Falls Church Forum: "The Impact of Climate Change on the Health of Latino Communities"

Sunday, August 30, 2015

This past Wednesday, Voces Verdes- Latino Leadership in Action hosted a forum in Falls Church entitled, "The Impact of Climate Change on the Health of the Latino Community." Speakers included Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-Alexandria/Arlington), Vanessa Cardenas (Latino Outreach Director of World Wildlife Fund), Lisa Garcia (Earthjustice's VP of Litigation for Healthy Communities), Hareth Andrade (DREAMer & Arlington activist). I wasn't able to make the forum, unfortunately, but Del. Lopez (moderator of the forum) was kind enough to forward me his opening and closing remarks, which I include below (after the "flip"). Also check out the tweets (in English and Spanish) and photos courtesy of Voces Verdes Twitter feed. Finally, check out this recent poll, which found that "Latinos have an intense commitment to action on climate change, carbon pollution standards, development of renewable energy sources, and strong policies to clean up our waterways and air."

@VocesVerdes "Me interesa este tema del #cambioclimatico porque tiene que ver con nuestra salud y los trabajos."
‏@VocesVerdes "Let's make sure that #climatechange is not a soap opera. We don't want a tragic ending. It affects us daily."
‏@VocesVerdes "Flooding like in #hamptonroads directly affects #jobs & quality of life." - @Lopez4VA #voces4climate #climatechange #cleanenergy
@VocesVerdes  "Tenemos que conectar nuestra vida cotidiana con el #medioambiente." -Lisa Garcia, @Earthjustice #voces4climate
@VocesVerdes "Cómo vamos a crear un movimiento tan fuerte como lo de #inmigración?" - Gaston Araoz #voces4climate #virginia
@VocesVerdes "If thousands of #scientists say #climatechange is real, we can't give weight to the oil & gas industry." @Lopez4VA
‏@VocesVerdes  "El impacto que estamos teniendo en el #planeta está impactando más a los pobres." -@vcardenasDC #voces4climate
@VocesVerdes  "Cuál es el rol del @Pontifex en este movimiento de #accionclimatica?" - Federico Cura #virginia #voces4climate
@VocesVerdes  Quien dijo que no nos importa nuestro medio ambiente!? Estamos aquí y de aquí no nos vamos #AccionClimatica
@VocesVerdes  "Tenemos que hablar con nuestras familias. Necesitamos un movimiento fuerte." - Hareth Andrade, Dreamers of #Virginia
@VocesVerdes "We need to call upon our #electedofficials to talk to us about #climatechange. Queremos acción." - @vcardenasDC, @WWF #voces4climate
@VocesVerdes "We have to show that we as #Latinos are united & care about nuestra #madretierra." - Lisa Garcia, @Earthjustice
‏@VocesVerdes  "No hay cuestión que nos importa #inmigración. Es que también nos importa el cuidado del #medioambiente." - Lisa Garcia #voces4climate
@VocesVerdes "#Latinos are more likely to live near polluting facilities."-Lisa Garcia, @Earthjustice #voces4climate #ActOnClimate
‏@VocesVerdes  Our amazing panel today. Lisa Garcia from Earthjustice taking the mic right now en español! #ActOnClimate
@VocesVerdes "Tenemos que cuidar a nuestra creación." -@vcardenasDC #voces4climate #CambioClimatico #accionclimatica #actonclimate
@VocesVerdes Thank you to our panelists for speaking to #Virginia community members about the #CleanPowerPlan! #voces4climate
@VocesVerdes  Voces Verdes is so proud of Falls Church's Latinos for the amazing outcome today
@VocesVerdes  "El #cambioclimatico es real y nos esta afectando donde vivimos y trabajamos."

Sunday News: GOP, Dem Races Tighten in IA; Another Push for Medicaid Expansion Coming?

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, August 30.

*Iowa poll: Trump, Carson lead GOP race
*Democrats worry about autumn after Clinton's summer of stumbling
*Trump to decide 'very soon' on whether to rule out independent bid
*Sanders Within Striking Distance of Clinton in Iowa
*Top Jeb fundraisers leave campaign amid troubling signs ("The move comes amid weak poll numbers and concerns that Bush's torrid fundraising pace has slowed.")
*Dems say party chair blocked Iran resolution at DNC meeting (Not cool at all.)
*Chris Christie: As president I would hire FedEx CEO to teach us how to track immigrants like packages (Sounds just like Barbara Comstock, and that's not a good thing.)
*Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Visits Albemarle on Campaign Trail
*Commentary: Solar can help Virginia meet clean-energy goals (" For the sake of our environment, economy, and future generations, we can't afford to wait to tackle global warming.")
*Schapiro: In Va. politics, sometimes there's less than meets the eye ("Don't rule out another push for a Medicaid-financed expansion of Obamacare. A seemingly unlikely endorsement for Northam. Gillespie eyes Senate - again. And Supreme Court pick could survive.")
*Casey: Gun control efforts are unwelcome in Richmond ("'s going to be even harder to win approval from a gang of lawmakers who are so reflexively pro-gun that they would reject firearms restrictions on 4-year-olds.")
*Gilmore campaigns in Petersburg, says Trump has yet to accept challenge for one-on-one debate
*Virginia relaxes restrictions on death row inmates
*University, college presidents move up state compensation list
*Editorial: Being No. 1 in congestion takes a heavy toll on region 
*Millennials have transformed Arlington, but will they stay?
*Zimmermann stifles Marlins, Nats gain a game on Mets (That's what the Nats need, a pitching staff that "stifles" opponents day after day for the next month.)
*D.C. area forecast: Sunday starts a several-day stretch of highs near or past 90

Photos: Mark "Criminalize Miscarriages" Obenshain and Scott "Circling the Drain" Walker

Saturday, August 29, 2015

It's great to see Scott Walker recover sufficiently from Out-Of-Control Scott Walker Injured After Wildly Careening Between Stances On Immigration to be able to attend today's event in Woodbridge with Virginia State Senator Mark "Criminalize Miscarriages" Obenshain (Far-right "R") and what looks to be a huge crowd of...maybe a few dozen people? LOL. For other, recent news about Scott "I'm going to punt on that one" Walker, see Scott Walker Is Circling The Drain: Experts Slam His "Childish" Comments On China, Scott Walker Takes $250 Million From U. Wisconsin, Gives $250M To Billionaire Sports Team Owners'It's just wrong': Walker defends Cruz from Boehner 'jackass' attackScott Walker falls flat on his faceScott Walker clueless on both guns and mental health6 ways Scott Walker has become more Trumpy, etc., etc. So yeah, crazy extremist Mark Obenshain and crazy extremist Scott Walker are just purrrrrfect for each other. Also gotta love the sign for Manassas City Mayor Hal Parrish, that supposedly more "moderate" Republican who's anything but...

Del. Marcus Simon on Jamycheal Mitchell: "This makes me incredibly sad and angry at the same time"

How can this lunacy happen in the United States of America in 2015? I agree 100% with Del. Marcus Simon: "This makes me incredibly sad and angry at the same time," and we "need to get serious about fixing our broken mental health system in Virginia before more people die!" I'd add that nobody - let alone someone with severe mental illness - should be in jail for stealing a Snickers bar and a 2-liter Mountain Dew - let alone for months "while awaiting trial on the charges." Add this one to the outrageous case of Natasha McKenna, and yes Virginia, we've got a major problem here that needs to be addressed ASAP!

Saturday News: Calls for More Dem Debates; GOP Pours $$ Into 2015 VA Gen. Assembly Races

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Saturday, August 29. Also see President Obama's weekly address, this time on "his upcoming trip to Alaska, during which he will view the effects of climate change firsthand. Alaskans are already living with the impact of climate change, with glaciers melting faster, and temperatures projected to rise between six and twelve degrees by the end of the century." Given this and other environmental threats, I urge President Obama to announce his absolute opposition to oil and/or gas drilling in the Arctic. And no, I don't buy President Obama's argument that "high standards" are sufficient; the fact is, an oil spill in the Arctic would be a catastrophe, not in any way/shape/form worth the risk.

*Paul Krugman: Crash-Test Dummies as Republican Candidates for President ("The point is that one side of the political aisle has been utterly determined to learn nothing from the economic experiences of recent years. If one of these candidates ends up in the hot seat the next time crisis strikes, we should be very, very afraid.")
*Underdogs blast Democratic leaders, Hillary Clinton (I definitely agree that there should be more debates, probably twice as many...)
*As GOP outsiders surge, insiders favor Jeb Bush (Not surprising.)
*Don Lemon slams CNN for homophobic coverage of shootings of Virginia journalists
*Donald Trump plays a dangerous game: The dark side of making America great again ("Fascists always masquerade as patriots -- but their sinister motives are never far beneath the surface")
*Sarah Palin Lobs Softballs at Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush (What a pathetic oke.)
*Senator powerfully indicts colleagues for gun control cowardice: "We are essentially sending a message of quiet endorsement of these murders"
*Jeb Bush's foot-in-mouth problem ("When Jeb Bush opens his mouth, danger occurs.")
*GOP group to pump $100K into Va. races in bid to draw women, minorities (This is what Republicans have been doing for a long time at the state and local level, while Democrats have mostly allowed them to run roughshod and demolish our "farm team." When are Democrats going to wake up and fight this battle to win?)
*Jim Webb Snubs DNC Summer Meeting Over Clinton Favoritism
*Jim Webb Campaign: Reaching Out to DNC 'About As Useful as Sticking One's Hand Into a Wood Chipper'
*Gilmore challenges Trump to 'mano a mano' debate on birthright citizenship
*Alison Parker's parents call for reform; McAuliffe offers support to WDBJ family
*Court moves toward special master to redraw 3rd Congressional District
*Va. Supreme Court secretary responds to FOIA lawsuit
*Jailed over $5 theft, inmate found dead in cell at regional jail (Absolutely inexcusable on almost every level.)
*Public's business should be public
*Officials say WDBJ attack was 'well-planned,' 'premeditated'
*WDBJ reporter's father criticizes senators for not calling family
*Northern Virginia teen sentenced to 11 years for aiding Islamic State
*Virginia Shooter's Ex-Boss Tells of His 'Abrasive' Behavior (Sounds like a nightmare employee.)
*Marlins handle Scherzer and hold off the Nationals, 4-3 (This season is very close to being over.)
*D.C. area forecast: Summertime heat and humidity build back in

Video: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders Speeches to the DNC 2015 Summer Meeting

Friday, August 28, 2015

A bit earlier this afternoon, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders spoke to the Democratic National Committee (DNC)'s 2015 summer meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Here's video of the speeches, which are a fascinating contrast in style and (to a lesser extent) substance. As for Jim Webb, see Jim Webb Snubs DNC Summer Meeting Over Clinton Favoritism (whatever).

Huh? "National" Day of Action for Two Local GOP Candidates 99.99999% of the Nation's Never Heard Of

Seriously? A "national" day of action for a local County Board and School Board candidate who probably 99.99999999% of the nation has never heard of (nor cares about)? Delusions of grandeur or just completely clueless?

Virginia Dems Attend WDBJ Vigil; Virginia Republicans Busy Fundraising

According to the Roanoke Times, Democratic State Senate candidate Mike Hamlar cancelled a fundraiser last night so he could attend the "Stop the Violence vigil" outside WDBJ's station. Attorney General Mark Herring (D) also attended the vigil last night, as did State Senator John Edwards (D-Roanoke). In contrast, Edwards' Republican challenger, Nancy Dye, along with State Senator Mark Obenshain, were busy doing what they do best: fundraising. Which would normally be fine, except that Republicans have been incessantly lecturing Democrats about how it's wrong to talk politics during a period of mourning. Hypocrisy much? Meanwhile, what we need is action to strengthen laws in a way that protects all of us against rampant gun violence. Which means, in turn, that we need to start by booting Republicans - and really anyone of either party in the pocket of the NRA - out of office (or at least pressuring them to change their ways).

P.S. I can just hear the pushback now: "but Lowell, you're politicizing the politicizing of the politicians attending a political event." LOL

P.P.S. By the way, former Rep. Eric Can'tor and "JEB" Bush were busy fundraising last night as well...

Friday News: "GOP's denial won't defeat trump;" "Clinton email 'scandal' that isn't"

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Friday, August 28. Also check out President Obama's speech in New Orleans marking the 10-year Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

*Boat sinks off the coast of Libya, killing as many as 200; death toll up from abandoned truck in Austria (What a nightmare.)
*Key ruling gives workers more power to unionize (Nice!)
*Tech nerds are smart. But they can't seem to get their heads around politics.
*Dow Jones Industrial Average Rallies After US Economic Growth Surges In Second Quarter(Demonstrating that this was possibly the stupidest stock market "correction" ever.)
*Trump and the Dangers of Passionate Politics (Excellent analysis by Mike Signer.)
*The GOP's denial won't defeat Trump
*The Hillary Clinton e-mail 'scandal' that isn't (Wildly overblown by an irresponsible corporate media that despises the Clintons.)
*New poll showing Clinton beating everyone is reported as bad news for Hillary (Perfect example of how biased the corporate media is.)
*Breitbart Defends Homophobic, Race Bait-y Virginia Shooting Coverage (Breitbart is truly the dregs of the dregs...)
*Virginia Shooting Spotlights Riddle of Workplace Safety
*Eric Cantor endorsing Jeb Bush (Hahahaha.)
*Digging into big coal's climate connections ("Now, the bankruptcy filings of Alpha Natural Resources, a large Virginia-based coal company, provide a rare window into the list of political and advocacy organizations the company has funded. E&E Legal (formerly known as the American Tradition Institute) is one of them. Other recipients include the Heartland Institute, which compared climate scientists to the Unabomber, the American Legislative Exchange Council and numerous others.")
*Jindal Writes Letter To Obama Telling Him Not To Talk About Climate During Katrina Anniversary Visit (Jindal's at 1% or less in polls, and rightly so...the guy epitomizes what he called the "stupid party.")
*Jeb Bush is losing, and the GOP establishment has no one to blame but itself ("Elites are indicting Jeb Bush for Donald Trump's success. But if they want culprits, they should look in a mirror")
*McDonnell's lawyers tell Supreme Court he was victim of 'high-profile political prosecution' (Actually, he was the "victim" of his own actions.)
*Virginia Democrats Push Gun Reforms After News Crew Is Killed (Del. Patrick Hope: "Yes, I'm taking advantage of a situation where it's really raw for people right now, but people are frustrated and we've got to quit hiding behind this do-nothing attitude.")
*As partisan fight simmers, optimist-in-chief McAuliffe brushes concerns away
*McAuliffe on guns, and the pro-gun outrage loop (The vast majority of Virginians are on Terry McAuliffe's side on this one.)
*McAuliffe's call for tighter gun controls upsets Republicans (Whatever.)
*McAuliffe promises more money for education in spending plan
*Swecker: Leaving us behind - The Republican problem with women in Virginia ("Everywhere you look in Virginia, Republicans are torpedoing their relationship with women. Let me assure you - it's going to be an issue in November. From the backward policies discussed in the GOP debate to political temper tantrums here in Virginia, the GOP is burning any bridge it might have to women voters.")
*Hamlar camp nixes fundraiser with attorney general in light of WDBJ tragedy
*WDBJ staffers pull together after attack on 'our family'
*Politicians speak at vigil for WDBJ shooting victims
*Nationals hold off Padres, but win comes with more injuries ("Michael A. Taylor and Yunel Escobar leave the game with injuries and Denard Span returns to the disabled list to overshadow a sterling start from Joe Ross as Washington wins at home.")
*D.C. area forecast: Warm but tolerable today, with bigger heat on the way

Eric Can'tor and "JEB" Bush: Two Corporate Peas in a Corrupt Pod

Thursday, August 27, 2015

First, here's the response by the Democratic National Committee to this ridiculous endorsement.
"Eric Cantor was defeated by GOP primary voters for being too cozy with Wall Street and the GOP establishment, and Jeb Bush is being relegated to middle-of-the-pack status by GOP presidential primary voters for exactly the same reasons. Jeb Bush seems to go out of his way to show he's out of touch." - Christina Freundlich, DNC spokeswoman
Now, a few comments from on Twitter.‏@realDonaldTrump "Who wants the endorsement of a guy (@EricCantor) who lost in perhaps the greatest upset in the history of Congress?"
‏@IngrahamAngle "Kiss of Death Alert: Eric Cantor will endorse Jeb Bush on Thurs. evening and will
@michellemalkin "Dear America: Please do to JebBush what Virginia conservatives did to Big Govt loser Eric Cantor."
@LOLGOP "If Jeb Bush had convinced Eric Cantor to endorse Donald Trump, that would have helped Jeb."
@hotairblog "Eric Cantor to endorse - who else? - Jeb Bush"
@chucktodd "Jeb's announcement of his VA co-chairs, which includes Eric Cantor, also interesting for who is NOT on it... ex-Bush 43 aide Ed Gillespie"
@jeisrael - "Endorsement from Eric Cantor, the right winger so corporate the Tea Party voted him out, speaks volumes about Jeb!"
@progressive_va  "Corporate-owned loser endorses corporate-owned loser: Eric Cantor to endorse Jeb Bush"
@RalstonReports "Twitter is not endorsing the Cantor endorsement."
I'd just add that both Can'tor and Bush are two corporate peas in a corrupt pod, that this endorsement might help Bush with fundraising as he tries to buy the nomination, but that it clearly will backfire/is backfiring with the right-wingnut "base." Gotta love it.
P.S. According to Politico: "Cantor is to introduce Bush on Thursday evening at a fundraiser in Richmond and then will appear with him Friday morning at a VFW post in Norfolk, for a town hall focused on veterans issues. Bush's other Virginia state co-chairs are Kay Coles James, director of the Office of Personnel Management under President George W. Bush, and John Hager, former Virginia lieutenant governor. Both will attend the fundraiser."