scharrison's blog

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:

Blueprint for a more democratic North Carolina

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More than just bullet points:

The more than 20 state and national experts contributing to the report explore initiatives for North Carolina in six areas:

Improving voter registration and list maintenance;
Ensuring voting access and protecting voting rights;
Strengthening local election infrastructure;
Promoting fair redistricting and equal representation;
Heightening transparency and combating corruption;
Ensuring fair and impartial courts.

Looking at #2 & #3 in particular, the NC GOP seems to be doing the exact opposite. They are more concerned about adding vigilantes poll watchers to eyeball and intimidate voters than helping local election boards meet their needs, and now they are moving to block private donors from assisting those folks. Why? Because most of that private funding went to densely-populated areas where that money was needed the most, which just happened to also be heavily-Democratic areas. Let's dig into the report itself to look at list maintenance recommendations:

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