Trump's steel tariffs undermine his "gleaming" infrastructure program

Kind of sheds some light on all those bankruptcies:

The proposed steel and aluminum tariffs President Trump announced last week made domestic steel and aluminum mills very happy. But the potential shift in metal prices has many industries, including construction, expecting higher costs, and may also impact infrastructure spending across the nation.

In a study released yesterday, the D.C.-based Trade Partnership, an economic consulting group, projected that 28,000 jobs would be lost in the construction industry alone due to the tariffs.

Keep in mind, Trump's grandiose infrastructure plan relies heavily on state and local dollars, with the Federal government only pitching in 20% for these projects. Jacking up the cost of steel by 30% pretty much takes bridges completely out of the formula, since they were already too pricey to replace under normal annual budgets. But the same goes to a lesser extent for a lot of other infrastructure projects, like buildings and utility upgrades. You can definitely file this tariff idea under the "hideously false economies" category:

Wednesday News: Duck and cover


GUN DEATHS IN NORTH CAROLINA RISE ABRUPTLY IN 2016: North Carolina has reached a grim milestone: More people died from guns in 2016 than any of the previous 35 years, new federal data shows. In 2016, more than 1,400 people died from guns in North Carolina, according to the most recent data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The firearm death toll rose by 120 that year. Experts are not yet sure why the numbers are rising. But a jump in firearm-related homicides appears to have driven the increase. Homicides involving guns climbed to 558 in 2016 – a 27 percent increase over the previous year. Gun control advocates – including Becky Ceartas, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence – blame the state’s laws. In its scorecard of state gun laws, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gives North Carolina a D-. “It’s incredibly troublesome, saddening and frustrating,” Ceartas says of the rising gun toll in North Carolina. “Because we know there are gun laws out there that have been proven to save lives … We do know it’s a public health crisis and it needs to be handled as one.”

Random Thoughts (But Not Prayers) Re: Teachers with Guns in Classrooms

Random Thoughts (But Not Prayers) Re: Teachers with Guns in Classrooms
Nell Steelman Whitlock
1.School scenes: 
Scene One:  Ms. Jones’ cheery room,decorated with rainbow colors and positive quotations like “ Be kind," “Help your friend,” “ Talk quietly," etc. Ms. Jones likely has no assistant since the NCLEG cut funding.  30 second-graders are straining with raised hands,eager to answer Ms. Jones’ questions about an adventure story they just read. 

Tuesday News: Wetwork

FORMER RUSSIAN SPY AND HIS DAUGHTER FALL "MYSTERIOUSLY ILL" IN ENGLAND: British counter-terror specialists are supporting police in Salisbury after a former Russian spy fell critically ill after exposure to an "unknown substance." Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Mark Rowley told the BBC that the case is unusual and that it is critical to determine what happened as soon as possible. The incident involving Sergei Skripal, 66, immediately drew parallels to the death of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with radioactive polonium 11 years ago in London. The Wiltshire Police force says "a small number" of emergency services staff were assessed after Sergei Skripal and a woman, believed to be his daughter, were found collapsed in the city of Salisbury on Sunday. One of them remains in hospital.

Bob Rucho: He's a real nowhere man

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Republicans are not done with their voter suppression efforts:

They apparently just want to rewrite the whole dang Constitution. More reason for us to GOTV in November and drown them in the Blue Wave.

Whatever happened to Art Pope?

I started covering Art Pope 12 years ago, when he decided North Carolina couldn’t survive without his guiding hand. At the time, Mr. Pope was just beginning his quest to take over our state, after having earlier lost his election bid for lieutenant governor. Unable to convince voters to elect him, he set out to buy the influence he couldn’t earn. And he did just that.

Ethics complaint filed against Tim Moore related to lucrative property deal

Bending two branches of the government to the breaking point:

Internal emails that the group says it obtained from the NC Department of Environmental Quality show the company being granted a waiver of thousands of dollars in fees, and being given multiple extensions to address pollution on the site. DEQ officials could not immediately be reached to confirm that the emails are authentic.

Southeast Land Holdings, the company co-owned by Moore, bought the plant for $85,000 in 2013 and sold it for $550,000 in 2016, according to the complaint. Moore’s financial disclosure forms required by the state show he owned 25 percent of the property.

Hoo boy, this stinks to high heaven. Not only does it expose serious ethical questions about Moore, but both McCrory and Van der Vaart along with him. And it also brings into play another questionable Republican action, that of combining the offices of the Ethics Commission and state Board of Elections, which has thrown both into chaos and confusion. Which very well could have been the goal in the first place. In other words, this complaint may be floating in limbo for quite some time. But somebody needs to move on it soon, because this corrupt scheme goes all the way down to the county government level. Some excerpts from the 42 page complaint:


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