NC GOP

Oregon millionaire behind NC's public school takeover scheme

Everything is for sale, if you fill out the check properly:

John Bryan has underwritten the creation of ten charter schools across North Carolina, and now thanks to his political efforts he’s also behind a secret plan modeled after similar controversial initiatives in Tennessee, New Orleans and elsewhere to allow charter operators to fire an entire school’s staff and start from scratch in an attempt to catapult a public school into the top 25 percent of the state.

According to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, since 2010 John Bryan has given well over $100,000 to candidates who have a record of pushing school privatization efforts, including House Speaker Tim Moore, Rep. Jason Saine, former Guilford Rep. Marcus Brandon, Rep. Paul Stam, and Sen. Ralph Hise.

It brings the term "sellout" to a whole new level, doesn't it? Remember this: The state (for the most part) doesn't fund the construction of public schools, the counties do. In effect, this legislation has all the earmarks of Conservatives' supposed great nemesis "Eminent Domain," but in reverse. They're handing over something local taxpayers built and giving it to an out-of-state political crony. And they're handing over our children, too, which is even more outrageous, if that's possible. These bills shouldn't even be parked in committee, much less brought to the floor for a vote. They should be ceremoniously burned.

GOP oxy Morons: Two week "continuing resolution"

Like a toddler crying because he doesn't want to go to bed:

With a deadline looming on Friday, state legislators still don’t have a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1. On Tuesday, they rolled out another extension to keep government running through Aug. 31.

The temporary budget bill, known as a “continuing resolution,” continues last fiscal year’s budget allocations for another two weeks while the House and Senate try to reach a deal. Before the fiscal year ended June 30, legislators approved a 45-day continuing resolution that runs out Friday.

With the right shoes, I could walk to Devonshire in a fortnight, and still have time to peddle my wares. But the GOP will probably f**k this one up, too.

The economic realities of offshore drilling the Atlantic OCS

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Applying reason to a rhetoric-filled debate:

Taylor, in her presentation, explored the economic and other benefits that have been touted as reasons to pursue offshore drilling off the Atlantic coast. Enhancing the nation’s energy independence, lowering energy prices and creating jobs are the big three reasons often cited, but what’s the reality?

“We cannot be independent of a globally traded commodity,” Taylor said, referring specifically to petroleum products, for which prices are set on international markets.

An indisputable reality we've been trying to convey to the "drill, baby, drill" crowd until we're blue in the face. But they're either dishonest or don't have the capacity to understand, which is why we have to keep saying it:

Voter suppression judge gives pass to Alamance County Sheriff

Choosing to ignore blatant racial profiling by law enforcement:

The Justice Department also alleged that Johnson said “bring me some Mexicans” during a staff meeting in January 2007. “In eliciting this statement, the government made no effort to provide any context, and none was given,” Schroeder wrote in his opinion. “The court is doubtful that the claimed statement was made, especially in the unsupported context.” Johnson denied making the statement.

Two sheriff’s employees testified that Johnson said to “go get those/some Mexicans,” but both deputies said the statements were made in reference to a Mexican gang that the sheriff’s office was investigating for possible criminal activity, according to the opinion. “It does not indicate that the sheriff ever directed his deputies to arrest individuals simply because they were from Mexico or were Hispanic,” Schroeder wrote.

Bolding mine. This judge is beginning to sound more like a defense attorney representing plainly guilty parties than an objective observer. In one breath he "doubts" the racist statement was made, and in another breath he admits it probably was but was simply misunderstood. I'm sure nobody reading this would want a Federal judge who was a rubber stamp for the DOJ. But we also don't need one with barely-concealed contempt for the agency, especially when it comes to Civil Rights issues. Needless to say, this racial profiling decision gives me even more reason to believe Schroeder will rule in favor of the GOP vote suppressors in the next few weeks, so the time to begin preparing the appeal is yesterday.

Amidst Budget crisis, GOP debates Constitutional Convention

Who needs moot court when you've got moot government:

A state House committee approved a bill under which North Carolina would join Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi and North Dakota in an effort to amend the U.S. Constitution to control the national debt. Rep. Chris Millis (R-Hampstead) is pushing House Bill 366, where 38 states would call for a Constitutional convention to put forward a balanced budget amendment. The bill is scheduled to go to the House Appropriations Committee next.

Millis says that a compact will be binding on the state unless a future General Assembly votes to remove North Carolina from it.

That last part is simply not true, proving Millis either hasn't read the whole document or is severely deficient in reading comprehension:

Perennial failed candidate chimes in on voucher decision

Big surprise, Richard Vinroot supports privatizing public education:

Even after losing, the plaintiffs continue to insist that allowing students choices in addition to traditional public schools somehow violates the State Constitution’s requirement that there must be, at minimum, a “general and uniform system of public schools.” However, our courts have long held that the legislature can establish other school programs in addition to---

I'm gonna stop you right there. The courts have *not* held that, and the Constitution is *not* ambiguous:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Cliffside back in the news

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Public hearings scheduled for stormwater discharge permits:

As part of the public feedback process, the department will hold two public hearings in September to gather input on the draft permits. The public hearing for the Dan River Combined Cycle Station stormwater permit is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Eden Town Hall, 308 East Stadium Drive, Eden. The public hearing for the Rogers Energy Complex stormwater permit is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Boiling Springs City Hall, 114 East College Ave., Boiling Springs. Speaker registration for both hearings begins at 5 p.m.

Just like death and taxes, stormwater happens whether you want it to or not. That being said, routing stormwater in and around industrial sites is complex and a *likely* source of toxic contamination of streams and rivers. From the "fact sheet" on Rogers/Cliffside:

Art Pope's donor denial rings hollow

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It does prove, however, that he views elected officials as merely tools:

And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz added in a Sunday conversation with Allen: “The men and women in this room spilled gallons of blood, spent your fortunes retaking the Senate, winning nine Senate seats, retiring Harry Reid as majority leader.”

“The main point of this weekend’s seminar is not the elected officials or the candidates,” said Art Pope, a longtime Koch network donor from North Carolina who is the CEO and chairman of Variety Wholesalers. “In fact, it’s not about candidates at all. It is more about policies and issues.”

Yes, it's frustrating when the puppets speak with their own voice, isn't it? And your efforts to minimize their importance merely serves to demonstrate your blatantly un-democratic view of how government should work. When the desires of the wealthy are more important than the basic tenets of our system of representation, the future envisioned by the Founding Fathers has been completely erased, and their worst nightmares have come to pass. But don't take my word for it:

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