Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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AG Mark Herring Honored by Norfolk SPCA for Creation of Nation’s...

Really proud of AG Mark Herring for this. How a person treats animals says a huge amount about them... HERRING HONORED BY NORFOLK SPCA FOR...

President Obama Puts Certain Areas in the Atlantic Ocean, Including SE...

Great news from President Obama if you care about protecting the environment, including the coast of Virginia, from disastrous oil development, spills, etc. Now,...

Burned Once, Chesapeake Shouldn’t Trust Dominion Virginia Power

Kingston Fossil Plant retention overflow photo 140714CUAandSMagazine_zpsbe6e7335.jpgChesapeake is concerned. The City Manager indicates that this issue rises from the Dan River spill last February and the city's action to protect the Elizabeth River is not directed at Dominion. But there's history there and Dominion has provided no reason to trust its motives.

This isn't just Chesapeake's concern. The Elizabeth is really only a tidal estuary that runs to the mouth of the James River on the way to the Chesapeake Bay through Portsmouth and Norfolk. It is about six miles long. The Dan River spill created a 70 mile coating of toxic sludge. So this should have the attention of Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore too. But Chesapeake is center stage because it already knows how difficult it is to force Dominion Power to take responsibility for its mess.

Battlefield Golf Club was built using fly ash. Something the coal power industry has been advertising as a "good thing" in an attempt to rid itself of this pesky poisonous residue of energy production. Maybe if they can just spread all of it thin enough over hill and dale, insert it into concrete, and sweep it into wastewater systems no one will notice the damage. The proper cost of disposal has never been calculated into the cost of energy produced from coal. War on coal? How about coal's war on the planet?

Now almost five years into litigation over the damage caused during the Battlefield Golf Club construction, only one thing is clear: once any area is contaminated, you have to wait for a proper class to fall victim to the damage before anything can be recovered. That is essentially what is going on with the lawsuits over the golf course. For now the damage has been "limited" to the ground water under the golf course. And since the local residents have been connected to city water on Dominion's dime, the judge has basically said that they have not been damaged. The Environmental Protection Agency's findings of that limited damage have actually helped the defendants' case(s). Residents will have to wait for cancer, birth defects, or however this eventually manifests to demonstrate they have been harmed.  

George Allen on WNIS 11:30 AM Today

It's been six years since George Allen, then a Presidential pretender, has accepted an appearance on WNIS. On that occasion, Allen responded to a pointed question from morning show host Tony Macrini, "Tony, it's too early in the morning to answer that." Today, he will be on with Dave Parker.

Macrini: "Then maybe it's too early in the morning for you to be President."

Hampton Roads has become reliably Republican and is essential to an Allen victory. This may explain Allen's change of heart. The Norfolk station airs the Dave Parker show from 10 AM to noon weekdays and is broadcast live (though sometimes lagging) via the internet. Generally, the hosts on WNIS encourage their audiences to participate by calling in or submitting questions via E-mail. It will be interesting to see how Allen's handlers negotiate the interview.

Studio: (757) 627-7979

Dave Parker: dparker@wnis.com

Update: In Parker's intro, he announced that since he invited Allen on the show today, there would be no questions, Allen would be allowed to discuss his campaign, and that he (Parker) would give Kaine the same opportunity in the future.

Mr. Orwell Comes to Virginia

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it." -- George Orwell, 1984

You know a political movement is desperate to maintain control of the debate when it starts banning language itself.  And so my jaw dropped when I saw the following in the Virginian-Pilot:

State Del. Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, who insisted on changing the "sea level rise" study in the General Assembly to one on "recurrent flooding," said he wants to get political speech out of the mix altogether.

He said "sea level rise" is a "left-wing term" that conjures up animosities on the right. So why bring it into the equation?

"What people care about is the floodwater coming through their door," Stolle said. "Let's focus on that. Let's study that. So that's what I wanted us to call it."

Wow.  Just wow.  Since when did "sea level rise" become a "left-wing term"?

Yes, Virginia, There is a Climate Change

So, because Virginia is a Republican-run state, we don't have to worry about climate change and all its impacts, right?

Um, no, that's not how it works.  As a matter of fact, as PBS's Need to Know program shows in a new video, Norfolk is directly in the cross-hairs of climate change. Per Mother Jones:

The city of Norfolk, Va., is getting an early look at what sea-level rise means for a big coastal community. The city is experiencing sea-level rise earlier than most because not only are the seas around the city going up, but much of the land beneath Norfolk is going down.

PBS talks to Mayor Paul Fraim and: "In what may be a first for an American mayor, Fraim tells Need to Know that if sea-level rise continues, some parts of his city may have to be abandoned to the rising tide."  Youch.

Reality's knocking on our door, folks.  We can raise our denial to the point of subpoenaing and harassing climate scientists -- but it won't stop the temperature, or the oceans, from rising.  It's time to accept and face the reality of global warming and tackle the problem through activism, policy and action.

Tim Kaine on the Virginia Senate Races

What a Democratic majority means to Governor Kaine is balance. Not to give short shrift to the House and local races, he believes that races like Ralph Northam's are essential to maintain sane government in Virginia. That's why he has made some 50 appearances on behalf of Virginia Democrats recently.

"Holding on to the Senate majority is the thing we've got to go after, hook, line, and sinker, tooth and nail, every minute, every hour , blood sweat and tears between now and next Tuesday." - Governor Tim Kaine

The former Governor offered some thoughts last evening at an event for Senator Northam (D-6th) about what we can do that will really matter and why what we do matters maybe this year more than most. From his perspective, right now in Richmond, the Democratic Senate is the balance. With a Republican Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and an Attorney General who is fighting against science, arguing climate change does not exist, fighting to turn back the clock as far as protecting employees on the grounds of their sexual orientation, that balance is essential.  

Norfolk City Democratic Committee Vice Chair Slams Nye on Health Care...

To put it mildly, Alexander Palmer -- Vice Chair of the Norfolk City Democratic Committee and Vice President of the Norfolk Area Young Democrats -- is not pleased with Glenn Nye these days. From Palmer's Facebook page (with his permission):
Glenn Nye's campaign rep came to the NCDC last night to basically tell us Nye was voting against health care bill........you should have heard the grumbles from the committee, he's alienating his base, hope these moderates he's mysteriously courting come out and canvass for him, because the activist base is staying home.

...maybe Nye could stop worrying more about his re-election and worry more about the people who elected him to serve them. I'm uninsured, health care is currently out of my reach. In my opinion, he's part of the problem we have in Washington, he took $125,000 from the health insurance industry, the Chamber of Commerce makes commercials on his behalf, honestly when it counts the most, he votes the same way Riegel or Drake would vote, its disappointing.

Then his campaign rep is going to turn around and ask people to collect petitions for Nye, practically everybody said that if Nye voted their way on health care they would collect some for him, if not, they could forget it. This is only the start of what his campaign can expects from us good Democrats come election time.


Palmer then receives a message from Jonas Courey of the Nye campaign, asking, "Should I thank you in advance for helping elect Scott (Cuccinelli) Rigell? :):)" Palmer replies:
hey, I'm just being honest with you Jonas, I'm in politics for the issues, not the people, if Nye is more interested in re-election than he is principle, than I'd rather have somebody else. I'm tired of career politicians putting their re-election ahead of personal conviction, its the problem with Washington. At least with Rigell we know what we're getting, its unfortunate about Nye, I thought finally we'd get an ally from the 2nd....that wasn't that case.
Yeah, it's getting rough down in the 2nd CD for freshman Rep. Nye. But the thing is, all Glenn Nye has to do in order to turn that situation around is to vote YES on health care reform legislation. If he does, as I've said previously, I will do what I can for his reelection. If he doesn't, well then, let's just say I've got a lot better things to do with my time (dust the house, wash the car, take a nap, etc.).

UPDATE: Palmer adds, "I hope Nye has the courage to do what is right and vote in favor of this legislation, it would mean a lot to me, and thousands of uninsured in the 2nd. Do what's right Glenn, vote for us!" I agree 100%.

UPDATE #2: This sparked a great deal of discussion both on Facebook and here.  Later in the discussion, Randy Klear wrote:

He said no such thing, Alex. He said that he couldn't say how Nye was voting at this moment. In November Nye said he voted against the House bill because of insufficient cost controls. Personally I suspect the CBO report today, plus the fact that he'd be committing political suicide with another no vote, will be enough to push him into the yes column.

[...]

He's a newly hired field director, and he's not likely to be in the loop when Nye's own chief of staff and campaign manager probably haven't been told yet. You are willfully misinterpreting his remarks.


And Diane Kaufman wrote:
I agree with Randy. I invited Jonas to introduce himself to the committee and speak for about 1 minute and then next he was vilified. I understand that everyone is passionate on this issue, and I am glad that they are vocal, but he is NOT in the loop of how the Congressman may or may not be voting. And, Jonas did NOT come to the committee to tell us how Nye would be voting in the health care bill. What I want to know is what's new? We are all waiting for the vote on the health care bill. That will be news. Letting our congressman know how we feel is not news. We have been doing that for months. On the other hand, Cooch and his decisions are harmful AND news.

And the discussion proceeded from there. Check it all out here, as obviously there are several sides to this story. However, in the end, what I care about - the ONLY thing I care about - is that Glenn Nye votes the right way on health care, and also on other issues important to me like clean energy/climate change and many others. With regard to health care, I guess we'll find out in less than 72 hours, and then we'll go from there.