NC GOP

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Just so bone-tired of seeing these two faces:

And the irony of Burr worrying about technology companies aiding the government by unlocking his phone is overwhelming...

Trump wants to set off a Nuke to scare China and Russia

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God how I wish this was fake news:

The Trump administration has discussed whether to conduct the first U.S. nuclear test explosion since 1992 in a move that would have far-reaching consequences for relations with other nuclear powers and reverse a decades-long moratorium on such actions, said a senior administration official and two former officials familiar with the deliberations.

The matter came up at a meeting of senior officials representing the top national security agencies May 15, following accusations from administration officials that Russia and China are conducting low-yield nuclear tests — an assertion that has not been substantiated by publicly available evidence and that both countries have denied.

Not really surprised; Trump views our entire military and its weaponry as his own personal toys he can play with whenever he wants. But I am both terrified and disgusted. I served in the military during the latter days of the Cold War, and a nuclear "exchange" with Russia was a constant backdrop to that. Needless to say, I do not relish the idea of returning to that constant state of alert and fear. Trump has already thrown out several important treaties that were keeping us marginally safer from catastrophe:

You can't fix stupid: Coronavirus "parties" taking place in NC

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Hurry up and get sick so life will return to normal?

"We have heard from a lot of patients and the community that they're unafraid of getting the virus, so people are actually out and about trying to get the virus – attending gatherings, parties –just trying to maximize their chances of exposure," Yolanda Enrich, a nurse practitioner at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, told KOAT Action 7 News.

Enrich told the tv station that patients attend such parties with the purpose of developing immunity to COVID-19 so that they no longer have to take precautions against the virus during their daily routines.

Side-eye girl is concerned, and she's also more than a little pissed off that ignorant North Carolinians seem to continually attract the wrong kind of attention to our state. Okay, that second part is me, not her. But I'm sure she would agree. Here's what a highly-qualified medical professional (Mandy Cohen) has to say:

The Trust deficit that is plaguing America

I recently posted in a Facebook group dedicated to politics about the judge's decision to open up the churches, and one of the commenters asked where all the attacks on Governor Cooper's pandemic restrictions were coming from. I explained about the upcoming election, including Dan Forest's dismal poll numbers, and that has definitely played a role in the visible pushback. Forest is connected to both the ReopenNC people and the Return America group that filed the lawsuit.

But in order to really understand why these (and many other) people are primed to defy common-sense government actions, we need to delve into the trust deficit that has been building for decades. Follow me below the fold if you can trust me to not mislead you:

Living and dying for poverty wages during a pandemic

I hope you enjoy that Quarter Pounder with Cheese:

Bergeron-Lawrence described how her poverty wages and lack of access to paid sick leave had recently compelled her to go to work — despite battling a nagging and undiagnosed respiratory illness, where she was assigned to the drive-thru window — interacting with 50 to 80 people per hour. But what seemed to evoke the most anger and emotion in Bergeron-Lawrence was when she described how the McDonald’s corporate offices had brought in and distributed a shipment of “lovely little pins” to the restaurant employees that read “I am essential.”

As Barber observed, the pins constituted a pathetic and maddening token from a multi-national corporation that pays its front-line workers $10 an hour.

That $10 is about $4.70 per hour short of what she needs to pay rent and other bills, and that's not including food. She's probably getting $160 or so in food stamps per month, unless her second job (to finish paying rent) pushed her over the limit ($1,354 gross per month). And before you try to scribble some numbers, there is no way to make that work. You just can't. $15 per hour is not a "dream" wage, it's a survival wage.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Ode to Dandy:

It's all demagogues know how to do.

Of the people, by the people, for the people

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Here are some of the bills filed by Democratic lawmakers this session:

Nickel also sponsored a bill, SB 792, that would drastically increase North Carolina’s unemployment benefits. The coronavirus shutdown and subsequent job losses have highlighted the fact that North Carolina has among the country’s lowest-paying unemployment benefits.

North Carolina cuts off benefits at anywhere from 12 to 20 weeks, depending on the state’s unemployment rate. Most states in the U.S. allow up to 26 weeks, and Nickel’s bill would have North Carolina match that. His bill would also raise the maximum possible payout from $350 to $450 per week.

And before you say it, I know, the chances of any of these bills to even reach the floor, much less get enough R votes to pass, are slim to none. But it's important to see what could be, and also be able to answer those questions from the politically disconnected who whine, "Why don't they do something about this?" This is the root of that, "Both parties suck" mentality; until something gets fixed, they just assume nobody is trying to fix it. Here are more much-needed improvements:

Renewable energy surpasses coal-burning in nation's power generation

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The clean energy revolution is more than just a slogan:

The United States is on track to produce more electricity this year from renewable power than from coal for the first time on record, new government projections show, a transformation partly driven by the coronavirus pandemic, with profound implications in the fight against climate change.

It is a milestone that seemed all but unthinkable a decade ago, when coal was so dominant that it provided nearly half the nation’s electricity. And it comes despite the Trump administration’s three-year push to try to revive the ailing industry by weakening pollution rules on coal-burning power plants.

Please understand: It wasn't those air pollution rules that brought renewable energy to the level it is right now; it was the wise decision to harness the market and entice investors into the mix. Policies like NC's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards created the demand that drove production and innovation, two key areas that had been dormant for wind and solar for so long. And once that process began, the costs associated with renewable energy would (naturally) drop, keeping the momentum going:

Betsy DeVos is funneling virus relief to private and religious schools

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Kakistocracy is as Kakistocracy does:

Ms. DeVos has used $180 million of those dollars to encourage states to create “microgrants” that parents of elementary and secondary school students can use to pay for educational services, including private school tuition. She has directed school districts to share millions of dollars designated for low-income students with wealthy private schools.

And she has nearly depleted the 2.5 percent of higher education funding, about $350 million, set aside for struggling colleges to bolster small colleges — many of them private, religious or on the margins of higher education — regardless of need.

Keep in mind, DeVos is doing this at the same time that state and local revenues are falling precipitously. Funding for public schools is going to be cut, if it hasn't already, but people like Betsy DeVos don't really care about the vast majority of schools and their students. She's grabbing every dollar she can for any school but those public institutions, because destroying them was her goal from the very beginning. But a lot of responsible folks are pushing back:

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