Today is the deadline for registering to vote in NC's Primary

And while you're pondering that, ponder what it would be like if you needed help to vote:

One of the most fundamental rights is that of voting, according to Disability Rights attorney Mercedes Restucha-Klem. But under the new voter ID law passed last year by the General Assembly, exercising that right could become more cumbersome for some people with disabilities.

Restucha-Klem explained that, for example, the new law prohibits a worker from a nursing home or adult-care home from helping a resident vote. Facility workers can no longer even witness a resident’s signature on an absentee ballot.

Republicans are doing everything they can to limit the number of people who vote in our elections. As disgusted and disillusioned as you may feel about the system or the candidates, don't help the GOP achieve their goals. Go and vote, and encourage as many others as you can to do the same.

Feds seized gun, cash, and computers from Cannon

On the day Patrick Cannon was arrested Feds seized a gun, cash, cell phones, computers, bank records, campaign finance records, and his passport. The gun, a Glock 10mm semi-automatic handgun may be one that Cannon had reported stolen in 1994.

From the Charlotte Observer:

In 1994, Cannon, then a city council member, reported that his car had been stolen along with a Glock 10mm semi-automatic handgun that was inside the car. The car was returned, but it was unclear what happened to the gun.

I bet I know what you're thinking.

Hagan presses Obama to approve Keystone pipeline

Bad for the environment, bad for energy independence, and bad politics. I suppose the Hagan campaign thinks this move will improve her standing among moderates, and maybe it will. But it's a risky game she's playing. Because in addition to moderates, Hagan needs liberals to turn out big time in November. Yet she seems to be doing everything she can to dampen our enthusiasm.


Duke Energy backs off on chemical treatment of trees

And of course, the fault lies with ratepayers:

"We're pausing the program because of the feedback, I do hate that there is so much misinformation out there about this program. We never intended to force this application on to any property owner," said Paige Layne, with Duke Energy. She says the company should have done more than leave door hangers announcing the plan, but she says the chemical is not dangerous.

"The product has been widely tested by the EPA has approved its use as has the state of North Carolina," she said Duke's initial plan was to let property owners with objections opt out of having their trees treated. Some residents in Greensboro were upset with Duke after what they felt was overly intensive trimming in December of 2012.

There very well may have been "misinformation out there" concerning this process, but that most often happens when there's not enough information provided in the first place. Considering the multiple water contamination problems associated with coal ash and the injudicious tree-cutting Duke has been responsible for in the past, it's no wonder citizens would be concerned.

ACLU suing for immediate action to end Amendment One; Cooper has no immediate comment

Several news outlets are reporting that the North Carolina ACLU is suing to for immediate action to overturn Amendment One. The action is being taken on behalf of gay couples in ill health and is similar to ruling last week in Ohio.

Given the health issues affecting the North Carolina couples, that’s too long to wait, said Chris Brook, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, which helped file a motion Wednesday calling for quick court action.

“While we are exceptionally encouraged and heartened by the Virginia case, there’s no set timeline on when the Fourth Circuit could rule,” Brook said.

“These couples are being harmed now. That’s why we’re filing. We believe their marriages should be recognized today. Not in a few months. Not in a few years. That may be too late.”

What happens when you slash taxes and decimate the workforce?

You end up with a significant shortfall in tax revenues. Surprise, surprise.

The report shows a recession-like drop in personal income tax withholdings since the start of the calendar year, and personal income tax collections now lag forecasts by $221.3 million.

Another gut-punch coming for NC's unemployed

When faulty statistics cause real-world harm:

The maximum number of weeks that North Carolina’s jobless can receive unemployment checks is expected to decline significantly again in July because state law ties the benefits to the state’s declining unemployment rate. The prospect of four or five fewer weeks of unemployment checks for workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own is bemoaned by advocates for the poor.

“The fact that we are seeing a decline in the unemployment rate is really masking the persistent and high joblessness in our state,” said Alexandra Forter Sirota, director of the Budget & Tax Center at the N.C. Justice Center, an advocacy group for the poor and working class. “Many workers do not have employment opportunities despite wanting to work.”

It's simply hard to understand the cold-blooded nature of Republicans in the NCGA. Not a single glance back at the families who are left behind in their rush to not only pay off the Federal debt, but build a billion-dollar "trust" fund to cover future claims. And the self-perpetuating nature of this law means, the sooner these benefits are cut off, the lower the unemployment rate will seem, resulting in even more cuts to the duration of benefits. It's a cycle, and not a good cycle, either. And every time this guy opens his mouth an angel loses a feather:

Open thread: Coal ash blues

McCrory appoints hand-picked ferry director

A local tv station on the Outer Banks reported a two days ago that McCrory has demoted a long-time system employee, Harold Thomas, who was ferry director since 2011. McCrory's pick is Ed Goodwin.

Goodwin is a former Chowan County commissioner, ex-Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent and 2012 Republican candidate for secretary of state. He has no experience within the ferry office.

DOT ferry spokesman Tim Hass says Goodwin will focus on broader initiatives related to customer service, capital improvements and relations with legislators.

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