NC GOP takes another swipe at small businesses

Wherever there's a service rendered, there's money to be squeezed out:

The plan, backed by Senate leader Phil Berger, would tax a variety of services that are currently exempt from charging sales tax: veterinarian visits; pet grooming; and repair, maintenance and installation on personal property such as cars. The taxing would begin Oct. 1 and would generate an estimated $202.9 million for the state in fiscal year 2016-2017.

It’s part of a massive Senate economic development and tax proposal that also includes personal and corporate income tax cuts – the next step in a Republican-led effort to shift more of the tax burden from income to sales taxes.

It appears the Bergermeister has been drinking the free-market Kool-Aid too long, and has forgotten the basics of a consumer-based economy. Here's a definition of Commerce: "Exchange of goods or services for money or in kind, usually on a scale large enough to require transportation from place to place or across city, state, or national boundaries." In order to generate said Commerce, a multitude of individual commercial transactions must take place. You can't have the macro without the micro. Every time you exert pressure on that point of sale for goods and/or services, you will change behavior patterns to a certain degree, and the result could be (and sometimes is) devastating.

Trudy Wade doubles down on attack to democracy

There's more than one way to gerrymander a city:

The N.C. Senate voted 31-16 Thursday morning to approve House Bill 263, which originally would only make changes to the Trinity City Council. However, state Sen. Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) modified the Trinity bill, adding the changes to the Greensboro council that were originally proposed in Senate Bill 36, which has been languishing in a House committee.

There should be a rule dealing with this, a tactic we've seen more than once from overly-aggressive Republican lawmakers. They put a bill forward, and when it starts to struggle from lack of support, they just add the same language to another bill. In other words, if you can't get what you want, it's time to start cheating. When the House gets HB263 back, they should vote it down with extreme prejudice. Send a message now, or risk losing whatever limited powers you still have.

SB-2 Veto overridden, government discrimination now "okay"

The Tarheel Taliban strikes again:

With no warning and no debate allowed, the House voted Thursday morning to override the governor's veto of Senate Bill 2, allowing magistrates and county register of deeds employees to opt out of performing marriages for religious reasons. After Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake, made the motion to override the governor's veto, calling it a "logical fallacy," Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, used a parliamentary maneuver known as "calling the question" to cut off debate.

No, Skip, you are the epitome of the (moralistic) fallacy: You have been a Legislator for many years, and have ordained yourself as the arbiter of what's right and wrong, attacking your fellow citizens whenever you saw an opportunity to enhance your status as a top jackass. You should have had that seat pulled out from under you a long time ago, but a sickness amongst your constituents has kept you politically alive.

This is what NC needs to do about Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Pass a law to stop them from lying to young women:

The (California) bill, known as the Reproductive Fact Act, would require pregnancy centers to post notices saying that reproductive health services, including abortion, are available to pregnant women in the state. Pregnancy centers also would have to disclose whether they lack a medical license. The bill passed on a party-line vote, with Republicans objecting on the grounds that it would unconstitutionally compel government speech for the state's 167 centers.

Abortion rights advocates have argued that crisis pregnancy centers systemically provide inaccurate or misleading information, such as suggesting that abortions cause breast cancer or depression. The advocates point out that advertisements for some crisis centers suggests they provide a full range of reproductive health services.

And before you say it, I know. Republicans in NC have already done the exact opposite, and have actually funneled taxpayer dollars to these bible-thumping charlatans. But one good way to put this issue on the radar of voters is to sponsor legislation that would expose such shenanigans, even if it does get buried in a committee somewhere. You can't just say, "Republicans are bad!" You have to demonstrate the proper way for government to operate.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Sutton plant leaking like a sieve


And Duke Energy is more concerned with legal battles than safe drinking water:

Tests have found elevated levels of boron, a metal that is a recognized indicator of coal ash contamination, in monitoring wells near the plant and in three water supply wells about a half-mile away, according to Department of Environment and Natural Resources officials. "The levels of boron in these wells are a clear indication that coal ash constituents from Duke Energy’s coal ash impoundments have infiltrated the groundwater supply," Tom Reeder, an assistant secretary for DENR, said in a statement. "We are ordering Duke Energy to immediately take corrective actions to prevent further migration of coal ash contaminants."

In-depth reporting on NC's looming offshore drilling fiasco

Coastal Review is rolling up its sleeves to cover all the bases:

This is the first of more than 40 stories that we will publish over the next two months on offshore drilling and its potential effects on the N.C. coast. In our most ambitious reporting project, seven reporters have spent several months talking to dozens of people trying to determine what drilling might mean to the state’s coastal environment, economy and lifestyle.

We’ll run the results of all that reporting on alternate weeks, starting this week with stories about the history of drilling in North Carolina, the geology of the Atlantic Ocean and why oil or gas might be out there, the federal process that manages offshore drilling and the politics in Raleigh that are promoting it.

We'll try to bring these installments to our readers here at BlueNC, but since that's over a year-and-a-half's-worth of articles, we may miss a few. I'd also like to issue a fair warning to the rest of the news media: Much of the information provided to them, especially from the Governor's office, will be heavily tainted by industry lobbyists. Not only do you need to double- and triple-check the data, you also need to expose the relationship that produced that tainted data:


Subscribe to RSS - NCGA