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Thursday News: Samantha Bee on the “Week that WTF”; “How Republicans Botched Their Health Care Bill”; Warner’s “Stand-and-Deliver Moment”

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, March 9.

  • Gifts to Virginia legislators wayyyy down (via VPAP)

    https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/673/33211836751_0dd2291d86_k.jpg

    • Dave Arlington

      $16997 for Democrats

      $4784 for Republicans

      Avg/Member Republicans: $72.48
      Avg/Member Democrats: $499.91

      Let’s be really honest about gift-giving and ethics here. Anyone is welcome to check my math. This is a problem in OUR party now. Let’s demand some accountability from our own. 4:1 WHEN WE ARE IN THE MINORITY is ridiculous.

      Barbara Favola – what a dinner it must have been for INOVA to have comped you nearly $600.

      Patrick Hope – Perhaps you should take less than four trips to the Signature Theatre on their dime in the space of 6 months…

      Dave Marsden – How does it look that Tesla spent 200 dollars on you…at dinner?

      OUR HOUSE IS NOT IN ORDER

  • Quizzical
  • SENS. WARNER, KAINE URGE PRESIDENT TRUMP
    TO RECONSIDER CHESAPEAKE BAY PROGRAM CUTS

    ~ Published reports say Trump has proposed 93% Bay funding cut ~

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) wrote to President Trump today to urge him to reconsider steep budget cuts within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program. Several recent published reports indicate the Trump Administration will recommend cutting the Bay program from $73 million annually to $5 million. The Senators, both of whom were Virginia governors, each played vital roles managing Virginia’s multi-year, multi-state Bay restoration efforts.

    “The Chesapeake Bay is an essential economic engine in our region, supporting thousands of jobs in the fishery and tourism industries and generating millions in revenue each year. We have worked tirelessly to improve the health of the Bay to ensure that these industries will continue to grow and flourish for years to come,” the Senators wrote. “While we’ve seen real improvements in the health of the Chesapeake Bay in recent years, we are deeply concerned about the potential consequences of such a significant and jarring cut in funding.”

    The full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

    March 8, 2017

    The Honorable Donald J. Trump
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    Dear Mr. President:

    We write today to express our deep concerns over recent reports indicating your Administration is proposing significant funding reductions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to published reports, this includes draconian cuts in the Chesapeake Bay Program – a multi-year, multi-state partnership with the federal government to restore the largest estuary in the United States. We believe these cuts would be incredibly shortsighted and would endanger the years of progress that have been made in restoring the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

    We are both former Governors of Virginia, and are proud to continue our service in the United States Senate. The Chesapeake Bay is an essential economic engine in our region, supporting thousands of jobs in the fishery and tourism industries and generating millions in revenue each year. We have worked tirelessly to improve the health of the Bay to ensure that these industries will continue to grow and flourish for years to come.

    The Chesapeake Bay Program was formed in 1983 in a collaborative effort among Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the federal government. Since then, New York, West Virginia, and Delaware have joined the effort to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay. Through this program, EPA supports the cleanup of the Bay by fostering collaboration among the regional partners and the federal government and coordinating the science, research, and data collection needed to support such an ambitious project. Two thirds of the funding supported by the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program is distributed directly to the states through grants.

    Since the implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Program in 1983, we’ve witnessed tremendous improvements in the health of the Bay. The latest “Bay Barometer” report released earlier this year indicated that years of collaboration, funding, and hard work are paying dividends. Among other highlights, the report stated that underwater grasses in the Bay are at record levels and that the blue crab population has made a remarkable comeback in recent years. Continued funding for the Chesapeake Bay Program is essential to making sure we are able to build on this progress.

    While we’ve seen real improvements in the health of the Chesapeake Bay in recent years, we are deeply concerned about the potential consequences of such a significant and jarring cut in funding. To ensure our goal of restoring the Chesapeake Bay, we urge you to include at least $73 million for the Chesapeake Bay Program in your Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

    Sincerely,

    MARK R. WARNER TIM KAINE
    United States Senator United States Senator

  • Quizzical

    Tesla solar power plans in Australia
    https://electrek.co/2017/03/09/tesla-fix-australias-power-problems-energy-storage
    Disruption of the oil and gas industry continues

  • Video: Morgan Griffith continues to be Virginia’s shame. Utter buffoon.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPkXeB7vyyE

  • From DPVA:

    Ed Gillespie on Trumpcare: Typical Empty, Washington Words

    Gillespie Running A Campaign About Nothing; Won’t Take a Position on Trump Policies This Week

    Ed Gillespie finally released a statement on the new Trumpcare bill — but of course, it was a whole lotta nothing.

    It’s because Trump and Republican leaders are trying to rush through a plan that nobody likes. The bill wants to take away money that is currently helping millions of Americans afford quality health insurance, only to put it back in the pockets of the insurance companies.

    Ed Gillespie won’t take a position on it because his party’s plan will hurt thousands of Virginians. Just like how Gillespie still hasn’t taken a position on Trump’s refreshed Muslim ban or whether he would support funding Planned Parenthood.

    “Virginians need a leader to stand up for them — but Ed Gillespie is acting like a typical Washington politician by refusing to answer questions about the harmful Trumpcare bill or Trump’s refreshed Muslim ban,” said DPVA spokeswoman Christina Freundlich. “It’s this type of hollow, talking point rhetoric that is good for former lobbyists, but has no place in the governor’s mansion. Ed Gillespie simply won’t stand up to Trump and put the economic priorities of Virginia families first.”

  • Quizzical
  • Robert Reich:

    The Trumpists don’t believe in facts or science. They want to be the sole arbiters of truth.

    Yesterday, White House press secretary poo-pooed the idea that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could be trusted to come up with accurate numbers about the costs and coverage of the Republican’s new replacement for the Affordable Care Act. “If you’re looking at the CBO for accuracy, you’re looking in the wrong place,” said Sean Spicer.

    House Majority Whip Steve Scalise called the CBO “unelected bureaucrats in Washington.”

    Bear in mind that the director of the CBO, Keith Hall, is a Republican economist and former George W. Bush administration official. He was chosen for his position by the Republican Congress in 2015. So it isn’t as though the agency is a bunch of leftists out to undermine the GOP.

    This is part of a pattern.

    When the news media report things Trump doesn’t like, he calls them “the enemy of the American People.”

    When polls show that Trump has a low approval rating, he says “any negative polls are fake news.”

    If a court issues a ruling Trump doesn’t like, then it’s a “so-called judge” who’s illegitimate.

    When scientists comes up with conclusions Trump doesn’t like, science is wrong.
    Trump says climate change is a hoax. Today his EPA director, Scott Pruitt, said climate change is not caused by human activity (in other words, it’s “natural.”)
    So what of the overwhelming consensus of scientists who say climate change is real, and it’s caused by human activity?

    They don’t count. In early December, Trump’s transition team sent a lengthy questionnaire to the Department of Energy asking for the names of staffers who had worked on various issues related to climate change. Soon after assuming office, the Trump White House told EPA staffers to remove any pages from its website concerning with climate change, and said it would review all of the agency’s data and publications on a case-by-case basis.

    Trump is waging war on objective fact. That’s what despots have done throughout history. And that’s a fact.

  • Rep. Barbara Comstock votes 100% with Trump, has the third-highest Trump “plus-minus” in the House. Appalling as always… (Source: 538.com)

    https://c2.staticflickr.com/4/3869/33222893991_d40cdffaff_b.jpg