NCGA

NC GOP: Allow concealed weapons without a permit

Welcome again to Bizarro World:

§ 14‑415.35. Carrying concealed weapons.

(a) Carrying Concealed Weapon. – Any person who is a citizen of the United States and is at least 21 years old may carry a concealed weapon in this State unless provided otherwise by law.

Forget about unqualified North Carolinians gaming the system by obtaining a Virginia carry license to meet NC's Reciprocity agreement. Also, forget about reciprocity entirely. That "citizen of the United States" wording basically allows people who cannot concealed-carry in their own state (if that state doesn't allow CC) to come right into North Carolina and do so indiscriminately. This bill is the epitome of irresponsibility, and the entire world will be gaping at us in disbelief before the sun sets today.

Concealed Carry

Let's hope some local media ask
Rep. Larry Pittman (R-Cabarrus),
Rep. Michael Speciale (R-Craven),
Rep. Mark Brody (R-Union),
Rep. Jeff Collins (R-Nash), and
Rep. Bert Jones (R-Rockingham).
If the nightclub attack in Orlando has changed their minds in regard to their HB 1148, which is:

AN ACT TO AMEND THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION TO PROTECT A PERSON'S RIGHT TO CARRY A CONCEALED WEAPON.

Fifty people killed by one man in such a short period of time. Does North Carolina really need to make it easier to carry a firearm?

The next anti-Solar attack vector: Herbicides

And it always helps to have a professor back up your manufactured threat:

Ron Heiniger, a professor of crop science at N.C. State, is one of them. He said that in many cases, solar farms are a bad use of land and potentially harmful to the environment.

If a company goes out of business, he explained, a farmer could be left with an unusable piece of land. That’s because many companies want to use powerful herbicides to manage plant growth under the solar panels, which could hurt the environment.

Okay, Solar farms should be using the least damaging methods of controlling weeds and such, whether it's goats or standard landscaping approaches. That being said, NC State is the very last entity that should be whining about herbicides. Here's just the weed control chapter of the 2016 Agricultural Chemicals Manual (published by NC State), 146 pages of recommended herbicides for various crops, including a couple of doozies:

Taking bets on Junior Berger's pending environmental decision

Will he side with corporations or conservationists?

Administrative Law Judge Phil Berger Jr. said he would take about three months before issuing his decision on the case, partly due to the large number of records and documents he plans to review, according to an email from Heather Deck, the Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper.

“The discharge will transform the swampy headwaters habitat into a fast-flowing stream consisting primarily of mine wastewater, permanently altering the creek’s diversity of life and abundance of high quality habitat for fish that prefer swampy waters,” according to the Southern Environmental Law Center, which is representing those opposed to the permit.

Methinks those fish are destined to move (or die), because Junior is not going to rule against a major multi-national corporation...

Skip Stam: We shouldn't release police body cam footage, because ISIS

No really, he actually said that:

Rep. Skip Stam (R-Apex) also had a doozy of a theory on what could happen if the public gains access to body camera footage, when discussing a clause in an amendment offered by Rep. Robert Rieves (D-Sanford) that would make it mandatory to give access to body cameras to "just about anybody in the world who claims that they might have some civil suit," as Stam said.

"What’s the guy’s name in ISIS? [Abu Bakr] el-Baghdadi? He’s got a lot of money," Stam said. "It's sort of a secret that, rather than blowing up the World Trade Towers (sic), they could bring state and local government to a halt by using some of their billions to send public records requests out the wazoo to every town and county in North Carolina, and make all of these requests just because they say they want it. It would just completely bring the operation of state government to a halt."

What? Seriously, what? A calculated, comprehensive out-the-wazoo attack on all of our town and county governments? To be closely followed by what, Twitter shaming? "It took nine rings before the Fuquay-Varina clerk was able to answer the phone. Victory!" I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Dan Bishop's "fear of God" controls his actions

Cotton Mather would be proud:

The architect of the state’s controversial law to stop cities from extending non-discrimination protection to gay and transgender people insists no amount of protests and pressure could convince him to back down or soften his stance. And, when that architect — Rep. Dan Bishop — isn’t debating the merits of the law known as House Bill 2 with constituents and critics, he is championing and celebrating those who support the measure.

“I don’t fear man. I fear God. So I won’t be backing down,” Bishop (R-Mecklenburg) stated in a message he sent to a Charlotte man who implored the lawmaker not to allow persistent opposition to the law to lead to concessions.

Okay, he's either a shameless panderer, or a dangerously delusional man. Either way, unfit for public office.

Privatization of public school facilities under "leasing" contracts

Janet Cowell cuts loose on General Assembly plotters:

Most consequentially, this legislation allows state student and teacher funding (the average daily membership) and all other state education funding to be used for school facilities, in this case to pay private developers. North Carolina has a long history of supporting state funding for teachers and education staff and county funding for school buildings. This bill would blur that division and could result in the layoff of school personnel to pay private companies.

It would allow sales taxes to go to a private, for-profit company. Specifically, the bill would permit a local unit to refund a private for profit business entity for expenses incurred in operating the building from local sales or use taxes. Sales and use taxes are an important source of local government revenue. This bill assigns away these revenues to the private entity.

This fits a broader pattern Republicans in the Legislature have developed over the last 5 years or so, in which they steadily erode the powers of local governments while also shifting costs down to them. In this case, the GOP is nudging local governments to allow private entities to actually own newly-constructed public schools, and force the local government to pay rent. It's a classic privatization scheme, but this time it's not a parking lot, it's our children's development that is being leveraged. And it's as easy as adding the two words "or other" to the statute in question:

Here's me elevating the debate: Dan Forest is an idiot

Which is kind of an insult to idiots worldwide:

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest said, “Well, pretty much all of our media in North Carolina newspapers, a handful of very liberal newspapers all across the state, every city has a newspaper like the Charlotte Observer.”

“So, Charlotte and the Raleigh News & Observer are two of the most liberal rags in the country right now. It’s pretty much leftist, propaganda arms anymore. And most of them are. TV stations are the same way.”

As reported by the Christian News Service. That's actually the punchline to my joke, but a little context might make you laugh (or cry) harder:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Election day madness:

It's amazing what having an unlimited checkbook supplied by Kansas oil industry billionaires can help you accomplish. By "amazing" I mean disgusting, of course. I have no great sympathy for Renee Ellmers, although she did jeopardize her Congressional career by pushing back against anti-abortion nut-jobs. I just hate to see the Koch Brothers being allowed to spend so freely in elections, especially ones in our state. Sticks in my craw. And that's not the only NC race they're trying to manipulate:

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