Morning Post Day 97

Good morning. Today is the day the new Obamacare rules for contraception coverage takes effect. That means no co-pays, evah. Somehow this is some radical idea opposed by many religious leaders. Well, tough, it’s the law of the land now. Here’s a graphics heavy and plainly-worded presentation by the Guttmacher Institute that make it seem like a thing any reasonable society would want.

Reproductive Health Reality Check on the politics of it. The Key to Unlocking the Youth Vote: Why Birth Control is a Force Multiplier in the 2012 Election

Also, here’s a nice, concise write-up on the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature results that converted another climate-change skeptic by confirming again that the planet is getting warmer and mankind is the causing of it all. Wunderground: Oil industry-funded “BEST” study finds global warming is real, manmade

Shocking news from the campaign trail . . .
Independent study of Romney tax plan says even if it yield all its touted benefits to the economy (just like those Bush cuts did) it still makes the rich richer at the expense of everyone else.
From the WaPo: Study: Romney tax plan would result in cuts for rich, higher burden for others

Even if tax breaks “are eliminated in a way designed to make the resulting tax system as progressive as possible, there would still be a shift in the tax burden of roughly $86 billion [a year] from those making over $200,000 to those making less” than that.

What would that mean for the average tax bill? Millionaires would get an $87,000 tax cut, the study says. But for 95 percent of the population, taxes would go up by about 1.2 percent, an average of $500 a year.

More shocking news from NC:
– People are wondering if Romney’s lead in recent polls means North Carolina is really in play or not or what or whatnot. If your memory goes back all the way back to 2008, you might recall that Obama didn’t lead McCain in a poll until September 23. Real Clear Politics N.C.: Trending Red Again or Truly Up for Grabs?

– Perhaps the FLOTUS will have an opinion on the subject when she visits Greensboro and Raleigh today.
– NC Policy Watch has a look at a new report from the Budget and Tax Center showing the link between loss of rights and wage decline in North Carolina. New report: The decline in worker bargaining power is behind falling wages
– It appears that Richard Burr thinks Marco Rubio needs a little more time before seeking national office. The Hill: GOP senator suggests Sen. Rubio could use ‘a little more experience’
– And, we’re still waiting on those vetoes. No word as of 9 a.m. Morning Post Day 98 Vetoes Anyone?

Morning Post – Day 98 Vetoes anyone?

All eyes on Raleigh for the next couple of days as Governor Bev Perdue still has a few bills on her desk that a growing group of environmental advocates want to see vetoed.

Top of the list is H819, which includes the infamous sea-level rise provision, a complicated mess. Boiled down, it’s a slap at climate change science. I’ve covered this story for the past few months for Coastal Review Online and you can read the latest on the site this am.

Personally, I have no idea how much the sea will rise in my lifetime, but I’m pretty sure it will. I’m all for better science, but when I want to know how to do that I’d rather rely on the science community to come up with the plan.

The bill got a lot of criticism, but it wasn’t the worst part of this episode. Throughout this process some of the country’s top geologists and shoreline scientists have been treated shabbily by our elected officials, at one point even accused of bribery and making their research more controversial to get grant money. It got even worse at the end. If the bill does get vetoed, I hope it’s debated with a lot less vitriol and personal attacks. Coastal Review Online: Will She or Won’t She?

The other bills of concern are S229 and H953, which are omnibus bills with various amendments to the state’s environmental laws. These kinds of bills can be pretty technical in nature, but the changes are always there for a reason. Once you make the connections on how various revisions in how things can be monitored or how a regulation is delayed or altered, it’s usually clear that a particular industry, sometimes a specific plant or business is the beneficiary.

The bills also contain some big shifts in policy. At the request of Greensboro, the Jordan Lake rules, aimed to clean up a major water supply, are being delayed thanks to provision that got tucked into one of the bills near the end of the session. The secretive nature of the move is troublesome for a lot of reasons, but mainly because it is a significant, unvetted change in policy toward the Jordan Lake watershed and the water supply of more than a million people in the Triangle. If the delay really means delay then the damage will be limited, but if it mean the end or revision of the rules then that’s a different kettle of fish. Meanwhile, the lake is getting worse, particularly in the upper end above the NC 751 causeway.
[places soapbox back in corner]
– You can bet the lunch chatter in the tonier spots in downtown Raleigh will be the new society rankings handed down by the NC Center for Public Policy Research. To no one’s surprise, the GOP takeover altered the landscape among the lobbyists. Via the N&O New lobbyist rankings reflect GOP takeover of NC legislature
You can read the press release here. The report will cost ya ten bucks, but you get the picture.

– The big chew of the day for political types is just what the new poll in NC-7 means. Via Roll Call GOP Poll Shows Mike McIntyre With Small Lead, Well Under 50 Percent
The poll really shows how remarkable it will be if McIntyre manages to hold on to his lead.

In a sign of the hill McIntyre will have to climb to keep his seat, Mitt Romney topped Barack Obama by a whopping 17 points in the redrawn district. The president got 36 percent to Romney’s 53 percent in the poll, conducted by respected GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies.

For those of you who think Blue Dog McIntyre can’t be any worse than his GOP opponent, Johnston County state Sen. David Rouzer, please note that he’s the guy that pushed the above mentioned sea-level rise bill.

– And the Romney odyssey continues . . .
Buzzfeed has a look at the papers in Israel, especially the one owned by the guy who is determined to become the top donor in this year’s U.S. presidential contest. He was the fellow who was seated at the head of the table when Romney made his “cultural differences” speech. Adelson’s Newspaper Downplays Romney’s Visit
It looks like the Poland leg of the trip was an anomaly in that Romney failed to insult his hosts. He also heaped praise on JPII, which is a real crowd-pleaser and another indication that the trip was about Catholic and Jewish voters back home and raising money among well-to-do folks living abroad. In Warsaw speech, Romney heaps praise on John Paul II

Morning Post – 99 Days and counting

Good morning. This post starts the official ExJS 2012 Election Countdown.
The presidential election is a mere 99 days away. I suppose anyone watching the Olympics on network television in a battleground state is probably well aware that the race is on given the giant ad buys saturating the airwaves. Those of us unable to draw in the weak over-the-air signal are not as lucky. The Olympics have made it into the ExJS house by other, perfectly legal means via Roku’s Caribcast channel which offers CMV TV out of Jamaica. They seem to be showing the BBC feed or the official Olympic feed or something, plus occasional local commentary and, naturally, island wireless service commercials featuring cheery people and a nice beat.

Here are a few reads for Day 99:

– President Obama is due to accept his party’s nomination in a stadium named after a bank that’s too big to fail. The Char-O has a looksee at the relationship between BoA and the Dems and a little of the bank’s history with presidential politics. Bank of America’s support for DNC is quiet, though significant

– President McCain, his pal Lindsey Graham and Romney übersurrogate Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire are coming to Fayetteville today to talk about the defense budget and stuff. McCain comes to N.C. to promote defense spending

– The NYT has a rather large story out on Bill Clinton’s upcoming staring role in Charlotte. Bill Clinton to Have Leading Role at Party’s Convention

– How about that film industry tax break? Three southeast legislators – two Reps and a Senator – are renting out places to the film industry. Yes, one of them is Susi Hamilton. Via the Star News – Third area legislator adds income from film industry

– UVa’s Cooper Center is out with a look at the demographics of Virginia, which may be instructive.
Demographic Change and Presidential Politics in Virginia

– In case you missed it, there’s a little Politico story on Zach Galifianakis, whose uncle was beaten by Jesse Helms using that lovely helmsian slogan “He’s one of us” which translates to, well, you know what it means. From the interview:

“I was a volunteer for the Michael Dukakis campaign in North Carolina. We cold called people,” he said. “I would say, ‘My name is Zach Galifianakis, I’m calling about Michael Dukakis.’”