Friday News: Here we go again

bluenccup-1[1]_0.jpg

TIM MOORE SET TO PUT VOTER ID CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ON NOVEMBER BALLOT: Voters may be asked this November if the state constitution should require identification from people who cast ballots at polling places. Republicans in the state House on Thursday proposed placing the question of voter ID on the ballot in November two years after federal courts struck down the requirement, which was part of a broader law on voter restrictions. House Speaker Tim Moore is the lead sponsor of the bill. Republicans have enough votes to put the question on the ballot without Democrats' help. A ballot question on voter ID is expected to help draw conservative voters to the polls in November, when Republicans anticipate losing seats in the Legislature.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article212728524.html

Trump tariff on Solar panels choking NC's growth

solarfarm.jpg

We really (really) can't afford this blundering idiot much longer:

The 30 percent tariff is scheduled to last four years, decreasing by 5 percent per year during that time. Solar developers say the levy will initially raise the cost of major installations by 10 percent. Leading utility-scale developer Cypress Creek Renewables LLC said it had been forced to cancel or freeze $1.5 billion in projects - mostly in the Carolinas, Texas and Colorado - because the tariff raised costs beyond the level where it could compete, spokesman Jeff McKay said.

That amounted to about 150 projects at various stages of development that would have employed three thousand or more workers during installation, he said. The projects accounted for a fifth of the company’s overall pipeline. Developer Southern Current has made similar decisions on about $1 billion of projects, mainly in South Carolina, said Bret Sowers, the company’s vice president of development and strategy.

Probably don't need to say it again, but I'm going to say it again: The main (overriding) goal of NC's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS) was to radically lower the costs of Solar panels so they could compete with dirty fossil fuels. These tariffs, for whatever strained logic brought them about, are doing the exact opposite of that. Speaking of that logic, Trump's aggressive push to keep coal plants operating undermines his rhetoric about helping US Solar panel manufacturers:

Thursday News: Unacceptable

vetostamp.jpg

GOVERNOR ROY COOPER VETOES REPUBLICAN TAX-CUTTING BUDGET: Cooper made his announcement flanked by teachers and said that the level of education spending in the budget was a major reason for his veto. He said he wanted to send a message. "When you are continuing to drop in per-pupil expenditures, when you’re still 37th in the country in teacher pay, that’s unacceptable," Cooper said. Republican leaders, however, don't appear worried about their ability to overturn Cooper's veto. Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore defended the budget and criticized Cooper just minutes after the veto announcement. Cooper had proposed spending several hundred million dollars more than legislative leaders ultimately agreed to. The main difference, which Moore alluded to, was that Cooper wanted to stop the implementation of another corporate income tax cut next year and freeze planned tax cuts on income that people earn above $200,000, using the extra revenue to give teachers a larger raise and also spend money on other projects.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article212659694.html

A Republican breakthrough on immigration?

I've read that this discharge petition could have the requisite signatures as early as this week. Hard to believe, but I appreciate the efforts of these moderate Republicans to force their colleagues to deal with DACA. This Charlotte Observer editorial sums up the effort nicely.

A Republican breakthrough on immigration?
Moderate Republicans, who’ve been in position to break gridlock in Washington on several key issues the past several years, are beginning to finally use that power on one of the most vexing problems facing the country: immigration. If they follow through on their plan, all of us will be better off and a little sanity will have returned to the political process.

Medicare and Social Security put in jeopardy by GOP negligence

Every candidate for Congress needs to educate themselves on this pronto:

Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security’s financial problems can’t be ignored either, the government said Tuesday in a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class. The report from program trustees says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 — three years earlier than previously forecast. Its giant trust fund for inpatient care won’t be able to fully cover projected medical bills starting at that point. The report says Social Security will become insolvent in 2034 — no change from the projection last year.

The warning serves as a reminder of major issues left to languish while Washington plunges deeper into partisan strife. Because of the deterioration in Medicare’s finances, officials said the Trump administration will be required by law to send Congress a plan next year to address the problems, after the president’s budget is submitted.

That last part is more worrying than the timeline that precedes it. The Trump administration couldn't solve a crossword puzzle from a Highlights magazine, much less something this complex. But it's not just the administration that poses a threat to these programs; last October, Congressional Republicans set out their budget goals for the coming decade, which included cutting $488 Billion (that's right) from Medicare. Those cuts will come directly out of the pockets of retirees who will have to make up the difference in what is "not" paid to hospitals and doctors. And that is on top of the cuts likely to occur due to the Baby Boomer problem:

Wednesday News: Lunatic fringe

larrypittman.jpg

PITTMAN SAYS LAWMAKERS WILL HAVE "BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS" FOR NOT ARMING TEACHERS: "Seeking to avoid controversy in an election year, our leadership has chosen not to allow this bill even to be heard in committee," said Rep. Larry Pittman, a Cabarrus County Republican and one of the bill's sponsors. "This is a failure to act that I fear may one day cost lives that could have been saved." His warnings echoed an email he sent legislators in April, in which Pittman said there would be "blood on our hands" if the legislature did not act to deter shooters. However, most North Carolina teachers said in a poll this spring that they thought arming teachers would make schools less safe and would harm the learning environment. In the Elon University/ News & Observer/Charlotte Observer poll, 78 percent of teachers thought arming teachers was a bad idea. Since the Parkland shooting, teachers who accidentally discharged weapons at school have made national news.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article212517819.html

The Law of Unintended Consequences

Raleigh could be on the verge of being chosen for the home of a new military command. The US Army is seeking a location for the Futures Command Headquarters. This group would be reponsible for the creation of weaponry to suit the needs of the coming century, replacing a trend to simply update weapons used in the last century. Ideal locations include areas with access to strong university centers, a vibrant business community, a talented and educated workforce (especially in engineering), and good quality of life. Raleigh sounds like a no-brainer.

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed