NC's alarming trend toward temporary employment

Hat-tip to Chris Fitzsimon for breaking down the numbers:

39—percentage growth of temporary workers in the national economy from 2009-2014

52—percentage growth of temporary workers in North Carolina from 2009 to 2014

45,022—amount in dollars of average annual earnings of temporary workers in the United States

30,627—amount in dollars of average annual earnings of temporary workers in North Carolina

Yes, it's a national trend, but North Carolina is a leader in low wages and job insecurity. Which should come as no surprise, since our Labor Commissioner has pretty much abrogated her responsibility to monitor these things:

Monday News: Cash spills out of Duke Energy holding pond

Duke Energy to Acquire Piedmont Nat. Gas in $4.9 Billion Deal (Street Insider) -- Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas announced the boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved a definitive agreement for Duke Energy to acquire Piedmont for approximately $4.9 billion in cash. "We look forward to welcoming Piedmont's employees and one million customers in the Carolinas and Tennessee to Duke Energy," said Lynn Good, president and CEO of Duke Energy. "This combination provides us with a growing natural gas platform, benefitting our customers, communities and investors."$4.9B+Deal/10999807.html

The dangers of driving while black in North Carolina

NC's racial profiling problem once again makes national news:

The same gap prevailed when officers cited probable cause to search without permission. Officers searched blacks at more than twice the rate of whites, but found contraband only 52 percent of the time, compared with 62 percent of the time when the driver was white.

If those statistics are true, Chief Scott said, “we need to figure out how we can better serve our community in a fairer way.”

The only way to do that is to drastically reduce the number of "probable cause" traffic stops that take place. It's a subjective analysis to begin with, and you simply can't "train" people to ignore prejudicial thoughts that mostly stem from the entertainment industry's reliance on stereotypical portrayals. Etymological note: The word suspicion emerged shortly after the end of the Dark Ages, and was most often associated with religious tribunals who suspected that many people were under the influence of Satan. And the overwhelming majority of the population in Europe and later the New World were wholly supportive of the Inquisitors' judgments. Until it was their turn on the rack. Back to the article, and some hopeful developments:

2016 Early voting locations and schedules

If you feel strongly about the locations, days or times of Early Voting in your county, now is the time to contact your local Board of Elections.
The EV periods are set - but the specifics are determined by each of the 100 counties.

2016 Primary election: Early vote 3/3-3/12 with election day on 3/15.
2016 General election: Early vote 10/27-11/5 with election day on 11/8.

Sunday News: Jaw-dropping ethical fail edition


For $30,000, you too could play golf with Berger, Moore (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The legislature’s top brass has invited campaign supporters to a golf fundraiser in Pinehurst – and the minimum contribution for two couples is set at $30,000. “Neither of us are golfers, so consider us the entertainment,” says the invite, which bears the signatures of Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore, both Republicans.
The invite included a flier that notes “other legislative leaders” will join them.

NC (DEQ) joins lawsuit against EPA Clean Power Plan

And immediately starts spewing industry propaganda:

"This federal overreach presents a clear choice: do you want Washington, D.C., or North Carolina to control energy generation in our state?" North Carolina Secretary of Environmental Quality Donald van der Vaart said in a statement. "We have shown that North Carolina's leadership, not federal intervention, has resulted in reduced emissions, cleaner air and affordable energy. This administration remains committed to protecting ratepayers from expensive and unnecessary federal regulations."

Under the Clean Power Plan, the average utility bill in North Carolina is expected to increase by $434 a year by 2020, state officials said.

They didn't get that number from their own calculations or the EPA, that dollar figure was derived from a painfully flawed industry-funded study:

Saturday News: Pay-to-play McHenry edition

Payday lender donations to McHenry prompt probe call (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- A Washington-based watchdog group is asking for an ethics probe of 10th District U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry and 10 other congressmen because their actions to help the payday lending industry coincided with campaign contributions from the industry. McHenry, a Lincoln County Republican, got $55,399 in contributions from industry political action committees or executives around the time he co-signed a 2011 bill that critics say would have hampered the operations of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, says the complaint from Campaign for Accountability.

The Bureau of Land Management's Cruelty to Animals

The numbers of horses and burros living on public land doubles every four years. These herds have been under the Bureau of Land Management supervision and protection since 1971. Because the Bureau has failed to control the number of horses and burros being born thousands of animals have and are receiving cruel treatment when they are moved to holding pens.


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