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Colorado decriminalized pot and has a fortune in new taxes to work with. North Carolina is still trying to make abortion illegal. Is that why the Broncos won? Is that why you like Colorado more?

Jane and I saw this today while biking on Emerald Isle. Offered without comment.

Posted by James Protzman on Monday, February 8, 2016

Predictably, GOP uses election to justify keeping unconstitutional districts

Elevating shirking responsibility to an art form:

"We trust the federal trial court was not aware an election was already underway and surely did not intend to throw our state into chaos by nullifying ballots that have already been sent out and votes that have already been cast," Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, and Rep. David Lewis, R-Harnett, said in a statement. "We hope the court will realize the serious and far-reaching ramifications of its unprecedented, eleventh-hour action and immediately issue a stay."

"The pressures that we have are not made up. They are real, live democracy questions," Lawson said. "This is kind of democracy in real time, needing to make sure that we have everything ready for elections that, in fact, have already started."

Guess what, Josh? Sweeping tens of thousands of African-American voters into other districts is a "real, live democracy question" too, and leaving that in place is a much harder pill to swallow than the difficulties straightening out absentee ballots. Also, big LOLs to Rucho and Lewis on that "unprecedented, eleventh-hour action" bullshit. How many bills did you guys shove through in midnight sessions, or about fifteen minutes after giving Legislators a 100-200 page secretly-rewritten and glaringly controversial bill that various committees had already rejected? Petard, hoisted. Get over it.

Duke Energy will request rate hikes for coal ash disposal

Because every step they take is a money-making opportunity:

"But we will do everything we can to keep cost impacts as manageable as possible in any potential cost recovery filing that we might make in the future," Duke Energy spokesman Jeff Brooks said in an email.

The company said excavating and reburying the coal ash in lined landfills could cost as much as $10 billion. That's more than Duke Energy spent to scrap a quarter of its coal-burning power capacity and open 10 new natural gas and coal plants in North Carolina, Florida and Indiana since 2009, the company said.

And now comes the economic coercion: If you force us to do what we should have done in the first place, bury this toxic mess in lined pits, we will make you pay for it yourselves. Besides, we have better things to do with our profits than fix our own mistakes with it:

Monday News: Rear-ended, again

SUPER BOWL BASH: MCCRORY OK AFTER POST-GAME FENDER-BENDER (SAN JOSE MERCURY) -- Gov. Pat McCrory sustained minor injuries after the California Highway Patrol vehicle he was riding in was rear-ended and totaled shortly after the Carolina Panthers' Super Bowl loss. CHP Officer Ross Lee said that one member of the governor’s entourage in the car was taken to the hospital to be checked out.
http://www.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_29489435/san-jose-north-carolina-governor-vehicle-collision-after

When staff editorials go badly wrong

Trying to be too clever for your target audience:

Our Opinion: The threat among us

The Islamic State is at work in North Carolina. Fortunately, so is the FBI.

The murderous terrorist organization controls a large territory in Iraq and Syria, but it also controls the minds of many young people around the world and in this country.

Headline and intro to an editorial in the Greensboro News & Record, which I believe the intent was to demonstrate that fearing someone based on their name, skin color, societal profile, etc., is a mistake. The idea behind this effort is sound, but the delivery is the problem. Trying to "hook" the target audience (Islamaphobes) with inflammatory language, and then towards the end of the article tell them they'd be better off to fear their next-door-neighbor than refugees escaping violence. I consider myself adept at detecting nuanced messages, and this one was a challenge. For those already steeped in fear of the Muslim hordes and other dark-skinned invaders, this approach will accomplish little more than ratcheting up their fear level.

Sunday News: GOP owns the chaos edition

bluenccup-1[1].jpg

COURT RULING COULD DELAY ELECTION PRIMARY (Fayetteville Observer) -- When North Carolina legislators complained Friday that the state's elections were thrown into "chaos" and "turmoil" by a federal court ruling that said two Congressional districts must be revised, they weren't necessarily exaggerating for rhetorical effect. The 2016 primary is scheduled for March 15, and voters already have started casting absentee ballots. Friday's ruling says the 1st and 12th Congressional districts must be changed by Feb. 19, during an election that already is underway.
http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/court-ruling-could-delay-election-primary/article_88348696-736...

Saturday News: Not-so-good guys with guns edition

N.C., FEDERAL LAW OUT OF SYNC ON GUN BAN FOR ABUSERS (WRAL-TV) -- Despite new laws in several states designed to protect victims of domestic abuse from gun violence, advocates say the North Carolina legislature is unlikely to take similar action anytime soon.
http://www.wral.com/nc-federal-law-out-of-sync-on-gun-ban-for-abusers/15323955/

FRANKLIN GUN DEALER SENTENCED FOR SALE TO FELON (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- A Franklin firearms dealer has been sentenced in federal court to 30 months in prison for selling a firearm to a convicted felon. Philip Nelson Elliott, 55, had operated Mountain Top Coins, Guns and Ammo at 1453 Highlands Road in Franklin. He was sentenced in U.S. District Court.
http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/crime/2016/02/05/franklin-gun-dealer-sentenced-sale-felon/79...

McCrory tries to tie political campaign to Panthers' success

It's even dumber than it sounds:

The ad, released Friday, shows the Republican governor touting the accomplishments of his “Carolina Comeback.” The ad cuts to McCrory standing in front of a house, holding a football.

“There’s still work to do,” he says. “But we have a ‘Carolina Comeback’ for sure. We just don’t always get the respect we’ve earned. Well, there is one solution. Keep Pounding, Panthers! And have a Super day!”

If by "we just don't always get the respect we've earned" you mean we are a near-constant laughingstock in national print and television media, due to the ham-handed way the Republican Party has mismanaged our state, then yes. The respect has been lacking. But we have "earned" that scorn, no matter how much you'd like to twitch your nose or shake your fist and make it go away.

Federal court declares two NC Congressional Districts racially gerrymandered

And they've got two weeks to fix it:

After careful consideration of all evidence presented during a three-day bench trial, the parties’ findings of fact and conclusions of law, the parties’ arguments, and the applicable law, the Court finds that the plaintiffs have shown that race predominated in both CD 1 and CD 12 and that the defendants have failed to establish that its race-based redistricting satisfies strict scrutiny.

Accordingly, the Court holds that the general assembly’s 2011 Congressional Redistricting Plan is unconstitutional as violative of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Having found that the 2011 Congressional Redistricting Plan violates the Equal Protection Clause, the Court will require that new congressional districts be drawn forthwith to remedy the unconstitutional districts. See Wise v. Lipscomb, 437 U.S.
535, 539-40 (1978).

Read it and weep, you anti-democratic right-wing losers.

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