scharrison's blog

Notes from the Kakistocracy: The final days of Andrew Wheeler

Moving to cripple the Biden administration's corrective measures:

Current and former E.P.A. staff and advisers close to the transition said Mr. Biden’s team has focused on preparing a rapid assault on the Trump administration’s deregulatory legacy and re-establishing air and water protections and methane emissions controls.

Racing against those efforts is Mr. Wheeler, who has a long list of priorities that aides and confidants said he is determined to complete before Inauguration Day on Jan. 20. He has also maneuvered legally to erect time-consuming hurdles that Mr. Biden will have to clear to unwind some Trump administration policies.

While I find much comfort in knowing there are many career employees in the EPA who are actively opposing Wheeler at this juncture, I fear it will get ugly before it's finally over in late January. Republicans would refer to these folks as "Deep State" operatives, but I prefer the term "Fifth Column." They are fighting for the integrity of the Agency, and for the health and well-being of American citizens. I'm sure many will say they should have done so sooner, but the only "outsiders" who wield influence in Trump's administration are industry lobbyists and conspiracy theorists. Being fired takes you off the gameboard completely. Back to Wheeler's crusade to destroy the environment:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

I wish her congratulations also. But unless she can exert some pressure on Phil Berger to pull his head out of his ass and work with the Governor (and the NC House), this won't even leave a smudge on the glass ceiling.

UNC alum Sidney Powell has lost her mind

If she hasn't been disbarred yet, that needs to happen post haste:

At the Nov. 19 news conference, before a national television audience, she asserted that “communist money,” the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and a manipulated computer algorithm were all connected in a secret plot that had altered potentially millions of ballots and stolen the election from Trump.

In an interview two days later with the conservative outlet Newsmax, she said she had been given evidence — which she said she could not disclose — that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican and an ally of the president, had taken bribes and conspired to orchestrate Trump’s defeat.

Yeah, I mean, no. I don't trust Brian Kemp as far as I can throw his limousine, he pretty much stole his own election from Stacey Abrams. But if anything, he would have helped Trump cheat in Georgia. But it's a bunch of BS anyway, apparently part of Powell's very own grift campaign:

Forget Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is critical this year

Spend your money wisely, and locally:

While local businesses often rely on Small Business Saturday as the 'shop local' alternative to Black Friday, this year's event might be the most important one yet. Many small businesses faced a bumpy year and are still straining in the COVID-19 economy.

Around 60% of virus-related small business closures became permanent this year, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

Of course the moral argument for doing this is important: Small businesses don't have the reserve capital or resources to sustain themselves for very long, and Federal government assistance seems to always gravitate to larger and/or more influential companies. But shopping locally, for goods manufactured (or crafted) in the region, has a profound impact on your carbon footprint. You should always take a "miles traveled" approach when you open your purse or wallet. Granted, some items (appliance, electronics) are now only manufactured overseas, but that just means you have to be more careful in selecting other goods. There are many options to shop locally, supporting artisans and sustainable farming. But today I wanted to highlight Benevolence Farm, which gives newly released women prisoners a sanctuary and fresh start:

Turkey Day open thread

jiveturkey.png

Not a day goes by that I don't miss my parents in one way or another. But this time of year, I really miss my Mom. She put on a Thanksgiving spread that no fancy restaurant could ever compete with. But one of the things that set her dinner apart from every other I've experienced was her Giblet Gravy. Yes, it deserves capitalization. The funny thing is, the giblets themselves had to be painstakingly removed from said gravy for obvious reasons (what the hell is a giblet...nope, don't want to know), and then hidden under residual mashed potatoes or half a dinner roll. But the gravy was sooo good that even though it had been previously contaminated by inedible turkey parts, it made everything it touched delicious. By the way, that's Jive Turkey over there. I didn't invite him, but some people always show up whether you want them to or not.

Hunger is spiking in NC during the pandemic

Close to a 40% increase over 2019 numbers:

Nearly 80% of North Carolinians are at least considering sharing a meal with someone outside their household on Thanksgiving or winter holiday, and nearly 18% reported having too little food on at least one day in the previous week, according to preliminary results from an online survey conducted Nov. 17-22.

The US Department of Agriculture reported 13.1% of North Carolina households from 2017-2019 did not have enough food, relied on food banks or food stamps, or used other strategies to eat.

Bolding mine, just to highlight where I got that 40%. This is bad news on both fronts. Apparently people aren't taking the warnings about Thanksgiving seriously enough, and we can expect a (possibly huge) spike in Coronavirus cases in early December. But I'm sure some of those folks are also part of the 18% who are food insecure, and congregating may be the only way they can have a meal tomorrow. Or the day after. Here's some analysis from the NCCU survey folks:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

These constant attacks on the Governor (and his family) are beyond tiresome. Where were those hypocrites when Dan Forest and Donald Trump went around the state holding maskless superspreader events? Ignoring real danger while creating fictitious events to complain about is one (big) reason why the virus is raging across our state. Ignorance is lethal.

COVID 19 is ravaging Gaza while Israel blocks medical supplies

The collapse of their meager health care system is imminent:

A rapid rise in coronavirus infections in the Gaza Strip has reached a “catastrophic stage”, with the blockaded Palestinian enclave’s medical system likely to collapse soon, health officials warn. COVID is spreading exponentially in Gaza – one of the most crowded places on Earth – especially in refugee camps, and the health ministry has warned of “disastrous” implications.

A lack of coronavirus testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) is also complicating the fight, as Israel continues to impose restrictions on medical supplies reaching Gaza.

Joe Biden has a lot on his plate right now, but he can't wait until January 20 to take action on issues like this. He needs to fold Netanyahu's ears back over this obvious human rights violation, and tell him in no uncertain terms that using critical medical supplies as a "barter" will not be acceptable in the new administration. Mike Pompeo just spent several days with the Israeli leader, and no doubt Palestinian suffering was not on the agenda at all:

Alamance battleground: Sheriff adds felony charges to (peaceful) protest leader

And could land Greg Drumwright in jail for 3-4 years:

Twenty-three people were arrested, including the main march organizers. All of these people initially were charged with misdemeanors.

Now, Drumwright is being charged with felony assault with physical injury on a law enforcement officer and felony obstructing justice in addition to his previous charge of misdemeanor failure to disperse on command.

Here are a couple of truth-bombs: If you aren't allowed to connect your public address sound system to electric outlets at the venue (Courthouse), you will need a stand-alone generator. And that generator will need gasoline to function. It's as simple as that. But law enforcement saw an opportunity to escalate the situation by viewing the gas can as an incendiary device; fuel for a fire that was never going to happen. And in the process, they perfectly symbolized the core issue driving the Black Lives Matter movement itself: Police operating from a "worst case scenario" mindset when dealing with black citizens. An assumption of guilt that must be (somehow) proven wrong by the suspect, often in a matter of seconds before lethal force comes into play. I'll let Reverend Drumwright speak his mind, since Terry Johnson won't allow it in his fiefdom:

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