Monday, April 21, 2014 - 10:28am

Seeking to cash in on the river of right-wing money flowing into NC:

Dallas Woodhouse, the sometimes fiery former director of the state chapter of Americans for Prosperity, is launching a political nonprofit organization to bolster the conservative tide in North Carolina.
Woodhouse will announce on Monday that he has formed Carolina Rising to support free market, education and government reform policies.

“Right now North Carolina is witness to an astounding set of economic trends,” Woodhouse said in statement that will be issued Monday. “Our unemployment rate is falling faster than any other state, and our business competitiveness ranking is skyrocketing. At Carolina Rising, our goal is simple: Make sure those trends continue and North Carolina’s economy continues to grow.” Woodhouse said the organization will counter attempts by “proponents of big government” and the “increasingly radical political agenda of the liberal left.”

Pot, meet kettle. Seriously dude, your "free market, education and government reform policies" are the epitome of radical, using unproven theories and rhetorical devices to tear down and reconstruct the fabric of our public policy. And it's not working. In fact, people like you are having to bend the truth backwards in your efforts to claim success. But go right ahead, I look forward to exposing your stupidity.

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Posmo @
Monday, April 21, 2014 - 7:14am

Thom Tillis, apparently acknowledging the tightening race for the NC GOP US Senate nomination, hiked up his big boy pants and agreed to participate in WRAL's debate after previously declining.

State House Speaker Thom Tillis says he will participate in a WRAL News debate on April 23.

Tillis initially declined the invitation, citing a scheduling conflict.

What was his scheduling conflict? An earlier story reveals that:

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Sunday, April 20, 2014 - 11:12am

Trying to sever residential Solar from the grid:

The Koch brothers, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist and some of the nation's largest power companies have backed efforts in recent months to roll back state policies that favor green energy. The conservative luminaries have pushed campaigns in Kansas, North Carolina and Arizona, with the battle rapidly spreading to other states.

The institute has warned power companies that profits could erode catastrophically if current policies and market trends continue. If electricity companies delay in taking political action, the group warned in a report, "it may be too late to repair the utility business model." The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a membership group for conservative state lawmakers, recently drafted model legislation that targeted net metering. The group also helped launch efforts by conservative lawmakers in more than half a dozen states to repeal green energy mandates.

The "utility business model" is in no danger from renewable energy. Companies like Duke Energy have seen a vast increase in the amount of power generated from these sources, and their profits are healthier than ever. And for Conservatives to fight net-metering makes no sense at all. It is (by far) the most efficient means of handling Solar PV, as any excess power generated is used by somebody else on the grid. Then again, their claims of "efficiency" may just be another of the masks they wear to fool voters.

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Posmo @
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 4:52pm

Back in September -- 7 months ago -- the Raleigh News & Observer made a public records request of Queen Aldona's realm. They asked for emails of Carol Steckel (you remember Carol, she was hired as the savior of NC's Medicaid program and lasted 8 months under Queen Aldona before she abruptly resigned).

It’s been 205 days since The News & Observer requested emails of former state Medicaid director Carol Steckel.

What could possibly take so long?

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usna77 @
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 4:02pm

The rift between "establishment Republicans" and tea party activists continues to widen in Haywood County. See the report from the Smoky Mountain News April 9 edition.

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Posmo @
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 3:17pm

Although Moogfest organizers appear to be trying to be as vague and polite as possible, Deputy Assistant Guvnor Pat's office says that Pat was uninvited to the annual music, technology and innovation festival.

McCrory Communications Director Josh Ellis said in a statement Friday evening that, "It was at the request of Moogfest organizers that we changed our plans to attend this event."

Gee, who wouldn't want the state's governor at their festival?

Shortly after his attendance was announced, local residents organized a protest for during his visit.

Oh. Politics.

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Posmo @
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 1:29pm

North Carolina continues its headlong pursuit of fracking, accelerating the development of the rules that the NCGA requires to be in place before drilling starts.

The state commission that’s creating safety standards for fracking raced through 48 rules Wednesday under a legislative deadline to prepare North Carolina for shale gas exploration by next spring.

The Energy & Mining commission, charged with developing the rules, is stacked with industry pro-fracking members and it's pretty clear that the intent is just to get some rules in place that the industry will accept so that we can get on with poisoning the environment.

Their most recent meeting made that abundantly clear:

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James @
Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 12:01pm

Last fall I heard Ken Spaulding speak for the first time. As candidates for governor, we had both been invited to a meeting of the Chatham County Democratic Party.

When Ken took the podium, he talked personally and extemporaneously about the challenges facing North Carolina under the Republican reign of terror. He cited a litany of familiar insults to our state and our constitution, and called for those in attendance to wake up and step up. He promised he would not stand by while other candidates were "anointed and appointed" to represent the Democratic party. This veiled reference to Attorney General Cooper is one of the things that caught my interest and attention.

Fast forward to today and you'll see that Ken Spaulding has definitely not been standing by. Not only is he challenging the establishment with an aggressive grassroots campaign, he is also challenging the inevitability of Roy Cooper's nomination.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 10:54am

The NC Supreme Court is not as supreme as it thinks:

A year ago, the state Supreme Court struck down a rate increase that the state Utilities Commission awarded to Duke Energy Corp. and ordered the panel to reconsider the increase in light of its impact on consumers. Now, Cooper is appealing the same increase to the high court, arguing that the Utilities Commission ignored the ruling.

“The court has already ruled once that consumers must be taken into account when setting utility profits but it still hasn’t happened,” Cooper said in a statement. “Even when given a second chance to get it right, the commission didn’t really consider consumers and approved the exact same rate hike.”

And as long as we allow this flawed formula to continue, where a rule-making commission is tasked with being concerned about profits for wealthy shareholders, many of whom do not even live in North Carolina, the unfairness will be ever-present. Any other private industry would need to dip into profits or borrow to make infrastructure improvements, which would force them to calculate the true need and ROI for such, and Duke Energy should be no different.

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Friday, April 18, 2014 - 7:58pm

Raw Story has a heart-wrenching piece about the ties of Frazier Glenn Miller, the white supremacist who shot and killed three people at a Kansas City community center, to a highly publicized 1987 triple murder in Shelby, North Carolina. (Kudos to Matt Comer, editor of NC's Q-Notes, who co-authored the story.)

The brutal murders created quite a sensation at the time and was one of several crimes against gays in the South in the 70s and 80s - fires at gay nightclubs and murders and disappearances of gay men - that made being out much more dangerous than it is today.

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