Monday News: Schroeder's HB2 cat

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JUDGE MULLING LGBT LAW HAS GOP AND BIG-BUSINESS PEDIGREE (AP) -- The fate of the North Carolina law governing transgender restroom access rests in the hands of a judge appointed by President George W. Bush who recently sided with the state's Republican leaders by upholding a voter ID law — but just had that decision overturned by a federal appeals court.
http://www.wral.com/judge-mulling-lgbt-law-has-gop-and-big-business-pedigree/15891657/

Stan Riggs is our canary in the coal mine

His voluntary retirement should shake everybody up:

At stake in the state’s policy decisions are the millions of people who live, work and visit the coast, as well as sensitive marine habitats already jeopardized by development. For example, thousands of coastal lowland buildings have been removed from designated flood zones; other buildings have been placed in a reduced hazard zone. In total, these policies can give property owners a false sense of security.

“The legislature, the CRC and the agencies in state government have the attitude that they don’t want to scare anyone away,” Riggs said. “It’s not fair to the people who live and work” on the coast, “and it’s not fair to the taxpayers. I want people to realize people and ecosystem are in danger out there.”

I hate to see him go, because of the sheer loss of scientific input to the CRC. But when that science is casually ignored and replaced by fossil fuel-funded pseudoscience, there comes a point where his continued association with the Commission gives it a mere mask of professionalism:

Sunday News: Battleground, NC

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ELECTORAL MAP GIVES TRUMP FEW PLACES TO GO (New York Times) –Donald J. Trump, confronting a daunting electoral map and a significant financial disadvantage, is preparing to fall back from an expansive national campaign and concentrate on just three or four states that his campaign believes he must sweep in order to win the presidency. Trump allies have grown concerned about North Carolina, a Republican-leaning state that has large communities of black voters and college-educated whites — two audiences with which Mr. Trump is deeply unpopular.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/31/us/politics/donald-trump-presidential-race.html?_r=0

We need to incorporate, not dismiss Bernie supporters

They're not entirely wrong:

Virtuecrat – (noun): A sanctimonious person, usu. of the political left. The Harvard Dictionary of Political Eccentricities. Welcome, friends, to the world of the virtuecrats. You may find their school of politics familiar. In 1948 they broke with the Democrats and marched under the “Progressive” banner of FDR’s former vice president, Henry A. Wallace...

You may have detected the same note of righteous indignation in Philadelphia among some noisy followers of Bernie Sanders. They taunted moderates and told television reporters that it “doesn’t matter” who wins the election, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Some walked out. They rely on the fiction that Hillary Clinton’s nomination was “rigged.”

Calling them "Virtuecrats" is fairly accurate. Their sometimes vicious moral superiority can be tedious, to say the least. It has the effect of casting all others as either naive or a willing participant in the destruction of our democracy. Or whatever they think is happening. All that said, when you sweep away the anger and frustration and look at the issues in question, there *is* substance to their movement:

Saturday News: The two faces of the NC GOP

N.C. LAWMAKERS TIPTOE AROUND NATO CONCERNS (McClatchy Newspapers) -- NATO will soon play a crucial role in stamping out the overseas threat posed by the Islamic State. North Carolina lawmakers have been cautious not to rail against an anti-alliance message by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump while highlighting the importance and value of the multinational relationship. Maintaining a careful balance between public support and quiet opposition has become an art form in the 2016 presidential election.
http://www.newsobserver.com/latest-news/article92679642.html#navlink=SecList

4th Circuit slaps down Republican voter suppression law

The intent to disenfranchise people of color is obvious:

We appreciate and commend the court on its thoroughness. The record evidence provides substantial support for many of its findings; indeed, many rest on uncontested facts. But, for some of its findings, we must conclude that the district court fundamentally erred. In holding that the legislature did not enact the challenged provisions with discriminatory intent, the court seems to have missed the forest in carefully surveying the many trees. This failure of perspective led the court to ignore critical facts bearing on legislative intent, including the inextricable link between race and politics in North Carolina.

Boom. Or is it Bam? One of those two things.

Friday News: The Doctor has a cure

REV. BARBER JUST DIAGNOSED WHAT AILS THIS NATION (Esquire) -- Here on the fourth and final night of the Democratic National Convention, the Reverend Dr. William Barber II broke through. Or, more accurately, he rose above, past the partisan food fights and the insults and the vindictiveness. His soaring speech was a call to action, and a declaration that it was inaction on a range of issues—gun violence, the deteriorating relationships between police and communities of color, the climate—that had led to a kind of national cardiac arrest. We are not all equally to blame, he said.
http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/videos/a47153/reverend-william-barber-democratic-convention/

Hapless McCrory blames Cooper for NBA All-Star exodus

He's going to have to see a chiropractor after this twist:

"We actually had a deal with the NBA," McCrory said. The deal did not include any change to the restroom, showers, or locker room provisions of HB2. He said the NBA leaders told him that this was not an issue for them.

But the deal was tanked by leftist politicians and activists. Namely, his Democratic opponent - Attorney General Roy Cooper. "Roy actually helped sabotage that deal by calling Democratic legislators to say don't vote - all or nothing - don't vote for it. By sabotaging that, the NBA decided not to come. The HRC [Human Rights Campaign] was very, very influential in trying to sabotage that, too."

Okay, let me get this straight, because your "confused little boy" fist-clenching is really hard to follow: You claim you had an agreement with the NBA, and the Senate bill in question was acceptable to them. The bill passed, you signed it, so your alleged "deal" was honored. The Dem Senators didn't "sabotage" the vote, they just refused to take part. So apparently you did not have a deal with the NBA, unless it was merely in your imagination. Which is very possible. And also more than a little scary...

When charter schools go horribly wrong

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They can leave your child struggling to catch up:

In spring 2014 with about a month left in the school year, StudentFirst was in debt by more than $600,000 and shut its doors, giving only a week’s notice. Rochelle scrambled to get her children into a public magnet school operated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district.

A few weeks later at the new school, her eldest son, CJ, a third-grader, failed the end-of-year reading test—and Rochelle fully realized that StudentFirst’s shortcomings were not just financial, but academic as well. “It became clear that CJ had learned virtually nothing. He fell behind in all subject areas. He went to summer school after that to begin catching up.”

DNC Day 3: An Interview with Ken Serrano

kenserrano.jpgAn interview With Ken Serrano

Tonight at the DNC I found myself sitting next to a handsome young man from Madrid, Spain. Ken just finished his freshman year at the University of Tampa. He has an internship this summer with Congressman Joe Garcia from Miami
We began to talk and one of Ken’s first observations was that American youth seems uninvolved in government. He wondered why they were so disconnected or disinterested.

Ken wants to help make sure that Donald Trump is not elected. He explained that he feels this election holds worldwide importance. He says that in Spain, Trump is not admired as a world leader. He asked me why I thought Donald Trump wanted to be president. My response was that Trump has always been self-serving and self-motivated. He nodded.

He stated that he lives in a democracy in Spain. He was raised in a family that believes in equal rights for all races and religions and people. He does not believe Donald Trump shares in those values. This is a concern for Ken.

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