This week from Progress NC

Lawmakers have finally brought an end to the marathon “short” session which lasted over a month longer than planned, and wasted $1.1 million in taxpayer money. Unfortunately, they left a great deal of work undone -- or even worse, done poorly.

Teacher Assistant Jobs at Risk

The General Assembly adjourned without fixing the budget’s cuts to teacher assistant funding, forcing districts across the state to cut TA positions. Funding for textbooks has dropped by 79% over the past five years, according to the Dept. of Public Instruction. In many schools, students are forced to share textbooks. Teacher turnover in Wake County jumped over 20% since last year. Veteran teachers across the state will continue to leave after seeing almost no pay raise at all.

The Coal Ash “Cleanup” Bill That Wasn’t

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Renee Ellmers supports HR3717. I don't.

Rep. Renee Ellmers and Rep. Tim Murphy, who is chief sponsor for his proposed Mental Health Reform Bill, met with the Editorial Board of the News and Observer Tuesday in Raleigh. Here is the link to the article published by the N&O and written by Lynn Bonner. There is a brief video of Murphy speaking to the Board posted, too.

I am posting a link to a different viewpoint on this bill written by Bonnie Schell. Bonnie is a former peer support provider in California and a former employee of PBH in Concord (now "Cardinal Innovations"), a Managed Care Agency. Bonnie is also a published author and the Chair of the Board of a state-wide peer led mental health advocacy organization called NC CANSO.

One voice

What is it about my vote that the NCGA doesn’t like? Most of you already know me at least by my activity on BlueNC. My name is Brian. I am a new transfer student at UNC-Pembroke. I am majoring in Political Science and the first few days of classes have started to open up my mind and make me think about that one question, what is it about my vote that the NCGA doesn’t like? That is a rhetorical question. I know what it is. I do not vote the way the “majority” wants me to vote, I am a member of a demographic that historically doesn’t vote the way the “majority” wants me to.

Pat McCrory to 23,000 US veterans: Drop dead

Pope puppet appointed to NC Court of Appeals

The rumors of Art Pope's loss of influence over McCrory are wildly exaggerated:

In a press release on Monday afternoon, Governor Pat McCrory announced that he will appoint Winston-Salem lawyer Richard Dietz to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Dietz will fill the seat of Judge Bob Hunter, Jr., whom McCrory appointed as a Justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court ahead of elections in November. Judge hunter will be sworn in on September 6th to be followed by Dietz.

“Richard Dietz has an esteemed legal record and an extensive background in appellate practice,” said Governor McCrory. “His experience, service on the North Carolina Courts Commission and involvement in his community will make him a valuable addition to the Court of Appeals.”

What you won't find in this article is his recent attachment to Civitas and the John Locke Foundation, including his indoctrination training in free-market principles:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The harsh reality of the GOP's failure to properly fund public education:

And no math formula can make it right:

Daily dose: Who the hell cares what Phil Kirk thinks? edition

PHIL SMIRK
Pope beneficial to state (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- Art Pope is to be commended for his many years of public service, especially for his 20 months as the state’s budget director.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/25/4096078/phil-kirk-pope-beneficial...

THE SPILL
McCrory: I’ll sign coal ash bill that violates constitution (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory says he will likely sign a coal ash cleanup bill approved last week by the North Carolina legislature into law, even though he suggested a key provision violates the state Constitution.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/mccrory-coal-ash-commi...

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The best justice money can buy

In case anyone remained under the illusion that judicial elections in NC were actually non-partisan, like they are officially billed to be, former NC Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake shatters that illusion.

In a firey [sic] plea for money, I. Beverly Lake, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, is rallying support for Bob Hunter in his campaign for a seat on the high court.

Lake, who reached mandatory retirement age in 2006, sent out a letter to Republican donors stating his case clearly:

“One justice can mean the difference between liberty and tyranny. … Since leaving the bench, I’ve watched liberal ‘activist judges’ rewrite the Constitution – and waited for one justice to stand up and say ‘No’ to the craziness going on in our courts.”

Markos finally agrees with me

End corporate taxation. And then tax the hell out of individuals for capital gains.

Public forum on fracking in Rockingham County this evening

And the voices of dissent are growing:

The N.C. Mining and Energy Commission is seeking input from the public on proposed rules for oil and gas development. The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 25 at Rockingham County High School in Wentworth.

Also on Monday, opponents to fracking are organizing a Frack Free NC rally at 4:15 p.m. in front of Rockingham County High School.

So far, opponents have outnumbered pro-frackers by a sizeable margin, but that hasn't stopped media from giving them equal time. Which is exactly what FreedomWorks is counting on.

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