Daily dose: Back to the bigotry edition

NC lawmakers to ask US Supreme Court to take up marriage amendment (WNCN-TV) -- North Carolina's legislative leaders say they plan to file a formal petition requesting the United States Supreme Court to take up the state's ban on same-sex marriages. On Thursday, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker-Designee Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said they plan to file a petition requesting that the U.S. Supreme Court hear legal arguments for the state's marriage amendment. "We've said all along North Carolina voters deserve to have their voices heard, and this important issue won't ever be settled until a final decision is made by the U.S. Supreme Court," Berger said. "Today's petition is the most efficient and cost-effective way to reach a final resolution."

http://www.wncn.com/story/27795748/nc-lawmakers-to-ask-us-supreme-court-to-take-up-marriage-amendment

Kay Hagan vs the skinny-dipping Senators

Not really that funny:

Kay Hagan just wanted to swim. It was late 2008, and the Democrat was newly arrived on Capitol Hill as North Carolina’s junior senator-elect. But Hagan was told that the Senate pool was males-only. Why? Because some of the male senators liked to swim naked.

It took an intervention by Senator Chuck Schumer, head of the Rules Committee, to put a stop to the practice, but even then “it was a fight,” remembers pollster Celinda Lake, who heard about the incident when the pool revolt was the talk among Washington women.

Really? And it took a female Senator complaining to make that stop? If I got elected to the Senate (work with me on this), and went to take a swim only to find nekkid Senators wallowing around in the water, I would have "accidentally" dropped a plugged-in hair dryer in there. Nobody wants to see that.

Daily dose: Governor who?

POLICIES & POLITICS

Despite Mercedes loss, GOP legislators slow to heed McCrory’s call on incentives (WRAL-TV) -- A day before Mercedes-Benz USA passed on North Carolina sites and opted to move its headquarters to Atlanta, Gov. Pat McCrory urged legislators to act quickly when they return to Raleigh in the coming weeks to shore up the state's job incentive programs. But state lawmakers don't appear to be in a hurry.

http://www.wral.com/lost-mercedes-deal-unlikely-to-speed-action-on-incentives/14333252/

Earthquakes!

Maybe if we get really lucky, we can get some earthquakes here in North Carolina too.

The authorities in Ohio ordered a halt to fracking at seven wells on March 10 after the two biggest quakes there, measured at magnitudes 2.8 and 3, were felt in Poland Township, about 10 miles south of Youngstown on the Pennsylvania border.

Tillis starts his own PAC, plays with model of lear jet

Okay, I made up the part about the toy jet, but the PAC thing is real:

In launching a political action committee to raise funds, Thom Tillis has made his first name an acronym: Together Holding Our Majority.

The Federal Elections Commission this week posted the filing that creates THOMPAC. The entity is a leadership PAC – the type formed by members of Congress – which raises money for the lawmaker’s non-campaign expenses and provides a vehicle to contribute to their colleagues’ campaigns.

I think it's blatantly obvious who Tillis' #1 constituent is. He should have named it "THAM" (Thom Holding Alla Money). Me? I'm just trying to hold my gorge down...

Rent too damn high

Rent is too damn high, especially if you work for minimum wage. Tell me again why we shouldn't raise the minimum wage?

The Raleigh-Durham area joins several mid-size metros as having the highest rent increases in 2014, according to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal.

The report, based on data from real estate research firm Reis Inc., looks at apartment rents in the fourth quarter 2014 compared to the previous year. Nationwide, the average increase was 3.6 percent; Raleigh rents rose 4.8 percent.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke Energy plays pre-emptive card, again

Trying to choose its legal opponents:

Duke says the Yadkin Riverkeeper Foundation and the Waterkeeper Alliance are barred from bringing the private suit, filed in September. It argues that the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has filed suit over coal-ash issues at Buck, located in Rowan County, and taken other enforcement actions. It cites federal law that bars private suits involving the federal Clean Water Act when state agencies have acted.

John Suttles, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center, says Duke has made similar arguments unsuccessfully in other environmental cases. He says the suit is properly filed and that it addresses violations of the Clean Water Act not addressed by the state suit.

Hopefully the judge will let the suit proceed, because it's important to get the Riverkeepers' testimony on record. DENR is not likely to go into any details on potential environmental damage resulting from the leaks, as they have an unfortunate habit of waiting until there's a crisis before acting.

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