NCGA

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This deserves serious consideration:

My sister just moved back to Florida from Washington (state), where they have been doing vote-by-mail for several years now. In 2016, 79% of registered voters mailed in their ballots.

Looming restrictions on SNAP benefits due April 1st

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For many, hunger is just around the corner:

The analysis notes that if the policies had been implemented in 2018, an estimated 3.7 million fewer people and 2.1 million fewer households would have received SNAP benefits in an average month. According to the study, the combined impact of the policies would have been to reduce overall SNAP participation by at least 15 percent in 13 states and make almost three-quarters of households with gross incomes above 130 percent of the federal poverty level ineligible for the program.

Losing much-needed food benefits would cause millions of individuals and families to lapse into food insecurity—defined as “the uncertainty of having, or unable to acquire, enough food due to insufficient money or other resources.”

Aside from the sheer cruelty of tightening restrictions on food stamps, it also represents sheer ignorance of economic forces. Instead of bailing out farmers, an expansion of SNAP would inject capital into not only the agricultural sector, but others, as well. But that is apparently way too complicated for the Liar-In-Chief. Here are the changes that are coming in a couple weeks:

Flattening the Curve: Reducing exposure to COVID 19

It's time for a reassessment of priorities:

What epidemiologists fear most is the health care system becoming overwhelmed by a sudden explosion of illness that requires more people to be hospitalized than it can handle. In that scenario, more people will die because there won’t be enough hospital beds or ventilators to keep them alive.

A disastrous inundation of hospitals can likely be averted with protective measures we’re now seeing more of — closing schools, canceling mass gatherings, working from home, self-quarantine, avoiding crowds — to keep the virus from spreading fast.

Bolding mine, because those in positions of leadership and management need to understand and embrace their responsibility during this crisis. If you're hosting a conference, a trade show, or any other function that would attract a large number of people from other states (or countries), the time to cancel or postpone the event is now. If you have employees scheduled to attend a conference, cancel those plans. Don't put them on the spot and say it's their decision, just do it. Because something like this could happen before you know it:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

In the grips of a possible pandemic:

Not usually much for scare-mongering or overabundance of caution, but large gatherings of people should be avoided. Five (5) Wake County folks who attended a BioGen conference in Boston in late February contracted the Novel Coronavirus and brought it back home, and Dog knows where they've been going since then. Be smart, we're all counting on you.

Republican stalker wins Primary race for NC Auditor

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Because who gives a shit about women's safety?

Five months earlier, a woman reported that Street followed her on Feb. 23, 2017, at her house and a family member’s house and refused to leave, and then followed her as she drove, according to warrants. Court records said that Street was accused of following the same victim on multiple occasions between March 30, 2018, and April 26, 2018, leading to a second charge of stalking.

And it's a good bet that thousands of Republican women chose this creature when they entered the voting booth. Either because they didn't know about these charges, or they didn't care. This is why we can't have nice things.

Coal Ash Wednesday: NCUC Public Staff opposes Duke rate hike request

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Continuing to profit from negligent behavior is wrong:

The Public Staff recommends denying Duke’s request to bill customers for $161 million in ash-related costs at its power plants. The agency also recommends collecting remaining expenses over 26 years instead of the five years that Duke proposes. Those steps, the agency says, would have the effect of evenly splitting the costs between shareholders and customers.

Duke “had a duty to comply with long-standing North Carolina environmental regulations, and it failed that duty many times over many years at every coal-fired power plant it owns in North Carolina,” a Public Staff official said in written testimony.

This has become an annual (if not semi-annual) battle, and frankly the NCUC needs to put its foot down. Duke Energy is a financial monster, the single largest utility in the Western Hemisphere. It pays healthy dividends to stockholders every quarter, and plans to spend about $37 Billion over the next four years on new acquisitions alone:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Don't forget to vote if you haven't already, folks:

And be nice to the poll workers and reporters...

Mark Johnson is the subject of ethics probe over campaign texts

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When your moral compass hasn't worked for years:

Multiple complaints were filed earlier this month after Johnson sent hundreds of thousands of emails and text messages to public school families and employees trumpeting his opposition to Common Core.

The timing of the campaign raised eyebrows since Johnson had been almost silent on Common Core throughout his tenure as superintendent, choosing to launch his vocal opposition just as voting began in the primary for Lieutenant Governor–an office he is seeking.

I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for the Ethics Commission to actually do anything substantial over this. Made that mistake in the past, won't do it again. But if anybody has any doubt about the connection between this text barrage and Johnson's campaign, he made that clear a few weeks ago:

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