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Wednesday News: Assad Not Afraid of Big Bad Trump?; B.S. Susan Rice “Story”; Gorsuch the Plagiarizer


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, April 5.

  • From the Wason Center at CNU:

    Poll: Virginia voters see progress on environment, and they don’t want protections to be rolled back

    RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia voters want continued action on environmental policy from both the state and federal governments and they strongly oppose rolling back clean air and clean water laws, according to a survey conducted for the Virginia Environmental Endowment by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University.

    Voters strongly support continuing the multi-state effort to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, and support continued state-level actions to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, even if federal requirements are curtailed. Water quality tops voters’ environmental concerns, and they worry the state is doing too little on contamination of tap water and adequacy of drinking water supplies.

    Virginians surveyed say the state’s natural environment is important to them personally, and they want it to be important to public officials and the next governor. They do not generally see a conflict between the environment and the economy. They favor the environment if forced to make a choice, and they think enforcement of environmental laws and regulations can occur simultaneously with economic growth.

    Overall, voters gave Virginia’s environment a B, a new high mark in the gradual improvement since 1997, when voters awarded a C in the first such poll sponsored by the Virginia Environmental Endowment.

    “Three conclusions from this survey are especially encouraging,” said Joseph H. Maroon, executive director of the Virginia Environmental Endowment. “Virginia voters value the Commonwealth’s natural environment, they recognize the progress of the past 20 years and they see that the job isn’t finished.”

    “Lawmakers and candidates at every level should take note,” said Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center. “By overwhelming numbers, voters say they want continuing action on environmental progress.”

    The survey results are based on interviews of 826 registered Virginia voters conducted Jan. 29-Feb. 12, 2017. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.7%. The full survey and analysis are attached.

    The Virginia Environmental Endowment (www.vee.org) is a non-profit, grant-making foundation based in Richmond, Va., that is focused on improving the quality of the environment by using its capital, expertise and resources to encourage all sectors to work together to prevent pollution, conserve natural resources and promote environmental literacy. It is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2017.

  • Full video of GOP governor debate where Gillespie and Stewart engage in anti-LGBT hatefest, anti-abortion extremist fest


  • Statement from New Virginia Majority on House Vote Against Medicaid Expansion

    Today, House Republicans voted against Governor McAuliffe’s proposed budget amendment to expand Medicaid. Once again, House Republicans have chosen petty politics over the lives of over 400,000 Virginians who will go without access to affordable healthcare. Despite the Affordable Care Act providing Federal dollars to Virginia to fund Medicaid Expansion, for five years republicans have voted against it and wasted the Commonwealth’s dollars.

    “To know that I am being denied health insurance by elected officials playing politics with my life and the lives of 400,000 other Virginians who are trapped in the gap infuriates me,” said community member Keith Oliver, who has incurred over half a million dollars in medical bills due to lack of health insurance. “I don’t know what more it will take to put people first. I just hope they do the right thing before it’s too late.”

    Everyone should have access to affordable healthcare. We are disappointed that elected officials continue to neglect the needs of Virginians. We will continue to fight for the Virginians who are legally prohibited from accessing affordable health insurance.

  • Progress Virginia Outraged By House Republicans Refusal to Expand Medicaid

    Richmond, Virginia–Members of the General Assembly voted again today to continue playing politics with people’s lives, rejecting a budget amendment that would have expanded Medicaid coverage to 400,000 Virginians in the coverage gap. These hardworking Virginians constantly live in fear that they are one health care crisis away from financial ruin because they are unable to afford health insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid.

    “Health care is a basic human right. It is beyond outrageous that House Republicans have prioritized petty partisan politics over real human lives by refusing to expand Medicaid,” Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia, said. “These politicians should look in the eyes of individuals they’ve denied health care access and explain their vote. Explain to Laura Clark why she cannot afford her $95 a month blood pressure medication. Explain to Keith Oliver why he has a $400,000 medical bill for suffering a stroke and still can’t afford his medication. Explain to Shawn Pharo why she has to hope and pray that she and her husband don’t get sick after a layoff so they can still pay for care for their kids. There are 400,000 Virginians with these stories. They deserve an explanation from the politicians standing between them and affordable care.”

    Medicaid expansion is an optional provision of the Affordable Care Act that more than 30 states have already taken advantage of. Federal tax dollars pay for more than 90% of the program, so Virginians are paying for people in other states to get low cost health insurance, even though they aren’t able to take advantage of it themselves.

  • Tom Perriello statement on Republican refusal to expand Medicaid in Virginia:

    “Today, with a single vote, Republican legislators could have delivered health care coverage to 400,000 more Virginians through the Medicaid expansion that Governor McAuliffe had put back on the table. It was that simple. One vote, countless lives and communities changed for the better. For those hundreds of thousands of Virginians, this expansion would have given the basic health care services, as well as substance abuse and mental health coverage, that are so desperately needed in our communities. But this wasn’t just the right thing to do morally; this was a chance for the millions of us who are privately insured to see lower premiums, the state to see more revenues, our communities to see thousands of new jobs.

    “Yet Republicans said no. They put blind partisan politics ahead of what is clearly best for Virginia’s families, workers and economy. As governor, I will immediately reintroduce Medicaid expansion. I will campaign on it this year in every corner of our state, campaign for delegate candidates who support it (and against Republican delegates who oppose it), and we will show once-and-for-all in November that expanding Medicaid is what Virginians want their leaders in Richmond to do. We will make this a voting issue, and we won’t back down from this fight.”

  • Lieutenant Governor Northam’s Statement on House Republicans’ Vote Against Medicaid Expansion

    RICHMOND – Dr. Ralph Northam, Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, released the following statement after the Virginia House of Delegates rejected Governor McAuliffe’s Medicaid expansion budget amendment on a party-line vote.

    “I am disappointed that House Republicans ignored calls from business leaders, medical providers, community leaders and hardworking Virginians by voting again today to reject Medicaid expansion in the Commonwealth.

    “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay, and it is unacceptable that we continue to leave 400,000 Virginians with no good option for health insurance. Additionally, by rejecting Medicaid expansion we will keep handing Virginia tax dollars over to neighboring states – already more than $10.4 billion.

    “I will continue to fight for access to quality and affordable healthcare for all Virginians along with the Governor and our administration.”