Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

quillpen.jpg

ACT NOW ON CRITICAL ELECTION NEEDS TO ASSURE FULL VOTING IN NOVEMBER: North Carolina is due $22.6 million in federal funding for election technology, security and COVID-19 safety as well as other voting related needs. But the state must come up with about $4.4 million to match. In one of the legislature’s recently passed COVID-19 response bills, it specifically prevents the state board from using any of its own funds for the match. The legislature needs to either quickly appropriate the matching funds or give the elections board a way to access those federal funds. The additional money is critical. It will help assure our polling places are safe, voters have several ways to cast ballots and as many voters as possible participate in our democracy. It shouldn’t be a matter of partisan bickering or shenanigans. We need to do this quickly so the necessary planning and procedures can be in place. Further, the legislature needs to act to give local boards more flexibility to assign poll workers and set up polling places for appropriate “social distancing.”
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/editorial-act-now-on-critical-election-needs-to-assure-full-voting-...

Renewable energy surpasses coal-burning in nation's power generation

solarfarm.jpg

The clean energy revolution is more than just a slogan:

The United States is on track to produce more electricity this year from renewable power than from coal for the first time on record, new government projections show, a transformation partly driven by the coronavirus pandemic, with profound implications in the fight against climate change.

It is a milestone that seemed all but unthinkable a decade ago, when coal was so dominant that it provided nearly half the nation’s electricity. And it comes despite the Trump administration’s three-year push to try to revive the ailing industry by weakening pollution rules on coal-burning power plants.

Please understand: It wasn't those air pollution rules that brought renewable energy to the level it is right now; it was the wise decision to harness the market and entice investors into the mix. Policies like NC's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards created the demand that drove production and innovation, two key areas that had been dormant for wind and solar for so long. And once that process began, the costs associated with renewable energy would (naturally) drop, keeping the momentum going:

Saturday News: Jim Corona

coronavirus.jpg

NC'S AFRICAN-AMERICAN POPULATION ESPECIALLY VULNERABLE IN PANDEMIC: Where the state does know race and ethnicity, DHHS reports that 33% of confirmed cases are among African Americans and 29% are among Hispanics. Of N.C. deaths, 36% have been among African Americans, and 5% among Hispanics. According to U.S. Census estimates for July 2019, blacks make up 22% of the state’s population. Hispanics account for less than 10%. The incidence of COVID-19 in North Carolina tracks with national trends. A report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in April found that blacks and Hispanics are overrepresented among hospitalizations and deaths resulting from the new coronavirus. National numbers from May show that where race and ethnicity are known, black Americans are 2.6 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than white Americans.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/article242764381.html

Betsy DeVos is funneling virus relief to private and religious schools

betsydevos.jpg

Kakistocracy is as Kakistocracy does:

Ms. DeVos has used $180 million of those dollars to encourage states to create “microgrants” that parents of elementary and secondary school students can use to pay for educational services, including private school tuition. She has directed school districts to share millions of dollars designated for low-income students with wealthy private schools.

And she has nearly depleted the 2.5 percent of higher education funding, about $350 million, set aside for struggling colleges to bolster small colleges — many of them private, religious or on the margins of higher education — regardless of need.

Keep in mind, DeVos is doing this at the same time that state and local revenues are falling precipitously. Funding for public schools is going to be cut, if it hasn't already, but people like Betsy DeVos don't really care about the vast majority of schools and their students. She's grabbing every dollar she can for any school but those public institutions, because destroying them was her goal from the very beginning. But a lot of responsible folks are pushing back:

Friday News: Asked and answered

danforestfire.jpg

REPUBLICAN CALLS TO REOPEN IGNORE THE DEATH TOLL IN GEORGIA: Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, who’s running for governor against Cooper this year, also called on Cooper earlier this week to explain why North Carolina isn’t reopening as quickly as some neighboring states. Georgia, which has a Republican governor, was one of the last states to issue a stay-at-home order. It was also one of the first to start reopening. NPR reported on Tuesday that the federal government has identified that as a worry, since intensive care units in Georgia are already nearly 80% full and reopening could create a new spike in cases. Despite both states having roughly the same population, Georgia has reported 1,523 coronavirus deaths as of Thursday — more than double the 615 deaths in North Carolina.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article242733771.html

Day 57

I've been doing a boatload of manual labor this week. Fixing a fence, digging a foundation, cleaning the shop. It's given me a lot of time to think, especially about language.

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed