Monday, September 19, 2016

Last Call For North Carolina Goes Down The Crapper, Con't

It looks like NC GOP Gov. Pat McCrory is crumbling on the state's bigots in the bathroom bill, with the NBA and NCAA pulling events and the state having lost $100 million in business from boycotts, cancellations and protests.  His new strategy remains his initial one: blame Charlotte's LBGTQ city ordinance protecting equality for the mess and demanding its repeal.

Gov. Pat McCrory could call lawmakers into session as soon as next week to repeal House Bill 2 – but only if the Charlotte City Council first drops the ordinance that prompted it, his office confirmed Friday. 
The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association has been working to broker a compromise to stop the economic damage from HB2, which this week included the loss of major NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference sporting events. 
Losing the games is expected to cause an economic loss of tens of millions of dollars.
“Our industry and the hospitality industry at large has been collateral damage in this,” said Lynn Minges, president and CEO of the restaurant group. “It’s obviously been impacting our businesses and employees. We’ve chosen to have a seat at the table rather than have an adversarial role.” 
A McCrory spokesman said the governor is willing to call lawmakers back. 
“For the last nine months, the governor has consistently said state legislation is only needed if the Charlotte ordinance remains in place,” said spokesman Josh Ellis. “If the Charlotte City Council totally repeals the ordinance and then we can confirm there is support to repeal among the majority of state lawmakers … the governor will call a special session. 
“It is the governor’s understanding that legislative leaders ... agree with that assessment.” 
But repealing the Charlotte ordinance, which broadened LGBT protections before it was nullified by HB2, would meet resistance. One gay rights spokeswoman Friday called the proposed compromise “the same cheap trick” lawmakers have floated before. It’s unclear whether the council would have the votes to repeal its ordinance. 
It’s also unclear whether businesses would return to North Carolina if the compromise involved Charlotte giving up legal protections for gay, lesbian and transgender individuals. And a deal might not end the legal challenges.
So we're back to where we were when the Charlotte city ordinance was passed: McCrory will end the bill as long as Charlotte makes it legal again to fire people for being gay, and it only cost the state $100 million.

Hopefully it will cost McCrory the election, too.
Read more here:

The GOP Conserva-schism Is In Full Effect

What the attacks in NY and NJ conveniently took out of the news for Trump is the fact that Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich (who ran against Trump and lost miserably in the primaries) has now openly declared war this weekend on his party's own candidate for president.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's war with the national Republican Party exploded into the open Sunday night, when his top adviser thrashed GOP leader Reince Priebus and hinted that the presidential election may be out of reach for Donald Trump. 
The statement, issued on official campaign letterhead, followed remarks by Priebus earlier Sunday suggesting the party might block the Ohio governor from running for president again because he has refused to support Trump.

"Thankfully, there are still leaders in this country who put principles before politics," said John Weaver, Kasich's adviser, adding, "The idea of a greater purpose beyond oneself may be alien to political party bosses like Reince Priebus, but it is at the center of everything Governor Kasich does." 
Weaver derided Priebus as "a Kenosha political operative," referring to Priebus's Wisconsin home, and said the three-term Republican National Committee leader should be thanking Kasich for "an inclusive, conservative vision that can actually win a national election."

"The Governor is traveling the nation supporting down ballot Republicans and preventing a potential national wipeout from occurring on Reince's watch," Weaver said. 
Kasich's statement was a stunning act of open hostility between the national Republican Party and the governor in perhaps the most crucial swing state — and at a sensitive moment in the election. Trump has risen in national polls and inched closer to Hillary Clinton in swing states. He's even passed her in Ohio, perhaps his strongest chance to capture a state that Mitt Romney lost in 2012. 
RNC spokesman Sean Spicer shrugged off the Kasich camp's statement. "We are totally focused on winning back the White House and maintaining our majorities in the House and Senate," Spicer said.

Ohio remains a 100% must-win for Trump as it does for any Republican running for the White House, so for the sitting Republican governor of the state to hint that Trump cannot win is pretty much open combat on the field.  Kasich is pretty sore that he lost a primary to a clown, and I freely grant that Kasich would have been a much tougher opponent for Hillary to take on (although five minutes of press coverage on his balanced budget amendment would have ended his presidential run once America figured out it means massive, across-the-board cuts to Medicare and Social Security on top of everything else).

Still, to see this fight openly happening is amazing, and a reminder to all that the Republican party will not survive this election in its current form.  Pointing fingers seven weeks before election day over whose fault the impending loss is doesn't exactly have me looking for the Trump upset, even if he does win Ohio.

If he doesn't win Ohio, Clinton is your next president.

Disarming An Improvised Election Device

Even I have to admit at this point that given the events this weekend that it will be very difficult to focus voter attention on anything other than Warren Terrah from now until November.  Clinton's "Basket of Deplorables" rhetoric, while true, can now be dismissed by simply saying "the definition of deplorable is leaving a backpack of explosive devices near a New Jersey train station or stabbing multiple people in a Minnesota mall."

An explosion that injured 29 people when it rocked a crowded Manhattan neighborhood Saturday night has been determined to be an "intentional act," and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it was clearly "an act of terrorism." 
The explosion, on West 23rd Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues in the Chelsea neighborhood, was reported around 8:30 p.m. Twenty-nine people were hospitalized with injuries, but they had all been released by Sunday afternoon, authorities said. 
"A bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism," Cuomo said Sunday morning.

And that would be correct as well.

Less than three hours after the blast, an object police described as a "possible secondary device" was found just a few blocks away from the original explosion on 27th Street while officers were combing the area. Cuomo said the device was "similar in design" to the one that detonated just blocks away. 
Authorities studying surveillance video on Sunday from both areas may have identified the same man at each location, law enforcement sources told NBC New York.

Authorities are now looking for that man, Ahmad Khan Rahami  as a suspect.

As much as it would be morally correct to continue to pursue the angle that tens of millions of Trump supporters are enabling racism, homophobia, misogyny and especially Islamophobia today, the reality is that politically it's suicidal and Clinton will be flayed alive in the press if she continues to bring that up.

As many times as I have said the real issue in this election are the people willing to accept Trump's awful rhetoric in order to "Trump That Bitch!" the vagaries of politics dictate how a political campaign has to be run, and it's time to retire the Basket for now.

Because now, the FBI has a job to do.  Coming after the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and seven weeks before a presidential election, maybe this was inevitable.  What I do know is that the calculus of this election may have changed dramatically this weekend, and what a month ago was looking like a solid Clinton win is now looking like a perfect opportunity for America's darker impulses to elect an actual fascist to "protect" us.

We'll see how things shake out, but the debates just got a whole hell of a lot more important, the first of which is next week.  For now, the numbers still show Hillary Clinton will be our next president, and that Donald Trump is once again calling for national racial profiling and mass deportations this morning, proving that the best advocate for a Clinton presidency is Trump's own words.

We soldier on.


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