Republican attack on science

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":

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.

The Koch Brothers' insidious propaganda machine

Coming soon to a University near you:

The 900,000 state employees in the North Carolina pension fund might face a bleaker picture than they realize.

According to a research report published by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the state’s main pension system faces a $34.5 billion shortfall, many times higher than what the state estimates through the Treasurer’s office.

Of course you won't see any of the following in the above article, because journalistic standards (in general) are in decline, and that goes triple for these "Biz" journals. But the Mercatus Center is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Industries. Not only does Charles Koch and at least two of his employees sit on the Board of Directors, Koch has donated close to ten million dollars to Mercatus to help him forward his various agendas:

Art Pope shuffles his puppets around

Methinks a certain syndicated columnist may have demanded a raise:

Locke Foundation President John Hood will become president of the John William Pope Foundation in January. Hood will be succeeded by Executive Vice President Kory Swanson, who also will hold the title of CEO.

At the Pope Foundation, Hood succeeds former state budget director Art Pope, who will remain chairman of the charitable group. Hood also stays chairman of the Locke Foundation board of directors.

That almost reads like one of those math/logic problems, where the answer ends up being zero because things cancel each other out. Or maybe an upper-crust nursery rhyme? One of those two things.

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