Republican bullies

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:

Hager enlarges his third-world tyrant portfolio

Taking away power from local authorities:

Rep. Mike Hager, the House Majority Leader, is the latest big government conservative to try to strip power from local governments and give it to the legislature. Hager introduced a bill that would take away local appointments to the Isothermal Community College Board of Trustees and give them to the General Assembly. It’s a pure power grab. Nobody on the board of trustees was aware Hager was going to introduce the bill and nobody asked him to file it.

Republicans say they’re just doing what Democrats did. That’s a lame excuse even if it was true. But it’s not.

Trying to dig out nuggets of truth from the GOP's rhetoric is like panning for gold on the Great Plains. A lot of hard work and frustration and nothing to show for it. The truth about this story will probably involve one local conservative with an axe to grind, and that's good enough for Mike Hager and many of his bent colleagues.

FCC smacks down NC Legislature's bullying of cities

Thanks to the guts and determination of the City of Wilson, muni broadband is back on the menu:

On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commissions voted 3-2 to override laws preventing Chattanooga, Tenn., and Wilson, N.C. from expanding the high-speed Internet service the cities already offer to some residents. The vote could embolden other cities that feel they have been underserved by traditional Internet providers, potentially undermining years of lobbying by the telecommunications industry.

The FCC's intervention in Wilson, N.C. is even more dramatic, overturning a range of state laws that the city says artificially limits competition. One provision in North Carolina law bars cities from charging prices that are lower than the private incumbents'. Another requires municipalities to gain public support for a city-run service through a special referendum before borrowing money to fund such efforts. A third effectively prohibits cities from building in "unserved areas," according to Wilson's petition.

Bolding mine. It's becoming almost impossible to keep up with all of the laws Republicans passed that have been blocked, overturned, or have come under serious scrutiny for Constitutionality. Any sane person would realize they were heading in the wrong direction with these facts staring them in the face, but the GOP is notorious for creating conspiracies of strawmen to explain their failures and poor judgment. They're going to have to raise taxes just to pay their legal fees for defending all their mistakes.

Jim Womack puts on his bullying cap over anti-coal ash sign

"No more espresso shots for you!"

Kathy Addison, owner of Kathy’s Java Express in downtown Sanford, says Womack had coffee there on Thursday and after a quick trip to the restroom, entered the kitchen to ask to speak to the owner. Addison, who wasn’t in the cafe at the time, says Womack told her daughter she needed to take the coal ash sign (pictured above) down.

“He said it’d be in our best interest to take it from the window,” she said. “And if we didn’t, we’d lose his business, and he’d make sure we lost other people’s business as well.” Addison’s daughter filed a “communicating threats” complaint to the Sanford Police Department following Thursday’s ordeal.

Good for her, and shame on Womack for making the threat at all, much less to the daughter instead of the owner. Didn't we used to have a "Jackass of the Week" award here? Well, he wins it hands-down.

Tom Ross fired from UNC because GOP

When you don't really need a reason to do something:

After the meeting Ross and Board Chair John Fennebrusque met with reporters in one of the most bizarre press conferences you will ever see, with a combative Fennebrusque unable to answer a basic question asked by reporter after reporter; why exactly was Ross forced to step down.

Fennebrusque said it had nothing to do with his performance, the joint statement said that too. Fennebrusque said he was very pleased with Ross’ efforts for the UNC system, that he had been doing a wonderful job. And Fennebrusque said it had nothing to do with politics either, the hardest answer of all to believe given the rumors about pressure on the board from legislative leaders to make a change.

I think a lot of people still haven't grasped the fundamental truth about Republicans: Once you have achieved the power to do something like fire a University President, you no longer need to explain yourself when you exercise that power. Aside from the fact it's difficult to justify the unjustifiable, providing reasons for your actions is a sign of weakness, and inevitably leads to an erosion of your power. And this is why they make so many embarrassingly foolish mistakes; because they don't adequately scrutinize their own ideas before putting them into practice.

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