Judge will allow offshore drilling case to move forward


Apparently Trump isn't the legal eagle he thinks he is:

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel of Charleston has denied the Department of the Interior’s motion to dismiss lawsuits filed by several groups, including the South Carolina Attorney General’s office.

What it means is that the case will continued to be tried, said attorney Amy Armstrong with the South Carolina Environmental Law Project, one of the drilling opponents. Meanwhile, the department at any time could issue permits to start the work anyway — a possibility that opponents say they are ready to fight.

Whales and dolphins have incredibly sensitive hearing, and can communicate with each other at vast distances. Their tympanic plate/membrane is in direct contact with sea water, and they use echolocation to defend against predators and avoid obstructions (like the rising shelf of landfall). Seismic blasting by oil companies looking for deposits can do permanent damage to their abilities, but even a short period of confusion can disrupt their migration and eventually prove fatal. Back to the lawsuit:

Wednesday News: Status quo


UNC BOG ASKS FOR JUDGE'S HELP IN GETTING STATUE AND MONEY BACK: The UNC System and its Board of Governors asked an Orange County judge Monday to help them get the Silent Sam Confederate statue back and then advise them what to do with it. The UNC system also wants the judge to order that the $2.5 million trust fund be dissolved and the money returned to UNC, plus an accounting of money spent through the trust, including the trustee’s fees. The UNC System and Board of Governors also asked that the court order them to make appropriate arrangements that recognize certain “safety and security risks” in getting the monument back and making a final decision on what to do with it in compliance with North Carolina law.

Tuesday News: Burn before reading

PRO-TRUMP FAKE NEWS SITE COULD BE NC STATE STUDENTS: On Monday, administrators of the group told McClatchy News they are students at N.C. State University in Raleigh who are conducting a “social media project to see how fast news will spread.” They did not provide their names. “Truth is not the goal,” administrators said in a private Facebook message. “Getting Trump re-elected is the ultimate goal.” A spokesperson from N.C. State told McClatchy News they had no knowledge of “any type of ‘social media project’” the page administrator cited. Winston-Salem police said incorrect stories have been shared on social media about its officers doing good deeds. The department didn’t name North Carolina Breaking News, but the Facebook page has shared stories about the Triad city. North Carolina Breaking News has also shared false reports about unconfirmed cases of coronavirus in North Carolina, a woman in Wilmington who gave birth to 18 babies in a single pregnancy and conspiracy theories involving a 6-year-old killed in South Carolina. It has encouraged its followers to vote a straight Republican ticket to “help prevent Coronavirus.”

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Shattering the myth of the booming economy:

And of course that 1/3 of lower wage earners also cannot afford health insurance. These are the people in the gap that Medicaid Expansion was designed for, but the NC GOP simply does not care about them.

Ban on assault rifles fails in Virginia Legislature


We've apparently gone too far in the wrong direction to fix this:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.

Four moderate Democrats joined Republicans in Monday's committee vote, rejecting legislation that would have prohibited the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms, including popular AR-15 style rifles, and banned the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds.

Look, I believe in open government, and not doing the public's business behind closed doors. But these 2nd Amendment folks push their intimidation tactics right up to the edge (and beyond) when dealing with elected officials, and when committee members are outnumbered 4-1 in a relatively small chamber that intimidation becomes more than just an academic exercise. If you doubt that just ask Lee Carter:

Monday News: Fast & Loose


POPULAR NC SCHOOL ACCOUNTING FIRM JUST LOST $2 MILLION FRAUD VERDICT: An accountant whose firm audits Durham Public Schools' books, and whose separate consulting company has had contracts with some 50 other school systems, was hit with a $2 million fraud verdict last month and now faces a new lawsuit from his former business partners. Leon L. Rives' accounting company also audited three insurance companies that were taken over last year by the state over liquidity concerns. They're owned by Greg Lindberg, who goes to trial this week on a federal bribery charge. Among other things, Rives' former partners have accused him of pilfering hundreds of thousands of dollars from the firm and using it on trips to the Bahamas, Amsterdam and Disney World, plus private plane rentals, alimony payments and a $10,000 night at a Raleigh strip club. Those accusations, and others, appear in a lawsuit filed earlier this month by Jay Sharpe and Aaron Patel, former small percentage partners at Rives & Associates.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


TURMOIL AT ECU IS PROFILE OF UNC SYSTEM'S DYSFUNCTION: East Carolina University has 28,650 undergraduate and graduate students – 540 in the schools of medicine and dentistry. There are 2,075 full and part-time faculty – not to mention hundreds of administrators and staff. It should be recognized as a world-class institution of higher education – and certainly has nearly all the ingredients. Instead it has emerged as the portrait of disfunction in higher education – from the mismanagement of the UNC Board of Governors who oversee the system to the local ECU Board of Trustees and the dizzying revolving door in the chancellor’s office – three occupants in the last eight months. The UNC board is micromanaging the actions of its president and chancellors. The current legal mess over the disposition of Silent Sam is the latest example. They transform manageable problems into a chaotic crisis.


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