Sometimes there is nothing so dangerous — or exciting — in politics as the unexpected. For the 24 Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for president, the unexpected has just happened. It hasn’t come from any of the usual places that might spring a surprise — a scandal here, an overseas crisis there, or even the latest burst from President Trump’s Twitter account. Instead, it’s come from a group that once was the bedrock of Democratic victories but lately has found itself shunted aside. The union representing coal miners has invited the Democratic candidates to visit a coal mine.
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What should we make of the raucous Abingdon roundtable on Virginia gun laws? Here are eight takeaways:
So, Gov. Ralph Northam has called a special session of the General Assembly to take up gun-related legislation in the wake of last Friday’s mass shooting in Virginia Beach. Let’s parse the politics of this:
In the aftermath of that shooting, then-Gov. (and now U.S. Sen.) Tim Kaine did something extraordinary. He ordered a study of what happened and what could be done to prevent another such mass shooting. Kaine put together an all-star commission. The panel’s report made 72 recommendations — on everything from the role of police on a college campus to how Montgomery County should operate its emergency services. In between, there were more controversial recommendations on gun laws, privacy laws and Virginia’s mental health system. How many of those were ever acted on? On the 10th anniversary of the Tech shooting, we called on then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe to either reconvene the commission or appoint a new one to conduct an audit of those 72 recommendations. He did not. After the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last year, we called on Gov. Ralph Northam to do the same thing. He did not. Today, we again call on him to do so.
We now have in hand Virginia’s version of the Mueller Report — the investigation that Eastern Virginia Medical School ordered into the racist photo on Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook page and its culture in general.
So, is everyone ready for that “Game of Thrones” finale? Will Daenerys really sit on the Iron Throne? Or will Arya kill her? Don’t know? Don’t…
This will be an unfashionable statement in some quarters, we realize, but it is the truth: Some of the most creative thinking about building a new economy in rural Virginia is coming from the Republican state legislators who represent far Southwest Virginia.
Virginia, perhaps more than most states, is in love with its history. Our state capital has an entire street devoted to those we have deemed worthy of being enshrined in bronze. In truth, though, we’re only in love with some of our history, because there’s a lot of our history that was decidedly unlovable. That raises a troublesome question: What should we do about those parts of our history that we aren’t so proud of?
Stanley worries that a single casino would turn Danville into a miniature Atlantic City. Danville can debate that. But this isn’t debatable: A casino won’t turn anyone’s city into a miniature Silicon Valley.