Blistering editorial on #NCGA big-government bullying tactics

And the courage of those who stood up to them:

Before ending its session early Wednesday morning, members of the legislature took one more crack at government overreach, trying to pass measures that would limit the authority and decision-making ability of local city and county governments. And they did so through underhanded methods that should put them to shame.

Fortunately, watchdogs from the media and advocacy groups, as well as other legislators, were paying attention, and the Rules Committee killed the bill.

Unfortunately, there have been many more bills that weren't killed in Committee, that passed floor votes, and were signed by the Governor, that were just as deserving of shame as this piece of Legislation. Including this unnecessarily cruel attack on unemployed hungry people:

Sunday News: Swim at your own risk edition

Study: Polluted Runoff Reaches N.C. Beaches (N.C. Health News) — Septic tanks and bird droppings contribute to the stew of pollutants that pour into the ocean during and after storms on the Outer Banks, but measures to remediate the toxic flow could prove to be costly and politically difficult. A draft report on a stormwater pilot project almost a decade in the making details episodic elevated levels of bacteria from fecal contamination at Nags Head and Kill Devil Hills beaches in the vicinity of nine ocean outfalls – large pipes maintained by the state Department of Transportation.

Alamance County Sheriff not off the hook yet

I wonder how he feels about having to look over his shoulder constantly?

The U.S. Justice Department is appealing a judge's ruling clearing a North Carolina sheriff of allegations he ordered deputies to target Hispanic residents for enforcement, violating their civil rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina said it had received complaints about Johnson, his deputies, and their treatment of Latinos for years. Johnson denied the allegations. The Republican was elected to a fourth four-year term in November after running unopposed.

It's bad enough that he runs his office like a tyrant, using his deputies as a blunt object with which to strike out against imagined dark-skinned enemies. But in order to create like-minded drones, he sends his deputies off to anti-immigrant indoctrination camps, as well:

Saturday News: Teacher exodus continues edition

Teacher turnover rises in N.C public schools (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Teacher turnover rose last school year to the highest in the past five years in North Carolina public schools, including Triangle school systems, according to a new state report.

More Teachers Leave N.C. To Teach In Other States (WUNC-FM) -- More teachers are leaving North Carolina to teach in other states, according to a report from the Department of Public Instruction. It shows 1,082 of the state’s teachers left for classrooms in other parts of the country last year. That’s more than triple the number that left for other states in 2010.

Art Pope's crusade against Eastern NC wind farm

Sure to earn him kudos at the next Koch Brothers retreat:

Jillanne Gigi Badawi and her husband Stephen Owens, residents of Perquimans County, are asking the N.C. Office of Administrative Hearings to force state regulators to subject the Amazon wind project to a new regulatory review. The couple is being aided by the Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank that has criticized renewable energy as a costly boondoggle.

Iberdrola has secured about a dozen permits, approvals and certificates for the wind farm. They include the N.C. Utilities Commission, state erosion-control and storm-water permits, county conditional use permits, and approval from the Department of Defense Siting Clearinghouse.

Talk about hypocrisy. Renewable energy apparently has the dubious honor of being the only business sector that faux-Libertarians in JLF and Civitas believe is not regulated enough. Maybe the puppets need another lecture from el Presidente John Hood:

Friday News: Really wet instead of crazy wet edition

Track of Joaquin moves farther offshore (Outer Banks Sentinel) -- While Governor Pat McCrory declared a State of Emergency in all North Carolina's 100 counties on Oct. 1, National Weather Service meteorologist-in-charge Richard Bandy told the Sentinel that "based on wind speed probabilities." Hurricane Joaquin has—as of today—been downgraded. The forecast now calls for "tropical storm conditions possible" for Sunday and Monday.

Hog farmers upset with waterkeepers

These little piggies went to Raleigh:

The North Carolina Farm Families organization announced earlier this week that activists will gather Thursday at noon in Raleigh's Capitol Square to stand up for hog farmers in the face of recent billboard ads erected by the New York City-based environmental group Waterkeeper Alliance.

The activists say they have gathered 11,000 signatures for a petition in which residents affirm their support for the hog farmers.

Bolding mine. This approach to prejudicial language in public statements will henceforth be dubbed the "Pace Picante Sauce" gambit, in which you frighten country folk with references to New York City.

Thursday News: Incentivizing energy guzzlers edition


Newly signed bill could mean millions for N.C. data centers (Triangle Business Journal) -- The same tax exemptions that helped inspire Facebook, Amazon and Google to bring data centers to North Carolina could soon benefit multi-tenant data center players – companies such as Sentinel Data Centers, which is currently building a 420,000-square-foot facility in Durham. Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law Wednesday, called the North Carolina Data Center Infrastructure Act, which offers property and utility sales tax exemptions to data center providers and their occupants that have collectively invested at least $75 million in private funds in a given facility.

The power of working together

From an update on Facebook:

THE POWER OF COALITION WORK: When I woke up yesterday morning and checked my email around 6:45 AM, I had an email from Chris Sgro about an emergency staff meeting for Equality North Carolina that I was invited to regarding a sneaky attempt by members of our North Carolina General Assembly to try and stop cities and towns in North Carolina from enacting local ordinances that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT citizens in housing, employment and public accommodations. At 8:30 AM, we met and mobilized.

Considering the roughshod behavior exhibited by the current leadership in the General Assembly, it's very easy to become discouraged and feel completely powerless. But always keep in mind: The reason Republicans favor the "divide and conquer" approach to dealing with their detractors is because they fear the power of unity:


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