teddyrooseveltprogressive's blog

A map that might be useful for challenging NC's voting districts

Slate has a piece on a map created from 2010 census data that visualizes race in America in a new way.

The researchers who created it, used census data to pinpoint every single person in the country, based on race. It allows you to see specific distribution of whites and minorities in towns and neighborhoods.

Anyone with some computer expertise that could do some custom views of this map and analysis about NC's voting districts?

Any other ideas on what you could do with this kind of data and visualization?

Article at Slate - Map at Cooper Center

NC legislators sign ALEC Stand Your Ground letter

Think Progress reports that the American Legislative Exchange Council sent a letter, supposedly signed by 300 local legislators, to Senator Dick Durbin. Durbin wants to investigate the role of ALEC in crafting Stand Your Ground (aka Right to Be Shot and Killed by a Gun Nut) laws in over half of US states. The laws, for the most part, are copy and paste jobs of ALEC's model.

The letter was supposed to have carried the clout of about 300 state legislators who signed onto it, but, according to an investigation by progressive group by ProgressNow, many of the signatures on that letter were falsified or duplicated.

The group said it was signed by 293 elected officials. But, ProgressNow found, 55 of the signatures are “blatantly invalid.”
“[A] simple Google search found that seven of the signatures on the letter were unidentifiable, four were spouses of elected lawmakers, 35 of the signatures were duplications and one was an expletive rant,” said ProgressNow Research Director Brian Wietgrefe in a release.

Silly ALEC can't even tell the truth about letters it's sending Senators.

Several NC legislators are on the list. If you value the safety of yourself and your children - and abhor groups like ALEC buying and paying for your state legislators - keep these names in mind come election time.

FoxNews promotes stereotypes of NC mountain folk

FoxNews, is doing a series on "Food Stamp Binges" and, in the latest segment, turn their cameras on Ashe County, NC.

The basic idea in the piece is that they're shocked - SHOCKED! I tell you - that the Federal government gets social workers to encourage people who are eligible for food stamps to take them if they don't apply for them or refuse them.

If you have lived in Ashe County or anywhere in Appalachia, this report will make you ill - they trot out all the stereotypes about "mountain pride" with some kind of twisted logic that the "gov'ment" is taking away their rights by offering them help.

The way they portray the area and people is about on the level of an MTV reality show or "Deliverance" - dilapidated cabins, banjos, and talking about the place like it's right out of "Tobacco Road".

Idea for progressive geek activists: Shop Moral NC

In May, Forbes reported on a new app developed by some activist programmers. Buycott lets you choose to avoid products that support the Koch Brothers, items that contain GMO foods, or other issues by scanning barcodes in your shopping cart. After only a short time, the app was already at #10 in the App Store and the programmer was rushing to fix bugs because the app was so popular.

With the talented pool of programmers here in NC and progressive organizations fighting for a better North Carolina, I'd like to see this idea taken to the local level.

NC's Burr signs on to nut job law prohibiting any worker protections

Demonstrating that extremist nut-job ideas aren't isolated to the Pope-Koch North Carolina legislature, North Carolina's Senator Richard Burr has joined with many members of his Republican caucus and signed on as a sponsor of something called the “Enumerated Powers Act of 2013".

What the heck?

Well, it's another one of those attempts by the Tea Bagging extremist Republicans to "return" the US to it's Constitutional roots. ThinkProgress has the scoop.

Letter: I can no longer afford to teach

An open letter from a North Carolina public school teacher on her blog:

When I moved here and began teaching in 2007, $30,000 was a major drop from the $40,000 starting salaries being offered by districts all around me in metro Detroit, but it was fine for a young single woman sharing a house with roommates and paying off student loans. However, over six years later, $31,000 is wholly insufficient to support my family. So insufficient, in fact, that my children qualify for and use Medicaid as their medical insurance, and since there is simply no way to deduct $600 per month from my meager take-home pay in order to include my husband on my health plan, he has gone uninsured. We work opposite shifts to eliminate childcare costs.

Read the rest - pass it along.

Proposal: Take Back NC Unconference to kickstart the grassroots

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind for liberals and progressives.

The state legislature has been out of control on a host of issues - you're probably feeling angry and shellshocked after the Republican attacks on voting rights and their passage of laws that would expand dark money in North Carolina politics and allow candidates and groups to run political ads with no accountability.

The Republicans have gone far beyond enacting a conservative agenda. They have enacted a coup that has destroyed democracy in our state and handed over control of your money, your public officials, the well being of your family, your economic future and even your basic rights under the US Constitution to Art Pope, the Koch Brothers, extremist religious groups, the NRA, and a handful of business interests around the state.

In the Weekend Woundup thread here at BlueNC, several people have bandied about ideas for what to do next. The legislature is polling negative with NC voters - even Republicans - and the public is angry. Very angry.

Several groups are working to fight Republicans in the legislature. The NAACP has had remarkable success with Moral Mondays. The League of Women Voters has come out strongly against restrictions on our basic voting rights. Progress NC and Democracy NC are organizing and getting the word out on the extremism in the legislature.

You can attend Moral Mondays or volunteer for an existing organization or get involved with the NC Democratic Party. What else can you do?

Sue Myrick, Groundswellers and voter id laws

Mother Jones just published an in-depth look at a secretive group of extremist conservatives that are doing "behind the scenes" planning for a "30 Front War" on liberals and progressives.

The group includes wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, journalists from Breitbart News and the Washington Examiner, aides to Congressional Republicans, and former US Representative from NC, ultraconservative Sue Myrick.

During these hush-hush sessions and through a Google group, the members of Groundswell—including aides to congressional Republicans—cook up battle plans for their ongoing fights against the Obama administration, congressional Democrats, progressive outfits, and the Republican establishment and "clueless" GOP congressional leaders. They devise strategies for killing immigration reform, hyping the Benghazi controversy, and countering the impression that the GOP exploits racism. And the Groundswell gang is mounting a behind-the-scenes organized effort to eradicate the outsize influence of GOP über-strategist/pundit Karl Rove within Republican and conservative ranks.

The list of usual suspects shows up in notes from one of their early meetings:

Lobbyist pork in the voting bill?

I noticed Tom Sullivan's post on BlueNC about the Voter Information Verification Act and decided to do a bit of digging.

In the post, he quotes a Greensboro News and Record piece that says a voter id card would wind up costing $20-$32.

It would actually cost more than that.

According to the NC DOT website, you'll need two documents to document your name, date and place of birth. These include a driver's license (which you probably won't have if you need an id card), school documents, a US military ID, court documents or several other items.

The most common is a certified birth certificate.

Neo-Confederates get Federal money for monuments

A tip for the NC press.

This article at The Atlantic notes how Neo-Confederate "nostalgia" and hate groups are getting the US government to pay for Confederate monuments and headstones, often using them for Civil War revisionist purposes.

How much of this is going on in North Carolina? The article mentions Georgia as a hotbed of this, but it appears to be something happening all over the South. The government is spending more for headstones, monuments and upkeep of Confederate graves than those of Union soldiers because of these requests from Civil War groups.

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