scharrison's blog

Lies, damn lies, and Silent Sham

silentsamrednecks.jpg

Now (finally) the payoff before the payoff is under scrutiny:

Days before that deal was approved, UNC leaders struck a side deal with the SCV for $74,999, purportedly to keep the group from displaying any Confederate flags or other banners during any demonstrations on UNC system campuses for five years. But Boyd Sturges, the SCV's attorney, later acknowledged that the money was passed through to the United Daughters of the Confederacy so the SCV could stake an ownership claim to Silent Sam. The UDC had paid some money to have the statue put on the Chapel Hill campus in the early 1900s.

The side agreement was put in place in case the $2.5 million settlement deal fell apart, according to Sturges, and Baddour didn’t address it when he threw out the main settlement.

Bolding mine, because that is exactly the opposite reason for that stealth $74,999 payment. The money was paid to facilitate the ownership transfer (between a husband and wife, if you can believe it), in order to ensure that the Sons of Confederate Veterans would have the standing they needed to move forward with the lawsuit. The big question is, was the UNC BOG aware of that subterfuge? If they were aware, they engaged in fraud and misdirection by cooking up a cover story for the expenditure of public funds. And not only did they misuse public funds, they did so in an effort to deceive and suborn NC's court system, as well. This case is begging for a formal investigation, and sooner rather than later.

Judge will allow offshore drilling case to move forward

deepwaterhorizon.jpg

Apparently Trump isn't the legal eagle he thinks he is:

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel of Charleston has denied the Department of the Interior’s motion to dismiss lawsuits filed by several groups, including the South Carolina Attorney General’s office.

What it means is that the case will continued to be tried, said attorney Amy Armstrong with the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, one of the drilling opponents. Meanwhile, the department at any time could issue permits to start the work anyway — a possibility that opponents say they are ready to fight.

Whales and dolphins have incredibly sensitive hearing, and can communicate with each other at vast distances. Their tympanic plate/membrane is in direct contact with sea water, and they use echolocation to defend against predators and avoid obstructions (like the rising shelf of landfall). Seismic blasting by oil companies looking for deposits can do permanent damage to their abilities, but even a short period of confusion can disrupt their migration and eventually prove fatal. Back to the lawsuit:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Shattering the myth of the booming economy:

And of course that 1/3 of lower wage earners also cannot afford health insurance. These are the people in the gap that Medicaid Expansion was designed for, but the NC GOP simply does not care about them.

Ban on assault rifles fails in Virginia Legislature

gunnuts.png

We've apparently gone too far in the wrong direction to fix this:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.

Four moderate Democrats joined Republicans in Monday's committee vote, rejecting legislation that would have prohibited the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms, including popular AR-15 style rifles, and banned the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds.

Look, I believe in open government, and not doing the public's business behind closed doors. But these 2nd Amendment folks push their intimidation tactics right up to the edge (and beyond) when dealing with elected officials, and when committee members are outnumbered 4-1 in a relatively small chamber that intimidation becomes more than just an academic exercise. If you doubt that just ask Lee Carter:

Silent Sam should be persona non grata on UNC campus

Bringing him back just isn't worth the trouble:

The question of what to do with Silent Sam — the Confederate statue that was toppled by protesters at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in August 2018 — just won’t go away.

The university thought it had found an answer in November when it reached an agreement to give the statue to the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and fund a $2.5 million trust to display it somewhere off campus.

Actually, it wasn't the University, it was the GOP-appointed Board of Governors for the entire UNC System. Might seem like I'm nit-picking, but UNC Chapel Hill did not make this deal, would never have given neo-confederates $2.5 Million for any reason, and the failure of this author to make that distinction in the intro to this story paints all UNC grads with the same idiotic brush. Back to the disposition of the distasteful statue:

Early voting for 2020 Primary begins today

Say hello to Michael Bennet. But also, say goodbye to Michael Bennet. He's one of (currently) seven Democratic Presidential candidates on your ballot that is no longer in the race. Before you set out for your early voting site, look up your sample ballot on the Board of Elections website, because you've likely got other elections like County Commissioner of which you may not be aware. Take the time to get it right, democracy is counting on you.

Queen Aldona picked to be Canadian Ambassador

QueenAldona.jpg

We really should not insult our Northern neighbor like that:

In the 2018 election cycle, Wos gave more than $760,000 to Republican candidates and causes, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Wos led the state Department of Health and Human Services for about 30 months.

While her boss, former Gov. Pat McCrory, gave her high marks for controlling Medicaid spending, her term was marked by threats from the federal government to sanction the state for food-stamp failures, a temporary shutdown of food benefits to low-income women and infants, and questions about no-bid contracts and the hiring of an executive from her husband’s firm to a high-paying, contract position as her assistant, The News & Observer previously reported.

In her defense, she had her caterers box up what was leftover from her bi-weekly dinner parties and gave that food to her housekeepers and landscapers. Except for the Flan. She kept the Flan.

Silent Sham hearing in progress right now

Joe Killian with the Progressive Pulse is live-Tweeting:

They basically just admitted this thing was rushed to avoid the opposition they knew would surface after the deal was made public. I'll post a few more, but you should jump over to Twitter and follow it:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Erin Brockovich targets cancer clusters near Lake Norman

coalash.jpg

And coal ash is emerging as the #1 suspect:

Brockovich says she's also concerned about records included in our Defenders investigation that for decades, Duke Energy sold coal ash to be used as construction fill for development projects. DEQ records show between 1995 and 2001, about 1 million cubic yards of coal ash was sold off and buried across the area – more than anywhere else in the state. And that total doesn’t even include smaller projects that state leaders admit were not documented at all.

“Really? You built a community on coal ash?" Brockovich said. "Why aren’t you doing testing? Is there some soil vapor plume, are we being exposed to it is it is blowing around in the wind and we’re inhaling it?”

Get that? Even if Duke Energy digs up all the ash at the Marshall Steam Station and secures it in lined pits, there's a million cubic yards of it in the ground, under neighborhoods, that nobody even knew existed. We're not just talking Hexavalent Chromium, you got Mercury, Arsenic, Selenium, and even radioactive elements in that mess. Testing needs to begin, like yesterday:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - scharrison's blog