Commentary, News

The Weekly Diplomatic Reach: May 4-10, 2023

News-Press Endorses Salim for State Senate

The News-Press endorsed Saddam Salim in the race to represent Falls Church in the new Virginia Senate District 37, citing Salim’s Falls Church upbringing, progressive values, and stark contrast to opponent “incumbent” Chap Petersen, one of the most conservative Democrats in the Commonwealth.

News-Press Endorses Dehghani-Tafti for Commonwealth’s Attorney

The News-Press also endorsed Parisa Dehghani-Tafti in her re-election bid for Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Falls Church and Arlington County over challenger Josh Katcher.

With the candidates much closer in stated positions, issues of style and mannerism have been left to distinguish the two, which has been awkward.

Border Security Concerns as Title 42 Expiration Approaches

Title 42, which the Trump administration weaponized during the pandemic to prevent asylum entry into the country, is expiring with the emergency declaration this month. There is a humanitarian crisis already at the border ahead of the expiration, with capacities already at their limits at processing facilities.

It is expected the rate of entry could double with the expiration. The Biden administration is sending more troops, infuriating all sides for being both too many and not enough. This writer predicts this to evolve into a major talking point heading into next year’s midterms.

Glenn Youngkin Is Not Running for President, Was Just Basking In The Speculation

Did anybody really think this was going anywhere? Did this writer miss something where Virginia was in ruins, then suddenly saved, by the current Governor’s arrival last year? Why is the Governor always out of state doing these appearances… do people actually find him interesting?

Did Our New Superintendent Teach… Babies?

After the Wyoming import resigned without reason in March, Gov. Youngkin has imported a new Superintendent of Public Instruction with an interesting accolade on the DOE website.

Lisa Coons, the Commonwealth’s 27th in the role since 1882, and third since 2022, “most recently served as chief academic officer for the Tennessee Department of Education, where she led all birth to grade-12 academic programming.” Virginia ranks #13 in pre-K-12 education among other states. Wyoming ranks #25. Tennessee ranks #34.

In pushing conspiracies about CRT and trans kids, though…

“Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is Dead” – Virginia DEI Chief

Yes, the Youngkin Administration’s Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer, Martin Brown, during a speech at Virginia Military Institute, said his job was a liberal sham that they’ve killed. “It’s dead. It was mandated by the General Assembly, but [Youngkin] has a different philosophy…”

Salim Launches Comprehensive Website Examining Opponent’s Voting History

Now that the News-Press has officially endorsed him, this writer can now clearly state that Saddam Salim represents the inclusive, honest, and progressive culture of Northern Virginia in a way that Chap Petersen has failed to do over the last 22 years.

Having grown up in Fairfax, this writer grew up frequently embarrassed to have their home town associated with Petersen’s cynical, bigoted, arrogant brand of politics. Falls Church is the dark-blue anchor for progressivism in Virginia.

Salim has launched a website that does a fine job of showing the kind of representation readers would find in Petersen, and this writer encourages you to check it out at

But Are You A Republican?

Sen. Chap Petersen made news over the weekend by endorsing Democratic Primary challenger Ed Nuttal over incumbent Steve Descano.

Nuttal is, as far as we can tell, a Republican running as a Democrat, with a history of donating and voting in Republican Primaries as recently as 2019.

Descano and Nuttal had a heated, gross, juicy debate two Fridays ago, and it’s worth a read:

Montana Bans Transgender Lawmaker From House Floor

Zephyr had urged her Republican counterparts to vote against transphobic legislation (they did not), saying they would have “blood on your hands” if they promoted the hate-inspired legislation. The House Republicans decided that was breaking the rules of decorum, and censured and barred her from the floor.

A Montana court denied Zephyr’s motion to have her legislative privileges reinstated on Wednesday.