From Bob Geary at Indy Week:
2013 will go down as the year of McCrory’s falsehoods, when citizens realized they’d elected a governor who didn’t care whether what he said was true or not.
On subjects big and small, if McCrory was talking, mendacity followed. He said he waded into the Moral Monday protests “all the time” to engage his critics. No, he didn’t. He denied ducking petitioners at his Capitol office so he could throw a baseball. Yes, he did.
The trouble with little lies is that they lead to big lies, like the one McCrory told about not cutting unemployment benefits—yes, he did sign a Republican bill to cut them—and the one in which he blamed the elimination of extended unemployment benefits in the state on President Obama.
From The Guardian:
An influential US lobbying network of Republican politicians and big businesses is seeking to avert a looming funding crisis by appealing to major donors that have abandoned it over the past two years following criticism of its policy on gun laws.
The Guardian has learned that the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which shapes and promotes legislation at state level across the US, has identified more than 40 lapsed corporate members it wants to attract back into the fold under a scheme referred to in its documents as the “Prodigal Son Project”.
The target firms include commercial giants such as Amazon, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Kraft, McDonald’s and Walmart, all of which cut ties with the group following the furore over the killing of the unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in Florida in February 2012.
Alec was embroiled in the controversy surrounding Florida’s 2005 “stand-your-ground” law under which George Zimmerman, the neighbourhood watch volunteer who shot and killed the 17-year-old Martin, initially claimed self-defence. The Florida law was picked up by Alec, and, working in partnership with the National Rifle Association, used as a template for one of its “model bills”, which was then taken up by other states across the country.
The Guardian has learned that by Alec’s own reckoning the network has lost almost 400 state legislators from its membership over the past two years, as well as more than 60 corporations that form the core of its funding. In the first six months of this year it suffered a hole in its budget of more than a third of its projected income…
Alec’s own internal records of its membership states that it has 1,810 state legislators on its membership books – amounting to almost a quarter of all elected representatives at state level across the nation.
According to plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), strontium-90 and other radioactive substances that emit beta rays were detected at a level of 1.1 million becquerels per liter in underground water pumped up from an observatory well on Nov. 28. The well is located at a sea bank east of the No. 2 reactor, about 40 meters from the ocean.
The amount of detected radioactive materials hit the highest level since Nov. 25, which marked 910,000 becquerels per liter of underground water. The national allowable emission level for strontium-90, a typical radioactive isotope that emits beta rays, is less than 30 becquerels per liter of water.
Send some Senators a Christmas Card.
From Katie Arcieri at the Triad Biz Journal:
PTI can make available up to 1,000 acres of land to accommodate new aviation tenants. A taxiway project that will connect the airport to hundreds of acres located a mile from the airfield is slated to begin in the spring of 2014 and would provide direct access to a 9,000-foot parallel runway that runs parallel to PTI’s 10,000-foot main runway.
“I think we have the resources, we have the land, we have the manpower, we have the runway and the taxiways,” Isaacson said. “We will have the taxiway bridge ready when they are. We have a lot going for us, but I realize that other airports in North Carolina and other states are probably just as hopeful as we are.”
From the Charlotte Observer:
Even if North Carolina submits a bid, some industry insiders question whether the state has the political will to offer the huge incentive package that will probably be required…
South Carolina put up $570 million in economic incentives to bring a Boeing 787 plant to North Charleston in 2009…
Last year, Georgia won a Caterpillar plant and 1,400 jobs that the company had considered bringing to a site near Wilmington. Many still point to how North Carolina missed out on BMW and Mercedes plants in the 1990s that went to South Carolina and Alabama, respectively.
One expert said North Carolina has shown admirable restraint in declining to simply pay any price for a corporate relocation plum.
This is a calamity! Fortunately, the newly elected city council, having been sworn in, are faced with an unprecedented employment opportunity. Incoming mayor, Nancy Vaughan, is working fervently toward offering the very best possible proposal. I understand no stone is going unturned and no idea is deemed too silly. Toward that end, these appear to be some of the options currently on the table:
- Matt Brown has a plan to dig a canal from Greensboro to Wilmington, providing a much needed seaport. He indicates money otherwise used to maintain War Memorial Auditorium is sufficient to fund the project. Talks are currently stalled over negotiations to start from downtown and MWBE participation.
- Stephen Tanger has reneged on the downtown performing arts center with a new offer to donate $7.5M to the Tanger Aerotropolis if they can land the Boeing 777X deal, or any of its three parts. Apparently, the neoliberal asshole plans to build one of his ugly strip malls nearby.
- Doug Adkins and C4GC have offered to buy The Empire Room and turn it into a performing arts center, as a home for Lemmiwinks and The Tunnel of Love. Nido Qubein and Erskine Bowles are said to be backing the deal.
- Mike Barber has offered to teach troubled kids how to play golf.
- Robbie Perkins has agreed to call PTIA the heart and soul of Greensboro, rather than downtown.
- Roy Carroll has revised his plans to build a new hotel at PTI, rather than downtown. He contends it couldn’t be any worse than living across from Greene Street Club.
- Charles Womack has his ace reporters on the story and will be providing restaurant articles while he tries to hire John Hammer away from the Rhino. The latest offer is that t-shirts and flip-flops are just fine.
- Rep. John Blust is preparing a devastating piece for The Rhino Times explaining why incentives are a terrible idea and how the linings of our stomachs provide nourishment when nothing else is available.
- The N&R has offered its vacant downtown property for use as part of a runway.
- Walker Sanders reports that he has obtained promises for billions in incentives, but is not ready to provide names.
- Mayor Nancy Vaughan, setting a precedent for adhering to open meeting laws, has provided email notification of several public meetings on the proposal, but Hartzman has joined them and made sure nothing got done.
- Zach Matheny is said to be running for US Congress in order to get away from Hartzman and Charles Cherry.
- DGI has been renamed AGI and re-tasked to provide PTI with more retailers.
- A proposal was made to rename the city as Greensboeing or Boeingsboro, but no consensus was reached. Besides, several were concerned about the cost of changing letterhead, street signs, building signage, maps, software and geography books.
- A promise was made to consult with the NCDOT to see if something couldn’t be done about the confusing highway indicators coming into Greensboro from the west. Consultants agreed it was one of the goddamnedist screw ups they’d ever seen.
- John Hammer has informed his wife that the mayor is his new muse. She is reported simply to be glad he has work.
- Wet Fart Gauger, editor and publisher of the N&R, will look up from his grits and write a column wondering what is going on these days at the airport.
From Dominic Gates at The Seattle Times:
Boeing says factories for its planned 777X will require total investment of up to $10 billion, but states competing for the work are asked to shrink that tab by providing the site and facilities at “no cost, or very low cost.”
In confidential documents sent to the 15 states vying for the project, Boeing estimates it will produce 8,500 direct jobs…
The documents, some details of which were first reported Wednesday by The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer newspaper, lay out three must-have requirements for any site that hopes to win the work:
• An airport with a 9,000-foot runway capable of handling both the 777X and 747-400 jumbo freighters that could deliver parts.
• Easy highway and road access to the site for delivering parts.
• Direct access to the site by rail, including a dedicated rail spur right into the site. This is described as “a critical requirement to support delivery and shipping of parts.”
In addition to these three essentials, the documents list one other “desired” infrastructure feature: a seaport that can handle regular and oversized containers.
Well hell, we’re a lock.
Charities like Goodwill sell or give away some of the used clothes they get. But a lot of the clothes get sold, packed in bales and sent across the ocean in a container ship. The U.S. exports over a billion pounds of used clothing every year — and much of that winds up in used clothing markets in sub-Saharan Africa…
Francis Mungai cuts up XL shirts with scissors and, working with a seamstress, turns them into slimmer, smaller shirts.
One recent day he bought an extra-large Motorhead shirt and, in a few minutes, turned it into a slim, custom shirt with a blue collar and canary-yellow sleeves. The Motorhead shirt was imported to Kenya for 15 cents. It was resold and sold again for 45 cents. Then someone got 12 cents to cut it up, 18 cents to tailor it and 14 cents to wash and iron the shirt. Then a vendor bought it for $1.20, with plans to sell it for $2 to $3.
We’re closing the consignment store at the end of the month to make room for more new stuff in smaller sizes. Consignment is a real pain in the ass. We originally offered it as a convenience to our retail customers, but it’s way too much trouble. Besides, you can’t throw a dead cat in Greensboro without hitting a thrift store.
I get an office in the bargain, so I’m thrilled.
From David Simon at The Guardian:
You know if you’ve read Capital or if you’ve got the Cliff Notes, you know that his imaginings of how classical Marxism – of how his logic would work when applied – kind of devolve into such nonsense as the withering away of the state and platitudes like that. But he was really sharp about what goes wrong when capital wins unequivocally, when it gets everything it asks for.
That may be the ultimate tragedy of capitalism in our time, that it has achieved its dominance without regard to a social compact, without being connected to any other metric for human progress…
Labour doesn’t get to win all its arguments, capital doesn’t get to. But it’s in the tension, it’s in the actual fight between the two, that capitalism actually becomes functional, that it becomes something that every stratum in society has a stake in, that they all share…
You’re seeing the underclass hunted through an alleged war on dangerous drugs that is in fact merely a war on the poor and has turned us into the most incarcerative state in the history of mankind, in terms of the sheer numbers of people we’ve put in American prisons and the percentage of Americans we put into prisons. No other country on the face of the Earth jails people at the number and rate that we are.