NC GOP

Taliban Dan: Forest taking part in religious extremist conference

The company you keep says a lot about you:

Next month, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will be the special guest at The American Renewal Project’s “North Carolina Renewal Project” event in Charlotte. The roster of speakers for the private conservative Christian event includes:

A pastor who calls the notion of a separation between church and state “cowardice” and those in the movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality “militant homofascists” bent on turning the U.S. into Sodom. An author who has railed against Muslims as would-be conquerors and rapists and LGBTQ rights as a first step to America living under Sharia law. A pastor and Republican politician who has asserted anyone not committed to the U.S. as an explicitly Judeo-Christian nation should leave.

Apparently the only way to avoid Shariah Law is to form a Christo-Fascist state? You know what, don't try and understand it, because that way lies madness:

Breaking the chains: Trump's trade war will have lasting and devastating effects

And it's become obvious the President doesn't understand that:

President Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese manufacturing would “crumble” if the country did not agree to the United States’ trade terms, as newly released data showed his trade war was washing back to American shores and hurting the factories that the president has aimed to protect.

The president has continued to insist that pain from the trade war is falling primarily on China, not the United States. On Friday, he said American companies were leaving China in response to his tariffs, a development that put the United States in an “incredible negotiating position.” And he said any business that complained about financial pain from the tariffs was suffering from bad management, not the trade war.

"Blaming the victim" has become so common with this bumbling fool that we hardly even notice it anymore. But we should, because it exposes his inability to recognize a mistake when he's made one, a character flaw that puts our country at risk on almost a daily basis. In order to understand what his reckless trade war is causing, follow me below the fold for an ecological analogy:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The real value Twitter can bring to the table:

As opposed to the robotic posting of multiple hourly Tweets with the same message...

Marching against hate: A tale of two NC communities

Hillsborough has become a battleground against bigotry:

Hillsborough gathered together Saturday afternoon as part of the March Against White Supremacy. Hundreds of people participated by walking through downtown. They gathered at the Old Slave Cemetery to get ready to march. Without knowing exactly what to expect a crowd of about 700 began the walk from the Cemetery to the Courthouse.

The rally comes a week after members of the KKK came to the town while Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris was in Durham to speak at an event. Officials in Hillsborough said the KKK's presence wasn't expected and there was no documentation filed to gather and protest. People from all walks of life came together to show solidarity.

Several people I know were involved in this march, and it has to have been one of the largest gatherings downtown Hillsborough has ever seen. My Facebook feed was inundated with updates and photos of the march, but then I noticed something else happening. Some of my friends are also in Eastern North Carolina, and in Greenville there was another march taking place in defense of The Squad:

Beware of the false remedy of "Opportunity Zones"

A better name might be, "Gentrification On Steroids":

President Trump has portrayed America’s cities as wastelands, ravaged by crime and homelessness, infested by rats. But the Trump administration’s signature plan to lift them — a multibillion-dollar tax break that is supposed to help low-income areas — has fueled a wave of developments financed by and built for the wealthiest Americans.

Among the early beneficiaries of the tax incentive are billionaire financiers like Leon Cooperman and business magnates like Sidney Kohl — and Mr. Trump’s family members and advisers.

Personal anecdote time: Last year my town's merchant's association held a "business social," bringing in bankers and other Very Important Persons to discuss economic growth possibilities. One of the topics I was very keen to hear about was Opportunity Zones, because we have some areas that really need a lift. But the investment advisor (woman) who presented did not even mention economic improvement, or helping marginalized citizens. It was all about how to leverage the program to reap the most financial benefits. And another quick take: The more the merrier. The more expensive the project, the more tax savings reaped. Which means, the finished product (luxury apartments, high-end retail) would be inaccessible for people on the low end of the totem pole:

NC09 Debate fact-check reveals dismal state of NC teacher pay

teachers2019.jpg

This is why you should wear red for ed:

When moderator Christine Sperow asked the candidates to address the economic concerns of rural farmers, McCready quickly transitioned to Bishop’s performance on teacher pay. McCready argued that the state of public education in North Carolina is harming rural North Carolinians just as much as the Trump administration’s trade policies. “We have got to be investing in our public schools,” McCready said, “alongside taking on China, to make life better for so many people.”

Bishop interjected, saying he supported teacher pay increases in the state budget for five consecutive years. A sixth and seventh consecutive raise would be possible, Bishop said, if Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper hadn’t vetoed this year’s state budget. Bishop is right — the past five budgets have increased teacher pay — but critics say these raises weren’t enough.

While Congress has zero impact on NC teacher pay, this is a legitimate debate point because it reveals how ineffective Bishop (and his GOP colleagues) have been in managing critical state policies and programs. And these numbers can't be harped on enough:

Climate crimes: EPA set to undo rule to curb fugitive Methane emissions

This is the price we pay for electing a dangerous idiot:

The Environmental Protection Agency is set to announce Thursday that it will loosen federal rules on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas linked to climate change, according to two senior administration officials.

The proposed rule will reverse standards enacted under former president Barack Obama that require oil and gas operations to install controls on their operations to curb the release of methane at the well head and in their transmission equipment, including pipelines, processing and storage facilities.

I just had a debate with a friend over the fugitive Methane problem, which is why these numbers are already in my head: We've got 2.4 million miles of pipelines in the U.S. alone, and some 1.1 million active oil & gas wells in some stage of operation. This rule was a critical step in reducing greenhouse gases, but Trump doesn't care about any of that. He's like an angry toddler breaking some other kid's toys:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Illness and death have plagued TVA cleanup workers

Compounding the catastrophe with more irresponsible behavior:

The TVA paid for as many as 900 people to contain and remove the pollution, some working 12-hour shifts for months at a time. The sludge dried into a fine dust that sparkled like glitter and sometimes whirled into clouds so thick, drivers could barely see past the hoods of their trucks.

In Associated Press interviews, workers said they were healthy before breathing the ash, but have since suffered unusual symptoms. They recalled joking darkly about "coal ash flu" before suffering strange lesions and seeing their skin flake off like fish scales. At least 40 co-workers have died, they said, some gruesomely, collapsing and coughing up blood. "We cleaned it up in a little over five years, and it would've took 25 years to do it the right way," said Doug Bledsoe, who drove trucks there and now has brain and lung cancer.

Let's say it again for those in the back rows: "Heavy metals persist." Mercury, Arsenic, Lead, are all heavy metals that survive the coal-burning process, often in the form of fly-ash, which is such a fine particulate that it remains airborne longer than other residuals, and more easily penetrates the soft tissues (and even bloodstream). That fly-ash also contains radioactive isotopes, which are probably responsible for many of the cancers. It's not just nasty, it's deadly, and the civil court system in Tennessee is allowing even more of these folks to die because of the "phases" they have to go through to get relief:

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