NC GOP

Misogynist Meadows strikes again

Worried about all that money being spent combating campus rape:

Incoming Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) suggested that the incoming Donald Trump administration reverse a set of President Obama-era guidelines aimed at combatting campus sexual assault, saying it wastes money and that it denies protection to the "often-innocent accused," USA Today reported Friday.

"The Title IX guidance document on sexual assault and campus rapes has pressured colleges to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, and to create vast campus bureaucracies which drain tuition revenue, to investigate allegations of sexual assault (primarily date rapes, the incidence of which may be overestimated), and virtually dictates one-size-fits-all procedures which provide less protection to the accused, and deny the often-innocent accused basic due process rights," it reads. "As a result, many complainants are discouraged from reporting rapes to the local law enforcement."

I can't adequately express how disgusted with this man I am. Apparently the "Freedom Caucus" is more concerned about the rights of pussy-grabbers than they are the rights of female college students to not be assaulted. I shouldn't have to say this, but he runs again in two years, and *this* story needs to be part of the opposition's campaign.

More "rats in lifeboats" saved by McCrory

Golden Leaf or golden parachute?

McCrory Chief of Staff Thomas Stith and former state budget director Lee Roberts are joining the Golden LEAF board, an economic development body which oversees distribution of more than $1 billion paid by cigarette companies.

Stith’s wife, Yolanda, was appointed as a commissioner of the state Industrial Commission earlier this month during a special legislative session that also cut back on Democratic Gov.-Elect Roy Cooper’s powers. Stith’s job pays more than $127,000 a year, WRAL reported (http://bit.ly/2hE7Uz3).

Although the Golden Leaf Board itself receives no compensation other than a modest expense reimbursement, the volume of grant money they handle is huge, making them some of the most influential individuals in the state. These are also slots that (by right) should be filled by the incoming Governor, and not the dude the voters kicked out of office. As I mentioned before: They didn't just vote for Roy Cooper, they voted for a Cooper administration. These appointments by McCrory might be legal, but they are also a violation of the public trust, something the GOP has refined to an art form.

Archetypal McCrory: Appoint gynecologist to Oil & Gas Commission

Because knowing how many centimeters a well has dilated is important:

This is the same Randall Williams who was a central figure in crafting the language in the “do drink” letters to well owners whose water might have been contaminated by coal ash from Duke Energy. Those letters, which rescinded previous “do not drink” advisories, downplayed the health risks of hexavalent chromium in drinking water.

This is the same Randall Williams who, along with Tom Reeder, assistant secretary for the environment, signed an editorial lambasting state toxicologist Ken Rudo, alleging that he lied under oath about how the language was settled on, including the governor’s involvement.

We can also describe this phenomenon as "Rats in a lifeboat." Strategically shuffling loyal sycophants into other jobs, so they won't get fired and can continue with a voter-rejected agenda. And on the outrageously unethical front:

NC's status as a democracy in question

And as they say, sometimes the truth hurts:

Here, the dominant party — at present, the Republicans — holds all the power while winning just a slight majority of the overall vote. Everyone who votes for Democratic representatives or senators is given no voice in Raleigh because Democrats have no power. Just two weeks ago, the Republican legislature even went so far as to diminish the powers of the incoming Democratic governor, despite his statewide election victory. Republicans can do this with impunity because most of them don’t face real elections.

Reynolds makes a good argument that North Carolina operates like a sham democracy in critical respects. The question is what people can do to reclaim the right of real representation.

This is one of those issues that many of us would be tempted to say, "Of course it's a sham!" and then walk off without further discussion. But Republicans are determined to push the envelope on what is actually unconstitutional, and what is merely bad policy. As candidates square up in the soon-to-be-held 2017 Special Election, their messaging needs to be tight and verifiable, and we need to make it abundantly clear to voters that their democracy is being slowly and surely taken away from them. Here's more from Andrew Reynolds:

Cash Michaels: GOP's power grab limits minority hires in new administration

It's not just Democrats in general who are being held back:

Based on his posture as a moderate Democrat, Cooper attracted a lion’s share of the Black vote in November, enough to help him unseat McCrory by just over 10,000 votes, to become North Carolina’s 75th governor on January 7, 2017.

However, now, thanks to measures passed last week by the Republican-led General Assembly in an extra special session, and signed this week by McCrory before he leaves office, observers say Cooper’s ability to indeed govern in the interest of all North Carolinians and make sure communities of color across the State are heard, respected, and reflected in his administration, has been severely compromised with the removal of many of his key appointment powers.

Just looking at the numbers, with McCrory (being able to) replace 1,500 employees, and now Cooper only being able to replace less than 1/3 that number, the opportunities for more diversity have been severely curtailed. And since many of those positions are middle-management, lower-level employees are going to be facing some weird political dynamics with their bosses. And if NC's employment history is any reliable gauge, African-Americans will suffer the most under such a formula.

Editor's note: We almost lost Cash to cancer earlier this year, but he's back in the saddle again. Read what he writes, you will learn something.

Must read: Chris Fitzsimon's Monday Numbers roundup for 2016

Selfish governing has produced terrible outcomes:

30—number of years since President Ronald Reagan called the EITC “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress” (“Earned Income Tax Credit,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

3—number of years since North Carolina allowed its state EITC to end in 2013 (“States Can Adopt or Expand Earned Income Tax Credits to Build a Stronger Future Economy,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, January 19, 2016)

The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of those "out of sight, out of mind" issues that don't generate as much interest amongst the general public, but the loss of it has generated a lot of suffering in families on the lower end of the income scale. And taking it away has served to perpetuate poverty, because those dollars had been spent in areas and businesses that desperately needed that currency to keep them hiring. And when those jobs disappear, the next slap in the face is dwindling unemployment benefits:

Counting the costs of a deceptive, opaque Governor

mccroryfrown.jpg

And you thought raising your children was expensive:

Gov. Pat McCrory’s office has spent more than $230,000 on an outside law firm to defend itself in a public records lawsuit filed in 2015 by a media coalition, according to billing invoices.

McCrory’s office provided the records Thursday after The Charlotte Observer filed a lawsuit Wednesday seeking the information. The paper filed the complaint after the governor did not respond to a records request in October seeking the invoices from Charlotte’s Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, as well as all correspondence to the law firm.

Get that? They had to file a lawsuit, just to find out how much (taxpayer) money had been spent on other lawsuits. We (the public) are paying dearly to block our own access to information that should have been provided to us without hesitation. It's so absurd it's hard to wrap your mind around it. And so is this:

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