Republican bullies

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:

And now Trudy Wade is going after teachers

NC GOP acting more and more like a third world tyranny:

“What they do on their own time is their right and their business,” Wells said. “But what they do when they’re being paid to be working and what they do with public facilities and resources, we should have one set of rules for that.” Senate Bill 480 is co-sponsored Wells and Sens. Trudy Wade (R-Guilford) and Andrew Brock (R-Davie).

“I think it could have a chilling effect,” Warren said. “Teachers aren’t the most politically active people anyway, but right now there are a lot of people who are afraid for their jobs if they speak out on some of these issues. This could just make that worse.”

I'll just repost a comment I left on Facebook and leave it at that: "What they do on their own time? What time is that, pray tell? The thirty minutes left before bedtime after grading papers and preparing lesson plans for the next day? And what are these "supplies" to which you refer? You mean the supplies teachers have been forced to purchase out of their own pockets because two-faced politicians keep cutting the funding for those things? You've done enough damage to teachers already, give it a fricking rest."

GOP to cancer patients: Your pain means nothing to us

The hopes for medical marijuana just died:

Despite pleas from a number of people who testified that medical cannabis has helped treat either themselves or loved ones, the committee rejected legislation that would have legalized marijuana use for certain patients.

"Legalizing marijuana for medical purposes is both unnecessary and a slippery slope," said Tammy Fitzgerald, executive director of the North Carolina Values Coalition. "We oppose House Bill 78. It could open the door to legalizing marijuana for recreational use." Fitzgerald was one of three speakers to urge rejection of the medical marijuana bill, all of them representing socially conservative groups that frequently lobby lawmakers on issues ranging from abortion to alcohol control to gay marriage.

Tami Fitzgerald is a blight on humanity. The only "values" she represents are to cause as much pain and suffering as she can before the karma wheel comes along to crush her flat.

GOP overreach continues: Protecting out-of-control judges from the State Bar

Who said patronage was no longer in style:

Sen. Bill Cook, a three-term Republican legislator from Beaufort County, says he thinks Superior Court Judge Jerry Tillett shouldn’t have to risk losing his license to practice law because he was already sanctioned by the state Judicial Standards Commission.

The State Bar is basing its disciplinary case against the judge on the same issues that led to a sanction from the Judicial Standards Commission. The judge received a “public reprimand” two years ago for misuse of power in a dispute with the Kill Devil Hills police chief and the county’s district attorney.

Local politics can sometimes be messy, and there is more to this story than just an arrogant judge. But there is a limit to what behavior could/should be allowed behind the bench, unless we want to spiral even deeper into feudalism:

Protest petitions headed for the junk heap

Taking the power away from the people:

When property owners want to change the types of activities allowed on their land, they file for rezoning. In Vojta's example, Sheetz wanted to build a gas station on land that had been used for single-family homes. A protest petition allows neighbors of the property to slow down that process.

"I cannot think of a real reason why it should take more of a majority to pass a zoning change than for us to approve a constitutional amendment," Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake, told the committee Thursday. If his bill were to pass, land use decisions would require a simple majority to pass, the same as tax increases and most other council decisions.

That's comparing apples and Orange Julius, Skip. The difference between a simple majority and a supermajority on a town/city council is one or two votes, whereas the Legislature the difference is a couple dozen votes. But since you bring that up, maybe you can explain why it (apparently) doesn't even require a majority of votes for some Republicans to declare if something passes or fails a vote:

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