Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Last Call For McCrory's Honeymoon

If GOP NC Gov. Pat McCrory ever had a honeymoon, it died this month with the NC GOP.  The latest numbers from Public Policy Polling:

For the first time since taking office we find that McCrory has a negative approval rating this month. Only 40% of voters are happy with the job he's doing to 49% who disapprove. That's down a net 15 points from June when he was at a 45/39 spread. While McCrory's numbers are pretty steady with Republicans, he continues to lose ground with Democrats (down a net 17 points from -36 at 24/60 last month to now -53 at 17/70) and independents (down a net 20 points from +12 at 46/34 last month to -8 at 41/49 now). Only 68% of people who voted for McCrory last fall continue to approve of his job performance.

That's quite a drop, and it gets worse for McCrory when you throw the Republican-dominated state legislature into the mix.

Unhappiness over the abortion bill seems to be driving a lot of the increased unhappiness with the Republicans in state government this month. Only 34% of voters support the proposal to 47% who are opposed. They're even more unhappy with the process- 80% think it's inappropriate to combine abortion legislation with bills about motorcycle safety or Sharia Law.

This speaks to a greater issue voters have with the General Assembly's transparency- only 19% think the body is transparent in how it conducts its business to 51% who believe it is not. As a result North Carolinians think by a 48/33 margin that McCrory should veto the abortion law, including a 51/37 margin with independents.

The problem of course is that there are enough Republican votes in both the NC House and Senate to override a McCrory veto, meaning he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.  And the awful, draconian laws that McCrory has already signed into law are hurting him, too.

-55% of voters are unhappy with the legislation that resulted in 70,000 North Carolinians losing their unemployment benefits earlier this month to only 29% who are supportive of it. There's strong opposition to this development by both independents (32/55) and Democrats (10/78).

-76% of voters think that companies engaged in fracking in North Carolina should have to disclose all the chemicals they inject into the ground with only 13% opposed. Republicans in the State Senate have been trying to exempt them from having to do so. There's a strong bipartisan consensus (81/13 among independents, 80/9 among Democrats, 68/18 among Republicans) that disclosure should be required.

Even a majority of NC Republicans are worried about fracking chemicals, and with good reason.  And the nation's worst unemployment benefits?  Not exactly a selling point.  All of this could mean one hell of a backlash in November 2014:

All of this could come back to bite Republicans in next year's election. The GOP has an overall 35% approval rating for how it's running state government with 55% of voters disapproving. Democrats now lead the generic legislative ballot 51/42, the largest lead we've ever found for them since we started tracking this statistic.

North Carolinians have serious buyer's remorse for the GOP state they bought into.  Payback is going to be spectacular...but how much damage will the state's people take in the meantime from these GOP clowns?

We'll see.  If anything, Sen. Kay Hagan has a clear platform to run on in 2014 to keep her seat.

Seems Like A Normal Family To Me

The latest Fine Bros. video explores a number of kids reacting to the recent Cheerios commercial with the biracial family, and it will make you feel a whole lot better about America, when not one of the kids or teens can find anything "wrong" with the commercial.

Once again, as a biracial man with a biracial brother and three mixed-race nephews, that fact that these kids see nothing wrong with the notion of a white mom, black father, and a biracial daughter is pretty damn awesome.  When I was 11 or 12, growing up in relatively small town North Carolina, things were difficult sometimes.  That was a generation ago, however.  Now?  Now I see a lot more hope.

Good job, kids.  Keep being awesome.

Trial By Error

The self-serving interview of anonymous Zimmerman trial juror B37 on CNN's Anderson Cooper last night actually turned out to be informative, as the juror basically admitted that on multiple occasions the jury disregarded jury instructions in order to find Zimmerman not guilty.

In an interview on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 Monday night, an anonymous juror said the panel that found George Zimmerman not guilty considered Florida’s Stand Your Ground law in its deliberations. Earlier reports suggested the notorious law that authorizes the unfettered use of deadly force in self-defense was not applied to the case, because Zimmerman’s lawyers opted not to request a Stand Your Ground hearing. But as ThinkProgress explained in a post earlier today, the jury instructions contained the law’s key provision and instructed jurors that self-defense meant Zimmerman was entitled to “stand his ground” with “no duty to retreat.”

COOPER: Because of the two options you had, second degree murder or manslaughter, you felt neither applied?

JUROR: Right. Because of the heat of the moment and the Stand Your Ground. He had a right to defend himself. If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.

So the jury did consider SYG when they shouldn't have.  Even worse,  the juror admitted that she failed to follow the judge's instructions not once, but twice.

COOPER:  Did you feel - a lot of the analysts who were watching the trial, felt that the defense attorneys - Mark O'Mara, Don West - were able to turn prosecution witnesses to their advantage - Chris Serino, for instance, the lead investigator.   Did he make an impression on you?

 JUROR:  Chris Serino did.  He - but he - to me, he just was doing his job.  He was doing his job the way he was doing his job and he was going to tell the truth regardless of who asked him the questions.

 COOPER:  So you found him to be credible?

 JUROR:  I did, very credible.

 COOPER:  So when he testified that he found George Zimmerman to be more or less and overall truthful, did that make an impression on you?

 JUROR:  It did.  It did.  It made a big impression on me.

The judge gave strict instructions that Serino's opinion on Zimmerman's truthfulness was to be disregarded.  That clearly wasn't done here, by the juror's own admission.  It happened again:

COOPER:  When the defense in their closing argument played that animation of what they believe happened, did you find that credible?

 JUROR:  I found it credible.  I did.

The judge ruled that animation as inadmissible, and yet here the juror admits she found it credible, implying that she considered it in her deliberations.  Once again, this was in direct violation of the judge's instructions.

No wonder the juror's book deal was canceled, and it got canceled by people speaking up and giving a damn about how ridiculous it is to profit off the death of a young man. We've got a juror admitting 48 hours after the verdict that she and the rest of the jury ignored the judge's instructions multiple times in order to reach that not guilty verdict.

You would think that somebody in the Department of Justice might have been paying attention to this interview, too.


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