scharrison's blog

Tillis & Tucker bump heads trying to brown-nose Trump

And it's only going to get worse over the next 10 months:

“Like other conservatives I had my doubts about Mr. Trump,” Tucker said. “Without a policy record, I questioned whether he would govern as a conservative. . . . I could not be more delighted, and frankly amazed, at how he has transformed this country in the last two years.”

Tillis allies don’t buy it. “It is laughable that a charlatan like Garland Tucker thinks he can make this race into a question of who can better support our booming economy under President Trump,” said Jack Pandol, a spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund. “North Carolina needs a senator who will work with the president – not one . . . now lying to cover his tracks.”

Oh, the irony. Tucker is lying alright, but he's lying about Trump's "transformation" of the country. He has brought us about halfway to the United States depicted in Idiocracy, and clawing back from that is going to be damn near impossible. Also, I kinda hate to see Carter Wrenn devolve once again:

Representative Sydney Batch deserves a medal

And Tim Moore deserves a swift kick in the pants:

Batch underwent a mastectomy in early May after being diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She had planned to take at least three weeks off to recover, but was forced to come back to work early after she and other Democrats realized their GOP colleagues were trying to capitalize on her absence in order to pass this bill. “Moore is well aware of what’s happening with me and that I’m dealing with ongoing treatment,” she added. “I have not asked for a lot.”

Clemmons and Jackson, who is minority leader of the state House, said Batch, a working mother of two, was in pain and visibly shaking when she showed up for the last few House sessions. Clemmons has driven Batch to and from sessions since she’s still too weak to drive herself.

I hesitate to discuss the details (which I don't know), but odds are it's not just the surgery she's dealing with. There's Chemo and radiation to consider, both of which can be hell to deal with. Make no mistake, the scheduling and then postponing of this override vote is an attempt to wear her down physically, and Tim Moore should be ashamed of himself:

Cleansing higher education of White Supremacist past

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Monuments to the Ku Klux Klan should be purged entirely:

In 2015, as Black Lives Matter gained prominence as a national movement, trustees were impelled to act. Students held protests and demanded that Saunders Hall be renamed Hurston Hall in honor of the celebrated author Zora Neale Hurston, who is said to have attended classes at the university. The vote to rename the hall was not unanimous.

But after a review, the trustees conceded that university leaders in 1920 made a mistake in citing Mr. Saunders’s role as head of the K.K.K. in North Carolina as a qualification.

That last sentence is a doozie. But it also brings up an important question, that may have some bearing on how other buildings are evaluated: If the KKK had not been mentioned in that document, would they still have renamed the building? Or was that particular acknowledgment just too blatant for the Trustees to ignore? There are numerous other historical sources verifying that Saunders was at least one of the Grand Poo-Bahs of the Klan back then; hopefully that would have been enough to strike his name, because there are likely other situations where there isn't a boldly typed sentence to rely on. Here's some historical context:

Berger & Moore testify in racial and gender bias lawsuit

Whitewashing your staff can be a costly venture:

House Speaker Tim Moore answered questions on Tuesday in a Wake County courtroom from lawyers for ex-Fiscal Research Division director Marilyn Chism and for the state. Senate leader Phil Berger testified on Monday.

Chism is a black woman who alleges she was forced out of the job after two years in 2011. Chism, who worked for the General Assembly for 13 years, contends she was pushed out by white men who ran the House and Senate, even as white men in other legislative divisions kept their leadership positions. She wants the federal judge hearing the case to declare gender or racial bias occurred and to award her monetary damages.

Republicans really don't have a leg to stand on here. They fired her either because she was a black woman, or because her research developed estimates that laws they wanted to pass were too costly to justify. Think about it. Republicans whined for years (decades?) that Democrats were not fiscally cautious enough, and ended up overspending because they failed to properly project costs. But one of the first things they do after taking over the NCGA is fire somebody for doing just that:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The party of dirty tricks is at it again:

Every single Republican was present, so the only reason to postpone the vote is to wait until more Democratic absences. Inexcusable abuse of both the system and the participants.

Nantahala old-growth trees in jeopardy of being cut down

Some people can't see the individual trees for the forest:

The U.S. Forest Service plans to harvest the majority of trees at 16 sites in Nantahala National Forest beginning next year as part of its Southside Project.

Conservation organizations argue the trees at several of these sites represent exceptionally older and rarer growth than the Forest Service has recognized and are calling for the project to be withdrawn or revised after the Forest Service completes the revision of its land management plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests in Western North Carolina, a draft of which is expected later this year.

Before you jump to any conclusions, this is one of those issues where there might not actually be a "bad guy" to oppose. Forests are more than just a collection of trees, they are ecosystems, supporting life in various forms. And in order to adapt to climate change, the types of trees growing there might need to change, as well. All that being said, a tree that has survived for 200 years should be recognized and preserved:

Trump's tax giveaway for the wealthy is squeezing poor college students

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Whether it's a flaw or a feature, it needs to be fixed asap:

A little-noticed provision in President Trump’s sprawling new tax law is treating middle- and low-income college students as if they are trust-fund babies, taxing sizable financial aid packages at a rate first established 33 years ago to prevent wealthy parents from funneling money to their children to lower their tax burdens.

Students with large financial aid packages are finding their nontuition assistance for items such as room and board taxed by as much as 37 percent, even if their family income tax rates are much lower.

Do the math. A poor kid receiving $11,000 a year for room and board is coughing up $4,000 of that in taxes. If that's "winning" I'd hate to see what happens when we start losing. This should not have come as such a surprise to lawmakers, because they've already been raked over the coals for over-taxing survivor benefits for Gold Star families:

Asshole of the Week: Tom Fetzer

When misogyny is so ingrained you don't even realize it:

“Let me just cut to the chase young ladies, there are only two things in this world you should borrow money for. Your continuing education and a house. Pay cash for everything else because it’s a depreciating asset and you will end up owing more than it is worth. And that is the road to ruin. Those are the parents clapping. Young men, I will add one thing to the list for which you may borrow money. A diamond ring. Because it will appreciate, and so will she.”

Young ladies? Wait, before I talk about that: Once those "young men" bestow a diamond ring on the finger of their prospective soul-mate, that rock is gone. Whether it "appreciates" or not (not, of course), it's hers, dude. Okay, back to the...Young ladies? They're not fricking debutantes being feted (not really sure what that means), they're Anthropologists, Marine Biologists, Chemists, Psychologists, and a whole slew of other professional occupations. This is one of the most important days of their lives, and the last thing they need is some navel-gazing sexist oxygen thief trying to hijack them back to the 1950's. Also, the next time someone from Raleigh picks on someone from Charlotte over Pat McCrory, just start calling them Fetzer. "Hey, Fetzer, is that a clip-on tie?" Or something along those lines. Okay, I'm going to let a woman talk now:

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