A Republican breakthrough on immigration?

I've read that this discharge petition could have the requisite signatures as early as this week. Hard to believe, but I appreciate the efforts of these moderate Republicans to force their colleagues to deal with DACA. This Charlotte Observer editorial sums up the effort nicely.

A Republican breakthrough on immigration?
Moderate Republicans, who’ve been in position to break gridlock in Washington on several key issues the past several years, are beginning to finally use that power on one of the most vexing problems facing the country: immigration. If they follow through on their plan, all of us will be better off and a little sanity will have returned to the political process.

Medicare and Social Security put in jeopardy by GOP negligence

Every candidate for Congress needs to educate themselves on this pronto:

Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security’s financial problems can’t be ignored either, the government said Tuesday in a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class. The report from program trustees says Medicare will become insolvent in 2026 — three years earlier than previously forecast. Its giant trust fund for inpatient care won’t be able to fully cover projected medical bills starting at that point. The report says Social Security will become insolvent in 2034 — no change from the projection last year.

The warning serves as a reminder of major issues left to languish while Washington plunges deeper into partisan strife. Because of the deterioration in Medicare’s finances, officials said the Trump administration will be required by law to send Congress a plan next year to address the problems, after the president’s budget is submitted.

That last part is more worrying than the timeline that precedes it. The Trump administration couldn't solve a crossword puzzle from a Highlights magazine, much less something this complex. But it's not just the administration that poses a threat to these programs; last October, Congressional Republicans set out their budget goals for the coming decade, which included cutting $488 Billion (that's right) from Medicare. Those cuts will come directly out of the pockets of retirees who will have to make up the difference in what is "not" paid to hospitals and doctors. And that is on top of the cuts likely to occur due to the Baby Boomer problem:

Wednesday News: Lunatic fringe

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PITTMAN SAYS LAWMAKERS WILL HAVE "BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS" FOR NOT ARMING TEACHERS: "Seeking to avoid controversy in an election year, our leadership has chosen not to allow this bill even to be heard in committee," said Rep. Larry Pittman, a Cabarrus County Republican and one of the bill's sponsors. "This is a failure to act that I fear may one day cost lives that could have been saved." His warnings echoed an email he sent legislators in April, in which Pittman said there would be "blood on our hands" if the legislature did not act to deter shooters. However, most North Carolina teachers said in a poll this spring that they thought arming teachers would make schools less safe and would harm the learning environment. In the Elon University/ News & Observer/Charlotte Observer poll, 78 percent of teachers thought arming teachers was a bad idea. Since the Parkland shooting, teachers who accidentally discharged weapons at school have made national news.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article212517819.html

The Law of Unintended Consequences

Raleigh could be on the verge of being chosen for the home of a new military command. The US Army is seeking a location for the Futures Command Headquarters. This group would be reponsible for the creation of weaponry to suit the needs of the coming century, replacing a trend to simply update weapons used in the last century. Ideal locations include areas with access to strong university centers, a vibrant business community, a talented and educated workforce (especially in engineering), and good quality of life. Raleigh sounds like a no-brainer.

Tuesday News: Stealthy maps

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SHORTER LIST OF GERRYMANDERED JUDICIAL DISTRICTS STILL RAISES QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS: House lawmakers Monday night gave tentative approval, largely along party lines, to proposals to redraw judicial and court districts in about a dozen counties. The two judicial redistricting measures, House Bill 1037 and Senate Bill 757, were rolled out in the House Rules Committee on Friday with little public notice. Questions arose on both sides of the aisle about exactly what the measures would do in specific districts, and technical amendments had to be offered to correct mistakes in the legislation. "You see the confusion that’s going on – that’s what happens when you roll out new maps on a Friday afternoon," argued Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake. "It’s just not the way to be doing these types of changes, especially for things that have been pending since last year." Both redistricting measures are scheduled to receive a final House vote Tuesday.
https://www.wral.com/nc-lawmakers-vote-on-redistricting-elections-school-funding-bills-/17604568/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Making our schools both more religious and more dangerous:

It's almost like GOP leaders asked themselves, "Let's see, what can we do to make it look like we care about school safety, but doesn't cost much money?"

Homeless in NC: Gastonia to tear down "nuisance" hotel

Some residents have lived there for decades:

The city of Gastonia takes the keys Friday of a motel it declared a nuisance and bought for $1.2 million in December 2016. Owner Jay Patel, who paid $825,000 for the motel in April 2014, started telling guests three months ago that on Monday morning they would all have to find a new place to live.

After 60 years, the Budget Inn will give way to the city’s multi-million dollar plans for a Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment District and stadium that city leaders hope will bring new life to west Gastonia. City leaders hope the district, which will be called “FUSE,” connects a reinvigorated downtown with the redevelopment that transformed the Loray Mill from the site of the deadly 1929 textile strike into luxury loft apartments and retail space.

As many reading this already know, I've become deeply involved in downtown revitalization efforts in my small town. I'm all for new development and re-development of existing and sometimes historical structures, but I'm also very keen on watching out for that 18%-20% who live at or below poverty level. In this particular case, it doesn't appear the City of Gastonia is lifting a finger to help relocate these folks, something that any responsible government body should at least attempt to do:

Carolina Cyborgs Politicking on Twitter

Fake Twitter accounts abound these days, but a lot of North Carolinians haven't given much thought to how this might affect our state. Time to take notice.
Turns out, the fakes are already here, working to shape the political landscape of our state.

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