Friday News: Choose wisely...

cointrick.jpg

ONE OF THESE THREE REDISTRICTING BILLS IS A DOG: HB 140 would require a constitutional amendment that would be on the 2020 primary ballot for voters. North Carolina’s primary is March 3. However, HB 69 and HB 648 would be a statute, which means a future General Assembly could change it. If it’s in the state constitution, only the voters can change it. HB 69 would have an 11-person nonpartisan redistricting commission; HB 140 would have a five-person temporary redistricting advisory commission; and HB 648 would have a 16-person independent redistricting commission of 11 voting members and five alternates who do not vote. For drawing the redistricting plans, HB 69 calls for the commission to draw them, while HB 140 would have the legislative service office draw them and HB 648 would be drawn by a special group selected by its commission. Plans would have to be approved by the commissions created under HB 69 and HB 648, but not HB 140, since that one is a constitutional amendment.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article236598383.html

Petty Tyrants: Tim Moore and the $775,000 per year desk job

timmoore.jpg

The trick is to hire the people who will hire you:

Reginald “Reggie” Holley, the Republican lobbyist whose nomination was ultimately approved by the House, was asked by Moore to put his name forward and serve on the board, Jackson said — a fact Jackson said he learned from a conversation with Holley.

“How does a lobbyist — someone who depends on leadership for the movement of bills and policy — how do they say no when the Speaker of the House calls them and asks them to serve?” Jackson said. And how does the speaker, who has been rumored for months to be interested in the presidency of the 17-campus UNC system, not recuse himself from choosing the members of the Board of Governors who will ultimately make that decision? Jackson continued.

In a word--Hubris. We're talking about a man who made a joke about taking away powers from the Governor of NC. The term "ethics" is not in his vocabulary, making him the very last person who should be running the UNC System. Unfortunately, these people just don't think along the same lines as the rest of us:

Thursday News: Here we go again...

bluenccup-1[1]_0.jpg

REPUBLICANS PASS BILL TO CUT CORPORATE FRANCHISE TAX: The North Carolina Senate voted Wednesday to reduce the franchise tax, a step toward eliminating it entirely. The franchise tax is levied on corporations that do business in North Carolina. Republicans in the General Assembly want to eliminate the franchise tax, which they describe as a double property tax on businesses in North Carolina. While Republicans touted their latest tax cut as being good for business and jobs, Democrats worried about the loss of tax revenue, which would be about $1 billion over five years. The Republican-written state budget that was vetoed by the governor included reducing the franchise tax, but progress on the budget is stalled four months into the new fiscal year. However, some of the tax cuts in the vetoed spending plan are moving through the legislature as “mini budgets,” including the franchise tax reduction.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article236540213.html

Coal Ash Wednesday: Lead isotope can trace origins of coal ash

coalashslurry.jpg

Duke Energy's "naturally occurring" argument just went lame:

Tests show that the tracer can distinguish between the chemical signature of lead that comes from coal ash and lead that comes from other major human or natural sources, including legacy contamination from leaded gasoline and lead paint. "Lead adds to our forensic toolbox and gives us a powerful new method for tracking fly ash contamination in the environment," said Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.

The tracer broadens scientists' ability to assess and monitor exposure risks of people who live or work near coal ash ponds and landfills or near sites where coal ash is being spread on soil as fill or reused for other purposes.

As I mentioned above, Duke Energy has played the "naturally occurring" card numerous times when individual toxic elements are discovered, and fossil fuel-friendly lawmakers have parroted those talking points ad nauseum during hearings and debates. I have often been frustrated with government regulators (state and federal) for not upping their scientific game to pierce that ambiguity. But in reality, they are simply not funded well enough to accomplish the R&D work and the regulatory work. Especially since the GOP took over the NC General Assembly and cut DENR's/DEQ's budget by over 40%. That research shortfall was not a coincidence, it was by design. Once again, we are blessed to have Avner and the Nicholas School working toward solutions:

Wednesday News: Gilead approaches

handmaids2.jpg

SC REPUBLICANS STRIP RAPE AND INCEST EXCEPTIONS FROM ABORTION BAN BILL: A proposal to outlaw abortions in South Carolina after about six weeks of pregnancy got a first round of approval in the state Senate on Tuesday after Senate Republicans removed protections in the bill for women who become pregnant from rape or incest. Those exceptions were added by the S.C. House, which passed the bill earlier this year, after state Rep. Nancy Mace, R-Charleston, told the story of her rape as a 16 year old. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has said he would sign the bill into law if the Senate passes it. The bill would outlaw the majority, or 55%, of abortions performed in South Carolina. Doctors would face criminal charges for performing abortions after a heartbeat has been detected, typically around the sixth week of gestation — before many women know they are pregnant.
https://www.newsobserver.com/site-services/newsletters/politics-government-nl/article236516018.html

Personal reparations

A post from my wife, Jane Brown
_________________________________

She calls me her “angel,” “Mom,” or “my only friend.” I’ve asked her not to. Sometimes I’m flattered, happy to be an angel for someone. Other times I feel like it’s just part of the con – a way to get to me, a way to get the money she always so desperately needs.

I first met Mary when she was a housekeeper on campus, responsible for part of the building I worked in. She stayed late one morning to apologize for dropping my wooden horse statue out the window. She said she had opened the window to let some air in and accidentally brushed the horse out the window. It splintered on the bricks below.

I appreciated her apology. She didn’t have to own up to that. We learned each other’s names. She had a big smile and a happy sense to her even though I wondered how she made ends meet. The housekeepers had been in a fight for a living wage for years. Mary was just happy to have a job.

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed