Blogs

Ready, set, organize!

In an effort to shed even more light on the great nonpartisan organizing work young folks are doing this summer, I wanted to share this video and blog link from some students working in Winston-Salem:

We're making ourselves accessible via YouTube and Google Hangouts

I've taken your advice and begun a series of YouTube videos that we will use to speak directly to the voters. The first one went live today and serves as an intro:

Our campaign is also doing a series of virtual town halls. The first one is tonight at 7pm and focuses on education. Everyone across the state is welcome to join us:

Coal Ash Wednesday: about those fish...

Why leaving the vast majority of the coal ash in the Dan River is dangerously negligent:

Most species of aquatic insects live in the sediment, collecting, filtering, and grazing upon minute particles of food. Nothing goes to waste down there, not even the arsenic and selenium from coal ash. Heavy metals get lodged into the tissues of any insect that eats them. When minnows eat the insects, they consume the toxins. Larger fish get toxins from every minnow they eat. As you climb higher in the food chain, the amount of arsenic or selenium you find multiplies progressively. This process is called biomagnification and it has impacts on a food web from bottom to top.

NC's Department of Public Health has lifted its recreational advisory (they have yet to post the press release on their website, but I will link to it when they do), telling people it's okay to swim and fish in the River. But they're apparently still advising people to not eat the fish they say it's okay to catch. Which is a contradiction I'm still trying to wrap my mind around. Anyway, back to the science:

Daily dose

Just don't undercook the fish:

THE SPILL
Health officials OK recreational use of Dan River (Greensboro News & Record) -- People can fish and swim in the river without fear of skin irritation or other potential health problems linked to coal ash, N.C. health officials said.
http://www.news-record.com/news/article_dbfd143e-11d7-11e4-aa1a-001a4bcf...

Tagged:

Spineless Pat caves on Common Core

In the latest contest to demonstrate just how much they hate President Obama, the legislative loons passed a bill to repeal the Common Core educational standards. Those would be the standards adopted by nearly every state in the union, and in which North Carolina invested $66 million.

Deputy Assistant Guvnor McCrory was one of the Republicans opposed to repealing Common Core. NC's business community, including the Chamber of Commerce, also opposed repeal.

In case you were wondering whether Pathetic Pat found a spine, grew a pair and stood up for something important, the answer is (SURPRISE!) no. Pat caved and signed the repeal today.

More skeletons crawl out of McCrory's dirty campaign money closet

From a federal grand jury indictment almost a year ago:

The 29-count indictment charges Boggs Paving Inc., Carl Andrew Boggs, III (a/k/a Drew Boggs), 49, of Waxhaw, North Carolina; Kevin Hicks, 42, of Monroe, North Carolina; Greg Miller, 59, of Matthews, North Carolina; Greg Tucker, 40, of Oakboro, North Carolina; John Cuthbertson (a/k/a Styx Cuthbertson), 68, of Monroe; and Styx Cuthbertson Trucking Company Inc., of Wingate, North Carolina; with conspiracy to defraud the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering, and wire fraud for a scheme that lasted more than 10 years and involved more than $87 million in government contracts. All the defendants except Greg Tucker are also charged with mail fraud.

And McCrory can't claim he doesn't know this particular crook, because it appears Drew Boggs actually hosted a reception for the soon-to-be Governor:

Shame on America

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Obamacare in NC dealt a huge blow.

Update: Overruled!

A three judge panel with two Republicans and one Democrat hearing the suit just ruled that those states that did not establish a state exchange, 36 in all including NC, are not eligible for premium subsidies for their health insurance. The vote was 2-1 with both Republicans voting to ban the subsidies, those judges were appointed by Bush I and Bush II.

This means that those people who are covered under the Affordable Care Act and are receiving a discounted premium rate will see those subsidies disappear in the future.

The decision will be appealed to the full DC Court of Appeals. Should it be upheld, it would probably take the election of a Democratic governor in 2016 and the approval of a state health exchange in North Carolina for those presently covered and those covered in the future to get their subsidies back.

A culture of incompetence

The GOP swarmed into Raleigh in 2012 with promises of efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency. They swept up super-majorities in both houses, assuring voters that the days of back-room wheeling and dealing would be long gone. Big government had run its course, local control was the order of the day, and magical tax cuts on the rich would cure all of our economic woes. What a difference two years makes.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

We'll start today's entry with a complicated issue:

Quite possibly too complicated for our current leaders:

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