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    Virginia Tag

    Some schools across the country will close on March 8,  the same day as the Day Without a Woman March, due to concerns they'll be short-staffed. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools in North Carolina will close. Durham Public Schools may close but have not reached a final decision. Chapel Hill-Carrboro Superintendent Jim Causby has decided to make March 8 a teacher workday and students will not have to make up the day:
    “The expected absences would make it difficult to teach students on March 8 and to provide essential services including transportation and food service,” the school system said in an emailed statement Thursday.

    The Supreme Court has chosen to send a Virginia transgender student's bathroom case back to the lower court after President Donald Trump's administration decided to do away with a directive from former President Barack Obama that stated students in schools can use which bathroom they want. The court should have heard the case later this month. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit had decided to allow transgender teen Gavin Grimm to use the bathroom of her choice.

    As if we needed more proof that we do not fully own our homes or property! Virginia faced three bills to regulate Airbnb type rentals, but only one made it to the Senate floor. Yes, the Virginian government wants to regulate how YOU rent out YOUR property to someone because it's totally their business. The bill from Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment (R-james City County) made it to the floor:
    “The shared economy presents a 21st century challenge to the General Assembly,” Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, R-James City County, said . “Who would’ve thought it would be like this five years ago?”

    The Accomack County Public Schools in Virginia has suspended the classics To Kill A Mockingbird and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn over racial slurs after a parent filed a complaint:
    "I keep hearing, 'This is a classic, This is a classic,' ... I understand this is a literature classic. But at some point, I feel that children will not -- or do not -- truly get the classic part -- the literature part, which I'm not disputing," she said at a Nov. 15 school board meeting. "This is great literature. But there (are so many) racial slurs in there and offensive wording that you can't get past that."

    Del. Sam Rasoul, the only Muslim in Virginia's General Assembly, has lashed out at his party over its treatment of Republicans and the tone of fear during the presidential election:
    “I feel as though the [leadership] right now is not committed to the radical changes we need to connect with the values of working class America,” said Rasoul, 35, the lone Muslim in the General Assembly. “We were sent a mandate on Election Day that we have to completely rethink the way we do business.” --- “Sure, we need to be super-strong in condemning acts of real hatred and bigotry and racism, but when people believe that all of Trump voters are racist, they really are not empathizing with the wants and needs of a lot of folks, and we are missing out,” he said.

    The Wall Street Journal has reported that a PAC associated with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a strong Hillary Clinton ally, handed over almost $500,000 to the 2015 state Senate campaign for Dr. Jill McCabe, wife of now FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. He later became involved with the FBI's investigation into Hillary's email:
    Campaign finance records show Mr. McAuliffe’s political-action committee donated $467,500 to the 2015 state Senate campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe, who is married to Andrew McCabe, now the deputy director of the FBI.

    Remember the whole Rolling Stone/University of Virginia/faux rape story?
    An investigation conducted by the Charlottesville Police Department found no evidence of rape at the accused University of Virginia fraternity. Months ago, Rolling Stone broke Jackie’s story. Jackie claimed she’d been gang raped by members of Phi Kappa Psi in 2012. When the Rolling Stone article sparked national outrage, UVA’s administration acted swiftly and without facts, punishing Greek life on campus. Then the Washington Post began to dig deeper into the Rolling Stone shocker. And that’s when the story began to quickly unravel and was eventually debunked in entirety.

    The Clinton campaign suffered a serious blow on Friday when the Virginian Supreme Court struck down Gov. Terry McAuliffe's blanket reinstatement of voting rights for convicted felons who have served their time. (Opinion here) WaPo reported:
    Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons violates Virginia’s constitution, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday, dealing a major blow to the Democratic governor with implications for the November presidential race in the crucial swing state. In a 4-to-3 decision, the court ruled that McAuliffe overstepped his clemency powers by issuing a sweeping order in April restoring rights to all ex-offenders who are no longer incarcerated or on probation or parole.

    Virginia's Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is in a bit of hot water. Monday, CNN was the first to report McAuliffe was under the FBI and Justice Department microscope. At the center of the investigation -- whether certain donations to his election campaign were extra-legal. McAuliffe served as a board member for former President Clinton's Clinton Global Initiative. His time there is also part of the federal investigation.

    Virginia's Democrat governor Terry McAuliffe just gave his party and Hillary Clinton a huge gift for the 2016 election by granting felons the right to vote. He did it by executive order to circumvent the state's Republican led legislature and claimed it was all about righting wrongs of the past. The New York Times reported:
    Virginia Governor Restores Voting Rights to Felons WASHINGTON — Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia used his executive power on Friday to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons, circumventing the Republican-run legislature. The action effectively overturns a Civil War-era provision in the state’s Constitution aimed, he said, at disenfranchising African-Americans.

    A 25-year-old black woman who appeared to be brandishing a handgun was shot and killed by police in Virginia; it was later discovered that, like Tamir Rice, she held a non-firing replica (see below). CBS reports:
    A 25-year-old black woman was shot and killed by police officers in Virginia on Saturday after threatening them with what turned out to be a fake handgun, police said. Investigators with the Norfolk Police Department's Vice and Narcotics Division were conducting a surveillance operation when they came across a fight in a parking lot, police said.

    If you've ever wondered what could make an American join the terror group ISIS, we can now confirm one reason is plain old-fashioned stupidity. Mohamad Khweis of Virginia doesn't seem to know what he was getting himself into. Mark Zapotosky reports at the Washington Post:
    American ISIS fighter captured by Kurds: ‘I found it hard’ The 26-year-old Virginia man who was taken into custody in Iraq after he purportedly deserted the Islamic State told a Kurdish TV station Thursday that he decided to escape after he grew dissatisfied during intensive religious training in Mosul.

    Virginia had an election in November which Democrats, including governor Terry McAuliffe, hoped would give them control of the state senate. They campaigned in part on gun control and lost, but that hasn't stopped them from pushing their agenda. After failing to achieve their goals through the democratic process, top Democrats are enacting gun control measures at the executive level. The Washington Post reported:
    Virginia to stop recognizing concealed carry gun permits from 25 states

    The Washington Post reports, Former Va. Gov. McDonnell and wife charged in gifts case:
    Former Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell and his wife Maureen were charged in federal court Tuesday with illegally accepting gifts, luxury vacations and large loans from a wealthy Richmond-area businessman who sought special treatment from state government. The two were charged in connection with their relationship with dietary supplement executive Jonnie R. Williams Sr. Authorities alleged McDonnell and his wife received gifts from Williams again and again, lodging near constant requests for money, clothes, trips, golf accessories and private plane rides. In exchange, they alleged the McDonnells worked in concert to lend the prestige of the governorship to Williams’s struggling company, a small former cigarette manufacturer that now sells dietary supplements.
    Update:  Here is the Indictment (full embed at bottom of post):

    With less than two weeks to go before the Virginia gubernatorial election, candidates Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli (aka Sauron and SpongeBob Squarepants) are each receiving campaign support from some pretty well-known political figures. On Saturday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a “rousing endorsement” to an audience in Falls Church, Virginia for Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe. (Whom some in Virginia have branded “Terry McAwful”) This week, former President Bill Clinton is set to join McAuliffe at five different campaign events in Virginia. Meanwhile, Rick Santorum is on team Cuccinelli. His PAC,  Patriot Voices, is calling for volunteers to “Join our Strikeforce and help Ken Cuccinelli become the next Governor of Virginia!”

    In late February, the Washington Post ran an editorial Solution Politics in Virginia that began: IN VIRGINIA, A REPUBLICAN governor and a GOP-dominated legislature have joined forces with Democrats to enact the first long-term increase in transportation funding since the Reagan administration — and the state’s...