Discussion of Charlotte's Nondiscrimination Ordinance Pulled from Agenda

The LGBT community won yet another battle in the war for equal rights today when Charlotte Mayor, Jennifer Roberts, pulled a discussion of the impact of HB2 from the agenda for tonight's Charlotte City Council meeting.

This doesn't mean there won't be other attempts to repeal the ordinance, which after the passage of HB2 actually no longer exists since state law supersedes the ordinance.

Rip van Holding's election-year attack on IRS

A desperate hail-mary pass to save his gerrymandered Congressional career:

The IRS is understaffed and woefully so. That’s the work of congressional Republicans, who remain suspicious that the IRS targeted conservative nonprofits for investigation some time back.

But Holding’s idea, to move the IRS’ criminal investigation units to the Department of the Treasury, which would create an organization called the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, is just unnecessary. (And, hey, isn’t Holding one of those small-government Republicans? So what’s this new agency business?)

This is plainly an effort to appeal to extremist Teapublicans, by "disarming government agents" and eroding the ranks of the IRS. If you're trying to figure out the benefits that might be gleaned by pandering policy moves, you'll be at it for a long time before coming up empty-handed.

Monday News: Opportunity = Crisis edition

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CHARLOTTE CHAMBER: THE CITY COUNCIL HAS AN OPPORTUNITY ON HB2 (Charlotte Observer column) -- Chamber CEO Bob Morgan: We agree that only acceptable outcome is policies on local and state level that prohibit discrimination against all people, but not all deals are bad; City Council can make a first move to help begin rebuilding trust with N.C. lawmakers; Economic suffering is at stake
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/op-ed/article79167747.html

HB 2 BATTLE BACK IN FRONT OF CHARLOTTE CITY COUNCIL? (Charlotte Business Journal) -- The latest front to open in the fight over HB 2 — how and whether the city might repeal its anti-discrimination ordinance passed in February in exchange for possible moves by the General Assembly to make the state law more palatable for businesses and others who have called for it to be undone.
http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/blog/morning-edition/2016/05/hb-2-battle-back-in-front-of-charl...

The battle to continue NC's renewable energy success

Progress is a four-letter word to some people:

It’s hard to see what’s not to like about North Carolina’s growing renewable energy industry. It’s clean. It creates jobs. It puts idle farm land to profitable use. It’s part of what must be an urgent, global response to climate change.

Yet there are some in the General Assembly determined to halt and even reverse the state’s booming solar power industry and to lower its prospects as a leader in wind power.

Some ideological positions are simply too absurd to understand. Even in the absence of the millions spent by the Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel astroturfers, there will always be a handful of science-fearing individuals tilting at windmills. The industry propaganda just fuels their delusions, and makes it much more likely they'll be able to do actual damage instead of just fuming about it.

Sunday News: Message of substance edition

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‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH’ DECLARES ELON COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER GERGEN (Elon University News) -- Elon University's Commencement speaker, David Gergen, departed from the tradition of showering graduates with praise and advice to discuss his concerns about the future of North Carolina, his home state. Gergen is senior political analyst for CNN and co-director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. He also served as advisor to four U.S. presidents and is founding chair of Elon University School of Law's advisory board. Gergen told a crowd of about 12,000 people at Commencement that "forces of political extremism" have asserted themselves in North Carolina, damaging the state's reputation and putting citizens at risk.
http://www.elon.edu/e-net/Article/132946

DHHS proposes cuts to special needs funding

Adding insult to tragedy:

Robin and Dan Marx of Cary are in a similar situation. Their 13-year-old son, Aidan, has a form of muscular dystrophy, and they receive $72,000 a year to pay for nursing aides for him as well as a modified van and alterations to their home to accommodate his wheelchair.

"This is a 350-pound wheelchair. You can’t just put in a car and drive around with it," Robin Marx said. Changing CAP-C would cut the family's Medicaid benefits by $40,000 a year.

Although it appears DHHS is re-evaluating this move after the negative feedback from families who would suffer from it, why is such feedback necessary? I'm sure somebody at DHHS could have made these calculations and predicted these horrific outcomes; if they couldn't or didn't they have no business managing these resources. What if nobody had spoken up? Is that now the way to gauge the effects of policy changes? The term "mismanagement" comes to mind, but I have a feeling they (DHHS) knew good and well the suffering that would result, and were merely gauging the public relations damage they'd have to deal with.

Saturday News: Don't say you weren't warned

NEW HB2 COMPROMISE IN THE WORKS. IS IT WORTH MAKING? (Charlotte Observer) -- Talks between Charlotte City Council and N.C. lawmakers have produced a framework for an HB2 compromise. But there are risks. It involves Charlotte City Council members making a symbolic gesture that risks alienating the LGBT community the council is trying to protect from discrimination. It also involves council members trusting Republicans in Raleigh who have done very little to earn that trust. What could go wrong?
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article78828787.html

Government bullying: Defund community college for Op-ed comments

Tyrants come in all shapes and sizes:

County Commissioners' Chairman Nick Picerno said Thursday night the county should take a look at its funding for Sandhills Community College in light of comments by its president that he will not enforce the state's new transgender bathroom law. That came in response to comments made by a Whispering Pines woman during the public comment period at the beginning of the meeting.

"I think the lady had a good argument," Picerno said. "Maybe we should review Sandhills Community College's funding for this year until they learn to obey the law. I agree with that 100 percent."

"The lady" is not only an anti-everything nut-job, she's also on the Planning and Zoning Board and heavily involved in local GOP politics. Calling her "the lady" is nothing more than a lame-ass attempt to cast her as merely a concerned citizen instead of a political hack. She's also the organizer of the anti-Islam "lecture" at Pinehurst resort:

Friday News: Denial is a river in Egypt, Art

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ART POPE DENIES FUNDING BACKERS OF HB2 DESPITE CLEAR RECORD (Facing South) -- Near the end of an interview, on NPR with Raleigh’s Art Pope, host Ari Shapiro brought up HB2. Shapiro asked for Pope's opinions on the law, noting "organizations that [Pope] funded have supported this law." Pope replied, "I disagree with your comment, the organizations I, quote, 'have funded have supported the law.'" Shapiro didn't challenge Pope's assertion. But the record shows that it's untrue. As Facing South reported earlier this month, the Pope Foundation has donated nearly $1.5 million to three groups that publicly support HB2.
http://www.southernstudies.org/2016/05/art-pope-denies-funding-backers-of-nc-bathroom-bil.html

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