NC GOP

Tillis starts his own PAC, plays with model of lear jet

Okay, I made up the part about the toy jet, but the PAC thing is real:

In launching a political action committee to raise funds, Thom Tillis has made his first name an acronym: Together Holding Our Majority.

The Federal Elections Commission this week posted the filing that creates THOMPAC. The entity is a leadership PAC – the type formed by members of Congress – which raises money for the lawmaker’s non-campaign expenses and provides a vehicle to contribute to their colleagues’ campaigns.

I think it's blatantly obvious who Tillis' #1 constituent is. He should have named it "THAM" (Thom Holding Alla Money). Me? I'm just trying to hold my gorge down...

Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke Energy plays pre-emptive card, again

Trying to choose its legal opponents:

Duke says the Yadkin Riverkeeper Foundation and the Waterkeeper Alliance are barred from bringing the private suit, filed in September. It argues that the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources has filed suit over coal-ash issues at Buck, located in Rowan County, and taken other enforcement actions. It cites federal law that bars private suits involving the federal Clean Water Act when state agencies have acted.

John Suttles, a lawyer with the Southern Environmental Law Center, says Duke has made similar arguments unsuccessfully in other environmental cases. He says the suit is properly filed and that it addresses violations of the Clean Water Act not addressed by the state suit.

Hopefully the judge will let the suit proceed, because it's important to get the Riverkeepers' testimony on record. DENR is not likely to go into any details on potential environmental damage resulting from the leaks, as they have an unfortunate habit of waiting until there's a crisis before acting.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The RWNJ Twits (who think they swung the Tillis/Hagan race) are going after Boehner:

And when they fail, they'll blame it on Obama, of course.

More regressive taxation on GOP's 2015 agenda

Instead of rolling back corporate tax cuts, the general public will suffer even more:

The 2008 recommendations from a blue-ribbon panel created by Democratic Gov. Mike Easley and his party's legislative leaders included more than doubling the annual vehicle registration fee and raising the tax on car purchases — called the Highway Use Tax — from 3 percent to 4 percent. Both combined would have generated another $400 million annually.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown, R-Onslow and a car dealer, said Senate colleagues would be cautious about agreeing to raise taxes "but I think we also know the needs in transportation are great."

And I think we also know where you would stand on the car tax issue. Which is regressive, but not nearly as regressive as increasing sales taxes on food, clothing, and other essentials those hovering on the poverty line must have. This article is a few weeks old, and the new NCGA website has zilch information on the upcoming session, so I'm doing a little tea-leaf reading here. But the fact the GOP was able to shift the tax burden from the wealthy to the not-so-wealthy via sales tax shenanigans, without suffering at the voting booth, leads me to believe they will go back to that community well again, and soon. Film at eleven.

Trudy Wade's conquest of Greensboro City Council

Rigging the game in favor of Republicans:

If the city had six or seven council districts, the maps could be carved up in a way that overloads a handful of districts with Democrats, making the remaining districts at least more competitive for Republicans.

The General Assembly used both of those techniques — eliminating at-large seats and clumping together Democrats — when it redrew the county commissioner districts.

Proving there's nothing too unethical for Republicans to contemplate, when they smell a potential power grab. It also proves land developers are not about to give up their dominating influence over Greensboro's affairs, regardless of what the people actually want:

NC GOP leadership qualification: A history of bigotry

Which most Republicans probably consider a badge of honor:

As speaker of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Student Congress in 1991, Moore, then a senior, attempted to prevent the campus LGBT student group, the Carolina Gay & Lesbian Association, from receiving student activity funding. Moore sponsored the Summer Student Congress proposal, which passed 8-5 at the time and would have cut the group’s funding. Moore cited state laws forbidding sodomy.

“The CGLA advocates the activities of homosexuals,” Moore said, according to May 1991 article from The News & Observer. “By virtue of homosexuality being an illegal activity, the code of the Student Congress prohibits us from allocating funds to a group that promotes illegal activity.”

I've often wondered why Skip Stam was never "elevated" to Speaker of the House, but it looks like that's a moot question now. Tim Moore appears to be just as bigoted and ready to attack those of which he disapproves as Stam was/is, so we can expect both barrels to be blazing in the House for the next couple of sessions.

The best of the best of 2014: Public school teachers

And when they're blogging teachers, well. It doesn't get much better than that:

In the midst of a staggering assault on public education, with their integrity, judgment, reputation, and ability under attack by everyone from corporate stooges to the US Secretary of Education, and, in many areas, with their job security under direct assault by people who don't know what the hell they're talking about, while powerful forces worked to dismantle the very institutions and ideals that they have devoted their lives to-- in the middle of all that, millions of teachers went to work and did their jobs.

When so many groups were slandering us and our own political leaders were giving us a giant middle finger, we squared our shoulders and said, "Well, dammit, I've got a job to do, and if even if I've got to go in there and do it with my bare hands in a hailstorm, I'm going to do it." And we did.

And we owe you folks a debt of gratitude that could never be adequately repaid. But what we can do, is to continue to stand with teachers here in NC, whether it's a Moral Monday gathering, e-mails or phone calls to lawmakers, or simply attending a state or local school board meeting. That's not too much to ask, and the payoff is incalculable.

New Year hopes from the naive at heart

A valiant but wasted effort by the N&O Editorial staff:

It would not be realistic, or even reasonable, to expect that Republicans and Democrats would join hands ’round a campfire, but neither should those who work in the Legislative Building on Jones Street act like foes on a field in Gettysburg.

For even among North Carolinians and Americans who agree on virtually nothing political, there are shared values and hopes: All hope their children will grow up, succeed, be happy and healthy and avoid the personal crises of drugs and violence and other temptations that destroy potential and pave a path to misery. It matters not whether they raise those children in mansions or cabins.

Yes, we all hope our own children will be happy, healthy and successful. But that's where the difference between Republicans and Democrats becomes evident. Republicans don't really care about other people's children; whether those kids succeed or fail, it's simply not their responsibility. It's a selfish and fatalistic approach to public service, and one of which they should be ashamed, but they've got the dogma-spouting Randians there by their side, providing what they think is legitimacy for such inhuman behavior. And that can be applied to the world at-large, as well:

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