Pat McCrory to 23,000 US veterans: Drop dead

Pope puppet appointed to NC Court of Appeals

The rumors of Art Pope's loss of influence over McCrory are wildly exaggerated:

In a press release on Monday afternoon, Governor Pat McCrory announced that he will appoint Winston-Salem lawyer Richard Dietz to the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Dietz will fill the seat of Judge Bob Hunter, Jr., whom McCrory appointed as a Justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court ahead of elections in November. Judge hunter will be sworn in on September 6th to be followed by Dietz.

“Richard Dietz has an esteemed legal record and an extensive background in appellate practice,” said Governor McCrory. “His experience, service on the North Carolina Courts Commission and involvement in his community will make him a valuable addition to the Court of Appeals.”

What you won't find in this article is his recent attachment to Civitas and the John Locke Foundation, including his indoctrination training in free-market principles:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The harsh reality of the GOP's failure to properly fund public education:

And no math formula can make it right:

Daily dose: Who the hell cares what Phil Kirk thinks? edition

PHIL SMIRK
Pope beneficial to state (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- Art Pope is to be commended for his many years of public service, especially for his 20 months as the state’s budget director.
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/08/25/4096078/phil-kirk-pope-beneficial...

THE SPILL
McCrory: I’ll sign coal ash bill that violates constitution (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory says he will likely sign a coal ash cleanup bill approved last week by the North Carolina legislature into law, even though he suggested a key provision violates the state Constitution.
http://www.news-record.com/news/north_carolina_ap/mccrory-coal-ash-commi...

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The best justice money can buy

In case anyone remained under the illusion that judicial elections in NC were actually non-partisan, like they are officially billed to be, former NC Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake shatters that illusion.

In a firey [sic] plea for money, I. Beverly Lake, a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, is rallying support for Bob Hunter in his campaign for a seat on the high court.

Lake, who reached mandatory retirement age in 2006, sent out a letter to Republican donors stating his case clearly:

“One justice can mean the difference between liberty and tyranny. … Since leaving the bench, I’ve watched liberal ‘activist judges’ rewrite the Constitution – and waited for one justice to stand up and say ‘No’ to the craziness going on in our courts.”

Markos finally agrees with me

End corporate taxation. And then tax the hell out of individuals for capital gains.

Public forum on fracking in Rockingham County this evening

And the voices of dissent are growing:

The N.C. Mining and Energy Commission is seeking input from the public on proposed rules for oil and gas development. The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 25 at Rockingham County High School in Wentworth.

Also on Monday, opponents to fracking are organizing a Frack Free NC rally at 4:15 p.m. in front of Rockingham County High School.

So far, opponents have outnumbered pro-frackers by a sizeable margin, but that hasn't stopped media from giving them equal time. Which is exactly what FreedomWorks is counting on.

Daily Dose: Rocky Mount Telegram delusional edition

DELUSIONS
Legislature addresses coal ash cleanup, safety (Rocky Mount Telegram) -- Creating legislation can be an ugly, contentious business, even when everyone is a member of the same party. Future legislatures probably will be asked to tweak and update the coal ash legislation of 2014. But passing a bill to address cleanup and safety was critical. It couldn’t wait. For that, North Carolina legislators are to be thanked and commended.
http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/opinion/our-views/legislature-addresse...

CAMPAIGN 2014
The Kochs' commercial appeal (Politico) -- The Koch brothers are showing up in so many campaign ads for Democrats, you’d think they were on the ballot. The commercials are full of images designed to make ordinary Americans bristle, from private jets to limousines to handshakes in dark rooms. They often feature the same images of Charles and David Koch in blazers and ties — portraits that could have appeared in the billionaires issue of Forbes magazine. And many of the ads point out that the wealthy industrialist brothers are behind rival ads that support Republicans. … Democrats’ decision to give the Kochs the Mitt Romney treatment highlights the degree to which the brothers’ unprecedented spending has upended American politics. This cycle, Koch-affiliated groups, such as Americans for Prosperity, are expected to spend up to a staggering $290 million to support conservative causes and candidates, much of it on advertising. … Senate Majority PAC, the main Democratic outside group trying to keep the Senate, has used the Kochs in its television spots in states including Michigan, Louisiana, Iowa and North Carolina. One ad it ran during the NCAA basketball tournament had a bracket showing a picture of the Kochs and the narrator saying: “A special interest bracket brought to you by the out-of-state billionaires the Koch brothers. They picked Thom Tillis to play for them. As speaker, Tillis passed a tax cut for the wealthiest while raising taxes on 80 percent of North Carolinians.”
http://www.politico.com/story/2014/08/koch-brothers-commercials-110270.h...

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Tom Sullivan takes Tillis to task: It's my way or no highway

A great column in the Asheville Citizen Times today, one worth reading for its sheer brilliance, let alone the horrific substance. Check it out.

The NC Department of Transportation project to widen I-26 here in Buncombe County may not be shovel-ready, but in his Mecklenburg County district Tillis supports widening I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville. With toll lanes. “Lexus lanes,” opponents call them. Other critics call I-77 “Thom’s Tholl Road.”

And this:

Oh, there will be new lanes all right, but to use them drivers will pay tolls to a foreign developer. What Raleigh saves today, Tillis’ neighbors will pay out of pocket for the next 50 years. Or else spend more time in traffic and less with their families or sleeping.

And this:

Tillis told opponents that with state revenues shrinking (because of tax cuts?) they had a choice: toll lanes “or no improvements to I-77 for 15 or 20 years.” It’s Thom’s way or no highway.

And this:

Cintra opened a new toll road in San Antonio in November 2012. Revenues there fell far short of projections. By June 2014, Cintra was struggling even as it signed agreements with the NCDOT. In July, Moodys declared the project in default. U.S. taxpayers are on the hook to bond holders for any bailout.

And my favorite:

“Limited government” is their code for stripping America for parts.

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The GOP clown car pulls up in church parking lot

And the walls that separate church and state teetered precariously:

Two possible contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination – Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee – are scheduled to be in Charlotte on Sept. 14 to headline “Star Spangled Sunday,” a live national webcast from First Baptist Church of Charlotte.

The Rev. Mark Harris, who pastors First Baptist, said the event celebrating the 200th anniversary of the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” is also set to include some other speakers popular with conservative Christians. Namely Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, the national chain of craft stores, and the Benham brothers – David and Jason – of Concord.

Pretty sure Francis Scott Key didn't envision people celebrating prejudice in his name, or using a pulpit to politically motivate other people: "Either you think or else others have to think for you and take power from you pervert and discipline your natural tastes civilize and sterilize you." What he said.

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