Tell Burr: Give us a positive blue slip or expect a pink slip


The master of "doing nothing."

If North Carolina residents want to know what Timmons-Goodson did that turned her from a distinguished, easily elected jurist to this political pariah, they won’t hear the reason from Burr. Instead, he issued a statement blaming Obama for breaking an agreement about appointments and not consulting with him before making the nomination.

If the framers of the Constitution wanted Senators to make a list of preferred judicial candidates and force the Executive to choose from that list, they would have included it in the powers vested to the Legislative Branch. They didn't, for precisely this very reason. It's a Federal court, not a state court, and the potential conflicts of interest for a state delegate to choose these judges are legion. Do your fricking job, or start looking for another lawn mower retailer.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Don't look now, but the GOP is about to slash the NC DOT workforce:

No doubt in preparation for another big tax cut for the wealthy. And when their Mercedes and Porsches get torn up from potholes, they will blame their local governments.

Tuesday News: Cause & effect version

RUGER PROFIT SURGES 50 PERCENT FROM HIGH DEMAND FOR NEW PRODUCTS (Winston-Salem Journal) -- A surge in demand for firearms, particularly new products, bolstered Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. to a 50 percent surge in first-quarter profit to $23.3 million. The company, which has a major plant in Mayodan, reported Monday a 26.3 percent jump in firearms sales to $171.5 million.

AS STATES EXPAND GUN RIGHTS, THE POLICE JOIN THE OPPOSITION (New York Times) -- Law enforcement officials said that measures passed by conservative legislators could expose officers to greater danger and hinder investigations involving firearms.

The ticking toxic timebomb perched on Randleman reservoir

Hazardous chemicals + bad management = a nightmare legacy:

State regulators repeatedly cited the company, formed by several Greensboro businessmen, for reckless practices that ranged from improperly disposing of hazardous waste sent there by a who’s who of corporate America — such as General Electric, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and Walt Disney World — to haphazardly storing 20,000 or more drums of chemicals, many uncapped or leaking.

Monday News: GOPropaganda edition


COLD WAR-ESQUE NEWS RELEASE BELIES N.C. GOP’S TROUBLING DIVISIONS -- The news release from the N.C. Republican Party Saturday evening read like a Cold War propaganda account from Izvestia or Pravda. The most interesting stuff were the missing details from the report of what happened at the meeting of the N.C. GOP’s executive committee.

The GOP official account mentioned only that former state legislator, congressman, state GOP chair and descendent of the founders of Cannon Mills, Robin Cannon Hayes had been named the state party’’s chair. The news release made several mentions of “Chairman Hayes” and rosy assessments of what he’ll bring to the GOP’s election-year efforts.(The release is reprinted below)

Silencing of dissent: SolarBee fiasco exposes deeper problems in McCrory's administration


Suppression of science is a hallmark of totalitarian regimes:

Steve Tedder, with nearly 40 years of experience with the state in what’s now called the Department of Environmental Quality, is out as the leader of the Environmental Management Commission’s Water Quality Committee. The reason is simple: Tedder dared to question the decision of Gov. Pat McCrory administration’s to retract a report that was critical of the SolarBee project in Jordan Lake.

Whether it's a report on charter schools that is not "glowing enough," or an assessment of the weakness of coal ash impoundments and potential contamination of water that might result, Republicans seem determined to filter and edit data that is produced to assess their policies. They want assessments, they just don't want accurate assessments. These are not the behaviors of a democracy, they are characteristic of something else entirely:

NC's Congressional Democrats speak out on voter suppression

The real defenders of the Constitution:

While Democrats have gone to court in Arizona to reverse this culture of discrimination and disenfranchisement, Republicans are going to court to defend laws designed to decrease voter turnout because they believe that when fewer people vote, they have a better chance of winning. Make no mistake: This is part of a consistent and concerted effort by Republicans to silence voters who do not agree with their agenda. We expect that these laws, like the one passed in North Carolina, will ultimately be declared unconstitutional, and we will continue the fight at the congressional level to restore the critical protections of the Voting Rights Act.

The sad truth is, it's not just Republican politicians who want to limit/place barriers in front of certain voters; many white people are deeply concerned about changing demographics, and their perception that they will lose their position as the primary "deciders" of how our country develops has led them to ignore blatantly unconstitutional steps by the GOP. Equality is a fine principle until it actually happens.

Sunday News: Harnett out, Hayes in


NCGOP REMOVES HARNETT, FIRST BLACK CHAIR AS HEAD OF STATE PARTY (WRAL-TV) -- Members of the North Carolina Republican Party's executive committee met in Raleigh Saturday to sort out a long-running leadership dispute. They called on former Congressman Robin Hayes to replace the embattled chairman.

N.C. REPUBLICAN PARTY REMOVES FIRST BLACK CHAIRMAN (Wall Street Journal) -- Hasan Harnett was ousted in a private, trial-like meeting in Raleigh that lasted several hours, the culmination of months of conflict with other party leaders who recently censured him for exceeding his authority.

Working on Brent Jackson's plantation

The whip has been replaced by economic tyranny:

Seven former workers at Jackson Farming Company, the Sampson County farm owned by State Senator Brent Jackson, have filed a lawsuit in federal court against the farm, Jackson, and his son Rodney alleging gross violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, and are seeking unpaid wages and damages.


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