There are primaries in five states today: Virginia, South Carolina, North Dakota, Maine and Nevada. Here is what to watch from FiveThirtyEight: Virginia Races to watch: U.S. Senate; 7th and 10th congressional districts Polls close: 7 p.m. Eastern In an alternate universe, Tim Kaine would have been elected vice president, and we’d have seen a …
Jun 12 2018
Mar 28 2014
Sunnie Kahle, 8, prefers to have short hair and dress comfortably (t-shirts, jeans and sneakers). Officials at the school she has attended, Timberlake Christian School near Lynchburg, VA, decided that wasn’t appropriate for one of their students. So they wrote to Sunnie’s grandparents, who are also her guardians, to inform them that Sunnie would have to dress more femininely if she wanted to attend that school.
Despite what you may see in any headlines, Sunnie is not transgender. She is perfectly satisfied with being a girl.
The school officials, however, expressed their concern about her appearance and cited their policy against condoning sexual immorality, practicing a homosexual lifestyle, or having an alternative gender identity.
Jan 24 2013
During Monday’s Inauguration coverage, MSNBC commentator and host Chris Matthews remarked about the slipping popularity of the Republican Party and how in order to win they will have to rig the elections in order to win in the future.
“If states like Pennsylvania ever get controlled by Republican legislators, that is frightening,” [..]
“There’s so much willingness to rig the elections by the Republicans,” Matthews continued. “They know they’re heading into demographic trouble. They know they’re going to be a minority in this country. It’s almost like Lebanon – we’ve got to fake the census now, y’know?”
He concluded: “And what I see them doing is saying, ‘Okay, we know we’re never going to be popular again, so we’re going to have to rig it.”
Apparently, Mr. Matthews was unaware of what the Republicans in the Virginia legislature were up to.
Virginia Senate Sneaks Through Gerrymandering Bill While Country Watches Inauguration
by Annie-Rose Strasser, Think Progress
While the eyes of the nation were turned toward President Barack Obama’s second inauguration on Monday, the Virginia State Senate managed to hurriedly pass a bill that would redistrict the state’s senate seats.
The vote, 20-19, would have been a tie had Democratic Senator Henry Marsh been present. Marsh, a civil rights leader, was in Washington, D.C., attending the inauguration.
Had Marsh been present, however, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, would likely have broken the tie. The bill was reportedly pushed through in a matter of hours. [..]
The gerrymandering bill now goes to the heavily Republican House of Delegates for a vote, where it will likely face little opposition.
Victim Of VA State Sen. GOP ‘Dirty Trick’ Calls Move ‘Shameful’
by Evan McMorris-Santoro, Talking Points Memo
“I wanted to attend the historic second inauguration of President Obama in person,” Marsh said in a statement. “For Senate Republicans to use my absence to push through a partisan redistricting plan that hurts voters across the state is shameful.” [..]
Marsh said he was “outraged” and “saddened” by the state Senate GOP move. He said the bill was “unconstitutional,” a line being used by many Democrats in Virginia these days that could signal future legal action.
Gov. McDonnell Condemns Virginia Senate GOP Move As Bad Way To Do Business
by Evan McMorris-Santoro, Talking Points Memo
After first distancing himself from the new legislative lines the Virginia Senate GOP forced through Monday, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) condemned his party’s political gamesmanship Tuesday.
“I certainly don’t think that’s a good way to do business,” McDonnell told reporters in Richmond, according to the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star. [..]
McDonnell has so far not said if he would veto the redistricting plan, which still must pass the state House. It is not clear if McDonnell has taken or will take other steps to undo the Senate GOP’s surprise move.
I wouldn’t put any money on Gov. McDonnell vetoing that bill, as Laura Conaway at The Maddow Blog notes, the governor would like everyone to just stop talking about the sneak redistricting now
When I asked McDonnell’s office just now whether he would sign or veto the bill, which still needs approval from the House, they sent over a recording (mp3) of the governor fielding that question today with local reporters. The verbate:
REPORTER: Is it time yet to tell these guys, “If it comes to me, I’m going to veto it”?
MCDONNELL: Well, listen, my focus this year is on education, transportation, and budget and government reform. That’s what I had asked this session to be about. Obviously, the tactics that were used yesterday was a surprise, and I don’t think that’s the way that business should be done. But I haven’t looked at the bill. I’m not happy about the things that have happened. Look, some people said they were against my transportation bill long before yesterday, so this has got a long way to go. I don’t know whether I’m going to get a bill or not. But I’m going to wait and see at this point what happens. I have not looked at the bill. At this point, though, I want people to focus on the things that are important. What I said the session should be about is education, transportation — not redistricting and other things. That’s my focus.
The short answer, so far, is no answer yet. McDonnell could try to keep the House from passing the bill and sending it to him. A year ago, he found himself in much the same position, trying to get the legislature off the ledge — and off the front pages — with that forced ultrasound bill. He ended up signing that one.
The bill would create a Republican super majority in both houses, so that even if a Democrat is elected governor, s/he’ll be unable to pass an agenda. Gov. McDonnell will sign this it.
Oct 05 2010
Citigroup, Ally Sued for Racketeering Over Database
By Margaret Cronin Fisk and Thom Weidlich – Oct 4, 2010
Citigroup Inc. and Ally Financial Inc. units were sued by homeowners in Kentucky for allegedly conspiring with Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. to falsely foreclose on loans.
The lawsuit, filed as a civil-racketeering class action on behalf of all Kentucky homeowners facing foreclosure, also names as a defendant Reston, Virginia-based MERS, the company that handles mortgage transfers among member banks. The suit claims that through MERS the banks are foreclosing on homes even when they don’t hold titles to the properties.
The homeowners claim the defendants filed or caused to be filed mortgages with forged signatures, filed foreclosure actions months before they acquired any legal interest in the properties and falsely claimed to own notes executed with mortgages.
Forgery is No Joke.
Neither is being evicted, by Banks who ‘really don’t own’ your Home.
Sep 24 2010
The New York Daily News reports:
Teresa Lewis died by lethal injection on Thursday night, the first woman in Virginia to be executed in nearly a century.
Lewis was prounounced dead at 9:13 p.m. as a small crowd of supporters stood outside in protest.
Though lawyers for Lewis waged a public campaign for the Gov. of Virginia to intervene, there was no 11th hour reprieve for the 41-year-old woman, who was sentenced to death for plotting the 2002 murders of her husband and stepson.
Lewis reportedly spent her last day meeting with her immediate family, a spiritual adviser, and supporters at the prison where she was executed.
For her last supper, she requested a meal of fried chicken breasts, peas with butter, a slice of German cake or a piece of apple pie, and a Dr. Pepper, according to SkyNews.
And so a woman with the IQ of 72 is killed by Virginia, and those who actually fired the shots that resulted in the double murders received life sentences.
If this is justice, the law is an ass.
Sep 22 2010
Virginia plans to execute Teresa Lewis on Thursday evening at 9 pm. There’s no question she was deeply involved in two murders nine years ago, that of her husband and of her son. But you have to ask why she’s being killed when the two men who actually fired the weapons received life sentences. And you have to wonder what the point of killing someone with an IQ of 72 might be, even if you’re not ordinarily appalled at the prospect of lethal injection.
The crime in this case is horrendous. There’s no question that it merits at the very least long term imprisonment. The New York Times provides the following about the crime:
Aug 07 2010
Apr 07 2010
Though I no longer live there, I suppose I will always be a Son of the South. Where I grew up, a strong sense of solidarity with the Lost Cause of the Confederacy still existed, which to me was more a romantic ideal of what might had been then any desire for Round Two of the conflict. I always felt it to be analogous to the sort of people who support a particular sports team that is always a heavy underdog and spend much time waxing poetically between themselves about close losses. “If only”, these attitudes seemed to say. “If only.” So on at least one level I think I can understand the mentality of the Teabaggers, since their resistance to Progressive reforms is often tied to a profound sense of nostalgia for some golden age long past and likely never to return. The particularly irony, of course, is that this epoch they reference never really existed in the first place.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s decision to denote the month of April as Confederate History Month and the controversy surrounding it reminds me of the political back and forth that raged when my home state of Alabama was contemplating removing the Confederate flag from the top of the Capitol building in Montgomery. Then, as now, many of the same arguments were heard. After years of debate, the flag was at last taken down. South Carolina is the last of the southern states to keep the flag flying, but even so, several other Deep South states incorporate the design into their own state flags, having faced massive popular backlash when they threatened to remove the pattern altogether.
Jan 04 2010
Jul 24 2009
Happy Friday and welcome to the 12th in the Dog’s First Amendment Friday series. This series is following the syllabus for the class called The First Amendment and taught at Yale Law School by Professor Jack M. Balkin. As with the Friday Constitutional series this is a layman’s look at the Law, specifically the Supreme Court opinions which have shaped the boundaries of our 1st Amendment Protections. If you are interested in the previous installments you can find them at the links below:
“Originally posted at Squarestate.net“
Jul 16 2009
A Virginia newspaper is expressing regret for supporting the state’s fight to maintain separate schools for blacks and whites in the 1950s.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch says in Thursday’s editorial that it played a central role in the “dreadful doctrine” of Massive Resistance _ a systematic campaign by Virginia’s white political leaders to block school desegregation. The newspaper says that “the record fills us with regret.”
The newspaper took the unusual step of promoting the editorial on its front page. It comes on the eve of a conference in Richmond marking the 50th anniversary of the end of Massive Resistance.