Republican bullies

PBA shows some love for Josh Stein for NC AG

Choosing wisdom and experience over bluster and demagoguery:

North Carolina’s largest law enforcement association has endorsed former state senator Josh Stein for attorney general.

"Josh Stein has a strong record of making our communities safer and of standing up for law enforcement,” President Randy Byrd said in a statement released Friday. “The North Carolina PBA is proud to put our support behind Josh and to help elect him as our next attorney general. A vote for Josh is a vote for the men and women of law enforcement and the citizens they serve."

Josh has a deep understanding of issues people like Buck Newton either can't grasp or don't care to. Recidivism is not baked into the genes of criminal offenders, it is a product of environment and a lack of effort on the part of society to figure out what works and what doesn't:

NC House serves Apodaca a bi-partisan rejection of Asheville gerrymandering

A whiff of Democracy returns to the General Assembly:

Fisher: “It is beyond my ability to understand why Asheville has been the continual target for authoritarian and penalizing legislation for much of the 12 years I have spent here. I resent the idea that the current senior senator and rules chair feels he must take one last parting shot at the city of Asheville when he in fact only represents a fraction of the residents of that city, less than 10,000. Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I urge you to vote no. And especially if you live in cities and towns that are trying their best to govern your whole city or town. Because beware: Yours may be the next city to be gerrymandered.”

Whether it was Fisher’s words or something else, something shifted. The House would debate for another 40 minutes, with some of the loudest arguments against the bill coming not from Democrats, but from Republicans.

Something definitely shifted, and I have a hunch it was that little voice in the back of some GOP lawmakers' minds whispering: Just because you can do something, it doesn't automatically follow that you should. And then giving words to those thoughts:

Must read: Gene Nichols' comprehensive indictment of GOP governing

Ten charges that encompass hundreds of bad acts:

1. Tragically refused to expand Medicaid. Merely to show disdain for President Obama, they’ve denied health care to a half million poor Tar Heels though the federal government would pay almost all the fare. Hospitals have closed, tens of thousands of jobs have been lost, over $30 billion in federal funds are surrendered and a thousand or more of us die each year as a result of one of the most cruel and indefensible decisions in N.C. history.

Please read the entire article. It is extensive, but these things must not be ignored or forgotten. While #1 above is easily the biggest life-and-death failure on the GOP's part, it's just the tip of the iceberg:

Homegrown NC terrorist gets house arrest

That oughta teach him...nothing:

In Portland, Oregon, on Thursday, 42-year-old Jason Blomgren pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge related to the occupation. Blomgren, of Murphy, North Carolina, traveled across the country to join the protesters. He told a judge he served as an armed guard.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dismissed a charge of possessing a firearm in a federal facility. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 14. Prosecutors recommend six months of home detention.

Bolding mine. Really? The nation was faced with the aura of heavily-armed extremists, threatening violence while occupying a Federal facility, and you're dropping the weapon charge? And sending him back here, where he'll probably be able to legally purchase as many assault rifles as he cares to collect? Gee thanks.

New leadership "forum" to discuss how to discuss

Not sure what a "media cocoon" actually is, but I'm sure that will be discussed also:

The Leadership Forum was born after Hood wrote a column about North Carolinians living in “media cocoons” and the disappearance of civil debate. Democrat Leslie Winner, then head of the progressive Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, read it and met with Hood about changing that. They recruited a bipartisan steering committee, then the group of 35.

Hood emphasizes that the goal is not to find moderate solutions. “Our point is not we have these extremes and if everyone was more centrist we’d be better off,” Hood told me last week. “We like the fact that we have people way out on the right and left. The goal is not to marginalize them and aim for the common denominator. The point is to have a dialogue that is very robust with points of view strongly argued, but respectfully and with no name-calling. … If we can have people argue rather than bicker, make good-faith logical arguments, that’s a very valuable outcome.”

I suppose there could be some merit in pursuing such a dialogue, but it could also produce a false sense of security. The policy moves of current state leaders have produced horrific outcomes for many people living in North Carolina, and each year brings new and outrageous results. If this forum can't or won't smooth down those sharp edges, then it's (at best) a masturbatory exercise. At worst, it could blunt efforts (and money) dedicated to reversing those outcomes. Here's more:

Koch "army" being trained to defend McCrory in November

KochBrothers.jpg

Knocking on doors and leaving oily fingerprints:

The i360 Walk app for iOS and Android provides the AFP army with voter information on the go so they can identify houses strategically and make use of their time efficiently. The most GLA training sessions have been in scheduled in North Carolina where 12 classes of activists and mobilizers will have graduated by the end of June.

The Kochs are heavily invested in North Carolina having held (or scheduled) 12 GLA training sessions and with close to 200,000 AFP "in-state activists" as of January 2015. In the race for governor, incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory (R) is likely their man.

I post this as a cautionary tale for those who speculate political parties have lost their usefulness. When we give up the ability to leverage the resources of an organization, insanely wealthy individuals like Charles and David Koch can easily step in and take the lead. To them, the loss of influence and cohesion in the two major parties is a gift, and they will use it to control us. Live together, die alone.

Working on Brent Jackson's plantation

The whip has been replaced by economic tyranny:

Seven former workers at Jackson Farming Company, the Sampson County farm owned by State Senator Brent Jackson, have filed a lawsuit in federal court against the farm, Jackson, and his son Rodney alleging gross violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, and are seeking unpaid wages and damages.

Republican state legislatures: Guns, gays, and forced child-bearing

Forget DC, we need to clean these houses:

Ms. Baker said that a new frontier in gun rights involves laws that let people over 21 carry concealed weapons without permits. In West Virginia, Republican lawmakers passed such a law this month after overriding a veto from the Democratic governor, Earl Ray Tomblin. In Georgia, Republican legislators passed a bill allowing people over 21 to carry concealed weapons onto public college and university campuses. Mr. Deal has indicated that he has concerns about the bill but has not said definitively if he will veto it.

That's a new "frontier" all right, one where walking out your front door exposes you to dangers not evident in most civilized societies. I wonder what twisted logic NC's concealed-carry advocates will cook up to explain this away? You know, the ones who are always harping about how "well-trained" these people must be to obtain said permit. Put your gun away for the moment, so we can see how these intrepid Republican legislators are protecting you from Teh Gays:

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