NCGA

Silent Sam should be persona non grata on UNC campus

Bringing him back just isn't worth the trouble:

The question of what to do with Silent Sam — the Confederate statue that was toppled by protesters at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in August 2018 — just won’t go away.

The university thought it had found an answer in November when it reached an agreement to give the statue to the North Carolina Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and fund a $2.5 million trust to display it somewhere off campus.

Actually, it wasn't the University, it was the GOP-appointed Board of Governors for the entire UNC System. Might seem like I'm nit-picking, but UNC Chapel Hill did not make this deal, would never have given neo-confederates $2.5 Million for any reason, and the failure of this author to make that distinction in the intro to this story paints all UNC grads with the same idiotic brush. Back to the disposition of the distasteful statue:

Early voting for 2020 Primary begins today

Say hello to Michael Bennet. But also, say goodbye to Michael Bennet. He's one of (currently) seven Democratic Presidential candidates on your ballot that is no longer in the race. Before you set out for your early voting site, look up your sample ballot on the Board of Elections website, because you've likely got other elections like County Commissioner of which you may not be aware. Take the time to get it right, democracy is counting on you.

Silent Sham hearing in progress right now

Joe Killian with the Progressive Pulse is live-Tweeting:

They basically just admitted this thing was rushed to avoid the opposition they knew would surface after the deal was made public. I'll post a few more, but you should jump over to Twitter and follow it:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Erin Brockovich targets cancer clusters near Lake Norman

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And coal ash is emerging as the #1 suspect:

Brockovich says she's also concerned about records included in our Defenders investigation that for decades, Duke Energy sold coal ash to be used as construction fill for development projects. DEQ records show between 1995 and 2001, about 1 million cubic yards of coal ash was sold off and buried across the area – more than anywhere else in the state. And that total doesn’t even include smaller projects that state leaders admit were not documented at all.

“Really? You built a community on coal ash?" Brockovich said. "Why aren’t you doing testing? Is there some soil vapor plume, are we being exposed to it is it is blowing around in the wind and we’re inhaling it?”

Get that? Even if Duke Energy digs up all the ash at the Marshall Steam Station and secures it in lined pits, there's a million cubic yards of it in the ground, under neighborhoods, that nobody even knew existed. We're not just talking Hexavalent Chromium, you got Mercury, Arsenic, Selenium, and even radioactive elements in that mess. Testing needs to begin, like yesterday:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

This should be in everybody's top five issues that need to be addressed:

We don't need to "bring back" Debtor's Prisons, they already exist.

Trump brings his idiotic observations to Charlotte

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At least a babbling brook is actually going somewhere:

"You saw what happened," Trump told the crowd at CPCC's Halton Theater. "It was the 'impeachment hoax,' and now that’s a thing of the past. They have the 'failed impeachment hoax.' They can put that on their resume. It’s a failed hoax. Every one of them have to put that right on their resume. It was a fix. Until it got up to Congress."

It didn't "get up" to Congress, it started in Congress. I was going to mention the "bicameral" nature of Congress, but that's too complicated to fit on one of Trump's pre-k flash cards. It doesn't take a mental health professional to detect some serious cognitive issues in his stream of unconsciousness, constantly repeating words like "hoax" until it's replaced with another that tastes right (resume). I watched a video of that speech (I won't subject you to it), and it's plainly obvious that Trump is taking some form of medication, prescribed or not. It's not helping.

Major victory for disabled persons living in NC

Being able to stay home is something many take for granted:

The case, Samantha R., et al. v. North Carolina, et. al, was filed in Wake County in May 2017. The suit claimed that North Carolina does not offer enough community-based supports for people with I/DD. Many people with I/DD would prefer to live in their home communities but have been placed into institutions in order to receive services. In addition, long waiting lists for services, and the lack of community services continue to put many people with IDD at risk for institutionalization.

The judicial order declares that the State and DHHS have violated a legal mandate – passed nearly 30 years ago – that people with disabilities may not be forced to live in institutional settings in order to get the services they need.

Even in the best of conditions, institutionalization is not a far cry from being in prison. You're only allowed very few personal items, privacy is pretty much non-existent, and just taking a stroll outside is considered a "perk" instead of a basic freedom. And it's not even more efficient. Extract from a BlueNC diary written in 2017:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Please don't forget about this, folks:

I think we can all agree that young voters are a reliably progressive voice, and we need them now.

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