Va. governor: I’m ‘baffled’ by federal probe

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THE HILL

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-Va.) on Tuesday said he is perplexed by the federal probe into campaign donations to his 2013 gubernatorial run.

“I’m really baffled by this story in the first place,” he told reporter Ronica Cleary during an interview with Fox 5 D.C. “I’ll be honest with you — if I was sitting in the private sector, not as governor, I don’t think someone would, this would have risen to the level.

“But listen, it’s OK. You get in this business. You open yourself up and I’m fine doing that when you’re confident you haven’t done anything wrong.”

Reports emerged on Monday that the FBI and the Justice Department’s public integrity unit are looking into campaign contributions to McAuliffe three years ago.

The agencies are investigating, among other things, $120,000 in donations from Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang. Foreign nationals are not allowed to donate to any American campaign unless they have a green card, which clears such contributions.

McAuliffe on Tuesday said Wenliang has a well-documented record of donating to individuals and institutions in the U.S.

“Well, as I say, he’s a major contributor to Harvard,” he said. “He sits on the board of New York University. Two of our most prestigious universities. He’s very active. Everybody takes his money.”

McAuliffe added that federal scrutiny into his past campaign contributions would not hinder his current duties as Virginia’s governor.

“Listen, I’m carrying on my schedule as governor,” he said. “No one’s alleged I’ve done anything wrong. And you just got to continue to do.

“I’m governor, I’m out doing what I need to do to help the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” added McAuliffe, who has previously endorsed Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

McAuliffe tried distancing the probe from his ties with the Clinton family during a press conference earlier Tuesday.

“This has nothing to do with Clinton Foundation,” he said at the State Arboretum of Virginia. “This was an allegation of a gentleman who gave a check to my campaign. I didn’t bring the donor in; I didn’t bring him into the Clinton Foundation. I don’t even know if I’ve ever met the person.”

Officials are also purportedly investigating McAuliffe’s role at the Clinton Global Initiative, former President Bill Clinton’s charitable organization.

A Washington Post report from last year found that 120 donors who gave to Clinton charities gave more than $13 million to McAuliffe’s election efforts in 2013.

McAuliffe is a long-time Clinton ally who spearheaded Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008. He also served as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee in 2000.

By Mark Hensch

Virginia’s Strict Voter ID Law Upheld By Federal Judge

CREDIT: AP PHOTO/J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE

THINK PROGRESS

Virginia’s strict voter ID law has been ruled constitutional by a federal judge, who said that lawmakers had no “discriminatory intent” toward minorities, young people, or the elderly when they crafted the legislation.

District Judge Henry E. Hudson issued his decision on Thursday following a week-long trial in March, where several Virginians testified about how the law requiring photo ID at the polls made it harder for them to vote.

Hudson wrote that while Virginia does have “an unfortunate history of racial discrimination,” the state’s voter ID law appears to impact all people equally, and is therefore non-discriminatory. He also said the state has implemented “a progressive pattern of post-Voting Rights Act remediation,” meaning the state has made it easier for minorities to vote after a federal law prohibiting racial discrimination in voting was passed in 1965.

“The extensive testimonial and documentary evidence offered in this case has failed to reveal by a preponderance of the evidence that the Virginia General Assembly…enacted the Virginia photo identification requirement with the intent to suppress minority and young voters,” Hudson wrote. “Virginia has provided all of its citizens with an equal opportunity to participate in the electoral process.”

Virginia’s strict voter ID law, passed in 2013, requires all in-person voters to show a valid, unexpired photo identification at the polls. But key to the judge’s decision to uphold the law was a provision allowing residents who lack IDs to obtain them for free without having to provide a birth certificate.

Tram Nguyen with the organization Virginia New Majority said she and other voting rights advocates found a silver lining in this aspect of the decision. “Our hope is that legislators will think twice about any attempt to make it harder to get a free photo ID or to put more restrictive ID requirements in place,” she said.

As for the judge’s contention that there is no proof the law has caused widespread harm to voters, Nguyen said that proof could surface this November.

“This election cycle is going to be the first real test of the law’s effect on voters of color, seniors, etc,” she said. “It’s only been used so far in elections with low turnout, where voters are more likely to have some form of ID. This year, with the rising interest in the election, with new voters showing up to the polls who have never voted before, with a surge in immigrants becoming citizens in order to vote, we’re going to see the impact we haven’t seen in other years.”

The lawsuit, filed by the Democratic Party of Virginia and two voters, claimed that Virginia Republicans only passed the law to prevent African American, Latino, and poor people from coming out to vote. Those groups are more likely to be disenfranchised by voter ID laws.

During the sometimes emotional trial, several witness said the law has already made it more difficult to vote. At one point, 69-year-old black woman Josephine Okiakpe wept as she recalled struggling to produce sufficient identification when she went to vote in 2014.

Before Virginia’s general election in 2014, the state board of elections admitted that nearly 1 in 25 voters were potentially disenfranchised by the law.

The ruling comes less than a month after Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe ordered one of the most progressive voting rights changes in the state’s history: restoring full voting rights to more than 200,000 ex-offenders who had been disenfranchised. For the past month, organizers like Richmond native Karen Fountain have been racing to register as many of these people as possible so they are able to vote in the fall. Fountain told ThinkProgress she sees today’s ruling as a backlash to this restoration of rights.

“Those conservatives see the ex-felons getting registered, and they think, ‘Just in case a lot of them don’t have a photo ID, we know how to stop them from voting,’” she said. “That’s what it’s saying to me.”

Fountain vowed to start informing everyone she registers that they can obtain a free ID from the Department of Elections.

Thursday’s decision in its entirety can be read here:

Memorandum Opinion by ThinkProgress

Virginia GOP Scraps Mandatory “Loyalty Pledge” for Primary Voters

Virginia GOP Scraps Mandatory

Image Credit: AP

POLICY.MIC

The Republican Party of Virginia has given up on a plan to make all voters in the upcoming GOP primary sign statements saying “I am a Republican” after weeks of pressure from supporters of real-estate billionaire and presidential candidate Donald Trump.

A spokesman confirmed to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the state party has abandoned the plan, which would force all people casting ballots for the Republican nominee for president to sign such a document. Virginia has an open primary, which means anyone can vote to choose the GOP nominee, not just members of the party.

News of the proposal being rescinded first emerged on conservative blog The Bull Elephant.

In December, Trump called the idea a “suicidal mistake” and said the Virginia GOP was “working hard to disallow independent, unaffiliated and new voters.”

Of course, Trump is the one who stands to benefit from defeating the proposal. As Mediaite’s Ken Meyer wrote in December, “There is a possibility that Trump’s frustration on this is due to how his supporters are mostly a mix of independents and hard-right conservatives who are disenchanted by the Republican Party:”

Three black pastors who are also Trump supporters filed a federal lawsuit against the Virginia GOP over the pledge earlier in January, according to the Washington PostThe party has denied opponents’ characterization of the document as a pledge or oath, previously releasing a statement saying it implemented “a far lower barrier to participation than in states that require party registration for voters participation in primaries.”

Tom McKay

Virginia Just Became the First State in the US to End Veteran Homelessness

Image Credit: Getty Images

POLICY.MIC

The fight to end homelessness among veterans has hit a major milestone: Virginia has become the first state in the nation to functionally eliminate veteran homelessness within in its borders.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, announced Wednesday his state has met the federal definition of ending homelessness, meaning there are no veterans who lack housing, except for those who have refused an offer. The benchmark also means that state has the resources to take in any veterans who want housing in the future within 90 days.

Virginia, which has the seventh largest veteran population in the country, has matched more than 1,400 homeless veterans with permanent housing in the past year, McAuliffe’s office said.

The program: The philosophy underlying the state’s initiative is “housing first” — a policy that holds that providing homeless people with safe, supportive shelter is a precondition for attending to the issues that caused them to slip through the cracks in the first place. Supportive services in permanent housing typically keep residents linked to social workers and include health services — most single homeless adults have some kind of serious physical, mental or substance abuse-related problem — and job readiness programs.

Virginia’s announcement on Veterans Day corresponded with other city-level announcements. The city of Las Vegas; the city of Syracuse, New York; and the city of Schenectady, New York, will also announce that they have ended veteran homelessness in their cities, according to a release from the White House, which has championedthese programs.

In 2010, the Obama administration unveiled a national plan to end homelessness, with a focus on veterans. In the past year, Houston, Phoenix, New Orleans and a number of other major cities have successfully been able to pull all of their homeless veterans off of the streets using the housing-first model, funded in part by housing vouchers provided by the federal government.

Veteran homelessness has declined by 36% between 2010 and January, according to the White House.

Housing-first has proven to be a cost-efficient and humane solution to ending homelessness. Hopefully the wisdom of that policy will be extended to nonveteran homeless people with the same focus in coming years.

Zeeshan Aleem

Proof That Bigots Are Not the Best and Brightest

Rapture-thanks-Obama | Attribution: None

PoliticusUSA

Michele Bachmann has assured us that the Rapture is imminent, and that “we in our lifetimes potentially could see Jesus Christ returning to earth and the Rapture of the church.”

Thanks, Obama.

But until our Evangelical neighbors start drifting skyward and getting in the way of Amazon’s delivery drones and drive CNN to distraction, we have to continue to deal with our mundane reality.

Like so-called Religious Freedom legislation. And the people wewish would float away (seriously, Michele, nobody wants the Rapture more than we do), like Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, author of one of those repressive RFRAs.

It’s funny how we keep hearing that, as the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon puts it, we hate them because they allegedly ‘represent God’s message of a moral standard having to do with sexuality’ while they have absolutely no standards where honesty is concerned.

And let’s face it: honesty made the Ten Commandments and sexual morals did not. So which is more important? Thou shallt not diddle or thou shallt not bear false witness?

So we find Bob Marshall lying like a rug about his legislation and other recent RFRAs, like Indiana’s, which he claims is identical to Virginia’s current 2007 law – which is based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 – even though it is not.

Marshall is angry that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe published a letter in the Indianapolis Star inviting businesses to relocate to Virginia. You’d think he’d be happy McAuliffe is drumming up business for his state, but Marshall takes it as an insult to heterosexuals.

Gov. McAuliffe wrote,

In light of that responsibility and recent events in Indiana, I would like to welcome you to take advantage of Virginia’s open, inclusive and thriving business environment.

In Virginia, we do not discriminate against our friends and neighbors, particularly those who are supporting local businesses and generating economic activity.

According to Marshall,

When you actually look at the rhetoric, that you need these laws to hire the best and the brightest, that kind of like is a sweeping statement that says that heterosexuals cannot be the best and the brightest.

No. I think it’s saying that bigots cannot be the best and the brightest.

And to prove my point, Marshall says that the LGBT community isn’t being discriminated against anyway:

My question is, what possible rights can a person who has this inclination have that you don’t have right now? I mean, homosexuals go to public schools, they can go to colleges, they vote, they drive cars, they have businesses, they go to country clubs. I don’t know what else is needed.

You don’t get to enjoy the kingdom of God when you’re a big fat liar, do you? Maybe Bachmann is right to get all worked up. It seems strange that she would blame Obama for what is, after all, supposed to be a good thing.

Maybe she agrees with Harlem pastor James David Manning who likes to rant about “Obama’s homo-demons,” and the coming “homosexual Armageddon!” Manning says “The sodomites are the most vicious, demonic, vile people,” even though he and his Evangelical friends are the ones acting like ***hats.

There is something seriously messed up about people like this, and what is disturbing is that these attitudes cut across all segments of the right wing, from top down and from bottom up. Hate permeates the Republican Party.

Well, hate and stupidity. We can’t forget that James Dobson thinks bisexuality means orgies:

“I would like them to think, just for a moment, about ‘LGBT. The ‘B’ stand for bisexual! That’s orgies! Are you really going to support this?”

Does he sound a bit breathless and excited to you, too?

These people are not only backing some of the crazy laws passed by Republican legislatures, but they’re the ones responsible for them being written in the first place.

Even while the Republicans are giving our money to corporations hand over fist, Liberty Counsel’s Matt Staver is claiming “studies estimate” that “homosexuality” is costing the federal government tens of billions of dollars (heterosexuals don’t cost a penny, apparently).

It is a well-known fact that stupid people don’t realize they are stupid. As Plato said, you have to be wise to know how much you don’t know. And there is not a drop of wisdom to be found in the Republican Party, which is living proof that room temperature IQs go hand in hand with bigotry.

I personally suspect that all these men have very small penises too as a driving force of their insecurities, though I have no interest in proving it (and by Republican standards, at any rate, should not have to). I can’t exclude Michele Bachmann and her wife Marcus from this either, for the same reasons.

I’m not sayin’. I’m just sayin’.

By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson

10 things you need to know today: October 19, 2014

Hong Kong police in riot gear monitor protesters
Hong Kong police in riot gear monitor protesters Chris McGrath / Getty Images

The Week

North and South Korea exchange gunfire, police find human remains believed to be those of missing student Hannah Graham, and more.

1. North Korea and South Korea trade gunfire
North Korean and South Korean soldiers briefly exchanged gunfire on Sunday across the heavily-fortified border between the two nations. It was the second such shootout between the two sides in the past 10 days. The incident began when about 10 North Korean troops approached the boundary line between the two nations and disregarded warnings to turn back. Troops from the South then fired warning shots, leading to a 10-minute volley of gunfire that did not result in any reported casualties or injuries. [The Associated Press, Reuters]

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2. Human remains believed to belong to missing Virginia woman found
Investigators searching for a missing University of Virginia student uncovered what they believe to be her remains. Police on Saturday said they’d found remains near Charlottesville, Virginia, and that a medical examiner would soon test whether they did indeed belong to 18-year-old Hannah Graham, who went missing last month. Police have charged Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. in Graham’s disappearance, and linked him to the disappearance of another Virginia woman in 2009. [The New York Times]

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3. Violent clashes continue in Hong Kong
Police on Sunday squared off with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong for a second-straight day ahead of planned talks to deescalate the tense situation there. Thousands of demonstrators recaptured streets over the weekend after being pushed out from their encampments on Friday, resulting in dozens of injuries and at least four arrests, according to police. The government and demonstration leaders are scheduled to hold talks Tuesday, though China insists it will not soften restrictions it placed on the 2017 election to name Hong Kong’s new chief executive. [The New York Times, Reuters]

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4. Bishops nix proposal to welcome gay Catholics
A historic proposal for the Vatican to soften its stance toward gays failed to make it into a final report on the direction of the Catholic Church. A draft report from the synod said gays “must be welcomed with respect and sensitivity,” though it failed to receive backing from at least two-thirds of the bishops in attendance. The Vatican said the language could still be discussed at a meeting of bishops next October. [The Guardian, The Associated Press]

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5. Germany blames pro-Russian rebels for MH17 downing
Germany has concluded that pro-Russian separatists mistakenly brought down a commercial airliner over Ukraine in July, making it the first European nation to explicitly blame the rebels. Gerhard Schindler, president of Germany’s BND intelligence agency, said in a closed-door meeting earlier this month that rebels struck Malaysia Airline flight MH17 with a Russian Buk missile, according to Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine. “It was pro-Russian separatists,” he said. [Reuters]

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6. Health worker on cruise ship cleared in Ebola scare
A nautical Ebola nightmare is over after officials cleared a health care worker linked to the virus who had been quarantined aboard a luxury cruise ship. The unidentified woman works at the Dallas hospital where patient Thomas Eric Duncan died of Ebola earlier this month, and it was feared she may have contracted the virus, too. The woman sequestered herself onboard until the ship returned to Texas Sunday, at which point a blood sample revealed she was not infected. [CNN]

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7. New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival descends into chaos
Police in riot gear used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse thousands of people who ran amok Saturday at the annual Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire. Police said a large crowd composed mainly of students tore up street signs, threw bottles, and flipped at least one car at parties held in conjunction with the event, which attracts tourists from all over the region. “There were about 4,000 kids in this backyard, and it almost felt like a war zone,” Ellery Murray, a Keene State student, told The Boston Globe. [The Boston Globe]

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8. Russian tennis official suspended for remarks about Williams sisters
The Women’s Tennis Association has fined and suspended Shamil Tarpischev, the head of the Russian Tennis Association, for disparaging remarks he made about Venus and Serena Williams. Last week, Tarpischev referred to the two tennis stars as the “Williams brothers” and said they were “frightening.” In response, the WTA hit Tarpischev with a maximum $25,000 fine and suspended him for one year. In a statement Serena supported the punishment, calling the remarks “sexist as well as racist.” [ESPN]

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9. Endangered white rhino dies
An extremely rare northern white rhinoceros died Friday at a wildlife conservancy in Kenya, leaving only six of the animals alive in the world. Poachers have driven the species nearly to extinction, and the 34-year-old Suni was one of only two breeding males left. “The species now stands at the brink of complete extinction, a sorry testament to the greed of the human race,” the Ol Pejeta Conservancy said in a statement. [The Guardian]

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10. American Idol alum dead at 32
Joanne Borgella, a former American Idol contestant who went public with her battle against cancer, has died. She was 32 years old. Borgella was one of the final 24 contestants on the reality TV show’s seventh season, and she regularly updated fans on social media about her treatment for endometrial cancer. [People]

10 things you need to know today: July 29, 2014

Putin watches a parade to celebrate Russia's Navy Day on Sunday. 
Putin watches a parade to celebrate Russia’s Navy Day on Sunday. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti Kremlin/Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service)

The Week

Judges rule Virginia’s gay marriage ban is unconstitutional, the U.S. and Europe tighten sanctions against Russia, and more

1. Court rules overturns Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban
A federal appeals court on Monday ruled that Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional because barring gay couples from marrying amounted to a new form of “segregation.” The 2-to-1 decision, upholding a lower court ruling, extended a winning streak for gay marriage advocates in court. After the decision, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) said his state would end its “vigorous” defense of a similar ban. [The Washington Post]

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2. Washington and Europe tighten Russia sanctions
The U.S. and the European Union agreed to intensify sanctions against Russia for allegedly returning troops to the Ukraine border and sending heavy weapons to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The E.U. had been resisting tougher sanctions, but in the aftermath of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, European leaders have rallied behind measures more severe than Washington’s. [The New York Times]

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3. Court says Donald Sterling can’t block Clippers’ sale
Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling lost a battle to block the team’s sale, when a California judge issued a preliminary ruling allowing Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly, to proceed. Judge Michael Levanas said Shelly Sterling had the authority to negotiate the $2-billion sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer after two doctors found Donald Sterling to be mentally incapacitated. [USA Today]

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4. U.S. accuses Russia of violating missile treaty
The Obama administration on Monday accused Russia of violating a 1987 arms control treaty by testing a cruise missile. The State Department said it had attempted to talk to Moscow about the issue for more than a year. Under the treaty, Russia is not supposed to possess or test missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. Moscow said it dismissed the charge after an investigation. [CNN]

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5. Three law enforcement officers wounded in shootout with accused pedophile
Two federal marshals and a New York City detective were wounded Monday in a shootout with a fugitive child molestation suspect in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. The suspect, Charles Mozdir, died after being shot seven or eight times. Mozdir, 32, had been on the run for two years since a family friend accused him of molesting her son. Mozdir’s girlfriend reported him after seeing the case featured Sunday on John Walsh’s show The Hunt on CNN. [New York Post]

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6. Israel steps up strikes in Gaza
Israel hit Gaza overnight with the heaviest bombing of the three-week conflict. Israel targeted more than 70 sites, including government offices and other symbols of Hamas’ power. Israel also reportedly shelled Gaza’s only power plant, shutting it down. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of a “prolonged” fight, and a Hamas leader whose house was hit said the strikes would not break Palestinians’ determination. [ABC News]

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7. Texas man charged with sending envelopes with harmless white powder
A Rowlett, Texas, man was accused on Monday of sending more than 500 letters containing white powder to government offices, schools, and other locations since December 2008. The suspect — Hong Minh Truong, 66 — was charged with false information and hoaxes. One batch of the mailings included a letter stating, “Al Qaeda back! Special thing for you. What the hell where are you Scooby Doo.” [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

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8. Congress announces $17 billion deal to improve veterans’ health care
House and Senate Veterans Affairs committee members unveiled a three-year, $17-billion deal on Monday to fix the veterans health-care system. Senate Democrats wanted $25 billion to reduce wait times for care; House Republicans wanted $10 billion. “The United States Congress is in my view a dysfunctional institution,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chair of the Senate committee, “so I’m quite proud of what we’ve accomplished.” [Fox News]

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9. Dollar Tree buys Family Dollar for $8.5 billion
Dollar Tree announced Monday that it was buying rival discount retailer Family Dollar for $8.5 billion. The surprising move came three months after Family Dollar announced that it would close 370 stores and slash prices following the latest in a series of disappointing earnings reports. Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn had pushed for the merger of the No. 2 and No. 3 discounters, calling it “a big win” for Family Dollar shareholders. [The Washington Post]

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10. Bad timing killed the dinosaurs
What really wiped out the dinosaurs was a run of terrible luck, according to a new study published in Biological Reviews journal. The dinosaurs might have survived the impact of a six-mile-wide asteroid that paleontologists believe was the biggest factor in their demise if big plant eaters — prey for big carnivores — hadn’t just entered a period of decline. “If the asteroid hit five million years later or earlier, the dinosaurs might still be around,” one of the researchers said. [National Geographic]

Monday Blog Roundup – 12-30-2013

Most embarrassing tweets of 2013

ObamaCare enrollment tops 1 million

Why We’ll Never Stop Arguing About Benghazi

Dolan: Pope Francis Has ‘Shattered The Caricature Of The Church’ (VIDEO)

S.E. Cupp Tells Liberals Not To Get Excited About Pope’s Economic Message

Scott Brown: Unemployment benefits are ‘welfare’ that should be phased out slowly

Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson: Girls should carry a Bible and marry ‘when they are 15’

Russia Trolley Attack: Bomb Blast Kills 14 In Same Town As Deadly Train Station Explosion

ABC’s Jonathan Karl Literally Can’t Believe What Ted Cruz is Telling Him About Being Above Politics

Virginia Gun Owners Not Pleased With ‘No Guns Permitted’ Sign Outside Toby Keith’s New Restaurant

Gun rights advocates freak out over ‘No Guns’ sign at singer Toby Keith’s restaurant

Toby Keith via Shutterstock

Wait til they find out he voted for Obama…

The Raw Story

Conservatives and gun activists are in high dudgeon over a sign outside country singer Toby Keith’s new Virginia bar and grill that says “No Guns Permitted.”

According to Washington, DC’s WTOP, the sign has provoked an explosion of outrage online. Many gun rights advocates took to Twitter and other social media to denounce Keith as a “gun hating liberal,” a “fake,” and a “Republican In Name Only” or “RINO.”

“So if ‘no guns are allowed’ I guess that means that police officers that are ‘on duty’ aren’t allowed in for lunch or dinner??” asked Facebook user Connie Hollar Wright on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “Who are you guys callin [sic] when you need help???? Good luck with that!”

“Toby is a gun hating liberal. What a fake,” wrote another.

“Won’t go into a Killing zone,” said another commenter with a “Duck Dynasty” avatar, “which is what gun free zones are.”

The restaurant — called I Love This Bar and Grill — opened in Woodbridge, Virginia this week. The state has an open carry law, which allows citizens to openly carry firearms without a license. Businesses, however, reserve the right to ask patrons not to bring their guns inside.

Not everyone disagrees with the rule.

“I think it’s a good thing no guns are permitted in a restaurant,” said Jean Sutts of Woodbridge to WTOP.

Mike Miskin of Suffolk agreed that “alcohol and guns do not mix. I believe that you should be allowed to carry your gun with you but not into a bar.”

A post at right-wing website Breitbart.com protested that, “(o)ne of Toby Keith’s biggest country video hits is ‘Bullets in the Gun.’ It romanticizes carrying a gun.”

Keith has been politically outspoken on a number of topics, but in fact bills himself as a conservative Democrat. He supported President George W. Bush when rival act the Dixie Chicks criticized Bush at the outset of the War in Iraq.

However, in 2008, Keith donated to then-Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign for president and spoke out in favor of Obama’s policies in the Middle East.

Watch video about this story, embedded here

Wednesday Blog Roundup 11-20-2013

Harry Reid is set to go nuclear

President Romney? Voters say yes in new poll

Florida congressman charged with cocaine possession

Supreme Court decides not to block Texas’ abortion law

Koch Brothers’ Group Uses Health Care Law to Attack Democrats

Virginia Political Figure Stabbed as Son Takes Own Life, Police Say

If You’re a Millennial, Black, or Latino, Good Luck Voting Quickly in 2016

Bobby Jindal is right: Republicans aren’t ready to win back the White House.

McDonald’s Advice To Underpaid Employees: Sell Your Christmas Presents For Cash

Republicans Have Pushed Him Too Far and Now Harry Reid Is Ready to Go Nuclear