NC GOP

Science vs fantasy: Coastal development needs to be curtailed

You can't fight Mother Nature:

Now is no longer the time to build more bridges, allow more sandbag seawalls, move the development line forward after beach nourishment or to allow more beachfront houses to be constructed. Now is the time for the state to begin realistic planning for the long haul – to look beyond the 30-year span of sea-level rise that now governs North Carolina coastal management.

Another annoying history lesson by Rob Christensen

Dude, you're killing me:

The whole business of mass firings in state government pretty much began with the election of Democrat Kerr Scott in 1948, a Jacksonian figure who beat the more conservative machine. North Carolina was a one-party state then so this was factional Democratic warfare.

Counting the costs of petty tyrants in the NCGA

Killing democracy with a thousand cuts:

The legislature, meeting in a last-minute, year-end special session, approved a proposal along party lines Friday that would effectively give Republicans control of the state Board of Elections during election years. Outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed the bill into law Friday, despite not issuing any comment on the drama that has been wracking North Carolina politics since Wednesday.

Lawmakers also passed a bill that, for the first time in decades, would require the governor to get approval by the state Senate for his Cabinet appointees and end his ability to appoint members to the board of trustees of the powerful UNC school system. The measure would also drastically reduce the number of state employees the governor can directly hire and fire, from 1,500 to 425.

That last part, about the hiring and firing, can best be described in two words: Invade and entrench. They upped the number to 1,500 for McCrory, so he could insert as many GOP operatives into state government as he pleased. Then they took it away from Cooper, so many of those operatives could stay in place. Which makes this comment by the Bergermeister even more misleading than his usual tripe:

NC's power-mad Republicans once again in national spotlight

Like children running free in a candy store:

The session, complete with fervent protests, was a replay of a common scene over the last four years: Republicans in the legislature introduce a bill; Democrats argue against fiercely; a large number of protestors arrive and demonstrate; but the bills roll on with little impediment, thanks to large Republican majorities in both houses. Those majorities exist in part thanks to gerrymandered districts, some of which were so extreme that a federal court has ordered them redrawn and has shortened the terms of some legislators to a year in order to accommodate special elections in 2017.

Sometimes I get a little jealous of all those people who studiously ignore politics, and go about their day wondering what Victor on General Hospital has been up to or complain about somebody wearing pajamas at Wally World. But then I remember that a lot of those people actually *do* vote, and their inattentiveness is what helps these GOP mini-tyrants stay in office. But not everybody is standing idle, and the folks who drove to Raleigh to fight back deserve a huge round of applause:

Hardship and suffering a big part of McCrory's legacy

And the slashing of unemployment benefits tops the list:

When McCrory came on board, the state still owed money to the feds. But he and the Republicans acted like this was money out of their own pockets. Keep in mind that unemployment funds come from a tax on employers. Businesses pay a tax for each employee, which was going to pay back the owed money to the feds. According to an estimate given to WRAL.com, at the rate of pay, the loan would have been paid off by 2019 to 2020 without any interference from the state politicians.

Yet, the GOP pushed through measures that harmed many people so that there would be less money paid out and the loan could be paid back quickly. Instead of going until 2019 or 2020, the owed money ($2.5 billion) was paid off by May 2015. “The debt to the federal government was a tax on jobs,” said Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger. McCrory and Berger said businesses were reluctant to hire new workers because of this additional fee in unemployment expense.

This wasn't just a regressive "austerity" measure, which sounds more like something you'd read in an economist's masters thesis than a call for advocacy. This actually took food off the tables of families statewide, exacerbating an already troubling hunger issue, especially among school-age children. And there was no effort to "gradually" reduce the benefits, to soften the blow to these families. No. That $2.5 billion was a nut they wanted to crack, and crack as swiftly as they could, primarily for bragging rights. And they're "still" bragging about it, including the extra billion they bled out of unemployed workers to set aside for "future" needs. And the current crop of unemployed are still suffering from those draconian cuts, and will be until we can take back the Legislature. You want a good message to push next year? There you go.

GOP shenanigans continue: Another "Special" session begins at 2:00 today

Old White Man gets slap on the wrist for assault

trumppuncher.jpeg

And his black victim had a front-row seat:

A 79-year-old man charged with assaulting a protester in March at a Donald Trump rally received a 30-day suspended sentence and 12 months of unsupervised probation during a court appearance today.

John Franklin McGraw of Linden pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors related to an assault of Rakeem Jones. District Court Judge Tal Baggett also ordered McGraw to pay $180 in court cost and a $250 fine.

That'll teach him a lesson. Actually, he already knew our court system was horribly slanted in favor of white people. Who are (surely) just good people who, in a moment of poor judgment, made a mistake and deserve to be given another chance. Excuse me a second while I hurl...

DoE refuses to release names to Trump's star chamber

Just say no to bullies:

“The Department of Energy received significant feedback from our workforce throughout the department, including the National Labs, following the release of the transition team’s questions. Some of the questions asked left many in our workforce unsettled,” said Eben Burnham-Snyder, a department spokesman. “Our career workforce, including our contractors and employees at our labs, comprise the backbone of DOE (Department of Energy) and the important work our department does to benefit the American people. We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department.

“We will be forthcoming with all publically-available information with the transition team. We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.”

Bolding hers, because force is the only thing bullies understand.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

All eyes are on Raleigh this morning:

Unfortunately, I can't use the word "unprecedented" to describe this, because the idea of giving lawmakers information ahead of time so they can digest it went out the window a long time ago. But considering they've had several weeks to craft language dealing with disaster relief, this does not bode well.

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