More DMV screwups compound Voter ID problems

Thanks to the GOP, the term "Backlog" has never been so commonly used:

Thousands of drivers in Forsyth County and across North Carolina have lost their license because the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles didn’t update its records, Forsyth County Clerk of Court Susan Frye said. “We’ve had people lose their jobs over this,” Frye said Friday.

She said once she started noticing the issue, she and other clerks across the state tried to get answers from the DMV. Court officials finally got one in March when they were told about the backlog, she said. Frye said clerks were also told that a disgruntled DMV employee shredded some of the error reports. Steve Abbott, a spokesman for the DMV, declined to comment on that or any other additional questions because of the pending investigation.

That's also not the first time McCrory's painfully incompetent bureaucracy has used that "disgruntled worker" excuse, but you know? We never see them. "Oh, he's gone. That problem has been dealt with, and most severely, I assure you." Right. Until the next disgruntled strawman decides to shred some important data. It's funny, but it's really not funny, especially if you're one of the thousands who lose your driving and voting capabilities as a result

Plantation owner's cotillion disrupted by angry peasants

What's the point in being landed gentry if you can't steal from your subjects?

Jackson, an Autryville Republican, owns Jackson Farming Co. in Sampson County. The protest was connected to a federal lawsuit brought by seven former workers from Mexico who worked on Jackson’s farm on H-2A agricultural visas. The lawsuit claims they were cheated out of money. Money was deducted for work-related travel, and one worker was fired after he complained about unfair wage deductions, the lawsuit said.

Jackson was not in his Senate office when the petition was delivered. Protesters left the building chanting, “Senator Jackson, pay your workers.”

"I may have held back some of their wages, but I let them eat some of the less attractive watermelons, sometimes twice a day. You can live on nothing but watermelon for over two weeks. A lot of people don't know that." Not Brent Jackson said. (The author questions the plantation owner's ability to detect parody)

Saturday News: UNC BOG's political circus

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UNC BOARD HIRES 2 LAW FIRMS IN LAWSUIT OVER HB2 (AP) -- The University of North Carolina system has hired two law firms to defend it against a federal lawsuit over House Bill 2. A statement issued Friday said the UNC system retained Jones Day and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to provide legal services to the system and the UNC Board of Governors.
http://www.wral.com/unc-board-retains-2-law-firms-in-lawsuit-over-house-bill-2/15733638/

UNC ASKS AG TO PAY FOR OUTSIDE LAWYERS IN HB2 LAWSUITS (WRAL-TV) -- University of North Carolina officials on Friday hired two elite law firms to defend the 17-campus system against a federal lawsuit over House Bill 2 and asked Attorney General Roy Cooper to pick up the tab.
http://www.wral.com/unc-asks-ag-to-pay-for-outside-lawyers-in-hb2-lawsuits/15732854/

Friday News: Ellmers has a Koch problem

KOCH GROUP LAUNCHES GROUND WAR – AGAINST GOP LAWMAKER ELLMERS (The Hill) — The Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity is pulling out all the stops to end Rep. Renee Ellmers’ career in Washington. The group founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and in N.C. has had substantial backing from GOP megadonor Art Pope, has dozens of field workers descending on the lawmaker’s district in the Raleigh suburbs, all of whom are working to brand the three-time incumbent as a fake conservative who has too often voted for legislation reaffirming Washington’s crony capitalism.
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/281412-koch-group-launches-ground-war-against-gop-lawmaker

NCDP files records request on contaminated water advisories

There's no room for conflicts of interest where public health is concerned:

Democratic Party chairwoman Patsy Keever announced the records request at a news conference at party headquarters in Raleigh. “Sworn testimony suggests the governor’s press staff pressured state water experts to lift ‘do not drink’ orders for families living near coal ash ponds,” she said.

Asked if Ellis’ request wasn’t just an effort to provide well owners with additional, reassuring information, Keever said the records could disclose his motive. “We need to look into who is making those decisions and why,” Keever said.

No doubt McCrory's propaganda machine will try to write this off as election-year politics, but this is an important move on NCDP's part. We really do need to find out how this decision percolated through the system, and just how involved Duke Energy was (allowed to be). But also, the voters need to be sent a clear message that Democrats really do care about the environment and public health, and that they don't have to rely solely on non-profits for the protection of such.

Greenwashing on the cheap: Enviva's miniscule conservation grants

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Look at that cute little forest over there:

Maryland-based Enviva, criticized by environmentalists for mills that make wood pellets to be burned as fuel in European power plants, said Wednesday it is spending $295,000 for grants that will help two conservation groups protect bottomland forests in North Carolina.

The Triangle Land Conservancy will receive $100,000 to help acquire a conservation easement on 127 wooded acres near Beaverdam Lake and the Neuse River east of Raleigh. The Nature Conservancy North Carolina chapter will receive $195,000 toward the $935,000 purchase of 1,294 acres of forested wetlands on the Roanoke River in Washington County.

If anybody reading this is on the boards or otherwise associated with these two (great) non-profits, please try to focus on the big picture. And that big picture is missing hundreds of thousands of acres of forests in the Southeast already, and NC hardwoods are being chopped up at an alarming rate:

GOP assault on HBCUs moves forward

A higher education wolf in sheep's clothing:

The measure has been greeted with suspicion from some advocates for the schools. At the committee meetings on Wednesday, several questioned whether this is an effort to cut the schools’ funding or put them at a lower tier than the state’s 11 other public universities.

These cuts would drastically cut the schools’ incomes. The legislation allocates $70 million of taxpayer money to replace it, Apodaca said, which he said is $9 million more than estimates project will be needed.

As they say, the devil is in the details. And the definitions. Allocate: 1. To set apart for a special purpose; designate. It's only the secondary part of the definition where the word is expanded to denote the movement/transfer of resources. And in the latest iteration of this particular bill, that second thing is not a foregone conclusion:

Thursday News: Traffic problems? We don't have any traffic problems.

MCCRORY'S FREQUENT USE OF STATE PLANE TO TAXI HOME (WBTV-TV) – Gov. Pat McCrory’s use of state aircraft to get out of Raleigh during his first two years in office has cost taxpayers nearly $60,000. Five months after WBTV first requested flight records and other travel documents covering McCrory’s first two years in office, the Governor’s Office provided the records in mid-May. The records show McCrory frequently uses state airplanes to taxi between Raleigh and his home in Charlotte or the Governor’s western residence in Asheville -- even when it meant having the plane make extra trips.
http://wncn.com/2016/05/25/records-show-mccrorys-frequent-use-of-state-plane-to-fly-home/

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