Ham-handed Stam calls for volunteers to help DHHS

Training? Who needs training:

This is a WIN-WIN opportunity!! You will win by gaining first-hand experience with how the Food Nutrition System (FNS) operates and gain valuable experience processing claims.
The BIGGEST winners will be the many people who are waiting to get assistance. By helping them complete their applications, you will expedite them getting the necessary assistance they need to feed their families.

According to State Senator Earline Parmon (D-Dist32) who serves on the oversight committee for NCDHHS, “It is totally inappropriate for the legislative assistants to be asked to volunteer. There is the privacy issue. There is the fact that they have not received training to complete this work. To ask L.A.s to do the work for another department, that has already spent millions on over-time is ridiculous.”

There's also a shortage of OB-GYNs in NC: "Don't miss out on this GREAT opportunity! Get scrubbed and let's go DELIVER SOME BABIES! Everybody's a WINNER, and the first volunteer to get five notches on their baby belt will get to bang Tillis' big-ass gavel on the first day of the short session!"

Alexandra Sirota sets the record straight on NC's dismal jobs situation

Cuts to unemployment don't create jobs:

In fact, last year marked the poorest performance for our state in job creation since the official recovery began, and the number of employed people has actually fallen. As the article reports, the troubling trend of a shrinking labor force, even while our working-age population is growing, signals a serious problem in our labor markets.

That problem is a lack of jobs. Unemployment insurance cuts will not solve that problem, and they are likely to make it worse.

And Republicans have yet to explain how taking tens of millions in Federal assistance out of our economy, while that money still flows to other states, is supposed to "spur" anything other than human suffering.

Ranting Rabon tries to educate puppy mill advocates

He really seems to care. About what, I have no idea:

Rabon: We were informed that that bill would never leave the House.

Withers: How did this bill get through the House?

Rabon: Because the nature of the beast of the House, they are a bunch of "PUSSIES" (screaming). They got political heat. They said we can no longer sit on this. We know the senate will not pass it because it is a piece of crap, so we will send it to them and they will take the heat. Ladies and gentlemen, that is politics 101. They are the big boys and girls. We will put it in their lap. Let them get their butts kicked. Let them take the heat. They passed the bill on to the Senate to take the heat. They knew it would not pass the Senate.

I've read the entire transcript, under the mistaken assumption it would help me understand Rabon's position on this issue. Frankly, I'm not sure he even understands his position. Except maybe that the Universe is Rabon-centric and all matter revolves around him:

AFL-CIO "Organize the South" forum has been cancelled

Until a new date and time is determined, remember this:

Your right to organize is established law – based upon your freedom of association guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and specifically by the National Labor Relations Act, which states:

Section 7: “Employees shall have the right to self organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representation of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining…”

Many in NC proceed from the assumption that unions are illegal here, but that is simply not the case. By statute, state government employees are severely limited in their ability to engage in collective bargaining, and NC's "right to work" laws make organizing difficult for the rest of us. But in reality, our meager 3% participation in unions is a self-imposed handicap. And the only way we'll be able to overcome that handicap is through education.

W/S Journal unloads on NC GOP's "immunity" claim

The people have a right to know:

This isn’t a question of legislative immunity. It’s a matter of open government.

These 13 legislators assume a dangerous power for themselves. In effect, they contend that they can change laws that go to our most cherished constitutional rights – in this case, the right to vote – and yet they can’t be questioned about it during a judicial hearing.

Such a system isn’t democratic. To the contrary, it smacks of a conceit and arrogance more associated with totalitarian states. The federal court must open those records so North Carolinians can see what the legislators are trying to hide.

I suspect closely behind that arrogance lurks fear, the fear their "intent" will be revealed. Republicans have been able to float the "showing an ID is only common sense" balloon successfully for quite some time. But when that balloon pops, and people realize this was all just another political move, and an unconstitutional move at that, no amount of gerrymandering will protect them from the wrath of voters.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

We'll begin with a head-scratcher:

If you want to talk about "poorly managed", I'd say allowing an out-of-state company who disguises massive interest rates by selling people appliances at nearly twice their retail value would be a good place to start. As to a pension plan that has performed well above average, quoting a dubious study with laughable observations like this:

Smoking guns

Gary Pearce asks a question that everyone wants answered:

Don’t you suspect there’s an email to the effect of “Time for some voting problems for Democrats”? Why else would 13 Republican legislators try to quash subpoenas for any documents they have related to the “rationale, purpose and implementation” of the state’s new voter ID law?

Inquiring minds want to know.


Duke Energy tries to undermine residential Solar PV

Changing the rules in the middle of the game:

Duke Energy wants the North Carolina Utilities Commission to let the company pay for rooftop solar power what it pays for other types of generated power.

Owners of rooftop solar systems sign contracts with Duke Energy that allow them to sell surplus electricity for 11 cents per kilowatt hour, the same price households pay for electricity.

If individual residential Solar owners charged Duke the way Duke charges the rest of us (or tries to, anyway), they would force a much higher rate down Duke Energy's throat to cover the cost of their construction within a few short years. But that's not how it works. Even at 11 cents per kilowatt hour, the return on investment for a residential Solar PV array goes well past the ten year mark. But if Duke Energy gets its way on this pricing request, the ROI for many will be extended, adding years to the payoff, and causing many who are contemplating this to change their mind. Which is the (real) goal of Duke Energy.

Tillis tries to court the anti-abortion zealotry fringe

Here comes the GOP US Senate Primary crazy train:

Um, you're not running against McCrory, Thom. And if you try to out-crazy Greg Brannon, you won't be running against Kay Hagan, either.

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