NC GOP

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Louis DeJoy is the new Postmaster General

Money makes the Trump world go 'round:

The Postal Service’s board of governors confirmed late Wednesday that Louis DeJoy, a North Carolina businessman who is currently in charge of fundraising for the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, will serve as the new postmaster general.

The action will install a stalwart Trump ally to lead the Postal Service, which he has railed against for years, and probably move him closer than ever before to forcing the service to renegotiate its terms with companies and its own union workforce.

If DeJoy was genuinely interested in supporting and improving the Postal Service, the very first thing he would do is lobby the Senate to amend the stupid law that requires them to fully fund decades-worth of retirement benefits. The main reason that was enacted is so Republicans could wail and gnash their teeth about the post office's financial woes (which they caused). It's the classic GOP "Break it and then complain about it being broken" approach to governing, which we see all the time here in NC. We will see if he is prepared to do the job right, or help Trump attack Jeff Bezos:

Ralph Hise is pushing major expansion of private school vouchers

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Sucking $146 Million in lifeblood from public schools:

AN ACT TO CHANGE THE ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP GRANT FUND PROGRAM TO ALLOW ANY STUDENT ELIGIBLE TO ATTEND A NORTH CAROLINA PUBLIC SCHOOL TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR A SCHOLARSHIP GRANT AND TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS FOR THE EXPANSION OF THE PROGRAM.

This is actually Stage 3 of the scheme. Stage 1 was getting the voucher program passed by focusing on poor kids, Stage 2 was adding an additional $10 Million per year even though it was not needed, and now Stage 3 will funnel tax revenues to rich families, so they can segregate their little darlings in posh corporate creches. And you can expect Dan Forest to be leg-humping this bill very soon:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

We should have known better. They pull some kind of stunt like this every session, but hopefully this will be their last.

NC Chamber behind the nixing of increased unemployment benefits

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Insert an angry, frustrated observation in this space:

The chamber opposed the proposal to expand the state’s maximum unemployment benefits by $50 a week, Starling said.

Starling said the way that proposal had been written, it wasn’t clear if the extra money would go to everyone receiving unemployment, or only people receiving the maximum amount. And without a financial estimate of how much it would cost, he said, many businesses were wary of potentially having to pay more into the unemployment system in the future.

Yeah, nevermind the fact that extra $50 would be injected directly into the economy, at a time when that economy needs it desperately. Oh no, the possibility businesses might have to contribute an extra few dollars into the unemployment insurance fund sometime down the road is intolerable. But what is tolerable to the Chamber are the loans the government is giving them:

Lies, damn lies, and Tim Moore: Rewriting history on unemployment cuts

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Look up "disingenuous" in the dictionary, and it shows his picture in the margin:

By 2019, one in 10 unemployed workers in North Carolina was receiving benefits, the lowest share in the nation. But the state’s trust fund was in far better shape than when the legislature passed tighter restrictions in 2013.

“It was certainly a painful thing to do, and it was a tough vote,” said Tim Moore, now the Republican speaker of the North Carolina State House. “The balance that we had to strike was between making sure we’re taking care of somebody who truly can’t find a job, versus allowing in folks who simply did not want to work.”

If that was all it was about, giving benefits to those who truly needed them, you wouldn't have cut the maximum weekly benefit from $535 down to $350. And you wouldn't have reduced the duration of payments from 26 weeks down to 13. This was pure reverse Robin Hood; taking money from the neediest of families to help justify cutting taxes for the wealthy. And I am bone tired of Republicans bragging about that "trust fund," because it was a heinous violation of trust that fueled the $3+ Billion in blood money that filled it. I'll let Reverend Barber conclude this argument:

NC Senate bill would place huge burden on educators

Here, put this puzzle together while you're treading water:

A bill filed in the North Carolina Senate today would give school districts until June 30 to come up with a plan for how they’ll ensure remote instruction results in the same learning growth as teaching that occurs at school. It’s hard to articulate how out of touch with reality that expectation is.

North Carolina’s educators are doing the best we can to teach our students in the midst of a global pandemic. As time passes we will continue to find ways to make remote teaching and learning more effective. However, what we’re already seeing is there are an untold number of factors that we have absolutely no control over.

No doubt this bright idea came from the very same people who would do away with every single government regulation that deals with private businesses. It's not unlike what they did to NC DENR (now DEQ) several years ago, when they cut staff deeply, and then told them an "economic impact study" would need to be completed before any new rule was promulgated. Back to Justin:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Timely message for the malcontents:

Pay attention to the doctors and nurses; they're trying to save lives, like every other day.

Refurbished textile mill will become another NC wood pellet plant

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Spelling the demise of thousands more acres of trees:

This factory used to house Alamac American Knits, an erstwhile leading manufacturer of woven fabrics. But it closed in 2017, in part due to market pressures, but also because of damage inflicted by Hurricane Matthew, which the previous year dumped 10 inches of rain on the town, flooding the Lumber River until it burst its banks.

Now the 150-acre site is the home of Active Energy Renewable Power. A subsidiary of Active Energy Group, it is a publicly traded British company with a spotty project history. Aided by a half-million dollars in state taxpayer money, it is the latest entrant into the state’s wood pellet business.

It's long past time for us to stop referring to wood pellet burning as "renewable energy." It's not. Some of the wood they use comes from old-growth hardwoods, very often located in or near our critical wetlands, and many of those trees are over 100 years old. It's not as asinine as John Skvarla's (thanks, McCrory) claim that crude oil is renewable, but it ranks up there. This also has COVID 19 implications as well, since scientists have determined that fine particulate air pollution increases risk for fatalities in people who live in dirty air environments. Their own permit application is damning enough:

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