Sunday News: The real dangers of HB2


PEOPLE IN 50 COUNTIES TELL STORIES OF LGBTQ INTIMIDATION, DISCRIMINATION (Charlotte Observer) -- More than 300,000 North Carolinians who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) are denied legal protection from discrimination under a new state law, commonly called House Bill 2. In June, a team of Charlotte Observer journalists led by Elizabeth Leland set out to gauge the extent to which ​people are targeted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Reporters found a range of offenses, from verbal slurs and threats to physical assaults.

McCrory's attack on Caitlyn Jenner backfires

Greg Flynn takes the Deputy Assistant Governor to task:

Jenner now holds a birth certificate marked “female,” thus legally bound in North Carolina to use public facilities designated for women, not men as McCrory would have it. Arbitrary and capricious enforcement of law is at the heart of much social unrest. McCrory’s transphobia escapes the confines of his own law.

Fear-mongering should have no place in 21st century North Carolina even as McCrory and his “role model” Donald Trump see it as a path to electoral victory. HB2 should be repealed. McCrory should be replaced.

That whole "birth certificate" thing was a document too far anyway, with shades of totalitarianism accompanying it. So it's only fitting it should turn around and bite them in the ass.

Josh Stein vs Buck Newton: The choice couldn't be more clear

Dedicated public servant vs pay-to-play bigot:

Stein says he is up against millions of dollars in special-interest support for his opponent, Republican state Sen. Buck Newton, 48, of Wilson, who Stein says has the support of payday lenders (Stein helped drive them out of the state) and gambling interests hoping to get a foothold in the state. Newton regrettably has been supportive of conservative and highly questionable and divisive social issues, evidenced by his sponsorship of Senate Bill 2, which exempted magistrates from doing their duty in performing all marriages if they chose not to. Newton is a hard-right conservative who’s focused mainly on attacking Stein and Cooper.

This campaign season has been riddled with vicious attack ads, but the one that stands out the most (to me) is this one: p.s. I know you're getting tired of seeing crap like this, but you gotta know your enemy.

Saturday News: Pat's Charlotte love affair ends in tears


CHARLOTTE OBSERVER OPPOSES MCCRORY FOR FIRST TIME IN 25 YEARS (Politico) -- The Charlotte Observer has endorsed Democrat Roy Cooper for governor over Republican Pat McCrory, breaking a 25-year streak of endorsements of the North Carolina incumbent. In a blistering take-down of a candidate whom the publication has backed in 11 separate elections dating back to 1991, the Observer's editorial board writes that McCrory finally "[rose] to the level of [his] incompetence." Blasting the controversial HB2 legislation that restricted in-state restroom facilities to single-sex usage as McCrory's "hateful and self-defeating" legacy, the board writes that the governor failed "to return the state to its stature as a progressive leader in the South."

Defending democracy: Voter registration deadline extended in flood-ravaged counties

Thanks to a lawsuit by Democrats:

A North Carolina judge late Friday afternoon ordered the state voter registration deadline extended in 36 counties reeling from Hurricane Matthew and resultant flooding. Wake Superior Court Judge Don Stephens gave the order to push the deadline from Friday to Wednesday.

“If the deadline is not extended, then thousands of voters in a critical swing state risk total disenfranchisement in a hotly contested election,” lawyers representing the Democratic Party wrote. They originally sought the extension for the entire state, but Stephens limited it to counties getting help from FEMA.

It may only be a few extra days, but that short extension will be critical for many suffering from this tragedy.

Voices rising to extend voter registration deadline in light of Matthew damage

From the flooded trenches in Fayetteville:

Hunt says he's disappointed in the board for "choosing not to provide adequate relief to eligible voters" unable to register when Hurricane Matthew shut down local boards of elections and other registration sites. Registration deadline is today, but the board has told local officials to accept mailed-in registrations that arrive late. The board also notes that same-day registration is available at all early-voting sites, which will be open from Oct. 20 through Nov. 5.

At this point, it's not clear that all early-voting sites will be able to open by next Thursday. It's fortuitous that the courts struck down state voting reform legislation and that same-day registration is still an option. But it may not be enough in some of this state's hardest-hit communities.

No doubt the State Board is concerned local boards will have difficulty processing voter registrations while also preparing for early voting to begin. But that difficulty pales in comparison to the difficulties faced by those whose homes are (still) under water in much of Eastern North Carolina.

Friday News: A Blue NC emerging?

CLINTON LEADS IN N.C. FOLLOWING TAPE RELEASE (USA Today) -- Hillary Clinton has pulled ahead of Donald Trump in a new North Carolina poll, though she is within the margin of error, following the release of a video from 2005 where the Republican nominee discusses groping women. Clinton led Trump 45%-43% in a Suffolk University poll in the Tar Heel State released Thursday. Libertarian Gary Johnson had 5% support. While Clinton and Trump are still neck-and-neck, her new edge is a reversal from last month when Trump was at 44% and Clinton was at 41%.

JLF uses Hurricane Matthew to attack NC's REPS

Because natural disasters are a great opportunity for propaganda:

And then there are the inhabitants of the so-called “free market think tanks” funded by those fun-loving fossil fuel barons, the Koch Brothers, and their not so silent junior partner from North Carolina, Art Pope. Take a gander at a column released yesterday by the Director of Regulatory Studies at the John Locke Foundation. In it, the author argues – we are not making this up – that the mass, storm-related electricity outages of recent days lead to one overriding conclusion: North Carolina must reduce its commitment to renewable energy and the law (the “Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard” or “REPS”) that requires public utilities to derive a proportion of their electric load from renewables.

Everybody needs to understand why Koch and Pope's Puppets are so dedicated to overturning REPS in NC (and other states): Because it's working. The REPS was designed to create a demand for renewable energy, thus driving up production of Solar panels and wind turbine parts, which (in turn) would bring the costs down to a competitive range.
What you won't hear from people like JLF's Jon Sanders is how much those costs have already dropped:

Burr's anti-worker stance should be a game-changer

He wants to keep many people working for nothing:

He said the tendency of the Obama administration to implement regulations without the participation of Congress has made investors gun-shy. An example, he said, is a federal rule scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1 that will raise the pay threshold below which workers must get overtime pay from $455 a week to $913.

The amount has been unchanged since 2004. Supporters say it will put more money into the pockets of workers and keep businesses from treating some salaried workers unfairly by making them work extended hours without extra pay. Opponents say the increase is too large for employers to stomach all at once and businesses will hire more part-time workers or take other steps to get around the coming rule.

That current threshold puts people making $25,000 per year into a potentially devastating situation. Depending on the overtime hours required, it could keep them from working a 2nd part-time job. Or keep them from attending night school, or force them to pay for unnecessary child care, etc. If the (unpaid) overtime is only 10 extra hours per week, their hourly wage is about $8.90. But if it's closer to 20 extra hours per week, that wage plummets to $7.60 per hour. On a friggin' salary. Keep in mind, that (new) max threshold represents an annual salary of $47,476. Which in this economy ain't what it used to be, and very well may be the only income of the household. Granting them overtime protection is not radical, or "exorbitant." The word you're looking for is "fair."


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