Daily dose: Lennon Lacy needs justice edition

F.B.I. to Investigate a Hanging Death in North Carolina (New York Times) -- After state officials said Lennon Lacy, 17, whose body was found hanging from a swing set in North Carolina, committed suicide, the local chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. asked the F.B.I. to intervene.

FBI reviews hanging death of black teenager (AP) — The black teenager was found in a North Carolina trailer park, hanging from a swing set by a dog leash and a belt that were not his own.

Husband loses shootout with (retired) police officer wife

She probably wasn't a former hostage negotiator:

Investigators said Friday that both George Bishop III and his wife, Brenda, fired guns Wednesday during an argument. George Bishop died a short time later, while his wife was not hit. Detectives are still trying to figure out exactly what happened and whether charges should be filed.

Bishop's wife called 911 around 1:10 p.m. Wednesday and told the operator her husband gave her a 1 o'clock deadline. She said she shot him after he fired at her.

I fully realize that hindsight is 20/20, but maybe if you had called 911 before the 1:00 deadline, things may have turned out differently. Just sayin'.

Harper's: The left must derail Hillary Clinton in the primaries

"a straightforward, nationwide electoral strategy is required if the left wants to reverse the rightward trend of both parties over the past three decades. The tea party has had much success moving the Republican Party to the right through primary challenges that should be the envy of frustrated Democrats, even though liberals of the Nation magazine – Rachel Maddow persuasion appear blind to the lessons of tea party tactics. One wouldn’t want to weaken Democratic incumbents with insurgencies lest “we” lose “our” Senate majority..

Daily Dose: Starve the beast edition

N.C. revenues are $410 million behind last year and $190M short of forecast (AP) — The gap between predicted and actual North Carolina state revenues is widening because of continued tepid personal income tax collections, but improving sales tax collections approaching the holidays helped keep it spreading further. The monthly report on state revenues issued by the Office of the State Controller says revenues are running $410,1 million behind what was collected a year ago. The legislature's top economist confirmed this week revenues are about $190 million below expectations for the first five months of the fiscal year ending Nov. 30. The first-quarter gap through September was $62 million. The rate of revenue collections is also running behind the pace set a year ago. Last year, by the end of November, the state collected 39.6 percent of the total revenues collected for the fiscal year. Currently, the state has collected just 36.9 percent of the revenues it anticipates for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. The critical culprit has been collection of individual income taxes. Not only did the General Assembly cut the tax rate, but the recession and skyrocketing unemployment in North Carolina, which has lagged the nation in recovery, has resulted in many workers returning to the workforce in jobs that pay significantly less then the jobs they held previously. Last summer, a decline in withholdings in the first half of the 2014 calendar year contributed to a $450 million gap in the last fiscal year, making decisions for the current budget written by lawmakers last summer more difficult.

UNC Board of Republican Governors launches inquisition

The mostly white, mostly male, mostly Republican UNC Board of Governors has launched an inquisition into several of the UNC system's centers that focus on various societal issues. Of the 240 centers statewide, the white male Republican inquisitors have chosen about 30 for special grilling on the hot seat. In case you're wondering if the centers chosen to be questioned in the spotlight largely address causes the tea party opposes (you know, poverty, women, diversity, the environment, civil rights and such), the answer is (SURPRISE!) yes.

The white male Republican inquisitors claim that their inquisition is all about efficiency, but of course it's really all about ideology and quashing opposition voices.

In a debate that at times veered into testy ideological exchange, UNC-Chapel Hill center directors mounted a vigorous justification of their work Thursday before a UNC Board of Governors panel reviewing more than two dozen centers and institutes.

Millionaires tax giveaway deficit widens

Having already come home to roost, the pigeon that is the NC GOP tax "reform" has now settled in and is coating the state with pigeon poop. In particular, the revenue shortfall resulting from Art Pope's tax cut continues to grow to nearly $200 million for the first half of this fiscal year.

The gap between predicted and actual North Carolina state revenues is widening because of continued tepid personal income tax collections.

The legislature's top economist confirmed this week that revenues are about $190 million below expectations for the first five months of the fiscal year ending Nov. 30. Two months ago, the first-quarter gap was $62 million.

Will the "police body camera" bill ever make it to the NCGA floor?

The Magic 8-Ball sez, "Don't hold your breath."

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus said Wednesday that they expect a bill to be filed when the General Assembly reconvenes in January that would require some, if not all, law enforcement officers in North Carolina to wear body cameras on duty.

The Legislative Black Caucus also plans to file anti-profiling legislation next year, said Rep. Rodney Moore, D-Mecklenburg.

Two major challenges to getting such legislation enacted: 1) Many GOP Legislators refuse to believe racial profiling even occurs, and 2) Most of those who would acknowledge it's happening believe it's not just okay, it's good police work. As such, the anti-profiling bill is dead on arrival, destined to collect dust in one committee or another, and the police body camera bill will probably do likewise, until some Republican writes a different one that merely "studies" the practice, possibly choosing as a test case some Mayberry-ish town with a one-bullet deputy sporting a camera. Prove me wrong, please.


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