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Thursday News: “The Other Inconvenient Truth”; Seth Myers Takes “Closer Look” at Trump’s Press Conference; “The Monuments Must Go”

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, August 17.

  • Video: Hundreds Gather For Charlottesville Vigil
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cITuxcGlAr8

  • Former Virginia LG Bill Bolling (R):

    “It is clear that Democrats have decided to make a campaign issue out of the removal of Confederate monuments in Virginia. Earlier today, LG Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee for a Governor, called for the removal of all such monuments; and now Richmond Mayor Lavar Stoney has done a complete about face and said that his self appointed Monument Avenue Commission would consider removing confederate monuments, something Stoney had previously said was off the table. So much for Stoney’s consistency and credibility. Frankly, this is not a time for our leaders to further inflame this issue for political advantage and posturing. It is a fine for calmer and more meaningful dialogue. And make no mistake, that’s exactly what they are doing – fanning flames and posturing. For they know well that section 15.2-1812 of the Code of Virginia prohibits the removal of such monuments. At best their efforts will end up in court. But their actions also have the potential to provoke another round of senseless, despicable and potentially violent protests. But it is an election year, so I guess we should expect nothing less from Virginia’s political wannabes.”

  • Quizzical

    I don’t particularly want statues to be the next big campaign issue. It is divisive, and a distraction from the hard work of grappling with issues that are more important to our future. We all know what those real issues are. Nobody during the last election campaigned about statues. We can have a big political fight about statues, and at the end of it, what will we have accomplished? Nothing. The statues will either be there or not, either way, it won’t make any difference in anyone’s life, and it is going to be much harder to unite people then to do what really needs to be done. The age old wisdom is, you gotta pick your battles. Why pick a battle over statues? We have to focus on the future, not the past.

  • Superb comment on EJ Dionne’s op-ed (“It is indefensible for Republicans to stick with Trump”) in today’s (Com)Post. Bolding added by me for emphasis. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-do-republicans-still-stick-with-trump/2017/08/16/f0fbff62-82bd-11e7-ab27-1a21a8e006ab_story.html#comments

    Mitch McConnell has obviously and repeatedly already made his choice: he chooses his big office and the perks of his position, over fealty to our Constitution, our rule of law, our international stature, and the moral imperative of governing of, by and for We the People. McConnell doesn’t give a damn, and neither does Paul Ayn Rand Ryan. Both of them are utterly contemptible, cowardly, feckless tools and ideologues, whose desire to destroy the nation in order to gut the lives of the neediest, reduce women to subservient chattel, disenfranchise and suppress Democratic voters, reduce the poor and struggling seniors to the status of impoverished serfs, desecrate our environment, and always, always, hold onto their entitled positions. McConnell, whose own bout with polio was paid for thanks to the generosity of Americans, sees fit to assault the healthcare access of up to 50 million Americans, and Paul Ayn Rand Ryan is right there, goose-stepping along with him. These people are so devoid of morality, so venal, so steeped in their ugly, hateful ideology, they literally cling to this deranged, demented, ignorant vulgarian who is an existential threat to all of us – rather than do what is right. “god” won’t save this nation, EJ – We the People must do that.

  • Governor McAuliffe Statement on Offshore Drilling

    RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe released the following statement on the letter he submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program:

    “Revenue sharing agreement is an essential precursor to moving forward on any offshore oil and gas exploration in Virginia. President Trump’s proposal to end the revenue sharing agreement with the Gulf States is a clear indication that we cannot trust the President to give Virginia its fair share of the revenues that would result from offshore exploration. Additionally, the President’s administration is actively working to cut funding from the very agencies that would be charged with protecting Virginia’s coastal environment in the event that exploration went forward. For these reasons, I do not support including the Commonwealth of Virginia in the new review of the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. My administration will continue to focus on diversifying Virginia’s economy and using our precious resources in a way that benefits the people of Virginia.”

  • From the Kathy Tran for Delegate campaign:

    Mancheno-Smoak Silent on Trump’s Defense of White Supremacists

    SPRINGFIELD, Va. – As condemnation of President Trump’s appalling defense of white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan continues to grow, Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates’ 42nd District Lolita Mancheno-Smoak has remained silent.

    Mancheno-Smoak, who referred to Trump as her “ideal presidential candidate” when he first announced his candidacy and attended the Virginia Women for Trump’s celebration of his first 100 days in office, has not suggested any wavering of her support for the President, despite his widely condemned reactions to the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend.

    “Lolita Mancheno-Smoak’s refusal to condemn Donald Trump’s defense of white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and the KKK is a failure of the most basic moral test of our elected leaders,” said Noah Kim, campaign manager for Kathy Tran, the Democratic candidate for the 42nd District. “Voters in the 42nd District deserve to know whether Mancheno-Smoak agrees with Trump that there were ‘very fine people’ among the white supremacists marching in Charlottesville, or if she will unequivocally condemn white supremacists and Trump’s defense of them.”

    In stark contrast, Tran directly confronted the issue at a canvass kick-off on Sunday, which began with a moment of silence for those killed or hurt in Charlottesville over the weekend. “This hatred threatens to undermine our nation’s most fundamental values,” she said to volunteers. “The President has displayed a complete lack of moral leadership in not only refusing to unequivocally condemn white supremacists and domestic terrorism, but also by embracing a brand of politics that seeks to divide us. It is the duty of every American to work together to uphold the values of our democracy. In the face of this violent hate that seeks to drive us apart through fear, we must remain committed to building a more welcoming and inclusive Commonwealth and country.”

    ###

    Kathy Tran and her family risked everything to come to the United States as refugees in search of the American Dream. A workforce development expert and career public servant, Kathy has devoted her entire career to fighting for working families, including at the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Immigration Forum. As a mom of four and president of her local PTA, she is deeply committed to investing in our schools to ensure all of our kids receive a world-class education. Kathy will never back down from fighting for our progressive values, like defending women’s access to health care, expanding Medicaid, advancing common-sense gun violence prevention measures, and protecting our environment.

  • Note that this is a 49%-45% Hillary Clinton district…so definitely winnable in November!

    VANVALKENBURG CALLS ON WHITLOCK TO DENOUNCE TRUMP

    Democratic Candidate Calls on Opponent to Join Him in Denouncing Trump Comments

    Henrico, VA, 8/17/2017 – On Monday, President Trump went on a bizarre tangent during a press conference, during which he stated that counter protesters in Charlottesville were equally responsible for the violence that ensued as the Neo-Nazis, KKK members, and other white supremacist groups at the rally.

    VanValkenburg issued the following statement:
    ”The hateful rhetoric and violence incited by the Neo-Nazis, KKK, and other white supremacists in Charlottesville is morally reprehensible and is directly responsible for the three deaths that occurred on Saturday. The fact that President Trump tried to shift blame on to counter protesters is shameful. When there is a group chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’ and ‘Go back to Africa’ at minority groups, they must be swiftly condemned, not falsely lumped in with the people who oppose them.”

    Ed Whitlock has been a huge supporter of Trump in the past, saying “Having met the man, I am a true believer that Donald Trump will make America great again!”(Virginia Right, 6/11/2016). Although he condemned violence in Charlottesville only after VanValkenburg called on him to do so, Whitlock has been silent on President Trump’s recent comments.

    VanValkenburg issued the following statement:
    “I am calling on Ed Whitlock to make it clear to voters which side is he on. Does he stand with Donald Trump and the white supremacists, or does he stand with the overwhelming majority of Virginians as well as Republican leaders like Senators Marco Rubio and John McCain? Silence is not an option in the face of such bigotry and hatred, and there can be no false equivalence between Nazis and the counter protesters that oppose their violent rhetoric. In order for somebody to call themselves a leader, they must stand up for our Henrico values and oppose such anti-American behavior.”

  • From the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), a Virginia environmental group with actual cojones (I know, what a concept- lol!):

    McAuliffe’s opposition to offshore drilling should lead to him rejecting fracked-gas pipelines

    After years of staunch support for offshore oil drilling off the coast of Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe today for the first time declared his opposition to this dangerous practice. The Governor suggested that weak environmental regulation and enforcement under Donald Trump’s federal agencies drove his decision to finally oppose the practice.

    Statement from CCAN’s Virginia Policy Coordinator Harrison Wallace:

    Citizens across Virginia were relieved today to hear Governor McAuliffe finally opposes the dangerous practice of offshore drilling off the coast of Virginia. While this decision was long overdue, it is nonetheless the responsible course to protect Virginia’s environment and coastal economy. We applaud the governor on this change of policy.

    However, Governor McAuliffe still staunchly supports two proposed massive pipelines for fracked gas across Virginia: the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines. If the governor applied the same concerns over weak Trump administration enforcement to these pipelines, he would also declare his opposition. The fact is these controversial pipelines will be built and regulated with oversight from Trump’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency, Trump’s Department of Energy, and Trump’s U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    If federal agencies under Trump can’t be trusted to keep Virginians safe from offshore drilling, they certainly can’t be trusted to keep Virginia’s water, environment, farmland, and economy safe from fracked-gas pipelines. Governor McAuliffe should reject these pipelines today.

  • Bell Campaign Calls on Opponent to Condemn Trump’s Hate

    CHANTILLY, Va.: Today, Delegate John Bell’s campaign for reelection to the Virginia House of Delegates released the following statements following President Donald Trump’s comments on the violence in Charlottesville on August 12 and 13:

    “Virginia and America don’t have room for hate. I fully denounce Trump’s continued acrimonious comments after the terrible events in Charlottesville last weekend,” said Delegate John J. Bell (D – Loudoun). “Our elected leaders must represent all people, and to do so we must call out white supremacy, neo-Nazism, and acts of terrorism for what they are.”

    “Subba Kolla nominated President Donald Trump for Virginia at the Republican National Convention, and even says that he and President Trump share the same values,” said Jacqueline Hixson, spokesperson for the Bell campaign. “President Trump has continued to defend hate and violence in our communities, which tears apart our neighborhoods. Subba Kolla’s silence on President Trump’s terrible and divisive comments is deafening, and shows a lack of courage and leadership needed during this critical time.”

  • True Blue

    Dahlia Lithwick’s shares first-hand accounts with peaceful clergy who would have been seriously harmed by a much larger group of white supremacists if not for the antifa:
    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/08/what_the_alt_left_was_actually_doing_in_charlottesville.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_fb_bot