The GOP's misguided approach to economic development

Far behind where we should be:

How bad is the economy in the rural areas of the state? Last year, of the 83,700 jobs added in North Carolina, 75 percent were in Raleigh and Charlotte. The projection for this year is that there will be 86,000 new jobs with 55 percent in Raleigh and Charlotte.

That’s not to suggest there isn’t any growth or entrepreneurial innovation in North Carolina. But often those efforts are met with hostility instead of support. A case in point is the state’s growing clean energy economy. Rather than support one of the fastest growing renewable energy sectors in the nation, Republican leaders build roadblocks and seek to impose added and unnecessary regulation – a rather ironic ploy given the anti-regulation mantra many are given to.

It is painfully ironic. It's one thing to cross your arms and refuse to support or celebrate the growth of Solar and wind energy. But to actively oppose these things stinks of intervention by the fossil fuel industry, making it obvious to anybody with half a brain Republicans don't really care about economic growth.

Art Pope's minions now going after bicyclists

Wherever there is a whiff of progress, JLF and Civitas will soon be there to oppose it:

I do not oppose bike lanes in principle. If significant numbers of people wish to travel by bike and need safe lanes, it is reasonable for the city to use part of its transportation budget to meet that need.

But I do oppose social engineering and paternalism. I absolutely object to Raleigh and Wake County using taxpayers’ money to push taxpayers away from one behavior (driving cars) that they prefer and toward a different behavior (riding bikes) that they have not embraced.

Oh! Bonus points for including the trigger words "social engineering" and "paternalism." Seriously, these free-market clones are so predictable I could write for them under a pseudonym and get away with it for months before they figured it out. All you need are a few key phrases and a dash of hyperbole (Raleigh trying to "push" citizens into biking), and you've got Puppet Gold ready to be published.

Drowning in incompetency: Revised coastal floodmaps ignore sea level rise

Science? We don't need no stinking science:

New maps for Dare County will remove thousands of homes and lots from flood zones, creating a need to amend local building codes that until now accounted for more rising water, not less.

In Dare County, according to maps released last month, 15,970 buildings are either removed from a flood zone or placed in a zone where the hazard is reduced. Entire neighborhoods in Nags Head, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills are suddenly not so prone to water surging into the living room, according to the preliminary maps.

To give you an idea of what's at stake here, here's a Facebook post from a few months ago. Pay attention to the last sentence:

Sunday News: Robin Hood in reverse edition

THE COLD CRUELTY OF NC LEADERS IS TO TAX POOR TO RENDER TO RICH (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- There has been a good deal of confusion on this front as Republican leaders have boasted of massive reductions in taxation – changing the lives and fortunes of everyday Tar Heels. Turns out that’s not exactly right. Three-quarters of the total tax benefit went to the top 20 percent of earners. In 2015, those making less than $20,000 a year paid 9.2 percent of their income in state and local taxes. Those making over $376,000 annually paid 5.3 percent.

Dan Forest is an embarrassment to NC

Tripling down on McCrory's ignorant attacks on the NBA:

I enjoy the NBA and wanted them to hold the All-Star game in Charlotte but if that game comes with strings attached, strings that would expose women and children to danger, molestation, assault and voyeurism, then no thank you. Take your business elsewhere, and I have no apologies about saying that and never will. The NBA knows the economic hit North Carolina will take from this decision. I wish the NBA would likewise acknowledge the pain, sorrow and devastation a child or woman feels when they are exploited. We will never value a dollar over a woman's or child's safety and security.

Bolding mine. Where do I begin? How about we start with the GOP's refusal to expand Medicaid, leaving half a million NC citizens without medical coverage, many of them women and children. Sorry, costs too much. And then there's slashing environmental protections and dropping the ball on coal ash cleanup. Sorry, costs Duke Energy too much. Oh, and let's not forget, deeply cutting unemployment benefits, literally taking the food off the tables of tens of thousands of women and children. Sorry, it would cost private businesses too much if we made them pay what they should as responsible employers. The list is endless. Wherever a dollar is concerned, women and children must take a back seat to the wealthy who want to buy a bigger boat with their tax cuts.

Friday News: More than just a game


LISTEN TO THE NBA AND THE COACHES: HB2 IS A LOSER (Capitol Broadcasting Co. editorial) -- North Carolina's top three basketball coaches offer sound reasons why HB2 is wrong. The NBA shows the high cost of legalizing discrimination. HB2 needs to be repealed.

NBA MOVING 2017 ALL-STAR GAME OUT OF CHARLOTTE (Charlotte Observer) -- The NBA announced late Thursday afternoon that it is moving the 2017 All-Star Weekend out of Charlotte, in reaction to concerns with the North Carolina law known as House Bill 2.

Environmental heroes: SouthWings patrols the skies

Providing a bird's-eye view of potential environmental threats:

SouthWings collaborates with a range of effective conservation and community partners to increase collective, positive impact on environmental issues. Through the power of a first-hand aerial perspective, SouthWings provides an unparalleled way for funders, partners, and other key decision-makers to understand the most urgent environmental challenges in the Southeast.

At the heart of our work is the commitment of SouthWings’ all-volunteer pilot corps, collectively contributing hundreds of hours of time and resources each year to provide a unique perspective on environmental issues that would otherwise not be possible.

Based in Asheville, these volunteer pilots cover the entire Southeast and some Gulf states, and have spotted problems like dangerous algae blooms and other irregularities in rivers and lakes. But flying isn't cheap, so if you've got some extra cash handy, show them some love.

Robin Hayes strands Cruz supporters kicking them off his private plane

Robin Hayes just can't help himself. He lost his job in Congress after telling one too many lies and now he's put his pettiness on full display in Cleveland.

According to the CharO:

When North Carolina Republican Chairman Robin Hayes asked fellow delegate Ted Hicks on Thursday what he thought of the convention speech by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Hicks was candid.

Parsing the propaganda: Lisa Sorg rips DEQ promotional video

Van der Vaart is in deep trouble:

DvdV: “Hello, I’m Donald van der Vaart, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. I’m here to talk to you about the action North Carolina has taken to protect the environment, public health, and the communities that have been affected by the long-ignored problem of coal ash.”

NCPW: As DEQ secretary, van der Vaart has the power to allow Duke Energy to miss its deadline to remedy impoundments and coal ash residue. The utility can blow its deadline if for some reason, it can’t use the “best available technology found to be economically reasonable” and it would produce a “serious hardship” without an equal or greater public benefit. Translation: If it’s too expensive.

Among her many other talents, Lisa has an uncanny ability to pull up the rug to see what trash has been swept under it. Hat-tip to NC Policy Watch for bringing her on board:


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