Join MomsRising in opposition to reckless House Bill 746

Getting rid of concealed-carry permits is dangerously stupid:

Guns are deadly weapons. No one who hasn’t been properly screened or trained should be able to pick up a firearm and carry it around North Carolina’s streets and neighborhoods, no questions asked. And anyone wishing to purchase a pistol in our state should first be background checked.

But right now, the gun lobby and its allies in the state legislature are pushing forward a bill (HB 746) that would allow people to carry hidden, loaded handguns with no license, no background check, and no safety training. They are also considering a potential change that would eliminate NC's successful pistol permit process, which provides background checks on guns purchased through unlicensed dealers.

This one needs no editorializing on my part, and it shouldn't even be under consideration by those who claim to serve the public.

Trump set to pull out of Paris Climate Accord

Taking irresponsibility to a whole new level:

President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, two senior US officials familiar with his plans told CNN Wednesday. The decision would be a significant foreign policy break with nearly every other nation on earth and a major reversal of the Obama administration's efforts on climate change.

Trump met Tuesday with a key voice advocating for withdrawal, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt. He meets Wednesday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who supported remaining in the deal.

Understand, the Paris Agreement was derived from numerous concerns voiced over the Kyoto Protocols, and is the result of tens of thousands of hours of research and negotiations. It's doubtful Trump has even the slightest idea how it's constructed or what it entails, including the fact it is mostly a self-regulation vehicle that allows individual signatories to choose their own path to carbon reduction. Here are a few snippets from the Agreement itself:

Wednesday News: 3rd time's the charm

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GERRYMANDERED LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS SENT BACK TO NC SUPREME COURT: A challenge to election maps drawn in 2011 that has twice come before the N.C. Supreme Court will return for a third pass before a court that has shifted since its most recent review from a Republican to a Democratic majority. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday issued an order that sent a lawsuit filed by former Democratic state legislator Margaret Dickson for another review by North Carolina’s highest court. The order tells the North Carolina justices to reconsider its 2015 decision upholding the maps in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last week that found lawmakers relied too heavily on race when drawing congressional districts in 2011.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article15...

Mark Walker gets schooled at his Town Hall in Alamance County

When your audience is ready for your bullshit:

A top House lawmaker and his constituents argued over who is to blame for rising Obamacare premiums in North Carolina. Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., said at a town hall in Alamance County Tuesday the state's lone Obamacare insurer request for a rate hike of nearly 23 percent next year is evidence the law is failing.

"Their rates and premiums are going up 22, 23 percent," he said. However, some of his constituents quickly shouted that premiums would only go up about 9 percent if President Trump guaranteed Obamacare's insurer subsidies next year. "Don't lie to us," one person shouted at the lawmaker.

Boom. That's exactly what he (and everybody else) needed to hear. And he'll probably hear it again in just a few hours in Randolph County (6;30 p.m., 413 Industrial Park Ave, Asheboro). For more info on making your voice heard at town halls, go to the Town Hall Project and check it out.

Tuesday News: Theatre of the Absurd

RUSSIAN COMPLAINS ABOUT SECRET MEETINGS BEING EXPOSED BY LEAKS TO US MEDIA: Speaking to Russian news agencies on Tuesday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said: "You don't know what's going to happen tomorrow: maybe you'll see what you discussed with your counterpart on the pages of Washington Post or on CNN." Ryabkov did not elaborate, but added that the communication with the Trump administration is currently "on the basic level" because he "wouldn't tell my counterparts in Washington what I wouldn't be able to tell you." Ryabkov's comments came several days after top White House adviser Jared Kushner faced allegations that he tried to create back-channel communications with Russia.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/world/article153310864.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Since the NC House Budget is about to hit the floor:

Just because they served the citizens yesterday, it doesn't mean we should forget them today.

Democratic Party pushes for candidates who are veterans

Finally doing something that might just work:

Looking ahead to next year's elections, Democrats are trying to recruit at least two dozen military veterans to challenge Republican incumbents, arguing that candidates with military on their resumes appeals to independent voters and can help the party break the GOP grip on Washington.

"Veterans have had the experience of putting the country first, before personal politics" and party dictates, said Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass, who did four tours of duty in Iraq, left the Marines as a captain and was elected to Congress in 2014. That tends "to attract the kind of independent voters who are looking for a good leader," Moulton added.

While I may be a little prejudiced in favor of veterans, I have always believed it would be wise for the Democratic Party to field them as candidates. A lot of Democrats are veterans, but we've allowed the GOP to (falsely, in many cases) claim the high ground on veterans' issues, even those who never served. Richard Burr is a prime example, but there are many others. And it's not just Independent voters who may be swayed by a Dem in uniform. North Carolina has the third largest population of active and reserve military voters, with some 129,000 troops, not counting spouses. I've been there, done that, and the first question on my mind before casting my vote was, "Which ones have served in the military?" And as each day brings new embarrassments over Trump, that veteran angle will be even more effective:

Monday News: Another failure under his belt

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TRUMP'S G-7 AND NATO PERFORMANCES ALIENATE ALLIES: The sense of a White House under intensified siege was heightened by the sobering comments from Merkel, Europe's most powerful politician. "Naturally, we'll maintain our friendship with the United States ... wherever possible," Merkel said. "But we have to realize that we Europeans are going to have to fight on our own behalf." Although Trump touted "big results" in a tweet Sunday about his Europe trip, Merkel's comments marked a potentially far-reaching negative assessment of his meetings with European Union officials and NATO heads of state in Brussels and the leaders of major industrialized nations at the Group of 7 summit in Sicily.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article153197414.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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DISGUISING VOTER SUPPRESSION BEHIND MASK OF VOTER ID: The problem is that Berger and Moore are disguising the truth. If they really cared about identification, they could easily write a bill that would pass constitutional muster. In reality, while the two TALK about voter ID, what they are DOING is voter suppression. The law the courts struck down was MORE about discouraging voting: reducing early and Sunday voting; eliminating same-day voter registration; ending pre-registration of teenagers; and disallowing out-of-precinct voting. All that comes on top of efforts to make it difficult for certain groups of voters, such as students, to vote by moving polling places from convenient locations, like student unions, to more remote locations on the fringes of college campuses.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-disguising-voter-suppression-behind-mask-of-voter-id/16724460/

Republican meddling with ACA causes spike in premiums

And GOP Congressmen should be hearing about this at town halls:

Blue Cross cited several reasons for its request. One is an increase in medical costs, including for doctors fees, hospital services and medicines, which the insurer cites every year it seeks rate increases. The company also blamed the increase on a higher tax on insurers next year.

But the biggest cause is the looming elimination of “cost sharing reductions” in the Republican alternative to the ACA. These reductions offer additional subsidies on deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs to lower-income people whose household incomes are between 100 percent and 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

At the core of the Affordable Care Act was a mutual understanding between government and citizens: You pay, we'll pay. While it's far from perfect, that cooperative effort has provided millions of families with the coverage they desperately needed, while greatly reducing the amount of unpaid medical bills. Until now. Republicans claimed they were trying to make health care more affordable to citizens, but that is not even on their radar. What they're really trying to do is get rid of one side of that agreement, the government's half. And they're doing it so they can force even bigger tax cuts for the wealthy. Whether you lose your insurance, or end up paying 3 times as much for lesser coverage, that doesn't really matter to them. YOYO, as my dad used to say. You're on your own.

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