Apple watching GOP Amendment power-grabs closely

Because who wants to work in a state ruled by tyrants:

Apple, though interested in putting a new campus in the state, is concerned about North Carolina politicians "meddling with constitutional amendments for political influence," according to one report.

CEO Tim Cook and COO Jeff Williams are being regularly updated on political developments, a source described as "connected to local government affairs" told the Triangle Business Journal. The claim was reiterated by a Triangle real estate source. Earlier this summer Apple was reported to be considering North Carolina's Triangle corridor for a future campus hosting thousands of workers.

Although I'm not privy to their conversations, I have enough experience in business management to speculate: This is not (only) a concern about political goals supplanting responsible governing. It's also about an atmosphere of uncertainty. When government acts in a capricious and deceptive manner, business forecasting becomes much harder. Not knowing (or even reasonably assuming) what the future will bring as far as infrastructure investment and agency efficiency (staff cuts = slow response), makes a long-term investment intolerably risky. And while Republicans might think their effusive business-friendly rhetoric would smooth said concerns, refer back to that word "deceptive." Once you lose the trust, you can say all the right things and still be viewed as a liar. While BergerMoore might not be concerned about that, because their lust for power has warped them, rank-and-file Republicans better pay attention. Because a Blue Wave is coming.

Monday News: Amendment madness continues


NC SENATE BACK IN SESSION TODAY FOR AMENDMENT REWRITE SHENANIGANS: The state Senate planned Monday to debate and vote on a pair of amendments aimed at complying with a ruling by judges last week. The judges said the referenda attached to the amendments lawmakers passed in June failed to explain suitably what changes would occur if voters approved them. Republican lawmakers called a special session last Friday, when the House voted for the replacement amendments. Both amendments would shift powers from the executive branch to the legislature, although the scope of one amendment was scaled back in the latest versions. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper sued over the previous amendments and says the new ones remain "dishonest and dangerous."

Two, four, six, eight, no amendments, no debate

In case you haven't heard, the amendment mess is even worse than we thought. With half of the latest special session behind us (the Senate meets on Monday), no one knows what which amendments will be on the ballot and which will not. Since the House didn't repeal the two amendments challenged by Cooper and the NAACP, will those need to be on the ballot? Could be. It all depends on whether the clowns in the legislature figure out how to stop shooting themselves in the foot.

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


IF "SILENT SAM" RETURNS TO HIS PEDESTAL, THIS ALUM WILL MOVE ON: Last year, I donated $50,000 to the university in order to establish a study abroad scholarship for minority and low-income students. My intention has been to renew that gift several times over in the years ahead. I believe the University is a magnificent institution with a unique legacy in American higher education. And yet, if the university re-installs the 1913 statue known as “Silent Sam,” I will discontinue my financial support and involvement in its alumni programs. This is a clarifying moment in the university’s history. Strange as it might seem, the university finds itself with a decision that’s identical to the one the administration of 1913 contemplated: Whether to erect a statue honoring the Confederate cause. Not whether to take such a statue down as debated in places like Charlottesville and New Orleans, but—owing to the handiwork of the “vandals”—whether to put one up.

The Chapel Hill Police Chief has been gaslighted: We shouldn’t

The Durham Herald Sun is featuring a story today about an uproar over a photo that emerged of a Chapel Hill police officer at the “Silent Sam” rally displaying tattoos associated with known violent white supremacist groups that took part in the massacre at Charlottesville.

You can read the Chief’s statement in the Herald Sun piece, but there’s an important point to make here: the police officer, not identified by the article or the department, was not dismissed, but told to “cover up” the tattoos.

Saturday News: Tying a ribbon on a pig


"SPECIAL" SESSION DOES VERY LITTLE TO IMPROVE AMENDMENTS: In a news conference Friday morning, Sen. Dan Blue, the leader of Senate Democrats, said Republicans are more interested in power than policy. “Power-grab amendments, that’s what this is about,” said Blue, noting this is the seventh special legislative session since early 2016. “An outrageous amount of this General Assembly’s time and resources have been spent circumventing the law and rigging, and trying to rig the system,” Blue said. During the House debate, the Republican majority rejected suggested changes from Rep. Darren Jackson, the Democratic leader from Wake County. Jackson wanted to make it clear on the ballot that the amendment would change the makeup of the elections board, giving it eight members rather than nine. He warned that a board with an even number would be hopelessly deadlocked on critical ethics and voting issues.

Populism in opposition to Fascism may be the same (dangerous) road

It may not quench your revolutionary thirst, but Madeleine Albright makes some valid points:

Aside from North Korea, I do not accuse any current government of being fascist. I do, however, see disturbing parallels between contemporary trends and the conditions that gave rise to Mussolini, then Hitler. These include economic disparities, a declining faith in mainstream political parties, the corrosion of public discourse, the defamation of minority groups and a concerted effort by repressive leaders to undermine free expression, pervert logic and distort truth.

A point I've tried to make several times, especially since the rise of Trumpism, goes sort of like this: "If your opposition to an individual or group results in you emulating their tactics, you should take a step back and view it more critically." Some have automatically accused me of weakness, or waffling, or not really caring, which I find especially distasteful. The thing is, we (as Democrats) are not just fighting various battles against regressive policies, we are also trying to define our character as a party. And two of the major traits of that character should be compassion and intelligence, both of which are virtually non-existent in the Republican Party. Here's more, which will likely please and infuriate:

Friday News: Confederacy of dunces


LARRY PITTMAN SAYS TOPPLING OF SILENT SAM COULD LEAD TO ANOTHER CIVIL WAR: In a post on Rep. Michael Speciale’s Facebook page, Pittman suggested that chaos will be the result if nothing is done. “I contacted a friend on the UNC Board of Governors and told him that whoever decided that nothing would be done to stop this from happening should be summarily fired and any UNC students who were involved should (be) expelled,” Pittman’s post says. “I called the Chancellor’s office and left a message to that effect, as well. If we don’t stand up and put a stop to this mob rule, it could lead to an actual civil war.” Pittman is one of several who suggested that law enforcement, UNC officials and North Carolina politicians should be held accountable for the downed statue.


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