Donald Trump has always made it abundantly clear that his choice for the Supreme Court would be someone who, like him, is staunchly determined to overturn abortion rights as well as many other civil and human rights. In picking Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee, he is fulfilling that promise.
Kavanaugh’s pick is the most frightening of all the prolific steps toward autocracy that the Trump regime has taken so far. Seeing Trump’s cozy conversation, just concluded, with his Russian puppet master in Helsinki highlights the danger of picking a nominee with so little regard for rights and rule of law.
Whatever he might say about respecting precedent and giving due consideration to the facts of each case, Mr. Kavanaugh has demonstrated that he will not hesitate to bend the law to serve his views. In a dissenting opinion on a recent DC Circuit Court decision, Kavanaugh argued against allowing a young undocumented woman to access abortion care, putting her health at risk by delaying the procedure. In another dissent, he argued that the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement places a “substantial burden” on religious employers who seek exemption from this mandate.
Some might say that we dodged a bullet – that Kavanaugh is actually more “moderate” than other potential nominees. Should we feel relief then? Certainly not. Kavanaugh believes the President should not be subject to subpoena or charged with a crime while in office. His writings indicate that he would favor dismissing the independent counsel’s investigation as unconstitutional, making the prospect of his participation in Supreme Court rulings regarding the Mueller investigation yet another dramatic threat to American democracy.
The Fairfax County NAACP has been named the top branch in the country by the national organization. The branch will receive the prestigious Thalheimer Award, given annually to the branch with the most outstanding achievements, next week at the NAACP’s Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
“Fairfax County is the home of the best branch in the NAACP in the nation,” said Kofi Annan, president of the Fairfax branch in announcing the award. “We’ve always felt that way … but today it became official!”
Established in 1944, the Thalheimer Award recognizes “outstanding achievements” by local branches in “the implementation of the Association’s strategic priorities and goals.” These include “enhancing advocacy, civic engagement, economic and political empowerment, criminal justice, and educational equity.” The award is named for Dr. Ross Thalheimer, a psychologist who was executive director of the Community Guidance Service and also founder of the American Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.
In its application for the award, the branch cited a variety of activities and initiatives, including the successful two-year “Change the Name” campaign that sought to convince the Fairfax County School Board to change the name of J.E.B. Stuart High School. Name change proponents pointed out that naming the most diverse high school in the county after a Confederate general was a detriment to learning and an insult to students and residents alike.
In July 2017, the school board voted that the name of J.E.B. Stuart had to go and later in the year support coalesced around the name Justice High School. The school is being revamped this summer and will officially open with its new moniker next month.
My mother, who passed away in May at the age of 100, was a lifelong Republican. But she was also a conservationist and environmentalist who was deeply concerned about climate change. She could not abide pollution and the waste of resources. She was horrified by Scott Pruitt and by the president’s blinkered support for coal.
It turns out that my Republican conservationist mother’s opinions reflect Republican voters’ views generally.
As of this spring, a Yale University-George Mason University poll showed that 69 percent of Republicans support regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
Before the 2015 climate talks in Paris, 85 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of Republicans, and 71 percent of survey respondents overall agreed that reaching an international accord to limit global warming was important.
The bottom line is that, while Democratic voters tend to feel more strongly about these issues than Republicans, there is widespread bipartisan support for reducing greenhouse gas emission, advancing our reliance on renewables, and meeting our commitments to the global community.
What these poll results also signify is that many national Republican politicians are not only hiding from well-established scientific and court findings, they are out of step with of their constituents.
Republicans like Richard Nixon and George H. W. Bush took the high road on public health and environmental issues because of strong public support that crossed party lines. At the state level, the three states that lead in wind energy, with 41 percent of installed capacity—Texas, Oklahoma, and Iowa—were counted in Trump’s column.
The primaries are over, summer is here, and it’s time to buckle down and take back the House and Senate. There are lots of opportunities to volunteer, and one of the most important things you can do is get out there and canvass. This means pounding the pavement and knocking on your neighbors’ doors to make sure everyone knows how critical their votes are in 2018.
Taking back the House starts with taking the 10th, as Virginia’s 10th Congressional District has two precincts right here in Hunter Mill. If we want Barbara Comstock out, canvassing for Sen. Jennifer Wexton will get it done.
Taking back the Senate means reelecting Tim Kaine, which takes everyone across all of Virginia. As we learned in 2016, we can take nothing for granted, and beating neo-Confederate Corey Stewart requires running up the score right here in Hunter Mill. Knocking doors helps us do that.
There are several canvassing events already scheduled (here are sign up links for Saturday and Sunday), and more are coming throughout the summer. Keep your eyes on the Hunter Mill calendar for these opportunities, and contact Maddy White at email@example.com or 571-299-9490 if you have any questions or concerns about participating.
What should be the role of cops in schools? Should armed police officers even be allowed in schools?
These were among the issues that rose to the surface in a tense meeting Monday night of a community group charged with reviewing the terms under which police officers are assigned to high schools and middle schools throughout the county.
“Kids should not be consigned to hell because they made one mistake [in school],” argued Matthew Dunne, representing the Fairfax County Council of PTAs. Dunne and 14 others are members of the School Resource Officer (SRO) Community Review Committee, appointed by Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova to review the draft of a new memorandum of understanding between the Fairfax County School Board and the Police Department governing the cops-in-schools policy.
The meeting was attended by about 50 members of the public, some of whom waved signs and heckled speakers. Bulova, Police Chief Ed Roessler, and School Superintendent Dr. Scott Braband bore the brunt of criticism as committee members questioned key tenets of the program and called for more time to complete their review.
Bulova defended her decision to fix an accelerated timetable of only three meetings for the SRO committee, pointing out that the new agreement had to be finalized this summer so it could take effect with the start of school on Aug. 28.
But some committee members pushed for a top-to-bottom review, and even questioned whether Fairfax should station police officers in schools at all.
“There are school systems elsewhere that have safe environments without the presence of armed guards in the schools,” said Sookyung Oh, a committee member representing National Korean American Services & Education Consortium. But Commitee Chair Shirley Ginwright, representing the Communities of Trust Committee, said the program of placing police in schools is a reality, and the question before the committee is how to improve it.
Tens of Thousands of demonstrators rallied Saturday in Washington, D.C., to protest the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy and separating children from their parents.
On a sweltering day in the capital, the crowd gathered at Lafayette Square across from the White House to protest separating thousands of children from their parents at the border and the new plan to detain families together. Some 600 “Families Belong Together” rallies were held around the country.
The rally began with Sebastian Medina-Tayac of the Piscataway Indian Nation addressing the crowd in Spanish and English, reminding people that this is a nation of immigrants. Then he beat the drum.
Then Jocelyn, an undocumented immigrant who didn’t want to give her full name, told of how she was separated from her son when she came to the United States from Brazil last August and she was held at a detention facility in Texas. She said that she was told that her son could be adopted. It took 9 months for them to be reunited.
Celebrities Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the smash musical “Hamilton,” singer Alicia Keys and actress America Ferrera were among the rally speakers. Miranda sang a lullaby from “Hamilton,” Keys read a letter from a mother separated from her son and Ferrera talked about being a new mother, her Honduran roots and her duty to defend justice.
After the rally, protesters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue past the Trump International Hotel to the Department of Justice.
Jennifer Wexton is leading U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock among all potential voters by 10 points, 49 to 39, with 12 percent undecided or supporting someone else in Virginia’s CD-10 race, according to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday, June 26.
Half of the voters in CD-10 identify themselves as independents, and Virginia Democratic State Sen. Wexton leads among this group by 45% to 36%. She also has stronger support among her fellow Democrats (97% to 1% for Comstock) than Comstock has among her fellow Republicans (85% to 10% for Wexton).
Comstock’s prospects appear to be hampered by voters’ negative views of President Trump – 53% disapprove of the job he has done compared to 42% who approve in the latest Monmouth poll.
Voters also express a preference to have Democrats (42%) rather than Republicans (34%) control of Congress.
Wexton is leading among white college graduates by 50% to 41%. She also leads among black, Hispanic, and Asian voters regardless of education level by 62% to 21%.
“With Donald Trump in the White House, Scott Pruitt heading the EPA, Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education and Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, I am very concerned about how much damage is going to be done to our country in the next couple of years and the only way we’re going to stop it is to take back the House,” said Jennifer Wexton at a breakfast Monday sponsored by Dulles Area Democrats.
And there’s a good chance that Virginia State Sen. Wexton, the Democratic candidate will defeat U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock in CD-10 this November.
According to a Monmouth University poll released Tuesday, Wexton is leading Comstock by 10 points — 49 to 39, with 12 percent undecided or supporting someone else — even though most voters said they had no opinion of Wexton. Comstock’s prospects are weighted down by voters’ negative views of President Trump – 53% disapprove of the job he has done compared to 42% who approve in the latest poll.
Wexton drew stark contrasts with her opponent on the issues.
“I have been fighting down in Richmond for gun violence prevention legislation for years,” said Wexton. “I never received a dime from the NRA nor will I. I have received failing grades from them every time. Barbara Comstock has an A rating from the NRA. Despite her relatively short tenure in Congress, she is one of the top recipients of funding from them.”
“She is terrible on the environment. She has a zero from the League of conservation voters, and I have 100%,” Wexton said. “On women’s health, the same thing. She is zero, she’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood. I am a NARAL champion and have been supported by them and have fought in Richmond to eliminate unconstitutional restrictions on a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion.”
“So there are great contrasts here and the stakes are pretty high and I need your help because she is not going to be an easy person to beat, said Wexton, who beat five other Democratic candidates by a wide margin in the Democratic Primary June 10.
Wexton answered questions from the audience at the Amphora Diner in Herndon about her chances of winning in November. She said the day she announced her candidacy, the Cook Report moved its rating for the CD-10 race from lean Republican to a toss-up, citing her entry in the race as their reason.
Volunteer Onboarding, Training, Engagement, and Deployment
Susan Johnson, Precinct Ops, and her task force have spent many hours talking through the fine points of welcoming new volunteers in an efficient, consistent, and timely fashion. They are seeking at least 15 members, representing all districts, to join in this effort in welcoming new volunteers. We know Hunter Mill can supply some!