Chasteen tries to walk back his efforts at book-banning

Telling lies is apparently now an accepted Christian practice:

Chasteen said he never wanted the book banned, but rather simply wanted an equal choice for students who didn’t want to read Allende’s novel.

“The fact is the community of parents requested a compromise, such as providing an option, a choice among books, without a student being removed from the classroom,” he wrote.

None of that is true. Chasteen worked both overtly and covertly to get the book removed completely from the reading list:

Monday News: Hey, this sounds familiar...


SOME TEACHERS LEFT OUT OF STATE PAY RAISES (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- North Carolina Republican lawmakers are predicting pay raises included in their budget plan will bring the average annual teacher salary in the state to more than $50,000 for the first time. They say the raises are part of a three-year effort to raise average pay to nearly $55,000. But some of the state’s most experienced teachers are feeling left out. They will see some of the smallest raises, and about 4,000 are not expected to get a raise this year. “The North Carolina legislature is happy to tell the public that they have provided significant raises for teachers in the past six years. But that’s not the whole story,” said Debi Beckman, a Buncombe County teacher who is in her 34th year.

North Carolina's out-of-control CAFO problem

This little piggy killed a bunch of fish:

The map shows 4,100 lagoons holding hog waste and 3,900 chicken barns scattered across the state -- many of them in Bladen and Sampson counties, where the map almost bleeds pink from lagoon sites.

Brunswick and Pender counties have plenty of lagoons and hog farms, too. "Wet waste" output in Brunswick amounts to nearly 67 million gallons per year. In Pender, where 2.6 million chickens live, the figures are 298 million gallons of wet waste annually and 28,000 tons of dry waste.

Bolding mine. And yet, we've got idiots like Harry Brown drawing up maps of Eastern North Carolina in an effort to smother wind energy growth in our state, while he allows an environmental and public health crisis to continue unabated:

Sunday News: Put on your dancin' shoes...

RETIREMENTS SHAKE UP GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Among the top legislators departing the General Assembly this year are Sen. Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville, who as Rules Committee chairman has been Senate leader Phil Berger’s top lieutenant; Sen. Bob Rucho of Matthews, who led the charge to rewrite the tax code and redraw congressional and legislative districts; Sen. Fletcher Hartsell of Concord, a 13-term, moderate Republican who left with a hearty round of applause despite just having been indicted for campaign finance violations; Rep. Leo Daughtry of Smithfield, an expert in crime and courts, and Paul “Skip” Stam of Apex, a lightning rod for conservative social issues. “We are losing quite a bit of legislative power and brain power and character and expertise,” said Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake.

Saturday News: Cause & effect version


MAJOR US COMPANIES ASK JUDGE TO BLOCK NC TRANSGENDER BATHROOM LAW (Reuters) -- Dozens of large U.S. companies on Friday backed the Obama administration's bid to strike down a North Carolina law restricting the use of public bathrooms by transgender people, saying the law hurts their recruitment efforts and could discourage investment in the state.

SPECIAL SESSION ON HB2 POSSIBLE, LAWMAKERS SAY (Greensboro News & Record) -- When the General Assembly’s short session ended last week, the clock ran out on one very high-profile piece of business: House Bill 2. But a number of legislators said this week that they expect the General Assembly to convene a special session to deal with the controversial law before the next regular session begins in January.

PBA shows some love for Josh Stein for NC AG

Choosing wisdom and experience over bluster and demagoguery:

North Carolina’s largest law enforcement association has endorsed former state senator Josh Stein for attorney general.

"Josh Stein has a strong record of making our communities safer and of standing up for law enforcement,” President Randy Byrd said in a statement released Friday. “The North Carolina PBA is proud to put our support behind Josh and to help elect him as our next attorney general. A vote for Josh is a vote for the men and women of law enforcement and the citizens they serve."

Josh has a deep understanding of issues people like Buck Newton either can't grasp or don't care to. Recidivism is not baked into the genes of criminal offenders, it is a product of environment and a lack of effort on the part of society to figure out what works and what doesn't:

ACLU NC throws down gauntlet on abortion rights

Putting the gynoticians on notice:

Abortion has been targeted in every legislative session since the current leadership took over in Raleigh. The current majority at the legislature has denied women the ability to access health insurance that covers abortion through the Affordable Care Act exchange, attempted to corrupt the doctor/patient relationship through a ban on “sex selective” abortions, instituted a three-day waiting period for women seeking an abortion (the longest in the country), directed the Department of Health and Human Services to review and implement new laws regulating abortion clinics in the hopes of shutting them down and required doctors performing abortions after 16 weeks to submit women’s ultrasounds to DHHS for review.

Republican anti-abortion zealots exhibit the worst in political behavior: When you can't get what you want via overt legal means, you take a more devious route, strewing impediments in the way of women seeking to control their own bodies. Knowing they can't succeed in outright banning of abortion, they settle for a de facto abortion ban cloaked in "women's health" language. And the fact they take pride in such cowardly and specious behavior instead of hanging their heads in shame makes them even more despicable. But the Constitutional light is now illuminating this trickery:

Friday News: Wind energy saved by the bell


WIND FARM BILL GOT CAUGHT IN TURBULENCE (Coastal Review) -- Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, confirmed Thursday that he’ll try again next session to pass restrictions on land-based wind farms that he says could be in conflict with military flight paths. Brown’s bill was one of several regulatory efforts that fell victim to a contentious end-of-session showdown between the state House and Senate that left undone a number of major pieces of legislation before the North Carolina General Assembly adjourned last week.

Mark Meadows and the sexually-harassing skeleton in his closet

A tawdry tale of blackmail and misogyny:

The House Ethics Committee says it's giving itself until mid-August to make a decision on whether Meadows improperly paid his departed chief-of-staff after he left his job. The committee can punish House members who violate ethics rules.

The committee has considered the Meadows matter since March. A Meadows spokesman did not respond Wednesday to messages seeking comment.

He was too busy crossing his fingers and hoping this would just go away. And considering Republicans are in charge of the House and its Ethics Committee, it very well might go away. But the voters in Meadows' District, especially the female voters, should be demanding some answers about this stinking mess:


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