Republican bullies

Fascism Watch: Throwing journalists in prison

Systematically demolishing the Fourth Estate:

Four more journalists have been charged with felonies after being arrested while covering the unrest around Donald Trump’s inauguration, meaning that at least six media workers are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.

Jack Keller, a producer for the web documentary series Story of America, said he was charged and detained for about 36 hours after being kettled by police at 12th and L streets on Friday morning and arrested despite telling officers that he was covering the demonstrations as a journalist. “The way we were treated was an absolute travesty,” said Keller, whose cellphone has been kept by the authorities.

If fascist actions were stocks being traded on Wall Street, this one would be a Bellwether. To wit, one that is a leading indicator of a developing trend, and possibly a driver of that trend. The effort to silence journalists through intimidation has (usually) one goal in mind, the blocking or serious reduction in future scrutiny of government actions, of which the public would likely disapprove. This isn't just an assault on one group of people; it's an assault on everybody, on our right to know what is happening in our country. And the following mindset should alarm each one of you reading this:

Governor Cooper expands lawsuit against GOP-dominated Legislature

Chipping away at the massive power-grab:

This expanded lawsuit also challenges what it calls the “unprecedented” provision requiring the governor’s Cabinet appointments are subject to Senate confirmation. The lawsuit also challenges a provision that drastically reduced the number of state employees who are political appointees and exempt from state personnel protections, as well as a provision that allowed hundreds of those exempt employees to become non-exempt.

Further, Cooper’s suit challenges a provision that allowed the appointment of the spouse of Gov. Pat McCrory’s chief of staff, Yolanda Stith, to the state Industrial Commission for an unprecedented nine-year term. The provision “confers an exclusive privilege upon a single person with no benefit to the general welfare,” the lawsuit reads.

Understand, the widening scope of this lawsuit is merely reflective of the GOP's appetite for power. What Roy is engaging in is not "radical" or "all-encompassing," it is the classic definition of a "measured response." And don't let any pundit or editorial staff get away with making it seem like an overreach on the Governor's part. They have a really bad habit of forgetting or editing out context, to get a little more "pop" out of news developments, and that very often serves to mislead more than inform. Friendly reminders in the comment section, or even LTEs, can be more than just a way to vent frustration.

NC's status as a democracy in question

And as they say, sometimes the truth hurts:

Here, the dominant party — at present, the Republicans — holds all the power while winning just a slight majority of the overall vote. Everyone who votes for Democratic representatives or senators is given no voice in Raleigh because Democrats have no power. Just two weeks ago, the Republican legislature even went so far as to diminish the powers of the incoming Democratic governor, despite his statewide election victory. Republicans can do this with impunity because most of them don’t face real elections.

Reynolds makes a good argument that North Carolina operates like a sham democracy in critical respects. The question is what people can do to reclaim the right of real representation.

This is one of those issues that many of us would be tempted to say, "Of course it's a sham!" and then walk off without further discussion. But Republicans are determined to push the envelope on what is actually unconstitutional, and what is merely bad policy. As candidates square up in the soon-to-be-held 2017 Special Election, their messaging needs to be tight and verifiable, and we need to make it abundantly clear to voters that their democracy is being slowly and surely taken away from them. Here's more from Andrew Reynolds:

Another annoying history lesson by Rob Christensen

Dude, you're killing me:

The whole business of mass firings in state government pretty much began with the election of Democrat Kerr Scott in 1948, a Jacksonian figure who beat the more conservative machine. North Carolina was a one-party state then so this was factional Democratic warfare.

NC's power-mad Republicans once again in national spotlight

Like children running free in a candy store:

The session, complete with fervent protests, was a replay of a common scene over the last four years: Republicans in the legislature introduce a bill; Democrats argue against fiercely; a large number of protestors arrive and demonstrate; but the bills roll on with little impediment, thanks to large Republican majorities in both houses. Those majorities exist in part thanks to gerrymandered districts, some of which were so extreme that a federal court has ordered them redrawn and has shortened the terms of some legislators to a year in order to accommodate special elections in 2017.

Sometimes I get a little jealous of all those people who studiously ignore politics, and go about their day wondering what Victor on General Hospital has been up to or complain about somebody wearing pajamas at Wally World. But then I remember that a lot of those people actually *do* vote, and their inattentiveness is what helps these GOP mini-tyrants stay in office. But not everybody is standing idle, and the folks who drove to Raleigh to fight back deserve a huge round of applause:

DoE refuses to release names to Trump's star chamber

Just say no to bullies:

“The Department of Energy received significant feedback from our workforce throughout the department, including the National Labs, following the release of the transition team’s questions. Some of the questions asked left many in our workforce unsettled,” said Eben Burnham-Snyder, a department spokesman. “Our career workforce, including our contractors and employees at our labs, comprise the backbone of DOE (Department of Energy) and the important work our department does to benefit the American people. We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department.

“We will be forthcoming with all publically-available information with the transition team. We will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.”

Bolding hers, because force is the only thing bullies understand.

And the purges begin: DoE staffers who worked on Climate Change on hit list

And the Koch Brothers' fingerprints are all over it:

Donald Trump aides are attempting to identify Department of Energy staffers who played a role in promoting President Barack Obama's climate policies, according to details of a leaked transition team questionnaire published by Bloomberg Thursday night. Bloomberg goes on to say the document was confirmed by two Energy Department employees, who said agency staff were "unsettled" by the request.

Rob Christensen on the fall of McCrory

The GOP Legislature's contempt for Pat didn't help:

One small episode in 2013 seemed to illustrate the legislature’s lack of respect for McCrory. One of the first lady’s projects was to regulate puppy mills. The legislature not only didn’t pass her bill but went out of its way to embarrass the governor.

Be on the lookout for poll trolls in NC

Don't just report them, take their picture:

In North Carolina, someone showed up to early voting with a badge saying “poll observer” and was photographing and videotaping cars coming and going and “generally, being a very intimidating factor there,” said Anita Earls of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice in Durham. The situation was stopped with a call to local officials.

Stop the Steal, a group linked to Trump confidant Roger Stone, says on its website that it will conduct exit polling to determine if the results are accurate. The Huffington Post reported Tuesday that another group connected to Trump supporters, Vote Protectors, has an “I.D. Badge Generator” on its site where volunteers can create an official-looking badge. Another part of the website said volunteers would post streaming video to the site.

God, I do hate a bully. Especially one who feels like he has been granted some kind of authority. If you do see something like this going on, snap a picture and immediately put it on Facebook or Instagram, not only as a warning for voters, but a public record as well. It should also be noted that "Stop the Steal" and "Vote Protectors" are one and the same, operated by an Alt-Right (see White Supremacy) dude named Frankie Stockes. He's the main (blogging) voice for each group, something Roger Stone failed to mention in this blatantly deceptive denial:

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