NCGA

Cooper vs. McCrory: Legal eagle and bigoted buzzard

Doing the right thing makes some people angry:

“I am following my oath of office,” Cooper said in a phone interview Thursday. He’s defending nondiscrimination policies adopted by his own office and the Department of State Treasurer, he said. Those policies protect employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and marital status, which the new law doesn’t. The law supersedes policies of all subdivisions of state government, including his office, violating the doctrine of separation of powers, according to Cooper.

“His excuse that his own internal policies would be affected is wrong,” McCrory said Tuesday of Cooper. “All employment policies for cities and corporations and the attorney general’s own policies remain the same. The attorney general is inventing conflict that simply doesn’t exist.”

It sounds like McCrory is starting to believe his own propaganda, which isn't that surprising considering his mental challenges. The simple fact is, the Governor rushed to sign this legislation mere hours after receiving it, leaving himself no viable argument that he or his staff had even attempted to vet the contents for legality or constitutionality. *If* the bill had been debated in committee(s) and on the floor of the General Assembly over a period of time, the Governor might have reasonably concluded there was nothing amiss. But it wasn't, meaning he and his staff had a greater responsibility for final oversight. Of course, all this is above his head, I'm just talking about what a real Governor would do.

Republican state legislatures: Guns, gays, and forced child-bearing

Forget DC, we need to clean these houses:

Ms. Baker said that a new frontier in gun rights involves laws that let people over 21 carry concealed weapons without permits. In West Virginia, Republican lawmakers passed such a law this month after overriding a veto from the Democratic governor, Earl Ray Tomblin. In Georgia, Republican legislators passed a bill allowing people over 21 to carry concealed weapons onto public college and university campuses. Mr. Deal has indicated that he has concerns about the bill but has not said definitively if he will veto it.

That's a new "frontier" all right, one where walking out your front door exposes you to dangers not evident in most civilized societies. I wonder what twisted logic NC's concealed-carry advocates will cook up to explain this away? You know, the ones who are always harping about how "well-trained" these people must be to obtain said permit. Put your gun away for the moment, so we can see how these intrepid Republican legislators are protecting you from Teh Gays:

Charter takeover of public schools moving forward in NC

Under the seemingly harmless name Achievement School Districts:

Glazer stressed that one of the biggest challenges for ASDs in Tennessee was the fact that they are neighborhood schools. Whatever population the school served before joining the ASD was the same population it served after. Largely, parents didn’t choose the school.

“These are charters that take over neighborhood schools,” he said. “That is not the way that charter schools are meant to operate.”

Despite the rosy presentation by Malika Anderson, there appears to be some serious issues involved with the funding of these takeover projects. She claims the handful of Memphis ASDs secured $100 million in donations from the private sector, but she also says the major capital improvements to the schools will come from the same place they always do, from local school district funding. And I'm assuming the state per-pupil funding will also continue. So where does the $100 million go? These issues come up starting at about the 15:00 mark of this video:

Calling out Ken Goodman and "bipartisan" bigotry

Because nobody else seems interested in rocking the boat:

In regards to the furniture market losing customers, State Representative Ken Goodman tweeted "April Market is not a vacation. It's critical for buyers. They'll come."

He also tweeted. "They manufacture in the most oppressive countries in the world."

In other words, if they don't come, here's an ad hominem reason for us to write them off. Aren't the Main Street Dems supposed to be pro-business? Apparently that only applies to businesses who support the suppression of certain elements in our society. And aren't the Main Street Dems supposed to be all about avoiding social issues and laser-focusing on economic growth? The truth is, they are mainly concerned with cashing in on what they see as a successful political movement by Republicans, and are willing to discard every element of the NCDP Platform in order to do that. Follow me below the fold so we can talk about that Big Tent:

Romer v. Evans provides the teeth to chew up HB2

The US Supreme Court has already spoken:

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a decision called Romer v. Evans, found that Colorado’s constitutional amendment violated the rights of gay Coloradans under the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. The amendment, stated the court, deprived one “politically unpopular group” – gays and lesbians in Colorado – from exercising their rights to persuade their local governments for the protections that other groups in those cities already enjoyed. There was no explanation for such a deprivation of rights, said the court, other than “animosity toward the class of persons affected.”

As the author notes, efforts to defend this prejudicial bill will likely fall on deaf ears, because their motives were plainly revealed during the process. The "Special Session" itself was called to head off the active date of Charlotte's non-discrimination ordinance, so they can't claim the two aren't directly connected. And as you can see when reading Romer v. Evans, taking away the rights of citizens to seek relief from their local governments is a big no-no:

NC GOP's Legislative overreach part of a national trend

And it's a good bet ALEC is behind it:

If St. Louis feels ill-treated by state officials, it’s got lots of company around the country. North Carolina's legislature drew national headlines when it met in special session March 23 to block cities from passing anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The legislature acted in response to Charlotte's adoption of LGBT protections earlier in the year.

What was sometimes lost in the media coverage was the fact that the new North Carolina law also blocks cities from setting their own minimum wage rates. Similarly, Birmingham, Ala., passed a minimum-wage increase last year, only to see the state block it and other cities from setting their own rates this year.

The most frustrating part of this situation is how Republicans take advantage of "otherism" to retain their abusive power base. People in rural areas hold both contempt and fear of big cities, and are not likely to share any sympathy with them when state government engages in bullying. Freedom for some, tyranny for others. The GOP's "divide and conquer" approach does work, and it works well. And this quote from Larry Shaheen tells you all you need to know about their motives:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Paranoid Pat wails about the mean old media:

He really is an immature fist-clenching whiner. Hopefully the voters will finally see the little boy they put into office last time and send him home.

Surely you jest

One year ago to the month, it was about religion freedom. Another day, another disdainful bullshit session in the North Carolina General Assembly. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. And anyone who thinks the Republican controlled NCGA is a legitimate body of organization and representation on matters pertaining to the welfare of the State is truly vacuous.

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