Loyal to a Fault

There's an old saying we don't think about too much these days: 'He's loyal to a fault.'
Most of us value loyalty. We are loyal to our country, to our family, to our friends, and to our faith.

In Jonathan Haidt's book, The Righteous Mind, he lists Loyalty amongst the 6 most important values held by humans. Haidt's research further breaks down the importance that individual Americans place on each of his 6 virtues by political party. And it turns out that Republicans place more importance on Loyalty than Democrats do. Much more importance.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


GOP BRAGGING RINGS HOLLOW WITHOUT MEDICAID EXPANSION: “Republicans will continue to champion policies that strengthen our economy, support quality education, and provide for public safety and order,” Berger pledged. Nowhere in his 600-word litany of partisan Democratic Party bashing and Republican Party chest thumping is the word "health" mentioned. Berger and his allies have repeatedly found ways to block, delay and politically entangle Medicaid expansion. About 600,000 North Carolinians – equal to nearly a third of all the votes Republican state Senate candidates received – have since 2013 been denied by state law from access to affordable health care. Yes, not only has Berger and his allies failed to vote FOR expanding Medicaid, they actually passed a law (Senate Bill 4) in 2013 prohibiting it – with only Republican votes in the Senate and a single Democrat (who later switched affiliation to the Republican Party) in the House. The costs have been staggering – as many as 14,700 lives -- of those unable to get the care they needed -- have been lost; 230,000 diabetics have not been able to get the life-sustaining medications they require; 107,500 mammograms missed. And, particularly for politicians who brag of frugality and job growth, the state has missed out on $17.44 billion in federal funds. That is money North Carolina taxpayers already send to Washington that’s paying more than 90% of the Medicaid expansion costs in 39 other states and Washington, DC. Berger is a one-trick pony (tax cuts), who won his race because he was the only horse on the racetrack. But it's not just his fault, there are (going to be) 29 other GOP Senators, and the pressure needs to be on them to force his hand on Medicaid expansion.

Happy Thanksgiving open thread


Jive Turkey would like to take a few moments to explain where his name comes from. He says it means somebody who is cool, stylish, and popular. But that's because he is a Jive Turkey and doesn't understand the true meaning, which is: a person who is vile, deceitful, pompous, and engages in deceptive, exaggerated, and meaningless talk. Some prime examples are Donald Trump and Herschel Walker, and the latter has been lying about his (nonexistent) college degree for several years now:

Retirement Planning in the Age of GOP Terrorism

I’m approaching retirement after living all my sixty years as a North Carolina resident.

Recently, I had a talk with a representative from the company that handles my workplace 401K account. “You’re looking great,” he said, running through the different scenarios in their online tool and giving me his opinions about possible retirement dates.

I’ve been lucky. Having steady employment for the past thirty years, putting a little aside where I can, and recent modest inheritance has put me in a place where I can look forward to a retirement on an adequate income.

Or will it?

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


THANKS NC POLL WORKERS! YOU REALLY ARE DEMOCRACY HEROES: It is – or was – a quiet and often unnoticed task. But in the last few years -- amid the bombastic, sometimes violence-threatening, election-denying rhetoric led by former President Donald Trump – it has become an increasing challenge as an aggressive few are determined to disrupt, deny and cast doubt on the election process. For most of the 3.8 million people who voted – both during the early in-person voting period and on Election Day – ballots were cast without incident. In one county a one-stop polling place worker was followed from the election site, to the elections office and then to their home – described by state Elections Director Karen Brinson Bell as “the most egregious situation we had” on Election Day. In Rutherford County, there was a report of a voter being told they must have a photo ID to enter a polling place – which is not required in North Carolina – and wrongly contending law enforcement officers were arresting people at a voting site. The state received 21 reports of conduct violations at polling places involving campaign workers or election observers with a dozen concerning allegations of voter intimidation. It says something of the unfortunate times we’re in when the spokesman says why he can’t compare the number of incidents this year to past years. “We have not tracked these incidents in the past as we have this year, primarily because there has never been such a focus on observer conduct, nor have we had many reported incidents in the past,” said Patrick Gannon, the state board’s public information director. I have a feeling there would have been many more conduct violations if the (US) Justice Department had not monitored a handful of counties (my own included), but they will probably need to send more come 2024, if tRump makes it through the Primary again.

Say hello to your corporate landlords


And goodbye to your already strained budget:

JLL Income Property Trust waded deeper into the single-family rental trend, launching a new program that plans to acquire up to $500M in single-family homes over the next two years, alongside development and operating platform Amherst. JLL will hold a 95% ownership in the venture, with Amherst holding the remaining 5%.

"Single-family rental homes are one of our highest conviction property sectors given numerous tailwinds that should provide resilient demand and the potential for attractive rent growth within this carefully selected portfolio," JLL Income Property Trust President and CEO Allan Swaringen said in a press release.

Bolding mine, because that goes to the core of the problem with investor-owned residential properties: the constant drive to line the pockets of shareholders on the backs of families struggling to make ends meet. And it's no surprise they are giddy that Republicans are taking over the (US) House:


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