Mark Meadows and the sexually-harassing skeleton in his closet

A tawdry tale of blackmail and misogyny:

The House Ethics Committee says it's giving itself until mid-August to make a decision on whether Meadows improperly paid his departed chief-of-staff after he left his job. The committee can punish House members who violate ethics rules.

The committee has considered the Meadows matter since March. A Meadows spokesman did not respond Wednesday to messages seeking comment.

He was too busy crossing his fingers and hoping this would just go away. And considering Republicans are in charge of the House and its Ethics Committee, it very well might go away. But the voters in Meadows' District, especially the female voters, should be demanding some answers about this stinking mess:

Thursday News: "Are they gone yet?"

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HB2 OPPONENTS BOOK GOVERNOR'S LIVING ROOM FOR EVENT (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Opponents of House Bill 2 have been blasting the governor’s mansion with air horns every Wednesday for months. Now they’ve reserved the first floor of Gov. Pat McCrory’s residence for a “garden party.” “While the current resident of the Governor’s Mansion isn’t a supporter of equality, it’s the people’s house and so we’re renting it out for the evening and throwing a party!” the liberal advocacy group Progress N.C. says in an invitation on its website.
http://www.sunherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article88131072.html

Compromising higher education: NC State's industry affiliate problem

When the destruction of natural habitats is no big deal:

Fritts spent four years counting mammals, reptiles and amphibians on clearcut loblolly plantation sites in Georgia and North Carolina. She did in-depth research on how biomass harvesting affected populations of shrews, rodents, southern toads and eastern narrow-mouthed toads.

“We didn’t find significant differences in impact on wildlife based on biomass harvesting treatments, no matter how much biomass was removed following a clearcut or whether it was clustered or dispersed,” Fritts says. “The diversity, evenness and abundance of mammal, reptile and amphibian species generally were similar among all of the treatments.”

I have little doubt Dr. (she is now) Fritts' research was sound, she is dedicated to little critters. But this is important: The study didn't compare animal populations in uncut forests to those that had been clear-cut, it was varying degrees of residue left on the ground. Which is important to the industry, who want every little morsel of those harvested trees. The studies *we* need to see are the ones I mentioned above; mortality rates from the harvesting itself. But don't hold your breath waiting for NC State to produce damning evidence of such, because they're too busy helping industry deforest our state:

Wednesday News: No, really, he actually said that

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TRUMP PRAISES SADDAM HUSSEIN FOR BEING ‘GOOD’ AT KILLING TERRORISTS (New York Times) -- Donald J. Trump praised Saddam Hussein at a campaign rally on Tuesday in Raleigh, saying that he had done a good job of killing terrorists. Speaking to a packed auditorium, Trump first called Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq, a “really bad guy,” before offering him brief plaudits.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/06/us/politics/donald-trump-saddam-hussein.html

Raleigh says "no" to anti-abortion rezoning request

Cue a special session of the NCGA to rewrite municipal zoning laws in in 3...2...:

A Hand of Hope ministry, which operates the Your Choice Pregnancy Clinic and provides free pregnancy services purchased land, which needed to be rezoned to allow for office space, next to A Preferred Women's Health Center at 1604 Jones Franklin Road in January. Hand of Hope had previously leased office space about a quarter-mile away.

City leaders said Tuesday night that the rezoning request is inconsistent with the city’s comprehensive plan, which has a vision that extends to the year 2030. They said rezoning for the anti-abortion group is simply not in tandem with the plan’s policy.

And just what is that Hand of Hope holding out to young potential mothers? Help paying for prenatal care and delivery? No. An Ob/Gyn MD to monitor you and be on-call for the birthing? No. How about help actually finding trustworthy adoptive parents? No, but they'll tell you what a great option it is, and how lonely those poor people are who can't have a baby. Here is the sum total of their services:

Support for public education in NC: Myth vs. fact

[Updated based on new information.]

THE MYTH: Spending for public schools was increased by the GA and Governor McCrory.

THE FACTS: No, it was not. In 2012 they spent a $100 million less than NC’s Office of Management and Budget, headed then by arch-conservative Art Pope, told lawmakers it would take to keep schools funded at the same level as the previous year.(1)

Tuesday News: Dynamic duo edition

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OBAMA TO JOIN HILLARY CLINTON ON STUMP, STARTING IN N.C. (New York Times) -- Hillary Clinton will hold her first joint rally with President Obama on Tuesday in Charlotte, an event signaling the start of a flurry of political activity by Mr. Obama to help elect his former rival and vanquish Donald J. Trump.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/06/us/politics/hillary-clinton-obama.html

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