Racist fox in charge of minority hen house

Putting the "ass" in class warfare:

The chairman of the Rowan County Housing Authority is under investigation for racially tinged online comments. As first reported by the Salisbury Post, Malcolm “Mac” Butner has been accused of writing Facebook posts that were derogatory toward African Americans, illegal immigrants, and protesters who are part of the Moral Monday Movement.

Those posts have proved a complaint to the Greensboro Field Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Rowan County Board of Commissioners have also launched an investigation.

Racists like Butner don't just magically appear, they're generally outspoken about their twisted views since before they were old enough to drive a tractor (that's 8 years old, for you city folk). As such, it's a good bet at least one of the County Commissioners knew good old Mac was a throwback, and since his term ends just a few months from now, it's doubtful their "investigation" will amount to more than a few shaking heads. An apology? Hah! Don't hold your breath.

The NC Senate: the only place you can walk out on your job without worrying about being fired

Apparently the term "at will" means something different to Republicans:

McCrory heaped praise on House Speaker Thom Tillis for calling teachers and superintendents to testify to the budget conference committee that is working out differences between the House and Senate, while lambasting senators for walking out of the room.

"I am disappointed that the Senate walked out on superintendents and teachers," McCrory said after meeting with his Education Cabinet at Shaw. "We need to listen to them, not walk out on them."

That's what you get when you've got a collection of playground bullies running the show in the Legislature. Declaring victory is more important than arriving at any kind of consensus, and the only sure thing you can count on is someone's going to get a wedgie.

NC budget: theater of the absurd

After opening the budget conference as a public meeting, the NC GOP participants predictably played to the cameras.

A day of scheduled budget negotiations got off to a rocky start Wednesday morning after House leaders insisted on hearing from outside experts on education spending.

Senate negotiators responded by walking out of the meeting. They returned an hour later, but the good feelings of compromises reached last week on Medicaid funding were long gone by then.

In another display of absurdity, the NC GOP -- those would be the folks who stomped all over the less fortunate citizens of our state with their original budget -- stole lines from the Democratic party.

He said the Senate budget, which would eliminate Medicaid eligibility for thousands, would shortchange the needy.

Coal Ash Wednesday: watering down our water protections

For the NC GOP, crisis = the opportunity to shield polluters even more:

The provision written into the bill says that, for polluters who violate groundwater standards, the N.C. Environmental Management Commission “shall require the permittee to undertake corrective action, without regard to the date that the system was first permitted,” to restore groundwater quality. Polluters would have to survey their contamination, then propose a plan and schedule to clean up groundwater. DENR would then have to approve this plan. A process like that could take years.

By erasing the distinction between older and newer facilities, the bill would strike the requirement that older facilities immediately clean up their pollution, Gerken said. This would apply to Duke’s ash ponds, and seemingly undermine Ridgeway’s order, he said. It would also apply to other polluters with older facilities, those who otherwise would have been required by law to immediately clean up their pollution.

And for those apologists out there, the "good intentions gone wrong" argument simply won't work. They knew exactly what they were doing with this bill, and the idea likely came from Duke Energy itself:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Since I'm in the mood for a distraction from politics:

You know, unless you actually feed the poor creatures sweet, juicy peaches their entire sad lives, I'll stick with my peppery vinegary stuff, thank you very much.

N&O publishes pseudo-scientific attack on Obamacare

Feeding the fear-mongering machine:

In May, I released a comprehensive study showing how the Affordable Care Act – otherwise known as Obamacare – will likely play out in North Carolina over the next few years. The diagnosis isn’t good.

First, the short version. In two years, the ACA’s structural problems will lead to substantial premium increases. Once that happens, North Carolinians will likely leave the insurance market in droves. They’ll have little choice – they won’t be able to afford health insurance because federal subsidies won’t keep up with the rapid price increases. Within a decade, this could swell the ranks of the state’s uninsured by 57 percent.

It was either an oversight related to poor vetting on the part of the N&O's editorial staff, or an outright attempt to deceive their readership, but they failed to note this "doctor" was a PhD, as opposed to an MD. I don't usually quibble over that, because I have a lot of respect for PhDs. But when an article is related to medicine, the difference between the two is night and oranges. You don't allow those particular wires to be crossed, even when you're discussing economics. And this cookie-cutter article is appearing in other battleground states as well, proving that politics is behind the propaganda:

Tillis hones his IRS and BenghaziCare skills

Jumping on the meme bandwagon:

“The Obama administration and Kay Hagan have shown a complete lack of willingness to get the bottom of this scandal to determine whether or not Americans were targeted for their political beliefs,” said Tillis. “The IRS’ excuse that it conveniently lost emails that were subpoenaed by Congress is simply outrageous, and yet Kay Hagan continues to provide President Obama with political cover, once again failing to hold him accountable. The American people deserve the truth, and it’s time for a special prosecutor to be appointed to investigate.”

Speaking of e-mails, Thommy, what about all those back-and-forth communications related to the NC GOP's voter suppression efforts during gerrymandering season? Your IRS accusation has already been proven false after an in-depth perusal of the records, but investigations into the GOP here in NC have been stymied by claims of privilege and immunity. Give up all of those e-mails, and then you can bitch about the IRS.

Coal Ash Wednesday: fighting over who gets to do nothing

Trying to determine which industry shills will sit on a commission:

The proposal, which was released to members of the House environment committee on Tuesday, would move a commission overseeing the cleanup under the oversight of the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources (under a previous proposal, the commission would have been independent) and grants the governor authority to appoint the chair of the nine-person body.

Notably to Democrats and environmental observers who have complained as the Republican-led legislature has grappled with the coal ash issue, the new proposal doesn’t change the Senate’s requirement that Duke deal with its ponds within 15 years. And it doesn’t specify whom – the utility company or its customers – will pay for the expensive process of removing the coal ash.

I've seen numerous commenters on social media lately opine that if Duke Energy needs to raise its rates to get the coal ash cleaned up, they'd be fine with it. What they don't understand: Duke Energy's quarterly profits are huge, and they would only have to divert a fraction of those profits to clean up their own mess. They could have been doing so all along, but they chose to keep the money or enhance their stock position by giving healthy dividends. That was their choice, not ours, so the responsibility lies squarely on their shoulders.

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