Tom Tillis-You Think Things Are Bad Now

This is from the website of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and they have it right.

"Tillis' Shady Dealings, His Support For Devastating Cuts to Medicare & His Opposition to Equal Pay For North Carolina Women Would Make Him A Disaster For North Carolina

Special interest Speaker Thom Tillis, the embattled leader of the extreme GOP caucus in the North Carolina state House, has finally made it official. Tillis’ personal political ambition has long topped his priority list and his special interest friends recently formed a super PAC to help him in what will likely be a contentious and drawn out Republican primary. Tillis’ support for an anti middle class agenda and his deep and substantial ties to special interests pose a serious threat to his electability.

Burr gets owned by Canadian doctor

What happens when a lawn mower salesman debates an MD:

“On average, how many Canadian patients on a waiting list die each year? Do you know?” Republican Senator Richard Burr asked at the end of a prickly exchange with Dr. Danielle Martin, vice president of Medical Affairs at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital.

“I don’t, sir, but I know that there are 45,000 in America who die waiting because they don’t have insurance at all,” she said.

Ouch. Burr may need to see a trauma specialist after that one...

Details emerge on the GOP's targeting of abortion clinics

Understanding your enemy is critical if you want to defeat them:

In early June, Perrigo asked the department for more information on Femcare’s inspection history, as well as those of abortion clinics in Charlotte, Fayetteville and Wilmington, according to other emails provided by DHHS. A month later, on July 11, an aide to Rep. Sarah Stevens, a Republican from Mount Airy who sponsored the House’s version of the abortion bill, asked DHHS in an email for information on “the types of problems found in the abortion clinics that were not closed” during recent inspections.

A resulting records check at DHHS noted that Femcare hadn’t been cited with any major deficiencies since 2006, the date of the clinic’s last licensure inspection. Small problems had cropped up in other, more limited inspections at the clinic since that date, but they had been quickly rectified, the documents indicate.

A week later, on July 18 and 19, DHHS performed an unannounced inspection at Femcare, setting the stage for the clinic’s suspension.

It's obvious the actions of Republicans in the General Assembly were focused on creating legislation which would bring about the closing of most (if not all) abortion clinics in the state, a direct assault on the rights of women in North Carolina. And it was also obvious the Governor's office tried to get the most mileage out of the subsequent closures, an effort to repair McCrory's image after his flip-flop:

Republican Lee Commissioners Ignore Illegal Meeting Warning

The Republican-led Lee County Board of Commissioners appear to have knowing broken the Open Meetings law, as shown by a recent article on The Rant. The commissioners were warned about the potential “liability”, via a staff memo, of having an official meeting in a gated community, but they carried on anyway. The meeting was obviously designed as an event solely for Republicans (including Republican candidates for various offices), but they conducted official business. The Rant has posted the memo and has also posted video of one citizen being turned away by a security guard from the event, clearly in violation of the law.

Folwell continues to stack the deck against jobless claimants

Throwing roadblocks in the way of legal counsel:

What Folwell wanted to do instead was slow down the provision of the notices to attorneys and jack up the cost to them for that service, argued Jim White on behalf of the attorney challenging the new restrictions. The effect? According to former DES deputy chairman and chief counsel Thomas Whitaker, who testified yesterday, not releasing the notices would severely restrict unemployment claimants’ ability to retain counsel and have due process during any hearing, And put the lawyers trying to reach these claimants out of business, added White.

“In the end, if these law firms are out of business and people don’t have affordable counsel, we can reduce the amount of unemployment that’s paid in the state,” White said.

And the longer these unemployed workers go without assistance, the less likely they'll be able to afford any type of legal counsel. Which (of course) fits the Republican plan neatly.

DENR denies its Climate Change denialism

Removing Climate Change information from its website:

As recently as Jan. 21, information about climate change was available on the front page of the Division of Air Quality's website. Sometime in the last two months, the page was edited to remove the link. The link used to connect users to a page full of information and resources about greenhouse gases and climate change. That page no longer exists, either.

"We made these changes as part of our ongoing efforts to update, refresh and redesign our website," Mather said. "Currently, states do not have a lot of regulatory authority dealing with climate change. We do have responsibilities in several areas, however, and we still include that information on our website."

I wondered how long it would take for this to happen. When the people who run your organization are idiots, it's only a matter of time before the dumbing down begins:

Duke Energy shareholder not sure who should pay for coal ash cleanup

Will leave it up to a hand-picked NCUC to decide:

McCrory, who worked at Duke for nearly 30 years until 2008, said financial decisions on the cleanup are best left to the state Utilities Commission, which sets electric rates and can agree to let Duke pass along one-time costs to customers.

“I think it's inappropriate to have politics involved in this process,” McCrory said after a Council of State meeting. “You've got to have this process work out free of politics, especially … as we try to get the facts exactly about what has happened and what the potential solutions are to this very serious issue.”

Duke Energy spent more than 1.1 million dollars to get McCrory elected. Politics have been involved long before the Deputy Assistant Governor was worn in.

Quit whining

Crossposted from

What whining! In this morning’s News & Observer, Peder Zane bemoans Democratic attacks on Republican policies, complaining that they are over-the-top and not based in reality. In particular, he says Democrats are complaining about things that happened while they were in office, too.

Zane says that “Democrats slashed teacher pay” in 2011 because of a huge hole in the budget. He then goes on to say that Democrats didn’t deal with the coal ash ponds, either. Finally, he slams protesters that compare the voter suppression bills to Jim Crow laws.

Brannon: An extremist lies about Planned Parenthood "secret plan"

Greg Brannon, Rand Paul's fav running in the primary for the GOP nomination in the NC Senate race, has said on the campaign trail that Planned Parenthood has a secret plan to legalize the murder of newborns as old as three months.

Brannon operates a network of pregnancy "crisis centers" here in NC and is a licensed obstetrician.

If you thought the current crop of right-wingers were crazy, just consider what's at stake with the new and improved conservative extremists coming down the pike in the next couple of election cycles.

These people are deluded and dangerous.

McCrory Coal Ash Scandal: Subpoenas issued for Utilities Commission records

The Greensboro News and Record is out with the news that federal investigators convening a grand jury on the DENR's handling of the Duke coal ash spill have issued subpoenas for records covering the last ten years from the NC Utilities Commission. The state legislature shifted the responsibility for oversight of the coal ash ponds from the Utilities Commission to DENR in 2010.

Observers take this as a sign that the Feds are looking at the long-term record of the state's oversight of the coal ash ponds and the more recent response and settlement with Duke Energy by DENR to lawsuits about the coal ash situation. The grand jury meets next week.


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