Posmo @
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 6:24am

In case anyone remained under the illusion that judicial elections in NC were actually non-partisan, like they are officially billed to be, former NC Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake shatters that illusion.

In a firey [sic] plea for money, I. Beverly Lake, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, is rallying support for Bob Hunter in his campaign for a seat on the high court.

Lake, who reached mandatory retirement age in 2006, sent out a letter to Republican donors stating his case clearly:

“One justice can mean the difference between liberty and tyranny. … Since leaving the bench, I’ve watched liberal ‘activist judges’ rewrite the Constitution – and waited for one justice to stand up and say ‘No’ to the craziness going on in our courts.”

James @
Monday, August 25, 2014 - 4:43pm

End corporate taxation. And then tax the hell out of individuals for capital gains.

Monday, August 25, 2014 - 10:17am

And the voices of dissent are growing:

The N.C. Mining and Energy Commission is seeking input from the public on proposed rules for oil and gas development. The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 25 at Rockingham County High School in Wentworth.

Also on Monday, opponents to fracking are organizing a Frack Free NC rally at 4:15 p.m. in front of Rockingham County High School.

So far, opponents have outnumbered pro-frackers by a sizeable margin, but that hasn't stopped media from giving them equal time. Which is exactly what FreedomWorks is counting on.

BlueNC @
Monday, August 25, 2014 - 8:14am

Legislature addresses coal ash cleanup, safety (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- Creating legislation can be an ugly, contentious business, even when everyone is a member of the same party. Future legislatures probably will be asked to tweak and update the coal ash legislation of 2014. But passing a bill to address cleanup and safety was critical. It couldn’t wait. For that, North Carolina legislators are to be thanked and commended.

The Kochs' commercial appeal (Politico) -- The Koch brothers are showing up in so many campaign ads for Democrats, you’d think they were on the ballot. The commercials are full of images designed to make ordinary Americans bristle, from private jets to limousines to handshakes in dark rooms. They often feature the same images of Charles and David Koch in blazers and ties — portraits that could have appeared in the billionaires issue of Forbes magazine. And many of the ads point out that the wealthy industrialist brothers are behind rival ads that support Republicans. … Democrats’ decision to give the Kochs the Mitt Romney treatment highlights the degree to which the brothers’ unprecedented spending has upended American politics. This cycle, Koch-affiliated groups, such as Americans for Prosperity, are expected to spend up to a staggering $290 million to support conservative causes and candidates, much of it on advertising. … Senate Majority PAC, the main Democratic outside group trying to keep the Senate, has used the Kochs in its television spots in states including Michigan, Louisiana, Iowa and North Carolina. One ad it ran during the NCAA basketball tournament had a bracket showing a picture of the Kochs and the narrator saying: “A special interest bracket brought to you by the out-of-state billionaires the Koch brothers. They picked Thom Tillis to play for them. As speaker, Tillis passed a tax cut for the wealthiest while raising taxes on 80 percent of North Carolinians.”

Daily dose
James @
Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 12:35pm

A great column in the Asheville Citizen Times today, one worth reading for its sheer brilliance, let alone the horrific substance. Check it out.

The NC Department of Transportation project to widen I-26 here in Buncombe County may not be shovel-ready, but in his Mecklenburg County district Tillis supports widening I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville. With toll lanes. “Lexus lanes,” opponents call them. Other critics call I-77 “Thom’s Tholl Road.”

And this:

Oh, there will be new lanes all right, but to use them drivers will pay tolls to a foreign developer. What Raleigh saves today, Tillis’ neighbors will pay out of pocket for the next 50 years. Or else spend more time in traffic and less with their families or sleeping.

And this:

Tillis told opponents that with state revenues shrinking (because of tax cuts?) they had a choice: toll lanes “or no improvements to I-77 for 15 or 20 years.” It’s Thom’s way or no highway.

And this:

Cintra opened a new toll road in San Antonio in November 2012. Revenues there fell far short of projections. By June 2014, Cintra was struggling even as it signed agreements with the NCDOT. In July, Moodys declared the project in default. U.S. taxpayers are on the hook to bond holders for any bailout.

And my favorite:

“Limited government” is their code for stripping America for parts.

Tom Sullivan
Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 10:52am

And the walls that separate church and state teetered precariously:

Two possible contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination – Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee – are scheduled to be in Charlotte on Sept. 14 to headline “Star Spangled Sunday,” a live national webcast from First Baptist Church of Charlotte.

The Rev. Mark Harris, who pastors First Baptist, said the event celebrating the 200th anniversary of the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” is also set to include some other speakers popular with conservative Christians. Namely Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, the national chain of craft stores, and the Benham brothers – David and Jason – of Concord.

Pretty sure Francis Scott Key didn't envision people celebrating prejudice in his name, or using a pulpit to politically motivate other people: "Either you think or else others have to think for you and take power from you pervert and discipline your natural tastes civilize and sterilize you." What he said.

Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 10:23am

Well, I got my LTTE about the Hofmann Forest sale published today in the Burlington Times News. The Executive Editor responded that he lived and worked around Jacksonville a long time, agreed this was a big deal, didn't think his readers had heard enough about the matter (!).
Rallies take place Monday, August 25th at noon in Raleigh and at Deppe Park in Hofmann Forest. Folks going are asked to R.S.V.P. using links at https://www.facebook.com/SaveHofmannForest.
You can learn a whole lot more at this great interactive website.

James @
Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 8:34am

Duke's coal ash warning late, lacking for North Carolina? (Greensboro News & Record) -- As the night wore on last Super Bowl Sunday, water plant operator Steven Johns’ world grew progressively scarier. The fixes in his chemical toolkit weren’t working against this new invader that threatened the Danville water supply. As Feb. 2 gave way to Feb. 3, Johns kept shaking his head while turbidity readings that normally signify dirt, bacteria and other nasty stuff zoomed ever higher in the future drinking water that his plant was drawing from the Dan River. “All the books I read and all the classes I went to — not a word about coal ash,” Johns said at the plant last week. “I had to find out on my own.” Happily, Johns teased out the solution and helped spare his city’s water supply any ill effects from the coal ash spill that began earlier that Sunday at Duke Energy’s retired Dan River Steam Station just across the state line. He did it using a tool that Virginia officials received from Duke Energy, a tool their counterparts in North Carolina didn’t get that day: a clear understanding that coal ash had been released in potentially troublesome amounts and that public water supplies might be at risk.

Daily dose
Sunday, August 24, 2014 - 1:56am

As a busy, but aware and concerned mom living in NC, I have my heart in many good and continued awareness initiatives this year.

2014 being one of the most important mid term elections since 2010 where we have the ability to make it a turning point to come together with common ground, because in one way or another all policy being passed effects all families. It was not too long ago where I was a voting Republican by virtue of being raised in an active, but moderate GOP public school household.

Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 10:23am

And it's fitting there's a Banana Republic banner ad running across the top of the story:

The legislature in the newly insane state of North Carolina had the brilliant idea of shoveling public money into private schools. Perhaps in an attempt to keep James Madison from spinning at 300 rpm, a state superior court judge named Thomas Hobgood went upside the legislature's melon in a big way.

You will be shocked, I know, that the fine hand of ALEC was behind this turkey, and that Thom Tillis, the current Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate who has moved into a small lead over Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan, thinks the program was just a swell idea. And you will also be shocked, I know, to learn that the judge concluded that education "reform" legislation was essentially based on a scam. The grift goes on. I'm sure, somehow, this is the fault of the teachers' unions.

Okay, it's "Robert" Hobgood, and North Carolina doesn't have a teacher's union, it's an association. But other than those things, I second your "insane turkey" observations.

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