The power of working together

From an update on Facebook:

THE POWER OF COALITION WORK: When I woke up yesterday morning and checked my email around 6:45 AM, I had an email from Chris Sgro about an emergency staff meeting for Equality North Carolina that I was invited to regarding a sneaky attempt by members of our North Carolina General Assembly to try and stop cities and towns in North Carolina from enacting local ordinances that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT citizens in housing, employment and public accommodations. At 8:30 AM, we met and mobilized.

Considering the roughshod behavior exhibited by the current leadership in the General Assembly, it's very easy to become discouraged and feel completely powerless. But always keep in mind: The reason Republicans favor the "divide and conquer" approach to dealing with their detractors is because they fear the power of unity:

Coal Ash Wednesday: DEQ rolls over for $7 million


They might as well join Duke Energy's legal team:

The company is settling a fine from earlier this year for $7 million. The amount is short of what the state originally wanted, and it looks like Duke could get a lot more out of the agreement in the future. “And under the terms of that agreement, duke energy will pay $7 million and resolve all of the groundwater issues past, present and future at all 14 of our coal plants,” said Sheehan.

“It's one of those situations where if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention,” said Southern Environment Law Center Senior Attorney Frank Holleman.

Let's see, originally it was $25 million for just one plant, and now it's $7 million for the whole shebang. Yep, I'd say "outrageous" is not an overstatement. DEQ is either horrifically inept, or they're simply playing a part in a Kabuki theatre, like we've been speculating about since they first began to insinuate themselves into lawsuits against Duke Energy.

Wednesday News: Goodbye, cruel world edition

Legislature’s move to restrict local government fails (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Late Tuesday, Democrats had used a procedural maneuver to send the proposed restrictions on local governments to the Rules Committee. In a rebuke to Rep. Paul Stam – one of the House leaders – that powerful committee then voted 14-7 to keep the legislation off the House floor as the legislature hurtled toward an adjournment.

Stam, No. 2 House leader, won't seek re-election (AP) -- The second highest-ranking leader in the North Carolina House will not seek re-election to his Wake County seat next year.

Rebuttal to muni-broadband opponents

And unlike some corporate puppets, this guy knows what he's talking about:

By supporting U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis’ legislation to remove local authority for building broadband networks, the two lawmakers are siding with big cable and telephone firms over their own communities.

It is hardly a secret that Time Warner Cable, AT&T, CenturyLink and others are investing too little in rural communities. The majority of residents and local businesses in North Carolina have no real choice today and can expect their bills to go up tomorrow.

And yes, he's responding to the op-ed we talked about a few months ago. As somebody who's running for local government office, I have had my fill of state legislators dictating what duly elected town/city officials can and cannot do. And now we can add US Senators to that list of meddling, power-hungry tyrants.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

He said it, I didn't:

And you think that's a good way to do the people's business? Voting for something sight unseen, and then "catching up" later, when there's not a damn thing you can do about it?

Tuesday News: Caswell Beach Mayor indicted edition


Mayor, CRC Member Indicted on 18 Felonies (Coastal Review) -- — The mayor of Caswell Beach in Brunswick County and a Sen. Phil Berger-appointed member state’s Coastal Resources Commission has been indicted on 18 felonies counts of obtaining property worth at least $100,000 under false pretenses, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office.

Caswell Beach mayor indicted, arrested (Wilmington Star-News) -- Harry Simmons Jr. was arrested by members of the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation on 18 felony offenses.

Republican idiocy surrounding Food Stamp issues

There should be a test to determine if lawmakers are able-brained:

Lawmakers in the Senate who debated the bill on Thursday said cutting off the benefits would induce people to find jobs. “I don’t know the exact number of people that this can ultimately affect, but I think that you’re going to see a lot of them either go and get that 20-hour-a-week job or they’re going to enroll in some kind of higher education to improve their job skills,” said Sen. Norman Sanderson (R-Arapahoe).

Pay attention, Einstein: The "S" in SNAP stands for supplemental. It only amounts to about $45 per week. If you honestly believe that somebody would choose not to work simply because they're receiving that, then you are a bonafide idiot. And as far as enrolling in higher education, many of Sanderson's constituents would have to drive 40+ miles to attend Pamlico Community College. They could receive financial aid to attend, but they would need a working automobile, money for gas, and a whole lot of other associated costs that Norman Sanderson doesn't have a clue are involved. It's one thing to hear an urban conservative spout such nonsense, but someone representing distressed Eastern North Carolina counties? Boggles the mind.

Monday News: Second-to-last place edition

N.C. ranks 50th in 2015’s Best and Worst States for Teachers ( North Carolina skyrocketed from the worst state for teachers to merely the next-to-worst state for teachers, according to the annual survey by the website WalletHub. “It’s no surprise that the high turnover rate within the field has been likened to a revolving door. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about a fifth of all newly minted public-school teachers leave their positions before the end of their first year. And nearly half of them never last more than five.” West Virginia ranked dead last (51st) with North Carolina ranked 50th. The survey noted that North Carolina ranked 47th lowest in public school spending per-student.

Battle brewing over Boehner's replacement

The right-wing nutters are becoming apoplectic:

It is infuriating to hear that these people in the House are seriously looking to replace Boehner with his co-conspirator Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). McCarthy — whose voting record is slightly to the right of Renee Ellmers — has stood with Boehner as House conservatives have been retaliated against.

He’s stood with Boehner as attempts to kill Obamacare, stop amnesty, and halt debt ceiling increases have been squashed. (As have fellow House leadership team members Virginia Foxx and Patrick McHenry.) McCarthy and other House leaders have fretted over demanding the defunding of Planned Parenthood because the fight would likely lead to a government shutdown. Tell me again what’s so bad about a government shutdown.

Bolding his. Aside from the fact that Soldiers, Sailors, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard will have their paychecks stopped this time around, if you'd take a peek outside your ideological bubble you would realize that a super-majority of US citizens do *not* want the government shut down. But go right ahead, that may be the only thing that could make Republican gerrymandering of the House a secondary consideration. And the fact Boehner has allowed the House to vote 55 times (or maybe more, I've lost count) to repeal Obamacare, the only thing that's been "squashed" is the taxpayers' expectation of responsible governing from that body. The crazy is going to get epic before this is over.

Sunday News: Dallas driving the GOP bus edition

Woodhouse chosen as NC GOP executive director (WRAL-TV) -- Dallas Woodhouse, a feisty longtime conservative operative with close ties to mega donor Art Pope and who has lead two high-profile right-wing advocacy groups, has been tentatively tapped as executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, multiple GOP sources said Saturday night via social media.

Dallas Woodhouse to lead NC Republican Party (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Former Americans For Prosperity state director Dallas Woodhouse is the new executive director of the N.C. Republican Party, according to a number of party officials. Party leaders on Saturday named Woodhouse to replace Todd Poole, who stepped down last month to become Congressman Richard Hudson’s chief of staff.


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