Wednesday, September 18, 2019
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Monday News: “Trump proves he’s a better dealbreaker than dealmaker —...

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Monday, September 9. Afghanistan Braces for Violence After Talks Are...

Sunday News: Trump Cancels Camp David Meeting with Taliban; “Boris Johnson...

by Lowell Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, September 8. Putin’s Party Braces for Verdict of Angry...

Just a Few Words About Bowe

 photo 05e01add-f00c-40ad-af59-1fda3c3d84e9_zps148837aa.jpgI am not going to pretend that I have enough information to pass judgment on the swap for Bowe. No one I've read is working with the information and in the moment the President acted. I am perplexed he did not consult Congress, IF he didn't. Credible deniability baby.

Here are some takeaways I haven't seen discussed. Bowe Bergdahl is an intelligence coup. The process of negotiation even through an intermediary in Qatar must have yielded all sorts of high value information. The jerks we sent back are no more high value (right in the head) as combatants than Bowe will be (that this isn't appreciated makes it obvious that PTSD just isn't generally understood); their value to the "cause" will be zilch point nada (we treated them very poorly and that will last forever). We are supposedly in a war, though Congress never had the cojones to declare it. In war there are always trades and releases of captives. The angry reaction that has followed this swap negates any concern that we have established a precedent for "negotiating with terrorists."

Bowe is a walking encyclopedia of information about language, customs, mores, tactics, and other information about the Taliban. Unlike the five guys we released, we won't have to torture him to harvest that information. As in we might actually be able to rely on what he hands us. Even Bowe doesn't know what he knows.

It’s Win/Win For McDonnell In Voter ID Veto

The Kaplan Post says it's: a test of principle versus partisanship. It's really: choosing between riding with Romney or getting kicked to the curb. Virginia Republican legislators didn't give suppression enough thought. They could have suppressed the vote and still allowed McDonnell the veep seat.

These new restrictions fall most heavily on young, minority, elderly, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election and beyond. - Brennan Center for Justice

Requiring voters to show government-issued photo identification is a hardship on as many as 10% of the electorate. But that may not be as effective as more surreptitious methods. Limiting early voting is one. Another is making registration much more difficult. But Virginia Republicans chose the lightning rod.

They’ve Got to Be Kidding (But They Aren’t)

Yesterday we learned that the Virginia Board of Social Services lives under a prehistoric rock.  They ended Tim Kaine's policy of non-discrimination, establishing sexual orientation, age, disability, gender, family status, religion and political beliefs as grounds for denial of adoption applications. Think about that for a minute.  

It is bad enough that sexual orientation is entrenched as a possible criterion for adoption approval.  Now comes the insane, unconstitutional and out-of-control administration/"Taliban" to push the envelope even further by including religious belief and political views. Bob McDonnell could fix this, just as Tim Kaine did. But he won't. So blame for this retro-, abusive, discriminatory policy belongs at the top.  

Live RPG Removed from Soldier

The story is about Channing Moss, who was impaled by a live RPG during a Taliban ambush while on patrol. Army protocol says that medivac choppers are never to carry anyone with a live round in him. Even though they feared it could explode, the flight crew said damn the protocol and flew him to the nearest aid station. Again, protocol said that in such a case the patient is to be put in a sandbagged area away from the surgical unit, given a shot of morphine and left to wait (and die) until others are treated. Again, the medical team ignored the protocol. Here's a short video put together by the Military Times, which includes actual footage of the surgery where Dr. John Oh, a Korean immigrant who became a naturalized citizen and went to West Point, removed the live round with the help of volunteers and a member of the EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) team. Moss has undergone six operations but is doing well at home in Gainesville, GA. I think you'll find the video absolutely remarkable

Here is America at its best: