Will Pat ever go bye-bye?

McHenry brags about slashing the budget of the EPA:

"Additionally the funding legislation passed Thursday includes a number of important changes including cuts to EPA funding and staffing, cuts that will drop the agency to levels last seen in the 1980s."

That’s quite an accomplishment McHenry is touting, reducing the funding for the agency that protects our water and air and land to the level it was funded 30 years ago. It will be hard to count on the EPA to do its job as a “partner” in cracking down on coal ash pollution if folks like Rep. McHenry keep crusading to make it unable to do its job. Unless of course that was the plan all along.

Massive cuts to DENR, followed by Congressional whittling of the EPA, are most definitely part of the long-term plans of the Koch Bothers' puppets in the Republican Party. And when it's all said and done, we won't even know just how bad we've been poisoned.

There's a good reason NC is becoming known for crappy public education

His name is Phil Berger

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger doesn’t have to go very far to see the effect of the education budgets he and his Republican colleagues in Raleigh have passed in the last four years. The Winston-Salem Journal reported this weekend that the schools in Berger’s home county of Rockingham are struggling with the very basics.

Daily Dose: Sucker punch edition

POLICY & POLITICS
McCrory, lawmakers pledge tax help for NC cities (WRAL-TV) -- Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane was paying close attention Thursday when Gov. Pat McCrory was talking about holding lawmakers' feet to the fire on the privilege license tax. If no changes are made to state law, the tax cities charge to businesses that set up shop within their boundaries expires next summer, knocking holes in local budgets around the state. "It's a huge deal," McFarlane said after McCrory finished speaking. Raleigh figures that the privilege tax brings in $7.5 million. That doesn't sound like a lot in terms of the city's $754 million budget, but $7.5 million is more than the city spends on grants to arts, human services and economic development groups combined. Pretty much every city leader sitting in the room during the North Carolina League of Municipalities legislative goal-setting conference could tell a similar story, which explains why McCrory got a round of applause for noting that lawmakers had promised to help local governments replace the lost revenue.
http://www.wral.com/mccrory-lawmakers-pledge-tax-help-for-nc-cities/14272066/

Demonstrators march in Bladenboro for Lennon Lacy

Too many questions still remain:

Hundreds of protesters joined with the state chapter of the NAACP in a march in Bladenboro to call for a thorough federal investigation of a black teen whose death was ruled a suicide.

Lacy was found last summer hanging from a noose fashioned from two belts and tied to a swing set in Bladenboro. Family members and NAACP officials have called his death a "possible race-based homicide" and said local authorities rushed to reach a conclusion and didn't fully investigate the case.

Pretty sure it was a belt and a dog leash, neither of which belonged to the victim. It's inconsistencies in the media coverage like that which scream for a much more detailed investigation, and any embarrassment on the part of local law enforcement falls on their shoulders alone.

Daily dose: Did somebody say we actually have a budget?

Congress sends Obama $1.1 T spending bill (AP) -- Congress cleared a $1.1 trillion spending bill for President Barack Obama's signature late Saturday night after a day of Senate intrigue capped by a failed, largely symbolic Republican challenge to the administration's new immigration policy.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/12/13/4399526/senate-debates-11t-bill-vote-slips.html

Senate Passes $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill, Joining House (New York Times) -- A rare Saturday session bridged some disagreements, as the chamber approved the measure to fund core domestic government operations. North Carolina’s two senators, Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Kay Hagan, both voted for the bill.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/14/us/senate-spending-package.html?ref=us

Daily dose: Lennon Lacy needs justice edition

F.B.I. to Investigate a Hanging Death in North Carolina (New York Times) -- After state officials said Lennon Lacy, 17, whose body was found hanging from a swing set in North Carolina, committed suicide, the local chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. asked the F.B.I. to intervene.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/13/us/fbi-to-investigate-a-hanging-death-in-north-carolina.html

FBI reviews hanging death of black teenager (AP) — The black teenager was found in a North Carolina trailer park, hanging from a swing set by a dog leash and a belt that were not his own.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/fbi-reviews-hanging-death-black-teenager-2733557

Husband loses shootout with (retired) police officer wife

She probably wasn't a former hostage negotiator:

Investigators said Friday that both George Bishop III and his wife, Brenda, fired guns Wednesday during an argument. George Bishop died a short time later, while his wife was not hit. Detectives are still trying to figure out exactly what happened and whether charges should be filed.

Bishop's wife called 911 around 1:10 p.m. Wednesday and told the operator her husband gave her a 1 o'clock deadline. She said she shot him after he fired at her.

I fully realize that hindsight is 20/20, but maybe if you had called 911 before the 1:00 deadline, things may have turned out differently. Just sayin'.

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