Three factors that created perfect conditions for a 2020 homicide spike
By Justin Nix, University of Nebraska Omaha Homicides in the U.S. spiked by almost 30 percent in 2020. That was the main takeaway from figures released on Sept. 27, by the FBI that showed almost uniform increases across America in the murder rate. The fact that big cities, small cities, suburbs and rural areas – in both […]
In Virginia, who judges the judges?
She was jittery when she took the witness stand, by all accounts. Katie Orndorff, 33, was testifying in her boyfriend’s felony domestic violence trial in a Leesburg courtroom. Then, through a fast, strange and terrifying turn of events, the witness/victim became the accused and, before she knew it, was being dragged off to jail after […]
Why America has a debt ceiling: five questions answered
By Steven Pressman, Monmouth University Republicans and Democrats are again waging a battle of wills over the U.S. debt ceiling, which is a statutory limit on how much the government can borrow to pay its bills. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says no member of his party will support a bill lifting or suspending the debt […]
‘Tax the rich?’ Democrats’ plans will barely dent long slide away from progressive taxation
By Gabriel Zucman and Emmanuel Saez, University of California, Berkeley Demanding tax increases on the rich is back in fashion – both in the corridors of the House of Representatives and on the red carpet of the Met Gala. The House Ways and Means Committee outlined plans on Sept. 13, 2021, to move the top […]
Why the Transportation Climate Initiative makes sense
By Andrew Savage If you thought the vibrant, blood orange sunsets over Virginia in July were striking, you weren’t alone. Unfortunately, those sunsets were caused by wildfire smoke out of the West that engulfed the state in a hazy smog and triggered a public health alert. Now, constant natural disasters are clear evidence of an […]
In attack on abortion rights, new Texas law could turn state courts into litigation Thunderdomes
Forty-eight years have passed since a Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade established a legal right to have an abortion in the United States. It created a passionate rift that has never been (and never will be) resolved. Those who oppose abortion say that terminating a pregnancy is murder. It’s an article of faith […]
What’s the law on vaccine exemptions? A religious liberty expert explains.
By Douglas Laycock, University of Virginia For Americans wary of COVID-19 vaccine mandates, like the sweeping requirements President Joe Biden announced Sept. 9, it seems there are plenty of leaders offering ways to get exemptions — especially religious ones. No major organized religious group has officially discouraged the vaccine, and many, like the Catholic Church, […]
It’s time for Virginia to invest in services and programs that will support all communities
By Breanne Armbrust The Commonwealth of Virginia finds itself in a unique position — in the middle of a historic pandemic with a budget surplus of $2.6 billion at the start of the new fiscal year. Like many community activists around Virginia, I immediately thought of how those funds could be used to directly benefit […]
Roll up your sleeves and get the shot
TO: All unvaccinated Virginians FROM: A beleaguered, vaccinated neighbor I get it. You’re anti-authoritarian. You’re independent, and unreceptive to dictates from the government. Maybe you’re fearful still today – in spite of all the evidence to the contrary – about unlikely risks associated with the shots to fight COVID-19. You’re essential in this ongoing battle. […]
Why a Virginia judge got it wrong on student COVID-19 data
Last week a Rockingham County Circuit Judge ruled in favor of James Madison University in a case brought by the editor of JMU’s student newspaper, The Breeze, over access to the per-day number of COVID-positive cases per on-campus residence. Armchair-quarterback that I am, I’ve read the ruling, and probably unsurprisingly, I disagree. The ruling says […]
Tired of subsidies?
Some while back I was engaged in an online discussion with other solar advocates about renewable energy — specifically, how to get more of it built. Some of the participants I knew, others I did not. The conversation was lively, ranging from the need for better education to public policy and incentives. But then one […]
In a nationalized race, McAuliffe exploits the abortion furor while Youngkin hypes crime rates
Are Virginia elections really referendums on national concerns? Better yet, can candidates still compete on state-level issues? Both major-party gubernatorial candidates are nationalizing their campaigns to one degree or another, a phenomenon once rare in the drowsy, off-year Virginia elections that traditionally focused on parochial, almost arcane issues. Democrat Terry McAuliffe is staking his chances […]