NC GOP's Legislative overreach part of a national trend

And it's a good bet ALEC is behind it:

If St. Louis feels ill-treated by state officials, it’s got lots of company around the country. North Carolina's legislature drew national headlines when it met in special session March 23 to block cities from passing anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The legislature acted in response to Charlotte's adoption of LGBT protections earlier in the year.

What was sometimes lost in the media coverage was the fact that the new North Carolina law also blocks cities from setting their own minimum wage rates. Similarly, Birmingham, Ala., passed a minimum-wage increase last year, only to see the state block it and other cities from setting their own rates this year.

The most frustrating part of this situation is how Republicans take advantage of "otherism" to retain their abusive power base. People in rural areas hold both contempt and fear of big cities, and are not likely to share any sympathy with them when state government engages in bullying. Freedom for some, tyranny for others. The GOP's "divide and conquer" approach does work, and it works well. And this quote from Larry Shaheen tells you all you need to know about their motives:

Tuesday News: The pariah state edition

NEW YORK BANS NON-ESSENTIAL STATE TRAVEL TO N.C. (AP) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has banned all non-essential state travel to North Carolina in the wake of that state's decision to overturn an ordinance on transgender rights.

SEATTLE MAYOR BANS CITY EMPLOYEE TRAVEL TO N.C. (AP) — Seattle's mayor has banned city employee travel to North Carolina after a law was signed last week there preventing all cities and counties from passing anti-discrimination rules.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Paranoid Pat wails about the mean old media:

He really is an immature fist-clenching whiner. Hopefully the voters will finally see the little boy they put into office last time and send him home.

Monday News: The New Yorker for the win


BOROWITZ REPORT: MCCRORY SWEARS IN BATHROOM-ENFORCEMENT CADETS (New Yorker satire column) —In a historic ceremony at the state Capitol, Gov. Pat McCrory swore in a thousand officers charged with enforcing the state’s new public-bathroom regulations. Speaking to the newly graduated bathroom-enforcement cadets, McCrory impressed upon them the gravity of their responsibility. “You are the thin blue line charged with protecting the gender sanctity of North Carolina’s bathrooms,” he said. “Be careful out there.”

More questions than answers in Wake Forest shooting

Starting with the seemingly casual dismissal of a restraining order:

Last month, Sander was arrested and charged with communicating threats. It is unclear whether the Mazzellas reported it, but they were granted a temporary restraining order against Sander on the grounds that he threatened to kill them.

The Mazzellas wanted a permanent restraining order, but the temporary order was lifted Thursday by a Wake County judge, Sussman said. “The judge said it was just words,” Sussman said about the threat. “The next day he killed everyone.”

As many commenters have complained, the judge was not named in this article. And that quote above by the victims' brother/son is likely thirdhand, since he probably heard that judge's statement from one of the people who are now dead. But if that judge did lift the restraining order for any reason resembling the above quote, he needs to answer for it. If it had been still in effect, the shooter might have been taken into custody earlier in the day, when law enforcement was first called to the scene.

Gene Nichol on Thom Tillis' twisted logic

Through the looking glass, indeed:

Next, Tillis argued that declining to hold hearings and vote on a nominee is, after all, an appropriate exercise of “advise and consent.” So, a Senate which flatly refused to even consider any presidential appointments – thus incapacitating the operation of two branches of government – would be carrying out its obligations rather than nullifying them. Refusing to offer advice and consent, in other words, constitutes advice and consent.

No is yes, black is white, false is true. As with Humpty Dumpty, “a word means just what (he) chooses it to mean, neither more nor less.” Of course, with Tillis, we know the methodology sweeps broader. Refusing to feed starving children, nurtures them. Denying them life-saving health care, savors their dignity. Giving massive tax cuts to millionaires secures the prosperity of the poor. Such is life through the looking glass.

So glad Professor Nichol wrote this. To be honest, I couldn't bring myself to watch the whole video, even if it was less than five minutes long. The part of me that hates to see misinformation spewed wanted to, but the other part of me that tries to avoid having an aneurysm won the debate, and I clicked that little red "X" and went on my merry way.

Sunday News: Deceptive Dan edition


N.C. LAWMAKER ON HOLLYWOOD BOYCOTT CALL (Hollywood Reporter) -- The Hollywood Reporter spoke to one of the main forces behind the new law, North Carolina Lieutenant Gov. Dan Forest. “I don’t think critics have even read the bill. What you see on Twitter is that it's discriminatory, but it’s actually anti-discriminatory.”

HOW A 'CAMPUS FREE EXPRESSION ACT' IN N.C. SUPRESSES STUDENT SPEECH (AlterNet) -- Lt. Gov. Dan Forest will propose the deceivingly named Campus Free Expression Act. The act instructs the UNC Board of Governors to craft a system-wide policy to impose penalties, including expulsion, on students, staff and faculty members who disrupt classes, public meetings or events. This proposal appears in reaction to recent student protests at UNC Board meetings over forced closings of academic centers and the recent appointment of for-profit education proponent Margaret Spellings as the university system president.

The twisted mind of J. Peder Zane

The hate is strong with this one:

The righteous anger that poisons our national politics was turbocharged in Raleigh on June 15, 2010. That’s when protesters took over a meeting of the Wake County Board of Education, denouncing the duly elected board’s policies as “morally wrong.”

Their disruptive efforts continued through the summer, spawning the Moral Monday movement in North Carolina. Soon, the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements erupted nationally.

What Zane doesn't tell his readers could fill volumes. That particular Board of Education meeting was the culmination of a long, racially-tinged "crusade" partially financed by Art Pope and Bob Luddy, to overturn policies put in place to reverse trends of poverty and inequality in mostly African-American neighborhoods, and to re-institute some bent "separate but still not equal" segregated school system. Oh no, he can't tell readers that, because it would provide a sound reason for the protest that took place. What's even more alarming about Zane's point of view is not the people he feels the need to denigrate, it's the people he's proud of:

Saturday News: More national disgrace edition


WAVE OF BACKLASH BUILDS AFTER PASSAGE OF N.C. DISCRIMINATORY LGBT LAW (Washington Post) -- Local newspapers had plenty to say about the legislation prohibiting students and others from using restrooms that match with their gender identity if it clashes with their birth certificates.

SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR BANS GOVERNMENT TRAVEL TO N.C. (AP) -- San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has banned city workers from non-essential travel to North Carolina after that state approved legislation preventing anti-discrimination protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people.

Van der Vaart is desperate to keep his cushy job

Once again polluting the op-ed pages with mindless anti-Obama rhetoric:

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has become a national leader in fighting the administration of President Barack Obama’s attempts at federal overreach. North Carolina successfully stopped the federal takeover of states’ electricity systems and millions of acres of private property.

Obama’s illegal water rule is another example of federal intrusion that will harm private property owners, farmers and economic development. The rule will devastate land values and stifle economic growth and prosperity.
North Carolina will continue to clean up its power sector and protect the state’s water resources without meddling from the federal government.

Aside from this being a purely puerile production of partisan piffle, it's also blatant electioneering. And frankly, I'm growing more and more disgusted with newspapers who abet this nonsense. For one thing, most of van der Vaart's claims are easily disproven, like that "meddling from the federal government" BS. A healthy chunk of what DEQ does is enforce Federal Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act statutes, DEQ itself is partially funded from Federal program dollars, and DEQ is the gatekeeper for local units of government to access hundreds of millions in Federal grants for water and sewer upgrades. DEQ would wither into nothing without Federal government "meddling," and as long as idiots like van der Vaart are at the helm, that might be the best thing that could happen to NC.


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