Daily dose

Daily dose: Everybody's an expert edition


Activists pressure state leaders to expand Medicaid (High Point Enterprise) -- Political activists pressuring state Republican leaders to expand Medicaid health care coverage are pointing to a report by researchers linked to the Triad. A report released earlier this month through the Cone Health Foundation and Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust shows that the state has lost out on $6 billion in federal funding during a two-year period by not expanding Medicaid. The report indicates that 478,000 state residents won’t have health coverage by 2017 if Medicaid isn’t expanded. Medicaid in North Carolina now covers approximately 1.8 million people. So far the GOP-controlled General Assembly has balked at expanding Medicaid to cover hundreds of thousands of impoverished North Carolinians.


Daily Dose: The Governor's Delusion edition

Only from Carolina Country, a second-rate propaganda channel from the industry, would you find an ode to McCrory's "vision" for the future of energy. And for the Guvnor, of course, it's first and always about money.

The Governor’s Vision (Carolina Country magazine) -- I admire the goals of the Obama administration for reducing carbon emissions, but I think the administration has overstepped its authority. The [recent] EPA regulations do not take into consideration what we in North Carolina have already done in wind, solar and other means of producing electricity. They also don't seem to recognize the impact that higher energy costs will have on jobs here. One of the first things industry looks for, including agriculture, is the cost of electricity and other utilities. For many people and businesses, their electric bill is one of the largest expenses they have. The EPA regulations do not take into consideration the affordability of energy, especially for the middle class. We need an economic model that is affordable for both the consumer and the investor. The administration's new requirements will not only cost the industry, but will actually cost the consumer as well. I am going to work with the Congress on trying to reverse what I consider executive overreach by the Obama administration. I support a diverse portfolio of energy—from coal to hydro to nuclear to wind to solar. I believe in an "all-of-the-above" policy. Giving subsidies to some industries ends up costing everyone.

Christmas dose: What's so funny 'bout peace love and understanding?

Santa with a badge: In Bethlehem, Alexander County Sheriff’s deputies deliver presents (Hickory Record) -- Sheriff Chris Bowman circled around to the side of the small, one-family home. Backed up by Capt. Michael Harrison and Deputy Larry Ingle, the three Alexander County Sheriff’s officers brought considerable hardware to the home just outside Bethlehem. But the hardware was covered in wrapping paper, not bulletproof armor or camouflage. They brought smiles—not curses, joy—not fear and toys instead of handcuffs. Bowman, Harrison and Ingle were there not to enforce the law but as ambassadors of good cheer. As part of the Santa Cops program, since 2009, Harrison has led the charge to bring toys to children whose parents are locked up in the Alexander County jail on Christmas.

Daily Dose: Corporate takeover edition

It's okay for corporations to crush people's lives and take their property for profit, as is currently happening in Virginia. But it's a horror-of-horrors if the government wants to do something for the common good. The irony is killing me.

Dominion sues landowners in Va. to survey land for pipeline (AP) -- Dominion Resources is suing more than 40 landowners in Virginia who won't allow the company to survey their properties for a proposed natural gas pipeline

NC now 9th largest state; SC has growth spurt (AP) — The Carolinas continue to rank among the nation's fastest-growing states, newly released U.S. Census population estimates show. North Carolina has overtaken Michigan to become the nation's ninth-largest state, adding more than 95,000 new residents between July 2013 and July 2014. That pushed the state's total estimated population to just shy of 10 million.

N.C. leapfrogs Michigan to be 9th most populous (Triangle Business Journal) -- North Carolina just inched past Michigan to become the nation's ninth most populous state. According to new numbers by the U.S. Census Bureau, North Carolina grew by 95,047 people over the past year. For perspective: 2014: North Carolina's population is 9,943,964; 2013: was 9,848,060; 2010: was 9,535,483; 2000: was 8,049,313; 1990: was 6,632,448.

Daily Dose: Motorcycle vagina edition

U.S. Appeals court strikes down NC abortion law (AP) — A North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to show and describe an ultrasound to the pregnant woman is "ideological in intent" and violates doctors' free-speech rights, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

Daily dose: Pigs fly edition

McCrory needs to find up to $60 billon to pay for promised road projects (AP) -- Gov. Pat McCrory and North Carolina legislators praised each other for the new method they approved last year to fund transportation projects they say is based not on who you know but more on reducing gridlock and creating jobs. The result, the state Department of Transportation says, is efficiencies to fund 300 additional projects in its first 10-year road-building proposal released this month under new evaluation formulas. There will be pressure in 2015 upon GOP legislative leaders and the Republican governor to locate tens of billions of dollars to pay for needed but yet-funded projects. McCrory has said he'll offer options and a recommendation early next year. The gap between anticipated transportation funds and needs was estimated two years ago through the early 2040s from $32 billion to $60 billion.

Daily Dose: Who wants to be like South Carolina?

The lead story today reports on the "incentives deficit" North Carolina faces in competing with South Carolina. For a variety of reasons, North Carolina isn't able to give away the many millions of dollars required to buy lure company interest. That's suits me just fine. I've visited South Carolina many times over the past year and, aside from excellent state parks, there is nothing about the Palmetto State that North Carolina should want to emulate. Yes South Carolina attracts new jobs, but those jobs come at a high cost to poor and middle class families. If you think poverty, racism, and environmental destruction are rampant here, just take a trip south of the border for an eye-opening experience. The whole state of South Carolina is little more than an abusive company town.

Emails show NC faced long odds vying with SC for big companies (Charlotte Observer) -- North Carolina officials want to close the gap with South Carolina and other states that offer larger incentive packages and lower tax rates to lure companies --- sometimes causing Charlotte to miss out on hundreds of jobs. But emails and documents obtained by the Observer under a public records request show the state has hurdles to overcome if it wants to keep up with South Carolina and other rivals:

Daily Dose: Corruption continues edition

AP reporter who irked McCrory gets 'year of excellence' award (Raleigh News & Observer) -- When Gov. Pat McCrory complained — repeatedly — this week about an Associated Press story, he was complaining about one reporter in particular: Michael Biesecker. Last week, Biesecker and reporter Mitch Weiss each received “AP North Carolina Staffer of the Year Award: In recognition of a year of excellence” on an engraved plaque. Weiss and Biesecker co-authored the story on McCrory’s stock payout as well as many of the AP’s coal ash stories. The Raleigh-based reporter not only irked the governor for the story he co-wrote about McCrory receiving a large stock payout from an online mortgage broker, but Biesecker’s coverage of coal ash this year also got under the administration’s skin. McCrory distributed a 34-page report outlining his supposed “mistakes, mischaracterizations and omissions.”

Daily dose: Pat McCrory's terrible, horrible, no-good very bad year

It's hard to imagine a more fitting end to the year we've suffered under Guvnor McCrory.

How the governor burned himself (Charlotte Observer) -- Not so long ago, as he launched his second campaign for the governor’s mansion, Pat McCrory vowed more than once that he would “clean up Raleigh.” It’s the kind of thing non-incumbents like to say, and it certainly wasn’t what gave McCrory his 2012 victory. But it didn’t hurt. … There were few, if any, murmurs about his integrity, even after seven terms as mayor of the state’s largest city. … It’s a simple rule, whether the questions are on an ethics form or from a nosy reporter. Don’t run from the money you say you earned. Own it. Because here’s what happens when you don’t: Your evasiveness gets on the front page of newspapers across your state. The New York Times writes about you. And people start to whisper. Now, there’s murmuring.


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