NCGA

Republican calls for deregulation should be ignored

Corporations are already out of control:

“You have regulations on top of regulations, and new companies cannot form and old companies are going out of business. And you (Hillary Clinton) want to increase the regulations and make them even worse. I’m going to cut regulations.” Even as Donald Trump’s words were echoing in the Hofstra University auditorium Monday night, outraged members of Congress – Democrats and Republicans -- had been grilling pharmaceutical and banking executives over bilking American consumers.

Mylan inflated profits for lifesaving drugs with sky-high pricing and Wells Fargo Bank set up phony consumer banking accounts, without customers’ knowledge or permission. On the state level, the failure of Duke Energy – the nation’s largest investor-owned electric utility -- to adequately monitor and handle coal ash waste at power generation sites has been the subject of hearings, lawsuits and paltry fines.

It never ceases to amaze me how so many in the GOP's base buy into this crap. In the total absence of government regulation, those blue-collar workers and retirees would be struggling a hell of a lot harder than they are now, and dying in much larger numbers. But they've been sold on the idea that government is the source for all their woes, and the people selling them that lie are raking in campaign contributions from the very companies that are ripping these people off. And it's not a secret. A quick search of the FEC's campaign database is all they need to do to connect the dots, but they (apparently) don't care to learn. If they did, they would understand the need for this:

Will NC Republicans have to pay the piper in November?

Thomas Mills reads the tea leaves:

The business wing of the GOP keeps touting the modest economic gains North Carolina has seen while desperately trying to turn the conversation away from the damage the GOP has done to our national reputation. It’s not working so far. People aren’t feeling that much better about their economic circumstances, but they are aware that the rest of the country thinks something is wrong with our state—and that perception has been caused by Pat McCrory and the Republicans.

Yep, and no matter how vehemently Republican leaders try to blame Democrats (or the Liberal media, or activist corporations, or sports franchises), the responsibility inevitably is placed on those in charge. That's how politics works: When bad shit happens, incumbents better update their resumes.

More research on habitat loss from wood pellet industry

Stronger regulation is desperately needed:

The region was recently designated a global biodiversity hot spot, and according to one of the papers, the use of biomass for energy hinges on its sustainability. Minimizing overall loss of forests and biodiversity and maximizing the area of habitat have been suggested as criteria for sustainable bio-energy production.

“Results from the scenarios we examined suggest that simultaneously achieving the best outcomes for these sustainability criteria under a single biomass production future may not be possible,” according to the report. However, there may be a middle ground. To avoid the negative effects on critical habitats, restrictions on biomass harvesting in longleaf pine and bottomland hardwoods will be necessary.

Bolding mine. As is very often the case with studies emerging from NCSU, the agriculture industry is given the benefit of the doubt on sustainability initiatives. In this case, researchers assume they're going to re-plant new forests wherever they harvest, so there won't be a "net loss" of forestland. I disagree, vehemently. There is little evidence of that, on a large-scale, anyway. With that understanding, those words "will be necessary" above carry even more weight. Enviva needs to leave those longleaf pines and bottomland hardwoods alone. But since they've already developed a taste for those precious trees, the only way to stop them is to make it illegal. And as for their claims of sustainable operations:

Dan Forest wields unprecedented influence over new ASDs

Expanding his twisted little empire:

A selection advisory committee appointed by Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has been interviewing candidates and is expected to make a recommendation to the State Board of Education by next week. The state board will have the final say in who is hired.

Falling into the HB2 "false equivalency" trap

Starting over from scratch merely promotes discrimination:

Both sides are posturing for the voters instead of doing what's right for the state. And it's getting tiresome. The N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association has tried to broker a deal, and so has the Charlotte Chamber. Even conservative businessman Art Pope, a powerful Republican financier, has gotten into the act, urging the repeal of both the state law and the city ordinance.

The Voter Fraud lie: Are we really this gullible?

The death of reason:

How does a lie come to be widely taken as the truth? The answer is disturbingly simple: Repeat it over and over again. When faced with facts that contradict the lie, repeat it louder.

Last week, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that nearly half of registered American voters believe that voter fraud occurs "somewhat" or "very" often. That astonishing number includes two-thirds of people who say they're voting for Donald Trump and a little more than one-quarter of Hillary Clinton supporters. The Republican Party standard-bearer has elevated the lie about voting fraud and "rigged elections" to a centerpiece of his campaign. Another 26 percent of American voters said that fraud "rarely" occurs, but even that characterization is off the mark. Just 1 percent of respondents gave the answer that comes closest to reflecting reality: "Never."

Let those numbers sink in for a moment, and the next time you ask yourself, "How can people keep denying climate change" or "Why aren't people more upset about sexual assault" or any number of other issues our society refuses to deal with, you might already have the answer: We are idiots who have lost the ability to discern between truth and fiction.

Speaker Moore and the HB2 vanishing coin trick

Playing childish games with civil rights:

When House Speaker Tim Moore wanted the city of Charlotte leaders to compromise to get HB2 repealed, he took a different tact. Moore, R-Cleveland, made them an offer they couldn’t accept.

Moore demands the Charlotte City Council first repeal its non-discrimination ordinance “unconditionally.” After that happens, he MIGHT see IF there’s support among the Republicans in the legislature to “maybe taking a look to find other ways to see if we could, you know, support and make sure there were basic protections, you know, when it comes to restrooms, changing facilities, showers, etc.” Moore stressed that the legislature hadn’t “taken a formal position … because we were waiting to see if Charlotte‘s going to move.”

Frankly, I'm glad BergerMoore took such a ham-handed approach to this "deal" of theirs, because it proved their insincerity and kept the Charlotte City Council from making (IMO) a huge mistake. That being said, way too many people are buying into their narrative that Charlotte (and Roy Cooper, and Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton) are to blame for the continued crisis. And until the voting populace at large are made aware of the scheming, unethical behavior of the GOP leadership, we will continue to be subject to their machinations.

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