Wray and Garrison Tour Novozymes

Recently Representative Terry Garrison (District 32) and Representative Michael Wray (District 27) traveled outside of their districts to visit Novozymes – an international corporation with a North American headquarters in Franklinton, NC. Novozymes researches, develops, and produces the biological catalysts for many of the products we use every day; everything from bread and beer to biofuels used in our cars.

DC follows in North Carolina's corrupted footsteps

Thomas Mills drops several truth bombs on our current political climate:

As I’ve said before, North Carolina Republicans were Trumpists before Trump. They were willing to trash the state’s reputation as a forward thinking, welcoming state in order to pass tax cuts that disproportionally benefited the wealthy while dramatically cutting the services that helped people climb out of poverty and stay in the middle class. And they were willing to pander to the ugliest strains of reactionary populism to do it.

It’s pandering to populism in exchange for a huge kickback for the wealthiest Americans. The country club Republicans who want to enrich themselves and their friends and the movement conservatives who believe that tax cuts are a panacea for every ill don’t have the numbers to get much done. So, they’ve cut deals with social conservatives, many of whom harbor nasty resentments, to get elected and to get their tax cuts.

It truly is a sad state of affairs. The GOP has learned to give the worst elements of our society what they want, the racists, the sexists, the Islamophobes, the holier-than-thou gay-haters, etc., all in an effort to line the pockets of the wealthy even more. Here's more:

Wednesday News: Every vote is important

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BALANCE OF POWER IN VIRGINIA HOUSE FLIPPED BY A ONE VOTE MARGIN: A single vote may spell the end of Republican control in Virginia's House of Delegates. A Democratic challenger seems to have won a recount Tuesday by one vote, putting the partisan balance in the House at a tie. It would mean a rare power-sharing agreement may have to be brokered. Shelly Simonds beat three-term incumbent Republican Del. David Yancey in the 94th District in Newport News, 11,608 to 11,607, in a dramatic hourslong recount that ended only after the precinct ballots were exhausted and provisional ballots were examined. The recounted votes still must be certified by a court Wednesday, although officials said they expected that no ballots would be challenged.
http://www.wral.com/democrat-recount-win-could-alter-power-in-virginia-s-house/17201001/

Dear Democratic Party, am I still welcome?

Dear Democratic Party, am I still welcome?

As a newly Re-elected Councilman in a growing city neighboring Charlotte, North Carolina, I have been increasingly concerned that the Democratic Party I have been a member of for over a decade, has left me and millions like me behind.

Tuesday News: The biggest heist in history

HOUSE AND SENATE ON TRACK TO APPROVE 1.5 TRILLION TAX SCAM TODAY: Their long-sought political goal within grasp, Republicans in Congress are set to catapult sweeping $1.5 trillion tax legislation through the House, rolling over a dozen GOP defectors from high-tax states. The Republicans' final drive to deliver the tax package to an eager President Donald Trump begins Tuesday with a vote in the House. Quickly following, a vote later in the day or on Wednesday in the Senate is expected to seal the deal. Both tallies likely will cling along party lines. The Senate result was in doubt in recent weeks. Only on Friday did Republican leaders cement the needed support for the legislation, securing endorsements from wavering GOP senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Bob Corker of Tennessee. More holdout GOP senators— moderate Susan Collins of Maine and Mike Lee of Utah — came into the fold on Monday. Now the biggest reshaping of the U.S. tax code in three decades is on a clear path to passage and a presidential signing into law.
http://www.wral.com/gop-set-to-roll-1-5t-final-tax-bill-through-house-senate/17198994/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Today's hot story: A desperate attempt by Republicans to bury damning evidence of voter suppression:

Make no mistake, Burr and Tillis aren't just trying to protect Trump nominee Thomas Farr, they're trying to shield their entire party from the exposure of their often disgusting campaign tactics. Hat-tip to Indyweek for some blockbuster reporting:

This is how good state government deals with a sold-out FCC

Reason #54 why we need to take back the NC General Assembly:

Inslee’s proposal, which makes Washington state the first in the nation to act on net neutrality, includes pursuing the following actions:

Direct the state’s Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) to establish a process for ISPs to certify that they will not engage in practices inconsistent with net neutrality principles. Limit state-conferred benefits to ISPs that have made such certifications. Limit applicability of UTC pole attachment rules to ISPs that are net neutral. Use the state government’s role as a big customer, and our ability to establish state master contracts used by local governments, to incentivize Washington companies to adhere to net neutrality principles. Pursue regulatory and legislative action to award contracts to vendors that meet net neutral business requirements. Lead the exploration of a multi-state purchasing cooperative to procure internet service from providers that adhere to net neutrality principles. Collaborate with legislators to strengthen our consumer protection laws to include the principles of net neutrality. Pursue legislation authorizing public utility districts and rural and urban port districts to provide retail ISP and telecommunications services.

As you can see, several of those actions would be impossible to implement with GOP control of our Legislature, and some (most?) of the other actions could/would be quickly undermined by the same. Which brings up another (broader) issue that Progressive activists need to keep in mind: I'm starting to see more of these, "Why doesn't Roy Cooper do this or that thing I want? He's just as bad as the Republicans!" Understand, we put him in the Governor's mansion, but we also crippled him in the process. Governor Cooper is held hostage by a supermajority that is hell-bent on stripping his powers and defunding his administration, but he's still made more progress for our state than McCrory did his entire tenure. Context is important, so put that energy to work where it's needed.

Monday News: Hypocrites R' Us

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TRUMP DENIES RUMORS HE PLANS TO FIRE MUELLER, BUT STILL ANGRY OVER E-MAIL ACQUISITION: President Donald Trump says he is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller, but that didn't stop him from adding to the growing conservative criticism of Mueller's acquisition of thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration. While conservatives have been critical of Mueller's probe of Russian activities during the 2016 campaign, Trump said Sunday afternoon that he has no plans to fire Mueller. The president did criticize the fact that Mueller had gained access the emails, however. Trump said it was "not looking good" and again stressed that there was "no collusion" with Russia — an important question the probe is examining. The documents were provided to Mueller's team by the GSA in September in response to requests from the FBI, but the transition team didn't learn about it until last week, Langhofer said.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article190288514.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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WHAT ALABAMA TELLS US: VOTING MATTERS, GERRYMANDERING DISTORTS: Exit polling Tuesday indicated that about 30 percent of the electorate was African-American – a greater share than during the 2008 and 2012 elections with Obama on the ballot. The exit polls indicated that 96 percent of the African-American vote went to Jones. Doug Jones managed to win the election, but carry only one of Alabama’s seven congressional districts. How could that be? Well, here in North Carolina, we know the answer to that all too well: pack as many African-American voters into a single district as possible. In Alabama, two-thirds of the voters in the state’s 7th District are African-American. Nearly a third of all the state’s African-American voters live in that district – meaning that the rest of the state’s African-American voters are scattered among the remaining six districts. As a result, these gerrymandered African-Americans, most of whom happen to be Democrats, see their voting strength is significantly diluted.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-what-alabama-vote-tells-us-voting-matters-gerrymandering-distorts/1718...

NC county government sues Big Pharma over opioid crisis

New Hanover County takes their battle against addiction to court:

Drug makers “aggressively pushed highly addictive, dangerous opioids, falsely representing to doctors that patients would only rarely succumb to drug addiction,” the lawsuit reads. “These pharmaceutical companies aggressively advertised to and persuaded doctors to prescribe highly addictive, dangerous opioids and turned patients into drug addicts for their own corporate profit.”

“The residents of New Hanover County are bearing the burden of the cost of the epidemic, as the costs of treatment for addiction, education and law enforcement continue to rise,” Woody White said in a Friday news release. He’s the chairman of the county commissioners. “New Hanover County aims to have this suit accomplish two things: require the responsible parties to pay our taxpayers for the monetary damages caused, and to force them to follow federal law so we can stem the tide of this horrible epidemic, and help save lives.”

Good for them, but this is likely going to be tougher than winning a lawsuit against gun manufacturers, since some of the most respected professionals in our society (doctors) have to approve each prescription. But if the county can get a hefty settlement out of this, it might just jerk a knot in the machine that's destroying so many lives.

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