My Veterans Day message to Senator Tillis

For the past ten years or so, I've greeted Veterans Day with a barrel full of cringe. The pandering from politicians nearly takes the breath away. It's embarrassing.

This year, the Veterans Day noise has been deafening. From Trump on down to the lowest kind of partisan hack, we're hearing enough happy talk to last a lifetime. Thom Tillis may be the worst, with this Facebook post.

If it keeps on raining, the levee's going to break

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And when the levee breaks, I'll have no place to stay:

North Carolina carries a little-understood risk of flooding as climate change makes rainstorms more intense — the state has the country's second-largest collection of dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition built in places where a failure could kill people.

An investigation by The Associated Press identified 168 high-hazard dams in poor or unsatisfactory condition in North Carolina. That trailed only Georgia among the 44 states and Puerto Rico that provided full information in response to the AP's public records requests. Nationally, the AP found at least 1,680 high hazard dams that are rated in poor or unsatisfactory condition.

Ten percent. One in ten of the nation's high hazard dams are located in North Carolina. And when you look at the profile of Atlantic Coast states, NC is a natural target of hurricanes moving up that coast. Flooding is going to be the single biggest threat to our communities in the coming decades, and we must begin addressing that now.

Monday News: Walking wounded

CANCER IS STRIKING VETERANS AT AN ALARMING RATE: A McClatchy investigation of cancer rates among veterans in the nearly two decades since the Sept. 11 attacks shows that the number of cancer cases treated by the VA health care system has skyrocketed. The review, based on Freedom of Information Act requests for every unique cancer treatment provided by a VA health care facility from fiscal years 2000 to 2018 found the rates of blood cancers ⁠— lymphoma, myeloma and leukemia ⁠— rose 18% in the same period. Other cancers increased as much as 96%. The VA has disagreed with McClatchy’s findings. However data from its internal cancer registry that the agency provided also shows a significant rise during a similar time frame. According to that, the number of blood cancers increased 41%, from 2000 to 2017.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article236560778.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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PLAYING POLITICS OVERRIDES PAYING FOR QUALITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS: What is most important to Senate leader Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore and the majority in the legislature? Politics and partisan loyalty. It is not public education. That was made clear when they offered to increase the teacher pay raise if Democrats would vote to override the governor's veto of the main state budget bill. That is the big reveal. Playing games with teachers' salaries. None of this is based on what is needed to assure a quality education for North Carolina’s children. All of it is about politics. It is about how much legislators must spend in their effort to avoid negotiating with Gov. Roy Cooper. Teachers and parents can add and subtract. They know that North Carolina spends less per student for public education than all but five states.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-playing-politics-overrides-paying-for-quality-public-schools/18746571/

Virginia Foxx has been a no-show at Impeachment hearings

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Because you don't need to learn anything when your mind's made up:

Two North Carolina lawmakers sit on the committees with access. However, one of them has so far not attended any of the secure testimony: Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th District.

“Several depositions have been scheduled when Congress is not in session and other events have been scheduled in North Carolina. Others have had their time changed, conflicting with other responsibilities in Washington, including my work as Republican Leader on the Education and Labor Committee,” she wrote.

I won't say she is dumber than a box of rocks, but she's pretty damn close. She just admitted that depositions have been held when Congress was in session and not in session, meaning she had ample opportunity to attend at least one of these hearings. By trying to cover her ass with this catch-all statement, she accomplished the opposite. And this Tweet from late September shows she is nothing more than a hypocrite:

Saturday News: Teachers deserve better

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GOVERNOR COOPER VETOES PALTRY 3.9% RAISES FOR EDUCATORS: Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed the legislature’s proposed raises for North Carolina teachers, calling them “inadequate.” Instead, he wants to negotiate for higher raises. “It’s clear to me that legislators want to do this, and we shouldn’t accept these paltry pay raises when we have an opportunity to do more,” Cooper told reporters Friday morning at a news conference at the Executive Mansion in downtown Raleigh. The Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly had approved average teacher raises of 3.9% over two years, including step increases for longevity. Lawmakers also passed 2% raises for non-instructional staff. But most Democrats opposed the bill containing those raises, and the Democratic governor announced Friday that he had blocked them.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article237150104.html

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