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Why Voters Think Trump's Act is Honest

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

by: Andy Schmookler

Wed Sep 02, 2015 at 10:37:23 AM EDT

This piece will be appearing in newspapers in my part of Virginia.According to a recent CBS poll 
, voters see Donald Trump as different from his opponents in the presidential race because he is candid. He says what he thinks, and he means what he says.
But in two obvious ways, Trump is anything but candid.
First, much of what he's saying now is the opposite of what he was saying not long ago.
Trump has taken a very hard-line position on immigration 
. Yet only two years ago, he was telling advocates for immigrants, "You've convinced me." He has reversed himself similarly on Hillary Clinton's performance as Secretary of State. She has gone from doing a "good job"  to being the "worst Secretary of State in the history of the United States." Likewise, he's switched his position on issues like guns and abortion.
This is opportunism, not candor. This is saying whatever serves his immediate purposes.
The second reason for doubting Trump's candor is that he often says things that he must know are false, or that anyone qualified to be president would know are false.

Mark Herring Announces for Reelection as Virginia Attorney General


So, with the following announcement (which I'd heard rumors about in recent weeks) that Mark Herring will run for reelection as AG, that: a) clears the field for Ralph Northam, all but assuring him of the Democratic gubernatorial nomnination in 2017; b) Mark Herring can continue his excellent work as Attorney General for four more years (I'd hope that Herring's second term would focus heavily on challenging corporate control of our government by Dominion Power in particular, making Virginia friendly to clean energy, and protecting the environment), assuming of course that he wins the general election; c) it sets Herring up to run for governor in 2021 (which I think will be a better time, potentially, for a Democrat to be governor anyway, as perhaps by then we'll have made some gains in the General Assembly); and d) the only contested Democratic primary contest in 2017 will likely be for Lt. Governor (I've heard Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn and Charniele Herring - also just heard Del. Jennifer McClellan - mentioned as possible candidates, wouldn't be at all surprised to see a bunch more jump in as well).

With that, here's Attorney General Herring's announcement.

Wednesday News: Warner "wrestling with himself on Iran deal"; Scott Muses on Redistricting


Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, September 2.

*Obama visits receding glacier  in Alaska to highlight climate change
*It's on: Jeb Bush embraces a risky fight with Donald Trump
*CNN amends GOP debate criteria ("The cause: a lack of national public polling following the August 6 debate has so far provided only three new polls to determine the lineup for the Reagan Presidential Debate, according to a CNN statement.")
*Carly Fiorina earns spot on main stage at next GOP debate
*Clinton's accusers are running out of ammunition
*The choice for Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis: Follow the law or resign (Or be fired.)
*Kentucky Clerk Fighting Gay Marriage Has Wed Four Times ("A fellow gay marriage-resisting county clerk says 'that's forgivable.'" My god...)
*Biden's White House Ambitions May Die in Iowa-Again ("The vice president's state organization is about as hypothetical as his campaign.")
*We're about to find out how mad the GOP is: Hard choices in the looming Planned Parenthood shutdown fight ("Mitch McConnell doesn't want a shutdown over Planned Parenthood, and 2016 GOPers are going to make his life hell")
*Scott says redistricting could give Virginia a second black representative ("Reversing the General Assembly's gerrymandering of Virginia's congressional districts could move as many as 100,000 African-Americans to new districts and open the way for the state to elect two black members of Congress, Rep. Robert C. 'Bobby' Scott, D-Newport News, said Tuesday.")
*Howell/Norment Conspiring to Unseat Rigell, Forbes, Brat, and Comstock (Hahahaha, popcorn please!)
*Kaine backs Warner, who still ponders vote on Iran deal ("'Mark and I have talked about it a lot. I would just say this - this is a big and important issue and everybody needs to make their decision in their own time,' Kaine told reporters Tuesday at a news conference in Richmond.")
*Schapiro: Warner wrestling with himself on Iran deal ("Aligning with Obama - again - could further irritate Warner's conservative supporters in the corpocracy. They've never quite forgiven him for voting for the stimulus and Obamacare. Bucking Obama - again - likely inflames anew the liberal Democratic base. It largely stayed home in November because Warner distanced himself from Obama against Ed Gillespie. Warner nearly lost, struggling to a second term by less than 1 percentage point.")
*Dan Gecker says U.S. only wealthy nation without universal health care ("True." Also a disgrace.)
*Sen. Bill Stanley to lead charge for Ted Cruz in Virginia (Trying to decide who's more extreme and crazier: Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, other?)
*System's deadly failure ("His name was Jamycheal Mitchell, and he was 24 years old. Since he was a teenager, Mitchell had grappled with mental health problems that, according to one forensic psychologist, left him 'manic and hyperactive.' He needed medication. Treatment. Help.")
*Shootings' aftermath makes legislators defend support for gun rights (Sorry, but opposition to commonsense gun safety measures is indefensible.)
*Virginia spots deal on light-rail cars, offers four to Beach
*Metro files 2014 audit, says it's closer to getting its finances in order
*Virginia cameraman killed on-air laid to rest
*Nationals bullpen implodes again as Cardinals rally for 8-5 win (You must be freakin' kidding!)
*D.C. area forecast: Staying summery and sweaty for now; high hopes for holiday weekend

The View from Here: Some Things Should Never Be For-Profit

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

by: KathyinBlacksburg

Tue Sep 01, 2015 at 22:04:01 PM EDT


Most Americans support a robust private sector. Yet few would argue that we should profit from imprisoning fellow citizens, for example. The implicit conflict-of-interest works against Constitutionally protected freedoms. I do not know how many would want to profit from medical care for the poor. But I hope we are better than that. Some things should never be privatized. I've written in this space before about how far gone is our NC legislature and our governor.  They cannot run the state to save their lives, but would have citizens believe they have "saved' North Carolina (from what, no one knows).  I've also told you how "Governor" Pat McCrory hired as his Secretary of Health and Human Services, a physician whose only qualification was that she'd made a huge donation to said governor. She dutifully ran HHS into the ditch.  The "launch" of the new HHS computer system resulted in so many errors it defied the imagination. The unfortunate souls depending on Medicaid weren't necessarily the ones who got the paperwork, including their Medicaid cards, in the mail. So many wrong addresses received Medicaid cards you almost had to try to mess up that badly. Yet the vendor was handsomely paid for one of the biggest fails in recent NC history. God save privatization.
Now the GA has decided it wants even more privatization. Indeed, it wants to inject the profit motive into Medicaid services. So having cut Medicaid, cut unemployment insurance by a third, and refused to expand Medicaid, the GA  has been discussing one of the worst ideas ever: Allowing profiting from health services for the poorest among us. That's essentially another cut because the monies allocated won't be providing health care, but rather lining white-collar pockets. This is the worst-of-the-worst of Republican bad ideas.  
KathyinBlacksburg :: The View from Here: Some Things Should Never Be For-Profit
Meanwhile, and importantly, the case for privatization fails utterly, the evidence shows every argument for doing so falls by the wayside.Health care is a human right. So I have to ask: Does the NC GOP have any conscience (at all?)  Watch for this to spread to an ALEC subsidized GA near you. Profiteering like this is everybody's business. Please choose your legislators well, Virginia.  

It's Not Just Trump Supporters; National GOP Primary Electorate Is...Well, Bonkers


Sure, Donald Trump supporters may be a bit crazier and more extreme than likely Republican voters in general, but according to a new national poll, they're basically all cuckoo.
Trump's beliefs represent the consensus among the GOP electorate. 51% overall want to
eliminate birthright citizenship. 54% think President Obama is a Muslim. And only 29%
grant that President Obama was born in the United States. That's less than the 40% who
think Canadian born Ted Cruz was born in the United States.
Of course, this is the same electorate that has Donald Trump in first place and the even more extreme (if that's possible) Ben Carson in second place nationally. They're also the same folks who don't "believe" (as if science is a matter of "belief") in global warming (66% of these folks don't "believe" in it, even though there's overwhelming scientific evidence, dating back a century or more, in support of it) or evolution (49% don't "believe" in it, even though it's one of the most fundamental, well-supported theories in all of science). And they're the same folks who support "establishing Christianity as the national religion," which of course completely violates one of the most important, underlying values - separation of church and state, tolerance of other religions than the majority one - that make us American. What's amazing is that anyone could make it through K-12 (let alone college!), get hired by a company, or succeed in life in any way with such disordered, bizarre ways of "thinking." But there it is...ladies and gentlemen, your 2015 Republican Party's primary electorate! Gack.

Tuesday News Headlines: "The Trumps of August....coordinated burst of stupid" in GOP


Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Tuesday, September 1. Also check out President Obama addressing the "GLACIER Conference" in Alaska. According to Obama, "the science is stark" on the dire threat of climate change, with the Arctic being the "leading indicator" of what the planet as a whole faces. Which is all true, but is contradicted by allowing drilling for oil in the Arctic. To the contrary, we need to be getting off of fossil fuels ASAP, like yesterday would be nice.*A Lot of American Catholics Have Never Heard of Pope Francis' Most Important New Message("But his visit to the United States could change all that.")
*The Trumps of August: GOP presidential hopefuls close out summer with a coordinated burst of stupid ("Walker, Huckabee and Christie stumble into autumn by trying to out-crazy Donald Trump on immigration")
*Paranoid history of the GOP: How conspiracy theories poisoned the Republican Party("Wingnuts have become increasingly reliant on reality-defying paranoia. Here's how it happened")
*Republicans are digging themselves a hole over immigration
*Trump upends GOP message on economy
*Supreme Court decides first gay marriage skirmish ("In its first ruling involving its landmark decision, the court rejected a Kentucky county clerk's request to be excused from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.")
*NRA Host Warns Parents Of Slain Virginia Journalists To Not "Become So Emotional" In Response To Shooting (The NRA continues to be disgusting in every way.)
*Mt. McKinley becomes the newest conservative molehill ("Alaska, run by Republicans, want the name to be Denali and have been trying to make the change for decades. The Alaska delegations - Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young, Republicans all - heralded the move...")
*In Alaska, Obama Makes Appeal for Climate Action
*Krugman: A Heckuva Job ("What we should have learned from Katrina, in other words, was that political poseurs with nothing much to offer besides bluster can nonetheless fool many people into believing that they're strong leaders. And that's a lesson we're learning all over again as the 2016 presidential race unfolds.")
*As time runs out on McAuliffe pick, Va.'s Supreme Court shuffles docket
*Bizarre Trump "rogue group" event in Virginia canceled (Alrighty...)
*Brat says he's among "very few" who voted against Iran deal ("False" - of course.)
*McAuliffe Restores Voting Rights for Over 10K Virginians
*McDonnell to remain free on appeal
*Climate commission endorses information clearinghouse, other efforts (What we need is a significant price on carbon, ASAP.)
*Ben Cline, Ellen Arthur already debating 'debates' in Virginia House race
*Editorial: Dominion reacts to questions raised over charitable giving practice ("...it shouldn't be taken aback when the media or a consumer group takes over the watchdog role the state has relinquished.")
*Jerry Kilgore joins Scott Walker's Virginia presidential campaign (Hahahahahaha.)
*Five years after expansion, VMFA impact soars
*Adam Ward mourned, celebrated at Salem gathering (with video)
*Another no vote on uranium ("The Virginia Beach City Council is set tonight to vote - again - on a resolution opposing uranium mining in Virginia.")
*Nationals can't hold lead against Cardinals, fall another game behind Mets (Game, set, match for this season? Ugh.)
*D.C. area forecast: Last-minute summer heat, some relief by Labor Day weekend

Tonight's Debate in Centreville; Tea Partier John Guevara Attacks Democrat Kathy Smith's Family

Monday, August 31, 2015


by: frankoanderson

Mon Aug 31, 2015 at 23:58:23 PM EDT


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Tonight I attended the debate between Democratic School Board Member Kathy Smith and Republican Tea Party Member John Guevara, candidates for the Sully District seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Sitting on the western edge of the county alongside Dulles Airport, with about 130,000 residents, Sully is one of the most rapidly growing and changing parts of the Commonwealth. This race is a chance for Democrats to pick up an open seat in a district currently represented by a Republican, retiring Supervisor Michael Frey -- who also was the debate moderator.I have to say that I was surprised when the debate turned ugly, thanks to Mr. Guevara's comments (which I will address later). For most of the time things were relatively civil and Guevara came across as a polished candidate who seemed committed to a drama-free event. But I guess he couldn't resist throwing some red meat to his supporters so, as they say, the gloves came off.
Supervisor Frey remarked on the large crowd, which neared 100 people -- quite a feat for an obscure political debate taking place before Labor Day. I doubt that there were many undecided voters in attendance. This appeared to be an exercise in candidates and parties getting their supporters out. Us Democrats had a good crowd, with elected officials and many top party activists in attendance. The Republicans clearly had sounded the alarm for the Tea Party folks to come out.
frankoanderson :: Tonight's Debate in Centreville; Tea Partier John Guevara Attacks Democrat Kathy Smith's Family
In answers to the questions, Kathy Smith leaned on her experience working on budgets and being involved in the community for many years as a mother, PTA member, active member of multiple local organizations, and as a School Board member first elected in 2002. She stressed that she had worked alongside Supervisor Frey on many issues, and it was clear that she was way ahead of her opponent on most issues of Fairfax County governance. John Guevara was well spoken and although he conveyed that he had some executive experience, he was short on substance and long on generalities.There were a few things that jumped out at me. The question was raised about how we can deal with the $100 million projected shortfall in both the county and school board budgets. Kathy Smith offered several ideas, one of which was "joint services" where the school system can share with the county, such as busing for some high school students. Later in the debate, Guevara touted joint services as a "novel idea" -- proving that he was not paying attention.
One of Guevara's repeated themes (other than sequestration) was what he saw as the failure of the School Board. He threw out some numbers: that the School Board had asked for a 7% budget increase while the county was only experiencing 3% growth. Regardless of whether or not this is accurate, it shows that Guevara has no experience with budget negotiations. The Board of Supervisors, which he is running for, sets the dollar amount of the School Board's budget. Obviously the School Board would put in a slightly higher request than they expected to receive, to give themselves negotiating room. Besides, Fairfax County Public Schools had experienced dramatic increases in enrollments while experts had already identified most of the efficiencies to be found in the budget.
After Smith responded about considering a meals tax, Guevara took this opportunity to attack Smith's family, saying that not all families make as much as hers -- implying that somehow she was deaf to the needs of the poor in our county. I have to say that even when I was a low wage earner working for grocery stores, on the occasions that I went out to eat, I did not consider whether or not the place charged a meals tax.
Guevara insisted that buses are more efficient than Metro and "you can quote me on that." So I have.
Transportation of course was a big issue to be discussed, and both candidates were in support of widening I-66 and expanding Metro. But While Guevara touted HOT Lanes as some kind of great solution, Smith took a more realistic, measured approach to consider whether in public-private partnerships the toll revenue could come back to the state. Additionally, Smith stressed the need for business centers like we have in Reston and Tysons, to reduce the flow of traffic going east to offices in DC.
Now, the more interesting parts. In what I would call an unforced error, Guevara took two infefensible positions at once. It started out as a benign mention from Smith that she will work as a full-time Supervisor. Guevara requested time for a rebuttal, something he didn't have to do. He took the chance to again attack Smith and to assert that the job of Supervisor should be part time. Somehow he tried to equate the "bloated" government with the fact that Supervisors work full time. Never mind that, as Supervisor, you are expected to work year-round on behalf of your constituents AND join various boards and commissions who meet regularly. And for this, the position pays $75K -- quite respectable for a job of this nature and a heck of a lot closer to the median income than most residents. So why would someone be expected to earn that rate but work part-time? Incredibly, Guevara took this opportunity to once again attack Smith's family, saying "not all of us are as wealthy" as them and that he'd keep his job which offered him the flexibility to work as a part-time Supervisor.
Smith was rightly offended and took the next opportunity to defend her family against Guevara's attacks. But this being at the end of the debate, Guevara used his closing statement to double down on the extremeness. At this point it was clear that Guevara was running to the right of, and in opposition to, the Republican he hoped to replace. He started ranting that "this is your call to change course" and he brought up the School Board's recent vote on gender issues, firing up the base in attendance. In fact, his closing statement ended with a dramatic retelling of the School Board meeting where 500 conservatives appeared to oppose the inclusion measures, saying "the offense comes when your own children's privacy is no longer protected." He was no doubt referring to the perverted notion that students are going to claim to be transgender just so they can share bathrooms with the opposite sex. So in Guevara's closing argument he cast himself as the anti-Frey, the change candidate, the "we're not gonna take it anymore" candidate.

McAuliffe, Toscano, and Perriello Push for More Women in the General Assembly


DMac and Delegate Candidates photo Dorothy with the candidates_zpsczpsgatq.jpgby Dan Sullivan

Dorothy left the Governor holding their children's backpacks on the evening before Richmond schools began classes, joining Delegate Dave Toscano (D-57th) at Linda Perriello's home and bringing attention to important initiatives and the women running for the Virginia House who support them. Chaos in the mansion?Delegate Toscano introduced this Virginia First Lady who continues in the footsteps of her Democratic predecessors in the impressive tradition of competent leadership. The Perriello home was crammed with enthusiastic advocates of effective legislation and good government. Linda Perriello's grandchildren pitched in with the hosting even officially welcoming the First Lady with a bouquet as Linda circulated as best she could in a house almost bursting at the seams. There was also at least one caped Wonder Woman apprentice making an appearance.
Here is the thing about DMac: she takes every opportunity to pursue her personally held and informed rather than politically motivated agenda; one that includes improving the lives of every Virginian. Her rifts are not made of red meat mantras that rile and anger a constituency demanding to be pandered. She genuinely strives to guide her audience to consider solutions for 21st century challenges rather than harkening back to an era that no longer exists and trying to wish away contemporary problems that demand innovative approaches.
Toscano's introduction emphasized her efforts to ensure that every child in Virginia gets a nutritious meal each and every day. And he reminded us that Dorothy has been at the lead in the effort to make Virginia the most veteran friendly state in the Union ever since her husband's first run at elected office in 2009.  
Dan Sullivan :: McAuliffe, Toscano, and Perriello Push for More Women in the General Assembly
Toscano and Perriello photo Toscano and Perriello_zpsc4b0mug6.jpgGracious as always, DMac thanked Linda for the grand hospitality and Toscano for the kind words looking forward to the day when he would be the majority leader in the House of Delegates. But what she was there to do this evening was to help find more great partners for Toscano and the guy she left behind in Richmond organizing (hopefully) the children for school.Then she went right to the purpose of the evening: finding commonsense, practical representatives that reflect all of Virginia and who Virginians are instead of a "narrow slice of a certain mindset that doesn't represent all Virginians." That, she told the gathering, is who these women are and why they are running. She acknowledged how very difficult it is to find the money and resources to run, to get the voters to the polls, and thanked those who contribute to those efforts. Specifically she thanked Toscano for organizing this fundraising effort:

"It is absolutely critical in this day and age. We all don't like it; it's a reality; it takes money to run." - Dorothy McAulliffe
A background in securities and finance lends credibility to Dorothy's emphasis on building the new Virginia economy. Acknowledging the new realities, she assessed that Virginia can no longer count on growth in federal spending to boost state revenues. Pointing to sequestration and the uncertainty about the budget coming out of Washington, she stated that we have to find sustainable ways to grow our economy and support out families. We have to look for innovation and creative ways at the state level to build that new Virginia economy.
Wonder Woman Apprentice photo Wonder Woman in training_zpshoo1ks7f.jpgThis includes putting forward resources for education. Education challenges include finding the answers to Standards of Learning reform and ensuring competitive teacher pay; feeding hungry children in the best place that they can be (school) so they may learn is important to economic growth.

"...think about meals in the same way as we think about computers and teachers and the whole child. You know, 51% of all public school children in the country are on free and reduced lunch. It's shocking...it is truly shocking." - Dorothy McAuliffe
Finding opportunity for children includes not just thinking about four year degrees. Investing in vocational skills and certifications that broaden opportunities is essential. She pointed out that a welder in Hampton Roads can make $75,000 a year with great benefits. And though it does not require a four year degree, it does take training.
The litany of violence involving guns in Virginia raised its ugly head again this past week. Addressing this she plead for sensible, practical gun regulations in our state legislature.

"I am not a hunter but my husband is a hunter, my sons are hunters; it's not about that. Again this is about what kind of Virginia economy, what kind of place we want to live, what kind of quality of life we offer to employees of corporations we hope to attract here and the businesses expanding hope to bring new employees to. We need a safe, thriving Virginia." - Dorothy McAuliffe
Beyond that, she said, we need to talk about healthcare. The battle goes on and it will continue to go on because it is important that every working Virginian has access to healthcare.

"Especially if the Federal government is going to pay for it with our tax dollars that we are paying into it!" - Dorothy McAuliffe
Asking the crowd to think about these particular women candidates and that some 50% of our current economy and that new Virginia economy is made up of women she pointed out that women, just as often as men, are heads of households. Women make economic decisions on healthcare, on business, on education. They run their own small-businesses. But in the Virginia legislature women make up only just over 17% of the membership. That does not reflect who we are and it does not allow the fresh look, creativity, or innovation that are available when considering that new Virginia economy and the policies and laws required to support who we are.
Thanking everyone for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the candidates, the First Lady reiterated the obvious: it is tiring in Virginia with elections every year but nothing is more important than focusing on these state races. Turning out the vote by talking to friends and spreading the word is key to success in these races.
Meanwhile, you wonder how Terry measured up in her absence.
(More on the candidates in a subsequent post)

Virginia House Dem Leader David Toscano, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe Work to Elect Female Candidates


Great job by Del. David Toscano, who on Sunday night held a fundraiser with First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe for six female candidates for Virginia House of Delegates. Good luck to every one of these candidates, and please do whatever you can to help them win in November!

In Virginia, No-Background-Check Gun Sales, Nazi Paraphernalia Cool; but Not Peaceful Protests


From the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV): "This really sums up gun policy in Virginia. Earlier today [Sunday], a peaceful protester (mother of two) on a sidewalk outside the C&E Gun Shows, Inc gun show in Roanoke, Virginia was handcuffed by Virginia State Police. Meanwhile, inside, guys were selling guns to each other through private sales, no background check required, cash and carry. And law enforcement didn't so much as ask them--or their buyers--any questions." Also note the Nazi and Confederate paraphernalia. Lovely, eh? Must be those "good guys with guns" again. Heh.P.S. CSGV adds a good question: "Whose side are you on, Members of the Virginia General Assembly? We'd love to know."