Dan Forest is certifiably insane, and obviously unfit for office

And yet we've allowed him to preside over the NC Senate:

“It’s hard for me to imagine that my wife would have to walk into a bathroom anywhere in North Carolina and have a man follow her into that bathroom,” Forest said. “They said that in the city of Charlotte, you have to take the (gender) signs off your bathrooms,” he said. “They’re actually a test lab for a radical sexual revolution experiment.”

The Charlotte ordinance did not require the removal of gender-specific bathrooms, nor did its provisions involve signage.

A radical...what? Seriously, someone needs to sit him down and do a full psychological evaluation. Conspiracy theories are bad enough, but this dude has crossed over into full-on delusional behavior...

Brad Miller blasts House Science Committee for Exxon kow-towing

What was that about "states' rights"?

In July, the Committee issued subpoenas to the Attorneys General of New York and Massachusetts concerning state investigations under state law in state court, to a private law firm that has represented state and local governments and private parties in environmental litigation, and to several environmental organizations.

The Committee’s investigation and the state government and private investigations are not concurrent investigations of the same questions; the Committee is investigating the investigations. The initial stated purpose for the Committee’s subpoenas was to determine if the state proceedings unconstitutionally abridged ExxonMobil’s freedom of speech to deny climate change, and to protect ExxonMobil’s rights in the proceedings.

Bolding mine. Congress really has turned into a circus under Republican leadership. Or maybe a better metaphor is "flea market." You see something you want, quote me a price. But this one is really over the top:

Coal Ash Wednesday: US Senate on the verge of removing coal ash protections


Undermining the EPA's long-awaited rules:

The U.S. Senate is preparing to vote as early as next week on a bill, The Water Resources Development Act of 2016, that may include a coal ash amendment that would significantly undercut the Environmental Protection Agency’s federal coal ash rule.

Prior to EPA’s rule, coal ash disposal was subject to a patchwork of state regulations that left communities vulnerable to hundreds of cases of damage or catastrophic spills. EPA’s rule establishes clear requirements for monitoring, cleanup, closure, and public notification that keep the public safe and informed, but these bright-line requirements of the rule are now in jeopardy, as this bill could allow polluters to have EPA’s clear standards swapped for site-specific standards that “differ” from EPA’s standards.

The fossil fuel industry learned a long time ago it was easier to manipulate state governments than the EPA, examples of which we've seen numerous times here in NC. And as usual, Republicans in Congress are using much-needed funding (Flint water crisis) as a hostage to serve their industry masters' desires. Here's more detail on this reckless amendment:

Wednesday News: Deplorable is too nice a word

69-YEAR-OLD WOMAN PUNCHED AT TRUMP RALLY (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- Shirley Teter participated in protests during some of the most controversial and conflict-ridden times in our nation's history. But she said she was shocked at her experience at Monday's Donald Trump rally that ended with the 69-year-old being punched by a South Carolina man, police say.

Tuesday News: Violent Trumpery in Asheville

TRUMP SAYS CLINTON IS RUNNING ‘HATE-FILLED CAMPAIGN’ AT N.C. RALLY WHERE VIOLENCE FLARES UP (Washington Post) - -The GOP nominee sought to keep the focus squarely on Hillary Clinton's comment that half of his supporters are a "basket of deplorables." He was interrupted repeatedly by protesters and, at one point, a man pushed and grabbed male protesters during a verbal exchange.

NC's HB2 fallout now includes NCAA events

Based on the NCAA's commitment to fairness and inclusion, the Association will relocate all seven previously awarded championship events from North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year. The NCAA Board of Governors made this decision because of the cumulative actions taken by the state concerning civil rights protections.

“Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships,” said Mark Emmert, NCAA president. “We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships."

The deterioration of the NC Chamber of Commerce

No longer the visionaries they once were:

In the last few years, things changed at the state Chamber. The main emphasis became lower taxes -- corporate and personal income taxes – along with a draconian approach to modifying the state’s unemployment insurance tax plan by reducing unemployment benefits. The money saved by cutting benefits, in a plan pushed by the chamber, was then used to pay the employers’ debt to the federal government for money borrowed to support the exploding burden brought on by the Great Recession.

The Chamber got its tax cuts and was silent on the controversial matters that were important to the ideologues controlling the General Assembly. The Chamber made a deal (it might be said ‘sold out North Carolina’) as attacks on public education, the environment and the fair treatment of people, go forward.

Like many organizations in North Carolina, the NC Chamber used to operate in an autonomous fashion compared to its national counterpart. But that unique approach is gone, replaced by the same, tired pursuit of profit margins and short-term gains pushed by the US Chamber. When they should be taking whatever positions they can to shore up the middle class, they're actually working hard to destroy it, and turn a sizeable portion of the workforce into wage slaves.

Monday News: Trudymandering on trial


LAWMAKERS GIVEN 30 DAYS TO EXPLAIN WITHHELD DOCUMENTS (Greensboro News & Record) -- State lawmakers have 30 days to tell a federal judge what documents they are withholding from the plaintiffs in the Greensboro City Council redistricting lawsuit. Eight Republican legislators and a legislative staff member were subpoenaed in February to turn over materials, including emails that could explain how and why the law was created. Attorneys with the N.C. Attorney General’s Office argued that the lawmakers have legislative privilege and do not need to comply. Only Rep. John Blust of Guilford County has complied with the subpoena so far.


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