Scientific exodus: Dr. Megan Davies resigns over McCrory admin falsehoods

The difference between a public servant and a political hack:

In her resignation letter, shared with several members of the press Wednesday afternoon, Davies said an editorial issued earlier in the week signed by top agency officials "presents a false narrative" that pins a decision to alert well owners near coal ash ponds of elevated levels of toxic elements solely on Ken Rudo, a state toxicologist in Davies' division.

"Upon reading the open editorial yesterday evening, I can only conclude that the Department's leadership is fully aware that this document misinforms the public," Davies wrote. "I cannot work for a Department and an Administration that deliberately misleads the public."

Thanks, Doc. Taking a stand like this requires a level of intestinal fortitude (guts) that is unfortunately a rare commodity these days.

NCGA funds new environmental "Center" at UNC-CH

And its objectivity is already in question:

With $7 million in potential startup funds and $6 million in funding over the next four years, the project represents one of the state’s largest recent investments in environmental science. Although it didn’t make headlines during the legislative session, the size of the investment and UNC-Chapel Hill’s new role in developing state natural resource and environmental policy have drawn a lot of interest.

Tedder, who worked on water quality programs at what is now the Department of Environmental Quality, said the center could prove to be a positive development as long as researchers are able to maintain their independence. “I hope they don’t have to work under something where there’s a controlled message,” he said.

This Center already has two strikes against it, as far as I'm concerned. First, it won't be under an academic umbrella, it will be part of the "business and finance" structure of the University. And God only knows what types of private-sector partnerships would be deemed "beneficial" under that rubric. Second, the early front-runner for leadership of this new entity is the Bergermeister's very own Jeffrey Warren:

Wednesday News: From feckless to reckless

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TRUMP IGNITES NEW FIRESTORM: GUN BACKERS MIGHT STOP CLINTON (AP) -- Donald Trump ignited a fresh political firestorm Tuesday by declaring gun rights supporters might still find a way to stop Hillary Clinton, even if she should defeat him and then name anti-gun Supreme Court justices. Democrats pounced, accusing him of openly encouraging violence against his opponent.
http://www.wral.com/trump-faces-fresh-gop-pushback-despite-bid-to-reset-campaign/15913730/

TRUMP SUGGESTS TAKING UP ARMS IF CLINTON PUSHES RESTRICTION ON GUNS (Wilmington Star-News) -- 'If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,' he said. 'Although the second amendment people maybe there is, I don't know.'
http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20160809/trump-suggests-taking-up-arms-if-clinton-pushes-restrict...

Wake County will use 2011 Commissioner and School Board maps

Chalk another one up for the good guys:

The new plans featured seven local districts and two regional districts that resemble a doughnut-shaped district ringing the rural areas of the county and a central blob centered on Raleigh. Many familiar with the maps and Wake County voting patterns said the plan would tilt control of both boards back toward the GOP.

"This is a victory for basic fairness," said Perry Woods, one of the individual plaintiffs who, along with the Raleigh Wake Citizens Association, brought the case that challenged the legislatively drawn districts. "Changing the rules in the middle of the game when you're losing is not the American way."

Good job, Perry. Also, kudos on taking back the word "American." ;)

Tuesday News: Election roulette, x 100

NC VOTING FIGHT, PART 2: EARLY VOTING DEBATE BEGINS (Public News Service) -- The saga of North Carolina's voting laws was seemingly settled last week when a federal appeals court declared the state's policies requiring voter IDs, and eliminating same day registration, discriminatory. But the debate rages on as local boards of elections face establishing early voting sites and hours for the November election. Monday in Guilford County, more than 200 concerned citizens staged a sit-in to ask the local Board of Election to maintain maximum access to early voting.
http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2016-08-09/civic-engagement/nc-voting-fight-part-2-early-voting-deb...

Call to action: Attend Guilford County BoE meeting *today*

Opposing Republican voter suppression is a never-ending battle:

Despite the recent court ruling against voting restrictions, the Republican majority on the Guilford County Board of Elections wants to REDUCE the Early Voting plan from what the county offered in 2012. The Guilford County Board of Elections will meet on Monday, August 8, at 1 p.m. to adopt a revised Early Voting plan for the November 2016 General Election. Prompted by the ruling's expansion of Early Voting from 10 to 17 days, this meeting will determine your options to Early Vote and whether your county will face longer lines and more confusion on Election Day.

The Guilford County BOE will decide:
>>whether it will eliminate Sunday voting;
>>whether it will slash a half dozen sites inside the city of Greensboro; and
>>whether it will cut popular sites like Barber Park, UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T.

The two Republicans on this board need to be aware of the shitstorm that will result if they pull a stunt like this.

High levels of Uranium found in Wake County's water wells

And it appears officials have been actively concealing the problem:

According to the test results which the lab technician entered at her computer (Supplemental Figure 1), the backyard well which quenched the thirst of the family on Raleigh’s Stillmeadow Road contained more than ten times the maximum uranium level allowable under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

When Wake County officials reached out to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in 2014 seeking its help with this increasingly obvious threat, they were "advised" by DHHS officials to "consider the can of worms you’re opening up," according to a past county health official interviewed for this report on condition of anonymity.

That idiotic "can of worms" statement might as well have come directly out of Aldona Wos's mouth. Negligence by DHHS aside, the County should have informed not only those affected, but the general public, as well. And (of course) the Hometicks are right up in the middle of this cover-up:

Monday News: Fleecing the taxpayers edition

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LEGISLATURE'S LEGAL BILLS TOP $9M IN DEFENSE OF STATE LAWS (WRAL-TV) -- Law firms have billed Republican legislative leaders $9.3 million for legal services since January 2011, more than half of which comes from defending voter ID legislation struck down last week by a federal appeals court.
http://www.wral.com/legislature-s-legal-bills-top-9m-in-defense-of-state-laws/15905135/

Demagogues-R-Us: BergerMoore steps over the line

And the Bar Association has a responsibility to deal with it:

“Since today’s decision by three partisan Democrats ignores legal precedent, ignores the fact that other federal courts have used North Carolina’s law as a model, and ignores the fact that a majority of other states have similar protections in place, we can only wonder if the intent is to reopen the door for voter fraud, potentially allowing fellow Democrat politicians like Hillary Clinton and Roy Cooper to steal the election. We will obviously be appealing this politically motivated decision to the Supreme Court.”

Not only is this idiotic statement inflammatory as hell, publicly speculating that three judges could be attempting to facilitate a crime, based on nothing more than ad hominem party affiliation observations, appears to be a blatant violation of Rule 8.2 (hat-tip to commenter Paul Ditz):

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