Joel Ford's battles with LGBT activists turns ludicrous

But the truth is, he's been dropping turds on his own party for some time:

On Tuesday N.C. Sen Joel Ford (D-Charlotte) had a strange, tense exchange with LGBT activists who criticized his record on LGBT issues. He responded to the activists with a GIF of a dog defecating in the snow. This led Matt Comer, a Charlotte-based LGBT activist, to ask if that was appropriate behavior for a state senator.

Ford, a more conservative Democrat, is used to criticism from the LGBT community. Last year he was one of the few Democrats to support a Republican bill to allow magistrates to recuse themselves from performing same-sex marriages. This session he has been one of the few Democrats to support a repeal of HB2 that would put LGBT protections to local referendum votes. But the criticism has turned up to 11 since Ford announced he’d be running against Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts, a fellow Democrat, as she seeks re-election.

Joel Ford is so full of himself he doesn't get the symbolism of posting that GIF, that he himself is the turd in that particular scenario, not the creature dropping it. Purely speculation on my part, but I believe he is trying to carve out a niche for himself as a "maverick," not one to follow the lead of others. Which is fine to a certain point. But I also believe he is trying to benefit from and maybe even exacerbate the confusion and conflicting beliefs in the African-American community over LGBT issues. At its core, this is the politics of division, not inclusion, and all parties will emerge in a weaker position because of it.

Thursday News: And yet, we still have Berger

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NC CITIZENS GIVE THEMSELVES HIGH MARKS FOR DETECTING FAKE NEWS: North Carolinians think fake news is a problem, report that they see it frequently and think they’re good at spotting it, a poll finds. Meredith College polled 876 registered voters Feb. 19-28 by phone and email and found that more than 88 percent say they think fake news confuses Americans about politics and government. All groups believed in the effect of fake news roughly equally – there were no significant differences in the results regardless of participants’ political affiliation, age, race or ethnic group, or where a person is from, according to the poll released by Meredith this week.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article138669243.html

Wednesday News: The height of irresponsibility

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NC SENATE APPROVES CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM FOR INCOME TAX CAP: Senate Bill 75 would ban lawmakers from raising the income tax rate higher than 5.5 percent – if voters approve the constitutional amendment in a ballot referendum, which would be held during the November 2018 election. Currently, the constitution caps income tax rates at 10 percent. Lawmakers have set the personal income tax rate at 5.499 percent – so the amendment would prevent any future tax hikes. The Senate voted 36-13 Tuesday in favor of the bill, which now goes to the House. Republican Sen. Tamara Barringer of Cary broke ranks with her party and voted no, while Sen. Joel Ford of Charlotte and Sen. Ben Clark of Raeford were the only Democrats who supported the measure.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article138483278.html

Tuesday News: Put up or shut up

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HOUSE COMMITTEE DEMANDS EVIDENCE TO BACK UP TRUMP'S WIRETAPPING CLAIM: The Trump administration asked Monday for more time to submit evidence to the House Intelligence Committee to back up President Donald Trump’s claim that President Barack Obama had wiretapped him in the waning days of last year’s presidential campaign. Jack Langer, the House committee’s spokesman, said the panel had agreed to extend its Monday deadline but asked that whatever evidence the administration had be submitted before the committee’s first open hearing on Russian election meddling, now set for next Monday. “If the committee does not receive a response by then,” Langer said, “the committee will ask for this information during the March 20 hearing and may resort to a compulsory process if our questions continue to go unanswered.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article138314138.html

Richmond County public comment policy unconstitutional, expert says

Hat-tip to Lisa Sorg, who put the "T" in Tenacity:

Reached by email, Jonathan Jones, director of the Open Government Coalition at Elon University, said the county’s policy “clearly violates the First Amendment.”

Under North Carolina law, counties and cities are required allocated time in their meetings for public comment at least monthly. This time is known as a “limited public forum,” said Jones, who is a First Amendment scholar. And in limited public forums, officials can’t single out a category of class or speech to prohibit. “There’s almost no getting around that,” Jones added.

Thank God. I almost thought I was losing my mind, or losing my grasp of Constitutional principles. When I first read that "No comments about items on the Agenda" thing, I went back and re-read it outloud, to see if it sounded less crazy when vocalized. Sounded crazier. In case you're not up to snuff on this, Enviva is building a wood pellet plant in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, and said neighbors have been trying to express their concern and outrage for months:

NC's hair-raising dam safety issues not being addressed

When the levee breaks, I'll have no place to stay:

To help local and state official save lives in the event of a breach, the N.C. General Assembly included a provision in the Coal Ash Management Act of 2014 requiring some dam owners to file emergency actions plans (EAPs) with the state. The plans use modeling software to help decision makers understand where water will flow should the dam breach and when to warn or evacuate homeowners who, like Fraser, often don't know a dam is nearby.

Now, more than a year after those plans were required to be in place, 1,309 of the 2,011 dams that are supposed to have them don't. Only dams defined as high-hazard or intermediate-hazard potential -- designations based on the threat and property should the dam fail -- are required to have completed documents. In counties east of or contiguous to Interstate 95, 160 of the 217 dams supposed to have an EAP do not. The 73.7 percent lacking plans in eastern North Carolina is slightly outpacing the state's 60.6 percent.

Bolding mine. As is often the case when stories like this break, there's a handy expert standing by to tell us there's really nothing to worry about. And yet, not a rainy season goes by where several dams nationwide don't lose structural integrity and fail, and North Carolina has had its share. These emergency action plans do more than tell us what we should do in case of a failure, they help us figure out what other infrastructure needs we have by modeling the flow of flood waters in the event of a dam failure. And the fact we're still below 40% compliance is outrageous. A monumental failure to serve the people, that *will* result in the loss of life and property if not rectified.

Monday News: New meaning to the term "Bully Pulpit"

REPUBLICAN LEGISLATOR GOES AFTER NCAA AND ACC LEAGUES OVER HB2 BOYCOTTS: An N.C. House Republican wants to look at striking back against the NCAA and ACC for moving sports championships out of North Carolina over House Bill 2. Rep. Mark Brody, a Republican from Monroe, announced in a Facebook post Sunday that he’ll file a bill this week to address the boycotts. Brody says his “Athletic Association Accountability Act” will “determine whether the NCAA and the ACC have violated their tax-exempt status by engaging in political or lobbying activities.” It’s unclear how Brody’s proposal would work, and his Facebook post offers no further details about his bill. According to the IRS, nonprofit groups can’t have tax-exempt status “if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation.” But the groups “may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article138120728.html

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