The Decline of North Carolina
July 10, 2013 6:57 AM   Subscribe

 
Eeek, I'm missing some commas. Sorry, Mods.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:57 AM on July 10, 2013


Oh okay good, I was afraid that was one big New Terrible Thing that was happening.
posted by elizardbits at 6:59 AM on July 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Oh, I think the missing commas lend that list some additional punch. Not that a list like that needs any more punch.
posted by notyou at 7:00 AM on July 10, 2013


Mod note: Commafied. I decided to go Oxford on it. Carry on.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:03 AM on July 10, 2013 [52 favorites]


From the Moral Monday arrests link:
The move is the latest attempt by Wake County law enforcement and justice officials to help ease the strain put on what they say is an already under-budgeted and over-burdened justice system.

Recently, the City-County Bureau of Identification – a county law enforcement agency that books, fingerprints and photographs alleged offenders before they go before the magistrate – stopped fingerprinting and photographing Moral Monday protesters – an action allowed under state law for people arrested for misdemeanors – to help cut costs.
Add that to the no comma list: budget cuts have stretched the judicial system to its limit.
posted by notyou at 7:03 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why would anyone want to help racial discrimination in failing education programs? And how does ending unemployment benefits do that? THESE QUESTIONS MUST BE ANSWERED!
posted by blue_beetle at 7:04 AM on July 10, 2013


You have a feeling that the Republicans are in a panic that for all their jerrymandering and voter suppression, demographic shifts will eventually throw them out of office for a long time so they're trying to break as much shit as possible before that happens.

or maybe they're just evil and crazy.
posted by octothorpe at 7:07 AM on July 10, 2013 [27 favorites]


– a county law enforcement agency that books, fingerprints and photographs alleged offenders before they go before the magistrate – stopped fingerprinting and photographing Moral Monday protesters – an action allowed under state law for people arrested for misdemeanors – to help cut costs.

That's a shame because it means that generations from now we will miss out on developing archives like this.
posted by deanc at 7:07 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


The State Chamber of Commerce argued that cutting weekly benefits would be better than forcing businesses to pay more in taxes to pay off the debt, and lawmakers blindly went along, dropping out of the federal program.

I guess the State Chamber of Commerce must not have as members many of the small businesses that are hurt by people not having any money to spend.
posted by grouse at 7:11 AM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I guess the State Chamber of Commerce must not have as members many of the small businesses that are hurt by people not having any money to spend.

Since when to we blithely assume that the State Chamber of Commerce is knowledgeable about the economic self-interest of its individual members rather than fighting an economic culture war over The Way Things Ought To Be?
posted by deanc at 7:15 AM on July 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


I could barely read this. I moved away a couple years ago, but North Carolina was my home for 23 years of my life and I loved it there. Loved it. The happiest times of my life took place there. So many of my friends are still there. My parents. And liberals all, I might add.

Sitting up here in the North and watching the systematic dismantling of a state I'd always been proud to call home- while the people around me in NYC make fun of the South as if we were all always that bad and have no redeeming qualities whatsoever- makes me seriously want to cry.

Stop it, NC. Just please stop. I love you.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:18 AM on July 10, 2013 [37 favorites]


We're still fighting the same battles we fought in 1850.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:22 AM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


We're still fighting the same battles we fought in 1850.

Only this time, we're losing.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:27 AM on July 10, 2013 [16 favorites]


You have a feeling that the Republicans are in a panic that for all their jerrymandering and voter suppression, demographic shifts will eventually throw them out of office for a long time so they're trying to break as much shit as possible before that happens.

I don't think that's an unreasonable view of things, actually. If you look at the actions of Republican-controlled state governments nationwide, there is definitely an air of panic or desperation in their accelerated push to pass all manner of extreme ideological social and financial legislation. It really does feel like they are shoving-through as much crap as they can before the voters wise-up and turn them out.

Of course, expecting that the voters will actually wise-up seems to run counter to voters' established history, but that's what it seems like.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:27 AM on July 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


As another life long North Carolinian, now turned Georgian, I am sad, too. But I am also inspired. I love seeing the names and faces of my friends and heroes turn up on lists of those arrested. I love my friends' pictures of them and their kids at Moral Monday. In Georgia, it feels like the progressive movement has just given up. I am so proud that North Carolina has refused to give up, and I'm a little hopeful that Moral Monday may spread to other states, even Georgia.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:29 AM on July 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


> It really does feel like they are shoving-through as much crap as they can before the voters wise-up and turn them out.

...or that they believe their position is sufficiently unassailable now that they can do anything they want. After all, gerrymandering means you've manipulated the political boundaries to secure your position in office with the support of a minority of the electorate.
posted by ardgedee at 7:29 AM on July 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


But, but, but it's the libruls and commies that want to destroy us!!!

This is an American Taliban. Nothing more, nothing less.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:29 AM on July 10, 2013


You have a feeling that the Republicans are in a panic that for all their jerrymandering and voter suppression, demographic shifts will eventually throw them out of office for a long time so they're trying to break as much shit as possible before that happens.

Keep in mind that North Carolina is the same state that did this for the same reasons.
posted by deanc at 7:31 AM on July 10, 2013


McCrory's veto threat is fairly empty, given the fact that both chambers have the conservative votes to overrule it, but it does give us some time to try and change a few legislative minds. It's unlikely, sad to say, but possible, and well worth trying.

The key here is that for years McCrory has painted himself and campaigned as a moderate; with Art Pope's money backing him, he surely has aspirations to higher office. The far-right attack on abortion that the majority of the citizenry of North Carolina does not support clearly interferes with those aspirations. My bet is the "significant changes and clarifications" are likely to be minimal legal tics that will still close most abortion clinics in the state while providing political cover for the governor. Still, it extends the time for us to call our representatives and just possibly kill this shitty thing.
posted by mediareport at 7:32 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The view from on the ground is no less depressing. Ironically and wholly unsurprisingly, the party that hates big government has been passing bills that pre-empt the local authority in the bluer parts of the state; whether it's trying to supersede pollution controls in a major Durham-area water source or remove Charlotte's authority over its airport.

And yes, given how unpopular the actions of the new governor and the legislature has been, it's clear they're gettin' while the gettin's good.
posted by Bromius at 7:34 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Perhaps it's time to just hand over the keys to that state. Allow the Republicans to use NC as a sandbox to test their policies unopposed so the rest of us can observe and study the effects over time. Maybe even to demonstrably show the rest of the country this is not a path to pursue and we can all now see why. Except of course the part where it would destroy the lives of millions.
posted by sourwookie at 7:35 AM on July 10, 2013


study the effects over time. Maybe even to demonstrably show the rest of the country

America is not interested in your empiricism, thanks.
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 7:36 AM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm sure North Carolina's republican lawmakers are in shock today, saying to each other, "If we've lost the New York Times, we've lost the country."
posted by Naberius at 7:36 AM on July 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


I would prefer some sort of "reversible branching timeline with external observation" option for sure.
posted by sourwookie at 7:38 AM on July 10, 2013


If there are so many protestors that they can't even photograph and fingerprint everyone they're arresting, maybe they are underestimating public opposition just a little bit.
posted by ceribus peribus at 7:39 AM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I TOLD you McCrory was a moderate.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:42 AM on July 10, 2013


I can't decide if slipping abortion into an anti-Sharia law shows an astounding lack of self-awareness or if it's the intended yet appallingly evil extension of it.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:43 AM on July 10, 2013 [18 favorites]


Allow the Republicans to use NC as a sandbox to test their policies unopposed so the rest of us can observe and study the effects over time.

I think Kansas already has dibs on that. Previously
posted by Gotanda at 7:43 AM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Stop it, NC. Just please stop. I love you.

I was born in NC, and lived there until I was almost 19. I'm almost certainly never going to move back, but I still love the state. There's a lot to be upset about here, but the thing that makes me the angriest is the education cuts. I grew up during the time when North Carolina was constantly worried about being 49th or 48th or whatever in various educational metrics, but actually seemed like it was trying to do something about it. Now it looks like they don't really care to improve, and are actually trying to gut the higher education system, which North Carolina could actually be really proud of: a flagship school that's one of the best public universities in the country and an extensive network of local campuses? That's really something I'm proud of my state for having; I hope they get to keep it.

Perhaps it's time to just hand over the keys to that state. Allow the Republicans to use NC as a sandbox to test their policies unopposed so the rest of us can observe and study the effects over time. Maybe even to demonstrably show the rest of the country this is not a path to pursue and we can all now see why. Except of course the part where it would destroy the lives of millions.

The laboratories of democracy aren't really the place for mad scientists.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:44 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


If there are so many protestors that they can't even photograph and fingerprint everyone they're arresting, maybe they are underestimating public opposition just a little bit.

So the answer is to keep adding government oversight responsibilities AND keep cutting taxes AND make no jobs that would help fill government coffers. All in the face of an existing government that can't continue to fulfill its existing duties.

Do you think the irony is lost on these folks?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 7:44 AM on July 10, 2013


The state has the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the country, and many Republicans insulted workers by blaming their joblessness on generous benefits. In fact, though, North Carolina is the only state that has lost long-term federal benefits, because it did not want to pay back $2.5 billion it owed to Washington for the program.

What is being reported here is we couldn't afford to pay that money back. That, I believe. NC is really hurting for budget money.

(I think it's sad we don't have those federal benefits, don't get me wrong. )
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:45 AM on July 10, 2013


The view from on the ground is no less depressing. Ironically and wholly unsurprisingly, the party that hates big government has been passing bills that pre-empt the local authority in the bluer parts of the state; whether it's trying to supersede pollution controls in a major Durham-area water source or remove Charlotte's authority over its airport.

Just part of an organized plan to punish "arrogant" cities.

Allow the Republicans to use NC as a sandbox to test their policies unopposed so the rest of us can observe and study the effects over time.

Even in jest, this is a horrifying suggestion. I love this state. It's beautiful and rich in natural and cultural resources and full of some of the kindest, smartest, most wonderful people you'll ever meet. I've had family here for literally hundreds of years, so long that the place itself is like a living, breathing member of my family. I cannot and will not abide seeing it destroyed (again) by a bunch of selfish, small-minded, intolerant, power-hungry assholes.
posted by thivaia at 7:46 AM on July 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


maybe they are underestimating public opposition just a little bit

ceribus, their next move is to prevent as many people as possible from voting in the 2014 election. They're going to try to end *all* early voting and make sure that polling places in precincts with a lot of poor, Hispanic and black voters have huge, discouraging lines on election day.

Seriously, that's their only winning strategy here: voter suppression. And they know it. Here's exactly what the NC GOP is shooting for in 2014: 200,000+ voters turned away from polls in Dem-leaning areas in Florida.

At least 201,000 Florida voters did not cast ballots on Election Day 2012 because they were discouraged by long lines at polling places, according to a report released Wednesday by the Orlando Sentinel. An analysis by Ohio State University professor Theodore Allen found those voters either waited for some time but left before voting, or simply saw the long lines and turned away. The paper noted that some of the worst lines on Nov. 6 were in central Florida counties with high Hispanic populations.
posted by mediareport at 7:47 AM on July 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Few are those who wish to be endowed with virtue rather than to seem so.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 7:48 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


My mom was one of the protesters arrested June 3 (that's her in the photo). I got her a memento--I think it'd be cool if this tradition were revived.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:51 AM on July 10, 2013 [52 favorites]


If you look at the actions of Republican-controlled state governments nationwide, there is definitely an air of panic or desperation in their accelerated push to pass all manner of extreme ideological social and financial legislation. It really does feel like they are shoving-through as much crap as they can before the voters wise-up and turn them out.

I still think it's because they're convinced they can get away with anything while there's still a n---- in the Oval Office.
posted by Melismata at 7:52 AM on July 10, 2013


Way to go, Mom of MrMoonPie!
posted by troika at 7:54 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Update from Planned Parenthood of Central NC 10 minutes ago: EMERGENCY: Yet another sneak attack!! ‪#‎HB695‬ before the House Judiciary committee happening RIGHT NOW with absolutely no notice! Room is 421 LOB, please come if you can!
posted by hydropsyche at 7:54 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Way to go, MrMoonPie's mom.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:54 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


UPDATE: #HB695 has been changed to #SB353: The Motorcycle Safety Act. So, it was listed on the calendar-
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:54 AM on July 10, 2013


In summary, they can't win fairly, so they're cheating.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:56 AM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


If there are so many protestors that they can't even photograph and fingerprint everyone they're arresting, maybe they are underestimating public opposition just a little bit.

The truth of the matter is, Otis saw that big bottle of fingerprintin' ink Cousin Virgil traded to Andy for two quarts of paint Barney bought from Emmett Clark over at the fix-it store and well, now Otis' lips and chin are black with guilt, Andy's in a pickle over who's gonna fingerprint all these protestors, and Barney won't stop hollerin' about how can we paint Aunt Bee's fence before she comes home from her luncheon with Clara, it's supposed to be a surprise.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 7:56 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now it looks like they don't really care to improve, and are actually trying to gut the higher education system, which North Carolina could actually be really proud of: a flagship school that's one of the best public universities in the country and an extensive network of local campuses?

There was an era back in the 80s and 90s when the conservative talk on universities was that all would be well and the universities would stop being a jumble of liberal squishiness if only universities went back to classical learning, the practical arts, and rigorous curriculums. So lots of schools did this and lots of flagship state universities became top in their fields in the sciences and engineering, but it turned out that they were just churning out a bunch of well educated liberals and nurturing professors doing research in things like climate change. So the new Republican line seems to be that the education system doesn't need to be improved-- it needs to be destroyed and that the education of the working classes needs to be turned into an opportunity for investors to get rich via private for-profit universities.
posted by deanc at 7:57 AM on July 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


What is being reported here is we couldn't afford to pay that money back.

As politely as possible, that's bullshit, St. Alia. The money was on track to be paid off completely by 2018. There was minimal harm to the state by keeping benefits at the same level until January, when the federal money would have run out. Refusing the money in July instead was pure meanness, driven almost entirely by the ideology that people who've lost their jobs are lazy losers who need nothing more than a kick in the ass to get themselves going. It's disgusting.

I TOLD you McCrory was a moderate.

Riiight. Tell that to all the poor people who'll see their taxes go up, and won't have an option for basic healthcare coverage, because of ideologically-driven bills he signed.
posted by mediareport at 7:57 AM on July 10, 2013 [16 favorites]


What is being reported here is we couldn't afford to pay that money back. That, I believe. NC is really hurting for budget money.

Which is why they just approved 1.5 billion in new tax cuts?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:58 AM on July 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


Ms. Unioncat's family and friends are mostly in NC, and we went to the protests 3 weeks ago. Singing Solidarity Forever in the Statehouse was pretty powerful. Her parents were arrested about a month ago. It's big, it's growing, and they are getting better organized. In an interesting side note, some of my wifes most apolitical friends are getting involved. They are in the liberal Durham area, but have never been involved in anything before. I'm an organizer and I was quite pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Hope springs eternal, Solidarity Forever!
posted by Unioncat at 8:01 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]




I was married to one of these Republican types for 10+ years so I have some insight into their psyche.

The odd thing is that when times are good, conservatives are generally pretty okay people. If resources aren't scarce, they can be fairly kind and quite generous in their own ways. But when things tighten up and resources become scarce, they get grabby very quickly because of the tribal/authoritarian nature of their upbringing.

They don't see humanity as one big tribe; when times are tough, they hew to to country and race and church and family and finally themselves. They'll freely share within whatever group they identify with, as long as that group has enough to go around. If resources tighten again, they pull back to a smaller group.

This all makes a certain amount of evolutionary sense in some resource-limited environmental situations. It does lead to war and famine and hostile tribes and so on. But some will survive thanks to the reduced population of war and constrained resources. So those tribal genes breed into the genome.


Now the problem that we actually have is that there is a huge motherfucking lie that's been promulgated extensively for ~three decades, and that lie is this: "there isn't enough to go around". Well, of course there is. But that would mean the upper class would have to share.

This turns on those tribal reflexes. And the people fragment and fight amongst themselves for ever smaller scraps.

And then you get the liberal types who look at the whole situation and see that sure, some tribalism might be okay at times, but right now is not one of those times, because the resource-constrained state that we're in is artificial. All of this fighting we're doing for pie crumbs serves only to distract from the foundational, real issue of plutocratic piracy; the frank looting of the global GDP for the benefit and amusement of the dudes with the private jets.

It's so sad, because basically it is a battle of peasant against peasant in the coliseum of the world, while the kings watch and nibble on grapes.
posted by seanmpuckett at 8:04 AM on July 10, 2013 [92 favorites]


What is being reported here is we couldn't afford to pay that money back. Oh absolutely, that's local news that you Yankee high falutin' New York Times readers just don't have and wouldn't understand. No, sorry, from another North Carolinian, that is a complete load of total bullshit and nasty smelling absolutely false bullshit at that. It was a purely nasty, partisan move designed to ingratiate McCrory and his cronies with the Koch brothers and the rest of their cohort of slimy, far right, plutocratic elder god nasties.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:08 AM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Tweet from @NCCapitol, the account of the political reporters from WRAL TV (which has been kicking the ass of the local daily newspaper in coverage of the legislature this year):

Interesting that McCrory announced his intent to veto 695 only after work was nearly done on the substitute version S353.

McCrory's a spineless, ambitious fuck, closely allied with one of the most reactionary right-wing ideologues in U.S. politics today, who'll do anything to achieve higher office. Calling him a "moderate" is head-in-the-sand ridiculousness.
posted by mediareport at 8:08 AM on July 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


Perhaps I'm cynical, but I expect these sorts of people to act this way-- they're well paid to do so, and aren't personally affected (in the short term) by these sorts of cuts and measures.

What I want to know is why is the opposition so ineffectual? Has the center left been so co-opted by the same big business interests that they're unable to call a spade a spade and still get their campaign funding? Why is there such a seemingly small populist rebellion?
posted by cell divide at 8:09 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


That point from WRAL *is* interesting, because I assumed S353 was hastily rewritten as a special little "f-you" after the legislators read the NYT editorial this morning.
posted by kickingthecrap at 8:09 AM on July 10, 2013


> Perhaps it's time to just hand over the keys to that state. Allow the Republicans to use NC as a sandbox to test their policies unopposed so the rest of us can observe and study the effects over time.

I just moved here. It's a pretty nice place, aside from some of the politicians and their supporters. Please test your theories in laboratories, not on humans.
posted by ardgedee at 8:11 AM on July 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Interestingly enough, except for catching this on the local news and seeing this here, I don't hear anything about this from anybody I am around. In other words, my customers don't talk about it at work (coworkers neither), none of my church peeps have brought it up, my mom hasn't called me up to say a word about it (whereas oh yes, I got the phone call about Harris Teeter getting bought out.)

I don't get the sense anyone arounds me knows, or gives a crap about what goes on in Raleigh.

(I'm not happy about the federal unemployment thing. My best friend's husband lost his job, this affects people I love, I think it's horrible and nonsensical.)

(Compared to the Republicans that ran against him in the primaries last time, McCrory IS a moderate. Imagine what if one of those other guys had won.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:12 AM on July 10, 2013


Please test your theories in laboratories, not on humans.

You're telling that to the wrong people. The ones who can do so, right there in that nice old-style building, have already decided you live in a lab. Enjoy!
posted by aramaic at 8:13 AM on July 10, 2013


I'm proud to say my sister-in-law was one of those arrested --- and MrMoonPie, I think I'll get her one of those pendants you link to!
posted by easily confused at 8:16 AM on July 10, 2013


You have to appreciate that a lot of these guys are actually opposed to the entire enterprise of public education. They think, I guess, that this is not a legitimate role of government, or, perhaps, they see it as unfair competition with The University Of Phoenix and other for-profit schools.

One wonders why they think companies like IBM and Glaxo came here - because they like barbeque and NASCAR?
posted by thelonius at 8:18 AM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


What I want to know is why is the opposition so ineffectual?

Oh god, don't get me started on the absurdities at the top of the NC Democratic Party over the last few years. A gay sexual harassment cover-up, coming on the heels of years of corruption under now-jailed former House Speaker Jim Black (who famously accepted a paper bag full of cash under a men's room stall in exchange for legislation), a sitting governor who'd rather quit politics than risk losing her re-election, and a new party leader with an obnoxiously stupid autocratic style....ugh.

Thank god for the NAACP and the people in the streets, is all I have to say. Weekly crowds of over 1,000 people and hundreds of ongoing arrests doesn't feel "seemingly small" to me.
posted by mediareport at 8:19 AM on July 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


What I want to know is why is the opposition so ineffectual? Has the center left been so co-opted by the same big business interests that they're unable to call a spade a spade and still get their campaign funding? Why is there such a seemingly small populist rebellion?

I can't speak to NC, but in WI, the state dems are pretty much that ineffectual for basically that reason. The huge recall effort was entirely grassroots, and had basically no support from the State Dem party, and no support at all from the national dems.

The Democrats in this nation are so feckless that even if you hand them a platform and a movement, they'd rather choke on their tongues than capitalize on it.

The left needs to engineer a takeover of the party, and that starts by rooting out the chickenshit do-nothings in the primaries.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:22 AM on July 10, 2013 [16 favorites]


I can't decide if slipping abortion into an anti-Sharia law shows an astounding lack of self-awareness or if it's the intended yet appallingly evil extension of it.

Surely Sharia abortions are the flipside of Islamic gay marriage.
posted by acb at 8:23 AM on July 10, 2013


Perhaps it's time to just hand over the keys to that state. Allow the Republicans to use NC as a sandbox to test their policies unopposed so the rest of us can observe and study the effects over time.

That would be Alabama.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:23 AM on July 10, 2013


My mom was arrested last Monday and spent the night in jail (photo - sorry for the link to my Tumblr, but I couldn't find a way to link directly to the photo in the newspaper's slideshow). I am so very proud of my mother, but also so angry with the damn state. She's almost 70, she can barely get around on her own, and she loves North Carolina with all her heart. I know it's killing her to see everything fall apart as it is.

She told me the whole experience wasn't that bad - she was with a group of her friends, and she said the police were very nice, and some of them clearly did not want to be arresting people.

As an NC native, I miss my state like crazy sometimes. But there is no way I will be moving back in the foreseeable future. I'll take refuge here in thr comparatively liberal bastion that is Colorado Springs.

MrMoonPie, you and I should form a club. I'll bring the Cheerwine.
posted by bibliowench at 8:28 AM on July 10, 2013 [22 favorites]


What I want to know is why is the opposition so ineffectual? Has the center left been so co-opted by the same big business interests that they're unable to call a spade a spade and still get their campaign funding? Why is there such a seemingly small populist rebellion?

I don't think the big business interests give two shits about social legislation as a bloc. The opposition is ineffectual because in a lot of cases, the right won the battle of framing the argument. People like the simple one liners like "abortion is murder" and "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." That's good enough for them, and it is pretty hard to come up with an equally simple yet compelling argument to that kind of stuff.
posted by gjc at 8:29 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Stop Being Hateful Assholes" doesn't really have that same ring to it, alas.
posted by elizardbits at 8:35 AM on July 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


No one in my family would ever be arrested at anything like this (at least a few of them are probably totally on board with the Republicans), but I would like some Cheerwine.

Thanks in advance.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:36 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Compared to the Republicans that ran against him in the primaries last time, McCrory IS a moderate.

Yeah, at least he didn't campaign on returning prayer to public schools.

*rolls eyes*

That's seriously faint praise, St. Alia. I'll concede McCrory *wants to be perceived* as a moderate, but he doesn't have the convictions to actually act like one when it interferes with his plans for the U.S. Senate.
posted by mediareport at 8:38 AM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I can't decide if slipping abortion into an anti-Sharia law shows an astounding lack of self-awareness or if it's the intended yet appallingly evil extension of it.

Bonus points for WTFery: they called it the "Family, Faith, and Freedom Protection Act" (PDF).

The original bill was weird enough, and then the anti-choice bits were added "quietly on Fourth of July weekend because they’ve seen what’s going on in Texas." Damned cowards.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 AM on July 10, 2013


mediareport: " That's seriously faint praise, St. Alia. I'll concede McCrory *wants to be perceived* as a moderate, but he doesn't have the convictions to actually act like one when it interferes with his plans for the U.S. Senate."

Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, John Kasich, and Tom Corbett all ran as moderates, too, but have since been exposed as maximalist, revanchist thugs who will do anything to pursue the far right's agenda on economic and social issues. If they had ran on the policies they've implemented, they would have lost. I don't know that the same is true in NC, but certainly there's an element of cowardice and political expediency of being perceived as a moderate until the election's over.

It will be very interesting to see how many of this new generation of GOP governors get elected after the public has seen what they really want to do with government (i.e. make it so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub and/or inserted into a vagina.)
posted by tonycpsu at 8:43 AM on July 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm glad the republican constituency and lawmakers are finally waking up to the reality of theocratic lawmakers imposing their religious views on a secular democracy.

Wait, anti-Sharia laws? Seriously? Is that a fucking typo? I eagerly await the correction to anti-Christian laws that ensure the theocratic movement does not continue to enshrine its religious viewpoints into law.

... waiting... waiting...
posted by el io at 8:45 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Might as well make a law banning unicorns as banning Sharia law.
posted by Mister_A at 8:47 AM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


If they had ran on the policies they've implemented, they would have lost. I don't know that the same is true in NC

Yes, it is. The state went for Obama in 2008 and went for Romney by just 2%. The new Republican policies coming from the far-right wing of the party are deeply unpopular.
posted by mediareport at 8:52 AM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


mediareport: " Yes, it is. The state went for Obama in 2008 and went for Romney by just 2%. The new Republican policies coming from the far-right wing of the party are deeply unpopular."

Yeah, but wasn't Bev Perdue also kind of unpopular? I figured NC voters were going to swing back to the GOP barring a miracle.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:53 AM on July 10, 2013


I don't know why anyone is surprised that conservatives hate free public education. I mean, it's demand #10 in the Communist Manifesto, after all.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 8:55 AM on July 10, 2013


What is being reported here is we couldn't afford to pay that money back

Every other state in the Union seems to be handling this ok. You may want to ask yourself why NC claims to be uniquely impoverished that they would not be able to afford this unlike, say, Mississippi. Or even that ever present enemy state of conservatives, California (California is more capable of paying employment benefits than NC. What kind of losers are you?).

The issue is that, for years, the republicans have been waging a war of resentment and hate against the unemployed. I frequently hear how people who are jobless are losers, lazy, filthy, and worthless and how they're scummy moochers. The vulgarity that comes out of the mouths of the right when the topic of the long term unemployed comes up is horrendous. Cutting off unemployment benefits is just a way that the NC politicians feel they're "striking back" at this "enemy group" they've been railing against.
posted by deanc at 8:58 AM on July 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yeah, but wasn't Bev Perdue also kind of unpopular?

Well, her consultants apparently thought so. Would've been nice to see at least the appearance of a fight. To make it far worse, she waited and waited before bowing out, setting up her party for failure in both fundraising and in finding a compelling candidate. I'll never be able to forgive that, to be honest. It tars her legacy forever.
posted by mediareport at 9:03 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


The issue is that, for years, the republicans have been waging a war of resentment and hate against the unemployed.

To be fair, in NC the issue was also that the corporatist Dems in power underfunded the unemployment insurance fund by cutting unemployment taxes for employers (another way mainstream Dems hurt the state, but it's not like Repubs would have done it differently, so that one's probably a wash), so that when the recession hit in 2008, our debt to the feds was third highest in the country. But, again, the debt was on track to be paid off by 2018, with minimal harm to the state. There was no compelling financial reason to cut benefits to NC's unemployed six months before the federal money ran out.

No reason at all.

Except spiteful scorn aimed at demeaning those hurt most by the recession.
posted by mediareport at 9:10 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I moved to Durham, NC in 1991 and never left. I love this place. It is my home. Lots of us were worried about McCrory getting elected, but I do not think anyone saw the shitstorm that this General Assembly unleashed coming. It has been one jaw-dropping shock after another. And the hits just keep coming. The NC GOP has the numbers and they are going for broke. The only plausible explanation I can come up with is fear and loathing of the inevitable future, where old white men no longer get to call all the shots.

There have been 10 Moral Mondays in a row. I have managed to attend three times so far. My favorite protest signs so far: 'OMG, GOP! WTF?' and 'Girls just wanna have fundamental human rights.'

The response from the NC GOP was typical: try to ignore the rallies; then blame it on 'outside agitators' (which did not fly at all when an investigation revealed that over 98% of the protestors are from NC -- and of those who came from out of state, some are former North Carolinians who were so dismayed at what's happening here, they returned to express their horror); then try to belittle and be dismissive: they're just a bunch of old hippies trying to relive their youth; NC senator Goolsby mocked it as 'Moron Mondays'.

And it's funny, because back in the country of my birth, this is exactly the same approach that Prime Minister Erdogan used in response to the Turkish protests. The main difference is that democracy has had a bit more time to mature here in the US, to where those in power think twice about automatically quelling dissent with riot police, tear gas, and water cannons. But the basic fight is the same: in a pluralist polity, ALL of us must be represented. You cannot just railroad over human rights, civil rights, and justice.

So as I stand out there in Raleigh hoping to make my voice heard in my own back yard, it also feels like I am standing in solidarity with those raising their voices back in Turkey. We are all fighting the same fight. The good fight. Not going to give up, even in the face of these horrifying setbacks.
posted by fikri at 9:11 AM on July 10, 2013 [41 favorites]


Everything on this list can be fixed with a church social. Bring the biscuits, and pass the hat and soon the states coffers will be flush with the promise of the lord. Jobs will be unimportant in such a faith-based economy. Just remember we are all babies in the arms of the lord - that is a lot of kids, which means of course, he needs more money anyway - the welfare moocher that he is.
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:12 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Might as well make a law banning unicorns as banning Sharia law.
No need to ban unicorns. Everyone knows they were intelligent extincticated in the Great Flood.
posted by Flunkie at 9:22 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Compared to the Republicans that ran against him in the primaries last time, McCrory IS a moderate. Imagine what if one of those other guys had won.)

Or imagine what if someone even less cruel and conservative than McCrory ran. How much more "moderate" they would be!
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:31 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe this is my own psychological self-preservation instinct talking, but I just can't see this as anything other than the last gasp of a dying ideology. Everything this Republican-controlled legislature has done has been so tone deaf to the changing political climate in North Carolina that I think on some level they have to know that most of this isn't going to stick around for longer than the couple of years it takes for Democrats to take control back. They are alienating even lifetime Conservatives. It is mind-boggling.
posted by something something at 9:48 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


The response from the NC GOP was typical: try to ignore the rallies; then blame it on 'outside agitators' (which did not fly at all when an investigation revealed that over 98% of the protestors are from NC -- and of those who came from out of state, some are former North Carolinians who were so dismayed at what's happening here, they returned to express their horror); then try to belittle and be dismissive: they're just a bunch of old hippies trying to relive their youth; NC senator Goolsby mocked it as 'Moron Mondays'.

Goolsby? Dickens would have faulted that name.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:48 AM on July 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm happy to see that here in PA, governor Corbett has a 26% approval rating. We'll see if the Democrats can actually field a viable candidate next year but it's not looking good for him.
posted by octothorpe at 9:54 AM on July 10, 2013


Scott Walker, Rick Snyder, John Kasich, and Tom Corbett all ran as moderates, too, but have since been exposed as maximalist, revanchist thugs who will do anything to pursue the far right's agenda on economic and social issues. If they had ran on the policies they've implemented, they would have lost.

Which gives away the game that even the Republicans know their agenda is unpopular. (Given the Republican proclivity for projection, it's interesting how often they accuse Democrats of having a hidden agenda.)

I've been wondering when a Democrat is going to run, point to guys like Kasich and Walker, and say that you just can't trust Republicans. But given the general fecklessness of Democrats, I don't wonder very much.

I agree, though, that the Republican strategy of standing athwart history yelling "Stop!" doesn't seem like it has many good years left.
posted by Gelatin at 9:59 AM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe this is my own psychological self-preservation instinct talking, but I just can't see this as anything other than the last gasp of a dying ideology

It's called an Extinction Burst.
posted by deanc at 10:04 AM on July 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I'm moving to North Carolina in 9 days (hey! Mefites in Greensboro and/or Durham! Be my friend! Please? *puppydogeyes*) and moving to a political climate that is drastically different (I'm coming from MN) is trepidatious, at best. So a couple of things:
-1)The attempted enshrinement of anti-gay-marriage legislation RUINED the GOP in MN. It motivated the HELL out of the DFL'ers here and we took both chambers back. I will attempt to help do the same thing in my new home.
-2)Don't leave. Leaving only makes the crazy/evil contingent more powerful. If you're gone, do your best to come back and HELP.
posted by mfu at 10:13 AM on July 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


Which gives away the game that even the Republicans know their agenda is unpopular.

Well of course they know. The sole purpose of the Republican agenda is to concentrate all wealth and power in the hands of a very tiny elite.

The fact that they've been able to pull this off at all in a supposedly democratic nation is astounding. But it's not like they've suddenly woken up to the realization that the majority of people don't favor their policies. That's not even a feature (as opposed to a bug). It was the very ground on which their platform is built.
posted by Naberius at 10:18 AM on July 10, 2013


Flunkie: No need to ban unicorns. Everyone knows they were intelligent extincticated in the Great Flood.

So it is written!
Can I get a catsandratsandelephants tag, please?
posted by wenestvedt at 10:56 AM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


> Interestingly enough, except for catching this on the local news and seeing this here, I don't hear anything about this from anybody I am around. In other words, my customers don't talk about it at work (coworkers neither), none of my church peeps have brought it up, my mom hasn't called me up to say a word about it (whereas oh yes, I got the phone call about Harris Teeter getting bought out.) I don't get the sense anyone arounds me knows, or gives a crap about what goes on in Raleigh.

Which is exactly what permits beliefs like "...we couldn't afford to pay that money back. NC is really hurting for budget money" to be accepted without question by smart people, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

People will disagree on, debate, and discuss all kinds of topics with their friends and family -- the unsafe intersection, the unfixed potholes, the cost of groceries, kids these days, childrearing styles, the strengths and weaknesses of the pastor, the school principal, the boss...but suggest questioning the motives of the legislature and all the sudden everyone's terrified of "unpleasant conversation."

/I live in PA, where our state government is ideological pals with NC.
posted by desuetude at 11:00 AM on July 10, 2013


When I visited my friends and family in Durham, this is what we talked about. When I spent a week outside Asheville with my parents, this is what we talked about. On my Facebook feed, this is what we are talking about. And I haven't lived there in 2 years. I'm sort of amazed that anybody in NC is not talking about it.
posted by hydropsyche at 11:06 AM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Everyone I know is talking about it, that's for sure. It's a hard topic to avoid when there are news helicopters circling over downtown on your lunch break.
posted by something something at 11:08 AM on July 10, 2013


From the live feed on Twitter it appears that NC House rules will be suspended today..
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:24 AM on July 10, 2013


To those of you fighting the good fight and who have friends and loved ones fighting with you and getting arrested: much love to you. I've got nothing but deepest respect and admiration for you. Don't let the bastards go easy, make sure they know they've been in a scrap. Keep fighting!
posted by lord_wolf at 11:46 AM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


To our neighbors to the south, I encourage you to emigrate north to Virginia where we are at least a little bit more enlightened than your legislature is. Also, we need you to move here and vote, so we can keep Ken Cuccinelli out of the Governors Mansion and prevent the same thing from happening in our Commonwealth.

(P.S. I actually have friends from NC who are literally packing up and moving to Northern Virginia to get away from all this bull south of us.)
posted by smoothvirus at 12:02 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


From our local news website (WRAL) just now:

"Just In: The state Senate has approved a bill that would require people applying for public assistance to pass a drug test. The measure returns to the House for a final vote.".

Which is all kinds of messed up. It might seem like an ok idea, but if you consider that the Repubs don't give a crap about solving real problems like transportation, housing, etc. it becomes apparent that they just love to punish people.

How about this: Republicans serving in the legislature who identify as Christian have to pass a "Jesus test" where they score points for helping the poor, loving their enemies, etc. Negative points for explicitly anti-Christian things like supporting foreign wars, judging those less fortunate, or hoarding wealth or weapons. Below a certain point threshold they are forced from office.

As a lifelong NC resident I'm sickened by the current legislature. Basically the Republicans just do whatever they want and through a combination of studpidity, bigotry, and selfishness they make things worse for everyone else.

Also secretly changing a motorcycle bill into an abortion bill is an extreme betrayal of the public trust no matter what side of the aisle you fall on. Fucking disgusting.
posted by freecellwizard at 12:24 PM on July 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


They're trying to pass drug testing for those who file for unemployment, too. How are they planning to pay for all these drug tests, I wonder? The fact that nobody is even talking about that is incontrovertible proof that they don't actually care about anything other than punishing poor people in every way they can possibly come up with.
posted by something something at 12:28 PM on July 10, 2013


UPDATE: #HB695 has been changed to #SB353: The Motorcycle Safety Act. So, it was listed on the calendar-

North Carolina Republicans Quietly Attach Abortion Restrictions To Motorcycle Safety Bill
posted by homunculus at 12:28 PM on July 10, 2013


How are they planning to pay for all these drug tests, I wonder?

wanna bet they'll have the clients pay for them?
posted by pyramid termite at 12:40 PM on July 10, 2013


I'm sort of amazed that anybody in NC is not talking about it. They aren't. Aren't not talking about it, I mean. It's one of the most major topics of conversation everywhere I go, from work to the grocery store to Facebook and so on and I don't think I'm alone. I would ignore that particular statement too, like the one about the moderation and the budget.

Granted, they really shot themselves in the foot up here in WNC with the water kerfuffle. Even the Republicans here aren't happy about that but everyone, right and left, is being quite vocal. And I haven't yet run across anyone who approves of everything the legislature is doing. Of course most of the people I know don't approve of anything they've done and I'm right there with them on that.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:47 PM on July 10, 2013


wanna bet they'll have the clients pay for them?

No need to bet; the people being required to have drug tests before they're given public assistance are indeed being forced to pay for the drug tests under this law. If the test is negative, the state will reimburse you the fucking $100 it costs to take the test.

Think about it. The poorest of the poor are being required to pay $100 to qualify for public assistance. It's nothing but punitive viciousness aimed at those who can least afford it. Oh and I loved this bit:

Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford, offered an amendment to the bill that would have required drug tests for lawmakers, members of the Council of State and cabinet secretaries. "We represent the law, we institute policy, so it should not be above any of us to submit to drug screening," Robinson explained.

Davis objected, saying he did not mind being drug tested. But, he said, if he tested negative, the state should have to repay him. There was no mechanism in Robinson's amendment to provide for such repayment. Rules Committee Chairman Tom Apodaca sent forward a substitute amendment. That process kept senators from having to take a potentially embarrassing vote on Robinson's amendment and prevents the amendment from returning in some later debate.

posted by mediareport at 12:49 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


homunculus: " North Carolina Republicans Quietly Attach Abortion Restrictions To Motorcycle Safety Bill"

When performing an abortion on a moving motorcycle., always be sure to sterilize your instruments.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:50 PM on July 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


To add to mediareport's comment above, drug testing is big business, and drug testing companies have powerful lobbists, who both give politicians vast amounts of money and actual play a large part in drafting legislation. This is another example of wealthy people engaging in some quid pro quo at the expense of the underclasses. Regardless of who pays for the tests, the testee or the taxpayers, the companies get their contracts, and the politicians get their funding.

The Nation (so yes, liberal) has an overview of the drug testing/government connection here. They focus on Republicans, but as far as I could tell with brief googling, the Democrats are benefitting as well.

Here's the bit that made me the angriest:

In 2002, a representative from the influential drug-testing management firm Besinger, DuPont & Associates heralded schools as “potentially a much bigger market than the workplace.”
posted by bibliowench at 1:04 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wonder how many lawmakers can solve this problem:

A population of 100,000 people, 10 percent of which are drug users, take a drug test which is 99.9% accurate. How many people who do not use drugs will be identified as drug users? How many who do use drugs will be identified as non-drug users?
posted by thelonius at 1:08 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


In Florida the number of benefits claimants who failed the drug test was 2%.
posted by junco at 1:12 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Regarding the unannounced, last-minute attachment of abortion restrictions to the motorcycle safety bill, this tweet from @KarenStinneford is by far the best commentary I have seen. You have to laugh, you really do; the alternative is just too dispiriting.
posted by fikri at 1:14 PM on July 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


junco: "In Florida the number of benefits claimants who failed the drug test was 2%."

Which, if I remember right, was far less than the number of people who would fail the test if chosen randomly from the state population.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:14 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I should add that reimbursing those who passed cost the state $178,000,000 in 2011, according to the Tampa Tribune. Good thing the Governor owned a big chunk of a drug-testing company.
posted by junco at 1:14 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


A population of 100,000 people, 10 percent of which are drug users, take a drug test which is 99.9% accurate. How many people who do not use drugs will be identified as drug users? How many who do use drugs will be identified as non-drug users?

Is the 0.1% error rate evenly distributed between false positives and false negatives?
posted by radwolf76 at 1:17 PM on July 10, 2013


yes
posted by thelonius at 1:19 PM on July 10, 2013


Might as well make a law banning unicorns as banning Sharia law.
posted by Mister_A at 11:47 AM on July 10 [2 favorites +] [!]


Are you forgetting that some of these elected officials actually believe the President of the United States is secretly a Muslim born in East Africa bent on overthrowing all things American and White and Christian, and so the lunatics believe they are fighting some actual thing?
posted by aught at 1:24 PM on July 10, 2013


Have to correct junco's numbers.
Cost of the tests averages about $30. Assuming that 1,000 to 1,500 applicants take the test every month, the state will owe about $28,800-$43,200 monthly in reimbursements to those who test drug-free.
(Tampa Tribune)
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:24 PM on July 10, 2013


The answers to thelonius's questions are 90 and 10 respectively.

Which suggests an obvious solution: make the testing mandatory for any individual receiving money from the state, starting with those who draw paychecks for legislative service.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:29 PM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm in Fayetteville. Raleigh is not on their radar. They are still smirking about the stupid parade float in Hope Mills. Don't google that unless you want to seriously be depressed, though.

As for McCrory, my husband, who I trust on this stuff, told me he ran as a conservative but in his heart he really is more of a moderate. My take is probably more in agreement with whoever posted above- he just wants to be electable for higher office later. Too bad, he's a nice guy in person, which is more than I can say for a lot of politicians I have met. Thank God we aren't involved with any of this these days.


And as for drug testing welfare recipients, what a waste of taxpayer money THAT is. I am starting to think that nobody in power in this state has critical thinking skills.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:31 PM on July 10, 2013


Ugh, thanks seanmpuckett. I misread.
posted by junco at 1:32 PM on July 10, 2013


I don't get it. What seems to be the problem? NC is in a mess, because of laws being passed by lawmakers who were duly elected? If so, the voters will vote them out and vote in folks who will fix all that. Problem solved. Oh, the voters actually like the policies? Well, that's democracy for you, you take the good with the bad. The country was founded on the idea that voters learn, and we have all sorts of nifty sayings, like "you can fool some people all of the time and all people some of the time, but you can't fool all people all of the time". You could even stage recalls. The remedies are there. Those who complain about the weak opposition - why aren't better Democrats being voted in during the primaries? There are none? Who is to blame for that amazing drought? There is a million reasons and a million excuses, but it all comes down to the voters. They like it.

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H. L. Mencken

posted by VikingSword at 1:35 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


They are still smirking about the stupid parade float in Hope Mills. Don't google that unless you want to seriously be depressed, though.

Holy shit. Wow.
posted by COBRA! at 1:35 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh my god.

What could be more racist than white people mocking a stereotype of black people on Independence day ?

None. None more racist.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:46 PM on July 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Oh, the voters actually like the policies? Well, that's democracy for you, you take the good with the bad. The country was founded on the idea that voters learn, and we have all sorts of nifty sayings, like "you can fool some people all of the time and all people some of the time, but you can't fool all people all of the time". You could even stage recalls. The remedies are there. Those who complain about the weak opposition - why aren't better Democrats being voted in during the primaries? There are none? Who is to blame for that amazing drought? There is a million reasons and a million excuses, but it all comes down to the voters. They like it.

Some of the voters like it, some don't. The ones who don't are voicing their opposition. THIS IS PRECISELY HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS. It's not "vote and then shut up."

Oh, and there are no recall elections in North Carolina.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:46 PM on July 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Assuming that we will just vote them out also ignores the very real issue of gerrymandering that Republicans have pushed through in an effort to disenfranchise as many Democratic and minority voters as possible.
posted by something something at 1:53 PM on July 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Wow, yeah, I wish I had not seen that float.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:53 PM on July 10, 2013


There is a million reasons and a million excuses, but it all comes down to the voters. They like it.

Then why do all the opinion polls say otherwise?

We all know the problem. It's campaign financing. The only candidates with enough fund raising power to be viable are those who will do exactly what they're biggest contributors expect once elected or they don't get any money come the next election.

People who don't profit off manipulating our regulatory systems don't have the resources or personal financial incentives to commit large sums to political activism or preferred candidates. It's a well established fact that most Americans live paycheck to paycheck in the current economy. That gives a huge organizational and financial leg up to anyone who isn't living paycheck to paycheck. Because fund raising has come to dominate the political process with the continuing unwinding of limits on political spending rules, the electorate are completely outgunned and boxed into a corner.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:54 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't get it. What seems to be the problem?

Legislatures are passing laws that many people strongly oppose, and those people are lobbying their elected representatives in opposition to those laws. This is the way government works.
posted by deanc at 1:54 PM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


make the testing mandatory for any individual receiving money from the state
I say make it even more broad--mandatory drug testing for anyone who receives any taxpayer-funded benefit. Send your child to public school? Piss in this cup, please.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:56 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh my god.

What could be more racist than white people mocking a stereotype of black people on Independence day ?

None. None more racist.


And yet when it comes to focusing on the former Confederacy, remember that somehow we're the ones being unfair when we say that, hey maybe these guys deserve extra scrutiny when trying to do stuff like pass discriminatory voter laws. After all, we're punishing them for something that happened 150 years ago, why can't we just get over it? Never mind that these laws were found to be discriminatory last year, that doesn't count!
posted by zombieflanders at 2:01 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Assuming that we will just vote them out also ignores the very real issue of gerrymandering that Republicans have pushed through in an effort to disenfranchise as many Democratic and minority voters as possible.

So, how come they were in a position to gerrymander? Who voted them in, so they could do that?

We all know the problem. It's campaign financing.

Really? Sorry, but I don't believe that. Over and over again, we've seen better financed candidates lose. This is by the way, a running joke here in CA, where rich candidates who outspend the poorly financed by multiple factors regularly lose the race for governor. I'm sure financing makes some difference, but it can't be the case that a baby-eater who has a dollar is automatically advantaged in the voting against a baby-saver.

Financing only works if the voters don't bother informing themselves - and whose fault is that? The voters. Otherwise the voters vote for what they want. You could spend the entire GDP on voter outreach, advertising and pr events and so forth, and if you advocate gay marriage you'll still lose in Mississipi today, and a guy with $1 or no dollars will win against you because he's for banning gay marriage. One day it may be different in Mississipi on this issue, but again, it'll come down to voters voting on what they believe, financing or not.

Legislatures are passing laws that many people strongly oppose, and those people are lobbying their elected representatives in opposition to those laws. This is the way government works.

So no problem then! If NC is in decline, then voters can reverse it. Excellent!
posted by VikingSword at 2:06 PM on July 10, 2013


In Florida, the unemployment insurance system began historically as a form of deferred compensation (so, basically, it was offered as a form of wage benefit--employers were supposed to hold a certain portion of what would otherwise have been earned wages to contribute to the pool. So the way unemployment insurance was originally pitched to the public was that your employer would hold back some of the pay you would otherwise draw directly in wages and the state would match that amount and hold it in trust for you in case you found yourself unemployed. The original idea was to take the financial burden off the public for easing the pain of unemployment because the public health and safety costs were so high during periods of increasing unemployment. So these drug testing initiatives are basically just a huge wealth transfer from working people to the wealthy (who get their cut from the pot in the form of tax cuts). Or another way to look at it is that we're being asked to take a piss test to be allowed access to our own money.

Really? Sorry, but I don't believe that. Over and over again, we've seen better financed candidates lose.

It's not just the candidate-level financing, it's the national party financing and how that influences the parties choices and platforms, too.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:10 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not just the candidate-level financing, it's the national party financing and how that influences the parties choices and platforms, too.

Really? This must mean that the Tea Party should have absolutely no success in getting their candidates through the primaries. And incumbent GOP reps should have no fear of being primaried by the TP crowd, yet they live in mortal fear of exactly that, and so vote accordingly. It must be because of all that financing... oh wait...
posted by VikingSword at 2:16 PM on July 10, 2013


So no problem then! If NC is in decline, then voters can reverse it.

Are you being obtuse? Because you're being an annoyance right now, and I don't want to write a lot of patronizing posts about the way democratic government works in order to explain it to you and the reality that politics results in real, tangible consequences to people's lives while you discuss in cute terms the amusing aspects of how the system works.
posted by deanc at 2:17 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


And yes, you can cherry-pick the data and find examples of individual candidates losing to candidates who aren't as well funded. But the data on the overall trends tell a different story.
And the point really isn't that the money makes them electable, it's that the money gets them influence in their party and influences their legislative voting.

The whole point I'm making is that both parties are beholden to their contributors. So even when the less well-financed candidate wins, they still need to keep their financial backers happy to remain credible within their party.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:17 PM on July 10, 2013


Well, VikingSword, the Tea Party people prove the point actually. They had tons of money flowing to them, and so ended up with instant credibility within the party and they moved the entire party even more ludicrously to the right.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:18 PM on July 10, 2013


I don't get it. What seems to be the problem?

Did you ask this question during the big Tea Party protests of 2010, or do you just object when it's liberals petitioning their government for a redress of grievances?
posted by dirigibleman at 2:24 PM on July 10, 2013


The reason the Republicans took control of the NC legislature in 2010 (and were thus able to gerrymander the state to the extent that more people voted for Democrats than Republicans in the state elections yet the Republicans hold an overwhelming majority of the GA seats), is that in 2008 NC voted to elect President Obama, who is black (and possibly a secret Kenyan Muslim).

A large number of people in NC went completely batshit over the President's race and founded groups that they called "Tea Party" groups and claimed were against taxation, but spent most of their time worrying about the President's birth certificate and sending out racist emails.

And thus, the Great Racist Backlash of 2010 occurred, the GA gerrymandered the state, and North Carolinians have to live with the fallout until 2020, when perhaps we will have learned to draw legislative districts in a rational, non-partisan manner.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:30 PM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, VikingSword, the Tea Party people prove the point actually. They had tons of money flowing to them, and so ended up with instant credibility within the party and they moved the entire party even more ludicrously to the right.

Err, no. For all the Koch-financing of proto-TP gatherings and think-tanks, the TP candidates on the whole are not as well financed as RNC-backed candidates. And that holds for the various PACs too - Karl Rove, who is battling against the TP, alone is in command of more funds flowing to him than all the little regional TPs put together.

It's completely and utterly untrue that the TP is better financed and has better financed candidates than the RNC and their PACs.

The whole point I'm making is that both parties are beholden to their contributors.

It means next to nothing when it comes to voting. What was the entire American Crossroads contributors result for the candidates they backed? What was the success rate? Exactly.

If you don't have policies the voters like, you can't spend your way to getting elected. Let the "party" be beholden - as soon as the voters speak, the "party" changes lickety split, or they are not there for the second round.

We need fewer excuses about financing and every other excuse under the sun - the brutal truth is that it's all about the voters. At least the TP understands that.

Did you ask this question during the big Tea Party protests of 2010, or do you just object when it's liberals petitioning their government for a redress of grievances?

Abso-fuckin-lutely. I watched the TP with disbelief. And I watched with greater disbelief when they swept congress in a drubbing that has not been seen for 60 years. And that's my point. Who is to blame? The voters, period.
posted by VikingSword at 2:30 PM on July 10, 2013


We're still fighting the same battles we fought in 1850.

Only this time, we're losing.


I think we're finally winning, actually. It will take some time longer, and it will not resemble some sort of TV-show smackdown that many people want, but we are winning.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:32 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


There's only one way to put an end to all this one-way government - and it's the same solution that it's always been. Shut the fucking show down. Don't show up for work. Get out in the street. Don't participate.

(There's a reason that the right hasn't worked harder on jobs bills and has made such a great portion of the population have to fear for the jobs that they do have.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 2:53 PM on July 10, 2013


And yet when it comes to focusing on the former Confederacy, remember that somehow we're the ones being unfair when we say that, hey maybe these guys deserve extra scrutiny when trying to do stuff like pass discriminatory voter laws. After all, we're punishing them for something that happened 150 years ago, why can't we just get over it? Never mind that these laws were found to be discriminatory last year, that doesn't count!

I was one that thought we didn't need that extra scrutiny. We're enlightened! We're past all that! And then I saw that float, and worse, I saw the comment section on the posted story in our local paper.


I owe all of you here an apology.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:05 PM on July 10, 2013 [31 favorites]


It is easy to forget what it means to live in the South, especially if you live in the more liberal cities and interact with by and large educated people. And then you see things like an article in the local paper about how the Carolina Country Club in Raleigh admitted its first ever black members last week (last week!!) and it stops you in your tracks. (At least, it does if you are me.) I do think we are winning, as Ironmouth said. But this legislature proves every day that the old guard is not going quietly.
posted by something something at 3:23 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


St. Alia: If it's any consolation, similar stuff goes on all over the country. It's not that the South needs scrutiny, it's that the whole damn country needs scrutiny.
posted by hydropsyche at 3:38 PM on July 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


hydropsyche: "St. Alia: If it's any consolation, similar stuff goes on all over the country. It's not that the South needs scrutiny, it's that the whole damn country needs scrutiny."

Seriously. I used to point and laugh at Mississippi, but then Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and my native Pennsylvania became Mississippi. Yankee smugness has given way to the realization that the call is coming from inside the state, and that these Mid-Atlantic/Midwestern reactionaries have more to prove to their base than Southern Republicans (who can pretty much win just by showing up) do.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:44 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Add me to the disenchanted native (and still) North Carolinians. As someone who vigorously defended the South every chance I got, news like this makes it really hard to do that.
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 3:46 PM on July 10, 2013


St. Alia: If it's any consolation, similar stuff goes on all over the country.

i don't think it gets as publically blatant as that sign on the parade float, but the comment sections of our local media are pretty damn ugly

hmm, come to think of it, i actually saw the kkk handing out literature at a jackson, MI shopping mall 15 or so years ago, so maybe it does get that blatant up here
posted by pyramid termite at 3:46 PM on July 10, 2013


It is easy to forget what it means to live in the South, especially if you live in the more liberal cities and interact with by and large educated people. And then you see things like an article in the local paper about how the Carolina Country Club in Raleigh admitted its first ever black members last week (last week!!) and it stops you in your tracks. (At least, it does if you are me.) I do think we are winning, as Ironmouth said. But this legislature proves every day that the old guard is not going quietly.


I used to work there!!!! I wish I could say I was surprised it took that long but I'm not.

When I worked there, in the late Seventies, we employees were allowed to go through the buffet line after our shift. One time an African American employee who worked there as a second job went through the line with us. A white member saw her and made a beeline straight for the office. The next day we were all told we were no longer allowed through the line at all. Guess why.

Anyway, I certainly hope that attitudes have changed there, but it's probably mostly because some of the older members died. And are spinning in their graves. I hope the new couple enjoys the place, and I hope the food is better than it used to be. (I have some stories, but that would be for a different thread.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:51 PM on July 10, 2013


I was one that thought we didn't need that extra scrutiny.

To this day, the only place I've heard white folks call black people "niggers" in public, to strangers, as if that were just the normal thing to do, is Long Island.

There are real differences in racial attitudes between the south and nonsouth, but I assure you these are differences in degree, not in type. Yankeeland may be measurably less racist, but it is a far cry from not racist

Anyway, I certainly hope that attitudes have changed there, but it's probably mostly because some of the older members died.

I would bet a little bit there's at least one whose views changed when they were presented with a choice of treating their kid-in-law with respect or never, ever seeing their multiracial grandchild.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:07 PM on July 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I just realized that's unclear. Long Island is still the only place I've heard white people refer to black people, none of whom were present, as "niggers." I can't recall ever seeing a white person actively address a black person as "nigger" live and in person, except possibly crazy klan-type doofuses.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:09 PM on July 10, 2013


Another saddened ex-North Carolinian here - and unfortunately, I don't share hydropsyche's conviction that this will all go away after 2020. Remember, the legislators who will be drawing the next set of maps will be running in the current hyper-gerrymandered districts...

I'd suggest trying to push an initiative to set up nonpartisan redistricting along the lines of California's Prop 11 - but it looks like there's no initiative process in NC.
posted by janewman at 4:15 PM on July 10, 2013


Well, The South is something special though, ain't it? I was just in a Georgia restaurant a week ago, there was an autographed Lester Maddox poster up, underneath a framed George McGovern bumper sticker.

I live in Tallahassee, one of the liberal-est cities in North Florida. (Many people from this area like to claim we're South Georgia, but no.) When I canvassed for Barack Obama in 2008 in the next county over, the wonderfully named Liberty County (the county's biggest institution is a prison), I would knock on doors and tell people what campaign I was with, and more than a few times they would tell me "He's the wrong color." Lots more times they would be much less polite in their language. In Liberty County, McCain beat Obama about 80%-20%, and the county is registered about 70% Democrat. 30% Republican, IIRC.

My North Carolina colleagues told me pretty much the same thing, once you get out of the Research Triangle. And I didn't doubt them. I lived in Charlotte for many years.
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:17 PM on July 10, 2013


> I used to point and laugh at Mississippi, but then Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and my native Pennsylvania became Mississippi.

It was always there, latent in some form. The KKK had strongholds in coal country throughout Pennsylvania up to Lake Erie. Howell, MI used to be the home of the KKK leadership. The Nazis held rallies in Ann Arbor, MI during the 1990s. Blood in the Face was filmed almost entirely in Michigan and Idaho (with Michael Moore in a walk-on part, interviewing amiable white power nationalists in their heavily armed rural gunnyshacks).

Those paramilitary and terrorist organizations seemed to be on the wane (I think the last of the neo-Nazi rallies in Ann Arbor happened in 1995), but in retrospect it's hard not to imagine that some of the more business-minded of their prospective recruits found the Republican Party and Tea Party to be a bigger, more appealing vehicle to ride.
posted by ardgedee at 5:27 PM on July 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's completely and utterly untrue that the TP is better financed and has better financed candidates than the RNC and their PACs.

I didn't say they were better funded than the RNC establishment candidates. They were, however, better funded than the leftist challengers on the Democratic side of the aisle, and so the Democratic caucuses all tended to be more centrist, with only a handful of dyed-in-the wool, anti-establishment Leftists.

The Tea Party didn't actually do all that great in the primaries. I mean, as I said, they vastly outperformed the Left. But they didn't sweep power in the Republican Party, they simply fractured the leadership and split the party, with some portion of the establishment Republican players hoping to tap into the energy and enthusiasm the Tea Party brought to town with its populist bandwagon, and the other portion (the old money set) rejecting the movement as too extreme, and even worse, gauche.

The Tea Party movement had lots of deep-pocketed donors and actually endorsed political candidates. That's how you make electoral progress.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:09 PM on July 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


You don't get through the party candidate screening processes on either side unless you have big contributors backing you up. That's a fact. That means, no matter who gets elected, they'll be at least somewhat tempted to put keeping their biggest donors happy before the public interest. The money in the party system isn't a problem just because it swings elections, if it even does; it's a problem because it influences the players and confers power inside the Washington political establishment. Pols use those contributions not just to get elected but as a big stick and carrot for all sorts of secondary players with influence. Money, in Washington as much as Wall Street, is power.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:14 PM on July 10, 2013


For what it's worth, I was talking to someone tonight who's part of an ongoing nightly phone-bank effort across the state, focused on the early voting/voting rights issues. She said they're great folks and she'll forward me info about connecting up with them, which I'll post here when I get it. I figured I'd mention it now before the thread dies down in case anyone wants to check back.
posted by mediareport at 8:36 PM on July 10, 2013


I'm late to this thread. Spent over half my life in NC and I really love this state and call it home. This whole thing makes me really sick. I'm really upset and can't stop thinking about this.

I knew we were in trouble about day 2 of the McCrory administration when he told state employees there would be "no money falling from the sky" and then turned around and gave his cabinet secretaries 8 percent raises.

A lot of friends are protesting, I got somewhere I have to be Monday nights that takes me past the protestors, I honk and wave, think I'll have to skip that and go protest next week. Meetup?

I've written to my rep and senator a couple times (both repubs). If I wasn't in the middle of a job hunt and relocation, I'd seriously consider getting arrested. Plus, boy I'm slammed at work! I'm down 2 of my 5 staff members and covering for another supervisor until the legislature can work out the budget. Oh yeah, that state budget thing they were supposed to have done the end of June. Obviously they have other priorities.
posted by marxchivist at 8:53 PM on July 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Rob Schofield at NC Policy Watch has a good summary piece this morning about the extended legislative session, covering the failure to pass a budget two weeks into the new fiscal year, the tension between the Republican leaders of the state House and Senate (both of whom are angling to challenge Kay Hagan in 2014), the sinking reputation and general powerlessness of governor McCrory, and NC's dramatic drop in business competitiveness on at least one national survey since the Republicans took control of the state in 2010 (from 3rd to 12th). He also points out the fun past criticisms from now Senate leader Phil Berger:

Here’s current Senate President Pro Tem and then-Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger slamming budget negotiations between House and Senate leaders in a 2009 News & Observer story — and mind you, this was during a period of profound budget crisis in which the Great Recession was pummeling the state’s economy and tax revenues in unprecedented fashion:
“Senate Republican leader Sen. Phil Berger said it’s another example of Democrats’ incompetence that the state doesn’t have a budget 14 days into the fiscal year.

‘For the average person, when they have a deadline and they need to get something done, they are held accountable,’ said Berger...
Schofield also draws a distinction between past Dem legislative shenanigans and what we're currently seeing:

...it‘s true that past Democratic-controlled legislatures passed their share of last minute legislation down through the years. And to the extent legislative processes were bypassed and public oversight limited, it was wrong in those days as well. As someone from a local conservative group reminded me during a joint TV appearance yesterday, the passage of the state lottery back in the last decade stands out as an especially ghastly example.

But as honest veterans of Jones Street must also attest, the last minute shenanigans of past General Assemblies look trifling in comparison to this year’s late-session grabs. Sure, all of the eleventh hour special favors and overgrown “technical corrections” amendments were examples of lousy backroom governance, but at least those legislatures weren’t, by and large, attempting to alter some of the most fundamental aspects of the relationship between citizens and their government in the waning days of their sessions.

Today, we seem to have the worst of both worlds: Huge and reactionary policy changes of the hard right combined with the muddled and meandering process of the Democratic old guard.


I'm not sure I buy that the corporate Dems' last-minute sneak of the state lottery didn't count as an attempt to alter "some of the most fundamental aspects of the relationship between citizens and their government," but to Schofield's credit, NC Policy Watch was at the time loudly pointing out how horrible that was, too.
posted by mediareport at 7:04 AM on July 11, 2013


(And I'd totally be there for a Moral Monday meetup, if anyone is interested. We could meet below the "YOU ARE SUITABLE TO BE AWED" sign on the Dept. of Education building.)
posted by mediareport at 7:10 AM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


Following the MotorcycleVagina hashtag is a good way to keep up with the progress of the bill at the legislature today. Protesters are gathering already; debate is schedule for 11am.

I love that motorcycle vaginas is now a thing.
posted by mediareport at 7:16 AM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm going on Monday! Want to make an IRL?
posted by oceanjesse at 3:08 PM on July 11, 2013


Ok, here's the phone bank info. It's being organized by a group called Protect Our Vote NC. There are specific dates (tonight in Durham and Greensboro, e.g.), but also a link to setting up an online phone bank folks can do from their own home at their own convenience, and a contact email, protectncvote@gmail.com, for help in setting up your own phonebanking event.

And on preview, yeah! I've been going pretty regularly and the people-watching just gets better and better every week. Someone set an IRL event and we can meet, get harangued by smart activists at the microphone, cheer the week's arrestees as they parade through the crowd, and then maybe go out for appetizers/dinner afterwards. Sounds like a nice protest to me. :)
posted by mediareport at 3:16 PM on July 11, 2013


Oh, if you're in Raleigh, I'm told the phone-banking is going on almost daily in an office near Player's Retreat at the corner of Oberlin and Hillsborough.
posted by mediareport at 3:17 PM on July 11, 2013


I'm going Monday too.
posted by something something at 3:21 PM on July 11, 2013


Btw, the bill passed by the House today (the one governor McCrory was working on as he oh-so-bravely threatened to veto the Senate version) is still horrible and unnecessary but is slightly milder than the Senate version:

The Senate bill would have required abortion clinics to meet the same standards as outpatient surgery centers and required physicians to remain with patients throughout an abortion, even if it were drug-induced. The House version calls for only relevant standards of surgery centers to apply to abortion clinics and requires that a physician be present for only the first dose of RU486 or other abortion drugs. Such drugs are usually administered in two to three doses, and the doctor wouldn't need to see the patient for later doses under the House proposal. Opponents argued during a vigorous three-hour debate that such changes were only cosmetic, and they said the legislation is intended to shut down abortion clinics by regulating them tightly. Similar laws in other states have forced clinics there to close...

The bill also contains the following provisions:

- Allows any health care provider, not just doctors and nurses, to opt out of participating in abortion procedures.
- Prohibits health plans offered on the exchange established under the federal Affordable Care Act from offering coverage for abortion.
- Prohibits cities and counties from offering coverage for abortions in health plans they offer their employees.
- Prohibits abortions for the purpose of selecting the sex of a child.

posted by mediareport at 3:24 PM on July 11, 2013


mediareport: "I love that motorcycle vaginas is now a thing."

And extra props to the Rachel Maddow Show segment producer who came up with the title "Zen and the Art of Menstrual Cycle Maintenance." Snarky puns are a precious natural resource during this extended "if you don't laugh, you'll cry" period in American history.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:24 PM on July 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


something something and anyone else, I'm not sure how a Moral Monday meetup would work (plus, I'm not good at organizing that stuff). We could pick a time like 5:15 to meet, but the 2000+ crowd is kind of sprawling, the rally lasts an hour or so and like most political rallies is alternately thrilling and tedious, and I usually tend to wander around, looking for old friends and cool signs to film. It's not exactly an ideal meetup spot.

Maybe meeting for a MeFite picture early on and snacks later at the Borough or something? I dunno, I'm terrible at organizing, but if anyone else wants to start an IRL I'll jump on board. A MeFite Moral Monday pic sounds fun, actually.
posted by mediareport at 8:16 AM on July 12, 2013


Abortion bill hurting NC Republicans. Gosh I hope this is all true:

The GOP has an overall 35% approval rating for how it's running state government with 55% of voters disapproving. Democrats now lead the generic legislative ballot 51/42, the largest lead we've ever found for them since we started tracking this statistic.

Voters are so unhappy with the legislature that the protesters are coming out more popular. 47% have a favorable opinion of the folks who have been getting arrested protesting the General Assembly's actions to 40% with an unfavorable opinion and by a 47/41 margin voters say they have a higher opinion of the protestors than they do of the General Assembly. Those numbers may be a reflection of the sentiment North Carolinians hold by a 46/36 margin that the General Assembly is causing North Carolina 'national embarrassment.'

posted by showbiz_liz at 12:54 PM on July 16, 2013




Meanwhile, next door in Virginia: Storm Warning: Prepare for Hurricane Ken
posted by homunculus at 11:15 AM on July 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Two Ways North Carolina Republicans Plan To Keep College Students From Voting

It gets much worse: North Carolina sharpens new restrictions on voting
This week, the North Carolina legislature will almost certainly pass a strict new voter ID law that could disenfranchise 318,000 registered voters who don’t have the narrow forms of accepted state-issued ID.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the bill has since been amended by Republicans to include a slew of appalling voter suppression measures. They include cutting a week of early voting, ending same-day registration during the early voting period and making it easier for vigilante poll-watchers to challenge eligible voters.
Counties will be allowed to offer voting on the Sunday before the election, but only if those votes are cast before 1 p.m. Counties will not be allowed to extend polling hours by one hour in the event of long lies.

Ari added, "The bill even eliminates Citizens Awareness Month to encourage voter registration."

And why on earth is this considered necessary?

If we listen to the rhetoric from the state legislature, Republican policymakers say they're worried about voter fraud. Let's pause, then, to note (a) since 2000, there are exactly two individual incidents involving voter impersonation in North Carolina, out of several million votes cast; and (b) many of these new voting restrictions have literally nothing to do with the possibility of fraud.

Let's make this plain: GOP officials in North Carolina believe the best way to ensure they keep power is to prevent more eligible voters from participating in their own democracy. That's an unfortunate combination of cynicism and abuse, but it's hard to draw any other conclusion.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:30 AM on July 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


> If we listen to the rhetoric from the state legislature, Republican policymakers say they're worried about voter fraud. Let's pause, then, to note (a) since 2000, there are exactly two individual incidents involving voter impersonation in North Carolina, out of several million votes cast; and (b) many of these new voting restrictions have literally nothing to do with the possibility of fraud.

It's almost an exact repeat of what we're going through in PA. Challenges to the law got enforcement of it stopped for the last presidential election; those arguments are being heard now. It's very frustrating how little logic and how much denial and double-speak is being used to attempt justify these restrictions.
posted by desuetude at 11:36 AM on July 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Day Of Jubilee Continues
posted by homunculus at 12:06 PM on July 24, 2013










For Your Health and Safety
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s decision to sign his state’s new law imposing restrictions on abortion despite a very recent campaign pledge that he wouldn’t do so is drawing a lot of derision today. But it should surprise no one.

McCrory’s rationalization was this, according to the AP story on his statement about the bill:
McCrory, however, said he wasn’t limiting access to the procedure, but rather was signing a measure that “will result in safer conditions for North Carolina women.”

“This law does not further limit access and those who contend it does are more interested in politics than the health and safety of our citizens,” McCrory said in a statement.
Well, a bill that bans coverage of abortion services in the new state health care exchanges is certainly a “restriction,” though you might argue that since the exchanges are new the ban doesn’t take away any current rights. McCrory seems to be waving away widespread testimony that the bill’s imposition of ambulatory surgical care standards on abortion clinics would shut down all but one of the state’s clinics on grounds that it hasn’t happened yet and clinics might find a way to comply.

But it’s McCrory’s “health and safety of our citizens” rationale that gets to the dishonest rationale for this legislation and other examples of the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP, as prochoice advocates call it) strategy of the antichoice movement. For one thing, of course, antichoicers are trying to surf on the notoriety of the Kermit Gosnell case in Philadelphia, as though the illegal late-term abortions (and infanticides) performed there are somehow typical.
[...]
So anecdotal complaints about late-term abortions used to rationalize “health and safety” regulations on abortion generally nicely reflect the overall bait-and-switch strategy of the antichoice movement. But it also seems designed to set up a legal challenge to the existing constitutional law of abortion by exploiting the wedge created by Justice Kennedy in the Carhart v. Gonzales decision, which encouraged policymakers to make their own determinations of what women’s health requires in dealing with “health of the mother” exceptions to abortion bans.

This is a familiar phenomenon by now, right out of the national anti-choice playbook. Some governors are honest about what they are doing, most notably Mississippi’s Phil Bryant, who admitted similar legislation in his state was “of course” aimed at shutting off access to abortion entirely. Most others, like McCrory, aren’t honest at all. It’s their paternalistic pretense of wanting to protect women from their own right to choose that’s most annoying, and most telling.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:18 AM on July 30, 2013 [1 favorite]






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