Abortion clinic targeted by GOP closing its doors

When Republicans win, women lose:

Western North Carolina’s only provider of abortion services, Femcare, put its property up for sale last week. And a patient of the Asheville women’s clinic tells Carolina Public Press that she was told by a clinic staffer that it will close soon.

Femcare provides a number of women’s health services outside of abortions. An Asheville woman who said she has been a gynecology patient of the clinic told Carolina Public Press on Friday that when she recently tried to schedule a return visit, she was told that the clinic was closing and taking no new appointments. Carolina Public Press agreed to withhold her name to protect her confidentiality. If Femcare closes and its services aren’t replaced locally, the nearest abortion services in North Carolina that are presently available are in Charlotte.

It appears that Planned Parenthood is stepping up to provide at least some of those lost services:

Tillis's Obamacare witch hunt commences

Thom Tillis's panel to "examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act on North Carolina" has started.

It's packed with GOP right-wing nut jobs, and its clear intent is to bash Obamacare and by extension, President Obama and Senator Hagan. This is a blatant use of public money for Thom Tillis's senate campaign.

The first speaker? Dr. Chris Conover (the GOP says he's a Duke professor; he's also with the loony American Enterprise Institute.

He's telling horror stories about Obamacare costs and the right-wing nut jobs are lapping it up:

The NC GOP's assault on environmental regulations continues

Stripping away NC's Air Toxics program:

The state Environmental Management Commission recently approved changes to North Carolina’s rules for controlling toxic air pollution, in an effort to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and improve government efficiency while maintaining protections for public health.

The legislatively mandated rule changes would exempt most facilities from state air toxics rules if they comply with federal rules for controlling hazardous air pollutants, unless the DAQ director determines that their emissions pose unacceptable health risks. The changes developed by DAQ alter some of the minimum requirements for facilities needing toxics evaluations and would exempt certain natural gas/propane combustion sources and emergency generators from the state rules.

For all you grassroots Democrats and establishment Dems out there arguing about who is using what rooms in Goodwin House, the secret weapon for winning elections in November is right here in front of your faces. Republicans have endangered the health of North Carolinians for a couple of years now, and the evidence is overwhelming. GOTV begins yesterday.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

We'll start out with some nasty business:

A simple recounting of the story's details, which generates this:

Sunshine Week spotlight: NC charter schools lag in compliance

Once the public money flows, so should the information:

Charter school boards, unlike their school-district counterparts, are not elected. They begin as self-selected groups of like-minded people with a vision for a school. First they must form a nonprofit group to apply for the charter; during the planning stage – which often takes more than a year – they are not public bodies.

That changes when the N.C. Board of Education awards a charter, which entitles the board to get state, local and federal money for education. With that money comes public obligations, from holding open meetings to reporting academic data.

Old habits die hard, which is why these boards should operate as transparently as possible, even before the taxpayer dollars kick in. Getting feedback from parents and other members of the public during the planning stage could be crucial in the survivability of the school itself; an "idea" only becomes a "good idea" after it's been picked apart and put back together again. Those who would shield their ideas from exposure are merely exposing their lack of confidence. And their lack of skills, too:

Moffitt "just trying to be helpful" with threats to Turner

With friends like this, you don't need enemies:

To hear Tim Moffitt tell it, he was only trying to be a good guy by asking his Democratic opponent to drop out of the race for the Asheville House seat Moffitt holds.

“We’re all rookies at some point. ... I could tell that nobody had really sat down with him and said, ‘Hey, do you really know what you’re getting involved with?’ ” the aspiring House speaker told Moffitt said he was simply trying to educate a political newcomer about what he could expect from the coming campaign, describing Buncombe County as a “toxic political environment.”

Riiight, because educating your political opponent is such a crucial step in a successful campaign. Not. The sad thing is, many folks on the Right will gobble up this excuse and then pat their bellies in satisfaction, once again picturing themselves on top of a moral high ground that doesn't exist.

DENR still running interference for Duke Energy

Using the permit process to delay and obstruct:

"Reopening these permits allows DENR to ensure that Duke Energy resolves this long-standing issue at these facilities," said Secretary John Skvarla.

"I think this is a concerning attempt to bypass the Court's order last week instructing DENR to take immediate action to eliminate the source of its contamination," said environmentalist DJ Gerken of the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC). He says Friday's news is just another attempt by the state agency to slow things down. Last week a state judge ruled that Duke must immediately stop the source of groundwater contamination.

"There is absolutely no good reason to address Duke's violations through the belabored process of an administrative permit - if DENR is serious about correcting pollution, it can enforce the law against Duke right now in the multiple cases pending in Superior Court," Gerken said.

That's a real big "if." Everything we've seen so far shows the current leadership at DENR is only serious about one thing: doing its best to shield Duke Energy from major expenses.

Moffitt for speaker. Please

Cross posted at

That settles it. I know who I’m pulling for to succeed Thom Tillis as house speaker. I’m with Tim Moffitt.

My reasons are simple. I want somebody who gives me plenty of fodder for my blog. Nobody will fill that role quite as well as Representative Moffitt. Moffitt is almost a parody of the bumbling movie politician who is so dumb he can’t even succeed at petty corruption. Think Mel Brooks as the governor in Blazing Saddles. Read more at PoliticsNC...

Skip the bullying and whining, Stam

Seeking retribution for a little discomfort:

I sit on the back row of the chamber, just a few feet from the doors to the lobby. On May 6 and May 13, chanting and singing in the lobby made it very difficult to hear the proceedings for the first 20 (May 6) and 30 minutes (May 13) until protesters were gradually removed. If I had needed to participate in the debate or even hear it, I would have had to leave my assigned position.

Protesters claim their legislators are not listening to them. My experience is that of most members: Not one person identified as a protester contacted my office to discuss any issue at all before going to the lobby to sing and chant and disrupt the proceedings of the House.

Once again, Stam proves he can mislead with the best of them. By adding that "identified as a protestor" qualification, he can make the claim nobody contacted his office prior to the protest, when we all know that's a damn lie.

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