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Friday News: “None of us knows what is going to happen”; “The Trump Doomsday Checklist”; Thank You Obamas


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, January 20. It will be fascinating to see how historians 50, 100 years from now look back on this day – for instance, as the day when the United States of America essentially began its death spiral thanks to the corruption, incompetence and authoritarianism of Trump et al? It’s also an amazing lurch downwards from one of the most competent, best administrations in U.S. history. So, so stupid…


  • Quizzical

    Re Democrats have finally learned to fight like Republicans: I’d say no, we have been definitely fighting the same way, with the exception of the Trump campaign getting a huge disinformation campaign from the Russians. Now that was fighting dirty. But other than that, I notice the similarities all the time.

    • Where’s the Dem equivalent of the Tea Party (I hate what the Tea Party stood for – bigotry, ignorance, etc. – but they certainly had an impact)? Where’s Dem turnout in non-presidential election years (Republicans turn out in proportionally higher numbers)? Where’s Dem willingness to oppose EVERYTHING the president proposes (as Republicans did to Obama)? Where’s Dem investment in taking charge of state legislatures (as Republicans have done VERY successfully)? Where’s the Democratic “farm team” (Republicans have a huge one)? Where’s the Democratic talk radio, TV, online, or other media dominance (Republicans dominate talk radio, TV, social media…)? etc, etc.

      • Jim B

        Republicans can’t get enough of fox whereas democrats have better things to do than watch tv. But, being smarter doesn’t help in politics as there are more of them than us. Maybe a simple explanation.

      • Quizzical

        Most of those issues seem to be related to the willingness of certain billionaires to bankroll right wing politicians, campaigns, talk show hosts, and think tanks. That has given the Republicans an advantage that they wouldn’t have based merely on their popular support.

        It seems clear, at least to me, that there is a common rhetorical toolbox for U.S. politics that both parties use in political debates.

        That’s not to say that the parties are identical, or have the same agendas. But the parties use arguments and counter-arguments that are very similar, although obviously they usually take opposing sides of disputed issues.

        In fact, it looks to me like we expect our professional politicians to be able to master that rhetorical toolbox and to use it.

        Likewise, the two parties appear to be roughly organized the same way. There is a DNC and a RNC, and so on down to the local level.

        To use a sports analogy, two football teams can have different offensive and defensive schemes, but essentially they compete the same way, blocking and tackling, moving the ball downfield when they have possession, and trying to force fumbles or make interceptions on defense.

        Likewise, I think the two parties have been fighting within a written and unwritten set of rules and norms, for the most part. I think the Russian involvement in support of Trump’s campaign was a major violation of those rules and norms.

  • Video: Virginia Del. Marcia Price’s Farewell Speech to President Obama


  • Southern Liberal
    • Yeah, that was in The Hill yesterday, along with many other horrendous cuts.


      The Heritage blueprint used as a basis for Trump’s proposed cuts calls for eliminating several programs that conservatives label corporate welfare programs: the Minority Business Development Agency, the Economic Development Administration, the International Trade Administration and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. The total savings from cutting these four programs would amount to nearly $900 million in 2017.

      At the Department of Justice, the blueprint calls for eliminating the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Violence Against Women Grants and the Legal Services Corporation and for reducing funding for its Civil Rights and its Environment and Natural Resources divisions.

      At the Department of Energy, it would roll back funding for nuclear physics and advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, eliminate the Office of Electricity, eliminate the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and scrap the Office of Fossil Energy, which focuses on technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

      Under the State Department’s jurisdiction, funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are candidates for elimination.

  • From President (for another 47 minutes) Barack Obama.

    It’s a long-standing tradition for the sitting president of the United States to leave a parting letter in the Oval Office for the American elected to take his or her place. It’s a letter meant to share what we know, what we’ve learned, and what small wisdom may help our successor bear the great responsibility that comes with the highest office in our land, and the leadership of the free world.

    But before I leave my note for our 45th president, I wanted to say one final thank you for the honor of serving as your 44th. Because all that I’ve learned in my time in office, I’ve learned from you. You made me a better President, and you made me a better man.

    Throughout these eight years, you have been the source of goodness, resilience, and hope from which I’ve pulled strength. I’ve seen neighbors and communities take care of each other during the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I have mourned with grieving families searching for answers – and found grace in a Charleston church.

    I’ve taken heart from the hope of young graduates and our newest military officers. I’ve seen our scientists help a paralyzed man regain his sense of touch, and wounded warriors once given up for dead walk again. I’ve seen Americans whose lives have been saved because they finally have access to medical care, and families whose lives have been changed because their marriages are recognized as equal to our own. I’ve seen the youngest of children remind us through their actions and through their generosity of our obligations to care for refugees, or work for peace, and, above all, to look out for each other.

    I’ve seen you, the American people, in all your decency, determination, good humor, and kindness. And in your daily acts of citizenship, I’ve seen our future unfolding.

    All of us, regardless of party, should throw ourselves into that work – the joyous work of citizenship. Not just when there’s an election, not just when our own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime.

    I’ll be right there with you every step of the way.

    And when the arc of progress seems slow, remember: America is not the project of any one person. The single most powerful word in our democracy is the word ‘We.’ ‘We the People.’ ‘We shall overcome.’

    Yes, we can.

    And if you’d like to stay connected, you can sign up here to keeping getting updates from me: https://act.barackobamafoundation.org/Keep-In-Touch

  • Video: Delegate Alfonso Lopez gives farewell speech for President Obama


  • Video: Former President Obama remarks at Andrews Air Force Base


  • Sen. Tim Kaine: “I voted in favor of the nomination of General John Kelly for Secretary of Homeland Security. General Kelly is well-prepared to maintain strong security operations at Virginia’s two global ports of entry—Dulles International Airport and the Port of Virginia. From his time commanding SOUTHCOM, General Kelly understands the important partnerships in our hemisphere and recognizes that our immigration issues cannot be solved by building a wall or alienating communities based on religion. As I urge the new Administration to commit to protecting vulnerable immigrant and refugee communities, I’m confident that General Kelly will bring a measured perspective to the Department of Homeland Security.”