NC GOP

Leading while Black: Charlotte Council members get racist hate mail

Trump's rhetoric is dangerous, and spreading:

More than a dozen city leaders, all of them African American except for one, received a letter in the mail to their respective offices that was threatening and racist. Now, police are taking a close look. "If I can assume the intent, the intent was to intimidate," Councilman Braxton Winston said.

The letter read in part, "...Each of you despicable BLACK democrats should be tarred and feathered and run out of town (my town) on a rail..." It blamed African Americans for various things, praised President Donald Trump and used a phrase that was chanted by his supporters at a North Carolina rally earlier this year: "Send her back"

Even if I didn't agree with Braxton's assumption (I do), his background in Anthropology makes that more than just an assumption, it's a studied assessment. But for people like the letter writer, none of that matters. He's Black, and that is an irredeemable trait. It's important to understand that, before any time is wasted by looking at the attitude or performance or potential character flaws of those who have been threatened. We have an almost automatic impulse to argue against such, to present reasons why these bigots are wrong, but that's like trying to groom a skunk. You'll stink for days after the effort, and the skunk will still be a hot mess.

Greenville's minorities still reeling from "send her back" rally chant

It's just not the same anymore:

Police in Greenville say they have seen no increase in reported hate speech or crimes since the president’s July 17 visit. But to immigrants, refugees and others who don’t fit neatly into some people’s ideas of what an American should look like, the appearance has spawned fears that the president’s words could be used as a pretext for violence.

And the crowd’s chant has prompted painful reflection: Was the hostility on display at the rally new for Greenville? Or was it here all along, just waiting to be activated? Heidi Serrano, who was born in Guatemala but has lived in Greenville her entire adult life, has reluctantly concluded the latter. And now she wonders if some of her neighbors and co-workers truly want her here.

Ten years ago, I would have told her not to worry about those on the fringe; that radical white supremacist groups struggle to get more than two dozen like-minded idiots to flock to their cause. I can't tell her that now. Trump has exposed the 30+% extreme racist underbelly of our country, and given them a mandate to hate:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Somebody has to act:

The NC GOP needs to get with the program on common sense gun regulations. People are tired of thoughts and prayers.

Republican leaders quash consent bill once again

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Apparently "No!" means "Just go right ahead."

For the fourth time, a bill that would close a loophole in North Carolina law when it comes to consent is dead. And Jeff Jackson, the state senator who has filed it four times, is beyond frustrated.

"I wish we could say we were confused at this point except at this point we know," Jackson said. "A couple of years ago you could say, 'Maybe these guys just don’t understand the issue.' You can't give them the benefit of the doubt anymore. This is purposeful." The "guys" Jackson is referring to are Republican state lawmakers. The issue is being able to revoke consent during sexual intercourse.

"Sexual behavior" is one of the broadest terms that could be used, ranging from timid to violently aggressive. There is no way to know how somebody will act once they've fallen into that primal zone, and it's nothing short of insane to posit that a woman who suddenly finds a hand wrapped around her neck, slowly tightening, does not have a legal right to extricate herself from that situation. Here's more from Jeff Jackson:

Association Health Plans are still a bad idea

You're probably better off with no insurance at all:

These types of plans were nixed under the Affordable Care Act, which required all insurance policies to contain 10 essential benefits and disallowed so-called “skinny” plans that provide little beyond basic catastrophic coverage, if that.

Association health plans were green-lighted again under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in October 2017, which was seen by many as a way of undermining former President Barack Obama’s ACA. But the plans also come with a host of caveats. They make some observers nervous because in the past association health plans have produced substandard policies that left some patients with big bills or skyrocketing premiums.

All insurance "pools" are a rarefied version of a Ponzi scheme, but these association health plans are even more so. There's simply not enough money in the pot to pay off all the losers if there's even a slight bump in the percentage of catastrophic health treatments, and the fact these "skinny" plans don't cover well care visits or other prophylactic measures actually increases that likelihood. Instead of fast-tracking boondoggles like this, which will likely only be tempting to those who make over the ACA subsidy threshold, the NCGA should be expanding Medicaid to cover those in the gap. And before approving AHPs, they need to wait and see how the courts and Federal government decide this issue:

Rip van Holding gets three Dem challengers (so far)

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You need to start rolling that trash can out to the road to get in shape:

Republican Rep. George Holding, the North Carolina congressional incumbent who by one measure had the closest 2018 race, has drawn several Democratic challengers for his 2020 re-election bid.

Wake County Public Schools board member Monika Johnson-Hostler announced her candidacy Wednesday. Retired Marine Scott Cooper, the founder of Veterans for American Ideals, announced in April he would run. Open Table United Methodist Church pastor Jason Butler filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission last month.

Holding is the epitome of an empty-suit bankster barely warming his seat in Congress. He's been there for 6+ years, and has sponsored "two" bills that became law; one to keep sub-Saharan African countries from underbidding American companies, and one to authorize the Supreme Court Police to protect Justices at their homes. Both were within his first term, and apparently he was exhausted from the effort. Not going to endorse anybody in this race, but I have been seeing a lot of this guy on social media for months:

Public investment, private profit? Broadband bill has serious flaws

The need is great, but the need to do it right may be even greater:

(a) A county shall have the authority to construct facilities or equipment of a broadband service as defined by G.S.62-3 for the purpose of leasing such facilities or equipment, in accordance with G.S.160A-272, to one or more lessees who are not a governmental unit as defined in G.S.160A-274.16. (b) A board of county commissioners may utilize ad valorem tax levies authorized under 17G.S.153A-149(c), grants, or any other unrestricted funds in exercising authority granted under this section.

Bolding mine, because caveats kind of piss me off. A few years ago, Republicans in the General Assembly basically outlawed municipalities from constructing and operating broadband networks, ostensibly because they represented "unfair competition" to private companies. Said companies lobbied the hell out of Legislators to make that happen, but since then have done little (or nothing) to bring broadband into areas that desperately need it. The above bill, as you can see, pulls the cost of construction out of the hands (wallets) of taxpayers, and gives whatever profits are made to private sector entities. What happens when said company starts raising rates above what people are willing (or able) to pay? I see no mechanism for the municipality in question to regulate that. There is also no mechanism for the municipality to take over operation in case of mismanagement, or if said private company decides to pull out of the lease agreement. In the absence of those mechanisms, this bill is terminally flawed.

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