NCGA

Anti-abortion group funded by NC General Assembly uses deception to trick women into its web of lies

Subsidizing fraud with taxpayer dollars:

The groups call themselves “pregnancy resource centers.” They used to be called “crisis pregnancy centers,” and have long been the bane of abortion-rights advocates, who say they mislead pregnant women into thinking they are abortion clinics, and then try to coerce them out of the procedure. The groups dispute that and say they are simply helping women at a difficult time.

“Time and time again Crisis Pregnancy Centers have been revealed to provide false information about both abortion and birth control,” said Tara Romano, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-choice NC. “It’s outrageous that our legislature would increase these centers’ funding without also creating a mechanism to hold them accountable.” But the anti-abortion groups dispute that characterization. They say they are up-front with the women who contact them, and are just making sure they fully understand their options.

Within this huge budget bonanza for anti-abortion propaganda mills is $300,000 to set up an operation (In the Capitol, no less) of a Texas-based group called the Human Coalition, whose main goal is to fool women into believing they're contacting an abortion provider. In order to understand their true motives, we need to hold our nose and take a dive into the land of fanaticism:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

It's what you don't do that defines your budget:

Taking something that was already critically underfunded and slashing it more:

When is a clinic not a clinic? When it's an anti-abortion propaganda mill

Republicans should be ashamed of themselves:

Here in North Carolina, the news been similarly discouraging as lawmakers have mostly abandoned the idea of taking affirmative public action to promote women’s health. Remarkably, this is true despite the presence of data showing a number of poor health outcomes for the women of North Carolina as compared to other states. Unfortunately, one “women’s health” initiative the North Carolina General Assembly has managed to find money for is the anti-abortion ministry of so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).

In 2015, despite making cuts to social safety net programs that many North Carolina women and children depend on, lawmakers managed to increase this funding to $300,000. And in this year’s budget, it appears they are appropriating $1.3 million in state general funds for CPCs, in addition to $400,000 in federal maternal health grant money.

Aside from being a coldly calculating attempt to undermine women's rights, it is also a patently irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars. These "centers" offer very little in the form of maternal health, and zero assistance in helping make child birth affordable, not to mention the costs of raising those children:

ZSR's Mo Green takes the pulse of North Carolina communities

And finds there is a lot of work to be done:

As the new executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation – an 80-year-old family foundation committed to improving the quality of life in North Carolina – Green set out in May 2016 on a statewide tour dubbed “Mo wants to know.” Seeking to learn where the state is hurting, where it’s doing well and what it needs to ease its pains and enhance its strengths, he spoke with hundreds of people, from one-on-one sessions with community leaders to community forums to private talks with people who poured out their stories of loss and hope. In all, he visited 19 counties from the coast to the mountains.

“We were trying to figure out what was going on in the state and how we could be responsive to that,” he said.

I'm pleased by this, but not surprised. ZSR has done great work over the years supporting research and organizations that help people, and now (more than ever) that help is needed. But the only way to solve some of these problems is in the ballot box:

Magistrate ignores 2013 court finding with ban on Reverend Barber

Refusing to acknowledge dictates from judges is becoming a habit with Republicans:

The ban also applies to 31 other protesters arrested that day during a health-care sit-in after they refused to clear the hallways outside legislative leaders’ office. The ban was a condition of the protesters’ release from jail, set by Wake County magistrate Jeffrey L. Godwin as he charged them with second-degree trespassing. General Assembly Police Chief Martin Brock said Friday that his agency didn’t ask the magistrate to set those conditions, but he said he plans to make the request for future arrests of protesters.

Geeta Kapur, an attorney for Barber and the NAACP, says the ban is unconstitutional. She points to the provision in the state constitution that says “the people have a right to assemble together ... to instruct their representatives, and to apply to the General Assembly for redress of grievances.” She pointed to a 2013 decision by a judge to throw out a similar ban on arrested protesters. Since then, most arrests at “Moral Monday” protest events have not included a ban on entering the Legislative Building as a condition of release.

The GOP is notorious for resurrecting bad ideas and questionable legal practices every few years or so, just to see if they will stick, and this ban is no different. And if another judge throws it out, they'll do it again next year or the year after. Precedent? We don't need no stinking precedent, we make this shit up as we go.

Trudy Wade's "garbage juice" bill just more pay-to-play politics

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The Queen of Trash strikes again:

A measure on its way to the governor's desk would allow landfills to collect the contaminated liquid that leaks from the trash and shoot it up into the air over the dump, using giant blowers called aerosolizers. The process would save waste companies money by reducing the amount of contaminated wastewater they have to pay to treat.

House Bill 576 would require the state Department of Environmental Quality to approve permits for the process, which Sen. Trudy Wade, R-Guilford, insisted Thursday is safe, though Democrats said they never received studies or data they had requested as evidence of that. The inventor of the aerosolizer technology, patent holder Kelly Houston of Cornelius, contributed $5,000 to Wade's campaign in June 2016, according to state campaign finance records.

And that $5,000 is all the evidence Trudy Wade needs. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with some Guilford County voters? When Wade is not trying to gerrymander the hell out of Greensboro, she's trying to contaminate the entire countryside with nasty landfill water. Trash collecting trucks leaking stinky water right in front of your house? Suck it up. Tired of the smell coming from that dump in your neighborhood? Just wait until we start spraying it in the air, you'll love that. And they keep electing her. Here's more from Lisa Sorg:

New Solar bill a wolf in sheep's clothing

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If you don't know your history, you're doomed to forget your successes:

North Carolina solar companies owe much of their success to an obscure federal law passed in the wake of the 1973 OPEC oil crisis, when shortages produced lines around the block at gas stations and tipped the U.S. economy into recession. At that time, Americans got about one-sixth of their electrical power from burning petroleum, much of it imported from the Middle East. In a bid for greater energy independence, lawmakers approved The Public Utility Regulatory Policy of 1978, known as PURPA.

Among other things, PURPA required utilities to buy renewable power from independent producers if it cost no more than electricity from the conventional power plants owned by the utility. The aim was to source more power from small renewable facilities, like the Person County Solar Park, easing demand for electricity from coal, gas and—in particular—petroleum-fired power plants.

I will say this again, and keep saying it if that's what it takes: In the clean energy revolution, in the reducing our carbon footprint contest, in the cutting back on pollution effort, it's all about the Megawatts. Yes, allowing for 3rd party leases on residential Solar is great, and it will make it a lot easier for folks to have them installed on their homes, but we're talking 10-15 kilowatts per. An analogy might better get my point across. Say you have a really long wall, that needs to be painted on both sides. On one side, you've got one person using a paint roller, and on the other side, you've got fifty people dabbing with a fine artist's paint brush. When the person with the roller gets tired, another steps up eagerly and starts rolling. On the other side, you're constantly trying to replace each of those fifty people dabbing. I don't need to tell you which side will be finished first, or that one of those sides may never be finished. It's a bad analogy, but it's been in my head for several weeks, and I had to get it out. Here's more on the threat to PURPA:

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