Republican idiocy

Tuesday Twitter roundup

As the GOP's misguided tax "reform" package begins to kick in, the debate of such ensues on Twitter:

And when the Legislature's own researchers tell the truth:

Burr tries to flog the Benghazi dead horse

Apparently "feelings" are now a credible intelligence resource:

This bipartisan report is a step forward in our understanding of these events, but should not by any means be viewed as a final verdict. To the extent this report is incomplete, it is not due to the Committee's unwillingness to investigate, but the State Department's intransigence.

Despite the Committee's best efforts to investigate all relevant threads of information, I still feel strongly that there remains a disappointing lack of accountability. It is my hope that this bipartisan report will serve as a foundation to continue the discussion and search for answers."

Of course it could have been avoided. This was not a natural catastrophe, it was man-made, and any such situation would have different outcomes if behaviors had been different. But serving in any capacity (journalism, NGO volunteer, diplomatic corps, etc.) in a post-war, post-revolution environment is inherently dangerous. And Republicans' obsession with this particular incident, which had a relatively small loss of life (not downplaying it, it's a fact), is drawing attention away from numerous other threats that still exist. And that negligence rests safely on the backs of those who are trying to generate political capital from what happened in Benghazi.

President accosted by strange man claiming to be Governor

An anonymous source on the security detail was quoted, "Look, these things happen from time to time, we can't be everywhere. Heads will roll."

“In the short time I had on the tarmac I took advantage of every minute,” McCrory said in an interview at N.C. State University, where he attended Obama’s speech. “I talked about wanting to build a relationship with the White House in dealing with complex issues from unemployment to Medicaid to food stamps and also offshore drilling.”

“He immediately, to his credit, introduced me to his energy secretary and I’m setting up a meeting in February with the energy secretary with other governors to explore and hopefully move forward offshore drilling, at least for natural gas off our coast,” McCrory continued.

At which point Secretary Moniz gave the President a dark look and said, "Thanks."

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Another pointless Legislative oversight briefing by DHHS:

Republican lawmakers not concerned over DHHS's costly privacy breach

Apparently abrogating your responsibility is a new GOP tenet:

The Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Information Technology met for nearly three hours, but lawmakers asked no questions about a purported programming error that caused the agency last week to mail Medicaid cards containing the personal information of nearly 49,000 children to the wrong mailing addresses.

"Our agenda was already set up," Brock said, referring to the absence of any discussions about the breach during the hearing. "In talking with the department, seeing what steps they are doing, we felt pretty comfortable they were taking the proper steps for corrections and changes."

If this had been the Perdue administration's cock-up, there would have been days and days of huffing and puffing in Committee and terse, innuendo-laced news briefings with reporters. And where are the Libertarians? You know, the defenders of privacy and government waste watchdogs? Must be on sabbatical. But even if the General Assembly doesn't give a shit about the mismanagement of DHHS, the Federal government is very concerned, and for good reason:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

A little civic action to warm up your day:

And here's why you should:

Internet gambling cafes winning the "whack a mole" war

Forcing some to contemplate coexistence:

The Journal long has opposed video poker in North Carolina, arguing that it preys on the poor and is a particularly addictive form of gambling. But just as the doctor who realizes there is no known cure for a disease, we suggest a control therapy.

Once legalized, gaming should be taxed heavily, but not punitively so. The state should reach an agreement with the industry that will permit it to operate in a controlled and safe manner. Any regulatory body should include representatives of the industry, in a minority role, to assure that the industry feels that it has a stake in the regulation.

You're forgetting some very important factors: the Legislature has proven through its actions that it will exercise its authority over municipalities if they try to exert too much influence over the private sector, especially if it adversely effects some/one of their big campaign donors. And the Internet gambling concerns have thrown a lot of money at them in the last few years, ensuring at least silent support, if not outspoken. Republicans have also shown a proclivity for stacking regulatory boards with industry-friendly members, so they will more than "feel" they have a stake in some future body, they will control it. And they will locate their gambling establishments wherever they please, regardless of where you think they should go.

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