Here are the opening paragraphs:
This week, a shadowy network of state-based, right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups will convene with Koch operatives and other big donors in Grand Rapids, Michigan to coordinate their 2016 agenda for all 50 states.
The State Policy Network (SPN) is a network of state-branded groups, like the Civitas Institute in North Carolina and the Goldwater Institute in Arizona, which appear to be independent yet actually are operating from the same national playbook. SPN plays a key role in driving the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) agenda, particularly by providing academic-like cover for ALEC's corporate-friendly policies.
Union-busting, attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, privatization of higher education, and other items are on the SPN meeting agenda this week, offering a preview of the right-wing state legislative strategy for 2016.
The importance of the sprawling SPN network cannot be understated. SPN and its affiliates take in more than $80 million cumulatively each year, and documents provided to The Guardian in 2013 show that SPN coordinates fundraising for the supposedly "independent" groups, from Maine's Heritage Policy Center to Kentucky's Bluegrass Institute.
With a few keystrokes, I found that Virginia has TWO of these stealth ALEC organizations:
Thomas Jefferson Institute
Virginia Institute for Public Policy
Has anyone encountered either of these?
On April 22, 2015, we were clear that a Portsmouth, Virginia, police officer, Stephen Rankin, shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old William Chapman in a Walmart parking lot. New autopsy results obtained by The Guardian not only confirm that he was shot in the face, but that it wasn't from a close distance as has been described.
. . .
Furthermore, the autopsy results confirmed that Chapman was alcohol and drug free, and appears to call into question whether he ever stole anything from Walmart in the first place. In the autopsy report, no stolen items were listed in his personal belongings in spite of the implications by police that he stole something from the store and was confronted over it.
Walmart will not confirm or deny if anything was stolen and has stated that no security camera footage of the confrontation exists.
. . .
In addition to this suspension and warnings from his superiors that he was likely to cause harm, Rankin had also been suspended for posting Nazi-inspired images and messages online.
The ad was slick and very well-done. It featured an Army sergeant who had been horribly wounded in IRAQ. He went on to blame Iran for his wounds. He described how "terrorists" in Iraq had murdered little children -- all the while the screen was showing Iranian mullahs.
Obviously, the ad is an attempt to subvert the nuclear agreement with Iran by blaming Iran for killing and wounding soldiers in Irag.
I didn't catch the name of the organization responsible for the ad -- something like "American Security Initiative."
I immediately fired off messages to Warner and Kaine urging them to support the nuclear agreement.
When the deranged nutcase opened fire on the Marine and Navy recruiting offices in Chattanooga, one of the Naval recruiters - LCDR Tim White - had his personal firearm with him and returned fire.
Now the rightwing bulls*** machine is filled with a story claiming the Navy is bringing charges against LCDR White. The claim IS NOT TRUE. Despite this, Jim Webb has now picked up on the lie and is demanding the charges -- the non-existent charges, that is -- be dropped.
Here we go again. It's one fake story after another from the right wing, and tonight they're all screaming in unison about a completely bogus outrage launched by discredited war criminal Allen West and quickly picked up by the Stupidest Man on the Internet, Jim Hoft, without ever checking to see if it was actually, you know, true. And from there it's rapidly spreading throughout the idiotic right wing media...And to make this even more ridiculous, Democrat Jim Webb is now helping circulate this right wing fairy tale.
Webb has lost contact with reality.
Gov. Bill Walker said Thursday he would use his executive power to expand the public Medicaid health-care program to newly cover as many as 40,000 low-income residents.
The decision comes after the Alaska Legislature earlier this year rejected Walker's efforts to expand the program through the state budget process, then adjourned without allowing a vote on a separate expansion bill.
Walker's move makes Alaska one of 30 states to approve Medicaid expansion, a key plank of the federal Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," that was aimed at cutting health-care costs and giving more Americans insurance.
In an interview last month with conservative radio host Rusty Humphries, Rep. Dave Brat said that the terrorist group ISIS has set up a base in Texas.
Apparently referring to a debunked report from a right-wing group about an ISIS camp near the Texas border, the Virginia Republican told Humphries, "In our country, now it looks like we have an ISIS center in Texas now that's been reported last week."
Brat also warned of "2,000 un-vetted people coming across the border from Syria, the home of ISIS." The U.S. is planning to admit 2,000 refugees from Syria's civil war this year, who will be screened by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
"You can't make up what a terrible problem this is," he said, "and the political parties are just blind to it because the money, it causes blinders on their eyes. They can't see reality clearly."
This is important because:
1. Ten localities with a total of 270 precincts that use WinVote are holding 9 June primaries.
This means these localities now have no voting machines for their 9 June primaries. Some of them have a few machines by other manufacturers that were not de-certified. Now, these localities are scrambling to purchase, lease, or borrow certified voting equipment for the primaries, only 7 weeks away.
2. WinVote equipment is in use in a total of 30 localities statewide that include 568 precincts -- that's a LOT of voting equipment that must be replaced before the November 2015 general election.
Read the report of the technical investigation into problems with WinVote machines.
Here's the short version:
1. During the November 2014 election, reports were received from around the state of malfunctioning voting equipment.
2. SBE and local officials investigated and found in most cases the problem was: voter error; machine out of calibration; or other minor error that did not affect votes cast.
3. HOWEVER -- in three localities, all using WinVote, there were serious errors that could have compromised the outcome of the election: Virginia Beach City; Henrico County; and, a single precinct in Spotsylvania County.
A company that is federally-certified to test and analyze voting machines was called in and their report can be found here:
Read the report. One especially troubling occurrence was at the Spotsy precinct -- in a public library with wifi -- where it was determined that the wifi was interfering with the WinVote machines. In fact, when the machines were inspected during the recent audit, auditors were able to use their smartphones to access the WinVote equipment!!!
Here is a link to the SBE website where you will find memos, releases, and documents pertaining to this matter:
Read the six documents in the section titled: Interim Report on Voting Performance, Usage and Certification
The "Southern Women's Show" is coming to the RIR complex 17 - 19 April. Highlight of the show is the appearance of one of the Duggar daughters (along with several other unknowns).
Well, I gotta tell you -- I'm clearing my calendar!!!
As I recall, this is the second such incident in a year or so. Earlier, a female UVA student came out of a convenience store with sparkling water and snacks in her hand, got into her car, and was immediately surrounded by ABC cops demanding that that she roll down the windows. She had to start the engine to do so and when she started the car, the cops jumped on her hood, tried to break the windows with flashlights and drawn pistols, she grazed a couple of the cops when the car moved, she was charged with assault, etc., etc., etc.
And now I understand she sued and got a "six-figure settlement."
Wonder how much the current victim will receive?
Frankly, as a VA taxpayer, I don't want my money going into six-figure settlements because a gang of uniformed thugs who made C's and D's in high school feel the need to show how tough they are.
Why do we need ABC cops? I think it would be interesting to see how much $$$ they bring into the state treasury versus how much they cost -- salaries, equipment, vehicles, lawsuits . . .
I'm writing my state senator and HOD delegate asking that the ABC cops be disbanded. Not that it will do any good -- they're both Republicans.