Virginia News Headlines: Wednesday Morning (Christmas Day)

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    Here are a few Virginia and national news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, Christmas Day, December 25. Also see President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

    *The Obamas urge Americans to help the less fortunate in Christmas video message

    *Pope Calls for Peace in South Sudan, Syria

    *Sign-Up Period Extended Again for Health Plan

    *More Hunger for the Poorest Americans (“Instead of alleviating hunger, Congress is working on a farm bill that would actually reduce crucial food assistance.”)

    *Democrats find election-year weapon in expiring jobless aid

    *Political centrism is not objectivity (“How the media wrongly treats deficit reduction as non-ideological”)

    *The Francis factor: Pope’s economic ideas rattle GOP (They’re actually not the “Pope’s economic ideas,” they’re Jesus’ economic ideas.)

    *2013 big stories: Va. governor’s race

    *Schapiro: A siren’s call on Christmas morn (“Governor McDonnell, Mister Williams – you shouldn’t be talking. This encounter, it could have the whole Justice Department squawking!”)

    *Slavery museum in Richmond would be a potent symbol

    *Funding dips as focus shifts from emergency shelters (“Virginia’s next budget includes $9.5 million for homelessness, but none goes toward emergency shelters. Funding changes could mean longer waits for housing for some homeless people.”)

    *So many issues; so little time (“Republican Octavia Johnson and Democrat Sam Rasoul understand that most voters in the 11th House of Delegates district will be lying prostrate beneath a mountain of LEGO bricks, Barbie dolls and plastic dinosaurs within a matter of hours. It’s a tough time of year to run for election, a tough time to ask people for money unless you’re holding a red bucket, and a tough time to schedule an issue forum.”)

    *Va. lawmakers set public hearings on budget

    *Study aims to determine effect of Midtown, Downtown tolls

    *D.C. area forecast: Chilly Christmas Day gives way to slow but steady warming