Roush Out. No One In.

The House of Delegates nominated Rossie Alston for a seat on the state supreme court. The senate nomination failed, 20-20, with Lt. Gov. Northam breaking the tie with a vote against. Neither house nominated anyone else, so interim appointee Jane Roush is now out of a job, and Virginia has a short-staffed supreme court, with six justices and an empty chair.

Locally, the president of the county bar association, along with nine past presidents, signed a joint letter to the legislature, asking that politics not sully the process.

Because both sides in this dispute have openly acknowledged the fitness and high qualifications of this sitting justice, and because considerations that have nothing to do with this justice appear to be the source of the dispute, her removal from office would be completely unjustified[.]

If you look at the names of the signatories, you will see members of competing political persuasions. This should not be how our legislature sends messages, makes points, or flexes its official muscle.

I’ve met the Republican pick, Judge Alston. He seems like a smart, well spoken, very compassionate man. My personal opinion is that he proclaims a bit more faith in divine guidance than I feel comfortable with in a judge, but that he is nonetheless qualified. But so is was Justice Roush. Even the Republicans say so. And you can think Republican Senator John Watkins for the fact that his party wasn’t able to do a quick replacement (because he was the only Republican to vote “no,” creating the 20-20 tie that keeps the seat vacant). Watkins is not running for re-election. This means the next senate will have to vote on Roush’s replacement. With the majority now in play, this elevates the issue of how we pick our judges to an election-year issue.

This is a hot mess that should have been avoided. Maybe the governor should have taken more steps to obtain Republican approval (apparently, Dave Albo isn’t good enough). Maybe the majority should have put forth their nominee sooner. In either case, deference to what they call a “highly qualified” judge should have taken precedence over playing political football, and our legislature wasn’t up to that. Call this one a fail for the Democrats, but two fails for the Republicans, with the second one being ongoing until at least next year. (Oh, and, not a fail, but an inexcusable way to treat two decent judges who have no blame to take for any of this, but who are being politically molested and/or exploited, all for the sake of someone else’s agenda.)

Greece Will Shape Angela Merkel’s Legacy

A Greek exit from the euro zone could lead to a humanitarian crisis on Europe’s southern rim, spark contagion in euro countries that are only just emerging from years of deep recession, and stoke a fiery new debate about German austerity policies and Merkel’s handling of the crisis.

Read the full story at the South China Morning Post.

Self-driving cars nearly collide in California, raising questions about the technology


A near collision between two self-driving cars is now raising concerns over the technology. On Tuesday, two driverless prototypes, one operated by Google and the other by Delphi Automotive, nearly collided in Palo Alto, California.

Despite the obvious benefits of driverless cars and airplanes — namely safety and reduced emissions — “people have understandable concerns about the rapid pace of technological change, and about the role which robots could play in our future society,” the study found.

To read the rest of this very dumb article, go to The Washington Post.

Chinese Manufacturers Still Producing Confederate Flags

confederate hearts

While U.S. retailers plan to stop selling “Confederate” flags and merchandise, manufacturers in China appear to have no plans to follow suit.

“I didn’t get a chance to watch the news last week,” said Maggie Ma, of Qianxi Flag Co. in the central city of Wuhan. It was a view echoed by Jessie Liu, general manager of sales at Xiangying Textile in Shaoxing, south of Shanghai, who added with a sigh that she didn’t know much about the history of the U.S. Civil War era, because, “We’re always working and working, we don’t have any time to study these kind of things.”

As of this afternoon, hundreds of such items are available at Chinese manufacturers’ outlet Alibaba.

Read the full story at IBT.

New Poll: Hillary Running Behind Republicans In Battleground States

A new poll by Vox Populi Polling in the six battleground states most likely to determine the 2016 presidential election show that Hillary Clinton trails a generic Republican candidate by 1 percentage point overall.

The 46–47 showing for the former secretary of state is a departure from nearly every poll since March that asked voters to choose between Clinton and a specific GOP candidate.

Read the full story at Daily Mail.

Herndon High puts halt to food deliveries


Herndon High School has told students to stop having food delivered to the school, which has been on the increase as the end of the school year approaches.

The email message stated: “This is against FCPS School Board regulation, and the food, tips and payments take up time of our staff…We do not have the staffing to deliver all the food to students that are coming to our office.”

Read the full story at Fairfax Times.

Robbers Arrested After Good Samaritan Victim Fights Back


A robbery attempt didn’t go according to plan for a Campbell County duo when the 68-year-old victim fought back, using the hammer he was attacked with to break a window in the suspect’s car.

The victim reported the incident at 12:36 a.m. Thursday. He told deputies that Jessica Ryan Davis came to his house because she was having vehicle trouble, and he went outside to help, whereupon the woman’s masked accomplice, Brian Keith Hobbs II, attacked him with a hammer.

Read the full story at The News & Advance.

Sweet Briar College Blocks Student Fundraiser


Sweet Briar College has ordered seniors enrolled in a business seminar class to stop raising money to try to keep their school open. The senior thesis class was three days into the project to raise funds for Saving Sweet Briar Inc. when Scott C. Shank, the college’s vice president for finance and administration, halted the fundraiser.

Read the full story at The Roanoke Times.

Loudoun Candidate List

The Loudoun Times-Mirror has a handy list of all filed candidates for every race in Loudoun this year. Before you click on over there, here’s a trivia question for you: how many races are there in the county this year? You won’t get to vote in all of them, but the number is still mind-boggling. Remember that all of them count on support from their party committees (unless they are independents without a party endorsement). Party committees are composed entirely of volunteers who care enough to want the process to work (to work in favor of their candidates, of course, but that’s why there are two committees, not just one). It’s a lot of work for not a lot of thanks. Even though we have different agendas, I like to think that the volunteers on the left and the volunteers on the right do have one thing in common: we all care enough about the future of our county, state, and country, to put our feet on the ground, our hands on the doors, and our hearts in the game.

(By the way, the LTM omits the party designations for the Broad Run district supervisor’s race: Ron Meyer, Jr, is the Republican; Al Nevarez is the Democrat.)

Volpe Tops In Local Fundraising Again


In the recent political fundraising reporting period, Algonkian District Supervisor Suzanne Volpe collected $31,942, and had $122,184 on hand as of May 27. Her opponent, Democrat Andrew Resnick, brought in a total of $4,010 from April 1 to May 27. He had $25,279 on hand.

Volpe, a Republican, had the highest money totals of local candidates. Sterling District Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, also a Republican, was next with $84,727 on hand.

See Leesburg Today for the full story.