Latest reader comments

  • Reply to: Sunday News: From the Editorial pages   2 hours 16 min ago

    This week's loser is Dick Burr, for trying to excuse the inexcusable:

    In a March 12 Forum letter a writer argued that I should oppose President Trump’s national emergency declaration in order to protect Congress’ constitutional powers.

    And your response is proof positive that writing LTEs is not a complete waste of time and/or energy. It's also proof that you actually did have misgivings about shirking your Constitutional responsibility to wield at least minimal oversight over the Executive Branch. But this is a sad defense:

    What he and many editorial writers in North Carolina have gotten wrong is that the president’s declaration is lawful and constitutional expressly because Congress gave his office the very authority he invoked.

    In 1976, Congress passed the National Emergencies Act, which enables the president to use his executive order powers to declare a national emergency. Since then, every president has exercised these powers and more than 30 national emergencies are still in effect.

    The National Emergencies Act did not "grant" the President these powers, it was enacted to curb those powers which already existed. Like Truman's 1950 emergency over Korea, which was still in effect at the end of the Vietnam War, and contributed (greatly) to how and why were were embroiled in that conflict.

    But that (accurate) history aside for the moment, Trump's Wall emergency is vastly different than previous ones, because it is a political emergency. He didn't get the funding he asked for, even though he still hasn't spent the funding he received last year, so he decided to just take it. This isn't about a ticking time bomb, or a pandemic, it's about power. It's about Trump being frustrated with the Constitution itself, which grants spending authority to Congress.

    And of course Burr knows all that, and he knows that we know, so here's a disingenuous bread-cumb:

    I have concerns about any president having this much power, but changing that requires Congress to change the law.

    No, it doesn't. It would make it easier if all you needed was a simple majority, but the Supreme Court ruled against that in 1983. So even if you wanted to change the law back (which you don't, the above was just rhetorical masturbation), it could/would be quickly challenged in court.

    In summary: Yes, Congress did refine previous powers already granted to the President, but it also reserved for itself the ability to block those powers. And then the 3rd Branch stepped in and forced Congress to follow standard Veto procedures if they wanted to overturn an Executive National Emergency. But Congress still has the Constitutional authority to do what Burr claims it can't.

    The harsh reality is, as long as we have spineless cowards like Richard Burr and Thom Tillis "representing" us in the U.S. Senate, we will not be able to stop Trump's slide down into tyranny.

  • Reply to: Nine Years After ACA Expanded Access to Health Care, North Carolinians Call on State Lawmakers, Senator Tillis to Protect and Expand Law   1 day 1 hour ago

    is a crap shoot with odds of 7 to 1 against.

  • Reply to: Bladen County still has no Elections Board   1 day 11 hours ago

    The need to repeal that letter and apologize

  • Reply to: Bladen County still has no Elections Board   1 day 11 hours ago

    I suspect we are at an impasse for the time being.

    Although we are pleased that the NCSBE is going to meet with the Bladen Board members.

    There are a couple of issues here. One is the standard that the board, as stated in the recent meeting
    just wants a new start, with people not connected to any of these. This would currently apply to the TWO NCGOP nominees, but not the Governors chair appointee, which is not subject to NCSBE approval. The board has asked Gov. Cooper to rescind the nomination and nominate someone else. We will be watching that closely before we do anything. Although I suspect the Gov. will comply with the request.

    We object in the strongest terms to the board putting in a public memo, that will live forever, these words
    about our former board members:

    " However, as you know, the State Board of Elections
    has the duty and responsibility to ensure that all appointees are qualified persons
    of good moral character."

    ......
    The agency has significant concerns about reappointing board members who
    presided over operations of the Bladen County Board of Elections when these
    issues arose. In order to restore public trust in Bladen County’s elections, we
    believe it is time for new leadership.
    -------

    Saying we need a fresh start, is significantly different than implying that our folks lack "moral character"

  • Reply to: Friday News: Cracking the whip   2 days 3 hours ago

    and find a permanent President, because Roper is starting to sound like a political lackey. Actually, when I read his comments above, the first thing that crossed my mind was he sounded like McCrory.

    I'm sure there are people reading this who know him a lot better than I do (which is not at all), but he sure sounds like he's tossing out a threat. He may not have intended that, but that just raises more questions about his ability to communicate.