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Coal Ash Wednesday: "But the bugs are doing just fine!"

The biological trump rule in action:

Aquatic insect communities in an area downstream from the Feb. 2 coal ash spill appear to be thriving, according to the results of testing conducted by state environmental officials.

Using a standard sampling protocol, state scientists collected samples of benthic macroinvertebrate at two locations – one upstream and one downstream of the site of Dan River spill. During the sampling, scientists collect insects and other invertebrates from the river using nets and then record the number and species present in their samples before returning the insects to the river. Scientists can determine much about the health of the river based on the number and type of living species they collect. The populations from the upstream and downstream sites were similar and were considered “Excellent,” which is the highest biological rating available.

This is good news, for one location out of a 70 mile stretch of river, that is. Some of that spilled coal ash is now buried under a few feet of silt, but some of it isn't. I won't go as far as to imply DENR testers located a healthy spot and tested that one, although that wouldn't surprise me. But one sample out of seventy miles doesn't a clean river make. Admittedly, I'm a little out of my depth here, but these folks aren't:

The case for reparations

It's been interesting to witness another great divide occurring in American society, this time over the tinderbox known as #ferguson. It is one of humanity's great tests, and we are failing.

At issue of course is racism, a cancer so deep in our species that we deny it even exists. How can it not exist? White people brutalized black and brown people on this land for more than four centuries. The costs have been back-breaking, and the aftershocks have in no way diminished.

The white race has yet to make amends. We have not come even close.

Is Tim Moore even more delusional than Tillis?

The Magic 8-Ball sez, "It's quite possible, yes."

"We have righted the ship and dealt with what I had considered to have been a hard left turn the state had taken in the years before the Republicans came to majority," Moore said. Issues such as abortion, voting rights, gun laws and same-sex marriage have largely been dealt with and are now off the legislative agenda, he said.

"What I think I'm hearing from the caucus and from the folks out there is they want to see us govern," Moore said. "They want to see the state move forward, show that the changes done can be implemented in an appropriate manner. They want to know that the state can be run like a business, that we can live within our means."

"Hard left turn?" You're kidding, right? If anything, the Dems running the state before the 2010 debacle were moderate to conservative in almost everything they did. Even "Progressive" ideas like the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard were contaminated with corporate giveaways like Construction Work In Progress (CWIP). And for those of you who have been pleased by McCrory's hints about expanding Medicaid, don't bake a cake yet:

Daily dose: Systemic failure edition

POLICY & POLITICS
Charitable Giving Down In North Carolina (WUNC-FM) -- A new report from the Secretary of State’s office shows charitable giving in North Carolina is drastically down. Latest numbers show giving at nearly $21.5 million dollars. That’s down by more than $10 million dollars from the year before. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall says she’s not surprised the economy continues to have an effect on donations to charities and non-profits. But she is disappointed solicitors are hauling in a bigger chunk of the money.
http://wunc.org/post/charitibale-giving-down-north-

How to talk politics with your conservative uncle

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, we want to help you prepare for the inevitable political rant from that conservative uncle who still has Benghazi on the brain.

That's why we at Progress NC Action have created The Guide To Talking Turkey With Your Conservative Uncle.

We provide myths or conservative talking points and then refute them with the facts, backed up by verifiable sources.

Daily dose: No comeback edition

POLICY & POLITICS
N.C. Comeback? Not Quite, As Analysts Question McCrory's Assessment (Public News Service) -- Not everyone is buying Gov. Pat McCrory's claim of success after October unemployment numbers indicated the state had recovered the jobs lost during the Great Recession. While the number of people employed last month is slightly above pre-recession levels, John Quinterno with South By North Strategies in Chapel Hill says that's not the whole story. "Just because we have the same number of payroll jobs we did almost seven years ago is not the same thing as a recovery," he says. "In no way, shape or form should that be taken as a sign we won the battle against unemployment in North Carolina." Quinterno said a healthy economy needs to add jobs to support population growth. Analysts estimate more than 280,000 workers are not counted in the unemployment data because they have given up on finding a job. If they were included, the unemployment rate would be 12.5 percent, versus the reported 6.3 percent.
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2014-11-25/livable-wages-working-families/north-carolina-economy-re...

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