Schooled by middle-schoolers: the GOP's declining intellect

After reading this article I posted the following on Facebook:

It's a sad state of affairs when Republicans realize they need to tone down or back off on rhetoric that worked with Tea Party adults at C4GC, but probably wouldn't fly under the scrutiny of middle-schoolers.

While I understand that students are relatively smarter than they were a few decades ago (try to help an eighth-grader with their homework if you doubt that), they are also presented with much the same information as those of us with a few years under our belt. Scientific accomplishments, geopolitical developments, social structural changes, etc. Unless you choose to only learn new things filtered through the lens of ideological and/or religious viewpoints. My comment on Facebook was in reference to this:

Senate seat for sale

When the supply of desirable items is limited, demand soars. With only a few US Senate seats available for purchase this year, outsiders are dumping truckloads of money into North Carolina. So far, the highest bidders are the Koch brothers.

[Karl Rove's $1.1 million pro-Tillis] American Crossroads ad follows $8.3 million spent on six ads against Hagan and the health care law, which she supported, by Americans for Prosperity, a group backed by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. Koch Industries has headquarters in Kansas.

It's old news that Karl Rove and the Koch brothers have already launched an all-out attack on Kay Hagan in the form of television ads. But the amounts are staggering:

W-S Journal feature story on Republican gerrymandering

The Winston-Salem Journal has an in-depth front-page look at the Republican gerrymandering that has mucked up North Carolina's political landscape, including a helpful infographic.

The 2012 election should have been a good one for Democrats running for Congress in North Carolina.

They received a total of 2.2 million votes — about 81,000 more than their Republican opponents. But when those votes were divvied up among the state's 13 House districts, Democrats came up short. Way short.

Republicans won nine seats and Democrats only four.

Weekend open thread

Well said.

“The paintings are kind of primitive and amateurish, which is kind of how I remember him as president,” said Paul Chan, an artist based in New York.

Tagged:

Rep. Mike Hager polluting the Environmental Review Commission

How can you be objective when your own culpability may be an issue?

And perhaps spending 17 years working for a major polluter colors one's perspective on what worrisome levels of pollution are. After all, in 2002, the last full year Hager served as Cliffside's engineering manager, the plant reported releasing more than 12,000 pounds of toxic chemicals into surface waters -- including 2,100 pounds of arsenic, 200 pounds of chromium and 250 pounds of lead, all known to cause cancer. It also reported releasing almost 2.5 million pounds of toxic chemicals directly into the air.

In total, from the time EPA began requiring electric utilities to report their toxics releases in 1998 through Hager's last full year with Duke Energy, the Cliffside plant reported releasing more than 96,000 pounds of toxic chemicals to surface water and another 18 million pounds to the air.

Hager needs to recuse himself from any reviews of coal-fired power plants and their associated coal ash impoundment ponds, and the General Assembly should seriously consider removing him from the Commission. Aside from the monetary influence of Duke Energy's campaign dollars, he's not psychologically fit to evaluate the quality of his own work (or his colleagues') as an engineer for Duke Energy. Nobody with the same history would be.

There's no such thing as a "good government Republican" anymore

Given past transgressions by some Democrats, the appeal of Republican reformers was understandable. "Send us to Raleigh and we'll work for democracy and freedom, and we'll be accountable every step of the way." It was a seductive promise, except it turned out to be bullshit.

We've seen more backroom dealing, more legislative shenanigans, more attempts to block public oversight, more schemes to divert tax dollars to private profit, and more unvarnished subversion of voting rights than at any time in recent history.

Putting an end to this Republican reign of terror is Job One, and it's going to be tough. We'll claw back seats this year, hopefully enough to put a dent in the GOP's super-majority. We'll win back the governor's mansion in 2016, bringing to a close the hapless career of Duke McCrory. And we'll implement non-partisan redistricting in 2020, which will forever level the playing field for state elections.

But in the meantime, there are a couple of races that matter enormously in 2014, and one of them is the race for North Carolina Supreme Court. I'm supporting and voting for Robin Hudson, and I hope you will too. With Art Pope continuing his multi-million dollar shopping spree, we simply must come together to blunt the effect of his spending.

Duke Energy to retard tree growth using chemicals

And Greensboro is going to be the lab rat:

Duke Energy chose Greensboro to be among three North Carolina cities where it will test a chemical product that slows tree growth, according to company leaders.

Rainbow Treecare will inject the “growth regulator” Cambistat into the ground near trees within Duke Energy’s rights of way, where branches can interfere with power lines. About 20 species of trees will be treated, including maples, elms, sweet gums and oaks, said Shawn Bernick, Rainbow’s vice president for research and development and technical support.

It's not surprising they would choose Greensboro as one of the test cities, as the Gate City has a very healthy canopy, at least in some of the older neighborhoods. It may be a first for Duke, but other utilities have used this approach to curb tree growth:

Open thread

Good news from Asheville

A real progressive gets the nod to fill Senator Nesbitt's seat. And even better, it's a woman. Way to go, Asheville!

Van Duyn is a well-known fundraiser, volunteer and activist who was among those arrested in Raleigh during a June Moral Mondays protest last year. She also participated in the recent Moral March on Raleigh. Her victory is also a victory for the progressive end of the party though she does have support among mainline Democrats.

Tillis, Interstate Crosscheck, Big Data, and you

You've no doubt heard and read about the heart palpitations among our Republican state leaders today when Thom Tillis announced evidence massive voter fraud, which seems to have turned out to be about 700 people *alleged to be* voting here in NC and another state in the last election, about .00075% of the total voter turnout in the state 101 million voter records that were claimed to be checked by Interstate Crosscheck, the service being used by the state.

Of course, it was an opportunity for Tillis and Company to defend and promote NC's voter restriction laws, called the "worst" in the nation and being challenged in court by the NAACP and the ACLU. Tillis and McCrory didn't use it as an opportunity to announce any investigations or sharing of what was found with the FBI since what might be going on here besides felony voter fraud is identity theft or other activity.

Who cares about investigating possible felonies when there's a press release to push out, really?

What's more disturbing to me is how this suspected voter fraud was found.

At the heart of Tillis's evidence are some disturbing questions about data the state of North Carolina has about you, how secure that data is, and what might be happening or could happen with it.

Syndicate content