BlueNC's blog

Friday News: Jim Crow rides again

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GOP EXTREMIST "LAWMAKERS" ARE GOING AFTER DURHAM VOTERS: Conservative Republicans in the North Carolina House said Thursday morning that they plan to investigate voting machines used in the 2020 election in Durham County for modems or other ways they could have been connected to the internet. And they plan to use the legislature’s police to help them do so. “We will do whatever it takes to go about our mission,” said Rep. Jeff McNeely, an Iredell County Republican and member of the freedom caucus, a group of very conservative House Republicans. McNeely and other freedom caucus members pulled Durham County — a Democratic stronghold — out of a hat that they said contained the names of all 100 counties during a press conference at the legislature Thursday morning. Riiight, they just happened to pull Durham out of a hat. Roll up your pantlegs, the shit's gettin' deep.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article254825392.html#storylink=mainstage_card

Thursday News: Hold your horses...

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ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS STILL NOT HAPPY WITH REVAMPED ENERGY BILL: The solar industry questioned some of the bill's language, with Carolinas Clean Energy Business Association lobbyist Alex Miller saying "there could be years of expensive” litigation to clear up "ambiguities" in the bill. Miller did not elaborate, but solar companies have gone round after round with Duke in recent years over how much solar power can be added to the grid at what cost. "But, ultimately, the bill still allows Duke Energy too much room to wiggle out of carbon reductions, and we can't squeeze our noses hard enough to support it," North Carolina League of Conservation Voters lobbyist Dan Crawford said in a statement. "It would allow Duke too much power to thwart our clean energy future and pad its profits at the expense of low-income communities and North Carolinians of color, and could give Duke veto power equal to that of the Utilities Commission." Is there such a thing as a reverse bait-and-switch, where they start with something horrendous and tweak it a little? Sorry, having a bad vocabulary day.
https://www.wral.com/bold-step-bipartisan-support-for-energy-bill-as-some-worry-over-costs-ambiguiti...

Wednesday News: You don't get to do that.

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MCCRORY BACKERS HEADED TO COURT FOR MALIGNING VOTERS: A lawsuit alleging that Republican-affiliated groups falsely accused some North Carolinians of voter fraud is one step closer to going to trial before a jury. The case centers on North Carolina’s 2016 gubernatorial election, when a Republican campaign tried a strategy much like the one former President Donald Trump has employed in claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him. After preliminary results showed then-Gov. Pat McCrory lost the 2016 election, lawyers affiliated with McCrory and other supporters of his campaign accused numerous North Carolina voters, by name, of having committed fraud. Those accusations were quickly proven false, and the voters sued for libel. McCrory himself wasn’t part of the lawsuit, but his supporters have fought it, claiming they’re immune from being sued for their false voter fraud accusations. When you name names, you better have your shit together.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article254771757.html

Monday News: Sixteen thousand, six hundred five

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NC JUST SHY OF 70% WITH AT LEAST ONE DOSE OF VACCINE: At least 1,400,217 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus, and at least 16,605 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday reported 4,963 new COVID-19 cases, up from 4,765 on Thursday. At least 2,882 people were reported hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, including 795 adult patients who are being treated in intensive care units, health officials said. Before Thursday, the state hadn’t reported fewer than 3,000 daily hospitalizations since Aug. 18, The News & Observer reported. On Wednesday, the latest date with available information, 7.9% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Most Charlotte-area employers are in favor of President Joe Biden’s call for businesses with more than 100 workers to mandate COVID-19 vaccines, a new survey finds. That's what leadership is meant to be.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article254691847.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NC SHOULD BLOCK THIS DUKE ENERGY POWER GRAB: Finally, the most obviously imbalanced aspect of HB 951 is how Duke’s over-earning (i.e., revenue over the Commission-set return, a.k.a., windfall profits) is treated as compared to under-earning. Duke is free to keep over-earnings above its Utilities Commission-approved rate of return or profit to the tune of approximately $100 million per year. But, if Duke under-earns by even a penny, they can recoup that under-earning. This is blatantly imbalanced and, once again, advantageous only to the monopoly utility. NO reciprocity. It is hard to see why any state legislator – Republican or Democrat – would find voting for House Bill 951 to be in the best interest of his or her constituents due to the bill’s dramatic imbalance in favor of Duke Energy at the expense of North Carolinians. HB 951 would take an electricity regulation regime that already unfairly favors the monopoly utility and make it even worse. And Duke is structured so they can easily jigger the numbers to make it look like they lost money here or there.
https://www.wral.com/ken-cuccinelli-n-c-should-block-this-duke-energy-power-grab/19898365/

Saturday News: Unconscionable

DURHAM LANDLORD REFUSES RENTAL ASSISTANCE, WANTS TO EVICT 150+: “This was an act of God, something out of everyone’s control,” Jones said. “He needs to accept this assistance. Like half of us won’t make it, if he doesn’t take this assistance.” Of the 160 tenants that have applied for aid, he’s only completed his portion of the application for two of them, which are under review by the county. He told the magistrate in court last week multiple times that’s he not accepting aid from the program. Durham’s program is funded by rental assistance in the December stimulus from Congress. Federal guidelines allow aid to go directly to tenants if landlords refuse after a reasonable effort is made to convince them otherwise. But the county said the best way to keep the aid disbursement accountable is to require landlords to participate. The County has a responsibility to those tenants, and shouldn't allow this jerk to control the process like this.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article254471218.html

Friday News: Poor Larry...

DEMS SHOULD REALLY STOP POSTING MUGSHOTS OF REPUBLICAN MOUTHPIECE: Upset enough that when the trooper took Shaheen to the jail for a breath test at 1:23 in the morning, Shaheen replied, "I ain't signing (bleep)." Shaheen refused to take the breath test, so at 2:48 in the morning, a nurse took a blood sample for testing. It's the second time in less than a year Shaheen has been charged with DWI, and the officer who arrested him last May noted that he was uncooperative toward doctors and nurses, yelling and screaming and threatening to sue police. Court records show Shaheen pleaded guilty to that charge in August and was given a suspended sentence. Oops, I accidentally posted the wrong article, but they say the Internet is forever, so I might as well just leave it up.
https://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/larry-shaheen-resigns-senators-staff-after-2nd-dwi/113666702/

Thursday News: Tick-tock...

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REPUBLICANS RUNNING OUT OF TIME TO COMPLY WITH LEANDRO: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper pushed Tuesday for a multi-billion dollar plan to increase school funding as a state judge is considering whether to try to force lawmakers to fund the proposal. State Superior Court Judge David Lee has given state lawmakers an Oct. 18 deadline to fully fund the next two years of a plan that calls for at least $5.6 billion in new education funding by 2028. Republican lawmakers have balked at the court order, but Cooper said major new state investments in education funding are needed now. “We have a comprehensive plan,” Cooper told the Governor’s Commission on Access To A Sound Basic Education. “We have the support of the majority of the people of this state, and we have a court order. So now it’s time for us to work to implement that plan.” Bad water, mold, ancient heating and air systems. People would refuse to go to work under those conditions. Come on.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article254581167.html

Wednesday News: Every little bit helps

CITY OF RALEIGH IS BUYING HOTEL FOR THOSE IN NEED: The city of Raleigh has bought a 113-room hotel to shelter people in need. The three-story extended stay hotel, built in 1987, will be paid for with $8 million of the city’s federal American Rescue Plan Act money. The Raleigh City Council will begin searching for a nonprofit partner to manage it. People facing evictions or other barriers to stable housing sometimes stay in hotels for weeks and months at a time, but there aren’t good methods of counting them. Wake County has about 400 beds for those with emergency shelter needs across a handful of shelters, but more than 500 people on the waiting list. Another $10 million will go toward “large-scale” proposals to tackle community health initiatives around mental health, food security and those “disproportionally impacted by the pandemic.” We can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/counties/wake-county/article254557857.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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CITIZENS ARE SPEAKING UP TO LEGISLATORS. ADOPT NON-PARTISAN REDISTRICTING NOW: “I do not think that the legislators should be picking their own voters,” Ann Watson said at the hearing last week at Pitt County Community College. “We the people want to elect legislators that are loyal to our communities and not to the parties themselves. We want a democracy that is a government of the people, by the people and for the people -- not politicians,” Lori Yoshi Newsman of Greenville said at the same meeting. For all the passion of the speakers, the sessions have been a showcase for civil discourse in stark contrast to the bitter, angry and disruptive displays at several recent local boards of education meetings around the state. But the civility doesn’t mask the frustration and neglect felt by citizens who have been deprived of a voice in Raleigh and Washington.
https://www.wral.com/editorial-citizens-are-speaking-up-to-legislators-adopt-non-partisan-redistrict...

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