Republican idiocy

Count Chocula wows NC GOP delegates

And all it took was a few strategically-placed uses of the word "abolish."

During the Texas senator's speech, he discussed wanting to reignite America's promise and he says that can be done by abolishing the IRS, Common Core and the Affordable Care Act. “There are about 90,000 employees at the IRS. We need to padlock that building and take everyone of them and put them on our Southern border,” he said.

Sen. Cruz also compared his campaign to President Ronald Reagan's in 1980 and said it will take a grassroots campaign to win.

If by "grassroots campaign" you mean uncovering every rock that hides a bat-shit crazy voter, then yes. That's what it will take. I can guarantee you one thing: If Cruz does happen to pull this whole Presidential thing off, within two years most Americans will be ready to close our Northern border for good.

Censorship on the NC Board of Education

Fresh from our in-box:

In April, Governor Pat McCrory nominated J. Todd Chasteen for a seat on the state Board of Education. Some critics have pointed out that Chasteen — who is a vice president and the chief legal officer at the Christian missionary group Samaritan's Purse – has no experience in public education.

In a June 3 letter to North Carolina lawmakers, NCAC expressed particular concern over Chasteen's role in the 2013 effort to remove Isabel Allende's acclaimed novel The House of the Spirits from the high school honors English curriculum in Watauga County schools.

Not a big fan of "slippery slope" arguments, but censorship is definitely an appropriate category for them. Sex has been an integral part of the human condition since long before we walked upright, and trying to understand how deeply it affects our lives is not only a healthy exercise, it's an imperative. And efforts to repress that learning will have consequences, some of them permanent.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

We'll start with a breakthrough in citizen oversight of law enforcement:

Yes, this is a good thing. Bad behavior cannot survive under public scrutiny.

What the gun-nut lobby won't tell you

The deadly mistake of abolishing the permitting process:

If you want to know what happens when a state repeals a law requiring background checks for all handguns sales, you can look to the state of Missouri. For decades, Missouri required background checks for all handgun purchasers through a handgun purchase permit law. But lawmakers repealed the law in 2007 using the same logic and rhetoric repeated today in North Carolina.

Research that I led found that the repeal of background checks and permitting of handgun purchasers in Missouri were associated with an immediate spike in guns diverted to criminals and a 25 percent increase in firearm-involved homicides.

In the mind of a 2nd Amendment zealot however, those consequences mean absolutely nothing. Which is one of the biggest reasons why they shouldn't have a place at the public policy table. They can still vote like the rest of us, but wield influence over lawmakers? Oh, hell no. Their lack of concern for the overall safety of citizens disqualifies them as a "stakeholder" in the process.

Jeb Bush brings his cluelessness to NC

Coming to all the wrong conclusions:

Speaking shortly after charges were announced in Freddie Gray's death in Baltimore, Bush said "the process works, and it will go forward from here on out. People are innocent until proven guilty."

At the same time, Bush stressed that in any time of disaffection, the first responsibility is to make sure the rule of law applies. There are "ways to protest peacefully, but when you cross the line and you start doing damage to property and harming people, innocent people, that's a problem. "

Which reflects a core logical disconnect shared by many of his fellow Republicans: The total dismissal of cause & effect. It is somewhere between "very possible" and "likely" that, in the absence of social unrest following the wrongful death of Freddie Gray, no criminal charges would have been filed against the police officers responsible. They might have been temporarily suspended and/or had something scribbled in their personnel file, but charged with crimes? Doubtful. But that reality doesn't fit with the Republican narrative, so it's clipped out of the picture.

Crossover crapola: The NC GOP's misplaced priorities

It's quite possible that $13,951 per year is way too much:

Roughly 500 bills have passed one chamber or the other. Here’s a glance at some key bills still alive:

>State government would be banned from contracting with companies tied to Iran’s energy sector under Senate Bill 455.
>House Bill 630 would direct state regulators to look into using floating technology at Falls Lake that is being tested in Jordan Lake to prevent and clean up pollution.
>House Bill 601 allows for the sale of deer skins.
>House Bill 161 makes the bobcat the official state cat.
>House Bill 640 allows Sunday hunting on private land.
>House Bill 540 would put a statue of evangelist Billy Graham in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

I suppose things could be worse, that all 500 of these bills could be punitive in nature, adding to the layers of attacks on citizens already in place or in progress. But the real problem with these bills is they combine to form a cloud of staticky noise, that diverts attention and the resulting debate on bills that do have a profound impact on people's lives. Which is probably why the leadership gives them time they don't deserve.

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