Monday News: Way out of his depth edition


MCCRORY FORCED TO ADMIT THAT ‘BATHROOM PREDATOR’ MYTH IS FALSE (Media Matters) -- Gov. Pat McCrory (R) was forced to acknowledge that there has not been a single case in North Carolina in which transgender protections have been used to commit crimes in bathrooms, after Fox's Chris Wallace pressed him repeatedly.

Charlotte and GOP Legislators "negotiating" on HB2

The fable of the scorpion and the frog comes to mind:

When the legislature’s top leaders met privately with Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts on Thursday, both sides discussed what neither has been willing to suggest publicly: What if we each gave a little to end the crisis over House Bill 2?

Under one proposal, the City Council would rescind its LGBT nondiscrimination ordinance as a good faith gesture. In exchange, the state would make changes to HB2.

You know what? I believe in compromise. I believe in resolving problems whenever possible, even if that means you don't get everything you want. But since this crisis began, the GOP has placed *all* of the blame for HB2 on Charlotte, while smugly and self-righteously maintaining their fabricated high-ground. As far as I'm concerned, the Charlotte City Council is not culpable of anything, so they shouldn't feel "compelled" to help resolve this problem. A problem Republicans brought on themselves. All that being said, if the Council decides to proceed, they are sharp enough to do so wisely.

Taking a poke at the NC GOP's "neo-carpetbaggers"

And their misplaced fears and prejudice were wrapped up in that carpet:

But recently some of my friends and I were commenting on the fact that a not inconsiderable number of people in high places here are not from around here. Phil Berger, president pro tempore of the N.C. Senate, was born in New Rochelle, N.Y. John Fennebresque, former UNC Board of Governors chairman, is from Oyster Bay, Long Island, and a graduate of Choate, a Connecticut prep school. Gov. Pat McCrory was born in Columbus, Ohio. Bob Rucho, former chairman of the N.C. Senate Redistricting Committee and former co-chairman of the Finance Committee, is from Worcester, Massachusetts, and a graduate of Northeastern University. Thom Tillis, recently elected to the U.S. Senate, was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and attended Chattanooga Community College. He is reported to have moved about 20 times. My friend, the writer Fred Hobson, calls these men “neo-carpetbaggers.”

Just an anecdote, but probably not a rare one: Several years ago a virtual stranger unloaded a whining rant in my ear, centered around the fact two African-American families had moved into houses on his street. Because I'm a white male with a barely-kept-in-control Southern accent, this happens more often that you'd think. Dude was from Long Island, and he actually said to me, "The main reason we moved down here was to get away from that crap." Not trying to imply the South would be prejudice-free in the absence of such racist immigrants, but, you know. We don't need any help perpetuating that nonsense.

Sunday News: Mother's Day version

WOMEN’S RISING INFLUENCE IN POLITICS, TINTED GREEN (New York Times) -- Female donors in both parties described cascading cultural and economic changes that were driving their participation in political giving, long among the most exclusive men’s clubs in American culture. More women are founding their own companies or rising to lead family businesses, or have already sold or retired from them, a common springboard to the upper reaches of political fund-raising. Within marriages, they said, women now had more authority to steer family decisions about political giving. Theresa Kostrzewa, a lobbyist in North Carolina who has donated close to $300,000 for Republicans in recent years, described arriving at a gathering for top Mitt Romney fund-raisers in the summer of 2012 at the Deer Valley resort in Utah. The young woman who escorted her to her room, Ms. Kostrzewa recalled, asked her what she did on Mr. Romney’s staff.

Another victim of McCrory's patronage and lack of common sense

Sleepy truckers and a severe shortage of legal parking spots is a deadly combination:

The driver of a rig that crashed and spilled 50,000 pounds of potatoes onto Interstate 77 early Friday told troopers he was sleepy but decided to keep driving because he’d heard of truckers being ticketed for parking along the roadside to rest in North Carolina, Trooper John Burgin said.

The new enforcement effort was sparked by complaints to Gov. Pat McCrory from a longtime political supporter: Charlie Shelton, a business executive, Republican fundraiser and former state Board of Transportation member who lives in Surry County, the newspaper reported. Surry is nearly 90 miles north of Charlotte.

Trust me when I say, some nights parking is so scarce you feel like a lottery winner when you find a slot at a rest or truck stop. And this isn't just a problem for long-haul truckers; everybody on the road is put at risk thanks to this stupid move on McCrory's part.

Saturday News: Democracy survives, for now


SABRA FAIRES, BENNETT LITTLE COTTEN, and DIANE P. LAHTI v. STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS; A. GRANT WHITNEY, JR., Chair, and RHONDA K. AMOROSO, JOSHUA D. MALCOLM, MAJA KRICKER, and JAMES L. BAKER, members of the State Board, in their official capacities only; and KIM WESTBROOK STRACH, Executive Director of the State Board, in her official capacity only (N.C. Supreme Court) -- Justice EDMUNDS took no part in the consideration or decision of this case. The remaining members of the Court are equally divided, with three members voting to affirm and three members voting to reverse the judgment of the three-judge panel of the Superior Court, Wake County. Accordingly, the judgment of the three-judge panel of the Superior Court, Wake County is left undisturbed and stands without precedential value. See, e.g., State v. Long, 365 N.C. 5, 705 S.E.2d 735 (2011) (per curiam); State v. Greene, 298 N.C. 268, 258 S.E.2d 71 (1979) (per curiam). AFFIRMED.

SolarBee project has (finally) come to an end

But don't expect the Jordan Lake Rules to be implemented just yet:

In a press release Thursday afternoon, the Department of Environmental Quality announced it will end the project after data tracked since the devices were activated "indicated no significant improvement in water quality."

"I appreciate the work our staff has done over the last two years to evaluate the potential of the SolarBee technology to improve water quality at Jordan Lake," DEQ Secretary Donald van der Vaart said in the release. "I'm discontinuing the SolarBee project after reviewing nearly two years of scientific data that show it will not yield the intended results."

If by "intended results" you mean any results at all, then yes, that is an accurate statement. Poor van der Vaart probably risked an embolism admitting that much. As to the timeline on actually doing something that could improve the water quality of Jordan Lake, we're looking at two more years of delay:

Friday News: Spot the corporate bills edition


ALEC'S 2016 AGENDA MOVING IN THE STATES (PR Watch) -- In states across the country, concerned citizens are asking state and local policymakers to raise the minimum wage, enact workplace reforms including earned sick days and the right to organize, stop the privatization of public schools, and help mitigate climate change. Opposition to these initiatives is fierce and growing and often nationally-driven and coordinated by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Working in tandem with deep-pocketed corporations, trade associations, conservative groups and mega-donors--including operatives of the Koch brothers--ALEC is driving an agenda you should know about.'s-2016-agenda-snapshot

Speaker Moore just hit himself over the head with the irony stick

It takes a special kind of stupid to produce a statement like this:

“Of course, it was a very tight deadline, which is frankly unreasonable,” Moore said. “With all candor, with all due respect, we think the Obama Administration is playing politics with us. The legislative process doesn’t work where a response can be given in a few days.”

Sweet Jumpin' Jesus. HB2 was introduced, voted on, and signed by the Governor, in just a fraction of one day. With all candor, I believe Tim Moore has become estranged with reality...


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