scharrison's blog

GOP Legislator served with domestic violence restraining order

The face of an abuser:

State Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania, was served with a domestic violence protection order late last month, records from the Transylvania County Courthouse show. His wife, Kelsey Henson, told Carolina Public Press on Thursday that she sought help for nearly a year from law enforcement and others from behavior she describes in court filings as harassment and emotional abuse.

She filed the paperwork on Jan. 30. Cody Henson was served with the protection order the next day, court records show. “Every time I tried to report it and called 911 or went to a magistrate to try to get help, I was denied,” Kelsey Henson said. “I truly feel that was because of his position.”

This is nothing short of infuriating. Every time these supposed "public service" people shied away from taking steps, they put her life at risk. It shouldn't matter "who" he was, only that he was out of control and a danger to this woman and her children:

The real effects of Climate Change are changing minds as well

floodflorence.jpg

But it may be small consolation:

The study, Climate Change in the American Mind, which was released in December, found that 46 percent of those surveyed said they had personally experienced the effects of global warming, two-thirds said global warming is affecting weather in the United States and more than half said warming has made natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes worse.

That change is evident in North Carolina, where record rainfalls statewide and the devastating effects of natural disasters, especially the repeated inundation of eastern North Carolina from hurricanes, has helped change the dialogue from one of questioning whether climate change is happening to what can be done about it.

Probably doesn't need to be said, but we all knew that, eventually, the catastrophic effects of Climate Change would become overwhelmingly obvious to even the most hard-headed deniers. But of course by that time, it really would be too late to stop it. I expected (maybe naively) that would happen in 2035-2040 or so. I'm afraid I was wrong. Methane buildup in the atmosphere is a game-changer:

GOP joins Char-O in calling for removal of LaWana Mayfield from Commission

Marching to a different drummer:

Senate Republicans called on Gov. Roy Cooper Tuesday to rescind an appointment he gave a Charlotte City Council member who referred to police officers as "homegrown terrorists wearing blue uniforms."

Charlotte Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield is also something of a 9/11 truther, questioning in a Facebook post last year whether planes really hit the World Trade Center in New York. But it was her March 2018 Twitter post on police in America that led The Charlotte Observer to call for her removal from the state Human Relations Commission in an editorial over the weekend. Cooper named Mayfield to the board in December.

One of the core goals of the Commission is to seek equality in justice and government services, and we're not even close to that in the way police deal with people of color. There needs to be *several* people on that Commission who are prepared to speak out on this blatant attack on Constitutional rights, and the rest of the damn Commission needs to be prepared to listen. All that being said, the last thing they need to do is chase conspiracy theories and deteriorate into subjective classifications. Not all black male youths are "thugs," and not all police are "terrorists." We need to work towards removing such preconceived notions, or the violence will only get worse. There are a couple of nuggets in here that work in her favor:

Gentrification on steroids: The Opportunity Zone program

construction.jpg

Making money and dodging taxes is the American way:

Developers have a new reason to build in already-booming Durham. A new federal incentive will encourage investors in certain parts of the city, including East Durham, west of Duke University and in Southwest Durham. But the “opportunity zones” could also lead to private investors tearing down existing houses to build big, new houses and getting tax breaks on their returns, Durham County Commissioner James Hill said Monday.

“This is why this has been called the Kushner bill,” he said, referring to Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law.

Personal anecdote time, try not to yawn too much: Every year my town throws a "business social," wherein we invite dozens of movers and shakers to a hoity-toity gathering in the hopes of attracting investments. Last year, one of the speakers was a lady simply giddy with the prospect of Opportunity Zones. She's a banker, but in the investment division, and while I was waiting patiently to hear about how this might improve our town, she spent the entire time (much more than any other speaker) talking about dodging Capital Gains taxes. In short, the more the merrier. Meaning, the really high-dollar projects are preferred, and result in the best "return" on said investments. Not much room for affordable housing in that formula. Here's more from the people who really understand this:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Good news, for now:

Not sure whose bright idea this was, but you don't just casually uproot hundreds of workers if you're being thoughtful.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline now a $7.5 Billion nightmare

pipeline.jpg

But that won't stop the fossil fuel industry from wreaking havoc on the environment:

The company said previously the project would cost an estimated $6.5 billion-$7.0 billion, excluding financing, and be completed in mid 2020 due to delays caused by numerous environmental lawsuits. “We remain highly confident in the successful and timely resolution of all outstanding permit issues as well as the ultimate completion of the entire project,” Dominion Chief Executive Thomas Farrell said in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings release.

He noted the company was “actively pursuing multiple paths to resolve all outstanding permit issues including judicial, legislative and administrative avenues.”

In other words, we will use our leverage in all three branches of the government to get what we want. I'm still "undecided" on the deal Governor Cooper struck, but I will say this: The move by General Assembly Republicans to grab that money and spend it on schools instead of environmental mitigation should be seen for what it is, a way to avoid school spending from the General Fund while also hurting environmental efforts. Because that's what they do, whenever they get a chance. The Mountain Valley Pipeline is also getting more expensive:

Gene Nichol on poverty: "They are invisible to us."

Should be required reading for all Democratic candidates:

Nichol builds his case by weaving together the ugly data points about income, education, jobs, and health care with personal anecdotes from hundreds of interviews with the people most affected. It adds up to a damning narrative about a large and growing underclass fostered by callous policy-making in Raleigh and Washington.

“Scarcely a word about poverty is uttered in the halls of the General Assembly,” he writes. “Recent North Carolina governors have almost never mentioned it, regardless of political party.”

In defending our small town's public transportation funding, I've spoken several times about our collective responsibility to do what we can to ameliorate some of aspects of poverty. And I get a lot of nods, and polite applause. I have no doubt most of those folks are genuinely concerned, but I also have no doubt most of them don't believe anything will work. They're willing to dedicate a small amount of resources to it, but that's more about "feeling good" than it is about actually bringing about change. The book is available on Amazon and other outlets, and at UNC Press:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - scharrison's blog