Is there a Koch Brothers connection to Duke's light rail opposition?

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There are five million reasons to think so:

Duke has recently announced that it is accepting $5 million from the Charles Koch Foundation for the “Center for the History of Political Economy,” a center initially established with funding from Koch network donor and anti-public crusader Art Pope.

The Duke community should not just be concerned about Koch’s growing support for corrosive ideology, but the fact that his vast “dark money” network seeks to influence politics by “leveraging” higher education—specifically by influencing what is taught, and by whom. Duke’s contract with Koch gives the donor an implicit veto power over programming by allowing the Koch Foundation the discretion to pull their money at any time with as little as thirty days’ notice.

Bolding mine, because when you consider that leverage in context with AFP's accelerated and very effective opposition to light rail nationwide, it begins to stink:

Are driverless cars a viable alternative to light rail?

Some distinguished scholars believe they are:

The failure to come to an agreement with Duke University has profoundly discouraged many advocates for mass transit in Durham and Chapel Hill. Even if Duke issues can be worked out, escalating costs are almost inevitable.

We propose that large, building-shaking trains be replaced with 6-9 passenger self-driving vehicles, propelled with plug-in technology (just like a Volt or Tesla automobile). Such vehicles would shake Duke medical buildings much less than an existing delivery truck, and the internal battery would not generate electro-magnetic interference. They would also have many other advantages.

My initial reaction to this was it is just a step above "people-pods," which have unfortunately captured the imagination of otherwise logical thinkers. In my opinion, taking the "Mass" out of Transit is a huge step in the wrong direction, and using an inappropriate example to back up your theory doesn't give me a warm fuzzy either:

Saturday News: Protecting rapists?

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GOP BILL ALLOWS PERPETRATORS TO QUESTION THEIR VICTIMS IN CAMPUS SEXUAL ASSAULT PROCEEDINGS: A bill introduced by a North Carolina lawmaker on Thursday would add legal protections for UNC system students who are accused of sexual misconduct. It also would standardize disciplinary proceedings for students at all 16 university campuses. House Bill 305, introduced by Rep. Mitchell Setzer, a Catawba County Republican, would provide due process guarantees that don’t exist now for students accused of sexual misconduct. Setzer did not immediately respond to requests to discuss the bill or what prompted him to introduce it. Co-sponsors Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, and Pat McElraft, R-Carteret, also could not not immediately be reached. The UNC Board of Governors, which would have to adopt new rules under the law, did not wish to comment on it.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article227326134.html

No means No: Criminal summons issued for Cody Henson

NC Republicans need to clean their House:

Court records show a misdemeanor criminal summons has been issued for two-term Rep. Cody Henson, R-Transylvania. The document names estranged wife Kelsey Henson as the victim. Last week, a judge issued a long-term protective order against the legislator after determining text messages his wife received amounted to "mental harassment."

State Party Chairman Wayne Goodwin and Democratic Women of North Carolina President Julia Buckner says Henson must resign. Buckner says "any form of domestic violence or abuse is categorically unacceptable."

Since neither GOP leadership or Henson himself seem ready to do the right thing, maybe a (NC) House resolution condemning domestic violence and cyber-stalking is in order? If Tim Moore refuses to bring that to the floor, both he and Henson should be plastered all over the front pages of NC's newspapers, so women in North Carolina would know just how (un)important they are. p.s. I didn't want to see his face today, so I put Gollum there instead. He has at least a few redeeming qualities...

Friday News: Blaming the victim

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MCCONNELL TRIES TO BLAME DEMOCRATS FOR HARRIS ELECTION FRAUD: Republican leader Mitch McConnell recently used North Carolina’s election fraud case as an opportunity to shame Democrats for overlooking the existence of fraud in elections. McConnell has been criticizing a recent Democratic proposal to make voting easier (HR 1) for not addressing "sketchy" ballot harvesting like the kind found in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. In a speech on the Senate floor last month, McConnell said he and other Republicans "for decades" have called for "commonsense" election safeguards — only to be "demonized by Democrats and their allies." McConnell’s speech gained attention after Vox reporter Aaron Rupar tweeted C-Span footage of his Feb. 26 speech.
https://www.wral.com/fact-check-mitch-mcconnell-says-gop-predicted-election-fraud-like-north-carolin...

NC GOP's "Association Health Plans" are dangerous boondoggles

The Republican Party, recycling bad ideas for decades:

Imagine small businesses being able to provide a comprehensive health insurance package to their employees on par with any fortune 500 company. While that may sound like a fantasy, we made that one step closer to reality with the Small Business Health Care Act.

Association Health Plans are not a new idea. In fact, they have existed for decades and are permitted under current law for certain types of employer groups. But because of the Obama administration’s efforts to prop up Obamacare’s small group and individual markets, most Association Health Plans were effectively dismantled in 2011.

It is a fantasy, and tightening regulations had nothing to do with "propping up" Obamacare, and everything to do with stabilizing health care markets and shielding people from rampant bankruptcies:

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