Hump day handouts

Hump-Day Handouts

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NC's energy future is being decided right now:

Governor Roy Cooper and Republican state lawmakers made a historic deal last year to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power generation by 70 percent by 2030 and all the way to carbon neutral by 2050. They left the details of how to get there up to the state utilities commission. We’re expecting to see their final decision this week.

Currently, North Carolina is dependent on coal, natural gas and nuclear power for our electricity. The Carbon plan will set out the rules for Duke Energy for moving to greener energy sources like solar, wind and battery storage. As it shuts down its coal fired plants, Duke wants to build more natural gas plants. It says they’re needed for reliable baseload power generation. Critics say more gas plants are not needed. They say battery storage for wind and solar can serve that need.

Couple things to consider: Solar is scalable and dispersed, meaning you can locate farms in areas that are far away from big generation facilities and save a ton of juice that gets lost in transmission (like 17% in some areas). These recent rolling blackouts would not have been necessary, at least not as widespread as they were. Speaking of brownouts, our former Liar-In-Chief has left a legacy in his wake:

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Thomas Mills is taking Republicans to task:

This past weekend, Senator Tommy Tuberville said African Americans are responsible for crime in the United States. A few weeks ago in Wilmington, Donald Trump goaded his audience into shouting the N-word. While a few Republicans might quietly say they disagree, neither Tuberville nor Trump will get much of a rebuke from the Republican Party because everyone, whether they like it or not, knows that race will drive White voters to the polls in November.

Williamson and company are also mistaken in believing all this behavior is just performative. As the AP wrote yesterday, Q-anon conspiracist Marjorie Taylor Greene is becoming a power player in the Republican Caucus. Liz Cheney lost her primary. At CPAC, participants openly supported Putin and Russia. The party has an armed wing made up of militias and violent right-wing organizations. The leadership of the GOP is quickly becoming reactionary and authoritarian, not conservative.

There are also 299 Republican candidates for Congress who at least pay lip service to Donald Trump's claims the election was stolen from him. Think about that for a minute. Numerous Republican election officials have adamantly denied the claim, and provided reams of evidence to back up that denial. And have been ostracized for it. In other words, if you deny the conspiracy, then you must be part of it. I don't know if it's the tail wagging the dog, or what, but our democracy is at a crossroads. Confidence in elections is at an all-time low amongst NC's Republican voters:

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Trump is on the hook for a quarter-billion in fraud restitution:

The lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court, is the result of a more than two-year investigation by James and names 23 properties in the Trump Organization portfolio, including his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, his Seven Springs estate in Westchester County, N.Y., and the D.C. hotel he leased from the federal government until he sold it in May.

“The inflated asset valuations in the Statements cannot be brushed aside or excused as merely the result of exaggeration or good faith estimation about which reasonable real estate professionals may differ,” it says.

Damn right it can't be brushed aside. In just four years, Trump inflated the value of his triplex apartment in Trump Tower from $80 million to $327 million, in order to leverage loans and impress idiots. Here's the complaint if you have the stamina. Speaking of disgusting fraudsters, these crooks stole (another) quarter-billion earmarked for feeding hungry children:

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In case you were wondering, the US DOJ has been very busy:

By early summer, the grand jury investigation had taken another turn as several subpoenas were issued to state lawmakers and state Republican officials allied with Trump who took part in a plan to create fake slates of pro-Trump electors in several key swing states actually won by Biden.

At least 20 of these subpoenas were sent out and sought information about, and communications with, several lawyers who took part in the fake elector scheme, including Giuliani and John Eastman.

Why is this story so important? Because it clearly demonstrates (a few of) the dangers of Republicans being in charge of state legislatures. They may not have broken any windows, but their desire to disregard the will of the people is much worse than that. Speaking of petty tyrants, Mike Lindell is going to need a much fluffier pillow after the FBI (and a civil court) take bites out of his ass:

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Once again Greg Lindberg is in hot water:

The regulator alleged that Lindberg, once North Carolina’s largest political donor, and an associate looted more than $75 million from Lindberg’s insurance companies, compromising the companies’ liquidity and leading to a state takeover of the insurers that has kept policy holders from receiving payments.

The money flowed through a Malta-based advisory firm through complicated schemes designed to mask the fact that Lindberg treated insurance company money as his own, SEC investigators said in their complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina.

I'm sorely tempted to label him the "Maltese Vulture," but those carrion fowl actually serve a purpose. Speaking of disgusting and contemptible people, the South Carolina House just passed a near-total abortion ban yesterday:

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