Republican bullies

Trudy Wade doubles down on attack to democracy

There's more than one way to gerrymander a city:

The N.C. Senate voted 31-16 Thursday morning to approve House Bill 263, which originally would only make changes to the Trinity City Council. However, state Sen. Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) modified the Trinity bill, adding the changes to the Greensboro council that were originally proposed in Senate Bill 36, which has been languishing in a House committee.

There should be a rule dealing with this, a tactic we've seen more than once from overly-aggressive Republican lawmakers. They put a bill forward, and when it starts to struggle from lack of support, they just add the same language to another bill. In other words, if you can't get what you want, it's time to start cheating. When the House gets HB263 back, they should vote it down with extreme prejudice. Send a message now, or risk losing whatever limited powers you still have.

Another GOP chickenhawk praises preemptive war

Faux-Libertarian Civitas invites Scott Walker to the stage:

Walker said that the biggest safety threat is radical Islamic terrorists and that it is only a matter of time before there is another attack on American soil. The nation needs a leader who has the courage to take the fight to the enemy before it comes here, he said, receiving standing applause from the 600-plus members of the dinner crowd.

Walker had his chance to back up that big mouth. He dropped out of Marquette in time to join the battle against Saddam Hussein in Gulf War I, but that would require more than just talking. The truth of the matter is, while President Obama has engaged in more military actions abroad than many on the left would have preferred, he's done a heck of a job cleaning up after Bush's horrific mistakes. If we allow another Republican chickenhawk to take his place, we'll have sons and daughters in harm's way in ten different countries, coming back home irreparably broken or in a body bag.

Profiles in idiocy: Voting isn't important 'cause we already decided

Rucho is either really stupid or terminally arrogant:

Rucho didn’t seem fazed by it all, telling the News & Observer that Senate Republicans discuss controversial bills ahead of time and know how their members will vote so he was confident that the bill putting a lower cap on the state’s renewable energy would pass.

In Rucho's mind, "Committee" = "Committed." Apparently the meeting and the talking and the voting are non-essential aspects of the process, easily dispensed with if they threaten to slow things down. Maybe we should teach that in the new "Founding Fathers" required historical courses.

Opposition to ag-gag bill growing daily

Animal cruelty is only part of the issue:

Animal welfare and labor advocates began pressuring Gov. Pat McCrory this week to veto the bill. The Humane Society of the U.S. launched a week-long TV ad campaign.

The farm group’s letter says in part: “By permitting severe repercussions against those who report on illegal activity on farms, HB 405 grants a free pass to those recklessly cutting corners, and as such, directly threatens our economic viability as responsible farmers and food producers.”

Legislative alert: Crazy gun bill to be rammed through Wednesday

And it's a "new" version, whatever the hell that means:

House Speaker Tim Moore announced that a new version of House Bill 562 will available to the public online by 9 p.m.

It's scheduled to "pass through" – that is, to be approved by – the House Rules Committee at a 9 a.m. meeting Wednesday and will then be added to the House's floor calendar for debate during Wednesday's 2 p.m. session.

Among other things, making the "Crossover Deadline" nothing more than a bad joke. I'm sure Republicans will trot out their usual, "Democrats did it first!" excuse for twisting the rules and ramming through legislation lawmakers (and everybody else) haven't had the time to study. But they never did that with bills that could have such a profound impact on the safety of citizens. There's a huge difference, but the GOP just can't grasp it.

Vacated.

The US Supreme Court rejected the NC Supreme Court's ruling upholding the NC General Assembly's racially-motivated redistricting scheme, and sent the case back to the lower Court for a second look. This doesn't mean the redistricting itself has been rejected, but it is a step in that direction. Film at eleven. Actually, they don't allow filming in the Supreme Court, which is why we see those all those fancy sketches. And I doubt if we'll know more by eleven...*sigh* You know what I'm talking about.

Faux Twitter accounts to be a Felony offense?

And you thought I was using hyperbole in describing NC's government as a third-world dictatorship:

AN ACT making impersonation of an actual person over the internet for certain unlawful purposes a class h felony.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts: SECTION 1. Article 20 of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
"§ 14‑118.8. Online impersonation.
(a) The following definitions apply in this section:
(1) Credible impersonation. – If another person would reasonably believe, or did reasonably believe, that the defendant was or is the person who was impersonated.
(2) Electronic means. – Includes an electronic mail account, text or instant messaging account, or an account or profile on a social networking Internet Web site in another person's name.

(b) Any person who knowingly and without consent engages in a credible impersonation of another actual person through or on an Internet Web site or by other electronic means for purposes of harming, intimidating, threatening, or defrauding another person is guilty of a Class H Felony. A violation of this subsection is punishable by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment, or by both the fine and imprisonment.

Republicans have cooked up a lot of crazy in the last few years, but this one sets a new standard.

The GOP's bloodless coup of Wake County

The rise of the mapmakers:

Despite the fact that about 30,000 more voters chose Democrats than Republicans, the Republican candidates would have ended Election Day as the dominant party in Wake County government.

The law stacks up tens of thousands of Democratic voters in a few districts, guaranteeing huge margins but fewer victories. For example, a Democratic candidate could win 80 percent of the ballots in District 4, covering southeast Raleigh, Garner and Knightdale, or 72 percent of District 2, covering central Raleigh.

While Republicans have proven to be very clever at manipulating maps to gain majorities they don't really possess, their arrogance and patently un-democratic motives are becoming more and more transparent each time they do it. And more likely to come apart under the harsh scrutiny of judicial review. This is also another prime example of the folly behind "local" bills not requiring executive review. The Governor's mansion sits square in the middle of this particular crisis, and cutting him out of the loop is a sign of terminal hubris.

Message for Wake GOP: Reagan would not approve of your gerrymandering

Especially considering you're no longer constrained by the "every-ten-years" limitation, and whip up your maps whenever you feel the urge:

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