NC GOP

NC Republicans emulate Trump in their Budget "process"

If it walks like an orange-haired duck, well you know the rest:

Secrecy. Greed. Dishonesty. Self-dealing. Neglect disguised as concern. Contempt for democracy. If one were asked to describe the most notable hallmarks of the administration of President Donald Trump, it would be hard to come up with six more accurate characterizations. To see the latest concrete confirmation of this appalling state of affairs, North Carolinians need look no further than the preposterous state budget bill that Republican legislative leaders rolled out yesterday.

Whether it’s yet another round of tax giveaways to the rich, the continued underfunding of public schools and early childhood education, new assaults on environmental protection and public transit, the shocking neglect of school safety, dozens of outrageous pork barrel giveaways to favored special interests or just the absurd lack of process that accompanied it, the new 2019 budget is an example of Trumpism at its absolute worst.

Since I'm in the mood to dole out some totally unqualified psychoanalysis: One of the hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (or Sociopathy) is a complete disregard for the safety and well-being of others. Just doesn't register. So it's really hard to say if the GOP's failure to fund NC's Suicide Hotline was due to tone-deaf incompetence, or some kind of conscious coup de grâce, but either way, some 255 calls per day will likely soon go unanswered. More from Rob Schofield, who (as usual) puts these things into better words than I can:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

And their turn to the Dark Side is complete:

Give me a show of hands if you could read a 267 page book the night before taking a test on it. Anyone? Bueller?

Phil Berger gets his Democratic opponent disqualified

I had to grab an excerpt from a %$#@& Facebook post, because for some reason NC's news outlets don't think the most powerful man in the General Assembly pulling a Vladimir Putin is newsworthy:

The Republicans on the panel - defying all logic - voted against Mangrum today, and the case will now go to the State Board of Elections. The Republicans on the panel gave reasons based on speculation and innuendo - not on the law. I believe it was a circus. We have reached bottom, and Berger's gang is covered in dirt. Shame on them. SHAME.

This is a good story for an aggressive reporter to cover. And I suspect it starts, as always, with fear of losing power and dark money fueling the efforts to keep it. I sent a recap to Rachel Maddow. Someone needs to expose this!!!

Hell, it doesn't even need to be an "aggressive" reporter, just somebody to publish the pertinent details would be a good start. This is now headed to the State Board, where hopefully wiser and less partisan heads will prevail. We'll see. But this is a prime example of why Berger & Moore screwing around with election boards should have been completely tossed by the courts. Here's some background on yesterday's bent decision:

Corruption, thy name is James Womack

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And strangely enough, he seems to be exerting undue influence on himself:

Last August, five people had written to to the commission, alleging that they had been unfairly prohibited from applying for drilling permits in Lee County because of a local ordinance establishing a temporary moratorium on fracking. In their petition, the complainants asked the commission to essentially overrule Lee County government and allow them to frack for natural gas on their land.

Yet all of the complainants holding the metaphorical sword over Womack’s head are his friends, neighbors or professional colleagues — relationships that could jeopardize his impartiality in granting a hearing or voting on whether to undermine Lee County’s authority. And questions about Womack’s potential role in the drafting the individual complaints raises further concerns about the depth of his involvement in promoting fracking in his home county.

Okay, so: Republicans pull this kind of crap all the time, by recruiting "regular citizens" (who also are usually local Party acolytes) to file complaints about this or that, to provide an excuse for GOP elected officials to take action. See the 2016 voter fraud fiasco for background, in which several local "citizens" filed voter challenges in an effort to undermine/overturn Roy Cooper's victory over Pat McCrory. But in this case, it's glaringly obvious that Womack is in cahoots with local landowners eager to start poking holes in the ground, regardless of what the duly elected county government says:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The truth will set us free:

Yep, not much to argue with right there...

Mark Meadows wants to strangle Trump's very own Deep Throat informer

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File this one under "Collusion between Congress and the President":

The Post first reported earlier this month that an FBI informant and top-secret, longtime intelligence source had provided information early in the FBI investigation of connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. A New York Times story published Wednesday about the beginnings of the Russia probe reported that at least one government informant met several times with two former Trump campaign advisers, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has been conferring with Trump — in three or more calls a week — communicating concerns that the Justice Department is hiding worrisome information about the elements of the probe, according to people familiar with their discussions.

Aside from undermining law enforcement in their efforts to detect, solve, and punish crimes, it appears we now know where Trump gets some of his information for his zany Tweets. But back to the undermining law enforcement thing: If you've ever been curious how some 3rd World dictators are able to remain in power so long, when they are obviously unfit and even dangerous to their populations, it's almost always due to the harsh stifling of critics and the "disappearing" of people who know too much. What Mark Meadows is trying to do, in his efforts to shield Trump from the authorities, is tantamount to loading a gun and handing it to a hit-man:

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