Home Daily News Clips Thursday News: “This Isn’t Tax Policy; It’s a Trump-Led Heist”; “80 sets...

Thursday News: “This Isn’t Tax Policy; It’s a Trump-Led Heist”; “80 sets of invisible eyes rolling” at N. Korea Briefing

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, April 27.

  • Quizzical

    Remember Operation Inherent Resolve?
    http://www.inherentresolve.mil/
    Personally I’d love to see my tax burden cut. But first we need to wind up all these combat operations halfway around the world, like Operation Inherent Resolve.

  • Video: Very interesting discussion at the UVA Dems debate last night – great to see democracy in action!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYLmnU3HVh4

    • Quizzical

      I agree that Virginia should be funding its state universities adequately to keep tuition affordable, and that it is an investment in the future that pays off.

      Starting at a community college then transferring to one of the state universities also seems like a smart way to keep student debt under control, for those who would have to pay for college entirely through student loans. It is important to keep community college in Virginia affordable for all.

      Online distance learning also offers an opportunity for higher education with a far lower cost structure, and that also needs to be developed further by Virginia’s state university system. People have different learning styles of course, and online courses aren’t best for everybody. But if Western Governor’s University can offer flat fee tuition in six month increments for all the courses that you can handle, leading to a degree, then Virginia should be able to do it too.
      https://www.wgu.edu/tuition_financial_aid/overview?refer_id=16948

      It’s fair to ask, why isn’t Virginia doing this rather than making our college students debt slaves?

  • Robert Reich:

    One way dictators take over democracies is by threatening the independence of a nation’s courts.

    Connect the following dots:

    1. In January, Trump blasted a federal judge for staying his travel ban. “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” he tweeted.
    2. Then, after the judge made the stay permanent, Trump made it a personal vendetta: “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
    3. Last week, after another federal judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking Trump’s travel ban, Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, said “I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power.”
    4. On Tuesday, after another federal judge blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a threat to take away funds from sanctuary cities as an unconstitutional abridgement of Congress’s power to determine how dollars will be spent, the White House issued a statement condemning the judge as “unelected,” and charged that “this San Francisco judge’s erroneous ruling is a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country, empowering the worst kind of human trafficking and sex trafficking, and putting thousands of innocent lives at risk. This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge.”
    5. On Wednesday, Trump said he was considering breaking up the court of appeals for the 9th Circuit, in which these three federal judges hear and decide cases. “There are many people who want to break up the 9th Circuit,” he said. “It’s outrageous.” The 9th Circuit Court covers Arizona, California, Alaska, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Washington and Hawaii, as well as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Eighteen of the court’s 25 judges were appointed by Democratic presidents.

    It is the job of the Justice Department to provide a reasoned case for overruling a federal judge’s decision. In condemning federal judges and threatening to break up the 9th circuit court of appeals instead, Trump is attacking the foundations of the separation of powers in the Constitution.

    This assault on the federal judiciary is an abuse of Trump’s constitutional authority – yet another ground for impeachment.

  • From Rep. Don Beyer’s office:

    Beyer and LoBiondo Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Protect Marine Life

    April 27, 2017 (Washington, DC) – Congressman Don Beyer and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) today announced that they have introduced legislation to halt permits for seismic airgun blasting on the Atlantic seaboard. Petroleum companies use seismic blasting in their surveying process, but the practice has significant, adverse effects on marine species. The Atlantic Seismic Airgun Protection Act would halt the practice.

    “The seismic pulses from airgun blasts threaten the aquatic species many coastal communities depend on,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “Marine life and ocean biodiversity are essential not only to coastal environments, but to local and regional tourism, recreation, and fishing industries.”

    Seismic airgun pulses are loud, repetitive, explosive sounds used to identify oil and gas reservoirs deep in the ocean floor. Sound travels so efficiently under water that seismic blasts can cause hearing damage, stress, and other harm to numerous aquatic species, including the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.

    “The ecological damage and negative economic impact caused by seismic testing is clear, which is why there is near-unanimous opposition from local concerned residents, commercial and recreational fishermen, and environmentalists along the Jersey Shore. This bipartisan legislation reaffirms my strong opposition to seismic airgun testing in waters off South Jersey,” said Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02).

    Offshore petroleum extraction in the Atlantic was blocked until 2022 following an Obama-era decision by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), but that action is reportedly under review by the Trump Administration. President Obama denied all pending permits for seismic airgun blasting just before leaving office, and the Trump Administration is likely to reopen permitting.

    “Oceana thanks Reps. Beyer and LoBiondo for their continued leadership to stop seismic airgun blasting in the Atlantic Ocean. Along the East Coast, nearly 1.4 million jobs and over $95 billion in GDP rely on healthy ocean ecosystems, mainly through fishing, tourism and recreation. Offshore oil and gas exploration, and the drilling and spilling that follows, puts coastal communities and economies at risk,” said Nancy Pyne, climate and energy campaign director at Oceana.

    “Regardless of who is in the White House, coastal communities remain united in their opposition to offshore drilling activities. As of today, more than 120 municipalities, over 1,200 elected officials, and an alliance representing over 35,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families have publicly opposed offshore drilling and/or seismic airgun blasting off the East Coast. On the eve of the Peoples Climate March, as the specter of the BP Deepwater Horizondisaster looms large, it is more important than ever to make sure that these voices are heard in Washington. Instead of pursuing seismic airgun blasting off our coasts, and expanding our dependence on dirty and dangerous offshore drilling, we should rapidly develop clean energy solutions like offshore wind.”

    Text of the bill may be found here.

  • Video: Former VP Joe Biden at GMU on sexual consent, rape

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ku9hmaywW_Y

  • Video: The Simpsons’ on Donald Trump’s First 100 Days In Office

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo3fT0xPeHs

  • NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Statement on Bomb Threat at Falls Church Health Clinic

    Falls Church, Va. – Today, Falls Church Healthcare Center, a woman’s health center that provides first-trimester abortions, was the target of a bomb threat. The facility was evacuated twice after fireworks exploded inside an elevator and later when a note was found suggesting a bomb was on the premises.

    Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, released the following statement:

    “My thoughts are with all the patients and staff affected by today’s bomb threat. We thank the first responders for their quick work to keep everyone safe today.”

    “While the motive remains unclear, today’s events serve as a stark reminder that violence against abortion providers persists across the nation and Virginia is not immune. Staffers at women’s health clinics like the Falls Church Healthcare Center risk their lives daily to provide safe, compassionate reproductive health care to their patients. Meanwhile, extremists use violence and fear to intimidate providers and prevent patients from accessing the health care they have decided is right for them.”

    “I continue to find inspiration in the bravery and heroism of abortion providers who refuse to bow to threats and violence and persist in providing the vital abortion care that Virginia women need and deserve. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia will continue to support abortion providers across the Commonwealth and work to ensure that a woman who has decided to have an abortion can do so with dignity and respect.”