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The war on residential Solar goes national

Big utilities are afraid of distributed generation:

“Across the country state legislatures and/or utility regulatory commissions in more than 30 states are evaluating current net metering policies and are taking steps to update them to eliminate the shift in costs from customers with private solar systems to customers without these systems,” said Jeff Ostermayer, a spokesman at Edison Electric Institute (an association representing investor-owned electric companies in the United States) by email.

But the Brookings review suggests that these types of policy changes may not be warranted after all — that, rather, the benefits provided by rooftop solar actually outweigh their costs. The review points to state-commissioned studies from Vermont, Mississippi, Minnesota, Maine and even Nevada that suggest net metering results in net benefits for all energy customers.

EEI is likely the largest and most prolific industry-funded group opposing rooftop Solar, but other groups have been springing up like weeds in the last few years. Which gives you an idea of the huge amount of money being spent by utilities to undermine this (much needed) trend in energy production and use. Their argument is almost completely without merit, because they only focus on Solar net-metered customers not "paying" for grid use and maintenance. But in reality, the surplus power generated from rooftop Solar is bought and used by another customer within a few blocks of the point of generation. As opposed to power generated 50 miles away, traveling a grid that loses up to 17% of that power along the way. Get it? The utility actually saved money (profits) from that transaction, because it's more efficient and reduces the long-distance demand:

Monday News: Memorial Day edition

MEMORIAL DAY NEVER OVER FOR THESE PARENTS, MANY OTHERS (Winston-Salem Journal) --Memorial Day weekend is usually a happy affair for most of us. We have a good time and then it’s over. But for others, especially those for whom the losses of war are still fresh, memorial days continue year ’round. Count Rebecca and Michael Swaim in that club nobody wants to join.
http://www.journalnow.com/opinion/editorials/our-view-memorial-day-is-never-over-for-these-parents/a...

THE LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION (Greenville Daily Reflector) -- Monday is Memorial Day, a national day of remembrance and honor for those throughout our history who have given what President Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion.” Sadly, most of today’s beneficiaries of that devotion return little more than a passing thought.
http://www.reflector.com/Editorials/2016/05/29/Memorial-Day-The-last-full-measure-of-devotion.html

Senate Republicans target married military couples

The chickenhawks are at it again:

Instead of the current Basic Allowance for Housing system, which assigns flat-rate stipends for zip codes across the country based on troops’ rank and family status, the new proposal would move closer to the military’s Overseas Housing Allowance. That system sets maximum payable stipends but awards troops only for their actual expenses, making recipients provide proof of what they pay in rent and utilities costs.

Dual military couples and service members who room with friends would not be able to game the system either. They’d see their individual stipend cut in half, adjusted to cover just their actual costs and nothing more.

Let's get one thing clear from the get-go: A married couple who are both active duty service members are not "gaming the system," they are (both) serving their country and enduring countless hardships. My niece and her husband were both active duty Air Force for several years (she's a civilian now), both working hospital clinic hours. Child care costs were horrendous, and ate up any amount of surplus they might have seen from dual BAH payments. I realize many reading this are not very sympathetic to active duty military personnel, and you have many other issues on your plate about which you are more concerned. But if you want to take back the US Senate, this is an issue that has the potential to do just that. Even though Burr does not sit on the Armed Services Committee (Tillis does), replacing Burr with Deborah Ross is the first step to regaining a majority, which will also flip the leadership of the SASC and stop these insane efforts to balance the budget on the backs of our men and women in uniform.

Sunday News: Drinking our milkshake

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VIRGINIA LOOKS TO POACH BUSINESSES THREATENING TO LEAVE N.C. (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot) -- A possible exodus from the Tar Heel state is looming, led by PayPal and Deutsche Bank protesting the state's bathroom law limiting a transgender person's ability to use the public bathroom of their choosing. Virginia is laying out the welcome mat.
http://pilotonline.com/news/government/politics/virginia/virginia-looks-to-lure-businesses-threateni...

Let's Make History Again~ 2016 DNC~

NCDP State Convention Delegates,

Are you a Delegate to the NCDP State Convention on June 11? If so, I look forward to seeing you at Convention in Raleigh, and I am humbly asking for your support as a Delegate to this summer's 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia!

We often hear as a presidential election rolls around, "this election is the most important one of your lifetime". Friends, this one truly is, for if we do not unite and defeat Donald Drumpf, I truly fear for this country.

More DMV screwups compound Voter ID problems

Thanks to the GOP, the term "Backlog" has never been so commonly used:

Thousands of drivers in Forsyth County and across North Carolina have lost their license because the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles didn’t update its records, Forsyth County Clerk of Court Susan Frye said. “We’ve had people lose their jobs over this,” Frye said Friday.

She said once she started noticing the issue, she and other clerks across the state tried to get answers from the DMV. Court officials finally got one in March when they were told about the backlog, she said. Frye said clerks were also told that a disgruntled DMV employee shredded some of the error reports. Steve Abbott, a spokesman for the DMV, declined to comment on that or any other additional questions because of the pending investigation.

That's also not the first time McCrory's painfully incompetent bureaucracy has used that "disgruntled worker" excuse, but you know? We never see them. "Oh, he's gone. That problem has been dealt with, and most severely, I assure you." Right. Until the next disgruntled strawman decides to shred some important data. It's funny, but it's really not funny, especially if you're one of the thousands who lose your driving and voting capabilities as a result

Plantation owner's cotillion disrupted by angry peasants

What's the point in being landed gentry if you can't steal from your subjects?

Jackson, an Autryville Republican, owns Jackson Farming Co. in Sampson County. The protest was connected to a federal lawsuit brought by seven former workers from Mexico who worked on Jackson’s farm on H-2A agricultural visas. The lawsuit claims they were cheated out of money. Money was deducted for work-related travel, and one worker was fired after he complained about unfair wage deductions, the lawsuit said.

Jackson was not in his Senate office when the petition was delivered. Protesters left the building chanting, “Senator Jackson, pay your workers.”

"I may have held back some of their wages, but I let them eat some of the less attractive watermelons, sometimes twice a day. You can live on nothing but watermelon for over two weeks. A lot of people don't know that." Not Brent Jackson said. (The author questions the plantation owner's ability to detect parody)

Saturday News: UNC BOG's political circus

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UNC BOARD HIRES 2 LAW FIRMS IN LAWSUIT OVER HB2 (AP) -- The University of North Carolina system has hired two law firms to defend it against a federal lawsuit over House Bill 2. A statement issued Friday said the UNC system retained Jones Day and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to provide legal services to the system and the UNC Board of Governors.
http://www.wral.com/unc-board-retains-2-law-firms-in-lawsuit-over-house-bill-2/15733638/

UNC ASKS AG TO PAY FOR OUTSIDE LAWYERS IN HB2 LAWSUITS (WRAL-TV) -- University of North Carolina officials on Friday hired two elite law firms to defend the 17-campus system against a federal lawsuit over House Bill 2 and asked Attorney General Roy Cooper to pick up the tab.
http://www.wral.com/unc-asks-ag-to-pay-for-outside-lawyers-in-hb2-lawsuits/15732854/

Friday News: Ellmers has a Koch problem

KOCH GROUP LAUNCHES GROUND WAR – AGAINST GOP LAWMAKER ELLMERS (The Hill) — The Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity is pulling out all the stops to end Rep. Renee Ellmers’ career in Washington. The group founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and in N.C. has had substantial backing from GOP megadonor Art Pope, has dozens of field workers descending on the lawmaker’s district in the Raleigh suburbs, all of whom are working to brand the three-time incumbent as a fake conservative who has too often voted for legislation reaffirming Washington’s crony capitalism.
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/281412-koch-group-launches-ground-war-against-gop-lawmaker

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