NC legislative committee changing rules for building

If you have a bunch of protestors pointing out your bad policies, what's the best way to solve the problem?

If you're Republicans in the NC legislature, the answer is simple - change the rules to make the protestors go away.

WRAL reports that a committee that hasn't met since the 90s has been convened to look at the rules for the legislative building. The ACLU and others are concerned that the new rules will allow police to do "selective enforcement" against particular groups or individuals.

Dr. Alice Newton—Medical Child Abuse—Justina Pelletier

Dr. Alice Newton, Director of Boston Children's Hospital child protection team, determined in February 2013 that the institution's newly-admitted patient, Justina Pelletier, was a victim of medical child abuse.

Those unfamiliar with this terminology might think that a doctor or doctors had provided injurious care. In one respect they would be correct but the most important aspect of the charge is that the parents or the child's caregiver were the instigators. The psychiatric community posits that some guardians create disease symptoms to persuade the medical community to act inappropriately.

The medical child abuse allegation is specious but it is the basis for child custody hearings and suspension of parental rights throughout the country. Because many adjudicators, like Judge Johnston, gag order the proceedings the number of children taken from parents remains confidential.

Urge the Energy & Commerce Committee to Vote "No" on the Chemicals in Commerce Act (CICA)

Announcement from Clean Water for North Carolina

Our state & local laws on toxic chemical use are threatened by the CICA, a bill which would undermine laws that require chemical disclosure and restrict the EPA's ability to take action on some of the highest priority toxic chemicals. The CICA would also pre-empt and stop local and state laws on fracking. This bill is likely to come up for a vote in a matter of days -- Help stop this bill by urging Committee members to vote against the CICA! Two members of the Committee represent a large part of NC, please contact:
Renee Elmers (R -- representing 9 central NC counties from Alamance to Cumberland, Phone:(202) 225-4531 or 1-877-645-8764
G.K. Butterfield (D -- representing parts of 24 northeastern NC counties from Bertie to Durham). Phone: (202)-225-3101 or (919) 908-0164

Pat's pretend budget

Pat has issued his "budget adjustment recommendations". It should be no surprise to anyone that he:

  • trumpets sorely needed increases, such as teacher and state employee pay;
  • tries to divert attention from the cuts necessary to fund the increases;
  • makes up numbers in an unsuccessful attempt to pretend his budget balances; and
  • keeps the tax cut for his boss, Art Pope.

Let's have a look at each, below the fold.

Republicans trying (again) to move SBI into McCrory's domain

Soon to be renamed the State Bureau of Irrelevance:

Republicans have a plan to shift the State Bureau of Investigation from the Attorney General’s office to the Governor’s office. They must want to ensure that it stays under Roy Cooper’s control.

From the Department of Motor Vehicles to the State Board of Elections to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to the mother of all debacles, the Department of Health and Human Resources, McCrory’s agencies have screwed up spectacularly and he’s either oblivious or incompetent. Despite lousy headlines, no one is held accountable and McCrory never admits mistakes. Everything is always just peachy in McCroryland.

Republicans are either clueless about what a move like this represents, or they're intentionally modeling their public policy approaches after tyrants and military juntas in the not-so-free world abroad. Side note: if you find someone being written a warning ticket by the Grammar Police distasteful, don't follow me below the fold:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Person County not happy with ash-to-landfill plan

Not the kind of economic boost they're looking for:

Members of the Person County Board of Commissioners said they will consider passing a resolution next week calling for the coal ash to be stored on Duke Energy’s property. They’re concerned about the hazards it could pose to the environment — including possible contamination of groundwater if a leak were to occur.

“I’m not pleased at all,” Commissioner Frances Blalock said Tuesday of Duke’s plans to move the toxic sludge to the privately owned Upper Piedmont landfill in Person County. “It’s their problem and they’re going to be transferring the liability to us,” Blalock said.

Raising once again the issue of allowing private companies to own landfills in the state, where any screw-up could wreak havoc on the public's water supply. And the EPA's continued reluctance to classify coal ash as a hazardous waste isn't helping the situation:

Pay to play in Raleigh

The legislature reconvenes tomorrow.

That means that the pols rake in the money tonight.

Tonight North Carolina’s Republican and Democratic lawmakers are taking part in what’s become a ritual in Raleigh – the pre-session fundraisers.

Republican House members are gathering in a downtown restaurant, GOP senators in a private home. House Democrats are convening in a downtown office building and senators in a nearby wine shop.

Joining them all will be the usual cohort of lobbyists and political action committees, many making a circuit between events.

Once the short session begins Wednesday at noon, lawmakers will no longer be able to take PAC contributions. (They can never take them from lobbyists.)

It's pay to play, pure and simple. It's sleazy. It's both parties. And we don't know who's paying to play until after their investment pays off.

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