Home Daily Feature Monday News: “Twitter Man vs. Rocket Man”; “Complacency Could Kill Health Care”;...

Monday News: “Twitter Man vs. Rocket Man”; “Complacency Could Kill Health Care”; Colbert/Spicer Emmys #FAIL

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, September 18.

  • I agree with Dan Rather, as I usually do…

    I am pleased to see that there has been substantial criticism and consternation about the appearance of the former press secretary Sean Spicer at the Emmy Awards last night.

    It is not funny that the American people were lied to.

    It is not funny that the press was attacked for doing its job.

    It is not funny that the norms of our democracy have been trampled.

    I do not know Mr. Spicer or what is in his heart. But to actively serve in the capacity in which he did, and the manner in which he conducted himself, can not be allowed to be normalized. Actions must have consequences.

    There is a long history of a bipartisan camaraderie amongst officials who have served in administrations. This is to the good and shows the strength of our democracy. And no one is perfect, far from it. We as a people are forgiving and welcoming.

    But this is different. We are still in the midst of an administration that actively lies to the American people. We do not know where this is all going. There are looming criminal investigations.

    To have Sean Spicer now lead us in laughter about all this makes me uneasy.

  • dirich

    RE: Editorial: The argument that won’t sway FERC on pipelines

    Trump supposedly wants to protect America, so how does selling gas to overseas nations protect us? Europeans, much more than the U.S., have decided to back renewables, but as they transition to them, they are getting the best of the bargain. They are buying U.S. natural gas to burn instead of coal, but they don’t have to commit environmental damage to get their fuel. Sure, they serve as markets for us, but we along the pipelines are having to turn over our land to unscrupulous companies for them to receive it, and that’s not a minor issue. Once these companies (and I am talking about the backers of the MVP in this case) have our easements, they control what gets to travel over our land, and in most instances, their easement sections what might run right through the middle of a piece of land cannot be used for farming or other operations. The agreements also allow them to transport any other gases, oil, chemicals, or even toxic materials. After it is sold to them or taken by eminent domain, that part of the land belongs to a multi-national company. And, they own it in perpetuity.
    The other issue that should concern everyone is how construction and/or deterioration of huge pipelines that are just now beginning to be built and don’t have a track record might affect our water supply since the MVP pipeline is due to be buried in karst and earthquake-prone topography. We have made these arguments for as long as the MVP has been proposed. People think that we have natural gas pipelines running underground now, so what’s another one. Size and high-pressure matter. Example: It’s the difference for your house’s foundation between finding a mouse in your basement and having a whole colony of ground hogs move in under your house, procreating like crazy. Size, amount, and kind of materials to matter.
    After toxic chemicals were dumped into rivers 50 years ago, we found out to late the health and economic damages they caused. But, for the companies that did the dumping, it seemed like a really good idea at the time. They said let’s dump until the government finds out and stops us, let them try to sue us when we’ve formed an LLC, and in most cases, let the state and federal government spend tax-payer’s money to clean up the mess we made. We have a chance not to make the same potential mistake. Before these 42’ diameter behemoths are buried, state and federal government agencies whose responsibility it is to protect us should require due diligence. We are real people living in your communities who have tried to say to our political leaders, help us make sure this is a safe undertaking before possibly ruining our region’s health, safety, economy, or even killing people. Instead, ordinary citizens who don’t have the time to study every issue closely have been sold on a flawed initiative, led to believe it is safe and beneficial; politicians are receiving money from the companies they are supposed to be regulating; FERC is a federal agency whose job so far has been to approve every pipeline that comes before it. So, Mr. President and politicians on both sides of the aisle, from localities, the state, and the Federal Government, stand up for what’s right. Slow down and study all the potential effects of these pipelines set to run through our state, and take your duty to protect citizens seriously. You can’t say after the fact if a catastrophe happens that you weren’t warned or you didn’t know the full implications.

  • dirich

    Re: Editorial: The argument that won’t sway FERC on pipelines

    Trump supposedly wants to protect America, so how does selling gas to overseas nations protect us? Europeans, much more than the U.S., have decided to back renewables, but as they transition to them, they are getting the best of the bargain. They are buying U.S. natural gas to burn instead of coal, but they don’t have to commit environmental damage to get their fuel. Sure, they serve as markets for us, but we along the pipelines are having to turn over our land to unscrupulous companies for them to receive the fracked natural gas, and that’s not a minor issue. Once these companies (and I am talking about the MVP in this case) have our easements, they control what gets to travel over our land, and in most instances, their easement sections that might run right through the middle of a piece of land cannot be used for farming or other operations. The agreements also allow them to transport any other gases, oil, chemicals, or even toxic materials. After it is sold to them or taken by eminent domain, that part of the land belongs to a multi-national company. They own it in perpetuity, and they can do with it whatever they wish.

    The other issue that should concern everyone is how construction and/or deterioration of huge pipelines that are just now beginning to be built and don’t have a track record, might affect our water supply since the MVP pipeline is due to be buried in karst and earthquake-prone topography. We have made these arguments for as long as the MVP has been proposed. People think that we have natural gas pipelines running underground now, so what’s the problem with another one. Size and high-pressure matter. Example: It’s the difference for your house’s foundation between finding a mouse in your basement and having a whole colony of ground hogs move in under your house, procreating like crazy. Size, amount, and kind of materials to matter.

    After toxic chemicals were dumped into rivers 50 years ago, we found out too late the health and economic damages they caused. But, for the companies that did the dumping, it seemed like a really good idea at the time. They said let’s dump until the government finds out and stops us, let them try to sue us when we’ve formed an LLC, and in most cases, let the state and federal government spend tax-payer’s money to clean up the mess we made. We have a chance not to make the same potential mistake. Before these 42’ diameter behemoths are buried, state and federal government agencies whose responsibility it is to protect us should require due diligence. We are real people living in your communities who have tried to say to our political leaders, help us make sure this is a safe undertaking before possibly ruining our region’s health, safety, economy, or even killing people. Instead, ordinary citizens who don’t have the time to study every issue closely have been sold on a flawed initiative, led to believe it is safe and beneficial; politicians are receiving money from the companies they are supposed to be regulating; FERC is a federal agency whose job so far has been to approve every pipeline that comes before it. So, Mr. President and politicians on both sides of the aisle, from localities, the state, and the Federal Government, stand up for what’s right. Slow down and study all the potential effects of these pipelines set to run through our state, and take your duty to protect citizens seriously. You can’t say after the fact if a catastrophe happens that you weren’t warned or you didn’t know the full implications.

  • Governor McAuliffe Statement on Proposed Cassidy-Graham Health Care Legislation

    RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today in response to the health care legislation introduced by Senators Cassidy and Graham:

    “The Senate Republican’s latest effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act would have the exact same disastrous consequences for Virginia’s families as the previous versions that they tried to ram through earlier this year. This legislation, like the earlier iterations, was not designed to make health care better. It is nothing more than a tax cut for the rich and a poorly disguised cost shift from the federal government to the states and families.

    “Once again, middle-class families, seniors, and women suffer the most as premiums will skyrocket and Medicaid will be slashed. This bill re-introduces policies that gut protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions and no longer requires insurers to provide essential service coverage. And it goes further by slashing funding to states for marketplace tax credits and cost-sharing reductions on the way to zeroing them out completely after 2026.

    “This backdoor effort to force through legislation without waiting for a CBO score or even holding as much as a single hearing is totally unacceptable. Our estimates is that this will be a $1.2 Billion cut to Virginia’s Medicaid program. I urge the Senate Republicans to stop undermining our economy and health care system and instead to work together in a transparent and bipartisan manner to fix the existing issues with the ACA.”

  • RELEASE: Dr. Ralph Northam on Proposed Cassidy-Graham Health Care Legislation

    Northam: “They are fooling no one: this is the same pathetic attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act”

    Richmond, Va. — Today, Dr. Ralph Northam came out forcefully against the new version of Trumpcare trying to be passed in the Senate. Virginia stands to lose $1.2 billion in federal funding for its Medicaid program over the next seven years. It will cause premiums to skyrocket and slash Medicaid at the same time.

    Dr. Ralph Northam issued the following statement on new healthcare legislation introduced by Senators Cassidy and Graham:

    “This is the latest attempt by Senate Republicans to jam Trumpcare down the throats of the American people, despite the similarly disastrous results. Because they weren’t able to get their foolhardy and cruel attempts to pass the Senate, they went back to the drawing board. However, what they came back with has the same problems.

    “This is the same pathetic attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and leave folks with coverage that costs more and covers less. No one should be one medical illness away from financial demise in the richest country in the world. Rather than engaging in a bipartisan, public negotiation to stabilize and fix the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are resorting to the underhanded, deliberate sabotage of the insurance market and gambling with people’s lives.

    “As a doctor, I took an oath to do no harm. This bill doesn’t meet that test. It threatens protections in place for Virginians with pre-existing conditions and again, puts essential benefits at risk, all in the name of a tax cut for the richest Americans. We will not stand for this, and as governor, I’ll continue fighting to ensure that every Virginian has access to affordable, quality healthcare. I hope Ed Gillespie joins me in coming out against this bill that would hurt Virginia’s economy and Virginians’ health.”