More on the Usurpers

Although Covington does not order a special election, it is a strong and powerful indictment of the legislature and its gerrymandering. Further, there is a good case to be made that the legislators are usurpers and their ongoing actions void. The court addressed this at the end of the opinion (pp 45-46 clipped below). The opinion correctly concludes state law on this is “unsettled” and appropriately addressed to state courts. This seems like an invitation for someone to challenge the legislators as Usurpers.

McHenry goes there

Kudos to Thomas Mills for grabbing this gem from the news today:

Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry said out loud what most Republican only say in private. He wants to end Social Security and Medicare. He told Charlotte Observer political reporter Jim Morrill, “I would rather have complete control of the social safety net given to the states.” That would end Social Security and Medicare. Most Republicans would probably agree. And that’s the difference between Democrats and Republicans.

Rip Van Holding attracts several Democratic opponents for Congressional seat

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Hopefully he'll have more time to push his trash out to the road after November 2018:

On Tuesday, Raleigh businessman Ken Romley became the fourth Democrat to announce his candidacy in a district represented by Republican George Holding. The 2nd district includes much of north, south and west Wake County along with parts of Johnston, Franklin, Harnett and Nash counties.

A day before Romley’s announcement, Linda Coleman, a former Wake County commissioner and N.C. House legislator, confirmed she would join Holly Springs vodka distillery owner Sam Searcy and Johnston County veteran and transgender woman Wendy Ella May in the race to unseat Holding, a third-term congressman from Raleigh.

And now is the part where I extol the virtues of having a knock-down, drag-out Primary between four (or more) energetic Democratic candidates before moving on to the General Election campaign against a well-heeled and zero-energy Republican incumbent. I'll have to get back with you on all that extolling...

Wednesday News: The cost of bigotry

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ART POPE'S CIVITAS FORCED TO SELL OFF ANTI-SEMITIC WEBSITE: The conservative Civitas Institute announced Tuesday that it will no longer operate a news website that came under fire last week for promoting an anti-Semitic blog post about N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein. Carolina Plott Hound, a Drudge Report-style website that collects and posts links to news and conservative commentary from a variety of sources, promoted as its lead headline a blog arguing that Stein joined a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to end DACA because he “is acting in accordance with the worldview and ethnic interests of his own particular group – i.e., those within contemporary Judaism. Stein is a reform Jew. Those from within his own ethnic group want the Christian majority with roots in western countries to be numerically diluted.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article17...

Tuesday News: Stacking the courts

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NC GOP CONVENES COMMITTEE ON JUDICIAL GERRYMANDERING TODAY: A House committee discussing redrawing voting districts for trial court judges and district attorneys holds its second meeting Tuesday. A wholesale redraw hasn't occurred in more than 60 years. Republicans say redistricting would create fairer districts. Democrats argue it's a pretense for GOP gerrymandering. Any House-approved redistricting would still have to clear the Senate. It also would be subject to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's veto stamp. One idea floated among Republicans would link approval of new maps to a proposed constitutional amendment sought by some senators to change the way the state chooses judges, which today is through partisan elections.
http://www.wral.com/n-carolina-house-panel-back-to-debating-judicial-remapping/16958043/

Tuesday Twitter roundup

The attacks against Obamacare aren't over yet:

Make the calls. It probably won't sway these two very much, but you never know.

Theatre of the absurd: Make all voters pass a Federal gun background check

Kris Kobach's voter suppression train is going off the rails:

A gun researcher who says the federal gun background check system doesn't work has a new idea for preventing voter fraud at polling places: Make every voter pass a federal gun background check.

John Lott, an independent researcher and Fox News commentator, is best known for his book “More Guns, Less Crime,” which argues that increases in gun ownership are associated with drops in crime (most mainstream criminologists reject this view).

Dude is certifiable, and yet he has been invited to the next Commission meeting to put forward this foolish and very likely unconstitutional proposal. It's another in a growing list of cases where the Congress would normally feel compelled to step in and reign back Executive overreach, if it was anybody other than Donald Trump engaging in it. While this gun-check thing is an absurd idea, and wouldn't make it past the first judge tasked to evaluate it, the ramifications of the Commission's willingness to even entertain the idea are the real danger:

Monday News: Preying on the weak

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DALE FOLWELL GOES AFTER DISABLED RETIREES TO COLLECT OVER-PAYMENTS: Carla Shuford thought a call from the state treasurer’s office telling her to look for an important letter was a hoax, but the reality hit her the next day with a notice that the state had been putting too much in her disability checks for more than 10 years, and now it planned to collect. She is one of 60 former state employees who have to return money because audits found mistakes in their disability payments. “You’re picking on the most vulnerable people,” she said. “You know they don’t have the wherewithal to fight.” State Treasurer Dale Folwell said the office is required by law to get back money when it pays out too much. “We’re sorry for this lady’s disability,” he said. “This is something our administration didn’t do. We discovered it and now we have the responsibility to fix it.”
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/under-the-dome/article17...

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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LEGISLATURE NEEDS TO END GOVERNING BY WHIM, DECREE AND AMBUSH: Unfortunately the autocratic behavior of legislative leaders is now reflected by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors – who are appointed by the legislature – in its latest effort to tell UNC President Margaret Spellings how to organize her office. Again, all done without any prior consultation with those most impacted. Again and again, the current legislative leaders preach that government should be operated like a business. But no well run business operates – or survives – the way Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore try to run the state. Their primary motivations are settling fictitious scores with Democrats like Gov. Roy Cooper and Attorney General Josh Stein. They must change and be more deliberative and open. If not, even the most severe gerrymandering won’t blind voters to the malfeasance on display over the last nine years.
http://www.wral.com/editorial-legislature-needs-to-end-governing-by-whim-decree-and-ambush/16948825/

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