“This isn’t just a harmless game. It’s the reason there’s no budget in North Carolina.”
A viral video shared by a Democratic state lawmaker in North Carolina shows “political corruption in real time,” as Republican state senators refuse to hold a vote while Democrats are present—in order to secure corporate tax cuts in their proposed budget.
State Sen. Jeff Jackson posted a video to Twitter on Thursday in which he is shown demanding that Republicans, who control both houses of the state legislature, call a vote on Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget.
Democrats hold 21 of the 50 Senate seats, the minimum needed to keep an override from passing as long as all Democrats are present for the vote.
Check this out – it’s a video that shows political corruption in our state Senate happening *in real time.*
First I point out that GOP leadership keeps canceling the veto override vote every time all the Dems are present – hoping they can catch us unaware and override the veto. pic.twitter.com/JGsdtLutqa
— Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) October 31, 2019
Cooper vetoed the Republican budget in June, calling it “a bad budget with the wrong priorities.” The proposal included corporate tax breaks but lacked meaningful raises for teachers and Medicaid expansion funding.
For days, Jackson said, Republicans had canceled a vote on overriding the veto when all Democrats were present. The cancellations were made, Jackson said, in the hopes that the GOP could “catch us unaware and override the veto,” allowing the GOP’s budget to go through.
“To be clear: Repeatedly postponing a vote not because some members are absent but because all members are present isn’t just a dumb political game—it’s a failure of integrity,” tweeted Jackson. “It’s petty corruption. And every day it continues it’s hurting our state.”
In the video, Jackson accused the Republican leadership of “maneuvering to try to get an unfair vote.”
“We’ll call one at the right time,” Republican state Sen. Jerry Tillman replied. “I hope you’ll miss it but nevertheless we’ll call it.”
The legislature won’t take up the budget debate again until early 2020. According to the Morning Call, with Cooper’s veto upheld and debate on a new budget bill stalled until January, “action can’t occur on the budget bill or funding to carry out the state’s long-planned Medicaid managed-care overhaul, which is now in danger of failing to begin Feb. 1.”
“This isn’t just a harmless game,” Jackson said. “It’s the reason there’s no budget in North Carolina.”
In September, Republicans in the state House maneuvered to override Cooper’s veto after holding an unannounced vote when most Democrats were not at their seats.
Cooper called the stunt the GOP’s “most deceptive stunt yet,” and from other Democrats including state Rep. Deb Butler. Butler was seen in another viral video that garnered national attention, accusing the Republican leaders of “trickery” as one of her colleagues decried the “hijacking of democracy.”
Amazing clip. North Carolina Democratic Rep. Deb Butler calling out GOPers for their usual fraudulent schemes.
“You shall not do this to Democracy, Mr. Speaker!”
Enough is enough.pic.twitter.com/jjJ3Qn7PsH
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) September 12, 2019
The state GOP’s advantage over Democrats may be short-lived; this week a state court ruled that the current congressional map was the result of an unconstitutional gerrymander by Republicans. The court said in its decision on Monday that the GOP left “a detailed record of both the partisan intent and the intended partisan effect of the 2016 congressional districts.”
John Oliver unleashes on news sites that sent out stupid push notifications
"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver doesn't come back until Feb. 16, but he dropped a new web-exclusive video Sunday complaining to news agencies that they should stop sending out stupid push notifications on their apps.
Oliver told his audience that there are two major criteria when considering a push notification: 1. Is there something I should be doing differently?; and 2. Is this something I need to know now?
Things like declarations of war, earthquakes or acts of terrorism are all perfect examples of things news agencies should inform readers about quickly. But when CNN sent out a push notification about a 115,000 Neanderthal child that was only found "half-eaten" by a bird, Oliver was understandably frustrated.
Billionaires are now richer than 60 percent of the world’s population: report
The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 percent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said Monday.
It said poor women and girls were at the bottom of the scale, putting in "12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day," estimated to be worth at least $10.8 trillion a year.
"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," Oxfam's India head Amitabh Behar said.
"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies," Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam.
Alcohol-infused gummy bears infuriating candy giant Haribo
Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.
Now, these three Spaniards say they're afraid of being shut down by the German confectionery king, which is famed for its vast array of jelly sweets and was founded 100 years ago in the western city of Bonn.
In a not-so-sweetly worded legal letter, Haribo has accused their startup of infringing its trademarked little bear.
But these graduates from the northern Spanish port city of Bilbao insist they will carry on producing their "drunken gummy bears" -- "because people like them."