Posmo @
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 10:35pm

In the latest contest to demonstrate just how much they hate President Obama, the legislative loons passed a bill to repeal the Common Core educational standards. Those would be the standards adopted by nearly every state in the union, and in which North Carolina invested $66 million.

Deputy Assistant Guvnor McCrory was one of the Republicans opposed to repealing Common Core. NC's business community, including the Chamber of Commerce, also opposed repeal.

In case you were wondering whether Pathetic Pat found a spine, grew a pair and stood up for something important, the answer is (SURPRISE!) no. Pat caved and signed the repeal today.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 6:57pm

From a federal grand jury indictment almost a year ago:

The 29-count indictment charges Boggs Paving Inc., Carl Andrew Boggs, III (a/k/a Drew Boggs), 49, of Waxhaw, North Carolina; Kevin Hicks, 42, of Monroe, North Carolina; Greg Miller, 59, of Matthews, North Carolina; Greg Tucker, 40, of Oakboro, North Carolina; John Cuthbertson (a/k/a Styx Cuthbertson), 68, of Monroe; and Styx Cuthbertson Trucking Company Inc., of Wingate, North Carolina; with conspiracy to defraud the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, money laundering conspiracy, money laundering, and wire fraud for a scheme that lasted more than 10 years and involved more than $87 million in government contracts. All the defendants except Greg Tucker are also charged with mail fraud.

And McCrory can't claim he doesn't know this particular crook, because it appears Drew Boggs actually hosted a reception for the soon-to-be Governor:

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 12:22pm

Update: Overruled!

A three judge panel with two Republicans and one Democrat hearing the suit just ruled that those states that did not establish a state exchange, 36 in all including NC, are not eligible for premium subsidies for their health insurance. The vote was 2-1 with both Republicans voting to ban the subsidies, those judges were appointed by Bush I and Bush II.

This means that those people who are covered under the Affordable Care Act and are receiving a discounted premium rate will see those subsidies disappear in the future.

The decision will be appealed to the full DC Court of Appeals. Should it be upheld, it would probably take the election of a Democratic governor in 2016 and the approval of a state health exchange in North Carolina for those presently covered and those covered in the future to get their subsidies back.

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James @
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 10:14am

The GOP swarmed into Raleigh in 2012 with promises of efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency. They swept up super-majorities in both houses, assuring voters that the days of back-room wheeling and dealing would be long gone. Big government had run its course, local control was the order of the day, and magical tax cuts on the rich would cure all of our economic woes. What a difference two years makes.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 9:37am

We'll start today's entry with a complicated issue:

Quite possibly too complicated for our current leaders:

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BlueNC @
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 8:35am

THE SPILL
94 percent of Duke Energy coal ash still in Dan River (Danville Register & Bee) -- A Charlottesville-based environmental group has criticized Duke Energy following its clean-up of a 2,500-ton coal ash deposit at Schoolfield Dam, saying the company has not accounted for the remainder of its 39,000-ton coal ash spill into the Dan River. "Where are the other 37,000 tons?" said Kathleen Sullivan, senior communications manager for the Southern Environmental Law Center, in an email to the Danville Register & Bee last week. "They have not accounted for 94 percent of the coal-ash waste spilled into the Dan River. Duke has removed about 6 percent of the coal-ash waste it spilled and at just two places: at the spill site itself and the Danville dam. It is hard to believe that the coal ash hasn’t collected elsewhere in places in the river where it could be removed."

Daily dose
196
BlueNC @
Monday, July 21, 2014 - 10:34am
2014 election cycle donor survey:
2014 elections
495
BlueNC @
Monday, July 21, 2014 - 8:34am

THE SPILL
Environmentalists Not Satisfied As Dan River Cleanup Ends (WFDD-FM) -- Duke Energy announced last week that it has completed its cleanup of the Dan River following a massive coal ash spill in February. The cleanup operation began May 6, and Duke Energy says that two-and-a-half tons of coal ash and river sediment were removed. The cleanup was monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but some environmental groups are unhappy with the result. Frank Holleman is senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center. He says too much of what was dumped into the Dan River is still there.
http://wfdd.org/post/environmentalists-not-satisfied-dan-river-cleanup-ends

Daily dose
279
Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 4:05pm

If you can make it, please turn out to support the folks struggling with this man-made catastrophe:

Concerned citizens in south Asheville and the greater Buncombe County area are invited to attend an informational meeting about the contaminated CTS site on Tuesday, July 29th at the T.C. Roberson High School auditorium from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. This meeting, entitled “The Road to Cleanup,” will provide the latest technical information on the contamination at the CTS site, outline steps necessary for immediate cleanup action, and allow a forum for residents to ask questions of technical experts and the EPA. The meeting is hosted by POWER Action Group, an Asheville-based non-profit advocating for a comprehensive cleanup at the contaminated CTS of Asheville Superfund site.

One drawback to the focus of regional news outlets is people in the Triangle are often unaware of what's happening in the mountains, or vice-versa. One of our long-standing goals at BlueNC is to shorten the distance between regions, to bring our readers stories they might miss from their local paper. And this is a big one:

361
Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 12:14pm

Denying the blatantly obvious:

“He drives the budgetary policy goals of the administration,” said one Republican lobbyist in town who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order not to anger either man. “The governor yields to Art. His real power, his influence in state government, is really having that turf all to himself.”

“My job, my role, my goal is not to influence and direct the governor,” Pope said emphatically. “My job is to analyze, to provide advice, facts, what the alternatives are. I present the information, and the governor decides.” McCrory said Pope defers to him, while often catching mistakes in the calculations made by state departments and legislative staffers. “We need more nerds like him in state government,” McCrory said.

The proper term is "wonk." Somebody who can explain how Senator Palpatine subverted the Republic's form of government is a nerd. But you know, Pope isn't just a wonk, either. A wonk usually writes or translates legislation for somebody else, without putting his or her influential twist on the language. That should be called "wanking." Making Art Pope a wanker.

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