Republican bullies

Opposition grows over Darrell Allison's appointment at FSU

The UNC BOG has stepped in it again:

“The majority consensus is we need to fight this,” he said. Frink said that he had heard that Allison might be a candidate for the FSU position shortly after Allison resigned from the Board of Governors. Frink said he saw that Allison had little experience that would qualify him to be chancellor. “I never thought he’d have a serious look,” Frink said. “It just caught a lot of people by surprise.”

Allison was a member of the Board of Governors until September when he stepped down to pursue the position at FSU. The Board of Governors, which oversees 17 institutions in the UNC system, approved Allison’s appointment as chancellor of FSU on Feb. 18. The job comes with a $285,000-a-year salary and the use of a car and residence.

Allison has been a major proponent of the privatization of NC schools, so it's more than a little ironic the state is now giving him a car, a house, and over a quarter of a million yearly salary. It appears this battle has just begun:

The battle against Gerrymandering in NC continues

And once again the courts are our only refuge:

The Republicans' majorities give them the power next year to redraw state and congressional district maps for the next decade based on 2020 census figures. Republicans also controlled the last round of redistricting, in the 2010s. The maps they drew landed them in court multiple times after Democrats challenged them, and judicial rulings declaring illegal gerrymanders forced redraws in 2017 and 2019. The governor's veto power doesn't extend to the maps.

There is literally nothing to stop Republicans from pulling the same crap they did back in 2011. Meaning, they could (and probably will) draw the maps to give themselves Veto-proof majorities in the General Assembly once again, subverting the 2022 Election. It's like almost climbing out of a deep pit, but sliding back down to the bottom again. We must use the courts to force transparency of every single aspect of the redistricting process; every piece of data they plan to use and every jagged line on a map. No "trust the process," no "benefit of the doubt." They can't be trusted, and they must be doubted.

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Barr wants to use "Seditious Conspiracy" law on protesters

This authoritarian nightmare can't end soon enough:

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Bolding mine. What's the first thing that crossed your mind when you read that? It should be the Bundy family taking over a Federal facility in Oregon, which fits that statute to the T. But they were not charged with Seditious Conspiracy. As a matter of fact, all of the charges against them were dropped when a judge declared a mistrial. Nevermind the fact the whole world saw them commit the crime, and nevermind the fact right-wing snipers were photographed targeting Federal and state law enforcement officers. Their rights must not be infringed upon. Back to the Kakistocracy:

NC will likely wash its hands of Thom Tillis in November

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WaPo rates NC the "swingiest" of swing states:

Former state senator and Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Cal Cunningham is the Democrats’ nominee (despite Republican interference to boost another candidate). In the first three months of this year, he doubled Tillis’s fundraising hauls. Tillis has tried at points to display some independence from Trump, pushing a bill to prevent the firing of Robert S. Mueller III and opposing Trump’s method of paying for the border wall. But he embraced the wall and during impeachment, he was all-in for the president.

We don't call him Two-Faced Tillis for nothing. He has never been exceptionally popular among Republicans, but that OpEd he wrote had them sharpening the long knives. Let's see what Thommy said back then:

Litigants want NC Supreme Court to rule on GOP power grab session

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Arguably the most blatant abuse of power the NC GOP has engaged in:

Plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of a legislative session Republicans quickly called in 2016 to limit the power of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper before he could take office now want the state's highest court to hear their case.

Lawyers for Common Cause and ten citizens filed an appeal petition with the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, about a month after the Court of Appeals upheld the legality of the three-day session in December 2016. Republicans in charge of the House and Senate approved a pair of measures during the session that weakened Cooper's power as governor.

Understand, then-Governor Pat McCrory had just lost a bitterly-contested election, and NCGA Republicans knew that lame duck would gladly sucker-punch the man who defeated him. And the GOP used human suffering (hurricane relief) to launch a completely inappropriate and ethically void additional "special" session to wrest authority from the Executive and grant it to themselves. And instead of hanging their heads in shame, BergerMoore actually joked about it when questioned by reporters. Forget about political party designations for a moment; this kind of corrupt behavior needs to be checked by the Supreme Court, or the separation of powers framework could very easily collapse, taking the Court with it.

Ban on assault rifles fails in Virginia Legislature

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We've apparently gone too far in the wrong direction to fix this:

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's push to ban the sale of assault weapons has failed after members of his own party balked at the proposal. Senators voted to shelve the bill for the year and ask the state crime commission to study the issue, an outcome that drew cheers from a committee room packed with gun advocates.

Four moderate Democrats joined Republicans in Monday's committee vote, rejecting legislation that would have prohibited the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms, including popular AR-15 style rifles, and banned the possession of magazines that hold more than 12 rounds.

Look, I believe in open government, and not doing the public's business behind closed doors. But these 2nd Amendment folks push their intimidation tactics right up to the edge (and beyond) when dealing with elected officials, and when committee members are outnumbered 4-1 in a relatively small chamber that intimidation becomes more than just an academic exercise. If you doubt that just ask Lee Carter:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Meadows oozing into Chief of Staff position

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Yes, the Trump administration can get more incompetent:

When it comes to filling the chief of staff role after the impeachment dust settles, Trump has suggested his first choice remains retiring Rep. Mark Meadows, sources familiar with the talks said. During Thursday's post-acquittal speech, Trump thanked Meadows at length for his support during the impeachment proceedings and called him "an extraordinary guy" and "very special."

Meadows, in turn, was the only other person who spoke during the President's address -- rising from his seat in the audience to praise Trump. "I just wanted to say that this reflection today is a small reflection of the kind of support you have all across the country," Meadows said. "We've got your back."

And there goes my gag reflex. With the prospect of Meadows being in charge of pretty much everybody who works in the White House, now is as good a time as any to remind people of his lack of concern and leadership when his own office was a stalking ground for a serial sexual harasser:

Mark Meadows: The anatomy of a brown-noser

Being a towel-boy for Trump must be exhausting:

“Congressman Meadows is in regular contact with the White House and the president’s legal team and is a crucial ally who amplifies the president’s views and the president’s case to the American people,” said a source familiar with his involvement, who added that Meadows has been to the White House at least once in the last week.

The White House counsel’s office and Meadows and his staff are also in touch by phone. Meadows has made multiple media appearances, a willing interview at a time when many senators are avoiding the press. He went on Fox News on Thursday morning, accusing House Democrats of “intentionally misleading” the American people about Trump’s actions.

We should probably start ignoring Meadows, since he's not running to keep his seat this year. Way too many other moles to whack. But when I see crap like this:

River Wars? Landowner posts "no trespassing" signs across Mills River

It's just like a public road, anybody can use it:

Ray Bryson complained that a private fishing club was limiting access to the river. Eddie Ingle delivered a written statement that said the rope across the river is a “form of harassment, may be dangerous to boaters and technically is a ‘gate.’”

Phil Brittain, a resident who lives at the confluence of the north and south branches of the Mills River and who spoke at the meeting, told CPP that he was “surprised and shocked” by the “no-trespassing” posting. “The river has always been seen to be held in common and has been looked after by the community,” he said.

This reminds me of the (mostly Republican) opposition to Obama's Waters of the U.S. rule expanding the Federal government's oversight of water resources. The main goal of that was to protect water quality by limiting pollution and runoff in areas previously not under control, which of course was viewed as a Big Government Grab (or whatever). But let's set that aside for a minute and look at some ethical issues that frequently come up in local government:

Nut-job Tim D'Annunzio ran Facebook ads outing alleged whistleblower

Part of Trump's idiotic propaganda machine:

A North Carolina businessman and failed congressional candidate, Tim D’Annunzio, gained as many as 200,000 impressions on a pair of ads that provided the supposed name of the whistleblower. He promoted the posts using a personal page titled “Message,” targeting “people who are Christian-related, who have Christian interests,” he said in an interview.

D’Annunzio said he first came across the name of the supposed whistleblower in a Gateway Pundit article. “And then it started to pop up in other places, where it’s obvious he’s the guy,” he said.

Those of you who are not long-time BlueNC readers may not be aware of this dude, but here's a quote from his failed Congressional effort back in 2010:

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