Monday News: Here we go again...


GOVERNOR COOPER ISSUES WARNING ABOUT HURRICANE DORIAN: Gov. Roy Cooper on Sunday said all North Carolina residents should be prepared to take action as Hurricane Dorian, now a Category 5 storm, could threaten the Carolinas later this week. "We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst," he said during a Sunday session with reporters. "Right now, it's fierce storm and North Carolina will likely see heavy rains, winds and flooding. I urge everyone to take it seriously. The time to prepare is now." Dorian slammed into the Bahamas around midday Sunday with sustained winds near 180 mph, the strongest on record to hit the northwestern archipelago, leaving residents scrambling to find shelter as they braced for rising waters and torrential rains.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


EXPAND MEDICAID, SPARE US THE SONG AND DANCE: Senate leader Phil Berger and his partner House Speaker Tim Moore have hatched a scheme to work their will with the state budget. They are taking Johnny Cash’s advice to build it “one piece at a time.” If they want to get it all through with little dissent, the first item needs to be expanding Medicaid. They’ll find much of the rest, a breeze to put together. But the unfortunate reality is that Berger and Moore will do almost anything to avoid confronting the issue that demands their immediate attention. They’d rather have rank-and-file legislators twiddle their $42,000-a-day thumbs or jet off to conferences – than discuss expanding Medicaid coverage to more than a half-million working North Carolinians whose families today lack health coverage.

Beware of the false remedy of "Opportunity Zones"

A better name might be, "Gentrification On Steroids":

President Trump has portrayed America’s cities as wastelands, ravaged by crime and homelessness, infested by rats. But the Trump administration’s signature plan to lift them — a multibillion-dollar tax break that is supposed to help low-income areas — has fueled a wave of developments financed by and built for the wealthiest Americans.

Among the early beneficiaries of the tax incentive are billionaire financiers like Leon Cooperman and business magnates like Sidney Kohl — and Mr. Trump’s family members and advisers.

Personal anecdote time: Last year my town's merchant's association held a "business social," bringing in bankers and other Very Important Persons to discuss economic growth possibilities. One of the topics I was very keen to hear about was Opportunity Zones, because we have some areas that really need a lift. But the investment advisor (woman) who presented did not even mention economic improvement, or helping marginalized citizens. It was all about how to leverage the program to reap the most financial benefits. And another quick take: The more the merrier. The more expensive the project, the more tax savings reaped. Which means, the finished product (luxury apartments, high-end retail) would be inaccessible for people on the low end of the totem pole:

Saturday News: Wrong Medicaid bill


GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES MEDICAID "TRANSFORMATION" LEGISLATION: These mini budgets came to the governor's desk this week as the legislature's Republican majority explored ways around his June veto of the state's overall budget. The pay raises, covering state highway patrol, prison system employees, the State Bureau of Investigations and a long list of other state employees, moved through the General Assembly with bipartisan, unanimous support. But Medicaid transformation, long a GOP priority even though it fell to Gov. Roy Cooper's administration to implement, drew opposition from legislative Democrats. Cooper said in a statement that "passing mini-funding bills that simply divvy up the vetoed Republican budget is a tactic to avoid a comprehensive budget." "Health care is an area where North Carolina needs us to do more, and to do it comprehensively," Cooper said in his statement.

NC09 Debate fact-check reveals dismal state of NC teacher pay


This is why you should wear red for ed:

When moderator Christine Sperow asked the candidates to address the economic concerns of rural farmers, McCready quickly transitioned to Bishop’s performance on teacher pay. McCready argued that the state of public education in North Carolina is harming rural North Carolinians just as much as the Trump administration’s trade policies. “We have got to be investing in our public schools,” McCready said, “alongside taking on China, to make life better for so many people.”

Bishop interjected, saying he supported teacher pay increases in the state budget for five consecutive years. A sixth and seventh consecutive raise would be possible, Bishop said, if Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper hadn’t vetoed this year’s state budget. Bishop is right — the past five budgets have increased teacher pay — but critics say these raises weren’t enough.

While Congress has zero impact on NC teacher pay, this is a legitimate debate point because it reveals how ineffective Bishop (and his GOP colleagues) have been in managing critical state policies and programs. And these numbers can't be harped on enough:

Friday News: Debunking propaganda


DUKE ENERGY AGREES SOLAR ENERGY DOES *NOT* INCREASE POLLUTION: The Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization that has labeled Duke “Public Energy Enemy No. 1” in part for not investing more in renewable energy, says “the nation’s largest investor-owned electric utility is pushing an outlandish claim that the growth of solar power will increase air pollution.” By the time the group had blasted the company, Duke had already released its own statement, suggesting that past media articles had mischaracterized its request of regulators. Duke credited the growth of solar energy, along with the replacement of coal-fired power plants with cleaner-burning natural gas units, for steep overall declines in its carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxide emissions. The claim that solar energy causes more air pollution is “faulty logic,” Duke’s statement said. “It’s like saying an electric vehicle is bad since it will increase your electric bill, while neglecting to mention the cost savings of not buying gasoline.”


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