scharrison's blog

First defendant sentenced for Insurrection gets probation

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Not the type of standard that should be set:

In seeking probation for Lloyd, prosecutors noted that she was not involved in any violence and destruction or preplanning and coordination of the Capitol breach. Lloyd was invited by her hairdresser to drive to Washington to hear Trump speak, her attorney wrote in court documents.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said he was giving her a “break,” but didn’t want others to think that probation — and not a stiffer sentence — would be the norm. “Legally, I could give you the six months, but is that really what we want our judiciary to do?” the judge asked.

Actually, that's exactly what we want our judiciary to do. I don't care who "invited" her to DC, or what her original intentions were. She ended up inside the Capitol building, and that act simply must have consequences. Those who planned and plotted the Insurrection would not have (could not have) overwhelmed police and succeeded in breaching Congress without hundreds just like her, and giving her a "break" could easily lead to a future breakdown of our democracy. And I am sick and tired of the excuses and calls for sympathy for these people:

Gun Culture Club: 300,000 buyers denied by FBI

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A number that is both good and bad:

The number of people stopped from buying guns through the U.S. background check system hit an all-time high of more than 300,000 last year amid a surge of firearm sales, according to new records obtained by the group Everytown for Gun Safety.

The FBI numbers provided to The Associated Press show the background checks blocked nearly twice as many gun sales in 2020 as in the year before. About 42% of those denials were because the would-be buyers had felony convictions on their records.

The bad part: They won't stop trying, and will eventually succeed through private gun sales. Which means, among many other things, that law enforcement won't have a record of the purchase if they need to serve a warrant, or respond to a domestic disturbance. Pretty soon every encounter will be assumed "armed and dangerous," even if there's no record or evidence a gun is present. And you can expect to see this more often:

Do Nothing Burr endorses Myers Park Pat

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Because doing the job has never been a top priority for either:

Sen. Richard Burr praised North Carolina's former GOP governor, Pat McCrory, as “the only one in the race that can win the general election" for the seat Burr is vacating. “Pat McCrory has a commanding advantage," Burr added.

Behind the scenes, Burr is even less subtle about next year's Senate battle. One Republican senator said Burr is “telling everyone that McCrory is the only one that has a chance to win.”

McCrory was nothing more than a rubber stamp for Legislative Republicans, and his former Budget Director Art Pope. The boldest thing he did was sign bills as a lame duck that stripped Roy Cooper's powers after the 2016 Election. Half of McCrory's short gubernatorial career was dedicated to cheerleading the ConnectNC Bond, but when BergerMoore stripped out the actual connect part (roads & broadband), McCrory folded like somebody holding a pair of threes. Here's more, if you can stomach it:

The absurd glorification of Mark Robinson by the right

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Yellow journalism is still alive and kicking:

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson may be the most unique political officer ever elected in North Carolina history.

Not only is he the first person of African-American descent, male or female, to be elected lieutenant governor in North Carolina history, he may be the embodiment of the idealized notion of the “citizen-politician” as envisioned by philosophers such as Aristotle, Cicero and the founders of the American Democratic Republic in 1776.

Marcus Tullius Cicero would be aghast at this reference, and would probably reiterate his quote, "They condemn what they do not understand." That's Robinson to a "T". He's taken demagoguery to a whole new level in NC politics, weaving strawmen so fast he doesn't have time to knock them all down. Next absurd comparison: George Washington:

Congress set to dial back Presidential war powers

Should have been done a long time ago:

The Democratic-led House, with the backing of President Joe Biden, is expected to approve legislation to repeal the 2002 authorization for use of military force in Iraq, a step supporters say is necessary to constrain presidential war powers even though it is unlikely to affect U.S. military operations around the world.

A vote on Thursday would come one day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he intends to bring repeal legislation to the Senate floor this year. “The Iraq War has been over for nearly a decade,” Schumer said. “The authorization passed in 2002 is no longer necessary in 2021.”

Actually, the Iraq War was over shortly after it started, at least it should have been. What happened after that was occupation and insurgency, coupled with sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni elements, all of which was predictable. The 2002 Authorization should never have passed in the first place, but the anger over 9/11 was still fresh, and we didn't have our pound of flesh yet in Afghanistan. All that being said, if you want to sell something to a split Senate, sometimes you need to hold your tongue:

Charlotte NDO 2.5: This time, with GOP support?

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I'll see your raise, and call. Show me your hand:

Luebke is part of a small group of republicans who've found something that didn't exist before now: republicans on city council supportive of gay rights and protections. They've been working with councilman Tariq Bokhari to put forward their own non-discrimination ordinance, based on conservative values of individual liberty and personal freedom. "I was tired of being caught flat-footed and not being brought to the table as a republican in town," Bokhari said.

Bokhari says the group is pursuing broader and more inclusive protections than the current democratic proposal. It would include protections for accommodations, employment, and housing, and it would also extend protections based on a person's natural hairstyle.

Trying to get a hold of their ordinance proposal itself before commenting further...Okay, here is the proposed ordinance:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Pope has done a lot of damage, but it's a mistake to drop everything in his lap. The NC GOP has elevated dozens of austerity-loving lawmakers to positions where they could punish the poor with shameless impunity, and we forget those henchmen at our peril. It takes a village (of assholes) to accomplish what they have done, and it will take a concerted effort to fix it.

"Wilmington's Lie" wins Pulitzer prize for non-fiction

A story that should have been told a long time ago:

This brutal insurrection is a rare instance of a violent overthrow of an elected government in the U.S. It halted gains made by blacks and restored racism as official government policy, cementing white rule for another half century. It was not a “race riot,” as the events of November 1898 came to be known, but rather a racially motivated rebellion launched by white supremacists.

In Wilmington’s Lie, Pulitzer Prize winner David Zucchino uses contemporary newspaper accounts, diaries, letters and official communications to create a gripping and compelling narrative that weaves together individual stories of hate and fear and brutality. This is a dramatic and definitive account of a remarkable but forgotten chapter of American history.

In order to "forget" something you would have to have known it, and I'm not sure this qualifies. I attended public school in NC, then community college, then became a history major at a fairly reputable private University (Campbell), and the first I heard of this was about 12 years ago. This isn't David Zucchino's first Pulitzer; he was instrumental in exposing Apartheid to the world:

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