Home Budget, Economy Thursday News: Massive Hypocrisy as “Right Revolts on Budget Deal”; Every Day’s...

Thursday News: Massive Hypocrisy as “Right Revolts on Budget Deal”; Every Day’s a Bad Hair Day While Trump’s “President”; “Trump’s Worst Watcher”


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Thursday, February 8.

  • Video: Corey Stewart admits the only way Republicans can win in November is polling numbers for Trump have to be good. Right now, Trump is at 40%-54% in the 538.com polling average. And no, that is not good.


  • Ouch. From Solar Wakeup on my former employer, the US Energy Information Administration. Sadly, I have to agree; their long-term forecasting is completely f’ed up.


  • Quizzical

    Even though it was predictable, the budget deal as reported in the Washington Post is nauseating. Where to begin?

    Having a trillion dollar tax cut, then turning around and having a huge defense increase on top of a defense budget that is by far the largest in the world, is crazy. We’ve lived this before with Reagan. The way it ends is with massive tax increases two or three years later.

    What specifically is this increased defense spending for? It certainly has not been spelled out to the public. Is it all top secret? If not, I’d like to know specifically what weapons systems this money is for. If it is top secret, what is the sense of making that investment where our computer systems have a track record of not being secure. All we will be doing is providing R&D for new weapons systems to the Chinese and Russians. Don’t we have to fix computer security first?

    What about our infrastructure needs. There are over 54,000 bridges that need to be rebuilt or replaced, for example. They say we need to invest a trillion dollars on infrastructure. This budget deal has infrastructure money, but nothing like the amount we need. Both parties campaigned on the need for the infrastructure fix, which obviously would be a jobs program too. Both parties are breaking that promise. What is the reason why?

    When are we going to extricate ourselves from wars in the Middle East?

    What about climate change? It’s been said that our response to that must be comparable to a wartime mobilization. Well that is clearly not happening.

    • Quizzical

      Trump is certainly no true believer in what we are doing in Afghanistan. This is from Fire and Fury:

      “His position on Afghanistan—a military quagmire he knew little about, other than that it was a quagmire—had always been a derisive and caustic kiss-off of this sixteen-year war. Having inherited it did not make his feelings warmer or inspire him to want to dwell on it further. He knew the war was cursed and, knowing that, felt no need to know more.”

      Yet Trump decided to stay in Afghanistan, simply because he didn’t want to blamed for losing the war.

    • RobertColgan

      If you stand on a bridge and throw $10,000 into the river every minute non-stop day and night it will take you 133 years to toss away the $700 Billion Defense Budget the Senate passed.
      BUT——-If you throw away $1,000,000 every minute it will only take you 1 Year and 4 months—–So, you should probably throw away as much as you can, because you need some sleep and personal hygiene time now and then, and next year’s budget is even more.
      Our spending priorities are f_cked. Instead of putting money into things that truly matter, we literally throw it away.

  • From the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League:

    Community Members Demand Governor Northam “Halt the Harm” of Premature Tree Felling Along Path of Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline

    Richmond, VA—Members of communities from Bath, Nelson and Buckingham counties and their supporters held a “Halt the Harm” demonstration today in front of Governor Ralph Northam’s office to demand an end to tree cutting along the path of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, citing the lack of proper permitting. Singing songs while holding posters of trees, including a 15-foot circumference maple in Bath County, citizens portraying Dominion lumberjacks cut down large photographs of trees which are slated to be destroyed along the path of the pipeline.

    Sharon Ponton, BREDL’s Stop the Pipelines Campaign Coordinator, stated, “Dominion wants everyone to believe the proposed ACP is a done deal. It is not. They do not have all the necessary permits to proceed. The 401 water certification from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has not taken effect. The ACP company does not have air permits for their compressor station in Virginia or North Carolina.” Ponton concluded, “Tree felling should not be allowed unless each and every permit is approved and in-hand.”

    Eleanor Amidon, a member of BREDL chapter “Protect Our Water” in Nelson County pointed out, “Trees, once cut, take years to replace. Cutting trees causes erosion and sediment flow off the mountains of Central and Western Virginia into our streams and rivers. It seems reasonable to us that the Governor should halt tree felling before it harms our water.”

    The group delivered a letter to the Governor which outlined examples of actual harm caused to families along the routes of other pipelines which were stopped, but only after tree felling had been allowed by bureaucrats. Demonstrators cited Governor Northam’s Hippocratic oath, “First, do no harm,” which he took when he became a doctor, noting his promise should also inform his decision-making concerning the human health effects of pipelines and compressor stations on people and the communities where they live.

    On Monday night in Nelson County, the Board of Zoning Appeals dismissed many floodplain variance requests by the ACP, LLC for lack of standing. On February 1st in Augusta County, the BZA tabled for a second time a variance request for a storage/work yard.


    Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League’s letter to Governor attached and copied below.

    February 8, 2018

    The Honorable Ralph S. Northam
    Governor of Virginia
    1111 E Broad St. # 3
    Richmond, VA 23219

    Dear Governor Northam:

    On behalf of the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and our members and chapters in Virginia, I write to request you take immediate action to halt the imminent harm caused by the premature tree felling along the path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, (hereinafter “ACP”).

    Trees are being cut down in preparation for a proposed pipeline project that would cause irrevocable harm to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The many violations by the corporations proposing to build the pipelines as well as the abysmal record on environmental justice prove that natural gas pipelines cannot be built without causing severe and permanent harm. Destroying our forests without proper permitting in place is a violation. Therefore, we hereby request that tree-cutting be stopped immediately.

    I submit two examples in which irreversible and preventable damages were allowed to proceed because of bureaucratic failure and lack of foresight: the Constitution and Mariner pipelines.

    1) Megan Holleran and her family’s sugar maple tree grove in Pennsylvania were in the path of the Constitution Pipeline. When the pipeline received federal approval in 2016, armed marshals forced tree cutting despite the fact that 401 permits had not yet been certified. Ultimately, state action halted the Constitution Pipeline project. Unfortunately for the Hollerans, even though the Constitution pipeline will not be built, 90% of their maple trees had already been destroyed.

    2) The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approved permits for the Mariner 2 Pipeline that should not have been approved last spring, even though the regulatory requirements had not been achieved. Since then, so many of those permits were violated that Governor Thomas Wolf recently issued an order to shut down construction. This emergency order happened largely because of citizen vigilance and insistence. Unfortunately, it also happened after many people experienced irreversible damage to their water, their health and their land.

    The citizens you serve who live along the path of proposed pipelines are depending on you to protect the health and safety of their families. In Buckingham County, for example, one of the largest compressor stations ever built is currently proposed in a community that would experience irrevocable harm if it was constructed. This is a startling example of environmental racism and injustice. Surrounding communities would be severely impacted by noise pollution, air pollution, and social disruption. The environmental injustice record in this case is irrefutable. Although Virginia statutes are in place that should prevent this kind of discrimination, those laws are being flouted.

    Governor Northam, will you choose to begin your term of office as a forward-thinking, proactive leader—way ahead—or will you ignore the many valid reasons why these proposed pipelines would be harmful to our Commonwealth? Sir, you have the opportunity to halt the harm before it begins. We ask you to do the right thing. Stop the tree cutting now. Rescind the 401 water permits.

    As a pediatric neurologist, I am sure you know that pipelines and compressor stations are associated with a myriad of health concerns. The Hippocratic oath states: “First, do no harm.” That was your first oath, Dr. Northam, and the people of Virginia intend to hold you to that promise. If you fully understand the implications, we trust you to do the right thing and prevent the harm, taking whatever action is within your power to stop these pipeline projects from proceeding.

    Protect us. Protect our trees. Protect our water. Stop the pipelines. Prove that you are a leader suited for the challenges we face. Anything less would discredit your oath of office and your responsibility as a physician.


    Sharon Ponton
    BREDL “Stop the Pipeline” Campaign Coordinator

  • From Abigail Spanberger’s campaign:

    Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Shannon Taylor, Endorses Abigail Spanberger

    GLEN ALLEN, VA — Today, Shannon Taylor, Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney, endorsed Abigail Spanberger’s bid for the 2018 Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 7th Congressional District. Spanberger is one of four candidates running to unseat Representative Dave Brat in November, but she is the first to gain the support of any currently elected officials covering the 7th District.

    “I am proud to back Abigail Spanberger for the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 7th District!” said Taylor. “I’ve seen firsthand her desire to listen and truly understand the issues impacting residents across Central Virginia. Her professional background in law enforcement and the CIA, coupled with her tireless commitment to putting country and community over partisan politics, means she will be an outstanding and responsive representative for everyone in the 7th District.”

    Taylor was first elected as Commonwealth’s Attorney in 2011. Her victory that year was a tremendous accomplishment, as county-wide seats including Taylor’s had been consistently held by Republicans. She is now serving her second term, having comfortably won re-election in 2015.

    “I am grateful for Shannon’s endorsement and her continued support of our campaign,” said Spanberger. “Henrico County is my home, and nearly 30% of 7th District residents live here. Having the support of an elected leader who already represents a good portion of our district speaks volumes about the campaign we’re building and our ability to flip the 7th District come November.”

    Taylor’s endorsement adds to a growing list of former candidates and community leaders who have publicly backed Spanberger’s campaign. In 2017, former 7th District Democratic challengers Eileen Bedell and Jack Trammell officially endorsed. Other candidates including former 2018 primary opponent, Kim Gower, and House of Delegate Democratic nominees Larry Barnett (HD-27), Sheila Bynum-Coleman (HD-62), and Melissa Dart (HD-56) have also announced their support of Spanberger.