James @
Friday, July 11, 2014 - 4:56pm

Frankly, Mr. McCrory is full of baloney most of the time. And the whole world seems to be watching.

Pat McCrory
James @
Friday, July 11, 2014 - 1:36pm

Another good summary from Kelly Fetty at Digital Journal. Thanks Kelly!

On Thursday morning Judge Schroeder announced his intention to end the hearing early in the afternoon, if possible. "I'm going to stop at three today," he told the legal teams. "The issue is whether we can finish." That announcement began a grueling day for court employees, spectators and legal teams as lawyers for both sides worked through breaks and lunch recess, struggling to make all their arguments before the 3 p.m. deadline.

Need more time? Fuggedaboutit. The judge probably already has made up his mind ... and is now looking for evidence to support his view.

That's how it's supposed to work, right?

James @
Friday, July 11, 2014 - 9:22am

If you've followed gerrymandering cases at all, you come face to face with a very weird reality. Our laws generally say it's just fine to discriminate against voters based on any other criteria besides race. So all the convoluted districts designed to achieve political goals by discriminating against members of another political party, for example, have been considered to be just fine. Until now.

Here's the headline from the LA Times: Florida redistricting illegally favors Republicans.

A Florida judge ruled the state's congressional district map invalid Thursday night, saying it violates constitutional provisions that require fair districts and instead favors Republicans.

James @
Thursday, July 10, 2014 - 11:28am

I usually ignore hypocrisy. It's become so commonplace that it hardly deserves notice anymore.

But sometimes the disconnect between what a person says and what he actually does is so stunning, so extreme, and so callous, that it simply cannot be glossed over. That's the case with Nelson Dollar, an austerity Republican from Wake County. To hear him talk, you'd think he was a bleeding-heart liberal from Chapel Hill.

Nelson Dollar
James @
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 10:11pm

Day Three of the Great GOP Voter Suppression Trial took place in Winston-Salem today, and you get the scoop, courtesy of Kelly Fetty at Digital Journal. Looks like it was a grueling day to be Charles Stewart III, an expert witness for the good guys.

Defense Attorney Thomas Farr cross-examined Stewart for nearly two hours. Farr attacked Stewart's characterization of voters as "sophisticated" or "unsophisticated" based on education and income.

Farr asked Stewart if Stewart regarded African American voters as "unsophisticated."

"Isn't that a racial stereotype, Dr. Stewart?" Farr asked.

James @
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 10:26am

But hey, why listen to an expert geologist when you can listen to a full-of-baloney ideologue like Andrew Brock?

Paul Thayer has a pretty good idea what the Davie shale basin holds. After all, the 6-mile wide by 4-6-mile long shale basin was the subject of his dissertation for his doctorate in geology from UNC Chapel Hill, making him the only geologist around who has studied it extensively. Asked to weigh in on a proposal for the state to pay for test drilling in the basin, Thayer delivered a blunt response: “My take is, No. 1, that would be a total waste of taxpayer money,” said Thayer, now a professor emeritus of geology at UNC Wilmington. “It’s a pie-in-the-sky thing.”

James @
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 - 8:54am

It happens dozens of times every day in America, and this time it happened in Vance County, North Carolina. An 11-year-old kid killed his grandfather after the grandfather shot the kid's daddy (his own son). Isn't it great that we have this kind of freedom!

I'm hoping America's gun fetishists will eventually exterminate each other and leave the rest of us alone. Unfortunately, they seem to have a propensity for killing bystanders and kids. More misery to follow shortly.

James @
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 6:03pm

BlueNC has been on the trail of Art Pope for a decade, watching with alarm his steady rise to power and influence. Unable to win his race for lieutenant governor, he took his ball, went home, and decided to buy the government for chump change. You might argue that all the attention we've focused on Mr. Pope has been a waste of time, since he got exactly what he wanted all along. And you'd have a point.

But there's another point too. Unless and until the public is made painfully aware of undue influence, that influence will never dissipate.

Harry Reid's doing it.
The Institute for Southern Studies is doing it.
And so are we.

Art Pope
James @
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 2:47pm

Stage manager John Hood took to the pages of the Wall Street Jourinal recently, with a crafty column about the so-called Carolina Comeback. Too bad the whole piece was full of bull, designed to prop up the catastrophic failure of his boss's economic policies. Thankfully, Dean Baker slogs through the miasma, so we don't have to.