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Monday News: Trump Budget Would Be a Disaster for Federal Workers, Virginia, Country; Winter Storm on the Way


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, March 13.

  • Alexandria Democratic Committee straw poll results from last night. Congratulations to Ralph Northam and Justin Fairfax on their wins.


  • Video: Bernie Sanders Demolishes Paul Ryan’s Obamacare Replacement In 82 Seconds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWTf86SDQq8&feature=youtu.be

  • Great comment by a FB friend, worth sharing…

    I’m feeling tired of engaging with right-wing shills where nothing will change their mind. Their goal is to prey on our weakness of rational thought and have us spend cycles arguing with them instead of solving problems.

    Now, certainly, there are people on the “other side” that actually do argue from a bed of facts. I have no problem with a rational discussion with them. That’s how the best policy decisions are made. But if anyone says any one of these (which are all as good as proven false) they are just being trolls (even if they are your friends IRL):

    (1) Global warming (or climate change) is a myth;
    (2) Creationism is a rational alternative to evolution;
    (3) Cutting taxes on the rich creates jobs;
    (4) Cutting expenses helps the economy;
    (5) Social Security and/or Medicare are “going broke”;
    (6) Human life begins at conception;
    (7) Obamacare was (is) a failure;
    (8) Slaves were treated well;
    (9) The Civil War was fought for [any reason] and not slavery.

    I’m sure there are more.

    Note: None of these are policy! They are used as a rationale for policy, but are simply wrong. If you hear any of these, DON’T ENGAGE! Either shout down or ignore. We have to spend time fixing things instead of arguing with (essentially) flat earthers that are trying to waste our time. Some of these people may actually believe the above, but often they are just baiting us.

  • TODAY: NARAL to Endorse Ralph Northam for Governor

    NARAL Pro-Choice America, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia to Announce Joint-Endorsement with Lt. Gov. Northam

    On Monday, March 13 in Falls Church, NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia will hold a press conference to endorse Lt. Governor Ralph Northam in his campaign to be Virginia’s next governor.

    Since his first run for public office, Northam has been a leader that Virginia women and families can trust, never shying away from a tough fight. He led the fight against the invasive trans-vaginal ultrasound bill, pushed to expand access to long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs, and is steadfast in his commitment to defend our reproductive freedom while in the Governor’s Mansion.

    Ralph Northam received a 100% on the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia legislative scorecard for all six years that he served in the Senate and we are confident he will continue to champion reproductive rights throughout his time as Governor.

  • Video: Yep, the OMB Director is a conspiracy theory freakazoid


  • From NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia:

    NARAL Endorses Ralph Northam for Virginia Governor
    Citing his long history of championing reproductive freedom, NARAL Pro-Choice America and
    NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia announce joint endorsement at women’s health clinic

    Falls Church, VA – Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia announced their joint endorsement of Lt. Governor Dr. Ralph Northam to be Virginia’s next governor.

    Flanked by dozens of supporters and women’s health providers at the Falls Church Women’s Health Clinic, NARAL lauded Lt. Governor Northam as a steadfast champion for reproductive rights, including the right to access abortion care, throughout his political career.

    “Since his first run for office, Lt. Governor Northam has been a leader that Virginia women and families can trust because he trusts them to make their own personal medical decisions. Dr. Northam has proven himself time and again to be an effective and unapologetic defender and advocate of reproductive freedom in Virginia,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “With Donald Trump in the White House and the Virginia House and Senate controlled by anti-choice legislators, we are facing unprecedented attacks on a woman’s health and rights. That’s why we need Ralph Northam as our governor. He is unwavering in his commitment to protect and advance reproductive rights and has and will never shy away from a tough fight. We know he has our back. It has been an honor to work with Ralph Northam through the years, and we are thrilled to throw our full support behind him to be the next governor of Virginia.”

    “For his entire career, including when he led the fight against the invasive transvaginal ultrasound law here in Virginia, Ralph Northam has always put women and families first,” said China Dickerson, deputy political director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. “Ralph has proven he’ll take on the tough battles and stand up to those who threaten our basic rights, including access to abortion and basic reproductive health care. Ralph Northam is a champion for our reproductive freedom which is why NARAL is proud to stand with him as we fight for women and families across Virginia.”

    “I am honored to receive NARAL’s endorsement,” said Lt. Governor Northam. “Now more than ever, it’s imperative Virginia remains a brick wall to attacks on reproductive rights and access to healthcare – I’ve never wavered on these issues and I never will. As governor, I’ll continue to be a steadfast partner in NARAL’s mission to defend women’s ability to make their own economic and reproductive decisions.”

    NARAL Pro-Choice America and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia will use the full force of their grassroots organizing and fundraising power to elect Ralph Northam as Virginia’s next governor.

  • From Karrie Delaney’s campaign:

    Delaney Submits Petition Signatures for HD67
    Files with impressive 505 Signature Haul

    CHANTILLY, Va. — Community leader Karrie Delaney today filed more 500 petition signatures to get her name on the ballot to represent the 67th district in the Virginia House of Delegates. The total is more than four times the required number to qualify for the ballot – a clear sign that Delaney’s candidacy is resonating with voters across the district.

    “The momentum for our campaign is growing, and its been exciting to meet so many people who wholeheartedly agree that it’s time to elect representatives that will fight for the values of Northern Virginia’s working families down in Richmond,” said Delaney. “We’ve been talking with families across the district and I am hearing a lot of good ideas and strong concerns about the direction our state is going in. I am eager to hear more and step up and serve our community.”

  • Governor McAuliffe Declares State of Emergency in Response to Pending Winter Storm

    ~ Virginians Urged to Prepare Now, Especially in Northern and Northwest Virginia ~

    RICHMOND – With forecasts calling for a major winter storm event to impact portions of Virginia tonight through Tuesday, Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency at 2 p.m. today. This action authorizes state agencies to assist local governments as they prepare and respond to the coming winter weather over the next 24 hours.

    In declaring a state of emergency, the governor authorizes state agencies to identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in Virginia. This action does not apply to individuals or private businesses.

    Governor McAuliffe urges Virginians to prepare for this major winter storm, which could dump up to a foot or more of snow in northern regions of the Commonwealth.

    “Virginians may have enjoyed milder temperatures for the past several weeks, but the forecast is calling for winter weather to return to the Commonwealth this week with what could be a major winter storm for northern portions of the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “With this forecast in mind, all Virginians should take the necessary precautions now to ensure they are prepared for travel disruptions and possible power outages during a cold weather period.”
    “VDOT is prepared with crews, equipment and materials to treat roads in advance of the storm and will work throughout the storm to plow roads,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. “Driving conditions during the storm are expected to be hazardous and motorists are urged to stay off the roads until the storm passes.”

    “Our number one goal is to keep Virginians safe during any natural disaster impacting the state,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran. “While the brunt of this storm will be focused on the Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia, the Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia State Police and Virginia National Guard personnel have been activated to assist any localities impacted by snow or a wintry mix.”

    State Actions:

    Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews have begun 24-hour operations and are pretreating roads where temperatures permit. Motorists are strongly encouraged to stay off the roads during the storm. For information about road and traffic conditions, check http://www.511virginia.org or call 511 before traveling.
    The Virginia State Police have uniformed personnel and necessary specialty units ready for response to the next round of increased volumes in traffic crashes, disabled vehicles, and other storm-related emergencies. Virginians are advised to plan ahead for slick, treacherous road conditions. They can also help reduce traffic crashes and delays by avoiding travel during the storm.
    The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring up to 200 personnel to be staged across Northern Virginia to support requests for assistance. Expected missions for the Guard include using Humvees and light/medium tactical trucks to provide transportation for first responders through deep snow or help evacuate citizens in need of shelter as well as providing debris reduction teams with chain saws to help clear roads if needed.

    What Citizens Should Do:

    Stay off the roads during the storm unless travel is absolutely necessary. If travel is necessary, drive with caution and allow extra space around other vehicles.
    Use extreme caution around slow-moving equipment being used to treat roads, such as snow plows.
    If you have electric-dependent medical equipment, make sure all primary and backup batteries are fully charged. Make sure you have the medical supplies you will need for at least 72 hours.
    If you receive dialysis treatments or have other critical medical appointments during the week, make plans now for transportation or reschedule if possible.
    Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter and is in safe driving condition. Keep an emergency kit in your car. Include items such as jumper cables, blankets, first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, cat litter or sand, shovel, flash light and batteries, ice scraper and cell phone charger.
    Check on elderly or neighbors who are unable to leave their homes, family, and friends to ensure they are ready for this storm and any possible inconveniences or interruptions that may result.
    Bring pets inside from the cold.
    Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours, in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages.
    Have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and extra batteries for emergency information. Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.
    If you need help, information or resources during the storm, call 211. Those with hearing impairments can call 711 for the Virginia Relay Center and then call 1-800-230-6977. Out of state or videophone users may also dial 1-800-230-6977 for assistance.
    Download the free VDOT 511 app for updates on road conditions at: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/511.asp.

    For more information on the Commonwealth’s response efforts, visit http://www.vaemergency.gov.

    To see Governor McAuliffe’s executive order declaring a state of emergency, click here: http://bit.ly/2n2a5QA

  • Sen. Mark Warner statement on CBO analysis of Trumpcare/Ryancare:

    “Today’s estimates from the Congressional Budget Office show that Trumpcare will raise costs for consumers, particularly seniors, and leave millions of Americans without coverage. This irresponsible approach shifts costs to states by radically restructuring and cutting Medicaid – a critical safety net that insures more than 600,000 children in Virginia, as well as thousands of elderly and disabled Virginians who depend on the program for services and long-term care – in order to cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

    “Republicans and Democrats alike should be deeply disturbed by ongoing attacks on the impartial budget experts at the CBO. For decades, Congress has agreed that having the CBO as our referee is the best way to ensure that estimates like today’s come from unbiased experts, not from people pushing their own political agendas. Shooting the messenger can’t hide the fact that millions of Americans will be worse off under Trumpcare.”

  • Sen. Tim Kaine statement on CBO analysis of Trumpcare/Ryancare:

    Today’s CBO report confirms our fears about the Republican health care plan: 24 million Americans would lose their health insurance by 2026; premiums would spike, especially for seniors; states would be burdened by dramatic Medicaid cuts; and women would be deprived of access and coverage. President Trump and Secretary Price both said that no one will lose their coverage under a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. This bill shatters that promise, all to deliver a massive tax cut to the wealthy.

    For years, I’ve supported bipartisan improvements to the Affordable Care Act, and I’m happy to sit down at the table with Republicans to find solutions that make the health care system work better for Virginians. But President Trump and Republicans should stop trying to rush passage of this bill, which would make it harder for people to get affordable health care coverage and create massive instability in the health care sector, which makes up one sixth of our economy.

  • Sen. Mark Warner statement on confirmation of Seema Verma for CMS Administrator:

    “I voted against Seema Verma’s nomination to serve as Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As Administrator of CMS, Ms. Verma will be responsible for managing health insurance coverage for 100 million Americans enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as many aspects of the Affordable Care Act. During the confirmation process, I was not satisfied by Ms. Verma’s answers to key questions regarding the future of these programs. CMS accounts for one-quarter of the federal government’s spending, and these programs face difficult and complex challenges that will only get worse if this Administration succeeds in taking insurance away from millions of Americans by repealing the Affordable Care Act.

    “Now that she has been confirmed as CMS Administrator, I hope Ms. Verma will spend time focusing on areas where bipartisan agreement can be found, including ways that we can improve care for chronically ill Medicare patients, advance the discussion around end-of-life care, and move federal health insurance programs into the 21st century by expanding the use of technology to deliver care to patients.”

  • Quizzical

    Just saw Trump’s budget proposal. For most of the proposals, I have one question: Why?

    • Why? Ask Steve Bannon, a self-proclaimed “Leninist” who wants to destroy the “administrative state.” More broadly, these people are evil.