Chalk another one up for We the People

Hi, James.

Thanks for your reporting on voter suppression efforts all across the state and for your help here on our battles in Watauga!

_______________________________

‘Twas the night before local elections board appointments all over the state, and the State Board of Elections had no intention whatsoever of appointing Voting Rights Advocate Stella Anderson to the Watauga County Board of Elections.

The structural dynamics of voter suppression

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Costs come in many forms:

The likely effects of SL 2013-381 may be understood using the “calculus of voting.” The “calculus of voting” is the dominant theoretical framework used by scholars to study voter turnout. Dating back at least to Anthony Downs’s seminal 1957 book, An Economic Theory of Democracy, researchers typically view the likelihood of voting as a formula. A person votes if the probability of one’s vote determining the outcome multiplied by the net psychological benefit of seeing one’s preferred candidate win is greater than the “costs” of voting. These costs include the effort needed to become informed about the candidates and issues. But they also include the time, resources, and activity needed to overcome the administrative requirements and other barriers to registering to vote and successfully casting a ballot.3 These are costs controlled by the state administering the vote.

These are extracts from a study presented by the plaintiffs in the voting rights case currently being adjudicated, which provides an eye-opening foray into human behavior patterns. And it shows that Republicans seeking to entrench their political control over North Carolina may be more adept in the social sciences than we previously thought:

Ellmers exposes her ignorance of Iran nuclear deal

Spouting the fear-mongering party line:

It sounds like this is a deal that Iran ran away with,” Ellmers said. “It looks like we will be funding Iran’s nuclear arsenal. This is not a deal at all.”

“We just have to stay on top of this,” she said. “There is too much to lose. We have to be strong. This is weak. … I am not sure what America gets out of this deal. It is not good for America. We need to go back to the drawing board.”

Bolding mine. With other folks, these word choices might be written off to "turn of phrase" or what have you. But in Ellmers' case, it's a good bet they're accurate. It "sounds like" the deal is bad because she's only going by what she's heard, whether from Boehner/Netanyahu or Faux news, or both. In reality, "what we get" is, among other things, the holy grail in the Iran Nuke problem, control over the enrichment of uranium and a severe reduction of Iran's stockpiles:

Daily dose: NC Klan invades SC edition

N.C. KKK and New Black Panther Party Protest at S.C. Capitol (New York Times) -- Members of the Ku Klux Klan and the New Black Panther Party appeared at dueling rallies, eight days after officials removed the Confederate battle flag from the Capitol grounds.
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/19/us/ku-klux-klanprotests-at-south-carolina-capitol.html

N.C. KKK-led rally at S.C. Statehouse met by counter-protesters (LA Times) -- A rally led by the Ku Klux Klan to protest the removal of the Confederate battle flag was staged Saturday outside the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, where it was met with a counter-protest by African American activists.
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-south-carolina-protest-20150718-story.html

NC Business Really Likes Sustainable Energy

Another NC business weighs in, warning NCGA not to make changes in sustainable energy standards.

SAS Institute Inc. has become the latest high-profile company to weigh in on the ongoing debate in the General Assembly over whether to change the state’s renewable energy policies.
In a letter sent to all state lawmakers Wednesday, the Cary-based business analytics software company warned lawmakers that changing the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard could hurt the development of clean energy in North Carolina.

“Technology companies value North Carolina’s existing energy policies, which enable us to operate and grow our businesses in a sustainable manner,” the company says.

http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2015/07/16/sas-nc-renewable-energy-portfolio-standard-reps....

McCrory off on another RGA excursion

Adding to his collection of fancy little hotel soap bars:

Three Republican governors will break out their crystal balls Tuesday at The Aspen Institute as part of the McCloskey Speaker Series.

The governors will be discussing “their forward-looking solutions to the issues of health care, the economy, immigration and other areas that are pressing in their states,” says an event description.

If McCrory were forced to take sodium pentothal before going up on stage, he would probably say, "Well, in North Carolina we're hovering on a government shutdown, because instead of hashing out the annual Budget, Republicans in the Legislature have spent their time worrying about possums, protecting Confederate statues and disenfranchising thousands of voters that live in cities which prefer Democrats. Also, I'm pretty sure I shit my pants a little bit approximately twenty minutes ago, but I don't know if it's a stomach bug or that all-you-can-eat breakfast bar the hotel very graciously provides to hungry travelers like myself."

Daily dose: The fruit of incompetence version

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N.C. Budget Director prepares for possible, but unlikely, state government shutdown (National Law Review) -- State Budget Director Lee Roberts is querying N.C. agencies to determine which functions are critical for “health, safety and well-being” and must continue even if there is a state government shut-down. Although a shut-down is unlikely, there is not a clear catalogue of which functions are vital and which are not. When Aug.14 arrives, there will either be a state budget in place (not likely), have a state government shut-down (not likely but scary), or another continuing resolution that punts the budget deadline farther into the future.
http://www.natlawreview.com/article/fiscal-year-budget-zoning-changes-confederate-monuments-july-17t...

Another Step Towards School Privatization

Thanks to Lindsay Wagner at NC Policy Watch, I can call your attention to this news in education. Rep. Rob Bryan (R-Mecklenburg) has gutted SB 95 and replaced it with language that will take low performing NC elementary schools, put them into a special Achievement School District (ASD) and turn them over to for-profit charter management companies. The plan is to start with the 5 lowest performing elementary schools, but if this is enacted, I fully expect to see it regularly expanded until all of North Carolina’s traditional public schools have been privatized.

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