Daily dose: "It's only rape if you report it" edition

Republican Ellmers is ‘Public enemy No 1’ to conservative activists (Washington Post) -- Rep. Renee Ellmers (N.C.) was perhaps best known outside her district as the Republican who beat American Idol sensation Clay Aiken. Less than three weeks into the 114th Congress, she has a new claim to fame, as Public Enemy No. 1 for conservative activists.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2015/01/22/conservatives-go-to-war-against-rene...

Congratulations James and BlueNC!

Art Pope's Uncivil Civitas Institute has published a map of the vast left-wing conspiracy in North Carolina.

Civitas casts a big lasso to make some of those connections, including organizations like the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, American Association of Retired Persons, Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation, the Center for Responsible Lending, former Raleigh City Council member and registered Republican Philip Isley (because he now lobbies for trial lawyers).

Bye bye movies

As the NC GOP continues to kill jobs in our state with their foolish "no subsidies, except for dirty energy, the gun industry and rich people" mentality, the end of film production tax credits has dried up movie production in our state.

Five movies shot in North Carolina will hit theaters this year, but the head of the state film office said Tuesday that no new movies are in production or currently planned anywhere in the state.

The health of a million NC citizens at risk

Resting in the hands of the US Supreme Court:

We have written before about King v. Burwell, the case that will be heard before the US Supreme Court to determine whether or not health insurance subsidies can flow to states that refused to establish state-based marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act.

KFF researchers think more than 13 million people nationally, and about 1 million people in North Carolina, would lose tax credits if the Supreme Court denies subsidies to federal marketplace states. For most of these folks insurance would immediately become unaffordable. This is especially true because prices would most likely spiral upward as younger, healthier enrollees lose coverage.

The Affordable Care Act is a complex formula, created to solve an equally complex problem. While some elements of this formula are not critical to its success, some of them are, such as these subsidies. Thanks to the unwise and ideologically-driven decision to not expand Medicaid, North Carolina already has a gaping hole in coverage that most other states don't, or soon won't. If we lose these subsidies, also thanks to poor judgment on the part of GOP leaders who refused to lift a finger to build a marketplace, our people will suffer the consequences, and so will our healthcare providing network. It's not just a failure of leadership, it's the equivalent of setting up firing squads across the state, without having to worry about being charged with war crimes.

A dark chapter in NC's history books

And we're living it right now:

The new majority in the N.C. General Assembly hijacked Lincoln’s Republican Party and immediately began enacting an agenda that helped the greedy at the expense of the needy. They slashed unemployment benefits, killed the earned income-tax credit for the working poor, refused Medicaid coverage for hundreds of thousands, cut corporate income taxes, repealed the estate tax, gutted health and safety protections, cut per-pupil spending for education and shifted public money to private academies.

They also redrew legislative district lines to isolate and minimize the power of black voters. Then, in the weeks immediately following the Shelby decision, they jammed a host of voter restrictions into one bill that also cut restrictions on political donations. We call it the “Monster Law” because of its sweeping scope and because it is the reincarnation of the Jim Crow monster.

It's becoming more and more difficult to catalog all of the greedy and cold-hearted policies adopted by this Legislature, but a good mission statement to attribute to them is, "So many people to suppress, so little time." I often wonder how the future will grade us; how our actions will be perceived, by those who will inevitably have achieved a much higher level of enlightenment. And I fear they will revile us for our greed, prejudices, and short-sightedness.

Daily dose: Muni broadband revolution edition

Wilson echoes Obama's call for greater broadband access (WRAL-TV) -- The city of Wilson, which has operated its own high-speed Internet service for six years, plans to ask the Federal Communications Commission next month to overturn state laws that limit public broadband services.

http://www.wral.com/wilson-echoes-obama-s-call-for-greater-broadband-access/14375985/

Starting a Conversation

NCDP

Earlier this month, I started blogging about the institutional changes I think are necessary to not only rescue the North Carolina Democratic Party from its looming insolvency. My goal is to cover five (or 5.5) big thoughts before the NCDP chair candidate forums this weekend.

I've covered an absolution, a mea culpa, the path forward for the NCDP organization, and the path forward for NCDP leadership. In the next couple of days I'm going to talk about what Democratic campaigns can do to be more successful, and I'm going to present a big idea for NCDP to consider.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Famous last words

The propaganda train is already rollin' down the tracks:

All coal ash brought to a former clay mine in Sanford would be transported by rail only, Duke Energy and Charah representatives said at a Sanford Environmental Advisory Board meeting Tuesday. Between rail transportation and onsite trucking, Price said there still is a zero-tolerance policy for coal ash dust.

“Once we put it in the rail car, we will spray something on it to seal it,” he said, adding that once the coal ash reaches the site, it will remain at 20 percent moisture. “As long as we keep the moisture at the 20 percent, it does not get airborne.”

Just so everybody understands what this means: The coal ash is not going to be put into those sealed hazardous waste tanker cars, it will be transported in open-top hoppers, directly exposed to the air. And they're going to wet it down at the start, and hope like hell he wind and forward motion of the train don't cause enough evaporation to dry it out (the top layers, anyway) and set it loose in the air. I think we should require them to publish the rail shipping schedule, so observers can be on site in different locations to monitor the ash trains. But I doubt they will volunteer that information.

Daily dose: The party of "No!" version

STATE OF THE UNION

Republicans Have One Word For President’s Proposals, Veto Threats: ‘No!’ (New York Times) -- “No” seems to be all anyone wants to say in this town anymore. In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Obama enumerated policies that he opposed, from rolling back Wall Street regulations to exempting more businesses from their obligation to provide health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. … For their part, Republicans immediately rejected most of the proposals that were central to Mr. Obama’s address, saying he was obviously not serious about working with them to pass consequential bipartisan legislation. … “I think this was a tremendous missed opportunity for this administration,” Senator Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., said. “When you start out with multiple veto threats and you show no willingness to even meet somewhere in the middle on issues that have been percolating for some time, it gives you very little hope that there’s going to be a breakthrough.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/21/us/politics/republicans-have-one-word-for-presidents-proposals-and...

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