Brown's "historical blindness" on sales tax redistribution

Reducing the story to Tweet-size makes lying much easier:

Brown has blasted that 2007 decision repeatedly in recent weeks. “It killed 83 counties across the state,” he said. “What this bill does is correct that wrong. It helps those rural counties that got kicked in the teeth in 2007.”

He’s also been critical of the legislature’s leaders at that time, who happened to be Democrats. “The leadership that year led efforts that robbed and redistributed money from poor rural counties to rich urban counties,” he said.

Makes a good sound byte, but that's not what happened. I'll let one of Brown's fellow Republicans 'splain it:

Sunday News: Skvarla's double talk, Ross-Shuler match up?

John Skvarla: Job-creation incentives aren't handouts (Fayetteville Observer column) -- In less than five months, North Carolina's flagship business recruitment tool is scheduled to sunset. Since 2003, the Job Development Investment Grant program has played a key role in bringing high-wage jobs in manufacturing, financial services, life sciences, I/T and other industries to the state while supporting companies such as Caterpillar, GE, Siemens Energy and many others as they grew existing operations here.

Did Randall Kerrick plan on abusing or shooting black suspect?

It sure looks like it:

Officer Kerrick admitted that he had not fired any warning shots and had not ordered Mr. Ferrell to show his hands. He also acknowledged that he intentionally turned off his cruiser’s dashboard camera when he arrived.

“This was not just any call,” Officer Kerrick said. “This was a priority breaking-and-entering call at 2:30 in the morning with the homeowner inside the house.”

“It wasn’t an important enough call to you to leave your D.M.V.R. on, right?” Ms. Postell asked, referring to his dashboard-mounted video recorder.


Enough said. When you take a step like this to knowingly conceal your future actions, for fear they will be deemed illegal, that is (or should be) classified as "intent," if not premeditation. And once again, one of the most important witnesses of this incident cannot take the stand.

DENR Secretary engaging in campaign politics

Joining the GOP bandwagon in viciously attacking Roy Cooper:

In a puzzling move, Cooper is putting his support behind the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which is estimated to cost consumers and businesses $41 billion or more per year. According to Energy Ventures Analysis, the average North Carolina household’s electricity and gas bill would increase by $434 in 2020, a 22 percent hike over current rates. Cooper, in essence, supports the takeover of North Carolina’s energy-generation system.

We do not share Cooper’s belief that the federal EPA is the best guardian of North Carolina’s economic and environmental interests. We prefer to allow North Carolina to continue to build on its significant record of environmental protection.

In this ten paragraph op-ed, van der Vaart references the Attorney General ten times, proving he is more concerned with scoring political points than discussing environmental issues. As to Energy Ventures Analysis, your initial assumption is correct, dear reader. The group has deep ties to the coal industry, something a "scholar" like van der Vaart should have spotted a mile away:

Five things everyone should understand about North Carolina's Monster Voting Law trial

by Kelly Fetty

Last month the legislation pundits and press have called North Carolina's "monster" voting law spawned a monster trial in the Middle District of North Carolina. For three weeks, national and international media watched as 47 witnesses testified either live or on video, and more than a dozen experts presented thousands of pages of evidence before Judge Thomas D. Schroeder in courtroom #2 of the Hiram H. Ward Federal building in downtown Winston-Salem.

It would be impossible to summarize a month-long trial in a single post. Instead, I've settled on five core concepts that are central to the case. Understanding these concepts will help BlueNC readers navigate the legal logic of the trial — and, eventually, Judge Schroeder's written decision.

Before I go on, a caveat: I'm not a lawyer or a law student. I'm a person who writes and who attended every day of the trial. My understanding of these concepts comes from my own background research before attending the trial and from the day-in, day-out observation of the lawyers arguing the case.

Art Pope, the Koch Brothers, and their defense of polluters

Spending big bucks attacking environmental heroes:

The same day it donated to the RGA, Sept. 16, Variety Stores also gave $400,000 to the Freedom Partners Action Fund, the super PAC of the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, which has been called the "central bank" of the Koch brothers' conservative political spending operation.

Pope's business has continued making donations this year, giving the RGA another $50,000 on June 18 and $100,000 to the Freedom Partners Action Fund the following day.

That's half a million dollars to Freedom Partners, a tidy sum even for the silver spoon-fed Arthur. While a lot of these SuperPACs hide their donors and their corporate masters very well, Freedom Partners is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch International, with a super-majority of its board actual employees of the polluting monster. They do however try to get clever with their attacks:

When op-eds go horribly wrong

Campbell professor goes off on a poorly-researched tangent:

Governments own and run most of our schools and therefore do not operate in competitive environments similar to those that brought us, among many other things, vast improvements in technology and telecommunications, higher quality foods at lower prices, bigger and cheaper HDTVs, and ever-cheaper means of transportation.

We run our schools much like the socialist-run factories of the last century: a top-down command and control system with a one-size-fits-all mentality.

Like most free-market fundies, Steckbeck feels the need to serve his tripe with a dash of fear-inducing "Socialism!" Maybe hoping to hide the fact he's just peddling an opinion, and not something that stands up under close scrutiny. HDTV was invented by Korean Woo Paik (product of public schools), and developed/introduced by Japan's public television network. And then a consortium of US-based electronics companies pooled their resources and developed standards which would (among other things) allow them to monopolize the technology and keep pesky entrepreneurs from joining the fun. I'm not through with him yet:

Friday News: TA's are PO'd edition


Teacher assistants criticize NC lawmakers for budget delays (AP) — Teacher assistants are unhappy with North Carolina lawmakers for failing to pass a state budget and they are worried about their jobs a little more than a week before school goes back into session.


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