Diaz doesn't know where his raise is coming from

Either that or he isn't saying:

DHHS communications director Ricky Diaz cited a section of the state budget bill that said “state agencies, departments and institutions shall have salary administration flexibility for licensed physicians, dentists, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists and other allied health professionals, and may exercise the flexibility within existing resources.”

However, Diaz declined to say where the money is coming from, how much is being dedicated to pay raises, which employees are being made eligible for the pay increases, the total amount of existing resources, which options are being considered to free up the resources and whether job cuts are part of the financing solution. He said the department is reviewing options and would provide that information when final decisions have been made.

The likely answer is, Diaz' $85,000 salary will result in the laying off of 2.5 people elsewhere in the Department, and he won't be the one who has to "communicate" that bad news to the soon-to-be jobless employees.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Must-see tee vee:

Never forget, and not one step backward.

Durham abortion clinic permanently closed

The GOP's war on women takes another casualty:

The Department of Health and Human Services found health code violations this summer at two North Carolina clinics that provide abortions. Now, one of them has closed for good, while the other has re-opened.

Durham’s Baker Clinic for Women has voluntarily surrendered its license after being shuttered by the DHHS in July for a quality control on blood banking.

This may be the first to permanently close, but it probably won't be the last.

Mark Meadows gets his right-wing talking-points wires crossed

Obama-bashing can get confusing for the simple-minded:

Meadows added that the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, on which he serves, is conducting an investigation into Benghazi, issuing subpoenas and taking sworn testimony. As for Egypt, he said, “If the military came in and kicked out President Obama because his approval rating was less than 50 percent, (Obama) would say that's a coup.” He added that “we should have cut off aid” after the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. “America needs to stand firm in our word and not equivocate,” he said.

Dude, that's so three weeks ago. When the Right-Wing Nut-Job Machine started to blame Obama for the coup in Egypt, they remembered they had already blamed Morsi and his American Muslim President friend for the attack on Benghazi:

Coastal Resources Commission in limbo

And then there were four:

But in order to call an emergency meeting, state officials first had to consider whether the commission could take action, given that it is operating with only a fraction of its membership. Provisions in the state budget passed by the Republican-controlled legislature ended the terms of all but four of the 15 CRC members and reduced the board to 13. The budget bill also eliminated seats designated for representatives of conservation groups and local governments.

Miller said he expects the move to face legal questions of its own. “It was never the intent of the law for four people to decide such a critical coastal management decision,” Miller said. “If the CRC votes to appeal this case, I’m sure its decision will be challenged on whether or not it was made with a legal quorum.”

Which probably won't bother Republicans in the slightest.

Salarygate continues to plague DAG McCrory

And as usual, his efforts to explain leave people scratching their heads:

McKillip, who has no experience in health-related fields and no academic degrees in that area, was promoted to the job of chief policy adviser for Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos. Both are 24 years old, a part of the story that’s received probably too much attention. For his part, McCrory seized upon that criticism with the bizarre argument that he could not discriminate against his former campaigners because of their ages. He says they competed for the positions and beat out older candidates for the high-salaried jobs.

Ah, yes. The old, "my hands were tied" argument. Which should be immediately followed by the mainstream media and/or the Ethics Commission evaluating the other applicants' qualifications. Don't hold your breath. Even if reporters did ask, they'd probably get that, "sorry, confidential personnel matters" answer. But it's not just these two that DHHS is showering with money:

NC's voter suppression law likely challenged by US DOJ

And if it works in Texas, there's a good chance it will work here:

A federal lawsuit filed Thursday against a Texas voter identification law seems certain to be followed by a similar suit against one in North Carolina. Other states, too, could face federal legal challenges over their actions in the wake of the high court’s decision. In the Justice Department’s 15-page lawsuit targeting the Texas voter ID law, signed by Houston-based Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel D. Hu, the department deployed arguments potentially applicable against other states, as well. The Texas law, Hu wrote, would “deny equal opportunities for Hispanic and African-American voters to participate in the political process, resulting in a denial of the right to vote.”

North Carolina's law seems to be very similar to Texas', which might just end up being its downfall. Republicans may be about to learn the hard way that imitating the behavior of other Republicans isn't as safe as they think it is. And once again, DAG McCrory opens his mouth and inserts foot:

All-out assault on NC's environment begins

From the NC Conservation Network via the Progressive Pulse:

The most harmful provisions in the so-called Regulatory Reform Act of 2013 were flagged in an August 7 letter from NC Conservation Network available at (insert URL). Now the law of the land, H74 will: * Allow industrial companies, including producers of toxic coal ash, to continue to pollute groundwater up until the point when their contamination finally crosses into a neighbor’s property. (§46) * Set deadlines – with no extra resources to meet them – by which state regulators must re-adopt most existing environmental protections or those protections automatically expire. Water quality protections for North Carolina’s rivers, lakes, and beaches face the first set of deadlines. (§3(b),(d)

The list of reckless provisions is extensive, which (if we had a responsible Governor) should have automatically warranted a Veto. It does, however, warrant an investigation by the EPA to determine just how far out of compliance with long-standing Federal statutes like the Clean Water Act our state will soon find itself. And until that assessment is completed, somebody needs to file a suit (right now) to get this in front of a judge so said provisions can be halted before they threaten the health of North Carolinians.

Why McCrory wouldn't meet with Madison

Because she's smarter than he is, not to mention a much better speaker:

DAG McCrory speaks in code to businessmen

And the NSA has been working double-shifts to try to figure out just what the hell he actually meant:

“All of us in this room need to go on a recruitment binge like we are going after basketball players.”

“We have got to get out of our silos. ... We have got to treat each other as customers as opposed to adversaries.”

“I want you to make money but at the same time I want you to sell the message.”

Is he talking about grain silos or missile silos? And what is this message he wants them to sell? Something about basketball players helping them sell their message about recruiting basketball players, possibly. Or maybe it's a public service message about safety:

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