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Monday News: “The War on Science”; “The King of Crash and Burn”; Ted Koppel Calls Out Sean Hannity as Bad for America


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, March 27.

  • Quizzical

    JFK had Robert MacNamara and the whiz kids from RAND to bring the best business ideas to the Dept. Of Defense. Reagan had the Grace Commission. Bill Clinton had Gore head up a commission to reinvent government. There are probably other examples. So Jared Kushner’s Office of American Innovation is part of a long tradition. Maybe they will come up with something.

    I have to admit, I’m skeptical about Jared. Putting that aside, I am confident that the federal government has commissioned relatively recent studies by management consultant groups such as McKinsey to come up with recommendations for how to improve. Apart from that, wasn’t the last head of the Veterans Administration a guy named MacDonald who was the former CEO of Proctor Gamble? Wasn’t he supposed to bring the best business practices to the VA? Maybe he did, for all I know . . . .

    To me it seems like the best business world ideas these days are outsourcing, automation to reduce labor costs, and the adoption of disruptive technology to get a cost advantage over your competitors. Yet here we have the Trump Administration, committed to job creation, the protection of the oil and coal industries from disruptive technology, and protection of labor with tariffs and lower immigration, together with a major denial of reality (climate change). It doesn’t add up.

    • Nope, almost none of what Trump et al are talking about “adds up,” as it’s variously: a) internally illogical/inconsistent, b) misguided; c) unaffordable; d) unwise; etc.

  • Governor McAuliffe Vetoes Bills That Would Create Barriers to Voting

    Governor Terry McAuliffe today vetoed three pieces of legislation that, rather than improving election integrity, could impede eligible Virginians from voting. The Governor’s full veto statements are below:

    Senate Bill 1253

    March 27, 2017

    Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto Senate Bill 1253. This bill requires the state to make significant and costly changes to the existing voter registration database that will not improve election integrity. No funding is provided for localities to obtain and maintain equipment necessary or for the state to properly prepare for implementation. This bill will result in an unfunded mandate on localities, a waste of taxpayer money, and will increase voter confusion.

    As Virginia already has one of the strictest voter photo ID laws in the country, the addition of photos from the Department of Motor Vehicles database to the pollbooks will have no effect on election integrity. Even if the state modifies the statewide voter registration list to include these photos, no funds have been allocated to localities to obtain and maintain equipment that includes photo download functionality. Further, by applying different photo ID requirements to different voters, this bill will increase voter confusion related to what identification is required to cast a regular ballot.

    Senate Bill 1253 would require the state to expend a significant amount of money on unnecessary modifications to the statewide voter registration database without any benefit. To ensure the continued integrity of Virginia’s elections, we should focus on ensuring that the Department of Elections has sufficient funds to continue its ongoing operations, including vigorous list maintenance activities and voter education outreach, to remain a nationally recognized leader in election administration.

    Accordingly, I veto this bill.


    Terence R. McAuliffe

  • Quizzical
    • Next from right wingers/climate science deniers: “but the climate’s ALWAYS changing and there have ALWAYS been droughts, famines, etc, nothing we can do about it, now be quiet!”

  • Progress Virginia Cheers Renewed Push for Medicaid Expansion
    ACA is here to stay; VA GOP must cover Virginia now

    Richmond, VA – Progress Virginia, the commonwealth’s leading voice for progressive values, cheered this afternoon an announcement from Governor McAuliffe that he would renew his push to expand Medicaid in Virginia. The announcement comes in the wake of Congressional Republicans’ failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Leadership pulled their bill on Friday afternoon and signaled they would no longer push to scuttle the landmark health care reform achievement.

    “Speaker Paul Ryan said it best on Friday: the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land,” said Progress Virginia executive director Anna Scholl. “Obamacare is constitutional and it’s here to stay. Virginia Republicans face a choice: they can stand hand in hand with President Trump in undermining the ACA and hoping it explodes, or they can give up on their partisan obstruction and get to work on providing health care coverage to the up to 400,000 Virginians currently in the coverage gap. The General Assembly has a choice to make. They should remember Virginians will have a choice at the ballot box this November as well.”

  • From the Susan Platt for LG campaign:

    Platt Endorsed By Rise Up USA; One of Just Three Endorsed Candidates Nationally

    Great Falls, Virginia — Today, the Platt for Lieutenant Governor campaign announced the endorsement of Rise Up USA, an organization dedicated to speaking out against President Trump. Platt is the only candidate in Virginia and just one of three candidates nationally to receive the group’s endorsement.

    “I am honored to receive the endorsement of Rise Up USA, a group that inspired by the same reason I decided to run for office: because we must stand up to Donald Trump’s agenda. John Ossoff, Khary Penebaker, and I share a common goal: to promote progressive values and strengthen our communities.”

    Rise Up USA’s other endorsed candidates include John Ossoff, running in a special election this year in Georgia’s 6th Congressional district, and Khary Penebaker, a candidate for DNC member in Wisconsin.

    “There is a movement building across this country,” continued Platt. “It’s a movement that I was proud to join at the Women’s March the day after inauguration. Millions of Americans are fed up with Donald Trump – a candidate Virginia rejected – and his dangerous policies and hateful rhetoric.

    Platt credited organizations like Rise Up USA with defeating Trumpcare, saying, “Grassroots groups like Rise Up USA made it possible for us to save health insurance for 24 million Americans. I’m proud to have called on Virginians to engage in grassroots activism to defeat Trumpcare. As last week showed, when we resist, persist, and organize, we win.”

  • Lieutenant Governor Northam’s Statement on Governor McAuliffe’s Medicaid Expansion Budget Amendment

    RICHMOND – Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam released the following statement after Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced a budget amendment to pursue Medicaid expansion in the Commonwealth.

    “I applaud Governor McAuliffe for offering this commonsense amendment to expand Medicaid. It is well past time to put politics aside and do what is right for hundreds of thousands of hard working Virginians. From a moral perspective, expanding Medicaid is the right thing to do. From a business perspective, it is unthinkable that we are giving millions of dollars of our tax dollars away each and every day— to date over $10.4 Billion— to surrounding states.”

  • Audio: Rep. Gerry Connolly endorses Justin Fairfax for LG


  • Tom Perriello, @tomperriello 1 hour ago
    This is the right move. We must move aggressively now to expand Medicaid in Virginia & ensure more people have access to the care they need. https://twitter.com/GovernorVA/status/846415395728883713

    Tom Perriello‏, @tomperriello 1 hour ago
    As even @SpeakerRyan noted: ACA is the law of the land. Now, we must make it work for all Virginians. That begins with expanding Medicaid.

    Tom Perriello‏, @tomperriello 1 hour ago
    Virginia Rs: the AHCA debacle showed DC Rs are willing to stick states with the tab. If we don’t expand Medicaid, we stand to lose billions.

  • New report finds Virginia has 82,547 clean energy jobs vs. just 11,767 fossil fuel jobs (and a miniscule 3,563 coal jobs), and of course the clean energy jobs are the ones that are growing fast.


  • Governor McAuliffe Proposes Amendment to Restore Virginia’s One-Handgun-a-Month Law

    Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today regarding his proposed amendments to Senate Bill 1023, which would restore Virginia’s One-Handgun-a-Month law that was repealed by Governor McDonnell in 2012:

    Today I have sent down an amendment to a bill on my desk which will restore Virginia’s One-Handgun-a-Month law. The law, enacted in 1993 by then-Governor L. Douglas Wilder, was repealed by the Republican-controlled House and Senate in 2012 and signed by Governor Bob McDonnell. The amendment will once again make it illegal to purchase more than one handgun in a 30-day period by Virginia residents and out-of-state purchasers.

    One-Handgun-a-Month was enacted almost a quarter century ago to counter Virginia’s shameful reputation as the gun-running capital of the East Coast. Five years ago, the General Assembly took the ill-advised step of repealing this common-sense limitation. As a result, Virginia is once again becoming the go-to state for criminals to purchase weapons in bulk.

    The 627-count indictment earlier this month of 24 individuals – 22 of them Virginians – as part of a gun trafficking ring that brought over 200 weapons up the I-95 corridor to New York City, highlights the need to restore One-Handgun-a-Month. One of the suspects was recorded boasting, I can go get 20 guns from the store tomorrow. “I can do that Monday through Friday . . . They might start looking at me, but in Virginia, our laws are so little, I can give guns away.”

    My amendment will make it a Class 1 misdemeanor for any person other than a licensed firearms dealer to purchase more than one handgun within a 30-day period. The restoration of One-Handgun-a-Month, which is offered as an amendment to Senate Bill 1023, is a major step forward in making Virginia a safer place and ending its role in the proliferation of firearms up and down the East Coast.

  • AG Mark Herring statement on Gov. McAuliffe’s proposal to restore Virginia’s one-handgun-a-month law:

    “This is a great step to restore a commonsense measure that never should have been repealed in the first place. Virginia’s weak gun laws make it too easy for guns to get into the hands of criminals, making our families, communities, and especially our law enforcement officers less safe, not to mention the heartbreak and damage these guns cause in neighboring states. When you’ve got gun runners on tape bragging about how weak our gun laws are it should be a pretty clear signal that something needs to change.”

  • What else do you need to know about Ed Gillespie?


  • Quizzical

    Trump’s wall – a billion dollars for the first 62 miles.
    How long is that border again?