NCGA

Mixed emotions about HB2 boycotts

Sometimes the pursuit of fairness is itself unfair:

Because of HB2, authors are canceling events at our store. Sherman Alexie is the first to cancel an event we’d scheduled in May. Although we very much respect the reason he canceled, the result is that we have lost an opportunity to connect this charismatic, inspiring author with young readers. We also lost the opportunity to host him at a large venue, which would have connected him with fans in a city that stands with him and could have used his support. Our event could have served as a platform to address an audience that would be empowered by his outrage. We lost all these opportunities, and we are suffering financially because we anticipated selling 300-500 copies of his newest book, Thunder Boy, Jr.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Intended consequences:

If you're too old, or unattractive, or the wrong skin color, or sexually-oriented in the wrong direction, your services are no longer necessary.

"Celebrity" supporters of bigotry headline rally

A convention of Christian scam artists:

Monday's rally by the "Keep NC Safe" Coalition on the old Capitol grounds in Raleigh comes while vocal national opposition to the law continues. Business executives are urging Gov. Pat McCrory and legislators to repeal the law, Bruce Springsteen canceled his Greensboro concert Sunday because of the law.

Scheduled speakers include the Benham Brothers, Christian author Frank Turek, and Pentecostal minister Bishop Harry Jackson.

Ehh. It reminds me of that time I was visiting rural relatives, and when Saturday rolled around and we hopped in the truck to go see a much-touted "music concert," it turned out to be a gospel trio whose combined ages had to approach the 200 mark. I ended up behind the stage to escape the PA system decibels. Here's a little background on the Bishop referenced above:

Parents rolling the dice with private schools

When misplaced faith leads to horrific outcomes:

During the school day, the teacher turned to the good book for Bible studies and sometimes, in that same classroom, molested the boy, a vulnerable 13-year-old with braces on his teeth.

Much of the case is outlined in a graphic, six-page confession that Scott penned for investigators, documenting sexual abuse that took place in school, on trips and in Scott’s home. Scott, 66, has been housed for more than a decade in prison, Adonai Christian Academy closed its doors three years ago and the boy is now 27.

I find it extremely ironic that many of the bible-thumpers that support HB2 would rise up in anger if the state government decided to require background checks or other standards to protect children attending private Christian schools. It's a case of faith vs logic; faith tells them God would not allow such things to happen, but logic says sexual predators will follow the path of least resistance. They thrive in unstructured environments, or environments where the structure pays more attention to dogma than data. Even the private schools who *do* background checks often rely on other private sector entities who themselves are not subject to government oversight. But that's okay, if they know the secret handshake proper moral rhetoric to employ. And idiots like Dan Forest perpetuate this double-standard:

NC's draconian cuts to unemployment back in spotlight

Which should have been on our radar the whole time:

In 2013, when state businesses owed the federal government $2.5 billion for jobless benefits paid during the recession, lawmakers overhauled the unemployment insurance system to pay back the debt more quickly. The burden fell mostly on people who had lost jobs, leaving North Carolina among the worst states nationwide for helping laid-off workers.

The debt to the federal government was repaid last August, and the state unemployment insurance reserve fund now is about $1.2 billion. Rowe and others say lawmakers should now consider reversing some of the cuts, but the McCrory administration wants to build the reserve to about $2.4 billion to weather future downturns in the state economy.

Do the math, folks. If McCrory reaches his target, that will equate to NC's unemployed workers sacrificing $4.9 billion in weekly benefit payments. Money that would have been injected directly into the state's sluggish economy, while helping families survive. Now do you have maybe the slightest inkling why some of us were somewhat jaded about the Connect NC Bond?

AFP NC loses another Legislative battle

Librarians are just fine as they are, thank you very much:

North Carolina legislators have backed off a proposal to eliminate state licensing requirements for a dozen occupations and consolidate other occupational boards.

Members of the Joint Legislative Administrative Procedure Oversight Committee meeting Tuesday shelved draft legislation for the upcoming General Assembly session, which starts April 25. The decision for inaction came after people associated with the boards or the professions regulated spoke at the committee and urged lawmakers not to move forward.

Oh, let me pick the next obscure and idiotic issue for you to pursue: Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Why is there only one approved method for CPR? Big-government overreach, that's why. How many people die each year because we refuse to allow the free market to develop alternative methods? In New Zealand a few years ago, a little girl jumped on her grandfather's chest because she thought he was ignoring her, and his heart started right up again. But the Liberal media who are in bed with wealthy CPR instructors quashed that story, for fear it would eat into their profits. Act now to open the process, because when you're lying on the restaurant floor turning blue, while people are looking around at each other, it may be too late.

Bait & switch for teachers, McCrory style

A chicken in every pot, unless those nasty wolves snatch it away:

Gov. Pat McCrory presented a package of education spending proposals Tuesday that included a 5 percent average teacher pay raise and bonuses that would average 3.5 percent. Unlike the 2014 event, McCrory made Tuesday’s announcement without legislative leaders and other lawmakers who focus on education in attendance. It is unclear whether leading Republican lawmakers support McCrory’s plan.

Senate leader Phil Berger’s and House Speaker Tim Moore’s offices did not respond to questions. In January, Moore said teacher raises were likely to be in the 2 percent range.

This is all getting so tiresome. McCrory makes promises the Legislature has no intention of honoring (roads, bridges and broadband), giving them both plausible deniability when those promises evaporate into thin air. Kabuki theatre at its finest. And of course the timing is suspect as well:

Federal funding at risk thanks to HB2

The consequences of institutional bigotry are piling up:

The ongoing reviews at the Education, Transportation, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, and Health and Human Services departments are not yet complete, and it is unclear how much federal money might be involved. But the Obama administration’s decision to scrutinize what White House press secretary Josh Earnest described as “both policy and legal questions that are raised by the passage of this law” suggests that the measure signed by Gov. Pat McCrory (R) last month could have major implications for his state.

The Transportation Department sends roughly $1 billion to North Carolina a year, while the Education Department provides more than four times that amount.

McCrory and GOP leaders in the General Assembly have nobody to blame but themselves, for these and other economic losses associated with this horrible new law. But instead of taking both responsibility and steps to ameliorate the situation, their obstinance and political posturing will only make it worse:

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