scharrison's blog

WaPo takes a look at Anderson Clayton

No pressure, though. Really, no pressure:

One month into her role as head of the North Carolina Democratic Party, the 25-year-old organizer is still getting used to the spotlight as the youngest state Democratic chair in the country. She’s hoping to use her platform to highlight that it is people like her — young and from rural parts of the state — that Democrats need to draw out to help North Carolina flip blue.

Clayton also knows that while being the first Gen Z member in her position has given her more exposure, it also means more pressure to prove, after disappointing results in recent election cycles, that Democrats can fare better in the Tar Heel State in 2024.

I will freely admit, after what happened today with that Veto Override vote, I was about ready to give up. But that won't change anything, either. Maybe Anderson can...

Virginia Supreme Court tosses "Zoom" zoning changes

There is no short-cut to good government:

The decision came after a group of Fairfax residents filed a county circuit court challenge to the legality of the zoning update that, among other things, made it easier for homeowners to rent their converted basements. The circuit court dismissed the residents’ claims, prompting their appeal to the Supreme Court.

“Everything about the history of Z-Mod suggests that the adoption of Z-Mod could have waited 22 days, weeks, or months without throwing the County’s operations into even minor distress let alone chaos,” the Supreme Court’s ruling said, using the county’s abbreviation for the zoning overhaul.

I ran numerous public meetings during the height of the Pandemic, masks required, and safe distancing for Board members and the public. That meant that half the Board occupied the front row of audience seating, with only about 25% of other seats available for the public. It was a pain in my fourth point of contact, but it could be done. These are some of the changes voted on virtually in Fairfax:

Weasel in the hen house: McHenry showered with money by failing bank


Dude has been in Washington way too long:

Bloomberg reports that Republican House Financial Services Chairman Patrick McHenry was thrown a high-dollar fundraiser by Signature Bank at their offices just 10 days before the bank’s collapse. The revelation comes as Chairman McHenry claims his committee will “get to the bottom” of the rash of recent failures of midsize banks which experts say stem from a key Trump-Republican rollback of Dodd-Frank banking safeguards in 2018 that McHenry helped author. McHenry’s credibility crisis continues to worsen after calling the 2018 regulatory rollback a “win for consumers” and an “important first step to undo Dodd Frank.” McHenry declared he was “proud to have played an active role in drafting this bill” as he took substantial sums of money from the financial industry that lobbied to undo Dodd-Frank reforms – including Signature Bank.

Here's Liz Zelnick:

It was a dark and Stormy night

Grand Jury probing Trump payoff may be about to issue an indictment:

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had told people years earlier that she had an affair with Trump, which he has long denied. Cohen has acknowledged making the payment, saying he did so expecting to be reimbursed; that refund was allegedly documented as payment for legal work.

Cohen later served time in prison after pleading guilty in two criminal cases in 2018, including one involving campaign finance violations related to payments made to Daniels and another woman alleging an affair with Trump. During one of his guilty pleas, Cohen said he acted at Trump’s direction and described the payments as intended to influence the 2016 election by keeping the women from sharing their stories publicly.

Bolding mine, because many of those checks to Cohen were written from the Resolute desk. May not be a crime in itself, but it should be. It also highlights just how brazen Trump is when it comes to unethical behavior. Speaking of brazen, Trump called the Georgia Speaker of the House and tried to get him to overturn the state's election results:

HB189: NC Constitutional Carry Act


The height of irresponsibility:


Keith Kidwell has lost his frickin' mind, and the people who keep voting him into office should be ashamed of themselves. And this little jewel alone should make this bill a non-starter:

Psychological analysis of violent extremism


Can you recognize this signature?

Across all ideologies investigated by the researchers, people who endorsed “extreme pro-group action”, including ideologically-motivated violence against others, had a surprisingly consistent psychological profile.

The extremist mind – a mixture of conservative and dogmatic psychological signatures – is cognitively cautious, slower at perceptual processing and has a weaker working memory. This is combined with impulsive personality traits that seek sensation and risky experiences.

The first thing that crossed my mind is somebody who misses the funniest part of a joke, or wildly misinterprets the joke. I must admit I often throw something out when I first meet somebody, in an unconscious(?) attempt to gauge their personality. It's a faulty, self-centered approach, because you have no way of knowing what they're dealing with at the time. But it is surprisingly accurate. Here's more on their findings:

21st Century extremism: Tracking the Proud Boys


Not all heroes wear capes and fly around:

All five Proud Boys on trial this month in the Justice Department’s landmark seditious conspiracy prosecution were in Squire’s original data set. Another member who pleaded guilty and is expected to testify previously filmed himself railing against Squire on social media, and posted her private information on Telegram in retaliation for her research.

After years of observing Proud Boys act as if they’re above the law, Squire said, the trial offers the promise of long-awaited accountability. “This is where you end up when you’re in this movement. It’s not going to end well,” she said. “To use their own favorite expression: You eff around, and you find out.”

Yanno, folks on the right like to throw the word "Patriot" around to sauce up their gun fetishism, but Megan is what I consider a true patriot. Using her skills to protect the wider public from unhinged and dangerous people, even though she knows that comes with a serious risk:

Duke Energy's contempt for Solar is irresponsible


The deep freeze on Christmas weekend exposed major flaws in their approach:

The first domino fell in Duke Energy Carolinas territory, which serves 2.5 million residential, commercial and industrial customers. Starting at midnight on Christmas Eve, utility officials cut back power at the Dan River combined cycle plant, which runs largely on natural gas, to 360 MW, roughly half of its capacity, said Sam Holeman, vice president of transmission. (This is also known as derating.) Some of the plant’s instrumentation had frozen, and to prevent the facility from failing altogether, operators had to reduce the strain. The Buck plant in Salisbury encountered low pressure issues and had to be derated after peak energy usage had passed.

Solar energy “performed as expected,” Duke officials said, although it was not available overnight during the peak hours of 2 to 6 a.m.

It could have been available to ease that burden if Duke had dedicated more resources to battery storage in NC:


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