Friday News: It's WBTV, in case you've been in a coma for years

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MOORE EYES LIBEL SUIT AGAINST UNDISCLOSED MEDIA OUTLET (Gaston Gazette) -- House Speaker Tim Moore has paid a New York City law firm more than $22,000 to prepare a possible libel lawsuit against a North Carolina media outlet. The Kings Mountain Republican said Thursday he believes the media outlet intentionally tried to defame him with its coverage. Moore declined to name the media organization on Thursday or what the incident involved. He confirmed that his target was neither The Gaston Gazette nor The Shelby Star, or any of the other publications owned by parent company, Gate House Media. He confirmed earlier reports that he also was not targeting The Charlotte Observer or The News & Observer in Raleigh. "At this point, because there are discussions ongoing between the attorneys on both sides I don't want to name the outlet," said Moore, who has a law practice in Cleveland County.
http://www.shelbystar.com/news/20160714/speaker-eyes-libel-suit

Yes, it *is* easier to get a gun than cast a vote in NC

She's talking about this quote from Reverend (Dr.) Barber: "It is easier to get a gun in America than a voting card." When looking at the "ease" of which something can be done, the amount of time involved is a primary factor. If you want to purchase a shotgun or rifle (which includes semi-automatic AK-47/AR-15) on November 8th, just go on that day and walk out with it. If you want to buy a handgun on that day, you'll need a sheriff's permit before you go, which usually takes just 3-5 days. If you want to vote on November 8th however, you have to get your authorization almost a month before that date:

"Vocational" high school being built in New Hanover County

What was that about government choosing winners and losers?

The local district announced last week the N.C. House of Representatives included a $1 million grant for the career-technical education (CTE) campus, which could begin welcoming students as early as August 2017. The money has been earmarked for planning and design phases of the project, according to a New Hanover County Schools spokeswoman. The oft-discussed CTE concept is one that has been particularly advocated and promoted by Rep. Ted Davis, a Republican who represents the county.

Shaped by local demand for skilled, workforce-ready employees, the CTE school will provide hands-on training in a variety of fields, including mechanics, construction, hospitality, food service and public safety. Enrolled students will also have the option of taking CFCC courses in their chosen career path while still in high school.

I'm tempted to use the word "Drones" when describing what Republicans are trying to produce with this detour from educational growth, but at least drones can fly. And while I do see the benefit of high schoolers at least contemplating what their career paths might be, the difference in maturity and outlook between a sophomore and a senior is such a huge transition, giving the former the ability to "lock" him- or her-self into a particular vocation seems less about freedom and more about taking advantage of the confusion of youth. If Republicans hadn't swept away registering 17 year-olds to vote, I might be less suspicious. But taken in context, their motives are highly suspect.

Thursday News: Ready for Roy edition

ROY COOPER SLAMS PAT MCCRORY'S 'CAROLINA COMEBACK' (Charlotte Observer) -- Laying out his own jobs plan Wednesday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Cooper blasted Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s “Carolina Comeback” as well as his support for House Bill 2. At a news conference at Central Piedmont Community College, Cooper argued that while the economy has improved across the country, most North Carolinians haven’t seen the benefits. “The truth is his ‘Carolina Comeback’ has benefited those at the top and done little for working families,” Cooper said. “… Simply because there are more jobs doesn’t mean that they’re better-paying jobs and people are making more money. That has to be our measure of success.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/election/article89362372.html

Coal Ash Wednesday: Federal court looking at CWA violations

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The process known as "capping in place" is on trial:

In the first federal Clean Water Act trial focusing on coal ash leaks, Judge James Gibney Jr. heard four days of arguments against Dominion Virginia Power, last month, about the risks ash pits in Virginia currently pose to ground and surface waters, such as the Elizabeth River. On June 24, he said he would rule after reviewing briefs from both sides.

During the June trial, one expert testified that the 3 million tons of coal ash at the Chesapeake Energy Center site contains 150 tons of arsenic, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represented environmentalists, scientists, and experts testifying on behalf of the Sierra Club in the trial.

Reading the tea leaves on this case, I hold out little hope for a responsible decision. It appears the Judge is skeptical, and has bought into the industry's, "If you want us to clean up our mess, it will cost you" threat-cloaked-as-a-warning posture. The fact such economic blackmail is accepted as sound legal reasoning instead of the strong-arm coercion it is, simply boggles the mind. But that can't survive a thorough appellate review:

Wednesday News: It's for a good cause...

COOPER OUT-RAISES MCCRORY IN GOVERNOR'S RACE (WRAL-TV) -- Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper had $3.1 million more cash on hand going into July than Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.
http://www.wral.com/cooper-out-raises-mccrory-in-governor-s-race/15846178/

STEIN OUTRAISING NEWTON IN ATTORNEY GENERAL'S RACE (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Democrat Josh Stein’s campaign for attorney general had more than $2.1 million on hand as of June 30, nearly 10 times that of his opponent in November, state Sen. Buck Newton, a Wilson Republican.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article89...

The education pirates: K-12 in deep trouble over California online charters

Purloining public education dollars, by hook or by crook:

A chain of 13 “nonprofit” online charter schools in California must pay the state attorney general an $8.5 million settlement for false advertising, misleading parents and inadequate instruction. An investigation by the San Jose Mercury News is credited with bringing many concerns about underperformance, misrepresentation of enrollment, and other issues to public view in a comprehensive way.

But, starting from the beginning, is the network really nonprofit as state law requires? California Virtual Academies (CAVA) is, according to an investigation, controlled by the for-profit, Virginia-based K12 Inc., which operates in 37 states and reported $651.4 million in revenue for the nine months ending in March of this year.

This is not a "stunning" revelation, it's more of the same evidence that's been piling up for the last 4-5 years. But that hasn't stopped the privatizers in Raleigh from moving forward with these fraudsters:

Open seat on NC Court of Appeals

No Primary, no plurality restrictions, no problem:

Another election will be on the November ballot in North Carolina because an appeals court judge recently resigned to take a job in private practice. The candidate filing period for the seat on the state Court of Appeals vacated by Martha Geer begins at noon Monday at the State Board of Elections and continues until midday Friday.

Every candidate who files will appear on the fall ballot. Since Geer left her seat a couple of months ago, there won't be a primary. The candidate with the most votes will win an eight-year term on the court, which is comprised of 15 judges who hear intermediate appeals while sitting in panels of three. Candidates already are determined for three other Court of Appeals elections set for November.

Er, except for that whole problem of 14% of voters empaneling a judge, but this year's election(s) feature so many weird and confusing aspects this particular race fits in nicely.

Tuesday News: Corporate bullies and government cronies edition

REGULATORS HIKE ENVIRONMENTALISTS' BOND FOR ASHEVILLE PLANT APPEAL (WFAE-FM) -- State regulators have delivered another blow to environmentalists trying to block a new power plant in Asheville. The North Carolina Utilities Commission says two groups must post a $98 million bond before they can appeal. That's nearly 10 times the amount regulators originally set for an appeal by environmental groups NC WARN and The Climate Times. The commission says the bond is needed to pay Duke Energy's costs if the project is delayed.
http://wcqs.org/post/regulators-hike-environmentalists-bond-asheville-plant-appeal#stream/0

UTILITIES PANEL TO NONPROFITS: $98 MILLION BOND NEEDED TO APPEAL DUKE POWER PLANT (Greensboro News & Record) - The N.C. Utilities Commission told two nonprofits that they must put up a $98 million bond for the right to appeal a power plant construction permit issued to Duke Energy.
http://www.greensboro.com/news/north_carolina/utilities-panel-to-nonprofits-million-bond-needed-to-a...

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