NC GOP

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)

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:

Coal Ash Wednesday: To Commission or not to Commission

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Another battle between McCrory and the Legislature seems imminent:

Senate Bill 71 gives the governor the five of the seven appointments to the Coal Ash Management Commission and creates new quorum rules to ensure that legislative members can't work without cooperating with the governor's appointees. "The governor's appointments will always be in charge," McGrady said.

But the bill also requires the lawmakers to confirm gubernatorial appointments and limits the reasons for which members of the commission can be removed. "Let's don't relive history here," Stephens told Rules Committee members, saying that the bill would not give McCrory adequate control of the commission. "My message to you is that all three of those commissions are unconstitutional and will be challenged."

It's plain to anybody with half a brain the Executive Branch (including DEQ) is riddled with conflicts of interest associated with Duke Energy, and needs to be under some form of oversight. That being said, I'm not sure the Legislature or the NCUC is any better. I fear Duke Energy may have an entire stable full of stalking horses of different government breeds, and putting faith in any one of them is naive at best. But Chuck McGrady's work with the Sierra Club was exemplary, and I do believe he is a genuine environmentalist, regardless of his other conservative traits. If he's going to be directly involved in the (new) Commission's creation and operation, go ahead and bring it.

UNC Board of Governors vows to listen, do nothing

Or at least some of them will listen:

A handful of the 32-member governing board's members will listen to up to an hour of public comments following each regular meeting, starting Friday. Speakers will be required to sign in.

"I think it would be an outlet for those people who have been protesting and want to come and have a reasoned comment for us," UNC Board of Governors Chairman Louis Bissette said in a conference call with reporters. "The session is for us to hear from the public, not to respond to demands or engage in any sort of debate. So you will see we will be in full listening mode."

Bolding mine, pretty much all you need to know. It appears logic and reasoning aren't included in Chairman Bissette's repertoire of rhetoric. If they were, he would realize "full listening mode" would require the attendance of all voting members of the Board. Being the top dog in an academic setting is hard work, especially if you'd rather be cooking up ways to entice investors into turning over their cash. Also, isn't he supposed to be skilled at dispute resolution? Apparently those are hidden skills, only to be brought out when profit$ are available.

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