Tuesday News: Afraid to ask where the name came from...

PORN GIANT LATEST TO ACT ON HB2 (Washington Post) -- For any North Carolinian turning to the Internet for carnal pleasure, one popular website will prove disappointing. XHamster.com, a porn website that, as of Monday, is one of the world’s 100 most visited websites according to data from Alexa, is refusing to serve anyone using a computer in North Carolina. Since 12:30 p.m. Eastern time Monday, the website has appeared as a black screen for anyone with a North Carolina IP address.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/04/12/porn-giant-is-latest-to-place-a-ban-on...

"Celebrity" supporters of bigotry headline rally

A convention of Christian scam artists:

Monday's rally by the "Keep NC Safe" Coalition on the old Capitol grounds in Raleigh comes while vocal national opposition to the law continues. Business executives are urging Gov. Pat McCrory and legislators to repeal the law, Bruce Springsteen canceled his Greensboro concert Sunday because of the law.

Scheduled speakers include the Benham Brothers, Christian author Frank Turek, and Pentecostal minister Bishop Harry Jackson.

Ehh. It reminds me of that time I was visiting rural relatives, and when Saturday rolled around and we hopped in the truck to go see a much-touted "music concert," it turned out to be a gospel trio whose combined ages had to approach the 200 mark. I ended up behind the stage to escape the PA system decibels. Here's a little background on the Bishop referenced above:

Monday News: Folt fluff edition

MESSAGE FROM UNC LEADERS: UPDATE ON HB 2 (UNC News) -- The memo from UNC General Administration also confirms that the law relating to public restrooms and changing facilities does apply to the University. This is an issue that is deeply personal and involves some of our most basic and extremely private dignities. We have been asked how the University intends to “enforce” this provision of the law. As noted in the memorandum, the law does not contain any provisions concerning enforcement. We have added and will continue to add public gender-neutral single-use restrooms and changing facilities throughout our campus and we will be adding additional signage.
http://www.unc.edu/campus-updates/message-university-leaders-update-house-bill-2/

Parents rolling the dice with private schools

When misplaced faith leads to horrific outcomes:

During the school day, the teacher turned to the good book for Bible studies and sometimes, in that same classroom, molested the boy, a vulnerable 13-year-old with braces on his teeth.

Much of the case is outlined in a graphic, six-page confession that Scott penned for investigators, documenting sexual abuse that took place in school, on trips and in Scott’s home. Scott, 66, has been housed for more than a decade in prison, Adonai Christian Academy closed its doors three years ago and the boy is now 27.

I find it extremely ironic that many of the bible-thumpers that support HB2 would rise up in anger if the state government decided to require background checks or other standards to protect children attending private Christian schools. It's a case of faith vs logic; faith tells them God would not allow such things to happen, but logic says sexual predators will follow the path of least resistance. They thrive in unstructured environments, or environments where the structure pays more attention to dogma than data. Even the private schools who *do* background checks often rely on other private sector entities who themselves are not subject to government oversight. But that's okay, if they know the secret handshake proper moral rhetoric to employ. And idiots like Dan Forest perpetuate this double-standard:

Sunday News: The jackal in wolf's clothing

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THE HB2 PROVISION FEW ARE TALKING ABOUT (Charlotte Magazine) -- The new law bars workplace discrimination claims from North Carolina courts, nullifying 30 years of common-law precedent and forcing people who say they’ve been unfairly fired from their jobs to turn to the federal courts for relief. Why’s that a big deal? The federal court system is a lot harder, and usually more expensive, to navigate. Before they even file suit, potential plaintiffs have to get permission from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which can take months. They then have 90 days to file the complaint, compared to a three-year statute of limitations for state court. The filing fee is twice as expensive, and damages are capped at $300,000; there’s no such cap at the state level.
http://www.charlottemagazine.com/Charlotte-Magazine/April-2016/The-HB2-Provision-Few-Are-Talking-About/

Saturday News: Politics before people edition

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DEQ ENDS CONTRACTS WITH ENVIRONMENTAL LEGAL STAFF (WRAL-TV) -- The state's environmental regulatory agency is cutting ties with nine lawyers and support staffers housed within the office of Attorney General Roy Cooper, accusing him of politicizing legal cases.
http://www.wral.com/deq-ends-contracts-with-environmental-legal-staff/15629318/

DEQ CUTS LEGAL STAFF AMID MCCRORY-COOPER POLITICS (Raleigh News & Observer) -- North Carolina’s environmental agency is cutting its legal staff amid political tensions between Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration and Attorney General Roy Cooper’s office, Dome learned on Friday.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article70...

The cluelessness of Dick Burr

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Living in his DC bubble:

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr on Friday fended off questions about House Bill 2, though he said he doesn’t think it will deter more companies from moving to the state. “It’s a state issue,” Burr told the Observer. “You need to talk to state legislators. I’ve still got companies talking to me about moving to North Carolina.”

“I don’t think there’s anything we’ve done that will deter people from moving to North Carolina, because this is a great place,” he said.

How the hell would you even know if this is a great place or not? You've been a Beltway Boy since before Milli Vanilli got busted for pantomiming, I'm surprised you don't get lost on your way back down here.

NC's draconian cuts to unemployment back in spotlight

Which should have been on our radar the whole time:

In 2013, when state businesses owed the federal government $2.5 billion for jobless benefits paid during the recession, lawmakers overhauled the unemployment insurance system to pay back the debt more quickly. The burden fell mostly on people who had lost jobs, leaving North Carolina among the worst states nationwide for helping laid-off workers.

The debt to the federal government was repaid last August, and the state unemployment insurance reserve fund now is about $1.2 billion. Rowe and others say lawmakers should now consider reversing some of the cuts, but the McCrory administration wants to build the reserve to about $2.4 billion to weather future downturns in the state economy.

Do the math, folks. If McCrory reaches his target, that will equate to NC's unemployed workers sacrificing $4.9 billion in weekly benefit payments. Money that would have been injected directly into the state's sluggish economy, while helping families survive. Now do you have maybe the slightest inkling why some of us were somewhat jaded about the Connect NC Bond?

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