Home Daily Feature Thursday News: “Boondoggle Masquerading as Tax Reform”; GOP the Party of “lawless...

Thursday News: “Boondoggle Masquerading as Tax Reform”; GOP the Party of “lawless theocratic lunatic” Roy Moore


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, September 28. Also, check out Trump unveiling his “Boondoggle Masquerading as Tax Reform.”

  • Andy Schmookler

    The “Trump Voter Paradox” piece is a good one. One of its virtues is that it provides a basis for bridging a controversy that was played out here on BV between me and some of the other people here: namely, the dispute over whether my describing as “decent” people the people among whom I live who have supported Trump.

    Many here thought not, arguing that anyone who can support something so vile as Trump cannot, by definition, be decent.

    This piece brings in a kind of bridge by emphasizing a kind of bifurcation in the psychic system that gets switched one way or another depending upon the level of THREAT experienced. Here’s a quote from a Professor Renfrew, one of the authors of a study titled “Divided We Stand: Three Psychological Regions of the United States and Their Political, Economic, Social, and Health Correlates.”

    “[As long] as everyone is respectful and abides by the social norms, everyone is
    happy and agreeable. But when threats are made against one’s reputation
    or values, acts of violence and physical aggression are considered
    appropriate forms of retribution. In some ways, the profile we observe
    touches on the surface of this profile — the friendly and considerate
    aspect when all is well. But I think we’re now beginning to see more of
    the aggressive aspects. I think many people, perhaps especially in this
    region, have begun to feel threatened by the changes taking place in
    society and are reacting with anger.”

    This seems to me pretty much on target. However, one vital thing is left out: the lies and manipulation.

    The quote talks about the people beginning “to feel threatened by the changes taking place in society.” But that gives reality too big a role. Essential to understanding why the sense of threat has grown so great is the right-wing propadanda campaign that has been waged for more than a quarter century.

    Just to give one example: If the liars have persuaded you that your declining economic prospects are due to the brown people streaming illegally across our borders — AND NOT BY THE WHITE PLUTOCRATS WHO ARE STEALING THE GOVERNMENT FROM THE PEOPLE — one’s sense of threat from undocumented immigrants (“rapists!”) will be magnified. And the targeting of one’s anger will be misguided, but useful to the very people you are listening to and supporting.

    So also with lies about welfare, about ACORN, etc. So also with Trump’s fictional crime wave and “American carnage.” So also with stoking people’s fears in the wake of 9/11, for no purposes other than creating fear to put those people in a condition where they can’t think straight because they feel so threatened.

    So it is the way the GOP and their media allies who have worked assiduously — and effectively — to toggle the switch in the consciousness of these people with their “happy and agreeable” side, and their “angry and aggressive” side.

    Both are parts of them. And America suffers if lies so magnify their sense of threat that the ugly side switches on and stays on.


    WASHINGTON (Sept. 28, 2017) —The Humane Society Legislative Fund, the nation’s leading political advocacy organization for animals, is announcing its endorsement of Mark Herring for reelection as Attorney General of Virginia. Herring is one of the nation’s foremost attorneys general for animal protection, and he has made protecting animals and cracking down on abusers who victimize them and their families a priority concern. He, like so many other officials who have looked into the issues, recognizes that there is a correlation between animal cruelty and human violence, and that cracking down on abuse makes our communities safer.

    Herring launched the nation’s first animal law unit within an attorney general’s office, led by the leading animal law attorney in the state, Assistant Attorney General Michelle Welch. Due to the complexity of animal criminal enterprises, which often involve thousands of animals and millions of dollars, local prosecutors often rely on the expertise of the unit’s attorneys to bring criminals to justice and to save animals’ lives.

    “Attorney General Herring’s foresighted creation of an animal law unit is a model for other attorneys general around the nation to emulate,” said Sara Amundson, executive director of HSLF. “This work will make our communities safer for people and animals.”

    Since its inception in 2015, Herring’s animal law unit has undertaken more than 400 matters, ranging from training law enforcement agencies around the world to special prosecutions. The unit has:

    Worked with local, state and federal authorities to investigate, shut down and secure convictions for the 5,000-member Big Blue Sportsmen’s Club cockfighting ring, which had operated for more than 30 years. This special prosecution resulted in the convictions of numerous individuals and the forfeiture of more than $1 million in assets;

    Prosecuted seven Tyson employees who severely abused chickens by “punching and kicking live birds, birds crushed to death by transport crates and being run over by forklifts, chickens swung by their wings and thrown across sheds and being shoved and slammed into transport cages,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch;
    Secured the release of 20 abused horses and successfully defended their release up to the Virginia Supreme Court;

    Assisted in the prosecution of a pet store that preyed on puppies and families by selling dozens of severely ill puppy mill dogs.

    “Concern for animals is a universal value among Virginians,” said Amundson. “We want voters to understand that Attorney General Herring has made fighting animal cruelty a priority, and that’s one particularly good reason why animal lovers should support him in November.”

    • More endorsements by Humane Dominion, most of which are excellent, several of which – Rocky Holcomb, Randy Minchew, Joseph Yost, Tag Greason, Jim LeMunyon, Rich Anderson – appall me:

      Humane Dominion endorses the following candidates:

      Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-1)
      Delegate Will Morefield (R-3)
      Randy Minchew (R-10)
      Joseph Yost (R-12)
      Michele Edwards (D-20)
      Delegate Roxann Robinson (R-27)
      Elizabeth Guzman (D-31)
      Tag Greason (R-32)
      Delegate Kathleen Murphy (D-34)
      Delegate Mark Keam (D-35)
      Delegate Ken Plum (D-36)
      Delegate David Bulova (D-37)
      Delegate Kaye Kory (D-38)
      Delegate Vivian Watts (D-39)
      Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn (D-41)
      Delegate Mark Sickles (D-43)
      Delegate Paul Krizek (D-44)
      Delegate Mark Levine (D-45)
      Delegate Patrick Hope (D-47)
      Delegate Rip Sullivan (D-48)
      Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-49)
      Rich Anderson (R-51)
      Delegate Luke Torian (D-52)
      Delegate Marcus Simon (D-53)
      Delegate David Toscano (D-57)
      Jim LeMunyon (R-67)
      Manoli Loupassi (R-68)
      Delegate Betsy Carr (D-69)
      Delegate Delores McQuinn (D-70)
      Delegate Jeff Bourne (D-71)
      Delegate John O’Bannon (R-73)
      Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-74)
      Delegate Cliff Hayes (D-77)
      Delegate Matthew James (D-80)
      Kimberly Tucker (D-81)
      Delegate Chris Stolle (R-83)
      Rocky Holcomb (R-85)
      Delegate Jennifer Boysko (D-86)
      Delegate John Bell (D-87)
      Delegate Joe Lindsey (D-90)
      Delegate Jeion Ward (D-92)
      Delegate Mike Mullin (D-93)
      Delegate Cia Price (D-95)
      Willie Randall (D-100)

      • Jim Butler

        George Will claims in Post article that min wage increase in Seattle caused loss of 5000 jobs. All I have been able to find is some study claimed a loss of jobs. The unemployment rate is actually down so where did the jobs go? Costco pays higher starting wage than Walmart yet in stock value Costco is worth more.

        • How does one know when George Will is lying? His lips – or his pen, or his fingers on the keyboard – are moving.

  • Va income tax

    One of the few bits of the trumptax plan that is out is the plan to eliminate deductibility of state and local taxes

    It will be interesting to see how the Virginia gop delegation likes this.. especially Comstock… she has a lot of well off constituents who must pay quite a bit in state and local taxes

    • Quizzical

      I always wonder about the unintended consequences of these changes. Elimination of deductions for state and local taxes would include property taxes. That’s going to be something that affects real estate values and will push retirees to downsize quicker and move to a lower tax state. Real estate values will not be hurt as much as they would if the mortgage deduction were eliminated, but it would be something noticeable. If real estate values decrease, local governments have trouble meeting school budgets, and cuts have to be made. If state income taxes aren’t deductible, people are going to have less money to spend, and will delay buying homes or cars. There will be greater resistance to state taxes and state spending, which will not be good for our state universities or roads.

      But enough negativity – what are the positives, again?

  • BREAKING: Northern Virginia Chamber’s NOVABIZPAC Endorses Mark Herring For Reelection

    RICHMOND, Va. — Tonight, the Northern Virginia Business Political Action Committee (NOVABIZPAC), the political action committee of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce (Northern Virginia Chamber) announced its endorsement of Attorney General Mark Herring for reelection. The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce is the largest chamber of commerce in Northern Virginia, representing more than 700 organizations with more than 500,000 employees.
    In endorsing Attorney General Herring’s reelection, NOVABIZPAC said:

    NOVABIZPAC trustees voted to once again endorse General Herring because of his experience serving Northern Virginia and the Commonwealth, and for his support for the Northern Virginia Chamber’s legislative agenda and priorities.

    “General Herring has ably served the Commonwealth, just as he did serving Northern Virginia in the Senate and Loudoun County on the Board of Supervisors,” said McGeary. “He has a record of leadership on a host of key business issues important to the Northern Virginia Chamber, including his unwavering support for the landmark HB2313 transportation plan, and his commitment to modernize Virginia’s regulatory framework to prepare the Commonwealth for the emerging technologies that will lead private sector growth in the 21st century.”

    Reacting to the endorsement, Attorney General Herring said:

    “As Attorney General, I work every day to keep Virginians and their families safe, and make sure Virginia is the best place to live, learn, work, raise a family, and to start and grow a business. Living in Loudoun County, I have had a front row seat to Northern Virginia’s transformation into a global magnet for talent, technology, and investment. I’ve had the privilege to work on solutions to many issues of importance to Northern Virginia businesses and workers, like growing our technology sector and finding bipartisan solutions to solve our transportation challenges. Thank you to NOVABIZPAC and its members for their continued support, and I look forward to working together in my second term.”

  • Quizzical