Be on the lookout for poll trolls in NC

Don't just report them, take their picture:

In North Carolina, someone showed up to early voting with a badge saying “poll observer” and was photographing and videotaping cars coming and going and “generally, being a very intimidating factor there,” said Anita Earls of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice in Durham. The situation was stopped with a call to local officials.

Stop the Steal, a group linked to Trump confidant Roger Stone, says on its website that it will conduct exit polling to determine if the results are accurate. The Huffington Post reported Tuesday that another group connected to Trump supporters, Vote Protectors, has an “I.D. Badge Generator” on its site where volunteers can create an official-looking badge. Another part of the website said volunteers would post streaming video to the site.

God, I do hate a bully. Especially one who feels like he has been granted some kind of authority. If you do see something like this going on, snap a picture and immediately put it on Facebook or Instagram, not only as a warning for voters, but a public record as well. It should also be noted that "Stop the Steal" and "Vote Protectors" are one and the same, operated by an Alt-Right (see White Supremacy) dude named Frankie Stockes. He's the main (blogging) voice for each group, something Roger Stone failed to mention in this blatantly deceptive denial:

The twisted mind of NC's premier vote suppressor

Jay DeLancy takes conspiracy theory to the next level:

So the average person should realize that, No. 1, this is not about racism. This is about honest elections. Yes, there is an impact on access to the polls. But it’s not barriers, it’s not Jim Crow. It’s equally applied law and so dismiss the idea of racism and ask yourself, “Why is it that people are screaming so loudly about this?” In the words of Shakespeare, “The lady doth protest too much methinks,” and so that has been something that really motivated us. That fact that people are protesting so much makes me go, “There’s something here.” We don’t even know what it is. We should probably be afraid, but instead we just feel empowered. People encourage us all the time and we hope people will give us an equal listen and make up their own minds on this.

First of all, it's been proven in a court of law, after reams of evidence were presented, that Republicans intentionally targeted African-American voters with their voter suppression tactics. That prejudicial cat is out of the bag, and it ain't going back in. Second, you never tried to present your ideas to the general public in an effort to "convince them" of the veracity of your claims, you took part in the backroom plotting to get this horrifically anti-democratic law passed. And you tried to bully anybody, including the Wake County Board of Elections, who dared to question your McCarthy-ish approach to voting. Now you want to be reasonable? Oh, hell no. Take your tinfoil hat and your shattered dreams of relevance and crawl back under that rock you came from. And here's one of the best examples of projecting I've ever seen:

Living in a porcine nightmare: When CAFOs are next-door neighbors

You might catch a whiff from the highway, but that's nothing in comparison:

One facility sprays hog manure on a field less than a dozen feet from my front door. My family and I can’t dry our clothes on a clothesline anymore, because they would be covered with manure. We can’t garden or hold cookouts with family and friends, because the smell and particles in the air burn our eyes and make us gag. We can’t fish or swim in the rivers and streams near us because they’re polluted with hog manure, and we can’t drink or wash with water from our shallow wells.

And just like when fracking comes to town, those folks can't even sell their property unless they're willing to take pennies on the dollar. It's not right, and it's not a new problem, either. People in Eastern North Carolina have been suffering from this for decades, and nary a finger has been lifted to help them. What do Republicans do? They float a law that would all but destroy NC's solar farm growth, by requiring a setback of 1 1/2 miles from property lines, claiming they pose environmental risks and hurt property values. Standard operating procedure for the GOP; create an imaginary danger and attack it, while ignoring the real danger stinking up the neighborhood and polluting the water. The word, "Irresponsible" just doesn't seem adequate.

Tale of two Skvarlas: A great opportunity becomes nothing important

He's not the sharpest tool in the shed:

“It hasn’t moved the needle one iota,” Skvarla told the Observer Monday during a visit to Charter Communications’ training center in Matthews. “PayPal wasn’t even a grain of sand on the beach,” he said. “It was 400 call center jobs over five years. Much too much is being made of PayPal.”

When the state announced PayPal was coming to Charlotte in March, however, the commerce department painted the move as a big win for the state. “North Carolina’s technology-savvy workforce will provide the perfect fuel for PayPal’s continued growth,” Skvarla said in a news release at the time. “This company’s global reputation for innovation and customer service makes it a strong fit for our state’s business-friendly community.”

The laughable contradiction aside, you have to wonder what the Charter Communications folks were thinking when Skvarla started spewing this vindictive nonsense. Are we going to be next? Especially considering Charter is laying off 258 employees in Charlotte next month after its purchase of Time Warner Cable, those employees are likely a little sensitive about a state government leader scoffing about job losses. Which won't move Skvarla's logic needle one iota, since that gauge is apparently broken.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Voter turnout numbers encouraging:

Unfortunately, this also means Republicans will be chirping, "See, even with only one site open, it didn't deter voters." And of course we'll never know how many more votes would have been cast if there had been multiple sites open the 1st seven days of voting. We do know most of those voters had to stand in line for 1-2 hours, which is unacceptable. And it's certain they will ignore this:

NC GOP swings and misses against Andrew Barnhill

Calling this ham-handed would be a gross understatement:

In its ad, the GOP used a screen shot from First Baptist Church in Wilmington to claim that "the Church he claims to pastor doesn't even list him on their website." But Barnhill, who is running against incumbent Sen. Michael Lee, R-New Hanover, has said he is a former pastor of First Baptist Church in Whiteville -- not in Wilmington.

The Whiteville church's current pastor, Rev. Ryan Clore, confirmed Monday that Barnhill served as a pastor at the church. "Andrew is a good man. He is certainly no liar," Clore said. "He was a very good pastor for this church."

But of course, instead of apologizing, the NC GOP doubles-down on its jackassedness by demanding Andrew provide proof, because apparently the current pastor (mentioned above) is not to be trusted either:

On the importance of your vote

Kirk Ross gets to the meat of the matter:

If you’re having trouble mustering that belief in self-governing and are still determined to withhold your vote, consider for a minute that you might not be voting for just you. Because you’re not. One person, one vote doesn’t translate to “my vote.” It means a lot more than that.

Of course you vote for yourself, but you also vote for everyone who can’t. In Orange County that includes the roughly 30,000 people under 18, six thousand of whom are age 5 or younger. It includes students from abroad studying at the university, people in prison, those too ill to vote, the undocumented and the dreamers and everyone you know who died this year who would have stepped up.

Over the years, I've always considered those who engage in the system and cast votes to be responsible. But in recent years, I've come to consider those who don't vote to be not just disengaged from the system and aloof, but patently irresponsible for their lack of concern. That may be an effect of immersing myself daily in political issues and exploring the long-term consequences of poor leadership, but I can't help it. Once you know, you can't un-know. So the challenge is (and always has been), getting those other people to know.

Duelling Chairs: Keever and Hayes square off in the OpEd column

So many analogies to choose from, but Rocky and Bullwinkle keep coming to mind:

Even if we set aside the tremendous damage HB2 has done to our economy and our reputation, McCrory’s claims of a “Carolina Comeback” ring hollow. Most of the state’s economic gains have flowed to those at the very top, thanks to McCrory’s tax cuts for the wealthy and tax hikes on the rest of us. McCrory has raised taxes on the middle class in 67 different ways – you can see each of them at

Our choices are clear: Will we continue to move forward? Will we work together to build a greater North Carolina and a stronger United States? Or will we let ourselves be divided by fear, bigotry and hatred?

While Patsy may have dedicated a little too much column space to hammering on HB2 when there are so many other Republican-backed policies that have plagued our state, her position is well-reasoned and factual. Can't say the same for Robin Hayes, who predictably throws reason and reality to the wind:


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