scharrison's blog

The Green New Deal is not dead, it's just adapting

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House Democrats have very aggressive climate proposals:

The 538-page report sets a range of targets including ensuring that every new car sold by 2035 emits no greenhouse gases, eliminating overall emissions from the power sector by 2040, and all but eliminating the country’s total emissions by 2050.

The package also approaches climate change as a matter of racial injustice. The report cites the police killing of George Floyd in its opening paragraph and goes on to argue that communities of color are also more at risk from the effects of climate change. The report says the government should prioritize minority communities for new spending on energy and infrastructure.

I have been somewhat skeptical of the GND since it was first introduced. Not because of the cost so much, but because of the scope and interlinked priorities. You try to do too many things at once, don't be surprised if none of those things happen. But if you're going to make investments in infrastructure that generate economic opportunities, you should place/target them where they're needed the most. And that is (without a doubt) in minority communities:

Oklahoma expands Medicaid; now it's North Carolina's turn

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It's not a radical progressive plot, it's just common sense:

With all precincts reporting Tuesday, State Question 802, which asked voters to expand Medicaid, passed by 6,488 votes. The question will enshrine Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma’s constitution — effectively preventing Oklahoma’s GOP-controlled Legislature and Republican governor from limiting or undoing the expansion.

The campaign for SQ 802 was launched after years of legislative inaction on Medicaid expansion. The Yes on 802 campaign turned in a record number of signatures to qualify the question for the ballot. But the majority of Oklahoma's counties opposed the expansion Tuesday. A mere seven of the state's 77 counties, including Oklahoma and Tulsa, approved the question.

With NC's record on ballot initiatives, I'm not sure I'd want to go this route even if we could (NC doesn't allow grass roots movements to populate ballots). But we don't have to amend the NC Constitution to expand Medicaid, a simple majority vote in both houses of the Legislature would do it (it's possible I might be wrong about that, but I don't think so). It will save lives, not to mention stop the death knell of rural hospitals, and that should be more than enough.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

When you get caught with your hand in the video recording jar:

Dandy has apparently taken this ad down, but cue the RW nutters complaining about "Liberal" media not allowing conservatives to steal their intellectual property...

Mark Meadows definitely knew about Russian bounties on U.S. troops

Even if Trump didn't know (unlikely), his Chief of Staff most assuredly did:

A former American official said the national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, and the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, would have been involved in any decision to brief Mr. Trump on Russia’s activities, as would have the intelligence analyst who briefs the president. The director of the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, might have also weighed in, the former official said.

Ms. McEnany cited those three senior officials in her statement saying the president had not been briefed.

The most likely scenario is that Trump was (verbally) briefed on the issue, as well as having it included in his daily intelligence packets (which he probably didn't read). But whether Trump knew or not, his current position of, "I don't believe it, it's not credible," is a direct assault on the integrity of our intelligence community and Special Operations who put themselves in harm's way to uncover this deadly plot:

Overt racism is increasing in the Trump era

And that includes joking about lynching:

The owner of a North Carolina racetrack advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale in a social media marketplace days after NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, who is Black, announced a noose had been found in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Mike Fulp, the owner of the half-mile (0.8 km) 311 Speedway in Stokes County, made the pitch Wednesday on Facebook Marketplace: “Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great.’’

This idiot started out by posting a picture of a regular pull-rope (with one knot) on his garage door, implying Bubba Wallace had been overreacting. But the rope in Bubba's garage was a full-on noose, with 9-10 loops tied. This is just one of many instances of overt racism recently, coming on the footsteps of 3 Wilmington Police being fired for their violently racist conversations. But now it looks like 2 of those 3 had been in trouble before:

Art Pope, defender of the Ku Klux Klan

When your idol is David Duke, you may have taken a wrong turn somewhere:

Despite attempts from University Officials, Student Body President Marcus Williams, and even Duke himself, the students refused to leave or to be silent until David Duke left the building and his podium and microphone were removed from stage. They disrupted his speech. But one freshman from Raleigh was especially perturbed. So much so, that he decided to sue the then President of the Black Student Movement, Algenon Marbley, in undergraduate honor court for “disruption”, a charge that could’ve led to Marbley being expelled from school.

The freshman from Raleigh who brought the suit, who tried to get the BSM President kicked out of school for disrupting a speech on campus by the KKK, was Arthur “Art” Pope UNC ’78.

You'd have to be an exceptionally privileged white prick (PWP) to attack a black student leader for protesting the Klan. Granted, this was 45 years ago, and Pope may have changed quite a bit since then. But it would take a Saul-to-Paul, road to Damascus conversion to overcome that level of racist dumfuckery. I mean, what was he thinking? Was he thinking similar thoughts decades later when he tried to get a "school" dedicated to Western Civilization installed on the UNC-CH campus? Is he still angry at some of the faculty for shutting that effort down? These are questions that need to be asked in the NCGA Committee hearing, and Art needs to answer those questions. Clear the air.

Not Renewable: Robeson County opposed to new wood pellet plant

This needs to be stopped in its tracks:

A proposed wood pellet plant faces vehement opposition from many Robeson County residents, including elected officials, and environmental advocates, who say the facility would not only pollute the air, but also would be financially risky and environmentally unjust.

The NC Department of Environmental Quality held a virtual public hearing Monday night to receive formal comments on a draft air permit for the plant, owned and operated by Active Energy Renewable Power, in Lumberton. More than 125 people attended, and of the roughly 50 who spoke, just four asked DEQ to approve the air permit; three of them were affiliated with the company.

NC has already lost over a hundred thousand acres of forests due to this industry, and we are now the biggest exporter of wood pellets in the world. Aside from the permitting issues of this newest plant, the cumulative effect on our state needs to be analyzed. Not just by advocates, but by DEQ itself. And let's not forget the environmental justice aspects:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

All hands on deck tomorrow:

They better not start back with their tricks during this pandemic, but I don't trust them to grasp how inappropriate that would be.

FERC authorizes MVP Southgate to begin eminent domain takings in NC

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And you can thank the Trump administration for that heavy hand:

Environmental advocates immediately condemned FERC’s decision. “The Mountain Valley main pipeline has violated water quality standards more than 300 times in Virginia and West Virginia. Yet, this same company plans to extend into North Carolina and bring its reckless construction practices to bear on the communities of these three counties for an entirely unneeded project,” said Ridge Graham, North Carolina field coordinator for Appalachian Voices.

The FERC certificate allows the developer, Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC, to begin using eminent domain to seize private property for construction along the proposed route, even as the pipeline’s viability remains in question.

Elections have consequences, Chapter 98. Donald Trump made it clear in 2015/2016 when he was campaigning that he would push de-regulation hard if elected President, but many of us (including me) did not believe he would be able to do much along those lines. I was wrong. I made the fatal mistake of assuming that legal barriers and the relative autonomy of individual states would hold him back. But he doesn't understand those things, so he just plows right over them:

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