Good morning, everybody! It's a lovely day for litigation, isn't it?
Here are some news items we're talking about today:
1. There's gonna be a showdown.
Gov. Pat McCrory knew, of course, that a federal counter-lawsuit would follow his legal challenge to the U.S. Justice Department's deadline for North Carolina to certify non-compliance with discriminatory restroom restrictions for transgender citizens.
What he apparently hadn't counted on, though, is that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch would make him and the rest of his anti-LGBT crusaders in the General Assembly look so damned small, as the fight is just getting started. And she didn't even have to smirk. (Take notes, Pat.)
In her remarks Monday
, Lynch made it clear that she considers the fight for LGBT rights to be the civil rights struggle of our time. And she reassured the LGBT community not only of her support, but of the inevitability of their victory together.
"Please know that history is on your side," said Lynch. "This country was founded on a promise of equal rights for all, and we have always managed to move closer to that promise, little by little, one day at a time. It may not be easy – but we’ll get there together."
Here's the full video from C-Span:
In a The New York Times
opinion piece, writer Ernesto Londono praised Lynch for putting the hateful HB 2 law in the proper historical context: alongside Jim Crow laws, and school segregation.
In her remarks on Monday, Ms. Lynch, a native of North Carolina, seemed to go further than other administration officials in casting the quest for transgender equality as a civil rights movement. She did so with grace and conviction.
“This is about the dignity and respect we accord our fellow citizens and the laws that we, as a people and as a country, have enacted to protect them – indeed, to protect all of us,” the attorney general said. “And it’s about the founding
ideals that have led this country – haltingly but inexorably – in the direction of fairness, inclusion and equality for all Americans.
McCrory, accompanied by his general counsel Bob Stephens, tried to get in front of Monday's news by holding his own news conference. He told reporters that the courts, not some "federal agency," should interpret federal laws regarding discrimination.
Again, the video is from C-Span:
As Huffington Post
points out, Pat's current obsession with transgender bathroom use follows a
longtime pattern of discrimination against LGBT citizens. That goes back to when he was the Charlotte City Council member, and then, the supposedly "moderate" Republican mayor.
McCrory has rejected LGBT anti-discrimination measures every chance he’s had in his 25 years in public office. He voted down a Charlotte ordinance in 1991 as a city council member, opposed another one in 2004 as the city’s mayor, and now, as governor, he just made it illegal for localities to pass these kinds of protections.
“We have laws in our Constitution which forbid discrimination based on race, gender and religion,” McCrory said after opposing the 1991 measure. “Beyond that, no other group should be given special status, and this community is often wanting special status.”
"This community is often wanting special status."
We had just the most awful and profane retort for that, but we thought better of it. So let's just read a little more from Huffington Post:
He hasn’t just opposed anti-discrimination measures. As the mayor of Charlotte, a post he held from 1995 to 2009, McCrory defended a local YMCA for rejecting a gay man’s application for membership. The club turned away local resident Tom Landry in 2006 when he tried to join with his partner and son. Landry wrote to McCrory about it, and he wrote back, “Thank for letting me know about your situation in trying to secure a membership at the YMCA. The YMCA has every right to set their membership criteria, but as you found, Charlotte has many options for health club memberships, including the Jewish Community Center.”
Well, now, wasn't that nice? Let Pat McCrory be your bigoted city guide!
The man who may have Pat actually looking for a new career after Nov. 8 weighed in Monday as well.
N.C Attorney General and Democratic candidate for governor Roy Cooper released a video in which he slams his opponent for "the real and devastating impact on North Carolina's economy, and reputation," caused by HB 2.
"And now, the governor is pouring gas in the fire that he lit," continues Cooper, "by putting billions of dollars of education funding on the line. Instead of doing what's right for our state, he's doubling down on what he knows he did wrong."
Speaking of Roy:
2. Civitas is coming for Roy Cooper:
The Raleigh-based conservative think tank with all that Pope Foundation bank has requested records from Cooper's office, in hopes of proving he conspired with the Obama commies to "blackmail" our (once-)great state over HB 2.
From the Civitas
“Attorney General Roy Cooper has refused to defend North Carolina against business bullies and threats from federal bureaucrats,” said Civitas President Francis De Luca. “Instead of doing his job to defend a common sense law in our state that was passed in a bipartisan vote, Cooper has been colluding with business interests to commit economic blackmail against our state. Therefore it is plausible that he has been complicit in the recent federal blackmail from the Obama Administration. We hope to better understand his collusion with the business community against the economic interests of North Carolina and the extent of any collusion with the federal government against state interests.”
All together now: "Lighten up, Francis."
Here's something good that Roy did when he wasn't all "colluding" and such:
3. Roy took on the moneylenders.
Just in case anybody forgot he's still the state's AG, Cooper recently came down hard on a sleazy online car title lender.
WKHY 1290 AM
in Hickory reports:
Under an order signed by Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald W. Stephens, while the lawsuit is underway the company and its owners are barred from: making or collecting on loans in North Carolina; repossessing, selling or placing liens on any car owned by a North Carolina consumer; destroying records; and spending or transferring any money. Cooper is seeking a permanent ban on the defendants’ illegal lending business, cancellation of previous loans and liens, and refunds for North Carolina consumers.
Wow, the defendants must have done some really shitty stuff.
As alleged in the complaint filed with the court, at least 700 North Carolina consumers took out title loans from the defendants. In addition to charging annual interest rates of 161 percent to 575 percent, most of the loans included payments on interest only for the first 11 months and a final balloon payment larger than the original loan amount.
The lawsuit contends that when consumers couldn’t make the onerous payments, the defendants repossessed their cars illegally. The lender sent borrowers a GPS tracker to install on their cars and placed a lien on their car titles. If a consumer paid late or missed a payment, the defendants used the GPS tracker to find and repossess the consumer’s car.
Yep, that qualifies.
Good lookin' out, Roy.
Now, let's seeeeee... what else is going on around the state?
Well, therrrrre's... dunno...HB 2....
4. Margaret Spellings is in a tough spot, indeed:
The UNC Board of Governors meets today a at 4:30 at the Spangler Center, in hopes of hammering out a solution "to assure the appropriate application of non-discrimination law on college campuses,'where there remain many difficult and unanswered questions.'”
That's an excerpt from a letter to the Justice Department from UNC President Margaret Spellings, as reported by The Washington Post.
The president of the University of North Carolina system said in a letter Monday that the university is caught between conflicting federal and state mandates, a statement that comes as the university tries to navigate a high-profile fight over transgender rights.
“We hope that the Department of Justice appreciates that the University is in a difficult position,” Margaret Spellings wrote, with a university system founded by the state and required to comply with state and federal laws. “In ordinary circumstances, these obligations are not in tension."
Let's get real — Spellings is homophobic as all hell herself. As secretary of education under in the G.W. Bush Administration, an outraged Spellings may have pushed a PBS CEO to step down
in 2005 over the inclusion of a lesbian couple on a kids' TV show.
Now she's freaking out, like everybody else, over the real possibility of losing billions in federal education money if the UNC system doesn't comply with the same warning that McCrory received:
5. Foxx supports Trump, kinda sorta:
There would be real consequences for two very important components of a university system’s operations should federal funding dry up, said Andy Carlson, senior policy analyst with the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. Federal funding is typically provided to institutions of higher education for financial aid and research. If research dollars were withheld, he said, “that would be incredibly impactful to the universities in that system,” particularly the state flagship in Chapel Hill.
Oh, it's so delicious. How we love to see Republican politicians squirm and weasel-word their way around a weak answer to the question: Will you support the microwaved circus peanut at the top of your party's ticket?
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-5) is the latest amusing example. Foxx recently expressed her "support" for Trump to the Winston-Salem Journal
I said from the very beginning, I would support the nominee of the party,” Foxx told the Winston-Salem Journal. “Not to support the nominee is to deny that the people have a choice in this, and the people, it appears, have chosen Mr. Trump.”
Representative — please
. Stop gushing
over the guy. It's a little embarrassing. (Wince
The Washington Post
compiled a good bunch of examples of that kind of "endorsement" from horrified GOP'ers. See if you recognize this fella:
Sen. Richard Burr, potentially in trouble in North Carolina, told a crowd that “having our preferences is no longer an option” and that the nominee is going to be Trump. So will he campaign with Trump? “I’m going to be focused on my own reelection,” he told the Raleigh News & Observer.
Those are wise words for us all on this turbulent Tuesday, are they not? Let's focus
, people! Focus