The real effects of Climate Change are changing minds as well

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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:

Thursday News: Imminent threat

COOPER WARNS CONGRESS ABOUT INACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called on the United States to reassert itself as a global leader in the fight against climate change, telling a divided congressional committee of the economic, commercial and personal toll of climate change to his state while touting his moves as chief executive. “We can’t afford not to take urgent action to fight climate change. It is not too late, but it soon may be,” Cooper told members of the U.S. House’s Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday in the first of a series of Democratic-led hearings on climate change. Cooper appeared alongside Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican. Cooper said there is “overwhelming scientific consensus” on climate change and the role humans are playing in it. And he outlined damage that storms and severe weather events have caused in North Carolina in recent years, including hurricanes Matthew and Florence, mudslides in the mountains, animal- and crop-killing heat in the summers and the loss of crops due to flooding and heavy rains.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article225559380.html

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:

Wednesday News: Time to testify

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MCCREADY BLASTS HARRIS OVER ABSENTEE BALLOT FRAUD: "We don't know if he stole hundreds of votes or thousands of votes," he said, citing affidavits filed in the investigation that the elections board has made public so far that allege Dowless was seen with hundreds of absentee ballots and that he had crews of people going door to door collecting ballots. "One thing we know is that this all goes to the very top of Mark Harris' campaign," McCready said. Dowless' actions in elections have been scrutinized for years, and McCready said he heard rumors last fall of shenanigans Dowless was involved in during the 9th District campaign. "We're responsible for our actions. I'm responsible for what my people do or don't do," he said. "I only see two options here: Either Mark Harris knew what was going on, or he turned a blind eye to fraud and built a culture of corruption in his campaign."
https://www.wral.com/opponent-says-mark-harris-knew-about-fraud-in-9th-district-election-or-turned-b...

Gentrification on steroids: The Opportunity Zone program

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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 News: Keep it public

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GOVERNOR'S OFFICE WANTS COMMITTEE INTERVIEWS, NOT PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS: Following criticism for refusing to allow agency employees to be interviewed by private investigators hired by the legislature, Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration is requesting a public committee meeting where agency representatives would answer questions about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline approval process. Cooper chief of staff Kristi Jones wrote to the legislative oversight committee probing the issue last week. “We have provided you the requested documents, answered your questions and appeared before your committees numerous times on this subject, yet you insist that we answer even more questions from private Republican investigators who should be paid for by the Republican Party and not North Carolina taxpayers,” Jones wrote. Her letter was first reported by WRAL reporter Travis Fain on Twitter.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article225497220.html

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