Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, August 1. Also see President Obama's weekly address, in which he celebrates "the fiftieth birthdays of Medicare and Medicaid, which together have allowed millions to live longer and better lives."
~ AG Herring filed papers in June to allow the Commonwealth to remove the flag from Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates following the Supreme Court's ruling in Walker v. Texas ~
DANVILLE (July 31, 2015)--Today in federal district court in Danville, Judge Jackson Kiser ruled from the bench that he will dissolve his 2001 injunction that had allowed the Sons of Confederate Veterans to place the confederate battle flag on certain specialty license plates in Virginia. On June 26, Attorney General Mark R. Herring filed motions (see below) to dissolve the injunction and vacate the order that had required placement of the flag on SCV license plates. The Commonwealth will now be able to enforce its existing law regarding SCV plates which states "No logo or emblem of any description shall be displayed or incorporated into the design of license plates issued under this section."
"This ruling will allow Virginia to remove a symbol of oppression and injustice from public display on its license plates," said Attorney General Mark Herring. "Virginia state government does not have to and will not endorse such a divisive symbol. I appreciate Governor McAuliffe's leadership in calling for the removal of the flag and those on my team who moved quickly to get it done."
Judge Kiser's ruling will not be official until he enters his order, which will also address whether the decision will apply prospectively to new license plates, or retroactively to include existing ones. Deputy Attorneys General Rhodes B. Ritenour and Jeffrey M. Bourne and Senior Assistant Attorney General Janet Westbrook handled the case on behalf of the Commonwealth.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, July 30. And yes, as you can see from his tweets, 2013 Virginia GOP Lt. Gov. nominee E.W. Jackson is STILL off his meds. Sad.
The publisher of a Roanoke news website has gone to court a second time to enforce her copyright on a photograph that proved popular with critics of a Roanoke politician. This time, her target is the state Republican Party.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, writer and photographer Valerie Garner sued the Republican Party of Virginia for using her photo of Democratic Del. Sam Rasoul last year in his opponent’s campaign materials.
An earlier suit involving the same photo targeted a conservative blogger.
Valerie Garner – publisher of the Roanoke Free Press website – captured the image of Rasoul in his unsuccessful 2008 bid for Congress. His mouth is open and his right forefinger is raised to make a point.
Six years later, as Rasoul sought the House seat vacated by the retirement of Del. Onzlee Ware, he came under attack for accepting campaign money associated with a man allegedly linked to terror funding.
His critics illustrated their attacks with Garner’s photo. The shot was used without permission, Garner claimed.
Garner first sued blogger Justin Higgins. He had allegedly used the photo in a Jan. 2, 2014, post headlined: “Virginia: Sam Rasoul’s Terror-Tainted Money Man.”
Three months after U.S. District Judge Glen E. Conrad ruled Higgins’ use of the photo was not “fair use” under copyright law, the lawsuit was settled for $6,000, according to Garner’s attorney.
Lawyer James R. Creekmore of Blacksburg said he considered that sum “a pretty reasonable result achieved for an unauthorized single use of the photo on a relatively unknown blog.” Higgins also agreed not to use the photo again, Creekmore said.
This week, Garner sued the Virginia GOP and candidate Octavia Johnson, Rasoul’s unsuccessful opponent in the 2014 House election.
Garner cited printed “mailers” sent to potential voters in January 2014, some headed, “Do you know who is funding Sam Rasoul’s campaign?” The mailers prominently feature the Rasoul photo claimed by Garner.
Her lawsuit seeks $150,000 in statutory damages and attorneys’ fees.
Creekmore said the case against the RPV implicates a greater level of infringement than the Higgins claim.
“We expect that the unauthorized use of the photo on thousands of printed mailers distributed in the very market in which Garner lives and works – and could have expected to derive further value from her photograph – will set the stage for a larger result in the current action,” Creekmore said in an email.
“We have no comment at this time,” said a spokesperson for the RPV.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, July 29. Also, interesting infographic from ThinkProgress on Democratic 2016 presidential candidates' climate plans. So far, at least, it looks like Martin O'Malley is in the lead...
From DPVA. I'd say we know what they're afraid of.
House Speaker Bill Howell and Majority Leader Tommy Norment rejected a meeting with Governor Terry McAuliffe yesterday to compromise on a deal to set the state’s congressional elections map.
The congressional map needs significant changes to alleviate the Supreme Court's issues and to better comply with the principles of equal representation and geographic balance that are essential to democracy. Forging a map early, as Governor McAuliffe suggested, would save taxpayers money and increase transparency in the process.
But Howell and Norment decided to play politics instead of doing what's best for Virginians.
"Hiding under the bed isn't going to fix Virginia's racially-gerrymandered congressional map -- but bipartisan leadership will. Good things happen when leaders get together to make public policy decisions in good faith and we can do that with congressional redistricting," said Morgan Finkelstein, Press Secretary at the Democratic Party of Virginia. "We can only assume that Howell and Norment are simply hoping to stall until the last minute in order to preserve as much of their gerrymandered map as possible."
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, July 29. Also see the video of Sen. Tim Kaine speaking last night at an event for Janet Oleszek's Fairfax County Board campaign against Republican John Cook. According to Kaine, "you will make people happier or madder in local government than anywhere else...you get measured by your results, not your slogans." On the other hand, you have the ability to counter voter cynicism by "being a good listener and trying to solve [people's] problems" while "helping your community." Finally, Kaine said there's a "night-and-day difference" between Janet Oleszek and John Cook when it comes to support for schools, teachers, education.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, July 27. Also, as Hillary Clinton says: "Climate change is an urgent challenge that threatens all of us. The United States is already taking steps to invest in our clean energy future, but we need to do more. We need to take bold action to combat climate change, create jobs, protect the health of American families and communities, and make the United States the world's clean energy superpower."
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, July 26. With regard to the video, I continue to have mixed feelings about progressives going on right-wing shows: a) it IS a chance to debunk their lies; b) in the case of Mark Levine, he does a great job; but c) it also legitimizes the right-wing shows, as if there really are two equivalent sides in the debate; and d) the hosts of these shows frame the entire debate in a wildly biased way (e.g., in this case, the nonsense about a "number of accusations and scandals going on" regarding Hillary Clinton; in fact, these are all right-wing-echo-chamber-imagined "scandals" that exist only in their fevered imaginations.)
About the Confederate flag: Because of all the trouble the democrats [sic] and black races are causing, I place this ad...No black people or democrats are allowed on my property until further notice. Furthermore, I believe our government purposefully put our country in $18 trillion debt, knowing it could cause bankruptcy. It is a plot to take away our Social Security and cause taxes to skyrocket.
Also, the initial "apology" by the newspaper's editor was muddled and confused, claiming that he published that "ad" because "I felt that it was important for our readers to see that the views expressed in the ad are held by people in our community." The editor added: "We refrain from publishing things that are libellous, personal attacks or that incite violent or illegal acts. Did the ad meet any of those standards? In my judgement, I did not think so. I admit that others may have decided differently."
Anyway, in its current edition (not available online without a subscription as far as I can tell), the editor FINALLY gets around to stating the obvious, that Agnor's viciously racist ad was "repugnant" and a "message of hate" which "violates a basic standard that we've always tried to adhere to - that of maintaining a civil level of discourse within these pages."
Ya think? The question is, why was it so hard to figure that out in the first place? Amazing...
We would like to correct you on several mistakes you made in your ad. It isn't the government who is trying to take away your Social Security and bankrupt the nation. It's the Republican Party and those of us who vote Republican who are trying to make your life hell. We believe the rich man should have all your Social Security money and we want to bankrupt the nation so we can take away any security net you might need. In other words pull the rug out from underneath you and watch you drown. We tried to bankrupt the nation under St Reagan and Buffoon Bush Jr. We truly feel that you are disposable.
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, July 25. Also see President Obama's weekly address, in which he discusses "the progress we have made in making our financial system stronger, safer, and more fair in the years since financial crisis."
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, July 24. Also see the interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates on how we accept violence against African Americans in this country as normal. It's true, sadly, and also 100% unacceptable.
Courtesy of Public Policy Polling (click on image below to "embiggen"), Virginia's looking pretty darned progressive these days -- strong majority support for background checks to purchase a gun (86%-8%), for Medicaid expansion (56%-30%), for gay marriage (only 27% say it's a negative thing) and for paid sick days (64%-19%); and even slight plurality support (44%-42%) for "Obamacare." :)
P.S. Also, "Just 35% of Virginians support the flying of the Confederate flag over government buildings, to 51% who are opposed." The only one I disagree with my fellow Virginians on is the R**skins name, where "Only 22% of Virginians support changing the name...66% are opposed," although "Democrats (39/41) closely divided."
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