Monday, March 30, 2015

The Right To Discriminate, Coming to North Carolina

2015 "newspeak": "Religious freedom" = "The right to discriminate against others"

Hattip Chad Nance of The Camel City Dispatch

"Newspeak" (Wikipedia): Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as "thoughtcrime."

Two different clones of the Indiana "religious freedom" law have been introduced in the General Assembly in Raleigh. One or both of them will pass at least the Senate and probably the House. Will Pat McCrory have the intestinal fortitude to veto? Anything is possible, perhaps, but it doesn't really matter what McCrory does. North Carolina's lawmakers will institute a whole new era of Jim Crow just ahead of or in tandem with the Supreme Court's expected decision regarding gay marriage.

What do we think of a highly "Christian" state of the union which feels that it must be empowered by government to treat a class of people as less than human? What do we think of the "Christian" members of the NC General Assembly who want to unleash and empower this hatred and divisiveness?

From such turn away (2 Timothy 3:5). "People, what are you doing? We are humans too, just like you! We are proclaiming the good news to you: turn to the living God and away from such worthless things. He made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything in them" (Acts 14:15).

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Designer of Sales Tax Redistribution Law Admits He Didn't Understand His Own Bill

Sen. Harry Brown
We got the leadership in Raleigh that we deserve, North Carolina! Or at least the leadership that happens when sane people don't vote.

Senator Harry Brown (R, Dumbasfuckistan), the member of the General Assembly pushing the redistribution of sales tax revenue, just reacted with surprise when informed that his scheme will leave some of the state's major cities -- and our primary economic engines -- "with multimillion-dollar budget gaps."

From last night's posting on the Raleigh News & Observer:

"...few understood that language in the legislation would cause about half of North Carolina’s cities and towns to lose money.
"Brown, a Jacksonville Republican, acknowledged Friday that he is among them."
Way to write that law, Sherlock! But not to worry:
"On Friday, Brown said those projections represent unintended consequences, and he plans to revise the bill to ensure that cities and towns see revenue changes that largely mirror that of the counties they are a part of."
The government of "unintended consequences"! We've finally arrived, North Carolina! It's just anybody's guess where here is.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Senator Soucek Gets Jiggy With Graven Images

Every state of the Union gets two statues in the famous Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. North Carolina's two honorees are currently former governors Zebulon Vance and Charles B. Aycock.

Zeb Vance was a big slave-owner and a Confederate military officer. Aycock was a big proponent of public education and a major segregationist. At the moment, Aycock's reputation is under a cloud, though why Aycock is now singled out -- and Zeb Vance isn't -- for having his statue thrown out of Statuary Hall is an interesting case of political opportunity and egregious ass-kissing.

And who's puckered up to kiss major ass? Senator Dan Soucek.

'Cause Senator Dan wants a statue of Rev. Billy Graham to replace former Gov. Charles B. Aycock in Statuary Hall in DeeCee. No kidding. Soucek told John Newsom that his "ah-ha!" moment came while visiting Statuary Hall with a constituent who told Soucek about Aycock's white supremacist past.


Isn't Soucek employed by Billy Graham's son Franklin Graham at Samaritan's Purse? According to the Republican NC Caucus, he is, since 2004. Did Franklin Graham put Soucek up to this? Soucek told Newsom that "another constituent" made the suggestion. Another constituent with private jets and deep pockets, who pays Soucek's salary?

From which naked toadying we turn away in embarrassment, leaving the historical, architectural, and cultural heap of Soucek's wreckage for others to unpack at their leisure.

This Week in "Eff You!" Government

Sen. Ralph Hise
A trio of Republican members of the NC Senate don't like Raleigh or the governor or public parks, so they've introduced a bill to set aside the $52 million deal that McCrory negotiated with the city of Raleigh to turn the Dorothea Dix property into a public park. The three senators -- Louis Pate, Ralph Hise and Tommy Tucker -- want the property sold to the highest bidder, with the minimum acceptable bid set at $52 million. Eff you, Guv, and double eff you, city of Raleigh, and eff you to infinity, lovers of public parks.

Another Republican trio in the NC Senate --Shirley Randleman, Joyce Krawiec, and Warren Daniel -- introduced a bill imposing more restrictions on abortion and on the doctors performing them. Eff you, pro-choice women.

A third Republican trio in the NC Senate -- Jerry Tillman, Bob Rucho, and Bob Rabon -- introduced another round of tax cuts that will disproportionately benefit the very wealthy and profitable corporations and pile on another $1 billion revenue shortfall to the revenue shortfall NC is already experiencing from the 2013 tax cuts for the rich. “We need to get below South Carolina, which this bill will do,” said the unintentionally hilarious Sen. Tillman. Sen. Rucho said "the details of how the state would deal with the reduced revenue have not been worked out." Eff you, schools and people who depend upon the social safety net, because you shall surely suffer.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pat McCrory Clears His Throat

Our governor had been dropping oblique hints in public that he's in a full-scale feud with conservative ideologue Phil Berger, dictator of the NC Senate, but now The Guv is completely out of the closet: "McCrory Slams Senate Sales Tax Bill" (the redistribution scheme which will hurt Watauga County and which is mentioned down-column).

Feuds can be fun to watch from the sidelines, which is definitely where Democrats live currently in North Carolina.

McCrory can take to stamping his feet too (those famous stepping-on-toes feet!), but he's no match for Boss Hogg, unless ... unless Speaker of the NC House Tim Moore joins forces with the governor and kills the Senate bill in the House. Which could happen.

Hell, pigs might fly in this "Raleigh of Republican Rule."

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

S369 Will Hurt Watauga, Help Boone

Soucek & Jordan. Photo Watauga
Last post down-column was about a sales tax redistribution scheme arising now out of the NC Senate which would pick winners and losers among North Carolina towns and counties.

Guess what? Watauga County will be one of eight counties in the state that will lose money. Guess what else? The law as written will also take away one of the play-toys that Nathan Miller loved so much -- the ability of a county commission to distribute sales tax receipts on the basis of property values rather than population. If you recall, Mr. Miller as Chair of the Watauga County Commission decided to punish Boone by changing the distribution to ad valorem (property values). Under this law, the system should revert to population, which will benefit Boone.

Wonder how Sen. Dan Soucek and Rep. Jonathan Jordan will vote on S369. Soucek does not buck the big boys in the Senate, so we expect he'll vote against the economic interests of his own county (and inadvertently for the economic interests of its largest town, which he has otherwise been happy to torture). And Jordan? This legislative scheme is still a ways from raising its head in the House, but Jordan is also not a step-out-of-line sort of guy.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

If It Comes From the NC Senate, Better Brace Yourself

"Eff You Government" continues apace in North Carolina, with Republicans in the NC Senate coming up with yet a new way to punish our cities ... a new sales tax distribution scheme designed to pick winners and losers.

If The Honorables really cared at all about "reforming" sales tax distribution, they would structure something that would not make "losers" of some municipalities for the benefit of others. But they are driven first by a thirst for political revenge.

They like punishing people far more than they like anything positive.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Best Little Whorehouse in North Carolina

The Republicans in the General Assembly are handing out appointments -- or in several cases, reappointments -- to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors (BOG) this week. They have a small variety of human-type persons to choose from: big-dollar donors to political campaigns.

Research by DemocracyNC (published by NC Policy Watch) turned up this: The 30 people "vying for appointment" to the board -- or their family members -- have given more than $1 million to state campaign accounts since 2007. The current chair of the BOG, John Fennebresque, and his wife gave more than $260,000. (He's the guy who gave the disastrous press conference after the BOG fired UNC President Tom Ross for purely political reasons.)

Not for merit, not for an interest in higher education, not for a passion for excellence in learning in North Carolina ... but for filthy lucre these appointments are being made. Pay to play.

You are currently watching the slow-motion destruction of a formerly celebrated university system and economic engine for the entire state.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

This Week in "Eff You!" Government

Yes, the honorables convened in Raleigh right now are still pursuing what we've come to think of as "eff you" government ... "eff you!" teachers and schools! "Eff you!" cities and towns! "Eff you!" you mother-effing environmentalists!

It's hard to keep up:

1. The last small protection for homeowners -- protest petitions in zoning cases -- is about to be eliminated from North Carolina law, where it's provided a tiny last-ditch shield for some neighborhoods encroached on by high-dollar, big-muscle bullies. "Eff you! neighborhoods."

2. On Monday Governor Squishy signed a law repealing a statutory requirement for air pollution rules for fracking operations, opening the door for the immediate issuance of licenses to gas exploration in the state. "Eff you! water-drinkers."

3. Also on Monday, after a three-judge panel ruled in favor of McCrory in his separation-of-powers lawsuit against the legislature, that same legislature (well, its Republican overlords) decided in retaliation that it will confirm no executive branch appointments until it gets its way. "Eff you! Governor Squishy." (It's unusual that I'm taking up for our sadly befuddled chief executive, but these are unusual times.)

4. The scheme to steal Wake County commissioner elections back for Republicans is now in the NC House, after the NC Senate passed it in record time. "Eff you! Wake County voters."

5. Sen. Bill Rabon introduced a "local bill" to eliminate the office of Coroner in Brunswick County, an elected official who has somehow offended Sen. Rabon. “My position is a county position, elected by the people of Brunswick County,” Coroner Greg White said. “What I have learned is that Mr. Rabon did not have any conversation with county officials, the county manager or the county attorney. County officials had no say, had no input into this matter, which I think is disrespectful to them.” "Eff you! Brunswick County voters."