In brief: Kaine on Iran, police withdraw cameras, speaking in CODE

Senator Tim Kaine speaks at Batten about US-Iran relations. Photo: Sanjay Suchak Senator Tim Kaine speaks at Batten about US-Iran relations. Photo: Sanjay Suchak

Kaine argues for peace

War with Iran may well be on the horizon—but U.S. Senator Tim Kaine has a few objections. He spoke about his new war powers resolution and his hopes for a return to diplomacy during an event at UVA’s Batten School of Public Policy on January 17.

Kaine has recently managed to drum up bipartisan support for a resolution that would limit the president’s powers of war and put more responsibility back in the hands of Congress. The resolution will almost certainly be vetoed by President Trump, but Kaine argued that on some level the veto is beside the point. “Congress should do whatever we’re supposed to do, [regardless of] what the president does,” the Virginia Democrat said. 

Trump’s decision to walk away from the United States’ nuclear deal with Iran was “one of the worst decisions” the country has ever made, according to Kaine. “If you abandon diplomacy, you make war more likely.”

“We won the Iraq war, and yet looking back at it, most people say it was a catastrophic mistake,” said the senator, who serves on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees.

Kaine delivered his remarks in his usual wonky, earnest style, invoking everything from Thomas Jefferson’s interactions with Barbary pirates to his own experience as a lawmaker with a child in the military. Ultimately, however, he made his opposition to war with Iran clear. “There is not a war scenario with Iran that is a simple, easy mission accomplished,” Kaine said. “There’s just not.”

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Quote of the Week

“Twelve handguns a year is more than enough, for most citizens. If you need more than that, go to Texas. They don’t have any laws.”

­—State Senator Dick Saslaw, speaking in favor of Virginia’s proposed one-handgun-a-month law earlier this week

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In Brief

A police camera hanging on a telephone pole near Westhaven.

Caught on cameras

C-VILLE reported last week that the city had installed four surveillance cameras near Westhaven and Prospect, two majority black public housing neighborhoods in town. Since the article was published, the police have removed those cameras just as quietly as they hung them up. When asked why the cameras were taken down, police department spokesman Tyler Hawn said any questions about the cameras should be referred to city spokesman Brian Wheeler. Wheeler has not yet responded to requests for comment. 

Bias unmasked

Only one arrest was made at Monday’s massive pro-gun demonstration at the state Capitol: Mikaela Beschler, a 21-year-old Richmond woman, was arrested for covering her face with a bandana. It’s a felony to wear a mask in Virginia, but many gun-toting protestors had also covered their faces. “It’s become abundantly clear that the mask ban, which was intended to combat the Klan, is now only enforced against anti-racist activists,” tweeted Delegate Lee Carter.

Speaking in CODE

Construction is chugging along on the gigantic CODE Building, the office and retail space coming to the west end of the Downtown Mall in 2021. At a press conference last week, organizers promised that the building will emphasize “entrepreneurial spirit and innovative ideas” as well as “the principles of wellness and sustainability,” foster “unplanned interdisciplinary cross-pollination;” and have spaces where people can “maybe do a webinar, film it, blast it out.” 

Don’t Byers it

Albemarle County Police Department sent out a warning this week about a telephone scam: A mysterious caller has been ringing up locals, identifying himself as Captain Darrell Byers, and telling the marks they have an arrest warrant on their head that can be resolved by wiring money. Don’t fall for it. The local police aren’t perfect, but we’re pretty sure they’re not that corrupt.

 

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