scharrison's blog

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

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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

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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:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This should be in everybody's top five issues that need to be addressed:

We don't need to "bring back" Debtor's Prisons, they already exist.

Trump brings his idiotic observations to Charlotte

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At least a babbling brook is actually going somewhere:

"You saw what happened," Trump told the crowd at CPCC's Halton Theater. "It was the 'impeachment hoax,' and now that’s a thing of the past. They have the 'failed impeachment hoax.' They can put that on their resume. It’s a failed hoax. Every one of them have to put that right on their resume. It was a fix. Until it got up to Congress."

It didn't "get up" to Congress, it started in Congress. I was going to mention the "bicameral" nature of Congress, but that's too complicated to fit on one of Trump's pre-k flash cards. It doesn't take a mental health professional to detect some serious cognitive issues in his stream of unconsciousness, constantly repeating words like "hoax" until it's replaced with another that tastes right (resume). I watched a video of that speech (I won't subject you to it), and it's plainly obvious that Trump is taking some form of medication, prescribed or not. It's not helping.

Thanks to Trump, election meddling is now acceptable behavior

Republican voters are being encouraged to skew SC's Democratic Primary:

South Carolina has open primaries where voters can choose which party’s primary, if there is more than one to choose from, to vote in. But the Republicans pushing their members to vote for Sanders want to change that, saying on Facebook they want to ”point out the consequences of not closing the primaries in SC to just those voters who participate in each party” — a goal they can accomplish if enough Republicans turn out at the polls on Feb. 29.

They also see another benefit in helping Sanders win. “We want to be able to have a say in giving Donald Trump that opportunity in November to face Bernie in the debate, give a clear look to American voters, here’s your capitalist success story and here’s your socialist,” said Karen Martin, who is the organizer of the Spartanburg Tea Party.

They're not the sharpest tools in the shed, to say the least. Supposedly worried about SC's open Primary, and how (imaginary) Democrats abuse it, so they're going to abuse the hell out of it just to make a point. Isn't that like shooting up a school full of children just to expose how vulnerable they are? Yes, it is. It's also a common development with people who have held a paranoid delusion too long without uncovering evidence to back it up; they create their own evidence. Operation Chaos was originally dreamed up by Rush Limbaugh back in 2008, to sew discord in the Clinton Obama Primary. And it's very likely this new effort isn't just SC Tea Party nonsense, it's part of a broader effort by Republicans to meddle in Democratic affairs. Like flooding the Iowa Caucus Hotline with prank calls to clog the line:

Major victory for disabled persons living in NC

Being able to stay home is something many take for granted:

The case, Samantha R., et al. v. North Carolina, et. al, was filed in Wake County in May 2017. The suit claimed that North Carolina does not offer enough community-based supports for people with I/DD. Many people with I/DD would prefer to live in their home communities but have been placed into institutions in order to receive services. In addition, long waiting lists for services, and the lack of community services continue to put many people with IDD at risk for institutionalization.

The judicial order declares that the State and DHHS have violated a legal mandate – passed nearly 30 years ago – that people with disabilities may not be forced to live in institutional settings in order to get the services they need.

Even in the best of conditions, institutionalization is not a far cry from being in prison. You're only allowed very few personal items, privacy is pretty much non-existent, and just taking a stroll outside is considered a "perk" instead of a basic freedom. And it's not even more efficient. Extract from a BlueNC diary written in 2017:

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