It’s probably getting tough for most people to keep up with all the court cases, settlements, and fines surrounding coal ash contamination at sites across North Carolina owned by Duke Energy. Every week seems to bring another proceeding or ruling or lawsuit.
Governor Pat McCrory and his top environmental officials are not only counting on the confusion to mislead the public they are adding to it, hoping that people fail to grasp the theme running through all the coal ash cases, that this administration continues to refuse to enforce the law and protect the state’s water quality that’s being damaged by McCrory’s former longtime employer.
This week U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs not only refused a request by Duke Energy to dismiss a lawsuit by environmental groups against the company for its leaking coal ash pit near the Yadkin River, she also raised questions about how diligently state officials were working to force the company to clean up the pollution at the site. [Continue reading…]
***Bonus Audio Clip: SELC’s Frank Holleman on coal ash “sweetheart” deal
The University of North Carolina’s Faculty Assembly issued a strongly worded statement Friday, saying that the system’s governing board has repeatedly ignored faculty input and pushed forward a secretive process to find a new leader.
The Faculty Assembly, which represents professors and faculty and serves in an advisory capacity to the UNC system and UNC Board of Governors, warned that the new president opted not to meet with faculty during the search process, and could face difficulties in gaining the trust of faculty.
“The faculty will not prejudge the commitment of new President to the well-being of the University,” wrote Stephen Leonard and Gabriel Lugo, on behalf of the UNC system Faculty Assembly. “But he or she must understand…[Continue reading…]
***Bonus Video Clips: Spellings outlines ‘shared promise’ and challenges as UNC system president-elect
3. Surprise! Money is a great cure for poverty and its many ills
New and powerful report indicates we’ve been making things much too complicated
It may be hard to believe in today’s world of trickledown, dog-eat-dog, “Trump-o-nomics,” but it was just a few decades ago that a conservative Republican president proposed something that would, today, be widely disparaged as radical socialism. In 1969, Richard Nixon gave a televised address to the country in which he proposed to establish a minimum, federally-funded family income.
Nixon called his proposal a “Family Assistance System” and he proposed to replace the nation’s alphabet soup of income support programs with a simple, basic amount that the federal government would guarantee to all families with dependent children who met certain criteria. This is from the speech:[Continue reading…]
4.Tolling the damage to reproductive freedom from the 2015 General Assembly
We are finally on the other side of the tunnel that was the 2015 legislative session, and it has now become clear that the reproductive freedoms of North Carolinians have, once again, been gravely harmed.
In the deceptive game they played this session, legislators and the Governor claimed to be looking out for the well-being of women, and gave bills titles such as the “Women and Children’s Protection Act of 2015.” In reality, these bills created additional, unnecessary barriers to access for reproductive care, and imposed severe limitations on choice.
Had the legislature sincerely wanted to promote the health and well-being of women in North Carolina, they might have passed the Pregnant Workers’ Fairness Act, which would have prevented pregnant workers from being fired or discriminated against, or the Healthy Pregnancies/Prisoners and Detainees bill, which would have prohibited the use of leg and waist shackles on prisoners during labor. These bills were never even considered. Instead, the legislature spent the session stripping away the reproductive rights of North Carolinians and putting choice in the hands of the state government. [Continue reading…]
The United States of America is home to 4% of the world’s population. It meanwhile is home to 25% of world’s jailed population.
The Washington Post recently reported on the dire consequences for a man caught red-handed after his hunger led him to steal $5 worth of snacks in April. Law enforcement subsequently arrested this suspected thief who obviously understood moderation in a way I wish I had in college. The government held him locked him in a cell where he waited for a spot in the mental health facility to open prior to release. While in jail, inmates reported that he often paced his cell covered in his own filth. He died while waiting on August 19, 2015.
In a recent episode from one of HBO’s 9,000 Emmy award winning shows, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the show reported on a grandma who the state of Alabama jailed for her failure to pay a traffic ticket she simply did not have the means to pay. Police executed the warrant for her arrest while she posed to society the immense threat from the confines of her home. She was in jail for 10 days following the arrest until the Southern Poverty Law Center came to her rescue. Her name is Harriet Cleveland and she helped end what the SPLC called a modern-day debtor’s prison. [Continue reading…]