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Thursday News: Trump is “Madman of the Year” (and “Con Man”); Trump’s Climate Denier EPA Pick Could Spell Disaster

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, December 8. Also check out Stephen Colbert on how nothing makes Donald Trump happier than being angry.

  • Quizzical

    Re the Comet Ping Pong gunman’s interview, I think he was lying when he said he couldn’t remember where he got his information about the pizza shop conspiracy. Come on – he loads up all his guns and ammunition to drive 350 miles to a strange city to “self investigate” and he thinks to rescue children – and goes in shooting – and he says he can’t remember where he got the information? He’s lying – he still thinks there’s a big conspiracy and he’s protecting people who he thinks are on his side. Same for his statement that he thinks Infowars is over the top. He still doesn’t get it.

  • Elaine Owens

    Jeff Shapiro has cogent points to make about the state budget and tax revenue. JLARC did a study on tax exemption and deductions a few years back, concluding that many of them are counter-productive and listing the coal give-away as the most egregious. So, what did the Republican General Assembly and McDonnell do? Passed a multi-year extension of the coal give-away. The income tax is not at all progressive, hitting the working class the hardest. The state collects sales tax on food and clothing, but getting a haircut or a manicure is free of tax. The state did away with its inheritance tax with a bill I call the “Gift to the Mars Family” tax relief bill. There is no excuse for the ridiculous tax system the state has. In the Shapiro piece, note how many times taxes were raised simply to build more roads. That isn’t necessarily the way to improve economic growth. Since the Great Recession the state has invested less and less into both public education and higher education. I don’t see any of this changing in the near future.

  • Beyer Statement On His Vote Against the Continuing Resolution

    December 8, 2016 (Washington, DC) – Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) issued the following statement today on his vote against final passage of the continuing resolution (CR):

    “I voted today against the continuing resolution (CR), which would fund the U.S. government for four months. Although there are components of the CR that I support, such as funding for Flint, Michigan’s water crisis, the CR also all-too-conveniently sets the stage for a more conservative and destructive long-term funding vehicle come April. Today’s effort was a legislative maneuver designed to limit bipartisan cooperation and enact destructive Republican principles through the budget process.

    “It was months ago that Congress began the appropriations process to adequately fund government operations, with key investments in infrastructure, technology, research and development, the middle class, and the armed services. Yet here we are, more than two months into the fiscal year, with a harmful continuing resolution with historically low non-defense discretionary spending that forces federal agencies to meet budget shortfalls by slashing programs that help those most in need.

    “This is not regular order despite six years of promises and single party control, and I am disappointed but not surprised that a full-year funding bill continues to elude this chamber. This bill ignores the budget agreement made last winter, breaks parity between defense and non-defense discretionary programs that many Americans rely on, and fails to appropriately address the needs of our government.

    “The bill also grants a waiver to a recently retired general to become Secretary of Defense, a waiver only extended once in history. Such a move involves questioning of one of our most important foundational doctrines –civilian control of the military — and deserves full debate by both chambers of Congress. Attaching this waiver to a funding bill through a midnight maneuver is an attempt to sneak that waiver past the American people without any discussion, which is not a precedent we can accept, especially given the controversy surrounding the President-elect’s other Cabinet nominees.

    “I take funding the government and keeping the many federal employees I represent at work extremely seriously, but this bill is not one which I could have voted for in good conscience. I opposed the continuing resolution. It is my hope that Senate will reject the CR so that we can get to work on a bipartisan full year funding bill instead of rushing out the door for our holiday vacations with many priorities unaddressed.”

  • Statement from Sen. Tim Kaine on the nomination of Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator: “There are few agencies that depend more on careful review of science than the EPA. Every rule or regulation depends on an intellectually honest review of scientific consensus. And the consequences for the health and safety of the American public are critical. The nomination of an EPA Administrator who does not accept basic climate science is deeply troubling.”

  • Video: Hillary Clinton Full Speech at Harry Reid Portrait Unveiling

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iXEIc0ClbQ&feature=youtu.be