scharrison's blog

Lies, damn lies, and Tim Moore: Rewriting history on unemployment cuts

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Look up "disingenuous" in the dictionary, and it shows his picture in the margin:

By 2019, one in 10 unemployed workers in North Carolina was receiving benefits, the lowest share in the nation. But the state’s trust fund was in far better shape than when the legislature passed tighter restrictions in 2013.

“It was certainly a painful thing to do, and it was a tough vote,” said Tim Moore, now the Republican speaker of the North Carolina State House. “The balance that we had to strike was between making sure we’re taking care of somebody who truly can’t find a job, versus allowing in folks who simply did not want to work.”

If that was all it was about, giving benefits to those who truly needed them, you wouldn't have cut the maximum weekly benefit from $535 down to $350. And you wouldn't have reduced the duration of payments from 26 weeks down to 13. This was pure reverse Robin Hood; taking money from the neediest of families to help justify cutting taxes for the wealthy. And I am bone tired of Republicans bragging about that "trust fund," because it was a heinous violation of trust that fueled the $3+ Billion in blood money that filled it. I'll let Reverend Barber conclude this argument:

NC Senate bill would place huge burden on educators

Here, put this puzzle together while you're treading water:

A bill filed in the North Carolina Senate today would give school districts until June 30 to come up with a plan for how they’ll ensure remote instruction results in the same learning growth as teaching that occurs at school. It’s hard to articulate how out of touch with reality that expectation is.

North Carolina’s educators are doing the best we can to teach our students in the midst of a global pandemic. As time passes we will continue to find ways to make remote teaching and learning more effective. However, what we’re already seeing is there are an untold number of factors that we have absolutely no control over.

No doubt this bright idea came from the very same people who would do away with every single government regulation that deals with private businesses. It's not unlike what they did to NC DENR (now DEQ) several years ago, when they cut staff deeply, and then told them an "economic impact study" would need to be completed before any new rule was promulgated. Back to Justin:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Timely message for the malcontents:

Pay attention to the doctors and nurses; they're trying to save lives, like every other day.

Refurbished textile mill will become another NC wood pellet plant

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Spelling the demise of thousands more acres of trees:

This factory used to house Alamac American Knits, an erstwhile leading manufacturer of woven fabrics. But it closed in 2017, in part due to market pressures, but also because of damage inflicted by Hurricane Matthew, which the previous year dumped 10 inches of rain on the town, flooding the Lumber River until it burst its banks.

Now the 150-acre site is the home of Active Energy Renewable Power. A subsidiary of Active Energy Group, it is a publicly traded British company with a spotty project history. Aided by a half-million dollars in state taxpayer money, it is the latest entrant into the state’s wood pellet business.

It's long past time for us to stop referring to wood pellet burning as "renewable energy." It's not. Some of the wood they use comes from old-growth hardwoods, very often located in or near our critical wetlands, and many of those trees are over 100 years old. It's not as asinine as John Skvarla's (thanks, McCrory) claim that crude oil is renewable, but it ranks up there. This also has COVID 19 implications as well, since scientists have determined that fine particulate air pollution increases risk for fatalities in people who live in dirty air environments. Their own permit application is damning enough:

Open thread: 2020 NCDP (virtual) County Conventions today

I hereby declare the alternate title of these proceedings shall be referred to as "Herding Cats Online." Just kidding. But seriously. This is going to be complicated enough as it is without our usual standard, "I would like to speak, even though I really haven't formulated a relevant argument on that subject I have yet to choose to be outraged about, I'm just counting on the Holy Spirit of Democracy to move me in the right direction." I'd like to say that was hyperbole, but I cannot tell a lie. Let's just get the business done. See you at High Noon.

NC will likely wash its hands of Thom Tillis in November

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WaPo rates NC the "swingiest" of swing states:

Former state senator and Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Cal Cunningham is the Democrats’ nominee (despite Republican interference to boost another candidate). In the first three months of this year, he doubled Tillis’s fundraising hauls. Tillis has tried at points to display some independence from Trump, pushing a bill to prevent the firing of Robert S. Mueller III and opposing Trump’s method of paying for the border wall. But he embraced the wall and during impeachment, he was all-in for the president.

We don't call him Two-Faced Tillis for nothing. He has never been exceptionally popular among Republicans, but that OpEd he wrote had them sharpening the long knives. Let's see what Thommy said back then:

Tom Fetzer needs to be removed from UNC BOG

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His personal ambition has clouded what little judgment he ever had:

Fetzer, a member of the UNC Board of Governors, inserted himself into yet another leadership decision about the school last week, during a university governance committee meeting. This time it was the question of Van Isley’s appointment to the ECU Board of Trustees. Fetzer sought to delay a vote, arguing the board should vet Isley more thoroughly than the average trustee candidate.

In interviews with Policy Watch this week, three members of the UNC Board of Governors and two members of the ECU Board of Trustees said they no longer believe Fetzer can be objective about leadership decisions at ECU, and he should recuse himself from issues related to the school.

Fetzer is like the proverbial bad penny: he just keeps turning up. He was an empty suit as Raleigh Mayor (forgot about that, did you?), a shit-stirrer as NC GOP Chairman, and a back-room deal-maker as a lobbyist. Of course he believes he has "earned" the position as Chancellor for East Carolina, and that belief will drive him to continue to meddle in the school's affairs until he gets it. He already thinks he's the Decider of the Board of Governors:

Lunatic fringe: ReOpenNC brings out the worst in our society

Jordan Green of Triad City Beat was on location:

“If you saw your father or your son breathing their last breath — we’re the ones there holding their hands,” Cynthia J. said. “If you had a family member who was sick with COVID-19, you’d think more about how your actions affected the whole.” Across the street, Stephen Wagner called out sarcastically: “Appreciate you nurses coming out to support us,” throwing in a caustic aside about financial challenges hospitals have faced by as they’ve canceled elective surgeries to free up beds and protective gear for COVID-19 patients.

“Too many people died for our freedoms for us to give them up for germs and lack of toilet paper,” he said. He had another pithy declaration: “It’s normal for humans to get sick. Of the sick ones, the weak ones die. That’s just life.”

Not surprised this idiot doesn't know the difference between a germ and a virus, just as I'm not surprised he fails to grasp the irony of his backhand reference to evolution. But he was (by far) not the only idiot in attendance, Dan Bishop was there too:

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