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Tuesday News: Jeff Sessions the “Worst Person for the Job”; Federal Workers Fear Trump; Vote Today in Va. Special Elections

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, January 10. Oh, and don’t forget to vote today – for Cheryl Turpin if you live in HD85 (Virginia Beach) and for Ryant Washington if you live in SD22 (Lynchburg, Amherst, Fluvanna, Goochland, etc.)! And check out Stephen Colbert on the need for a “Million Meryl March” against Trump.

  • The Trump Tweet smokescreen currently distracting from all of the following meaningful, terrifying things:

    1. Trump fires all appointed Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day.
    2. House brings back the Holman rule allowing them to reduce an individual civil service, SES positions, or political appointee’s salary to $1, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation. We now know why they wanted names and positions of people in Energy and State.
    3. Senate schedules 6 simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees and triple-books those hearings with Trump’s first press conference in months and an ACA budget vote, effectively preventing any concentrated coverage or protest.
    4. House GOP expressly forbids the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking ANY costs related to the repeal of the ACA.
    5. Trump continues to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Putin, despite the growing mountain of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election.
    6. Trump breaks a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (in other words, us, the taxpayers) to pay for it.
    7. Trump threatens Toyota over a new plant that was never coming to the US nor will take jobs out of the US.
    8. House passes the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department–for example, FDA or EPA bans a drug or pesticide, Congress can overrule based on lobbyists not science. Don’t like that endangered species designation, Congress kills it.

    We – progressive, liberal, libertarian and conservative – need to all wake up to what is actually happening to our beloved country.

    #UnitedWeStand

  • Charlottesville Leaders Endorse Ralph Northam for Governor

    Richmond, VA – Today, leaders from the Charlottesville area endorsed for Ralph Northam’s candidacy for governor.

    Last week, Senator Warner, Senator Kaine, Governor McAuliffe, and Attorney General Herring each affirmed their endorsements of Lieutenant Governor Northam. The House and Senate Democratic caucuses also announced their unanimous endorsement.

    Earlier today, leaders from the Charlottesville-area endorsed for Ralph Northam’s candidacy for governor.

    The campaign has received more than 34,000 contributions, and 94% have come directly from you and others at $100 or less.

    In Charlottesville, the campaign has raised more than 1,000 contributions with over 80% being $100 or less, showing grassroots support across the region.

    Today’s endorsers include

    · Senator Creigh Deeds, 25th District

    · House Democratic Leader David Toscano, Delegate, 57th District

    · Michael Signer, Mayor of Charlottesville

    · Wes Bellamy, Vice Mayor of Charlottesville

    · James Brown, Charlottesville Sheriff

    · Todd Divers, Charlottesville Commissioner of the Revenue

    · Kristin Szakos, Charlottesville City Council

    · L.F. Payne Jr., Former Congressman, 5th District

    · Susan Payne, Community Leader

    · John W. Douglass, Brigadier General and Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy, USAF (ret), Former Congressional Candidate, 5th District

    · Jane Dittmar, Past Chair, Albemarle County Supervisors and Former Congressional Candidate, 5th District

    · Lisa Hystad, Community Leader

    Former 5th District Congressional Candidate and Past Chair, Albemarle County Supervisors Jane Dittmar said of the endorsement:

    “In order to grow Virginia’s economy, we have to start with Virginia’s workforce. Ralph Northam’s experience as a pediatric neurologist gives him a unique understanding of the role pre-kindergarten education plays in preparing our children for careers in growth industries. Ralph knows pre-k can level the playing field and prepare all children, no matter where they grow up, for success. This is why I am proud to support him for governor.”

    Delegate David Toscano said of the endorsement:

    “Lieutenant Governor Northam understands the importance of diversifying Virginia’s economy to make it stronger and more prosperous for all. It is why he has advocated for training workers to match growing industries such as healthcare, drone technology, and cyber security. We need an economy that works for everyone, in every corner of the commonwealth, and I believe Ralph Northam is the right choice to do just that.”

    Mayor Michael Signer said of his endorsement:

    “Ralph Northam has been a staunch defender of our party’s principles during his time in the state senate, and as Lieutenant Governor. He will find new ways to diversify our economy and make economic progress for every community in our state. We are lucky in Virginia to have a strong slate of Democratic candidates, but in 2017, I am supporting Ralph Northam for governor.

    Charlottesville Sheriff James Brown said of the endorsement:

    “Ralph has fought for commonsense solutions to end the scourge of gun violence his entire career. He will be a governor that keeps our commonwealth safe.”

  • Video: Sen. Mark Warner’s Opening Statement on Senate Intel Committee Hearing on Russian Hacking. Warner says this is “one of the most serious events in my public life.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aX5s3XcHXK0

    • True Blue

      “One of the most serious events in my. . . life” a.k.a. the eve of destruction (excerpts apropos, but we need a new verse about being trucked/fumped by Russia and its U.S. rubes):

      “Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
      Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today?
      If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
      There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave
      Take a look around you boy, it’s bound to scare you boy

      And you tell me
      Over and over and over again my friend
      Ah, you don’t believe
      We’re on the eve of destruction

      Yeah my blood’s so mad feels like coagulating
      I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
      I can’t twist the truth it knows no regulation
      Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
      And marches alone can’t bring integration
      When human respect is disintegratin’
      This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

      And you tell me
      Over and over and over again my friend
      Ah, you don’t believe
      We’re on the eve of destruction”

  • Robert Reich:

    Today, over the objections of government-ethics officials and Democrats, Senate Republicans convened the first of a rapid-fire series of 8 confirmation hearings in 5 days, with 4 in a single day. The goal is to speed the approval of Trump’s Cabinet with as little scrutiny as possible.

    Mitch McConnell wants to insure that reporters will be spread thin, and details will go unexamined. The Trump transition has largely deflected the Office of Government Ethic’s attempts even to get in touch. Ethics-office director Walter Shaub e-mailed Trump aides to say “we seem to have lost contact with the Trump-Pence transition since the election” and warned that by not producing enough materials with which to review the candidate’s financial information beforehand, the transition could end up violating the criminal conflicts of interest restriction at 18 USC 208.

    This is Trump’s and McConnell’s form of blitzkrieg.

    • True Blue

      I wrote to both Senate Majority and Minority Leaders today about the games the GOP is playing with regard to inadequate vetting. McConnell’s office doesn’t even have a voice mail; busy day I guess and disinterest in answering the public’s questions.

  • God help us, self-hating nutjob EW Jackson is watching President Obama’s speech. For the record, Barack Obama is an infinitely better human being than EW Jackson can even dream of being.

    http://bluevirginia.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/ewjacksonobamaspeech1.jpg