Agencies like DENR, whose responsibilities include developing and enforcing environmental protections relating to water pollution, are falling short. And as long as lawmakers in Raleigh continue to reduce funding for these agencies, remove experienced regulatory oversight board members, and weaken regulations aimed at protecting the public health, federal standards may be the only buffer to prevent devastating and often irreversible impacts reaching every corner of our state.
The driver of this irresponsible behavior is not ideology or confusion over scientific findings, it's nothing more than simple, garden-variety greed. Instituting best practices in the handling of fossil fuels to limit toxic contamination costs money, and any elected official who actually believes industry can be trusted to ethically self-regulate with their profit margin hanging in the balance is naive at best, and criminally negligent at worst. And when it gets to the point where elementary schoolchildren are taking up your slack:
Submitted by scharrison on Sat, 03/30/2013 - 10:36am
Winner of the "worst person for the job", that is:
A. L. "Buddy" Collins is an attorney and a longtime member of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board of Education. He has clashed with the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) over the years surrounding the group's efforts to stop bullying on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
And just as the top-down bigotry at the school board snowballed and had a terrible impact on LGBT students who were supposed to be "under their care", moving this bigot up to the state level could have a similar effect from the coast to the mountains:
Whereas, there is an unemployment crisis in this State, with many citizens in need of work; and Whereas, it is in the best interest of the State to maintain clean and safe roads and highways as well as to help provide employment opportunities; and Whereas, the creation of "Hero Crews" employed to combat roadside litter will be a step toward both cleaner roads and more employment. The Department of Transportation shall establish the "Hero Crew" jobs program from available funds. Hero Crew members shall be temporary State employees compensated at rates to be determined by the Secretary of the Department of Transportation.
It appears the braintrust of the NC Senate is either hemmorrhaging or has a massive tumor. Senator Allran seems to think throwing in action words like "hero" and "combat" will somehow add some shine to giving people the "opportunity" to pursue a career in a field normally dominated by prisoners, but I doubt this pig will stand still long enough to allow a ribbon to be tied on it.
A proposal to muzzle the Public Staff of the state Utilities Commission grew out of an email exchange between a staff attorney and noted climate change denier John Droz. The sponsor, Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, a friend of Droz, didn’t mention that detail Wednesday in a hearing on the legislation.
Of course he didn't, because he knows Droz is several sandwiches shy of a picnic. It's not for certain when Droz wandered from the trail of reason into the land of make-believe where fossil fuels are renewable and Madison Avenue (for some reason) decided to trick us into believing that clean energy makes sense. But I'm pretty sure I know why Droz started tilting at windmills:
"I know all our families do not look alike. We all want the same thing for our families. We want happiness, we want health, prosperity, a bright future for our children and grandchildren. After conversations I’ve had with family members, with people I go to church with and with North Carolinians from all walks of life, I’ve come to my own personal conclusion that we should not tell people who they can love, or who they can marry. It’s time to move forward with this issue.”
For all the flak Kay has taken (much of it justified) for some of her policy approaches and priorities, this took guts on her part, and should be remembered. The GOP will be gunning for her vigorously in the coming months, and it's going to take every tool in the box to keep from losing this seat.
"We're excited about the opportunity to be part of Virginia," said Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt. "With Republicans ruling the roost in Raleigh, North Carolina basically sucks. Our deepest appreciation goes out to the people of Virginia for throwing us this lifeline."
RALEIGH, NC - Tired of having to work so hard to drag North Carolina back to the stone age, Republican leaders in Raleigh today are considering new legislation that would make their job a lot easier. Emboldened by their success in breaking the state's contract for leasing the Dix property, as well as DAG McCrory's successful raid on the coffers of the Golden Leaf Foundation, the new GOP plan calls for a sweeping repeal of any legislation not passed during the current legislative session.
"We were originally focused on the Voting Rights Act," says Senator Andrew Brock, "with a tightly worded rebuke of that entire body of legislation. But then I thought, 'What the hell? Why not throw everything out!'"
Submitted by davidesmay on Tue, 03/26/2013 - 12:15pm
In last Friday's Charlotte Observer, Republican Rep. and ALEC Task force member Ruth Samuelson said, "There's a natural sense of urgency," in regards to a new tax plan to fund a new stadium for the Panthers. And by that she means one of her largest donors is calling his marker.
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