James's blog

Why the legislature won't kill the education lottery

Back in the day, conservative leaders rightly took Democrats to task when they pushed through the NC Education Lottery. Ignoring progressive voices, the lottery became a major, if unreliable, source for funding public schools. It's been a blight on North Carolina ever since. Four years ago, I wondered out loud what Republicans if Republicans would kill the lottery given their control of the General Assembly.

More on Silent Sam

Here in Chapel Hill, the perennial question of Silent Sam is raising itself for consideration. Silent Sam is a statue on the campus of UNC that memorializes the confederacy. It was created on behalf of the North Carolina division of the Daughters of the Confederacy, with support from alumni of the University. Below are the inscriptions on the statue, from NCPedia.

http://www.ncpedia.org/monument/memorial-civil-war

Inscription left:

Tim Moore's moment of truth

Tim Moore was on Facebook this weekend, crying crocodile tears about the violence in Charlottesville. He apparently couldn't come up with his own words of condemnation, so he ripped off Thom Tillis: The hate, bigotry and violence on display in #Charlottesville is despicable and represents the complete opposite of what America stands for.

As we all know by now, one person was killed in Charlottesville, the victim of a Nazi driving a car into a crowd of protesters.

Political gerrymandering

US Senators were on the receiving end of sustained public anger this summer. The issue was healthcare, and people on both left and right said "enough." In North Carolina today, the issue is political gerrymandering. And it's pretty much now or never.

I don't know who's in charge of coordinating the resistance in our state, but whoever you are, it's time to get the masses in gear. Let's get a million people to tell the General Assembly to clean up its act.

Hey Josh

I see the DOJ's top issues listed here. Given the budget cuts, there's no way you can address them equally. Limited resources mean limited scope.

Here's what I'd do:

Take the opioid epidemic off the list of priorities. It's not so much a law enforcement problem as a public health problem. Make Republicans own it.

Calling Bob Orr, again

Here are some questions I hope Bob Orr sees and answers. For those who don't know, Bob Orr is an exceptional North Carolina citizen, who used to be on the State Supreme Court. He's the only sane and reasonable Republican I know, and I'd trust his answers to these questions.

What to do when you're down and out

Hi everyone.

I wanted to share a post I put on Facebook, asking for insights about coping with all the Republican ugliness that is going on around us. I found the comments enormously helpful and inspiring, so I though I'd post it here for those who don't do Facebook. Enjoy.

Glimmers of hope

Many people I know are despondent over the shitshow going on in Raleigh, myself included. It's hard to understand how grown adults can behave with such callous disregard for our institutions, and indeed for government itself. But the problem is not complex. ALL of the legislative challenges we're facing can be traced back to aggressive and unconstitutional gerrymandering. All of them.

Gerrymandering update

Received via email:

The three-judge federal Middle District panel in Covington certainly appears to be moving North Carolina’s redistricting process forward quickly, potentially with legislative elections in 2017. However, the panel must also address SCOTUS’s instructions to re-weigh the balance of equities as to whether 2017special legislative elections are appropriate.

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