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4th Circuit slaps down Republican voter suppression law

The intent to disenfranchise people of color is obvious:

We appreciate and commend the court on its thoroughness. The record evidence provides substantial support for many of its findings; indeed, many rest on uncontested facts. But, for some of its findings, we must conclude that the district court fundamentally erred. In holding that the legislature did not enact the challenged provisions with discriminatory intent, the court seems to have missed the forest in carefully surveying the many trees. This failure of perspective led the court to ignore critical facts bearing on legislative intent, including the inextricable link between race and politics in North Carolina.

Boom. Or is it Bam? One of those two things.

Friday News: The Doctor has a cure

REV. BARBER JUST DIAGNOSED WHAT AILS THIS NATION (Esquire) -- Here on the fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention, the Reverend Dr. William Barber II broke through. Or, more accurately, he rose above, past the partisan food fights and the insults and the vindictiveness. His soaring speech was a call to action, and a declaration that it was inaction on a range of issues—gun violence, the deteriorating relationships between police and communities of color, the climate—that had led to a kind of national cardiac arrest. We are not all equally to blame, he said.
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/videos/a47153/reverend-william-barber-democratic-convention/

Hapless McCrory blames Cooper for NBA All-Star exodus

He's going to have to see a chiropractor after this twist:

"We actually had a deal with the NBA," McCrory said. The deal did not include any change to the restroom, showers, or locker room provisions of HB2. He said the NBA leaders told him that this was not an issue for them.

But the deal was tanked by leftist politicians and activists. Namely, his Democratic opponent - Attorney General Roy Cooper. "Roy actually helped sabotage that deal by calling Democratic legislators to say don't vote - all or nothing - don't vote for it. By sabotaging that, the NBA decided not to come. The HRC [Human Rights Campaign] was very, very influential in trying to sabotage that, too."

Okay, let me get this straight, because your "confused little boy" fist-clenching is really hard to follow: You claim you had an agreement with the NBA, and the Senate bill in question was acceptable to them. The bill passed, you signed it, so your alleged "deal" was honored. The Dem Senators didn't "sabotage" the vote, they just refused to take part. So apparently you did not have a deal with the NBA, unless it was merely in your imagination. Which is very possible. And also more than a little scary...

When charter schools go horribly wrong

charterpirates.jpg

They can leave your child struggling to catch up:

In spring 2014 with about a month left in the school year, StudentFirst was in debt by more than $600,000 and shut its doors, giving only a week’s notice. Rochelle scrambled to get her children into a public magnet school operated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district.

A few weeks later at the new school, her eldest son, CJ, a third-grader, failed the end-of-year reading test—and Rochelle fully realized that StudentFirst’s shortcomings were not just financial, but academic as well. “It became clear that CJ had learned virtually nothing. He fell behind in all subject areas. He went to summer school after that to begin catching up.”

This whole idea of "competition" improving results all around in education is faulty, and the product of an equally faulty economic model. Competition in the retail sector brings focus to prices, driving them down. Which encourages stocking even cheaper products, very often imports slapped together in foreign sweatshops. The overall quality of goods deteriorates, and the same thing happens in the education sector. Charters and vouchers siphon off funding that should go to traditional schools, and these new private-sector "competitors" can employ non-certified teachers, some of them with no formal training in educating children. Instead of demanding quality, we're crossing our fingers and hoping quality magically appears out of thin air. That's not responsible leadership, it's the exact opposite: The complete abrogation of responsibility.

DNC Day 3: An Interview with Ken Serrano

kenserrano.jpgAn interview With Ken Serrano

Tonight at the DNC I found myself sitting next to a handsome young man from Madrid, Spain. Ken just finished his freshman year at the University of Tampa. He has an internship this summer with Congressman Joe Garcia from Miami
We began to talk and one of Ken’s first observations was that American youth seems uninvolved in government. He wondered why they were so disconnected or disinterested.

Ken wants to help make sure that Donald Trump is not elected. He explained that he feels this election holds worldwide importance. He says that in Spain, Trump is not admired as a world leader. He asked me why I thought Donald Trump wanted to be president. My response was that Trump has always been self-serving and self-motivated. He nodded.

He stated that he lives in a democracy in Spain. He was raised in a family that believes in equal rights for all races and religions and people. He does not believe Donald Trump shares in those values. This is a concern for Ken.

Dallas Woodhouse and his Twitter War Team Screwed the Pooch

Dallas Woodhouse and his motley band of Twitter warriors screwed up in epic fashion last night. After rallying the crowds of Facebook to follow their Twitter War Room during the DNC last night, Woodhouse and his team failed to exercise basic common sense before attacking Tim Kaine during his speech.

The results:

Op-Ed on the GOP's disingenuous attack on wind energy in NC

In which I preach from my chair a little bit:

In each of the last five years, we have seen numerous attempts by the Republican-led General Assembly to erode environmental protections and undermine the fantastic growth in our clean energy sector. Some have succeeded, some have failed, but the efforts have been relentless. In this previous short session, one of the more notable of these was Sen. Harry Brown’s attempt to ban the construction of wind energy projects in the vast majority of the state, in particular eastern North Carolina, where the most suitable winds are located.

While this bill failed to pass out of the N.C. House this year, Brown has promised to bring it back again next year. When he does, it needs to go to the Rules Committee or wherever the muckety-mucks decide is the best place for it to die a slow, legislative death.

I would like to take this time to encourage everybody reading this to engage in the process of analysis and feedback with media outlets, especially print media. Their "stable" of content creators has shrank severely in the last decade or so, and they are much more open to publishing material from non-standard sources. By "non-standard" I mean clumsy amateurs like myself. :)

Thursday News: Dangerously unqualified edition

RALEIGH’S BROOKS BELL AT DNC: HB2 IS A ‘PREVIEW’ OF TRUMP PRESIDENCY (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Raleigh tech entrepreneur Brooks Bell called North Carolina’s House Bill 2 “deeply embarrassing and morally wrong” in a speech Wednesday afternoon at the Democratic National Convention.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article92231042.html

BUTTERFIELD TELLS DNC THAT TRUMP IS ‘NOT QUALIFIED’ TO BE PRESIDENT (Raleigh News & Observer) -- U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina had strong words for Republican Donald Trump in his speech to the Democratic National Convention Wednesday evening.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article92238572.html

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