Tuesday Twitter roundup

Since the NC House Budget is about to hit the floor:

Just because they served the citizens yesterday, it doesn't mean we should forget them today.

Democratic Party pushes for candidates who are veterans

Finally doing something that might just work:

Looking ahead to next year's elections, Democrats are trying to recruit at least two dozen military veterans to challenge Republican incumbents, arguing that candidates with military on their resumes appeals to independent voters and can help the party break the GOP grip on Washington.

"Veterans have had the experience of putting the country first, before personal politics" and party dictates, said Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass, who did four tours of duty in Iraq, left the Marines as a captain and was elected to Congress in 2014. That tends "to attract the kind of independent voters who are looking for a good leader," Moulton added.

While I may be a little prejudiced in favor of veterans, I have always believed it would be wise for the Democratic Party to field them as candidates. A lot of Democrats are veterans, but we've allowed the GOP to (falsely, in many cases) claim the high ground on veterans' issues, even those who never served. Richard Burr is a prime example, but there are many others. And it's not just Independent voters who may be swayed by a Dem in uniform. North Carolina has the third largest population of active and reserve military voters, with some 129,000 troops, not counting spouses. I've been there, done that, and the first question on my mind before casting my vote was, "Which ones have served in the military?" And as each day brings new embarrassments over Trump, that veteran angle will be even more effective:

Monday News: Another failure under his belt

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TRUMP'S G-7 AND NATO PERFORMANCES ALIENATE ALLIES: The sense of a White House under intensified siege was heightened by the sobering comments from Merkel, Europe's most powerful politician. "Naturally, we'll maintain our friendship with the United States ... wherever possible," Merkel said. "But we have to realize that we Europeans are going to have to fight on our own behalf." Although Trump touted "big results" in a tweet Sunday about his Europe trip, Merkel's comments marked a potentially far-reaching negative assessment of his meetings with European Union officials and NATO heads of state in Brussels and the leaders of major industrialized nations at the Group of 7 summit in Sicily.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article153197414.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DISGUISING VOTER SUPPRESSION BEHIND MASK OF VOTER ID: The problem is that Berger and Moore are disguising the truth. If they really cared about identification, they could easily write a bill that would pass constitutional muster. In reality, while the two TALK about voter ID, what they are DOING is voter suppression. The law the courts struck down was MORE about discouraging voting: reducing early and Sunday voting; eliminating same-day voter registration; ending pre-registration of teenagers; and disallowing out-of-precinct voting. All that comes on top of efforts to make it difficult for certain groups of voters, such as students, to vote by moving polling places from convenient locations, like student unions, to more remote locations on the fringes of college campuses.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-disguising-voter-suppression-behind-mask-of-voter-id/16724460/

Republican meddling with ACA causes spike in premiums

And GOP Congressmen should be hearing about this at town halls:

Blue Cross cited several reasons for its request. One is an increase in medical costs, including for doctors fees, hospital services and medicines, which the insurer cites every year it seeks rate increases. The company also blamed the increase on a higher tax on insurers next year.

But the biggest cause is the looming elimination of “cost sharing reductions” in the Republican alternative to the ACA. These reductions offer additional subsidies on deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs to lower-income people whose household incomes are between 100 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

At the core of the Affordable Care Act was a mutual understanding between government and citizens: You pay, we'll pay. While it's far from perfect, that cooperative effort has provided millions of families with the coverage they desperately needed, while greatly reducing the amount of unpaid medical bills. Until now. Republicans claimed they were trying to make health care more affordable to citizens, but that is not even on their radar. What they're really trying to do is get rid of one side of that agreement, the government's half. And they're doing it so they can force even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy. Whether you lose your insurance, or end up paying 3 times as much for lesser coverage, that doesn't really matter to them. YOYO, as my dad used to say. You're on your own.

Saturday News: Lock him up, too

KUSHNER REQUESTED USE OF RUSSIAN EMBASSY COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM FOR BACK CHANNEL: Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports. The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser. Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate - a proposal that would have carried security risks for Moscow as well as the Trump team.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article152964829.html

Will Josh Stein continue his fight to keep state employee from having OAH hearing?

On May 18, 2017 Administrative Law Judge Julian Mann, III sent notice to me and NC Assistant AG Joseph Finarelli a 'Notice of Contested Case and Assignment'.

This was in response to my request to have a hearing to contest that I was improperly reclassified by Governor McCrory as 'managerial exempt' even though I managed no people, no programs, never met anyone from the McCrory administration, and, after I was fired, the McCrory administration did not ask me to turn over a single file or document.

Friday News: Bad cop, slightly less disgusting cop

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SENATE FOOD STAMP AND EDUCATION PROGRAM CUTS LEFT OUT OF HOUSE BUDGET: Some of the cuts in the budget plan that has passed the N.C. Senate aren’t included in a partial budget released by the N.C. House Thursday – setting up negotiations between Republican leaders over the fate of food stamps, the Governor’s School and other programs. The House did not include a budget provision that changes eligibility requirements for the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP – commonly known as food stamps. The Senate’s proposal would have resulted in 133,000 people losing access to food stamps, including 51,000 children.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article152674624.html

The Tillis Toxicity

If this blog post sounds like an episode of Big Bang Theory, it should. BBT specializes in the ridiculous, featuring a hilarious mix of incompetence, dysfunction, and out-sized egos. One show was called The Anxiety Optimization, which could have been a commentary on the state of our nation.

But back to Tillis.

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