Bush appointee rules in favor of NC GOP's voter suppression law

Move along, there's nothing to see here:

Judge Schroeder, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, acknowledged that given the racism in North Carolina’s past, residents “have reason to be wary of changes in voting law.” But he cited various ways in which black voters would still have opportunities to get to the polls, even with the less generous ballot access the law affords.

On Friday night, Penda Hair of the Advancement Project, one of the lawyers for the state N.A.A.C.P., said that her team had not decided whether to appeal the ruling. But she said that they planned to challenge the provisions, as well as the voter ID provision, in a full trial scheduled for next July. “We are disappointed,” she said. “But we remain committed to prevailing on the trial on the merits.”

Apparently this judge (like many of his colleagues) works under the false assumption of a post-racial South, and sets an extremely high bar on challenges related to race. "Nobody's been lynched? Well, in that case, I see no racism involved in these activities." Yes, that's hyperbole, but the tendency to ignore all but the most blatant forms of racism is all too real in our society, and that includes judges. Excerpts from the Opinion:

Daily dose: What's a river worth?

Duke says it spent $20 million on coal ash spill (Greensboro News & Record) -- Duke Energy reported to federal authorities Thursday that it spent $20 million responding to the Dan River coal ash spill in the first five months after the incident. “Duke Energy Carolinas incurred approximately $20 million of repairs and remediation expense related to this incident during the six months ending June 30, 2014,” the utility told the Securities and Exchange Commission in its latest quarterly filing.


Coal ash Thom

Thom "No Ethics Here!" Tillis continues his penchant for taking dirty money for his political campaign. Thom doesn't care if the money comes from racketeers, usurers or, most recently, environment destroying profiteers.

Money from coal companies has been fueling Republican House Speaker Thom Tillis’ race to unseat U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, including $21,100 from the nation’s largest privately owned coal company.

Hey, it's just a coal company. It's not like Tillis will be indebted to them. They're not one of his top contributors, after all. What? This just in:

Murray Energy is Tillis’ fifth-largest contributor. He has received money from the owner, company officers, employees and family members, and the company’s political action committee, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group.

Are you a low information voter?

Are you a low-information voter? Who is a low-information voter? Why would you want to be one and if you were would you know?

We are bombarded with information from social media, internet news sources, television and radio and print. By our family and friends. And more often than not it is family and friends who accuse us of the low-information conundrum.

If you read and listen and care, you are not low-information. Be you Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green or whatever party, if you give a damn about the world around you, if you take action, you are not low-information.

Look at what we found on the internet: “Low information voters, also known as LIVs or misinformation voters, are people who may vote, but who are generally poorly informed about politics.”

LIVs. Is there an antidote for that?

Do LIVs usurp the democratic process by casting a vote because they can?

Quite honestly we have heard the term used more often by non-Democrats. Why.

Will Mr. Jones go to Raleigh?

I had a chance to sit down with North Carolina House candidate Scott Jones and discuss his vision for North Carolina and what he hopes to accomplish as a Representative in the State House for District 59. Scott is running as a Democrat against Republican incumbent Jon Hardister and Libertarian candidate Paul Meinhart.

Scott Jones is a life-long Guilford County resident. He graduated from Southeast Guilford High School and was a small business owner. He is a cancer survivor who decided to enter the political arena as an “average Joe”, working for North Carolina and its people. He ran in 2010 for County Sheriff and in 2012 as a candidate for Governor but has not held elective office. He eschews the party label and believes politicians have made a career of re-election. Scott believes all political office should have term limits. If elected, he would limit himself to no more than three terms in the House.

Rectangular Round Table

Clay Aiken held a round table discussion Wednesday with people who are concerned about what needs to be done for the young soldiers who get out of the military with no skills and no job. Oh, they know how to play war games, but we are talking about in the real world. Many of them have injuries or mental health issues and may not be able to be retrained. Many are homeless. We owe all of them, and everybody at that table knows that. There were two retired generals, two retired colonels, two union members who work at Fort Bragg, several elected officials, business owners, etc. It was an impressive group. Some people had very good ideas on how to train them for new skills when they are discharged. They had our backs for a long time, and now we need to have their's.

Beyond blogging: Personal connections win elections

Not a week goes by where we don't engage in soul-searching about BlueNC's role in the political stratosphere. To some observers, BlueNC is an odd-bird with a kook in charge. To others, we are an indispensable source of community. Many depend on us for insights about which bits of news might matter most, and how different stories are connected to one another. Some of our more recent soul-searching involves the intersection of Facebook communities, and how traditional blogging may or may not fit into that growing space.


Euphoric zealots threaten to impeach AG Cooper

If there has been any remaining doubt about what a vast majority of North Carolinians voted into office, those lingering questions can be put to bed. Many thought it was Republican versus Democrat. You were fooled. And cheerfully, many ran eagerly to scrape the bubbling effluent off of an already overflowing septic tank, put in a vase, and set it up on the mantel; where glowing admiration would never be too far away.

MOREHEAD CITY — Republicans in the N.C. General Assembly plan to overrule or impeach the state’s attorney general following his statements on the recent appellate court ruling overturning a ban on same-sex marriages in Virginia.

Make no mistake; you didn't vote Republican. You voted for stinking crap.


Among the most damaging of all animal species in the world today, termites strike a special fear in humans. These insects are legendary in their ability to destroy from within, secretly attacking foundations until the buildings around them collapse into rubble. Such is the impact of the GOP on the foundation of government in North Carolina. Art Pope, of course, is the queen of destruction.

From a throne deep inside his multimillion dollar opinion manufacturing machine, Mr. Pope has decimated our state's economy and enriched wealthy citizens at the expense of middle class families, teachers, government workers, and the environment. No area of responsible stewardship has been left unscathed.

Yet the damage being done is not easily visible to the people in our state. The destruction is hidden behind the walls of our classrooms and beneath our bridges and highways. Having plastered over the hollowed out joists in our foundations, Mr. Pope and his minions have managed to shield their work from public view. They are hoping people won't notice until after November.

The strong house that has been North Carolina is at risk of crumbling around us, ravaged by gluttonous creatures whose only goal is to fatten their queen.


Civitas ramps up its attack on teachers' association

And they're spending some serious money doing it:

Eight billboards recently posted along key highways across the state display a loaded question to teachers in bold white letters: "Want a $450 raise?" The message is part of a new public campaign launched this week by conservative think tank, NC Civitas Institute, urging teachers to quit the North Carolina Association of Educators.

"They're not really an advocate for education. They're an advocate for people who pay dues to them," said Francis De Luca, NC Civitas President.

No shit, Sherlock. You just made the best argument for teachers continuing their membership: the NCAE's main concern is for the teachers, not for "better results in the classroom" or for pleasing the increasingly impossible-to-please parents. And the NCAE's success in motivating members to engage in Moral Monday protests is the main reason they're getting raises. If left up to people like you, teachers would have to survive a knife fight just to secure a 1 year contract making $9.00 per hour.

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