scharrison's blog

Tuesday Twitter roundup

They say they want the best of the best teaching their children, but in reality, they would be happy with a robot teaching from a Texas textbook.

Racism and Lies: The NC GOP's disgusting campaign tactics

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Their rise to power in 2010 is nothing to be proud of:

In 2010, McCollum’s prison mugshot appeared on a flier the North Carolina Republican Party mailed to voters. The ad attacked Democrats who’d supported a measure to allow death row inmates the chance to present evidence that their convictions were tainted by racial bias. It suggested that if voters supported Democrats a flood of death row inmates would be let loose.

“Meet your new neighbors,” the ad said on the front, with McCollum’s picture on the back. Next to it was a menacing description, some of the type in red capital letters: “Get to know Henry McCollum. He RAPED AND MURDERED AN 11 YEAR OLD CHILD.”

Understand, it was racist ignorance like that which resulted in Henry's and Leon's wrongful imprisonment in the first place. Also understand, after investigators were presented with strong evidence they were likely not the ones who raped and murdered an 11 year-old girl, their lack of concern for finding the real perpetrator left children in that community vulnerable. But there is a lot of shame to go around in this sad tale:

Breaking News: Thom Tillis just might be an idiot

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Apparently small donors are just as bad as dark money groups:

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) on Wednesday said broad-based, small-dollar contributions given to Democratic candidates through online donor platforms is the “same exact thing” as political spending by well-heeled “dark money” groups who are allowed to conceal their funding sources.

During a Senate panel hearing about the influence of money over the federal judiciary, Tillis appeared to take aim at ActBlue, an app that helps Democrats and liberal groups collect individual contributions in amounts that are too small to trigger mandatory disclosure rules.

Bolding mine, because little Thommy seems to have a math problem. Let's go through this again, Einstein: it would take a hundred transactions of $50 a pop to equal one $5,000 check from Daddy Warbucks. And these genuine dark money groups, which often receive between $50,000 and $250,000 from individuals, would take thousands of small transactions to achieve. Why (in the name of all that's holy) would a wealthy individual go to such trouble to mask their contributions? The answer is they wouldn't, of course. This is just Tillis grasping at strawmen:

Targeted intimidation: Klan flyers show up in advocates' yards

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Solid proof of why these statues need to be removed:

Inside the plastic bag was the homemade KKK flyer -- and a business card from the East Coast Knights of the Invisible Empire. When Houpe looked closely at what her son handed her, at first, she was stunned. Then, she got angry that her son had to see it. “He cried and he asked me, ‘Do we need to move? What should we do?’” Houpe said. “I’m just a woman who wants to see change and her kids to grow up in a community without this kind of hate. That’s all I’m working to do.”

Statesville Police Chief David Addison said the flyers began showing up on Saturday -- four days after county commissioners had voted 4-1 to move the Confederate monument that’s been in front of the courthouse since 1905.

This "Invisible Empire" is probably a baker's dozen of glazed nut-jobs, but the implied threat should be taken very seriously. And this flyer should be included as evidence in the license plate lawsuit, just so Kevin Stone would be forced to explain the difference between targeted intimidation and broad-based intimidation.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Yep, next year's R Primary is going to be carnival show, but the D Primary might be pretty painful too...

Profit before patients: Staffing problems plagued nursing homes before COVID

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It's all about the Benjamins:

The group has spent more than $30 million lobbying Congress and millions more through its state affiliates since 2010, according to a review of state and federal lobbying data by the Investigative Reporting Workshop.

The long-term care industry has long used its political influence to push against reforms that would have increased staffing requirements, training, transparency and oversight. Now, the industry is pushing for — and in some states, successfully passing — legislation to shield nursing home owners from lawsuits during the pandemic.

In the early 2000's my father succumbed to the latter stages of Alzheimer's, and we had to put him in long-term care. Most of the staff we dealt with were really good people, dedicated to easing burdens for their patients. But there was never enough of them on duty, especially after normal "business hours." And 2 out of the 3 facilities he was placed in had corporate headquarters in another state, so straightening out billing problems became a constant nightmare. My mom provided adult diapers to save money, but every month she was charged $500-$600 erroneously, and I had to make several calls to the headquarters each month to get that fixed. Back to the staffing problems:

Pandemicking while Black: The racial disparity in vaccine distribution is stark

Exposing some deep flaws in our healthcare system:

Communities of color, which have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States, have also received a smaller share of available vaccines. The vaccination rate for Black Americans is half that of white people, and the gap for Hispanic people is even larger, according to a New York Times analysis of state-reported race and ethnicity information.

“People of color are getting vaccinated at rates below their representation of the general population,” Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the chair of President Biden’s coronavirus equity task force, said at a recent forum on the vaccine. “This narrative can be changed. It must be changed."

A quick perusal of the 10 worst states (highest minority populations, largest gaps) shows that 7 of them have not expanded Medicaid. It's not a big surprise, I kind of expected it. But it also demonstrates clearly that African-Americans suffer greatly from Republicans' refusal to expand. And it also goes a long way in explaining "why" they refuse to do so, although they would deny it with their dying breath. Here are some other factors that come into play:

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