NC GOP

Business vs. health professionals: Kenan-Flagler steps in (it)

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Pushing for trade-offs that would cost lives:

The economic costs of the lockdown in North Carolina is hurting younger and middle-aged people harder, according to research released by the Kenan Institute on Tuesday.

It’s one of several findings coming out of a new framework devised by the Instiitute that aims to provide a cost-benefit analysis of reopening the economy amid COVID-19. The dashboard aims aggregates real-time, non-standard economic and public health data, highlighting the difficult tradeoffs between the virus and lockdown costs in a bid shape public policy.

I must admit to a healthy dose of skepticism after Kenan professor Michael Jacobs started stinking up the op-ed pages a few years ago, but it looks like that skepticism was warranted. Instead of just sticking to the business side, misleading health information is also on this "dashboard":

Tuesday Twitter roundup

COVID 19 infections align with other negative health outcomes suffered by minority families, thanks to a system that was designed to cater to the wealthy. Everything has a price tag, but not everybody can pay those prices.

Battle lines drawn between natural gas and renewable energy

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Coal is dead (or dying), but the fossil fuel industry is not:

For years, environmental activists and liberal policymakers fought to force utilities to reduce coal use to curb emissions and climate change. As the use of coal fades, the battle lines are rapidly shifting, with the proponents of a carbon-free grid facing off against those who champion natural gas, an abundant fuel that produces about half the greenhouse gas emissions that burning coal does.

Coal plants supply less than 20 percent of the country’s electricity, down from about half a decade ago. Over that same time, the share from natural gas has doubled to about 40 percent. Renewable energy has also more than doubled to about 20 percent, and nuclear plants have been relatively steady at around 20 percent.

I overheard a conversation recently about solar energy vs coal-fired power plants, and both of the people said they hoped solar energy would be become cheaper than gas or coal one day in the future. At which point I interrupted to explain that day was already here. "I haven't heard anything about that. Are you sure?" Yes, I am sure:

Oklahoma expands Medicaid; now it's North Carolina's turn

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It's not a radical progressive plot, it's just common sense:

With all precincts reporting Tuesday, State Question 802, which asked voters to expand Medicaid, passed by 6,488 votes. The question will enshrine Medicaid expansion in Oklahoma’s constitution — effectively preventing Oklahoma’s GOP-controlled Legislature and Republican governor from limiting or undoing the expansion.

The campaign for SQ 802 was launched after years of legislative inaction on Medicaid expansion. The Yes on 802 campaign turned in a record number of signatures to qualify the question for the ballot. But the majority of Oklahoma's counties opposed the expansion Tuesday. A mere seven of the state's 77 counties, including Oklahoma and Tulsa, approved the question.

With NC's record on ballot initiatives, I'm not sure I'd want to go this route even if we could (NC doesn't allow grass roots movements to populate ballots). But we don't have to amend the NC Constitution to expand Medicaid, a simple majority vote in both houses of the Legislature would do it (it's possible I might be wrong about that, but I don't think so). It will save lives, not to mention stop the death knell of rural hospitals, and that should be more than enough.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

When you get caught with your hand in the video recording jar:

Dandy has apparently taken this ad down, but cue the RW nutters complaining about "Liberal" media not allowing conservatives to steal their intellectual property...

Mark Meadows definitely knew about Russian bounties on U.S. troops

Even if Trump didn't know (unlikely), his Chief of Staff most assuredly did:

A former American official said the national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, and the president’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, would have been involved in any decision to brief Mr. Trump on Russia’s activities, as would have the intelligence analyst who briefs the president. The director of the C.I.A., Gina Haspel, might have also weighed in, the former official said.

Ms. McEnany cited those three senior officials in her statement saying the president had not been briefed.

The most likely scenario is that Trump was (verbally) briefed on the issue, as well as having it included in his daily intelligence packets (which he probably didn't read). But whether Trump knew or not, his current position of, "I don't believe it, it's not credible," is a direct assault on the integrity of our intelligence community and Special Operations who put themselves in harm's way to uncover this deadly plot:

Overt racism is increasing in the Trump era

And that includes joking about lynching:

The owner of a North Carolina racetrack advertised “Bubba Rope” for sale in a social media marketplace days after NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace, who is Black, announced a noose had been found in his garage at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

Mike Fulp, the owner of the half-mile (0.8 km) 311 Speedway in Stokes County, made the pitch Wednesday on Facebook Marketplace: “Buy your Bubba Rope today for only $9.99 each, they come with a lifetime warranty and work great.’’

This idiot started out by posting a picture of a regular pull-rope (with one knot) on his garage door, implying Bubba Wallace had been overreacting. But the rope in Bubba's garage was a full-on noose, with 9-10 loops tied. This is just one of many instances of overt racism recently, coming on the footsteps of 3 Wilmington Police being fired for their violently racist conversations. But now it looks like 2 of those 3 had been in trouble before:

Art Pope, defender of the Ku Klux Klan

When your idol is David Duke, you may have taken a wrong turn somewhere:

Despite attempts from University Officials, Student Body President Marcus Williams, and even Duke himself, the students refused to leave or to be silent until David Duke left the building and his podium and microphone were removed from stage. They disrupted his speech. But one freshman from Raleigh was especially perturbed. So much so, that he decided to sue the then President of the Black Student Movement, Algenon Marbley, in undergraduate honor court for “disruption”, a charge that could’ve led to Marbley being expelled from school.

The freshman from Raleigh who brought the suit, who tried to get the BSM President kicked out of school for disrupting a speech on campus by the KKK, was Arthur “Art” Pope UNC ’78.

You'd have to be an exceptionally privileged white prick (PWP) to attack a black student leader for protesting the Klan. Granted, this was 45 years ago, and Pope may have changed quite a bit since then. But it would take a Saul-to-Paul, road to Damascus conversion to overcome that level of racist dumfuckery. I mean, what was he thinking? Was he thinking similar thoughts decades later when he tried to get a "school" dedicated to Western Civilization installed on the UNC-CH campus? Is he still angry at some of the faculty for shutting that effort down? These are questions that need to be asked in the NCGA Committee hearing, and Art needs to answer those questions. Clear the air.

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