NC GOP

Coal Ash Wednesday: Federal court looking at CWA violations

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The process known as "capping in place" is on trial:

In the first federal Clean Water Act trial focusing on coal ash leaks, Judge James Gibney Jr. heard four days of arguments against Dominion Virginia Power, last month, about the risks ash pits in Virginia currently pose to ground and surface waters, such as the Elizabeth River. On June 24, he said he would rule after reviewing briefs from both sides.

During the June trial, one expert testified that the 3 million tons of coal ash at the Chesapeake Energy Center site contains 150 tons of arsenic, according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represented environmentalists, scientists, and experts testifying on behalf of the Sierra Club in the trial.

Reading the tea leaves on this case, I hold out little hope for a responsible decision. It appears the Judge is skeptical, and has bought into the industry's, "If you want us to clean up our mess, it will cost you" threat-cloaked-as-a-warning posture. The fact such economic blackmail is accepted as sound legal reasoning instead of the strong-arm coercion it is, simply boggles the mind. But that can't survive a thorough appellate review:

The education pirates: K-12 in deep trouble over California online charters

Purloining public education dollars, by hook or by crook:

A chain of 13 “nonprofit” online charter schools in California must pay the state attorney general an $8.5 million settlement for false advertising, misleading parents and inadequate instruction. An investigation by the San Jose Mercury News is credited with bringing many concerns about underperformance, misrepresentation of enrollment, and other issues to public view in a comprehensive way.

But, starting from the beginning, is the network really nonprofit as state law requires? California Virtual Academies (CAVA) is, according to an investigation, controlled by the for-profit, Virginia-based K12 Inc., which operates in 37 states and reported $651.4 million in revenue for the nine months ending in March of this year.

This is not a "stunning" revelation, it's more of the same evidence that's been piling up for the last 4-5 years. But that hasn't stopped the privatizers in Raleigh from moving forward with these fraudsters:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Governor "Transparency" buries video evidence:

All things considered, Pat would make a fine Trump VP pick. In a joint press conference, you'd be hard-pressed to keep an accurate score of all the lies.

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:

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:

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:

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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