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Ward for House Fundraiser in Chapel Hill on Sunday 9/14

I would like to invite the BlueNC Community to our fundraiser at the home of Florence Peacock.

Special Guest:
Representative Graig Meyer

Host Committee (Still in formation):

Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt | Councilman Lee Storrow | Representative Bobi Richardson | Representative Paul Luebke | School Board Member James Barrett | Senator Don Davis | Former Representative Edith Warren | Former Commissioner Terry Shank | Councilwoman Marion Blackburn | Councilwoman Rose Glover | Councilwoman Veronica Roberson | Councilman Ivory Mewborn | Former Councilwoman Inez Fridley | School Board Member Mildred Council | Former Chairwoman Betty Spier | Chairman Matt Hughes | Former Mayor Charles Meeker

Sunday September 14th 4pm-5:30pm
The Home of Florence Peacock
306 N Boundary Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Suggested Contributions:
Host $1000
Friends $500
Supporter $250
Guest $100

To RSVP, email uriah@uriahward.com or call 252.565.2038

I hope to see you this Sunday!!

The cost of fear

It goes without saying that the attacks on 9-11 were horrific. In my view, however, they were neither more nor less horrific than countless tragedies our species have inflicted on itself over the span of our existence.

If there is unique horror associated with 9-11, it is the ongoing War on Terror we chose to pursue after the attacks. In support of that War, each of us has sacrificed untold freedoms and personal liberties, without gaining a shred more in national safety and security. We have justified endless conflicts throughout the world, destroyed entire countries for nothing, and tortured thousands of our fellow human beings. To pay for it all, we have bankrupted our nation, both fiscally and morally. The drums of war continue even today.

I had intended for this to be a long and detailed commentary. Turns out, it's not all that complicated.

Duke Energy business as usual: $524 penalty deposit

When you have $25 billion in revenues, every little bit counts.

“Over the years, it’s clear that Duke has crafted a lucrative profit center by penalizing its customers, often those who can least afford it."

It's worth noting that Ms. Joy White, the person featured in this article, is "a self-described conservative, who does not bang a drum against Corporate America. Capitalism is just fine with her. And she wants to pay her bill. But a $524 penalty deposit is out of line, she said Tuesday."

Ms. White may want to reconsider her political leanings. Either that or STFU about the penalty being "out of line." In Corporate America, Duke Energy gets to say who pays how much for what, and Ms. White's opinion are as irrelevant as she is.

McCrory and associates finally defined

Sooner or later, more than just journalists, bloggers, or opinion writers had to step up. Fortunately for all three, and the state of the State of North Carolina, there's a fourth.

In his (Cooper's) remarks at the Levine Museum of the New South, Cooper attacked McCrory and the GOP legislature without ever mentioning the governor or any other Republican by name. He said both are “not just conservative but extremist.”

The greatest act in politics is when incumbents hand deliver their vacuous heads, on a silver platter, to potential opponents.

OBX SOS

I received this letter today from SELC, an organization I have long supported. The letter is a good summary of North Carolina Republicans' ostrich mentality when it comes to construction on our sinking shores. There's much at risk, and the GOP is doing absolutely nothing but wishful thinking.

Dear SELC Friend,

For many years SELC has been working on all fronts to forestall and combat the effects of global warming and climate change. Our clean air and energy team spends every day striving to limit the greenhouse gases so dramatically changing our planet. And our coastal team covers hundreds of shoreline miles to make sure we deal with the impacts of rising seas swiftly and intelligently.

Nowhere in our region is the problem felt more acutely than on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and I wanted to share some recent developments there as well as some background information to put it all in perspective.

Coal Ash Wednesday: No signature required

This'll show 'em:

Gov. Pat McCrory announced Tuesday afternoon he'll allow legislation to clean up coal ash in North Carolina to become law without his signature. The proposal was the topic of tense debate last month between House and Senate leaders, who sent the governor a compromise plan in the final hours of the 2014 legislative session.

According to a statement released by McCrory's office late Tuesday, the governor supports "continued action" on the clean up, but he has concerns about the constitutionality of the oversight commission created by the legislation. The majority of members on that independent panel will be appointed by state lawmakers, not the governor. "While there are great pieces to this legislation, there are major deficiencies that need to be corrected,” McCrory said in the statement.

Then they should be corrected, not allowed to become law. I understand (as Laura Leslie mentioned on Facebook yesterday) due to political concerns McCrory feels like he has no choice. Just like many Legislators who voted for it, going against this bill could anger the public, who simply want something done on this issue. But it's not going to protect them as much as they think it will, and that false sense of security could end up being more dangerous in the long run than sending it back to the kitchen.

Daily dose: $1 billion budget shortfall edition

IS NEW STATE BUDGET ALREADY HEADED TO A $1 BILLION SHORTFALL?

North Carolina’s budget year is a mere two months old and already there are annoyances that could be signs of huge problems in a few months. Total general fund revenues are $200.4 million short where they were at this point last year, according to the Monthly Financial Report for August 2014, issued by State Controller’s Office on Tuesday.

If the current trend continues, it is likely legislators will be dealing with a budget hole of $725 million to as much as $1.2 billion. This past legislative session, the General Assembly had to confront a $500 million shortfall as they struggled to meet a variety of election-year spending demands, including pay raises for teachers and other state workers. Most state agencies started the year already in an austerity mode and it won’t be surprising, if by the end of September or October, memos will be dispatched from Lee Roberts, Gov. Pat McCrory’s new budget director, with belt-tightening orders and restrictions on state employee travel.

McCrory will likely try to avoid doing anything before election day, so it won’t have an impact on the various campaigns, particularly for fellow Mecklenburg County Republican Thom Tillis, the speaker of the state House of Representatives who is locked in a very close race for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan.

Don’t be surprised when legislative leaders and key budget analysts declare that it is still too early in the process to say whether any trends are in place and that they expect revenues to increase in late October and into November and December with holiday shopping and lucrative year-end bonuses. The major culprits for this latest revenue shortfalls are individual income taxes running $225.5 million behind last year along with franchise fees which are running $51.3 million behind the same point last year. Tax cuts enacted by the legislature have had a major impact that haven’t been made up with predicted economic growth in other areas.

In August 2012 the state collected $816.5 million in personal income taxes. This past August, the total was $680.3 million – a difference of $136 million. Broadening of the state sales tax has, over the same period, brought in additional $124.6 million – still not equal to the income tax cuts, including reductions in the corporate income tax.

CAMPAIGN 2014
McCrory aims to stump for Tillis in US Senate race (AP) — North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says he plans to do anything he can to help fellow Republican Thom Tillis' election campaign for the U.S. Senate in November, and will campaign for state legislators as time allows. McCrory said Tuesday he's planning to actively campaign for Tillis. The governor noted he endorsed the top lawmaker in the state House before the Republican primary election in May. Tillis and McCrory are both from the Charlotte area and have been close allies on most legislative issues since the governor took office last year. McCrory says he's getting many requests from legislative candidates to help their campaigns. The governor says he'll try to support as many as possible around his work schedule, but points out North Carolina is a big state.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/mccrory-aims-stump-tillis-us-senate-race-2646611

"Shameful" doesn't begin to cover this injustice

It simply boggles the mind:

Also distressing, he said, were violations of the “Brady rule” requiring that exculpatory information be handed over to the defense. Three days before trial, the Red Springs police sought to test a beer can found at the scene for fingerprints of Mr. Artis and L. P. Sinclair, listing both as suspects. The can had two fingerprints, one from the victim, another from neither Mr. McCollum nor Mr. Brown. But mysteriously, tests for the other two men never were performed.

None of that was shared with defense lawyers, Johnson Britt said. Nor was the information that Mr. Sinclair, the informer who said Mr. McCollum had admitted killing the girl, had previously said he did not know anything about the murder, and a lie-detector test indicated he was telling the truth.

I was going to say, "Make sure and read the whole thing," but getting this angry is not healthy. And I don't care how old this asshole is, he deserves to spend a few years in jail himself:

Breaking: 4th Circuit to hear expedited voter suppression appeal

In an order issued today, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to expedite an appeal of a lower court’s refusal to block voting law changes from taking effect this November, and has scheduled argument on that appeal for September 25 in Charlotte.

...

For North Carolina voters, that meant that for this election cycle, there would be no same-day registration, early voting days would be reduced from 17 to 10, and votes cast out-of-precinct would not be counted.

- See more at: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2014/09/09/breaking-fourth-circuit-to-hear-expedited-appeal-of-voting...

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