Area Dreamer Wants Congress to Act

The op-ed below was recently sent to me and I thought I'd share it. It is especially noteworthy with DACA and immigration in the news. I urge you to give it a read.

By MIRIAM AMADO
In May I will graduate from the University of Mount Olive. Like most soon-to-be graduates, I am looking forward to graduation with mixed emotions; pride in this accomplishment — I am the first member of my family to attend college — but anxiety about what the future holds.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Duke's attorneys go on the attack as hearings wind down

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Also claiming unlined pits were once considered a "feature" and not recklessly negligent:

Duke Energy blasted its opponents in a final regulatory filing Friday, saying they leaned on "simplistic crutches," false analysis and a Pollyanna hindsight to argue against the company's bid to raise electricity rates enough to cover clean up costs at the company's coal ash ponds.

The company complied with existing laws and industry standards when it left wet ash in unlined pits for decades, they said. At one point "the lack of a liner was considered a feature, rather than a flaw" because soil would filter out contaminants, the company said. Impact on groundwater wasn't initially a concern "because the ash basins were built more than a decade before the adoption of any federal or state regulation related to groundwater corrective action," attorneys argued.

Here's a quick primer for those who may not be aware how environmental statutes and regulations come into being: There is (or has been) usually a period of 10-20 years where contamination is discovered, investigated, then viciously fought-over in civil court, before the demands for government regulation grow to the point some rule or law is put into place to stop it. And during that pre-regulation phase, you can be damned sure attorneys for companies like Duke Energy were well aware of what was going on, and what needed to be done to improve those impoundments. Luckily for us, Josh Stein isn't drinking their arsenic-tainted Kool-Aid, and his legal opposition is definitely not pro-forma:

Wednesday News: Bring them inside

HOMELESS MAN FREEZES TO DEATH UNDER SALISBURY BRIDGE: Police believe a homeless man froze to death under a bridge in North Carolina. The Salisbury Post reports that a relative found 74-year-old Robert Clarence Doyle under a bridge early Sunday morning, when the temperature was in the teens. Police reports say the victim's brother knew he was there but hadn't spoken with him in a few days. The newspaper says the two last spoke Jan. 11 by phone. The brother told police that Doyle had a number of health issues and would not seek help. Police Lt. Greg Beam says it's believed that Doyle died as a result of exposure to the cold weather.
http://www.wral.com/police-homeless-man-likely-froze-to-death-in-n-carolina/17261725/

Court rejects NC Republicans' request for "Stay" on gerrymandering order

Because doing what's right is never a burden:

Judges James A. Wynn, William L. Osteen and W. Earl Britt of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina ruled that the lawmakers had failed to meet the “heavy burden” required to stay the order.

They found that the lawmakers' "motion does not dispute this court’s unanimous conclusions that” the map had resulted in partisan gerrymandering, and ordering that it be redrawn. The judges also found that staying the ruling would not injure the lawmakers, but “would substantially injure — indeed irreparably harm — Plaintiffs.”

In any sane world, Republicans would be seriously re-evaluating their affinity and reliance on bent redistricting to buttress their power. But instead, they're gearing up to bring their funky map-making skills to the Judicial Branch. They honestly have no shame.

Tuesday News: Voices of dissent

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MLK'S CHILDREN SPEAK OUT AGAINST TRUMP'S RACIST COMMENTS ABOUT IMMIGRATION: In Washington, King's eldest son, Martin Luther King III, criticized Trump, saying, "When a president insists that our nation needs more citizens from white states like Norway, I don't even think we need to spend any time even talking about what it says and what it is." In Atlanta, King's daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, told hundreds of people who packed the pews of the Ebenezer Baptist Church that they "cannot allow the nations of the world to embrace the words that come from our president as a reflection of the true spirit of America." Down the street from Trump's Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday, Haitian protesters and Trump supporters yelled at each other from opposing corners. Trump was staying at the resort for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article194706414.html

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Check off NC Senate District 45:

Still a lot of empty slots, folks. Keep working the Blue Wave.

Monday News: Denial is a river in Egypt

TRUMP CLAIMS HE'S NOT A RACIST, NEVER MADE THOSE COMMENTS: "No, No. I'm not a racist," Trump said Sunday, after reporters asked him to respond to those who think he is. "I am the least racist person you have ever interviewed. That I can tell you." Trump also denied making the statements attributed to him, but avoided the details of what he did or did not say. "Did you see what various senators in the room said about my comments?" he asked, referring to lawmakers who were meeting with him in the Oval Office on Thursday when Trump is said to have made the comments. "They weren't made." Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the only Democrat at Thursday's meeting, said Trump had indeed said what he was reported to have said. Durbin said the remarks were "vile, hate-filled and clearly racial in their content." He said Trump used the most vulgar term "more than once." When it came to talk of extending protections for Haitians, Durbin said Trump replied, "We don't need more Haitians.'" "He said, 'Put me down for wanting more Europeans to come to this country. Why don't we get more people from Norway?'" Durbin said.
http://www.wral.com/on-defensive-trump-declares-i-m-not-a-racist-/17258129/

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