NC GOP

Arrogant defiance earns charter school sub-contractor probation

When it should have closed them down:

Multiple media outlets reported that Charter Day School Inc. was placed on probationary status Thursday for failing to turn over salary information about employees from a private management company who work at its schools.

At issue is whether salaries of Roger Bacon Academy employees should be public or private information. Charter Day hired Roger Bacon Academy to operate the schools. Charter Day says it doesn't have the salary information on the employees, including school headmasters and assistant headmasters.

Possibly a stupid question, but I'm going to ask it anyway: How does a charter school get awarded its "charter" if they don't even have any staff to run the school(s)? If DPI granted said charters on a lick and a promise the schools would deal with staffing later, DPI might as well just hand out the charters like lollipops at the doctor's office.

To Barack or not to Barack, that is the hindsight question

And the answer is not as obvious as many believe:

No doubt, Obama’s presence here would’ve energized some Hagan opponents, but it would also have propelled her constituents to the polls. As it was, lots of voters know a “dis” when they see one, and it was crystal clear that the president, after six years of being disrespected by Republicans, was now being disrespected by a Democratic incumbent who – despite owing her election to his coattails – was now treating him like a snaggle-toothed, bald-headed stepchild with tetter or ringworm.

Bolding mine. I know a lot of you are annoyed with Kay for her "not too far left, not too far right" declaration and apparent avoidance of the President, but rewriting history will not help us understand what happened Tuesday. Kay Hagan received 102,571 more votes than Obama did in 2008. That doesn't mean she was right to avoid the President in this election, but it does show she didn't "ride Obama's coattails" into office. Here's another take:

Job #1 between now and 2016: Young voters

As important as this election was, look at these turnout numbers:

Ballots Cast:
43.99% (2,915,757 out of 6,627,862)

43.99%

Still waiting for turnout by age-range, but I don't expect any surprises. I crunched the numbers after the Primary earlier this year, and the entire block of voters from 18-25 (that's eight separate categories) only beat 72 year-olds (one category) by one vote, 881-880. You can only rationalize that so much, and still be forced to conclude that the bulk of our efforts need to be directed at this (for all practical purposes) inactive voting demographic. More money (lots) needs to be directed to campus organizations, but that still leaves a vast number of 18-25's out of the net. And getting those potential voters activated is going to be a huge challenge, but I have a feeling it may be the only way out of this Republican nightmare we find ourselves in.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke Energy profits up 27%

I'm sure the surviving fish in the Dan River will be impressed:

Duke earned nearly $1.3 billion for the quarter, compared to $1 billion a year earlier, on $6.4 billion in revenue. Earnings per share of $1.80 were boosted 43 cents by the sale in the Midwest. Adjusted for such one-time events, earnings were $1.40 a share compared to the $1.46 of the same period last year and below analysts’ estimates of $1.52.

The company estimated its costs under North Carolina’s coal ash legislation, which mandates that Duke close its 32 coal ash ponds by 2029, at $3.4 billion. That figure is likely to change, but Duke had previously told regulators it could cost as much as $10 billion to close the ponds.

Yes, they told the regulators that before the Legislature's coal ash bill was finished and voted on, so the "scare tactics" are no longer necessary. I would normally have more to say about this, but it's apparent way too many NC voters are asleep at the wheel.

The GOP's "despicable and cowardly" game of voter suppression

Strong words from the N&O on the Republicans' behavior while in office:

The Republican politicians in North Carolina, and elsewhere for that matter, see their attempts to suppress Democratic voters with Voter ID laws and curbs on early voting and on voting sites on college campuses as some clever game. They really do.

The voter suppression laws passed in North Carolina and other Republican-run states are despicable and cowardly. The right to vote is a sacred one, granted to citizens of this grand democracy. That’s the difference in requiring a photo ID to cash a check or use a credit card and requiring one to vote. The first is a privilege; the second is a right.

It's actually more than just a game to them. Republicans believe the majorities they achieved back in 2010 equated to an overwhelming mandate from the people to do anything they wanted, regardless of the legality, Constitutionality, morality, or any other limits to power the general public expects elected officials to operate under. In any sane electoral situation, the voters would soon put that right. But with gerrymandering, it would require many Republican voters to vote against their own party. Which isn't going to happen to any substantial degree.

Desperate Tillis ramps up anti-Obama fear-mongering

Oh my God, what if things stay the same as they have been?

“Can you imagine if we don’t get a Senate majority what this president will do in the remaining two years of his term?,” Tillis told about 300 of his supporters Saturday evening in a high school cafeteria.

“He will pack the federal courts with the most liberal activist judges you’ve ever seen. He will sign an executive order granting amnesty, threatening the American workers and threatening our safety and security. He will fail to stand up to Iran, he will fail to stand up to ISIS. And our country will be less safe and secure than he found it. It already is ladies and gentlemen. That’s why I’m running for Senate.”

This is almost as stupid as some of the online ads I've seen from Neocon John Bolton: "Do you want to see a Democrat-controlled Senate?" No doubt there's a startling percentage of the electorate who have no idea the Dems have already controlled the Senate for several years, but the other 82% should see the logical misstep in this claim. First off, Republicans don't need a Senate majority to block the nominations of judges, they've already done that with gusto. And second, a President facing two hostile Houses of Congress is more likely to increase Executive Orders than if he's only facing one. And lastly, Tillis is on record (more than once) demonstrating he has absolutely no idea what he would do about ISIS, which translates to siding with McCain and other war-mongers by putting tens of thousands of boots back on the ground in Iraq. Something I believe most North Carolinians don't want.

Duke University research tainted with fracking dollars

I thought I smelled something funky about this:

Shale gas drilling generates sufficient taxes and fees to cover the costs of local government services, such as road repair, waste water services and emergency services, according to a study by Duke University researchers.

Richard Newell and Daniel Raimi of Duke’s Energy Initiative concluded that regions with active drilling generally experience financial benefits from fracking activity.

As to that "road repair" observation, you may want to tell that to the folks in Pennsylvania who are tearing their cars to pieces bumping along what used to be a decent road system. Doubtless much of their other findings are arguable, but right now I'm more concerned with what's fueling the findings:

Is that an incentive under that Red Hat, or are you just glad to see me?

Elite club membership dues come from the strangest places:

North Carolina's newly minted public-private partnership set up to create jobs across the state revealed its five major donors this week, among them Duke Energy and software firm Red Hat. The largest donation, $200,000, came from Duke Energy. Raleigh-based Red Hat pitched in $100,000, and smaller donations came from Piedmont Natural Gas, Morrisville-based computer maker Lenovo and Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Co.

Red Hat has so far received about $470,000 out of $15 million in incentive projects announced in 2011.

I'm sure many corporatists will view this as Red Hat simply "paying it forward" or some other rationalization, but it should be a stark reminder to the rest of us just how unwise and possibly incestuous this misappropriation of taxpayer's dollars really is.

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