NCGA

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Not fake news:

Russian spy Mariia Butina is singing like an opera star, and the lyrics are all about the NRA rolling in Russian cash and buying politicians for both of them. And it takes a survivor of the Parkland shooting (David Hogg) to remind us of this fact, which is sad on so many levels I don't know where to begin.

NC GOP's school safety plan fails to mention firearms

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The first rule of Gun Club: You don't talk about Gun Club:

It is a stark reality when your General Assembly feels it necessary for all public school students to learn how to control bleeding in order to keep schools safe. It is even more stark when, even though it isn’t explicitly said, that bleeding is likely to come from a gunshot wound. But here we are.

The House Select Committee on School Safety approved its report to the full General Assembly, along with draft legislation, Thursday, and without talking about guns, it ends up being all about them.

The really sad (and disgusting) thing is, the main reason NC Republicans refuse to discuss guns, even when it comes to school shootings, is because they're afraid of gun nuts like Paul Valone of GRNC. They're afraid they will be a target in the GOP Primary, which for many of these gerrymandered empty suits is the only electoral danger they face. They would rather do nothing of substance than risk popping up on the radar of these groups, which makes them complicit in whatever future school shootings occur. And it's doubtful if the gun debate will even happen in the near future:

Absentee ballot fraud in NC09 may do more damage than we thought

We might just win this race, but still lose the war on voters:

At this point, it is easy to take a victory lap and point out the hypocrisy of the voter fraud outrage machine, the members of the fraudulent fraud squad who proclaim voter fraud at every turn but ignore what’s going on in Bladen. Follow-up investigations have revealed many of the unsavory details of a history of potential problems in Bladen, history which Republican Party officials apparently ignored for at least a few elections.

There’s likely going to be a new election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, and Harris might even win again if there’s no way of connecting him directly to the election crimes. But the facts of Bladen will be elided into a general sense that elections can be “stolen” and that “voter fraud” remains a major problem.

Republicans have long since embraced the idea that Crisis = Opportunity (fun fact: The Chinese symbol for weiji does *not* actually translate to that, but the philosophical cat is out of the bag, so just roll with it). The GOP views any new development, even embarrassingly negative ones, as a chance to grab more power for themselves. And usually at the expense of others. It is also no comfort that North Carolina is not alone in these GOP voter suppression efforts:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Not likely to happen in our lifetimes:

Dallas doesn't know the meaning of the word "inappropriate."

Robeson County also under scrutiny in NC-09 race

And a pattern of fraud is emerging dealing with absentee ballots:

Steve Stone, chairman of the Robeson County Board of Elections, said state investigators have requested information the county board kept on an unusual number of absentee ballot requests. Stone said county elections officials began keeping logs of who dropped off large numbers of registration forms and absentee ballot requests, and they later reported their concerns to the state board in August.

Stone said county residents had reported that people were going door-to-door, telling voters that their registrations had been dropped and they needed to re-register. They were also asked to sign an absentee ballot request form, Stone said. At least five affidavits submitted to the state board described various instances of fraud, including multiple occasions when people came to voters’ doors to collect ballots and offered to fill them out for them.

I can't help but make the connection between an evangelical pastor and his devout followers breaking the law to get him elected. We usually associate these things with straight-up corruption, and blame money as the root cause. But I'm not so sure that's the case, here. As we've seen with the Word of Faith cult, breaking the law can be easily justified when religious beliefs are abused. Here are some serious irregularities as described by Gerry Cohen:

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