Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Virginia NAACP: Jim Webb and Rand Paul “are kith and kin”

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I'm pretty much speechless over this tirade letter, from the Executive Director of the Virginia NAACP, about Jim Webb and his Wall Street Journal op-ed on affirmative action. Read the NAACP's Executive Director's letter for yourself.
...Your opponent then and coming George Allen would not have had the gall to write about the "myth of white privilege" even though I am sure he feels that way. In African culture, it is said, when people show & tell you who they are. Believe them!" Your written word has spoken volumes for your belief system.

It appears that you and U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul are kith and kin. Do you really believe that affirmative action has hurt white, Anglo-Saxon Protestants or are you pandering to the divisive, conservative, Tea Bagger types whose votes you will need in 2012? The true beneficiaries of affirmative action programs are white, Anglo-Saxon women...overwhelmingly. If a white, republican, ultra-right winger, or Rush, Beck or O'Reilly had written or spoken it, the world would have known about it...

You have given cover & solace to those "who want to take their country back (from whom?), who want to reload not regroup, who think it is ok to spit on and use racial epithets against African members of the House of Representatives...

Rand Paul? George Allen? "Rush, Beck or O'Reilly?" Ee gads.

h/t: NLS

The 3rd of July Nailed it for the 4th of July

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As it happened, the City of Fairfax held its annual Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks Display on the 3rd this year. Perhaps this choice of dates was more meaningful than one might at first suppose. By that I do not mean that moving the parade to Saturday, the 3rd, meant that everyone could go to Church on Sunday, the 4th, and still show their patriotism at the parade.  No, it was because, as Walter Rodgers pointed out in the Christian Science Monitor for 5 July, 147 years ago the Union forces won not one but two great victories against the Confederacy on the 3rd of July 1863, at Vicksburg and Gettysburg. The fall of Vicksburg (the "Gibralter of the Confederacy"), and the defeat of Lee at Gettysburg, were so important that "the eminent Civil War historian James McPherson" wrote in Battle Cry of Freedom:
Lincoln appeared at a White House balcony to tell a crowd of serenaders that this "gigantic Rebellion" whose purpose was to "overthrow the principle that all men are created equal" had been dealt a crippling blow."

The Confederacy never recovered from these twin blows, and when Union armies advanced into the Confederacy, thousands of slaves were freed each day, as the federal forces implemented the Emancipation Proclamation of 1 January 1863. Whatever lawyerly constitutional splitting of hairs has been offered before or since for secession, the participants in "The War" understood perfectly well why they were fighting: to preserve that union which was founded on the freedom of all men, every one equally a human being.

Democratic Party Of Virginia on Ken Cuccinelli

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Here's what the Democrats, party of the future, think of one of the primary representatives of the party of the past, the anti-freedom party (i.e., the Republican Party)

100+ Virginia Faith Leaders Urge Senate Action on Climate Change

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The following letter is from Virginia Interfaith Power & Light, "a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, and conservation in response to global climate change." It is signed by over 100 Virginia religious leaders "from five religious traditions - Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Unitarian Universalism and seven denominations of Christianity -- and hail from all corners of the Commonwealth." It's great to see this call from spiritual and moral leaders to our elected officials. Now, we need action!
June 2, 2010

Dear Senator Webb/Warner,

As religious leaders from across the Commonwealth, we are writing to express our alarm at the state of environmental stewardship here in Virginia, and nationwide. For us as people of faith, this is an issue of basic fairness and justice; not only because we are called to care for Creation, but because of who will be harmed most by inaction: the poor and voiceless.

Specifically, we would like to see federal climate legislation that includes strong emission reductions, international adaptation assistance, and protections for low-income families.

Virginia Should “Take Aim At New Texas Standards” As Well

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This is a great idea that Virginia should adopt as well.
...A new bill introduced in the state Senate by Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) seeks to ensure that none of the Texas standards are allowed to be used in California in any fashion.

Under Yee's bill, SB1451, the California Board of Education would be required to look out for any of the Texas content as part of its standard practice of reviewing public school textbooks. The board must then report any findings to the legislature and to the secretary of education.

Among other lunacy, the new Texas "standards" "say that the McCarthyism of the 1950s was later vindicated -- something most historians deny -- draw an equivalency between Jefferson Davis's and Abraham Lincoln's inaugural addresses, say that international institutions such as the United Nations imperil American sovereignty, and include a long list of Confederate officials about whom students must learn." As I said, "lunacy."

So, which delegate(s) and which state senator(s) are going to introduce this legislation in the next Virginia General Assembly session?

Virginia Businesses Weigh In For “New Competitive Energy Economy” [UPDATED]

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The following press release is from the Commonwealth Business Council for a Competitive Economy, a recently formed group which "unites businesses large and small from across Virginia who support the transition to a clean economy both here and nationally."  The director of CBCCE is Mame Reiley, a DNC "superdelegate" and former director of Mark Warner's "One Virginia" PAC.  

With regard to the clean energy and climate bill introduced earlier today (full text here), Reiley says, "This is a unique opportunity for Congress to pass legislation that will reduce our dependence on oil, decrease carbon emissions and promote a new competitive energy economy. Its impact will be felt for generations to come."  Increasingly, despite reams of disinformation put out there by the fossil fuel industries and their allies, this is a view that is shared by the business community and by the American people. Now, if we could just convince a few Republicans to remove their heads from the sand on this crucial issue...

LANDMARK ENERGY & CLIMATE LEGISLATION INTRODUCED IN U.S. SENATE TODAY

Signals Critical Progress & Major Gains for Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia - Today, a comprehensive energy and climate legislation was introduced, reflecting months of hard work from Senators John Kerry (D- MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT). The American Power Act is a major step forward that would reduce United States' dependence on oil and move our country toward a cleaner, more secure energy economy.  

This legislation was introduced on the heels of a letter sent to Majority Leader Harry Reid and the U.S. Senate last week, signed by 175 business leaders around the country.  The letter called on the Senate to get comprehensive energy and climate legislation back on track in order to spur a new energy economy, boost energy independence and decrease carbon emissions.  

Krystal Ball to Convention Delegates: “Democratic values are American values”

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This is cross-posted at Leaving My Marc.

Democrats helped Krystal Ball (D-Fredericksburg) shed the presumptive nominee label by selecting her to be the official democratic nominee from Virginia's 1st Congressional District at a convention this past Saturday.

Ball wasted little time in drawing a sharp contrast between her and Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Montross).

When we passed Social Security they threatened to repeal it, when we passed Medicare they threatened to repeal it and now, now that we have passed health care reform they are threatening to repeal it. Well I have one message for Eric Cantor and John Boehner and to Rob Wittman. Let me say this clearly. I don't care what your buddies in the health insurance lobby want we are not going backwards!

McDonnell Budget Commission Headed by Palin’s “leading defender”

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The Washington Post reports the 31 members of Bob McDonnell's new "Governor's Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring," including the commission's chairman.
It is that sense of loyalty that has led [Fred] Malek, a prominent Republican rainmaker, to emerge as the leading defender of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in the wake of the 2008 election where she served as the party's vice presidential nominee.

Palin's surprise resignation last week has made Malek a wanted man -- one of a coveted few in Washington who have a relationship with the Alaska governor.

Wonderful. Oh, and there's also that little "Jewish cabal" controversy from Malek's days in the Nixon Administration. Other than that, Malek's a great pick to head this commission!

But wait, there's more.  The next person on the list is Alexandra Liddy Bourne, Executive Director of the American Energy Freedom Center.

George Allen recently announced the formation of the American Energy Freedom Center, a project of the Institute for Energy Research, yet another group attempting to fight efforts to stop the climate crisis with connections to Exxon.

[...]

Almost 10% of the Institute for Energy Research's 2007 budget was provided by ExxonMobil. In 2007, ExxonMobil donated $95,000 of the $988,980 received by the Institute for Energy Research...

In June 2009, Bourne, "in her personal capacity as a nurse, took EPA to task for failing to identify any specific evidence of morbidity and other health risks linked to greenhouse gas emissions."  Uh, you mean "health risks" like destroying the planet's environment?  Oh wait, I almost forgot, people like Bourne and others at the far-right wing Heartland Institute don't "believe" in climate change science.  Was Bourne a Kookinelli recommendation, or did McDonnell come up with her all by himself?

A couple more fine members of McDonnell's budget commission include:

*Our old pal Benjamin "Benedict" Lambert, a supposed Democrat who infamously endorsed George Allen over Jim Webb in 2006.  Thankfully, Donald McEachin trounced Benedict in the June 2007 primary.

*Senator Mark Obenshain, by all accounts one of the craziest, most extreme right-wing members of the Virginia General Assembly. Last we saw him, he was ranting about the "North American Man-Boy Love Association," and Rachel Maddow was calling him out for "stoop[ing] to a pedophilia argument in a debate over McEachin's civil rights bill."

I can't wait to see what this commission comes up with!

Election Day Across Virginia

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Today is election day for local office in many Virginia municipalities including:

City of Roanoke, Lynchburg, Williamsburg, Hampton, Newport News, Vinton, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Norfolk, and City of Fairfax.

There are some exciting races including some good young Democrats who are running for city and town council.  Yours truly will be volunteering for Scott Foster in Williamsburg all day.

Please feel free to use this as an open thread to report what you see/hear from the polls today.

UPDATE 9:06 pm: Bad news from Chesapeake City, where Brian White appears to have finished 9th and out of the running.  Sigh...

State and national Republican legislative idiocy

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This will be short.  I do not consider it sweet.

In Virginia, the Governor can propose amendments to legislation as part of his vetoing or approving a bill and returning it to the veto session of the General Assembly.  Gov. McDonnell has proposed requiring that the gun safety instruction in the elementary schools be required to use the curriculum of the National Rifle Association.

In Washington, Republican Senators have introduced legislation to block the White House from requiring federal agencies to consider climate change data in environmental impact statements.

I will provide more information below the fold.