Theatre of the absurd: Make all voters pass a Federal gun background check

Kris Kobach's voter suppression train is going off the rails:

A gun researcher who says the federal gun background check system doesn't work has a new idea for preventing voter fraud at polling places: Make every voter pass a federal gun background check.

John Lott, an independent researcher and Fox News commentator, is best known for his book “More Guns, Less Crime,” which argues that increases in gun ownership are associated with drops in crime (most mainstream criminologists reject this view).

Dude is certifiable, and yet he has been invited to the next Commission meeting to put forward this foolish and very likely unconstitutional proposal. It's another in a growing list of cases where the Congress would normally feel compelled to step in and reign back Executive overreach, if it was anybody other than Donald Trump engaging in it. While this gun-check thing is an absurd idea, and wouldn't make it past the first judge tasked to evaluate it, the ramifications of the Commission's willingness to even entertain the idea are the real danger:

Monday News: Preying on the weak

dalefolwell.jpg

DALE FOLWELL GOES AFTER DISABLED RETIREES TO COLLECT OVER-PAYMENTS: Carla Shuford thought a call from the state treasurer’s office telling her to look for an important letter was a hoax, but the reality hit her the next day with a notice that the state had been putting too much in her disability checks for more than 10 years, and now it planned to collect. She is one of 60 former state employees who have to return money because audits found mistakes in their disability payments. “You’re picking on the most vulnerable people,” she said. “You know they don’t have the wherewithal to fight.” State Treasurer Dale Folwell said the office is required by law to get back money when it pays out too much. “We’re sorry for this lady’s disability,” he said. “This is something our administration didn’t do. We discovered it and now we have the responsibility to fix it.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article17...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

quillpen.jpg

LEGISLATURE NEEDS TO END GOVERNING BY WHIM, DECREE AND AMBUSH: Unfortunately the autocratic behavior of legislative leaders is now reflected by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors – who are appointed by the legislature – in its latest effort to tell UNC President Margaret Spellings how to organize her office. Again, all done without any prior consultation with those most impacted. Again and again, the current legislative leaders preach that government should be operated like a business. But no well run business operates – or survives – the way Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore try to run the state. Their primary motivations are settling fictitious scores with Democrats like Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein. They must change and be more deliberative and open. If not, even the most severe gerrymandering won’t blind voters to the malfeasance on display over the last nine years.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-legislature-needs-to-end-governing-by-whim-decree-and-ambush/16948825/

Exploring the rise of Unaffiliated voters in NC

Fiercely independent or simply tired of the drama?

North Carolina political scientists, activists and strategists said in interviews there are political and societal reasons for the shift. Having no affiliation also can be attractive because these voters can choose to participate in either the Democratic or Republican primary — so candidates from the parties must keep learning how to win their support.

The bitter political atmosphere within the two-party system is a likely cause for the shift, said Michael Bitzer, a Catawba College politics professor studying registration trends. Forty percent of the registered voters known as millennials — those born since 1981 — are unaffiliated and the largest bloc among their age group, according to Bitzer’s research. “Being children of political polarization, maybe this is a clear sign that they are not willing to associate with either party,” Bitzer said, noting these voters aren’t necessarily moderates: “Being unaffiliated does not mean you’re not partisan.”

But it does mean expecting candidates to figure out what you want, in the absence of any defining trait, is somewhere between unwise and disingenuous. I will accept the Democratic Party hasn't always communicated a clear and concise message about what we stand for, but I also believe many new voters are afraid to align themselves with anything, for fear of ending up on the "losing" side. What we need to do (as always) is better articulate the dangers of GOP policies while also formulating and highlighting genuine alternatives to those policies. Because without the beef, it's just an insult sandwich that nobody wants to continue eating.

Saturday News: Free-market bigotry

joshstein.jpg

CIVITAS AFFILIATED WEBSITE LINKS TO ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK ON AG JOSH STEIN: The conservative Civitas Institute is facing criticism for its website linking to an article that says Attorney General Josh Stein’s stance on immigration is due to his Jewish faith. The article Plott Hound promoted as its lead headline says Stein joined a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA because he “is acting in accordance with the worldview and ethnic interests of his own particular group – i.e., those within contemporary Judaism. Stein is a reform Jew. Those from within his own ethnic group want the Christian majority with roots in western countries to be numerically diluted.” DACA is the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that has protected immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article17...

Good news: Atlantic Coast Pipeline delayed

Atlantic Coast Fracked Gas Pipeline delayed

Faced with a Monday deadline and a lopsided number of public comments opposing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has delayed until mid-December its decision on whether to permit the controversial project. Without fanfare or press release late yesterday, the state issued a four-page “request for additional information,” part of its duty under the federal Clean Water Act to ensure the natural gas pipeline won’t harm the over 320 rivers and streams and hundreds of acres of wetlands in its path.

A new wave of voter suppression tactics brewing in Trump administration

And propaganda will ride the crest of that wave:

A member of President Donald Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was pushing fake news before its second meeting was even able to kick off on Tuesday afternoon.

In an op-ed published by Breitbart just ahead of the meeting, Kris Kobach, the commission’s vice chairman, again asserted a debunked claim that more than 5,000 people in New Hampshire cast illegal votes during last year’s election. His suggestion that there was rampant voter fraud in the region was swiftly rebuked by the state’s secretary of state, Bill Gardner, who said New Hampshire’s election results were “real and valid.”

Mark my words, this is going to lead to another Constitutional crisis, and we can't expect Congress to lift a finger to intervene on this one. The GOP leadership has too much of a conflict of interest going on to protect the voting rights of minorities, even if (and it's a big "if") they were so inclined to do so. It also makes the current lawsuit by Cooper to reclaim majority control over election boards even more important, because whatever policy is produced at the Federal level will need to be interpreted and applied at the state and local level. Eyes open, folks.

Friday News: Snowflake almost melts

bluenccup-1[1].jpg

GOP REP MIKE CLAMPITT CALLED RACIST DURING TOWN HALL: One woman called the Republican from Bryson City a racist, The Mountaineer reported. The woman, Mary Jane Curry, confronted Clampitt about his views on displaying the Confederate flag at the Canton Labor Day Parade, even breaking out a photo of Clampitt standing with men holding the flags and one of them wearing a Confederate uniform, according to The Mountaineer. Clampitt maintained that he condemns racism, and that the Confederate flag “has not always been associated with that.” He went on to tell a story of how years ago as a fire captain in Charlotte he denied one of his superior’s demands to unfairly discipline a black firefighter, according to the Smoky Mountain News. That led another woman, Doreen Carroll, to tell Clampitt, “There is nothing you can say that is going to convince me you’re not racist.” But Carroll’s remark led Clampitt to take a deep breath and left him on the verge of tears, the Smoky Mountain News reported.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article173349966.html

Pages

Subscribe to Front page feed