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Tuesday News: “100 days of Democratic rage”; Corey Stewart Says “ISIS Has Won” Because Confederate Monument Taken Down


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, April 25.

  • Perhaps Confederacy-Loving Corey Stewart might want to read this, by Louisianan Lamar White, Jr.:

    In New Orleans, small children and elderly grandparents, among others, were stripped completely naked, forced to stand on the auction block, subjected to molestation and assault, and then sold like chattel to white people who forced them to work without pay in antebellum concentration camps, who separated them from their families, who raped them, who lynched them, and who frequently murdered anyone merely for having the audacity to decide to learn how to read.

    This happened to more than one million people who were just as much of an American as Thomas Jefferson or George Washington. It was an experience shared by tens of thousands of people, over the course of multiple generations, who had much more of a connection to New Orleans or Louisiana than Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis ever had.

    If you seriously believe that the monuments celebrating white supremacy and the white heroes of the Confederacy are an important part of the built environment of the city of New Orleans or the state of Louisiana, please spare all of us the lectures about “learning from our history” or the revisionist drivel about how the Civil War was about economics and not slavery. It’s only about economics if you subscribe to the evil belief that human beings could ever be conflated with property.

    This is not too complicated. The Civil War was fought over slavery. Period. And anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to themselves and to the world in order to justify some sort of misplaced nostalgia they were taught to have for a past they believe was genteel and simple but was actually unforgivably brutal and deranged.

  • Impressive!

    Cheryl Turpin Outraises GOP Incumbent 12-1
    Turpin Collects More than 700 Contributions in First Quarter of 2017

    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Local public high school teacher Cheryl Turpin today announced that her campaign had outraised that of the Republican incumbent she is challenging by a margin of 12-1.

    Turpin is seeking to unseat Delegate Rocky Holcomb in the 85th District of the House of Delegates. According to campaign finance reports released last week, Turpin raised $31,484.03 to Holcomb’s $2,420 during the first three months of 2017. She began the second quarter with $40,929.41 in the bank compared to Holcomb’s $10,919. She collected 711 individual contributions compared to the incumbent’s six.

    “I am honored and humbled by the outpouring of grassroots support to my campaign,” said Turpin. “Hundreds of hardworking people donated their hard-earned money to help, as the average contribution to my campaign was $45. Richmond isn’t working for working people, so we’re stepping up to make it work for us.”

    For months, Turpin has been actively talking to people in the community about what they need from Richmond. With that information, she recently testified in front of Virginia Beach City Council about the flooding issues facing residents in the district.

  • Virginia Education Association Endorses Delegate Lopez for Re-election
    Cites Lopez’s steadfast commitment to teachers and public education

    ARLINGTON, Va. – The Virginia Education Association (VEA) has endorsed Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington) for re-election in the 49th District. The VEA is a statewide organization representing more than 50,000 teachers and school support professionals. For over 50 years, the VEA has worked for the betterment of public education in Virginia.

    “Over the past six years, Delegate Lopez has been a passionate and reliable ally for teachers, education support professionals, and public schools in the General Assembly,” said VEA President Jim Livingston. “With public education at a critical point in Virginia, we need more members like Delegate Lopez who will work tirelessly to improve public education and ensure that our educators and students have the resources they need to succeed. We look forward to working with him in the House of Delegates for many years to come.”

    “Virginia’s teachers and education support professionals are the backbone of our public schools. I’m honored to receive their endorsement for my re-election,” said Delegate Lopez. “I look forward to continuing our work together in Richmond and strengthening our public education system for the next generation of Virginians preparing to enter a new Virginia economy.”

    In 2012, Delegate Lopez was named the Virginia Education Association’s Rookie of the Year. He has earned a perfect score for his voting record from the Virginia Education Association every year that he has been a member of the House of Delegates.

  • Northam Slams Trump Administration’s Move to Expand Offshore Drilling off Virginia Coast

    Richmond, VA – Yesterday, the Trump administration confirmed it is moving to expand offshore drilling by undoing President Obama’s December executive order designating the bulk of U.S.-owned waters in the Arctic Ocean and certain areas in the Atlantic Ocean, including Virginia, as indefinitely off limits to future oil and gas leasing. The order comes just one week after the seventh anniversary of the BP oil spill, one of the worst in U.S. History.

    Expanding offshore drilling into now-restricted areas in the Atlantic would pose unacceptable risks to tourism, aquaculture, military operations, and NASA’s Wallops flight facility. Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam has been a leader in fighting offshore drilling in the Commonwealth for these very reasons. In his environmental policy, Northam has outlined the steps he will take as governor to take the lead on Virginia’s preservation efforts and to hold Trump accountable when he fails to enforce conservation law

    As State Senator and Lieutenant Governor, Ralph Northam fought efforts by Republicans and Democrats to open Virginia’s coast to offshore oil and gas drilling, even urging the Obama administration to exclude the Commonwealth from offshore drilling. He has also urged Congress to lift the liability cap that limits what energy companies must pay when they cause oil spills that damage our coastal communities.

    In contrast, the lieutenant governor’s primary opponent Tom Perriello fought for offshore drilling and opposed $50 million in cleanup funds for the Chesapeake Bay during his short tenure in Congress. He also voted against a measure to increase safety standards for offshore drilling and to lift the liability cap for energy companies in the wake of the BP oil spill.

    “Opening up the Virginia coast for drilling would hurt our environment, economy, and people—but President Trump would do it anyway,” said Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam. “The only thing Donald Trump has accomplished in the most lackluster first one hundred days of any modern presidency is making his disdain for environmental conservation loud and clear. Virginia must take the lead on ensuring our natural resources and landscape can be enjoyed for generations to come, and continue to provide economic benefits to the communities where they are located. As governor, I’ll continue standing up to the threat of polluting our waters and preserving the health of our environment for years to come.”

  • Jan Scruggs, Founder of Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Endorses Susan Platt for Lieutenant Governor

    Great Falls, Virginia — Today, former Joe Biden chief of staff and candidate for lieutenant governor Susan Platt was endorsed by the founder of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Jan Scruggs. The Arlington, Virginia-based Fund was authorized by Congress to build the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.

    “I have known Susan for decades and am proud to call her a friend,” said Scruggs. “When she sets her mind to something, there is no stopping her. As lieutenant governor, she will help Virginia’s veterans receive the care and benefits they deserve, particularly veterans in need of help. I spent my adult life working to make sure my fellow veterans would not be forgotten, and I know that Susan Platt will never forget us.”

    Scruggs is a Vietnam veteran and the recipient of a Purple Heart and multiple Army Commendation Medals. He was injured in battle by a rocket-propelled grenade and spent three months in the hospital before returning to the battlefield. While his idea for a Vietnam wall was widely ridiculed at first, he raised $8 million, mostly from small-dollar contributions, and led the lobbying effort to clear the memorial past Congress and other government agencies. He is now helping lead the effort for a national Memorial honoring the veterans of the Global War on Terror. Scruggs is also Chairman of the National Selective Service Appeals Board and serves on the Department of Defense Vietnam War Commemoration.

    Platt said of the endorsement, “Jan’s story is one of triumph over great obstacles. From overcoming the wounds of war to persevering in the face of criticism, he is an inspiration to us all. I am committed to helping Virginia’s veterans and military families, who have much to offer Virginia with their leadership. We must never forget their sacrifice and we must help those who are in need.”

  • From DPVA:

    TRAP Laws Could Make a Comeback in Virginia With a Republican in the Governor’s Mansion

    Like the Family Foundation of Virginia, Ed Gillespie and Frank Wagner Want to Bring Back TRAP Requirements

    Last week, the Family Foundation of Virginia filed suit to dismantle Governor McAuliffe’s brick wall for women’s health. The special interest organization is challenging Gov. McAuliffe’s decision to do away with restrictive regulations for abortion providers — bringing about yet another Trump-style attack on women and their constitutional rights.

    It’s no surprise that Republicans like Ed Gillespie and Frank Wagner want to revive these restrictive and burdensome regulations as well. Earlier this month, Gillespie compared women’s health centers to veterinary clinics:

    “I would make sure we have regulations that have abortion clinics that Terry McAuliffe repealed that hold them to at least the same standards that we hold veterinary clinics to in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

    At the same event, Frank Wagner criticized Democrats who have “undone the good work of Bob McDonnell” on TRAP laws.

    Last year, Gillespie also criticized the Supreme Court’s Hellerstedt decision, which found TRAP laws in Texas unconstitutional:

    “And the Supreme Court’s recent Hellerstedt decision struck down a Texas law to ensure abortion clinics and abortion providers meet the same standards as those of hospitals. This decision’s going to have a significant impact on states like Virginia where we have laws to protect women’s health and safety by preventing sub-standard and shoddy care.”

    “The goal of TRAP laws is simple: to close abortion providers, and as women in Virginia already know, these Republicans running for governor would like to do away with abortion in the Commonwealth,” said DPVA spokeswoman Christina Freundlich. “TRAP laws continue to limit women’s access to abortion care with anti-choice regulations, which is why Virginians need a Democratic governor to protect women’s health care rights and choices.”

  • Dan Rather:

    Now President Trump is threatening a trade war with Canada. Canada!

    What can one say?

    Well, there is this: The new President’s policy statements, tweeted and otherwise, are clearly a problem. There are so many of them and they are so often contradictory that it is hard to keep up with them. It’s easy to feel inundated, overwhelmed and confused I think some believe that is his strategy, to obfuscate and distract. Others just say that is the way his mind and temperament work.

    In either case, I think it is all the more reason to try and stay focused on the big picture, the truly important narratives and questions of his young Presidency. I believe we can’t repeat them enough:

    1. What did Mr. Trump know and when did he know it about Russian efforts to influence the U.S. Presidential election? The President and those around him are engaged in a furious fight to prevent the American people from knowing. What are they hiding? If, as they say, there’s nothing to hide, why are they working so hard to conceal what they know?

    Republican led House and Senate investigations are–purposely or not– bogged down. While the FBI investigation (also led by a Republican) is said to be rigorous and far-reaching, who can say with certainty? We do know that the FBI was slow and unsteady at the start.

    A truly independent, bi-partisan investigative special commission (with maybe a special prosecutor?) would seem to be a must, but so far there is no significant movement to establish one.

    2. Given indications so far, the President appears to have plenty to hide in his tax returns. Again, if he has nothing to hide why is he fighting so hard to keep them secret? How much taxes he has paid (if any) is not the most important part of this. More important is finding out how much he owes–how much he is in debt to–other people, who they are and where they are (foreigners, foreign powers?)

    3. What is the President’s strategy to deal with war and peace challenges such as North Korea, Russia in Eastern Europe, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan. One-off missile attacks and mega-bomb droppings are tactical moves, in and of themselves. If they fit into a large strategy in any or all of the major threat areas, what is that strategy?

    4. What is happening behind the shadows with our immigration policy? For all the talk of how the President has struggled in his legislative agenda, the reporting coming out of the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions and multiple local communities suggests that there has been an active change in how the nation is dealing with this issue.

    As a beginning for where to keep the focus in contemplating the Trump Presidency, the places mentioned above are worth considering.