About Rick Brajer, the new head of DHHS

There's only one thing that needs to be known about our new secretary of DHHS in North Carolina:

Brajer was until January CEO of ProNerve in Denver. A Tennessee company announced in February it had acquired ProNerve, a few days after the Denver company started bankruptcy proceedings.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article30026016.html#storylink=cpy

Amidst Budget crisis, GOP debates Constitutional Convention

Who needs moot court when you've got moot government:

A state House committee approved a bill under which North Carolina would join Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi and North Dakota in an effort to amend the U.S. Constitution to control the national debt. Rep. Chris Millis (R-Hampstead) is pushing House Bill 366, where 38 states would call for a Constitutional convention to put forward a balanced budget amendment. The bill is scheduled to go to the House Appropriations Committee next.

Millis says that a compact will be binding on the state unless a future General Assembly votes to remove North Carolina from it.

That last part is simply not true, proving Millis either hasn't read the whole document or is severely deficient in reading comprehension:

Daily dose: That pesky "Bicameral" thing again

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NC Senate Offers To Drop Medicaid, Sales Tax Proposals (WFAE-FM) -- Hoping it will help jump start negotiations on North Carolina’s budget, state senators are offering major concessions to the House. But they want something in return. For weeks now senior budget writers from both the House and Senate have been talking in secret, just not about the numbers in their budgets. "We have had discussion on the economic development proposals and the Medicaid proposals," said Senate President Pro-Tem Phil Berger.
http://wfae.org/post/nc-senate-offers-drop-medicaid-sales-tax-proposals-budget

Shining Rock Classical Academy update

Weekly update from Waynesville's excellent Smoky Mountain News on the trials and tribulations of the startup Shining Rock Classical Academy in Haywood County.

First, publisher Scott McLeod explains in plain language for readers the letter and intent of the state's public meetings law, and its application to charter school governing boards. Scott's headline says it all: "The public - not the newspaper - needs to know."

Perennial failed candidate chimes in on voucher decision

Big surprise, Richard Vinroot supports privatizing public education:

Even after losing, the plaintiffs continue to insist that allowing students choices in addition to traditional public schools somehow violates the State Constitution’s requirement that there must be, at minimum, a “general and uniform system of public schools.” However, our courts have long held that the legislature can establish other school programs in addition to---

I'm gonna stop you right there. The courts have *not* held that, and the Constitution is *not* ambiguous:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Cliffside back in the news

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Public hearings scheduled for stormwater discharge permits:

As part of the public feedback process, the department will hold two public hearings in September to gather input on the draft permits. The public hearing for the Dan River Combined Cycle Station stormwater permit is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Eden Town Hall, 308 East Stadium Drive, Eden. The public hearing for the Rogers Energy Complex stormwater permit is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Boiling Springs City Hall, 114 East College Ave., Boiling Springs. Speaker registration for both hearings begins at 5 p.m.

Just like death and taxes, stormwater happens whether you want it to or not. That being said, routing stormwater in and around industrial sites is complex and a *likely* source of toxic contamination of streams and rivers. From the "fact sheet" on Rogers/Cliffside:

Daily dose: Wilmington 10 injustice continues edition

Court denies money for family of late Wilmington 10 members (AP) — A North Carolina court ruled Tuesday that the relatives of four of the 10 people wrongfully convicted in a notorious 1970s firebombing case aren't entitled to state compensation.
http://www.reflector.com/ap/staten/court-denies-money-family-late-wilmington-10-members-2948921

Appeals court: No compensation for families of Wilmington 10 (WRAL-TV) -- The North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that families of four people who were eventually pardoned for their roles in Wilmington race riots don't deserve money from the state.
http://www.wral.com/appeals-court-no-compensation-for-families-of-wilmington-10/14810838/

Art Pope's donor denial rings hollow

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It does prove, however, that he views elected officials as merely tools:

And Texas Sen. Ted Cruz added in a Sunday conversation with Allen: “The men and women in this room spilled gallons of blood, spent your fortunes retaking the Senate, winning nine Senate seats, retiring Harry Reid as majority leader.”

“The main point of this weekend’s seminar is not the elected officials or the candidates,” said Art Pope, a longtime Koch network donor from North Carolina who is the CEO and chairman of Variety Wholesalers. “In fact, it’s not about candidates at all. It is more about policies and issues.”

Yes, it's frustrating when the puppets speak with their own voice, isn't it? And your efforts to minimize their importance merely serves to demonstrate your blatantly un-democratic view of how government should work. When the desires of the wealthy are more important than the basic tenets of our system of representation, the future envisioned by the Founding Fathers has been completely erased, and their worst nightmares have come to pass. But don't take my word for it:

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