Amidst Budget crisis, GOP debates Constitutional Convention

Who needs moot court when you've got moot government:

A state House committee approved a bill under which North Carolina would join Alaska, Georgia, Mississippi and North Dakota in an effort to amend the U.S. Constitution to control the national debt. Rep. Chris Millis (R-Hampstead) is pushing House Bill 366, where 38 states would call for a Constitutional convention to put forward a balanced budget amendment. The bill is scheduled to go to the House Appropriations Committee next.

Millis says that a compact will be binding on the state unless a future General Assembly votes to remove North Carolina from it.

That last part is simply not true, proving Millis either hasn't read the whole document or is severely deficient in reading comprehension:

Perennial failed candidate chimes in on voucher decision

Big surprise, Richard Vinroot supports privatizing public education:

Even after losing, the plaintiffs continue to insist that allowing students choices in addition to traditional public schools somehow violates the State Constitution’s requirement that there must be, at minimum, a “general and uniform system of public schools.” However, our courts have long held that the legislature can establish other school programs in addition to---

I'm gonna stop you right there. The courts have *not* held that, and the Constitution is *not* ambiguous:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Cliffside back in the news


Public hearings scheduled for stormwater discharge permits:

As part of the public feedback process, the department will hold two public hearings in September to gather input on the draft permits. The public hearing for the Dan River Combined Cycle Station stormwater permit is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Eden Town Hall, 308 East Stadium Drive, Eden. The public hearing for the Rogers Energy Complex stormwater permit is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Boiling Springs City Hall, 114 East College Ave., Boiling Springs. Speaker registration for both hearings begins at 5 p.m.

Just like death and taxes, stormwater happens whether you want it to or not. That being said, routing stormwater in and around industrial sites is complex and a *likely* source of toxic contamination of streams and rivers. From the "fact sheet" on Rogers/Cliffside:

The NC GOP's lack of concern over police abuse of minorities

Just another chapter in the suppression of inferior races:

The most support comes in the House budget, which includes includes $2.5 million in funding to local departments to purchase body cameras. The Senate budget does not include those funds, and legislative leaders are in discussions to find a compromise spending bill by their self-imposed Aug. 14 deadline.

Two bills requiring most police officers in the state to wear body cameras did not make it out of a House committee, nor did a bill banning racial profiling and requiring officers receive diversity training.

I find it particularly repulsive when anti-government zealots tacitly approve when the enforcement arm of government violates the civil rights of *some* citizens, but bends over backwards to put deadly weapons in the hands of other citizens. I would call it cognitive dissonance, but that implies there's actually some cognition at work.

NC's Opportunity Deficit Only Getting Worse

I noted Rob Christensen’s article in Sunday’s N&O and his point that North Carolina’s unemployment rate has gone up for 4 straight months and yet the NC Senate wants to cut funding for 8,400 teachers assistants.

That unemployment rate is going to go up, not down. Explain this to our GOP electeds? Even if we chose the least confrontational manner possible to point out that in 59 of our 100 counties the public school system is the county’s largest employer, it would not change the minds and votes of our GOP leadership.

Why? Because they no longer consider the people of North Carolina as their constituents. They don’t feel they need to answer to us. They don’t feel a need to even explain themselves. They are following the governing model of cheap labor conservatives and they will force that into place in our state no matter how many of our people are hurt by it. They don’t answer to us anymore.

VIVA trial update: 3-way closing arguments

The judge plays devil's advocate for both sides:

Defense attorney Thomas Farr called the Plaintiff's demands " completely unprecedented." He said the Plaintiffs were ordering the state to take up certain practices in order to maximize minority participation. If voting laws had to address all the challenges facing poor voters "there would be no end to it," he said.

Judge Schroeder said same-day registration and early voting were popular with the public. "The point is, they made voting easier," he said. "Government should make voting easier."

Bolding mine. I sure hope the judge pays close attention to those words, because the defense just made the plaintiff's case. We're not asking to "take up" any new practices, just restore what was already in place before Republicans got rid of them. And they got rid of them to minimize minority participation.

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.


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