scharrison's blog

Offshore drilling update: Approval for seismic testing may come soon

Whether NC's coastal residents want it or not:

The steps to seismic testing in the South Atlantic include approval of the incidental harassment authorizations by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which could then be followed by approval of the permits from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). According to NOAA’s website, the public comment period for proposed seismic permits in the Atlantic closed last July. The comment review and final determination process typically takes, according to the site, one to three months.

“We are working through about 17,000 public comments as expeditiously as possible, but will take the time necessary to ensure that they are all appropriately addressed and that our final decision is based on the best available science,” Kate Brogan, a National Marine Fisheries Service spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

I can't help but stir my tea leaves when a government official says, "best available science." Because they are the ones who decide what's best, what's available, and (of course) what is "science" as opposed to opinion. All that said, both the NOAA and the Marine Fisheries branch are part of a dwindling group of Federal regulatory entities that are still at least trying to do their jobs properly. But that may be about to change:

NC Senate Republicans spoil effort to increase school psychologists

Because they've never met a bill they didn't want to hijack:

Lawmakers focused on improving school safety for months have planned to address a significant shortage of school psychologists, but none of the related bills filed by legislators look like they are going anywhere during this legislative session.

The proposal had broad support, and passed unanimously in the House, but the bill failed after the Senate tacked on a controversial and unrelated healthcare provision. Then the Senate stalled the House's attempts to resurrect the psychology provision in another bill about licensing regulation in various industries. That bill did not make it past the legislature's self-imposed deadline to send all statewide bills to the governor's desk.

That's pretty much all you need to know about how Berger and his acolytes roll. No matter how needed and necessary a piece of legislation is, if they can't use (abuse) it to get something else they want, it's no longer worth their effort. The sheer arrogance and selfishness is breathtaking. And it's not like this is a "nice to have" enhancement of our schools, it's a crisis that has deadly consequences if not addressed:

Trump's EO will create numerous "family" detention centers

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Out of the fire and into the frying pan:

Trump's executive order directs the attorney general to promptly file a request with U.S. District Judge Dolly Gree in the Central District of California to modify the Flores Settlement and allow detained migrant families to be held together "throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings ... or other immigration proceedings."

The president directed Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to maintain custody of detained families during criminal proceedings and as their asylum claims are adjudicated. Also, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and the heads of other agencies are ordered to find or construct facilities to house the detained families. Finally, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is directed to prioritize the adjudication of cases involving detained families.

"Finding" such facilities won't be that difficult, considering all the big-box retail stores like Wal-Mart that were closed and virtually abandoned. No doubt many developers and banks holding the notes on these dinosaurs are rubbing their hands together in glee, anticipating that monthly lease payment. And of course these people will have to be fed, so there's a lot of money to be made there, too. And as for those 2,000+ children already caged up, this order does absolutely nothing for them:

Republicans blame Cooper for judicial redistricting confusion

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As usual, Melissa Boughton is on the case:

The Senate voted along party lines Tuesday night to overturn a partial judicial redistricting bill in an apparent attempt to flex its political muscle at Gov. Roy Cooper. Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) told his colleagues it took Cooper 243 hours and 20 minutes to veto Senate Bill 757 and that he (Cooper) wanted to make sure he caused confusion for the election.

“I promise you, he knew the moment it passed the first chamber whether or not he was going to veto this bill,” Hise said. “But instead he wanted to create some chaos. … That’s the way this Governor likes to play, so we’re going to send the message back.”

That's right, they are accusing the Governor of following the law, which specifies how much time he has to sign, Veto, or allow a bill to become law without his signature. Make no mistake, those judicial candidates who are forced to refile know exactly who to blame, the meddlers in the General Assembly:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The folly of sending a pastor to Congress:

Mark Walker is quite possibly the emptiest suit we've ever sent to Congress, and we've sent a few doozies.

Constitution Party fields small group of right-wing extremists for 2018

And leading the pack is a GOP Sore Loser of course:

The far-right party, which promotes limited government and the Second Amendment while opposing abortion, selected Allen Poindexter, a freelance writer, to challenge Sarah Stevens, the Republican speaker pro tem, in state House District 90, which covers Surry County and part of Wilkes. The 41-year-old Poindexter ran against Stevens in the Republican primary. Stevens easily defeated Poindexter with two thirds of the vote.

“I got disgusted with the [Republican] party because the leadership lost their way,” said Poindexter during an open question-and-answer period at the convention, which was held at Calvary Church of the Nazarene in suburban Charlotte. Poindexter said he would support legislation to allow small communities to form independent school districts, and supports allowing teachers with proper training and screening to carry firearms in schools.

Dude, you were just a Republican like five minutes ago, got beat in the Primary, and now you're concocting a story about leaving the party because the leadership "lost their way"? They lost their way back in 2011 when they took over the NCGA, have been stumbling around since then grabbing whatever power they can, but somehow between May and June of this year they *really* lost their way, and you decided to change parties? Here's the rest of their "slate" of candidates:

All you need to know on GOP Early Voting shenanigans

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