Open thread

On this most important day for our democracy, please remember that the geniuses who represent us in Raleigh had the foresight to make climate change illegal in North Carolina. We're off the hook!

The effects of human-induced climate change are being felt in every corner of the United States, scientists reported Tuesday, with water growing scarcer in dry regions, torrential rains increasing in wet regions, heat waves becoming more common and more severe, wildfires growing worse, and forests dying under assault from heat-loving insects.

None of that is happening here, you know. The Tillisberger declared there will be no accelerating sea-level rise in North Carolina.

Duke Energy and Aqua using monopoly power to hold consumers hostage

If you needed any more evidence that Republican privatization schemes are out of control, look no farther than two stories this week where corporations are literally blackmailing their customers to gain rate increases ... with a helpful assist from the Public Utilities Commission, of course.

One egregious example that should send chills through the heart of every North Carolina citizen involves Aqua America's NC subsidiary, Aqua North Carolina.

Walter Jones Jr., What Have You Done for US Lately? (In the Last 20 Years?)

In 20+ years in the US House of Representatives for the 3rd Congressional District of North Carolina, what has Walter Jones Jr. really accomplished? What can he point to as a Statesman to hang his hat on in the 2014 elections?

Walter Jones Jr. is the son former Congressman Walter Jones, also from the 3rd District of North Carolina, but does this make him qualified to be a Congressman? In my opinion...NO!

When you dig into what Walter Jr. has done in his 20+ years in office you will find a dismal performance record. For example in 2013 he wrote no bills. He had no legislation of his own origin, preferring to simply sign on as a co-sponsor of over 400 bills in 2013.

Jones Jr., from Jan-Mar of 2014 has missed over 37% of role call votes so far this year. That's over one out of every three votes....What is this guy doing?

40% decline in teaching majors will lead to teacher shortage

Did you know it's National Teacher Appreciation Week?

WBTV in Charlotte highlights a new report on universities in the state that are seeing a decline in education majors by 20-40%, putting education departments at universities in jeopardy. UNCC, seeing a decline in interest among young people in an education major, are aiming their classes towards people who might be interested in the field as a second career.

Charlotte's historically Black college, Johnson C. Smith University, is closing its Department of Education next year.

The report states the reason. "The findings revealed low numbers of students entering the University with an interest in majoring in education. The findings indicated clearly that the department was no longer financially viable."

Madi takes Senator Rucho to the ideological cleaners

And a twelve year-old shall lead them out of the darkness and into the light:

As for Senator Rucho’s opinions on requiring ID at the polls, here are a few of his greatest hits:

“It is nearly impossible to live in society today without photo identification. Whether you are going to the bank, traveling, filling a prescription or even picking up the family dog, you will be asked to present an ID.” The bill, “re-establishes a level of confidence in the electoral process and also in our state government.“ The bill puts, “honesty and integrity into the electoral process.”

Last week, blogger Greg Flynn reported that Senator Rucho’s son was charged with using a fake ID to obtain alcohol, consuming alcohol underage, and stealing a bottle of alcohol. I confirmed through a search of public records that indeed one Robert Anthony Rucho II from Matthews, NC was arrested in Chapel Hill on April 17th on these charges.

One of these days I hope to grow up and be like Madison Kimrey. :)

Dems rule in early voting turnout in NC

Unfortunately, young voters appear to be (once again) sitting this one out. 19 year-olds only outvoted 89 year-olds by one vote (881-880). And 72 year-olds (7,603) outvoted the entire block of 18-25 year-olds (6,847). Not good.

Wake GOP Commissioners abandon teacher raise request

While continuing their power plays against the School Board:

On April 14, county staff had presented a draft legislative agenda that included the commissioners requesting state legislators to raise teacher pay during the short session. That item is no longer on the legislative agenda that the commissioners are scheduled to vote on today.

One of the items added since the draft agenda is backing a draft bill that would cut back on when public bodies could use construction manager at risk (CMAR) and prequalification of services for construction projects. Last year, contractor Keith Harrod charged that the school system’s use of construction manager at risk was reducing the ability of local companies to get work on projects. Click here for a November article in the Carolina Journal.

That's right, the N&O is linking directly to Art Pope's propaganda machine to provide background for their coverage. I don't have to "click here" to know what they said. "Blah blah Free Market blah blah competition blah blah taxpayers blah blah blah." In reality, without that system in place, cronyism and substandard work become more likely. Sometimes that magic invisible hand goes straight for your wallet.


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