NC GOP

Rip van Holding's election-year attack on IRS

A desperate hail-mary pass to save his gerrymandered Congressional career:

The IRS is understaffed and woefully so. That’s the work of congressional Republicans, who remain suspicious that the IRS targeted conservative nonprofits for investigation some time back.

But Holding’s idea, to move the IRS’ criminal investigation units to the Department of the Treasury, which would create an organization called the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, is just unnecessary. (And, hey, isn’t Holding one of those small-government Republicans? So what’s this new agency business?)

This is plainly an effort to appeal to extremist Teapublicans, by "disarming government agents" and eroding the ranks of the IRS. If you're trying to figure out the benefits that might be gleaned by pandering policy moves, you'll be at it for a long time before coming up empty-handed.

The battle to continue NC's renewable energy success

Progress is a four-letter word to some people:

It’s hard to see what’s not to like about North Carolina’s growing renewable energy industry. It’s clean. It creates jobs. It puts idle farm land to profitable use. It’s part of what must be an urgent, global response to climate change.

Yet there are some in the General Assembly determined to halt and even reverse the state’s booming solar power industry and to lower its prospects as a leader in wind power.

Some ideological positions are simply too absurd to understand. Even in the absence of the millions spent by the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel astroturfers, there will always be a handful of science-fearing individuals tilting at windmills. The industry propaganda just fuels their delusions, and makes it much more likely they'll be able to do actual damage instead of just fuming about it.

DHHS proposes cuts to special needs funding

Adding insult to tragedy:

Robin and Dan Marx of Cary are in a similar situation. Their 13-year-old son, Aidan, has a form of muscular dystrophy, and they receive $72,000 a year to pay for nursing aides for him as well as a modified van and alterations to their home to accommodate his wheelchair.

"This is a 350-pound wheelchair. You can’t just put in a car and drive around with it," Robin Marx said. Changing CAP-C would cut the family's Medicaid benefits by $40,000 a year.

Although it appears DHHS is re-evaluating this move after the negative feedback from families who would suffer from it, why is such feedback necessary? I'm sure somebody at DHHS could have made these calculations and predicted these horrific outcomes; if they couldn't or didn't they have no business managing these resources. What if nobody had spoken up? Is that now the way to gauge the effects of policy changes? The term "mismanagement" comes to mind, but I have a feeling they (DHHS) knew good and well the suffering that would result, and were merely gauging the public relations damage they'd have to deal with.

Government bullying: Defund community college for Op-ed comments

Tyrants come in all shapes and sizes:

County Commissioners' Chairman Nick Picerno said Thursday night the county should take a look at its funding for Sandhills Community College in light of comments by its president that he will not enforce the state's new transgender bathroom law. That came in response to comments made by a Whispering Pines woman during the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting.

"I think the lady had a good argument," Picerno said. "Maybe we should review Sandhills Community College's funding for this year until they learn to obey the law. I agree with that 100 percent."

"The lady" is not only an anti-everything nut-job, she's also on the Planning and Zoning Board and heavily involved in local GOP politics. Calling her "the lady" is nothing more than a lame-ass attempt to cast her as merely a concerned citizen instead of a political hack. She's also the organizer of the anti-Islam "lecture" at Pinehurst resort:

Koch "army" being trained to defend McCrory in November

KochBrothers.jpg

Knocking on doors and leaving oily fingerprints:

The i360 Walk app for iOS and Android provides the AFP army with voter information on the go so they can identify houses strategically and make use of their time efficiently. The most GLA training sessions have been in scheduled in North Carolina where 12 classes of activists and mobilizers will have graduated by the end of June.

The Kochs are heavily invested in North Carolina having held (or scheduled) 12 GLA training sessions and with close to 200,000 AFP "in-state activists" as of January 2015. In the race for governor, incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R) is likely their man.

I post this as a cautionary tale for those who speculate political parties have lost their usefulness. When we give up the ability to leverage the resources of an organization, insanely wealthy individuals like Charles and David Koch can easily step in and take the lead. To them, the loss of influence and cohesion in the two major parties is a gift, and they will use it to control us. Live together, die alone.

Club For Growth grooms its next Congressional puppet

The less experienced, the better:

Budd, 44, owns part of a family farm near Advance as well as a firearms complex called ProShots in Rural Hall. But he has not held elective office and faces a bevy of current and former elected officials in the 17-candidate Republican primary set for June 7. Early voting begins May 26. Budd acknowledged that he would face a “learning curve” if elected, but he said he did not think his lack of prior experience in public office would hinder him.

The group’s ad campaign on Budd’s behalf sets him apart from other candidates in the crowded race, with the first such district-wide media effort of the primary. The 30-second ad spots depict Budd as a farmer, family man, “home schooler,” and small businessman who has “never run for office before.”

For those of you skeptical about his chances, remember these two factors: There will not be a runoff in the GOP Primary. Whoever gets the most votes, regardless of what percent of the total that is, will move forward to the General Election in November. And the 13th is gerrymandered to produce a Republican winner, no matter how bat-shit crazy he or his advisors are:

Coal Ash Wednesday: More lawsuits on the way

Playing the game of risk:

Spokespeople from basin owner Duke Energy and the Southern Environmental Law Center talked with Carolina Public Press earlier this month about their desired outcomes. Both indicated an expectation that their employers would consider legal action if DEQ doesn’t give them what they want. Since what each side wants is the opposite of what the other side seeks, litigation seems unavoidable.

EITC is not about campaigns, it's about people

Masking your disregard for the poor in political rhetoric:

Luebke ran an amendment to restore the Earned Income Tax Credit for low- and lower-middle-income workers, proposing to pay for it by reinstituting a 7.75 percent tax rate on income over $1 million. The amendment failed, but not before spurring a heated partisan debate in the usually congenial committee.

"I appreciate the effort to demagogue and to penalize those that are able to raise the level of income that they make," Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, said to Luebke. "It’s certainly easy to attack those who make over $1 million. Those make for good talking points."

No, what's easy is to slash programs and benefits that help the poor keep their families fed and clothed. The GOP has proved that countless times already over the last 4-6 years. What's not easy is to face the inequities in our Capitalist system and make adjustments that keep those inequities from endangering the health and welfare of those on the bottom rung. That takes courage and compassion, traits that are lacking in many of our current leaders:

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