clean Power Plan – the centerpiece of the U.S. strategy to tackle climate change that was delayed by the Supreme Court in February. The brief argued that the carbon pollution limits on power plants is critical to the safety and economic security of local communities across the country.

    City and county governments are the first line of defense in weather disasters and climate impacts, which are exacerbated by global warming. Many cities are already experiencing — and paying for — damage caused by climate change. More than ninety percent of Virginians live in cities or counties hit by at least one weather disaster in the last five years.

    “From extreme weather events to public health risks from air pollution, cities are on the frontlines of climate change’s impacts,” said Sarah Bucci, State Director with Environment Virginia. “That’s why they’ve long been at the forefront promoting clean energy and curbing climate pollution. Thanks to Arlington County for standing up in court for the biggest step the U.S. has ever taken to tackle global warming.”

    Arlington County has already taken steps in their Community Energy Plan to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy and reduce the county’s greenhouse gas emissions.

    The local government brief builds on strong demand for climate action by cities and counties, which view the Clean Power Plan as a “legally necessary step toward addressing the extraordinary threat posed by climate change.” Last year, dozens of mayors sent a letter to President Obama urging him to “provide a path forward to make meaningful reductions in carbon pollution while preparing for the impacts of climate change.”

    “We’re confident that the Clean Power Plan will ultimately survive attacks from the polluters, with help of local governments like Arlington,” said Bucci. “Less pollution and more clean energy just makes sense for our kids’ health and our planet’s future.”

  • http://www.bluevirginia.us/ lowkell

    WARNER, KAINE JOIN AMICUS BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF PRESIDENT OBAMA’S CLEAN POWER PLAN

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine joined a bipartisan group of 42 current and former Senators and 164 current and former House members from 38 states as well as the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands in filing an amicus brief in support of the Obama administration’s historic ‘Clean Power Plan’ (CPP). The CPP will reduce carbon pollution and address climate change, save consumers $155 billion by 2030, create jobs, and prevent 90,000 childhood asthma attacks through 2030‎. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is considering a challenge to the rule in West Virginia et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency. The full text of the amicus brief filed today can be found here and a full list of the 208 current and former members of Congress that signed can be found below.

    The amicus brief argues that the Clean Power Plan rule is consistent with the text, structure, and legislative history of the Clean Air Act (CAA). Further, it argues that the rule is consistent with the goal of the CAA to “protect the Nation’s air resources so as to promote the public health and welfare and the productive capacity of its population.” Indeed, according to the brief, the Supreme Court has already affirmed that the EPA has clear authority to combat carbon pollution and regulate greenhouse gasses under Massachusetts v. EPA and American Electric Power v. Connecticut.

    While many Republicans continue to refuse to acknowledge the existence of climate change, a bipartisan group of current and former members of Congress as well as a broad coalition that includes legal experts, environmental groups, states and cities, and businesses including energy companies recognize the necessity and legality of the CPP, which will protect public health, and grow the clean energy economy of the future. A failure to act on climate change will also lead to more frequent extreme weather – from more severe droughts and wildfires in the west, to rising sea levels and more powerful hurricanes along our coastlines.

    Full list of the 208 current and former member of Congress that signed the amicus brief filed today:

    Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Thomas Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie K. Hirono, (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Harry Reid (D-NV), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

    The bipartisan group of former Senators that signed the brief include: Senators George J. Mitchell (D-ME), Carl Levin (D-MI), David Durenberger (R-MN), Joseph I. Lieberman (I-CT), Timothy E. Wirth (D-CO), Thomas A. Daschle (D-SD), J. Robert Kerrey (D-NE) and Tom Harkin (D-IA).

    Representatives Alma S. Adams (D-NC), Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Karen Bass (D-CA), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Ami Bera (D-CA), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA), Robert A. Brady (D-PA), Corrine Brown (D-FL), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), G. K. Butterfield (D-NC), Lois Capps (D-CA), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), John C. Carney, Jr. (D-DE), André Carson (D-IN), Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), Judy Chu (D-CA), David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Katherine M. Clark (D-MA), Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Susan A. Davis (D-CA), Peter A. DeFazio (D-OR), Diana L. DeGette (D-CO), John K. Delaney (D-MD), Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT), Suzan K. DelBene (D-WA), Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA), Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Michael F. Doyle (D-PA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Elizabeth H. Esty (D-CT), Sam Farr (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Bill Foster (D-IL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), John Garamendi (D-CA), Alan Grayson (D-FL), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL), Janice Hahn (D-CA), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Denny Heck (D-WA), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Jim Himes (D-CT), Michael M. Honda (D-CA), Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Steve Israel (D-NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA), William R. Keating (D-MA), Robin L. Kelly (D-IL), Joseph P. Kennedy, III (D-MA), Daniel T. Kildee (D-MI), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH), James R. Langevin (D-RI), John B. Larson (D-CT), Brenda L. Lawrence (D-MI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), John Lewis (D-GA), Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Dave Loebsack (D-IA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Doris Matsui (D-CA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Jim McDermott (D-WA), James P. McGovern (D-MA), Jerry McNerney (D-CA), Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Grace Meng (D-NY), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Patrick E. Murphy (D-PA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Scott H. Peters (D-CA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jared Polis (D-CO), David Price (D-NC), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), Kathleen M. Rice (D-NY), Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP), Linda T. Sánchez (D-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), John P. Sarbanes (D-MD), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Adam B. Schiff (D-CA), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), José E. Serrano (D-NY), Brad Sherman (D-CA), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Mark Takai (D-HI), Mark Takano (D-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Dina Titus (D-NV), Paul D. Tonko (D-NY), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Peter Welch (D-VT), Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL), and John Yarmuth (D-KY).

    The bipartisan group of former House members that signed the brief include: Representatives Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Tom Downey (D-NY), Bill Hughes (D-NJ), George Miller (D-CA), Jim Moran (D-VA), Milton “Bob” Carr (D-MI) and Henry A. Waxman (D-CA).

  • Quizzical

    National Geographic editorial on recent climate change study in Nature
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/04/160401-climate-change-sea-level-antarctica-ice-melt-physics/