Legislature tosses out EMC river and stream protection rules

A monumental waste of time:

AN ACT to disapprove the mitigation program requirements for protection and maintenance of riparian buffers rule adopted by THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION, DIRECT THE ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT COMMISSION TO ADOPT A NEW MITIGATION PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS FOR PROTECTION AND MAINTENANCE OF RIPARIAN BUFFERS RULE, and amend wastewater disposal system requirements.

SECTION 1. Pursuant to G.S. 150B‑21.3(b1), 15A NCAC 02B .0295 (Mitigation Program Requirements for Protection and Maintenance of Riparian Buffers), as adopted by the Environmental Management Commission on May 9, 2013, and approved by the Rules Review Commission on July 18, 2013, is disapproved.

Bolding mine. Five years of work, done by a Commission that already had more industry input than it should have, tossed aside because a small yet clever group of people saw an opportunity to take advantage of a failsafe that was put in place to keep a small yet clever group from abusing the rulemaking process. We are impressed by such guile, but many lawmakers are not:

Voter supression and marriage equality deserve the same treatment by the AG

N.C. Gubernatorial candidate Ken Spaulding’s statement in response to N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper’s positions on marriage equality and voter suppression

Here again, Attorney General Roy Cooper and his office have lost in court when it comes to the constitutional rights of North Carolina citizens. Roy Cooper and his office have already lost in court regarding the extremely important teacher tenure case. Now, Roy Cooper and his office have just been proven wrong and lost in the marriage equality case. Clearly, he will lose again in the pending unconstitutional "voter suppression" case.

Daily dose

Tillis Says He's Cracking Down on Coal Pollution, Green Groups Say That’s BS (Mother Jones) – N.C. Senate candidate Thom Tillis is making an unusual argument—for a Republican. In recent weeks, he's accused his Democratic opponent, Sen. Kay Hagan, of sabotaging critical environmental regulations because of her "cozy relationship" with a powerful energy company. At the same time, Tillis has trumpeted his own role in fighting for what he claims are tough new rules that will clean up the coal industry. But North Carolina environmentalists say he's full of it. "That's pretty bold, as a line of attack, considering the environmental record he's got," says D.J. Gerken, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. The back-and-forth is the latest skirmish in the political war over one of the worst environmental disasters in the state's history.


John Blust – coal ash and the eccentric in a safe seat

This story was cross posted from

A toxic slurry of selenium and arsenic can bubble discretely for decades only to spill out and imperil life along miles of rivers and lakes. So too can a conservative legislator lay low for more than a decade until the Tea Party waves of 2010 and 2012 allow him to express himself like a cold sore that arrives when the weather changes.

Read the rest here.

Racism & cronyism, Duplin style

Sometimes the illegal cronyism is so blatant that even Kim Strach has to call foul.

In an unusual move, the executive director of the State Board of Elections is refusing to confirm the appointment of a new director at the Duplin County Board of Elections, citing concerns over the way the candidate was chosen by the local board, which includes two Republicans and a Democrat.

The Duplin County board appointed a pickle factory worker with no elections oversight experience and argued to the SBOE that he was the most qualified individual. So Kim asked for the documentation demonstrating that he was the most qualified individual. The Duplin County board declined to provide that documentation.

Budget shenanigans

After grabbing headlines about a 7% teacher raise that seems to at best, the Tillisberger released the budget under cover of darkness. Senators got copies on theirs desks at 8:30 a.m. and were expected to vote on the 260-page bill at 10:15 a.m.

It's no wonder that Phil & Thom want to keep the budget secret, because it has all kinds of sleazy little personal pet provisions in it, including:

  • Moving the SBI from the Attorney General's control to the control of the governor whose administration is being investigated by the SBI (something the wing nuts have been trying to do for a long time);
  • Moves the ABC & ALE to new places too;
  • Eliminates 4 badly needed special judges;

Thrilled with Thrive

Earlier this month, before we became a Corporation, we wrote as a consumer about the process of buying a sofa online. Today, less than four weeks later, our beautiful sofa has arrived, and We are thrilled with the styling, the quality, the service, and the value we received from Thrive Furniture.

It's rare these days to found ourselves being unequivocally happy about something involving commerce. But unequivocally happy We are.

Thought you'd like to hear the whole story!


Fracked again...

There was a moment at this morning's Senate Rules Committee meeting at NCGA that left me scratching my head…. I hope y'all can help clarify something for me.

The bill being discussed was HB 761. This huge, 62 page Proposed Committee Substitute covers everything from Ambiant Air Monitoring and Animal Euthanasia Requirements to making it a Class H felony to poach venus fly traps from the only area where they grow in the wild (down east NC).

Income inequality breeds greater income inequality

Because the poor get poorer, the rich get richer.

Let’s start with the backdrop: Essentially, the lower-income Americans that are the target customers of dollar stores have gotten too poor to buy anything other than food (a vivid illustration of Piketty’s point about income inequality). That has depressed margins and profits at these [Family Dollar and Dollar Tree] discount retailers.

So the people who own and manage these discount stores are going to end up hurting right? Hahaha, no, remember, the rich get richer.

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