Tuesday Twitter roundup

Above the fold today, more conflicts of interest courtesy of the GOP:

Climate-change denying fox in the regulatory henhouse:

Gov. Pat McCrory has appointed to chair the NC Environmental Management Commission (EMC) a vocal opponent of the regulation of greenhouse gases. The new EMC chair is Steve Rowlan, the General Manager of Environmental Affairs for Nucor, a Charlotte-based major steel production corporation, with a steel recycling facility in Hertford County.

Rowlan has testified before Congress on behalf of Nucor, in opposition to federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. In 2011, he told the House Energy and Power Subcommittee that "We support the effort by Congress to stop the regulation of greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act." He asserted that "reducing greenhouse gas emissions requires much cleaner forms of energy that do not exist today."

The Nucor Corporation itself has a track record as a major funder of climate-denial efforts nationally. In 2010 and 2011, Nucor was "the top named funder of the Heartland Institute’s climate denial efforts." The substantially industry-funded Heartland Institute publishes and circulates the Environment and Climate News, which "promotes conspiracy theories about climate scientists, distorts climate science, and attacks regulation of air and water pollution."

And this guy is going to Chair the EMC? Myers Park Pat has a history of choosing the worst possible candidates to fill certain positions, but this one takes the unethical cake. It's one thing when you've previously staked out a position and are likely going to be biased, but it's entirely something else when your employer has invested a lot of money to get something done (or in this case, blocked). Even in the absence of prodding from Nucor, there is a great deal of pressure already existing for him to use his new-found position to forward the company's agenda. The epitome of a conflict of interest, but McCrory, his staff, and GOP leadership in the Legislature, would all consider him the perfect candidate. Inexplicable.

It actually is John, to a certain extent. Chinese imports have gutted our furniture industry in the US (not to mention NC), and it doesn't help when they periodically (and intentionally) flood the US market with cheap goods, partly to keep competition from arising and partly to artificially deflate the value of their Yuan. They're about to do it again in just a few days, as a matter of fact, and we *should* slap them with additional tariffs in response. And before you say it, when a government strategically moves goods, it is not a Free Market. Not even close. So a US intervention in that activity is also not "screwing" with the Free Market, it's an effort to move closer to that.

And I don't care how many "crossover" Conservatives are feeling the Bern, if Sanders can't or won't pull that number up, he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell to win the Primary or the General. And yes, a thoughtful analysis of his policy positions would reveal his concerns closely parallel that of most African Americans, but waiting for that to happen hasn't worked very well, has it? If something isn't working, fix it, don't bitch about how it should be working.

Okay, Tim. I'm cool with a little "branding" here and there by the media, but if you were to map the sentence that includes the headline and accompanying graphics, the subject would be "Tim" and the verb "Take." I'm just saying, there's a fine line between reporting the news and becoming Schrödinger's cat named Tim. Or...would it be Tim Schrödinger not knowing for sure if Bill Brawley is alive or dead? See, this is what happens when observers like to be observed observing. Madness.

After reading the following:

“I believe that the name Research Division is both inaccurate and misleading,” Coble wrote in an email announcing the change. “The primary function of the division is to serve as committee counsel/staff, and to provide legal and policy analysis of proposed or existing legislation. The name of the division should accurately reflect its role and distinguish it from other divisions and departments within the General Assembly.”

Coble says he’ll soon change the name to Legislative Analysis Division on signs and directories around the building. “The division will continue to carry out its important mission to provide professional, confidential, nonpartisan legal analysis and advice to all members of the General Assembly and to legislative committees,” he wrote.

I heard my old Sergeant-Major's voice in my head growl, "As useless as teats on a boar hog."

I should probably talk to somebody about these voices, but they are often helpful...

Am I the only one who, upon looking at this photo, thought, "If I was that wealthy, I wouldn't want to be crammed in there like a really cheap trailer park. You've got more elbow room in an economy class Delta flight, and as far as peeing over the side..." Just want to clarify, I'm not in the habit of peeing over the side of boats. But when you know you can't do something, it still rankles.

Yeah, McCrory's all excited about this, but what did he do on the last (or any) World Teacher's Day? Nada. He's designated "days" for all sorts of fuckwit ideas, like Ronald Reagan Day, Private Investigator's Day, and (of course) Golf Day. But those dang teachers just don't appreciate all the minutes he slaved over budget documents before recommending/signing cuts to their salaries, longevity pay, advanced degree bonuses, etc. And pretty soon he's going to cut the health care of retired teachers, because it's kind of hard to march when you can't afford to go to the doctor.

That's...there isn't even a word for that. But whatever it is, it makes me want to break something.

Take a deep breath and hold it, we're entering the cesspool of ALEC-funded stink-tanks:

On this day, 229 years ago, farmers took action against a federal government forcing taxation and judgements for debt. Shays' Rebellion, as it is known now, is an example of the peoples' discontent with government intruding on liberty and freedom.

Regulation can kill businesses. There is no reason that a bloated bureaucracy should have absolute free reign to write regulation after regulation. This is not what our founding fathers intended.

This is why I'm giving my support to the Regulation Freedom Amendment supported by the American Opportunity Project.

Long story less long: The Legislation to which he refers would allow 1/4 of the House of Representatives to bring the Executive Branch to a screeching halt, and embroil both Legislative Houses in an unending series of votes on agency rule-making. Rule-making that is already required to be derived from Statute, Statute that was developed from successful previous Legislation. Get it? They want the ability to undermine laws already in place without the hassle of doing it properly. And the movement (of course) originated in corporate boardrooms seeking to circumvent the Federal government:

Advance Arkansas Institute (AAI) is a state think tank member of the State Policy Network (SPN) that was founded in 2009.[1] It was formerly known as the "Mid-American Policy Institute," according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).[2] It is listed as hosting Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity "investigative journalists."[3] The Franklin Center funds reporters in over 40 states.[4]

AAI has direct ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). In December 2011, the organization sent its executive director, Dan Greenberg, to present on "Preventing Settlement Abuse: The Work of CCAF and the Advance Arkansas Institute" to ALEC's Civil Justice Task Force.[11] AAI is also connected to ALEC through SPN, which is a member of several ALEC task forces.

SPN's predecessor, the Madison Group, was "launched by the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC . . . and housed in the Chicago-based Heartland Institute," according to a 1991 report by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) found in the University of California-San Francisco's Legacy Tobacco Documents.[12][13]

The case is strengthened by an October 1987 ALEC directory also available via the Tobacco Documents that says, "The Madison Group is chaired by Mrs. Constance Heckman [now Constance Campanella, founder of the lobbying firm Stateside Associates], Executive Director of ALEC . . ."[14] A speakers list also available in the Tobacco Documents says in Constance Campanella's biography, "She was a co-founder and first President of The Madison Group, the first network of free-market state think tanks."[15]

It never ceases to amaze me just how gullible Republican politicians are. Throw a flag in there, with the word "American" somewhere in the mix, and you have their complete loyalty. Nevermind the man behind the curtain who is trying to systematically destroy our Democratic form of government. Oh no, if it sounds good, it's time to dance. And the fact that too many voters dance with them turns something funny into a horrror story.

On that note of absurdity, here's your Onion:

Eh, that's a little too topical. Here's another:

Usually not prone to math humor, but that produced a silly little giggle. :)

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No, he wasn't murdered you f**king idiot, he ran one police roadblock, then crashed into a snowbank at another, and then ran at the FBI like the crazy man he was. If anything, it was suicide by cop.

Just a note (revised): This gun-toting nut-job has a seat in the Nevada Legislature and is running for the US House of Representatives.