Racism by any other name

Minority voters are impacted the most by NC's voter suppression laws:

While there is no dispute that “the overt racism of the 1960s is largely a thing of the past,” it is also true that in far too many places affected by the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision voiding a critical section of the Voting Rights Act, racial discrimination continues to flourish.

One of the indignities of discrimination is the insistence on simply reducing it to “feelings.” But it is a matter of fact, not perception, that all of North Carolina’s voting provisions disproportionately affect racial minorities. Whether local officials are “shocked” by allegations of racial motives is beside the point.

Exactly. It doesn't (or shouldn't) matter if the intent of the law was to marginalize minority voters, and it also shouldn't matter if that intent can be proved legally. The facts on the ground are what matters, and those facts are disenfranchising a segment of our voting population. And it shouldn't be a partisan debate. These are Constitutional rights we're talking about, no matter how much propaganda and twisting is being done by those who would limit those rights for others.

Daily dose

And that was all she wrote:

POET LAUREATE LAMENT
9:15 p.m. Secretary Susan Kluttz Comments on Resignation of Valerie Macon as Poet Laurearte (N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources Release) -- Valerie Macon, recently appointed North Carolina's poet laureate, resigned from the position today stating in her letter that she does not want, "the negative attention that this appointment has generated to discourage or distract attention from the Office of Poet Laureate." "I am saddened by this entire situation," said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of the N.C. Dept. of Cultural Resources. "I met with Valerie Macon and was very impressed with her passion to use her talent to combat homelessness. I am sorry that she became the focus of disingenuous comments that she did not deserve. I pledge to her and to all artists, both new and experienced, that this department will do all we can to support their creativity."
http://www.ncdcr.gov/News/tabid/95/EntryId/505/Secretary-Susan-Kluttz-Co...

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RIP Johnny Winter

90% of coal ash remains in Dan River after Duke Energy "completes" cleanup

If this is what they call "success," one would hate to see them fail:

Since the operation began on May 6, approximately 2,500 tons of coal ash and river sediment have been removed from this location. Crews and equipment were staged at Abreu-Grogan Park in Danville for the past three months.

The company previously completed removal of ash and sediment from water treatment facilities in Danville and South Boston, as well as from locations in the river at the Dan River Steam Station and Town Creek, two miles downstream from the plant. More than 500 tons of coal ash and river sediment were removed from these areas.

Do the math. A low-end estimate on the spill had some 39,000 tons of ash released, and this combined 3,000 tons removed included an unknown quantity of non-ash sediment. What's left in the river could be closer to 95%. And the General Assembly wants to give Duke Energy "more flexibility" in the cleanup/relocation of all the other coal ash ponds?

A poem for Governor McCrory

Dear Governor McCrory, I’m writing you today
Because – as a citizen – I have a great deal to say.

I’m incredibly proud of this wonderful state,
Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great
From Murphy to Manteo we are all instilled
With a North Carolina value: a desire to build
We built universities that were the envy of the nation
We built community colleges that enabled vocations
We built a K-12 system that served every single student
We cultivated a political system that stressed politics less than prudence
We passed pro-business policies, and still invested in our communities
We took it upon ourselves to strive for equal opportunity
We made sure we supported the poor and middle class
But now we have teachers leaving us en masse
And now we’ve decided that public schools aren’t a priority
And now we’re at the mercy of an ideologue majority
And now we’ve become a national joke
And now the lines are drawn to neglect most folks

NC GOP to require bicycle registration and liability insurance

This week the Republican-led General Assembly put the kibosh on freedom-loving moped owners with new requirements for registration and liability insurance. Consistent with their intent to control whatever they can, including women's bodies, drugs, license plates, sea level rise, etc., GOP leaders now have bicycles, tricycles, and maybe even pedestrians in their sights.

Daily Dose

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 6th DISTRICT GOP RUNOFF
A runoff election, particularly in a congressional or legislative district, is neatly defined and should be simple for the candidates. There’s little guessing about who is likely to vote – they’ve already identified themselves – down to the household – by voting in the initial primary. And, there aren’t so many people, or such an extensive geographic spread, that there is difficulty in reaching out personally to nearly every voter. Decent polling and get-out-the-vote efforts can identify just who voted for which candidate. And, these efforts can also identify which voters who may not have voted for the candidates in the runoff, would be likely to shift.

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Expanding Early Voting in Orange County

Yesterday, I attended the Board of Elections meeting where they were to approve the early vote schedule for the fall. Though I knew there could be some others in attendance regarding an early vote site on campus (I was part of the informal committee looking for sites and suggested Carolina Hillel as a possibility, which was eventually approved). There were at least a dozen people in attendance speaking, as I did, in support of expanded hours on Saturday and adding Sunday as a voting day. While Orange County exceeded the number of hours required by law in the primary, I believe we should expand hours even more. Because of the response, the Board is delaying their decision next week.

Open thread

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