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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 77,735

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Northam bounces back from blackface scandal to campaign

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — When a blackface scandal nearly forced Gov. Ralph Northam from office in February, the folksy pediatrician became an instant pariah among fellow Democrats. A political death watch took shape as the governor used underground tunnels at the Capitol to stay out of sight.

Now, nine months later, Northam is standing front and center on the campaign trail as he stumps for Democrats who once called for him to resign.

Like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — who was recently reelected in a stronger-than-expected showing after pictures of him in blackface surfaced — Northam has proven resilient to what many thought was a fatal scandal.

On Saturday morning, he was at a campaign canvass kickoff in Virginia Beach exhorting supporters to help Democrats flip control of the state legislature and send a message about the state's values.

Read more: https://www.roanoke.com/news/politics/northam-bounces-back-from-blackface-scandal-to-campaign/article_811a18ab-3ccf-5e27-9e8e-ef14ad69d6cb.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2019, 04:26 AM (0 replies)

Judge orders Fairfax to allow George Mason University students to vote after registration

Judge orders Fairfax to allow George Mason University students to vote after registration applications were rejected

A federal judge ruled Friday that Fairfax County must allow 171 George Mason University students to vote next week after their voter registration applications were rejected for providing a generic university address.

U.S. District Court Judge Rossie Alston ordered the county to allow students who submitted their application on or before Oct. 15 to correct their address information, giving them until 5 p.m. Saturday to do so.

If the students miss that deadline, they must be allowed to vote Tuesday with a provisional ballot at the university’s Merlen Hall precinct if they provide their specific addresses beforehand, the judge ruled.

Earlier this week, the nonprofit Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law sued the county’s election officers in U.S. District Court in Alexandria after the students were told that the generic George Mason addresses on their applications made them ineligible to vote in Fairfax.

Read more: https://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/judge-orders-fairfax-to-allow-george-mason-university-students-to/article_5c66a730-525a-52b0-b871-b3397495416c.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2019, 04:15 AM (6 replies)

A governor-appointed commission begins work on improving black history education in Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The commission charged with making recommendations to create a more accurate and complete representation of black history in state education guidelines plans to finish its work by the time the state makes changes to the Standards of Learning again.

The 34-member Virginia Commission on African American History Education in the Commonwealth started about 10 months of work Monday at the University of Virginia.

Gov. Ralph Northam established the commission via executive order in August, the same day he spoke at an event to mark the arrival of the first slaves at Fort Monroe more than 400 years ago.

Northam said in the order that black history in Virginia is “difficult, complex and often untold.” At the commission’s meeting, he said black history in schools is often “inadequate” and “inaccurate,” a concern that has been echoed by educators.

Read more: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2019/10/29/a-governor-appointed-commission-begins-work-on-improving-teaching-of-black-history-in-virginia/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2019, 03:52 AM (0 replies)

Do Democrats have a rural future?

Rural Virginia has swung hard for Republicans over the last decade, driven by backlash to President Barack Obama, an emigration of more educated residents to urban and suburban areas, and a realignment in culture and voting patterns.

So why is a Democrat in exurban Northern Virginia running on the campaign slogan, “The Future is Rural”?

Laura Galante, who is running in the 18th House district, where Donald Trump won 61% and which consists of Fauquier, Warren, Culpeper and Rappahannock counties, explained it this way:

“People are looking for that sense of belonging and community that rural areas provide. We just need to make sure the opportunities are there to make a living and support your family and get an international-level education,” she said. “It’s that sense of pride in having a place you know well, like a rural area where you’ve either grown up and have five generations behind you in the ground, or you’re coming out for the first time to do some homesteading and have a dairy operation and still work for a tech company online. That’s the kind of life I see more and more people wanting.”

Read more: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2019/10/30/will-democrats-rural-campaigning-plant-roots-or-wither-on-the-vine/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2019, 03:41 AM (3 replies)

Democrats want voters to give them control of the statehouse Tuesday. What will they do if they get

Democrats want voters to give them control of the statehouse Tuesday. What will they do if they get it?

Virginia House Minority Leader Eileen Filler-Corn is careful not to sound presumptive, but she’s already thinking about what Democrats could do in year one, year two and beyond if they win control of the General Assembly.

If her party takes power in the elections Tuesday, she said, handling it wisely could mean the difference between one cycle of Democratic control and majorities that stand for “generations.”

“I think that there is a lot of good that we can do,” Filler-Corn said in a recent interview. “Some of that will be quick. And some of it may take some time.”

With all 140 seats in the state legislature up for election next week, 2019 could be a transformative year for Virginia politics. By flipping two seats in each chamber, Democrats could take full control of the statehouse for the first time in 26 years.

Read more: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2019/10/31/democrats-want-voters-to-give-them-control-of-the-statehouse-tuesday-what-will-they-do-if-they-get-it/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2019, 03:31 AM (0 replies)

Virginia is all-in on offshore wind but Dominion's decision raises questions about cost, competence

It’s not every day that the names of a major utility and the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization share space on a banner. But at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual offshore wind conference earlier this month in Boston, the logos of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club and Dominion Energy bookended those of half a dozen state agencies, educational institutions and business development organizations on a banner proclaiming Virginia’s commitment to offshore wind.

The banner anchored a large corner booth showcasing the strengths Virginia brings to the growing industry. Broad stakeholder support is one advantage; unlike Massachusetts, Virginia has seen little opposition to its plans for developing the 112,799-acre offshore wind energy area 27 miles out from Virginia Beach.

This broad stakeholder support is the product of more than a decade of work on the part of researchers, environmental organizations, the business community and elected leaders from both parties.

For the Sierra Club and Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration, offshore wind offers carbon-free, renewable energy and a way to position the Virginia as a leader in the green economy. For the Port of Virginia and Virginia Beach Economic Development, it brings new business opportunities. For Old Dominion University and Virginia Tidewater Community College, it’s a chance to train young people and participate in ground-breaking research in ocean science and engineering. And for Dominion Energy, it offers a new avenue for profit and a way to rebrand itself as a clean energy company without having to shed its core investments in fracked gas.

Read more: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2019/11/04/virginia-is-all-in-on-offshore-wind-but-dominions-decision-raises-questions-about-cost-competence/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2019, 03:20 AM (0 replies)

Liftoff: Antares rocket boosts resupply ship from Virginia to the space station

As seabirds swooped and Atlantic waves lapped under a crisp blue sky, an Antares rocket roared to life Saturday morning and blasted off from Virginia’s Eastern Shore without a hitch.

“Liftoff Antares!” said NASA spokeswoman Leah Cheshier as the booster shot skyward bearing a Cygnus spacecraft packed with more than 8,200 pounds of payload bound for the International Space Station. Whoops, cheers and applause broke out on the ground.

Minutes later, after the Cygnus successfully separated from the booster and achieved orbit, launch controllers at NASA Wallops Flight Facility clapped and shook hands. Colleagues monitoring from Houston and Dulles celebrated, too.

“Great job, Antares, and congratulations, Cygnus,” said one NASA controller. “And Wallops Range, great job today. And MARS, thanks so much for the support. Couldn’t have done it without you.”

Read more: https://www.pilotonline.com/news/dp-nw-antares-launch-iss-20191102-vxyz6f6dqndrvj7z2pngwq7n7e-story.html
(Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2019, 02:43 AM (3 replies)

Hampton Roads will be a major battleground as Democrats try to take power in Richmond

The battle for control of the Virginia General Assembly will be largely fought in Hampton Roads on Tuesday. And the question of which side wins will have a lot to do with what kind of laws on guns, voting, abortion and consumer protection Virginians will come under — as well as whether the state ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment and allows people to smoke marijuana without risking jail.

Some two decades of GOP control of the House of Delegates would end if only two districts change. A switch of only one seat in the state Senate would mean a Democratic-controlled body, thanks to Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax’s tie-breaking vote — and that would mean that Democrats hold the governor’s office and both chambers in the General Assembly for the first time since 1993.

The $7.9 million spent campaigning in six targeted Hampton Roads House districts — the 94th in Newport News, where there was a tie vote in 2017, the Hampton-and-Poquoson 91st, the Suffolk-and-Chesapeake 76th, Virginia Beach’s 83rd and 84th and the Norfolk-and-Eastern Shore 100th district — speaks to how fierce the fighting has been during these off-off year elections. So does the $2.9 million spent in three other districts the GOP hopes to win back after losing them in 2016 and 2017: Virginia Beach’s 21st and 85th, and the Newport News-to-Williamsburg 93rd.

Candidates and political scientists who’ve been around say the TV ads and mailers this year are some of the nastiest they’ve seen. Reaction to those may well set the tone when the General Assembly convenes in January, no matter which party has control, they say.

Read more: https://www.pilotonline.com/government/elections/vp-nw-2019-election-walkup-20191103-25mggppykvcvlg5qxhq2iylbq4-story.html
(Norfolk Virginian-Pilot)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Mon Nov 4, 2019, 02:34 AM (0 replies)

Virginia Business College gets provisional state approval

BRISTOL, Va. — Virginia Business College received a provisional certificate to operate Tuesday from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Meeting in Richmond, the council approved a plan by college officials to establish a four-year private business school on the former campus of Virginia Intermont College in Bristol.

College President Gene Couch called the approval a “significant step forward.”

“It’s a great first step. It’s like we’ve scored the touchdown; now we’ve got to kick the extra point,” Couch said Tuesday.

Read more: https://www.heraldcourier.com/news/local/virginia-business-college-gets-provisional-state-approval/article_2a0f2439-02b7-5c40-9be1-416eef9bf401.html
(Bristol Herald Courier)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Nov 3, 2019, 04:39 PM (0 replies)

As Democrats seek to take over the Texas House, do they stay to the left or move to the middle?

AUSTIN — Michelle Beckley isn’t hiding from anything.

Not her call for a special session on gun violence. Not her advocacy for LGBT Texans. And not her push, before arriving at the Texas House, to stop the Carrollton Police Department from cooperating with federal immigration authorities to turn over immigrants in their custody.

“I’m not scared of my record at all,” said the blue-haired, 49-year-old freshman Democrat who stunned political observers by flipping a traditionally Republican district in 2018. “The reality is the tide’s changing, it’s flipping. Everything’s been trending Democrat.”

With crucial elections next year, will Beckley’s unabashed political stance help or hurt Democrats who are hoping to take the Texas House for the first time since 2003?

Beckley is one of 12 Democrats who won traditionally Republican districts last year, in an election which combined an unexpected enthusiasm for Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke and a political backlash against President Donald Trump to put Democrats just nine seats away from taking the lower chamber of the Legislature.

Read more: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2019/11/02/as-democrats-seek-texas-house-majority-do-they-stay-to-the-left-or-move-to-the-middle/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Sun Nov 3, 2019, 02:17 PM (4 replies)
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