From Tarini Parti at Politico:
“Getting dramatic economic change at the federal level is very difficult,” said Tim Phillips, president of the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity. “A few years ago, the idea we had was to create model states. North Carolina was a great opportunity to do that – more so than any other state in the region. If you could turn around a state like that, you could get real reform.”…
AFP wasn’t the only outside group operating in North Carolina. Others include the Republican Governors Association, which is backed by the Kochs and Pope; Republican State Leadership Committee, which has received contributions from mega-donors such as Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson; and Real Jobs NC, which Pope co-founded, outspent left-leaning outside groups in North Carolina by more than a 2:1 margin, according to the Institute for Southern Studies…
“There will be more old conservative policy changes in North Carolina than in any other state this year,” said Dallas Woodhouse, AFP’s state director. “We have a lot of ground to make up. We have the right mix of state leaders and governor to pass some earth-shattering reform.”
It seems we are to be re-made into North Mississippi as a test case, if you will. I’m sure the poor are thrilled to know they will be the victims of untold suffering to hopefully put the unholy idea of austerity in the interest of profit to rest once and for all.
From Rose Hoban at NC Health News:
Secretary of Health and Human Services Aldona Wos told an audience in Reidsville today that the decision not to expand the state’s Medicaid program came from state Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin…
“In reference to your roundabout way of commenting about Medicaid expansion … in North Carolina, based on our constitution, the issue of Medicaid expansion or not, actually, was the commissioner of insurance’s,” Wos said. “Just so that you all know that and are aware of that.”…
The comment was met with incredulity at the Department of Insurance. According to Marni Schribman, a spokeswoman for the department, Goodwin had been directing his department to prepare for expansion of the Medicaid program for months.
Meanwhile, from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals:
“Today’s decision is important because it tells state governments that they cannot simply hand Medicaid programs over to private contractors and then walk away, leaving beneficiaries without crucial, mandatory legal protections,” said National Health Law Program Legal Director Jane Perkins. Doug Sea, an attorney at Legal Services of Southern Piedmont added: “Because of this decision, scores of our most vulnerable citizens who desperately need the services that were illegally taken away from them will continue to benefit from the lower court ruling and will receive due process.”
“Once again, the courts have confirmed that state Medicaid agencies must assure that their agents do not deny due process,” said Disability Rights North Carolina Litigation Director John Rittelmeyer.
From Katherine Stewart at The Guardian:
According to the Department of Education, the home schooling student population doubled in between 1999 and 2007, to 1.5 million students, and there is reason to think the growth has continued. Though families opt to home school for many different reasons, a large part of the growth has come from Christian fundamentalist sects. Children in that first wave are now old enough to talk about their experiences. In many cases, what they have to say is quite alarming…
Much of fundamentalist home schooling is driven by deeply sexist and patriarchal ideology. The Quiverfull movement teaches that women need to submit to their husbands and have as many babies as they possibly can.
I’m getting slow. I should have checked this first thing. The older Mostafavi brother who yet languishes in the Greensboro jail has a rap sheet as long as my arm.
It is obvious that as a twenty six year old, this guy has compiled quite a record and probably provided probable cause. We can now dispense with any notion they were targeted for being Iranian as it can never be proven.
I hereby plead guilty to giving the benefit of the doubt to people who didn’t deserve it. While the conduct of the GCSD was laughable and the media’s portrayal sensationalized, the GCSD escapes charges of racial discrimination. I still contend the GCSD does not possess the professional standards to engage in such activities as were demonstrated and the sheriff obtained great political benefit.
I believe it is necessary to remain vigilant against the overreach of an increasingly militarized domestic police force and am certain that had the search warrant been undertaken by the GPD, hysterical conclusions would have been avoided and imprecise statements to the media, which persist, would not have occurred.
I reiterate my concern that Sheriff Barnes and his command staff obey the political wishes of scared white people as represented by the new jail which has been described as too large to reach capacity in a generation. The largely unregulated sheriff department, directed by an elected official, will always be a concern to those of us who demand professionalism and compassion from our public servants, and especially those who wield deadly force.
Unless Barnes and his deputies do something else to get them in the news, I’m going to put this effort to bed, satisfied that my concerns regarding the Mostafavi brothers may be legit, but will probably never be proven. Indeed, if the sheriff was looking for a local Muslim of whom to make a political example, the older brother certainly gave him an excuse.
If my heart goes out to anyone in this ordeal, it is the father, and who knows, that sentiment may be misplaced as well. However, it appears he is either unable or unwilling to make bail for his son who has been incarcerated several times before. Additionally, he has been assigned a public defender, indicating an inability or unwillingness to hire an adequate defense. If you consider his record of convictions, this failure to defend seems to have been a regular occurrence.
Finally, it is not lost on me that while a minor hood has been removed from the streets, Guilford County’s big fish continue to run their strip clubs and engage in organized crime by day and sleep every night in their country club mansions. But then they are no doubt political contributors who established a local Tea Party PAC. And so long as Barnes has their support, he is apparently happy to look the other way.
From The Progressive Pulse:
[T]he plan is touted as the “largest tax cut in North Carolina history” which in actuality translates to the largest tax shift in North Carolina history. The majority of middle and lower income North Carolinians will pay proportionally more of their incomes towards taxes than the wealthiest in the state due to rate cuts in both the personal income and corporate income taxes being offset by an expansion of the sales tax base. Another example of this shift is the elimination of the EITC in the plan, which will equate to lost income for lower wage workers.
From the NC Budget and Tax Center:
The Senate leadership has released a proposal that will harm working families and the broader economy.
By cutting income taxes and expanding the sales tax to more goods and services, the Senate leadership has pursued a shift in tax burden from the rich to the poor, not tax reform. The result is a plan that not only requires low-and middle-income families to pay more while the highest income families pay less, but also reduces the state’s ability to invest in a foundation for economic growth by cutting state revenues by $1 billion each year. That is equivalent to the entire community college system OR the combined budgets of the DHHS Divisions of Aging, Child Development, and Child Health and the Judicial Branch and NC Biotechnology Center.
From Scott Yost at The Rhino Times, a couple of weeks ago:
No one is calling it Dryer-gate quite yet, but the seemingly simple matter of purchasing three large dryers for the new jail in downtown Greensboro has raised a host of questions, and it’s also set off a debate about a much larger underlying issue…
According to the jail experts who designed the jail and determined the facility’s equipment needs, six dryers should be adequate to handle the drying of sheets, clothes, etc., for 1,032 inmates – which is how many inmates the new jail can hold at full capacity…
Davis said that, given the low number of inmates now in the new jail, it didn’t make any sense to equip the jail for 1,600 inmates that are nowhere to be found, and aren’t expected anytime in the near future. Davis said the conversation of how many dryers would be needed for 1,032 inmates had already taken place when the jail was designed. He said the number of dryers needed for the 1,032 inmates was “well thought out.”
What the commissioners could not know is that the new dryers are actually for Barnes‘ RV which is equipped for him to take a crap. The dryers are needed to dry the copious amount of towels used to properly wipe the sheriff afterwards.
From Frank Mickens at WFMY yesterday:
Sheriff BJ Barnes compares the job of law enforcement to a war.
“There is no real difference between what a law enforcement officer does than a guy that’s in a battle zone does. At any time they can be hurt. They can be shot. They can be killed,” Barnes said.
From WFMY on 5/6, updating their coverage on 5/3 of the Iranians:
Information not attributed to deputies’ claims regarding how the chemicals and devices could be used has been removed from this story.
The original text:
During their search of the home around 10 am, investigators discovered a clandestine laboratory along with chemicals and other components that could be used to manufacture synthetic narcotics and hazardous devices.
The updated text:
During their search of the home around 10 am, investigators saw several signs that concerned them, leading to their decision to call the bomb squad.
They said there was a room sealed with plastic. In the home was a pressure cooker and unfamiliar chemicals.
Yeah, the fact the place was inhabited by Iranians.
From Mark Geary at WFMY on 5/6:
Just last week, people living on Regents Park Lane, off Lawndale Drive, had to leave their homes for hours because law enforcement says two men were making dangerous drugs and using hazardous devices.
The hazardous device was a pressure cooker.
To date no media outlet has mentioned the subjects are Iranian.