Josh Stein joins lawsuit opposing Trump's Muslim ban

Because fighting injustice is part of the job:

“President Trump’s executive order undermines the core American value of religious tolerance, and it makes us less safe,” Stein said in a statement released Monday. “It signals to the world that America sees all Muslims as terrorists, strengthening ISIS’s propaganda and efforts to recruit terrorists.

“Not only is Trump doing immeasurable damage to our country’s standing, he’s doing it in a way that is unconstitutional. That is why I will join my colleagues in taking action.”

What he said.

Tuesday News: The Trudy Effect

GREENSBORO OFFICIALS BLAME WADE IN FIRST DAY OF REDISTRICTING TRIAL (Greensboro News & Record) -- Testimony pointed to the election of Sen. Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) as the event that marked a change in the way state laws affecting local lawmakers were formulated. Before she took office, proposals were discussed among Guilford county lawmakers before the changes took effect. Local politicians testified that Wade proposed the new districts without consulting the mayor or council and said that unnamed Greensboro business owners asked for the districts that would give better representation to the black community. Opponents, and everyone who testified Monday, said that simply wasn't the case.
http://www.greensboro.com/news/government/greensboro-officials-blame-wade-in-first-day-of-redistrict...

Tuesday Twitter roundup

It's never too late to do the right thing:

HB2 was flawed from the start, trying to fix a problem that didn't exist. And it became (much) more flawed when Republicans took away other existing worker protections in their zeal to punish Charlotte. It's long past time to kill this particular bill.

On the chopping block: NC retiree health care benefits

Austerity for some, tax cuts for others:

The Joint Legislative Committee on the Unfunded Liability of the Retiree Health Benefit Fund shall examine the following options for reducing the unfunded liability of the Fund:

(1) Increasing the assets in the Retiree Health Benefit Fund through appropriation by the General Assembly.
(2) Increasing the costs of retiree benefits borne by the federal government, by means such as the automatic enrollment of Medicare‑eligible retirees in Medicare Advantage or the offering of financial incentives to early retirees to obtain insurance through the health insurance exchange created under the Affordable Care Act.
(3) Reducing the State's future liability by transitioning the State's retiree health benefit from a defined benefit approach to a defined contribution model.
(4) Reducing the number of persons eligible for retiree benefits by increasing the service time requirements for the benefit or by eliminating the benefit for certain groups.
(5) Requiring employees to contribute to the Retiree Health Benefit Fund, as they do to the Teachers' and State Employees' Retirement System.
(6) Increasing the amount that retirees pay for their health benefits by means such as increasing premiums or out‑of‑pocket costs.
(7) Any other proposals for reducing the unfunded liability of the Fund identified by the Committee.

The reason 3-6 are italicized is because 1&2 were merely put there to make people think everything's on the table. Again, classic bait-and-switch. Like when you get that "You are a winner!" glossy bullshit notice in the mail, where you've either won a fancy new automobile, $25,000 cash, an all-expense-paid vacation to Cabo San Lucas, or a free photographic portrait sitting, where you end up either stalking out with a frowny-face or ordering $75 worth of pictures. This is a frowny-face bill, and SEANC needs to start lighting torches and sharpening pitchforks.

Republican Superintendent pushing trades instead of college

And misleading students in the process:

He said business leaders want schools to start letting kids know their options at a younger age, including vocational professions. Johnson said that any student who wants to go to college can, but they need to know there are other options.

For instance, he said that a student should know that he or she could become a lineman for a power company after high school, and within a few years he or she could be making more than $100,000. Or a student could graduate and work as a welder at a steel fabrication company and potentially be making $70,000.

Bolding mine, because the dude at the top of the education pyramid in NC should at least understand that a "few" years is 2-3, not the 10-15 years it would take to achieve journeyman status. And the top journeyman lineworkers make around $39 per hour, which is $83,120 before overtime. Entry level pay is about $16 per hour ($33,280 per year), and telling kids they can make $100,000 within a few years is astoundingly irresponsible. And considering that Duke Energy Carolinas is about 250 linemen short, the negatives likely outweigh the positives by a metric ton:

Monday News: Counting the costs of voter negligence

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WHAT WILL OBAMACARE REPEAL MEAN FOR WNC HOSPITALS? (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- With Congress and the president pledging to repeal the Affordable Care Act, leaders of Western North Carolina hospitals are closely following the discussions to find out what might replace the existing health care law. The stakes are high. By one estimate, repealing the legislation without an effective replacement plan and keeping in place payment reductions to hospitals that came with the law would cost North Carolina hospitals $7.1 billion over eight years. That scenario would be especially hard on rural hospitals with a high percentage of uninsured patients, according to health care experts.
http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2017/02/05/what-obamacare-repeal-mean-wnc-hospitals/97...

NC's Hall of Shame: Wealthy Trump donors

An oligarchy of hypocrisy:

President Donald Trump may have had a tumultuous first two weeks, but that doesn’t bother Louis DeJoy. “He’s doing great,” said the Greensboro investor. “So far he’s doing what he said he was going to do.” DeJoy was one of Trump’s biggest N.C. donors and fundraisers. Records show he gave $111,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, a joint committee that split money between the campaign and party groups. He gave the Republican National Committee another $273,000 to help elect Trump.

DeJoy wasn’t the president’s only top N.C. contributor. Fred Eshelman, a former pharmaceutical executive from Wilmington, gave Trump Victory $200,000. Doug Lebda, CEO of Charlotte-based Lending Tree, gave $102,615 to the Great America PAC, which spent millions on Trump’s behalf. David Schamens of Davie County, CEO of TradeStream Analytics, gave Trump Victory $42,000 and, according to an FEC report, a net $157,000 to America Comes First PAC.

I hardly need to say it, but I'm going to say it: If you do business with any of these idiotas, please stop. Disassociate, divest, deprive them of your commerce, deny them access to your inner circle, and direct your investments and support to their rivals. Promoting Fascism should never (again) be a profitable enterprise, so exercise your option as an enlightened Capitalist and make these social parasites regret dashing off those checks. As for the smaller donors:

Sunday News: Just say No

RALLY: NO WALL, NO BAN, NO FEAR (WRAL-TV) -- A large crowd turned out on Saturday for the No Wall No Ban No Fear Rally in Raleigh to protest recent executive orders by President Donald Trump that limit travel from certain countries and block refugees coming to the United States. Protesters carried signs and delivered speeches at Halifax Mall in downtown to show support for the people affected by the orders. Trump signed actions to block refugees, to stop travel from several counties, including Syria, Iran and Iraq, and to start plans to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico. Organizers said the protest was to show support for Muslims, refugees (and) immigrants.
http://www.wral.com/-no-wall-no-ban-no-fear-rally-draws-crowd-in-raleigh/16503485/

Fall back

I've been around the block long enough to know that some ideas spark and some don't. When an idea immediately brings up more questions than answers, expectations are dashed. And it's even worse when you're in a hurry.

That's what seems to be happening with the idea of a general strike. There's a small and vocal group committed to driving its, but not yet the more general population. I'm thinking plan b.

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