NCGA

New poverty report by the NC Justice Center

Trying to survive at the bottom:

In the wealthiest nation on earth, millions of North Carolinians spend every day just trying to survive. Low wages, lack of investment in an infrastructure of opportunity, and an economy with rules rigged for the wealthy few have resulted in the lucky few amassing unimaginable wealth while children and families go hungry and struggle to get ahead. This moral and economic failure touches people across the state and is particularly present in communities of color that have long faced barriers to prosperity and security erected through policy choices and systems of exclusion.

This cycle won't break itself, it requires actions on several fronts. Hunger leads to malnutrition, and malnutrition has a direct and detrimental effect on learning and performance in the K-12 school environment. Which leads to severely limited economic opportunities as an adult, which brings us right back to hungry children. And a stuttering economy:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

As usual, YDNC is leading the way:

Now if we "not so young" Democrats can pull this virtual thing off without too many hitches, I'll be impressed.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Trump moves to deregulate bottom liners

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Because what's the problem with a little leakage?

The EPA's proposal would ease regulations for the liners that coat the bottom of coal ash pits in order to stop the cancer-linked substance from leaking into groundwater. It would also in some cases allow the use of coal ash in closing landfills.

“These common-sense changes will provide the flexibilities owners and operators need to determine the most appropriate way to manage [coal ash] and the closure of units based on site-specific conditions,” EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. Environmentalists, however, said that the changes would weaken environmental protections.

I am getting really sick of these Orwellian statements coming out of Trump's Kakistocracy. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for coal giant Murray Energy, and this is not his first effort to undermine safety when it comes to coal ash:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Somewhere between a blessing and a curse:

Unfortunately, this just means he now has his hands on Cabinet agencies. If anybody could fuck up this administration more than Trump, it's Meadows...

NC's unemployment benefits are a national disgrace

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The NC GOP should be ashamed when articles like this are published:

Because it’s administered by the states, the generosity of UI varies widely. Most states offer up to 26 weeks of UI, but some offer far less: Florida and North Carolina offer only 12 weeks currently, though their generosity increases with the state unemployment rate. Missouri offers only 13 weeks per statute, a number that doesn’t increase with the unemployment rate.

There’s similarly large variance in the recipiency rate — the share of unemployed people getting UI — and benefit size as a share of the average weekly wage. The highest recipiency rate is in Massachusetts, where 57 percent of unemployed people get benefits. In North Carolina, only 10 percent do.

Get that? Only one out of every ten unemployed North Carolinians receive benefits, which means they are out of work a hell of a lot longer than the paltry 12 weeks we offer. Said differently, the draconian measures Republicans enacted 7 years ago are not pushing people back to work, they are pushing families out of their homes. But that 2013 bill did something else, too, which was beyond idiotic:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This needs to be fixed, like yesterday:

There are some 3 million sets of personal protective equipment in the national stockpile. It's not enough, but most of those should have already been deployed to shortage areas. Somebody needs to ask Trump about this during his daily circle-jerk press conference.

Join the fight against COVID 19

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Dr. Mandy Cohen is calling for volunteers to bolster health care staffs:

North Carolina has built a medical response capability through our state’s Health Care Coalitions (HCCs) that can augment all levels of care to citizens affected by a disaster event. The capability includes medical supplies and equipment, as well as volunteer health care and medical professionals who are willing to deploy to affected areas or facilities to provide patient care. This response is provided through the State Medical Response System (SMRS), which recruits and manages volunteers in the following areas:

•Clinical (physicians, advanced care providers, nurses, EMS)
•Clinical Support (pharmacy, imaging and respiratory care)
•Non-clinical support (facility maintenance, safety, and administrative)

Here is the portal for you to register as a responder, or get additional training to be able to do so. North Carolina has an incredibly strong and diverse population of medical caregivers, including many who are currently retired. We need all of you right now.

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