Next NC GOP voter suppression tactic: Referendum on Voter ID

Harking back to the Amendment One debacle:

“We believe the public support for voter ID is sufficient, that clarifying it in the North Carolina Constitution as a requirement is something the people would support,” Lewis said. “So I think that to mute future court challenges, you could certainly see that.” Some experts believe a voter ID requirement passed by the people could have a firmer footing in court.

“The primary objective to try to avoid a finding of discriminatory intent by saying ‘Hey we put the thing before voters and they approved it.’ Which would put on anyone challenging the law the formidable burden of showing the people of North Carolina acted with discriminatory intent, at least if they want to act on a constitutional claim,” explained Tokaji, who said other types of legal challenges would be possible.

In reality, the "discriminatory intent" could be nothing more than a majority of voters realizing they had a valid ID right there in their wallet or purse, and casting their vote to pat themselves on the back for being prepared. Voter ID has never been about suppressing the majority, it's about suppressing that 10% or so (and roughly 25% of African Americans) that would likely vote against Republicans. Minority rights should never be put before a popular vote, especially when you're deciding voting rights. Sheesh, it ain't rocket science, it's a basic American principle.

Builders and Puppets: GOP environmental appointees lack qualifications and have conflicts of interest

We'll start with one of Art Pope's golden boys:

Clean Water Management Trust Fund: Former Henderson County commissioner Renee Kumor was appointed by Moore to a term expiring on July 1, 2020; and Wilmington builder Robin Hackney of New Hanover County was appointed by Berger to a term expiring June 30, 2020.

Berger also named writer and commentator Troy Kickler of Wake County to fill the unexpired term of Johnny Martin. Kickler’s term runs until June 30, 2018. The Clean Water Management Trust Fund provides grants to conservation nonprofits, local governments and state agencies for the protection of surface waters.

You may remember Troy Kickler from such notable history lessons such as "What would your great-great-great-grandfather think?" and "No drinking tea at this Tea Party!" You're right, I made those up. But he is a historian and not a hydrologist or water quality specialist, although it's rumored he has a Brita water filter. This is not Troy's first hitch on the board, the GOP actually made him Chairman back in 2013, to oversee their scrambling of its mission:

Thursday News: Save the Center

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BOG COMMITTEE SCHEDULES VOTE TO BAN CENTER FOR CIVIL RIGHTS FROM LITIGATING CASES: A UNC Board of Governors committee has scheduled a special meeting Aug. 1 to consider whether to ban the UNC Center for Civil Rights from suing on behalf of its clients. Long has said that the center should not sue other government entities under the UNC name. Supporters of the privately funded center say it provides students with vital experience and serves low-income, minority clients who have nowhere else to turn. Banning legal action would effectively end the center, they say, and disrespect the legacy of the center’s founder, the famed civil rights attorney Julius Chambers.

Coal Ash Wednesday: Importing 150,000 tons of ash from India?

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Try to wrap your mind around this one:

As Duke Energy continues a state-ordered cleanup of millions of tons of potentially toxic coal ash, an Ohio company won approval Tuesday to store even more ash imported from India in North Carolina.

The Council of State on Tuesday approved a two-year warehouse lease with Spartan to store 150,000 tons of fly ash imported from India at the state port in Morehead City. Spartan officials couldn’t be reached Tuesday, but a North Carolina Ports official said the ash will go to concrete plants.

That's right, coal-fired power plants in our state, mostly owned by Duke Energy, have been creating over 5 million tons of ash for decades, yet we (apparently) still need to import more of that crap to satisfy the needs of concrete manufacturers. Why? Because it's probably slightly cheaper for Duke Energy to dump it in the ground, or leave it in the ground, so it can pollute our water. And instead of selling more of that surplus(?) ash to concrete people, they are poised to make a shitload of money off ratepayers for moving it or capping it in place. For cleaning up their own mess. This is what we get for placing Duke Energy's profit margin at the top of our regulatory oversight:

Wednesday News: Living on the fringe

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MARK MEADOWS THREATENS GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN OVER BORDER WALL FUNDING: “Without a doubt there is enough conservative members who will not support any funding mechanism that does not include border wall funding,” Meadows told Breitbart News in a phone interview Monday. Meadows, a Republican who represents North Carolina’s 11th District in the far western part of the state, leads the House Freedom Caucus. He also told Breitbart that “my conversations with the president have led me to believe that there is nothing less than a full and total commitment on his part to only sign into law a funding bill that actually allows for us to start construction of a border wall on our southern border.” Congress is expected to begin budget talks later this summer. Without an agreement, the government could shut down on Oct. 1.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article16...

Tuesday News: Back off, Kobach

TRUMP "COMMISSION" ON VOTER FRAUD UNDER PENDING RESTRAINING ORDER OVER REQUESTED INFORMATION: The federal voter fraud commission is asking states not to send any voter information to Washington while a judge considers a request to stop the data collection. North Carolina has not sent any voter information to the commission. It had planned to send information that is publicly available. The Electronic Privacy Information Center is suing to stop the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity from collecting voter data. A federal judge held a hearing to consider a temporary restraining order last week. The presidential commission asked states’ elections officials Monday not to send anything until the judge rules.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article16...

Monday News: Трамп 2016

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TRUMP/RUSSIA COLLUSION BECOMES MORE CLEAR WITH EVIDENCE OF ANOTHER UNDISCLOSED MEETING: Two weeks after Donald Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination last year, his eldest son arranged a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan with a Russian lawyer who has connections to the Kremlin, according to confidential government records described to The New York Times. The previously unreported meeting was also attended by Trump’s campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort, as well as the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, according to interviews and the documents, which were outlined by people familiar with them. Representatives of Trump Jr. and Kushner confirmed the meeting after The Times approached them with information about it.
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article160381684.html

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