Saturday News: Nope and nope

COOPER VETOES GOP ATTEMPTS TO MEDDLE IN ELECTIONS PROCEDURES AND JUDICIAL RACES: Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed two bills late Friday, one dealing with elections laws and the other one of two judicial redistricting efforts passed by the General Assembly. Senate Bill 486 deals with various elections issues, from requiring criminal background checks on state and county elections workers to setting parameters for vendors of electronic poll books to barring any candidate who lost a primary election from switching to a third party to run in the general election. One section of the law outlines how judicial races will be handled on the November ballot after lawmakers canceled primaries for those seats this year. "Continued election meddling for partisan advantage weakens public confidence. Judges’ races should be free of partisan labels," Cooper said in a statement. Senate Bill 757 redraws judicial districts in Wake and Mecklenburg counties, splitting Wake County into six districts in which District Court judges would run instead of running in a countywide election.
https://www.wral.com/cooper-vetoes-elections-judiciary-bills/17631549/

All you need to know on GOP Early Voting shenanigans

Friday News: Pay to not play?

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COOPER OPPOSES GOP PLAN TO BLACKMAIL STATES WHO OPPOSE OFFSHORE DRILLING: The Democratic governors of five Atlantic states are calling on Congress to reject a proposal to impose heavy fees on states that oppose offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper joined the governors of Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island in signing a letter to party leaders urging a halt to the plan. "North Carolina should not have to pay a ransom to protect our beaches from the dangers of offshore drilling," Cooper said in statement released Thursday. "Our coastal communities generate more than 30,000 jobs and the risk posed by offshore drilling simply isn't worth it." Cooper says North Carolina would have to pay more than $500 million in order to protect its coastline. The proposal would also establish a plan for states that permit drilling to share in the revenue the drilling generates.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article213209204.html

NC Republicans pushing junk health insurance as alternative to ACA

The free market might just kill you if you're not careful:

The legislation would allow nonprofit organizations that have existed for at least 10 years, and which offer membership in all 100 counties, to offer their members health benefit plans. Unlike other health insurance plans and coverage offered by employers, these benefit plans wouldn’t be required to cover a minimum set of health care services. And plans could be priced at different levels so that people with pre-existing health conditions would be charged more or else not have their pre-existing conditions covered.

“It creates a false sense of security,” said Peg O’Connell, a lobbyist for a number of public health organizations, including the American Cancer Society. “If you think you’ve got insurance and you don’t, or you think you’re insured for something like cancer or heart disease. And then you file a claim and they suddenly say, ‘That was a pre-existing condition, we’re not going to cover it’ or ‘We might not cover it for a year, like we did before the Affordable Care Act was passed.’”

Honestly, I'm surprised it took them this long to come up with such an "initiative." This is not radically different than the GOP's support of payday lenders and other borderline fraudulent activities, since the responsibility for making the "proper choice" falls directly on the shoulders of those who will be suffering. That's the Republican way: Sink or swim. Of course, they're not going to be standing by to help when you start drowning, because teaching you to swim is not their true goal. Walking away from responsibility is really all they're after. But this isn't just a belief in the non-existent invisible hand, it's part of a concerted effort to destroy Obamacare once and for all:

Thursday News: Abusing the Constitution

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NC GOP TAKES WANTS TO PUT INCOME TAX CAP ON NOVEMBER BALLOT: The resurrection Wednesday of a proposal to cap the state's income tax rate also revived tensions at the General Assembly over policy and political rhetoric. The Senate last year approved putting a proposed constitutional amendment before voters to prevent the individual income tax rate from rising above 5.5 percent. The current limit in the state constitution is 10 percent. Current tax rates are 5.499 percent for individuals and 3 percent for corporations, although both are set to slide lower next year. Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Orange, expressed concern that the cap would force the state to raise sales taxes and user fees on people to generate revenue in a future economic downturn, which he said would disproportionately affect lower-income families.
https://www.wral.com/tax-cap-proposal-stirs-up-simmering-legislative-tensions/17625092/

National disgrace

We focus on North Carolina state news, but sometimes a national issue demands our attention. The mass incarceration of more than a thousand child migrants is one of those issues. The Liar in Chief and every Republican who supports him are responsible for this outrage.

Fifteen minutes to read and analyze forty pages

$3 Billion for roads but only $1.3 Million for contaminated water

On the plus side, when you drive to the store for bottled water, the ride will be smooth:

A method to accelerate local and regional road-building projects in North Carolina by authorizing up to $3 billion in debt has made it through the General Assembly.

The legislation that permits the borrowing is heading to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's desk following Tuesday's House vote of 94-21. Cooper is expected to sign the bill, which passed the Senate unanimously last week and would represent a rare moment of bipartisanship between the executive and legislative branches.

There's little doubt we need to spend more money on our roads, but we should also dedicate a healthy chunk of that to alternative forms of transportation, like buses and trains, and even bicycle-friendly roadways. But when you have billion-dollar private industries contaminating our fresh water resources, and developing new chemical compounds faster than we can try to pronounce their titles, regaining control of that situation is a government imperative. We need to see some bi-partisan movement on that a hell of a lot more than we need cooperation on road building and maintenance. And low-balling DEQ on their desperately needed equipment is a recipe for disaster:

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