James @
Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 5:53pm

From a diary at Daily Kos.

This one is on you, Mr. President.

You appointed a fucking cable industry lobbyist to chair the FCC, and unsurprisingly, this is what happens.

"The Federal Communications Commission said on Wednesday that it would propose new rules that allow companies like Disney, Google or Netflix to pay Internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon for special, faster lanes to send video and other content to their customers." (NY Times)

If the new FCC rules going around the web are to be believed, then they are a perversion of Net Neutrality. An insult even. And it does a lot of damage to the Obama Presidency, at least in my eyes.

James @
Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 1:31pm

According to his campaign consultant.

“There was no plagiarism intended,” Perdue said. “It was a total accident.”

WTF does that even mean? From where I sit, the main thing that's an "accident" is god telling Mark Harris to run in the first place.

Mark Harris
Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 10:14am

When bad state statutes rear their ugly heads:

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a case today that could have major impacts on lawsuits against Camp Lejeune over contaminated drinking water. CTS Corporation v. Waldburger deals with North Carolina law and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

But CTS disagrees, because state law requires lawsuits involving real property to be brought within three years of discovering injury or 10 years of the defendant's last act. If the Supreme Court upholds the state's statues, it would make lawsuits filed against Camp Lejeune for contaminated drinking water from the 1950's to 1985 invalid.

As you may recall, the CTS contamination of local wells was detailed in this letter we published a few years ago. It often takes years for trichloroethylene to migrate in the groundwater just a few thousand feet, but it's still all kinds of nasty when it arrives in your drinking glass. This (NC) statute should have been done away with a long time ago, but I don't see NC Republicans doing that particular job anytime soon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 8:20pm

After a lesson on how energy is generated the fourth graders taught by Aaron Sebens at the Central Park School for Children in Durham decided to take the solutions to global warming into their own hands.

To promote clean energy and limit their carbon pollution, the students fundraised for and installed solar panels that provide the classroom with 100% of the electricity it needs. And the students haven’t stopped there: they are currently assembling a wind turbine that will be installed on the school roof in the coming weeks.

“We wanted to help the environment,” said fourth grade student Margo Russell. “And clean energy is healthier for people and the planet.”

Posmo @
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 5:52pm

A Superior Court judge has issued an injunction against the teacher bonus blackmail law that required teachers to give up their tenure status to qualify for tepid bonus pay (that only one-fourth of teachers could get anyway).

A Guilford County judge on Wednesday halted a requirement that North Carolina school districts offer a quarter of their teachers multi-year contracts as an enticement for them to give up their so-called "career status" protections.

It's unlikely that this will end up being limited just to Guilford County.

Durham Public Schools last month joined a lawsuit filed by the Guilford County school district, and more than a quarter of the 115 school districts statewide have expressed opposition to contract requirement.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 5:45pm

Hi all,

Thanks to BlueNC for continuing to keep the spotlight on state and national issues. But I have a local one for you to think about.

You may know that I am running for Wake County Commission. I hope you've had a chance to see my first ad in my campaign. The theme is "Four Pizzas." You can see the ad below, and more details at 4Pizzas.org. If you like what you see, and you support paying Wake County's teachers a fair salary closer to the national average, please urge your commissioner to support the School Board's budget request.

BlueNC @
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 12:18pm

Getting his rhetorical wires crossed:

"Today our biggest challenge is to keep delivery points in place," said Burr, noting that four community hospitals in Georgia had closed and rural N.C. hospitals in Pungo and Wilson were facing operating deficits. While lamenting the challenges hospitals face, he also re-emphasized his support for the state's decision to not expand eligibility for Medicaid, the government program designed to pay for care for the poor and disabled.

Several legislators challenged him on the seemingly discordant stances, given that North Carolina's hospitals had lobbied for the expansion as a vehicle for new revenue to offset the cuts in reimbursements under the Affordable Care Act.

The bottom line is, Republicans knew well ahead of time that not expanding Medicaid would cause huge problems for patients and providers, problems they counted on to derail the Affordable Care Act. And as far as Burr pointing to problems in Georgia:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 11:02am

And they'll be reaching into your wallet to fix their mistakes:

The largest U.S. utility owner told a North Carolina legislative commission that if it were required to excavate and relocate all its ash in the state and convert to an all-dry handling system, costs would reach $7 billion to $10 billion and take as long as three decades.

“The costs of cleaning up the waste from fuel from coal should be a ratepayer cost and not a shareholder cost,” said Kit Konolige, an analyst with BGC Partners LP in New York. “The traditional regulatory compact, the cost of fuel and cost of cleanup of fuel, should be passed through ratepayers. It really shouldn’t come out of shareholders pockets except to the extent that the company has done something wrong.”

The company has done something wrong, or the toxic mess wouldn't be leaking out of every coal ash pond in the state. Regardless of the Federal/State laws governing coal ash disposal, both the ratepayers and the shareholders have a certain expectation that Duke will stay on top of the science and take steps to avoid contaminating the ground and surface waters. That expectation was not remotely met, so the cost of cleanup needs to be borne by those who directly profited from Duke Energy's mismanagement, the owners. They "shared" in the profits, now they need to "share" in the cleanup.

James @
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 7:45am

The Republican US Senate debate last night should have been required viewing for all North Carolinians. With the possible exception of Heather Grant, bless her heart, who actually seemed to be thinking for herself once in a while, the debate was an orgy of hate.

In one corner stood Greg Brannon, an unapologetic con-man of the Rand Paul persuasion, whose well-publicized affair with Glenn Beck shows just how extreme he really is.

In another corner stood Thom Tillis, the self-described architect of North Carolina's "conservative revolution."

Meanwhile, Mark Harris, who was chosen by god to run in this race, watched from the sidelines with Heather Grant, both continuously out-flanked by two of the most arrogant and hateful men you can imagine.

For Tillis, the answer to every question was the same. "It's really very simple," he said on many occasions. "All you have to do is rid of Obamacare, cut taxes on the rich, put more brown people in jail, keep all those women and their vaginas under control. It's really very simple."

For Brannon, everything was constitutional. Article whatever section three. The British are coming. Put on your tinfoil hats.

I hope you'll take time to look at the debate for yourself. Perhaps you'll reach the same conclusion the Greensboro News-Record reached.

The hour-long debate, held at Davidson College and televised by Time Warner Cable, showed the candidates share similar stances. They oppose abortion, the Affordable Care Act, Common Core education standards, government overreach and amnesty for undocumented immigrants. They believe some federal departments — from Education and Energy to the Internal Revenue Service — could be abolished. They don’t believe that climate change is real.

Thom Tillis
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