NC GOP

Dan Forest wields unprecedented influence over new ASDs

Expanding his twisted little empire:

A selection advisory committee appointed by Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has been interviewing candidates and is expected to make a recommendation to the State Board of Education by next week. The state board will have the final say in who is hired.

"We can’t get into specifics, but we have a very diverse group of candidates from across the country that have experience in turning around all types of public schools," Jamey Falkenbury, the lieutenant governor's press secretary, told WRAL News by email.

We've talked about this before, but it bears repeating: Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has no business being in charge of anything, much less how taxpayer dollars are to be spent on education. He's out there on the fringe when it comes to how our children are taught, somewhere between a religious zealot and a "burn it all down" free-market nut-job. But that didn't stop the irresponsible GOP leadership in the General Assembly from appointing him Czar of public school privatization:

Gun-nuts to raffle a "Hillary Clinton Special" AR-15

The Secret Service needs to be all over this:

We all know that if Hillary Clinton is elected President on November 8, panic buying will ensure that by November 9, there won’t be a gun (or ammunition) available for love nor money. That’s why the GRNC Political Victory Fund – GRNC’s federally registered political action committee – is giving you what might be among the last chances to get…

A Palmetto State Armory M4-configured AR-15;
1,000 rounds of high quality ammunition, and (wait for it);
A FREE PORTRAIT OF HILLARY CLINTON! (Of course, we won’t tell you what to do with the photo, but when we ran a picture of Hillary on the front of our newsletter, we heard it was very popular at the range.)

These guys have been out of control for a long time, bullying legislators, local government officials, and even privately-owned businesses who choose to ban weapons on their premises. And they don't even have the common sense to understand their aggressive behavior seriously undermines their own argument, that people have "nothing to fear" from gun-toting fellow citizens. And they're also hypocrites, of the white supremacy species: Trump has been talking about "stop and frisk" lately, which includes gun confiscation when they are found:

Falling into the HB2 "false equivalency" trap

Starting over from scratch merely promotes discrimination:

Both sides are posturing for the voters instead of doing what's right for the state. And it's getting tiresome. The N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association has tried to broker a deal, and so has the Charlotte Chamber. Even conservative businessman Art Pope, a powerful Republican financier, has gotten into the act, urging the repeal of both the state law and the city ordinance.

Pope is right: It's time to go back to the starting line and get this thing right. This state should reject discrimination in all of its forms, including on the basis of sexual orientation. But it should find a way to do it that is acceptable to a broad coalition of interests, not just the extremes of the left or right.

Pope is not right, and no amount of wishful thinking on the part of the editorial board can make this idea work. Every effort to get sexual orientation included in state law dealing with discrimination has failed. Heck, the General Assembly even amended the state Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage. To postulate that we could go back to the starting point and expect Republicans to do something they have flat-out refused to even consider in the past is beyond naive, it's delusional. And even if the NCGA did squeak something like this out, McCrory would very likely Veto the Legislation anyway, because he has been fighting against this idea since 1992:

The Voter Fraud lie: Are we really this gullible?

The death of reason:

How does a lie come to be widely taken as the truth? The answer is disturbingly simple: Repeat it over and over again. When faced with facts that contradict the lie, repeat it louder.

Last week, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that nearly half of registered American voters believe that voter fraud occurs "somewhat" or "very" often. That astonishing number includes two-thirds of people who say they're voting for Donald Trump and a little more than one-quarter of Hillary Clinton supporters. The Republican Party standard-bearer has elevated the lie about voting fraud and "rigged elections" to a centerpiece of his campaign. Another 26 percent of American voters said that fraud "rarely" occurs, but even that characterization is off the mark. Just 1 percent of respondents gave the answer that comes closest to reflecting reality: "Never."

Let those numbers sink in for a moment, and the next time you ask yourself, "How can people keep denying climate change" or "Why aren't people more upset about sexual assault" or any number of other issues our society refuses to deal with, you might already have the answer: We are idiots who have lost the ability to discern between truth and fiction.

NC throwback: Voting under a Confederate flag

Fighting a war that was lost 150 years ago:

"I said 'I don't care what they do every other day of the year, but when we vote, that shouldn’t be there'," Hudson said. "I find it to be very intimidating. To me, it’s saying we really don't want you coming in here. It is a form of intimidation, any way you look at it. And you know in a sense – it kind of intimidated me."

Meanwhile, since the June primary, local election officials asked the volunteer firefighter organization to take down the flag for the election this fall. They refused. So the county pursued a second polling location at the Uwharrie Community Building. That didn’t work out either.

Among many other troubling aspects, this issue exposes the hazards of performing a government-sanctioned function (voting) on private property. Not unlike having voting precincts in churches, there can be an element of intimidation, a feeling of "I don't belong here" from those of a different denomination (or religion) being forced to cross the threshold to exercise their Constitutional right to vote. And in the case of this fire station, it may be privately-owned, but a lot of taxpayer dollars have flowed into it:

Speaker Moore and the HB2 vanishing coin trick

Playing childish games with civil rights:

When House Speaker Tim Moore wanted the city of Charlotte leaders to compromise to get HB2 repealed, he took a different tact. Moore, R-Cleveland, made them an offer they couldn’t accept.

Moore demands the Charlotte City Council first repeal its non-discrimination ordinance “unconditionally.” After that happens, he MIGHT see IF there’s support among the Republicans in the legislature to “maybe taking a look to find other ways to see if we could, you know, support and make sure there were basic protections, you know, when it comes to restrooms, changing facilities, showers, etc.” Moore stressed that the legislature hadn’t “taken a formal position … because we were waiting to see if Charlotte‘s going to move.”

Frankly, I'm glad BergerMoore took such a ham-handed approach to this "deal" of theirs, because it proved their insincerity and kept the Charlotte City Council from making (IMO) a huge mistake. That being said, way too many people are buying into their narrative that Charlotte (and Roy Cooper, and Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton) are to blame for the continued crisis. And until the voting populace at large are made aware of the scheming, unethical behavior of the GOP leadership, we will continue to be subject to their machinations.

Polling the purple state of North Carolina

Burr and McCrory may be in trouble:

The presidential contest might be the least of the Republican Party’s worries in this rapidly changing state. The embattled Republican governor, Pat McCrory, trails by eight points against Attorney General Roy Cooper, 50 percent to 42 percent.

And even Senator Richard Burr, who was not thought to be in great jeopardy just a few months ago, trails his Democratic challenger, Deborah Ross, by four points, 46-42. That contest is among the handful that seem likely to decide control of the Senate.

Of course, "actual" turnout is critical this year, but thanks in part to the media exposure of Republican voter suppression tactics being challenged by the courts and the people, we may see some record numbers. And regardless of recent findings that HB2 has not made a significant impact on NC's economic revenues, it will still play a role in this election:

Republicans use faulty evidence to indict Cooper

That report doesn't say what you think it does:

Rep. Marilyn Avila’s remarks were delivered through a couple of layers of politics: She spoke at a GOP news conference attacking Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper for problems at the lab, and she is running for re-election against the former lab director, Joe John.

Avila, a chemist who lives in Raleigh, never mentioned John in her remarks and only passingly criticized Cooper, who is running for governor. She focused on the larger concerns raised in the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report, which was released Tuesday.

She may have only "passingly" criticized Cooper, but the two others with her made up for that shortfall. And as I said on Facebook: In typical fashion, the NC GOP is now attacking Roy Cooper for a problem that is more their fault than his. The NC Crime Lab is woefully underfunded by the Legislature, lacking supplies, staffing, and crushed under unfunded mandates. And most attempts to rectify that, such as the bill I'm linking to below, are tossed into the committee dustbin. It would be nice to see a front-page story about this, but don't hold your breath:

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