Voting confusion caused by the GOP, not the courts

And the wasted time and money fall on their shoulders, as well:

Existing television spots to educate voters about North Carolina's voting requirements are being canceled. One million informational posters and push cards going to community groups and others are outdated and most likely headed for the trash. Binders carefully created as elections bibles for each of the state's 2,700 precincts now must undergo a heavy edit.

Election officials are scrambling to comply with the ruling, in effect returning to the voting rules as they existed before August 2013. Other federal court decisions this year siding against North Carolina had already made it more difficult for voters to navigate the elections process. Some voters told The Associated Press this week the confusion is likely to grow.

Yes, all of that is unfortunate, but there are two (important) things to remember: 1) We wouldn't be in this mess if Republicans hadn't attempted to entrench their power by disenfranchising groups of potential voters based on the color of their skin, and 2) Protecting the Constitutional rights of citizens is paramount, and easily eclipses any administrative difficulties that may result from that protection. I've also seen the Carolina Journal "speculating" that, due to this court ruling, individual county boards of election could actually severely reduce the hours and locations for early voting. Make no mistake, that is not an "academic" observation, it's an attempt by Pope's minions to advise those county boards and make that happen. If you know any of those "lone" Democrats sitting on county BoE's, make sure they don't join the other two R's in reducing those hours and locations. If the vote is not unanimous, it has to be approved by the State Board before being enacted. Let's not make it easy for them.

McCrory's staff turns lying into an art form

When three decades of service earns you a rhetorical flogging:

Not only did the state Department of Health and Human Services, the agency for which Rudo works, put out a news release refuting his sworn statements, but McCrory Chief of Staff Thomas Stith issued a news release and then held a hastily arranged late-night news conference saying that Rudo was lying about a meeting in which the scientist says McCrory participated by phone.

"We don't know why Ken Rudo lied under oath, but the governor absolutely did not take part in or request this call or meeting, as he suggests," Stith said.

Yeah, we've heard this one before, a couple of times. Whenever Pat goes too far wielding undue influence for one of his private-sector buddies, his loyal staff steps in and fabricates a story that he wasn't involved. But after a while, that deniability is no longer plausible.

Tami Fitzgerald picked apart by reporters

Including a transgender intern for Triad City Beat:

Carollo asked Fitzgerald how she thought transgender people who have physically transitioned yet have not updated their birth certificates should handle the bathroom dilemma created by HB 2. “I think the law offers them the opportunity to update their birth certificate once they have sex-reassignment surgery,” Fitzgerald said.

Carollo quickly personalized the question in a way Fitzgerald might not have anticipated. “I haven’t had my birth certificate updated, but I don’t have a penis anymore,” she said. “Should I be allowed to use the women’s bathroom?”

“I think you are allowed to apply for a new birth certificate so that you can,” Fitzgerald replied.

Definitely a bigoted deer-in-the-headlights moment for Tami, who simply could not (or would not) grasp the irony of asking someone to wait for three months before peeing. They should have waited for her to chug a Grande Latte and then kept her busy while her bladder went into Defcon 2. And then slowly poured out a water bottle on the sidewalk...You're right, I'm getting way too much satisfaction out of contemplating torture.

Tuesday Twitter roundup

All eyes are on Judge Shroeder:

Editor's note: We're going to give you a break from the right-wing nutters this week, and post only Tweets from allies or neutral messengers. Back to the courtroom:

November's Gubernatorial vote is about election boards, too

As if you needed another reason to get rid of McCrory:

The Pender elections board was able to get the state board to reduce the number of hours to about 400 during the 2014 elections when the Pender board members unanimously agreed that 577 hours was unnecessary. Since a new Democrat was appointed to the board last year, we have been unable to agree...The Republicans also agreed to increase the number of hours, but the Democrat on the board refused to compromise by insisting that Sunday voting be allowed.

I think many people forget that less than two decades ago, everyone voted on the same day. As a reporter for this newspaper at that time, I remember the long lines and long hours. We certainly don’t want to return to those days. But reason and not politics should enter into this decision.

Bolding mine. After going on a (public) tirade about how the lone Democrat on your board didn't agree with your efforts to limit voting, for you to cap it off with a comment about keeping politics out of the discussion is mind-numbingly ironic. As far as Sunday voting, that may be the *ideal* day for many of those elderly folks about which you claim to be concerned. They may be home-bound for most of the week, but it's a good bet many of them catch a ride to church. When services are over, drop by the voting booth, and then go home. Because making voting easier is what County boards are supposed to be doing, and not parsing statistics to justify the opposite.

Stan Riggs is our canary in the coal mine

His voluntary retirement should shake everybody up:

At stake in the state’s policy decisions are the millions of people who live, work and visit the coast, as well as sensitive marine habitats already jeopardized by development. For example, thousands of coastal lowland buildings have been removed from designated flood zones; other buildings have been placed in a reduced hazard zone. In total, these policies can give property owners a false sense of security.

“The legislature, the CRC and the agencies in state government have the attitude that they don’t want to scare anyone away,” Riggs said. “It’s not fair to the people who live and work” on the coast, “and it’s not fair to the taxpayers. I want people to realize people and ecosystem are in danger out there.”

I hate to see him go, because of the sheer loss of scientific input to the CRC. But when that science is casually ignored and replaced by fossil fuel-funded pseudoscience, there comes a point where his continued association with the Commission gives it a mere mask of professionalism:

4th Circuit slaps down Republican voter suppression law

The intent to disenfranchise people of color is obvious:

We appreciate and commend the court on its thoroughness. The record evidence provides substantial support for many of its findings; indeed, many rest on uncontested facts. But, for some of its findings, we must conclude that the district court fundamentally erred. In holding that the legislature did not enact the challenged provisions with discriminatory intent, the court seems to have missed the forest in carefully surveying the many trees. This failure of perspective led the court to ignore critical facts bearing on legislative intent, including the inextricable link between race and politics in North Carolina.

Boom. Or is it Bam? One of those two things.

Hapless McCrory blames Cooper for NBA All-Star exodus

He's going to have to see a chiropractor after this twist:

"We actually had a deal with the NBA," McCrory said. The deal did not include any change to the restroom, showers, or locker room provisions of HB2. He said the NBA leaders told him that this was not an issue for them.

But the deal was tanked by leftist politicians and activists. Namely, his Democratic opponent - Attorney General Roy Cooper. "Roy actually helped sabotage that deal by calling Democratic legislators to say don't vote - all or nothing - don't vote for it. By sabotaging that, the NBA decided not to come. The HRC [Human Rights Campaign] was very, very influential in trying to sabotage that, too."

Okay, let me get this straight, because your "confused little boy" fist-clenching is really hard to follow: You claim you had an agreement with the NBA, and the Senate bill in question was acceptable to them. The bill passed, you signed it, so your alleged "deal" was honored. The Dem Senators didn't "sabotage" the vote, they just refused to take part. So apparently you did not have a deal with the NBA, unless it was merely in your imagination. Which is very possible. And also more than a little scary...

When charter schools go horribly wrong


They can leave your child struggling to catch up:

In spring 2014 with about a month left in the school year, StudentFirst was in debt by more than $600,000 and shut its doors, giving only a week’s notice. Rochelle scrambled to get her children into a public magnet school operated by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district.

A few weeks later at the new school, her eldest son, CJ, a third-grader, failed the end-of-year reading test—and Rochelle fully realized that StudentFirst’s shortcomings were not just financial, but academic as well. “It became clear that CJ had learned virtually nothing. He fell behind in all subject areas. He went to summer school after that to begin catching up.”


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