NC's clean energy sector is spearheading recovery

And we can't afford to let the GOP derail its growth:

North Carolina has almost 1,000 clean energy firms that employ 34,294 full-time equivalent jobs. This represents an estimated 31% increase in employment from the previous year. Additional jobs continue being added to the industry, and the rate of growth has more than doubled since 2015.

North Carolinians are benefiting from clean energy in the form of lower electric bills, healthier communities and expanded local tax bases, as job opportunities continue surfacing across the industry's diverse supply chain.

There's been a lot of brainstorming by Democrats on how to refine messaging, especially in the area of economic opportunity. Well, here you go. Not only is promoting clean energy in the best interests of maintaining our health and well-being, and something we should push even if there wasn't an economic benefit, the clean energy sector has the potential to bring much-needed revenues to nearly all 100 counties. Quoting myself from an Op-Ed in late 2015:

Thursday News: Burr's warped agenda

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HILL REPUBLICANS DEMAND PROBE OF MEDIA LEAKS ON TRUMP (Politico) -- Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) suggested during a hearing Tuesday that his panel was also looking into media leaks as part of its larger probe into Russia’s role in the presidential election. Some Republicans appear to be taking cues from Trump, who has called for leak investigations and at a news conference Wednesday compared the behavior of U.S. intelligence agencies to Nazi Germany.
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/donald-trump-russia-leaks-congress-233504

Wednesday News: And so it begins

LAWMAKERS PREPARED FOR LONG SESSION, NEW GOVERNOR (Southern Pines Pilot) -- Even before the N.C. General Assembly convenes, its relationship is already off to a rocky start with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The Republican-controlled General Assembly passed several laws during a special session last month stripping the new governor of some of his powers. Cooper responded by filing a lawsuit challenging one of those laws that would prevent Democrats from assuming majorities on local elections boards as well as the state board, which would be merged with the State Ethics Commission.
http://www.thepilot.com/news/lawmakers-prepared-for-long-session-new-governor/article_afa4a536-d756-...

Governor Cooper expands lawsuit against GOP-dominated Legislature

Chipping away at the massive power-grab:

This expanded lawsuit also challenges what it calls the “unprecedented” provision requiring the governor’s Cabinet appointments are subject to Senate confirmation. The lawsuit also challenges a provision that drastically reduced the number of state employees who are political appointees and exempt from state personnel protections, as well as a provision that allowed hundreds of those exempt employees to become non-exempt.

Further, Cooper’s suit challenges a provision that allowed the appointment of the spouse of Gov. Pat McCrory’s chief of staff, Yolanda Stith, to the state Industrial Commission for an unprecedented nine-year term. The provision “confers an exclusive privilege upon a single person with no benefit to the general welfare,” the lawsuit reads.

Understand, the widening scope of this lawsuit is merely reflective of the GOP's appetite for power. What Roy is engaging in is not "radical" or "all-encompassing," it is the classic definition of a "measured response." And don't let any pundit or editorial staff get away with making it seem like an overreach on the Governor's part. They have a really bad habit of forgetting or editing out context, to get a little more "pop" out of news developments, and that very often serves to mislead more than inform. Friendly reminders in the comment section, or even LTEs, can be more than just a way to vent frustration.

US Supreme Court puts freeze on 2017 Special Elections

But this Tweet from John Burns is muy importante:

Hopefully the Appeal will be heard and rejected with the quickness, and we can get about the business of fair elections.

Fascism Watch: Bomb threats at Jewish community centers

A coordinated effort to intimidate:

Mr. Feinstein said about 300 people had been in the Rockville center when the threat was made, including about 200 preschoolers. After the threat in Delaware, parents were called to pick up preschool and day school students. In South Carolina, Mr. Abels said staff members and patrons attending exercise classes had to leave. About three hours later, he said, the authorities said it was safe to return, leaving many to wonder what had happened.

“It could be anything from hate groups to a terrorist situation,” Mr. Abels said. “I think it’s probably more on the hate group side, because it was just a scare.” He said he believed it was “designed to be psychologically disorienting and scary and just disruptive.”

It was not a single individual making these phone calls, both an elderly-sounding female and at least one male took part. Some 16 community centers spanning the Eastern seaboard were targeted, and I'm not so sure this was just a fear tactic. It could have provided a potential attacker(s) with the evacuation patterns of one or more facilities, revealing when/where they would be grouped together outside and most vulnerable to a shooter (see photo). And the multiple threats could also be an effort to mask the targeting of one specific facility, to avoid localized scrutiny by law enforcement. Whatever the case, it should not be dismissed as merely a telephone prank and/or harmless ranting.

Tuesday News: Because lives *are* at stake

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SWIFT FEDERAL ACTION VOWED ON COOPER'S MEDICAID EXPANSION PLAN (McClatchy Newspapers) -- The Obama administration pledged Monday to act quickly on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s plan to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans want to repeal. Outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell suggested Monday that North Carolina could see a quick answer on its request to expand Medicaid. She demurred on the dispute between Cooper and the Republican-controlled state Legislature over Medicaid, but said, “We will process the governor’s proposal as expeditiously as possible when we get it.”
http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/politics-government/article125514424.html

Notes from the Commander-In-Chief

The soon-to-be leader of the free world is on the ball:

Thinking of making this a regular feature, but I'm not sure NC's mental health network is prepared for that...

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