Sunday News: From the Editorial pages


LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS TO GIVE GOP UPPER HAND ONLY GAIN ELECTION CONFUSION: The continuing efforts by the Republican leadership to push a heavy thumb on the elections process -- through significant changes in the way the state Board of Elections was composed -- were rushed into law. There was no investigation as to the need for the changes or how they’d make the elections process work better for voters or candidates. The only justifications were it would enshrine Republican Party domination of the election process and they had the votes to do it. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has rightly challenged the law. Even setting aside any legitimate questions as to the very need for the changes, there are significant questions as to whether the legislature acted within its authority and if the laws are constitutional. The state’s courts are the appropriate forum to address these very real issues.

Saturday News: False equivalencies


CONFEDERATE STATUE SUPPORTERS SHOW RACISM WITH DEMAND TO REMOVE MLK MONUMENTS: If the state moves Confederate statues to a Civil War battlefield, Martin Luther King statues should be removed too, some members of the public told the state committee considering the fate of the monuments. "I just feel like they're trying to wipe out all white history," Roger Dale Williams of Graham said in an interview. "If the Confederate statues have to be removed because they offend some people, the King ones should be as well because they offend some of us." James Leloudis, a history professor at UNC-Chapel Hill, said equating King and Confederate statues ignores "fundamental moral distinctions." The Confederacy was built on the rejection of the founding principle that "all men are created equal," Leloudis said, while "King, by comparison, called the nation back to its core defining democratic values."

Asshat of the Week: Kelly Hastings

Apparently there wasn't enough hate circulating around, so it's time for a rerun:

As many will remember, in the General Assembly of North Carolina, we had to nullify a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed, for example, men claiming to be women to indecently expose themselves in front of little girls in public showers and changing facilities. The ordinance basically forced these policies on businesses too. To ensure peace of mind and privacy, we passed the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (HB2).

Since you brought it up, let's take a look at what else this pile 'o crap legislation did: It blocked municipalities from setting new minimum wage standards, which sure as hell didn't help those little girls you seem to be worried about. And speaking of those little girls, this legislation also blocked municipalities from refining child labor laws within their jurisdictions. So apparently it's okay for those little girls to be exploited economically, but not okay in some imaginary scenario where (for some reason) a transgender woman and a little girl would hop into a shower together. Oh, and we can't forget the part of HB2 that took away a worker's ability to sue his or her employer for discriminatory treatment. That was a real jewel. So take your dog-whistle bigotry and stick it where the sun don't shine, pal.

Friday News: Not done yet


JUDGE REFUSES TO RELEASE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION FROM LEANDRO LAWSUIT: A judge has refused to drop the State Board of Education from a long-running public school lawsuit because he says hundreds of thousands of North Carolina students still aren't getting their constitutional right to a sound basic education. In an order released Tuesday, Superior Judge David Lee wrote that the state board failed to present convincing evidence that North Carolina is moving closer to providing students with their fundamental rights guaranteed in the state constitution. The ruling was hailed by Melanie Black Dubis, partner with Parker Poe, the lead counsel for the school districts suing the state and the state board. "It confirms that, notwithstanding changes and State Board initiatives over the years, there remains an ongoing constitutional violation because all children are not being provided the opportunity to achieve a sound basic education," Dubis said in an email message.

Elon Poll: Supermajority of teachers oppose arming themselves in classroom

This bonehead idea just got a failing grade:

More than three-quarters of North Carolina public school teachers believe that allowing teachers to carry guns in school is a bad idea, according to a new Elon University Poll conducted in partnership with the Raleigh News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer. The poll found that only a quarter of teachers would consider carrying a gun in school if allowed to do so.

The Elon Poll found that a majority of N.C. public school teachers said allowing teachers to carry guns on campus and in the classroom would be harmful to the learning environment, would make them feel less safe, and would ultimately lead to an increase in gun-related deaths in American public schools. Most expressed concern that a gun carried by a teacher would fall into the wrong hands.

Bolding mine. As you can see, they don't merely *not* want to carry guns themselves, they believe it would make things more dangerous. That's an important distinction, especially for those lawmakers who envision a subset of teachers with the proper skills (or to be trained with) stepping up to become sentinels. Now that it has been made clear what they *don't* want to do, let's look at their opinions on other options:

Thursday News: Power play


DUKE ENERGY "GRID UPGRADE" SCHEME WOULD SEE RATES CLIMB EVERY YEAR: A $13 billion electric grid upgrade would boost Duke Energy electric rates in North Carolina well beyond the 16.7 percent base rate increase the company asked state regulators to approve last year. Duke's North Carolina president testified Wednesday that this additional rider would boost rates another 1.5 percent every year, give or take, for 10 years. That adds up to an additional 16 percent increase to pay for the grid, and since businesses pay a lower rate than residential customers, residential customers would see actually impacts up to 25 percent by the end of the decade. And that's after factoring in expected savings Duke has proposed to pass along to customers from a recent cut in the federal corporate tax rate.


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