scharrison's blog

Republicans try to defend the indefensible on gerrymandering

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Denial is a river in Egypt:

Bell's testimony came Wednesday morning in the eighth day of a trial over the legislative voting district maps the Republican-controlled General Assembly approved two years ago. Common Cause North Carolina alleges that the maps are were drawn illegally into gerrymandered districts that favor GOP candidates.

Trying to maximize GOP seats in the House would dilute Republican strength in many districts and would wind up costing the party seats, he said. That, would cause a revolt in the House Republican caucus, which on the best of days is like trying to manage a wheelbarrow full of frogs, he said.

That little theory comes apart when you look at what actually happened: Republicans gained majorities in both houses after the 2010 (national) GOP Legislative wave, but they didn't achieve their Supermajority until after the maps were gerrymandered. And the Blue Wave of 2018, which flipped control of the U.S. House to a strong Democratic majority, still could not overcome those gerrymandered NC Legislative districts. So you can stick that "it wouldn't make sense for us to do it" argument where the sun don't shine, because we know you did it. And this makes even less sense:

Connecting the dots between climate change and flooding

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It's all about the evaporation:

“We are in part responsible for what’s going on in the context of fossil fuel combustion emissions that are leading to global warming. The ocean is a huge reservoir that is absorbing heat and seeing more evaporation. With more evaporation comes more rainfall.”

I've lost count of how many times I've had this conversation with people over the last year or two. But it's really a relatively simple concept/formula. Heat leads to evaporation leads to precipitation. Yes, silt and debris form choke points in our streams/rivers, and the water has to go somewhere. Yes, poor landscaping and over-development cause stormwater runoff. But the main driver of flooding is increased water vapor in the air. So the next time you're trying to explain to the dubious how climate change is causing this, don't waste time with stuff like "changing weather patterns" or other obscure references, just remember that formula above.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Hey Mark Johnson, the NC House has a message for you:

Unfortunately, it will likely not even get a hearing in the Senate, because Phil Berger just can't admit when a fellow Republican is wrong.

Sign the petition: Rescind the RNC 2020 contract for Charlotte

Hat-tip to Jerry Wayne Williamson for leading the charge:

Activists think that the Republican National Convention will give Charlotte a black eye, if not a bloody nose, tarnish it's reputation as a progressive Southern city, roil racial animus, and spark a backlash. Those activists have mounted a petition drive to induce the Charlotte City Council to rescind its invitation. "President Trump’s re-election strategy centers on stoking hatred, resentment, fear, and division. For his personal political benefit, he is determined to stir-up his most ardent supporters in a way that will invariably lead to violence and destruction in our city," the petition reads in part.

You can sign the petition right here, and then spread the word. Charlotte already has enough challenges on the racial front, and the inevitable clash between anti-fascists and white supremacists will push CMPD well past their already questionable tolerance levels.

Folwell's Folly: Fractured networks could be very costly for state employees

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Our incompetent Treasurer is playing Russian Roulette with health care:

Hospitals and providers were given a July 1 deadline to sign the Clear Pricing Project contract or be considered as out of network to SHP on Jan. 1, 2020. Folwell said Wednesday that 27,000 medical providers have signed the contract.

However, just three of the state’s 126 hospitals have done so. Cone Health of Greensboro said on July 1 that it would not sign the contract, saying it would cost the health-care system at least $26 million.

Still don't have a firm grasp of all the moving parts of this thing, but it's a good bet going through a medical procedure will be a lot more complicated if it isn't stopped. Some patients may end up spending less, but others will probably pay more, and the onus is on the General Assembly to throw the brakes on until we can assess the value/damage:

Tillis & Walker: Two sides of the same coin

And both sides couldn't be more wrong:

Sen. Thom Tillis and Rep. Mark Walker were in attendance Wednesday night at President Trump’s rally in North Carolina, where the crowd’s chant of “send her back!” targeting Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) rang in the air unchallenged.

On Thursday, Tillis defended the president, saying he had no control over the crowd and equating the event to a rock concert. Walker, a former pastor who has worked in refugee camps, called the chants offensive and said such rhetoric needs to stop before it defines the Republican Party.

Setting aside Two-Faced Tillis for the moment: Walker, who is supposed to be a religious man, is more concerned about the political consequences to his party than he is the safety and prosperity of the ethnic minorities being targeted in chants like this. Just do a mental exercise for me, and finish this sentence: "Such rhetoric needs to stop before it----" If you came up with "leads to violence" or some variation of that, you are a normal human being with an innate concern for the welfare of others. Now back to Tillis, who has latched onto Trump like a Lone Star tick:

NC Senate needs to act quickly on sexual assault bill

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There is simply no excuse for this dereliction of duty:

House Bill 393 passed the state House of Representatives without dissent in April, receiving strong bipartisan support. The measure would change state law to override the decade-old legal precedent on sex with incapacitated victims. The bill would also change the definition of a child’s caregiver and make it illegal to tamper with someone’s drink even if another crime does not occur afterward.

So far, there’s simply been no action in the Senate on HB 393, not even a committee hearing.

They've had time to authorize gambling on horse races, but not sexual assault victims. They've had time to expand the Board that oversees massage therapists, but not sexual assault victims. They've had time to address the speed limit in an exclusive golfing community, but not sexual assault victims. You get the picture, and it's an ugly picture at that. Fix it.

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