NCGA

VIVA trial update: More "surprise" evidence brought out

Standard Operating Procedure for the party of lies and misdirection:

Neesby was was explaining a chart he had created from Board's voter registration statistics when Plaintiff's attorney Josh Kaul stood up and objected. "We've never seen this before," said Kaul.

Neesby said the chart he presented was culled from data given to the Plaintiffs' team in January and June. Judge Thomas Schroeder overruled Kaul, saying Neesby was using data the Plaintiffs already had.

This is really not the same thing as giving your opposition reams of documents, and then selecting only one to present as evidence. A chart is meant to demonstrate a "pattern," and that pattern becomes the evidence presented. In the absence of having the chart beforehand, it's nearly impossible to verify the accuracy or relevance. And the fact the judge didn't immediately recognize that is further evidence of some previous misgivings brought up here at BlueNC about said judge.

GOP wrecking ball swings at teachers, again

Why should we care about your health after you've retired?

In a meeting Wednesday where House lawmakers discussed key differences between the two chambers’ 2015-17 budget proposals, Rep. Gary Pendleton (R-Raleigh) said he was all for eliminating retiree medical benefits for future teachers and state employees.

“That’s something that should have been done a long time ago,” said Pendleton after legislative staff outlined the differences between salaries and benefits in the House and Senate budgets.

Pardon my French, but va te faire foutre, you miserable excuse for a human being. Is that what they get for dedicating their life to nurturing and painstakingly preparing our children to go out in the world and succeed? A self-righteous brush-off by an investment manager who panders to wealthy, multi-generational families trying to dodge taxes? Well aren't we just lucky as hell to have you.

VIVA trial update: The fault-riddled Interstate Crosscheck system debated

Defense parades more broken memes:

In May 2014 the elections watchdog group Democracy North Carolina issued a press release saying it had found four North Carolina legislators whose first name, last name, date of birth matched voters registered in other states.

Plaintiff's attorney Daniel Donovan asked Strach if she thought the four lawmakers were committing fraud. "I'd have to investigate," she said.

Nice dodge there, Kim. But it doesn't change the fact that Interstate Crosscheck is just another voter suppression scheme cooked up by Republicans:

Coal Ash Wednesday: DENR to permit massive discharges from Sutton Plant

coalashhand2.png

It's not a "leak" if they let you spill it:

A public hearing on a discharge permit related to Duke Energy’s planned coal-ash cleanup has been moved to Aug. 6, a day later than originally scheduled.

Duke Energy is excavating and reburying 7.2 million tons of coal ash on the plant site to comply with a state law requiring the utility to close and clean up its coal-ash ponds throughout North Carolina. The Sutton plant was among the first on the list for cleanup because it has been actively leaking toxic substances into the groundwater and the Cape Fear River.

I'm not naïve, I realize the impoundments need to be "de-watered" before they can be dug up and hauled away. But just because the river is right there handy doesn't mean polluting it is the only way to go. They wouldn't be allowed to do that if it were a Superfund site, and considering the toxins involved, the only difference is in the name. Here's part of the NPDES Permit:

VIVA trial update: "Expert" unfamiliar with VRA

Context is important:

In his cross-examination, Plaintiff's attorney Dale Ho pointed out that eight states — Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — do not have pre-registration of 16-and-17-year-olds, same-day registration or early voting and prohibit counting out-of-precinct ballots. Ho asked Trende if he considered these eight states to be in the mainstream of U.S. voting laws. Trende said yes.

Ho then asked Trende if he realized all eight states had been placed under some form of federal election supervision before the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.
Trende said he didn't know that.

He should have known that. North Carolina isn't the only state that Republicans have targeted for voter suppression, we're part of a pattern. And that pattern was designed to be self-perpetuating: "Look at what these other states have done; we're just trying to conform." Chances are Trende actually did know, but chose to play possum. Hopefully the judge can see past this ploy, but he is a Dubya appointee, so...

VIVA trial update: Defense begins with dubious "expert"

Methinks "real clear" doesn't mean what he thinks it means:

Defense attorney Thomas Farr introduced Sean Trende as an expert witness Monday afternoon. Trende, who is Senior Elections Analyst for the website Real Clear Politics, described himself as an expert in 'Psephology.'

Trende said he was asked to place North Carolina voting law in a "national context." He said he would use his expertise in regression analysis to examine the effect of H.B. 589 on minority voters.

Here we go. This is shaping up to be like one of John Hood's painful, twisting forays into, "If you can't beat them, bore them to death."

Chief Justice Martin's avoidance of the term "exclusively"

If parts of the Constitution don't fit your argument, just forget they exist:

Entitled "State school fund," Article IX, Section 6 provides:
The proceeds of all lands that have been or hereafter may be granted by the United States to this State, and not otherwise appropriated by this State or the United States; all moneys, stocks, bonds, and other property belonging to the State for purposes of public education; the net proceeds of all sales of the swamp lands belonging to the State; and all other grants, gifts, and devises that have been or hereafter may be made to the State, and not otherwise appropriated by the State or by the terms of the grant, gift, or devise, shall be paid into the State Treasury and, together with so much of the revenue of the State as may be set apart for that purpose, shall be faithfully appropriated and used exclusively for establishing and maintaining a uniform system of free public schools."

Bolding mine, in the hopes Mark Martin's attempt to erase the word won't stick. See if you can find that word in the numerous references he makes defending this decidedly un-constitutional siphoning off of public school resources:

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