Home Daily Feature Thursday News: Trump Threatens 1st Amendment; “Trump’s War Games”; Bannon Was in...

Thursday News: Trump Threatens 1st Amendment; “Trump’s War Games”; Bannon Was in Business with Weinstein


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, October 12.

  • Video: Michael A. Taylor’s grand slam against the Cubs


  • True Blue

    “Both men allegedly relied on their positions of power to coerce women over the years, and a persistent culture of toxic masculinity protected them from facing the consequences of those alleged actions. Condemnation isn’t about party politics — it’s a bipartisan issue and should be treated as such.” think progress

    “The ties to Weinstein open Bannon up to charges of hypocrisy given Breitbart’s intense focus on the scandal and its political fallout. In recent days the site has featured a blog with live updates on the story; headlines calling out Obama, Clinton and top Democrats for their ties to the producer; and stories attacking other news outlets for failing to cover the scandal with the same ferocity as Breitbart.” ap news break

    So, while Trump’s accusers were threatened and have virtually disappeared, Weinstein’s actions are rightfully being condemned – what happened to the “both sides” and “nice people”mantra? Ha

  • Virginia​ ​Latino​ ​Leaders​ ​Council​ ​Endorses​ ​Northam,​ ​Fairfax​ ​and​ ​Herring

    Joins​ ​other​ ​advocacy​ ​groups​ ​in​ ​denouncing​ ​GOP​ ​anti-Latino​ ​campaign​ ​advertising

    Wednesday, October 11, 2017

    Fairfax, Virginia – Today the Virginia Latino Leaders Council (VLLC), a nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting Latino civic engagement and candidates who support the well-being of the Latino community, endorsed Ralph Northam for Virginia Governor, Justin Fairfax for Lieutenant Governor, and Mark Herring for Virginia Attorney General. The announcement comes after a VLLC preference survey of over 600 Latino activists yielded an overwhelming 97% support for the three candidates.
    VLLC President, The Honorable J. Walter Tejada, stated, “Northam, Fairfax and Herring offer a platform that focuses on continuing economic opportunity and employment, healthcare, and education for all Virginians.

    Their inclusive records send a message that diverse residents of all backgrounds are welcome in our commonwealth. This stands in contrast to the ugly anti-immigrant rhetoric coming out of the White House, and now being utilized by the Republican candidates in this year’s election. Gillespie and company have chosen to scapegoat the Latino community with allegations that are blatantly false.”

    Tejada continued, “VLLC condemns the divisive, xenophobic tactics that the Republican candidates are injecting into this election. Our organization will work tirelessly to inform our community about the candidates who stand with our values of inclusion and opportunity for all. Today we announce a Spanish language radio
    and print campaign throughout Northern Virginia, Richmond and Hampton Roads to educate Latino voters and encourage their support for Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring as the candidates who offer economic, health and educational opportunities for everyone in our state.”

    Other advocacy groups joining VLLC today in denouncing the divisive campaign tactics of the Republican candidates include the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), People for the American Way, Mason Dreamers, business and community leaders.

    Jaime Contreras, a naturalized citizen and Vice President at SEIU 32BJ, stated, “Gillespie should be embarrassed by his embrace of Trump’s destructive agenda and of falsely convincing Virginians that their own problems would be solved by destroying the lives of immigrants.Virginia needs responsible leaders who understand that immigrants are indispensable to keeping our economy running, not Gillespie’s vile and
    cowardly attacks on an entire culture.”

    Last month, 32BJ announced a joint endorsement with SEIU Virginia 512 of Northam, Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidate Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring. The unions, which collectively represent more than 10,000 workers, will provide significant support, including hundreds of SEIU members who will knock on more than 200,000 doors and speak out within their communities. SEIU member volunteers were a vital part of the ground operation that helped put Virginia in Clinton’s column. Together, they are a powerful voting bloc that will continue to be a decisive force in this November’s election as well. As the largest property service workers union in the country, 32BJ represent 163,000 members in 11 states. The overwhelming majority of 32BJ’s 18,000 members in the D.C. Metropolitan Area are immigrants from Central and South America. 32BJ members hail from 64 different countries and speak 28 different languages.

    Rosalba Llenas, owner of a Virginia-based small business dedicated to providing quality interior design services, said, “I attribute a large portion of our success to the craftsmanship, collaboration and dedication of the construction team. We work hand-in-hand with different trades to implement our design ideas. In Virginia, Hispanics make up close to 30% of the construction workforce, they work hard, long hours and take pride in their work, making them ideal candidates for the labor-intensive conditions of the construction industry.”

    She continued, “However, in view of recent anti-immigrant sentiments and propaganda, many Latinos now live in fear of losing everything they have worked for, losing their jobs and even losing their families. On a profound level, this situation is devastating to the family structure and to our community. From a business point of view, losing valuable workers that have gone through extensive training and have proven to be reliable, will hinder businesses’ ability to satisfy their customer’s demands in a timely and efficient manner, which in return will hurt their profitability and, consequently, hurt Virginia’s economy.”

    Lizet Ocampo, political director at People For the American Way, said, “We’re here today to say that Ed Gillespie’s bigoted smears against Latinos are unacceptable, and they won’t work.” Ms. Ocampo further stated, “Gillespie is taking a page from the Trump playbook, and just last year we saw Virginia voters reject that kind of fear mongering and divisiveness. We’re proud to be holding Gillespie accountable for his behavior with Latino voters, along with others who are outraged at this kind of extremism.”

    Rodrigo Velasquez, Mason DREAMers Advisory Board member, stated, “For the first time in our history, we are no longer sitting on the sideline of elections and hoping for the best. As an issue-based organization, we stand with candidates like Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring who have proven their commitment to our community. We strongly oppose and condemn the bigotry, hate, and xenophobia being
    used by Ed Gillespie, Jill Vogel, and John Adams who have chosen to draw from Trump’s playbook to pander for votes. Mason DREAMers calls on all our allies and supporters to vote this election with us in mind. While many of us cannot vote, we will focus on energies in turning people out who share our values of equity and opportunity for all.”

    The Virginia Latino Leaders Council Board includes President J. Walter Tejada, Vice President Beatriz Amberman, Treasurer Leni Gonzalez, Members-at-Large Edgar Aranda-Yanoc, The Honorable Emma Violand-Sanchez and The Honorable Fernando Marty Martinez, Legal Counsel Sam McTyre, and Executive Director Andres Tobar.

    The​ ​Virginia​ ​Latino​ ​Leaders​ ​Council​ ​is​ ​a​ ​nonpartisan,​ ​all-volunteer,​ ​statewide​ ​organization​ ​comprised​ ​of Latino​ ​leaders​ ​and​ ​activists​ ​who​ ​focus​ ​on​ ​Latino​ ​civic​ ​engagement.​ ​VLLC​ ​communicates​ ​with​ ​Latino voters​ ​and​ ​establishes​ ​a​ ​dialogue​ ​with​ ​Virginia’s​ ​state​ ​government​ ​officials​ ​to​ ​ensure​ ​that​ ​Virginia remains​ ​a​ ​welcoming​ ​community​ ​for​ ​all.

  • Andy Schmookler

    A propos of the piece I posted here last weekend — “Calm Before What Storm? Can Trump Start a Nuclear War on His Own?” at http://bluevirginia.us/2017/10/calm-before-what-storm-can-trump-start-a-nuclear-war-on-his-own — there’s this quote in Gabe Sherman’s big piece in VANITY FAIR:

    “One former official even speculated that Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have discussed what they would do in the event Trump ordered a nuclear first strike. “Would they tackle him?” the person said.”

    Sherman’s article, which is about Trump “unraveling,” is here: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/10/donald-trump-is-unraveling-white-house-advisers

  • Beyer Statement on Trump’s “Health Care” Executive Order

    October 12, 2017 (Washington, D.C.) – Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) issued the following statement today on Donald Trump’s executive order targeting the Affordable Care Act:

    “Bipartisan opposition sank attempts to yank healthcare coverage from millions, so Donald Trump is now attempting to go around Congress to sabotage the Affordable Care Act through executive order.

    His action today would allow anemic health plans. These plans will undercut coverage of preexisting conditions, as well as protections of state health insurance markets. Finally, they will make health insurance in the individual marketplace more costly.

    Today’s executive action will hurt those who are self-employed, undercutting the very entrepreneurs and innovators we want to encourage, and making it harder for many to retire.

    Insurers have warned that this move could send individual markets into chaos, and leading healthcare experts have warned that it could send health insurance exchanges into a death spiral. The country wants Trump and Congressional Republicans to stop sabotaging their healthcare and work in a bipartisan way to make things better. They should listen.”

    The Government Accountability Office previously issued a report which found that multiple employer welfare arrangements, which Trump’s order would deregulate, led to increased problems, “failed to comply with state insurance laws, and some violated criminal statutes.”

  • Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued this statement today after President Trump signed an executive order to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare law of the land:

    “The President seems determined to destabilize healthcare, putting millions of hardworking American families at risk. This executive order is yet another attack on Americans’ access to quality, affordable health care – especially those with pre-existing conditions. By again attempting to sabotage ACA marketplaces ahead of Open Enrollment season, the Trump administration is intentionally playing dangerous political games with Americans’ health.

    “This order will force many Americans to make do with bare-bones plans that fail to cover necessary health benefits like maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, and mental health services and addiction treatment. In addition to receiving less and poorer-quality care, those folks will also face higher deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses when they have an illness or an accident. The rug will be pulled out from under them when they most need it.

    “By moving younger, healthier workers to bare-bones coverage, this order will also worsen risk pools in the individual market, driving up premiums for those who continue to receive coverage through an exchange.

    “This administration has already cut outreach and enrollment funding for the ACA; it has denied insurers the stability they need to operate, thus driving up premiums; and it intends to close Healthcare.gov repeatedly during enrollment. Today’s legally questionable order offers yet another proof-point: He is determined to dismantle the ACA and sabotage the entire healthcare system to score cheap political points and simply declare a victory.”

  • Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued this statement following passage of H.Res. 569, disaster relief funding to support recovery efforts after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate:

    “This morning our President tweeted threats directed at millions of our fellow American citizens, many of whom still do not have power or clean running water or even roofs over their heads. I am extremely disappointed that the president, like a bully, chooses to threaten a most vulnerable group of people who only ask to have some normalcy restored in their lives, the normalcy we all take for granted.

    “While the president engages in bullying, threatening and hostile behavior my colleagues and I took active steps towards real solutions by voting in favor of the legislation that will allocate $36.5 billion in disaster relief funding. The President of the United States should not and must not dismiss the needs of citizens, his constituents, and verbally kick them when they are down. I stand with the victims of these natural disasters and will continue to work to ensure they get the resources they need to rebuild their shattered lives.”