BOTH MADISON CAWTHORN AND MARK MEADOWS HELPED ENGINEER COUP ATTEMPT: Rolling Stone said the organizers, speaking anonymously, named seven Republican members of Congress who joined, either directly or through their staffers, in the effort to overturn the election. Republican North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn was among those named. That Cawthorn was named is hardly a surprise. He spoke at the Jan. 6 rally near the White House where he said, “The Democrats, with all the fraud they have done in this election, the Republicans, hiding and not fighting, they are trying to silence your voice.” Cawthorn’s remarks are not the only embarrassment for North Carolina. The Rolling Stone report also suggests deep involvement in the Jan. 6 events by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, a former Republican congressman who preceded Cawthorn in North Carolina’s 11th District. Why is Treason so popular up there in the 11th? Lack of oxygen? Vertigo due to acrophobia? Just spitballing here.
CONFEDERATE STATUES HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM ASHEVILLE, AND: Charlotte, Clinton, Durham, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Lexington, Louisburg, Oxford, Pasquotank County, Pittsboro, Raleigh, Reidsville, Rockingham, Rocky Mount, Salisbury, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wadesboro, Warrenton, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem, so far. This was a biggie: Raleigh’s 75-foot monument took several days and multiple cranes to disassemble. Its removal followed a night in June 2020 when protesters pulled statues off its obelisk, dragged them and hanged one from a light pole. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered the obelisk and two other Confederate statues removed from the Capitol grounds, a decision that drew cheers from onlookers. The monuments went into storage until new locations are found.
NC'S COVID NUMBERS ARE ON THE DECLINE AGAIN: The spread of COVID-19 has dropped substantially in recent weeks, according to data released Tuesday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. For the first time since mid-July, the state reported two consecutive days of new daily cases below 1,500. Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has decreased by more than 35%. Hospitalizations, which have declined by 37% in the last 14 days, are at their lowest levels in nearly three months. Health officials reported on Monday that K-12 schools, which host kids under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated, have also seen a drop in cases associated with clusters for five straight weeks. “North Carolina’s key metrics show high but declining levels of COVID-19 spread,” health officials wrote in the report. The share of COVID-19 tests coming back positive over the past week has ranged from 4% to 6%, down substantially from the 8% to 10% daily positivity rate reported a month ago.
MANCHIN AND SINEMA JUST COST STRUGGLING FAMILIES A BUNDLE: Democrats appeared on the verge of clinching more than $500 billion in new money to combat climate change, even as they continued to hammer out some of the specifics. Some felt they were also close to a temporary program to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income Americans. Even before Wednesday, the party had neared consensus over a slew of other programs to aid families, including expanded tax credits for parents and new, free and universal prekindergarten for their children. But the prospects of a deal also forced Democrats to begin to accept difficult trade-offs, as many initiatives were scaled back or jettisoned as a result of demands from Manchin and Sinema. That included a promise to provide paid family and medical leave to millions of Americans, which appeared to fall out of the bill entirely, according to two people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to describe the talks. They noted negotiations remain ongoing. Plenty of other rifts still plagued Democrats, including a lingering dispute over a pledge to expand Medicare to offer dental, vision and hearing benefits to seniors. Democrats had identified a slew of alternative measures to pay for their package, including a new tax on American billionaires, but that also remained political jeopardy after Manchin criticized it as unworkable. The rising specter of a deal nonetheless left Democratic leaders confident enough to try to take the next step in advancing the package, which lawmakers believe could cost closer to $1.75 trillion, roughly half of what they originally hoped to spend. This is why we can't have nice things.
I HATE TO BE THE GUY WHO SAYS "I TOLD YOU SO," BUT HERE WE ARE: For decades, policymakers have been laser-focused on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, the most abundant planet-warming gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. Not anymore. Methane emissions are set to become a defining issue on Capitol Hill, at the Environmental Protection Agency and at an upcoming United Nations climate summit in Scotland next week. The details: Democrats are working to salvage a fee on methane emissions in their tax-and-spending package after centrist Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) voiced opposition to the proposal, The Climate 202 reported Tuesday. “The focus on methane as a greenhouse gas is long overdue,” Maria Pastukhova, a senior policy adviser at E3G, a European think tank, told The Climate 202. “The time span between action and the results is much longer for carbon dioxide.” EPA Administrator Michael Regan is expected to unveil the methane standards for new and existing oil and gas operations, including wells and pipelines, as soon as this week. On the international stage, the United States and the European Union will be pushing other countries to join the Global Methane Pledge at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow starting next week. Just in case you forgot: when Methane's half-life is over after 10-12 years, it doesn't go away, it turns into Carbon Dioxide.