WTF Roy?

Since I'm no longer running for governor in North Carolina, you can take my observations about Roy Cooper's position on refugees at face value. I have no ulterior motive.

If Cooper thinks he can win by out-dumbing Pat McCrory, he might as well close up shop right now. Cooper's comments couldn't have been more misguided, uninformed, and ham-handed if he had tried.



I'm still not commenting on this

Just can't yet. I can't even get to the WTF stage and I have been a champion of Roy's since he first ran for AG.

However....have to admit Ken Spaulding royally screwed up a major opportunity to win over voters. His page has had a lot of activity and one visitor asked if they would post Spaulding's response to McCrory/Cooper and whoever is running the page just went off on the woman.

Not ready for prime time.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Yeah, that was unfortunate

Ken (himself) came back later and kinda apologized, and said he would have a statement later today. While we wait, this is what he said in a Dome piece:

“I do not agree with Gov. Pat McCrory's alleged implied effort to create an absolute ban of children and mothers from North Carolina who have been running for their lives from ruthless dictators and ISIS killers. The governor should know full well that he is misleading the public into believing that he has any legal authority to carry out such an absolute ban.”

Which is, you know. Still not really an answer, even when you remove the confusing "alleged implied" thing.


...and on the Facebook page s/he claimed that a statement had been circulated, so I don't understand the delay in posting it.

It is just really disappointing because I like having a choice and I'm more convinced than ever that Ken Spaulding is not prepared for the job.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

This is the Roy Cooper that has always been - unworthy

Why Cooper's fact-free idiot pandering surprises anyone is beyond me.

Cooper was Republican-lite since his time in the NC House in the late 1980s when he allied and voted with Republicans to drop-kick a mountain populist Democratic (traditional 20th century liberal) speaker for a conservative speaker who ran the early 90s state budget into disaster and shortfall.

Cooper continued his pathetic pandering in the state Senate and as Attorney General.

There's still time for someone competent to file in the primary.

Roy Cooper has always been unworthy of trust, and has once again shown he is unworthy of leadership.


Really bad timing, Roy

The beginning of an e-mail I just received:


Protecting our clean air or playing political games -- can you guess which Governor McCrory chose?

Governor McCrory has directed his Department of Environmental Quality to sue the federal government -- with a highly partisan lawsuit designed to make a political point -- instead of doing their job.

Yes, I am well aware of that. But what I (and many others) need from you right now is a clarification of your position on Syrian refugees. Either you've researched the Federal screening process and found some anomalies, or you're playing to the fears created by bigoted, anti-Obama demagogues.

If it's the former, tell us what they are. If it's the latter, you need to look around the house and see if you can find the spine you lost.

I unsubscribed from Cooper's email list

I received the same spam email from Cooper about McCrory and clean air policy.

I clicked on the link to unsubscribe and, for the reason for ending my suscription, I entered the following:

Today, I was immensely offended by Mr. Cooper's remarks about the Syrian refugees. I cannot support a Democratic candidate that isn't willing to stand up for those most in need. By allowing McCrory's bigotry to stand, unchallenged, after all of the governor's talking points about the inability of the Federal government to do background checks on the refugees has been thoroughly discredited, Mr. Cooper has demonstrated he is willing to sacrifice what's morally right for political expediency. Who among NC's citizens - Blacks, women, gays, the poor - will he be willing to sacrifice next? Mr. Cooper owes the refugees and the Democrats of North Carolina a strong and heart-felt apology. Otherwise, I'm sitting out the vote for governor if Cooper gets the nomination in 2016.

Many of you might say that I'm simply handing the governor's office to McCrory or whoever wins the Republican primary. I look at it this way: refugees from a war-torn country have no vote, no influence on our elections, and are unable to throw millions of dollars into a race.

If Cooper is willing to back down on this issue to try and appear as a "moderate", he's no better than the Republicans who are using the racist fears of the public about the Syrian refugee crisis for crass political fundraising.

I'm done - utterly fed up - with so-called North Carolina Democratic leaders that appease the bigoted bullshit of the extreme right.

Gay marriage? Cooper was tepid in his response. Voter ID? Sure, he has to go through the motions of defending it. A woman's right to abortion? Who knows where Cooper stands?

In October last year, Cooper was quoted in Talking Points Memo saying "[2016] is when we take the state back from the extremists."

If you wait until election season to stand up to extremist reactionaries and bigots, you've already lost - you've allowed hate-speech and views advocating fascist tactics, such as tracking Muslims and forcing them to wear a crescent - to be a part of mainstream political discourse, rather than relegated to the back-rooms of secretive KKK and cult religious meetings.

The sickening displays of xenophobia we've seen the past few days didn't just come out of nowhere. The Right has been spreading hate - unchecked and unchallenged- for years, while most Democratic leaders stay quiet or join in with extremist Republicans to sell out any minority when it's convenient.

Remember, there's many Democrats and progressives that just stay home because they can't see the difference between the two parties. The Dems better step up to the plate and actually start standing for something to motivate liberals and progressives to get out the vote - the alternative is to get used to seeing the Republicans rape our state government and toss NC's future right in the trash bin.

As much as I'd like

to chasten you for holding back your vote, I also am very concerned about the regressive shifts I see in many NC Democratic candidates/campaigns.

I've never been one for "tearing down" a system so something new and refreshing can (magically) take its place. It's that kind of thinking that gave the world ISIL. But our Party needs leaders and not panderers, or we will never gain the momentum necessary to take back the state.

I've got nothing ...

... to make Roy or any of the other Dems do the right thing. I don't have Art Pope's money to pump into a campaign. I have no column in a newspaper or the ear of any privileged elected official.

My vote and what I recommend to friends is all I really have to offer or withhold from a candidate.

The outrage on social media

The outrage on social media over Cooper's statements has been unlike anything I've seen. Solid-to-the-core Democrats are posting their outrage, disappointment and disgust at what they describe as a betrayal of basic Democratic beliefs. I spent considerable time last week begging individuals not to give up on the party just because of his statements.

Given that we are more likely to die of Ebola---fear of which was brought to you by the same people touting the Syrian Menace-- than we are to be killed by a Syrian refugee, leaders of both parties should be reminding everyone that we are Americans. We are not cowards. We do not hide in the corner from fear. And, by the way, most of our citizenry is already armed to the teeth! I don't think your average European citizen keeps rifles, hand guns and AK-47s in their hall closet. We can handle this.

Our country did not become a world leader by running away every time we were threatened. Let alone by turning our back on people in need.

One refugee's story of resettlement.

A timely article from the N&O.
A Syrian refugee, now settled in Carrboro, hopes to become a surgeon, so he can help others. Zubair Rushk was arrested for the 'crime' of teaching the Kurdish language to Kurdish children.

Then one day, several people showed up at his house and began to ask him about the program. That same day, Rushk ended up on the cold, hard floor of a prison room, accused of being a danger to government security….

The prisoners got one meal a day. The only water available was in the toilet bowl. Rushk suffered sexual and verbal assaults and beatings so brutal that he lost partial memory temporarily. Not once while he was imprisoned did Rushk see a judge or have access to a lawyer. His family did not know where he was. They thought he might have left the country.

“They didn’t deal with you as a human,” he said of his prison experience.

Rushk was in prison for about seven months. After his release, the jailers threatened to court martial him and keep charging him with crimes that would extend his imprisonment. A lawyer suggested that Rushk flee the country.

So one night with bribe money in his pockets, Rushk left everything behind – his belongings, his family and the woman he would eventually marry.

He entered Lebanon and went to Beirut where he immediately sought asylum and refugee status from the United Nations.

In Lebanon’s capital city, Rushk received direly needed psychological and physical therapy from his prison experience and he began to rebuild his life. He and a friend opened a cellphone company that built upon the engineering and telecommunications degrees he had received in his homeland.

For several years, he had no idea whether his request for refugee status would be granted.

Then one day, news came. The International Organization for Migration, an intergovernmental organization established in the 1950s to help resettle people displaced by World War II, wanted more information.

He was able to get papers from home and other proof to help support his application.

But there was more. He was interviewed at the U.S. Embassy and sent to an American hospital for a full physical. Then there were background checks and more psychological testing and questions over more than one day.

“It takes two years of waiting, which is painful for any human,” Rushk said. “You are waiting without knowing what will happen to your file.”

Then one day in 2010, Rushk got the call he had been hoping for. The United Nations put him in contact with the American Embassy. His file was among those selected for the refugee resettlement program.

Before he could leave Lebanon, he had to pay $500 for being in the country without legal papers. Then he received a passport.

Wait over; journey to U.S. begins

Then began his journey to the United States, a country built by immigrants that wants to further slow the process for Syrians fleeing the war-torn Middle East.

In a whirl of days, Rushk went from Los Angeles to Philadelphia to Raleigh-Durham Airport, where he was greeted by workers from World Relief Durham, a refugee resettlement organization.

He had been through a course in which new arrivals are taught about driving laws, gun laws, things that will be expected of them, cultural trends and such customary things as to dial 9-1-1 when in an emergency or threatening situation. They also see a movie.

Everything else was new.

Rushk was driven from RDU to an apartment in Durham. One month of his rent had been provided, as had food stamps to get him through his first month. “They tell you to start looking for a job immediately,” Rushk said.

Though he knew Arabic, Kurdish Sorani and Turkish, Rushk had to learn English as he looked for work.

He worked as a housekeeper in a hotel and after losing that job was a dishwasher at The Cheesecake Factory.

He has been taking classes at Durham Tech with plans to enroll soon at UNC-Chapel Hill and someday become a surgeon. “If I even can help one person in my life, I will be the happiest person for it,” Rushk said during a study break for an organics chemistry course. “I’m on the right track.”

…he thinks Durham, Chapel Hill and Carrboro are more welcoming to immigrants than some places. He says he does not understand the politicians targeting the refugees, nor does he like the political rhetoric against Muslims. While studying for his U.S. citizenship, he learned about the Constitution and the Civil War.

“They should not make this about religion or about refugees,” Rushk said. “ I don’t believe it’s right to divide this country.”