Jeb Bush brings his cluelessness to NC

Coming to all the wrong conclusions:

Speaking shortly after charges were announced in Freddie Gray's death in Baltimore, Bush said "the process works, and it will go forward from here on out. People are innocent until proven guilty."

At the same time, Bush stressed that in any time of disaffection, the first responsibility is to make sure the rule of law applies. There are "ways to protest peacefully, but when you cross the line and you start doing damage to property and harming people, innocent people, that's a problem. "

Which reflects a core logical disconnect shared by many of his fellow Republicans: The total dismissal of cause & effect. It is somewhere between "very possible" and "likely" that, in the absence of social unrest following the wrongful death of Freddie Gray, no criminal charges would have been filed against the police officers responsible. They might have been temporarily suspended and/or had something scribbled in their personnel file, but charged with crimes? Doubtful. But that reality doesn't fit with the Republican narrative, so it's clipped out of the picture.

Daily dose: "He thought they said Koch" edition

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Coca-Cola, with McCrory’s help, Tries To Position Itself As Health Food (Media Post) -- How many million marketing dollars will Coca Cola have to spend to make us believe it’s in the business of promoting good health, instead of pushing a constant craving for its sugar- and chemical-laden drinks? … The primary target market is North Carolina, and the Challenge — a partnership between Coca-Cola, CVS and Morris Media Network's Carolina Parent, Piedmont Parent and Charlotte Parent magazines — has the enthusiastic endorsement of Gov. Pat McCrory. “I encourage families within North Carolina to register for this fantastic program and get out and get moving,” he said.
http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/248862/coca-cola-tries-again-to-position-itself-as-hea...

Charters have Privileges Public Schools are Not Allowed

SB 480 has passed the crossover deadline and will head to the House. If passed there, it will make it illegal for any employee of a local board of education to politic while on the clock. Teachers, principals, teacher's aides will not be able to send home info on bond referendum or any legislation affecting schools.

However, charter schools are free to do so. Charter schools can use school facilities and time to call for support for legislation. And I have seen kids who receive vouchers actually lobbying at the Legislative Building. The following has gone out from Voyager Academy to its parents. Sauce for the goose is no longer sauce for the gander.

Crossover crapola: The NC GOP's misplaced priorities

It's quite possible that $13,951 per year is way too much:

Roughly 500 bills have passed one chamber or the other. Here’s a glance at some key bills still alive:

>State government would be banned from contracting with companies tied to Iran’s energy sector under Senate Bill 455.
>House Bill 630 would direct state regulators to look into using floating technology at Falls Lake that is being tested in Jordan Lake to prevent and clean up pollution.
>House Bill 601 allows for the sale of deer skins.
>House Bill 161 makes the bobcat the official state cat.
>House Bill 640 allows Sunday hunting on private land.
>House Bill 540 would put a statue of evangelist Billy Graham in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

I suppose things could be worse, that all 500 of these bills could be punitive in nature, adding to the layers of attacks on citizens already in place or in progress. But the real problem with these bills is they combine to form a cloud of staticky noise, that diverts attention and the resulting debate on bills that do have a profound impact on people's lives. Which is probably why the leadership gives them time they don't deserve.

Daily dose: Chairman of the idiot's coalition version

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DRIVE TO DRILL: Energy lobbyists behind McCrory's crusade for Atlantic oil (Facing South) -- Instead of moving away from risky offshore oil, the U.S. is now poised to expand exploration and drilling in vast new areas of the ocean. Earlier this year, energy interests scored a major victory when the Obama administration announced it would include waters off the coasts of North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia in a draft five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing beginning in 2017 — the first time a federal lease has been proposed for the Atlantic since the early 1980s. The oil and gas industry's success in getting Atlantic drilling back on the agenda can be traced in large part to the full-throttle lobbying efforts of the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition — a secretive group founded in 2011 to revive and expand offshore drilling in the wake of the BP disaster. Based in the offices of its chairman, Republican Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina, the Governors Coalition now includes member governors from nine coastal states.
http://www.southernstudies.org/2015/04/drive-to-drill-energy-lobbyists-behind-governors-c.html

N.C. legislature’s death penalty plan: Remove safeguards, add secrecy, ignore innocence

Despite high profile exonerations in NC, lawmakers say we need to hurry up and execute people.

The idea defies reason, and yet, this week the N.C. House took some disturbing and misguided steps to restart executions.

NC charter schools: All your dollar$ are ours

Even your bake sales and booster bucks:

Senate Bill 456 would force school districts to share all local tax revenue proportionally by striking the ad valorem exception. Sponsor Sen. Jerry Tillman R-Randolph, said the bill "puts the funding back where the courts say it should be."

However, the bill also strikes the law's exceptions for "sales tax refunds, gifts and grants restricted as to use, and trust funds." That means donations, from school PTA fundraising dollars to booster revenues for bands or sports teams, would all go into the shared pot unless the school district sets up a separate account for those dollars and unless donors specify that their contribution is for that particular account.

I'm sure Conservative band boosters and other alums will somehow perceive this as "the damn government" meddling in school affairs, which later will coalesce into "the damn Democrats" did it, since they can't grasp the idea of their intrepid Republican heroes pulling stunts like this. And if/when they do see something negative about the GOP on the news, the filters kick in to defend them from "that damn Liberal media." SMFH.

Jeter amendment guts Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard

Common sense gets lost in the crossover shuffle:

The proposal introduced Wednesday night as an amendment to House Bill 760, a regulatory reform measure, would cap the REPS requirement at 6 percent permanently and would allow a utility to claim energy-efficiency savings for up to half of that requirement. Power companies could seek reimbursement from ratepayers for any investments or contracts they've already entered into in order to meet the higher renewables requirements that the proposal repeals.

The measure would also repeal an 80 percent property tax break that solar farms and facilities currently receive.

And this amendment passed 98-18, meaning a whole lot of Democrats have some explaining to do.

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