Tuesday Twitter roundup

Good leadership means recognizing an opportunity for what it is:

And not what national political campaign advisors tell you that it is. Expanding Medicaid is not only the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do as well.

Where do I even start? Is the RNC still going to be using Obama references in 2032? Are the Republican Presidential candidates going to begin their first debate with, "I am not now and never have been Hillary Clinton, and I have these DNA results right here to prove it." But go ahead and base your entire campaign on NOT Hillary, and see where that gets you.

Yeesh, that's a lotta kilowatt hours, right there:

A Duke power plant in Eden spilled up to 39,000 tons of ash into the Dan River in February 2014. Four months later, as state legislators debated ash policy, Duke gave the governor’s association $275,000.

Three more donations followed in 2014 for a total of $3.05 million – more than 10 times Duke’s previous annual high total to the group.

The campaign watchdog group Democracy North Carolina reported the contributions, which the Observer verified. The group said Duke was the association’s top corporate donor in 2014.

“It puts McCrory in a compromising position and raises legitimate questions, when a corporation he’s regulating gives this much money to a financial backer, of how objective he can be,” said executive director Bob Hall.

Yes, it does. But McCrory could stand in the middle of Saunders Avenue with his pants down around his ankles and he still wouldn't grasp the idea of a "compromising position."

*shudder* That just reminded me of that movie Night of the Lepus...

That makes me shudder even more than giant killer bunnies...

Of course they do, because they punish such a wide swath of needy people.

Silly people, academics don't create breakthroughs, only intrepid entrepreneurs can do that! And only those who aren't encumbered by too much education can see clearly enough to detect the pot of gold at the end of the magical market rainbow. Jed Clampett did just fine, and he didn't even have the sixth grade education Jethro did.

Sometimes the system itself becomes predatory:

Blow flags transportation costs — about 42% of income for people in the bottom fifth, according to the Leadership Conference. He also notes the costs of traffic tickets promiscuously issued to raise money for local court systems.

Some courts not only charge high fees and fines — more than poor and near-poor drivers can come up with. They charge fees to establish a payment plan and sometimes interest on the unpaid balance. Fall behind and you find yourself in jail — like as not then jobless.

Listening to the radio yesterday about how poor work scheduling for low-wage workers causes so many problems. You know, they drive 25 miles to work only to find out things are slow and they're not needed that day. I lived this in Chicago for about six weeks before quitting my job and coming back home (here). I worked for a sub-contractor downtown, and I had to ride the train to work and back, not to mention paying premium prices for fast food for lunch. Every other day I'd get to the work site, only to find out we couldn't work that day for one reason or another. So my boss (very graciously, I thought at first) would give me an advance on my next paycheck so I could buy train tickets and hamburgers. But then when payday came around, more than half was taken out for last week's advance, so a few days later, I needed another advance. At the end of six weeks, I had nothing to show for my work, and rent was overdue. That ain't the American Dream, it's the American Nightmare.

Not that these hateful bigots deserve to be argued with, but:

In an apparent (and successful) effort to prove a point, a clever Christian activist sued these pro-”gay” bakers for refusing to create, at his request, Bible-shaped cakes with scriptural references to homosexual sin. What’s good for the Christian goose is evidently not good for the “gay” gander. It’s the textbook double standard. It’s the near-exact scenario in reverse with a wholly opposite outcome. In one case the government discriminates against the Christian by forcing him, under penalty of law, to violate his right of conscience, while, at the very same time, it allows the “gay” baker to freely exercise his own.

It's not even similar, much less "near-exact scenario." It would be similar if somebody wanted the Christian baker to create a cake that said, "Christians are going to hell" or something along those lines. As always, "intent" is an important factor. The gay couple wasn't intending to offend the Christian baker, they just wanted a cake. But the Christian "activist" definitely intended to offend the gay baker. The cake was just the vehicle for the insult.

And these assholes accuse us of relativism? SMFH

Talk about over-dramatizing. If scribbling your signature on a couple of non-controversial bills is "taking action," how would you describe the Governor blowing his nose? "Waging war on snot"? Eww. That's disgusting. I can't believe I wrote that.

Boiled down to a developer's nutshell:

Developers say protest petitions don’t level the playing field – they skew it.

“Unfortunately, what it’s devolved into is a tool that allows a very small minority of property owners to usurp what would benefit the larger community,” says Joe Padilla, executive director of the Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition, or REBIC. “(It) gives a small minority of adjacent property owners … unfair leverage over a property owner or developer.”

House Bill 201, which would end protest petitions, is in the Senate Rules Committee, which often serves as a final resting place for legislation. Another bill in the committee is a Democratic-sponsored measure that would change the rules for protest petitions while preserving them.

Senate Bill 285, whose sponsors include Democratic Sen. Jeff Jackson of Charlotte, would require two-thirds of council members – not three-fourths – to approve a rezoning for which a protest petition has been filed. Efforts to amend the House bill to that effect failed.

REBIC’s Padilla says any form of supermajority puts developers at a disadvantage and raises their cost by dragging out the process.

Um, no. It would raise your costs by increasing the number of politicians you have to buy with campaign contributions.

On that admittedly cynical yet likely accurate note, here's your Onion:

Exactly. Nobody gives you a free stick of gum unless they want something...

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