Trump picks Climate Change denier to head EPA transition team

They don't come much worse than Myron Ebell:

In a biography submitted when he testified before Congress, he listed among his recognitions that he had been featured in a Greenpeace “Field Guide to Climate Criminals,” dubbed a “misleader” on global warming by Rolling Stone and was the subject of a motion to censure in the British House of Commons after Ebell criticized the United Kingdom’s chief scientific adviser for his views on global warming.

Ebell’s views appear to square with Trump’s when it comes to EPA’s agenda. Trump has called global warming “bullshit” and he has said he would “cancel” the Paris global warming accord and roll back President Obama’s executive actions on climate change (ClimateWire, May 27).

And so it begins. We've never been much for fluffy bunny stories here at BlueNC, but as we move forward (if we move forward), this diary is likely a harbinger of many more reckless and feckless moves by our new President. That being said, if Roy Cooper can hang on to his lead over DAG McCrory, the NC DEQ will be in much more capable hands.

Tuesday News: No pressure at all...

THE DAY N.C. BECAME THE CENTER OF THE POLITICAL UNIVERSE (Politico) - Tim Kaine stumped in Wilmington. Donald Trump pressed his case at a boisterous rally here in the state capital. Seventy miles to the west, former President Bill Clinton headlined an event in Greensboro. And all that took place before the planned midnight blowout rally for Hillary Clinton, featuring the nominee herself and A-list guests like Lady Gaga and Jon Bon Jovi. On a frenzied election eve, North Carolina voters felt the full brunt of its role as a presidential fulcrum, a state recognized by both campaigns as essential to Trump’s path to the White House.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This Tweet struck me as very odd:

Unless of course you have already voted, in which case this Republican is advising you to break the law. I don't know if this is a real thing or not, although I have occasionally wondered if this could happen when they check off names in their voting "books" and not computers. But this could also be more voter fraud paranoia floated by the GOP.

McCrory's lawyers withholding evidence until after election

Trying to ensure four more years of corruption and incompetence:

Real Facts v. McCrory, et al. – The Governor’s lawyers agreed to allow WBTV to intervene as a plaintiff in the case about McCrory’s travel records. The Governor’s Office and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety have asserted that they produced all records requested, but most were heavily redacted based on whether they were deemed a personal or political activity or might compromise McCrory’s security. Baddour directed the parties in the lawsuit to confer and attempt to agree on the scope of the issues presented by the case, and he tentatively scheduled a further status conference in the case (and in the other cases) for next week.

Charlotte Observer v. McCrory – The newspaper filed suit Oct. 7 over a request for email messages and other communications related to House Bill 2. The Governor’s Office subsequently produced a large number of records Oct. 17 but nothing since. McCrory’s associate general counsel told Baddour they were reviewing thousands of emails and hoped to produce an additional batch of records early this week. Tadych suggested the office turn over all records already vetted, regardless of a complete review.

I find it extremely frustrating to read about this the night before Election Day, especially considering how many other ethical bullets he's dodged since 2012. :(

Climate Change in NC: Floods and drought go hand in hand

Mountain forests are burning:

At last update at 4pm Saturday, the USDA Forest Service says over 2600 acres are on fire in the Nantahala National Forest in Southwestern North Carolina. Fires have been starting and spreading in several different counties since October 23rd, with several starting as recently as November 3rd.

On Sunday, Governor Pat McCrory visited Clay County to speak with local fire officials about their efforts to combat the blaze, which McCrory says is the result of drought conditions.

As many folks who live in the NC mountains will tell you, this is not a "new" development in weather patterns, drought has been a near-constant companion for many years now. But in the next few decades, the criisis will rise to the boiling (or burning) point, and many currently native tree species will likely not survive:

Monday News: Burr must be removed


COUP AGAINST THE SUPREME COURT (New York Times) -- Last month, Senator Richard Burr, of North Carolina, told supporters that if Hillary Clinton wins, “I am going to do everything I can do to make sure four years from now, we still got an opening on the Supreme Court.” Step back for a moment and consider the radical absurdity of this position. This mind-set isn’t just a matter of a few senators going rogue. Leading conservative groups are embracing the argument, happy to destroy a principle of American politics — to privilege partisanship over the Constitution itself. In the next Congress, regardless of who wins on Tuesday, the very survival of the court as an independent body will be at stake.

Sunday News: The real voter fraud

TRUMP, GOP PAYING CONSULTANT DOGGED BY VOTER FRAUD CHARGES (AP) — Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee have paid at least $1.8 million to a political operative whose roster of companies include several that have been repeatedly investigated for voter registration fraud, even as Trump has complained that the election is rigged against him. Three employees of Strategic Allied Consulting, a firm owned by conservative operative Nathan Sproul, pleaded guilty in Florida four years ago to felony charges related to altering and destroying scores of voter registration forms. Recent federal campaign finance reports show Sproul is on the RNC’s payroll with a firm named Lincoln Strategy Group . A search of online help-wanted ads shows Lincoln Strategy Group is now hiring in North Carolina, Colorado, Missouri and other swing states, offering “Great Pay!” to those available to go door-to-door to canvass voters for conservative causes. “Make America Great Again $20/HR Canvassing,” reads a recent ad posted on Craigslist in Raleigh, North Carolina, offering full-time and part-time jobs through Election Day.

McCrory lays his bet on fancy horses to save his campaign

But he might be gambling with taxpayer dollars and not his own:

“This is bigger, with all due respect, than the All-Star Game, a football game, a basketball game — combined, times two. This economic impact is huge,” McCrory said of the 13-day equestrian competition during a news conference at the Charlotte Chamber.

Mark Bellissimo, CEO of the equestrian center, said the project requires only a small amount of public financing, including marketing and security. He anticipates his group’s budget will be between $50-$60 million.

Of course, he doesn't say how much of that $50-$60 million will be sucked out of public coffers, but we need that info desperately. Because the 2018 Games were originally contracted to be held in Canada, but they couldn't afford to do it:


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