Picking apart the Heritage Foundation's defense of Kim Davis

No stop lights or signs at the intersection of Church and State:

The first thing to acknowledge, however, is that Ms. Davis didn’t cause this problem. The Supreme Court did. When the court ruled in June that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, it redefined marriage for the nation, in a way that I and many others do not believe was constitutionally justified. And it redefined Ms. Davis’s job.

Because each marriage license issued by the clerk’s office bore her name and title, Ms. Davis concluded that her religious beliefs meant she could not have her office issue licenses to same-sex couples. So she had the office stop issuing them entirely.

The Supreme Court did *not* redefine her job, it clarified it. Making it clear that she did not have the right to discriminate against those citizens of which she did not approve. And the fact her name and title appear on the legal document does not mean that gives her powers she had not been granted by voters or the state. And considering she previously issued licenses for divorcees, non-Christians, and other couples whose marriages, according to the Bible, should not be sanctified, means she is using her own discretion about who to refuse and who to allow, not the Bible's teachings. Which is also the very thing the Founding Fathers feared would happen if religion injected itself into our government. More twisting from the masters of such:

Monday News: Bittersweet holiday for the unemployed edition


A just reward for labors (Raleigh News & Observer editorial) -- It has been a tough time for working people in North Carolina. Hit by recession, and by a massive loss of manufacturing jobs even before the recession, many working folks found themselves under- and unemployed. And then along came a Republican-run General Assembly to heap insult upon injury by cutting unemployment benefits with the Dickensian idea that cutting benefits would encourage people to look for work. As if they weren’t looking, and as if the average $300 a week or less afforded them fat times.

SEANC members to choose Dana Cope's replacement

A chance to right the ship and move forward:

The outsider candidate is Art Anthony, one of two former board members who blew the whistle by bringing evidence of misconduct to The News & Observer.

The insider candidate is Ross Hailey, SEANC’s first vice president and sole member of the committee that initially investigated allegations of misconduct.

No doubt there is a flurry of e-mails and backroom bullying going on that would rival NCDP maneuverings, but hopefully members will note the significance of having a long weekend to contemplate their decision. By 1893, over half of the states had enacted Labor Day holidays, but North Carolina was not one of them. And right now, our state has the lowest union membership rate, hovering close to only 2%. And the *worst* effect Dana Cope had on SEANC is to reinforce the prejudicial and management-fostered meme of corrupt union bosses. Business as usual ain't gonna work anymore:

Sunday News: Pittenger under the microscope edition


Feds investigate Pittenger’s personal loans to campaign (Charlotte Observer) -- FBI and IRS want to know if loans improperly came from Pittenger company. Federal investigators are looking into personal loans and contributions U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger made to his 2012 congressional campaign, two sources have told the Observer, providing more detail about an investigation that became public last month.

McCrory's naive and costly "Branding" initiative

Tying a ribbon on a tyrannical, short-sighted, destructive, anti-social pig:

This Labor Day weekend, approximately 1.5 million North Carolina residents will travel our state highways and can see elements of the initiative, which include a new state logo and tagline, on more than 75 billboards across the state. It also is being used in a variety of print, broadcast and digital marketing materials, and on several state websites and social media. To view the new look, please visit www.nc.gov.

“In an increasingly competitive environment, it’s crucial for North Carolina to articulate at a glance all we have to offer,” said N.C. Governor Pat McCrory. “The new look and messaging are reflective of the people and the assets that make this state such an inspiring place to live, work and play. North Carolina has great momentum and will be even stronger with support of a brand that pulls everything together.”

We've already been engaged in branding since the GOP took over back in 2010. Here's a short list of "elements of the initiative" that have made national news: An aggressive war on women with an anti-abortion centerpiece, voter suppression efforts targeting minorities and college students, anti-LGBT steps that include amending the state Constitution, harsh measures taken against the poor and unemployed, the reversal of environmental protections that a flood of coal ash couldn't stop, mounting evidence that our Legislature is reliant on ALEC and the Koch Brothers to craft our laws for us, a teacher migration that's leaving our school systems scrambling to hire new teachers that don't exist, and a Governor that has so many unethical skeletons in his closet he could field a lacrosse team with them. Doubtless I've left out several embarrassing points that would also keep people and businesses from relocating or vacationing here, but suffice it to say some billboards and commercials aren't going to "fix" our image problem.

Saturday News: A day with Blake edition

Scholar-athlete’s struggle to be taken seriously in age of subtle sexism (Raleigh News & Observer column) -- After “a good early-morning chafe,” as I call it, I change into dry workout clothes, this time being careful not to wear too much “Carolina gear.” I do this so as not to give my professors and peers another reason to discount me. … I fight others every single day to be taken seriously. But at night, I fight off my own insecurity that I cannot make a difference because of how others perceive me. Sometimes, I do this in vain. I have the utmost empathy for my male peers. But for every “pretty and smart” comment I get (and for the ones that aren’t even that flattering), for every patronizing inflection and for every inadvertent power grab at my expense, you add a grain of sand to the increasingly heavy load we women carry. You perpetuate sexism in environments where it absolutely cannot belong.

KKK tries to "recruit" Fayetteville police chief


And he was not amused, to say the least:

In a word, Fayetteville Police Chief Harold Medlock is angry. He says the KKK left a racist flyer on his front lawn and he told ABC11 he believes he was target. Now, he has a message for the white supremacist group.

"When you start trying to intimidate people I take it seriously. When you try to intimidate me I take it seriously," said Medlock. "If they have a problem with me, I'll be happy to meet them anytime anywhere and well will discuss their issues with me."

Don't hold your breath. If they had any castanets they wouldn't slink around wearing their pointy white hoods.

The disingenuous faux-Libertarian attack on renewables

Ripping up the astroturf:

The attack dogs in this war are funded by Koch Industries and include Americans for Prosperity, American Energy Alliance and the American Legislative Exchange Council. They frame their attacks as a defense of the free market and fiscal conservatism. Yet even a cursory examination of their positions reveals they’re not defending the free market but attempting to protect the fossil fuel industry from competition.

Not sure if this Conservative's opinion signals a movement growing or is simply an anomaly, but the fossil fuel industry's actions are blatantly obvious. Harnessing clean, renewable energy resources like Solar has been a wildly popular idea for decades, and now that we're finally seeing a massive surge in installations, any pushback on that is liable to carry a heavy political price. One can hope, anyway.

Friday News: Political stunts edition


NC House Democrat: $750 ‘bonus’ is GOP stunt for larger pay hike next year (Raleigh News & Observer) -- Democratic Rep. Graig Meyer blasted Republicans for giving state workers a $750 one-time bonus instead of a larger raise, arguing that the budget decision will allow the GOP to approve a much bigger raise ahead of next year’s election. Meyer – a Hillsborough social worker and school administrator who represents parts of Orange and Durham counties – wrote that analysis in a blog post Wednesday .


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