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Monday, July 16, 2018
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lowkell

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Two Of My Favorite Virginia Politicos


Arlington County Revenue Commission Ingrid Morroy and Rep. Tom Perriello, two of my favorite Virginia politicos, together in South Arlington.  Good stuff.

UPDATE: Another one of my favorites - Virginia Beach Democratic Committee chair Susan Mariner (see more photos here).

Uh, I Don’t Think Wind or Solar Do This…


...nor do geothermal, tidal, wave, or energy efficiency (by far the "biggest bang for the buck" in the energy world). Why anyone would want to risk this off the coast of Virginia Beach is mindboggling, but in a totally unrelated development, it's fascinating to hear that Bob McDonnell is Regent's "Alumnus of the Year".  Great education you got there, Bob!

Wacko Endorses Wingnut

Hahahahahahaha.

But will Cooch's endorsement help Keith Fimian with "the base" in the Republican primary against Pat Herrity on June 8? Stay tuned...

UPDATE: NLS has some relevant thoughts on this.

Virginia Businesses Weigh In For “New Competitive Energy Economy” [UPDATED]

The following press release is from the Commonwealth Business Council for a Competitive Economy, a recently formed group which "unites businesses large and small from across Virginia who support the transition to a clean economy both here and nationally."  The director of CBCCE is Mame Reiley, a DNC "superdelegate" and former director of Mark Warner's "One Virginia" PAC.  

With regard to the clean energy and climate bill introduced earlier today (full text here), Reiley says, "This is a unique opportunity for Congress to pass legislation that will reduce our dependence on oil, decrease carbon emissions and promote a new competitive energy economy. Its impact will be felt for generations to come."  Increasingly, despite reams of disinformation put out there by the fossil fuel industries and their allies, this is a view that is shared by the business community and by the American people. Now, if we could just convince a few Republicans to remove their heads from the sand on this crucial issue...

LANDMARK ENERGY & CLIMATE LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN U.S. SENATE TODAY

Signals Critical Progress & Major Gains for Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia - Today, a comprehensive energy and climate legislation was introduced, reflecting months of hard work from Senators John Kerry (D- MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). The American Power Act is a major step forward that would reduce United States' dependence on oil and move our country toward a cleaner, more secure energy economy.  

This legislation was introduced on the heels of a letter sent to Majority Leader Harry Reid and the U.S. Senate last week, signed by 175 business leaders around the country.  The letter called on the Senate to get comprehensive energy and climate legislation back on track in order to spur a new energy economy, boost energy independence and decrease carbon emissions.  

Can Anyone Explain What Cooch Is Saying Here?


Watch as Ken Kook-inelli is asked simple, direct questions, which he then completely fails to answer in a coherent manner. Can anyone explain what the heck Cooch is saying here?  I can't, except that he's being extremely evasive about his McCarthyite, anti-science witch hunt.

Jim Webb Makes The Case for Financial Reform

Check out the Augusta Free Press to read Jim Webb's "case for financial reform."  Here's the intro:
In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy - that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base. That focus has been lost, as many on Wall Street have accumulated vast wealth while the middle class falls steadily behind. When regions of Virginia are experiencing more than 21 percent unemployment and so many working Americans continue to struggle in this economy, it is only just that our leaders protect the interests of America's working people.

The reckless practices on Wall Street that led to the financial meltdown were unfair to the average worker and risked the United States' economic position in the world. The regulatory structure in place failed to protect both our financial system and the U.S. taxpayer. We must act to prevent another financial crisis and future bailouts. Americans need a reformed financial system that puts their homes and retirements before Wall Street bonuses.

The Senate is now considering a financial reform bill, which could be an important step forward in reining in some of the worst abuses of recent years and bringing enhanced oversight and transparency to our financial system. However, it could be improved in a number of areas.

Jim Webb, ever the Jacksonian economic populist. In fact, the first conversation I ever had with Webb was largely about Jacksonian Democracy. As a U.S. Senator, Webb doesn't appear to have changed his belief that "we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base" one iota. I'm glad to see that.

Two Superb Articles by Peter Galuszka at Bacon’s Rebellion

Over at Bacon's Rebellion, veteran reporter (BusinessWeek, Virginia Business, Virginian-Pilot, Richmond Times-Dispatch) Peter Galuszka is rapidly becoming one of my favorite Virginia bloggers.  For instance, check out his two latest columns, The "Cooch" and Academic Freedom and "Streamlining" State Government.  Both of these are superb, and I strongly recommend that everyone read them.  

The "Streamlining" article explains how Bob McDonnell "likes the idea of government streamlining because it fits his political philosophy of promoting limited government," but also how there isn't much room for efficiency gains in Virginia state government, as "previous Democratic Governors Mark Warner and Tim Kaine did a pretty good job running the state."

Galuszka's other recent article, The "Cooch" and Academic Freedom, argues that Ken Cuccinelli's assault on academic freedom in Virginia "conjures up some very ugly moments in American history."  According to Galuszka, "[Cuccinelli's] move is reminiscent of the church putting Galileo under house arrest for saying the planets move around the sun instead of the earth." Given this situation, Galuszka asks, "Why would an honest researcher want to work with Virginia universities if his or her work is going to be challenged by the likes of Cuccinelli and he or she will have to pay all of those lawyers fees to fund the Grand Inquisitor's witch hunts through their emails?"  Good question, and great article, by Peter Galuszka!

Preview of Kerry-Lieberman Clean Energy/Climate Bill

Tomorrow will be the unveiling of the long-awaited, Kerry-Lieberman clean energy/climate change bill (the "American Power Act"). Based on what I'm hearing, my understanding is that the Act will...

*...refund 2/3 of revenues raised not dedicated to reducing the deficit right back to consumers. Eventually, that will rise to 100% of revenues not dedicated to reducing the deficit going back to consumers.

*...invest in all domestic energy sources - renewables, coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear - while rebuilding our nation's energy infrastructure.

*...aim to kick our foreign oil addiction.

*...use different approaches for different sectors (e.g., power plants, heavy industry, transportation).

*...set up a carbon market that is simple and secure, with no chance of being manipulated.

*...invest $2 billion per year for development of carbon capture and sequestration methods.

*...encourage the use of American natural gas.

*...exempt farmers from carbon pollution compliance provisions of the bill.

*...invest in clean energy R&D.

*...have industrial sources enter the program in 2016, at which point industries that are energy-intensive and trade-exposed will receive allowances to offset compliance costs.

*...improve transportation infrastructure and efficiency.

*...set a hard price collar to ensure price predictability.

*...lay out one set of national rules, as opposed to a patchwork of conflicting state and federal regulations.

*...forbid states from operating their own cap-and-trade programs.

*...allow states to opt out of drilling up to 75 miles from their coasts.

*...give states that pursue offshore oil drilling 37.5% of revenues, in part to help them protect their coastlines from environmental harm.

*...reduce CO2 emissions by 17% in 2020 and 80% in 2050.

At first glance, this looks promising to me, but as the saying goes, "the devil's in the details" (and there are a LOT of details in this bill)!  Still, we badly need to get clean energy and climate change legislation, including a meaningful price (one way or the other) on CO2, for powerful economic, environmental, and national security (e.g., stop funding countries and non-state actors that want to hurt us) reasons. The main reason why, despite its flaws, I supported the Waxman-Markey bill in the House of Representatives, is because it enshrined the principle that there has to be a price signal for CO2. Currently, this is a huge "externality" and also a huge market failure.

By putting a price on CO2, we can harness the power of the marketplace to jumpstart a clean energy, low-carbon revolution in this country, one that will pay huge dividends for years to come. That's why I strongly urge the Congress to move forward on strong, serious clean energy and climate change legislation this year. We have no more time to waste.

UPDATE: The Washington Post now has a copy of the bill posted on its website.

Deepest Condolences to Dennis Findley

Before he withdrew from the race on February 26, 2010, Dennis Findley was a candidate for the Democratic nomination in Virginia's 10th Congressional District. I had a chance to meet Dennis and talk to him on several occasions, and there's no doubt that he is a class act all the way. Today, unfortunately, we received very sad news about Dennis' wife, Bonnie. I just wanted to convey my deepest condolences to Dennis and his family on this tragedy.
To Dear Friends of Bonnie Barit and Dennis Findley,

With great sadness we share with you that Bonnie Barit, wife of Dennis Findley, mother of Tillman and Stirling, and faithful Franciscan, died suddenly on Monday, May 10 at their home in McLean.

In accordance with ancient church tradition Bonnie's casket will be brought to the church on Sunday evening, where the family will receive visitors from 6 to 8 pm. On Monday May 17 at 11 am we will celebrate a choral Requiem Eucharist, to be followed by a reception in Millen Hall. Interment will take place later in the day, attended by family and close friends.

Further details about memorial donations will follow. Please keep Dennis, Tillman, Stirling, and Bonnie's mother Mickey in your prayers in this very difficult time.
If you can help with hospitality on Sunday evening or Monday please contact the parish office.

fc[Rest eternal grant unto her, O Lord, and let light light perpetual shine upon her.

Penny Bridges, Rector

St. Francis Episcopal Church
9220 Georgetown Pike
Great Falls, VA 22066
703-759-2082

Senate Votes Unanimously For “One-Time Audit of Fed’s Bailout Role”

The New York Times reports that the U.S. Senate, earlier today, "voted unanimously to require a one-time audit of the Federal Reserve's emergency actions during and after the 2008 financial crisis as part of broad legislation overhauling the nation's financial regulatory system."  That vote was 96-0, with both Mark Warner and Jim Webb voting "yea."

The Senate also voted on a broader, more open-ended Fed audit amendment by David Vitter, but rejected it 37-62. Mark Warner voted "nay" on the Vitter amendment, while Jim Webb voted "yea."

Personally, I would have voted "yea" on the limited, one-time audit, but "nay" on the more open-ended one. I most certainly don't want anything done that would interfere with the Federal Reserve's independence, I don't want any fishing expeditions, and I absolutely do NOT want Congress micromanaging U.S. monetary policy. What a nightmare that would be; shudddddddddder.

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