Thursday News: Not so fast, bond boy

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N.C. BOND DRAWS OPPOSITION (Greensboro News & Record) -- Opponents say the Connect NC bond package consists of expensive pet projects.
http://www.greensboro.com/news/north_carolina/n-c-bond-draws-opposition/article_320565ce-461e-52e2-8...

OPPONENTS OF NC'S $2 BILLION BOND ORGANIZE (Raleigh News & Observer) -- There has not been any organized opposition to the statewide $2 billion bond on the March 15 primary election ballot, whose supporters kicked off their campaign on Tuesday, until now.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article53...

McCrory's dinner ex parte with Duke Energy

Hat-tip to Mark Binker for reading the tea leaves:

But on June 1, while in the midst of pressing legal action against and issuing news releases critical of the nation's largest utility, top state officials met for a private dinner at the Executive Mansion with Duke executives, according to calendar entries and other records reviewed by WRAL News.

McCrory, his top environmental regulator, his chief of staff and his general counsel attended, as did Duke Chief Executive Lynn Good, the company's general counsel and the president of the company's North Carolina operations.

Go read the whole story. As usual, Mark takes advantage of his freedom from column space restrictions to provide an in-depth exploration of the issue, as well as providing the context necessary to fully understand the ethics. Or lack of, as in this case. And this (lack of) commenting speaks volumes, as well:

NC GOP wastes no time in attacking Roy Cooper

They'll use anything as fodder, but this time it's Obama's executive actions on gun sales:

NCGOP Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse said Tuesday Obama is not standing up for the constitutional rights of citizens. “Our question is if North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will. Certainly there will be attorney generals across this country that will standup and fight these executive orders,” Woodhouse said.

“The president has done something here that he couldn’t get passed through the legislative process and that should concern all citizens,” Woodhouse said. “What the president has done here is assert authority we don’t think he has and what North Carolina citizens need is our state Attorney General Roy Cooper to do something about it.”

What the President has done is probably a far sight less than he should have, but you won't hear anything like that from the gun-nuts or GOP lawmakers and their political apparatchiks. Closing the gunshow loophole and cracking down on "private" sales is a critical step. Until that happens, it doesn't matter how accurate and up-to-date the federal database is, because somebody who would fail that test has a Plan B. And after all the harping about "mental illness" the gun lobby has used as a deflection, for them to condemn the very thing they've been promoting proves that was all just a sham. No logical ground to stand on.

Wednesday News: Hils vs. Pat edition

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CLINTON CAMPAIGN SLAMS MCCRORY ON ABORTION LAW (Raleigh News & Observer) -- For the second time in recent months, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has weighed in on new North Carolina laws. On Monday, her campaign released a statement criticizing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory for allowing an abortion law to go into effect here. The new law requires abortion providers to send to state health officials records of all abortions and induced miscarriages after the 16th week of pregnancy, including ultrasound images of fetuses.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article53...

American Neocons bribed Congress, not Israel

Taken from (another) Facebook post:

Tom Cotton Accepted $1 Million From Israel To Sabotage Iran Nuclear Deal

How much money does it take for a foreign nation to buy a United States Senator? Just ask Republican Tom Cotton.

For a lousy $1 million paycheck, Israel hired Cotton to lead an effort to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal that the Obama Administration toiled for months to achieve.

Let me state upfront that I am not defending Israel or Netanyahu, who has bent over backwards to undermine the President's efforts to negotiate with Iran. But the real culprits in this story are not foreign, they are American citizens, and if we don't watch them closely, they *will* get us into another war, just like they did in 2003:

Tuesday News: Branding fail edition

BEST AND WORST IDENTITIES OF 2015, PART 5: WORST NOTED (Brand New) -- This is not the kind of accolade Gov. Pat McCrory expected when he spent millions on a new N.C. logo. Brand New, which chronicles and critiques brand identity work by corporations and other entities, named the new North Carolina logo the “Worst of 2015.” On the logo, Brand New explains, “Not a single element in this logo is right, in concept or execution. It’s like they picked elements from a hat and then five different people were responsible for executing each element and then they put them all together and then issued a press release.”
http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/the_best_and_worst_identities_of_2015_part_5_the...

DMV fees another chapter in the GOP's great tax shift

For every selfish action there's a regressive reaction:

The bottom line is that middle- and low-income people lose on the shift. The pauper and the millionaire will both spend an extra 30 percent in DMV fees, but the millionaire will get a vastly larger savings than the pauper from the income tax cuts.

This inequity will be piled upon another in March. That’s when the 6.75 percent sales tax in many counties is extended to cover car repairs and installation and maintenance services. With the new tax, a $750 repair will cost the customer $800.

By all rights, the GOP's across-the-board attacks on the poor and middle class should result in a stampede to the voting booths in November. But they're counting on the two things that helped bring them to power in the first place: Lassitude on the part of Democratic-leaning voters, and social divisiveness that keeps religious people voting for charlatans because they say the right hateful words. Not much we can do about the latter; hate is harder to cure than cancer. But we can wake up those Dem voters, if we have the desire and the organization to do so.

Monday News: Good question

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WHY AREN’T WE CALLING THE OREGON OCCUPIERS ‘TERRORISTS’? (Washington Post) -- As of Sunday afternoon, The Washington Post called them "occupiers." The New York Times opted for "armed activists" and "militia men." And the Associated Press put the situation this way: "A family previously involved in a showdown with the federal government has occupied a building at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon and is asking militia members to join them." Not one seemed to lean toward terms such as "insurrection," "revolt," anti-government "insurgents" or, as some on social media were calling them, "terrorists."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/01/03/why-arent-we-calling-the-oregon-militia-te...

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