"President Trump named John R. Bolton, a hard-line former American ambassador to the United Nations, as his third national security adviser on Thursday, continuing a shake-up that creates one of the most hawkish national security teams of any White House in recent history. Mr. Bolton will replace Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the battle-tested Army officer who was tapped last year to stabilize a turbulent foreign policy operation but who never developed a comfortable relationship with the president." Bolton was an outspoken advocate of military action during the George W. Bush administration, and has "called for action against Iran and North Korea."
The National Democratic Redistricting Committee last week “made its first campaign donation: $500,000 to the Democratic Party of Virginia to help elect” Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D). “Kelly Ward, NDRC’s executive director, said the organization was monitoring the race and may send more cash if necessary.”
ED-UCATION. Former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) “on Wednesday called for criminal justice reform that goes beyond what the GOP-controlled state legislature has so far been willing to embrace, including raising the state’s felony threshold to $500 from $200 and softening marijuana enforcement. … Gillespie also cast his proposals in economic terms, pointing out that the state spends more than $1 billion a year on incarceration.
“While he said he opposes decriminalizing marijuana because it ‘sends the wrong signal’ to young people, Gillespie said he would favor a three-strikes approach for simple possession: The first two arrests would not carry criminal charges, but a third would. … Gillespie also said he supports “limited, tightly regulated” use of marijuana for treatment of some medical conditions. …
“Gillespie also said he would support finding ways to ‘functionally end’ the practice of suspending driver’s licenses when someone fails to pay court costs and legal fees. … He also proposed banning state government from asking job applicants to check a box indicating whether they’ve ever been convicted of a felony but would not move to require the same of private employers.” (Washington Post)
SUNSHINE, BUT NO DAYLIGHT. “[T]here wasn’t much daylight Wednesday between … Gillespie and … Northam … at a downtown forum organized by the James River Association and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The candidates, taking the stage separately at The National theater in staggered sessions … covered sea-level rise, a pair of controversial pipeline projects planned to carve through Virginia, how best to clean up the millions of tons of coal from power generation that sit next to waterways across the state, and their level of commitment to continue cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, among other topics.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
2016 REDUX. Khizr Khan, whose late son was a Gold Star recipient, endorsed Northam. (Blue Virginia)
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"When a Russian news agency reached out to George Papadopoulos to request an interview shortly before the 2016 election," deputy communications director Bryan Lanza encouraged him to respond. "You should do it," Lanza wrote in a September 2016 email, "emphasizing the benefits of a U.S. 'partnership with Russia.'" The Trump campaign has "sought to paint the 30-year old energy consultant as a low level volunteer" in the campaign, but recently disclosed emails show that Papadopoulos had contact with "senior campaign figures" in the Trump campaign, "such as chief executive Stephen K. Bannon and adviser Michael Flynn," who encouraged him to "broker ties between Trump and top foreign officials."