The battle to continue NC's renewable energy success

Progress is a four-letter word to some people:

It’s hard to see what’s not to like about North Carolina’s growing renewable energy industry. It’s clean. It creates jobs. It puts idle farm land to profitable use. It’s part of what must be an urgent, global response to climate change.

Yet there are some in the General Assembly determined to halt and even reverse the state’s booming solar power industry and to lower its prospects as a leader in wind power.

Some ideological positions are simply too absurd to understand. Even in the absence of the millions spent by the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel astroturfers, there will always be a handful of science-fearing individuals tilting at windmills. The industry propaganda just fuels their delusions, and makes it much more likely they'll be able to do actual damage instead of just fuming about it.

Sunday News: Message of substance edition

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‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’ DECLARES ELON COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER GERGEN (Elon University News) -- Elon University's Commencement speaker, David Gergen, departed from the tradition of showering graduates with praise and advice to discuss his concerns about the future of North Carolina, his home state. Gergen is senior political analyst for CNN and co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. He also served as advisor to four U.S. presidents and is founding chair of Elon University School of Law's advisory board. Gergen told a crowd of about 12,000 people at Commencement that "forces of political extremism" have asserted themselves in North Carolina, damaging the state's reputation and putting citizens at risk.
http://www.elon.edu/e-net/Article/132946

DHHS proposes cuts to special needs funding

Adding insult to tragedy:

Robin and Dan Marx of Cary are in a similar situation. Their 13-year-old son, Aidan, has a form of muscular dystrophy, and they receive $72,000 a year to pay for nursing aides for him as well as a modified van and alterations to their home to accommodate his wheelchair.

"This is a 350-pound wheelchair. You can’t just put in a car and drive around with it," Robin Marx said. Changing CAP-C would cut the family's Medicaid benefits by $40,000 a year.

Although it appears DHHS is re-evaluating this move after the negative feedback from families who would suffer from it, why is such feedback necessary? I'm sure somebody at DHHS could have made these calculations and predicted these horrific outcomes; if they couldn't or didn't they have no business managing these resources. What if nobody had spoken up? Is that now the way to gauge the effects of policy changes? The term "mismanagement" comes to mind, but I have a feeling they (DHHS) knew good and well the suffering that would result, and were merely gauging the public relations damage they'd have to deal with.

Saturday News: Don't say you weren't warned

NEW HB2 COMPROMISE IN THE WORKS. IS IT WORTH MAKING? (Charlotte Observer) -- Talks between Charlotte City Council and N.C. lawmakers have produced a framework for an HB2 compromise. But there are risks. It involves Charlotte City Council members making a symbolic gesture that risks alienating the LGBT community the council is trying to protect from discrimination. It also involves council members trusting Republicans in Raleigh who have done very little to earn that trust. What could go wrong?
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article78828787.html

Government bullying: Defund community college for Op-ed comments

Tyrants come in all shapes and sizes:

County Commissioners' Chairman Nick Picerno said Thursday night the county should take a look at its funding for Sandhills Community College in light of comments by its president that he will not enforce the state's new transgender bathroom law. That came in response to comments made by a Whispering Pines woman during the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting.

"I think the lady had a good argument," Picerno said. "Maybe we should review Sandhills Community College's funding for this year until they learn to obey the law. I agree with that 100 percent."

"The lady" is not only an anti-everything nut-job, she's also on the Planning and Zoning Board and heavily involved in local GOP politics. Calling her "the lady" is nothing more than a lame-ass attempt to cast her as merely a concerned citizen instead of a political hack. She's also the organizer of the anti-Islam "lecture" at Pinehurst resort:

Friday News: Denial is a river in Egypt, Art

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ART POPE DENIES FUNDING BACKERS OF HB2 DESPITE CLEAR RECORD (Facing South) -- Near the end of an interview, on NPR with Raleigh’s Art Pope, host Ari Shapiro brought up HB2. Shapiro asked for Pope's opinions on the law, noting "organizations that [Pope] funded have supported this law." Pope replied, "I disagree with your comment, the organizations I, quote, 'have funded have supported the law.'" Shapiro didn't challenge Pope's assertion. But the record shows that it's untrue. As Facing South reported earlier this month, the Pope Foundation has donated nearly $1.5 million to three groups that publicly support HB2.
http://www.southernstudies.org/2016/05/art-pope-denies-funding-backers-of-nc-bathroom-bil.html

Koch "army" being trained to defend McCrory in November

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Knocking on doors and leaving oily fingerprints:

The i360 Walk app for iOS and Android provides the AFP army with voter information on the go so they can identify houses strategically and make use of their time efficiently. The most GLA training sessions have been in scheduled in North Carolina where 12 classes of activists and mobilizers will have graduated by the end of June.

The Kochs are heavily invested in North Carolina having held (or scheduled) 12 GLA training sessions and with close to 200,000 AFP "in-state activists" as of January 2015. In the race for governor, incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R) is likely their man.

I post this as a cautionary tale for those who speculate political parties have lost their usefulness. When we give up the ability to leverage the resources of an organization, insanely wealthy individuals like Charles and David Koch can easily step in and take the lead. To them, the loss of influence and cohesion in the two major parties is a gift, and they will use it to control us. Live together, die alone.

Oklahoma Legislators pass bill outlawing abortion

The Republican war on women escalates:

The Oklahoma Legislature has passed a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

With no discussion or debate, the Senate voted 33-12 Thursday for the bill by Republican Sen. Nathan Dahm.

This is what's at stake, people. If you know someone who doesn't vote, please smack them on the back of the head for me.

Club For Growth grooms its next Congressional puppet

The less experienced, the better:

Budd, 44, owns part of a family farm near Advance as well as a firearms complex called ProShots in Rural Hall. But he has not held elective office and faces a bevy of current and former elected officials in the 17-candidate Republican primary set for June 7. Early voting begins May 26. Budd acknowledged that he would face a “learning curve” if elected, but he said he did not think his lack of prior experience in public office would hinder him.

The group’s ad campaign on Budd’s behalf sets him apart from other candidates in the crowded race, with the first such district-wide media effort of the primary. The 30-second ad spots depict Budd as a farmer, family man, “home schooler,” and small businessman who has “never run for office before.”

For those of you skeptical about his chances, remember these two factors: There will not be a runoff in the GOP Primary. Whoever gets the most votes, regardless of what percent of the total that is, will move forward to the General Election in November. And the 13th is gerrymandered to produce a Republican winner, no matter how bat-shit crazy he or his advisors are:

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